Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Here are copies of emails I forwarded to those who indicated an interest in signing up for this class.  Maybe others will benefit from my approach to how I handle extremely large canvases.

This is a large 37.25" x 30" canvas and questions were asked as to how I was going to manage stitching mine so I am trying to share that as I think it through.

This class is a "Special" Online Mystery Class for a couple of reasons.  First, it will not have a lesson posting schedule.  That means the classes are going to be sporadic - I'll post them when I get to them.  Second, the class can go as long as 2 years maybe - who knows?  And next, the lesson fee is $260 and will have at least 10 lessons posted.

Here's what I shared for those contemplating taking this wonderful class.  I'm sorry but I can't help but love, LOVE, LOVE that moose face!
I promised that I would share with you how I intend to set up my Arctic Parade Canvases (Brenda Stofft) to work on.  My canvas is 30” x 37.25”.  I chose to trim - explanation below.

First I have shown the canvas mounted as I will stitch.  I trimmed slightly to fit on 32” x 28” Evertites stretcher bars.  Now, Evertites come in longer sizes.  You could just as easily mount this canvas on 33” x 30” if desired.  I had to keep two things in mind.  One, even though I have long arms, I find the 28” height more than enough of a challenge. 

 (Please ignore that I sorta cut it a couple of canvas threads more than I should have at the bottom.  Brenda allows more than ample room on her designs.  I just got over eager and cut off more on the bottom end than necessary.)   As you can see from the top,even after trimming off several canvas threads I still had ample room - so I’ll do better on the second piece.

<IMG_0324.jpeg>        <IMG_0327.jpeg>

This face is way too cute!  Oh, I'm showing where I need to move my canvas over to the right a little more.

  Bottom - 

Second, my floor stand will only hold up to 32” width bars. These Evertite stretcher bars allow you to tighten the canvas as you go without needing to take out and reinstall tacks.

I need to reset my canvas - see how I got it a little close on the left when I still could have scooted it over 2-3 canvas threads to the right.  Will do that again after my thumbs recover.

Speaking of floor stands.  I use the K’s Creations Stowaway with the extension kit that allows for a wider width bar = thus the 32”.  One of the beauties of this floor stand is that it will fold up flat - with the canvas still mounted - and slide under the bed or stand up against the wall when not in use.

Any local needlepoint shop can order these items.  I am sure there are other alternative ways to work with this, but this is what works for me.

Bonnie and Evan are on alert at Evertites to make sure you do not have to wait an excessive length of time to get your bars  - - - - 
Few days later after mounted:

Couple of tips or thoughts after getting a million tacks into this sucker!

This is heavy!  What can I say.  This is heavy!

It was mentioned getting the 33” and 30” to fit the canvas and not cut it down (remember mine is 32” x 28”).  And that is a possibility.  If you are going to do this, again remember a couple of things.  The weight is one thing.  Most importantly for me is manageability.  As stated earlier, I have long arms and even with working half way up the canvas, turning it over to work the other half later, etc., that is a 15” reach on a 30” height bar and a 14” reach on a 28” height bar.  While that may not be bad for ten-fifteen minutes of stitching, it can become cumbersome after 45 minutes or so.  Just think this through for your particular situation. We all know that shops will gladly sell us anything we decide we want or order anything we want (that’s why we love our LNS) - just make sure that it is what you want and what will work for you.

              <space on back.jpg>                                          <mounted.jpeg>

         Here’s the space left on back with 32” so could possibly deal with 33” okay.


I guess what I’m trying to get you to do is analyze your stitching habits and explore the options that are available for your work station.  I have my K’s set up in front of a wing back chair that is in a corner - sorta out of the way.  I pass it every time I go into my office.  So, if the mood hits, I can stop and stitch a thread or 2 - or 10 (lol - you know how that goes! - lunch? what lunch?)  The pictures are in front of a recliner and the foot piece will fit between the legs of the stand - another option.  I don’t think it will work in my sofa area because I will be between my husband and the tv and we know how that goes too - right? (We are set up L-shaped and we are both in corners.)

             <seated 1.jpeg>          (Sandy Rodgers are you proud of my tacking? )                         <seated 2.jpeg>

I don’t know if you can see from the picture or not, but I stitch two-handed.  While it appears that my top hand is ‘okay’ mid-way the canvas, my bottom hand cannot reach comfortably and puts a real strain on my back - my right (bottom) hand is about at the puffins head maybe.  So when I am working on this guy I am going to try to give us some work to do in the middle and some more towards the bottom so we don’t work for long periods at the uncomfortable range of the canvas.  Notice I said I am going to try.

It is so hard for me not to start stitching this but I am waiting on a specially dyed thread for the sky area for us and I am dying!!!!!  And if you have taken a class from me before you’ll know that I generally try to start on the background so you have something to work on in between lessons, (uh Rebecca!) etc.  Backgrounds take up a lot of space and can be boring so if we tackle it first and get a head start, then we can jump back and forth as we move along through our lessons.  Are there moose in Montana ‘cause when I look at this piece my first thoughts were ‘big sky’ - isn’t that one of Montana’s nick names?

Okay, this is probably all I’ll bother you with at this time on this mailing because some are just pondering taking the class.  My next communications will be when I invoice and then the communication will be more private and detailed in the secret Facebook page.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


If you have not received your invoice please email me right way so it can be corrected.  You don't want to miss a beat! Payments due May 15, 2016. 

I first want to share with you an upcoming class in Houston.  What a cute way to display your bluebonnets, a 4th of July centerpiece and fresh flowers in general.  This cute 'Texas Boot Scootin' was designed for Chandail in Houston and will be a class there on May 20-21, 2016.  It has an open top and you can slip a vase down inside to hold your display. Various Texas icons embellish this design (I know, the saguaro is not native to Texas but I just had to add it). The picture doesn't show the shading break between the heel and the front of the boot but it is there.

Spaces are limited so be sure to give them a call, email  drop in to sign up.  I'd love to see you there.

Texas Boot Scootin'

Finally the time has arrived to begin sharing the Online Mystery Class Pillow Collage.  I feel I have waited an eternity to share this project with you! I am sharing a little earlier than normal because there are so many threads to gather and get prepared, plus a special option to consider!

Pillow Collage from the collection

I have fussed and fretted over threads and beads and such for weeks and weeks.  I have so many ideas that I want to share and I want you to be able to enjoy executing them.  As stated before, this class is divided into 6 lessons as the normal classes and has the same class fee of $150.  What is different is that we will  be posting a lesson every other month instead of every month.  This gives you 2 months to absorb and work on the areas covered (some areas are much larger than what we have worked on in prior Online Mystery Classes).  There is still time to register as the first class does not start until May 15! (For registration information see below.)

The first class with cover the background and one pillow. In this first session I am proposing an option for you.  A friend saw this piece 'floating in the air'.  So, we decided to have our pillows sit on a chest.  We will walk through the process of adding a chest if you so desire.  It is strictly a personal option. I think it added so much though and I love it even more this way.

Pillow Collection with altered canvas of added chest

Oh gosh, this is so fun!  Now that our pillows are seated down on a chest we feel better about them - again, this is a personal choice!

We will be using beautiful silks, beads, WireLace (registered trademark), ribbons, velvets, and some surprises along the way!  And. . . did you know there is a companion piece?  If you so choose you can stitch along on it as well.  Most techniques used for this piece can easily be used on the companion if desired.   
Pillow Collage Companion by the collection

Get those threads together and ready for Lesson 1 on May 15.  If you want to add the chest you have time to get that in place too.

Lesson 5 of Cats in a Dinghy has been posted and it involved adding whiskers to the cats and stitching those precious little fishes!

Cats in a Dinghy by Annie Lane

Lesson 3 of Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories gave our Mr. Bunny a beautiful coat, a bountiful basket full of colorful eggs and a sweet hen to accompany him.

Lesson 6 of Cats in a Dinghy - oh my gosh! No. 6 already - on NO that means it is over - so sad to see them go -  and Lesson 4 of Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories will also be posted and we will share some photos of their progress after their posting. 


Here is a reminder of upcoming classes:

First Class Mid-July 
Happy Haunting Grounds by Eye Candy

First Class Mid-September
Robin Wreath by Melissa Prince

First Class Mid-November
Santa's Reward by Devon Needepoint

AND::::: don't forget our 'Special' Online Mystery Class _  _  _  _  _

First Class - TBA
Arctic Parade by Brenda Stoff - 2 sided!

For more details and to see the classes in que for 2017 scroll on down and look at older posts!

REGISTRATION INFORMATION:  To register simply send me an email stating the class you are interested in and you will be added to the notification list:

Meanwhile go and stitch with a smile, enjoy the day God has given you and have fun - I am! 

The sudden lost of a fellow teacher, designer and lover of needlepoint - Caela Conn Tyler - reminds us how precious each day is and that it is a special gift not to be taken for granted.


Saturday, March 19, 2016


Don't get me wrong, I feel privileged that I am in a position where I can pay taxes - still that doesn't make it fun. Paying taxes means I am gainfully employed which is more than many can say in this day - so I shall suffer through.  Okay enough of that gloom!

I am looking forward to my 4-day embellishment class at Designers Desk in Historic Geneva, which is outside of Chicago, IL. April 8-11 is the event.

If you have never been to this establishment you are missing a treat.  Three floors of nothing but needlework - the basement (which is tons of fun) has everything from 50% to 75% off!  Oh dear!  I always get into so much trouble here even when I am teaching.

If you haven't reserved your space be sure to call Pat and get your seat set up!  I'd love to have you join us!

We posted our first lesson for the Online Mystery Class Thanksgiving Critters this week.

Our first lesson consisted of the background, the ground and the checked foundation.

And, I received my Online Mystery Class Harvest finished from the finisher.

It is always exciting to get something totally finished.  I rarely have items for myself but this one is mine!

Many FB participants on the site referred to as Needlepoint Nation have had the pleasure of seeing a couple of the Online Mystery Class Easter Wreath finished.  They are so cute.  Also some have posted the completed Online Mystery Class Harvest.

(Here is Easter Wreath as stitched by Nancy W. - I lifted this off the Needlepoint Nation site)

I am so proud of all my students and their efforts!  Thank you so much for allowing me to share my love with you.

We are gearing up and taking registrations for some other classes at this time.  Next up is the Pillow Collage.  

This one is one of my personal favorites!  I have been very anxiously awaiting this one's place on the que.  The design area is approximately 26" x 15" on 18ct canvas. The 6-lesson packet is $150 like most all the other classes, however, we are going to work on one lesson every other month this time around.  That gives you 2 months to savor what that lesson encompasses.  If you have not yet signed up and are interested in this class just email me at and let me know to put you on the notification list.  Invoices will be going out in a couple of weeks around the first of April.

There is also a "Special" Online Mystery Class in the works.  "Special" means that it does not adhere to the normal 'rules'.  Brenda Stofft's gynormous  (is that a word?) design Arctic Santa caught the fancy of several people so it is now on board for our pleasure.

WOW!  Is this stunning or what?

This class has a lesson fee of $260.  It will have a minimum of 10 lessons.  It is a 'sporadic' class.  This means there is no set time when a lesson will be posted.  When I have one ready and feel comfortable with posting a lesson it will be added to the secret Facebook page.  We guess that this class will take at least 2 years to cover.  In the next posting I hope to share with you how I will be setting up my work station for this piece.  The face is a no-brainer and I will have it as my travel piece to work on plane rides.  And, guess what, it will probably be included in Lesson 1! The other areas are a different story!

If you have the time, scroll down through some older posts and see some of the other offerings we have coming up this year and even into 2017:  Happy Haunting Grounds from Eye Candy;  Robin Wreath from Melissa Prince; Santa Rewards from Devon Nicholson; Large Easter Rabbit from Brenda Stofft;  Chanukah Menorah from Tapestry Fair; Songbirds from Laurel Burch; and Cupcakes from BB Needlepoint just to name a few!  We continue auditioning designs and listening to what you, the participants, would like for us to feature.  Keep watching and let us hear from you.

Until next time remember to stitch with a smile!


Saturday, March 12, 2016


Wow!  At the time we started discussing these classes they seem to be an eternity away!  Not so!

Thanksgiving Critters by Melissa Shirley will actually have its first lesson posted this coming Tuesday!  So exciting!

This next class is one I thought we'd never get to!  I am so anxious to share my ideas with you on this one.  Pillow Collage is distributed by the collection and designed by Needlepoint of Back Bay. First lesson is May 15!

The design is stock number D-141  and is 26” x 15" painted on  18 ct  canvas.  This beauty will have its first lesson posted mid-May!  Because of all the activity going on in this one, I will be posting a lesson every other month  - this means the project will span a year in time.  But, we want you to have time to enjoy the journey and grasp all that will be covered.

To register:  email me at and let me know you want to be included.  I will add you to the notification list.    Even though the class is spread over a year in time the lesson packet is still $150 for the 6-lesson package.  Invoices will be distributed around the first of April.

There are several shops that have or can get this canvas for you if you do not have a LNS.  Osterville Needlepoint Shop in Massachusetts  is in the back door of the distributor; Designers Desk outside Chicago and Chandail in Houston are two other shops that made commitments to the students of these classes, as have many other fine shops around.  Ask and if you have difficulty, email me and we will work on finding you a canvas for the class(es).

Next, I was hit from left-field or whatever the baseball saying might be.  I was astonished at the number of people interested in doing this fantastic design by Brenda Stofft - Arctic Parade!

Isn't this amazing?  How could I say no!  Well I probably should have but couldn't but I did make some changes as to how this class will progress.  First, it is a "Special Online Mystery Class." That means the normal rules don't apply.  This class has its own set of rules.

First there is no set schedule for when lessons will be posted. There will definitely be a minimum of 10 lessons posted.  This project will probably span at least 2 years (at least being the buzz word here.)

Second, there will not be a materials listed posted in the beginning.  Threads will be posted as each session progresses.

Third, we will probably stitch both sides at the same time for shared objects.  For instance, the penguins on the front will be accompanied with the instructions for doing the penguins on the back.

So, get your schedule in order, get the canvas on order and decide how you want to set up your work area.  I will be sharing how I am preparing my work area once I return back home, so that others may get some inspiration as to how best to approach this wonderful adventure.

Speaking of wonderful adventures!  OMG!  I am teaching at Fay's Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat in California. The weather has been amazing - except - they had a little rain shower yesterday and you would have thought the torrential rains of the century occurred!  I'm just having fun with them over their excitement on this one.  Living in an area where rain is fairly common, it is exciting to watch as others are so taken by the wonders of nature that do not occur frequently for them.  What a joy!

Words seem to fall short in describing how we are being treated and received here.  Fay has gone all out to make our visit fantastic.  How can you summarize what Vicky DeAngelis has gone through, and is going through, to pull this all together so that it runs like a well oiled machine?  Unless you have been there you have no idea what is involved behind the scenes to make this seem seamless - NOT!

The staff is most gracious, helpful and accommodating!  Someone is always there to be of assistance. If they don't know the answer they find it.  And, last but certainly not least, is Helga.  Helga has been assigned to primarily take care of our group.  And take care of us she does!  She is our eyes and legs. We ask and she finds.  We seek and she produces!  

I, along with 5 other instructors, am blessed with the most wonderful group of participants!  None of which I knew up until about a year ago (with one exception).  These ladies are working wonderfully together.  We (at least I am) are having so much fun! They are all beautiful stitchers and their stitching ain't bad either.

Canvases!  How blessed I am to have participants that have chosen a wide variety of canvases of great quality and the diversity is such fun.  I feel several participants are enjoying what we are able to share on the canvases of others as we work through the different techniques.

As if all this isn't enough, I have had the great pleasure or reuniting with a friend from my past days being on the Board of Directors of ANG.  She had to refresh my memory, but boy did we conjure up the memories quickly after that.  This delightful lady took it upon herself to include me in her outing with her fantastic son, his beautiful friend, and another lovely lady Retreat participant.  Oh goodness! How do you express the experience I had last night?  We went to dinner at Marine Room Restaurant- which is almost in the ocean!  Well after a few hours I feel we were in the ocean.  We were totally entertained by the movement of the waves as they approached closer and closer.  We had sea gulls dancing around the windows (one in particular put on quite a show), and we even had a sea lion pop up outside our window.  As the evening wore on the waves were gently crashing into and up against the windows!  Breathtaking!  
As we began our dinner

As the evening progresses. .

And a little later . .  .

And water is crashing up against the windows. (Yes, that's the edge of our table!)  Exciting!

Oh, and the dinner was fabulous as well as the great company.

Well, I'm off to 'work'.  You have a great day!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016


We are just buzzing along on our current Online Mystery Classes!  I thought I'd share some of the progress with you.

Cats in a Dinghy by Annie Lane is a class requested by way of asking for cats as a theme and Annie Lane as a designer.  This fun piece met the criteria for both requests.

Our recent Lesson 4 involved stitching the Captain!

Look at those sweet cheeks!  Don't you just want to pinch them?  And that wonderful Captain's hat with the Sundance metallic insignia in the center.  There is no doubt who is in charge of this Dinghy!

Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories is a Brenda Stofft designs and we are beginning to get Mr. Rabbit dressed.  This Lesson 2 graced him with his trousers, vest, shirt and hat!

These classes are such fun and on the 15th we will be adding Lesson 5 for the 'Dinghy', Lesson 3 for 'Rabbit' and  Lesson 1 our new Online Mystery Class - Thanksgiving Critters by Melissa Shirley.

More classes are being added to the lineup so be sure to stay tuned!  You don't want to miss that special class that you just have to participate in!

Continue stitching with a smile!