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



To be added to the notification list email your email address to

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Sorry folks but I have way to much fun! I so love what I do - day in - day out.  I am very blessed.

I have been weighing different ways to present the Christmas Stars – 12 Days of Christmas by Raymond Crawford.  In doing this I have been analyzing the backgrounds and the individual motifs of each day.  As many of you know, I like for as many people as are interested to be able to participate in my classes.  This is one of the main reasons the Quickie Series was born. 
So, here is how I am going to present these designs. There will be one Star shared each month.  Each Star will be discussed in its entirety.

There will be 2 options.

First Option:  Full Kit – handpainted canvas, threads/embellishments and stitch instructions for each Star. To make kits more economical, full skeins/cards may not be included.

Second Option:  Canvas, embellishments (no threads) and stitch instructions only for each Star. Participants can draw from their stash for stitching.

These two options should pretty much cover most scenerios for my students.  First, those who just don’t want to fool with trying to purchase and gather everything will have that taken care of.  Second will be for those who want to work from their stash but don’t have access to some of the embellishments I used for the designs.

If you want to participate in this Quickie Series that is scheduled to begin mid-January, send me an email to and I will add you to the notification list.  Designs are 5" x 5" stars on 18ct. You should expect to hear from me about invoicing the first lesson around the first of December. Don't delay - - - get enrolled now!


Tomorrow we post lessons for the various Online Mystery Classes! So much going on! But here's a sneak peek a day early.  Heck I might get ambitious and post the lessons today - who knows?

Lesson 6 for our Songbirds from Danji will be posted.  As always, it is sorta sad to say goodbye to a design we have shared for 6 months.  But it is very rewarding to finish something too - so . . . .

I think this is one of those 'save the best for last'.  I believe this might just be my favorite one of the group.  Although each has something special for me.  

Lesson 4 from the Cupcakes design by BB Needlepoint is next.

One of the cupcakes from this lesson has a little bit of everything.  We have tried a new thread for us from Kreinik; we've done some ruching; there are beads and we have fractured Flair!  What fun.

Lesson 3 of the Steampunk Series - Steampunk Cat - from Brenda Stofft has a lot going on.

It was difficult to choose one feature to share with you from this lesson but I chose the mouse/bat?  Is it a mouse dressed like a bat or is it a new species?  Anyway, he's cute!

Lots more in this lesson too:  Tree, pumpkin, owl and ribbon flowers - oh goodness.

Lesson 2 on the Santa Ornament Wreath from Raymond Crawford will be posted.

I chose this ornament from the five stitched of the series to share with you that simplicity has beauty on its own merit.  The colors are magnificent.

Next month we will be adding a new design to our roster.  Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood.

Invoices are being processed and participants are meeting in the secret Facebook Page for the class.  This design is not for the faint of heart.  Not in the sense of difficulty but in size.  The biggest obstacle will be the 'forever' background.  But it is so wonderful when it is finished.  Becomes a 9" building - email me at if you wish to participate.


And look what I got back from the finisher!  This is the Winter Cardinal by Maggie that I will be teaching at the Needlepoint in New England Retreat April 27-29, 2018.  Go to their website and register now!  Classes are filling quickly!  Check it out at The Enriched Stitch

Well gang, this time next week I should be in Italy Partying on the Po with 50 other lovely people in our group.  I am so excited about meeting this group.  I personally know very few of them but that will quickly change! I have no idea how my contacting will work so if you have questions in the various classes please be patient as I may not be able to address your issue right away.

Be sure to join us over on Needles 'N Fins to keep up with our riverboat stitching cruise plans.  Stitching Down the Danube is in full 'planning and registering' swing!  Wait until you see the exclusive canvas designed for this cruise!  I love it!

Maybe I'll be able to post my next blog from Italy - we'll see.  Fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 7, 2017


While planning for our Riverboat Stitching Cruise - Party on the Po - it seemed it would be an eternity before we would be leaving.  Now we are a mere 12 days away!  Oh my.  So to try and contain myself I am focusing on some other events so I can accomplish a little something while fending off the anticipation and excitement that is just around the next corner.  But the scene below is still in the back of my mind knowing that I will be there again real soon!

At the same time we are really getting Stitching Down the Danube in full gear for 2018!  Be sure to join our Facebook Page - Needles 'N Fins - to watch as announcements are made.  A brochure covering the pertinent details is in the files section with contact information for our Viking Travel Agent and me should you have questions. 

River Beatrice - New Boat

On the Horizon:
I have the wonderful good fortune of being able to stitch at various 2018 retreats around the country in a teaching capacity.
The first part of March I will be playing at Fay's Needle Nook of LaJolla beginning March 9 - 12, 2018.  This retreat is fabulous and always a treat.  Fortunately there are several who return year after year and it is lovely to see familiar faces among the crowd and to meet new participants too.  These are embellishment and stitch enhancement classes where each participant brings a canvas they have chosen for the teacher to make suggestions. Most always all are different and a great deal of fun plus lots and lots of ideas tossed around.

Fay’s Needle Nook of La Jolla
7719 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
1-800-685-1711 – TOLL FREE
1-858-459-9536 – FAX
Monday – Saturday – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (PST)
Closed major Federal Holidays
Then a little later, March 23, 2018 I will be playing in Delaware at the Art Needlepoint Wnterthur Retreat at Winterthur Museum.

There is so much to share on this piece called Fruit and Flowers.  We have shading, Rhodes stitches, semi open stitches, buttonhole, satin, reverse chain stitches, stem stitch, Gobelins and much more.

Register and PAY IN FULL by October 15, 2017 and Save 5% with code NeedlepointRetreat - all one word - in the discount code box at checkout, or with Art Needlepoint on the phone.
A deposit can be made anytime and the balance is needed by February 1, 2018 to ensure you get the class you want. 
However, we encourage you to select and register in full by December, 2017 as certain classes will fill up before then, as some are already nearing the maximum number.
You may select from the kits at any time prior to Jan.

For details visit:

This Retreat is hosted by Art Needlepoint.  I was attracted to this venue when invited because of the inclusion of our youth.  The brochure states that participants may bring a youngster between the ages of 10 and 18 free of charge to attend class with them.  And the youngster will be given a canvas upon which they may try stitches to learn as we go.  Isn't that fantastic?  For more details check out the various links that are available.…
Here's an early registration link:
Contact Art Needlepoint right away to make your reservation.  And even more exciting plan to bring a youngster along to share the experience.

April 27-29 weekend, we head over to Connecticut to The Enriched Stitch for their retreat Needlepoint in New England.  Oh how I love my class piece!  

I loved this Maggie Design right away as cardinals are my favorite bird (after the peacock and hummingbird of course).  We will be executing a plaid section, there is some semi open work, wonderful needle painting, Rhodes stitches, fly stitches, and more.  Check it out at The Enriched Stitch

Somewhere in between we are teaching at the ANG Encore! event held in Houston, TX on April 7th weekend.  We are doing the painted canvas exclusive by Leigh Designs - Beijing Butterflies.

Crystals and beads abound in this fantastic design.  

Thread painting, or nue`, open work, buttonhole stitches, diagonal mosaic, French knots, and so much more while playing with beautiful silks and various threads.  For details be sure to check out registration on the ANG sight - 

That's it for now as I prepare the classes for sharing next week on the individual Online Mystery Classes.  Also keep an eye open for the many new things in the lineup for the coming year.  You can catch much of the information by scrolling through older posts.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday Again!  YAY! 

Okay, it sneaked up on me.  I have nothing for my blog today.  I can recap some of the upcoming Online Mystery Classes for those of you who have recently joined us and are not familiar with these projects.

Upcoming mid-October we have:

Lesson 6 of Songbirds by Danji:

Lesson 6 means this will complete these beautiful birds and we will be looking to add another new design soon.

Lesson 4 of Cupcakes from BB Needlepoint:

These cute little cupcakes are affording us the opportunity to play with many different threads, embellishments and techniques.  Stay tuned to see what we will be sharing next.

Lesson 3 of Steampunk Cat from Brenda Stofft:

Background is done and we move on to lots of different techniques.

Lesson 2 of Santa Wreath Ornament from Raymond Crawford:

Like Cupcakes above this design gives us the opportunity to experiment with lots of different techniques, threads and embellishments.

In the near future we are adding to our Online Mystery Classes:  Registration Ongoing

Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood:

Steampunk Witch from Brenda Stofft:

Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft:

Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford:

Snow Happy Trio  from Love You More:

Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford:

The wonderful Series from JP Needlepoint - Catitudes, Dog Gone Good and Every Bunny:
In addition, we have some ongoing projects that do not have deadline schedules.  These include Arctic Parade from Brenda Stofft:

And Professor Hooty from JP Needlepoint:

In between we squeeze in some fun Quickies from various designers.  They are smaller projects and are dealt with in a two-lesson schedule.  Stay tuned for what's coming up next in that venue.  In the past we have had USA Star, Eagle Star  (Raymond Crawford) and Uncle Sam (Pepperberry) .

 And, of course, the icing for it all is our upcoming Riverboat Stitching Cruise 'Party on the Po" which will begin October 19,2017!  Almost here!

Once we begin this adventure we will be taking registrations for our next Riverboat Cruise 'Stitching Down the Danube', October 2018.  For more information on these adventures follow our Facebook page Needles 'N Fins.  A brochure has been downloaded with the pertinent details for you to review. We'd love to have you join us.

The Online Mystery Classes generally - not always - involve 6 months of lessons - one lesson posted mid-month.  Most 6-lesson packets are $150 and are invoiced through PayPal.  Lessons are posted in a secret Facebook page.  If you are interested in participating in any of these classes or have questions, please email me at