Saturday, August 20, 2016


We have been advised that all is well in New Orleans and plans are moving forward.  This time next week I should have everything ready to get onboard a plane Sunday!  Wow.  It is really, really scary how fast time is going. I am teaching three fun classes and I have a surprise for my students in one of them!  YAY!  I love surprises!

Be sure to visit the Exhibit if you are in the area.  So many beautiful pieces and hours and hours of lovely stitching is shared for us to enjoy!

Registration is still active for our next Online Mystery Class - Robin's Wreath by Melissa Prince.  And we might even be able to help you find a shop that has a canvas in stock. Several shops are happy to prepare thread lists for you as well.  You just need to give them the thread list.

I know he is beautiful but oh my gosh I am loving it more and more with each new set of stitches and threads that I add!  If you would like to join us just email me at

Active registration is also going on for the last Online Mystery class of 2016 which is this delightful Santa's Rewards by Devon Nicholson.

There is so much potential in this design.  I have to contain myself to not 'overdo' it!  I see this and I see that, but wait wonder how this would work, no, how about that?  Oh well, you just must come join us and see how he develops!  Email if interested to  First lesson November 15, 2016.

In a few weeks I will be sharing with you the lineup for 2017!  So exciting!  You don't want to miss out on that one.

The big buzz right now is the upcoming PARTY ON THE PO!   hosted by Needles 'N Fins!  

We already have 20% occupancy of the boat!  Isn't that fun?  The trip is October 19-29, 2017 - Milan - Venice with gobs of stuff in between.  Heck we're even going to work in some stitching - somehow! If you would like to join the secret Facebook page of Needles'N Fins for general information on all our travel plans just send me an email and I'll be happy to send you an invitation -  The secret Facebook page PARTY ON THE PO is reserved for those who are actually taking the trip!  I'm working on some optional designs and gathering designs from some of my favorite designers to share with those who might be interested.

And, hopefully later this week we will be announcing our land tour that will be Boston-Cape Cod in early June for those landlubbers who also like to stitch.  We will visit two needlepoint shops and have classes indicative to both areas!

So, stay tuned!  You don't want to miss anything!


Sunday, August 14, 2016


See if an eligible airport is in a city near you!

We are the Gems of Northern Italy!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Our next Online Mystery Class - Robin's Wreath from Melissa Prince - is in full swing!

Invoices have been mailed and are being processed.  If you did not get yours and you think you are signed up for this class, please notify me right away so we can get you in to the secret Facebook page and you can be gathering your supplies!

First lesson will be posted on/or about September 15!  Just around the corner!

Also happening in a couple days is the posting of Lesson 2 of the fun Happy Haunted Grounds  from Eye Candy.  Lesson 1 gave us our background grasses and hills so we are ready to start adding another layer!

Whatever are we going to do next?

And once again we must say goodbye to a fun friend.  We will be posting the final lesson for a fun canvas from Melissa Shirley - Thanksgiving Critters!  We finished the squirrel last time.

Not much mystery as to who we will be working on next but there is a mystery in what we will be doing to him!

Several things are going on here at Arthur Acres.  I am preparing to get my suitcase packed for heading out to teaching three classes at the ANG Seminar to be held at New Orleans  It is going to be a special treat for me because I also plan to get to go to the John Stennis Space Museum and hopefully view my NASA Patch that I completed and my daughter's patch that she completed.  That will be so cool!

Registration is going on for the Cardinal Family class that I am teaching at STITCH  in Louisville, KY in October.  This is a Melissa Shirley canvas.  

The shop is taking sign ups for ghosts as well so come join us for the fun!  We'd love to have you.

And we are spreading our wings again and reintroducing the Needles 'N Fins cruises and tours.  We currently are accepting reservations for the upcoming Party on the Po which is a river cruise on the Po River in Italy.

This fun adventure will begin in Milan on October 19, 2017 and end on October 29, 2017 in Venice.  And there is a whole bunch of stuff in between!  Reception has been fantastic and we already have a great group of people joining us.  Everything in Italy is included - excursions, food, wine, drinks, and - get this - even gratuities! Oh!  Did I mention wine?  Can't beat that! To see more details go visit our sister blog at .  There you will be able to read the flyer and see what great excursions we are planning. 

In addition, I am designing an optional cruise specific piece to teach on this trip as well as some fun ornaments!  Stay tuned to see those develop.

BULLETIN:  The cruise line has advertised a special of FREE AIRFARE on this cruise for those making reservations by August 20 - clock is ticking on this one!  So what are you waiting for?  Come along and play with us - this time in Italy!

Also, a little bird told me that Liz, our agent is putting the final touches on our land tour going to Boston tentatively in late June 2017.  Local classes are on the agenda and we will hop over to the Cape Cod area as well. Stay tuned for that one as well.

Okay, I'm tired now!  Gotta go stitch, or paint, or draw, or tape - - - - - -

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 6, 2016


What a lovely group of ladies!  They have us all staying at the Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem, NC - adjacent to historic Old Salem.  I understand this is an old converted cotton mill.  Can you imagine the ambience?  It is so quaint.  High beamed ceilings, HUGE rooms, fantastic bathroom, all the amenities that could ask for including a Keurig pot and wi-fi - what more could you want.  Well I tell you what more, they have wine in a seating area and at 8 pm. cookies and milk.  COOKIES AND MILK!  Oh well, I'm in heaven.  

My flight was late so we had to go straight to dinner at this lovely Italian restaurant and for some reason I was fascinated by our waitress - Molly.  She is such a beautiful young lady.  And being the brave adventurer that I am when it comes to food I had a great dish of sphagetti and meatballs with a Caesar salad.  Worked for me. I met some of my stitchers for the first time and delightfully same some wonderful familiar faces as well.-

We have a large class and that just means that much more fun and orneriness. So happy to be here.

We covered a lot in one day and today and tomorrow we get into heavy needle felting and some stump work techniques.  Such a fun piece.  Unfortunately, it will be retiring soon but it has been a great journey sharing it with fellow stitchers.

Needles 'N Fins - this is a revitalized blog from our past.  Well not really because when we last hosted cruises we had no blogs - didm''t even know what they were.  Now we have this guy going at the request of several of you.  We posted our first itinerary for the season and would love to have you join us.  There are two ways to keep abreast of the adventures.  First is to visit this blog at  The second is to request to be included in a secret Facebook page called Needles 'N Fins Stitching Cruises.  There you will meet like-minded stitchers who share ideas of what we would like to consider for upcoming parties - uh, I mean adventures.  It has already been fun and we haven't even done anything yet - or at least had not done anything until just a few days ago.

For me it is exciting to work on dreaming up an exclusive needlepoint design for our adventures!   The travel agent takes care of all the off-ship tour opportunities - with plenty of needlepoint and needlart themed trips when available.  But I get to play with the needle and thread with the participants when we are onboard.  We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to you all. Come join us and see what the hubbub is all about! The first cruise will take place October 19-29, 2017.  Hurry and register though because my agent just gave us the heads up that the cruise company is raising their prices August 15 (about $300) and those of you who have already registered and paid your deposit are in at the current rate and the rest of you still have 10 days to take advantage of those prices!  Don't drag your feet on this one - and only 130 spots to begin with and they are going . . . 

And don't worry land lovers, we're working on a specific one for you too.

 A friend is working towards helping an artisan in Russia who needs to have so many 'hits' to her class site in order to be eligible to be hired as a teacher and paid.  All you need to do is sign on at this link and start listening and watching ribbon embroidery basics - FREE - NO CHARGE - do a good thing and help somebody!

Online Mystery Classes:  Invoices are being processed for our next class Robin's Wreath from Melissa Prince Designs.  WOW!

Look at all the 'stuff' I can get into.  Mostly unique thread manipulation going on here on this one.  Ribbons, straw silk, few beads, thread painting, AND, I know this is going to be a shock - there is actually a background for those of you who want covered backgrounds - well, almost covered.
There is still time to join us as the first lesson does not become posted until September 15 so if you want in just email me and we'll get you all set up.

TO REGISTER:  Send email to me at and we'll take it from there.  If you need assistance in gathering materials we can steer you in the right direction there too.

Next on the horizon will be our last Online Mystery Class for 2016 which will be the Santa's Reward design from Devon Nicholson.

Registration is currently open for this wonderful guy so just let us know if you want to participate.  contact information is the same as above .

Soon we will post our Online Mystery Class schedule for 2017.  OH MY!  It makes my head spin!

In the meanwhile to keep from getting bored, we have lessons to be posted in a few days.

We share the last lesson of our Thanksgiving Critters by Melissa Shirley.
Lesson Two of Happy Haunting Grounds by Eye Candy hits the Internet.
And a new Session for the infamous Arctic Parade by Brenda Stofft will be forthcoming.

Worked somewhere in between there is laundry and packing to prepare for upcoming classes at the ANG Seminar in New Orleans!  Will be here before we know it!

So, have a great day and remember to Stitch with a Smile!


Saturday, July 30, 2016


Dropped off the model this past week for the upcoming class at STITCH - Melissa Shirley's Cardinal Family.

I had it finished as a stand up so I could place it on my mantel.  Interest is growing and registration is going on right now.  I think Lane said that cut-off might be late August or so - don't quote me on that!  Ask her.  I had a million things going on when I was talking with her and people kept coming in.  How dare they?  Especially during business hours no less.

To sign up for the class, contact Lane.  Remember - GHOSTS are WELCOME!

Lane Blevins, Owner
STITCH-a needlepoint shop
215 Chenoweth Lane
Louisville, KY 40207

I have been stitching away on the Robin's Wreath Online Mystery Class trying to get a good guess on the amount of thread to list in the stitch guide.  I am really enjoying stitching on this guy.  And, it is really a big challenge to find some of these colors - or at least close to the colors!  This one is next up and will have the first lesson posted on September 15 but I want to get the thread list to you in August.

 TO REGISTER:  Just email me at and I'll add you to the list.   Get your canvas from your LNS.  If not available check with me as there may be some shops that have advised me that they have one in stock.

Still getting registrations for the Arctic Parade by Brenda Stofft.  Since this is a 2-year class there is plenty of time to participate.

And in closing, I am excited to share a new blog with you.  This blog will provide information for upcoming stitching cruises and tours sponsored by Duo Designs, Inc.  Be sure to go subscribe so you can keep up with what is going on.  There is also a secret FB page for those of serious interest and persons in that group will be advised first about the dates, etc., for the upcoming Po River Cruise.  Space is very limited so be sure to stay alert if interested.

This time next week I will happily be playing at ANG Winston-Salem teaching the techniques on my Pumpkin Spiced Tea.  I am so looking forward to that outing.

Enjoy the weekend and remember to stitch with a smile!


Saturday, July 23, 2016


Got home after a wonderful week teaching at Designers Desk in Chicago.  We had such fun and it will be sad to see the shop go.  Hopefully it will be purchased by someone who would like to continue the business so that we can all continue to play in this wonderful setting.

Had a surprise while there.  A lovely friend, Kathy Matthews from ANG Seminar Board days, dropped by and brought me a fantastic gift.

Those who have known me for several years will recognize this cute plate as indicative of my To The Beach and Back To The Beach ladies.  LOL - and it even has five ladies as well.  Thank you so much Kathy for thinking of me.

Everyone is busily working on their various levels in our Online Mystery Classes.  These are such great fun and I hope the participants have half the fun I do!  If participation is any indication, I think they do!

Robin's Wreath and Santa's Reward are both being registered as we speak.  Come on and join us.  Scroll down to read more details if interested.

Just got the wonderful Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood that was requested by the masses so I'm thinking of things for it.

To Register:  Send email to

I am so excited that I get to spend a full week at home before traveling again.  However I am also looking forward to playing with the ANG Winston-Salem Chapter as we stitch the Pumpkin Spiced Tea design.

All the kits have been mailed and everyone is gathering there supplies to prepare for days of fun!

Also shipped out have been all the kits for the three different classes I am teaching at the ANG Seminar in New Orleans. Final preparations are in progress to make sure everything is in order and ready to go.

Meanwhile, finishing up the Cardinal Family from Melissa Shirley Designs to teach at STITCH outside Louisville, KY.  If you cannot join us face-to-face, she is accepting ghosts.

This has been fun!  Lots going on - beads, boucle`, silk, fuzzies, combination stitches, weaving, ribbon, Silk Straw, cotton - okay, that's enough.

Contact Lane at STITCH if you'd care to join us!

Lane Blevins, Owner
STITCH-a needlepoint shop
215 Chenoweth Lane
Louisville, KY 40207

In the meanwhile - Stitch with a Smile and sign up for some of these wonderful upcoming classes!


Thursday, July 21, 2016


If you have never attended the wonderful retreat that is hosted by Blue Bonnet Studios you have no idea what you are missing!

This is a much smaller and more intimate venue than the larger Seminars that are hosted by the larger organizations. This smaller venue allows the opportunity to get to know your instructor and classmates much better than a larger venue might.  This year it is being held at a new location so I cannot personally speak to the anemities there.  (Horseshoe Bay Resort at Horseshoe Bay, TX) However, I can say that if it is anything like in previous years then it is well worth the time and travel.  A very pleasant environment is created surrounded by people who share the same passion as we all do.

There are several types of classes available - studio times and projects.  Here are two of the 2-day classes that I am teaching.  Both designs are by JP Needlepoint.  Juli does such beautiful designs!

Saturday and Sunday we feature The Black Queen!

Her Majesty – The Black Queen - portrays  ‘regalness’ for all to behold.  Beautiful bling of Swarovski crystals and pearls from the collection,  metallic threads of Kreinik and Rainbow Gallery, and luscious silks add to her glamour.  Techniques and stitches to entice all levels of stitchers are illustrated : beading, ruching, split stitch, darning, and blending to mention a few!  Scrumptious  threads include Pepper Pot Silk, Floche, Kreinik Metallics, Rainbow Gallery, and Burmilana to name a few.

Painted design is 9” x 12”on 18ct cut canvas with a cut canvas of 13” x 16” for stretcher bars.

Then we have BlackBeak Hooter.  He is Monday and Tuesday.

Captain Blackbeak Hooter is a fun design hand painted on 18 ct monocanvas. The design size is  9” x 12” on cut canvas of 14” x 16”.  Many techniques are explored on this journey:  ruching, padding, tacking, layering, appliqueing, and much more.  Embellish with specialty threads, beads and other findings.  Thread suggestions abound:  Neon Rays, Burmilana, Flair, Silks, metallic, cotton, and many more.  There are detailed diagrams, illustrations and pictures to complement the directions demonstrated in class.

Please use this url to get to the class descriptions page:

Please use this url to get to the event registration page:

We'd love to have you join us!  Just email with any questions -

Later . . .