I was born in the fall of 1945 in Emporia, Kansas; attended Sacred Heart Grade School through the eighth grade; graduated from Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas in 1963; I graduated from Emporia State University (Formerly Kansas State Teachers College) in 1967 and was honored as outstanding senior woman along with reigning as Miss Emporia. Several months after the graduation, I was employed by Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo. and moved to the big city. Working at Hallmark was fantastic and I was quickly offered many amazing design opportunities; research trips to Spain and Mexico; designing products in multiple departments; being part of the very first innovative design department along with several outstanding seasoned designers; working on special projects; Then motherhood came along in 1974.
Working from my home studio became my new working style. Raising 4 exceptional children along with my husband, John, and growing a design company became my focus for the next twenty years. For over 18 years traveling to Renaissance Festivals, Medieval Fairs, and Dickens Festivals became a way to include the family in work and play.
In 1996 at the age of 51, I experienced the most incredible opportunity. I re-entered the world of commercial design and my path lead to becoming one of three founding designers for Demdaco. Setting up booths, then showrooms, packing/unpacking pallets of products; taking orders, designing a critical mass of product, were activities completed in a whirlwind.
2008 brought a new adventure: Reconnecting with the consumer and opening a studio/shop in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, near the small town of Creede. It has brought new energy and vision.
The future is unlimited; My responsibility remains the same since I first realized it when I was 31:
“To share my creative gifts and talents for the benefit of mankind.”
When do you first remember being artistic? I remember the mud pies and cakes that I made as a child. I would frost them with a starch and water mixture and then decorate them with pebbles. Another memory is creating layouts for towns on the ground by finding a clear space with no grass and laying pebbles in a grid to show roads for my small cars and driveways next to houses. My cars would travel their imaginary tour through the town to home.
What inspires you? I am inspired by the intricate beauty of color, pattern and texture found in nature. I feel joy when I see beautiful colors together. Who do you hope to reach with your art? My focus in designing is to interpret new visuals and innovate classic sentiment into gift product that will appeal to each of us to help convey our passion for life. This includes mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends...and the entire rainbow of life.
How did you get started? I have experienced multiple facets of artistic expression, from floral design, woodcarving, cooking, photography, needlepoint, to creating collectible ornaments for 30 years. I originally started designing for Hallmark Cards in the late 60's. The invaluable knowledge and experience learned there created the basis for understanding the world of personal expression and gift. From there I started my own design business and which was featured in Mary Emmerling's books on American Country and also The Best of Missouri's Hands books. The opportunity to be one of three founding designers for Demdaco, has provided experience for designing product for gift, home, and holiday which has sold both nationally and internationally.
What do you hope to communicate with your work? I have always allowed my gentle sensitivity for life to guide my personal expressions in design for gift products. I search my personal relationships and experiences of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend for inspiration in designs for the market to convey life's most important relationships and emotions. I have always thought of gift product as a dimensional greeting card and have attached sentiment to its design both visually and verbally.
DEMDACO – One of three founding designers
Line Concepts created since 1996 for DEMDACO:
- FOLK HEART WINTER
- Angel Figurines
- Santa Figurines
- Snowman Figurines
- Winter & Spring medallions
- FOLK HEART WINTER MEDALLIONS
- FOLK HEART WINTER AT HOME
- WILDFLOWERS HOME
- WILDFLOWER ANGELS®
- Wildflower Angels of the Month figurines
- Wildflower Language of Flowers Angel Figurines
- Wildflower Frames of the Month
- Wildflower Tea Lite Angels
- Wildflower Thoughts of You Ornaments
- Wildflower Nativity figurines
- VINTAGE VIRTUES®
- Classic Character Figurines
- Home & Garden Sculptures
- AMERICANA CHRISTMAS FIGURINES
- CURRANT LEAF HOME DINNERWARE & ACCESSORIES
- CURRANT LEAF CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
- NOTIONS OF THE HEART® ORNAMENTS
- ANGELS ON HIGH ORNAMENTS
- SEASONS OF BOUNTY HOME SERVEWARE
- PATTERNS OF FRIENDSHIP PORCELAIN BOXES
- THE SPIRIT OF GIVING COLLECTION OF ORNAMENTS
- SILVERSONG® DESK ACCESSORIES, FRAMES, ANGEL FIGURINES
- LIVE, LOVE...LIFE® FRAMES, MAGNET BOARDS, WIND CHIMES
UNDERBRUSH LTD. – My design company since 1977.
Specializing in Christmas ornaments & nature inspired floral design.
HALLMARK CARDS INC.- Designer - 7 years full-time after college.
Contributing artist after leaving full-time employment.
Mother of four exceptionally wonderful children; Married since 1971 to John W. Killip DDS
Licensing Resume: DEMDACO / 24 product lines / 14 years since 1996