Saturday, December 31, 2016

       ๐Ÿ’Invoices have been mailed for the Brenda Stofft Large Easter Rabbit class -  
            First lesson is scheduled to be posted January 15!  Don't miss it! ๐Ÿ’

       ๐Ÿ’Notice No. 2.  The Early Bird Discount for booking the Party on the Po riverboat stitching
               cruise expires on January 16, 2017.  Contact us right away if you would like to join the
               50_+ partiers!๐Ÿ’

Yep, 2016 only has a few remaining hours and it is history.  What a history we have had here at Arthur Acres.

Great-grandbabies celebrating birthdays.  Adult children making strides in their lives; one getting settled into her newly acquired office space and the other continually traveling around the world fulfilling his additional responsibilities, switched to larger private plane, etc.

But we (mainly me) have been very active in the needlepoint world.  This past year we had fantastic Online Mystery Classes that we shared with those interested.

January brought us the Easter Rabbit with Morning Glories by Brenda Stofft and - by popular demand -  we added a special class of the Arctic Parade also by Brenda Stofft.:

We had a fun Melissa Shirley project - Thanksgiving Critters that we finished - look at all that cuteness:

More colorful opportunities for a kazillion techniques was in the Easter Wreath from A.Bradley Needlearts:

We finished out fantastic fall piece by Melissa Prince Harvest:

We also finished our fun piece from Annie Lane Cats in a Dinghy;

 And, lastly, we finished our Eye Candy piece Happy Haunting Grounds.

We are making great strides in our year-long class Pillow Collage from the collection:

Lesson 5 will be posted soon - oh gosh!

The fantastic wreath from Melissa Prince Robin's Wreath is close to being completed as well:

Lesson 4 has already been shared!  Wow!

We began the last of our 2016 Classes with the jolly Santa's Rewards from Devon Nicholson:

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but you get the general idea.  

Oops  - Coming soon!  Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft.

In between Online Mystery Classes we had the pleasure for working with the TNNA Market Educational Department, did retreats - first one with Needle Nook of Lajolla; next Blue Bonnet - national and regional Seminars - ANG, EGA - chapter classes and shop classes, and we even managed to get in a few personal runaways with great friends in New York, Texas and Tennessee as the major ones.  Oh and I had a 2 week session with the Royal School of Needlework - what a fun adventure.

So we have a lot of fantastic memories to reflect on tomorrow as we welcome the new 2017 and delve into all the new and exciting classes and adventures that await us.  

If you are out and about celebrating please be careful and responsible!  Life is too short to be 'brave' (can also be known as stupid).

Have a Happy New Year as we begin our new Online Mystery Class Sessions and work on our upcoming tours - more on that next week!


Saturday, December 24, 2016


It is very difficulty for me believe that yet another year is about to be gone.  We have one full week left in the year 2016 and it, too, will be history.  How blessed I feel to have been granted another wonderful year.

This one week will be gone before we even know it.  Those of us of the Christian faith are so absorbed in the Christmas Celebrations that the time will just seem to fly by.   Tonight is Christmas Eve and that for many families is an important celebratory time.  That has become the time that those of us with adult children and grandchildren seem to try to get together for an evening to share, laugh, play, cry, open gifts if such a practice is undertaken, etc.

We overeat and generally things that are not always the best for us - same with drink.  Our family is rather mild in this regard.  None of us are 'drinkers' as such.  We will have an occasional social drink or business gathering drink, etc., but as a routine it is not something that we concern ourselves with.

Now eating, that is another matter.  Too many rich things, cheeses, breads, sweets - oooohhh those chocolate chip cookies, salty munchies, etc.

We now participate in a silly practice of Christmas stocking gifts.  No one can spend more than $20 on any one person and off we go.  You really need to be creative in this quest but it is always fun to see what family comes up with.  I, of course, always break the rules.  We have announced that we are the matriarch and patriarch of the family and the rules don't apply to us.  For some reason the rest of the family does not  buy into that and they tell us so but we ignore them. What do they know?  They're just middle-aged kids!

Guess which one belongs to hubby?

So, we will have a crazy evening/night while Santa is traveling around the world.  We'll enjoy our fire in the fireplace (it is cold enough here to do that - don't always get snow), we stare at the Christmas tree and its lights, and absorb the various decorations around and about.  We'll likely drag out the Rummicue game board or Mexican dominoes and play a few games and see how much we can cheat or catch someone else cheating.  Those who need to leave to meet additional family obligations for tomorrow, Christmas Day, will do so.

We will then arise on Christmas Day, put the ham in the oven, begin the various 'fixings', make sure the fire is going in the fireplace and have another blessed, rather quiet day, and reflect on all the Christmases Past that have left impressions on our heart and try not to be too sad missing those no longer with us to share this holiday with us.

So we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and if you do not celebrate Christmas have a wonderful festive event however you choose to recognize this Holy time of year.

Get busy and enjoy the remainder of 2016!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I have learned how to keep the 2017 Online Mystery Classes information posted to the right so it is always in the front and up at the top of the page for easy reference.  I think this will be very helpful throughout the year.  I know it will be for me - LOL.

I also am calling for feedback from those that need assistance in obtaining their class materials.  Please email me if you have no local needlepoint shop and need help with obtaining a full kit.  A full kit will include the painted canvas, threads and embellishments that are being used in the various classes. While I desire to introduce you to new threads and products I also try to be mindful of the availability to you of these unique materials. While some prefer to work from their stash, others like to have everything in one neat package - let me know if that is you!  We'll do all we can to help you accomplish this.

The next class in line for this possibility would be the Steampunk Fox class beginning in February 2017.  Just email me at and state that you would be interested in a full kit.  You may also make this request for any of the future classes that are scheduled for 2017.  I will add your name to a list of those wanting full kits and I will contact you individually outside of the secret Facebook page.

While I am in the process of gathering feedback, please feel free to provide additional input as to things that might make these classes more enjoyable for you.  I cannot promise they would be incorporated into the lesson plans but we can certainly consider all requests.

Have a great day and here's looking forward to another great year of fun classes and fantastic friendship amongst my participants!

Monday, December 19, 2016



All classes (unless specified otherwise or identified as a specialty class) are 6 months in length.  One lesson a month is posted through a secret Facebook Page.  Lessons are posted mid-month.  The class fee for the 6-lesson packet is $150.  Invoices are forwarded through PayPal.  For questions, or to register for any of the upcoming classes (you may register at any time and you will be placed on a notification list and notified one month before invoicing and beginning of class - however, invoices are not processed until one month before the scheduled class) just email me at

You are encouraged to purchase your canvases and materials from your local needlepoint shop.  If this is not convenient, please contact me privately and we will help you get all your class materials - again email me at

Mid-January 2017 - Larger Easter Rabbit

Brenda Stoff will start us off with her delightful Large Easter Rabbit.

                                                    10” x 14” on 18 ct

In case you have no caught on, most pieces I teach offer a plethora of opportunities for embellishing, adding dimension, creating a different approach and experimenting with luscious threads, beads and ribbons!  This guy is full of such opportunities.
NOTIFICATION:  December                          FIRST SESSION:  January 15

Mid-February - Steampunk Fox

Yep, another Brenda Stofft design.  This guy was not supposed to be on the slate of 6 classes for the year.  However the outcry was such that we just had to squeeze him in.

10” x 14” on 18 ct 
How could we say no?  Just look at that face!  What an attitude!  How chic!  I am so excited to be working on him!  (Oh, by the way, he is one in a series of three that we will be doing- there is also a Cat and an Owl that is included in our classes.)
NOTIFICATION:  January                                   FIRST SESSION:  February 15


Tapestry Fair Designs joins us again in our Mystery Classes.

MENORAH  #3004

The design area for the full piece is approximately 15.5" x 10" on 18 ct mono canvas. (Individual candle canvases vary.)  What a beauty!  I love blues and this piece does not disappoint. Lots of bling going on here I bet! And, this design is available in individual canvases featuring one candle each!  So if you want something smaller to work on here ya go!  They are exactly the same as those represented on the larger canvas. The only difference I have noticed is that the illumination light is not present on the individual canvases. 

NOTIFICATION:  February                                  FIRST SESSION:  March 15


Danji is joining our party this year with a beautiful Laurel Burch design.


As always, Laurel Burch designs offers up lots of beautiful colors with which to play.  The design area is approximately 10” x 16”  on 18 ct mono canvas.  Whatever will we do?  Ooooooo.

NOTIFICATION:  April                                          FIRST SESSION:  MAY 15


Another newbie for us is BB Needlepoint.  Who doesn't love cupcakes?


The designer specially painted this canvas for us in a larger size so we would have more room to play.  The original was much smaller but she gave each cupcake a little more room and made them a little larger for us to savor every bite - I mean stitch!  This will be a lot of fun.  I bet there will be a ton of embellishments! Design area is approximately 10" x 12" and canvas size is approximately 14.5"x 16" on 18 ct. mono canvas.

NOTIFICATION:  June                                                   FIRT SESSION:  July 15

Mid-September  STEAMPUNK CAT


                 Design area is 8" x 12" on 18 count Monocanvas. - Cut canvas approx. 12" x 16"

Like his fellow Steampunk'er' (is that a word) this gentleman comes to visit us.  Mercy look at all the stuff.  There are quite a few similarities with his buddy Steampunk Fox but other than possibly matching threads we might play around a little with different techniques for the common background areas.  We not only have flowers we we also have a owl (!), a mouse (!) and get a load of that pumpkin!  Geeez the possibilities!

NOTIFICATION:  August                                           FIRST SESSION:  September 15


Rebecca Wood Designs has this fantastic piece that called to a lot of you.

This is another piece that was not on the original agenda but some of you ganged up on me and recruited others to join you and here we are.  And I am so happy that we are.  What speaks to holiday fun any more than Gingerbread Houses?  We will deck ours out with lots of candy in various shapes and forms!  You don't want to miss this one.  When completed it finishes up to be a 3-D building approximately  9" in size.

Cut Canvas Size for Stretcher Bars Approx: Main House:  14"x 33" Chimney:  8.5"x 3.5"
Roof:  14.5" x 16"

The notification will go out on October 1, 2017 and the first lesson will be posted on November 15, 2017.  
           NOTE:  This may change.  Since there is such a large background area, I may offer the first lesson much earlier than the rest of the class just in order to get that part done.  It needs to be stitched before we can move on with the other details.

NOTIFICATION:  October                                           FIRST SESSION:  November 15


Raymond Crawford Designs has this colorful and happy piece.

I believe there are approximately 25 ornaments on this wreath and that does not include Santa!  I think we are going to have a busy 6 months with this one.  Design area is approximately 9" x 10" on 18ct canvas.

NOTIFICATION:  November                                 FIRST SESSION:  December 15

So currently we are featuring 7 classes for 2017.  We may need to push the December class back a little but we'll see as we get closer to the time.  Normally it should start mid-January but it just seems that he should start in December so that is what I have listed him as and hopefully can manage that.

There you have it!  2017 in a nutshell!  Email us to join in the fun - we'd love to have you.

Looking forward to hearing from you and having you join the fun!

In the meanwhile have a great weekend and remember to Stitch with a Smile!


Sunday, December 18, 2016


I know, I sound like a broken record, but where DOES the time go?  We just posted the final lesson of our fun Online Mystery Class - Happy Haunted Grounds from Eye Candy.  It seemed like we just started it a week or two ago!  How can that be?

There were so many options on this piece to consider and we pushed the envelope on some.  We could take this canvas and start over and come up with an entirely different look yet again if we chose to do so.  Fun!  Sorry you missed it if you did. For now, we bid this design farewell and move onward!  But watch for others.  We don't even slow down.

If you scroll down to November 19 you will find the 2017 Agenda  for the ONLINE MYSTERY CLASSES showing pictures and a brief description of all the upcoming Online Mystery Classes.  There is quite a variety - Rabbit - Fox - Menorah - Cat - Songbirds  - Gingerbread House - Santa Ornament Wreath  - stay tuned.

We also posted lessons in our Fun Santa's Reward by Devon Nicholson.  Santa now has a face and hands with which to hold and eat his cookies!

Isn't his face wonderful!  And take in those glasses - with lenses no less! Now he can see those scrumptious cookies that await future lessons!

And we added a lesson in yet another design Robin's Wreath from Melissa Prince.

Much to the dismay of one of my longtime students, there are a kazillion leaves in this design and we covered a multitude of techniques.  I think they are fun.

We are busily stitching away on our new class to be released next month - Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft.

Invoices have been sent, payments are being processed, and participants are being added to the Secret Facebook page.  Be sure to notify me if you think you are enrolled in this class and have not received your PayPal invoice or, if paid, have not been added to the Secret FB. page!  The materials list has been posted. Don't want to miss out!


We will now focus on our Christmas Holiday here at Arthur Acres where we celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior.   Tree is up (thank you hubby), gifts are wrapped (sparse as they may be), stockings hung (they are ridiculously stuffed), and baking starts soon! We wish you all well and be safe in however you choose to acknowledge this season.  And get ready for a fantastic 2017 Stitching Bonanza here on our blog! 

In the meanwhile, remember - STITCH WITH A SMILE!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Copied from my Facebook Page for those who missed it:

December 4, 2016

'My heart is full! (This is going to be long) Those of us who needlepoint long to realize that our hours of work and love that go into our work will be appreciated. Well, over 25 years ago I started making ornaments for our two granddaughters. I made them one every year. I tried to make it relate to events of the year. Each was gift wrapped, the year noted on the gift tag, and the gift put away in a box. They were never aware of this practice.(Once the younger one - being more inquisitive - ran upon the box in an upstairs closet and informed me that I forgot to give them some gifts- she was young enough that I was able to hedge around it and managed to hide them in a better place next time.) I had told my daughter about them and let her know that someday I wanted the girls to have them. My thoughts were for when they married. Problem was when one married that meant it spoilt the surprise for the other. So, instead I decided to give them a huge box one year at Christmas after they graduated. They were old enough to appreciate and realize what they had. They very lovingly and patiently opened each gift box and really looked at their gift - not just hurriedly moved on to the next - very precious to me. All ornaments were handmade by me except one. The year my Mother passed, their Great-Grandmother, I wrapped an ornament that she had made so they each would have one. Oh, I also placed notes in some of the gifts explaining the ornaments such as the one from my Mother, one that included a picture of them in special Christmas outfits that their Aunt Teresa made for them and had them photographed and the material was also used in the ornament for that year, etc. 

Well, where this is going? My granddaughters are now mothers this year. The older granddaughter shared the picture below of my great-granddaughter hanging one of my ornaments.(Some of you may recognize this as my Silver and Pearls class that I taught for several years including at ANG Seminar - I'm sure this does not mean anything to my Granddaughter I just thought it was extra special). My younger granddaughter shared a picture of her tree and her unpacking her box of ornaments.
So, I have to wonder no longer. My work is in good hands and is being enjoyed. I LOVE IT!'

Saturday, December 3, 2016

♮๐ŸŽถ 'If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod
(Cape Cod, that old Cape Cod)'
Can't you just hear Patty Page singing this fantastic song?  (Okay, please tell me that one or two of you know who Patty Page was).  Her voice was just perfect for the lyrics of this beautifully, descriptive song and it made you feel like you were actually there!
We are going to be there!  Yes, the second half of our Have a Ball in Boston tour will be spent in wonderful Osterville and Cape Cod.

We will have the good fortune of spending a full day of an optional class hosted by Osterville Needlepoint - thank you Joyce Gesh - and taught by me.

 And, not only that, Joyce has created an exclusive design for us to debut for her.

Wait until you see what I am doing to this happy, colorful fun design that will help us remember out trip to this remarkable area!  Those who are registered for this tour will have the opportunity to preorder this fantastic kit over on our secret Facebook Page.  Be sure to watch for details.  You will think you can hear the waves; you will want to pick up the starfish, and you will be tempted to slip on those flip flops!  Those who know me know that I love to embellish and add dimension!  My mind is swirling!

Here are just some of the goodies I am auditioning for the class.  Once I settle in, Joyce will provide us with the kit cost for those on the tour to be able to preorder.

After our day of class, we will head back to the hotel to get registered for our 2-night stay and ready for dinner. Dinner is not at the run-of-the-mill restaurant.  No sireee!  Our travel agent has made arrangements for us to dine at the Optimist Cafe.  Below is the excerpt from our tour brochure furnished by the travel agent:           

   "Tonight we gather for DINNER at a very special venue. You will dine at the OPTIMIST CAFร‰, originally, the Captain Howes House, this  beautiful historic home was built in in 1849 by Captain Frederick Howes. Recently it was listed on the National Historic Register. Captain Howes had a long and distinguished career captaining many ships all over the world. The Howes House is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Yarmouth…with distinctive “gingerbread” look. The building is a post and beam frame…and has its original plastered walls and ceilings, wide pine flooring, spiral staircase, fireplace, large door window and French doors. The proprietors felt a strong sense of care in maintaining as much of the original structure as possible when renovating this beautiful home. We hope you find it as charming and beautiful as they did."

What an inviting looking establishment!  Can't wait!

I believe this guy changes his/her look every now and then - what fun!

See that part that says 'Private Functions' - that's us!

Then, we are not 'dune' yet! (Sorry, couldn't help it.)  Nope!  Joyce is hosting yet another optional mini-class back at the shop where she will be showcasing a fabulous thread that many of you have not heard of, seen, or worked with - how exciting is that? I have worked with it and I assure you that you do not want to miss this chance!  More details on the secret FB page for the Have a Ball in Boston participants. If you prefer, however, you may return to the Hotel but after all, we are on a stitching tour - right!

For more information email me at  Trip is June 2017.
'If you spend an evening you'll want to stay
Watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay
You're sure to fall in love …'


The last Online Mystery Class for 2016 is the wonderful Santa's Rewards.  The first lesson has been posted and we are on our way preparing to post the second session mid-month.

The first class in 2017 ! ! ! ! is the wonderful Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft.

Invoices have been mailed.  If you did not get yours and you think you have signed up for this delightful class be sure to email me at so we can take care of it.  Once payment has been processed you will receive an invitation to participate in the secret Facebook page just for this class and its participants.  This is where the materials list, individual monthly lessons and general information and assistance takes place.  If you have paid and have not received your invite be sure to contact me right away -

REGISTRATIONS:  There is plenty of time to still register for the tours - Have a Ball in Boston and Party on the Po.  Also time to be included in the next Online Mystery Classes.  Just drop me an email to discuss.

Well I think that is it for this week.  I have so much I want to share but there is only so much time - for me and for you.  I am busily working on stitch guides for the upcoming Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat so that threads can be pulled and we can hit the ground running.  Such beautiful canvases . . . sigh . . . . what a lovely job to have!

Have a great weekend and just email me with any questions you may have.