Monday, May 11, 2009

Pine Tree Designs

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.


Stefani said...

Oh Ann - thank you so much for your kind words!

You still have the Magic Designer? I'm impressed - and jealous! I don't remember that name, but the thing itself looks very familiar, as does the drawn design.

I've looked at buying a Spirograph - and old one on eBay, not the boring new ones. The subject comes up a lot at my shows and I think it would be cool to use again. Heck, it could turn out to be a valuable design tool for me, right?!

Thanks again for the great article. It's been my pleasure getting to know you, Ann!

In My Head Studios said...

A great article about a really great lady I am having the absolute pleasure to get to work with on some design. Stefani is a hoot and her work is absolute perfection on paper.

Penpal Andrew said...

I wrote a computer emulation program for Magic Designer and I would be thrilled if you took a look and tried it out.

Andy Katz

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