Sunday, January 20, 2019


I am at a stitch away so this will be very short!  This past week we shared some of the lessons of our Online Mystery Class.

We introduced Dana by Penny MacLeod.

This session involved mostly background areas.

Then we did our Every Bunny Loves Some Bunny.  We had 2 guys to share this month.

We had Tiger Bunny:

And, Miss Bashful

The first session of the Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket was next in queue

Lot of background work on this guy!

Then we shared our first Butterfly of the Butterfly Quickie Series from Burnett and Bradford


We are so excited because our Optional Class Project will be on its way to the painters on Tuesday!  Hope to be able to share with you in a week or so!  It is so FUN!.

We don't want you to miss out on this fun adventure.  Be sure to join us over on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to keep up with all the excitement planned on our stitching cruises.  Also be sure to download the brochure of all the fun packed possibilities on this upcoming adventure in late October!  Hope you can join us.

Well it is snowing here and I am off to the stitching room!  More later!

Saturday, January 12, 2019


NOTICE:  Butterfly Quickie Kits have been mailed!  Keep a watch for yours to arrive soon.

I don't know if any of you have picked up on it or not but I am not a fan of cold weather.  Beautiful snow is fine as long as I do not have to go out in it. I do also have the luxury of a fantastic fireplace that hubby keeps going (his full time job is to keep firewood cut and hauled in). I always say I was supposed to be a Polynesian Princess but my mother goofed up along the way.  But all in all it hasn't been too bad. Here on our 'baby farm' as the realtor called it almost 40 years ago (excuse to charge $$$$ for an extra large yard) we have the luxury of having our snow left pristine.  We can watch or see where bunnies have played, squirrels are hopping around, the raccoons, opossums, and an occasional fox come to play. The cardinals are storybook pretty on the fence.  What I don't like is when it starts to get dirty and muddy - ugh!  But that come with it - right?

New introductions in our Etsy Shop - one new stitch guide and one new extra canvas.

PLEASE MARK OUR SHOP AS A FAVORITE.  I believe it assists in moving us up in the search que. Thanks!  Shop at   DuoDesignsbySandra

Catitudes stitch guide is for a JP Needlepoint design that was an Online Mystery Class that just finished up this past summer.  It kinda fudged ahead because of special requests for the guide.  This is a 22 page guide and is a digital download - buyers will download a pdf from which to print the pages. You'll find this stitch guide under "Stitch Guides" in our Etsy Shop.  See other offerings as well at our shop - DuoDesignsbySandra at (I think you need to go there first then search for the shop name).

Also added is this oldie.  I loved this Maggie piece and purchased it to do at a class.  As fate would have it something else caught my eye along the way and this ended up in the bottom of a drawer.  Just found it while looking for something else.  (Of course that has never happened to you before I bet.)  The Santa design is approximately 10.5" x 15" and handpainted on 18ct canvas. You will find this canvas under 'Canvases' section in our Etsy Shop.

Now isn't this a happy piece!  You have to smile the whole time you are working on it. So bright and colorful.  Please come get it before I change my mind and pull it.

I will try to add at least one new item each week.

FACE-2-FACE CLASSES - Look at all these great offers - I'm excited - Great start 2019!

Needle Nook of LaJolla will be here before we know it.  This retreat is embellishment projects and is generally sold out right away.  It never hurts to check, however, because life always gets in the way and maybe this is your year.  Just give the gals a call and check the status - there are 5 teachers so maybe there will be a slot in one of them.  

                                                                               Needle Nook of La Jolla
                                                           7715 & 7719 Fay Ave
                                                           La Jolla, Ca 92037

Then, the first week in April - 4-5-6 - I get to play at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia!  I haven't taught there in their new location so I'm very excited.  They are hosting three (3) one-day techniques classes.
One will be on hair dos - and we'll use the Can Do Hairdos book as our stitch guide.

The second one-day class is Beading on Needlework.  We will work with all types of beads.  Various ways to attach beads will be discussed and done.  We'll talk about some do's and don'ts. How to determine whether to double the beading thread or leave single.  Various threads and their uses. There will be some manipulation of various techniques as well.  And I might have a surprise or two thrown in.

Sneak peek at some Beading Exercises

 The third one-day class with be What to do with Ribbons and Such.  This is always a fun class as we work with ribbons, wire, sequins, specialty threads  and who knows what else I find in the kitchen. These are all fun classes and result in much laughter and giggles.

This is a clip from a sample board of a class we did about 7 or 8 years ago.  The first picture shows working with wired ribbon - I think it was called Wonder Ribbon back then.  The second clip shows working with Sparkles from Sundance.  This will be updated for the new sample board.

Contact Russell or Stephen at Rittenhouse to be able to join us.  We will have so much fun!  Would love to see you there.  Email:  Better yet, if you're like me, you can call the store @315-563-4566.  AND even better, they are also running a promotion for 2019 “Bring a friend and get 50% off second enrollment”. I'm not quite sure how they can do that but hey you'll come out smelling like a rose!

Right after Rittenhouse in Philly, we will scoot over to Stitch-Stash in DE. We will be teaching there on April 7, 8, and 9, 2019.  Look at this wonderful project we will be doing.

This colorful piece by Paul Brent is entitled Petunias and Flags.  Well, you know me, I couldn't handle that.  So, I have named my class Flags of Glory. I just couldn't help it. That's what I saw when I saw the canvas.

We'll also have a 1 day techniques class.  Be sure too check with Patti to get all the details at or phone 302-569-0063. And guess what? She will take ghosts for projects class - ask for details!

Winterthur June 7, 8, 9 - 

This will be a special assignment to me because my partner of Duo Designs, Teresa, will also be teaching.  She has not been able to travel with me for teaching for quite some time.  I'm excited.  Not only is she the other half of Duo Designs she is my daughter as well.  We can't show you the full pictures at this time but she is doing the cutest Snowman and I am doing some wonderful pots.  Can't wait to share more details with you.

Okay that's it for today.  Got lots I want to accomplish today!  Have a great and safe weekend!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2 0 1 9

Okay 2018 is History!  Let's meet the new year head on!  I'm ready (I think)!

I'm not much for making resolutions.  For me it looks as if I am setting myself up for failure if I do not 'accomplish' what I resolved.  And if I did so, top of the list would be health but hey I just take it a day at a time.  I have good intentions of moving around more (ain't gonna happen when I sit on my butt stitching all day), losing weight - LOL we know how far that one gets, and getting outside more - that one might have some possibilities. There are 2 things that I am wanting to focus on for now.  One is the upcoming Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise and the second is the Online Class Agenda.

I have been so fortunate to have repeaters on my cruises to the point that now it feels even more like my friends and I are planning our next runaway.  But I am not surprised at all because that is what we stitchers do.  We become a sisterhood.  We understand either other like no one else can.  Has nothing to do with our background, upbringing, or any other demographics.  It is all about our passion for the beauty, satisfaction (sometimes frustration) and results of needlework.  Doesn't even have to be the same medium - can be needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, beading, etc., etc. etc. Maybe instead of saying 'needlework' I should say 'creating.' There is just something about it.  I cannot put my finger on it and I don't need too.  It is just there.  So what better way to spend our fun time traveling than with those that have a strong common interest?

I'm excited about this next cruise because I've never been to any of the places beyond Italy for this one.  Hubby was in the Mediterranean when he was a Marine in the US Military.  He is funny because he talks about being excited to see these places again but like the French Rivera it is nothing like his memories from the Korean War.  But it is fun to see his amazement.

I'm also excited to be on our ship.  She appears to be spectacular.

I make no secret of the fact that I do not care for the humongous ocean liners - and they just keep getting bigger and bigger.  But they are fine for those who like them.  My passion is the riverboats so I am reaching a little for this slightly larger vessel so that we may explore the Sea.  A similar vessel is required whenever we are able to plan our Alaska journey. This will be a good trial run for me.

The Azamara will still allow us the intimacy that I so cherish with our group adventures.  Everywhere we look we should be able to spot a familiar face - whether they are in our specific group or they are just traveling on the same journey.  And speaking of journey - look at these ports of call!

If you have not yet done so, take the time to go over on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventure Facebook page and read the extensive description of possible excursions that Liz shared with us!  Wow!  But, wanna know something?  I am also perfectly happy to just enjoy what is handy to us just when we get off the ship.  So I know that no mater what - the weather, how I feel, the area, etc. - I will have plenty to entertain me.  But those who know me also know that I am perfectly content to go up on deck, pull out my needlework and just enjoy the day.

We personally have chosen to add a few days to our adventure.  Although we have been to Rome a couple of times, our daughter and SIL have not. So we will be spending a couple nights extra in Rome.  I love Rome.  One reason is because I feel so comfortable there.  We find it easy to navigate (for old folks) and there is always something of wonder to feast the eyes upon. Did I share with you that we walked around Treva Fountain 3 times before we found it?

We are also taking a couple extra days in Barcelona. I don't remember if I'm doing one or two but I just didn't feel that getting off the ship and heading to the airport would do the area justice since I had not been there before.  So that is something for me to look forward to also.  I think if I could only do one of the extensions mine would be Barcelona.  The main reason is because it seems so many other touring possibilities hit Rome if we want to return there again in the future.

My biggest challenge right now in front of me is getting our stitching piece designed.  With the major holidays behind me (almost) I think that I will be making tremendous strides towards completion on this front.

So if you are not a member of the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures group please consider joining us.  Heaven only knows what we will end up sharing over there!

Just as a bit of information for those of you who are in Needles 'N Fins, once you register for a cruise you are invited to participate in a secret group specific to that cruise only.  Invitations have been sent to those registered at this time.  The group name is Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019.  Let me know if I have overlooked getting an invitation out to you.  Some are discovering that I do not have their FB email but a different one.  So it could be that I do not have the proper email address to get your invitation to you.


Next on my priority list is the Online Mystery Class Agenda for 2019.  This is in good shape!  Classes are lined up.  People are registering.  And, most importantly, stitching is progressing almost feverishly.  I love the items my participants have chosen for me to feature and I am most impatient to get them stitched.  That's where this issues of having more hands would come in handy.

In just a few days we will be sharing our first sessions on the Penny MacLeod piece entitled Dana - Life of the Party, last in my series of Raymond Crawford's Reindeer - the one with the Poinsettia Blanket and the first of our Quickie Series - Butterflies from Burnette and Bradley. 

The butterflies can be finished as stand alone ornaments if desired.  As we have shared before, Deaux Bijoux Bijoux has made custom painted stands in 2 color ways that will work with all 8 of the designs we are featuring in these Quickie Series.

There is still time to join in any of these classes so just email me at and we can get it all arranged for you.

Etsy Shop - DuoDesignsbySandra

I am enjoying working on my Etsy Shop much more than I ever imagined. (Shop Name:  DuoDesignsbySandra).  I wish I was better at grasping what all my options are but for now I'm happy that I have learned to share some of our surplus things with you guys.  May not look the best professionally but we'll get there in our presentation. As I've stated before, I tend to over purchase so end up having some extra class kits, or canvases, or both.  But I also discovered this was a great venue to share our stitch guides.  I try to add a new one or two a week.  Eventually I'll have them all listed.  I also want to pull out the cross-stitch packets and get them into loving hands.  Here's the latest stitch guide we added this week.  

One of my students from another class commissioned this guide and I know it is going to be wonderful when she gets it stitched.  Can't wait to see it.  I will confess that there is an enormous amount of bling on this design from Penny MacLeod - Glamour.  

When visiting the Etsy Shop please be sure to list as favorite.  I understand that these listings help push your shop up in the search engine categories.

Have a great beginning to the New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2018


Oh my!  Just a couple more days and we are faced with trying to remember to write the year 2019 instead of 2018.  Wonder why this is often such a challenge?  Maybe a mental block on my part!

I was sitting working on stitch guides for the Needle Nook of La Jolla Get Away coming soon when this popped up in my feed.

I just thought this is so true and I wanted to take the space to share it with you.  Your support and encouragement are always appreciated and  I wanted to thank you again and assure you that you are not taken for granted!  I know you have many choices and I am honored and humbled to be one of them.

Christmas is now another wonderful memory and we are beginning our focus on what is on the horizon.

First up will be the new Online Mystery Classes for 2019!  For those of you who follow closely, check out the post of September 1 and you can print out the 2019 Agenda for the upcoming Online Mystery Classes.  We really have some fun things in store and I'm sure you won't want to miss them.

First up is the cute, cute Dana - Life of the Party from Penny MacLeod.

In just a few short weeks we will be sharing our first lesson on this happy piece.  It has been such fun  to stitch and I know that you are going to love it too! Just how many ways can you stitch a 3x3 square? This piece has also been a surprise to me as it has really fooled me on the amount of thread needed.  I will be sharing that information with the class participants as soon as I have finalized the requirements.

The first installment for the special series of Raymond Crawford's Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket is on schedule as well.

I must say that this was my favorite from the get-go.  I love poinsettias and I deliberately placed it last on the agenda for fear I would not give the others the attention they deserved.  

Then for those seeking instant gratification we have the first in our series of 8 Quickie Butterflies from Burnette and Bradley.

Invoices have been sent and most have been processed in preparation to begin these two new adventures.  If you did not get your invoice for either, be sure to notify us so we can get you all ready to go.  Or if you would like to join us that is possible too as long as we have the canvases for the butterflies.  Just email us at with questions.

Are you registered for the colorful and happy SeaSide Themed Wreath from Raymond Crawford?

Man this guy will utilize a whole bunch of techniques and will be such an adventure.  We'll pull out all stops for this one.  If you want to participate just send an email to us at  First class is scheduled for mid-March.

Keep in mind that we always welcome suggestions for new classes to add to our list.  As we have stated before if you can help get a minimum of 15 people to commit to the online class, we will gladly invest the time to set up the class and arrange the lessons with stitch guides.  I will say that I am finding that the medium to smaller sized canvases are becoming more popular so I will likely not be adding any more huge projects to our agenda.

Etsy Shop - DuoDesignsBySandra

Next focus is our new Etsy Shop - duodesignsbysandra - no spaces - Etsy set that up???  Anyway, we have been busy putting items in there to share with you guys.  This was set up mostly to sell off surpluses from my classes.  I always order way too much so this is a way to share some of that with you.   It has also proven to be a good venue for our books.  I wasn't expecting that.  So we'll see how that goes.  Be sure to mark as a favorite on my shop.

We do have a special for our Shapes of Needlepoint Books.  If you purchase all 4 books at once you will be given free shipping (approximately $40)!  So be sure to check that out.

There is a large listing of digital stitch guides and I continue to add those as I can sneak one in every now and then.

Problem could be that I may not be able to keep up both the website and the Etsy Shop.  Time will tell.

And we are placing into high gear our concentration on our upcoming stitching cruise - Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019!  Be sure to join our exclusive Facebook page at Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to keep up with all the plans.  October 2019 is going to be so exciting with all the ports we will be visiting from Rome to Barcelona!

We need to get some stitching in that 2nd gal's hands - if she's not drinking she should be stitching!

Have a very safe New Year's for those out and about and I wish you all health and happiness for the upcoming new opportunities God has given us.

Saturday, December 22, 2018


May all your wishes come true in this magical period of time.  It is a time of hope for all as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!  

Browse through our new Etsy Shop -  DuodesignsbySandra - no spaces.  We are continually adding new things.  This is mainly stitch guides and surplus class canvases/kits.  Please stop in and make us a 'favorite' (having a little friendly competition with a friend on this). Also feel free to email with any suggestions that might help in your search for things or what you would like to see in the Shop.  I will be adding laying tools, felting and punch needle tools, roving and other miscellaneous items soon.  Check back often as I am adding stitch guides almost daily until I get caught up.  I will also be adding cross stitch packets down the road after the holidays.

Taking a little break from my normal rambling this weekend but wanted to remind you to be sure and put on that wish list our upcoming fantastic Mediterranean  Stitching Memories 2019 Stitching Cruise. 

Go to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures Facebook page and review the updated brochure posted by Liz our agent  There are additional stateroom options available that she has been able to acquire for us.  While over at Needles 'N Fins feel free to ask questions as many have taken trips with us and they may be able to give you the answers you are seeking.

Remember that these small ships provide intimacy and therefore have limited capacity so spaces fill up quickly!  Would love to have you join us!

Okay, that's it for this weekend!  Have a great week and share your time - if it can't be with family or friends - go to volunteer at the many events to assist others and enjoy the interaction of being together.

Again, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever the holiday greeting matches how you celebrate.  We only wish you the best!

Saturday, December 15, 2018


We just announced our new adventure.  I am experimenting with an Etsy Shop.  The purpose of the shop is to first of all offer surplus class items.  I always seem to get way too much of everything and I should really let some of it go.  Then I also wanted to start selling some of our cross-stitch chartpaks - gotta get those photographed and listed.  And then maybe a few beaded things that I play with as a hobby.  If you get the opportunity please go check it out and I am open to any suggestions as this is totally foreign to me.  The shop name is DuoDesignsbySandra - not my choice but it works and makes Etsy happy.


Lessons are posting today for the mid-December groups.  It is unbelieveable that these are the last lessons for the year. 
We said goodby to a couple of our classes.

Our third Reindeer from the Raymond Crawford Series - Reindeer with Candles Blanket received his beautiful collar.

Every Bunny from JP Designs has Teacher's Pet featured this month

I love the eyebrows.

Raymond Crawford's Christmas Start - 12 Drummers Drumming

This is the last of the year-long project.  Can't believe it is over.


We have invoiced for our new classes that will begin the January 2019 Season!  We have invoiced:

Penny MacLeon - Dana- Life of the Party

Let me know if you did not get your invoice or if you want to join us.  There is still time - email me at

Reindeer - last of the series for us - Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket will have its first lesson mid-January.

He is so regal!

And our first introduction to the Butterfly Quickies - the first in the series of 8 classes. These designs are from Burnett and Bradley.

Kit will have enough thread to complete the stitching and beads for the embellishing - including 2 for the antenna.  Handpainted Canvas, threads, beads and stitching instructions all for $99.  Shipping/Handling is going to be $7. 
We are thrilled to announce that Deux Bijoux Bijoux has made two custom ornament stands for this Quickie Series.  They will work with all 8 of the designs we will be featuring.  The stands are $44 each plus S/H.  We are taking orders now for them.  As you can imagine there is a huge wait list for their fantastic items so if interested be sure to order now and get ahead.We will invoice for a $20 deposit per stand and then invoice for the balance plus S/H when they are ready to ship.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures

Excitement continues to build as we plan our Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019 stitching cruise.  This year we are going to do a little different venue just to experience a different option.  While I love the riverboats, I am not opposed to a slightly larger ship.  I don't think there is any question as to how I feel about the larger ocean liners but I can handle the smaller ships that go to the Seas such as this beautiful Azamara Pursuit.  Another would be the ships that navigate to our Alaskan hopes.

This trip is scheduled for October 24 through November 4, 2019.  Several have already shared with us that they plan to add a couple days on the front end in Rome and some on the back end in Barcelona!  We are going to have so much fun.  Hop over to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to see the full brochure and also scroll down to see the extended itinerary of optional excursions shared by our agent Liz.  We would love to have you join us. Email Liz at
 for travel information, etc.

An aside . . .

Hubby and I are great Hallmark Movie watchers.  He naps through most and I stitch through most.  But we still enjoy them because they always have a happy ending.  I not longer deliberately expose myself to stressful movies.  If I can't laugh and enjoy it, then I don't watch it.  One of the things that is always included while watching the movies is our dialog.  Movie starts and during introduction of the characters we manage to identify the first significant other and comment - he/she doesn't know it yet but they are history! Somebody is always transferred or forced into a different venue - meets someone they don't hit it off with right away - but . . . you know they are going to become an item.  Aww but there is more.  Hubby has been napping, right?  Wakes up - question - have they had the break up yet?  Yep, there will be a confrontation of the ex showing up at an awkward moment, then the wrong impression is made by new love interest, then . . . breakup.  Return to the original scene and somehow the new love shows up, they make up and everyone lives happily ever after.  My kind of movie!

And so I leave you with this to ponder

Saturday, December 8, 2018


First:  I have sent reminders for the upcoming Penny MacLeod - Dana the Life of the Party - class.  This first lesson will be posted mid-January so don't miss out.

There is still time to join us if you wish.  Just email me at and I'll get invoice out to you for the 6-lesson packet of $150.

AND:  I will be forwarding invoices for the first Butterfly Quickie Class to those who indicated an interest in the class - those should go out mid-week.  This class will also begin mid-January.  If you still want to participate just pay the invoice.

 If you are no longer interested just ignore or let me know - If you would like to join this group let me know and we can continue taking students until I run out of kits.  This is an all-inclusive, one-time only class.  You receive the painted canvas, threads/embellishments, stitch guide lesson all for the price of $99.  NOTE:  To keep costs down on these projects threads are cut to length needed.

Deux Bijoux Bijoux has created some custom ornament stands for this series of those who may be interested.  They have the canvases and matched colors. Remember these are created by hand and there is a fairly large backlog of orders between the beautiful custom trays, frames, etc., that they create.  But the sooner you get on the list the sooner you would get your stands.  When you notify me by email to that you are interested in ordering, we will invoice you for half the price to hold your order - when they are ready to be shipped you will be invoiced for the remainder of the price plus shipping/handling.  I will be sharing a picture and price with you soon - -


Are you aware that we have many of our stitch guides available for instant download from our website?  Just go to and look under the drop-down menu 'Stitch Guides for Sale' and find the ones of interest to you.  They are processed through PayPal cart and you will get a pdf to download instantly after funds have cleared.


Check in often as we are adding new guides as time permits.

Making it short and sweet today - have a great week and tune in next week to see a peek at the results of the Lessons for the Online Mystery Classes.