Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Only 19 days left to register!  Whaaaaaaaaa!  Where has the time gone?

You still have plenty of time to register for the fun, online, mystery class Mod Ornaments Mystery.

I was asked a kazillion questions about this great Eye Candy canvas and upcoming class.  Here are some brief refresher notes:

Design Area: 9” x 9.25” on 18ct.  Stretcher Bars:  13” x 13”
Design is Mod Ornaments #8242
Designer is EyeCandy available through Ruth Schmuff Designs

Six lessons - one a month for 6 months - Beginning November 2014.

Student is responsible for ordering their canvas and purchasing threads.  Some shops will be offering complete thread kits once I get the thread list finalized.

For more details, scroll down to the initial announcement on July 15 and read updates afterwards.  

If you are interested in participating just send me an email to  If you think you are registered and have not received an invite to the Yahoo Discussion Group you may not be on the list so please confirm by emailing me at

Hope you can join in the fun!

ANG Seminar - Chicago -

I have been teaching here in Chicago for the past 5 days and what a blast!  Everyone here has been wonderful - our own ANG core volunteers, TRG, and the Hotel staff.  But most of all, the students have been great.

Friday's full class on Beading for Needlework was great!  The students went away happy (I think) and many, many came to me and said they wished it could have been 2 days.  I also met many attendees in the halls over the next few days expressing to me how sad they were to not be able to get into my class as they were number 9 or number 11, etc., on the wait list.  This has led me to believe that I might seriously consider adding it as an Encore class for seminar after SC.  While the class is being taught in Houston in October, I could offer no relief as these classes are filled as well.  Many other chapters are asking about the class too, so we'll see what the future holds for Beading for Needlework.  Maybe there will be a workshop near you or maybe you can encourage your guild to host one.  It may be a worthwhile project for your group.
We played with attaching beads in different ways, making some cool comparisons, and sharing.  We had a good time!

My next 4 days were involved teaching Back to the Beach: The Girls Reunited.  Oh my goodness!  I knew I was going to have fun with this one too, but this bunch of gals were a mess - students not design!  We laughed, we poked fun, we played musical chairs, and we even got in some stitching.  

How many variations are there to boobs? Let me count the ways!  Poor Jennifer, Penelope, Susan, Clarencetta and Mary Ella will never be the same.  We had breast reductions, back problems, title waves, Queen Elizabeth replicas, and - Serendipity?  Detached buttonhole? Let's not even go there!

What a blast!  I do hope my students had as much fun those 4 days as I did and I will cherish every one of them.  Time went way too fast.  Too, too much!

And so, it is now time for me to put Seminar Chicago behind me and start focusing on my future endeavors.

I hope those here are having a great time - those I have encountered sure are - and I hope those who have not been able to will be able to attend a Seminar in the near future.

Thanks for everyone's support and have a great remaining Seminar and a great week!

Remember to stitch with a smile!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town (? is that right?)

Anyway, when someone says Chicago or San Francisco I immediately think of songs!  And I am singing because I am on my way to Chicago to teach 5 wonderful days of classes.  It is always so much fun to teach, stitch and visit at Seminar.  And while it is work and tiring, it is great to get to visit with friends that are only seen at the various seminars and conventions.  And it is also exciting to get to meet new students along with those who manage to return to my classes time after time.  What a comfort to see friends in the classroom, and I do consider them friends although this may be the only interaction I share with them.  And as I mentioned it is exciting to see what the new students bring to the table.

I am teaching the front 5 days this year.  I have never done that before, generally I have my teaching days all spread out.  This is good and bad.  It is good that it is ongoing and no down days in between. Is there such a thing as a 'down' day at Seminar - LOL - I don't think so.  Then it is bad that there is no break.   But that could also be good as it keeps me out of trouble and off the Magnificent Mile.  Well, at least it keeps me off the Magnificent Mile - I'm not sure anything can keep me out of trouble because if it is around I'll find it.

I'm struggling trying to get my computer, iPhone, etc., etc., set back up to where I was before 'the incident.'  (I think that's what I'm going to call this week - 'the incident.')  Things aren't going as smoothly as I'd like.  And, as my kids will be very quick to say, I do not have the greatest of patience when it comes to technology.  I haven't had the opportunity to do a trial run on the new computer with my projector and I sure hope it works okay when I get there.  If not students will be forced to deal with my crooked lines on the whiteboard.  Not pretty!  But, I taught before I had a computer and I can continue to do so without if necessary.

So, I am trudging forward recovering from 'the incident', and I am quite busy writing stitch guides and designing.  The new mystery class is going to be so much fun that I can' hardly wait to start it.  If you haven't signed up yet for the Mod Ornaments Mystery online class you still have a couple weeks before registration closes.  Scroll down a few posts to get all the details.  You have to smile when you see the canvas - it is so happy.  Drop me an email at if you want to sign up or if you have any questions.

Okay, I'm off to finish the packing and getting in my zzzzs before I hit the airport in the morning.

Hope to see you at Seminar!  If not,  you can be there in spirit by remembering to stitch with a smile!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Living with Technology!

What a week!  Okay, I have a strong suggestion for all of those who depend greatly upon
 iPhones and laptops.

Take a slow, quiet day, like Sunday at our house.  Wake up and make yourself a promise to not use the iPhone or laptop all day.  During that time, make notes of every time you start to use them and cannot and record how it affected your next action.

On Monday, when you start using the devices again, record everything you use them for, your passwords, and what you do with the information, etc.

At 5 a.m. Monday when I awoke I went to my devices as I always do.  Well, they are not where I left them.  I wake my husband and asked if he moved my computer and where did he put it.  He did not.  We begin looking around and we cannot find them anywhere.   Turns out the home we were staying in had been broken into during the night while we were sleeping.  Guess what they took?  Laptop, iPhone and purse.  This home did not have a landline - very techy people.  I have personal hotspot on my iPhone so I can access the Internet wherever I am - that is if I have a phone.  My husband, bless his heart (this is for you Laura Taylor), gets the hand-me-downs so his phone has nothing.  However, I could make a call at least.  So I call my daughter and ask her where should I begin.

For some reason I threw my ancient iPad (first generation) into my suitcase.  So my hubby and I go head for the nearest Panera bread so I can have Wi-Fi and he can have food (keeps him happy).   I immediately hit my bank accounts and change passwords.  Now we are talking 7 in the morning so there is not a lot I can do unless it is online.  I feverishly change passwords.

Call police, banks and credit cards.  So you know how my next few days were spent.  At this point I do not exist.  So we run around getting drivers license, social security card, insurance cards, bank cards, etc., etc.  And all this while trying to get ready to teach 5 days at the ANG National Seminar. I'm supposed to be remembering what I need to take to Chicago, not what I need to exist!

After all that, head to Verizon and Apple to get my devices that I have grown to depend on, so that I can begin functioning again.  Now, of course, I have to learn new stuff because everything is updated and of course it does not re-download the way I think it should.

This horrible experience has shown me a lot about my technological habits.  This is why I suggested the above.  I 'thought' I had everything in pretty good control.  It is amazing how many little passwords have slipped through the cracks and I can't recall them when I need to.  It is amazing how many instances we need numbers and need to remember how much 'stuff' we actually have.  Well, it has NOT been fun.

I am blessed, however, and I realize this is just stuff and there are a lot worse things that could have happened.  I am fortunate.  It is just that it is so aggravating!

Okay, I have vented.

Another sad note is that The Mystery of Yolanda ended this week.  It is hard to believe that it has already been 6 months.  I had fun stitching on her and I think the participants did too. You can't see all her beautiful shiny beads and gorgeous ribbons but she is a treat! Her stitch guide will be available through Tapestry Fair and later on my website so check back often.

Moving onward now, I am focusing more on the new online mystery, Mod Ornaments Mystery.

This EyeCandy design helps cheer me up and brightens my day.  It reminds me there is more than enough beauty to offset the uglies of the world.

So while thinking of the stitches for this beauty I will leave this posting by sharing with you some of my stitching.

I'm sure none of you recognize this stitch as it is a rare technique called reverse stitching!

This is only the beginning of the fun I am going to have on this piece.  I must confess, however, that I had to do the reverse stitching way before my recent adventure.  And I assure you the technique led to a great result in the end!  If you have not done so, there is still plenty of time to join in the fun!  Scan on down further in older postings for all the details.  Just email me a if you have questions.

Remember to stitch with a smile - I am practicing what I preach here!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Threads have been picked!

Mod Ornaments Mystery is moving right along.  Have you ordered your canvas yet?  If not you better get it on order.  This is a very popular class and registrations keep coming in.

Have you registered?  Please keep in mind that stating on Needlepoint Nation that you want to take the class does not serve as a registration.  You need to send an email to and tell me you want in and provide your email address.  I don't want the spam police coming after me and your letting me know through email makes it official. Registration closes in September and the first class starts mid-November.

I have set up a Yahoo Group for participants to share information, pictures, etc.  So far less than a third of those registered has joined the discussion group.  If you want to participate in the discussion group and did not receive an invitation just let me know and I'll get an invite out to you right away. Yahoo group participation is not mandatory.

I have whittled down my thread selections.  I currently have 15 threads.  Now, keep in mind that once I start stitching I could easily change my mind and switch out one or two and maybe even add one or two.

Stitches and techniques are pretty much decided on. Okay, okay!  Here's a sneak peek!

Awwww, come on guys!  You knew there had to be some basketweave somewhere on the canvas.  Those fun techniques need some type foundation. And you knew if I showed the color you could figure out which ornament it went to. But I promise there will not be much basketweave!  Too many other fun things to do.

Now I need to concentrate on beads and/or other embellishments that I might want to add.  In fact, I need to hold myself back in that department.  I could bead everything!

I think I will be able to get a thread list out before too much longer.  Some shops have expressed an interest in offering a thread kit for participants to be able to purchase in response to our request to have one.  I'll pass that information along once I know who will be offering them.

Okay, enough talking and back to stitching.  Be sure to get your friends on board to join our fun.  Check with your local shop too.  Several are working with me in setting up a social get together at their shop where participants let the shop do all the work (order the canvas, download the lesson, pull the threads) and they meet at their shop once a month after the mystery has been released and stitch and discuss the mystery.  Shop owners contact me at and I'll be happy to share with you how some other shops are handling this.

Until next time - remember to stitch with a smile!