Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Guatemala
and my family moved to the US when I was a child. We lived in Columbus, Ohio for most of my life.
I was married for 23 years and have two children and three grandchildren.
I was widowed in 1990 when cancer took my husband’s life. After I recovered my brain, I chose
to move to Colorado to start a new life in 1994. I have not been a bit sorry that I made that move!!!
In my twenties, I was a
secretary who explained the retirement program to new employees. It was during one of these sessions that
I remember thinking….. “forty more years of this?……I don’t think so!!”
I started college in my thirties and spent the next ten years working fulltime and going to school to get my mechanical
engineering degree. The next 11 years were spent working as a packaging engineer for
Abbott Labs, Nutritional Section. I spent countless hours bringing a plastic can to market which saved
the company millions of dollars yearly. Many of you have seen my creation and know it as Ensure adult nutritional,
or Similac or Isomil infant formula. Although that package has now been retired, it lasted on
the market for ten years. Packages usually last no more than two to three years on the market.
I am very proud of that design because we were the only people crazy enough to put cold product
in the plastic can, seam it closed, and then run it through a sterilization process which disfigured the can radically, then
cool it down and have it come out looking like a regular can when it was done. I absolutely LOVED
my job, just worked way too many hours. I finally was very tired of the very long hours and chose to move
to Colorado to start a new life. I always say that my husband’s last gift to me was a year of skiing
before going back to work! I worked for a generic pharmaceutical company here in Broomfield until my chronic
illness became too severe to continue. I have been retired since 2001. 1.
How did you become involved in
Before my family left Guatemala, I attended first grade there. Part of the daily curriculum
was hand stitching. This is the basis of my needlework. After we came to the US, I occasionally
would stitch something. I remember entering a toaster cover, embroidered with a large cross- stitched apple
on one side, in an elementary school hobby display. I learned to make my own clothes during high school
and continued sewing for my kids when they came along. I took a long vacation from stitching while I went
to college. It was only after my husband’s death, that I found an embroidery book by Dianna Lamp
which absolutely captivated me. This book inspired me to start stitching again. That
was 19 years ago and I have stitched pretty steadily since then, taking a sabbatical during the first years’ of being
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I hated that I hurt too much to even hold a pen let alone a needle.
Once the medicines starting working, I was able to again return to stitching. 2. Where
does inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes in many guises for me. Sometimes it strikes like a lightning
bolt and other times I have to really work at it. Books (old and new), magazines, visits to shops and museums,
nature itself have been a huge influence in my work. It is a toss-up between Inspirations Magazine and
Stitch Magazine (from UK). I particularly enjoy the designing process. I like doing
the odd piece of stump work like” Jiminy Cricket” in his cage, or “Katie Katydid” on her branch.
It must be the engineer in me that I believe the best part of a project is figuring out how to make it and then putting
it together. The yearly Challenge in Needlenews is always fun to do. I have entered a piece in the Challenge
twice. My latest Challenge piece, “Flower Fairy”, was displayed at the 2010 National Seminar
Education Exhibit. I have made it a goal to enter Prospectors Exhibit every year. So
far I have participated the past three years and plan to enter next year. 3. What kind of needlework do you like to do?
My favorite, by far, is freestyle flowers
like Dianna Lamp’s work. I also enjoy stump work and embellishing my watercolor paintings after printing
them on linen. I especially enjoy using French knots to embellish these paintings. I
am NOTORIOUS for not being able to do counted work of any sort! Happily, I can report my horizons
have expanded after joining EGA. My attempts at drawn thread, blackwork, canvas work, cross stitch, and
tamari projects have proven to be quite the challenge for me. I currently find myself drawn to blackwork.
I saw a blackwork piece of an old man’s face which I would love to try. I would also like
to attempt a mixed media piece. That one is still “cooking” in my head. Maybe
next year! 4. How would you classify your style?
Hodgepodge seems to be the most apt description of
my style. I am greatly influenced by the stump work of the past. I don’t
know how to classify my French knot pieces. 5. What are you currently working on and what plans do you have for the future?
I am always working
on several projects at once. Currently, I am diligently working on a piece called “Swan Cottage 1”
designed by South African, Di van Niekerk . I continue to work on
our Christmas ornament stash which is great since I am doing Cross stitch and canvas work. I plan to finish last year’s
Group Correspondence Course Lastly, I am thinking about next year’s Prospectors theme, Star Bangled Design.
Still stumped on that one! 6. With what other interests are you involved?
My daughter is currently the Special Ed
teacher at Mountain Phoenix Elementary School in Coal Creek Canyon. It is a very small charter school that
uses the Waldorf philosophy to teach. Part of their curriculum is having the children do handwork daily.
I have been helping her class of girls (ages 7 -12) with hand stitching. Some are really interested
and quite adept, while others just don’t like it at all. It has been fun to work with these
girls and see their progress. One has even asked me to help her figure out her new sewing machine that
her grandmother sent to her.
I belong to an arts/crafts group, Broomfield Women’s Connection, where I teach a watercolor
class. I took the job because we had no teacher available for what the group could afford to pay, and some
of the women I painted with encouraged me to do it. I sometimes really struggle with it but I do
find it very gratifying to see the progress of my students. 7. Anything else we should know about you?
I belong to a social sorority which has been my salvation
any number of times. I came to Denver knowing no one here. I joined the sorority
to make friends and I have found my “sisters” love and caring something I would not choose to live without.
It is reassuring to know that one phone call and there can be ten friends on my doorstep willing to help me.
This cute Garden Girl has many french knots as the greenery.
This is a stumpwork grasshopper. The box behind it is painted by Henri.