Saturday, June 15, 2019


I never tire of sharing what I do with my students and anyone else who will look. I so enjoy puttering around the canvas and seeing what develops.  Sometimes I can look at a canvas and know immediately what I want to do with it.  Other times I put it on stretcher bars, sit it on the mantle in front of me above the fireplace where I can look up and it see it, and think about it over a space of time.

Some designs I see one major something that just jumps out at me.  I know immediately what I want to do and I can't wait to start putting needle and thread to the canvas.  Sometimes once I get that spurt of enthusiasm over with I sit and look at the canvas and say to myself 'what next.'  Maybe the rest of the design doesn't speak to me as strongly.  I tend to think in terms of techniques and textures then figure out what threads might be available for me to use to accomplish what I see in my mind's eye.  Never a dull moment!

We won't discuss how much 'reverse' stitching I do.  And we won' t discuss the back of my work.  Those who purchase my stitched models must be content with what they see on the front - lol.

This month we say goodbye to Dana - Life of the Party from Penny MacLeod.

Her hair was a hoot!  Well pleased with how this lady turned out.

Session IV - Lily Wreath by Raymond Crawford

More ornaments finished and worked on this guy as well.

Session III - Spooky Tags from Strictly Christmas

There are so many items in this design.  Each one is almost a canvas in itself.  Here we share the cape for some lucky witch.  You cannot see the 'Glow in the Dark' threads used on this one in the picture.

Session II - Gossips from Strictly Christmas

Bodies are being stitched and tails and wings are being added!

Session I - Santa tags from Strictly Christmas

I created a tree darning pattern for the background of this design.  We also worked on the border to enclose it!

Invoicing will begin for Just a Sip from CBK.

This Online Mystery Class will begin mid-August.  Wonder wonder how each section will be approached?  Join us to find out.  So much texture!  How about bling?  And that chandelier!

Etsy Shop:  duodesignsbySandra

We continually add items to our Etsy Shop.  We added the digital stitch guide for Raymond Crawford's Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket.  Others will follow but this one was asked for several times so it moved to the top of the list.    I'm thinking of adding a section for stitched models for those who might be interested. Stay tuned.

Missing my father this Father's Day!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

SATURDAY for sure?

Wow!  I just barely press the send button for my blog posting until it is time to do it again.

A heads up to all interested in the Santa Tags Online Mystery Class by Strictly Christmas - invoices have been sent and are being processed.  If you think you are registered for this class and have not received an invoice, email me right away at  All invoices that have been processed have been invited to the secret Facebook page - be sure to join for that is where the lessons will be posted.  Let me know if you did not receive your invitation.

For those of you who might be interested, there is still plenty of time to register.  Just send me an email to and we'll get you fixed right up!  Lots of fun stuff going on on this one.

Next week we will be posting the monthly lessons for those classes currently in session.  Stay tuned for some sneak peeks.

Are you registered for our new class to begin mid-August?  Just a Sip is going to be a hoot!

Do you think there might be some beads in this one?  How about ribbons?  Oh dear!  Again, just shoot off an email to if you would like to be added to the notification list.

I don't know what is going on out there in cyber space but for some reason we are getting an influx of orders for our Shapes of Needlepoint Books!  Not complaining mind you.  It just amazes me how sometimes things just go in spurts! These diagrams are suitable for counted and painted canvases.

Maybe it's the large, well-marked diagrams that are the draw.

Hop over to our Etsy Shop - duodesignsbySandra - and see the multiple purchase deal we have in place.

Don't forget there is still time to register for classes at the ANG Seminar being help in Houston this August.  Go have a look at the classes that are available.  We would love to see you there. - look under events and go from there.  You can register online.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Invoices have been sent for those indicating an interest in participating in our upcoming Online Mystery Class - Santa Tags - from Strictly Christmas.

It already screams of fun techniques, threads and embellishments!  I can't wait to share with you.

The first session is scheduled to be posted mid-June so there is still plenty of time to sign up and register. The classes are a total of $150 for 6 sessions - one posted a month.  If you would like to join us just email me at  We have quite a crowd so I know it is going to be such a great journey for us all.

We've had an unexpected cancellation on our Mediterranean Stitching Cruise due to health reasons.  There is still time to join us for this adventure!  We arrive in Rome on October 26, 2019.  Some of us are coming in a few days early to play around in Rome a little longer.  Wonder why?  The Vatican? Coliseum?  Trevi Fountain?  Shopping?  Museums?  Spanish Steps?

We will have our first structured class in Rome!  Doesn't that sound exciting.  It will be in the evening so you don't have to miss any of the wonderful sights during the day.

When we leave Rome we are in for so much eye candy.  We will go to Sorrento - and oh my gosh the much anticipated Amalfi Coast!  And on and on!  Look at all those gold dots - means golden memories!

So many places for us to get into trouble - I mean improve our culture!  

The cruise ends in Barcelona.  But so little time.  So guess what?  Many of us are staying over in Barcelona a couple days to get a good taste of the area.  Our agent has arranged for us to see Sagrada Familia. I understand this is a -not-so-easy- place to get tickets for so I am very excited about that.

We will be stitching here and there along the way and will have a couple of structured sessions as well.  This will need to be announced onboard as we are at the Captain's mercy.  

We also will be doing some heavy stitching on our day at sea - I have a few surprises for that day so please plan to join us.   I have a captive audience and I intend to take full advantage - lol.

Watch for postings of when we will be doing group pictures.  I believe there may be 2 separate times planned so that we can try to include everyone.

Keep in mind that you must attend the various stitching events to be eligible for the various giveaways that may be available.  We try to plan everything (other than full day at sea) after lunch so morning excursions can be enjoyed.   We want you to enjoy everything that is offered along the away and try to plan accordingly.  So the structured classes are planned to NOT interfere with your sightseeing and (most importantly to some) shopping!

Our ship looks lovely - the Azamara Pursuit! 

So contact Liz - our agent - to arrange to join us!  

Here is a peek at the optional cruise project before any stitching.

It is back from the painters and I have put thread to canvas!  So anxious to get enough stitched to show you.  There are a limited number of canvases.  Once the price is determined and announced I would suggest you not hesitate too long if you want to play with these fun-loving gals!

Also remember that you are free to bring your own project to work on if the optional class is not your cup of tea.

For stitching questions email me at

Join Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB group to keep up with what is going on in our world!

Only a few more days to sign up for classes at the ANG Seminar in Houston.  Check out the offerings at under events.  Would love to have you in one of my f2f classes!

Have a great weekend and more later 


Saturday, May 25, 2019


Sharing some pictures from the second class taught at Stitch-Stash at Rehoboth, DE. What a fantastic group of ladies!

They treated me like a queen so here I am on my throne!

Demonstrating some of the secrets of unconventional resources.

A small glimpse of such a delightful, cute shop. Bright and happy!  You have a feel-good feeling when you walk in the door.  Great thread selection, nice diverse display of canvases and trunk shows to boot!  Patti does a wonderful job in customer service also. The walk in traffic was amazing.

Had to have a photo of my town buddies from the group - thanks Nancy, Rhonda, MaryJo and Kelli for taking time from your vacation to spend in a class with me.  I had such fun! That's Patti on the right end being a gracious hostess.

I fell in love with this little town.  It is truly filled with hospitality and you can tell they want you to have a good time and enjoy your visit with them.  It is wonderful to treated with respect and courtesies of old.  The ladies at the hotel desk called me 'Mom' - did you have a good day Mom? - get a good night's rest Mom - let us know if you need anything, etc.  I was getting in the car one day and a young family was passing by on the sidewalk and the father of the group came over and closed the car door for me - totally unexpected.  The young man at a hotel desk brought me cookies from their nightly offering.  Just little things that make you feel very welcome and cared for.

Patti and her hubby Andy were so good to me.  I was well fed and my comforts were taken care of.  Andy even gave up putting down the top on the convertible because it made me uncomfortable.  I felt a little guilty because it was an absolutely perfect evening for the drive by the ocean with the top down and I know he would have loved it.


Last week we shared some lessons for the current Online Mystery Classes.

Dana had Session V already!  We worked on her dress this month.

The girl has some bling going on here.

Spooky Tags - Session II - we worked on the tags and letters this month

Lily Wreath - Session.    added 4 more ornaments to the mix.

Gossips - this is a new class and this was our Session I for this whimsical group!  We had a surprise background as most people were expecting blue I think.

Arctic Parade -- finally!  I was able to fit in the balance of the antlers for this handsome guy!  I just love him!


There is still time to register for classes at the 2019 Seminar being held in Houston.  I would love to have you join me in any or all 3 of the classes that I am fortunate enough to be teaching.

Winter Cardinal is a 2-day class - this Maggie Design is one of my favorite finishes.

 Bluebonnet Boot is a 2-day class and souvenir all rolled into one.

Personalized Plaid is a half-day class (color options available).  A fun class and a useful tray when finished.  Totally self finishing I might add.

The Mediterranean is calling and the sound is getting stronger and stronger.  We are less than 6 months away!

We are very busy at Arthur Acres putting together 'stuff'.  Those who have cruised with me before know what I mean.   Also busily stitching away on the Optional Project - Cruisin' Stitchers -  hope to share with you soon!

Hmmm - friends, stitching, cruising, chatting and cocktails - what else is needed?

In the meanwhile we would love for you to join us and come hopping around the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona!  Contact Liz our agent at for details.  I believe she has only a few slots left designated for our group.  If you want to review the brochure you may also email me at as Liz keeps office hours - I don't!

Till next week!  Have a safe Holiday Weekend and thank you to all who served and grateful memories for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who we honor this weekend.  

My family is rich with military veterans including hubby!  It was the Marine uniform - I swear! Well, he's kinda handsome too!

Saturday, May 18, 2019


Okay I'm lagging again.  Another quickie post.  I am in beautiful, fun Rehoboth, DE teaching a delightful group of ladies.

We are doing the Flags of Glory first as a 2-day class.  I love watching as people execute my vision on a canvas.  And it is wonderful getting feedback questions because that always helps me understand how others perceive what I'm trying to get across.

Look at the wall behind me - a small sample of the canvases that are displayed here at Stitch-Stash.  There are 2 trunk shows and I am trying very hard to resist!

Normally I don't get out much when I travel to teach.  But last night our restaurant was only a half block from the ocean and we were able to walk over and enjoy the calmness of the water and the wonderful soothing, soft breeze.  Weather and temperatures were absolutely perfect!

My students and hostess (Patti of Stitch-Stash) have been wonderful.  I am having the best time!  Looking forward to returning.

During class I received a call but could not take it until last night.  Wonderful news!  All 3 of my classes made for the ANG Seminar in Houston this August.  YAY - can't wait to share with all of you.

Reservations are up to 44-45 on the Mediterranean Stitching Cruise.  Still time to join us if you would like.  There are so many wonderful stitching ladies joining us and many of them are multi-repeaters!  Would love to have you come along.  

Send email with questions and for a copy of the brochure to

Gotta go as it is time for my ride to pick me up for another day of grueling work - LOL.  It is such a blessing to be able to work at what you love to do - TEACH!

Until next time remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

May is in full force and moving forward at a great pace!

I am flying home today so not much to share with you.

Had a wonderful time in FL with my daughter and friends.  I managed to do my walk every day.  Reluctantly I might add!  My daughter is a pusher when it came to getting our walk in.  In fact one day Disney park hosted a Run for Fun at the Old Key West resort and for some reason daughter seemed to think we needed to participate.

Afterwards we had planned to spend the day visiting the local needlepoint shops.

Our first shop was The Black Sheep.  Anne and her staff were so welcoming and made us feel right at home.  Just mention a thread and they were right on it.  The shop is lovely and has lots of fun selections of canvases and great threads.

Unfortunately Anne is the one taking the picture so she is not present.  Teresa is missing because she was dropped off at the outlet mall to get in a little more shopping.  Stay tuned for details of an upcoming fun class at The Black Sheep.  Hoping to get a June date in 2020.

Next we visited Needle Orts.  Again Debby and her staff were delightful.  Lots of fun stuff here as well.  We didn't get a photo at this shop. We had some excitement watching them open their new shipments and seeing the fun things as they opened them.  Always like Christmas!  

Be sure to stop in each of these fabulous shops when you are in the area. 

Next week will be time for the Sessions of the Online Mystery Classes.  Guess who is behind?

We are starting to get the ornament stands for the Butterfly Series designs and will be notifying each of you in the order we received your requests.  Stay tuned for that.  After these stands we should start hearing about the wonderful trays too so hang in there.  Remember they are all hand painted and take time.

We are off again this coming week.  We are heading to Stitch-Stash in DE to teach two classes.  You can sign up to ghost them if you are not in the area.  Give Patti a call and she will fix you up!

Cruising and Stitching!

If you have any interest in following our cruise stitching adventures be sure to join our Facebook Page - Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures.  We have general discussions on this site and explore suggestions for upcoming stitching adventures.  Currently we have a Mediterranean lass looking for a roommate so if you are contemplating the journey check in with our agent Liz at

Until next week enjoy your days as you are blessed with each and every one of them.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunny Weather always makes me happy!

Oops!  I let Saturday slip right past me.  Well, I was busy on our annual Mother/Daughter runaway in Orlando.  We are at the Wyndham which means we are within walking distance of Disney Springs.  Those who know my daughter know that she loves to shop.  Me?  Not so much.  But I did walk with her and each day I have gotten a rare 10,000+ steps in.

While she was shopping I would find a nice shady spot, comfy chair (as outside chairs go), and people watch.  They are so entertaining.

In between I had my small stitching projects.  Of course I did!

And I did actually manage to shop a little.  I did not overdo however - lol.

All in all the weather has been great.  It did rain yesterday afternoon and evening.  She will be hitting the Springs again this morning and then it is hang out around the pool if not raining.  I'll enjoy the pool lounge with my needlework.

I'll be stitching on our fun project for the Mediterranean - the Cruisin'  Stitchers.

This optional project is a whimsical one this year and has so many fun embellishments to share. I'll share some pictures after I get one of the gals finished so you can laugh and enjoy with me.  I have too much fun!

There is still time to join us for this excursion. This trip is October 24-Nov.4, 2019 with optional extra days in Rome and Barcelona.  Email me for details -

We are also working on our Tulip Time Riverboat Stitching Cruise project. Creative juices are flowing! This cruise is going to be so beautiful.  We do the Rhine.  April 16-26, 2020.

For more information email me at and I can send you a full brochure with all the details.  It will be a wonderful, serene adventure with beautiful companions of common interest.  What better love than needlework and flowers?

I just saw this picture from the Spring Market and I think it would make a great Online Mystery Class.  If there is enough interest we might add it to the late 2020 Itinerary.  Email me at if you are interested.

Okay, gotta go and enjoy the beautiful weather!