Saturday, November 30, 2019


        PAYPAL INVOICES  HAVE BEEN MAILED FOR THE ONLINE MYSTERY CLASS AT     THE SEASHORE BY Sandra Gilmore!  If you have signed up and did not get an invoice email m right away at  You may still sign up for the class if desired.

Oh my!  Another year almost gone!  It just doesn't seem possible that 2019 is almost one for the history books.

With Thanksgiving behind us now we have Christmas looming before those of us who celebrate.  Just a few short weeks and that too will be gone.

White these are exciting times of the year I have been preoccupied with cruise preparations and designing.  I am so pleased with how the exclusive design for the Tulip Time Along the Rhine optional class kit is shaping up.  I am most anxious to share it with you!  Hopefully a picture will be forthcoming before Christmas.

Speaking of which - did you know that you can still ask Santa for the wonderful Tulip Time Along the Rhine riverboat stitching cruise!  Not a lot of space left so don't drag back if you want to come.  Last count we had 38 I believe and of those approximately 20 are returning stitcher/cruisers!  Isn't that exciting! Many have come on as many as 4 with us!  This makes me very proud and humble at the same time. Photos of some areas on the SS Antionette.

We will have many opportunities to stitch along the Rhine.  We will begin with a class night when we arrive for  our journey and before we embark on the beautiful ship.  Then once onboard ship we will have a minimum of two structured classes onboard.  Structured classes are formal classes. There will be many open stitching get togethers as well.  Open stitching is where you stitch whatever you want pretty much wherever you want and seek assistance from me or Teresa if you choose to do so.These gatherings will be announced to you in your nightly bulletins so you won't need to miss anything unless you choose to do so.  Of course our top priority is to see the beautiful countryside and experience the foods, arts, crafts, music, just the cultural in general while we are there and have the opportunity to do so.

I personally am looking forward to taking a canal boat ride on the canals while in The Netherlands!  Never been on one.  This photo is from Strasburg - an area we will be touring.

Be sure to follow along on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB page.  We have so much fun! We'd love to have you.

Also be sure to check last week's blog and get info about additional mystery classes coming up!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 23, 2019


Finally I feel I have been able to sluff off the doldrums from our recent wonderful Mediterranean Memories Stitching Adventures.  We received a little set back with both hubby and I suffering something - it wasn't really a cold because there was no fever - it wasn't really jet lag because the sluggishness was greater than just being tired - I don't know what it was other than it totally disrupted our schedules.  Last night I was able to really stitch and feel like my old self again.  So what did I stitch?  Well. . .

I have put needle and thread to what I have created for our optional class piece for Tulip Time Along the Rhine.  This next trip really excites me too (as they all do) and I look forward to it with much anticipation.  Each trip has its own excitement for various reasons - history, architecture, icons, weather, etc.  For me this trip promises much beauty - not just beauty but anticipated colorful beauty.  The promise of the height of the flowering season of tulips and other signature flowers in The Netherlands is very much looked forward to.  After all we will be arriving from our gray and dull winter here in Kentucky so it will be a welcome brightness and rejuvenation.

We have over 35 people coming with us so far.  There is still some room if you would like to join us.  Remember this will be a riverboat adventure so the average number of persons is around 150.  I love the intimacy from the smaller vessels.  It also seems to exude a calmness not surrounding us on the much larger vessels.

Having been on several previous UniWorld riverboat cruises I can almost feel our ship gliding across the calm river as we take in all that the area has to offer.

Where to?  The first part of this trip will visit an area we have never visited before. The Netherlands.

           Come join our FB page Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to follow along

We will enjoy traveling on the canals of Amsterdam - sounds like fun to me.  Additionally we will visit areas in France and Germany I have never experienced before.  If you would like to join us email us at for a brochure.  We would love for you to come along.  It will almost be like a reunion because we have so many repeat travelers that I feel I am with family.  You'll love them all too!  Over 20 are repeat travelers to date - few more working on clearing their calendar so they can join us again too.

I have been reading some folklore about the Rhine and it becomes very absorbing.  Yesterday I entertained myself reading about Lorelei (spelled different way).  What a lovely piece of music as well.  Enjoy this clip of gliding down the river - we will approach the mermaid's statute when the music changes - enjoy. There are a zillion castles on the Rhine apparently as well! I have tried to download a YouTube Video but I am not having much luck.  Go to YouTube and search Loreleilied - that clip plays the beautiful song and shows part of the Rhine where the Mermaid Statute is located.

We will end our journey in Bazel, Switzerland were we may choose to extent our venture a few days and visit Lucerne.  Oh Lucerne, one of my favorite places.  We were fortunate enough to visit a few years before the fire damaged the bridge's art work.  Thankfully that has been restored and I would love to see it again.  My most emotional visit in Lucerne, however, was the Dying Lion of Lucerne.  This part is very special to me and I have no idea why.  It really moved me. It is one of the few souvenirs that I have purchased in my travels.

Dying Lion of Lucerne, Lucerne (must see)

The Lion Monument is a sculpture designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The American writer Mark Twain (1835–1910) praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." 

The monument is carved into the cliff face, it measures a staggering ten meters in length and six meters in height. The Lion Monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti ("To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss"). The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy; beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers, and approximate numbers of the soldiers who died (760), and survived (350).

Go early or come late as there are plenty of tour groups that visit this beautiful monument. 
Very modern "self-cleaning" public restrooms can be found on the hill to the right.


Just a reminder that we will be invoicing the next class At The Seashore by Sandra Gilmore. The 6 lesson packet is $150.  We will provide pricing for the full kit for those needing assistance once the shop finished pulling the threads and pricing.  That information will be included in the notification memo that the invoices have gone out.

Registration is going well for two other new projects we have for 2020.  Fall Scarecrow Wreath from PLD

This is an 8-lesson package class and

Kissmas Eve also by PLD. This will be a 6-lesson package.

Just email us to be included in the class notifications:

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Just been home a week from our fantastic Mediterranean Cruise and still not unpacked.  Clothes have been unpacked and laundry done bu the stitching 'stuff' is spread spread all over the place.

Hubby and I had the misfortune of picking up a little bug - I guess on the plane - and we have not been feeling 100%. However we are making progress and hope that is behind us now.

Had no time to slow down however as it is time for Online Mystery Class postings. This month we said goodbye to two of our current classes.

Gossips from Strictly Christmas  managed to get the last little Gossip dressed.

Santa Tag from Strictly Christmas was a lot of fun.  While this design had a plethora of techniques, fun threads and finished, and gobs of stitches, it turned out beautifully and did not look tacky or overcrowded!

This Session introduced the addition of leather to needlepoint designs.  Looking good and something different.

Next up is Just a Sip!

Ha! Ha!  Her hair was so much fun!


At the Seashore from Sandra Gilmore is scheduled to begin classes mid-January.

Invoicing will begin this coming week.  The host shop is pricing an optional kit for those who need assistance.  Information will be provided to those that have signed up and paid for the class.

It is still time to join us if you like.  Just email us at

The second new class will be the Fall Scarecrow Wreath from PLD.  

This will be an 8-session class with a cost of $175.00. Many techniques present themselves in this beautiful autumnal design. The class is expected to begin mid-February2020.  Email to enroll at

Another new class is Kissmas Eve also from PLD.

This design will be covered in the traditional 6-session lessons package for $150.00. The first lesson is scheduled to begin mid-May 2020.  Email to enroll at

HEADS UP!    NAN - is accepting registration for the 2020 Assembly.  Go have a look at all the wonderful class opportunities that are presented.
I would love to have you enroll in my classes and come play with me.

A 2-day class Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources

And a 2-day class Winter Cardinal design by Maggie.

Hotel reservation information for the upcoming ANG national seminar to be held in Tucson, AZ for 2020 has also been posted.

I am fortunate to be teaching classes there.  

Crazy Needles Journey

Ribbons, Beads, a kazillion techniques, oh my!  This piece got its name because stitches used have a 'traveling' feel to them - Hungarian, Parisian, Dutch, French, etc., get it?

Flags of Glory

A fun piece to work!  Playing with different shading, stitch manipulation, ribbons, beads, sequins.  Love this piece.


Stay tuned . . . 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Wow!  WOW!  WOW!
Mediterranean Memories Stitching Cruise 2019 is a Memory.  Boy what a memory!  Who would have ever thought there was as much to see and do as there was available.  Even though our days were full there was so much more we could have experienced as well.

Generous participants shared a plethora of photographs from all our stops.  Many went separate ways which gave us the gift of the experience of almost being down those different streets.  Such wonders. Please visit the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB page for some of the photographs taken and shared.  The majority were posted in the exclusive Mediterranean Group but you'll get the feel I'm sure.

For this blog I am going to concentrate mostly on the stitching part of the cruise. I have shamelessly lifted pictures from the various posts on Facebook - heavily from Bruce Hart, Maggie Kuhn and Teresa Kinberger just to name a few!

We began our adventure in Rome on a Friday (some of us came in a couple days early to run around little spots like the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Coliseum, etc)!  We have been in Rome before but each time is different.  The Starhotel Michelangelo was wonderful!  Our first night as a group provided us with a fantastic dinner and our first reception/class time together.

We had a great room for our class.  Everyone had plenty of elbow room to stitch as we discussed the optional exclusive design for the cruise.

Just like any other classroom right?  Except we are in ROME!

Next day - Saturday - we headed to our ship by bus - the fabulous Azamara Pursuit.

There she is - Azamara Pursuit! Just waiting to spoil us!

First deck visits!

They quickly got out luggage to our rooms and helped us settle in.  In the meanwhile, there was plenty of food and drink to keep us occupied if we chose to partake - and partake we did!

On Sunday we docked in Sorrento and were tendered.
Look at this Coastline!
So much beauty!  Many went too Capri.  Some of us returned to the ship and stitched. Some went shopping.  This day we had open stitching on the Aqualina Deck 10.  

We had several stitching setups.  Several days we had planned or structured stitching in a designated room where I taught class.  We had a projector, plenty of stitching room, lots of drinks and of course cookies.

Some times we had open stitching where we could just gather wherever and stitch.  We did this mostly in a large open room that was completely surrounded by glass.  Also lots of drink, finger foods and cookies!

 An example of such an area with a stitcher enjoying the beautiful sea, the fantastic light and just chillin'.

The Amalfi Coast was breathtaking!  Wonderful day on shore as well as stitching time fit in.

One of the first surprises presented to those participants that attended the structured class was a hand-painted set of coasters representing their Mediterranean Sea adventures.  This was shared in a scheduled class in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy. We had the Coliseum from Rome, a matador from Spain area, the Maltese cross from Malta and the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.  They received a full kit, printed instructions and classroom instructions as well.  These were designed to fit the leather square coasters distributed by Tilli Tomas/Planet Earth Fibers.  The coasters were available to purchase separately and are available through your LNS.

This class was held in the Aqualina Room.  Wonderful space, light and of course goodies.

When we did not have structured classes scheduled, I held court wherever.  We would meet in the Aqualina (as above) or in the Living Room.

No need for lights here!


October 31 gave us another structured class and yet another surprise.  The beautiful Mediterranean Treasures Cuff Bracelet! This exclusive design included a full kit, instructions, cuff bracelet and classroom instructions.  The design incorporated the blue water of the Sea represented in the Sardinian Knot variation as interpreted by me, the Silver Maltese cross representing Malta, and the Triskelion in metallic gold on each side of the Maltese cross representing Sicily.We offered options for those who did not want to invest the time and energy to grasp the Sardinian Knot technique.

On November 1, we had the unbelievable opportunity to have a class in Sardinia, Italy taught by a Sardinian teacher teaching us the Sardinian Filet variation.  We made a pendant.

Sandy Arthur-Mariangela Porcu-Teresa Kinberger

Teacher being taught - gotta get those CEUs in!
Pendant Class Project

Several brought projects from home and we worked through their individual issues as they brought them to me.

 Such a grand time I had!  I am all geared up to begin more serious concentration on the Tulip Time on the Rhine Stitching Cruise for April 2020.  Hope you can join us. Email at for brochure.

Just email me at for details.  Also be sure to join our FB group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to follow our upcoming journeys too!

Closing banquet.  A few are missing but a great turn ou for our last group celebration!

Other Matters:
Tink Boord-Dill has several of her alphabet books available now through Amazon.  She is adding more at a steady pace.  Go have a look through this link:


Remember online registration is now open for our new upcoming Online Mystery Classes.  These are going to be chocked full of interesting threads, stitches and techniques.  Don't miss out!

At the Seashore is a Sandra Gilmore design.  Invoicing will begin this weekend/week.  To join the class email me at  Get your canvas from your LNS.  If you need assistance I have been working with a shop that can get all the materials for you as well.  Just let us know.

We have two  new designs from PLD Designs added to the agenda.  Email us at for details.

The Fall Scarecrow Welcome Wreath will consist of 8 lessons (1 per month) at a cost of $175 for the 8-lesson packet.  Lessons will be downloaded from a secret FB Group page. First lesson scheduled to be posted mid-February 2020.

Kissmas Eve will consist of 6 lessons (1 per month) at a cost of $150 for the 6-lesson packet.  Lessons will be downloaded from a secret FB Group page. First lesson scheduled to be posted mid-May 2020.

Joining is easy!  Send us an email at requesting to be included.  We will send you an email notifying you that the PayPal invoice is on its way for the lesson packets.  Pay the invoice and you are in - ignore the invoice and you are not included. Order your canvases right away through your LNS.  If you need assistance just contact us at and we will arrange for a shop to contact you.

Bave a great weekend!