Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stitching Down the Danube

We are so excited by the interest shown in our upcoming riverboat cruise Stitching Down the Danube. We begin in Prague and leave from Budapest!  Four countries - we visit Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary.  That's some trip!  The dates are October 21-31, 2018.

Along the way we will be fitting in some stitching between the included excursions.  On our trips, once we board the boat until we disembark everything is included!  Yep!  That's tips, transfers, excursions, drinks, everything!  Our only out of pocket expenses will be in Prague when we may have to purchase a meal or two on our own.

The first night we rest.  The second night we have a full class for those who want to participate in the optional classes.  More information will be provided about that later.

Then when onboard, we will have some mini-workshops.  One of them will include making kuhimino braid.  We can use this braid for finishing our ornaments, pillows, creating bracelets, etc.

There will also be some coasters to consider.  Busy designing those now!

Then we have a full day of cruising.  We will continue working on the main class piece - The Danube.

This design was created for us exclusively through 2019 by the very talented Kate Dickerson.

So if you would like more information just email me at for the brochure and travel agent contact.  You won't be sorry!

INVOICES HAVE BEEN MAILED FOR THE DOG GONE GOOD CLASS.  Let us know if you think you are signed up for this class and have not received an invoice for the 6-lesson packet.

Online Mystery Classes:

Here it is once again, the middle of the month.  This month we shared the third of the Christmas Stars from Raymond Crawford's 12 Days of Christmas.
Three French Hens
Here's the other two so far:

We have been advised by Raymond that he has received more shipments so you still may join in if you would like to participate in this series.  We share one star a month with the canvas, embellishments and full stitch guide.  Email us at for particulars.

We also shared the second session of Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft.  We finished the hills and grassy areas.

The beautiful Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford is also in our Online Mystery Lineup.  The first of the Series is the one with the Pineapple Blanket.

Our second session was shared of the Snow Happy Trio from Love You More.

As with all my projects, this is soooooo fun!

We added some candy and the heart posts to our Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood.

And last but not least, we added a new project, the too cute Catitudes by JP Needlepoint.

The first two kitties are done and we still have 5 more fantastic and colorful meows with which to play.

We are taking registrations for the companion pieces right now so come join us.

Dog Gone Good has much to offer the sassy felines when it comes to personalities.  This class will begin mid-May.  If you would like to join us, email us at Invoices are being processed.

The fun doesn't stop there!

Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny Sometime - oh my!  Look at that cute butt!  Registration ongoing for this class that is scheduled to begin mid-September.

We have so many wonderful classes lined up through 2019.  

Our Quickie Series will feature super beautiful butterflies from Burnett & Bradley:

Each butterfly will be covered in its entirety in one or two lessons.  The series is all inclusive.  Email for more details at

Have a look at the new Penny MacLeod class on Dana-The Life of the Party:

Lily Wreath by Raymond Crawford:

And 'the green one' wreath:

I think that's all I can come up with today -  getting ready for my f2f class at Winterthur Museum in DE next weekend so working on the slides for that one.  Gotta think about packing somewhere along the way which means I must do my laundry from LaJolla Retreat -  have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


So enjoying my classes here at Needle Nook of beautiful LaJolla!  What a group of students!  They sure do know how to put a teacher through her paces and I love it.  I love the open minds to trying something new and accepting if something just doesn't work for them.  While each person has their own individual canvas and set of stitch techniques, we all share and learn from each other.  Stitchers are the best!  It rained a little yesterday but even that did not damper any spirits.  (We call it a sprinkle but what's words between friends.)  I had the good fortune to be invited to a student's home for a little girlie get together and we could sit and watch the ocean as the gentle rain fell.  It was hard to stay awake.  Full tummy, surrounded by like-minded people, comfy and cozy - z z z z z

At Needle Nook of LaJolla shop we could not ask for better treatment and hosting.  I almost dislike calling it service because it is done with such caring and friendly smiles that it is like family and you definitely feel like their guest.  You are missing a treat if you neglect stopping by when in the area.

Helga and me

I have had the good fortune of having Helga personally help me with thread selections for the past 3 years and she can never know how much I value her assistance.  But as I said, all have the same attitude - she just happened to be assigned to me.


We are all preparing to begin our first lesson for Catitudes on the 15th.  We are doing 3 of the series from JP Needlepoint.

I was reminded that I did not share my pet names for the kitties.  So here goes starting at the back left:
Orange Tiger Stripe – Mr. You Got Something to Say to Me?  Blue Striped – Wall Streeter, Bird – Safer as 
a Fascinator ,Yellow Fish – Miss Glamorous Gourmet, Periwinkle – Dreamy Eyes, Hot Pink – Mr. 
Waiting to Seize the Moment , Green -  Miss Where’s My Christian Louboutin’s Shoes, Black/White –
Mr. Dapper Dan, and Little Mouse – Lay Low Lily

But, the excitement does not stop there.  We also are processing registrations for a companion piece that will begin in May - Dog Gone Good.

Still plently of time to sign up.  Just send email to to be added to the class list.  Invoicing for the class will start soon.

Oh did we mention Every Bunny Needs . . . coming up in September?  Don't want to overlook these fun guys~

 While visiting in LaJolla I got to play with some thread ideas for our upcoming QUICKIE! SERIES - the butterflies.   Just send email to if you want to join in - will begin the first of the year - hopefully one a month or so - there are 8 in the series.
Duo Designs, Inc. Treasurer (aka Hubby) is busily counting out crystals and sew-on gems for the student packets.  So much fun, color, etc.

And Liz over at Viking Travel is busily processing passenger information for our fantastic riverboat stitching cruise to begin on October 21 in Prague and finish up on October 31 in Budapest.  What a fun time we are going to have if the Party on the Po riverboat stitching cruise is any indication.  These spots have been really filling up quickly - there are only 154 or 158 total (I don't have that info in front of me!). We'd love to have you join us on the S.S. Beatrice as we leisurely cruise down the Danube.  Email Liz at for travel information and me at for stitching statistics.  

Here is the picture of the specially designed piece for the cruise participants created exclusively for us by the fabulous Kate Dickerson.

There is so much to share but I gotta get cranking here.  I have already missed the Saturday posting - dang it!

Have a super week!

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Our current Online Mystery Class - Catitudes - is popular beyond belief.  For this reason, and based on the number of pre-egistration for Dog Gone Good, it is highly recommended to get those canvases ordered!  It does take between 8 and 11 weeks to receive once ordered.  Remember they are hand painted!  Let us know if you need assistance by contacting us at Can you imagine the fun we are going to have?

Here's a little hint.  I give my canvas parts names when I am working on them if possible to add to the feel of what I want to express.  So here we go from left to right back row:  Miss Priss - the eyelashes  dictate, Cool Dude - the sunglasses say it all, TroubleMaker - look at that expressions!, StreetWise - don't know where this came from but just seemed to fit - he stands ready, The Librarian - the stance, the glasses, the attitude,Weiner Dog  - well Carol Eix would understand,  Yellow Fluff - aww the baby, Business as Usual, and last but not least, The Overseer (is that spelled correctly - seems like something is missing)- got it all under control.  You will be receiving an email from us in the next few days concerning options.

Now back on course.  At a student request, we are checking out the interest level for a class possibility on two of Raymond Crawford designs.  The two designs under consideration are:

Grinch Wreath

Lily Wreath

If there is enough interest we can work in both designs for 2019.  Just email me at if you want to be added to the notification list - no obligation.

We are also taking names for the cute Penny MacLeod piece - Dana - Life of the Party.

This class will tentatively begin around January 2019.  Email to be added to the notification list -

I am busily preparing to leave mid-week for my returning teaching gig at the Needle Nook of LaJolla Annual Retreat. It is always such a wonderful event and I always have a fantastic group of students with challenging  canvases on which to play.

Designs from Alice Peterson, Purple Palm (multiple), Brenda Stofft, Melissa Shirley (multiple) and more.  So many fun techniques to share such as needle weaving, or nue`, ribbon embroidery, beading, fantastic threads - and on, and on, and on. Check out the details through Vicki at Needle Nook for next years event.

Need more?  How about right after I return we do the Winterthur Retreat in Delaware.  We are teaching this fantastic piece - Fruit and Flowers.

Then it is off to Houston to the ANG Encore! event where we will be teaching the exclusive piece by Leigh Designs - Beijing Butterflies. Crystals and beads galore in addition to fascinating techniques and threads.

Then after a few days at home it is off to Needlepoint in New England Retreat where we will share the beautiful Winter Cardinal from Maggie. I so love this piece.

So as you can see we have a pretty busy March and April lined up.   We won't even think about May and June yet!


If you are waiting for anything and have not received correspondence regarding some of the current Online Mystery Classes please email me right away at

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I wish I could share some of this rain with areas that really need it.  It is so saturated here and becoming very muddy at Arthur Acres.  The weather is what I always refer to as pneumonia weather. We have a beautiful warm time and then it suddenly becomes cool and damp.  I'm ready for Spring.

Working on upcoming lessons for March.  This is my happy place.  In addition we are setting up new classes.  Always exciting.  If you have been following you know that we have been invoicing for the upcoming Catitudes from JP Needlepoint.

I have made an effort to hunt out some different threads for some of you to experience.  And I have also designed a background specific for this piece as well.  So we'll see how the journey goes for everyone.  While Friday was the deadline to order and pay for the pre-ordered thread/embellishment kit for this class I'm sure the shop can prepare more kits it's just that they may require reordering some items outside the preorders so you would need to be more patient.

We have just gotten over a tremendous delay caused by Japan not sending the correct threads to RG and so have had to wait an unusually long amount of time to finish up the Snow Happy Trio kits.  The shop is working diligently to get these ready for shipment as soon as the errant threads come through the door!

This is a fun stitch as well.  I created a different arrangement of stitches for the first scarf covered in the upcoming lesson so happy about that result.  

Reservations are coming in for some of the new classes that are being added.  One class is the Penny MacLeod design Dana.  This is our first Penny MacLeod introduction in the Online Mystery Class Series.  Looking forward to working through this one.

If you would like to join us email at for details.

And, QUICKIES!  These guys are always fun and the new Butterfly Series from Burnett & Bradley promise to keep that venue going! Big decision is figuring out which one to start with first.

Such colorful designs - they just spell out happy stitching.  Again, just email us at for details.

Right now my top priority is preparing for the Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat.  I am so honored to get to return and teach there once more.  We have such a great group of students and the shop personnel go above and beyond to make sure all our needs are met.  Hopefully I will get some pictures to post as we go along.

Have a great weekend and we'll see what we can come up with for next week.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


One very positive side of having these Online Mystery Classes is that I get projects stitched - for the most part. It forces me into a discipline that is not normal or second nature for me.  I like to stitch a spot, be comfortable with it and then put it in the closet or drawer.  Not here!  My students keep me on my toes on these and I generally am able to post a picture of the finished project (finished from the standpoint of stitching) at the end of the class.  For me that is almost miraculous.

What do I do with all these finished projects?  I stick them in a drawer!  Yes, that is correct!  I put them in a drawer.  What does one do with all these things?  I have no more wall space.  I have no more chair space.  You get the idea.  I keep thinking I might offer them up to shops for possible models.  Surely there is a life for them somewhere.  I just need to find it.

Then why do I stitch all these if I can't display them?  For me it is the journey of doing it.  I love to stitch and see what I end up with when all is said and done.  For instance, I am not Jewish.  But, I so loved and enjoyed stitching the Menorah from Tapestry Fair.  It is happy, colorful and provided a plethora of technique possibilities.  I did, however, purchase 3 of the individual candles and am finishing them as stand ups for the end of my mantel.

Another 15th of the month has come and gone.  That means we have posted more lessons for these fun classes.

We bid our farewells to the fantastic Santa Wreath Ornament from Raymond Crawford. Just look at all those techniques, embellishments, threads, colors.  And the design had large enough areas to  offer us the opportunity to try something (perhaps new) and not be married to it for a year to accomplish.  A very fun piece indeed.

In a totally different theme, Steampunk Witch from Brenda Stofft had her second session shared.  She gained a face, a fun collar and somewhat funky hair. This class has lessons posted every other month.

Another one of our fellow designs was also a posting of the second session.  The Reindeer with the pineapple blanket from Raymond Crawford.  We created the reindeer face, body, and part of the blanket for this session.
I'm leaning towards thinking of the ones with the eye closed as girls and the ones with eyes wide opened as boys - jury is still out on that one. I kinda get up close and personal with my projects.

Another Session 2 is also from Raymond Crawford and it is from the Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas series. This month we did the Two Turtle Doves.  🎶 🎵 🎶

Session 4 of the Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood gave us a door and some candy as well as lights.

We have a new kid on the block this month - Snow Happy Trio from Love you More. As I am prone to do, we worked on the backgrounds for this first go round.  We did the sky and the snow.

Now we are ready to start playing with the Happy Trio - which one will it be?

And the final class posted is on the Nutty Professor Hooty Owl Banner from JP Needlepoint. This guy is in a class that is entitled something like No Schedule, No Deadline, No Stress.  This means that I post whenever I get the chance.  Well I finally got a chance to post a new section.

We worked on his tummy, his wings, his chest and gave him his pocket watch.  

Life is not stagnant so we are busily accepting reservations and requests to join the lists for upcoming new classes that are being added to the already full schedule.

We are featuring Dana - Life of the Party from Penny MacLeod. This happy lady has been added to the January 2019 agenda through student requests.

If you would like to join the very actively growing list just email us at and request to be placed on the notification list.

And as shared earlier, we are introducing a new Quickie! Series!  Eight wonderful butterflies from Burnett and Bradley.  
There is quite a bit going on in these individual designs.  Plenty to occupy two separate sessions that's for sure.  Scroll down through recent posts and see more of the designs.  The classes are all inclusive. That means canvas, threads, embellishments, lessons and shipping/handling.  WOW!  To join just email us at While definitely on the agenda for early 2019, we might be able to sneak in one or two before then.  Stay tuned.  

Getting ready to head out to LaJolla to the Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat.  So many fun designs to work with.  You should check into this retreat for future enjoyment.  It always sells out early and Vicky and Faye take very good care of the participants and teachers as well!

Just saw where The Enriched Stitch has only 2 slots left in our wonderful Winter Cardinal class in April.  Check it out at their site for more information on all the wonderful classes they are hosting. They also welcome ghosts I believe.

Well I'm not getting any stitching done if I'm typing so have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 10, 2018


I have been asked to consider adding a Penny MacLeon design to our class roster.  A very sophisticated poll (tongue in cheek) was conducted and the winner is this cutie.  Dana - Life of the Party.  Email me at if you would be interested in taking a class and be added to the notification list. It is very popular and I am pleased with the response and registration already in just a few days.

The design is on 13 ct canvas.  The class will begin the first of the year - Jan. 2019.  So plenty of time to save up and get ready.


I am so excited about the butterfly designs from Burnett & Bradley.  These will be our new Quickie! Series classes.

This means that a design will be presented in a maximum of 2 sessions.  I'll share more as details develop.  In the meanwhile please email me at to be included on the notification list. Canvases have been ordered and I can't wait to start stitching and planning. Lots of fun possibilities.
These designs vary in size from approximately 4" x 5 - to 7 inches.  Very manageable.  They are on 18 ct canvas.  As canvases must be ordered ahead, there will be a $35 deposit required once I get my ducks in a row.  The balance (which will vary depending on threads, beads, ribbon, etc.) will be due one month prior to the first lesson being distributed!

A few closeups:  

Aren't they lovely.  And room to do some fun techniques. There's more designs too!  I can't wait to start stitching them!  Where is that mailman????

Another specific request involved that green character design from Raymond Crawford:

Being the focal point of a wreath gives us many options for decorating the various ornaments. This guy cannot be added to the agenda until mid-2019 if there is enough interest.

Or this happy colorful wreath:

This design takes me away to a beautiful, serene beach somewhere.  Again, if there is enough interest this guy will be added mid-to late- summer 2019.

And, don't forget our wonderful Stitching Down the Danube riverboat stitching cruise!  I received the optional class canvases and I am excited to be putting the kits together so we can begin sign ups.  There will be a limited number available.

Okay enough dreaming.  Next week we will be sharing another group of monthly lessons from our Online Mystery Classes.  Stay tuned!