Well hey! Look what got to my post office box!
My copy of Needlepoint Now with Pippin’s twelve flowerpots on the cover, with stitches designed by none other than Laura Taylor. Pippin’s first cover! I know you probably all got this Needlepoint Now a couple of weeks ago but it takes a while longer to get to me in Canada, and luckily I was down in the States at the end of February and got to see an advance copy because I was bursting! Laura… who rocks… picked the twelve flowerpots canvas to work her magic on and write a stitch guide for. This was such an honour. Laura is such a well respected and inspiring teacher and textile artist, and the cool extra thing is she’s also a kind and smart girl. That’s such a good combination.
Also so honoured that Needlepoint Now team put the design on their cover!
Here’s a close up shot of some of the flowerpots. Laura brought the stitched canvas with her to the big trade show in San Jose in January so that we could display it in Pippin’s booth. I love all things playful, and I think Laura has such a playful, fun style putting together the stitches and threads, along with beads and charms.
As mentioned, I was down in Washington State with the Pippin ladies doing one of our retreats about a month ago. We got our usual gobs of work done, in the nicest surroundings and company.
It was not great weather getting there, a snowfall must have happened just in front of me because I drove down looking nervously at the trees heavy with fresh white stuff, but the road thankfully stayed clear. No snow when I got to the house either, and I was able to use my favourite stone walls outside to shoot photos but they turned out distinctly darker and broodier than normal.
This group above is going to be a club at the Needlepointer, and then they’ll wander into the Pippin line after that. I’m liking the idea of these finished reindeer and trees making a little forest scene, and wondering what else I could add. Pretty sure that when I get that bear stocking done those guys will be coming to hang out with the herd. It’s my Pippin version of having a doll house.
I stayed an extra day (bummed a bed off of Mary, thanks Mary and Tony) and went to see the start of Laura teaching a class at the Needlepointer on a new Pippin canvas of twelve tomatoes. Again, feeling happy that she turned her attention to another Pippin canvas. The canvas was exclusive to the class and then will be hopping into the line in June, and Laura’s stitch guide for that will be available through stitching shops. Look what fun she had with these tomatoes! Laura is an expert on tomatoes — she actually is, she has a calendar and does interviews and talks –and I hope that these tomatoes rang true for her as she designed, especially as she was kind enough to give me one of her calendars and I used her photos from that as inspiration. She went for it in the border with that cute plaid too. A stitching and tomato wizard.
A few of us went to dinner with Laura the night before the class and it was the first time I’ve been able to have a longer visit with her. Usually we’re all swirling at shows when we cross paths. It’s very nice when you find the people you look up to are as great as you think.
Mary made me say a couple of things at the beginning of the class. Oh man. I need to learn how to not blush. Put me in front of the friendliest of crowds and I still blush and blotch.
(Blush and blotch. Good phrase when I’m not actually doing them. Will need to use that for something. We dream of doing Pippin road trips and maybe shops could advertise a meet and greet with Jill and Mary and a blush and blotch with me?)
I retreated into the threads room, a happy place for me. So fun playing with colours and textures.
I use so many warm greys in designing, like driftwood on my beach, and I pulled a bunch of them just because. Just to look at and touch and drool over. Aren’t they wonderful? They make colours around them pop like crazy.
Tried out a couple as reindeer coats, and found the perfect blue!
Played a bit with future things.
If you were to put me in a big vat of Silk Road straw silk and Pepper Pot silks skeins I would not panic and look for a way out. I’d get comfortable and cover myself in skeins and just let my eyes wander over them for a very long time. The richness of the colours makes me tingle.
When I was in the States we figured out what canvases we want to release when for the rest of the year (with flexibility built in for designer block and exuberance: they both can play with the plan) and so since I’ve been back I’ve dived in and been painting tons. Yum times. I call it going down the rabbit hole, in a good way. I think Mary and Jill have gotten used to my sudden quiets, and the cats are understanding but don’t let me go so far down that I don’t remember to feed them.
So I’m in very Pippin-y times, and the last 24 hours have in particular been good ones.
My own copy of Needlepoint Now got here, I had really really awesome news about the May/June edition, I finished up a set of four quirky new designs that I’m super excited about, and I just finished up a great call with Mary and Jill over how fun this is and with some great thoughts about future projects.
Oh, and I also made a truly great salad. (Goat cheese added later as not everyone in my house appreciates it’s awesomeness as much as me.)
And my tea sent me a heart. Why thank you!