Saturday, October 13, 2018


In just one more week we will be leaving for our Stitching Down the Danube stitching adventure! Preparing for this journey has been so much fun and going on for over a year and yet it feels as if we just left Party on the Po in Italy and only started planning for this year.  I love this part!  Once I lock the front door and head out it will be all fun for me over the next couple weeks.  The hard work is over. I hope my participants feel it has been time well spent!

I am tying up loose ends.  Getting those last bead packets put together.  Taking some extra threads, etc., just in case, making sure I have something to stitch on myself. For hubby the most important thing is to be sure he has snacks!

Working on the "make sure" lists this week:  medications, chargers, cPap, needles (stitching kind that is), scissors, more needles, etc.

While this is all going on, there is a great deal of activity over at the travel agency setting up reservations for our Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise 2019.  We are keeping our Miss Liz hopping! This fantastic cruise has been so well received. We are very excited.  October 24 to November 4, 2019. We are also able to make plans for 2 extra days in Rome - where the trip begins - and 2 extra days in Barcelona - where the trip ends- for those interested.  There are some very exciting ports of call and the beauty that is in store for us is unbelievable!

I know that a year away sounds like lots of time however there is much to do in preparation to make it a very wonderful Memory. My mind is going around and around with design ideas for the exclusive optional needlepoint class.  So much to choose from!  Then, there are the little extra surprises I try to develop as well.  I have some that are already wanting to know what we will be stitching!  I gotta get the Danube behind me before I can really focus on for this new adventure.  That does not mean that it is not whirling around in my head though.  Wish these techies would come up with a device that you could look into and specifically direct it to transfer certain data (such as sketches in the mind) over onto paper!  Wouldn't that be cool.  But it would need to be so that you could restrict what it sees in your brain - wouldn't want all that stuff up there on paper - ye gads!

Our ship is a beauty! She holds approximately 650 - YAY!  I don't care for the larger ships and try to avoid them whenever I can.  I taught on my last ocean cruise ship about 5 (?) years ago and have never looked back.  The intimacy of the smaller group is so wonderful.  We have developed some fabulous friendships.  But that is not difficult when we all share the same passion and speak the same jargon!

Azamara Pursuit

Our stops are amazing!

If you missed out on getting to join us on the sold out Stitching Down the Danube riverboat stitching cruise don't make that same mistake twice!  Join us over on our special Facebook Page that showcases our stitching adventures and future plans:

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures


Just a gentle reminder that registration is ongoing for January classes -

We'll have our first lesson on the Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford - the Poinsettia Blanket:

Our first lesson in the Penny MacLeod - Dana Life of the Party - what fun she is developing into!

And the beginning of our Butterfly Series from Burnette & Bradley.  (These all inclusive butterflies classes will include the canvas, threads, embellishments and lessons - all under $150 each.)

Oh, and we are having custom ornament stands created for this series for those who desire to make them stand ups.  More on that later.  I have seen the prototype - so excited.

To be placed on the notification list (no obligation) just send me an email so I have your email address in order to be able to notify you.  Send to

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Some Dallas finds have arrived!

Okay, we have a name - Just a Sip from CBK Needlepoint Collections.

 This whimsical design has lots to offer to our class members.  The design area is 10.5 x 12".  It is painted on 18ct canvas.  There is a series of these ladies but we are just doing one at a time right now.  This class is tentatively scheduled to begin mid-August 2019.  It will be comprised of 6 lessons which are released one a month.  The class fee is $150 for the 6-lesson packet.  There will be optional thread/embellishment kit and canvas purchases offered when we get closer to class time. The shops are working up prices now for us to consider.  Invoices for lesson fees are processed a month or so before the first lesson is to begin.  Email me at to be placed on the notification list.  There is no obligation to be placed on that list.  That places you on notice that I am sending invoices and if you are still interested in the class - pay the invoice; if no longer interested in the class - just ignore the invoice.  I sometimes send out one reminder to ask if you are still interested and then I cancel the invoice if I don't hear from you.

UPDATE:  Last week we introduced the new upcoming class The Gossips which is scheduled to begin mid-May 2019.

Here's the Update - we have decided that in order to give proper attention to the design elements of this super cute piece we will be sharing 7 monthly lessons instead of the normal 6.  Also, the class fee will remain as $150 for the 7-Lesson Packet. There is so much going on here as we audition embellishments, threads, stitches, oh my! Just email me at if you wish to be placed on the notification list.

Barely 2 weeks away from our wonderful Stitching Down the Danube stitching adventure.  We will be leaving on October 21!  House sitter in place; kitty food in stock (even though we no longer have a cat but this feral seems to think that we need one); all is well.  So excited to reunite with returning stitchers from the Party on the Po and to get to meet new participants who are joining us for the first time!

To follow our stitching adventures be sure to join the group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures - that's where it is all showcased!

Here's my packing so far.  This is an extra checked bag that contains 'stuff' for our first night together at the hotel in Prague!  Next up is seeing how much I can get into carry-ons and Bill's backpack.  Unfortunately, I must allow him some room for his snacks.  

Today I have been working on adding clasps to some of the mini-workshop options - this peyote stitched bracelet.  There are so many options and I cannot take a picture that will do them justice!

Another mini-workshop option is the kumihimo bracelet project.

And as returning participants know - there are surprises along the way!

Okay - gotta get in gear here!  Have a great week!

Saturday, September 29, 2018


On the outside that is.  On the inside we are feverishly working on tying things together for our upcoming Stitching Down the Danube adventure!  Optional class kits have all be created:

And even supportive hubby has taken them to the post office (in the rain) to be timely forwarded to those waiting anxiously to get their hand on them and play with those Lucious threads.

It is hard to believe that it is almost time!  While planning way back when it seemed like it was forever away!  Now it's like - what - 22 days! (I think.). I prefer to say 3 weeks because it sounds like a little more time to me to get this stuff all rounded up and packed.  Wow. (Will I recognize my dining room table?  I guest bedroom?  My game table? )

Now it is time to get some serious packing done - not for me - for my participants.  We are reviewing, dissecting, plotting and analyzing over the Itinerary that our cruise guru Liz Wolak has put together for us.  I am trying to work in every moment of structured stitching that I can but keeping in mind that we are on an adventure in other countries and that is our first goal. We may only pass this way once - soak it in!  But hey, this trip has been designed (like our last one) to be able to do both to our heart's content. 

The general agenda has us doing our 'touristy' stuff mostly in the morning.  Then we usually head back to the boat for lunch. After that we are pretty much on our own.  In this time we can schedule some exclusive type tours to meet individual desires, take a nap (hubby is the king in that activity), sit in the lounge and snack (notice that I did not say drink because that probably goes without saying with free booze) and just 'watch', or even stitch. 

Generally after lunch is when I have scheduled stitching time.  We have set classes - The Danube - the beaded bracelet - Kumihimo bracelet and I generally throw in some surprises.  But whatever we do, we have a great time:  we renew acquaintances from prior cruises and we make new ones that develop into friendships beyond this event. At any time casual stitching is also encouraged - you are not required to purchase the optional kits to participate.

You should seriously consider joining us on some of our future journeys!  And never hesitate to ask in the groups for feedback from those who have traveled with us before to get an idea of what to expect.  The area you want to go to is Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures and ask to join that Facebook Group.  There you will find information about currently scheduled events and discussions for future ones. Some participants are generous enough to share their experiences to add to the excitement.

Next up is a new event we are testing out.  We get requests for trips that do not cross the 'big waters' - or the pond as my WWI Vet Daddy would refer to.  So we have worked up a wonderful Canadian Rockies Train/Motor Coach Stitching Adventure for this April 24 - May 1, 2019.  We leave from Calgary to Vancouver and we travel through Banff by Lake Louise, etc., viewing the wonders of Mother Nature. There is a brochure available for those who would like additional information.

Email me at or travel agent Liz at for information.  We have a minimum that must be met for this journey and the clock is ticking for the registration deadline.

After that is our Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019. Holey Moley we are overwhelmed at the positive response to this adventure.  This will take place in October 24 - November 4, 2019.  We begin in Rome and end up in Barcelona.  There is also great interest in adding 2 extra days in Rome, Barcelona or both!  How exciting.  We have a beautiful new ship that will add to our great experience as we stop at numerous ports of call. Be mindful though that this is a smaller ship (I think 650 max) so I am comfortable with the intimacy that our group can still enjoy in this smaller setting on the Sea as opposed to the river.

Contact Liz - to make your reservation to assure you get the stateroom you desire.  As with the last adventure this one will surely sell out.   There is already a roommate request list started so there is fun in store for sure!


Well I must say that my observation indicates that the Dallas Market was a tremendous success!  I am so envious.  Circumstances have prevented my attending but I am hopeful that I can work it in next year.  I'm considering pieces to teach now so we'll see between that and the calendar if I can make it work.  Fingers crossed.

But look what arrived out of that venue - THE GOSSIPS!

This cutie from Strictly Christmas is in my itching hands (I meant stitching hands) as we speak! The design area is approximately 6 x 18 on 18ct canvas.  I shared with you last time (I think) that I was adding this to the 2019 Agenda.  I also told you that the calendar was full BUT - I'm a woman and we do reserve the right to change our minds right?  I mean, after all, how could we possibly turn away these cuties.  The shop that is going to kit this for me made the statement that there was a ton of stuff going on in this.  I agree.  And it will likely require a ton of threads - but just look at it!  Oh goodness me - can't wait.  Just email me at if you want included on the notification list.  These munchkins are scheduled to begin mid-May! My embellishment mind is going crazy!

Okay - gotta get back to packing and preparing.  Have a great week!

Saturday, September 22, 2018


Last week I was out of town and did not get the opportunity to share some of the pictures from September's Online Mystery Classes.

We worked on our doggies from JP Needlepoint - Dog Gone Good.  This month we worked on 'The Librarian' and 'Weiner Dog'.

Then there were the kitties - Catitudes - also from JP Needlepoint.

The Moon Gazer by Brenda Stofft had it's 5th Season shared (prematurely I might add)
For the Christmas Stars the Ladies Dancing showed up on time!
And, we introduced our newest member - Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny from JP Needlepoint.
We did a specially designed darning pattern for this background.  You either love it or hate it - lol. It is fun.

We are also working on the third reindeer in our series from Raymond Crawford - the one wearing the Candles Blanket.

We are putting in the shared ground snow and snowflakes.

F2F Classes

Time is running out to register for the JP Needlepoint Owl - Captain Blackbeak's Wench.  Be sure to join us in Houston at the Blue Bonnet Retreat.

There is so much to share with this piece.  Check out all the classes and receive registration form over at We'd love to have you join us. The Wench is a four-day class - February 17-20, 2019 in Houston, TX.


We are one month away from doing our wonderful Stitching Down the Danube adventure.  Kits are being mailed as we speak.  In the meanwhile, we are busily grouping the various optional mini-workshop projects to have them ready to go!

More interest is stirring for the Canadian Rockies Train/Motor Coach stitching adventure so we have our fingers crossed that there is enough interest on that wonderful adventure.

This trip is early April so be sure to contact us and join Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures  Facebook page to download the full brochure and read comments.

Also building up excitement is the Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise for 2019!  The response has been magnificent.  Be sure to look over the details and save your spot as soon as you can.  Contact Liz our travel agent at right away to make sure you get a wonderful stateroom.  We are very excited and love the response to this adventure.

Our ship is so beautiful!

I see us making a group picture here - if we ever can get the group together - lol!

We will be visiting so many Ports of Call and there is something unique and interesting at each.  I am pondering the exclusive design now trying to figure out how best to represent this fantastic memory in the making.  Don't miss this opportunity to join us.  Email me at with questions or our travel agent Liz at - she's on the ball.

Also, if you are seeking a roommate be sure to let Liz know and she will work on sharing information to possibly get you hooked up to join us!

That's it for this week - have a great week and remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, September 15, 2018


What a fun trip.  We are here with a wonderful group of stitchers working on the lovely Winter Cardinal from Maggie.  We have been here since Thursday.  And yes, it rained yesterday!

I was given a lovely bouquet of roses and it even had a cardinal in it!  How appropriate was that?

The Space Needlers are a fantastic group of stitchers.  They ask wonderful questions, listen well and even take out stitches without too much fuss if needed.  

This is a photo of the wonderful Kay Fite who put this all together for us with months and months of hard work.  Her efforts were appreciated and recognized by all.

Many of you will recognize the name as Kay has lovely online classes that she shares with us.  You need to hop over if you have not met her. They are very well executed.  You won't be disappointed.

Those who missed this class be sure to watch for promotion for the upcoming ANG Seminar in Houston, TX next year. I believe it is August 15th through the 19th.  It will be taught there.  We were able to teach this class because it was under prior contract so they got in under the wire.  

Hubby came on this trip with me and a friend has taken him to tour the Boeing facility.  The last time we were here they were on strike so we could not go. They really enjoyed themselves!  Hubby got to give his new stand up walker a trial run before our next stitching adventure Stitching Down the Danube.

Our announcement for the fall Stitching Cruise is being received very enthusiastically.  We are thrilled.  Be sure to join Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures so you can follow all the details for Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019.  A full brochure there explains all our Ports of Call from Rome to Barcelona!  What fun.  

I'd love to chat more but I must get some lessons posted, hit the shower and then off to class.  Have a great week!

Saturday, September 8, 2018


So excited to announce our cruise for the Fall 2019.  We will be boarding a beautiful ship - The Azamara Pursuit.  This beauty will handle 690 passengers - large enough to skirt us around the various islands and ports of call  and small enough to still be intimate!  My kind of environment!
 12 Days - Italy, Malta and Spain!  - October 24 - November 4, 2019!

I think I could sleep here

And my goodness the Ports of Call are amazing - from Rome to Barcelona!  I've never been to Spain!  I'm excited! I might need to add a day or two on the ends of this one - well, since I'll already be there - - - 

If you are not already a follower, hop over to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures and join up.  The brochure will be downloaded there this coming week. You'll find all the info about the various Ports of Call, the pricing of staterooms and be sure to contact our travel agent Liz at for more information and to get on the list.

Don't hesitate on this one.  Remember the Danube was sold out so we could not add anymore great friends. We don't want to leave anyone behind on this one!

I'm getting ready to head to the West Coast to teach the wonderful Winter Cardinal for the Space Needlers ANG Chapter in Seattle.  Really looking forward to this one. Anxious to place some faces with names too.  Kay Fite has really been working on this adventure and class for her group.  I know they appreciate all her efforts and dedication.

I never tire of this piece.  One of my favorites.

Also next week will be time to share peeks of the Online Mystery Class sessions. I had a hiccup on one of the classes (we all knew it would happen - right?).  Seems I miss numbered a lesson and in my efforts to correct that issue I mistakenly posted the lesson that will be up this week!  Oh well nobody was killed because of it - I don't think.  And I believe that I have the ducks in a row now.  They just got their lesson early.

Be sure to scroll down to last week's blog for the 2019 Agenda of Online Mystery Classes.  There are so many fun things in store.  I believe I added one after the initial posting.  The Gossips

Does this not just scream my name all over it?  I can't wait to get it.  It will be available through Strictly Christmas .

And don't forget that the clock is ticking for registration at Blue Bonnet Studios Retreat for this fun JP Needlepoint class - Captain Blackbeak's Wench.  Is she not just full of it!

There is so much to share with this piece.  Check out all the classes and receive registration form over at We'd love to have you join us. The Wench is a four-day class - February 17-20, 2019 in Houston, TX.

Okay that's it for today!  Have a great week and remember to always Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, September 1, 2018


If you would like to join us for any of these upcoming classes, send an email right away to be included on the notification list.  There is no obligation at this point.  Most lessons are of a 6-month duration.  Quickies are a one-time thing.  Occasionally we will have a special series such as the reindeer. You will be notified about a month prior to the class that invoices have been processed.  If you are still interested just pay the invoice and you will be invited to join a secret Facebook page.  Invoices are sent by PayPal.  Lessons are posted within the secret Facebook page.  Here we can discuss and clarify or just chat about the various stitches, threads, etc.  Just send an email to telling us what class you would like to consider. 

We try to assist those who do not have a LNS by offering optional kits that include canvas, threads and embellishments that are used in the particular class.  We'd love to have you join the fun!


First up is the Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket from Raymond Crawford Designs. 
This is a 'Special' Class in that it is made up of 4 condensed sessions.  Class will begin mid-January. 

Penny MacLeod – Dana    - our first Penny MacLeod piece!               

 This design is 12x18 on 13 count canvas.  I am already having fun stitching on this one!

Butterfly Quickie – Burnett and Bradley - Fun, quick, happy pieces!

The Quickie Series is one of the special Series that we offer.  It is all inclusive.  One Lesson which included the handpainted canvas, threads, beads and embellishments when applicable and stitch guide.  These classes are generally $150 or under. Most designs are approximately 4" x 5" on 18 ct canvas. Specific Design to be determined each month.  There are 8 designs being featured in this series.  AND we are having made custom designed ornament stands for them that will be an optional offering - stay tuned for this.

First up is this cutie.



Next up is the second of the Butterfly Quickie Series:
MARCH 2019

Lily Wreath – Sea Theme Raymond Crawford         

Another popular request is this colorful sea themed design wreath.  It is 10" square and on 18ct canvas. 


APRIL 2019 

Spooky Tag   Strictly Christmas - this is a first time for a Strictly Christmas design in our Online Mystery Series.

Is this cute or what?  This is approximately 14.5" x 10".  And has the option of a custom made tray for purchase.  The tray its to die for!  (Ask me how I know?)


MAY 2019

BUTTERFLY QUICKIE - Burnett and Bradley

The Gossips -

JUNE 2019 

Santa Tag      Strictly Christmas

Another fun canvas with the same theme!  So cute!  It too is approximately 14.5 x 10 and also has the optional custom made tray.  Such cute feet too!

BUTTERFLY QUICKIE - Burnett and Bradley

JULY 2019

BUTTERFLY QUICKIE -  Burnett and Bradley

AUGUST 2019 

Sat Nite Bathing Beauty    Brunette with Wine -  from CBK - Our introduction to CBK!

 Another new designer joins our Online Mystery Classes.  What a hoot this one's going to be! There are several in the series so we will start with this one. 
BUTTERFLY QUICKIE - Burnett and Bradley


Sandra Gilmore's At the SeaShore  - This is our first Sandra Gilmore design.

This is 14"x 14" on 18 ct canvas. Lots of fun going on here for us.


      This is generally catch up and cruise time so not in a hurry to schedule anything for the rest of the year. But . . . . I have been known to change my mind.