Last summer, I hosted my very first in-person Jingle in July needlepoint retreat here in Tuscaloosa. We had oodles of fun stitching a jolly snow girl that Diane Bertelson of Pepperberry Designs created especially for the retreat. Her name is Jingle and, if she looks familiar, it’s because she also made an appearance in the May/June 2020 issue of Needlepoint Now. (That’s her striking a pose with her copy of the magazine.)
Since I’m such a huge fan of Diane’s canvases, I asked her to share a little about herself with you and she graciously agreed. The following is our informal “interview”.
Please tell us a little about yourself, Diane…
I live in Louisville, Colorado, with my husband, three children (two are in college and one in high school), two golden retrievers, and a rabbit. And yes, the rabbit is mine and he lives in my sunroom studio. Rabbits, roosters, and snowmen are my obsessions. I love gardening, fall and winter holidays, and cold weather. I love a good chuckle, and I hope that my designs make people smile.
When did you begin designing needlepoint?
I began designing needlepoint in the spring of 2013.
What made you decide to try your hand at designing needlepoint?
Although my children were still young, they were growing up. I was at that “ok, now what?” point. Creative by nature and a graphic designer by education – and a stitcher for 13 years at the time – I am a maker. I love to create, so after about a year of batting around what that could be, with encouragement from my husband, I decided to try my hand at designing canvases.
Are you also a stitcher?
Yes, I love to stitch, but these days I don’t have much time to do it. I was in 8th grade when my mother gave me a needlepoint kit. I finished it but did not stitch anymore until I was reintroduced to it after the birth of our second child in 2000, and I was hooked. I learned stitches by taking classes at my local needlepoint shop.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! As a visual person, anything can trigger a thought that can turn into a design. It’s really is very hard to turn the creative part of my brain off. It’s good and bad – kind of like being distracted by shiny objects. 🙂
What is your favorite subject/theme to paint?
My favorite theme to design and paint is Christmas! My love of the holidays came from my mother – she was creative and loved to craft! As a child, our home was always festive during the holidays, filled with decorations that she had made and her beautifully decorated Christmas cookies.
What’s your favorite Pepperberry Designs canvas you’ve ever created?
My favorite piece is my 3-dimensional Gingerbread House.
Here’s a picture for you…
What is your creative process?
I have sketchbooks (everywhere!) that I jot notes or sketch ideas in. It may be a year before the rest of the inspiration comes along…and sometimes it’s right away.
Do you have a degree in fine art or graphic design?
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Graphic Design.
How many new Pepperberry Designs canvases do you create each year?
I probably produce 65 to 75 new pieces each year.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I love seeing the end result of a stitcher’s work. It’s very gratifying to see my designs come to life with stitches!
And there you have it – the creative genius behind the Pepperberry Designs needlepoint canvases.
It’s always fun to get a behind-the-scenes peek into the lives of those who dream up the beautiful canvases that we L-O-V-E to stitch.
Is there another designer you’d like to know more about?
Tell me in the comments box below.
And next week, we’ll take a closer look at Jingle. I’ll share some of my stitch guide writing processes with you, too. 😉
We’ll chat some more about Diane’s wonderful canvases in this week’s episode of Needlepoint TV™. I hope you’ll join me today at 3:00 p.m. CDT over on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page. (Remember, you can always watch the recording if you can’t join us live.)
That’s all for now, my friend.
Until next week, happy stitching…
PS: Are you a subscriber of our YouTube channel? We have some new needlepoint goodness coming your way over there in August, so…