Mark and I met on a blind date in the Spring of 1990, and after 12 years of dating (obviously we both take a while to make a decision although I knew from the moment I saw him that he was "the one"!), we were married in an intimate outdoor seaside ceremony in late 2002.When we met, Mark had been divorced for a few years and had just established a database software company with national clients. He traveled every week on business, and was a favorite among the flight attendants who were fascinated by his needlepoint projects. In those days, no one thought twice about bringing embroidery scissors on-board!
I was born and raised in central Virginia and have the Southern accent to prove it! After earning a degree in piano performance, I spent many years working in the legal field as a computer tech for several area law firms and the Senate of Virginia.
In 2003 I finally decided to put my degree to good use and released an album of original compositions entitled "A Dream Come True" available from Amazon by clicking on the pink text. Warning: don't listen to it while driving as it's been known to put people to sleep!
For a brief while in the mid-1990s, I had this hare-brained idea about converting photographs I'd taken of bed and breakfast inns across the country into cross stitch charts that the proprietors would then offer for sale to their guests. I managed to create some rather elaborate leaflets for my clients, but an unfortunate run-in with a drunk driver 10 years earlier finally caught up with my health, and I eventually had to move on to other pursuits.
Mark and I continued to enjoy stitching together in the evenings after work. Our favorites included Debbie Patrick's Victorian houses and Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum's Lavender & Lace series. I'm also fond of Paula Vaughan's designs, scenic landscapes, and anything nostalgic.
However, the types of projects we were most interested in seemed to elude us - ones that so closely resembled a painting, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference. So in January 2018 we established The Cross Stitch Studio as a place to offer large, full coverage super-detailed cross stitch designs adapted from vintage-themed art.
We're fortunate to work from home in our 1919 Queen Anne / Arts & Crafts bungalow pictured below, which we share with our four-legged feline companions. The home is larger than it appears and was built by a railroad family. Located in a northern suburb of Richmond on 3 wooded acres with a meandering creek and a slightly lopsided barn, it's situated directly across the street from the main East Coast north/south rail line. More than 100 trains a day pass by, both passenger and freight, providing us with a uniquely comforting soundtrack of soothing whistles and rattling rumbles that lull us to sleep each night and gently wake us at dawn.
Although Mark and I have no children together (other than our kitty cats), my son from a previous marriage and his wife live only a few miles away. Andrew has degrees in painting, printmaking, and anthropology and is about to embark on his master's degree in cultural heritage management. Holly is a talented entrepreneur with a degree in fashion merchandising and owns a floral artistry business.
If you've managed to read this far, thank you. And thank you, too, for visiting our little stitchy corner of the internet. We hope our designs give you a reason to smile!
Mark & Betsy