all began with my Grandmother, Anna Berish. She was a hard
working European immigrant who taught me to have pride in
anything I do and to do it using the best materials I could
In the photo is a picture of my Grandmother
and the first piece of needlework I did at the age of 3.
It was a stamped cross stitch of the American flag. I lived
with my Grandparents in my early years spending my days
with her while she worked at the family business and my
Grandfather tended the garden and chickens. I can still
remember her helping me with my stitches on that sampler.
It hung proudly in the main room of the café for
years. I was able to acquire the sampler and the photo of
her which are 2 of my most prized possessions.
She taught me several forms of needlework
which became an ongoing connection to her, even after she
died when I was 13. My love of needlework became a source
of artistic expression which saw me through many difficult
periods in my life. Every time I pick up a needle, I feel
my Grandmother smile down on me.
Needlepoint has been one of my favorite forms
of the needle arts. In the mid 70's I began designing needlepoint.
My specialty was silk gauze. I became well known in the
miniature field with my work on 40 to 84 count silk gauze.
My work appeared in many publications during that period
and in the early 80's, I was selected to be a subject in
the book, Masters in Miniature, 12 Artists at Work.
Most of that work is in private collections
and several museums including the Carnegie in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania and the Toy & Miniature Museum in Kansas
City, Missouri. I have been privileged to lecture at the
Cooper Hewitt in New York City, the exhibit at the National
Geographic Gallery in Washington DC, the Museum of the City
of New York, Allentown Art Museum, Pennsbury Manor in Pennsylvania
and the Flagler in Florida. My miniature silk gauze needlepoint
has traveled in exhibits world wide.
Back in 1991 I needed a new challenge. I picked
up a paint brush for the first time in my life, dipped the
fuzzy end into paint and began designing hand painted needlepoint
and never looked back. I never had any formal art training.
My college years at Penn State earned me a degree in Food
Service and Housing Administration. Gourmet cooking is my
I enjoy painting in realistic style and love
to paint everyday functional objects from various collectibles
to architecture and even bras! Teaching is also part of
what I do. I love to share my techniques with needlepointers.
Share the knowledge with someone. You never
know how much a simple needle and thread will change a life.