How I got started:
My grandma has been knitting and needlepointing since she was in her 20’s or 30’s. The family has gotten Christmas stockings, scarves, sweaters, boxes w/ needlepointed top and various other works from her for birthdays and holiday. I haven’t always appreciated the talent and skill behind her work, and she has never pushed it on me but since I started working with fibers, I have a very different view of her talent. When I got married my grandma made my husband, Michael, a needlepoint stocking. It’s probably my favorite stocking she has ever done! -Not biased at all ;-) Michael is a musician and loves a little adventure. The Stocking was tailor made for him including instruments and a Santa riding through the starry Christmas eve night on a motor cycle. As my mom and I were looking at the collections of stockings she has done for our family my mom said something like… it’s a shame no one in the family will be caring on this tradition. That’s what got the ball rolling three years ago. I started with a small canvas with a cute saying I outlined on it and tried out a basket weave. I surprised my grandma with what I had started, and she gave me some pointers on other stitches saying, “there is no wrong way.” I think that gave me permission to experiment and really take on challenges. After three needlepoints experimenting with color and stiches, my grandma gifted me a class at the Yarn Barn in San Antonio with Jo Ippolito Christensen. She gave such great ideas for making 3D effects, using ribbon and other materials, and focusing on color to make desired effects. In so many ways needlepoint is like painting and I could use many concepts from color theory and painting classes in creating needlepoint works. In that class Jo suggested that I paint my own canvases. I started with the outlined canvas I made for the class and created the Halloween painted canvas that I’ve now made a few copies of, by request. I’ve been fascinated by the concept of art in layers with multiple artist contributing to a greater work. Needlepoint is quite a wonderful example of just that. One artist designs and paints a canvas, and another creates a finished product with infinite possibilities for the outcome. I’ve had the honor of creating custom canvases for customers, which in turn puts another layer of creativity in the mix. I think those specialize works are really wonderful because I get to have a little extra contact with customers and make sure their vision comes to life.