I field a lot of questions about my hand embroidery via email and on Instagram and thought it'd be helpful if I compiled some of my most frequently asked questions here.
How do you come up with your designs?
The majority of my ideas and designs come straight from my imagination and I'm often inspired by time spent out in nature.
Do you use a pattern? Do you trace your design onto the fabric before you stitch?
The majority of my embroidery is done freehand and I usually create the design as I go along. I may use a fabric pen to sketch out a more complex motif or to draw an outline of the final shape/size that I want the piece to be.
Do you sell patterns? Do you hold workshops?
I do not offer either at this time.
Where can I buy one of your finished pieces?
I sell my pieces framed and matted in my shop. I typically release a collection of new pieces once every four to six weeks. I also occasionally sell small hand embroidered objects (paperweights, pins). The best way to find out about new releases is to sign up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers get first access to the collection. Items are sold on a first come, first serve basis. Sorry, but I never pre-reserve items.
Where do you ship to?
Orders ship from Durango, Colorado to destinations across the United States as well as to Canada, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. If you are interested in ordering something and you are located in another country, shoot me an email at email@example.com for a shipping estimate. More shipping details can be found here.
What if I want to purchase a piece in your shop, but it is sold out?
If an item is listed as sold out, it means that the one-of-a-kind piece of art has sold and is no longer available.
Can I recreate your designs or use an image of your preexisting design as a pattern for my own work?
Please do not. While I greatly appreciate your enthusiasm for my work, I also encourage you to create your own original work or purchase patterns from those who sell them. I spend a lot of time developing my own works and it's disheartening as an artist to come across others copying my designs. Reproducing my work or creating a derivative of my work is actually a violation of copyright laws, whether you intend to or not. And trust me, it's more fun creating your own original work! Here is a great blog post about copyright and intellectual property if you want to educate yourself more about this subject.
Can I share your work on my blog, website, or Instagram feed?
If you are a journalist or blogger and would like access to Dropbox folders of low and high resolution images for easy download, please don't hesitate to contact me with your request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I always appreciate you reaching out to me first to request permission to share my images on social media channels. I do ask that you provide proper credit and tagging and link back to me. If you post about my work on your blog, please send along a link to the post - I'd love to see what you write! Here's 5 quick tips for reposting someone else's work on Instagram.
Under no circumstances may images of my work be used without my permission to promote your own company or work. Happy Cactus Designs holds the copyright to all of the photographs you see on this website.
How did you learn to embroider?
I taught myself. I was sidelined with an ankle injury at the end of 2014 and decided that if I was going to be resting on my couch for a few weeks then I should try my hand at embroidery. I consulted a handful of books and stitch guides, but found YouTube videos most helpful so I could see how to do various stitches. In my resources guide, Hand Embroidery Essentials, I share all of my favorite learning resources, including books, guides, videos, classes, and more. You can purchase it here.
Where do you get your supplies?
I mainly purchase my supplies online since I live in a small mountain town without a needlework shop that carries everything I need. I go into extensive detail about all of the supplies I use in my guide, Hand Embroidery Essentials. It includes over 25 pages of tips and resources you won’t find anywhere else along with direct links to my favorite must-have supplies. Sections include guides to selecting the best hoops, needles, threads, fabric, scissors, and various supplemental tools and aids, as well as methods to transfer your designs, different ways to finish your embroidery (including framing), and an exhaustive resources list, including my go-to books, videos, online and in-person classes, patterns, and kits. Frequently asked questions are answered in many sections as well.
What type of material do you stitch on?
I primarily work on linen. I try to seek out the highest quality linen - I love Belgian linen in particular - and usually select linen with a lighter weave and a high thread count. I use this pricier linen because I want to create pieces that will last a lifetime. I also spent hours creating each piece and it's much more enjoyable to work on high quality linen that holds my stitches well than a cheaper linen of inferior quality. If you are just starting out, I recommend working on 100% cotton or a cotton-linen blend that is less expensive than pure linen. I also recommend checking out a local craft or fabric store so you can touch and feel the material before you purchase it. Again, you can find more specific details in my guide.
How long does it take to create a design?
Most pieces take a number of hours. I don't track my time, but smaller pieces usually take at least a handful of hours, while larger pieces can take days, weeks, or months to complete.
Can you create a custom piece of art for me?
I accept a very limited number of commissions for custom hand embroidered artwork. Learn more about making a custom request here.
Can you embroider on my clothing for me? What about table linens?
No, sorry. I do not embroider on clothing, table linens, or other accessories. I only stitch on my own materials.
How should I display the embroidery I purchase from you?
All of the framed hand embroidery found in my shop comes with hanging hardware attached, so it arrives ready to hang on your wall. Alternatively, you can display pieces tabletop on an easel. Each purchase also comes with an optional clear plexiglass window you can put in the frame if you wanted added protection.
Can I put the artwork in a different frame?
Of course! You are more than welcome to re-frame your piece of art to suit your taste. I recommend using a professional framer to do this. Please note that Happy Cactus Designs is not responsible for any damage to the artwork that may occur if you choose to re-frame it yourself.
How should I handle the embroidery I purchase for you?
My hand embroidery is very delicate, so I don't recommend touching it as threads can pull or you could stain the fabric with oils from your fingers. I also highly discourage you from trying to removed the embroidery from the framing as you can cause irreparable damage. If you see a speck of dust on the piece, I recommend gently using a piece of scotch or washi tape to lift it up. Works like a charm! Each purchase also comes with an optional clear plexiglass window you can put in the frame if you wanted added protection.
What's the best way to find out when you release new pieces?
Sign up for the Happy Cactus newsletter and follow me on Instagram.
Are your paper products environmentally friendly?
Yes! Our cards are printed using processes such as low-emission and low-chemical printing and we use papers from properly managed sources that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and made using Green-e certified wind power. Our envelopes are made from 100% post-consumer waste (recycled content) and are also FSC certified. Our clear card sleeves are made of recycled content. We also reuse packing materials whenever possible for shipping needs.
Are your products made in the U.S.A.?
Yes! For hand embroidered artwork, each component - frame, mat board, material, and shipping supplies - are all sourced from U.S. based companies. The same goes Happy Cactus paper products. Every component of our paper products - from the paper and envelopes to the boxes, labels, and card sleeves - are all manufactured and assembled in the United States
How do I pay for my order?
You may use a credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or AmEx) or a PayPal account to pay for your order. You will be able to select your method of payment at checkout. Once you have completed your purchase, you will receive an email confirmation from Happy Cactus Designs.
Do I have to pay sales tax?
Happy Cactus Designs is based in Durango, Colorado. All orders being shipped to residents in the state of Colorado will be automatically charged sales tax on the subtotal of cost of items purchased. If your order is being shipped to another state or outside of the US, sales tax does not apply to your order.
Tell me about shipping and handling
Find all details about shipping here.
Do you ship internationally?
I ship internationally to the following places: Canada, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
Learn more about shipping and shipping policies here.
Do you accept returns?
Please find detailed information about our return policy here.
I'm a retailer. How can I carry Happy Cactus Designs in my store?
Sorry, Happy Cactus Designs does not wholesale its products.
Do you mind if I share your work on Pinterest?
You may pin images from Happy Cactus Designs to Pinterest solely for inspiration. Images pinned cannot be used for self promotion, resale, redistribution for resale, or infringed upon in any way regarding duplicating design elements or processes.
I receive compensation via Amazon for certain products I link to on my blog, should you purchase them. I own or use each product personally, and the opinions expressed here are my own.
All images and content on this website, and found in Google or other image search engine results are Copyright © by Happy Cactus Designs LLC. Any and all publishing and reproduction rights are reserved solely by the artist. Buying an original Happy Cactus Designs item is not the same as purchasing rights to the image. If you are in any way unsure of the legal rights retained by the artist following the sale of the work, or are purchasing an artwork with the intention of re-selling it you must be aware of the Visual Artists Rights Act. Happy Cactus Designs is a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Happy Cactus Designs' designs are not to be re-distributed, copied, imitated, or misappropriated in any way. Duplication and/or alteration and/or derivatives of Happy Cactus Designs artworks, graphics, and/or written works, without prior written permission from Happy Cactus Designs LLC is a serious violation of copyright law.
For items that infringe Happy Cactus Designs' copyright and trademark rights, please note there can be substantial penalties for the importation, manufacture, sale, distribution of such products. In addition to seizure and destruction of counterfeits, remedies include disgorgement of profits, monetary damages, statutory damages & attorneys’ fees.