I live in Fallon, Nevada which is in northern Nevada about an hour away from Reno. It is a fairly small town surrounded by desert and mountains. They refer to Fallon as the “Oasis of the Desert” because there is a lot of agriculture and ranches in the area and it’s a bit greener than other parts of the surrounding desert.
When my children were younger I started drawing and watercolor painting and decided to turn some of my drawings into needlework patterns. I began with cross stitch and later added hand embroidery to my collection of patterns. I enjoy being outside drawing whatever happens to catch my eye – the garden or any new place. I like drawing plants and buildings the best. Animals and people are more of a challenge for me so I don’t find myself wanting to draw those subjects often, except cats. I love cats and enjoy drawing them.
I also spend time reading, especially mystery stories. Some of the authors I enjoy are Sue Grafton and Ruth Rendell. I like hiking and walk daily in the evening to relax and process my day. I enjoy watching classic movies on the weekends. DSLR photography is new to me so I like to take trips on the weekends to take photographs and improve my skills – plus get inspiration for my designs and drawings. I also like to visit antique shows, shops and quilt shops for inspiration.
For my cross stitch and embroidery designs I usually always use hand dyed flosses from “The Gentle Art” and “Weeks Dye Works.” I like all of the color variations and find I can use fewer colors with more variation with them for the style I like to work in. I tend to lean towards pastels, but try and challenge myself to work with other brighter colors. For my drawings I like to use pen and ink or pencil with watercolor. I like drawing the best and add watercolor for interest and color. I’ll switch from more detailed drawings to sketchy depending on what ideas I have in mind.
My mother, grandmothers and aunts all enjoyed sewing, quilting and crafting so I learned from watching them. I was inspired by what they made. I taught myself along the way and took art classes in college. I still continue to learn by taking classes regularly and am really excited by the many quality art and craft classes offered online. I’ve always enjoyed making things, but didn’t start seriously designing and drawing until my children were little and I stayed home with them and wanted something to do to occupy my time while they were sleeping and in school.
I’ve had designs published in print magazines and online magazines, which has been a fun learning experience on how to design for a publication and meet deadlines.
For a while I was trying many crafts including spinning, weaving, knitting and dying my own yarn. I made several sweaters and other things with wool. I did this for several years before deciding I needed to focus on one craft and try to do something with it. About that time websites were starting to become popular and it was easier to set up your own website and that’s when I started my online business in 2004.
In 2012, I stopped working as a medical transcriptionist and now I split my time working on needlework designs and illustrations for greeting cards, fabrics, prints and other gift items that I sell online. I’ve had designs published in print magazines and online magazines, which has been a fun learning experience on how to design for a publication and meet deadlines. In the beginning, I submitted designs to the magazines to see if my style fit in with their needs, once my online shops were established editors of magazines were able to view my work in my shops.
I like much smaller and simpler designs. I like basic stitches usually using stem stitch, back stitch, lazy daisies and French knots. I like to be able to relax when I do my needlework and a simple design does that for me. My best selling items are my hand embroidery designs right now. Hand embroidery is fairly easy to learn, quick to do and you can put it on a lot of things or make it into a sewing project. People seem to like the PDF format and being able to get their pattern right away.
I’ve had a shop on ArtFire for three years now and really enjoy the site. The community is friendly and very helpful. The staff seems to be very informative, innovative and offers support if needed, which I find very comforting. I like their ideas and policies. It’s a great site to be affiliated with. For someone just starting out on ArtFire I would say that patience is very important and to read all the information the ArtFire staff has put together to help new people. Browse the forums as there is so much information to learn that is helpful. Having an online shop can be very fun and is a continual learning process. Most of all enjoy!