The Kips Bay Decorator Show house is underway here in Palm Beach which brings a great deal of excitement to our happy isle. There are so many talented designers involved with this year’s show house, however there is one space that naturally stuck out to me.
As my dear friend Andrea highlighted on her blog, The Glam Pad (read more here), designer Louise Cronan included this cheeky needlepoint pillow as part of her design. It just so happens that this particular canvas is in stock at Lycette!
Congratulations to all of the designers on their fabulous rooms – I’m looking forward to viewing in person, soon! If you have yet to visit, the show house is running until February 20th. For hours and more particulars, do visit here.
Palm Beach is abuzz with activity, the shop has been especially lively with eager stitchers, and what better time for the latest issue of Veranda Magazine, chalked full of all things Palm Beach. The February issue celebrates our “radiant enclave” as they say, from the likes of lush gardens by Mario Nievera, beautiful interiors by Bunny Williams, Amanda Lindroth’s cheery shop, and more. The features are surely feasts for the eyes, a job well done and a reminder of why our community is so sacred. I’m grateful that Lycette is part of this vibrant landscape.
When did you first begin to needlepoint, and who taught you how to needlepoint? For my mom’s 50th birthday two years ago, I wanted to give her something very memorable. She had always needlepointed gifts for my siblings and I growing up – the first project she gave me was a box to keep in my bedroom of an E for Elizabeth, surrounded by Edelweiss.
I decided that my gift to her would be to design and finish a brick personalized to her interests (a visual story of her life). The 5 bears along one side, for example, each represent a member of our family (my dad calls us the “bear cubs”). It was an ambitious first project but she loved it.
Who or what inspires you when it comes to needlepoint? Definitely the ability to personalize. I love coming up with ideas for projects based on individual or family traditions. You can really create the best gifts on any scale with needlepoint, and they are the most memorable to receive. My mom made for my dad’s 50th birthday the most amazing slippers which celebrated all of his interests. There are pheasant, salmon, stags, heather, American and British flags, and (more) bear cubs. He wears them every New Year’s Eve and on special occasions.
You can really create the best gifts on any scale with needlepoint, and they are the most memorable to receive.
The lineage of women who needlepoint are also an inspiration to me as are the women in my family who needlepoint. Most needlepoint projects live in homes so there is something so magical about thinking of women living among their needlepoint projects that are as important and personal to them as our family’s are to us. I love seeing needlepoint in homes and asking about the stories behind each project.
Most needlepoint projects live in homes so there is something so magical about thinking of women living among their needlepoint projects that are as important and personal to them as our family’s are to us.
Lastly, art and fashion absolutely influence my needlepoint design and project ideas – I love designing canvases for new projects. I am often tearing pages out of magazines or auction catalogues, and using Pinterest and Instagram to save details to have on hand for future projects.
Where is your favorite needlepoint shop? What do you love about it?
I am in love with Lycette’s purple fabric canvas edging, and cannot wait to spend more time in the beautiful store this season. In Manhattan, Annie’s & Co for fibres, and online I love Rittenhouse Needlepoint which has an incredible selection and finishing team.
I lived in England when I was younger and remember going into WHI Tapestries on Pimlico Road in London with my mom during those years (fun fact Princess Diana also used to shop for canvases for Prince William and Harry there). The shop unfortunately closed, but the owner still develops canvases out of her home in London which is wonderful because she has the most beautiful, traditional designs.
What do you like to watch during a Netflix & Needlepoint session? Friday Night Lights is one of my go-to favorites and The Crown. When I visit my grandmother we always choose an old movie to watch while we needlepoint – the last we watched were Casablanca and Rebecca.
When I visit my grandmother we always choose an old movie to watch while we needlepoint.
What is your personal style, and how do you needlepoint projects reflect it?
I love how Aerin Lauder summarizes her style: traditional and feminine with a modern twist – I think that is accurate for me as well. When I consider a project I like to think that it will be lived with for years to come, so I absolutely gravitate toward more traditional projects with designs I fall in love with (or create).
The same could be said of my approach to style. I only purchase pieces I feel emotionally connected to and would want to live with and wear for a long time. If I’m not obsessed with something I will not buy it. Adopting that approach has served me well as I love everything in my closet and feel that it is an extension of my personality. I think I can say the same about my project history.
I only purchase pieces I feel emotionally connected to and would want to live with and wear for a long time.
If you were to host a stitching get together, what would you serve? If hosting over a weekend I would (and have) serve(d) Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova with rose petal or fresh mint tea. If hosting at night I would serve homemade popcorn with melted butter and Maldon sea salt, and drinks on embroidered cocktail napkins because women who needlepoint usually also appreciate beautiful tableware.
What project are you currently working on? What has been your favorite project to date? At the moment I am in a race against time to finish a brick for my closest friend’s wedding gift, inspired by the lily of the valley flowers she is planning to carry in her bridal bouquet. I am planning for it to be quite similar to a floral daisy brick which my mom made for my grandmother years ago.
Christmas ornaments are my favorite projects – I am slowly working on the Kate Dickerson 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love hanging needlepoint ornaments on the tree when decorating – there are so many beautiful canvases to choose from.
What is your dream canvas?
My dream project at the moment (which I hope I will get to in the next year or so) is to create an Olympia Le-Tan inspired needlepoint clutch. I love her clutches and have a small collection – each one I own is connected to one of my favorite interests or memories.
My idea is for my mom, sister, and I to each stitch needlepoint canvases for one another with the American and British flags tiled across them in reference to the 17 years we lived in England, so we would all have matching clutches that we made for one another.
A future dream project would be to design placemats for each family member with their favorite flowers on each (an extension of the E for Elizabeth box my mother made for me). Our family has very formal family dinners whenever we are together, and it would really commemorate that tradition.
A future dream project would be to design placemats for each family member with their favorite flowers on each.
With season commencing and the holidays taking shape in Palm Beach, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Palm Beach posts! There are so many darling proprietors and places that resonate with me – I’m often asked by visitors in the shop where I like to frequent and thought I’d share! Read on to see my Palm Beach Picks!
Johnnie Brown Grave
Yes, that’s right, a grave. A gravestone sits in a small courtyard in Palm Beach paying memory to Johnnie Brown, the pet spider monkey of Addison Mizner, a well known fixture of Palm Beach in the twenties. (Image via).
Bike along beautiful a beautiful pathway between tall hedges and bougainvillea… I always recommend this trail to visitors. Be sure to stop into the Bicycle Trail Shop for your bike & trail map! (Image via).
I adore the lush and peaceful Botanical Garden, owned by The Society and maintained by The Garden Club of Palm Beach. It makes for the perfect setting to stroll and relish in the natural world or bring a special visitor! (Image, via).
Of course I can’t possibly pen this post without mentioning Lycette!Lycette is Palm Beach’s first needlepoint shop in years, and I’m most especially grateful for the sense of community that has been cultivated, in and out of the shop. (Image via Lycette).
I am so excited to welcome you all to a special trunk show on December 29th! The trunk show event will feature exquisite pieces by Scott Nelson, whose designs are opulent, classic, colorful and chic! From a sumptuous ostrich leather clutch, to interchangeable alligator and ostrich bracelets part of his Riviera Collection, you’ll want to indulge in the beauty (and then some)! View more of his collection here and do join us on the 29th!
With season in full swing in Palm Beach and all things holiday merry and bright, I would like to wish you all a marvelous Christmas! I am so thankful for all of the support and generosity you’ve shared with Lycette this year and look forward to cultivating our connection in the new year. May you relish in some holiday splendor (and needlepoint)!
I am very excited to feature Kathleen Madden as Lycette’s latest “On Point” feature! Kathleen is funny, friendly, and immensely kind- not to mention a wiz at needlepoint! I had the pleasure of meeting Kathleen this past summer on Nantucket and she was everything that I imagined and more in person. Fun fact, Kathleen was one of Lycette’s first followers and has been a huge support since our beginnings. Please read on to learn more about Kathleen and her love of needlepoint.
When did you first begin to needlepoint?
I grew up watching my mother cross-stitch. She worked on items for us, including Baby Sleeping signs that she would put on the front door to deter the UPS guy from ringing the doorbell at nap time and even made a collar with my first name on it for one of my pre-school dresses.
The embroidery adds a certain panache my Achy-Breaky Heart mullet pageboy bob and Cabbage Patch Kid smile, no?
My mom was hot and heavy for a few years working on cross-stitch Santa pillows for close neighborhood friends and even made a pillow with “Santa Sat Here” on it that one of our babysitters thought was just the funniest.
Despite all of this, my sister and I did not grow up very crafty. I started toying around with embroidery somewhere in high school when I tried to create my own version of a pair of Ralph Ralph Lauren jeans that were adorned with needlepoint flowers. Let’s just say that the RRL ones I owned looked a million times better than the ones that I tried to mimic.
I didn’t really start until about three summers ago, when I decided to pull the proverbial mental band-aid off and learn to needlepoint, something that I thought was a million times more complicated than it actually is. I have to give major snaps to the gang Rittenhouse Needlepoint for their patience and eagerness to help me (and any needlepoint newcomers) with my journey… a team who also happen to be fellow members of the Lycette fan club.
I love that needlepoint is the conduit that I have to give handmade gifts to friends and family to celebrate a variety of occasions.
While far from heirloom-quality in my eyes, I do like to think that my gift of a Baby Sleeping sign will have more staying power than something that will be outgrown in a few wears. That many people no longer make and give homemade gifts only creates a stronger resonance for the receiver of your labor of love.
As someone who is a Type-A ambivert, needlepointing is also a great excuse to hunker down for a timeout from the world and actually have something productive to show for the time on the couch that I *needed* to have so I could recharge my batteries, but not feel like I wasted the entire afternoon watching the BBC’s The Queen at 90 for the umpteenth time.
But they’re all my favorites. I’ll pick the belt I made for my husband.
My husband and I met through the sport of rowing; he rows and I am a coxswain. He is incredibly humble about what he’s accomplished, so the Boathouse Row belt project is just about as good as it gets where I can combine and celebrate the passions in my life; rowing, needlepoint and of course, my husband.
Thankfully for us all, I ran across an exquisite canvas at Rittenhouse Needlepoint with all of the boathouses along Boathouse Row in Philadelphia just before our wedding this past spring; so my wedding present to Shane was the canvas and promise of a completed belt sometime this side of receiving his AARP card. For those who aren’t indoctrinated in the cult called rowing, Boathouse Row is one of the sport’s Meccas, with a significant historical footprint both in the US and abroad.
What Do You Watch on a Netflix & Needlepoint Binge Session?
The Henley Royal Regatta, raced at Henley-on-Thames, England annual each July, is a pivotal and crowning glory moment in an oarsman’s life.
It’s quite hard to top Call the Midwife. Keeping on the British theme, The Crown and Downtown Abbey are obvious choices (Team QEII and Team Edith) and as mentioned earlier, The Queen at 90 (QEII is my vote for the ultimate beacon of girl power). The BBC’s Escape to the Country series has gorgeous homes all over England, mostly all old and picturesque with low ceilings, an Aga and a stream or rolling hills just over the stone fence ::raises hand:: sign me up.
As a proud daughter of the Dairy State, please consider this my official petition for Silver Needle to create a Door County canvas for their geography line.
For those who don’t hail from God’s Country, Door County is the “thumb” of the state of Wisconsin that sticks out in to Lake Michigan… a Midwestern answer to Cape Cod. I was lucky enough to spend time there every summer as a child, it holds many dear and happy memories.
To include on the canvas: Cherries and cherry blossoms (your Jeopardy fact of the day – this tiny peninsula produces around 10% of our nation’s cherry crop), sailboats, a skull and crossbones at the Northern-tip of the peninsula, known as Porte des Morts (Death’s Door)- a perilous stretch of water that caused many 19th and early 20th century shipwrecks for berths headed from or too Green Bay via Lake Michigan. Additionally, seagulls, the Cana Island Lighthouse, where we were perpetually forced spent many happy family outings walking waist-deep via pebbled water with Tevas that came off halfway through the rocky walk out to the island that the lighthouse is located on, goats on the grass roof at Al Johnson’s, a caldron bubbling over with a fish boil (popular with the tourists – a pass in our family), hikers in Peninsula State Park, and of course, a stacked cone of ice cream over Ephraim where the peninsula’s premier institution of getting kids to behave through dinner via the promise of ice cream, Wilson’s, is located.
Silver Needle, you are more than welcome to send the royalties my way.
Since I’m amongst friends, I won’t plead the fifth. Over a dozen, including the “Eloise is my Spirit Animal” Lycette canvas that is a quarter-finished… every time I pick it up another friend is having a baby, so this one waits its turn between my rush jobs. Is it weird that I have Baby Sleeping canvases for friends who aren’t even trying to have kids yet? Probably not as weird as the Tooth Fairy canvas with a hockey player on it that I have for my sister and former hockey semi-pro BIL (#needlepointhumor)… who are only just expecting their firstborn. My sister discovered that Rittenhouse Needlepoint has a wishlist feature last Christmas and has created her own queue for at least a decade’s worth of Christmas ornaments that I am to make for her.
Where is your dream stitching location?
Nantucket is my dream stitching location!
Can I say how lucky I was to have met Lycette this July when she hosted her trunk show at Skinny Dip? A total pinch-me moment to get to meet someone who you have admired from afar for a long time, I love our little needlepoint community brought closer through Instagram. I picked up *another* canvas for my stash and stood by as Jess answered a battery of questions from needlepointers new and old that would have tested even Google’s indexing capabilities. From where to buy appropriate threads for a decades-old project, to four needlepoint stores in NYC, I was simply astounded by all of her knowledge, patiently and seamlessly shared in split seconds.
Last summer I started what I know is going to be a collection of Silver Needle’s Nantucket road signs; I stitched my heart out in a cottage on Hither Creek in Madaket on the Madaket canvas, while looking out at swans dart by moored boats in Hither Creek as the morning got under way. This summer it was a Smith’s Point canvas, debuting on our Christmas tree for the first time. I keep on thinking of the SATC episode when Charlotte was back from her honeymoon with Trey when showing the gang a few pictures, “Bermuda shorts in Bermuda? You kids were crazy down there!”
You can follow Katie on Instagram @xooxKatieMadden, or use #katiecreatez to check in on her latest projects.
Recently I have been finding pieces that I like but they feel dated so I have been changing the colors completely for a fresh take. Or adding custom elements to a piece like a monogram or special places. In the winter, or rainy days, you can find me at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. My favorite project to date would have to be the Monopoly Board I completed last year. It was from my grandmother’s stash and was a challenging project but very satisfying to complete.
I certainly do have my indoor Netflix stitching time (think Downton Abbey, The Brady Bunch, and Law & Order SVU) and also love to listen to audiobooks & my favorite podcast Awesome Etiquette from the Emily Post Institute.
Central Park, Bryant Park, and Madison Square Park are my favorite spring/summer/fall spots to stitch. My grandmother was the queen of needlepoint and truly had the most perfect stitches, fingers crossed I can get to that level! Altering and adding my own flair to a piece is a fun and creative outlet for me.I am an interior designer, so color and design are a huge aspect of my life. I love stitching needlepoint ornaments, so hopefully someday I will have a 12’ tree filled to the brim!
I also have been known to be just a little bit preppy, so polo shirts with popped collars, nautical flag belts, staffordshires, and chinoiserie are pretty normal items for me to stitch.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Rudy Saunders. Rudy is an interior designer who works at Carleton Varney. I was first introduced to his charming Instagram through Andrea at The Glam Pad. Instantly I was enchanted by his style, humor, and zest for life. If you can imagine when I met him in person a few months later in Palm Beach I found him to be even more charming! I hope you enjoy getting to know Rudy and learning more about his love for needlepoint, I certainly have!
When did you first begin to needlepoint, and who taught you how to needlepoint? My mom first taught me to needlepoint when I was in the fifth grade and I still love nothing more than snuggling up and stitching with her. The love of needlepoint runs in our family and I showed an interest in it. Throughout high school I stitched occasionally and increasing more in college (yes, during fraternity chapter meetings and lecture halls!). Now, post college without homework and lots of travel I have time to stitch!
Who or what inspires you when it comes to needlepoint? My grandmother was the queen of needlepoint and truly had the most perfect stitches, fingers crossed I can get to that level! Her home was always covered with needlepoint including the legendary bargello piano bench. She was a lover of the Cincinnati artist Charlie Harper and so I especially love working on these whimsical pieces thinking of her.
What do you like most about the craft? I love finding a canvas that speaks to me, getting to choose the fibers, all of the colors, stitches, etc. and creating something that is 100% unique! Altering and adding my own flair to a piece is a fun and creative outlet for me. Recently I have been finding pieces that I like but they feel dated so I have been changing the colors completely for a fresh take. Or adding custom elements to a piece like a monogram, special places, etc, I truly love that creativity can run wild with these pieces!
What do you like to watch during a Netflix & Needlepoint binge session? Living in New York City, I often find myself out and about enjoying the sites. Central Park, Bryant Park, and Madison Square Park are my favorite Spring/Summer/Fall spots to stitch and in the Winter or rainy days you can find me at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love when passersby interact with me, usually sharing a story or memory of needlepoint or just a nice compliment which is always kind. But I certainly do have my indoor Netflix stitching time (think Downton Abbey, The Brady Bunch, and Law & Order SVU) and also love to listen to audiobooks & my favorite podcast Awesome Etiquette from the Emily Post Institute.
What is your personal style, and how do your needlepoint projects reflect it? I am an interior designer, so color and design are a huge aspect of my life. The brighter the colors, the bolder the pattern, and the wilder the combination the better for me – despite warnings from needlepoint shops when I go in for fibers. I select canvases because they jump out at me, usually things I love. I also have been known to be just a little bit preppy, so polo shirts with popped collars, nautical flag belts, staffordshires, and chinoiserie are pretty normal items for me to stitch.
If you were to host a stitching get together, what would you serve? I love that needlepoint can go anywhere and always bring my current ‘work in progress’ with me so what I’m noshing on varies – from afternoon tea at The Greenbrier to a dive bar watching the Super Bowl and from the end of a dock in Northern Michigan to Delta economy class. Right now, my friend and I are working on starting a New York City young needlepointers group. Regardless, I want champagne and Cheetos to be on the menu!
What project are you currently working on? What has been your favorite project to date? I just finished a straw boater hat that I had fun experimenting with new stitches and tried bargello for the background. Even though it was designed for Princeton University, I liked the idea of it and I altered the colors, having fun making it my own. Next up is a canvas I purchased from Lycette that says “Housework Makes You Ugly” and I keep telling myself this hoping my apartment will clean itself! My favorite project to date would have to be the Monopoly Board I completed last year. It was from my grandmother’s stash and was a challenging project but very satisfying to complete. I had it finished as a lucite tray and have yet to play on it – anyone up for a game?
What is your “dream” canvas? There are too many canvas ideas in my head to count, from needlepoint tuxedo slippers to a belt for every holiday and everything in between. I love stitching needlepoint ornaments, so hopefully someday I will have a 12’ tree filled to the brim!