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Symmetry is at the heart of local artist’s creations

There are those who aim to make ours a paperless society. Stefani Tadio is decidedly not one of them.

“I come from a family of makers,” Tadio says. “My dad was a woodworker, my mom sews, my sister knits, and I’ve always done needle art.” Her mom started teaching her quilting, cross-stitching, and needlepoint starting when Tadio was twelve. At the time, she had no inkling that these skills would become the foundational elements of her future artistic career.

“I never went to art school,” she says, “I just go with the flow.” 

About twelve years ago, that flow led her to a stamp art store and then to paper stitchery, the art form upon which she has built her career.

“It’s the perfect world for me,” Tadio says, “I love paper and I love stitching—it’s just what I was meant to do.”  She has been creating intricate paper-stitched art for the past ten years.  

Although trained as an account, Tadio has long since supplanted number crunching with precise stitching. She does, however, recognize a thread (if you will), common to both professional endeavors. “My background in accounting fit nicely with my tendency to be organized and symmetrical; it’s the only way my brain works,” says Tadio. So when she started to work in paper stitchery, she naturally turned toward the simple circle—a shape she enjoys working with, as it allows her to work symmetrically.

But when that simple circle is embellished with beads and crystals or incorporates origami-styled flowers or takes on a mandala-inspired form, it assumes the role of cake stand to luscious confection.

Tadio’s inspiration for her paper perfections is not limited to established art motifs. She may be just as likely to pattern a piece after a commonplace item that catches her attention, such as a linoleum floor pattern or deck table design.

But what inspires her most is color. Tadio delights in creating unique and unexpected color combinations by marrying seldom combined colors to one another. 

She creates her designs using a computerized cutting machine and then stitches them by hand. Tadio’s pieces vary from hand-stitched business cards and paper jewelry to large, stunning wall art. Prices for ready-made framed pieces range from $40 to $125. She will happily create a custom design piece for you as well.

Find Tadio’s artwork at local stores ( or craft and quilting shows To custom order, contact her at 507-5223. 


Arlene Hisiger is a local freelance writer who loves chocolate, world music and free form dance.

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