Meet Diane! The artist behind Pepperberry Designs. You all should know from previous posts that I am a big fan! I’ve stitched several of her designs including this darling First Christmas as a Pair Ornament.
We love Diane’s designs so much that we have turned two of her best selling designs- the Peeking Reindeer and Ho^3– into online classes complete with canvas, thread pack, stitch guide and access to videos that never expires. You can see them here on Stitch Style first!
Tell us about yourself Diane. Where is home for you?
Home for me is Louisville, Colorado – it’s a small town just southeast of Boulder, CO and north of Denver.
I live with my husband Porter and I have 3 children, 2 golden retrievers and one rabbit, a holland lop, who has made a small appearance in one of my Christmas stockings.
What was your first experience with needlepoint and who taught you to stitch?
When I was in eighth grade, my mother, who was involved in all sorts of crafting, sewing and needlework bought me a needlepoint kit from Lee Wards… I just dated myself there! It was a simple floral square with a sage green background. I remember it feeling kind of tedious, but I did finish it. No one really taught me as needlepoint was not something that my mother actually did. Needlepoint was not a part of my life again until after our second child was born. The opportunity just kind of fell in my lap when I joined a charitable organization that raffled off 6-foot needlepoint tree skirt every year as part of a fundraiser….and I was hooked.
What lead you to start designing your own canvases?
Flash forward 13 years, my children were getting older, and I was wrestling with what I was going to do next. I have a BFA (graphic design) and left my design career behind when I left Nestle after my husband, and I got married, moved and started a family. I had toyed with the idea of creating my own canvases, but not seriously until 2013. I decided to design a few pieces and see how I felt about turning this into something serious. My husband, who has always been uber supportive, looked at my work and suggested (ok pushed) that I take my designs to the TNNA summer tradeshow in Columbus, Ohio. I can hardly believe that I am about to start my 6th year in business.
What is your process like?
I have sketchbooks everywhere that I write down thoughts and sketches of ideas. I use Illustrator to clean up my drawings and work through the basic color scheme. Even with the basics planned out, things always change when I put paint to canvas. If I am not smiling looking at the end product, then something is not right.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! As a visual person, my design mind never seems to shut down. I am always soaking up anything around me. I think life is serious enough that I like to put a whimsical spin on things. I love dogs, rabbits, roosters – I have creatures (not live) in the nooks and crannies of our home. I am an avid gardener and love the mountains. I am a color, texture and pattern geek and love a good design problem!
Do you have a favorite canvas in your line?
That’s a tough one… probably my 3-dimensional gingerbread house. It was really a blast of paint! I love what I do, I am working with color every day! What could be better than that?