Friday, December 30, 2016

Good morning!

Just a quick note to remind all that are contemplating joining this fun adventure, the Early Bird Booking Discount for the Party on the Po riverboat  stitching cruise will expire on January 16, 2017.  If you or a friend are considering joining the 50 +/- partying group, don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of this discount.  And to add to the fun there is a $100 onboard credit to each and every passenger!  Wow!  Especially Wow! when you consider that the wine is already free! And once we board the boat everything - did I say EVERYTHING - is included,  excursions, transfers, tips,food, drink, etc.  (Private excursions will be on your own.)

Come join us for the wonderful sights we will see, the food we will experience and the wine that we will enjoy!

We also have an exclusive design created specifically for this adventure.  This is an optional class for those who wish to purchase the kit and join in the class during our 'down' time.

This beautiful, colorful design will be a constant reminder of the sights and sounds that we will experience while in the areas of Milan and Venice and all the little islands and places we will visit along the way.

There will be ornaments and more designs to share with the group later.  Stay tuned!  

Email for more details and get on board with the fun group!  email with questions, comments, etc.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

♮🎶 '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 CAFÉ, 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 …'

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Paul Revere?  Boston Common?  Boston Marathon?  USS Constitution?  Boston Tea Party?  Freedom Trail?  Lobster? Sand? 

When we do our Have a Ball in Boston stitching tour in June 2017, we will be touching on all of these things and more.  And most of these events are during the daylight hours - right?  Well, what about the nighttime?

Never fear!  We are here!  On our second night in Boston we will be hosting a Pajama Party/Ice Cream Social Stitch in!  Yep, you heard that right!  And . . . there will be prizes

Now, you are not going to win a prize just for any ole pajamas!  Nope!  You must have a theme!  Think of the possibilities!  Look around at all the history, the beaches, the food, there are all kinds of things to draw from.   My pjs are going to be so cool that nobody will even come close!  But not to worry because I can't win - 😊 !

So get those creative juices flowing.  Just a hint - you might want to bring a robe to travel from your room to the stitching room.  We wouldn't want to scare all the other guests away now would we?

Full details are below so scroll down to a previous post.

Earlier in the day we will have lunch at Cheers - yes the establishment made famous through the television series. 

From there we will make our second shop visit.  The Stitch Boutique.  Kim has some unique designs to share with us that are also Boston related.  The ones that really struck my eye are the ones highlighting the fabulous Boston Public Park.  Most people familiar with this area immediately thing of the Swan boats and the ducks.  The designs I have chosen to stitch and create a stitch guide for are (1) this beautiful 4" x 4" square design featuring one of the swan boats going past a fantastic weeping willow tree.

Here it is stitched.  There will be a stitch guide available.

and (2)  a 3" round ornament with the end of one of the boats where the swans are featured.

Both these designs can be preordered and prepaid for prior to our trip.  Details will be posted on the secret FB page Have a Ball in Boston for those who have registered for the tour.

          These are not classes!  These are area specific designs that the different shops are going to showcase for us and provide full kits if we desire to purchase as a reminder of our great time.

          The CLASS CANVAS was received yesterday and I will be sharing that as soon as I get all the threads together and start preparing the stitch guide.  The Class Design will be for an optional full day in Cape Cod and will be the subject of next week's tour highlight post. Costing details will follow on the secret Facebook page for Boston Tour Participants.  Come join us!  There is still plenty of time.

PARTY ON THE PO has blown out of proportion!  We have over 50 participants!  Isn't that amazing.  We still have people signing up and straddling the fence but as far as this end is concerned we are busily stitching the exclusive design for the trip that is theme related.  Those details will be provided to the participants via the secret FB page Party on the Po.  I am just waiting for the prices from the painter and participants can begin preordering their kits now.  The kits will be forwarded (after receiving from painter - 3 mo. +/ ) so you can add to stretcher bars and be ready to go.  The stitch guides will be shared in Italy!  I am loving this piece!  Can't wait to share!


Thought I'd share a little more with you about the upcoming Boston tour - Have a Ball in Boston June 2017.

Yep!  Rumor has it that when we Have a Ball in Boston one of our nightly stitch ins will be a PJ Party!  But. . . not just any PJ Party.

First it will involve an Ice Cream Social (at least that is the plan at this point of the game).

Second there will be an optional mini-class.  What is it you say?  Well, we will be creating our very own beautiful tassel from a full kit – everything provided – walk out the door with a completed project.  Price and preorder information will be available on the secret FB page for those registered to take the tour. The lovely hand painted tops, ribbons, guides for cutting ribbon – everything! Lots of color options.

 Next up – a        Contest  !  Four Categories

General Rules:
Must wear pajamas  (or night gown and robe).

What are pajamas?  For our purposes, pajamas require a top and a bottom (or gown and robe).

Pajamas should be tasteful.

Not cool! For this venue

Consider a robe as you must travel from your room to the meeting room - - - just sayin’

So, what are the categories?

1.           Most original Boston Theme pajamas
Surely with all the history around us you can come up with something creative!

2.           Most stitch related pajamas
I just gotta say that it is a good thing for you that I am not eligible to win ‘cause I got this one hands down!

3.           Most creative Onesie

This is a Onesie

This is a creative Onesie


 No you cannot copy this one!

4.            Most Creative House Slippers (must use flip flops as base – all others will be disqualified from competition)

The decision of our unbiased, expert judge (most likely the custodian on duty) will be final and accepted with grace!

Best of all, there will be prizes (as soon as I can get some lined up). 

So hurry up and join our group.  Email me for details or look under files (or scroll further down the page) for the brochure describing the trip.  Remember space is limited.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


We are forging ahead in our Boston plans at breakneck speed.  I first wanted to share with you information on some specific things we will be doing as we will be traveling - sort of a blow-by-blow itinerary.  So here is the first infomercial.

Our first night will be busy as we will have a class immediately after dinner!  It's a secret and is in your goody bag!  Just a little warmer upper!  We will start the trip on a lighter note first - visiting a needlepoint shop!

As stated earlier, we will be visiting three (3) needlepoint shops during our Have a Ball in Boston Tour June 8-13, 2017!  And we will have something different in store for us at each.

First up will be Wellesley Needlepoint Shop.  We will have 3 hours to visit, shop and stitch in this wonderful place.  Wellesley is sharing with us a very unique design that we can preorder!  This piece is so indicative of the area that it just screams Boston and the coastline.

You can feel the ocean breeze coming in from the water when you view this design.  Can't you envision the sound of the waves and hear the sea gulls noisily waiting for you to share some of your catch with them?  Such a happy and colorful design to document your visit to this area.  It can be a picture hung on the wall in your sunny place or beach house - or a cute pillow tucked on the wicker chair in your sunroom.  Fun stitches will keep you occupied for a bit so be sure to get your preorder in right away if you plan to come on the tour.  And. . . . tour participants will be given a special  surprise by Wellesley so be sure to watch on the secret Facebook page - Have A Ball in Boston for full details!

This exclusive design - Cape Cod Fish Market - will be the topic of discussion when we play at Wellesley.  You will pick up your preordered full kit when we arrive at the shop.  Once we are there, we can look over our kits and discuss any questions we may have while in the shop.  Maybe do some stitch refreshers, etc. However, we may also shop through their wondrous threads, canvases and stitching accessories.  What a way to start a road trip!

AND the shop has advised me that our tour participants will get a special surprise when they preorder this kit!  Details will be available on the secret Facebook Page which is only available to paid registered participants.  So don't miss out!

Wellesley will also have several ornaments that they will happily kit for us for our adventure.  This one is particularly meaningful to me because it has the Boston skyline, the Charles River and the remembrance of the Marathon Event - it speaks volumes - all in one little ornament.

I have lots more to share with you so be sure too check back next week to see what we will be doing in the afternoon on our 'shop hop'.  

Won't this be a great way to get our play things ordered and paid for before we even leave?  That way we will have more purchasing power when we get there!  LOL.  (Well, that's how I choose to think about it.)

So once you have registered for the Tour be sure to check out the special kit surprise on our Secret FB Page and get your preorders in right away so there is no delay in having them painted in time!

If you do not subscribe to our secret Facebook Page and would like to just email me at with your email address and say please add me.  All who are interested are welcome.  There we discuss upcoming tours/trips/cruises.  Once you register and book a trip then you are moved over to a secret Facebook Page specific to that tour.  Right now we have Party on the Po with 50x+ and Have a Ball in Boston with half our goal which is 20.  Remember that space is limited on these events.  A deposit will hold your place.  Boston is June 2017 and Italy is October 2017 - come join the fun!  

Also visit our sister blog for information on upcoming Online Mystery Classes, etc.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Did you ever hear that chant or something similar?  I had the good fortune of coming in contact with a lovely Catholic lady at the national ANG Seminar in Nashville, TN right after I had lost my wallet. She was sitting in a wheelchair and I was explaining to a mutual friend that my wallet was missing.  She said Sandy, stop right now and turn around 3 times and chant the above phrase.  Heck, it was free and didn't cost anything so what was the harm right?  Well I did so, and no my wallet was not recovered while I was in Nashville.  However, 10 months later the security guard at the Opryland Hotel contacted me and they had, indeed, recovered my wallet, sitting in the middle of the floor in plain view in their office - no idea where it came from or how it got there.  Everything was in tact - no a penny missing.  Hmmmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it?

The point of this is that on our wonderful PARTY ON THE PO journey we will be in the city where the Basilica of St. Anthony is located.  Padua!
Basilica of St. Anthony

A fellow passenger forwarded an article from the Chicago Tribune dated October 16, 2016 on the 'Venice Scene' and it highlights several areas where we will be 'romeing' around (get it?  LOL - no we won't be in Rome but I just couldn't help myself!) 

While pictures are 'not allowed inside the Basilica - even without flash' there are tons available to look at the enormous size of this structure, it's many periods of architecture, fantastic art, bronze statues - including many by Renaissance master Donatello, etc.  

Fantastic makes await you in various squares along our journey!  This is another fantastic place to feast your eyes and your lust for fantastic foods.

To join us just email me at

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Where everybody knows your name" . . .

Does this ring any bells?  Remember the "Cheers" television program and the theme song "Cheers"?

Well, we are going to have one fantastic luncheon on our 'HAVE A BALL IN BOSTON" tour!

The information about the pub states that the original bar is nothing like that depicted on the popular TV show. However, the owner, in his wisdom, built a gift shop that has a replica of the one on the show.

Our guide has a great lunch planned for us.

Come join us for our day full of adventures when we roam the streets of Boston.  I'll be posting more about our adventures such as the needlepoint shops we will visit, the shopping that is available, the historic sites we will enjoy and did I mention stitching?  Stitching?  Stitching?

We begin our journey on June 8, 2017 so check out the information in the brochure that has been posted.

Email me with any questions at

Monday, October 3, 2016


This past month, a friend told us of a movie that was filmed in Venice and stared Kathryn Hepburn entitled Summertime.  Yes, of course, it is an older movie but what a movie!  Both stars were nominated for awards - they did not win but it sure is a good movie.

In the movie the male star is explaining to Kathryn Hepburn various things about the area. One reference me made to Burano made me think of the following picture.  He said something like legend had it that a rainbow spilled all its beautiful colors over the city and that is why it is so colorful and beautiful (or something to that effect).  But I could totally believe that!

House after house after house is a bright, happy color!  How can you not smile when looking at all these cheerful colors?

We are so fortunate that this is going to be one of our excursions on our fantastic Party on the Po
riverboat stitching cruise!  You really should consider coming to join us.  There are so many wonderful adventures in store and the travel agent has even taken into account the various mobility issues for us who are a little slower on foot (as opposed to fleet of foot).  They also have canes if needed and bicycles for the ambitious - oh how I wish!  What a happy place to begin winding down our trip!  If you would like to join us just email me at  Our travel agent reminded me this morning that many specials are about to expire and we would hate to see you miss out if it is something you are longing to do.

Also, keep in mind that we do occasionally have someone looking for a roommate.  For some, it makes traveling so much more fun when you have someone to share the days adventures as the evening winds down.

Come on over!  We'd love to have you.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Finalized the itinerary for our fantastic Boston/Cape Cod land tour.  We are going to have the greatest time!

We will be visiting 3 (get that?  THREE) needlepoint shops on this 6 night-5 day tour.  We leave from Logan International Airport and head to outer area of Boston to our Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Woburn MA where those who drive will park their car and forget it for the whole trip.

After we settle in and have our dinner we will have a mini-workshop doing an optional project to warm up.  Then we start the serious stuff the next morning.  Jump on our fabulous coach and head for our first needlework adventure - Wellesley Needlepoint Shop.

Wellesley Needlepoint Shop is a must-stop between your hotel and lunch destination!  We will spend 3 glorious hours shopping or possibly taking part in a mini-workshop on an area-related project.  Lots from which to choose and many exclusive to them! How about a Boston skyline?  Or an LL Bean Bag (just up the road in Maine) with a lobster? Or Santa flying over the capitol? Or an exclusive for us?  Etc.

Boston Strong exclusive to Wellesley Needlepoint - can be with or without 'Strong"

After shopping and stitching, we jump back on the coach and head to Boston for our lunch at the unique "Cheers" Restaurant.

Next - are you ready for this? - we can venture over to our SECOND NEEDLEPOINT SHOP - Stitch Boutique of Boston.

The Stitch Boutique of Boston will be offering optional kits exclusive to the area such as this beautiful scene of the public park and the swan boats by the collection with stitching guidance during the evening after we return to our hotel to relax (relax heck - we're gonna stitch!)

And wait until you see the colorful skyline, the cute little ducks, etc., etc., etc. We will order and pay for our kits ahead of time and pick them up at the shop!

From this great shop we will venture forth and explore the famous Quincy Market!

Looks like we can get in a lot of trouble there!  And then, we wonder over to Faneuil Hall. Debates anyone? We can shop on the first floor and argue - er debate - on the second floor.

Faneuil Hall

While taking in the whole Quincy Market area, we will have dinner on our own and at our leisure.  But, wait - there is still more in store!

Back at our hotel we will attend a PJ Party in our private Function Room.  Remember pajama parties of your youth?  Welllllll.  At this event we will be have a class on an optional kit that will be specific to the Boston area.  Stay tuned for your choices.

Day 3 we are up and at 'em for our Historic Tour of Boston - who knew?  We'll blaze along parts of the Freedom Trail and absorb many of the Historic Sights our guide will share with us.

We'll have a private tour of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum (by a Colonial character no less to create the feel of the period) and watch as the Boston Tea Party reenactment unfolds.

Surely we're hungry by now so we will enjoy our lunch at the Tea Party Ships in Abigail's Tavern!

Back to the hotel to refresh, relax, or stitch before our upcoming - - - - 

Dinner Cruise aboard the Odyessy to enjoy a lovely three course dinner, live entertainment and view the wonderful skyline as we cruise Boston Harbor.  Don't think we'll do much stitching after this adventure.

Off and running next morning to the Cape Cod area.  We will begin our full day of stitching for an optional class at Osterville Needlepoint Shop.  Joyce has created an exclusive design for us to debut during our visit - a very colorful, happy beach scene - it is under wraps and we will reveal after it is stitched!  Looks like there will be beads, rucking, fun techniques, needle weaving, dimension all over the place!

We'll have lunch locally so we can get back to our class (location to be announced later).

After class we will go register at our hotel the Bayside Resort at Yarmouth, MA.

We are in for a treat as our dinner will be at a unique restored Historic Home - known as Captain Howes House - which now contains the Optimist Cafe`. Read more details on the brochure.

Next we return to the shop and participate in an optional mini-workshop!  Joyce has something fun planned on this one working with one of the new and unusual 'threads'.  Can't wait to see what she is having us do.

Next day after breakfast we will take a leisure tour of the Hyannis Port area, see windmills and a lighthouse shou
ld we want to take some pictures.

We return to our hotel and prepare for our Farewell Dinner - boo hoo! 

On our final morning we enjoy our breakfast and load up on our coach to go back to the airport and/or cars.

Please consider joining us!  Check out the full brochure on our Needles 'N Fins Facebook Page.  email me to be added to the secret participants list.

Any questions just email me at