Falling in love: The year I turned 30, I was introduced to the joy of counted thread-work and have never looked back. A lot has happened in the decades since – equal amounts of pain and joy, including a move from sunny Central California to the cooler mountains of North Idaho. Yet in those years, as I worked toward retirement, I continued to stitch and even managed to fit in a little designing. Now, finally free of the daily office grind, I’ve found the free time to fully devote myself to this calming and inspiring art form. I’ve even managed to involve my husband, who is my Chief chart stuffer and shipping expert.
Now, in between busy days of designing and stitching, we find moments to play with our 4 rescued kitties, roam our wooded hillside, our wild-flower strewn pastures, and when we are really feeling brave, head off on a tromp through knee-deep winter snow. Best of all are those drives along the country roads full of a riot of color, depending upon the season.
Our home is on a mountain “ridge”, as the old-timers call this type of terrain. Eureka Ridge is our home– and for me, when I first saw this area, I did think “Eureka” as I fell in love and felt right at home. We overlook a natural evergreen forest, and more than a thousand feet below, the rushing Clearwater River. In our surroundings of towering trees, curious wildlife, and dramatic seasons, I find just the right inspiration I need to create my designs. No matter where I turn my eyes, I find confirmation that Nature never makes a mistake in color combinations. Each of my designs is based on a combination of colors and shapes presented to me by this natural setting –and with each one, I learn more and try to share with all of you.
How Tempting Tangles began: In 2006 I became very ill and was forced to retire from an excellent, yet stressful job. I look back on that difficult year and realize that had I not ever become so ill, I might have worked decades longer and been miserable the entire time. So now I know that illness was really a gift! Each day since my decision to retire has indeed been a treasure wherein I can stitch and design, dream and research the next needle work project.
Creating "Creation": After 3 years of playing with various designs, I finally started a blog and posted pictures of a particularly favorite work in progress. That was 2009 – and a woman who soon became a good friend saw those online images of "Creation". I'd worked with that design nearly a year, as nightly dreams presented the next parts. I know now it was all Godly inspiration. My friend urged me to find a way to publish the design, but first I had to chart it from the stitched piece! It was an amazing amount of work to work backwards, but I am still so grateful for all those who encouraged and advised me way back then and those who still do.
While I love the antique look of "Creation", and most antique samplers in general, I find that my tastes are varied. Many types of designs from "Jumpin' Jack Frost" to "Verdant Variations" - have popped out of my mind and onto my linen. I love the old fashioned sampler style with the quaint motifs, treasure all styles of alphabets, and Quaker-style geometric forms are a mathematical delight. Even so, I have to admit that those which remind me of events, imagined or real, from my childhood must be top of the list. Most of my designs have some nostalgia attached – and good memories, and once stitched, last forever.
As you stitch my designs: It is natural for us to want our work to be unique and not a carbon copy of what many others have stitched from a pattern. Little mistakes you might make, or even deliberate changes make a design truly yours. If you choose to change a color, add a motif or a different line of text, please do so. My first designing attempts came from a desire to modify a design I was stitching, so that it would fit better with my décor, and my collection of other stitched pieces. That being said, I fully encourage you to enjoy your stitching, love the resulting finish, mistakes and all (within reason) and then it will become uniquely yours!
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