As a lifelong needlepointer and fine arts major in college, I have always been known as one who stitches over painted canvases to create my own design. I stitched over a painted belt for one of my twin sons, making up small repeating designs representing important things in his life. Of course, my other son then asked for a belt with duck heads. I found an old print in our basement and since I had found that stitching without a painted canvas was tedious and cumbersome, I decided to try to paint them on a canvas. I loved it!
My needlepoint stitching friends then started asking me to paint canvases for them. I have enjoyed working directly with people, creating canvases from their ideas. Many have been gifts depicting favorite places, events, pets and pastimes. It is fun to see a finished product, such as a belt, on the recipient, walking around town!
It soon seemed that I saw design ideas everywhere so I thought I would put some on canvas. From my interior design work, I incorporated skills in the use of scale and proportion as well as my love of color, pattern and texture. I’ve been inspired by everything from nature to geometrics to street scenes. My Beach Day! sign/insert was inspired by brightly colored chairs on a small beach on Crystal Lake which I passed every day.
I love ornaments – they have been my first canvases – I especially like 3 dimensional ones as you will see. I also like the idea of displaying our little works of art year round so many of my designs are to be used throughout your home.
In my custom work, I noticed how many people liked to add, subtract or change something on their canvas which would make it personal to them. I tried to think of a way projects could be customized. I came up with an idea where the stitcher may choose to start with a “base” canvas and add needlepoint embellishments to be attached by magnets. I have introduced this as my “Options” line.
I often tell my clients, “You’ve gotta love it!” Needlepoint is a labor of love which hopefully will provide many hours of happy stitching, a sense of accomplishment and a creative outlet. Whether you give your work of art as a gift, bring it out of its careful wrapping each holiday, proudly display it in your home or wear it often, I want you to love it!
Finally, but most importantly, I want to thank my husband, daughter, twin sons, friends and friends-of-friends for their inspiration, encouragement and patience for which I am very grateful. And, of course, I couldn’t work without our golden retriever, Louie, watching over me – even if he does fall asleep!
I am excited to enter this next phase of designing and painting and hope you will find a canvas which inspires you to either stitch as painted (select stitch guides will be available) or “go off the grid” and make it all your own.