“Can I really make that?”
Yes. Yes, you can. And I’d be tickled pink to help you.
Welcome to Your Slice of Needlepoint Paradise
If it’s color, calm, and quiet creativity you’re craving, you’ve wandered onto the right page. Sit a spell, pour yourself some tea, and let’s talk stitching.
Hello there, I’m Ellen Johnson. A first-grade school teacher turned needlepoint teacher and author.
I believe with every bone in my body that every stitcher has the ability to make one-of-a-kind treasures that express their own unique creativity. Over the past 25 years, I've had the honor of guiding hundreds of stitchers just like you in developing their needlepoint skills, so they can choose the best stitches and threads and create one-of-a-kind handmade treasures with confidence.
Here's my Story, Unraveled
If my story were a needlepoint canvas, here’s what you’d see:
My daddy’s mother sat me down and taught me to embroider when I was 7 and then to needlepoint when I was 9. I’m so thankful for this gift that she passed along to me, and even more thankful that I can share the timeless art of needlepoint with you.
I’m a small-town Southern girl at heart, but the story of Serendipity Needleworks began in the Big Apple more than two decades ago. My daughter Rebekah and I were on the mother-daughter trip of a lifetime — one of those vacations that feels like it was plucked from the pages of a magazine or movie. We took in the sights and Christmas lights, window-shopped, saw shows on Broadway, and even met Lauren Bacall.
It was on that trip that we visited Serendipity 3, the legendary ice cream shop on 60th Street. We had ice cream for dinner (TWICE). And when I opened my needlepoint shop just a handful of years later, that magical trip is what inspired me to name it Serendipity Needleworks.
In January 2018, I launched The Stitcher's Club to 35 founding members. I also created my foundational course in needlepoint called Needlepoint Made Easy.
Now, I spend my days creating step-by-step videos for hundreds of students, hosting my weekly live YouTube show, Needlepoint TV, and advising members of The Stitchers Club as they create their very own stitch guides.
Just as my daddy’s mom, Granny, taught me all she knew about needlepoint, I’m here to teach you everything I know. So we can keep this amazing art alive and well.
As a Southern girl, I was taught not to brag, so I’ll share these heartwarming words from a few of my students.
I highly recommend Ellen as a teacher. She has taken me from begging needlepoint to now where I can create my own stitch guides. Not only is she very patient, she listens carefully to your questions and finds solutions. You are never made to feel embarrassed, regardless of your skill level. She is extremely friendly and kind.
Ellen has helped me move beyond wool yarn and the basket weave stitch. She is so patient in teaching new stitches and the threads for each stitch. She has an eye for where to apply the stitches, that creates a fabulous finished product. Ellen is a patient teacher and knows what her individual students are looking for and understands their skill level. Perfect combination, she is great.
Patience is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Ellen as a teacher. She has helped me both knitting and needlepoint. She has helped so many times with stitch guides with my needlepoint and she always has a suggestion about what stitch would work best. Never in a way that was pushy - it was always suggested as an option. She is very good at making adjustments. Also, the same with knitting. If there is a yarn that I want to use but necessarily the pattern that it came with, she always made a suggestion of a pattern that I might like. And, if you’re not sure about something in the instructions, she will look it up and find out exactly what the instructions are referring to. I could not recommend anyone more than Ellen to teach needlepoint or knitting.
Ellen has a vast knowledge of all things needlework! From knitting, needlepoint, crochet, embroidery, to weaving! She is willing to help out with any project - big or small, easy or difficult! I cannot found the number of projects Ellen has helped me with! As I learned knitting, she guided me through scarves, hats, and even with socks. With needlepoint, Ellen is especially talented with decorative stitches and helping embellish canvases! I would highly recommend Ellen for teaching any type of needlework!
A little bit about me...
The beach is my happy place. Strolling along the shoreline and gathering shells at sunset always makes me smile.
Teaching is in my blood. Both of my parents were educators and so was one of my grandmothers. (And I have a BS and MA in Education from The University of Alabama.)
I L O V E to cook — and eat! You name it and I'll try it! (The only thing I really don't like is shredded coconut.)
I developed a line of embroidery patterns, a linen collection, how-to videos, and a needle collection under the name Heirloom Embroidery.
I start every day with my morning devotional and a cup of tea.
Old movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930s and 1940s) are my guilty pleasure.
This is the Serendipity Manifesto
We just don’t make things like we used to. But we can, we should, we must.
Creativity only flourishes when we use it. What can you make? Whatever you can dream. Turn off your doubts.
I can’t. I don’t know how. I don’t have time. You can. We’ll teach you.
Take those two hands and make time. Time for you, time for others, time to sit in silent communion with your creator.
What we make, we give. God made this beautiful world and gave it to our care. Makers continue the divine work of creation. Around here we call that serendipity.
Everyone is welcome in our Circle of Friends (we were given to each other’s care too). What we make together can change the entire world. Never forget you are a maker.
(Yes, YOU. Wonderful YOU.)
Your two hands hold heirloom values in our throwaway culture, and you were endowed by your creator with the power to create.