You are probably here because I write profusely for industry magazines and blogs, or because I’ve won some awards for my work, but more likely the former. I’ve digitized for machine embroidery full time since around 2000, doing so from 2004 to early 2017 doing so for Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Black Duck Embroidery and Screen Printing as well as creating and managing their e-commerce solutions (and handling a myriad of IT challenges). Now, I am the Relationship Manager for DecoNetwork; the apparel decoration industry’s premier cloud-based e-commerce and shop management system, empowered to keep doing what I do, educating the industry and helping everyone do better work.
I’m a monthly columnist for both Printwear Magazine and contribute regularly to the UK’s Images Magazine, but I’ve been writing about the industry for a very long time. I started with the On Links and Needles blog for Stitches Magazine, writing for many years before they became Wearables Magazine. I covered everything from the obvious digitizing and embroidery techniques to e-commerce practices, to integrating technology into your day, and veered off into the quantified life, motivation, marketing, and self-help when the mood strikes me. I was also a frequent contributor to the magazine, including my role as one of the authors of their (once again, award-winning) Ask an Expert column.
These days also write an (almost) monthly post for MrXStitch.com, the site from the immensely talented Jamie ‘Mr X Stitch’ Chalmers. My column is entitled ‘Ghost in the (Embroidery) Machine‘ wherein I expose a more varied readership of artists, crafters, craftivists, and fiber-workers and lovers of all stripes to the inner workings of machine embroidery and digitizing.
As of 2017, I’ve begun teaching live at trade shows; you may have seen me at the Midwest’s own fantastic Decorated Apparel Expo (lovingly known as DAX) shows giving my own take on digitizing for embroidery and how to edit designs and I’m already booked for my first engagements in 2018 to keep teaching embroidery, apparel decoration, and the business that surrounds the craft.
If you’ve made it this far, you are probably wondering if I do or have done anything that’s not embroidery-adjacent. Here’s the quick facts- Even while I was first learning my craft, I was busy securing a degree from the University of New Mexico in English, however, my primary focus was in Medieval Studies. Imagine me translating bits of Beowulf from a regularized Old English edition, and you are close to the mark. My primary interest, however, was always early Medieval Scandinavia. My love for Icelandic Sagas and Mythological poetry translated to a summer in Iceland that still haunts my artistic sensibilities to this day.
I have variously been a writer of poetry (still am on occasion), a player of folk music (Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer, though I’m rusty of late), and I am an avid reader of nearly all genres, with a daily habit that ranges from all manner of fiction and poetry to non-fiction and scientific studies. I am a lover of technology, and as the ad-hoc IT staff at every company at which I’ve been employed until this one, I’m equally comfortable building a computer as threading up a multi-head machine.
If I had to boil it all down to one ideal, it’s that whether we choose ink , words, or thread, I feel that we all have the need to express ourselves, to see the world through others’ expressions of themselves, and to attempt mutual understanding through the conversations that drive creates. I love what I do, for I get to be a vehicle of a very personal form expression through decorating apparel- and in writing about that, I am able to start conversations that further this all-important need for myself and my readers.