It’s here!

I have been hopping up and down waiting for this to arrive.

Feeling very blessed to see Lee Cox’s take on the Pippin five bugs canvas on the cover of Needlepoint Now magazine!  How fun is that?

I knew it was coming but yesterday was wonderful getting my hands on it.  Lee writes stitch guides for The Flying Needles in Florida, so really this finished canvas is from the heads of two beach girls.  I’m guessing a little on the beach love, making an assumption by locale, but I was also utterly charmed to read that Lee loves bugs and that the article, written by June Russell-Chamberlin, includes a fun section called A Short Lesson on Insects.  I loved it.  It discussed all the important bits of bugs.  As much as Pippin canvases have bears with scarves and elephants with stars and polka dots on their butts I always like to try to keep a thread of reality between what a thing is and how I draw it, and it sounds like Lee designs her canvas work with the same mindset.  I nervously read about bug structure hoping I didn’t bend any big rules but if you give me the benefit of the doubt that these bugs are hiding another pair of wings under their tummies I think I’m all good.  (Probably lost a few points using ‘tummies’ though.)

I was sketching a design with nine spiders on it a while ago when I clued in that they all had six legs and spiders have eight.  Grumbling angst when you think your sketch is pretty cute as is and now how to squeeze in 18 more legs, but this lesson will keep me honest.

It’s always delicious to see how someone interprets one of Pippin’s designs, and I think Lee captured the playfulness of it.  Beads are always awesome, and her fuzzy caterpillar is my favourite.  It was funny to read that she makes her turkey work so fluffy with the help of a vacuum.

For my part June phoned a few months ago and we had what felt like just a fun talk but somehow she put together a very cool write up out of it.  I had pulled out a cushion of the five bugs while we talked, this one all in basketweave, just so I’d be in the bugs groove, and as we were talking I looked at it beside the canvas I was working on then and laughed.  I have favourite palettes for sure.  Even my scissors fit in.

I was also delighted reading Needlepoint Now Editor Elizabeth’s Musings at the front of the magazine where she describes the community and setting she lives and works in.  A neighbourhood of big and little animals, kids and cats and dogs and husbands visiting the offices, and just what sounds like a chill spot.

I have big and little creatures in my neighbourhood too  — I’ve been seeing spring bears above the highway waking up their bellies with fresh greens, and a small humpback whale out front a few weeks ago — and I do some bits of work all over my house, often with Lucy sitting close and supervising,

but this is where a lot of my work takes place.  It looks very different than it did a few weeks ago.

Now this is where I have to nervously smile at very neat people and ask them if they could step out and get a cup of tea for just a minute, and then I pull the messy ones in a bit closer.  This looks very different than it did a while ago!  And I know many would still see it as a bit messy but boy.  Wow!  Holy smokes.  I didn’t take a before picture because I knew I wouldn’t want to see it but that clean desk had gotten piled up with canvases and sketches and envelopes and was so cluttered I felt like I couldn’t think straight! And once it was full I had put a big pile of files — because I have SO many ideas and sketches for canvases I want to do — on the floor that had of course fallen over and the big canvas rolls had somehow snuck out of their space and were leaning sort of crazily all over.  My messy people, do you know how when a space has gotten a little crazy and you know you have to get it figured out but in the mean time you’ll just let it go really wild since you’re going to be overhauling it? And then you don’t? Yup.  So I bumped the overhaul to the top of the list and right now this is almost my favourite spot in the house.  I still have to get back to some shelves and files that need new some more work so it’s not perfect, but it’s gone back to feeling like a calm peaceful space for me.

Before the overhaul I was a busy bee getting some canvases done that we will be releasing in June.  I so love designing.  There’s something we’re releasing that’s a bit different for us.  I’ll write about those soon.  Sneaky peek:

Now I’m trying to finish up the designs that will be new for the Dallas market in September.  There are lots, including some quirky characters that I first played with years ago and who twirled their way out of my drawers to reinvent themselves as needlepoint!  I so love designing.

So if you can get your hands on a Needlepoint Now have a look.  I think they’re available from most stitching stores, and for we Canadians I’m sure stores will happily put one in the mail.  It’s a lovely magazine, and has so many different takes on stitching in it.  What an honour to see Pippin on the cover.

OK I continue to be a bit hit and miss in the posting department, paintbrushes and pens fit to my hand so much more easily than keyboards and I’m a shy girl, so please forgive and thanks for dropping by.  Back soon.  🙂

4 thoughts to “Bugs in the mail

  • Gayle

    Jen always love reading your blogs! Can’t wait to see you in September!! Hugs!!

    • Jennifer Tan

      Yikes I didn’t get back here very fast. Thanks Gayle. I’m so looking forward to September too. Always wonderful to cross paths with you and your Fancy Stitch ladies.

  • Linda

    Your designs make me feel so happy on the inside. Please keep up your gift for all of your followers!

    • Jennifer Tan

      Boy did that ever make me feel happy! Thank you for such kind kind words. I love what I do. 🙂


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