Canvas Conversations: Leah Pepe, The Salty Stitcher

Leah Pepe of The Salty Stitcher is my featured Canvas Conversation today. Leah's needlepoint shop features an array of nautical themes, fun quotations, and a darling "Twelve Days of Christmas" Collection among other "salty" designs!

You can follow Leah's stitching adventures on her Instagram feed here.

I sat down with Leah and asked her 20 questions:

Favorite needlepoint project. I designed and stitched a Where the Wild Things Are wall hanging for my nephew. It took more than a year, but it turned out perfectly. I won a blue ribbon for it at the local Agricultural Fair, and the ribbon hangs in my office.

On your needlepoint Wishlist. I love Thorn Alexander's Thistle Backgammon canvas. I'm not a backgammon player, so I dream of turning it into a footstool. In terms of design, I would really love to design a series of stockings -- the shape and size seems like a thrilling challenge!

Dream stitching spot. South Beach on Martha's Vineyard in September at sunset. Preferably with the green beach chair and a glass of good wine.

13 or 18 Mesh Canvas. I like to switch back and forth. Each gives me a break from the other.

Favorite flower. Cabbage Roses! Specifically, the Earth Angel Parfuma Floribunda Rose. It's like a peony had a baby with a rose and smells like heaven.

Guilty pleasure. Harry Potter audiobooks. Jim Dale's voice is my version of a weighted blanket.

On your nightstand. An ott light and an ort jar.

Currently listening to. Here is my current Spotify playlist!

Currently watching. I've been watching Nashville while I paint canvases. I'm such a sucker for a dramatic country ballad.

If there were more hours in the day I would... work at a food bank. I did that during the beginning of the pandemic and I learned more in 3 months of volunteering than in 3+ years at my last job!

Favorite places to shop. Tuckernuck, Morning Glory Farm. I try to visit a local needlepoint shop everywhere I travel.

Favorite Instagram follows. @summeronmv, @jaredfreid, @thrillsofthehunt

Can’t leave the house without. Sunglasses!

Coffee or tea. Coffee EVERY morning, but I always keep a pitcher of iced mint tea in the fridge in summer.

Favorite holiday to celebrate. Definitely Christmas. My family is so amazing at keeping the old traditions and building new ones as our family grows!

Wardrobe staples. Summer uniform: J Crew chino shorts and a basic white tank; all of my favorite bathing suits are from @roybikini. Winter uniform: jeans and a sweater. I have a ratty old sweatshirt from my elementary school that I live in.

Creative inspiration. Nature and tradition. I love to create stylized or abstracted versions of photos I've taken and modern takes on classic, timeless designs.

Best piece of advice. To stay on course you must follow your own North Star: your sense of who you truly are.

Life mantra. "Positive Selfishness" To me it means taking time for myself to make sure that I'm the best I can be for the people I love. (Maybe I need a Positive Selfishness needlepoint pillow??)

Style Crush. Kate Middleton

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