1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
I started stitching when I was in college at the University of Illinois, I think sophomore or junior year (it's been so long I can't even remember!), so right around 30 years ago. My mom had come for the weekend and we were shopping (one of our favorite things to do together) and came across a cross stitch shop; they had a chart of Chief Illiniwek and I just thought it was so cool. My mom bought that and a small kit with two unicorn heads to practice on, and my obsession was born.
I started my blog around the beginning of 2012 as a way to try to encourage myself to finish some of the many WIPs I had at that time; I made a list of 20, with the intention of only working on designs I had already started (or at least kitted)--that didn't last very long at all! Of the original 20, only 11 are completed more than five years later. Not long after I started the blog I think I counted 62 WIPs in various stages of completion; it's not an exaggeration to say that I probably have twice that many now.
The name I chose for my blog is a fairly obvious reference to the TV series (not the movie!) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which had a subversive sense of humor that I really enjoyed. As I was trying to "slay" some of my WIPs, the name just seemed to fit.
4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?
As may be obvious from my previous answer I am a serial starter! There is just something so satisfying about pulling out a pattern and the threads, picking the perfect fabric and putting in those first stitches...I'm seriously addicted to that part of the process.
That said I am fairly organized; even with all of the projects and supplies I have I can almost always find what I'm looking for in my craft room pretty quickly (no one else could, but my system works for me!). I recently added some storage, and the bin on the left says exactly how I feel when I'm in my craft room.
I started stitching models for Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor about seven years ago now, and that has brought some discipline to my stitching. While there usually isn't a strict deadline, I do try to get the pieces done in a timely manner. Working for Karen has been a dream, as I love to feel like I'm contributing to an industry that has been such a big part of my life, and it has the added bonus of adding to my framed pieces collection--after the models have been out for a while I get them back, already framed. Here are a couple of my favorites, Past & Present and Bucklebury Sampler.
Rosewood Manor - Past and Present
Rosewood Manor - Bucklebury Sampler
I call my guest bedroom Noraland, because it is the room that a lot of my framed finishes are displayed in, as well as original art by Nora. I have added a few more since these pictues were taken, but you get the idea!
Wherefore Art Thou
7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
I think I've been lucky, as the only disaster that comes to mind is when I bumped my stitching table and some coffee sloshed out of my mug and landed on the piece I was working on. However, it only caught the unstitched portion of my fabric, and it was a hand-dyed fabric so by the time I rinsed it out you couldn't even tell it had happened. Of course, now that I've said that I'm probably asking for a huge disaster!
8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I've always loved the look of Hardanger, but I just can't bring myself to try it--the thought of actually cutting into a piece scares me too much!
I wish I had some finishing skills, so I could do something with some of my smaller finishes. I am able to put together a decent ornament, but that's about the extent of it. I did do this one for my friend a couple of years ago:
9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?
I've been lucky to work with some talented designers and finishers who have taken pieces and created wonderful finishes with them. Judy Odell has finished several projects for me, but my favorite is this box stitched with Nora Corbett's Pretty Little Things:
Pretty Little Things
And Sue Hillis put together this adorable little flat-fold for me:
10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
I don't really think of particular projects representing me, as it's more about the process for me. It is still a wonder to me that I can take a piece of fabric and some thread and create an amazing picture with them. Stitching has gotten me through some tough times--no matter what is going on in my life, I can create one small bit of beauty and order in my world with just a few materials.
11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
When I was bored in school I would try to list all 50 states. Eventually I memorized them in alphabetical order, and to this day (almost 40 years later) I can tell you how many states start with each letter of the alphabet, and can name them all in order in less than a minute.
12. Anything you would like to add?
I'd just like to thank Jo for contacting me about doing this for her blog. I just love that the art of cross stitching can pull together people from all over the world so they can share their joy and passion with others who understand it. And for those who might have read this far, thanks for "listening"! :D