Saturday, January 26, 2019


The time for us to make some visits to shops for teaching assignments in 2019 is fast approaching.

March 6-12  we'll be visiting NeedleNook of LaJolla. We have been fortunate to teach embellishments classes at their retreat there for several years and always look forward to it.  Very excited as always.  A good time is had by all.

April 4-5-6 we'll be at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia PA.

We are teaching 3 separate workshops.  One day we will be teaching our Can Do Hairdos.  Such fun executing the various techniques featured in our Pocketbook Series Can Do Hairdos. 

Additional workshops will be conducted on Beading on Needlework and What to do with Ribbons and Such.

Contact the shop for information about registering.

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

Full Service Needlepoint shop with finishers and painters on staff
Large online needlepoint web store 

M-Sat 10:30-5:30pm
Wednesdays till 7:30pm
closed Sundays 

On April 7-8-9 we will go visit Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth, DE.  There we will be teaching the 2-day class on the colorful Flags of Glory.

We will also be teaching our Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources.  

June 7-8-9 we are returning to Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, DE  to teach.  I will be teaching the  Vessels design.

Here's a before picture so you can see what a difference stitches and beautiful threads can make.

This wonderful piece gives the student enough area to really learn the execution of the stitch.  It shows how to add interest through movement of stitches and shadows.  

Teresa Kinberger will be teaching this whimsical Snowman in a Top Hat.
This piece is an introduction to needle felting on canvas.  Additionally the student will apply needle weaving techniques, rushing, and shading to name a few of the stitches covered.  
We'll share WIP pictures of this cutie in a little bit.

Here's some contact information on how to register for the Event.  AND notice there is a discount if paid in a certain timeframe!  Don't miss it!  Also when emailing or phoning in , you will receive an additional 10% discount if you mention my name for registering for these two classes by the end of February.

I'm off to stitching.  I just read that you cannot stitch all day if you do not start in the morning.  I messed up today I guess - oh well - as Scarlet would say . . . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2019


I am at a stitch away so this will be very short!  This past week we shared some of the lessons of our Online Mystery Class.

We introduced Dana by Penny MacLeod.

This session involved mostly background areas.

Then we did our Every Bunny Loves Some Bunny.  We had 2 guys to share this month.

We had Tiger Bunny:

And, Miss Bashful

The first session of the Reindeer with the Poinsettia Blanket was next in queue

Lot of background work on this guy!

Then we shared our first Butterfly of the Butterfly Quickie Series from Burnett and Bradford


We are so excited because our Optional Class Project will be on its way to the painters on Tuesday!  Hope to be able to share with you in a week or so!  It is so FUN!.

We don't want you to miss out on this fun adventure.  Be sure to join us over on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to keep up with all the excitement planned on our stitching cruises.  Also be sure to download the brochure of all the fun packed possibilities on this upcoming adventure in late October!  Hope you can join us.

Well it is snowing here and I am off to the stitching room!  More later!

Saturday, January 12, 2019


NOTICE:  Butterfly Quickie Kits have been mailed!  Keep a watch for yours to arrive soon.

I don't know if any of you have picked up on it or not but I am not a fan of cold weather.  Beautiful snow is fine as long as I do not have to go out in it. I do also have the luxury of a fantastic fireplace that hubby keeps going (his full time job is to keep firewood cut and hauled in). I always say I was supposed to be a Polynesian Princess but my mother goofed up along the way.  But all in all it hasn't been too bad. Here on our 'baby farm' as the realtor called it almost 40 years ago (excuse to charge $$$$ for an extra large yard) we have the luxury of having our snow left pristine.  We can watch or see where bunnies have played, squirrels are hopping around, the raccoons, opossums, and an occasional fox come to play. The cardinals are storybook pretty on the fence.  What I don't like is when it starts to get dirty and muddy - ugh!  But that come with it - right?

New introductions in our Etsy Shop - one new stitch guide and one new extra canvas.

PLEASE MARK OUR SHOP AS A FAVORITE.  I believe it assists in moving us up in the search que. Thanks!  Shop at   DuoDesignsbySandra

Catitudes stitch guide is for a JP Needlepoint design that was an Online Mystery Class that just finished up this past summer.  It kinda fudged ahead because of special requests for the guide.  This is a 22 page guide and is a digital download - buyers will download a pdf from which to print the pages. You'll find this stitch guide under "Stitch Guides" in our Etsy Shop.  See other offerings as well at our shop - DuoDesignsbySandra at (I think you need to go there first then search for the shop name).

Also added is this oldie.  I loved this Maggie piece and purchased it to do at a class.  As fate would have it something else caught my eye along the way and this ended up in the bottom of a drawer.  Just found it while looking for something else.  (Of course that has never happened to you before I bet.)  The Santa design is approximately 10.5" x 15" and handpainted on 18ct canvas. You will find this canvas under 'Canvases' section in our Etsy Shop.

Now isn't this a happy piece!  You have to smile the whole time you are working on it. So bright and colorful.  Please come get it before I change my mind and pull it.

I will try to add at least one new item each week.

FACE-2-FACE CLASSES - Look at all these great offers - I'm excited - Great start 2019!

Needle Nook of LaJolla will be here before we know it.  This retreat is embellishment projects and is generally sold out right away.  It never hurts to check, however, because life always gets in the way and maybe this is your year.  Just give the gals a call and check the status - there are 5 teachers so maybe there will be a slot in one of them.  

                                                                               Needle Nook of La Jolla
                                                           7715 & 7719 Fay Ave
                                                           La Jolla, Ca 92037

Then, the first week in April - 4-5-6 - I get to play at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia!  I haven't taught there in their new location so I'm very excited.  They are hosting three (3) one-day techniques classes.
One will be on hair dos - and we'll use the Can Do Hairdos book as our stitch guide.

The second one-day class is Beading on Needlework.  We will work with all types of beads.  Various ways to attach beads will be discussed and done.  We'll talk about some do's and don'ts. How to determine whether to double the beading thread or leave single.  Various threads and their uses. There will be some manipulation of various techniques as well.  And I might have a surprise or two thrown in.

Sneak peek at some Beading Exercises

 The third one-day class with be What to do with Ribbons and Such.  This is always a fun class as we work with ribbons, wire, sequins, specialty threads  and who knows what else I find in the kitchen. These are all fun classes and result in much laughter and giggles.

This is a clip from a sample board of a class we did about 7 or 8 years ago.  The first picture shows working with wired ribbon - I think it was called Wonder Ribbon back then.  The second clip shows working with Sparkles from Sundance.  This will be updated for the new sample board.

Contact Russell or Stephen at Rittenhouse to be able to join us.  We will have so much fun!  Would love to see you there.  Email:  Better yet, if you're like me, you can call the store @315-563-4566.  AND even better, they are also running a promotion for 2019 “Bring a friend and get 50% off second enrollment”. I'm not quite sure how they can do that but hey you'll come out smelling like a rose!

Right after Rittenhouse in Philly, we will scoot over to Stitch-Stash in DE. We will be teaching there on April 7, 8, and 9, 2019.  Look at this wonderful project we will be doing.

This colorful piece by Paul Brent is entitled Petunias and Flags.  Well, you know me, I couldn't handle that.  So, I have named my class Flags of Glory. I just couldn't help it. That's what I saw when I saw the canvas.

We'll also have a 1 day techniques class.  Be sure too check with Patti to get all the details at or phone 302-569-0063. And guess what? She will take ghosts for projects class - ask for details!

Winterthur June 7, 8, 9 - 

This will be a special assignment to me because my partner of Duo Designs, Teresa, will also be teaching.  She has not been able to travel with me for teaching for quite some time.  I'm excited.  Not only is she the other half of Duo Designs she is my daughter as well.  We can't show you the full pictures at this time but she is doing the cutest Snowman and I am doing some wonderful pots.  Can't wait to share more details with you.

Okay that's it for today.  Got lots I want to accomplish today!  Have a great and safe weekend!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2 0 1 9

Okay 2018 is History!  Let's meet the new year head on!  I'm ready (I think)!

I'm not much for making resolutions.  For me it looks as if I am setting myself up for failure if I do not 'accomplish' what I resolved.  And if I did so, top of the list would be health but hey I just take it a day at a time.  I have good intentions of moving around more (ain't gonna happen when I sit on my butt stitching all day), losing weight - LOL we know how far that one gets, and getting outside more - that one might have some possibilities. There are 2 things that I am wanting to focus on for now.  One is the upcoming Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise and the second is the Online Class Agenda.

I have been so fortunate to have repeaters on my cruises to the point that now it feels even more like my friends and I are planning our next runaway.  But I am not surprised at all because that is what we stitchers do.  We become a sisterhood.  We understand either other like no one else can.  Has nothing to do with our background, upbringing, or any other demographics.  It is all about our passion for the beauty, satisfaction (sometimes frustration) and results of needlework.  Doesn't even have to be the same medium - can be needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, beading, etc., etc. etc. Maybe instead of saying 'needlework' I should say 'creating.' There is just something about it.  I cannot put my finger on it and I don't need too.  It is just there.  So what better way to spend our fun time traveling than with those that have a strong common interest?

I'm excited about this next cruise because I've never been to any of the places beyond Italy for this one.  Hubby was in the Mediterranean when he was a Marine in the US Military.  He is funny because he talks about being excited to see these places again but like the French Rivera it is nothing like his memories from the Korean War.  But it is fun to see his amazement.

I'm also excited to be on our ship.  She appears to be spectacular.

I make no secret of the fact that I do not care for the humongous ocean liners - and they just keep getting bigger and bigger.  But they are fine for those who like them.  My passion is the riverboats so I am reaching a little for this slightly larger vessel so that we may explore the Sea.  A similar vessel is required whenever we are able to plan our Alaska journey. This will be a good trial run for me.

The Azamara will still allow us the intimacy that I so cherish with our group adventures.  Everywhere we look we should be able to spot a familiar face - whether they are in our specific group or they are just traveling on the same journey.  And speaking of journey - look at these ports of call!

If you have not yet done so, take the time to go over on Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventure Facebook page and read the extensive description of possible excursions that Liz shared with us!  Wow!  But, wanna know something?  I am also perfectly happy to just enjoy what is handy to us just when we get off the ship.  So I know that no mater what - the weather, how I feel, the area, etc. - I will have plenty to entertain me.  But those who know me also know that I am perfectly content to go up on deck, pull out my needlework and just enjoy the day.

We personally have chosen to add a few days to our adventure.  Although we have been to Rome a couple of times, our daughter and SIL have not. So we will be spending a couple nights extra in Rome.  I love Rome.  One reason is because I feel so comfortable there.  We find it easy to navigate (for old folks) and there is always something of wonder to feast the eyes upon. Did I share with you that we walked around Treva Fountain 3 times before we found it?

We are also taking a couple extra days in Barcelona. I don't remember if I'm doing one or two but I just didn't feel that getting off the ship and heading to the airport would do the area justice since I had not been there before.  So that is something for me to look forward to also.  I think if I could only do one of the extensions mine would be Barcelona.  The main reason is because it seems so many other touring possibilities hit Rome if we want to return there again in the future.

My biggest challenge right now in front of me is getting our stitching piece designed.  With the major holidays behind me (almost) I think that I will be making tremendous strides towards completion on this front.

So if you are not a member of the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures group please consider joining us.  Heaven only knows what we will end up sharing over there!

Just as a bit of information for those of you who are in Needles 'N Fins, once you register for a cruise you are invited to participate in a secret group specific to that cruise only.  Invitations have been sent to those registered at this time.  The group name is Mediterranean Stitching Memories 2019.  Let me know if I have overlooked getting an invitation out to you.  Some are discovering that I do not have their FB email but a different one.  So it could be that I do not have the proper email address to get your invitation to you.


Next on my priority list is the Online Mystery Class Agenda for 2019.  This is in good shape!  Classes are lined up.  People are registering.  And, most importantly, stitching is progressing almost feverishly.  I love the items my participants have chosen for me to feature and I am most impatient to get them stitched.  That's where this issues of having more hands would come in handy.

In just a few days we will be sharing our first sessions on the Penny MacLeod piece entitled Dana - Life of the Party, last in my series of Raymond Crawford's Reindeer - the one with the Poinsettia Blanket and the first of our Quickie Series - Butterflies from Burnette and Bradley. 

The butterflies can be finished as stand alone ornaments if desired.  As we have shared before, Deaux Bijoux Bijoux has made custom painted stands in 2 color ways that will work with all 8 of the designs we are featuring in these Quickie Series.

There is still time to join in any of these classes so just email me at and we can get it all arranged for you.

Etsy Shop - DuoDesignsbySandra

I am enjoying working on my Etsy Shop much more than I ever imagined. (Shop Name:  DuoDesignsbySandra).  I wish I was better at grasping what all my options are but for now I'm happy that I have learned to share some of our surplus things with you guys.  May not look the best professionally but we'll get there in our presentation. As I've stated before, I tend to over purchase so end up having some extra class kits, or canvases, or both.  But I also discovered this was a great venue to share our stitch guides.  I try to add a new one or two a week.  Eventually I'll have them all listed.  I also want to pull out the cross-stitch packets and get them into loving hands.  Here's the latest stitch guide we added this week.  

One of my students from another class commissioned this guide and I know it is going to be wonderful when she gets it stitched.  Can't wait to see it.  I will confess that there is an enormous amount of bling on this design from Penny MacLeod - Glamour.  

When visiting the Etsy Shop please be sure to list as favorite.  I understand that these listings help push your shop up in the search engine categories.

Have a great beginning to the New Year!