Carol Johnstone is October's Library Artist of the Month! Carol's art consists of cross stitching which she has been doing for the past 21 years, where she started doing little pictures but now has graduated to doing bigger more vast pictures.

The bigger pictures that Johnstone makes have around 75 to 80,000 stitches each. "If I really work at it, each picture will take me around 6-8 months and the bigger ones can take me up to a year to do."

There is different type of canvases that can be used for cross stitching starting at an 8 count which means that there are 8 squares to the inch. Johnstone however says that she mainly uses a 14-count canvas. 

"18 is too small for me now, only cause eyes get older. I still use a 14 count and the pictures still look very good with a 14 count." 

Johnstone does all of her work as a counted cross stich meaning that there is no guide on the pass and that there is no guide on the frame of the picture. The other type of cross stich that can be done is called stamped cross stich which means that the pattern is stamped onto the actual canvas.

"I am scared of doing that one (stamped cross stich) because I am scared of the stamp coming through and looking very tacky. So, I start with an absolute blank canvas, and I just count the cross stitches from a pattern and that's the way that I go."

Johnstone does pictures of anything that she likes and that brings her joy the most. "I love animals, I have enjoyed doing the pictures of masquerades and fairy's and things like that." 

All of the pictures that Johnstone creates she says she does just for the pleasure, and that she has most of them in her possession still. "If I feel that I can give it to a gift to somebody who would really appreciate it, then it would be a gift, like my daughter-in-law. I've made her one for her 40th birthday but I keep most of them." 

Carol Johnstone

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