Sunday, August 30, 2015


I feel so blessed with work!  Now you can take that any way you want too - seriously, joyfully, sarcastically or tongue in cheek (what does that mean exactly?)

What I mean by this statement is that I am having the best time 'keeping up' with my students of my various goings on.  We have 3 - count them - 1-2-3 - active Online Mystery Classes.  I so enjoy watching my students' reactions to certain techniques and how we work through various situations. We are developing new online friendships and many are repeat students - I lovingly call them my 'groupies'.  Students are reaching out across the country and world to share and interact with each other.  Our Secret Facebook Pages are so positive and happy that I am very proud to host them.

Add to this, we have a class that has some, what shall I call them????, johnny-on-the-spot, anxious annies, ahead of the game, eager beavers, chomping at the bit?  It doesn't matter how they are labeled I love them all and I am so happy to have had them come forward and excited to start on this new adventure.  The next class does not officially start until September 15 - S.O.S. IN CYBERSPACE - but we already have several people who are very active over on our Secret Facebook Page and making positive progress!  This is great for me because it gives me a chance to get a head start for when everyone chimes in.  So while the class hasn't started officially we have already posted some queries and responses.  This puts in place a great example for the newbies joining the group to see how things are handled and they already have the makings for the beginnings of a workbook.  Each person still gets 6 issues addressed some are just covered over an 8 months period of time instead of 6 months and those joining in are not missing one word or diagram from day one.

You only have until September 14 to join this group is you are interested.  Be sure to email me at  (More detailed information is available by scrolling down through older posts.)

The next 'keeping up' I am involved in is stitching the future mysteries.  Oh my!  It should be a sin to enjoy something so much!  I am in heaven!  Cats in a Dingy from Annie Lane  (Nov. 15) is going to be so cute and isn't overly complicated.  The Special Request Class - Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories by Brenda Stofft  (Jan. 15) - is going to be quite busy.  There are gobs of techniques we can play with here too. Melissa Shirley's Thanksgiving Critters (March 15) has all the wonderful autumn colors in it and has much to offer and techniques galore.  The Pillow Collage (May 15) from the collection designs by Needlepoint of Back Bay is going to be an astonishing class.  There is so much to create in this wonderful piece - velvet, ribbons, beads, fringe -that we will use a full year to give it justice (large canvas).  Registration is 'open' if you want to add your name to any of these lists but invoicing, etc., will not begin until a month prior to registration closing- which is one month prior to first lesson shown in parenthesis.  As you may gather, the buzz word for me in my classes is techniques - I love doing something funky here and there and playing with fantastic threads and embellishments. (Again for more details scroll through older posts.)

Add to that, I am being approached and prodded by designers wanting to add their designs to be auditioned for future classes.  I know you'll love the pieces we have in line for you for July and September 2016.  So, don't hesitate to let me know what you would like to see us play with.  Classes are arranged through September 2016 and more are on the drawing board being considered so don't think you guys are going to get to slack off on me.  We're just going to learn, learn, learn!  And have fun doing it.

Another 'keeping up' is getting models stitched for the TNNA Winter Market in San Diego in January.  Still have one model to go and I'll have those all done.  Then, of course, need to write the stitch guides.

The 'keeping up' that is really getting close is preparing kits for the EGA National Seminar in San Antonio!  How exciting!  I have two 2-day classes - Pumpkin Spiced Tea and Trio of Diamonds a self-finishing ornament class.

Somewhere in there is putting the polishing touches on Series V - but more about that later.

Oh, did I mention that I will be taking a class in Houston (certified master teachers are required to keep up CEUs) and the Nashville Retreat too!  Does anything think I am bored?

As stated earlier, if you would like more information about any of my classes, scroll down through several older posts or just drop me an email at  We'd love to hear from you.

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


Sunday, August 16, 2015


We are so excited to start the new Online Mystery Class Beijing Butterflies today.

This is an exclusive design so if you did not sign up during the deadline then you will not be able to join us for the fun.

Easter Wreath has its second lesson going on and Harvest is in the home stretch with lesson five currently being stitched.

However, there is more in the future!

We are currently doing S.O.S. in CyberSpace which is our original online embellishment class.  This is a fun class that we have already started playing with although it does not officially begin until September 15 - don't worry you will not miss a thing!  It is all there waiting for you on the 15th.

Registration is still open on this class so if you need more information just scroll down through these previous posts and read all about it.  Also, feel free to email me at if interested.

The real purpose of this posting is to talk with those of you who are interested or have already stated an interest in these upcoming classes:




PILLOW COLLAGE FROM the collection - MAY 2016 (1yr in length)

What I want to share with you is that many of you may not know that it takes anywhere from 8-10 weeks to get a hand painted canvas from the distributor (if you are lucky- remember they are at the mercy of the painters in most cases).  Now, add to that the time that it takes your LNS to be able to order it - maybe a couple more weeks up to a month from the time you contact them to order.  Next thing you know your time has lapsed and you are ready for class but you have not received your canvas.  So if you know for sure you may want to take the class your first priority should be to order the canvas.  (And guess what?  That sorta spreads out the expenses, right?)  I try to alert you of known trunk shows because I know some of them offer a discount and every little bit helps!

Invoices for classes do not go out until about a month before the actual class so that is pretty far off in the future still.  Other than the S.O.S. in CyberSpace class, all classes are $150 for the 6-lesson packet.  The Pillow Collage class, even though a year in length, is the same price we will just be issuing lessons every other month - there is a lot going on in this design!

We have so many more exciting things planned for you for the future but this should give you a good start for planning.  Remember that holidays and birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. all present excellent opportunities to say here is what I want and here is how you get it for me!  


 I believe registration is still open for the EGA National Seminar in San Antonio, TX - ummmmm The River Walk, the Alamo, etc., etc.  Here is the link  Event October 28-November 1, 2015.

I will be teaching two classes there - first I have the Pumpkin Spiced Tea 2-day class - needle felting, stump work, bargello - FUN.  

Next up is a self-finishing ornament Diamonds and Rubies offered in 3 color ways:

It's hard to choose which color to do they are all so beautiful in their own right!  Hurry over and look over this class opportunity before registration closes!

Next up:

Registration information is now available for August 21 and the brochure is online for the EGA Red Sails in the Sunset Seminar in St. Petersburg, FL where I will be teaching Back to the Beach: The Girls Reunited.  Event April 28 - May 1, 2016.

This is a 3 day class.  For details go to EGA's website

Download the registration form and come join us for fun in the sun and embellishing galore - - 

Until next time remember to Stitch with a Smile!


Sunday, August 9, 2015


There is a regular hubbub going on at Arthur Acres.  I have so many beautiful canvases looking at me and I want to stitch on them all and I want to do it now!  How do you do that?  I can generally solve problems that perplex me but this is one that I cannot.  Maybe I should start by redefining my dilemma.  First off it is not a problem.  It should be classified as a desire or wish.  Too many canvases and not enough time is never a problem - for me it is heaven! (well not the 'not enough time' part).

Our Online Mystery Classes are moving along quite smoothly.  Just one lesson left on Harvest after yesterday's posting and it has turned out magnificently!  I am so pleased with it.  Pictures will be posted after the last lesson is shared.

Easter Wreath is going to have its second lesson posted here in a few days.  These eggs are so cute and work up quickly. Good feedback so far!

Beijing Butterflies will be opening their wings to their first lesson.  This exclusive design is a show stopper - so elegant!

The next new adventure is the S.O.S. in CyberSpace embellishment online class.

While this class doesn't officially start until mid-September, some are anxious and ready to go so I have opened it up for them.  Once payment is processed they are free to start posting questions, pictures, etc. They may or may not be participating in other classes where they feel a deadline so they are anxious to get past a possible stumbling block that may be holding them back on finishing that special piece.  (Shouldn't feel deadline pressure in our classes cause we work come as you are and whenever you want!)  But, those who are not ready to begin before the mid-September class time, worry not because we have everything right there for you to see and save just like everyone else when you do sign in.

Once payment is processed the participants have been invited to join the Secret Facebook Page.  There they meet their fellow participants with whom they will share questions, suggestions and options.  I can already tell we are going to have a fantastic time here.  I have the best students!  They follow the rules:  main rule - have fun!  

It is a journey going through what other people are stitching or what appeals to them.  What works for one may not work for another.  Working through the process is enlightening, challenging and rewarding.  Already in this first lesson I shared some stitches that have not been published yet but are in the new upcoming books Shapes V which is Backgrounds and Shapes VI which is Darning Patterns.  So we are not just rehashing the same ole same ole.  That doesn't mean to say that we won't visit our trusty familiar stitches but we are open to trying something new and if it doesn't work, we chuck it and try something else!  Heck, we're flexible. There are times that basketweave is just the perfect answer no matter what. Besides, I happen to like basketweave.

If you want to join us just send me an email to and I'll get details out to you.  There is still plenty of time to participate.

In my spare time I'm working on models for the TNNA Winter Market that will be in San Diego this year.  These are always exciting and they really push me because the designers present me with items I may have never noticed before thus forcing me to reach beyond my comfort zone.  I love it!

And, finally, it is so difficult for me to not jump from one project to another.  (I didn't say I don't do it, I said it is difficult not to!)  I have all the future Online Mystery Class canvases lined up on my coffee table and I look at them constantly as I stitch on whatever it is I'm working on.  It is amazing how an idea will pop up from nowhere or something reminds me of something else, or all kinds of 'what about's.  I can honestly say that things are never boring here at Arthur Acres!

If you are a Facebook Friend of mine you will notice that I do try to share upcoming sales or trunk shows that I know are going on by a designer that we are going to be doing a class for. I hope this will give you the opportunity to take advantage of an extra sale or spur you on to get that canvas ordered.  It can take anywhere between 8-15 weeks to get a painted canvas.  So those of you who know for sure you are going to do a particular class I suggest you get that canvas ordered now!  It can be so frustrating to have fellow students working on their project and you are still waiting for yours to arrive.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stitch with a smile1


Sunday, August 2, 2015


Where has this year gone?  August?  Really?  It seems like the year 2000 was just a few months ago! My Mom used to always say that the older you get the faster time flies.  I am learning what she meant now because it seems to be the case in my life.  I am thankful for every bit of time I get, so don't get me wrong, I just wouldn't be too disappointed if it went a little slower!

Fortunately I have been blessed with having a great passion to occupy my time in my 'senior' years.  (Side thought:  how long did it take you to realize that you were no longer middle aged [if it applies]?) Crafting, sewing, embroidery, cross-stitching, crocheting, knitting, needlepoint, painting - all have joyfully been in my life since I was 8 years old (well not really, started with crocheting at 8 and then added self-taught techniques as years came along).  I was a married adult and mother before I learned there were actually written patterns for crocheting.  We saw a doily or potholder that we thought we liked and we borrowed it and figured it out.  Yet, after seeing some patterns, I think this way might still be more clear - lol.  Anyway, I digress.

I was taught that if we have been given a talent we should remember that it is special gift to us and we in turn should share.  I love to share what I have learned with those who might find some value in that sharing.  And it is so wonderful when you see things click for someone trying something new - be it a stitch or a different approach to a familiar stitch.  This gives me tremendous joy.

Our various Online Mystery Classes have provided a venue for sharing that shatters geographical barriers, age barriers, mobility barriers, time barriers, skill level barriers, comprehension barriers, and more and more and more!  Isn't technology wonderful?  Through these classes you can work at your own comfort level.  You can work in your own comfortable environment.  You can work at any time day or night.  You can analyze and re-analyze each lesson as it is presented.  And you can zero in on any areas that you desire to have clarified.  This back and forth between not only me the teacher and you the participant, but also other participants, has begun to create a bond of friendship that many did not expect to develop.  I am so proud of all my groups.  We have a good time and yet we get the job done.  There is no negativism allowed in the Online Mystery Classes of Duo Designs, Inc.  This is one of the very few strict rules that reign on our secret Facebook Pages.

Most of our Online Mystery Classes are set projects. In the past we have done a Tapestry Fair canvas Yolanda and an Eye Candy Canvas Mod Ornaments  under this new set up.

We currently have three classes running:  Harvest which will be ending in a couple months; Easter Wreath which just had lesson one published and Beijing Butterflies which will have its first lesson posted in 2 weeks.

Active enrollment is going on currently for a new approach - an embellishment class where you may use one or more canvases that had created a stumbling block for you and caused you to put it out of sight for awhile (maybe a long while). S.O.S. in Cyberspace is the upcoming class that is scheduled to have the first lesson posted mid-September.  One of the purposes of this class is to help you dig out those canvases that might be presenting problems and search for some new approaches for rekindling the original passion you had for the canvas in the first place and maybe S.titch O.ur S.tash while doing so. 

This class will last for 6 months.  The 6-lesson packet is $200.  You will have 6 months in which to list 6 questions.  In that time period you will receive  6 responses (once a month from me), plus you will see the specific questions of all other participants (be there 5 or 70) as well as the responses.   Scroll down through earlier posts to get full details.

TO REGISTER:  Email me at  

Duo Designs, Inc. hosts 6 scheduled classes throughout the year - one every other month.  Scheduled so far is a canvas by Annie Lane, Melissa Shirley, and Needlepoint of Back Bay.

Also, we have added a new category by request.  We will be hosting Special Interest Online Mysteries.  These are specific projects that 5 or more people have asked to be conducted as an online class.  While these classes might be smaller in attendance, and could run co-currently or in the off month of the regularly scheduled classes, the same structure will be followed.  The first of these classes to be scheduled is a Brenda Stofft Design Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories.

So if any of these projects interest you we would love to have you join us.  You might be surprised to see who shares a common interest with you!

Scroll down and glance through previous posts and read a little more about the classes mentioned above.  More specific details of each class will be provided as 'official' registration begins. (The most current registration class S.O.S. in Cyberspace should be posting before this one, for instance.)  You may add your name to the 'interested' list at any time and we will send you a note letting you know when official registration is going on so that you can make a decision to participate at that time.

Feel free to email with any questions to

So absorb some of the activity and while pondering remember to stitch with a smile.  We do a lot of stitching and a lot of smiling here at Arthur Acres.  (Right now we're doing a lot of coughing fighting a nasty upper respiratory infection!)