Sunday, May 2, 2021

 OOPS!  Today is not Saturday - - -

I cannot believe how quickly time is going for me.  I did not even think about blog yesterday.  But, let's face it.  We did have the excitement of the Kentucky Derby and I was absorbed in some of the TV coverage (which I never do), etc.  Next thing I know it is Sunday morning.

Nothing much going on right now.  Working on upcoming lessons for the Two by Two from Strictly Christmas and the American Train from Raymond Crawford.  I love stitching my ideas and seeing what they turn out to be.

Lots of activity is resuming on the cruise front.  Keeping fingers crossed that we will be able to travel abroad this coming April.  We have plenty of people who are as optimistic as I am however.   And we are ready to leave on this end!

You know the tulips are going to be breathtaking!  And that is only a small part of our journey.

One of our ships from previous cruise!

We plan to depart on March 31, 2022 through  April 10, 2022.  Contact our travel agent Liz at for travel details.

Our optional stitching kit is the Windmills and Tulips.  This is an extra charge for those who would like to take a specific class.  Otherwise bring your favorite project from home that you would like to have help with.

Now, as those of you who have traveled with us before know, there is lots more to experience - both in adventures and stitching!  Can't wait!

Our Pocketbooks are doing great!  We are so happy that you are enjoying them.  If you haven't gotten yours yet, check with your Local Needlepoint Shop.  On our website at  there is a listing of all the shops carrying our products. 

Stay safe and remember to Stitch With a Smile!


Saturday, April 24, 2021


In a couple days we will celebrate the birth of our older child - our daughter.  I got a little nostalgic this week as I viewed the picture postings of our great-granddaughter celebrating her 4th birthday.  For some reason I looked at her and all I could think about was Poof!  One day she will be all grown up and fly away to her own life and adventures - as our children did and as you raise them to do.

Our daughter has grown into a beautiful, successful woman, a devoted wife to her wonderful hubby Mark and a loyal friend.  As many of you can attest, it is a blessing to have a child that shares some of the same passions as you thus creating a bond that helps you ride over the rough paths that life spits out at you. Stitching is that bond for us.

My daughter and I are on a runaway weekend where we just hole up in a hotel, cabin, park, whatever and just stitch and eat.  Yep!  That's the whole agenda - stitch and eat! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Teresa!  We love you!

Nothing to report this week as it seems all we can do is process books - not complaining - just hard to package and stitch at the same time - lol.  Stay safe.

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures.  private Facebook Group

Although not a total surprise we are saddened to announce the necessity to postpone our Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise again. We will push it to October 2022.  NCL has informed us that no people will be able to travel without proof of full vaccination through at least October 31st. They strongly stated that this means that those under 16 or those who cannot take the vaccine even for legitimate reasons will not be able to travel with us. We had several participants say they would not take the vaccine or could not take the vaccine so that strongly affected our numbers. Folks are still very hesitant to sail this soon after the initial quarantines. We are hopeful that participants are able to move their Hawaii Stitching Cruise plans to a new date in October (hope to announce soon).  We will step back for a spell and revisit after the first of the year.  

Our April 2022 trip to the Netherlands is moving forward and is well reserved at this stage.  As my children used to say when they were small 'It will get even more better' as time progresses.  Virus numbers continue to go down and Tulip Cruise numbers continue to go up.  YAY for us.  Contact our agent Liz at for travel details.


This week we completed another class series for our participants.  Lovable Llama is done and I had so much fun with him! 

We shared many unusual threads (all available through the needlepoint shops) and a few common embellishments such as the felted balls. I loved this guy from the start and he certainly did not disappoint me!

The Session III of the American Train from Raymond Crawford was posted this week too.  Session III is the beginning of the second train in the series - The Liberty Bell Car.

We finished the flat car, the wheels and the bunting this go around.  Session IV will complete this canvas of the series.

Another fun canvas for me is the Two by Two from Strictly Christmas which depicts Noah's Ark. Two more critter pairs were shared this session.

The turtles settled in on the rainbow.
And the giraffes quickly went about surveying their surroundings.

Wonder what critters will come aboard this coming month?

Pocketbook Series

We have been blown away by the popularity of our Pocketbook Series books.  This month we added Beards, Mustaches and Such.  Over 50+ pages of descriptions, diagrams and pictures of stitched samples fill this little powerhouse of suggestions.

Beards joins its predecessors:  Can Do Hairdos, Leaping Thru Leaves and Stitching With Stars.

As I shared before, these books have been 'done' for years but I just never took the time to finish them up.  I am bringing them down from the shelves and sharing them with you now and I love it.  Check with your Local Needlework Shop (LNS) and gets yours right away!  

                        Oh!  Wait until you see what is waiting in the wings to join its peers!

Well, believe it or not, it is dreary, rainy, and cold here in Central Kentucky in the middle of April.  However, we have been also having some delightful sunny days.  Today is not one of them.  That means another wonderful fire in the fireplace as I work on stitch guides for the upcoming classes at Cape Cod at the Osterville Needlepoint shop.  These gals are always fun and host a great event.  Always happy to return.  In the meanwhile stay safe and until next time.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

 OOPS! Missed my Saturday post!  Too much going on.

Okay here are a few highlights  -

ANG National Seminar - August - Kansas City, MO

Yep it happened!  The f2f seminar has been canceled!  So so many were looking forward to this event.  It was going to be my first f2f in quite some time.  Oh well!  It is what it is.  What that does mean, however, it that they will do the Seminar virtually as they did last year.  This affords the opportunity to those who could not travel to be able to sight up for and participate in classes.  So go have a look and get those registrations in place,  We would love to have you n our classes.  In addition to the online setup of our classes we personally plan to do one zoom type class at the beginning to introduce ourselves and get a general feel of how things will go.  Then we plan to have another at the end so final questions may be asked and instructions clarified.

Online Mystery Classes

This weekend we posted the second session for the Engine of Raymond Crawford's American Train.

So next on the agenda will be the first session of the middle car known as the Liberty Bell.

Needles 'n Fins Stitching Adventures

Little by little travel restrictions are easing and some are being lifted.  Interest is building in oiur upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise as well as the Tulip Time on the Rhine for 2022.  We'll keep a close watch and fingers crossed!

For those who celebrate Happy Easter!  Please stay safe!

Saturday, March 27, 2021


What a week!  One night so cold need a fire in fireplace.  One day raining just enough to keep outside work at bay. Another day so balmy and beautiful you think it is summer instead of spring.  Then another day comes along with thunder, lightning, torrential rains, etc., etc.  You get the picture.

During all these ups and downs with weather we managed to be very productive however. We are using our pandemic isolation and not-so-good weather as a time to polish off some of the Pocketbook Series work-in-progress books that have been in the making for quite some time.  I am so glad to be able to take these books to their final steps after they have been sitting and waiting for my final push. This week we have sent off another one of the Series to our printer.  I can't wait for you to see it.  Shops are placing their pre-orders as I sit and write this.  Be sure to check with your LNS and get your name on the list to receive one of the first.  

But, you say, what is the next Pocketbook Series about?  Are you ready?  Let me introduce you to Beards Mustaches and Such.

This 50+ page Pocketbook will entertain you for a bit.  It introduces new approaches to many traditional standards and suggests testing some of the new threads that are continually being added. All stitches are diagrammed and most, if not all, stitches have a stitched sample provided alongside the description. Some favorite tools are also showcased.  So don't miss the boat!  Contact your LNS now!  Many are taking pre-orders.  Delivery is expected between 4-8 weeks.

ANG Seminar 2021 - St Louis - in person

Plans are moving forward for in person classes and events at the annual ANG Seminar for this year at Kansas City, MO.  Registration is open!  Check out all the wonderful classes being offered.  As stated before I am fortunate to be offering 3 classes for your pleasure.

Heloise Hooty: One of Heloise's attractions is the needle felting technique and the plethora of stitches used throughout this 2-day class.

Vessels: This is one of my favorites because it provides lots of room to use a particular stitch; helps analyze shading and play with different threads in the 2-days of class.

Conventional Techniques: Then we have a little fun class that is a bit out of the box that is called Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources.  This is a 1-day bit of fun for all levels.

We hope to see you in one or all of our classes!


This week we learned that our Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise is still on forward mode!  NCL (the cruise line) has posted that they plan to begin sailing in June.  Isn't that wonderful?  We don't sail until late September-early October so lots of times to work out any bugs if they have any.  We're sharing brochures with those who ask so just email us at if you'd like to us email one to you.

OK I am in the throes of a mountain of stitch guides so I best get back at it.  Please stay safe - - -

Sunday, March 14, 2021


And we start a new project!  American Train by Raymond Crawford.  Everyone who has paid their invoice has been sent an invitation to join the secret group.  If you did not get yours please contact me via email right away -

Our next f2f class will be in Cape Cod - I know, pitiful that I must suffer through such torture!  NOT!  The class was filled within a couple of hours of her announcement.

NEW F2F Adventure:

We will be returning to Osterville Needlepoint on Cape Cod this June!  I am so excited to be able to do an in-person class again!  Look at all these designs - what a plethora  of projects.


It is so nice to see numbers going down around the country and the world.  This decrease is resulting in an increase of interest in upcoming cruises.  Brochures are being shared as people ask for them.  We are optimistically looking forward to our upcoming Hawaiian Island Hoping Stitching Cruise - September 30 through October 9, 2021.  

What a fun way to remember our adventure - the signs document our stops during our stitching breaks.

This is a little clip from the exclusive add-on optional class  with full kit.  

Until next time . . . stay safe.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

 Beautiful Day but Cold

If you haven't deduced by now that I do not like cold weather then what can I say? The good thing is that the sun is shining and it is truly a lovely day in Central Kentucky!  Can't complain for that. I had hoped to work in the barn some but decided it is too cold for me so will have to wait until later in the week I guess.


I am so thrilled with the acceptance that we are experiencing for our new Pocketbooks.  Leaping Thru Leaves and Stitching With Stars have fit in well with their predecessor Can Do Hairdos.  Some shops are offering packet discounts if you buy all 3 at one time.  Something to consider.

This shutdown has really pushed me to get these down off the shelf and into the shops.  I have had these books for ages and just need to tweek here and there.  I can't wait to share the next one with you!  I think you will really like it.  In fact there are two that just need some sprucing here and there.  Unfortunately I must take care of other business and can't work on them as much as I would like.  But it gives us something to look forward to.

Online Mystery Classes

Work continues on the upcoming lessons and classes.  Students have been sharing pics of their borders for Two by Two from Strictly Christmas so progress is being achieved there.  We start sharing animals next lesson.

Registration is still open for the American Train series from Raymond Crawford.

Email us at for details if you would like to join us! 

ETSY SHOP - duodesignsbySandra

We added a couple of surplus canvases to our items in the shop.  Stop by - might see something you'd like to have.  The shop is primarily stitch guides but occasionally we have some extra items left from class kits - I get over zealous sometimes!

Don't have too much going on right now except - - - working on taxes!  Always a chore!  Until next time stay safe!