Saturday, September 24, 2022


Like many of you, I have been somewhat distracted by the death of Queen Elizabeth II.  Also like many of you, I chose to tune in sporadically and watch the BBC coverage of events.  It was a very sombering experience.  I am not that much of a TV person but I wanted to see more than our stations were covering.  

Back to work . . . 

Here at Arthur Acres our cup runneth over with things to do and things that need attention.  Never a dull moment for sure.


Update: This week the Lodge began accepting reservations to our block of rooms for our September 22-25, 2023 Stitching Retreat that features Stitching Girl designs by Artist Gayla Elliott.  When reserving your room ask for Block Code #6066.  We have had to expand our block of rooms already at this early date and anticipate that we may need to do so again. We have been amazed at how far reaching this event has become.  California, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Kansas, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and so many other states will be represented.  We are thrilled.  We anticipated this to be a stitching event the 'locals' could readily enjoy without much travel and expense but it has expanded much further across our land.  We are going to have such fun!

Days to follow the Meet and Greet event will be filled with classes.  We begin the morning with breakfast at the Lodge and then head over to our private stitching space at the wonderful Conference Center.  Here we may leave whatever we desire in your 'spot' until the Retreat ends. We have reserved the entire building for our folks only so no mysterious wanderers coming about.  The building will be locked every night when we leave and reopened the next morning after breakfast.  

Teresa and I are busily working on the models and will share with you as soon as we can.  The 'Boss Lady' has become various professions requested by the participants - Needlepointer, Teacher, Lawyer. Decorator, Grannie, etc.  These titles help personalize the class even more to the individual whether it is for the stitcher themself or a gift. These are titles requested for the sign on the wall.

Stitching Girl with her Horse is chocked full of embellishment delights.  I can't wait to share it with you.  I am hopeful to receive a working canvas this week.  I am about to have a mental breakdown from wanting to get this stuff out of my head and onto the canvas! First thing for me will be the inside of the stall and then the barn walls.

Current Online Classes:

As lessons are posted each month we get to interact more and more with our participants.

We shared the session involving the King on the right of the Three Wisemen canvas this month. It seems that the turban has managed to keep stitchers occupied for a bit!

They have been sharing beautiful results!  I am so proud!

Chinese Lanterns had its first lantern revealed.  The red one with the butterfly!

Quite a bit going on with this lantern,  My students are up for the task and are tackling it beautifully.  The size 16 beads have proven to be a bit of a challenge however. I'm not sure whether it's getting a needle thin enough or if it's getting the needle threaded - my biggest issue was getting it threaded.

Next on schedule is the Besties - cute pink ostrich and her froggie friend, and SeaShells on the Shore.  Be sure to register right away as the clock is ticking.  Email to get in the class(es) now. The Besties canvases will probably begin mailing out this coming week. Don't have optional thread kit price yet.
I think this is all I can do for this week - stay tuned and try to come play with us at the Stitching Retreat September 2023 here in Kentucky.  Just email us at for your brochure telling you all about it.

Stay safe and keep our friends in the line of the moving storms in your prayers.

Saturday, September 17, 2022


I thought I had been slowing down but somehow things keep stacking up.  I see something that makes my mind go crazy with ideas and I just can't pass up the opportunity.   Some examples - - -


This week we shared Session IV of the Three Wisemen.

Oh my!  The Group really has their work cut out for them this time.  It is going to be so rewarding when they complete this Wiseman. He has lots of dimensional 'stuff' and elegance to his robes and scarves.  Yum!

Then we also shared Session II of the Chinese Lanterns.

After getting that pesky background out of the way they can now move on to the first lantern. This should keep everybody busy for a few days.

Registration still happening for the next up Besties - Pink Ostrich and Froggie

You know she is going to be a fluffy mess by the time I finish with her!

Right after Besties we will have SeaShells on the Shore!

I'm so excited because I have a canvas now where I can begin putting my thoughts to the needle and thread!  Can't wait.

To register for these classes just email us at and we'll get the paperwork going (or is that cyberwork?)!

How about face-2-face events?  

In December we will be teaching at the Needlefest hosted Christmas in Williamsburg!  We have 2 class offerings from which you may choose.  First is the Colors of Christmas - a 1-day class:

And then there is the sweet Beary Winterland - a 2-day class::

Check out their brochure!  There are tons of classes and different techniques by a plethora of fantastic teachers for your pleasure.  Email if you have questions:

In September we will be hosting the fun-filled Duo Designs Stitching Retreat 2023 at the General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, KY.  We are highlighting the Kentucky artist Gayla Elliott for this event.  Gayla will be participating in our Meet and Greet Reception to kick off the festivities.  Then we have two classes of Stitching Girl Designs that are 2-day classes. 

Boss Lady is being taught by Teresa Kinberger (note the sign in the room!).  Teresa is assisting with personalizing the signs for those participants who wish to do something special for their office or as a gift for Mom, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Granddaughter, etc.   So far she has things like needlepointer, decorator, teacher, grannie - you get the idea.

Stitching Girl With Her Horse is an exclusive design for Duo Designs to introduce at this Retreat.

This class is taught by Sandra Arthur.  My horse will have the name on his stall as 'Slew'.  Haven't decided yet what I want the WIP to be - - -

Email us right away to get your brochure outlining details for the September 22-25, 2023 Event.  Space is limited due to the possible delay in receiving canvases.  Don't hesitate.  Slots are filing at a good pace. There is a block of rooms for our participants as well - we will provide you with a code number when you register.  Email 


Our Hawaiian Island-Hopping Stitching Cruise is looming in our future.  April 13-22, 2023 gives us 10 days of fabulous sights, food, music, history and much more.  We begin with 2 nights in magical Honolulu.  The beach will beckon us, shopping in abundance is available and beauty is all around us.  Kick back and soak in the ambience as we prepare for our cruise ahead.  The second night in Honolulu we have a reception and our first formal class.  Next morning we will head for our ship and 7 days of Hawaii.We will be visiting 4 islands.

During this cruising we will be staying overnight at 2 of our destinations.

Our mid-November deadline for the group progressing is just around the corner!  Be sure to sign up right away so we can plan accordingly. As our many previous stitching cruises in the past, this too will be packed with fun and fabulous memories!  Email us at for a brochure and with questions.

In the Fall we will cruise through Greece!  

We begin with 2 nights in Athens and 8 nights on the Azamara ship 'Onward'. 
Azamara Cruises seems to be adding and changing enticements regularly!  The earlier this is booked the better the deals appear to be.  This trip is scheduled for October 19-30, 2023.  Email us to get your brochure and answer any questions.  We will be working on an exclusive Optional Souvenir Design Kit.   email to 

Okay, I'm tired!  Until next week - stay safe and remember to Stitch with a Smile.

Saturday, September 10, 2022


Making this quickie post so you won't think we forgot about you. Like the rest of the world, we mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. I am old enough to remember her coronation on black and white TV. For a farm girl from Appalachia this was a fairy tale but somehow it was suddenly real - right there in black and white.  I never paid that much attention to what was going on in Europe over the years as I lived my life, worked and raised a family.  Then along came another Princess - Diana.  And we all know the rest.  I was always amazed at the Queen's various reactions to how her personal life events unfolded  to us through the years. I admired her steadfastness in keeping her personal thoughts and feelings behind her castle doors. As a mother I was so grateful that I was never subjected to having our private lives splattered out there for all the world to judge and knowing that every move you made was being evaluated and weighed by a judgmental world.  I think that she had standards that she lived by and set a fantastic example for the world to witness a lady with so many varying responsibilities that she seemed to handle in an unwavering manner - always country, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and one of my favorites animal lover.  She has left a void that I do not think will ever be filled.


We are amazed at how quickly our Retreat is progressing.  Contracts have been signed and canvases are being spoken for.  Don't miss the opportunity to reserved your canvas and class spot before they are all gone.  It only takes the non-refundable deposit at this time to hold your spot.

Email us for your brochure and with questions about this fun-filled event.  You'll make fabulous memories in this peaceful, serene setting surrounded by friends - old and new!  Email:


During this upcoming week we will be sharing the next lessons on our current Online Classes.

The Three Wisemen will begin work on a new King.  It is lovely to see everyone's progress as we go. The first king is done and now we tackle the next one.  Oh my, that turban!

Okay the dreaded background has been done and now is history on  Chinese Lanterns.

What do we have in store for our lantern techniques!  Can't wait to share.

Be sure to register for Besties

And SeaShells on the Shore from Alice Petersen:
Just email us at for details.

Well I am being summons to do something I haven't done in years - work a yard sale! Thank goodness it is only 4 hours!

Have a great week and remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, September 3, 2022


I cannot thank everyone enough for the outflow of love and well wishes!  You all make me feel so special.  Our children went above and beyond as well! Thank you guys - I love you so much. It was a lovely day - no - it was an EVENT!  

From right to left:   Our daughter - Teresa, me, hubby -  Bill,  our son - Tim, our DIL - Lisa, and our SIL - Mark.


We continue to tweek our upcoming Event by adding more and more to our surprises and fun filled evenings! Those of you who have taken our stitching cruises have some idea of what we are up to and capable of so tell all your friends that they don't want to miss this fun-packed weekend - LOL.  

Last week I failed to state an important feature of the Lodge - elevators! Teresa did add a note stating that convenience availability but many of you may not have looked in the comment section nor seen the updated posting with her information.

Gayla has decided on a name for the Exclusive Design for our retreat - Drum Roll Please:

Stitching Girl with her Horse

I have very itchy fingers while I await receipt of the canvas so I can start playing!  I have so many ideas for her.  I am graphing the nameplate for the stable door as I wait.  My horse is going to be Slew.  Seattle Slew was my favorite horse.  He was soooooo beautiful.  Of course this horse looks nothing like Slew but I'm naming him that anyway.

I am very jealous of Teresa as she stitches away making the Boss Lady come to life.   As time allows we are creating the professional wall signs as they are requested.  It is so much fun!

Teacher is a popular request.  We can specify the area of teaching - Science, Kinder Care, Librarian, 3rd Grade, etc. Needlepointer is another first choice for the stitching area/room.  Quilter is very close by. What is special about this is that several of you are making this as a gift for someone in your life.  What a wonderful personalized way to share your love of needlepoint and give something of yourself to that daughter, grand daughter, friend, mother, sister, aunt, etc.

Email us at if you would like to receive a brochure and join in while choice of class is still available.  A non-refundable deposit of $150 will hold your place for you.


There has been lots of interest in our upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Cruise the past few weeks.

Brochures are flying out the door.  

We'll be visiting 4 beautiful islands and you know we'll be making fantastic memories as we enjoy each one.

Email us at for details and to get your own personal brochure.


Be sure to register for the upcoming Online Classe(s) that interest you.  On the lineup is Besties

She and Froggie are a 6 lesson session to begin in mid-October.

SeaShells on Shore
Email us at to register.  We'd love to have you join us!


A new FaceBook Group has just been created and beginning to grow.  The purpose of this group is to provide a spot where shops, designers, etc., may post upcoming events such as classes, trunk shows, etc.  It is NOT for sales. Go over and join the group to see what is going on in various places!

In the meanwhile, have a safe and fun-filled Holiday weekend!  Stay safe!

Saturday, August 27, 2022


The response to our first Duo Designs Stitching Retreat is so exciting.  Teresa and I met with the event planners at General Butler State Park this week and had a very successful and satisfying walk through. We were not disappointed!

The facilities are wonderful for our event.  The first thing you see when entering the Lodge is the fabulous mezzanine.  This is the picture we feature on our flyer.

This area is just begging for you to get comfy and accidentally take a quick power nap. 

The sleeping rooms are on each side of the lobby.  There is also a bar (not that anyone would be interested cough! cough!) and a gift shop on this main area.

Dining rooms are down a few steps to another level.  There are also smaller conference rooms on this level.

Our main interest, however, was the Conference Center which is next to the Lodge.

While the distance is short, there is an incline.  However, there will be a window of time in the morning before class, after dinner and at night when closing up the Center with a van providing transportation for those who may need it back to the Lodge.  There is ample parking on the left that goes directly into the building for those who want to drive up, and it is a nice short walk for those who prefer to walk.

One thing that makes this Conference Center special to us is that it is all ours!  Totally private.  No one else will be in the facility other than us and Park Staff.  The doors are locked at night so we can leave our stitching either in the classroom or the stitching room.  

This larger classroom opens onto an outdoor patio.  A second classroom shares walls with this classroom and the stitching room.  Those who use lights will want to bring them - and yes, there is plenty of room for whatever type of stand you might want to use and lots of outlets.

The stitching room has a cozy fireplace and lots of room for us to get into trouble and maybe even share some surprises.  

The lobby area  outside the classrooms will be where our breaks are setup during the day.  

Lunches and plated dinners will be served in this Center as well.

So we are very excited to enjoy the hum of our fellow stitchers as we enjoy our passion together in a beautiful, clean, quite, private and serene setting!

We'll share more next week!
Teresa add the following information in the comment section:

Just a couple of additional notes on the retreat. The lodge also has an elevator, so stairs are not the only option to the dining room to go to breakfast. Lunches and dinners are being catered in the Conference Center next to the classrooms, so everything will be inclusive in the Center except sleeping & breakfast! And the views are AMAZING! When you call to reserve your room ask for one opposite the parking lot to enjoy those views ( they will go very fast!) and you MUST give them the Duo Designs Code ( which is coming next week). It is a gorgeous facility and we are going to have sooo much fun!! Okay back to stitching on Boss Lady 😍


There is still time to register for the two current online class offerings.

Besties is a fun pink ostrich and her buddy a green froggie is likewise as cute:

Also on the agenda is SeaShells on Shore from Alice Peterson.
Just email us at to register for either or both of these classes. Besties will be a 6 lesson class and SeaShells will likely be 8 lessons or possibly more.


Don't forget to get your registration in for the upcoming Christmas in Williamsburg event hosted as Needlefest in Williamsburg, VA.  Lots of teachers and lots of great projects - almost every type of needlework you can think of is covered.

We will be sharing a needleroll/pincushion/cracker called Colors of Christmas designed by our partner Teresa Kinberger.

Also shared will be a new bear - Beary Winterland.  

Check out their website and download the forms to get registered!  We'd love to see you there.


We are all getting antsy to go somewhere.  But many are not yet ready to go abroad.  So we are getting good response to our upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Adventures cruise.  We will be visiting 4 beautiful islands as we stitch in between going onto the individual islands to enjoy the unique beauty of each. 

Our itinerary is filled with wonderful possibilities for creating great memories at every Port!  Email us at to get your own brochure of information or to ask any questions about our adventure!


Have you visited our Etsy Shop lately?  We are always adding additional stitch guides as time permits!  Check it out.

That's it for this week!  Have a great week and remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Saturday, August 20, 2022


There is never a dull moment here at the homestead.  Seems we always have something evolving!  

I've returned from our great Minnesota adventure and it was beautiful!  Buffalo Lake does not disappoint - morning, noon or night.  When the sun is out it is really something to behold.  This venue is very peaceful and serene.  You can sit on one of the many benches or chairs outside and just get lost in your thoughts as you are mesmerized by the water, an occasional eagle or pelican even passing by.  I love to look at water - don't particularly like being in it but love its beauty.


WOW! Okay, from the responses received in just the first 2 days after sharing the announcement of our upcoming Retreat we get the idea that you like having a Retreat at this beautiful location in north central Kentucky!

Check out their website to get an idea of what they have to offer.  It is General Butler Kentucky State Park in Carrollton, KY (I'm having difficulty sharing the link.) This location is within easy driving distance of Chicago, Indiana, Columbus, Lexington -you get the idea. It is also easily accessible to major airports - Louisville and Cincinnati to name a few!  Shuttle service from Louisville is approximately 45 minutes away!

You also seem to like the featuring of a special artist. Last week we shared some of the details to tease you. Many of us are familiar with the cute Stitching Girls by artist  Gayla Elliott that is sweeping the needlepoint world.  Did you know that Gayla is a Kentucky Gal?  We can't wait for you to meet her in person.  Our adventure starts with a Meet and Greet Reception on the first evening where Gayla will come to help us kick off our fun stitching days ahead.

The two selected class projects for this Retreat are very special.  Boss Lady is quite popular now and offers a plethora of opportunities to personalize your work either for yourself or a special personal gift.  Teresa will help you personalize your canvas for that special person or profession.

There is the 'sign' on the office wall to indicate the theme you want to convey.  Here you can add the name of the company, the position of the professional, etc.  One idea is to have it say 'Librarian' or 'Kindercare', 'Jones Dentistry'(well if you are involved in Jones Dentistry), 'Tax Consultant', 'Music Lessons', etc. Add books on her shelves that fit the profession too. These are some quick ideas of how to personalize the sign.  Participants will be asked to provide information as to what they would like their sign to portray should they want assistance in creating the personalization.

Looks like model is being stitched for a Law Office - hmmm.

A second way to personalize is to create a special work-in-progress design for the in-hand stitching that your Stitching Girl would be stitching during her break.

Think about how you want your Stitching Girl to be personalizing her very own WIP canvas.

There will be fluff, a jam-packed stitching tote, flowers in the vase, plants in the planter, and a variety of books on the shelves and don't forget that steaming cup of hot refreshment!

This is a 2-day class.  The canvas is hand painted on 18 ct mesh with a design area of approximately 11" x 11".  The cut canvas is approximately 15" x 15".  Your canvas will be mounted on stretcher bars and ready to go!  All you need to bring is your personal stitching supplies.

The second 2-day class is an exclusive design for Duo Designs, Inc. only.  This fun canvas has an equestrian theme!  Gayla is yet to name this gal but there is no doubting which Stitching Girl we are referring to.

Resting on a bale of hay with her feet propped up on her saddle as she takes a break this gal is in her element!  She has her favorite steed looking over her shoulder as she works away on her special canvas.  Hmmm!  What will it be? A trophy? A blue ribbon? A pasture?  Time will tell.  Her stitching bag is handy for her and ready for whatever she decides to work on.  Her faithful steed might be anticipating that bucket of feed close by, however.  

The canvas is hand painted on 18 ct with a design area of approximately 11" x 11".  The cut canvas is approximately 15" x 15".  Your canvas will be mounted on stretcher bars and ready to go!  All you need to bring is your personal stitching supplies.

Each class participant is limited to one (1) each of the two (2) designs being taught.  You will have your class piece as one (1) and the option to purchase one (1) of the second class being taught.

As outlined in the brochure, this is an all inclusive Retreat.  Everything is covered in your registration fee with the exception of transportation and lodging.  All you need to bring is yourself and your personal stitching supplies! (You know, those cheaters, magnifiers, maybe a stand, foot stool, etc.)

This event is limited by the number of painted canvases that we can get in time for the classes.  Registration has begun and seems to be moving swiftly so don't hesitate too long on making your decision to join us!  Once the canvases are spoken for you will be placed on a wait list.  You know you are going to have fun whichever Stitching Gal you choose.

There is also going to be a special trunk show including Gayla's designs. Trunk Show items will be offered at special Retreat prices.

Email us at duodesignsinc@gmail to get your brochure and fill in the registration form to reserve your place.  (Scroll to last week's Blog to view the brochure if you like.)


Registration continues for our upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Cruise.  We will visit 4 fantastic Islands!

Look out Fun - here we come.  You may choose to do the Optional Stitching Project - Hawaiian Memories that is specific to our journey.

Or you may choose to bring something from your personal stash to get some new ideas or suggestions for completion.

Email us at for a brochure and specific details for this April 2023 adventure!


This past week we shared our third session in the Three Wisemen. Now the fun really begins as we have all the background 'stuff' out of the way and can play, play play.  We began our first Wiseman of the three.

Registration is closed for the fantastic Chinese Lanterns by JP Needlepoint. We shared the first session this past week in this special class.  

Registration is now open and ongoing for the next classes:

Besties is tentatively set to begin the first of the year.  

Miss Fluff and friend Froggie are hand painted on 18 ct canvas.  The design area is approximately 6"x 10" on a cut canvas of approximately 13" x 15".  This class will be divided into 6 sessions.  The sessions will be shared once a month approximately mid-month. These lessons are posted in a pdf format and you may access them at any time you desire day and/or night and as many times as you desire.

To register send email to

We will invoice the participants for the canvas and the lesson fees.  As usual, we are working with a shop to prepare thread.embellishment kits for those who do not have a LNS and wish to have someone provide a kit for them.  Details provided after the participant is registered.  Email us at

And SeaShells on the Shore by Alice Peterson Designs:
To join in the fun for this beautiful class just send us an email at  

This Alice Peterson Design is on 18 mesh canvas.  The design area is approximately 10" wide by 8" high.  The cut canvas size is approximately 14" wide by 12" high. We anticipate this class beginning mid-February 2023.  Registrations are healthy and going well. 

Those who register ahead are making sure that a canvas will be received timely. Designers are telling us 5-7 months turnaround so we're getting a head start for that part of the adventure. While it might seem some time away remember that we must register now and pay the deposit in order to get canvases painted timely.

To register email us at and we will send you an invoice for the $150 deposit.  This deposit is non-refundable and is applied to reserving your hand painted canvas.  Once the ordered canvases are spoken for, a standby list will be created. Additional registration will be determined by the availability of canvases so keep that in mind if you really want to participate you must register with deposit right away. -

The lesson packet will be invoiced after the first of the year so no urgency there. Our first draft on lessons indicated a possibility of 8 sessions - more may be necessary - we'll see.

We are working with a shop to determine threads/embellishments that will be an option for those without a LNS and desiring assistance in that area. This will be the next deadline because of availability from suppliers.  

First priority:  If you are sure you want to participate in this fun class contact us right away and make your deposit to reserve your canvas and place in class!

DuodesignsbySandra - Etsy shop

Have you seen the Turtle Bags?  There are the two new scrumptious colors out!  

Black is currently out of stock. Lovely way to display your needlework for all to see! Go look them over - duodesignsbySandra - .

Lots of stitch guides and canvases listed also.

Phew!  That's a lot to cover in one blog.  Have a great weekend - email us with any questions and remember to Stitch with a Smile!