Saturday, April 22, 2017

We interrupt this blog posting for a special announcement!  Look what I got Wednesday!
Maya Elizabeth 

Our third great-grandchild!  She is so beautiful! We are all so blessed beyond description!

Big Sister Emmi meets her new charge Maya Elizabeth 
Proud Papa Manuel and Momma Emma 

SPRING!  SPRING! SPRING!

I don't know about where you live but Spring here in Central Kentucky is glorious!  My favorite dogwood tree is all abloom!  I so love them and this one never disappoints.  The fresh air just fills your senses and gives the feeling of everything new and bright!  My next favorite thing is a spring shower.  Isn't it wonderful how clean everything looks after a quick shower by Mother Nature?



Last week we got all the new lessons posted so everyone should be busy, busy, busy stitching away.  I know I am.

I have the upcoming Texas trip in May to go play with Piney Pointers and stitch Miss Heloise Hooty from ACOD and then stop and play at Chandail.  All those ducks are in a row and I am happily looking forward to the adventure.



After that will the the TNNA Market in Ohio.  I'm not sure about this one.  I don't feel that it has the same enthusiasm that years past have shown.  It just seems to be drifting, drifting, drifting . . . .  we'll just have to wait and see.  I'm teaching two classes there this summer.  One is from The Point of it All Designs these too cute Partying Yorkies!

Wait until you see these 'wild' girls all decked out while they are celebrating!

The other is a techniques class on Can Do Hairdos.  We'll have hands-on experience and play with some of the hairdos that are in my new book.



I'm ready to share my first Quickie class with the participants!  All I need is for the canvases to arrive from Raymond Crawford.  A vital part don't you think? Those of you who have already signed up and processed your invoices for the USA Star - the mailing labels are ready and are standing by!


As soon as this one goes out the door we will start the process for our second QUICKIE - kind of a companion - the American Eagle by Raymond Crawford.


Wow!  To me, the American Eagle is always breathtaking no matter what media!

In the wings we are gathering up speed for JP Needlepoint's Nutty Professor first session.


Remember this is the class that is for those who do not want the stress of a structured schedule.  We'll get a lesson when we get a lesson.  Right now the canvases are being painted and soon will be on their way.  The first session will begin at the bottom - just could not pass up that cuteness! For details or to be added to the participants list just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.  

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR!

When we first began talking about the Party on the Po stitching riverboat cruise, it seemed like an eternity away!  Now it is just practically around the corner.  And we still have people inquiring and wanting to investigate joining us.  We have over 50+ paid and ready to travel!  Are we going to have a party or what?  We all will meet in Milan on October 19 and run around Italy like we have good sense, go back to the boat and drink wine and stitch (maybe if we can find the hole through which to poke the needle), laugh, relax and just enjoy the company of a whole slew of others that share the same crazy passion as we!  How better to spend 11 days?  Hard to beat I would think.  If you want more information just contact me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com concerning the stitching part and Liz our travel agent at Viking Travel for the travel part  lwolak@vikingtvl.com  .  


Exclusive Optional Class Project

And, we are gearing up for next year!  Wait until you see what our next stitching riverboat cruise has in store for us!

UPCOMING Mystery Classes:

Thumbprints of what's on the schedule just as a reminder so you can take advantage of all the trunk shows that are going on.  Be sure to let me know if you see a fantastic canvas that you would like considered for one of our classes!
Moon Gazer - Brenda Stofft

Steampunk Witch - Brenda Stofft

Steampunk Cat - Brenda Stofft
Gingerbread House - Rebecca Wood

Cupcakes - BB Designs

Santa with Ornaments WREATH - Raymond Crawford

Steampunk Owl - Brenda Stofft

Stay tuned as we add more and more . . . . 




Saturday, April 15, 2017



NORMAL !  Yes, whatever that is!

I can walk across the room without being totally winded - YAY!  Head is as clear as it has ever been as far as the thinking functions go. Steroid downers are a thing of the past.  Family doctor says on track and in good shape (for the shape I'm in).   Cardiologist appointment scheduled. So, that's all you are gonna get about me personally.

ARRRRGGGGGGHHHH!  I WAS MISDIAGNOSED!

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta today announced the identification of a new disease. Tentatively named Acquired Needlework Syndrome, the disease is highly infectious. Scientists at CDC say the disease is caused by a bacillus called staphloaiguille because its needle-like shape. Under the microscope, the bacillus is long and slender with a long narrow opening at one end, from which trail thread-like cilia.

Symptoms of the disease include feverish babbling of letters such as DMC, TW, PR, LOL, ROFL and talking about invisible friends such as Teresa, Laura, Paula, Robert, Karen, etc. At first sufferers appear to be taking an unusual interest in Verdi operas, while more advanced cases develop wanderlust, especially wishing to travel to Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast. Other symptoms include feverish buying and storing of woven goods and printed pamphlets, and a “smoking” credit card.

The disease is especially dangerous because it cannot only be passed along directly from one infected individual to another, but documented cases have been found where the sufferer caught the disease from reading a magazine, attending a craft show, or chatting on internet forums.

The CDC says that while the disease is especially prevalent in North America, cases have been found in every country on the planet. Family members should be aware that while the disease may occasionally enter remission, it is at present -- TOTALLY INCURABLE.


The patient should be given a quiet corner with a comfortable chair and good lighting. Interruptions should be minimized at all costs!

               ---------------------- and now we know! So there!

Look at this!  Isn't he wonderful!

It is so hard to believe that he is finished and now a part of the past.  There are so many things about this guy that I loved.  I think if I had to pick one outstanding feature it would be his beard for me.  It turned out way beyond expectations.  Not a disappointment at all!  So Santa's Rewards by Devon Nicholson is now destined for the drawer with other finished projects at the time until I decide what I want to do with him. Stitch guide will be available somewhere down the road on our website with the others at duodesignsinc.com.

Wait, what is that over there on the table?  Ah Ha!  The Menorah is calling out to me.  Me!  Me!  Me!  Do me next.  Indeed you are next.  This month we add two candles to this wonderful, colorful canvas.  It is such a joy to stitch.  It is a challenge I will say that.  And the reason it is a challenge is because we are trying to interject some techniques that are not diagrammed.  The painting varies a little so we need to be flexible and just poke the needle in the hole!  (I know, I can hear the gasps all the way here in Central Kentucky!)

                                                 



Steampunk Fox.  This month we finish up the pumpkins and the background stuff so we can begin playing with the wonderful focal points for next time!  Can hardly wait!


Pretty cool flowers.













And not to be forgotten is Mr. Dapper Dan himself. Hopping in  (get it? hopping in? - I know I have a weird sense of humor sometimes but remember I haven't been my normal, brilliant self these past couple weeks!)  to make his 4th appearance is the Large Easter Rabbit strutting his stuff. Someone told him that in the Christian World this is Easter weekend and that it has a very special significance so he did not want to disappoint either.




RAYMOND CRAWFORD TRUNK SHOW!  Those signed up for the Raymond Crawford Online Mystery Class Santa Wreath with Ornaments might want to check out Nimblefingers in Houston as they are having a Raymond Crawford Trunk Show.  I do not know any details but it might be worth checking into! And I seem to recall that I saw a couple more listed out there too.  Maybe they are listed on his blog.  Anyway a bargain is a bargain!



COMING SOON!

Yes, next month we introduce the first session for the colorful Songbirds!  There is a lot to share with this design.  It is so colorful and has such happy colors that you must smile the whole while you are working on them.
Invoices are being processed for those wanting to participate; invitations are outstanding for the secret Facebook page; shops are busily putting together kits for those who have requested them.  So exciting! Just let us know if you need assistance in getting a canvas and/or thread kits.  Email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com  If you have ordered a thread kit or a canvas/thread kit you should be receiving an email in the next day or two advising that invoicing is in process and shipping will begin!

TBT - What do they call that - Throw Back Thursday?  Well, anyway, you guys remember this magnificent piece!

To date we have posted 5 sessions for this at-least 2 year project.  Well, one participant had life give her a bump and she is not going to be able to go forward with the sessions.  What this means is that she is offering her fantastic canvases (partially stitched face), stretcher bars, some threads and at a wonderful bargain.   And I mean bargain!  Let me know if you are interested and I will get you two together.    So far we have addressed the background, the beautiful blanket, the rump wrap, some gifts and the face. So magnificent~!

Okay, off to my day - and, by the way, I feel great!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

PHEW!  WHAT A WEEK!  

Boy, we never know when we are going to get blindsided!  And by something you can't even see!  I am so fortunate to be on this side of that adventure, however, and I don't want that one again!  It is a beautiful day in Central Kentucky!

Now, back to the stuff at hand.

     BULLETIN:  Pocket Full of Stitches is having a Brenda Stofft Trunk Show through 
                            April 29 at 20% off - you might want to take a look.  We have several classes
                            scheduled  through the first of the year 2018.

NEXT ONLINE MYSTERY CLASS:    SONGBIRDS

     Invoices have been mailed.  If you have not received an invoice and think you have signed up for this class, email me right away so we can get you processed.  duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

  If your invoice has been processed you should have received an invitation to the secret Facebook page. Look in your spam and junk mail also.  If you have not be sure to email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com so that can be remedied. The materials list is posted in the secret FB page for participants.

Many have their canvases.  However, if you need assistance with getting a canvas and/or your full thread kits just drop me an email and we get you hooked up!  duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

Having fun working on upcoming classes!  Also, preparing for my last trip of the year before the stitching riverboat cruise!  Gosh it will be here before we know it.

May has in store for me a visit with the Piney Pointers in Texas!  We will be playing with Heloise at the fantastic LaTorretta Resort in Conroe.  Been there several times and always a nice adventure.

Then, upon leaving the fantastic group I will be joining some great stitchers at Chandail in Houston for a wonderful weekend of embellishment.  Such fun canvases that await us there!  A wide gamut, as usual!  Makes for a fun weekend.

We are finishing up on kit preparation for our first Quickie online class.  The USA Star from Raymond Crawford is all I have hoped it would be.  


Orders are being processed and mailing labels made ready for mailing.  Hope to share a picture of the finished product soon. This will be released in the next couple months!  What fun!

Received the model canvas for our other new adventure - No Stress - No Deadline - No Schedule (whatever I am calling it - changes each posting) Class Nutty Professor.  This guy is going to be a 'hoot' (I know, pretty bad huh?).  We'll start at the bottom and work up.  

   Lots to play with here!

Orders are in place for those who have indicated an interest - more to come on this guy.

And, of course, next week, we share the next round of lessons for the Online Mystery Classes!  It will be time to say goodbye to yet another favorite - Santa's Rewards.  Boy, he sure seemed to go quickly.

Lesson 2 for the Menorah will be next up; Lesson 3 in Steampunk Fox and Lesson 4 on the Large Easter Rabbit.

But as one leaves another enters.  We have posted the materials list for our next new class the Songbirds from Danji in the secret Facebook page for those participants that have been processed.


Invoices are being distributed and processed.  As payment is processed individuals are invited to the secret Facebook page where they will find their materials list so they can go shopping if desired.  Your local needlepoint shop will help you with your threads, etc.  For those needing assistance please email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com and we will assist you with obtaining your kit. (I know, I'm being repetitive but sometimes it is necessary.)

As we have discussed in the past, our new influx of classes will be treated on an every-other-month posting.  The majority seem to want a little extra time between classes - notice I said majority.  There are always a few that want to hurry up and be the first to finish and when is the next lesson, etc., etc., etc.  But, this is supposed to be fun for me too, so we are enjoying the journey.

There are still a couple of Brenda Stofft designs in the works that are of the Steampunk Series.  And we are reaching out to some of the newer designers to introduce ourselves to their various styles. If there is someone you would like to see featured be sure to share with me so we can get them up and front and center if there is interest.

Our Party on the Po stitching riverboat cruise is in full swing.  Participants are finalizing flight plans, most kits have been ordered and shipped, and we are all getting excited. We still have people signing up; however, I do not know how much room there is left on the boat as far as staterooms.  We have 51 and counting people!  Now - THAT'S A PARTY!.  


We have our travel agent working feverishly on putting together a package for our 2018 adventure and can't wait to share that with you as well.  More on that later. It promises to be exciting too.  Anyone know where the Danube is?

Have a great week!




Saturday, April 1, 2017

NEVER A DULL MOMENT AT ARTHUR ACRES!

So return from wonderful teaching retreat in California and looking forward to a little working time at home and not on the road.  WRONG!

Some generous soul decided to share a rare respiratory virus - contagious of course- with me somewhere along the way.  Now understand that this virus has only been at our hospital 3 times this year.  And it mainly affects children under 5 years of age.  So what happens when you are a woman of advanced years?  Well, all kinds of weird, horrible things!


First, I get this horrific cough that tears my guts out! This in turn begins to weaken my body.  No fever - yet.  Don't want to do anything - just lay around.  Not even stitch. Now hubby is starting to get concerned.  Who is this woman without a needle in her hands?

Then don't want to eat.  Me not want to eat. Clue number two that something is really wrong.  Next lose control of all body functions.  Now really scary. Then around the clock sleeping.

So weak hubby has to get me to ER in wheelchair.




Fever 103.5. So, tests turn up the rare virus, UTI motherlode, dehydrated, to begin with.  So check in to hospital.  Go to room, nurse says they cannot treat me on that floor because they do not have cardio equipment needed - apparently the heart decides to do crazy things too and kicks into AFib.  Such fun!




So in one hour I am in 3 different hospital rooms.  Finally in cardiac care where they have all the proper equipment.  So cardiologists visits and tells me I now that these viruses can do strange things especially when I have been hit as hard as I have.  Good news is that my current heart medication would be what they would prescribe anyway so for now we'll monitor and after I leave hospital go to my cardiologist and go from there - no current danger.
Ask my students - they pay me to not sing!


After couple days got the UTI almost straighten out and body functions under control.  Cough is getting a bit easier but still tough.  Taking breathing treatments every 4 hours.  Still weak - but vastly improved.  Being treated with steroid treatments - which don't care for but at least I can now function somewhat.  And I even feel better.





Today is first day since Sunday that I have not slept around the clock. That alone makes me very happy. Also got to take a shower - YIPPEEE! No longer smell like road kill.

Doctor says I may get to go home this weekend. Another YIPPEE!

And today I knitted.  No way hubby could ever understand what to bring me to keep me from going totally insane so I just said get the travel bag in the van that I stitch on to distract me from your driving.  He knew immediately what to bring - LOL.  His favorite bag.

Everything is good and I just wanted you guys to know why I may be a little slow in answering (won't say how many) emails.  Classes are still on schedule so don't get concerned there.

I normally don't share much personal information but I understand how things tend to get blown out of proportion on FB now days so wanted you to know from the 'horse's mouth' the full nitty gritty.  Some people just want info to see how they can use it against you and those people are sad.  I have always been a very private person and keep things to myself - even from my family - these are my problems not to burden them with.  And I have also felt, especially outside family, it just is none of your business.  I am independent.  I am stubborn.  And like I said , it is none of your business.  But I m so blessed in that the largest majority of my followers are not on here too see what ideas they can steal, or how many lessons they can get from their buddies without honesty paying for them, but mostly because they share the same passion and want to see our craft survive.  And they are genuinely concerned when there are issues and willing to step forward if needed and be patient and understanding if needed.   But most of all you are supportive and for that I am truly grateful.


When I read this over it reminds me of the story that was going around where this kid was explaining to his father that he had run away, got the girl down the street pregnant, they were going to do something to buy their drugs, blah, blah, blah and at the end he said all the above is untrue but it will help you put things into perspective when you see the report card on the kitchen table.

So I thought they'll think I'm going say all this isn't true but you'll understand why your lessons will be late on April 15.  But so far that is not a problem with the lessons and unfortunately the above really did happen.

But I am blessed and grateful and just wanted you to know what is really going on and I could not let Kelly Clarke get one-up on me (lord what a way to counter! - Kelly you could have kept that win! I know -  we'll be co-owners!). Glad you are doing well, too, my friend.

Have a great weekend and I'll share more stitching stuff next week when I'm back home on normal mode.

Love to you all for your thoughts and prayers.  You're my buds!

Sandy

Saturday, March 25, 2017

CLASSES, SAVINGS, FUN!

I understand that as we get older we tend to repeat ourselves.  However, some things need to be repeated!

I do not want you to miss the huge sale that Needle Nook of LaJolla is having on their Brenda Stofft trunk show! Remember we have several Brenda Stofft designs lined up for our upcoming Online Mystery Classes.

So, what's the big deal?  25% off!  That's the big deal.  And it applies to orders as well.  And the sale goes to the end of the month.  From my limited research this appears to be a fantastic deal for you.

       https://www.needlenook.com/product-category/designer/brenda-stofft-designs/page/3

If you are interested you need to go to their website and place the orders - no need to phone the shop. Easy peasy - right?

I had a fantastic week there and it was great, as usual, seeing friends from past retreats and meeting some new ones too.  The majority of attendees are repeaters as they get the first opportunity to sign up for the upcoming year due to loyalty, but a few newbies get to join the ranks too!  I had a couple students that were new to the retreat and some new to my class and some repeaters.  But one thing for sure that I did have and that was FUN.  Oh my gosh what a bunch!  Loved every minute of it!








    Last minute touch ups while getting ready for the masses.










Here we are busy at work.  Boy such concentration.  Looks like they are really into what they are doing! (Do not believe it for one minute!)



You need to really consider making this one of your 2018 Events!  Check it out - I bet while you are over there taking advantage of the great price on the Brenda Stofft canvases that you can find more info on the retreat for next year too.










NEXT INFOMERCIAL!

The new QUICKIES classes are in full swing.  The first one scheduled for mid-Summer is the USA Stars from Raymond Crawford.



Invoices have been sent to those who have stated they want to participate in this first class.  The complete kit is $100 - canvas, threads, embellishments (if applicable), 2-lesson postings, and shipping.  If you think you have signed up and did not get an email and invoice, send me a note right away.  The class kits will be distributed on a first-come/first-served basis.  email at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

These are quick little projects that you can carry in your purse or briefcase and stitch along as you have a few minutes in your day.  The first is a cut canvas of 9x9 with design area approximately 5x5. All techniques - whether 2 or 20 - will be covered in a 2-lesson posting in a secret Facebook page in a pdf format.  Come join us!

NO SCHEDULE - NO STRESS - NO DEADLINES

First up on this series is the Nutty Professor from JP Needlepoint - Isn't he fabulous!



This guy is going to be so much fun.  The concept of this class is that you will get a lesson when you get it - basically.

We hope to start early to mid-Summer.

And, our first lesson will begin at the bottom and work up.  So our first concentration will be on the wonderful Professor.                                                                

Oh my goodness!  Just look at him!

We will try to have thread/embellishment kits for those who need them.  The canvases are scheduled to arrive next week so we will have a better idea of what assistance we can provide.







If you have indicated an interest in this class you should have received an email from me this week providing more information concerning the canvas.  If you received no such email that means I do not have you listed as actively wanting to participate.  Please email me right away to correct this if necessary - email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

PARTY ON THE PO!

Mercy!  I am having so much fun putting stuff together for this upcoming riverboat cruise!  October 19 will be here before we know it!  And I am sure that 50+ other people are just as excited as I am!


Kits have been ordered for the optional class and those who have paid should have received their kits by now.  Please let me know if you have not received yours by emailing me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.  


Venice Memories

This limited time exclusive design is on a 12" x 14" cut 18 ct canvas with design area of approximately 8 x 10.  For more information contact me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you want to participate in the optional class while we are in Italy.  While we have 50+ participants coming with us I understand there are still a few staterooms available.  Viking Travel is handling this fabulous trip for us. Come on and join in the fun.  You still have time!

     NEED A ROOMMATE?  CONTACT ME OR TRAVEL AGENT TO DISCUSS

ONLINE MYSTERY CLASSES

Gosh, we said goodbye last week to our fabulous Pillow Collage and welcomed our beautiful  Menorah. 
Menorah from Tapestry Fair

We concentrated on the background and the flames for Session One.  Next up for Session Two - who knows what's in store?

Session 5 for Santa's Reward  gave Santa a fabulous beard!


Santa's Reward from Devon Nicholson

Then the Large Easter Rabbit from Brenda Stofft had Session 3 revealed.


This gentleman now has a full backpack with lots of Easter goodies and toys.

Last, but not least, is the Steampunk Fox who received his Session 2.


We finished the hills around our wonderful fellow and filled the trees.  Can't wait to see what happens in the next session!

Well, that should be enough to keep me busy for a few days.  I'm writing stitch guides for my upcoming Embellishment class at Chandail in May and preparing for the wonderful retreat with Piney Pointers at LaTorretta resort in Conroe (?) TX.  That is a marvelous place to 'work'.

Have a great week and remember to Stitch with a Smile!