Saturday, March 31, 2018


I had never been to Wilmington, DE so this was a treat for me.  The Hotel du Pont has lovely rooms - I believe all suites.  The bellman told me it was over 130 years old.  Well preserved lady indeed. We were well taken care of from the housekeeping staff.  Only thing I found inconvenient was that I had expected an in-room coffee maker and ice machine but both had to be obtained through room service - bummer.  I rarely use room service because of the extra cost.  This trip, however, I found it necessary to do room service for breakfast one morning.  The event sponsored a lovely brunch from 9 to 11:30 or so, however I had the hostess, Doreen, schedule a private teaching for me with the attending children during that time.  The hotel was not well prepared to handle our breakfast the day before so I chose to not take a chance and just have it in my room.  What a marvelous treat.  My breakfast was wheeled in on a lovely table setting and the server was most gracious.  It was a beautiful experience even though I was alone.

We had excellent shuttle/bus service from the hotel to the museum.  The wait time was minimal.  The staff at the museum went all out to take care of our needs.  They had a few bumps brought on by the recent storms (or at least that was what I was led to believe), so the lighting wasn't the greatest.  I think we had to be moved to rooms that were not on the original agenda.  But never mind - we persevered! And had a fantastic time as well!

I had a wonderful group of ladies with a wide range of experience.  I must give a great big shout out to the more experienced stitchers for their patience with the newer ones joining our lovely art.

The noble plan to include children in this adventure did not come to fruition as planned I'm sure from the hostesses standpoint.  While some had registered, things got in the way - such as the President presenting a Congressional Medal of Honor to a Grandfather, etc.  We did have one very eager young lady but it seemed there was some misunderstanding as to how the plan was to work and she apparently did not understand where she was supposed to be when.  We did, however, manage to work with her briefly but I was disappointed that I did not get to work with her the 3 hours that I had prepared for.  But that is the sort of thing we learn to work through when we try something new - right?

Next Saturday I will be in class in Houston teaching at ANG Encore! 2018.  I'll be teaching an exclusive design from Leigh Designs for Duo Designs, Inc.  Beijing Butterflies.

We'll be covering lots of techniques in this 2-day class - gulp!

In a couple of weeks I will be teaching at The Enriched Stitch in Greenwich, CT.  The Needlepoint in New England Retreat has a fabulous line up of classes.  Take a look and see if there is something that you just can't pass by.   
A few openings are still available in some classes I understand.  We would love to see you join us.  I am teaching the wonderful Maggie piece - Winter Cardinal.

Plaid creation, thread painting, open stitches, wrapped stitches, unusual threads - what ever will we be doing?  Having fun!  That's what we will be doing.


While waiting to post information about the next set of lessons I thought I'd share some of the newer classes that we have added to our agenda.

We have a whole series of Butterflies for our Quickies for 2019.  These are from Burnett and Bradley and are so colorful.  I must decide which I want to start first!  They are all so beautiful.
Yes, you counted correctly.  There are eight (8) different beauties for this series! Here are a couple close ups.

Needless to say the bling will be front and center.  Look at all the possibilities of beads, crystals, ribbons!  Oh my!  I will be in embellishment heaven! Hubby is counting out crystals and I think one had like 36 of a teeny tiny 2mm one alone - don't drop them please!

The Quickie Series are all inclusive:  hand painted canvas, threads, embellishments and lessons in one or two sessions maximum.  Did I mention that the number of kits are limited?  Sign up early so you don't miss out.  Classes will begin around the first of 2019. We plan to do one design per class.  The maximum number of postings will be 2 but most will probably be only 1 posting for the entire piece - might be lengthy but will be all inclusive.

Sign ups are going on now.  Just email me at if you would like to be added to the notification list.  No obligation.

Penny MacLeod is a new designer in my classes.  We could not resist this lovely Dana-Life of the Party design.

I am amazed at the reception for this cutie.  To be placed on the notification list just send an email to us at  Get your canvas ordered right away.  Your LNS will be happy to do that for you.  If you do not have a LNS and need assistance just let us know and we'll get you in touch with a shop that will order for you.  We also will be providing an optional thread/embellishment kit.

Wreaths are very popular among my students.  This fun one from Raymond Crawford has lots of interesting colors, techniques and thread/embellishment possibilities! This design was chosen at the request of a student and it generated enough interest to qualify for an Online Mystery Class.

 Sign up today for the notification list so you don't miss out when we start playing with all these summer icons!

Totally on the flip side is the 'green one' from Raymond Crawford. This, too, was a student request class.

It just takes an email to us at to get on the notification list for any of these Online Mystery Classes!

Did I mention that you can email us at  LOL.  And if you are not already doing so, please consider signing up to follow us in the space provided above at the top in the right-hand column.

Have a great week! We're heading to do an advance Easter Bunny day with the great-grandchildren!  Always a good day!

Saturday, March 24, 2018


I am so fortunate to have been invited to teach at the retreat hosted at The Winterthur Museum by The Art Needlepoint Company. This is my first time at this Museum and I have been told by many students that it fantastic.  It does not disappoint.

I am teaching their lovely Fruit and Flowers design.


There are two main things I am focusing on at this event.  They want to emphasize shading.  One of the major focal points of this piece is the lovely carnation flower. We will be thread painting this section of the design.

But, the other attraction for me was that they offered a wonderful opportunity for our youth.  Participants were encouraged to bring children to attend along with them at no additional cost!  Isn't that fabulous?  I will be having a special mini-workshop one morning with just the attending children so we can focus on their needs.

As an extra bonus I saw some previous students that I have not seen in quite some time.  Always, always a treat to get to revisit.  

Then I saw some friends I just saw last week the LaJolla retreat at Needle Nook.  Such a small world anymore.

But wait, there is more.  I met many that I have met through Facebook but finally got to meet face-to-face!  What a treat!  I am so happy to be able to add a face to the name.

My next adventure is to Houston to the ANG Encore! class event which is April 6 weekend.  No moss growing here.  I will be sharing the exclusive design from Leigh Designs just for Duo Designs, the Beijing Butterfly. 

Then I get to return to the East Coast to the Needlepoint in New England Retreat hosted by The Enriched Stitch.  I'll be sharing my version of Maggie's wonderful Winter Cardinal.

If the class has sold out they are accepting ghosts so don't miss out.  Plus this beautiful guy will be appearing in other areas later as well.

Stay tuned!  We have lots to share for upcoming classes!  I'm so excited!

Gotta leave for class - hopefully more later!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stitching Down the Danube

We are so excited by the interest shown in our upcoming riverboat cruise Stitching Down the Danube. We begin in Prague and leave from Budapest!  Four countries - we visit Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary.  That's some trip!  The dates are October 21-31, 2018.

Along the way we will be fitting in some stitching between the included excursions.  On our trips, once we board the boat until we disembark everything is included!  Yep!  That's tips, transfers, excursions, drinks, everything!  Our only out of pocket expenses will be in Prague when we may have to purchase a meal or two on our own.

The first night we rest.  The second night we have a full class for those who want to participate in the optional classes.  More information will be provided about that later.

Then when onboard, we will have some mini-workshops.  One of them will include making kuhimino braid.  We can use this braid for finishing our ornaments, pillows, creating bracelets, etc.

There will also be some coasters to consider.  Busy designing those now!

Then we have a full day of cruising.  We will continue working on the main class piece - The Danube.

This design was created for us exclusively through 2019 by the very talented Kate Dickerson.

So if you would like more information just email me at for the brochure and travel agent contact.  You won't be sorry!

INVOICES HAVE BEEN MAILED FOR THE DOG GONE GOOD CLASS.  Let us know if you think you are signed up for this class and have not received an invoice for the 6-lesson packet.

Online Mystery Classes:

Here it is once again, the middle of the month.  This month we shared the third of the Christmas Stars from Raymond Crawford's 12 Days of Christmas.
Three French Hens
Here's the other two so far:

We have been advised by Raymond that he has received more shipments so you still may join in if you would like to participate in this series.  We share one star a month with the canvas, embellishments and full stitch guide.  Email us at for particulars.

We also shared the second session of Moon Gazer from Brenda Stofft.  We finished the hills and grassy areas.

The beautiful Reindeer Series from Raymond Crawford is also in our Online Mystery Lineup.  The first of the Series is the one with the Pineapple Blanket.

Our second session was shared of the Snow Happy Trio from Love You More.

As with all my projects, this is soooooo fun!

We added some candy and the heart posts to our Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood.

And last but not least, we added a new project, the too cute Catitudes by JP Needlepoint.

The first two kitties are done and we still have 5 more fantastic and colorful meows with which to play.

We are taking registrations for the companion pieces right now so come join us.

Dog Gone Good has much to offer the sassy felines when it comes to personalities.  This class will begin mid-May.  If you would like to join us, email us at Invoices are being processed.

The fun doesn't stop there!

Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny Sometime - oh my!  Look at that cute butt!  Registration ongoing for this class that is scheduled to begin mid-September.

We have so many wonderful classes lined up through 2019.  

Our Quickie Series will feature super beautiful butterflies from Burnett & Bradley:

Each butterfly will be covered in its entirety in one or two lessons.  The series is all inclusive.  Email for more details at

Have a look at the new Penny MacLeod class on Dana-The Life of the Party:

Lily Wreath by Raymond Crawford:

And 'the green one' wreath:

I think that's all I can come up with today -  getting ready for my f2f class at Winterthur Museum in DE next weekend so working on the slides for that one.  Gotta think about packing somewhere along the way which means I must do my laundry from LaJolla Retreat -  have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


So enjoying my classes here at Needle Nook of beautiful LaJolla!  What a group of students!  They sure do know how to put a teacher through her paces and I love it.  I love the open minds to trying something new and accepting if something just doesn't work for them.  While each person has their own individual canvas and set of stitch techniques, we all share and learn from each other.  Stitchers are the best!  It rained a little yesterday but even that did not damper any spirits.  (We call it a sprinkle but what's words between friends.)  I had the good fortune to be invited to a student's home for a little girlie get together and we could sit and watch the ocean as the gentle rain fell.  It was hard to stay awake.  Full tummy, surrounded by like-minded people, comfy and cozy - z z z z z

At Needle Nook of LaJolla shop we could not ask for better treatment and hosting.  I almost dislike calling it service because it is done with such caring and friendly smiles that it is like family and you definitely feel like their guest.  You are missing a treat if you neglect stopping by when in the area.

Helga and me

I have had the good fortune of having Helga personally help me with thread selections for the past 3 years and she can never know how much I value her assistance.  But as I said, all have the same attitude - she just happened to be assigned to me.


We are all preparing to begin our first lesson for Catitudes on the 15th.  We are doing 3 of the series from JP Needlepoint.

I was reminded that I did not share my pet names for the kitties.  So here goes starting at the back left:
Orange Tiger Stripe – Mr. You Got Something to Say to Me?  Blue Striped – Wall Streeter, Bird – Safer as 
a Fascinator ,Yellow Fish – Miss Glamorous Gourmet, Periwinkle – Dreamy Eyes, Hot Pink – Mr. 
Waiting to Seize the Moment , Green -  Miss Where’s My Christian Louboutin’s Shoes, Black/White –
Mr. Dapper Dan, and Little Mouse – Lay Low Lily

But, the excitement does not stop there.  We also are processing registrations for a companion piece that will begin in May - Dog Gone Good.

Still plently of time to sign up.  Just send email to to be added to the class list.  Invoicing for the class will start soon.

Oh did we mention Every Bunny Needs . . . coming up in September?  Don't want to overlook these fun guys~

 While visiting in LaJolla I got to play with some thread ideas for our upcoming QUICKIE! SERIES - the butterflies.   Just send email to if you want to join in - will begin the first of the year - hopefully one a month or so - there are 8 in the series.
Duo Designs, Inc. Treasurer (aka Hubby) is busily counting out crystals and sew-on gems for the student packets.  So much fun, color, etc.

And Liz over at Viking Travel is busily processing passenger information for our fantastic riverboat stitching cruise to begin on October 21 in Prague and finish up on October 31 in Budapest.  What a fun time we are going to have if the Party on the Po riverboat stitching cruise is any indication.  These spots have been really filling up quickly - there are only 154 or 158 total (I don't have that info in front of me!). We'd love to have you join us on the S.S. Beatrice as we leisurely cruise down the Danube.  Email Liz at for travel information and me at for stitching statistics.  

Here is the picture of the specially designed piece for the cruise participants created exclusively for us by the fabulous Kate Dickerson.

There is so much to share but I gotta get cranking here.  I have already missed the Saturday posting - dang it!

Have a super week!

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Our current Online Mystery Class - Catitudes - is popular beyond belief.  For this reason, and based on the number of pre-egistration for Dog Gone Good, it is highly recommended to get those canvases ordered!  It does take between 8 and 11 weeks to receive once ordered.  Remember they are hand painted!  Let us know if you need assistance by contacting us at Can you imagine the fun we are going to have?

Here's a little hint.  I give my canvas parts names when I am working on them if possible to add to the feel of what I want to express.  So here we go from left to right back row:  Miss Priss - the eyelashes  dictate, Cool Dude - the sunglasses say it all, TroubleMaker - look at that expressions!, StreetWise - don't know where this came from but just seemed to fit - he stands ready, The Librarian - the stance, the glasses, the attitude,Weiner Dog  - well Carol Eix would understand,  Yellow Fluff - aww the baby, Business as Usual, and last but not least, The Overseer (is that spelled correctly - seems like something is missing)- got it all under control.  You will be receiving an email from us in the next few days concerning options.

Now back on course.  At a student request, we are checking out the interest level for a class possibility on two of Raymond Crawford designs.  The two designs under consideration are:

Grinch Wreath

Lily Wreath

If there is enough interest we can work in both designs for 2019.  Just email me at if you want to be added to the notification list - no obligation.

We are also taking names for the cute Penny MacLeod piece - Dana - Life of the Party.

This class will tentatively begin around January 2019.  Email to be added to the notification list -

I am busily preparing to leave mid-week for my returning teaching gig at the Needle Nook of LaJolla Annual Retreat. It is always such a wonderful event and I always have a fantastic group of students with challenging  canvases on which to play.

Designs from Alice Peterson, Purple Palm (multiple), Brenda Stofft, Melissa Shirley (multiple) and more.  So many fun techniques to share such as needle weaving, or nue`, ribbon embroidery, beading, fantastic threads - and on, and on, and on. Check out the details through Vicki at Needle Nook for next years event.

Need more?  How about right after I return we do the Winterthur Retreat in Delaware.  We are teaching this fantastic piece - Fruit and Flowers.

Then it is off to Houston to the ANG Encore! event where we will be teaching the exclusive piece by Leigh Designs - Beijing Butterflies. Crystals and beads galore in addition to fascinating techniques and threads.

Then after a few days at home it is off to Needlepoint in New England Retreat where we will share the beautiful Winter Cardinal from Maggie. I so love this piece.

So as you can see we have a pretty busy March and April lined up.   We won't even think about May and June yet!


If you are waiting for anything and have not received correspondence regarding some of the current Online Mystery Classes please email me right away at