Saturday, November 21, 2020


While we know they are short lived, gray, gloomy days are a downer and even more so during these times we are experiencing.  My brother, who lived in Albuquerque, NM, also said to me that he did not understand how we could stand such gloomy days.  That's why he loved NM - he said the sun was always shining.  BUT. . .  my husband loves the four seasons that bless our lives where we live so we muddle through the few times that do not thrill us.

I am struggling with myself whether or not to get the Christmas tree up.  By the time I post this it will probably be in place - lol.  Hubby is really anxious this year so I think I will give in.  I warned him yesterday that we would start putting things away and getting ready to do the same decorations in the same place as we have done in the last 30+ years - LOL.

So, anyway, last week we posted lessons in the Online Mystery Classes. After what seemed like an eternity we were able to finally share the first lesson for our Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott. We still have 3 people awaiting canvases but I understand that they may be in the mail so fingers crossed for those folks. 

     An aside:  people if you know for sure you want to take a class I suggest you order a

     canvas the minute you make that decision.  The ole 8-10 weeks doesn't work anymore

     during this pandemic.  Just sayin'.

We worked on the backgrounds areas (surprise huh?).  We are doing the sky, mountains and some of the terrain to get this guy setup in his environment.

The gal in Just Add Water from CBK got her swimsuit and some water in the tub.


In the meanwhile invoices are being processed for the exclusive and very limited class of the needle felting on needlework class of the sweet Spring Welcome from PLDesigns.  

Last time I checked I think we are down to two full kits.  We have a couple canvases. Email for details if you would like to join us. This is a fully kitted class - canvas, threads, beads, roving, etc .

We are in active registration for the wonderful Two by Two from Strictly Christmas

I am really enjoying stitching on this cutie.  As I work on it I am trying to decide if I want to donate it to the children's hospital, Ronald McDonald (one our my Chapter's outreach programs) or the church nursery.  Sorry I don't have the time nor energy to do one for all of them - it is such a happy piece and promises to be packed with techniques and unusual threads that the shops kitting should have for you.

How about a closer look at the giraffe couple?

Email us at to get on the notification list. We hope to begin mid-January 2021.

For those of us who love the red-white-and blue we are excited to work on a special train created for us by Raymond Crawford Designs.

When ordering this train be sure to tell the LNS that you want the Engine, Liberty Bell and USA created for Sandy Arthur's class.  The original car has wreaths and is still available we just won't be teaching that one. This class will start mid-March so get those canvases ordered and be sure to sign up for the notification list at If you do not have a LNS and need assistance we have some great shop recommendations that will order you canvases and kit it for you.


I am beyond excited that some movement is beginning to happen in our upcoming Stitching Cruises.  The Netherlands is well underway and we have over half the number of people we are planning to accommodate.  This will be April 2022. Be sure to speak for your cabin right away in case the riverboat is limiting the number of staterooms they are allowed to have.  Check with thtravel agent Liz at for more information.

We learned that the International Stitching Cruise from Australia to Hawaii that was scheduled the week after our proposed trip has pulled out and cancelled.  We are also having issues and currently are in the process of rescheduling our Hawaiian Stitching Cruise to October - those of you who are booked should be hearing from the agent soon.  We should have a vaccine by then and hopefully back to a little more normalcy - whatever that is. Stay tuned.


If you are interested in our line of painted canvases that are available through the LNS, check out our website - - and look at your leisure.  Your LNS may order them for you - many are currently in stock as we prepare for the next market. Of course, the ones that must be ordered are like all other shop issues - takes a little longer than normal so please be patient.

ETSY SHOP - DuodesignsbySandra

Be sure to check out our Etsy Shop if you are looking for stitch guides.  We update it often and add new ones as we have the opportunity.  Also listed are some surplus items from prior classes that are a one-of-a-kind type deal.

Please stay safe and healthy!  Enjoy Thanksgiving as best you can.  Like many our original plans have been put on hold and it will just be hubby and me (and those feral/sorta cats.)

Saturday, November 14, 2020


It seems that this pandemic we are in the midst of has not slowed down online classes much - in fact, just the opposite.

This week we launched the fantastic donkeys - Peanut Butter & Jelly.  These sessions are hosted by Art Needlepoint.  They will be posting lessons weekly which is a different venue than is normal for us.  However, because of our limited 'outside exposure' we are embracing this concept of activity outside our living quarters - as are many of you..

Next up for us is our Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott.  I KNOW!  I KNOW!  FINALLY!

This guy has been so patiently awaiting his turn.  This virus thing has really held up the painted canvases for our classes.  Good news is that the shop kitting has received the remaining outstanding canvases. So TOMORROW we will post our first session!  YAY! Knowing that everyone should have their kits in the next few days.

Next up is a special class that is completely kitted - don't have to wait for a canvas (lol) - however, the number of participants is limited.  Spring Welcome is a sweet bunny from PLDesigns.  The primary focus on this class is different techniques:  felting on needlework, off-canvas work, applique`, beading and stump work for instance. While it may sound complicated with the step-by-step instructions you will breeze through these different techniques and start looking for other places you can utilize your new-found skills!

Email right away if you would like to try and get in this class.  Email:  It looks like we will be starting this class mid-December now if all goes well with supply shipments.     

   Here's a stump work sample that we do. Is that butterfly flying away?

        And lots of daisy petals.  Take a peek at those whiskers too.

We received working model for this wonderful design from Strictly Christmas.  Two by Two - Noah's Ark is jam packed full of wonderment!  I am so loving playing with this piece.

This fantastic adventure is spread across 8 sessions!  The lesson packet for these 8 sessions is $200.
Come sign up right away and contact your LNS and get your canvas ordered!  We want to start mid-January 2021.  Fingers are crossed!

To entice you more here is a close up of another cute pair of occupants - turtles! Scroll back a few postings and you can see some closeups of other cuties.

Right after Two by Two we will begin Raymond Crawford's fantastic American Train. How's this for being patriotic and showing our red-white-and blue colors!  So many uses for this delightful group.

I plan to start this class mid-March.  That is the target date of canvases to be in or on their way to shops - fingers crossed.  Each car will entail 2 lesson sessions.  We may be able to do 2 lessons a month on this one.  I'll just have to wait and see.  Email us at to be placed on the notification list.  The 6 sessions posted online will be $175.  Check with your LNS for price of canvases and materials. Be sure to have them order the USA canvas for this series - there is also a wreath car which we are not going to do at this time.


There is a little movement going on regarding upcoming cruises.  Our Hawaii Cruise is low-key right now and we are waiting to hear further from the cruise lines. 

In the meanwhile the new brochure is being distributed for the 2022 Tulips Cruise in the Netherlands!  We already have a nice group started so contact our cruise agent Liz to get more details and make sure you are signed up.  I am 'assuming' (and we know what that does) that the ship has had to cut back occupancy so get your registration in early.

Hop over to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB group and have a look at the Brochure!  Very exciting!

So have a lot on our plate here at Arthur Acres -  be sure stay safe and tune in next week.

Saturday, November 7, 2020


Thank goodness this is over for a bit.  I could not open my computer without taking a tremendous amount of time clearing off political ads.  I hope you are happy with the results and we can move forward!  Support our President - because he is the President of our great country - not because of his party lines - at the time I am writing this I do not know who that will be.  That's about as political as I get online folks. 


Okay, it's official.  Besties (Ostrich) of the Long Neck Friends Series is officially an Online Mystery Class.   The first session is tentatively scheduled for mid-February.  Canvases are in stock for a normal sized class so get yours ordered or spoken for early. Contact your LNS!

This sweet girl is stitched on 18 ct canvas.  (special orders available for 14 ct.) The design area is approximately 6" wide x 10" high.  The cut canvas size is 13" x 15".  I can't decide my favorite part of this sweet girl. I love her Bestie buddy the wide-eyed frog. They will be made up of 4 sessions.  The 4-session lesson packet will be $125.  To be placed on the notification list just send email to Contact your LNS to order the canvas and be ready to go!

For those who can't wait for future lessons, be sure to check out her buddies!  There are currently 3 and more on the way!

So we have Dragon-Fli (Miss Dragon with her friend the butterfly), then there is Best Friends - Miss Flamingo who has no short supply of friends including the affectionate gecko and the adoring ladybug, and the Best Friends Giraffe who is infatuated with her friend the snail.   Your LNS can order these and other new designs by contacting  To see some other offerings check out the webpage at.


Only two more days until we start our class of the delightful Peanut Butter and Jelly by Two Can Arts. This class is being hosted by Art Needlepoint and will be posting for 7 weeks - one lesson a week beginning Monday, November 9 - yes!  this coming Monday.  Can't wait!

Mercy!  I love these guys! For some reason they speak to memories of my youth on the farm in Appalachia.  I believe you may still sign up for the class but you may need to be patient for a kit to be prepared and get to you at this late date.  But that's okay.  I'll still be here for you and there will be no 'behinds'.  We all work at our own pace.  Here's the link to sign up for these cuties:


We are stepping out of the box on this one in order to offer something other than the Mystery Classes.  This class will push the envelope a little!  

Have you wanted to learn to felt on needlework?

H                    Before


                            Needle weaving

                            Off-canvas construction


The daisy just leisurely waves in the breeze.

        Your butterfly appears to flutter right off the         canvas!

            Stump work

            Felting on needlework

This class is very different from some of the other online classes hosted by us.  

First :  This class involves a  full kit option:  hand painted canvas, threads, roving, felting needle, beads, ribbon, wire, muslin, all stitching supplies to complete the project, plus step by step instructions that are downloadable and ready for you at your leisure.

Second:  This class involves a second optional kit that has all the above MINUS the hand painted canvas (as some have their canvas).

Third:  This class involves a third optional kit of upgraded felting tools for those who do not have them or who want to experience them at this time.  (The kit does include a felting needle and temporary mat so you can do all that is required for the class so never fear - this option is just if you want more.). I find the tools are helpful for toleration of my rheumatoid arthritis flairs.

No extra roving included - roving shown to identify tools.

Fourth:  As a stitcher you will need to have on hand from your stash 6" embroidery hoops, sundry sized needles including beading, chenille, bullion (needed for the length), tapestry - many sizes, normal stitching supplies such as scissors - to cut fabric and wire, etc.  More details provided to enrollees as needed.

Fifth:  This class will move more quickly than the normal online classes hosted by us.  There will be a session posted every other week until the project is completed.  These sessions are posted in a secret Facebook Group to which paid participants will receive an invitation to join.  

FIRST SESSION:  December 3rd.

NOW!  Here's the issue.  This class is open to a limited number of students as when the kits are gone - that's it!  So email your interest and you will be added to the notification list - this notice will advise that invoices have been mailed so all are notified at the same time.  Once invoices are sent the kits will be distributed in the order of payment received.


The long awaited Two by Two - Noah's Ark themed canvas - arrived from Strictly Christmas.  Oh my - each area is a project by itself.  The stitching I have already done has not disappointed!  Can't wait to share with you.  First session is scheduled for mid-January 2021.

Here's a closer look at those sweet zebras in the upper left corner!

My goodness gracious!  (Ever hear your mama say that?). Look at what Raymond Crawford did to our last American Train Car! 

I love it!  We have a totally patriotic car for our class and I couldn't be happier.  This will be such fun.  The first car - the engine - will begin mid-March.  Be sure to get signed up for the notification list right way .  Also be sure to contact your LNS and get your canvases ordered.  Make sure you have them ask for the USA car for Sandy's class. They may say 'Sandy who' but Raymond will know which one to provide.  (While there are now 4 cars to the train, we will not be doing the one with the wreaths in this class so only need to order the 3  - Engine, Liberty Bell and USA.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures

If you have been watching that sort of thing you will have noticed that the CDC has shut down cruise ships sailing from/to the USA, then they released that restricting and opened up sailing, then recently shut us down again.  We continue to plan our Island Hopping in Hawaii Stitching Cruise.  I will confess, however, that it is very difficult for me to remain optimistic about this one.  Hawaii is very picky about letting new arrivals come ashore.  As we get developments we will share them.  In the meanwhile we continue stitching on the optional class kit!  We think you will like it.  It covers a lot of territory.

So, I am off to turn on the TV and see if we have a new president at this time, drink my coffee and stitch on the cute, cute, cute Long Neck Friend - Dragon-Fli - you will not have difficulty spotting her as she moves around! Who doesn't love a purple dragon?

Have a great week and please stay safe!

Saturday, October 31, 2020


We had such a wonderful experience and the overall feel was that most everyone had a great show!  The Zoom feature gave us the opportunity to see some old friends and meet some new.  So great to chat about. I fear not enough took advantage of the Zoom feature but we managed anyway.  Some of us stumbled through and most all were learning at the same time and helping each other with ways to approach this new endeavor. We still have emails, public forums within the program, Face Time, Skype, etc. for communicating.  You can bet we needle pointers can manage to get what we want when it comes to our stash!  The difficult part, of course, is the necessity of waiting for the canvas painters.  Hopefully we can continue to move forward as they try to catch up and not be forced back by this pandemic situation.  Fingers crossed and prayers uplifted.

One of the hits in our booth were these sweet, sweet Long Neck Friends.  Such happy and colorful designs to work with. They are on 18 ct canvas (with special request of 14 ct available) and designs average about 6" x 10" give or take a little.

Did your local shop add these to their inventory?  These guys offer up so much to the imagination. We are currently working on Miss Dragon with her friend pretty Butterfly.  It has been suggested that we do Besties - Miss Ostrich as an online class - hmmmm.  What do you think?


Let us know if your LNS does not have these on order and we can provide you with some possibilities of shops that do.  These were in stock at market and a back up order was placed a couple weeks before market so should be getting more in a few weeks. Just email us at

If you would like to see other designs we have to offer go visit our website and peruse at your leisure and ask your LNS to order for you:

Speaking of canvases.. . .

Slowly the backlog of painted canvases are coming in.  We are trying to be very patient as this is not an incident over which anyone has any control.  It is what it is.  No use wasting energy on getting cross or upset with anyone - we are all in the same position.


Art Needlepoint is hosting such a cute project scheduled for November 9  - which will be here before we know it!  That is the scheduled first class posting of our cute guys Peanut Butter and Jelly. 

This class has been well accepted and we can't wait to share all the fun with you in our private Facebook Group. Yes, there are all kinds of threads, ribbons and beads manipulating going on here!

 I'm not sure how many openings there are so you might want to check right away with the host. Here's the link for all the info you need.

Look forward to seeing you in the classroom group!


Our next class will be the Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott It is believed that the majority have received their canvases. Our first session will involve fairly traditional techniques that one would want to spread out over a period of time so that should buy us a little more time. I will be available and the lessons will remain online in the group well past the finish of the class so do not worry! So let's plan to move forward.  First session posting will be mid-November!  We still have almost 3 weeks so we remain optimistic that all the guys will be in their new homes by then.  I will do a quick check in the Group closer to class time to see who still might not have their canvases.  Please post in the private Facebook Page the status of your canvas and let us know as you get them.

Our next hurdle is thread!  The thread that is backordered for this design is used in one of the final lessons so we should be good there.

Next up will be the fabulous Two by Two - a Noah's Ark theme -from Strictly Christmas. We have waited a little while for this beauty.  GET YOUR CANVAS ORDERED!

I have already had so much fun with this design as I have been searching for unusual threads to help differentiate the different critters - we have b/w zebras, b/w cows and b/w penguins as an example.

I also have been stitching away as I get the various sections figured out and grouped into lessons. You are gonna love it.  As I stated earlier somewhere if you want to experience this fun journey but do not have any little ones around remember the children's wards at the hospitals, nurseries at church, day care centers, etc.  I'm sure your donation of this sweet, sweet design would be most appreciated!

This 8 session project will be $200 for the lesson packet.  Email us right away to join the group - email We will share our first class mid-January 2021.  Here's a closer look at another couple - there are probably a couple threads used on these guys with which you may not be familiar.

Then in mid-March we will begin Raymond Crawford's American Train! You can't get much more patriotic than this.

Notice our last car does not contain wreaths.  Raymond has a surprise for us that will be a bit more patriotic than the wreaths seemed to represent.  Can't wait to see what he has in store for us!

Each car will cover 2 sessions.  We cannot start these any sooner because the painters have promised a 'try to get them done by' date which is March. We are considering a little twist to this class.  How about we do 2 sessions a month?  This would mean the stitching could be done by June if one were focused and diligent!  Remember to enroll send me an email to  - the 6 lesson packet is $175. 

Drop me an email and tell me how you feel about this guy as a possible class.  I have been asked to consider it so need to have a good interest to move forward.

In case you haven't figured it out I have a weakness for cardinals so when anyone wants me to consider I am all for it.  Just send your thoughts to me at

So stay safe and try not to eat too much Halloween candy!

Saturday, October 24, 2020


Do you know what today is?  It is the first day of the very first Virtual Trade Show.  Needlepointers do not let corona virus rule!  This is a new adventure for exhibitors, buyers and organizers all so we are learning as we go.

For my booth, you the customer, may go see exactly what the buyer sees as available.  From there you contact the LNS and ask them to order for you.  If it happens to be in stock it will be shipped right away.  If it is not - of course there will be that wonderful wait period we are all learning.

So, hop over to our webpage - - and peruse the offerings - and see if anything strikes your fancy.

Needless to say, we will be quite tied-up for the next 3 days so please be patient with all involved and have fun!


 TWO BY TWO - Strictly Christmas

Noah's Ark Theme

Is this too cute or what?  I am so excited to begin playing on this design.  

This canvas design is approximately 10.5 x 13.5 and has such an impact on the subject.  Every little animal has space to be showcased! What an heirloom you will be creating!  

We plan to work on this cutie for 8 sessions.  We will begin mid-January 2021.  This will allow you to get the piece done in plenty of time for Christmas if desired.  Additionally we may see if we can double up on a couple of lessons and share 2 lessons in one month and do this twice. The 8 lesson cost is $200.  Email us right away to get in the class!

The more you look at this canvas the more you see.  We'll point out a few highlights each week.  Today let's look at these so sweet cows. Whatever will we do with this fabulous pair?  You'll find out soon enough.

If you would like to play with us on this design drop us an email at so we can add you to the class list and invoice you accordingly.  Also, order your canvas right away from your LNS.  If you don't have a LNS and need assistance just email us and ask that we provide contact information to shop that is kitting the class for us.

Don't have any little ones but would love to experience the fun we are going to have?  Consider donating to a children's ward at a hospital, church nursery, day care facility - numerous opportunities!

Lovable Llamas are being shipped bit by bit.  How exciting.  We will plan to proceed with beginning the first class session of this wonderful guy mid-November!  Stay tuned!

Also don't forget registration is ongoing for Raymond Crawford's American Train series!

Ok - gotta go!  Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 18, 2020


We now have more information on the upcoming Online Class hosted by Art Needlepoint - Peanut Butter and Jelly.

This class will be setup in a secret Facebook Group along the same guidelines of my regular Online Mystery Classes.  Several major differences however.  Art Needlepoint Company is handling all the canvas and kit details.  We will be posting lessons weekly - specifically every Monday beginning November 9th - for 7 sessions.  You will be able to send inquiries anytime and we will respond as soon as we possibly can. All activity within the group sends an alert to all members of that group.  

We have a few ground rules and they are posted at the beginning of the group discussion list and we ask all to read.


This past week was mid-month and involved posting lessons to our regular Online Mystery Classes.

Once again we say goodbye to a cute design - Merry Kissmas Eve from PLDesigns!  This class finished in time for you to display this whimsical design just in time.

This month involved finishing up Santa's accessories - his sack, mittens and fur trim.  We also added holy sprigs and the kissing ball!

We also shared a lesson in the Just Add Water. class from CBK designs. We worked on the tub and faucet this week.

Some activity is cranking up on our upcoming classes so be sure to get registered as soon as you can so that we can alert the painters.

First up will be Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.  So excited to get to start this precious heirloom - and that is what it will be when it grows up!

This preciousness will use up 8 stitching sessions (I hope I can get it all covered in that many).   Class fees for the total 8 sessions will be $200.00. This class looks hopeful for starting mid-January.  I need you to sign up as soon as you know that you are going to participate so we can alert the painters as to how many orders the shops need.    Just email us at to be included.

As always be sure to get your canvas ordered from your LNS.  If you need assistance please contact us and we can guide you to shops that are fully kitting the class according to materials used by me in the class.

Next up is the American Train from Raymond Crawford. 

Each of the 3 cars will involve 2 months sessions for a total of 6 sessions.  The price for the lessons will be $175.00.  Email us at to register.

Okay gang - gotta go work on Virtual Trade Show!  Later . . .

Saturday, October 10, 2020

 Fall in Full Force

Our leaves are falling unbelievably fast here at Arthur Acres.  We mowed 2 days ago and if you look out it looks like the leaves haven't been touched for a week.  That's what you get when you select a place for all its beautiful trees!  Gotta take both sides of the situation.  With our 4+ acre yard and our age we just try to keep the leaves away from the house.  Other than that we let them enrich the soil so to speak.

Don't have much time to prepare a proper blog today but I did want to share with you an upcoming class that you might be interested in.  We were originally scheduled to teach at a retreat in Maine this month but it had to be cancelled - who knows for what reason (yea, right!).  Anyway the retreat hostess has decided to offer the classes online.  So my sweet guys - Peanut Butter and Jelly - will be available for you to enroll if you so desire.

Check at www. for the full details.  The classes are expected to begin on November 9 and will have weekly lessons for a total of 7 lessons.  It is my understanding that they will be set up as private Facebook Groups like my classes. Art Needlepoint will be providing a few options.  Those who have nothing will want the full kits.  Some have already gotten their canvases so they have an option for that group as well. So be sure to check with them for the various opportunities offered to participate in this class.  We'll be working with lots of techniques and threads - there will be ribbon involved also. These guys were a lot of fun for me and brought back many fond memories of our mule back home on the farm in Appalachia.  We'd love to have you join us.  

That's all I have a chance to share today.  I am still in the throes of working on this Virtual Trade Show Booth and rework our website as well.  Be sure to let your local needlepoint shop know about the show.  There are tons of exhibitors and shops registered so there will be lots to see and take in.  You as a customer will have a chance to look over some of the booths as well - including ours Duo Designs, Inc.  Lots of pictures with accompanying stock numbers for you to share with your shop.  No prices on the wholesale only website however.  The attending shop owners will have prices for you. Kinda wild until at least the first of November around here.

Stay safe and be careful!