Saturday, March 16, 2019


LaJolla has come and gone.  What a fabulous week.  I had the greatest class participants as did all the teachers!  We are blessed indeed.

Surprise guest thanks to Miss Vicky of NeedleNook of LaJolla! The one and only Maggie stopped in for a short visit for a couple days.

Remember it is her fabulous Winter Cardinal design that I am teaching at the ANG Seminar in Houston August 2019 - be sure to go over to and sign up for the classes.

My other classes are the Bluebonnet Boot Vase and the Personalized Plaid Snap Tray.  Check them out.  Would love to have you in class.


NeedleNook of LaJolla hosted another fantastic annual retreat.  Here's a glimpse at a couple of those items from my class that drew a lot of attention.  Lauren probably won the prize for her Rosary Mary from Love You More as far as trips over to have a look. People loved the halo, the white wrap, the cross, the, the, the - on and on.

I know, WOW, right?  I'll be having a stitch guide before long.  

Probably second was Sandy's hair on her Morning Coffee from Patti Mann.

Can't wait to see the hair tamed and finished and the rest of the stitches added!  Such fun. She's doing a fantastic job.

See the ball of yarn being created by our 'cat lady' Pat?  She is bringing life to a Maggie canvas for us.

Victoria's starfish reminds me of ones I caught before they were bleached.  Don't you just love it!

I'm not sure where my other pictures have gone.  If I find them I'll share later.  We have a fantastic golfer trophy, loved Dottie's threads to bring it to life; precious 'hats' created by Catherine, and many more.  


Yesterday was mid-month and we posted our monthly lessons for the various classes.  

We gave our Raymond Crawford Reindeer a Poinsettia Blanket and some other accessories.

Penny MacLeod's Dana received some additional borders to add to her design.

And we added a new project this month!  Lily Wreath from Raymond Crawford Designs. This one is going to have a ton of techniques, stitches, etc.


Another butterfly joined our group this month as well.  

These classes are a one-shot deal.  You receive the canvas, cut threads, embellishments and stitch instructions all in one mailing.  Email me at if you would like to play with us.


We are so happy that our participants continue to increase as we move closer to our cruising date.  We also have many repeaters - how wonderful!  Come join us on the Azamara Pursuit October 24-November 4, 2019.  You may choose the optional class project or bring your own - we are very flexible.  Lots of surprises along the way too.

For travel questions contact our agent Liz at and for other questions email me at

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Good Morning from LaJolla, CA

Good Morning all.  I am just posting so you know that all is well.  I am teaching this week at the Needle Nook Retreat in LaJolla and I just have not had the time to post anything.

By the way, for me it is quite chilly here - beautiful but chilly.

Maybe next week will be a loooonnnng one!

Have a great week and remember to stitch with a smile.

Saturday, March 2, 2019


Registration is ongoing for our upcoming Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise - October 24 - November 4, 2019. We begin in Rome and end in Barcelona - but oh all the 'stuff' along the way. We will have our first scheduled stitching class in Rome - but it will be in the evening so we don not miss one single thing while in this fabulous historic city. When we leave Rome we will go next to Sorrento! Here we have the opportunity to visit the Isle of Capri! A chair lift is an optional trip to the top of the island! Can you imagine the view? WOW! Next is the fabulous Amalfi Coast. This is often referred to as the most stunning of coastlines. Then Sicily! I recall while in grade school how cool I thought it was that a country existed that looked like a boot! The toe of that boot is Sicily! Malta will be our next stop - Valletta to be exact. When we leave Malta we will be spending a full day a sea. On this day we plan more stitching, eating, stitching, relaxing, stitching - you get the picture. Sardinia is next - our last visit in Italy where beaches, cliffs and caves await our exploration. We'll move on to Spain which will have us docking at Mahon in Menorca, Spain - shopping anyone? Next day we're at Palma De Mallorca.- architecture and caves call to us. We disembark at Barcelona, Spain. Many of us are going to stay over a night or two to see a little more of this fantastic city!
Be sure to read over the brochure and come join us for 12 days of delightful fun - eating - stitching - touring - meeting old friends - making new friends - did I mention stitching?


Face-2-Face class in Philly!  Those of you lucky enough to be close to Philly should consider coming by Rittenhouse Needlepoint and registering for my Work Shops they are hosting. April 4, 5,6, 2019. AND they are having a fantastic offer for participants.  If 2 people register you get 50% off the second registration, There are 3 really fun WorkShops going on each 1 day in length. There will be Can Do Hairdos – which will include the book as well.  Another day will be Beading on Needlework – seed beads, delicas, bugles, oats – oh my! The third day will be Ribbons and Such – ruching, folding, gathering, singeing. (Check with the shop for the class order.)  In these 3 workshops we will be playing with a whole plethora of fun threads and fibers. We will use 18ct canvas for our base but for the most part the canvas size is not critical for our playing purposes. I always love teaching these classes because we all are very relaxed and having a good time! Don’t live close to Philly?  Hey, there are all kinds of flights in and out! Please come join us if you can.  Here’s a direct link for information and to register:

ANG Seminar - Houston - August 2019

Beginning Registration for Seminar classes is only a few days away.  I am fortunate to have 3 offerings for this year's seminar.  I would love to have you come and play with me.  And, there is so much to offer in Houston - including a plethora of needlepoint shops!

First up will be August 15-16 2019 - the Bluebonnet Boot Vase

Then on August 17-19 we do the Personalized Plaid with your color choice of snap trays and threads

Last, but not least, on August 18-19 is the wonder Maggie's Winter Cardinal

On to the East Coast - - -

With both our hectic schedules, it is rare that Duo Designs, Inc. teaches together.  I am fortunate that my partner/daughter Teresa Kinberger, will be teaching at the Winterthur Event this coming June!  We are so excited.

I will be teaching an interpretation of The Vessels by Jaci Holden.  This design affords the opportunity to really work with a variety of stitches.  The Vessels provides enough room to become familiar with a stitch before it is necessary to move on to another procedure.  Stitched in metallics and sundry silks from Gloriana, Planet Earth and Vineyard Silk you will experience the feel of the different brands.
Some stitch techniques include running stitch, woven variations, wave stitch  - just to name a few.

Teresa will be teaching this cute whimsical snowman.  His focal technique will be needle felting.
Shared tools will enable the participants to experience this technique that is saturating the needle art venues.  It is so fun for so many applications.  Clothing, animals, foliage, etc.

Lots of cute snowflake embellishments, fun icicles using wonderful Flair, needle weaving and much more for dimension and interest.


Classes are June 7, 8 and 9, 2019.  Check out the full details by contacting Art Needlepoint - follow the registration link below.

Before we head to Winterthur, however, we must go by way of LaJolla, CA!  (Long way around don't you think?  I love it!). I will be teaching at the annual Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat starting next week!  These are always great fun and Vicky put on a retreat to be envied by many!  I always look forward to this event and the fun canvases that my students present to me for suggested stitches, threads and embellishments.  Always, always a great time.

Rittenhour Needlepoint is next as described above - - -

Next up will be a week in Orlando, FL at a private stitch away. It is always fun to run away - right?

Then next will be Stitch-Stash in Delaware in May.  There we'll be teaching the beautiful red-white-blue Flags of Glory.  Some great stuff going on there.  We will also be doing a notebook class on Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources.  Heck that just sounds like trouble - right?

Wow! Classes have been posted and registration is open for the Blue Bonnet Retreat for 2020! Mark your calendars for February 15-18, 2020. Plan to come to Sugarland, TX.I am fortunate to have 2 classes offered. One is of Venice Memories. There is more than one way to visit Venice - right? This 2-day class has a hand-painted 18ct canvas that is 12" x 14" cut size. The design area is approximately 10" x 12." Silks, metallics, ribbons - lots of fun!

The second class is the BlueBonnet Boot Vase. This line-drawn design on 18ct canvas features familiar Texas icons. Experience working with sundry silks and ribbons. Techniques galore.
Check out the website for registration form and information for all classes that are being offered.
Okay, gotta start getting stuff put together to pack for LaJolla - until next time - stay warm and remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Oops!  I did not realize  it was Saturday!

I almost missed it.  Today I had to get my class pieces mailed off to NAN to be exhibited for the 2020 Class Selections.  I became so involved in getting them ready and out the door that I almost missed Saturday.

We had exciting news this week.  Our travel agent Liz posted the brochure for our next stitching adventure.  Tulip Time Along the Rhine Stitching Cruise!

Wow!  How exciting.  All the color!  There are 11 wonderful days scheduled for this adventure.  We will spend the first 2 nights in Amsterdam prior to boarding our fabulous ship the S.S. Antoinette for 7 nights of cruising.

The trip begins April 16 in Amsterdam and will end on April 26, 2020 in Basel - unless you choose to extend your stay a few days in Basel and Lake Lucerne.  Lake Lucerne  is one of my favorites. I have my breath taken away when I go visit the Dying Lion of Lucerne.  For some reason it is very emotional for me.  So beautiful and serene.

Go to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures and download the brochure for all the details.  Registrations are already very active.  So wonderful.  Email Liz at for travel details or me at for general questions.  The mind is already going crazy with ideas for our stitching adventure.

We continue to work on adding more stitch guides to our Etsy Shop - DuoDesignsbySandra.  Check in often and be sure to list as a favorite.

In the meanwhile, stitching continues for the Online Mystery Classes.  I will cut this weeks post short and get the needles flying so as not to disappoint my fabulous students (who keep me on my toes)!

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

THIS SATURDAY IS MID-MONTH!  We know what that means don't we - - -

Lessons for our Online Mystery Classes were posted yesterday.

We are stitching the last reindeer in the series of Raymond Crawford that we are doing currently.  This 4th Reindeer is the one with the poinsettia blanket.  The Second Session has us working on the reindeer and his antlers.

Our fun Dana from Penny MacLeod has its Second Session posted as well.  During
this Session we deal with some of the borders.

And sadly we said goodbye to our fun, fun Every Bunny Needs SomeBunny design from JP Designs.

I hated to see this one go!

In our Quickie Series, we sent out the second of Burnett and Bradley's Butterflies.

I am anxious to get this mounted on the custom ornament stand designed by Deux Bijoux Bijoux!

Your LNS can order these for you - we did not request an exclusive so all could enjoy the bright, happy colors.

ETSY SHOP.  -- DuoDesignsbySandra

We continue to add a few items as time permits.  We added a couple more stitch guides this past week.  I think we also added a couple of surplus class canvases as well. Go over and check it out.  


Registrations continue to build for our wonderful trip.  We have the canvas off to the painters and are anxious to start adding all the fun techniques and embellishments that are typical for me.  We are also designing some other possibilities if time permits.  

Additionally, our sights are set on the Netherlands for April 2020!  Tulips!  Tulips!  Tulips!  Our travel agent Liz is working feverously to get information out to you for this colorful adventure.  Be sure to follow over on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to learn details as they develop.

We will be doing our favorite riverboat cruise again and the boat looks fantastic.  I understand there is a special time sensitive discount so be sure to get all the details when they are posted!  Wanna be sure to take advantage of all discounts in order to keep as much souvenir funds available as possible!

S.S. Antionette

Isn't she pretty!  I love the intimacy we enjoy on our riverboats and smaller ships.  Our Azamara Pursuit for the Mediterranean holds approximately 690 passengers.  Larger than the riverboats 'cause she has a big Sea to navigate but still small enough to develop friendships and strike up conversations.

Face to Face

I'm busy finishing stitch guides for the upcoming NeedleNook of LaJolla's Annual Retreat.  So many great canvases to work with.  I am blessed.

Have a great weekend and check back next weekend.  Meanwhile run over to the Etsy Shop and shop and check in to the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures facebook page to follow our stitching cruises.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


We are off to a grand start for 2019! The second in the Butterfly Quickie Series is getting ready to ship and is sold out.  We are trying to get a few more for those who still want to join.  Let me know if you are one - otherwise we will be closing down the registration.  Invoices have been forwarded for those who have indicated they want the class.  email me at

Before sending off to the finisher I wanted to show you some choices you can make.  If you look at the left wing you notice the large flower in the center has less light pink and the outside of the flower petals are more prominent.  If you look at the right side you see that the light pink is prominent and the dark recedes.  These are personal choices for the individual.

While it is fresh on my mind I want to remind you that each butterfly is an individual class - you do not need to commit to every butterfly in the series in order to participate.  

We have also mailed invoices to those indicating an interest in the upcoming Lily Wreath from Raymond Crawford.  This class will begin mid-March

Boy, there is a lot going on here.  The bling and the huge number of threads in the kit are amazing!  But that's part of what makes it so much fun though. Look at that cute Seahorse, the Flamingo, what about the ice cream cones, and on and on.  Come on over and join us if you wish.  The shop that is kitting this for us has worked up the necessary materials and getting the canvases so you will be ready to go soon! Just email for details at

Ready to go Cruising?

Check out the activity at Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures facebook page!  We have so much planned.

We are getting ready for our Mediterranean Stitching Adventure that will be in late October. October 24 -November 4 with optional extras on each end. Since we are on the Mediterranean Sea we will be on a slightly larger ship than our normal riverboats but still not too large.  Less than 700 passengers!  YAY!

Look at all the ports we will visit.  So much to see and something for every individual taste.  Add to that we will have fantastic stitching time together as well!

If you want you can take an optional excursion to Pompeii, how about Capri?  So much to choose from.  I'm especially excited about Malta - Valletta - and Sardinia!  While I would love to do Pompeii I am afraid mobility issues will prevent hubby and me from that adventure.  But never fear because there is plenty more offered to afford us the opportunity to get into some kind of trouble.

Go check out the brochure over at Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures.  If you can't find it just email me at or our agent Liz at

Next up will be a wonderful Tulip holiday in April!  Details will be posted soon on Needles 'N Fins page.  Watch for it!


We continue to add more stitch guides and surplus canvases to our Etsy shop at DuoDesignsbySandra.  Check back often!

Large Easter Rabbit by Brenda Stofft

Fortune Teller by Brenda Stofft

Saturday, February 2, 2019


Man I gotta do something to kick this production into gear!  I cannot fall behind!  I have so much to do and I enjoy doing it - I just can't seem to actually do it!  I am sitting in my recliner with lots of projects around me - as one friend says "Sandy, it looks like needlepoint threw up in your house!"  So it's not like there is nothing to do nor that it needs to be dug out from somewhere.  I'm just in a blah mood.

One positive thing, however, is that I have a beautiful wood burning fire going 24/7.  Hubby drags out into the cold to make sure the wood is close by handy and keeps the supply ready to throw on as needed.

I never was a fan of cold weather.  I think snow is beautiful as long as I don't have to go out in it! Being raised in the mountains of West Virginia Appalachia we certainly had our share of cold weather.  And having livestock to tend we never had the option to just snuggle in the house around the warm morning stove.  Doesn't matter - I still never learned to like this type weather.

We are blessed though as what we have is nothing in comparison to many of you a little further north and west.  I admire their grit and know that I am being a wimpy old lady.

On a more pleasant side, we were able to get all our ducks in a row in preparation for our upcoming classes in Philly at Rittenhouse and in DE at Stitch-Stash.  Rittenhouse has all the information they need from me and they are ready to take registrations.  I have been receiving some nice notes from students letting me know they will see me there.  We are doing several techniques classes there.

One class covers beading on needlework.

Another features different hairdos for needlepoint.

And a third is on What to do with Ribbons and Such.

Rittenhouse Needlepoint
New Address:
1216 Arch St #2A
Phila., PA 19107

Just a couple hours away at Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth, DE we will share this wonderful red-white-blue basket.  I love this piece and am enjoying stitching it.

Additionally we will be doing a pilot class (condensed version) of an upcoming class called Conventional Techniques Using Unconventional Resources.  Quite fun.  

For Details - Call Patti at 302-569-0063


My, my!  This stitching cruise is going full steam ahead.  We are thrilled with the number of participants coming with us.  Why don't you review the brochure and also join us.  I know there are still some staterooms available so check with our agent Liz at and see if there is one that will suit you.  The hotel has long sold out and they are scrambling getting others for our use while we are in Rome since some of us are doing extra days - a good problem I think (agents might not think so from the standpoint of work - lol).  

Every day that I pick up the brochure I see something else that I think I might want to experience.  So many choices.  As I said earlier though, Hubby and I are perfectly content to just enjoy the ship and the adventures that are in a leisurely walk from the docking area.  There is so much that is available for us.  I have never been down in the Mediterranean other than in Rome, and he was there in the early 50's while serving during the Korean Conflict.  Things might have changed a little!


Registration is ongoing for any and all of the 2019 Online Mystery Classes.  Next up will be the second of the Butterfly Quickie Series.

We are in the process of finalizing the prices and then we will share the kit costs to those who have indicated an interest in the class.  There is still time to join us.  We will continue to take registrations until we deplete our limited number of canvases.  Email at

ETSY Shop (DuoDesignsbySandra)

We recently added a new Stitch Guide to our Etsy Shop.  Glamour from Penny MacLeod.  Oh the bling!  I know she will be fun to stitch.  Hop over and look over the various stitch guides that we have posted.  We also feature surplus canvases from various classes.  

We try to add new stuff weekly but so far I am falling down on the job!  Hopefully I'll get better.

I think I'll hang it up for this week.  Stay safe and warm.  Until next time . . . .