Saturday, March 18, 2017

TRUNK SHOW DISCOUNTS ON CLASS STUFF!

ALERT:  I am in the company of Jill from Danji and I have been advised that if you plan to participate in the SONGBIRDS class the order deadline is this week!  So don't dilly dally or you might miss having your canvas for the first lesson or two!


Most of you know that I am teaching at the Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat.  And, guess what?  They are having a Brenda Stofft trunk show! So?   What does that mean to you.  Well that means if you are enrolled in some of my upcoming Online Mystery Classes it can be a huge savings for you.

Do you know how many future Online Mystery Classes we have that are on Brenda Stofft Designs?  Steampunk Cat, Steampunk Fox, Steampunk Witch and Moon Gazer!  While I do not promote shops, I do try to pass along sales, etc., when shops let me know that they are featuring specials on the classes that we have.  I want you to be able to get the best bargain you can.  (Hopefully that would mean that you could take even more classes!)

So, what's the big deal?  25%!  That's the big deal.  And it applies to orders as well.  And the sale goes to the end of the month.  From my limited research this appears to be a fantastic deal for you.

       https://www.needlenook.com/product-category/designer/brenda-stofft-designs/page/3

If you do not see the canvas you need for a particular class, just ask them for the Steampunk Owl or whatever for Sandy Arthur's Online Mystery Class and they will happily order it for you.

As I said I'm teaching here and today is the second day of classes.  We will finish off on Monday - 😭😭😭.  I have such a fantastic group of students.  Fortunately for me, many of them are repeaters - I cannot tell you how special that makes me feel.  And this year we have added a fabulous gentleman to our group as well - brave soul. Little did he realize what he was in for - we will be gentle.

I have a huge variety of designers that we are covering this year which means a huge amount of techniques.  How was I born so lucky to be able to play with my friends all day????  Can't ask for anything more!

ONLINE MYSTERY CLASSES

Speaking of Online Mystery Classes, this was the month that we said goodby to the  amazing year-long class on Pillow Collage from Needlepoint of Back Bay.

What a wonderful journey.  We had so much fun with this.  And the techniques covered - unbelievable the number of things we discussed, cussed, loved, hated, conquered, etc., etc. We painted, we couched, we appliquéd, we beaded, we did ribbon work, we padded, we ruched, we did or nue`, we made tassels - thread and beaded, we made cords,we used unusual threads and devices (toothpicks for instance), we second guessed the designer and we improvised,  All in a day's work - or year in this case.  But most exciting for me was to see students add their own interpretation to areas as we worked.  More and more are moving away from the fear of changing - the stitch, the thread, etc. It was so rewarding and I think the majority enjoyed the journey with me.

But, as one leaves, a new one comes on the scene.  This month's new design is the Menorah from Tapestry Fair.


As with many of my classes we started with the background and the candle flames.  This class works for the large canvas, pictured, as well as the individual canvases - stitches are the same.  Still time to join if you want - just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com and we'll get you in the secret Facebook Page and on the road to finishing another great project!

And we have added lessons for the other current classes as well:  

    
            Lesson 5.                                      Lesson 3                         Lesson 2

And the amazing thing is that time really flies while we are playing with these gems.

If interested be sure to scroll down through older posts to get the  birds eye view of the scrumptious upcoming classes.  As you go you will find some newer ones we add along the way.  But, the major agenda is posted on December 19 where the original list for the whole year was posted - but like I said we kinda added to it as we went along.  Again, just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com with questions or to get enrolled in some of these great adventures!

QUICKIES:

I am thoroughly enjoying stitching on these guys.  It will soon be time to begin the class and I am hopeful of sharing the stitched models with you before too much longer.

Remember these classes are small and are made up of only 2 class postings.  Also, the kits are all inclusive.



First up is the USA Star.  Contact me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com  to be included in the class or for additional information.

Back to work until next time . . . . .




Saturday, March 11, 2017

ONLINE CLASSES FOR ALL SPEEDS!

We have all been in those classes where there is at least one turbo stitcher and one turtle stitcher right?  And there is nothing wrong with either approach.  They each have their own agenda.  And then there are all the in-between stitchers of those two categories.


Well, Online Mystery Classes are no different.  I have some stitchers that almost have the lesson finished before I push the button to post it in the secret Facebook Page.  I love them dearly!  Because of them I sometimes learn that a different approach resulted in using more thread than I might have suggested, or that there is a typo on page such and so, or I have transposed numbers (which is a frequent occurrence for me), or that a question arises that might help me add more clarity to a specific technique.  Students love them too.  I have had some say that they hang back and wait until others get through the lesson so they know if there is an issue.  As most know, trying to satisfy the masses is impossible.  But you have asked that I provide a materials list before the lesson starts and I generally try to do that.  However, I have not always completed the stitching so some things are a guess.  That is why there is always a disclaimer at the beginning of the posted materials list that I might need another thread, that I might decide against a thread I have listed, or we might need more skeins than originally thought.  But we all seem to get through it happily.

There are others that wait until all the lessons are posted before they begin.  These are the students that ask a question 3-6 months after we have moved on. That is perfectly okay.  In fact, it is one of the beauties of the Online Mystery Classes. Problem is, I have addressed many other issues on other matters in between the active class and the time when they ask so it might take me a little while to regurgitate the process I used a few months back and then I can address their question.

While the first few years of Online Mystery Classes have been handled in pretty much a standard way, we are adding a few twists going forward.  The standard classes were all for a 6-month period.  This meant that a lesson was posted once a month for 6 months at a cost of $150 for the 6-lesson packet.

Next, we got requests for special classes - such as the humongous Arctic Parade canvases.  These special classes involve a guarantee of a minimum number of lessons.  However, the catch is that they are not regularly scheduled.  Working so far.













One thing I noticed on my classes is that my students seem to request large projects - at least 9 x 12  (in my dreams!) and larger.  Just scroll down and you will see the offerings to see what I mean (the full year agenda originally posted on Dec. 19 - by the way, that has been added too in subsequent posts).  And it was becoming more and more difficult for the majority (operative word here is majority) of students to be able to finish a lesson within a month.  Now, keep in mind that finishing a lesson is not a requirement.  Some students place that burden upon themselves.  So, we are experimenting with the idea of having some classes that involved larger canvases to post a lesson every other month.   Some of these include:
Moon Gazer by Brenda Stofft

Steampunk Witch by Brenda Stofft

On the flip side, we have added a new category called 'Quickies'.   These are classes that are going to be smaller projects and they are only going to involve 2 lesson postings.  That does not necessarily mean that the posting will only have a couple stitches, it means that no matter what, everything that I have included for that design will be divided into 2 postings.  These Quickie classes will be all inclusive!  All materials and lessons for one price.  These will vary depending on the cost and number of materials included.

The first Quickies on the schedule are by Raymond Crawford and involve some of his Star designs.  First up is the USA Star:


This will begin early to mid-summer.  Email me for full details at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.

The second Quickie will be Raymond's American Eagle Star:


Hopefully I will be able to share the finished products in the next couple of weeks.

The next new thing we are going to experiment with is the - No Stress - No Schedule - No Deadline - class.  Doesn't that sound great?  The first piece we will play with for this class with be from JP Needlepoint and is their Nutty Professor Hooter - this is 8" x 33" for the design area - very manageable.  For more details email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

     


ITALY! 

I hope Italy is prepared for the Party on the Po that is going to converge upon them in October!  We have 50 paid participants and 10 more in the wings!  Woo Hoo!  What a group.  Do you know what this is?


That's the boxes for the first mailing of the Cruise Exclusive Class Kit - Venice Memories!  (This is the very private Shipping Department at Arthur Acres! - any excuse not to have to cook dinner!)


So for those that have ordered and paid for the Exclusive Class Kit, they have all been shipped and should be received soon if not already!  The deadline for ordering the Venice Memories class kit is May 15.

This is just one of many possible things the participants will be playing with while 'resting' from their Italian adventures through Milan, down (or is it across) the Po, Venice and the neighboring little islands!  It is becoming more and more real as each little chip falls into place!  So, so exciting.

I will be sharing some Italian ornaments soon with you as well.  Stitching the backgrounds currently. Won't be much longer!

And, as if that isn't enough to do, I will be heading our this week to teach at the Needle Nook of LaJolla Annual Retreat.  Always fun with this group! 











Saturday, March 4, 2017

STITCH-AWAY, STITCH-AWAY, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TREAT!

I have the wonderful privilege of sitting here looking through floor length windows out on a fantastic lake, beautiful wildlife entertaining me and surrounded by friends.  Not only friends, they are stitching friends!  We are at the Lone Star ANG Stitch Away at Conroe, TX at the LaTorreta Resort.


Such beautiful pieces of work!  It is unbelievable the beauty that is present in this room!  Every kind of design you can imagine being worked by fantastic stitchers using their own stitches, or the helpful guidance of creative stitch guides and/or input of those present.

Nancy Wedemeyer working on Steampunk Fox

Cindy Rigoni working on Happy Haunted Grounds

Of course there are many more but as you can see I am prejudice!  And . . . it's my blog!

Then one whole side of the room is filled with canvases, threads and accessories galore in the Lone Star Chapter, ANG stash sale.  No matter how hard you try not to it seems you always manage to find something you just have to have.






Add to that daily drawings!  Some very nice things - as of this writing yours truly has not managed to get one of those door prizes!  Still more to come so fingers crossed.  Anything look familiar here?



For those who like the pleasure, there is a masseuse available  - she is set up right outside the door and she is definitely being utilized.  This is one service I have yet to take advantage of no matter how wonderful all say it is.

Believe it or not, amongst all this, my stitching is work related.  I am totally consumed by my upcoming classes and loving every minute of it!  I am most anxious to share with all my class participants what I have managed to accomplish here.  But, alas, they must wait until it is time to post!

Remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Sandy



Saturday, February 25, 2017

ROLLIN', ROLLIN'  ROLLIN'

That's what I feel my days are doing - no - the  weeks, months and years!  Absolutely unbelievable how we move from Monday to Saturday and on and on.  The big  consolation is that I can see that accomplishments have been made during that period of time so that helps!  LOL.

I just returned from teaching at Blue Bonnet Retreat at Horseshoe Bay Resort outside Austin, TX.  It is always so nice to be able to share our passion with others of like minds!  This was our first time at this resort and the facilities were beautiful.  The food was absolutely excellent!  The only shortcoming I witnessed was the slowness of staff - but it is the off season and they likely have not dealt with a group like ours - LOL.  Next year will be even more fabulous.

A group of us had our exiting dinner at the Yacht Club nearby and it was fantastic.  I had the pleasure of dining with Jennifer (behind me), Toni (across from her) and Dawn (across from me.)


I am home for a few days before I head back to Texas - this time Houston.  I will be attending a Stitch Away at LaToretta Resort as a member of the Lone Star Chapter.  Always a great time.  I even manage to get a little stitching in too!

Classes are moving right along.  We will be introducing our first lesson in the beautiful Menorah in the Online Mystery agenda mid-March - just around the corner!

Menorah from Tapestry Fair

Invoices are being processed in preparation for the first posting mid-March!  Everyone who contacted me for thread/embellishment kits should have been acknowledged.  Shipping is expected on or about March 7.  

Steampunk Fox will have his Second Session posted in a few weeks as well.  Next will be the Third Session for the Large Easter Rabbit  and the Fifth Session for the Santa's Reward design.  And, as we must do with all classes, we will be saying goodbye to the Pillow Collage year-long class. What a fantastic journey we have had.  Such sharing across the world!

New adventures are cropping up as well.  The reception to our new Quickies has been fabulous.  Our first design to be spotlighted is Raymond Crawford's USA Star.


This class series is meant to turn around quickly - Quickies - get it?  They will be all inclusive - lessons, painted canvas, threads and embellishments if appropriate to assist in having all the necessary supplies quickly.  The lessons will be covered in two postings one each month for a two-month period.  The Quickies will be small and portable.  The first Quickie class is the USA Star and the all inclusive kit is very reasonable.  Send email to me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com to get all the details if interested and to be included in the fun.

We have also added another unique class that we refer to as 'No Schedule - No Stress - No Deadlines.'  The first class in this category is by JP Needlepoint Designs and looks to be lots of fun.  Nutty Professor Hooter is a tall and slim - approximately 8" x 33".  The concept of this class is that a lesson will be posted as I get to it - maybe in a week - a month - two months - no schedule just whenever.
For more details regarding supplies and costs just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.    
(I wish I knew how to make these photos line up beside each other - sorry!)



Look at those red toes!  OMG!


This is going to be too wild and cool!  Email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you would like to be on the notification list!  

So I must now get back to getting the upcoming lessons stitched so I can go back to Texas to play!  Hopefully I'll remember to take the time to visit online next week!

In the meanwhile remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Sandy

Saturday, February 11, 2017

MOVING RIGHT ALONG . . . 

Last week I shared some new concepts I am introducing and you responded strongly!  Thank you for your acceptance.  So we will keep you posted on the progress as soon as we start receiving canvases for the 'Quickies' and the 'as we get to it' projects.  First on the agenda will be the elegantly simple Raymond Crawford USA Star.



As soon as the canvases are received we will be able to start shipping to those who have entered the class. As we stated earlier, these 'Quickies' will be all inclusive:  canvas, threads, embellishments (if applicable), S/H and 2 lessons posted one a month  in the secret Facebook page.  No matter how many techniques are covered they will be shared in 2 postings.  The USA Star is slated to begin early summer.  Be sure to get enrolled right away if you want to be included in the first wave of students.  

             email:  duodesignsinc@yahoo.com for class particulars - get your name on the list NOW

Later this week we will be sharing more lessons for the current Online Mystery Classes.  If my students enjoy these classes half as much as I do we are all having a grand time!  There is always something new and a surprise around the corner.  Some good surprises - every now and then a not so good surprise.  There are times that no matter how hard you try you cannot get something to turn out the way you imagined.  But, the good part of that experience is that you usually come up with something better.


We squeezed in an extra class for the February calendar and it is the first in our Steampunk series from Brenda Stofft.  The Steampunk Fox is so dapper and will offer us many challenges!  He is a happy and colorful piece and those are the kind that I like to work with.  Everyone who has requested information has been notified of their kits.



                                       Steampunk Fox










The next regularly scheduled new Online Mystery Class that will begin in mid-March is the fantastic Menorah from Tapestry Fair.  This piece has been long awaited by many.


Blue happens to be one of my favorite colors so I am already ahead on this one!  There will be lots of sparkle going on here.  The thread list and embellishment list has been posted in the secret Facebook page for those that have paid to participate in the class.  Email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you have any questions about this upcoming class and if you need assistance with the kit options.

Next up will be the wonderful Songbirds from Danji that will be flying in.


The background has been stitched on the model and threads are being pulled.  The mind is going spastic here!  Love it!  Let us know if you would like to join us for this adventure.  This will have a first lesson mid-May.
       
       Deposits being taken to hold canvas and thread/embellishment kits for this class - email at        duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.

Shortly thereafter, the fun, fun, fun Cupcakes from BB Needlepoint Designs is on the calendar.  My daughter and I have had so much fun coming up with things to share with you on this one.


This design was repainted specifically for us and we have our own canvas number because we asked that the designer make it a little larger so we would have lot s of room to showcase some fun techniques.  You are gonna love this adventure!  Specialty threads, beads, quirky applications - who knows what we will come up with?  The embellishments on this one will blow you away.  Come join us for the journey.
                      Deposits being taken to hold canvas  and thread/embellishment kits for this class -      email at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.

Last week we highlighted the cute Raymond Crawford Santa Ornament Wreath and stitching is underway for the model!

I believe there are 24 ornaments plus the Santa one.  We have had a lot of fun planning this one and the stitching fingers are itching.


   Deposits being taken to hold canvas  and thread/embellishment kits for this class - email at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.

    REGISTRATION:  For questions or to register for any of these events, just email
    me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.  Don't miss out on the fun!

I received the good news that I have been selected to teach at the American Needlepoint Guild Seminar 2018 that will be held in DC.  They have included an Encore class that I taught at the ANG Seminar 2017 in New Orleans - Can Do Hairdos.  This is a fun techniques class and we do a lot of giggling while executing the various techniques.  Another class they have selected is a time where we will work with the students assisting with individual issues as they arise. Stitching Solutions will be presented as two different one-day classes.  We will be sharing ideas with those who are seeking assistance with their project whether it is one where they are stuck and have just hit a brick wall or whether it is a new project and they just don't know where to start. The two one day sessions are offered to provide the opportunity for more people that may be interested in playing.

But before all that guess what occurs?  I leave Friday to teach at the Blue Bonnet Annual Retreat!  How much fun is that?  I will be teaching two of JP Needlepoint Owls - always fun - and sharing techniques with my students.  But also I will get to visit with friends that I only get to see in these type venues.  I am looking forward to it.

So until next time from Texas! have a great week and remember to stitch with a smile.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

JUST PLAYING AROUND!  

We all have too much to do right?  We never have enough time right?  (Someone once told me many years ago that God gave us 24 hours in a day - that's it - it is how we choose to use it that matters.) And I assume that most of you reading this share my passion for needlework.

Well, unfortunately, there are just too, too, too many wonderful designs out there to play with.  And also, unfortunately, I want to play with them all!  I find things that appeal to me and I think I'm all set and then you guys come up with some more and do the 'please, please, please' bit and I can't turn you down.  So I am trying some new approaches this year to see if we can get more in and still have a ball doing it.

First off, the first few classes for 2018 are going to have the lessons distributed every other month instead of every month.  That way you can play with more designs (yea, right!)

Then I have added another 'do as we can' class the Nutty Professor Hooter by Juli of JP Needlepoint.  I could not pass up this guy because of all the techniques we can use here - beads, ribbons, combination stitches, padding, who knows.  Anyway he looks like way too much fun.


He is 8" wide (not bad - very manageable) and 34" long.  For details about the canvas, class starting time, etc., just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.  Anxious to get my hands on this guy.

Next in my new stuff is what I call 'Quickies".  These are smaller pieces, less expensive, fully kitted, and will be two lessons.  Since there has been so much hoopla this year because of the election, and since I am from a flag-waving family (Dad fought during World War II, Brother served, Husband was a Marine during Korean Conflict, etc.) I just could not pass up Raymond Crawford's patriotic stars to start this new experiment.  The first will be the USA Star to get you warmed up.  Hope to be able to get this one going September 2017.



Then, we will move on to the American Eagle Star - WOW.



Quick Glimpse:  These QUICKIES will involve full kitted projects.  They will cover a period of 2 months - one lesson a month and you will get 2 lessons that will be for the whole project.  So, whoever is interested just send me an email to duodesignsinc@yahoo.com for more information.

Please email me with your thoughts, requests, suggestions, etc.  as to how this would be more beneficial to you. I would love your feedback.

I have had such a wonderful couple weeks being at home and stitching, stitching, stitching!  What a joy.  And what fantastic results.  I am loving it.

The Lessons in the Online Mystery Classes that are scheduled to be posted in a couple weeks are the last lesson in the fabulous Robin's Wreath.  It is always sad to say goodbye.  We'll share a picture of that fabulous piece when the lesson goes out.

Then we are doing the second session for the Large Easter Rabbit.  Hmmm.  Getting more background out of the way on this one and then we will be ready to really play with lots of fun stuff.

The 4th session of the Santa's Reward will also be shared.  This piece amazes me more and more.  I am thrilled beyond words at the results that are coming forth.  You imagine things one way and it is always so wonderful when those things are achieved and go beyond expectations.  That is what is happening on this piece for me.

And lastly will be the first session of the first in the Steampunk series by Brenda Stofft - the Steampunk Fox.  Notices have been to sent to all who ordered thread/embellishment kits and we are getting geared up for fun on this guy.

Steampunk Fox by Brenda Stofft

The Menorah is quickly moving up the chart and will have its first lesson in March.  Wow.  Such beautiful threads.  We are able to incorporate some of the newer ones introduced at market this past month too. Those who have indicated an interest in this class watch for email with details concerning invoicing and various kit options.

Tapestry Fair

I spent a great deal of time yesterday selecting stitches for the Santa Ornament Wreath by Raymond Crawford.  Threads are being pulled and finalized for the stitch guide and kit preparation.

Santa Ornament Wreath - Raymond Crawford


Well back to work - have a great weekend!

Sandy


Saturday, January 28, 2017

ALMOST BACK TO NORMAL (whatever that is):

Another TNNA market is behind us!  I had a few bumps in returning this year.  First of all our hotel had no electricity all night the night before I had to leave- they did notify us but darkness is darkness.  I didn't really pay that much attention to the notice.  I forgot I had a 4am call.  Anyway alarm goes off on phone - there I am in total darkness.  So I dress in the dark and then open the room door to let the hallway emergency light in.  Luckily I had packed the night before.  And also blessedly lucky that the elevators were working!  So finally head out and get in a cab.

Halfway to the airport - no eyeglasses!  Have to turn around and go back to hotel.  No one has a flash light but they give me a glow stick!  (You are never too old for new experiences!). So me and my handy glow stick - which I have never used before - head to my room to locate my glasses - in the dark.  Of course they are not on the nightstand where I thought I put them.  Well, I had but I also had knocked them off onto the floor when packing my cPap.  No matter - I found them and off we go again.

Get to the airport - very inconsiderate and unfriendly taxi driver. Go drop off luggage.  Have wheelchair transport through airport.  Get up to security - won't let me go through.  My drivers license expired in August.  Now, why did they let me come to CA with an expired drivers license but would not let me come home on it?  Do I have another photo ID?  Of course not.  Do I have my passport with me?  Of course not.  So the young man informs me he has to call his supervisor and they pull me out of line.  While waiting for the supervisor the young lady handling my wheelchair said 'Ma'am do you have a Costco card?"  I said yes but I don't normally travel with it but I will check.  The gods were smiling down on me because I did have it with me.  Supervisor arrives and after much paperwork they decide to let me board my plane.

Then in Dallas Fort Worth, my wheelchair lady was so slow it was tempting to tell her to sit in the chair and let me push.  We get to the gate and they have already made the final call.  The terminal door was closed but the plane door was not.  I think they let me on because the sky cabs have to enter passenger pick up, etc in their iPad so I am assuming they knew I was on my way and dependent on their staff.  Anyway another disaster averted.

So happily I made it home safe and sound.  And, can you guess what the first thing is that I was going to do the next day?  You got it!  I was at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles when they open!  And I will always travel with my Passport as well from now on too!

Lots and lots of interest in the three new Online Mystery Classes that I have added for 2018.


            

The Moon Gazer                                         Steampunk Witch

The Moon Grazer is tentatively scheduled around the first of the year.  The Steampunk Witch is set as a class but the date is still kinda fiddlely!  The notification list is growing daily! These lessons may well be posted every other month instead of every month.  We'll see how things progress along those lines.

Also on board is the cute, cute piece from a new designer for our Online Mystery Classes - Love You More.  Aren't these snow-people just the cutest?

Snow Happy Trio

They are going to be a lot of fun!  The design area is approximately 9" x 11.5". Just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you would like your name added to any of the above notification lists. This class will probably be early 2018 - gets earlier and earlier the more I play with it.

Finalizing kit preparation for my classes at the Blue Bonnet Retreat!  This is always a wonderful retreat and although working it is also relaxing!  Looking forward to it!  I am teaching two of Juli Poitras of JP Needlepoint .  Her delightful Black Beak Hooter and the regal The Black Queen!


Have a great week - email with any questions to duodesignsinc@yahoo.com - and remember to stitch with a smile!