Saturday, January 21, 2017


I am in San Jose at the TNNA Winter Market.  I taught this cute  Noahs' Tooth Fairy Ark from Brenda Stofft to the shop owners that attended.  Be sure to have your shop owner contact Brenda to get yours.  There is also a stitch guide available.

Brenda Stofft's Noah's Ark Tooth Fairy Pillow

In the meanwhile, I almost missed the deadline for class proposals for the ANG DC Seminar!  Good thing I had done most of the work at home before I left.  Luckily I ran across Lisa Crespo and Catherine McEnerney from ANG who 'gently' reminded me.  Keep your fingers crossed that they might pick something so I can share it with you.

Today is first day of Market so I am going to be off as soon as it opens.  I return home tomorrow.

Yep.  It is official.  Brenda Stofft hates me!  I told her that she hates me!  She will let me get no peace!  About the time I settle in she comes along with something that I simply cannot pass up!
Will you look at this!

And, as if that is not bad enough, I have been 'recruited' to add yet another Brenda Stofft piece to the lineup.  One of our first Online Mystery Classes for 2018 will be the new fabulous Moon Gazer.  

The sweet creature is from a new addition to Brenda's line from artist Amanda Clark.
The design area is 7" x 16.5" on 18 ct canvas.  Oh WOW!  My head is already churning.  Let me know if you are interested in being placed on the notification list!  You know the drill - just send me your email address at and we will add you to receive notifications concerning this design.  Here's a picture of Brenda herself modeling it for us so I could show you the size better.

Isn't she cute? ( And the bunny is wonderful too!)

Had a fantastic dinner last night with friends Robert and Leigh Richardson of Leigh's Designs - and she debuted her new Illuminaion Series.  Here we are with my piece - the Gateway to Paradise Peacock and Leigh with Jane Woods' magnificent tiger piece.

Now I am off to dinner with the fantastic Cassie Prescott and Nandra of Sundance - Italian food - yeah!  And they introduced the glow in the dark beads at market today - can't wait to get them on one of those Brenda Stofft pieces!

It was great seeing friends again - Amy Bunger and Jill, Kathy Balthrop from The Stitching Studio of Richmond, Joyce Gresh from Osterville, Kim Walton of the collection, Robbyn Neese, Melissa Prince, Jim and Terry Collingham and working with their wonderful daughter-in-law Briana, Nancy Laux and Saira both of Houston, Jane Garrison of Theadnuts, Doug and Dena of Kreinik, Sally (my right hand man) of Rainbow Gallery, Susan Roberts' bunch, Hyla Hurley and her cute stuff, visiting with Kate Dickerson discussing our upcoming trip to Italy, the girls at Puffin, Raymond Crawford educating me on flora, seeing Lisa again (formerly Nashville Needleworks) helping her sister Emily with her booth, Juli and Pete and getting the owls ready to head to Austin for Blue Bonnet Retreat, Karen at Vineyard Silk, an on and on - oh such fun.  This is what market is about to me - see friend once again.  We missed those who could not attend this year but hopefully our paths will cross again soon - maybe next market.

So have 4 am wakeup in the morning to head back home - I am ready although I will miss the second day of market.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


The New Year of stitching has begun!  Tomorrow (if I can manage to hold off that long) we will post our first lesson in our Online Mystery Classes on a brand new project the Large Easter Rabbit from Brenda Stofft!

As I generally do, we will start with the sky and then come forward.

Additionally, we'll be gearing up to  post lessons for another newbie - a squeeze into the schedule - the funky Steampunk Fox!  He, too, is from Brenda Stofft.  He'll make his debut on February 15.

And we will continue in our series of the Pillow Collage, Robins Wreath and Santa's Rewards.

CUPCAKE CLASS ALERT!  Our canvas is a special paint contract and is larger than the one normally seen so be sure to get the proper canvas if ordering through your local needlepoint shop!  

In the background, as we can work in a few hours here and there, we are busily kitting up surprises for our wonderful Needles 'N Fins activities.  Our land tour for the Boston/Cape Cod area Have a Ball in Boston needs some help.  If we do not get enough participants to meet the agency's minimum then it may become just a dream.  But we are optimistically working ahead on the fantastic class that we will get to do as an exclusive debut when staying in Cape Cod.   This is a design from Osterville Needlepoint!

Wait until you see what we do to those shells - and those flip flops - and, - and, - and.

Party on the Po,  riverboat stitching cruise on the Po River in Italy, on the other hand, is holding its own.  We are still having people inquire regularly and signing up at a good pace.  One more laid the money on the line, so to speak this week, and four more are at the door wanting to try and take advantage of the early bird booking discount! So, my initial 'hope' that I could get 25 people interested has become looks like we are going to make at least 50+.  That would mean that I would need to have more canvases painted and kits put together for our exclusive design for the optional Class Kit for the cruise.

This piece was such fun to stitch and I can't wait to share it with the group.

Back in the real world, I just finished packing the kits for the TNNA Winter Market where I will be teaching.  It is in San Jose this year so that, for me, is a long flight.  I am needing to get together what I want to work on while on the plane and in the terminals between flights since I must always change planes when going to the West Coast - well, actually going almost anywhere from Lexington!

I am also putting together kits for the lovely Owls classes from JP Needlepoint that I will be teaching at the Blue Bonnet Retreat in Austin after I return from San Jose. 

I am so fortunate to be able to 'work' at what I love to do.  That does not mean it is not work and that does not mean that it does not get to be tiring.  But, so far, I never 'tire of it'.  A very dear friend cautioned me this past week that she feared that I was going to burn myself out.  So, I have promised myself that I will start to be much more selective with my choices.

I definitely love, love, love the Online Mystery Classes.  I have 'met' so many wonderful people.  I have learned that this media provides them an opportunity to dip into our world that they may not otherwise have. We are able to reach people that do not have the luxury of shops or guilds or stitching circles that many of us take for granted.  That is a wonderful experience.

I am amazed at the response for our Stitching Cruise!  We have another great one on the sidelines for 2018!  And it will likely be in the Fall time period also since this one has been so well received.  This has introduced us to a whole new set of stitchers!  While many have taken some of my Online Mystery Classes , and a few have been in face-to-face classes, most I have never met but through this Internet process.  But, great friendships have developed even though we have not heard each others voices or seen each other in person as yet.  It reminds me of the 'Pen Pal' days.  Did any of you have a pen pal?  It was a method of dreaming and reaching out and touching places and people that we would never be able to see or visit (at least in my neck of the woods and background) or trips that would never come to fruition.  That was a time when we had 'imagination' and were required to use imagination to entertain ourselves.  I believe that is why I still prefer to read a book first and make my own visuals before a movie comes out and brings to life someone else's imagination.  

Well, until we all actually meet face-to-face on these adventures we have been working  towards for a year or so, how many of us has had fun developing what we think someone is like?  We have the secret Facebook Page that is very active.  We are interacting with each other and have developed a closeness that is unreal.  My participants have the most wonderful attitude and open mindedness!  We cannot help but have a wonderful time once we all get together in Milan, Italy.  And think how that relationship is going to grow as we travel on down (or is it up) the Po going to Venice and visiting wonderful sites along the way. But until then I can still sit here and wonder 'is Sally short or tall, does Anne have dark hair, what about Jela, her profile presents a beautiful lady,  Susan has a lovely smile,  is anyone in our group quiet and reserved (lordy help them) because that does not appear to be the case at this point, what about the others that we don't get a sneak peek of them because of a different type profile picture so we cannot develop a fixed image of them?  WOW!

The non-stitchers will be wondering what on earth this crazy bunch of individuals is constantly laughing about and why are they so boisterous? (Yep, my classes are not quiet!)  These are a group of little ole ladies doing their knitting for gosh sakes!  Can't you just see the other people on the cruise who do not have a clue as to our craziness! Maybe we can get them to sign up for our trip next year, lol,  I LOVE IT!

Good gravy, I'm on a roll here - I better quit typing and get some work done.

Have a great week and remember to start the year by Stitching With a Smile!


Saturday, January 7, 2017


Lots of hope and anticipations for the future New Year!  Always seems like a fresh start when that number rolls over.  Wonder why?  It is just the next day on the calendar and yet we approach it with much excitement , hope, reverance and expectations! 

If you are in the market for a wide range of needlework books, be sure too check out Ruth Kern Books at her blog…/december-2016-blog-may Ruth used to host the fantastic book stores for the various Seminars, Regional Seminars, Workshops, etc. She has been tremendously missed at these venues.  She does, however, manage to keep us supplied with the new - and the vintage - publications that we all cherish.

I am very proud to have headed Ruth's Most Requested Needlework Books of 2016 list (wonder if the fact that my name begins with an 'A' had anything to do with that - LOL). 

Check out Ruth's website and if you need something in particular give her a try - she is a great detective at finding what seems to slip right by us.

From Ruth's blog:

Most Requested Needlework Books of 2016

Can't leave 2016 without remembering the most requested needlework books of this past year. With all the hustle and bustle of 2016 maybe we should slow down and review what we learned and what we accomplished.  Happy New Year! 

Arthur, Sandra - Can Do Hairdos: Techniques and Threads and Stitches for hair - This book hasn't been out very long but definitely reached the most requested lists.  The book is 5 1/2 x 8, spiralbound and color photos of different styles.  $25.00

Okay, 2017 is officially underway!  Invoices were mailed last month for the first posting of the New Year -

Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft will have his first session posted on January 15!  Only one week away!  Wow it seemed like this project was a  kazillion years away and here it is!  I think I am going to cause a lot of trouble on this one.

But wait . . . . Invoices have just gone out for the 'squeeze me in' design - the Steampunk Fox also by Brenda Stofft.  The first session for this handsome guy will be February 15.

Oh lordy help us all!  Do you have any idea how many different colors of thread are needed for this guy?  What about textures?  Look at the various trinkets?  Oh my, oh my!  Am I in heaven or what?  Also, if assistance is needed for gathering materials let us know.  Many do not have local needlepoint shops or shops that have a wide variety of options. 

There is still time to participate in either or both of these classes.  Just email me at for details - or take a glance on down this blog to older posts and see the entire 2017 class agenda!  

We are already sharing Session 3 in the Santa's Rewards Class.  Session 4 was very productive.

The highlight was giving him reading glasses so he could see our wish list better!

Session 5 of Robin's Wreath will be shared on the 15h!  In Session 4 we did more spectacular leaves and finished the fruits.

In Session 4 of our fantastic Pillow Collage class we really pushed the envelope.  Here are some photos of a couple examples of what transpired for that lesson.        


Whatever is in store for Session 5?  Mercy!

We introduced a new approach to one of our larger upcoming classes.  Gingerbread House by Rebecca Wood will be introduced in mid-November.  However due to the size and the relatively simple background planned for this piece we are offering those who wish to be able to - start the Lesson 1 early.  That way they can have a great deal of the 'boring' background done and be ready for the fun stuff on top.  We are making arrangements for those who need canvases and/or threads and stretcher bars - so be sure to come join us if you like.  Email for details if interested.

Yes - 14" x 33" cut canvas size!  But packed with so much fun come November!

If you wish to review our 2017 Agenda of Online Mystery Classes, scroll down to our posting of December 19, 2016 - they are all laid out for you.  We welcome one and all!


Love working on the special debut exclusive for our upcoming tour to Boston in June!  We will be visiting three (3) needlepoint shops as well as seeing all the major sights we should see while there.  

Then we hop over to Cape Cod for our full day, official class created by Osterville Needlepoint!

And, as if that wasn't enough, we will have the option of attending a special evening class that you won't want to miss hosted by Joyce of the Osterville Needlepoint Shop.

We need to shake the bushes and get more people signed up for this tour however.  The agency has a minimum of 20 people in order for this trip to be finalized and we are a few people short!  If you want more details and are interested in joining us, check out the full brochure over on the Needles 'N Fins Facebook page (email me for invitation to the closed group), or go to the blog of  If neither of those work for you just email me at and I can forward a brochure to you via email.  We'd love to have you come play with us. 

 Oh, did I mention that we are having a Pajama Party?  
Oops!  Don't think this one will be appropriate for our venue!

Yeah, this is more our style!


This stitching riverboat cruise is for those with a more international taste.  We have over 60 interested parties of which 43+ have paid!  That poor 'Po'  River will never be the same.  Early booking special expires January 16, 2017 so if you are seriously interested in joining us you might want to start moving!  Email me at, or contact our Viking Travel Agent Liz at - you will need to pre-register with Duo Designs to be able to participate in the group but you can get all your questions answered prior to doing so.  This is becoming a real fun group and heaven only knows what Italy is facing when we all land!  Come join us!

This is a picture of the exclusive design that will be taught as the optional class on the cruise.  Happy, colorful and just oozing with memories!  Canvases are being painted, threads have been ordered and kit-making is in full swing!

There are still a few staterooms left so if you'd like to join us just come on over!  Email me at or visit the same sights as listed above to download a full brochure. Viking Travel is handling all the travel details for my group so we are in good hands!  Contact Liz at if you have some travel specific questions.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

       πŸ’Invoices have been mailed for the Brenda Stofft Large Easter Rabbit class -  
            First lesson is scheduled to be posted January 15!  Don't miss it! πŸ’

       πŸ’Notice No. 2.  The Early Bird Discount for booking the Party on the Po riverboat stitching
               cruise expires on January 16, 2017.  Contact us right away if you would like to join the
               50_+ partiers!πŸ’

Yep, 2016 only has a few remaining hours and it is history.  What a history we have had here at Arthur Acres.

Great-grandbabies celebrating birthdays.  Adult children making strides in their lives; one getting settled into her newly acquired office space and the other continually traveling around the world fulfilling his additional responsibilities, switched to larger private plane, etc.

But we (mainly me) have been very active in the needlepoint world.  This past year we had fantastic Online Mystery Classes that we shared with those interested.

January brought us the Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories by Brenda Stofft and - by popular demand -  we added a special class of the Arctic Parade also by Brenda Stofft.:

We had a fun Melissa Shirley project - Thanksgiving Critters that we finished - look at all that cuteness:

More colorful opportunities for a kazillion techniques was in the Easter Wreath from A.Bradley Needlearts:

We finished out fantastic fall piece by Melissa Prince Harvest:

We also finished our fun piece from Annie Lane Cats in a Dinghy;

 And, lastly, we finished our Eye Candy piece Happy Haunting Grounds.

We are making great strides in our year-long class Pillow Collage from the collection:

Lesson 5 will be posted soon - oh gosh!

The fantastic wreath from Melissa Prince Robin's Wreath is close to being completed as well:

Lesson 4 has already been shared!  Wow!

We began the last of our 2016 Classes with the jolly Santa's Rewards from Devon Nicholson:

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but you get the general idea.  

Oops  - Coming soon!  Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft.

In between Online Mystery Classes we had the pleasure for working with the TNNA Market Educational Department, did retreats - first one with Needle Nook of Lajolla; next Blue Bonnet - national and regional Seminars - ANG, EGA - chapter classes and shop classes, and we even managed to get in a few personal runaways with great friends in New York, Texas and Tennessee as the major ones.  Oh and I had a 2 week session with the Royal School of Needlework - what a fun adventure.

So we have a lot of fantastic memories to reflect on tomorrow as we welcome the new 2017 and delve into all the new and exciting classes and adventures that await us.  

If you are out and about celebrating please be careful and responsible!  Life is too short to be 'brave' (can also be known as stupid).

Have a Happy New Year as we begin our new Online Mystery Class Sessions and work on our upcoming tours - more on that next week!


Saturday, December 24, 2016


It is very difficulty for me believe that yet another year is about to be gone.  We have one full week left in the year 2016 and it, too, will be history.  How blessed I feel to have been granted another wonderful year.

This one week will be gone before we even know it.  Those of us of the Christian faith are so absorbed in the Christmas Celebrations that the time will just seem to fly by.   Tonight is Christmas Eve and that for many families is an important celebratory time.  That has become the time that those of us with adult children and grandchildren seem to try to get together for an evening to share, laugh, play, cry, open gifts if such a practice is undertaken, etc.

We overeat and generally things that are not always the best for us - same with drink.  Our family is rather mild in this regard.  None of us are 'drinkers' as such.  We will have an occasional social drink or business gathering drink, etc., but as a routine it is not something that we concern ourselves with.

Now eating, that is another matter.  Too many rich things, cheeses, breads, sweets - oooohhh those chocolate chip cookies, salty munchies, etc.

We now participate in a silly practice of Christmas stocking gifts.  No one can spend more than $20 on any one person and off we go.  You really need to be creative in this quest but it is always fun to see what family comes up with.  I, of course, always break the rules.  We have announced that we are the matriarch and patriarch of the family and the rules don't apply to us.  For some reason the rest of the family does not  buy into that and they tell us so but we ignore them. What do they know?  They're just middle-aged kids!

Guess which one belongs to hubby?

So, we will have a crazy evening/night while Santa is traveling around the world.  We'll enjoy our fire in the fireplace (it is cold enough here to do that - don't always get snow), we stare at the Christmas tree and its lights, and absorb the various decorations around and about.  We'll likely drag out the Rummicue game board or Mexican dominoes and play a few games and see how much we can cheat or catch someone else cheating.  Those who need to leave to meet additional family obligations for tomorrow, Christmas Day, will do so.

We will then arise on Christmas Day, put the ham in the oven, begin the various 'fixings', make sure the fire is going in the fireplace and have another blessed, rather quiet day, and reflect on all the Christmases Past that have left impressions on our heart and try not to be too sad missing those no longer with us to share this holiday with us.

So we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and if you do not celebrate Christmas have a wonderful festive event however you choose to recognize this Holy time of year.

Get busy and enjoy the remainder of 2016!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I have learned how to keep the 2017 Online Mystery Classes information posted to the right so it is always in the front and up at the top of the page for easy reference.  I think this will be very helpful throughout the year.  I know it will be for me - LOL.

I also am calling for feedback from those that need assistance in obtaining their class materials.  Please email me if you have no local needlepoint shop and need help with obtaining a full kit.  A full kit will include the painted canvas, threads and embellishments that are being used in the various classes. While I desire to introduce you to new threads and products I also try to be mindful of the availability to you of these unique materials. While some prefer to work from their stash, others like to have everything in one neat package - let me know if that is you!  We'll do all we can to help you accomplish this.

The next class in line for this possibility would be the Steampunk Fox class beginning in February 2017.  Just email me at and state that you would be interested in a full kit.  You may also make this request for any of the future classes that are scheduled for 2017.  I will add your name to a list of those wanting full kits and I will contact you individually outside of the secret Facebook page.

While I am in the process of gathering feedback, please feel free to provide additional input as to things that might make these classes more enjoyable for you.  I cannot promise they would be incorporated into the lesson plans but we can certainly consider all requests.

Have a great day and here's looking forward to another great year of fun classes and fantastic friendship amongst my participants!

Monday, December 19, 2016



All classes (unless specified otherwise or identified as a specialty class) are 6 months in length.  One lesson a month is posted through a secret Facebook Page.  Lessons are posted mid-month.  The class fee for the 6-lesson packet is $150.  Invoices are forwarded through PayPal.  For questions, or to register for any of the upcoming classes (you may register at any time and you will be placed on a notification list and notified one month before invoicing and beginning of class - however, invoices are not processed until one month before the scheduled class) just email me at

You are encouraged to purchase your canvases and materials from your local needlepoint shop.  If this is not convenient, please contact me privately and we will help you get all your class materials - again email me at

Mid-January 2017 - Larger Easter Rabbit

Brenda Stoff will start us off with her delightful Large Easter Rabbit.

                                                    10” x 14” on 18 ct

In case you have no caught on, most pieces I teach offer a plethora of opportunities for embellishing, adding dimension, creating a different approach and experimenting with luscious threads, beads and ribbons!  This guy is full of such opportunities.
NOTIFICATION:  December                          FIRST SESSION:  January 15

Mid-February - Steampunk Fox

Yep, another Brenda Stofft design.  This guy was not supposed to be on the slate of 6 classes for the year.  However the outcry was such that we just had to squeeze him in.

10” x 14” on 18 ct 
How could we say no?  Just look at that face!  What an attitude!  How chic!  I am so excited to be working on him!  (Oh, by the way, he is one in a series of three that we will be doing- there is also a Cat and an Owl that is included in our classes.)
NOTIFICATION:  January                                   FIRST SESSION:  February 15


Tapestry Fair Designs joins us again in our Mystery Classes.

MENORAH  #3004

The design area for the full piece is approximately 15.5" x 10" on 18 ct mono canvas. (Individual candle canvases vary.)  What a beauty!  I love blues and this piece does not disappoint. Lots of bling going on here I bet! And, this design is available in individual canvases featuring one candle each!  So if you want something smaller to work on here ya go!  They are exactly the same as those represented on the larger canvas. The only difference I have noticed is that the illumination light is not present on the individual canvases. 

NOTIFICATION:  February                                  FIRST SESSION:  March 15


Danji is joining our party this year with a beautiful Laurel Burch design.


As always, Laurel Burch designs offers up lots of beautiful colors with which to play.  The design area is approximately 10” x 16”  on 18 ct mono canvas.  Whatever will we do?  Ooooooo.

NOTIFICATION:  April                                          FIRST SESSION:  MAY 15


Another newbie for us is BB Needlepoint.  Who doesn't love cupcakes?


The designer specially painted this canvas for us in a larger size so we would have more room to play.  The original was much smaller but she gave each cupcake a little more room and made them a little larger for us to savor every bite - I mean stitch!  This will be a lot of fun.  I bet there will be a ton of embellishments! Design area is approximately 10" x 12" and canvas size is approximately 14.5"x 16" on 18 ct. mono canvas.

NOTIFICATION:  June                                                   FIRT SESSION:  July 15

Mid-September  STEAMPUNK CAT


                 Design area is 8" x 12" on 18 count Monocanvas. - Cut canvas approx. 12" x 16"

Like his fellow Steampunk'er' (is that a word) this gentleman comes to visit us.  Mercy look at all the stuff.  There are quite a few similarities with his buddy Steampunk Fox but other than possibly matching threads we might play around a little with different techniques for the common background areas.  We not only have flowers we we also have a owl (!), a mouse (!) and get a load of that pumpkin!  Geeez the possibilities!

NOTIFICATION:  August                                           FIRST SESSION:  September 15


Rebecca Wood Designs has this fantastic piece that called to a lot of you.

This is another piece that was not on the original agenda but some of you ganged up on me and recruited others to join you and here we are.  And I am so happy that we are.  What speaks to holiday fun any more than Gingerbread Houses?  We will deck ours out with lots of candy in various shapes and forms!  You don't want to miss this one.  When completed it finishes up to be a 3-D building approximately  9" in size.

Cut Canvas Size for Stretcher Bars Approx: Main House:  14"x 33" Chimney:  8.5"x 3.5"
Roof:  14.5" x 16"

The notification will go out on October 1, 2017 and the first lesson will be posted on November 15, 2017.  
           NOTE:  This may change.  Since there is such a large background area, I may offer the first lesson much earlier than the rest of the class just in order to get that part done.  It needs to be stitched before we can move on with the other details.

NOTIFICATION:  October                                           FIRST SESSION:  November 15


Raymond Crawford Designs has this colorful and happy piece.

I believe there are approximately 25 ornaments on this wreath and that does not include Santa!  I think we are going to have a busy 6 months with this one.  Design area is approximately 9" x 10" on 18ct canvas.

NOTIFICATION:  November                                 FIRST SESSION:  December 15

So currently we are featuring 7 classes for 2017.  We may need to push the December class back a little but we'll see as we get closer to the time.  Normally it should start mid-January but it just seems that he should start in December so that is what I have listed him as and hopefully can manage that.

There you have it!  2017 in a nutshell!  Email us to join in the fun - we'd love to have you.

Looking forward to hearing from you and having you join the fun!

In the meanwhile have a great weekend and remember to Stitch with a Smile!