Saturday, November 18, 2017


This week we shared another group of lessons for the various Online Mystery Classes.  And, while visions of my Riverboat Stitching Cruise Party on the Po are floating around in my head, I feel that this month's lesson can hold their own in the attention department.

Session 5 for Cupcakes by BB Needlepoint was posted.  One of our favorite cupcakes is this swirled chocolate iced one.

We utilized a fun Kreinik braid for the embellishment on the cake liner.  And, look at that icing! This is a bargello variation that I have used many times including on Witch on the Town and Wizard of Paws.  A fun stitch.

Steampunk Cat from Brenda Stofft had Session 4 shared.  Much was done on this canvas and the bouquet was spectacular!

Planet Earth had the perfect ribbon for these roses in the bouquet!

Raymond Crawford's Santa Ornament Wreath also has lots of great techniques included.

 No, the Santa hat trim is not turkey work!

If you would like to join some of our Online Mystery Classes or would like more information, please email me at

2018 has a lot in store for our stitching challenges.  Scroll down a few posts- October 21 -  and you will find a complete agenda for the whole year.  Of course, I have been known to add a few along the way.

Coming soon will be the first lesson on Steampunk Witch a Brenda Stofft Design.

We will be sharing lessons on this design every other month instead of monthly.  The first session will be mid-December. Invoices for the 6-lesson packet have been mailed and are being processed.  We are working on a thread/embellishment kit to offer for those who do not have a LNS or need assistance.  Just email for details at

January 2018!  OMGoodness!  What have I done?  We will begin with Moon Gazer also by Brenda Stofft and also a semi-monthly project.

The first Reindeer of Raymond Crawford's series of 4:

The order of the reindeer may be changed.  This class is a little different from others.  The designs may incorporate only 4 lessons instead of the previous 6.  There will be much more information shared with those who have signed up for the classes as to how we will progress.  We will have canvases, threads and embellishment packets available for those who do not have a LNS and need assistance. 

And then we will feature our first QUICKIE for 2018, Raymond Crawford's 12 Days of Christmas Stars doing the First Day - Partridge in a Pear Tree.

These guys will be fully contained!  Handprinted canvas, threads, embellishments and stitch guide for that design.  We will also be offering a special to those who take all 12 days in that we will deeply discount the 12th day - so stay tuned.  Our goal is to keep each class very affordable.  The cost distribution will be shared with those that have signed up for the notification list.  Again, if interested please send email to to be placed on the notification lists.


Our Riverboat Cruise for 2018 is drawing a lot of attention.  Our agent, Liz, informs us that 20 have already paid and are ready to go - wait a minute - I still have a year to prepare don't forget!  I love it.  The enthusiasm and fun that we all had on the Italy stitching cruise will provide a lifetime of memories.  Many new friends were made and you cannot put a price on those types of adventures! But look what we have in store on the River Beatrice!

Sign up for our Needles 'N Fins Facebook page to follow all our plans and activity for these journeys.   The brochure for this upcoming trip is in the files section.  Contact our travel agent - Liz, at Viking Travel for traveling details -  or email me for general information and stitching plans -  

Until next week, remember to stitch with a smile and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating!

Sunday, November 12, 2017


On these blog posts I am not even scratching the surface of all the wonderful sights we saw and the fun we had.  If you would like to see more, join in the Needles 'N Fins Facebook page.  Many others have posted some of their experiences as well.

Of course, no visit to Italy is complete without a visit to a gelato stand!  These two Canadian Cuties (Donna and Jan) illustrate how it is done!

How do you resist reaching in and grabbing a handful of those Lucious grapes on one of our vineyard tours?

As you can see we almost starved!

When we arrived in Venice one of our first tours was of the Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's Basilica. We visited the Palace in the morning, had a fantastic lunch and sailed around the lagoon.  So peaceful.

As an aside, I had a difficult time keeping these wild women in line!  Oh those men in Italy!

You know, we did work too!

Always pays to come to class!  

What is that?  Relishes?  Starters?  Appetizers?   NO!  It is beads!  YAY!

   We even recruited the staff to help - hope he did not get into trouble!

We visited so many wonderful things while cruising the Po.  We went to Burano and saw unbelievable lace making demonstrations -

On Murano we say glass blowing demonstrations and could not resist all the lovelies that were offered up for sale - - -

Gondola rides anyone?

And, of course the Rialto Bridge and shopping!

We were able to gather together part of our group for a photo but sadly all did not see the notice but there were busy enjoying the free wine and lovely views while we were posing!

Please plan to join us next year on the Stitching Down the Danube stitching cruise.  We aim to beat our 50 participants so don't miss out!  For more details check out the Facebook Page Needles 'N Fins.

There is so much more to share but I'm running out of time today!  

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Wow!  What a great adventure we had.  Other than the first day or two when a little overcast and a few little rains in between excursions, the weather was wonderful and cooperated beautifully.

We began out adventure in Milano, Italy.

We had the welcoming dinner and met some of our participants - what a group!


So many pictures that I can't share them all!

Then our first evening gave us a brief get together where we handed out goodie bags for all stitchers!

We then gave them a surprise - a special Souvenir Ornament Kit of Italy and showed them how to finish them.

The second day involved visits to cathedrals and The Last Supper.

That night we had a class on the Venice Memories Kit for those who wished to attend.

That's enough teasing for today.  I'll share more next week after I get rested and can pull out some of the other events!  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Go visit us on Needles 'N Fins where some have posted photos and plan to join us on our next adventure Stitching Down the Danube!  Love to have you join us!


Saturday, October 28, 2017


We have had such a great time here with our riverboat stitching cruise in Italy on Party on the Po.  If you would like to see some of the activity pictures that have been shared, join the Facebook page Needles 'N Fins.  Birds eye view of what we have been up to.  We even have been doing some stitching!

Internet service isn't the greatest but we do have contact with the outside world - LOL.

Many are signing up for the next adventure Stitching Down the Danube.  I'll share more when I get back home and have more patience with a faster network.

We leave tomorrow so be sure to stitch in the meanwhile.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

I am going to go ahead and post tonight while I for sure have internet access and have the time before the frantic getting ready in the morning to leave Milano.

Oh my gosh!  We are actually on the road and traveling.  So far our hotel has been fabulous.  I don't know that they have ever had a group like ours before and there was a communication hiccup between them and the travel agent but I must say, as far as I am aware, that they have handled all concerns right away and to the satisfaction of the stitchers.

Today we went to the Dumo and The Last Supper.  And they were within walking distance of our hotel, however since I am old and lazy, we did have a motor coach to help us along.  Our guide was a hoot.  Hope to be able to share some photos later.

Tomorrow we leave Milano by motor coach and go to Verona and visit 'Juliet's Balcony', go to a lovely vineyard and have a fabulous lunch and several wine tastings, and end up on the cruise ship River Countess to start drifting along the Po. 

 Stay tuned.  In the meanwhile, I am going to share with you the classes I have lined up for our Online Mystery Classes.


This week I am sharing the proposed 2018 Online Mystery Class Schedule.

To be placed on the Notification list send email to with your email address so we can add you to the list and send you a notification when class is preparing to begin.

January 2018

Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft

Raymond Crawford Reindeer 1  (Series of 4)

Four Lesson Per Design - One every other month - I may change the rotation -

QUICKIE - Star 1 of Christmas Stars -12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Stars are 5 x 5.  


Snow Happy Trio from Love You More:

9 x 11.5

QUICKIE - Star 2 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Turtle Doves


CATITUDES from JP Needlepoint

QUICKIE - Star 3 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

French Hens


QUICKIE - Star 4 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Calling Birds


DOG GONE GOOD by JP Needlepoint


QUICKIE - Star 5 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Golden Rings


QUICKIE - Star 6 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Geese a Laying


QUICKIE - Star 7 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Swans a Swimming


QUICKIE - Star 8 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Maids a Milking




QUICKIE - Star 9 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Ladies Dancing


QUICKIE - Star 10 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Lords a Leaping


QUICKIE - Star11 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Pipers Piping


QUICKIE - Star 12 of Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

Drummers Drumming



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