Friday, June 29, 2018


Quick Note:  
Today's the last day to register for the fantastic Winter Cardinal class hosted by the Space Needlers - Seattle. Contact Kay Fite today! Ghosts welcome

One of my special treats is being able to share my needlework with others in different places doing different things.  My favorite venue is the riverboat stitching cruises.  Why you ask?  Well, I have taught on the large ocean liners but I wasn't that fond of the few times that we hit rough seas - get queezie easily.  I don't like looking out and only seeing ocean most of the time. There is always something to see from all sides on the riverboats.  The ocean liners are so large that they seem very impersonal to me.  On our smaller venues we have better opportunities to add new friends that we have met through our passion of needlepoint.  But that's just my personal perspective.

Riverboat cruises, to me, are just like floating hotels.  We don't even know they are moving.  We stop frequently and just step out on the land - be it Italy, Germany, Greece, wherever.  While in Venice last year I loved that after our morning excursions and after our lunch we were able to stitch or have a class.  After dinner, my daughter asked our tour guide about the safety and feasibility of wandering onland and he encouraged her to do so.  She had the best time visiting more little kiosks along the Grand Canal and did not need to wonder far at all (she's a shopper, I am not).  We loved walking on the plaza around the Cathedral and just taking it all in.  No hurry no worry.  I think serene might be a good description of this way of travel. I recall when I had a 'real' job that our vacations tended to wear us out.  We tried to take in so much and ended up going back to work to rest up.  I have never felt that on our riverboat excursions.

The smaller ship affords a better opportunity to get to know fellow stitchers (I mean cruisers) and share our passion in a different setting.  But not only our fellow cruisers.  Our crew went above and beyond to spoil us.  We seldom had to tell them what we might like twice.  Wherever I went on the ship - lounge, upper deck, library, lobby,(stitchers were spread out everywhere when at their leisure)  here they came with my diet beverage.  Or breakfast our drink of choice was in front of us almost before we were seated.  My husband chose to spend most of his down time on the upper deck, stretched out, supposedly reading, but mostly being catered to.  He never had to move if he did not want to - his snacks and his beverages were just a finger lift away.

We never lacked for stitching time.  One day I even opted to bypass the included excursion and just stay onboard and stitch with some others who did the same.  Just because the excursions are included does not mean that we must take them! While we had an optional class with kit, there were some surprise workshops along the way too!  What fun!  We made a souvenir ornament one day that my guests did not expect, and we made a lanyard from beads for our scissors on another time.  These were in addition to the optional class and free for all the registered stitchers. We did not lack for activities that's for sure.

So I am gearing up for our riverboat stitching cruise for this year - Stitching Down the Danube.  As I prepare some of my surprises for my participants it is bringing fond memories of past cruises and I can't wait.  We will be following a similar itinerary as for Italy but this time we will be visiting 4 countries.

We begin in Prague, Czech Republic.  There we will have our first night of class after dinner one evening.  Then we head for our ship and for Germany.  We'll work in another mini-workshop while in that area as well.  This one will likely be the optional Kumihimo bracelet project. After all who can't use another piece of jewelry on their holiday?  We will be able to make and finish this delightful piece and wear it while there.

While cruising through Austria, if I read the itinerary correctly, we will have a full day onboard the ship as we view beautiful scenery along the way. On this day I plan for us to concentrate on the optional class kit of The Danube created by the talented Kate Dickerson just for us.

My initial plan is to briefly discuss the various techniques and areas while we are in Prague that will afford  the opportunity to get some of the less-technical type stitches done by those who choose to do so.  That will leave our f2f time for more intricate things such as ribbon embroidery, beading, and specialty stitches. We will also create our own bargello pattern.

Vienna is very exciting for me!  I had hoped to get to see "The Kiss" and "Judith" by Klimt. Our agent is checking with UniWorld to see if the Belvedere Museum is actually closed on Monday between September and May as stated in our brochure.  The Belvedere's website states it is open. Well surely there is plenty of other references to feed my 'Kiss' viewing desire even if not the read thing.  I'll be where it is - right?   Oh, and there will be another mini-workshop somewhere along the way here too.  Wonder what it could be?  This might also be optional and I'll provide details once I get all the facts and materials together.

And lastly we will go to Budapest - the homeland of my Grandparents.  My mother was Hungarian.  Sadly, we do not know much of the background as our Grandparents were very closed mouth about their history.  'Smith' doesn't tell you too much lol.  And my Grandpa felt that they came to America to be American so very little of the culture was shared with the younger grandchildren. But I'm excited to see it anyway.

So good news bad news . Good news- the ship is full!  Bad news - the ship is full!  If you are considering future excursions with us please try to plan early as we never know how the interest will develop nor how quickly it will sell out.  If you are still hopeful of joining us contact Liz our agent and asking about being added to the wait list.  You never know.  And I think there may be a couple ladies who 'might' be coaxed into sharing.

Just a little stitching share.  We have a very long project called Arctic Parade by Brenda Stofft that were have been working on for 2 years and probably will be working on for 4 years more.  Below is photo of one side - yes there is another side just as large. Did you catch that design size?

Anyway here's a section we shared this weekend to the class. The front side of the blanket is now finished except for the tassels which will be added much lager.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 23, 2018


I briefly mentioned last time that my webmaster has been adding some of my stitch guides to the website.  These are all in the pdf format and are ready for instant download.  So when you have a few minutes grab a cup of coffee and go over and have a look.  Might be something you are looking for. 

I must confess that since I have been trying to maintain a blog I no longer spend much time working on keeping my website updated.  There are just so many hours and we all pick and choose.  I remember saying one time 'there just isn't enough time' and a professor responded that we all have the same amount of time in a given day - it is how we choose to spend it.  This past month has given us the loss of two very wonderful people that came into our lives and it makes you stop and hesitate a moment to remember what is important and to remember that our given days are a special blessing.

So what's coming up here at Arthur Acres?  Weed pulling that's what.  Oh, that's not what you care about is it?  Sorry.  In July we will be finishing up another Online Mystery Class - the Snow Happy Trio.  Since the summer months are hitting us we are going to play catch up a little and not add another new class until September.  In fact we'll be adding two in September. So many are out with school vacations, summer activities, etc.  so this might relieve a little of the pressure we place upon ourselves.

Next up:  Every Bunny Needs Some Bunny by JP Needlepoint.

We have been having so much fun with Catitudes and Dog Gone Good that we can't help but be excited about this upcoming group of classes. These designs offer a great deal of variety.  There is room to really stitch most of the techniques thus providing the opportunity to maybe learn a stitch new to you and hopefully to experience a new thread along the way. From left to right we have Teacher's Pet - don't those glasses make her look studious.  No tomfoolery here.  Next to her is Mr. Patriotic - while his hat has the red and white stripes, Teacher's Pet is actually the one holding the flag - hmmmm.  Miss Bashful just has that look about her.  I don't know if it is the eyelashes or what but there is something about her that tends to tell me she is a little hesitant but willing.  Little Miss Orange is waiting to have her tummy rubbed or her feet tickled. She is just ready to burst out into giggles.  Miss Flower Power just reminds me of the Hippy days - I know, it must be the headband of flowers but when something gets stuck in my mind I can't flush it out.  Bottoms Up!  Oh my the cuteness of that butt is beyond description.  There lots of other fun things in this canvas as well.  I mentioned the flag, but look at that stylish hat, the flamingo, the purple bird and the carrot. I'd say we have lots to explore on this one and that it will hold its own with the other two.  Registration is now ongoing.  If you would like to join us just email me at and we will add you to the notification list.

We have many new followers so it might be a good time to review what Online Mystery Classes involve. What does it mean 'add you to the notification list?'  That means that you must send me your email address as indicated above.  I will add that to the notification list.  There is no obligation involved at this step. The notification list will receive an email approximately one month or 6 weeks before the first class is scheduled.  The notification email will say you have indicated an interest in the class and that invoices for the $150 lesson packet are being processed.  If still interested pay the invoice - if no longer interested ignore the invoice. 

The class is 6 months in length beginning in mid-September.  That means we will post one lesson a month around the middle of the month for six months.  The lesson fee is generally $150 for the 6-lesson packet and is billed through PayPal.  Once the PayPal payment is processed you would receive an invitation to the secret Facebook page.  Sometimes if you did not get an invitation you may need to send me a friend request so that we can manually add you to the classroom.

Classroom: Here is where it all happens.  You will meet other class participants.  You will be introduced to the rules to follow to continue to participate in this group such as no advertising, no promoting shops, no trying to teach the class, and most importantly no negativism.  We are all about encouragement. We all had to learn somewhere along the way, right?  Then a few weeks before the class starts there will be posted a thread/embellishment list so you can go shopping.  When the first lesson is posted you will receive an email notice by the system that someone (me) posted in the FB group.

While we encourage you to please support your LNS we realize that is not always possible.  So, we try to work with a few shops to ensure that they will have what you need that is specific to our thread/embellishment list.  We will list that an optional thread/embellishment kit is available and let you know to contact us if interested.  At that time we ask for permission to share your contact information with the shop(s) that have agreed to work with us on these.  One thing I want to stress here.  Embellishment kits are not separate.  These are merely a little perk that we try to have for our participating students.  The shop cannot offer these as a separate purchase - they are unique to our class - it is the full kit or no.  They are extremely time consuming to gather.  This does not mean that we cannot work around the suggested embellishment - they are just a little something special. The shops do sell threads, etc., that they normally have in their inventory.  So if your stash is missing a couple threads they may be able to help you with that.

Along with the sweet bunnies we will begin the next Reindeer in the Raymond Crawford series.  This one will be Reindeer with the Candles Blanket.

These classes have hopped out of our normal scheduling.  The classes cover 4 intense lessons as opposed to our normal 6.  This is due to a couple of things happening.  First it was stated early on that lesson 1 and 2 would share the same threads and stitches across the board.  We will briefly discuss directional changes, etc., if applicable.  The real meat is in the blankets and adornments of each design.  Although slightly repetitive, each class is a full class because there are many students who are only interested in one particular design and not all of them.  Therefore, they may not be privy to the previous lessons covered and discussions on the other designs.

Scrolling down through older posts you will find mention of additional classes coming up.  I will be posting a new agenda - see current one on the right of this blog - for the year 2019.  We actively take registration for the notification lists months in advance. Some of you even forget that you indicated an interest.  That is not a problem as there is no obligation involved when joining the notification list.

Some include the Quickie Butterfly Series from Burnette and Bradley. Quickie generally means one and done.  Quickie also generally means all-inclusive.  You just send money and you get everything - canvas, threads, embellishments and stitch guide.  For the butterflies we have added an optional item however.  We are having custom made ornament stands made that can be used for these designs should you want to display them that way and as a set.  These will also give you the freedom to slide one out away from the others and place in a special arrangement, etc. if wanted.  I'm excited to see what the painters come up with on these.  More information will be provided as I learn about them.

I'm excited to be adding a new artist to my stitching family - Penny MacLeod.  I have never stitched one of her designs before so I look forward to the upcoming class on Dana - Life of the Party.  From the looks of my notification list so do many of you!

There are a couple of new Raymond Crawford Designs you requested and they made the list:  I call the first one 'The Green One"- lol

This guy gives us the opportunity to play with some fun things on all the ornaments, etc.

The other is the Lily Wreath. Colorful and whimsical - my two favorite criteria.

And another new designer to our classroom is Strictly Christmas.  Oh goodness me!  These two designs have taken over my life.  You are all so excited about them them that I can't wait to start the classes.  Spooky Tags in April 2019

And Santa Tags in June 2019

Scroll down to better see canvas outside the trays.

There is a custom tray that has been created for each of these designs for those who are interest.  Deux Bijoux is painting as fast as they can on these special orders. Make sure you get order in as early as possible - your LNS can take care of that for you or we can assist if needed.  These trays mean you have the opportunity to finish your design yourself and insert - viola - finished in time to display for the appropriate season!

Let us know what new classes you would be interested in and we will be glad to consider adding it to our agenda.  I require students to have a list of interested parties that are committed in order for me to make it worth the effort put into these classes to add them to our family.  Generally, that is not a problem - LOL.  

So hop on the wagon and come along for the ride of fun techniques and wonderful threads!

Until next week . . . Stitch with a Smile.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


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

        OH! and be sure to checkout our website 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 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 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

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 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


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 with questions and for travel questions email Liz at

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


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 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 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 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!