Stefani Tadio of Pine Tree Designs combines two loves - paper and stitching - to make meticulously hand-embroidered mandalas. She uses sturdy cardstock, beautiful high-sheen thread, seed beads, and crystals to create colorful framed art, notepads, jewelry, and greeting cards. Stefani was inspired to create stitched mandalas after discovering a paper embroidery book by Erica Fortgens and also seeing an exhibit of art made from "extreme materials" that featured round paper collages by Marietta Ganapin.
This pretty mandala is one of my favorites. She says it puts her in a Florida state of mind and I agree - pink flamingos and aqua water. Her motto is 'the smaller the better' and as she tells customers at shows, "I love teeny-tiny."Think of the time that goes into each design... punching layers of cardstock, piercing holes for stitching in some layers and spirelli (thread wrapping technique) for others, not to mention the final touch of stitching and/or gluing small beads and crystals in place.
Her mandalas evoke one of my favorite childhood memories - hours spent playing with a Hoot-Nanny Magic Designer, the precursor of today's plastic Spirograph. And yes, I still have it!This clever sunflower pin starts as a stamped design that Stefani carefully deconstructs with scissors and reassembles to add dimension. I've been following Stefani's And Another Thing blog for quite a while now. An accounting supervisor by day, she's ultra-organized; I'm willing to bet she accomplishes more by 7 AM than many people do in a day - she often stitches, assembles, photographs,and blogs, all before leaving for the office. Her upbeat posts are always teaching me something new as she offers her experienced perspective on the ins and outs of craft shows and interesting finds in the world of paper art. As an added bonus she also manages to unearth some of the best videos on YouTube!
Stefani sells her modestly priced designs in her Etsy shop and also at juried craft shows in upstate New York throughout the year.