Sunday, December 31, 2017

SWOOSH!  And just like that 2017 is history!

Sorry guys but I gotta say that the year of 2017 sure went by fast! 2017 was a year that many are happy to put behind them.  However, we cannot do anything about that now so our efforts are to be put towards what is ahead!  My Daddy used to tell me, don't look behind you because we are not going that way!  Isn't that great?  2018 I sure hope you are ready for me!

This popped up on my Facebook page and I could not express my feelings any better than laid out here.

Online Mystery Classes
are forging ahead!  In October we shared with you our full agenda for 2018.  Be sure to scroll down and make a copy to refer to so you will not miss a class on a special design you might be contemplating.

We will start January 2018 with 3 (yes 3!) new designs.

We will have our scheduled Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft.

This beauty will be the first in 2018 to be a semi-monthly class.  There will be 6 lessons as before but we will post every other month instead of monthly. This approach has been requested several times so we will see how it goes.  Be sure to give me your feedback one way or the other as we move along.

Next will begin the Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford.

We will kick off this series with the Reindeer that has the Pineapple blanket.  This series of classes will be $150 for the 4-lesson packet per design.  These will be lessons that have been compacted down to 4 months in order to get through the series quicker. (Totally different approach from the semi-monthly huh?)  There will also be a lot of common stitches and threads as this series is being approached by me as a set to be displayed together. I will mention and suggest some alternative techniques as we progress along for those who are just doing one or a few or who do not want them all to be alike.

Then we will have our first QUICKIE for 2018.  We are going to share the Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas from Raymond Crawford.

As I am so unpredictable I thought I'd get creative and begin with the first star!  The Partridge in the Pear Tree.  (I know, I know - how can you stand such wildness?)

Is that a sneaky way to share a picture of my wonderful fireplace again?  I'm looking at this scene right now as we have not removed all our holiday stuff as yet.  

If you would like to participate in any of these classes just drop an email to me at and we can discuss the various approaches and specials that we are offering. Lots of exciting stuff being offered this year.

To jump ahead a little, we are going to do 3 of JP Needlepoint's cute animal collections:  Catitudes, Dog Gone Good and Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny.

I mention these now because recently a cute frame was shown that is perfect for the Dog Gone Good canvas.  In case some of you would like to have one for your design I would suggest you hop over to the website of Deuxbijoix and get yours ordered right away.  If you think about it, please mention that you saw it mentioned here.  I do not know the cost, etc.

Just too cute don't you think?  And how about adding hooks at the bottom for leashes, leads, etc?  I am not connected with these folks in any way but I thought you, my students, might like a little more enabling help along the way.

Hey, did you guys give some money for Christmas?  Need a way to spend it?  Please consider joining us for our Stitching Down the Danube Cruise in October 2018!  We had so much fun on Party on the Po that it is hard to tell what all we will get into on this one.  We will visit 4 countries as we stitch along enjoying the scenery, history and most of all the camaraderie of others sharing our passion. 

 Jump over to the Facebook Page of Needles 'N Fins and ask to join.  That is our general cruising interest page where we share different highlights, receive inquiries, etc.  Our travel agent Liz ( at Viking Travel is most helpful and will answer all questions concerning the cruise.  I just answer stitching questions - lol - I don't know one end of a boat from the other.  I just know they are wonderful to be on when cruising down a very serene river (not too crazy about the big ocean jobs - had my share of rough water - no thanks!)

Well that's it for 2017.  I am looking forward to 2018!  Be safe and have good health in the New Year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


We celebrate Christmas at Arthur Acres!  We love all the festivities, all the decorating, all the camaraderie, (a few gifts aren't too bad either), and the food -which I certainly don't need!

So, from our house to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Teresa, Mark, Jannette, Tim, Sandy and Bill!  Thank you for your support and for sharing my passion.

For those still looking for canvases for classes for some of my upcoming Online Mystery Classes,  I understand that Stitchers Garden is having a 20% off sale - go check it out - they list it on Facebook I believe.

I gotta go now and enjoy the Holiday -maybe still bake some more cookies -  more next week!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Always a little sadness! 

           NOTE Interruption:  For those who asked for assistance on the Steampunk Witch Thread Kit, it is my understanding they were shipped 12-13-17 Priority Mail.  If you were invoiced and the invoice was processed you should receive a kit. Expected delivery date was noted as 12-16-17 (today). Please let me know if you think you ordered but did not receive -


I know, I sound like a broken record, but when you get older you tend to repeat yourself.  However, remember that needlework is now my vocation and each piece is almost like a child.  As I work on these designs monthly it is like watching a child grow and develop.  And then one day, just like with our children they are all grown up and must leave.  So it is each time one of my classes comes to a close.

This past week we shared some fun and fascinating techniques with the class participants.

Leaving us is the jam packed Cupcakes from BB Needlepoint Designs.

As in real life, we added sprinkles of all kinds to the various cupcakes we stitched.  A lot of imagination was put to use on these guys.

Steampunk Cat gave us the 5th lesson this month.

We dressed him from the neck down this month.

Lesson 4 from the Santa Ornament Wreath by Raymond Crawford was shared.

Lots of bling going on in this design.  Such fun.

Session 2. of the Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood had us working on the roof.

Some unusual surprises on this one!

And, we added a new design to our projects.  It is the Steampunk Witch from Brenda Stofft. Lesson 1 takes care of a lot of the background.  

This class will have lessons shared every other month.  Thread kits have been invoiced and will be shipped within the next few days - fingers crossed.

And the excitement builds as we register participants for our new additions to begin January.  Oh my!  A New Year so soon!  

We will have our first lesson in our Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford. These guys are so elegant and I can't wait to begin stitching them.

We have some special offers on this Series of 4 so be sure to email us to send you the full details.  Email

Registration is also still active on the Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft.

And our first Christmas Star from Raymond Crawford's 12 Days of Christmas will get this Series on a roll. These are presented as a Quickie Series and we will do one a month - full kit and full instructions per star.  Email me if you would like more information.
Thread kits are being invoiced and will be shipped by next week.

In our spare time we are working on the Arctic Santa and Professor Hooty Owl from JP Needlepoint so don't despair!  We have not forgotten - but remember these were No Schedule, No Stress classes so lessons happen when they happen on them.  They are, however, on the rotation forester the first of the year.

Oh, and I did mention a new Quickie also didn't I?  The canvases are in the mail to me so I will be sharing that one soon as well.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Just a few more days and we'll be sharing more lessons in our very active classes.  There is such a variety to work with.   Golly, there's a Gingerbread House, an Ornament Wreath, a Steampunk Cat and Steampunk Witch, how about Cupcakes  - pretty varied don't you think?  The only thing they might have in common is that they are not small.

Speaking of the Gingerbread House, invoices are being processed for those of you who ordered threads for the second lesson.  If you did not get your invoice please email me at  I understand the threads will be shipped this coming week.

If small is your thing you might want to consider our QUICKIE SERIES.  I shared with you last week a picture of the pieces we have done so far in this group.

Next up is still red-white-blue but a different icon - can't wait to share with you.

Then we have the CHRISTMAS STARS - 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS from Raymond Crawford QUICKIES.  

We will be doing one a month and there are two choices. First choice is all inclusive includes the canvas, threads, embellishments, lessons and shipping/handling.  Second choice includes the canvas, embellishments, lessons and shipping/handling - use threads from your stash.  Invoices are being processed for the thread kit for those who chose the option of all inclusive.  If you did not get yours be sure to email me.  The canvases, embellishments and lessons will be invoiced monthly. For more information just email me at

Guess who's up first?

I know!  Shocking isn't it?  The Partridge in the Pear Tree.  Lots of bling going on with this Series.  

Registration is currently active on a couple of other upcoming classes. First class is January 15 or thereabouts.

The first Reindeer from Raymond Crawford's Series is also being processed.  This series will be a little different from the others as we will be doing a compacted 4 lesson packet where we cover a little more than the normal monthly lessons.  This is to help us get through the series quicker.  The first guy up is the one with the Pineapple on the blanket.

There are special options on this series due to duplication of processes.  For details email me and we will send you the information that is being shared with interested participants. He is so handsome!

Invoices have also been processed for the upcoming class from Brenda Stofft Designs the Moon Gazer.

This class will have lessons posted semi-monthly.  There is still time to join us if you would like to play on this beautiful canvas.  The threads list is being prepared and will be shared with participants shortly.  There will also be an optional thread kit for those who do not have the resources of a LNS.

Registration is active for the Love You More design of the Snow Happy Trio!  These guys are properly named.  Don't they make you happy to look at them?

The first lesson for this group will be mid-February.  This will be the normal monthly classes for 6 months.  The 6-lesson packet is $150.  A thread/embellishment kit option will be offered later.  If you want to join this class just send an email to me at

Of course, there's lots more lined up for the new year so scroll on down a few postings and look at the full agenda.  And, as I have been known to do, there may will be some additions along the way.

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 2, 2017


For those who celebrate, Christmas is just around the corner!  Mercy!  But some need to be dropping gift hints so just a reminder of upcoming classes.

Steampunk Witch by Brenda Stofft will have her first semi-monthly lesson posted mid-December.

Invoices for the lesson packets have been mailed and are being processed.  If you think you are enrolled in the class and have not received an invoice please email me right away at  The thread list has been compiled and has been shared in the secret Facebook page.  Those needing assistance with obtaining their supplies please email me.

Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood is also in the que.  We will have the second lesson posted and some more threads.  Stay tuned.

This is a fun stitch - once you get the background in and out of the way, that is.  


Just a heads up that there are several more red-white-blue Quickies on the horizon!  I can't wait to share them with you.  I will, however, wait until after the holidays.  We all have too many irons in the fire this time of year anyway so I don't want to overburden everyone with these great temptations!  Keep watching.  The next one will probably be between January and February I imagine.

HINT:  The next one will also be an exclusive design from Kay Fite.  

Speaking of QUICKIES the fun Christmas Stars - 12 Days of Christmas by Raymond Crawford is moving along in great speed.  The first day of Christmas - Partirdge in a Pear Tree - will be revealed mid-January.  In the meanwhile, we have emailed those interested with the information about the thread/embellishment kit.  If you did not get your email please contact me right away.  If you have not signed up for the monthly classes as yet, there is still plenty of time.  Just email me at  We'd love for you to join in the fun.  These are rather quick to work up and in no time you will have a full set.  We can make arrangements to fast forward for some of the folks who choose to do so.  Just contact me and we'll see what we can do.

Here's the Partridge patiently waiting and ready for whatever it is that I am going to do!  Did I mention bling?  Yep!  Bling on every ornament - some much more than others.

Gotta cut this short and get back to work - it is late and I almost totally missed posting.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, November 25, 2017


In 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.
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.

I am also fortunate to be teaching at the Needlepoint in New England Retreat April 27-29, 2018 hosted by The Enriched Stitch in CT.  I have loved working out the details on my piece the Winter Cardinal from Maggie.

Isn't he glorious?  When I saw this piece I immediately knew that we had to create a plaid.  We just had to!  And, I needed to add just a touch of bling but not so much that it takes away from the elegance of the wonderful Cardinal (which happens to be our state bird and the state bird of several others).  The place I chose to do this was the snowflake.

Classes are filling quickly!  Hop over to The Enriched Stitch website and register now!

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 - 

Today I have been working to compile the thread list for the Brenda Stofft canvas of Steampunk Witch which is an Online Mystery Class scheduled to begin mid-December. This design will have lessons posted semi-monthly.

If you haven't signed up yet there is still time.  Invoices are currently being processed. Just email me at

Registration is also active for the QUICKIE series of the Christmas Stars -12 Days by Raymond Crawford.  

There are two options offered for this Quickie series.  The first option will be for the complete kit; handpainted canvas, threads/embellishments, lessons and shipping/handling.  The second option will be for the handpainted canvas, embellishments, lessons and shipping/handling.  The first option offers the convenience of having everything provided to the participant; the second option offers the opportunity to work from your stash.

The first option will involve an invoice being issued for the thread packet upon confirmation of joining that group.  This gets the threads to those participants up front and affords the opportunity to take advantage of the sharing of threads across the designs.Then around the first of December an invoice for  the first project - The Partridge in the Pear Tree - will be processed.  After payment is processed the canvas and the embellishments will be mailed.  The first class will be mid-January.  Each month thereafter the next design will be billed, etc.

For more information and questions just email us at

Saturday, November 18, 2017


This week we shared another group of lessons for the various Online Mystery Classes.  And, while visions of my Riverboat Stitching Cruise Party on the Po are floating around in my head, I feel that this month's lesson can hold their own in the attention department.

Session 5 for Cupcakes by BB Needlepoint was posted.  One of our favorite cupcakes is this swirled chocolate iced one.

We utilized a fun Kreinik braid for the embellishment on the cake liner.  And, look at that icing! This is a bargello variation that I have used many times including on Witch on the Town and Wizard of Paws.  A fun stitch.

Steampunk Cat from Brenda Stofft had Session 4 shared.  Much was done on this canvas and the bouquet was spectacular!

Planet Earth had the perfect ribbon for these roses in the bouquet!

Raymond Crawford's Santa Ornament Wreath also has lots of great techniques included.

 No, the Santa hat trim is not turkey work!

If you would like to join some of our Online Mystery Classes or would like more information, please email me at

2018 has a lot in store for our stitching challenges.  Scroll down a few posts- October 21 -  and you will find a complete agenda for the whole year.  Of course, I have been known to add a few along the way.

Coming soon will be the first lesson on Steampunk Witch a Brenda Stofft Design.

We will be sharing lessons on this design every other month instead of monthly.  The first session will be mid-December. Invoices for the 6-lesson packet have been mailed and are being processed.  We are working on a thread/embellishment kit to offer for those who do not have a LNS or need assistance.  Just email for details at

January 2018!  OMGoodness!  What have I done?  We will begin with Moon Gazer also by Brenda Stofft and also a semi-monthly project.

The first Reindeer of Raymond Crawford's series of 4:

The order of the reindeer may be changed.  This class is a little different from others.  The designs may incorporate only 4 lessons instead of the previous 6.  There will be much more information shared with those who have signed up for the classes as to how we will progress.  We will have canvases, threads and embellishment packets available for those who do not have a LNS and need assistance. 

And then we will feature our first QUICKIE for 2018, Raymond Crawford's 12 Days of Christmas Stars doing the First Day - Partridge in a Pear Tree.

These guys will be fully contained!  Handprinted canvas, threads, embellishments and stitch guide for that design.  We will also be offering a special to those who take all 12 days in that we will deeply discount the 12th day - so stay tuned.  Our goal is to keep each class very affordable.  The cost distribution will be shared with those that have signed up for the notification list.  Again, if interested please send email to to be placed on the notification lists.


Our Riverboat Cruise for 2018 is drawing a lot of attention.  Our agent, Liz, informs us that 20 have already paid and are ready to go - wait a minute - I still have a year to prepare don't forget!  I love it.  The enthusiasm and fun that we all had on the Italy stitching cruise will provide a lifetime of memories.  Many new friends were made and you cannot put a price on those types of adventures! But look what we have in store on the River Beatrice!

Sign up for our Needles 'N Fins Facebook page to follow all our plans and activity for these journeys.   The brochure for this upcoming trip is in the files section.  Contact our travel agent - Liz, at Viking Travel for traveling details -  or email me for general information and stitching plans -  

Until next week, remember to stitch with a smile and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating!

Sunday, November 12, 2017


On these blog posts I am not even scratching the surface of all the wonderful sights we saw and the fun we had.  If you would like to see more, join in the Needles 'N Fins Facebook page.  Many others have posted some of their experiences as well.

Of course, no visit to Italy is complete without a visit to a gelato stand!  These two Canadian Cuties (Donna and Jan) illustrate how it is done!

How do you resist reaching in and grabbing a handful of those Lucious grapes on one of our vineyard tours?

As you can see we almost starved!

When we arrived in Venice one of our first tours was of the Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's Basilica. We visited the Palace in the morning, had a fantastic lunch and sailed around the lagoon.  So peaceful.

As an aside, I had a difficult time keeping these wild women in line!  Oh those men in Italy!

You know, we did work too!

Always pays to come to class!  

What is that?  Relishes?  Starters?  Appetizers?   NO!  It is beads!  YAY!

   We even recruited the staff to help - hope he did not get into trouble!

We visited so many wonderful things while cruising the Po.  We went to Burano and saw unbelievable lace making demonstrations -

On Murano we say glass blowing demonstrations and could not resist all the lovelies that were offered up for sale - - -

Gondola rides anyone?

And, of course the Rialto Bridge and shopping!

We were able to gather together part of our group for a photo but sadly all did not see the notice but there were busy enjoying the free wine and lovely views while we were posing!

Please plan to join us next year on the Stitching Down the Danube stitching cruise.  We aim to beat our 50 participants so don't miss out!  For more details check out the Facebook Page Needles 'N Fins.

There is so much more to share but I'm running out of time today!