Saturday, July 21, 2018


Well my 2 weeks with Royal School of Needlework Tudors has come to an end. While there were 10 tutors here teaching I managed to get the same 2 for my term of 4 classes.  I must say that as much as I loved every minute of it I look forward to getting back to stitching things I can see.  Where are those holes?

My whitework was no surprise.  But, it is always so exciting to see someone else's approach to our stitching.  It is refreshing.  Sara is a lovely tutor and very nice and pleasant.  However . . .

Oh gosh Tambour!  One of the tudors wore a fabulous wrap done by a gentleman in our group!  So jealous!  And I will confess that our student progression examples aren't even close to what this is supposed to end up looking like!  LOL!  But I always wanted to try it and maybe I'll be able to incorporate in a future exercise.  We'll see.  Sara confirmed I'm doing it correctly and I can see that and see what I'm supposed to do but fat, arthritic hands have other ideas. Practice!  Practice!  Practice!

This is me with Sara - rare to stand next to another woman so much taller than I.

My Or Nue` experience reconfirmed my interpretation of how I am adapting the technique to needlepoint.  In fact my tutor said she was going to use my technique.  Very flattering.  One thing new for me was that I have not done Or Nue` in the round.  Fun to do.  I'll use her technique - pay back is only fair - right?

The Two Sides Alike was a little more intense for me.  First of all I'm a bleeder so those sharp needles and I had to come to a mutual respect for each other.  And I will say that now that I am on this end of that class I am anxious to redo it now that I know where I'm going.  For me the last technique helped explain how I should have done the first - I know that probably sounds crazy. I always do things in a weird way.

This is Amanda Ewing 'Mandy' who taught these 2 classes.  If you have the green covered Royal School of Needlework book that was published in 1998, Mandy had 4 - FOUR - pieces featured in gold work. She is also in a photo on the RSN website where Camilla is on the rightish and Sara is sitting on the left lecturing (uh! illustrating).  If we both look the worse for wear here it is because the days are catching up with us!

This was a great experience and all the RSN staff went above and beyond to make everyone comfortable with what they were trying to accomplish.  If given the opportunity jump at it.  

Some Duo Designs, Inc. Stuff

I am amazed at how many requests I still get for my books.  Most are several years old now and the newer ones are at the stage that I really just need to go hibernate and get them polished.  (That's what we all say, right?).  Anyway, for those newer folks who have joined my blog over the past several months here's a little glimpse of what I have out there.


These books are huge.  But that was deliberate.  Series I is 100 pages, Series II is 117 pages, Series III is 138 pages and Series IV is 118 pages.  They are heavy - about 2 pounds.  But, when I refer to a diagram to execute a stitch I want to be able to see it.  I want to be able to see the numbering (when there is such), and I need it to be a few feet away because I am using both hands to do the stitch so I don't want to be constantly picking up the book to see what I do next. 

Most pages show only one stitch or technique.  It may show some additional variations but mainly there is only one stitch to a page - even the little 4 x 4s.  

Another reason I have this setup is because when I am stitching I am easily distracted and my eyes might want to wander off.  This way there are not 5 other diagrams on the left for me to try to look at which I am concentrating on the one I am actually doing.

I have started a new series of books called Pocketbooks.  The first of this series was the Can Do Hairdos.

This little books is approximately 5" x 6" and is a fun series.  This book has 2 brothers in the wings waiting for final proofing - I know I'm such a slacker!

All these books are available through my website at  In fact I believe my webmaster has set it up so that there is a special for multiple copies, etc. Your LNS can also order them for you so don't hesitate to ask.

The first two books - Series I and Series II - have been made into Apps.

These are available and there is a shortcut on the right of this page - or at least there used to be.  While apps are wonderful for me they are very expensive to have produced because I am not a computer guru.  And I am at the age that I have that little gnawing whisper in the back of my head remember 8 track tapes, rotary dial phones, etc.  I am hesitate to invest five figures when the world of technology can just up and say tomorrow - sorry you are now antiquated.  So be it.


Current very active enrollment is going on for the next new class Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny from JP Needlepoint. The other similar designs Catitudes and Dog Gone Good are so much fun and have a lot to offer.  I do not see this one being any different.

As a refresher let me introduce you to Teacher's Pet, Mr. Patriotic, Miss Bashful, Little Miss Orange, Miss Flower Power and Bottom's Up or Here's Looking at You (I think I like that better)!  To join us for the 6 lesson series just send email to The classes are all online and are $150 for the 6-lesson packet.  The shop that is working with me is feverishly trying to locate all the 'stuff' that I manage to incorporate into my playful classes.  There will be an optional thread/embellishment kit for those who need assistance and also the opportunity to order the canvas if you do not have a LNS handy.  Come on over!  You'll love the fun!

Last week another set of lessons hit the Internet.   In no particular order -

We finished another doggie in Dog Gone Good - Miss Priss - JP Needlepoint

Over on the kitties we had - You Got Something to Say to Me? what an attitude - JP Needlepoint
Added some bushes on Moon Gazer - Brenda Stofft

Added blanket for the Reindeer with Bells - Raymond Crawford
Then there were lots of accessories on Snow Happy Trio - Love you More

The 7 Swans a Swimming were swimming slowly this month as I was involved in so many class projects, etc., but we will make it - albeit a couple days later than I have spoiled my students to expect.  Some forget that mid-month means before the 30th in my book - LOL.  I'm so bad.


Look what is being added to the 2019 Agenda! This lovely new design from Sandra Gilmore - At the Seashore - the first Online Mystery Class lesson would be mid-September 2019 so lots of time to prepare. Let me know if you would like to be added to the notification list (no obligation but I need your email address). The 6-lesson packet is $150 and is billed through PayPal. All lessons are posted through a secret Facebook Page. Project is 14" x 14" on 18ct mono canvas. Optional kits will also be available for those needing assistance. Email me at

So now that RSN is over I am concentrating on the Stitching Down the Danube optional class piece.  I am really liking how it is developing.  This riverboat stitching cruise is sold out but I thought some might still like to follow what is going on.

Along those same lines, Canadian Rockies Train/Motor Transport Stitching Adventure is in full swing!  The exclusive design is on the drawing board - someone said something about mountains, water and possibly a moose?  Who knows?

For information on this excursion review the brochure in the files section.  For travel questions contact our agent Liz at and for stitching questions or anything else contact me at 

If you would like to follow our upcoming stitching adventures follow our closed Facebook page - Needles 'N Fins Stitching - come on over.

Enough for today - well, probably too much - but have a great weekend!  Bad storms here - without power for 15 hours - trees down, etc.  We were spared property damage - just no electric.

Stitch away folks!

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