Welcome to Needlepoint Now’s blog. We are excited to have the opportunity to communicate with our needlepoint community on a regular basis. My intent is to keep up an informal communication of what is going on here in Elmira, Oregon the new home of Needlepoint Now.
As Many of you know Needlepoint Now was moved from Virginia to Oregon in January. Joyce, the magazine’s founder, decided that it was time to retire, move on and take a much deserved break. She wanted to spend more time on the the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her family. The Outer Banks is an area that has meant a lot to both Joyce and myself. I grew up there and that is where I met my best friend and husband twenty-nine years ago. Nags Head, NC as well as a southern upbringing, needlepoint, beading and knitting where a few of the interests that Joyce and I share. Our mutual love of needlepoint and people are what bonded us to each other. I am very happy to be carrying on her legacy of publishing Needlepoint Now.
Joyce and I started talking and planning the future of the magazine about seven years ago. We were brought together by Roberta Montgomery, a long-time contributor to Needlepoint Now. Roberta often had teachers from all over the United States come to her home in Tacoma, WA to teach to her local chapter of EGA. I had come to know Roberta and was flattered to be included in the classes. Tacoma is about a four and a half hour drive from my home but the classes were always well worth the drive. Roberta had been after me to come for a Joyce Lukomski class. Although I had never met Joyce I knew who she was. I wanted to meet this woman who was living my dream of running a needlepoint magazine but was having a hard time scheduling in the class. Roberta got down right insistent with me that I needed to take this class and she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer. It didn’t take me long to figure out what Roberta had up her sleeve and the rest is history.
The Gingham Dog & The Calico Cat that were on the March/April cover are two of Roberta’s early designs although not the first of her pieces to be showcased in the magazine. Many of our long time subscribers may remember Roberta’s Witch Hazel that appeared in the September/October 1999 issue. I am very lucky to have such good friends like Roberta who look after me and guide me down the path I’m suppose to travel. It was fitting that Roberta’s pieces would be on the cover of Joyce’s last issue and my first issue of Needlepoint Now.
The May/June issue is being mailed out today and I hope everyone likes the direction I am going with the magazine. It is a bit scary to be walking in Joyce’s footsteps. She has given so much to the art of needlepoint. I hate to think where needlepoint would be today without her knowledge and talent that she so generously shared. I know that I will be compared with Joyce but hope the readers will like me for who I am and not hold it against me for not being a clone of Joyce.
The first thing that you will notice about the magazine is that there is a painted canvas designer on the cover. I have been stitching for over forty years and as much as I love to stitch counted designs, I’m a sucker for a beautifully painted canvas design. I met Kelly Clark at a trade show and fell in love with her and her designs. It has been a dream working with her and I can’t thank her enough for making my first cover such a knock out. Even if you don’t like painted canvas, Kelly’s stitch guide is full of wonderful fibers and techniques that you may want to try on your own pieces.
When I look around at the needlepoint trade shows I see aisles that are filled with painted canvas designers, thread distributors, companies who manufacture all those cute little gadgets that we all have to have, tote bag companies, you name it and I get very excited about all the possibilities for articles to present to you. I take the title of the magazine very seriously. It is Needlepoint Now and therefore I hope to bring to you what is new and exciting in the ever changing world of needlepoint.