Saturday, June 16, 2018

REGISTRATION!  REGISTRATION!  REGISTRATION

             Beautiful! Beautiful morning here in Central Kentucky!  So Blessed!

        OH! and be sure to checkout our website duodesignsinc.com as our webmaster has added some more stitch guides.

Before I share some of the lessons we covered in our current Online Mystery Classes I am going to highlight a couple of f2f events that are coming up soon.

ANG National Seminar is just around the corner in Washington DC!  I will be teaching two classes this year.  One is called "Can Do Hairdos" and involves creating a sampler of various hairdos.


This class is being held on August  25 - Class No. 12501 -  

The second class is Stitching Solutions where we work on a canvas project you bring to discuss issues you may have or to try and get over some stumbling blocks - 


This class is being held on August 26 - Class No.12601

Registration deadline is June 29.   Would love to have you join me for either or both of these events. To register go to needlepoint.org and under events you'll find Seminar, etc.  

Another upcoming class is the Winter Cardinal hosted by the Space Needlers in Seattle, WA. Scroll down a previous post to print or download the registration form for that class.  You do not need to be a member of the Space Needlers ANG Chapter to participate.  This is a wonderful class!



Class is September 14-15 - come on over!

Registration is currently ongoing for the Blue Bonnet Studio Retreat for February 17-20, 2019
http://bluebonnetstudio.com/about-bbst-retreat in Houston, TX.

We will be teaching the too cute Captain Blackbeak's Wench owl by JP Needlepoint!


Isn't she feisty?  For full details and info on all classes hop over to the pages of Blue Bonnet for lots of eye candy. Of course, I'd love for you to join me in my class but there are lots of fantastic options.


We are also taking registrations for the upcoming train/motor coach stitching adventure through the Canadian Rockies!  If you are not a member of the group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Cruises you need to join right away.  Additionally we are preparing for the Stitching Down the Danube cruise for October 21-31, 2018 and playing with various trip options for 2019.  Email me for details and scroll down further in older posts to get more information regarding brochures. email duodesignsinc@yahoo.com



So it is mid-month and time to share some more lessons in our Online Mystery Classes.

How about Six Geese A Laying from the Christmas Stars series of Raymond Crawford?


We started accessorizing in the Snow Happy Trio from Love You More.




The skirt parts of the Steampunk Witch by Brenda Stofft were highlighted for this next lesson.
We worked on her underskirt, the apron and her overskirt.  Big areas!

And there were others as well but we must move on.

The new Spooky Tags and Santa Tags from Strictly Christmas classes are going great guns!  They will be starting mid April for Spooky and mid-June for Santa 2019.  Be sure to email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you would like to join us. This are Online Mystery Classes  spread out over 6 months where we post one lesson a month in a secret FB page.  The cost for the 6 lessons is $150.  Also this schedule allows for those that are going to mount in a custom designed tray by Deux Bijoux to be able to have their pieces finished in time for display in the appropriate season!

(tray pictured with optional broom handles)


Cute little ball feet hold the trays off the table.  So fun!

So I've taken enough of your time on this beautiful morning and I would like to get outside for a little while today.  Have a great weekend and let us know if you have any questions.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

THINGS ARE ALWAYS IN A FLUTTER AROUND HERE!

We are having so much fun planning our playing activities for our upcoming riverboat stitching cruise down the Danube this October 21-31, 2018.  There is going to be so much to see and do.  Visiting Prague, then Germany, Austria and Budapest.  I have so many things I want to see and do at each place.  Our travel agent has put together a fantastic itinerary for us so be sure to check it out.  Go to Needles 'N Fins and download the wonderful brochure for specific details.

And, since it is a riverboat stitching cruise, we have lots of great stitching spots planned as well.  We have the optional class kit of the Danube:


She's almost stitched and we'll be sharing full details soon.

Then we have some out of the box mini-workshops planned as well - some optional, some surprises so show up and see what happens.  This fantastic kumihimo bracelet is an optional mini-workshop for one of our slots of free time.


There are at least two other mini-workshops that I have planned as well.  One is the surprise and no charge.  Another is an adventure down a different path for some (somewhat like the kumihimo) and you will have a completed project when done.  All self-finishing so no extra costs involved there.  And . . . under $50 for kit and class.  All you need is to be ready to learn and experiment!




Whatever will it be?  Stay tune!

What follows the riverboat cruise down the Danube?  Well a beautiful adventure through the Canadian Rockies that's what!   We are hosting a train/motorcoach stitching adventure from Calgary to Vancouver.  The possible scenes we will be viewing are breathtaking!  As before, there will be an exclusive design created as an optional class.  




We will have stitching classes at selective hotels as posted for structured teaching of the various optional classes.  Check out the brochure. email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com with questions and for travel questions email Liz at lwolak@vikingtvl.com.

This weekend I am playing in Houston at Chandail hosted by Saira!  I have a delightful group of students and they are doing a marvelous job!  They work awfully hard though but we still manage to get in a few giggles.

Yesterday we did a class on Beading on Needlework.  We covered many techniques and they nailed it! For the next two days we are going to apply some of those techniques to the beautiful Robbyn's Nest Butterflies design.

Enjoy your weekend as off I go to have more fun!




Saturday, June 2, 2018

ONLINE MYSTERY CLASSES CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN POPULARITY

We continually roll out monthly lessons mid-month for each class.  Some months are more challenging than others to meet that deadline but so far so good.  It is particularly rough when I am traveling.

But, as we close and finish one design we try to have something new waiting in the wings. Students are good about sharing canvases that they would like to have included in the agenda and if there is enough interest amongst the troops, it gets added.

For the remainder of 2018, we are adding a Christmas Star each month.  This is from our Quickie Series. The stars are from Raymond Crawford.

In 2019 our Quickie Series will be the beautiful Butterflies from Burnette & Bradley.

Ya' think there might be some bling in there somewhere?  I envision these finished on dowel sticks and stuck in beautiful flower arrangements.  (Now, if I could just learn to make beautiful flower arrangements - hmm.) These will be $150 or less all inclusive (handpainted canvas, required threads, embellishments, and lessons).  To be included on the notification list just email us at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com. AND . . . rumor has it that there are stands being custom made for this class - can't wait to see them - they will be available as an optional purchase.

In September we have 2 new designs joining us.  The fun and frolicking bunch of bunnies from JP Designs! Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny Sometime.


We have had so much fun with the Cats - Catitudes, and the Dogs - Dog Gone Good, that the bunnies can't be anything but great!  If you want to join in the fun just email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com and we can add you to the notification list.  Invoices will be processed around the first of August and the first class will be mid-September.

Next up will the third Reindeer from Raymond Crawford that we are doing. This custom class schedule will be on the Reindeer with the Candles on its blanket.

That pretty much finishes out the 2018 season for newbies.

2019 has lots of great designs in the plans as well.

We will start the year with our first Butterfly Quickie. 

Not 100% sure but this might be the first one.  To sign up go to duodesignsinc@yahoo.com and tell me to add you to the notification list.  My goal on these classes is to keep the all-inclusive kit cost $150 or lower.  This means that there will likely be cut threads and not always full skeins or cards.
Also, as mentioned above,  we are having a custom made ornament stand to match the individual butterflies as an optional purchase.  These will be varying heights to accommodate displaying all 8 butterflies in a group.  Won't that be fabulous!  These will be special orders and will require advance payment.  More details and pictures as they become available.  

A new line to us - Penny MacLeod - is being introduced.  Dana-Life of the Party is amongst out new 2019 designs.


This 6--lesson packet is $150 and will be invoiced around the first of December.  First lesson is scheduled for mid-January.

Our fourth and final Reindeer is also being added.  This guy has Poinsettias on his blanket.  Raymond Crawford Designs did not disappoint.

Love the attitude!  What a way to finish off our series of four!

In February we have the 'green one'.  This guy is also by Raymond Crawford.


The wreath offers us many opportunities to play with some interesting threads and different technique.  It will be just as much fun as our previous wreaths - lots with which to experiment!

There are lots more coming but I'll share those in another post. 

Don't forget that there is still time to register for the Winter Cardinals being hosted by the ANG Space Needlers chapter -  Registration ends July 1 so don't hesitate.  They do accept ghosts too.



That's it for today.  I'll be off to Houston next week to teach at Chandail the beautiful Robbyn's Nest Butterflies.  I understand that class is full but you can still stop by and visit with us.

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 26, 2018



EXCITING UPCOMING F2F CLASSES

In a couple weeks we will be at Chandail in Houston.  The class is very exciting!  It is a Robbyn's Nest design of Butterflies.


So, what makes this class extra exciting?  The bling!  and Bling is an understatement.  There are actually 2 classes if you prefer.  The class begins with a one-day class all about adding beads to needlework.  Then we gravitate into the next two days where we apply some of the techniques we learned in the beading class.  Wait until you see the finished piece!  I won't share until after the class as they should get to see it first - so stay tuned.  I believe that Chandail does handle ghosts so you should contact Saira at series.chandail@gmail.com and ask for details.  Of course, we'd love to have you in person so you can join in the giggles!

The first part of August we will be at Stitchers Garden in Naperville, IL.  This is an embellishment class and she is offering several options broken down into 2 day increments.  I do believe the class is full however.

The American Needlepoint Guild national Seminar is set in Washington, DC this year.  It is held from August 22-27, 2019    I am fortunate enough to be teaching two classes at this event.

One class is August 25 and is on hairdos.  It is called Can Do Hairdos. This is an encore class.  It involves several techniques that can be used to create different types of hair styles - curly, straight, wavy, etc.  All materials are included except stitchers bring their own normal stitching supplies and stretcher bars to fit the canvas.



The second class is called Stitching Solutions.  This is a one-day workshop for assisting participants with problems they may have with a particular technique on a canvas they have.  We will have fun analyzing those projects that are brought to the class and share discussions regarding various possible solutions.



Then we are off to the West Coast to teach for the Space Needlers ANG Group.  We will be teaching the fantastic Maggie piece Winter Cardinal on September 14-15, 2018.






Stitchers should contact me at KayFite@hotmail.com to register. As it says on registration form, checks made payable to SpaceNeedlers ANG and my address is listed for mailing. I can do paypal also.

Also want to send out a teaser. Email me at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com if you would be interested in participating in an Online Mystery Class for the too cute Strictly Christmas 'Tag's' designs. I am considering the one of Santa's Tags and/or the one on Spooky Tags. It will depend on whether there is enough interest.




These are on 13ct canvas and will involve a 6-month class composed of one class a month.  The classes will not be starting until mid-to-late 2019.  Just let me know and we'll see how that works out.  They are super fun!

Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.  Thank you to all the veterans out there for your service - including my Dad, Husband, Brother, Cousins, Relatives and Friends.







Saturday, May 19, 2018

ANOTHER MID-MONTH EXCITEMENT!

Around the middle of each month is always exciting!  This is the time range we try to post the current lesson for the month.

This month has been so much fun - so what is new? Right?  I always have fun.

Snow Happy Trio has its fourth lesson this month.  Really?  This is going so quickly. This month we completed the last snow person of the trio.

The next 2 months will be devoted to the remaining accessories - wreath, tree, hats, flowers, scarves, etc.

Christmas Stars is on Day 5 - Five Golden Rings!  


Moon Gazer is in its third session.


This month we did the rabbit.  Now we are ready for the remaining fern, bushes, etc.

Catitudes has it's third session also.  This month we introduced a darning pattern background I designed for this canvas.

These scurrying stylized mice will be in my book on darning patterns that is in the draft stages.

Additionally, this month we have two new designs joining the crowd.

Reindeer with Bells Blanket by Raymond Crawford.

This guy will be sharing the same background sky and ground snow as the others for the first lesson as I am approaching them as a series and the main elements will be the same.  The accessories and stitch directions will be the kicker.

And last but not least the ever fun Dog Gone Good from JP Needlepoint makes its introduction.


Mr. Cool Dude was up first.  Besides everything else about him I just fell in love with his tail!  Whoever is next?

Goodies are continually coming in for our upcoming Riverboat Stitching Cruise - Stitching Down the Danube.  It is very exciting as it becomes more and more real each day.  I'm stitching away on the optional cruise piece as well.  At my recent runaway my peers seemed to like how it was progressing.  Several commented that the picture just did not do it justice.  How many times do we say that?  Hope to have something to share soon so those of you who are interested may order your kit and have it in your creative little hands!  Look at this wonderful staircase on our SS Beatrice!  


I am hopeful that we can quit playing long enough to have a group picture to commemorate this event!  If you would like to come along just email me for details at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com. We would so love to have you join us!  The more the merrier.

Don't forget, registration is open for these upcoming Online Mystery Classes:


Every Bunny Needs Somebunny - JP Needlepoint



3rd Reindeer - Candles Blanket - Raymond Crawford

LOOK OUT 2019!
Butterfly Quickie Series - Burnett & Bradley
Wreath from Raymond Crawford -oooo the green one!

Dana Life of the Party by Penny MacLeod

Lily Wreath by Raymond Crawford

As you can see we have a wide variety of upcoming activities.  Just send us an email if you would like to be placed on the notification list - no obligation - just a way of letting you know that invoices are coming for the class and if still interested pay the invoice to join, if no longer interested just ignore.  Email duodesignsinc@yahoo.com

Have a great weekend everyone!  I think I'll go watch the taped wedding festivities as I stitch on more lessons!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

WORKING, WORKING, WORKING!  GOTTA GET THE NEXT LESSONS READY!

Well my little retreat has come and gone quite quickly I must say.  It was a much needed break and a wonderful way to have a little time with my daughter as well.

Now back to reality!

In a few days we will be posting the next set of lessons for our Online Mystery Classes!  I just can't seem to describe how much fun I have stitching these guys and the enjoyment I get from sharing them with you.  This past month I played withs sharing some WIP videos and they seemed to be accepted well.  Stay tuned next week for a sneak peek at what the various lessons have turned out to be!

RIVERBOAT STITCHING CRUISES

We are creeping up on our new riverboat stitching cruise for this year!  It is hard to believe that time is almost here.  Stitching Down the Danube is slated for October 21-31, 2018.  We will be flying into Prague; have  night of classes while at the hotel; move on to Germany, Austria and Hungary - stitching along the way!  Here is a brief look at the wonderful SS Beatrice that will be hosting us!


Blue happens to be one of my favorite colors!  Isn't she beautiful!  And stitching room abounds!  Can't wait to get to play on her with all my stitching buddies.

Our cruise is so breathtaking!  Some things to consider when shopping for a stitching cruise.  Keep in mind that from the time you step on the boat until you step off the boat at Budapest, everything travel related is included.  That means all the excursions (yes, you read that correctly - all the listed excursions are included - some custom excursions are available for those more adventurous and with much more energy than I), all transfers, tips, all the wine you could possibly drink (yes, you read that correctly too!), unbelievable meals, continuous snacks, onboard entertainment and - get this - they even give us $100 to spend onboard!  On what, you might ask, if all is included - well, there just so happens to be a wonderful gift shop that has extraordinary items - jewelry, clothing, watches, pens, I believe I even saw some golf items but I was too busy scoping out the Swarovski crystal necklaces and bracelets to linger in that area.  (Oh, did I mention that hubby never even saw his $100 gift - yes, each ticket holder gets the gift.)

All our included excursions were on very comfortable buses when the event dictated using one.  All the guides are so caring and definitely looked out for us.  Those of us who are 'gentle walkers' (isn't that a cute name to give us) really appreciated their care and concern for our well being as they saw to it that we did not miss anything along the way while traveling at a more - shall I say - relaxed pace!

We have the optional class exclusive canvas design painted for us by Kate Dickerson.  This is painted from a picture of actual castle ruins in Austria!  It is so exciting.  I am stitching away to get the materials gathered so that I may offer it to you as an optional class!  It is painted on 18ct mono canvas.


An optional mini-workshop is the kumihimo class where we will be making a beautiful bracelet. There are so many wonderful colors - the class kit will be the luck of the draw colorwise but there are also optional thread kits available to choose from for purchase.  This class and kit is going to be so much fun and when we are finished we will have a new piece of jewelry and a finished project to show for our efforts!


In addition here are some of the colorful options for extra bracelets.
And, in addition to these classes, there is going to be a beautiful, useful surprise class!  No charge.  So fun.

And there will be other mini-workshops as well.

But, don't despair!  You do not need to take a class.  You are free to bring a canvas of your choice and if you are in the paid stitcher group you can join us in our stitching adventures!  We'll have more to share as time draws closer.

We would love to have you join us.  I understand that the staterooms are about filled so don't linger if you are interested.  Contact our travel agent - Liz at Viking Travel - lwolak@vikingtvl.com or email me with questions as well at duodesignsinc@yahoo.com.


WHIRLWIND SETTLING!

This has really been a wild time for me these last few months.  I am hoping to be able to focus a little more now that I have returned from FL.  Don’t get me wrong – I love, love, love  traveling to new places and meeting new students, but every now and again I need to revisit my hubby of 56+ years – right?  

I thought this would be a great opportunity between class postings to share a little information with you.  Anyone who ever takes any of my classes – whether they are f2f, correspondence, cyber, etc. – have probably figured out that some of my favorite go-to threads are from Planet Earth Fibers.


I frequently call upon Planet Earth Silk when I need really good coverage.  The colors are luscious.  While I occasionally use this thread on 18ct fabric, it is best on 13/14 ct . (which seems to be becoming more and more popular for those of us who are looking back at our 50thbirthday).  I think there are something like 225 colors in this line.




It is no secret that I am the biggest cheerleader of Pepper Pot Silk.  Oh my goodness what a treat to work with.  I use it constantly.  If anyone listens I sing its praises. The only problem for me with this thread is that the colors are food names – hmmmm.  If I said Planet Earth Silk was luscious, they pale in comparison to my fav – Pepper Pot Silk (Pepper Pot Silk has a unique color line.  completely different than Planet Earth Silk, 6 ply silk or the Merino.  Of course, the basics red, white, black and blues may cross over)!  This line of threads has approximately 226 colors.  And, I might add, they continually add new temptations.


Probably one my most asked questions about Pepper Pot Silk is how do you separate it.  You DON’T! It is manufactured to use just as it comes from the skein.  Now, there are times we might work to pull out a bit for a special stitched area for dimensional effect but we do so with the caution that we are weakening the thread and if we do this we must live with our own created consequences.  So, really, just don’t do it.  Use one of their other compatible plied threads.


PE6 is a fantastic thread for controlling the volume of the stitch.  This 6-ply silk also comes in the scrumptious colors across the spectrum (about 85).  This thread is to be laid while stitching.  When used properly the sheen and finish on your stitching is to die for.







One of the best kept secrets in my opinion is the tonal ribbon manufactured by Planet Earth Fibers. These silk ribbons provide an easy way to incorporate shading to ribbon embroidery and do it beautifully.  There are 40 colors available in 4mm, 7mm and 10mm.









Here is a sample of a bouquet we recently used on one of our Online Mystery Classes – Steampunk Cat. Aren’t these roses scrumptious?
  
Even though I stitched these I am in awe of the wonderful affect the silk ribbon helped produce for the end product.

There are many other threads in this line as well such as Planet Earth Opal, Variegated threads in the PE6 line and Pepper Pot, the so soft and luxurious Merino Silk, and on and on. 

Oh, and I certainly cannot overlook Furr-Fuzz-Funn - what a hoot - so cool! Animals will never be the same - and they are just the beginning of uses for this thread.

For shops, their customer service is top of the line.  Their turn around time is fabulous!  It is a great company with which to do business.

For my stitchers, please visit your local needlepoint shop and check out these threads.  I truly believe you will fall in love with them as I have.

Anyway, for many of my followers, these are yet undiscovered threads.  Please try them out when you come across them – you will not be sorry!

Have a great weekend  - - -