Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with Linda Wyszynski author of The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework. Thank you Linda for taking a bit of time to share with our Craftside readers.
1. What does your workspace/ design space look like?
I have a smaller studio since we moved to the coastal area of South Carolina. My studio is on the third floor in our townhome. My drafting table is in front of the window, so I enjoy the beautiful sunny skies as I sketch or cut out projects. Supplies are stored in closets with rulers on the back of the door and cutting boards on the wall. I love books, so there are bookcases for my large collection of needlework books. My mother's antique spool cabinets that she shared with me are perfect for sewing threads. At last my studio is complete as I recently found the perfect wing back chair for stitching. It was long overdue!
2. Do you save your mistakes or designs you don't love right away, or do you ditch them?
There are a few finished "dogs" stored in my work room. "Dogs" are projects you dream up that aren't as great as you thought they would be! Why I've kept them, I don't know. If a project I'm working on requires too much ripping or isn't going in the direction, I think I should I throw it and start over.
3. What's on your "next to try" list?
I would like to take painting classes to learn how to work with watercolor paints. My favorite type of painting is reverse painting on glass. I haven't had time in years to paint. It's on the bucket list.
4. Do you ever work with recycled materials?
Yes. I've used fabric that my mother had in her stash - some of it was 30 years old - or lace doilies from my grandmother. My grandmother stitched all the time so there are many items to choose from.
5. What music do you listen to when designing?
Believe it or not, I like it peaceful and sunny! I find my mind wanders if I have a TV or radio on.
6. How long does a design take you to create?
The stitching can take from two to twenty hours or more. Needlepoint takes the longest. If I include drawing design or stitch graphing time along with writing instructions it would add a couple of hours more. I'm lucky because I have a husband that likes to spend time on the computer. Dennis creates all the stitch and bead graphs and does all our photography work. We recently came out with an ebook, A Retro Needlepoint Design Passions Fancy for the Nook, Kindle and iPad. This design has bling using beads and metallics along with several types of threads. Dennis did the layout of the book along with formatting to get it accepted for the online ebook.
7. How do you organize your supplies?
I've always been organized since I started my business. When we moved, it was necessary to devote a 10' x 5' storage closet on the first level of the townhouse to all my plastic boxes and canvas. I also use the closet in my studio for plastic boxes and other storage. Every box is labeled as to what it holds. Things like threads, beads, fabric, glues, etc., are all stored in plastic containers and labeled. My DMC threads are in plastic sleeves in boxes with drawers and are organized according to the color card making it easy to find. Beads are stored according to brand and color, fabric and paint are according to types. Metallic braids according to size of the braid.
I dislike looking for hours for something that is right in front of me! Believe it or not I can still have to hunt for something. I have decided to redo the downstairs closet by alphabetizing the boxes. With moving boxes between first and third floors, thank goodness we have an elevator! I find I often stick things in there for the first floor and forget until we come home with purchases. Then I have to remove craft supplies before the other things can go upstairs.
9. What books/magazines do you read?
I belong to a book club. We read bestsellers, nonfiction... just a wide variety of books. Personally I am a romantic who likes happy endings! I read suspense, historical and chick lit romance novels. Often I can't sleep because my mind is working on something I'm creating for a contracted article. I'll read several hours at night averaging at least 3 to 4 books a week. If I'm not driving, I read in the car and when I'm waiting for appointments, etc. As for magazines, I subscribe to 15 or so, some of which are: Veranda, Southern Lady, Southern Living, Ellie, Quilting Arts, Bazaar, People, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Victoria, and Charleston. I'm always picking up magazines on the newsstands too. I find home décor magazines are where I get many of the ideas I use for my design work. I can't say I read all these cover-to-cover, but I do love to flip through them several times.
10. How would you describe your personal style?
Conservative, with black being my favorite color! I've worn all black for so many years sometimes with a splash of color in the jacket or scarf! My needlework is traditional needlework. Do you think it relates?
11. How do you determine what a design is going to be made with?
Most of the work I create now is for magazines. If it's a country-style magazine, I use natural fabrics like linens, burlap, and cotton as a ground fabric. To create the needlework, I use beads, metallic, silk ribbon... whatever seems to lend itself to the type of design. If I'm doing a crewel piece, I use wool or cotton threads. Embroidery work can be worked with silks, cottons, most any type of threads. I love to use beads with any of the needlework stitches. Bead embroidery is fast becoming my favorite type of work.
12. Do you have a collection of anything?
At the early age of 9 I fell in love with antiques. My parents had the bug and we would spend time hunting out-of-the-way places to purchase things. When Dennis and I downsized, some of my collections had to be shared with family members. I could not part with the antique clocks, pocket watches, lamps, tea pots, thimbles, and needlework tools. Our home is decorated with antique furniture.
13. How did your book come to be made?
I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. While I was attending the Quilt Market in Minneapolis, I visited with a dear friend who had talked with the editor that day; my friend suggested I leave my business info at Quayside Publishing at the Quilt Market. I did, and the rest is history. It was a wonderful experience working with Creative Publishing. I have been published for more than 20 years, have been in 20 hard cover multi-authored books, but this was my solo first book.
14. And the all important question (from Ravelry), what is your favorite swear word?
Not something I can say here!
More about the CPi book:
Here is the ultimate reference for all styles of artistic hand stitching! No matter what design style you favor, this book gives you the tools to express yourself with needle and thread. Detailed technique instructions with clear charts and photos teach hundreds of stitches for embellishing clothes, gifts, accessories, or home decor. Simple projects let you try your hand at each method and inspire you to create your own designs.
Linda Wyszynski of Hearthside Creations, LLC, is an award-winning professional needle arts designer who has 20 years experience as a freelance artist creating needlework projects.