I'm so glad that you've chosen to spend the next few minutes with me. If you are a newcomer to my work, you'll quickly discover a wide variety of needleart designs to choose from - something for every level of embroidery skill. For those of you who have been following my journey as a designer, I hope that you will discover something new to catch your fancy. As I say so often, I never know what will come out through my fingertips next!
Forget-Me-Nots In Stitches is a cottage industry; I wear all the hats! I live in Little Italy on the East Side of Cleveland, very near Severance Hall (home to the Cleveland Orchestra), the Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western University, The Cleveland Clinic, and so many other institutions of culture and education recognized the world over. My studio is located in a school building, built at the turn of the 20th century, which was converted into condominiums several years ago. We have lots of light, airy space here; great acoustics (so important to Robert) and fabulous light (four south-facing ten-foot deep by four-foot wide windows)! Good vibes and positive energy abound.
I was born and raised on Cleveland's West Side. My paternal Great Aunt, Albina Krejci, taught me, my sister, Robin, and our two cousins, Nadine and Marva, how to embroider. I was seven or so, and remember very clearly the scene around our kitchen table: four eager little girls, brightly-colored threads, tea towels stamped with daisies, shining needles, cork-lined, oval embroidery hoops, and dear Auntie Al - born in Budapest in 1899, and annoyed that our mothers hadn't yet taught us how to use a needle and thread - patiently showing us where to begin. And I've been embroidering ever since! (Auntie rewarded us with sticks of Black Jack gum...)
My Dad thought his daughters needed to learn a trade; we didn't need college. So I was sent to Jane Addams Vocational High School where my focus was on Fashion Design/Illustration and Couturier Dressmaking/Tailoring. During the summers and on school weekends of my junior and senior years, I took classes at The Cleveland Institute of Art. Upon graduation, I won a scholarship to The Fashion Institute of Art, in New York City, where I majored in Journalism and Fashion Communications.
Throughout all the years, I've enjoyed relaxing and praying and meditating with the threaded needle.
More for my own amusement and pleasure than for anything else, I began designing counted thread charts in 1977. In 1978, I joined the Youngstown Area Chapter of The Embroiderers' Guild of America, and was Chapter President in 1981. In December of 1981 I helped to found The Western Reserve Chapter, EGA, in Warren, Ohio.
In December of 1985, I opened, with my dear friend and business partner, Jan Longberry, a very small specialty shop, Friends Count, in Cortland, Ohio. We offered a wide variety of classes in blackwork, pulled thread, Hardanger and many, many other forms of embroidery and needleart.
Since 1978, I have been teaching embroidery, and conducting workshops for EGA chapters, needlework guilds, and specialty shops all across the USA, and in London, England. My work, over the past eleven years, has been featured in Early American Life, Needlewords, CrossStitch Sampler, Just CrossStitch, Midwest Living, and FineLines magazines. My work has been exhibited at Kent State University (Trumbull Campus), and at The Trumbull Art Guild.
In 1988, I began my own needleart designing business, Forget-Me-Nots In Stitches, and annually exhibit at the International Needleart Retailers Guild (INRG, formerly SEYG) in Charlotte, NC; and in Nashville, TN. My designs are found in fine shops all over American and Canada, and in such far-flung places as England, France, Belgium, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
As I will always refer to myself as a perpetual student, I enjoy and actively pursue the study of needlework whenever and wherever I can. Combining this form of handwork with the inspiration derived from my children, Damien and Anne-Marie, from my family and friends, and from the rich history of the area in which I live, is very therapeutic, meditative, creative; one of my favorite pastimes, still; a blessing.
From my heart, I thank you for your interest in my work.