Saturday, December 26, 2020


One thing is for certain - unquestionable - without any dispute - beyond description -this year - Christmas 2020 - was different! 

Big, huge, difference for us was the absence of little ones.  This was in respect to us as we are in that 'touchy' category - you know - old and not 100%.  Our children took turns spending some time with us on  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that was beyond wonderful albeit not all together.  Of course with today's technology (even though we do not know how to fully utilize it) we did get to 'see' the babies.  They are at that magical age!  Santa came to see them and their excitement is contagious. WOW! Sad how quickly they will outgrow this magical phase. BTW I saw some very strange dolls and goodness the boy's playroom looks like a MacDonalds place to play!

Some of our highlights were the hot cocoa bombs that Teresa made - such fun -  and the fabulous prime rib that Tim made - such deliciousness!  Say whatever you will about the Arthurs one thing for sure is they do not lack in the eating department!


We have just announced the release of our newest pocketbook series:  Leaping Thru Leaves.  This new pocketbook joins our previous Can Do Hairdos.

Check with your LNS  and be one of the first to have yours! They should be available in the next few weeks!  So excited!


Posted the 7th session of the Nutty Professor today.  I fear I got a little lax on this super cute guy and almost forgot him.  To help make up for that slack I will be posting Session 8 in the next few days so you all will have the complete guide for him before we bid 2020n adieu.  This class was one of those 'I'll post when I get to it' and I don't think those type classes work too well for me.  But nothing ventured nothing gained right?

Registrations are coming in for the Two by Two (Noah's Ark) from Strictly Christmas and the American Train by Raymond Crawford.  

This will be an 8 Session class with the lesson packet of $200.  Class scheduled to begin mid-January.
This will be a 6 Sessions class with the lesson packet of $175.Class tentatively to begin mid-March with 2 sessions a month.

Email us at to join the fun.  

I need to cut this short today - lots of after-Christmas stuff to attend to.
Please stay safe and have a great New Year!  

Saturday, December 19, 2020


Decided to be distracted and work on our Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise.  So fun and can't wait!  Our brochure is in the final proofing!  Will be sharing so very soon.

We will begin our journey by arriving in Honolulu a few days before the cruise begins.  This affords us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beaches and rest up from the flight.  So the first day we'll be entirely on our own with optional excursions planned by Russ our agent ( The second day we will have our morning free to roam, shop and do whatever as well.  We will all meet after lunch and have a little reception/welcome gathering.  We will get our goody bags, name tags, etc. and have our first official class.  Those who chose to purchase the optional class kit will begin the lessons for that piece. The design is almost ready to share!  Those who brought stitching from their stash and who might have a question or two will be able to ask questions or get suggestions from the two of us if desired.  We will take a dinner break and meet back in the conference room for more stitching.

There are two shops on the island and they would love to have you visit - Needlepoint Etc and Fiddlesticks Too.  Unfortunately neither is large enough for us to hold a class on their premises so we'll utilize the hotel's conference room. At this time I am not sure how far away they are from our hotel but we'll find out. 

Hotel?  Oh my!  We will be staying at the beautiful Alohilani Resort! Go have a look!

Next day our morning adventures will be on our own to get in that last minute shopping.  Then after lunch we board our motor coach and head for the ship!  It will take some time to get settled in, cross all the t's and dot all the i's and follow the guidelines that are provided to us prior to sailing.  At some point we will be provided with information as to when our additional 'formal' stitching get togethers will be. This is totally at the Captain's discretion (so be nice and patient please).  That is for our formal stitching meetings.  In my mind, anytime we are on the boat and not eating or sleeping then it is stitching time.  We'll have plenty of areas to gather into groups to play.  Teresa and I (aka Duo Designs) will be milling around assisting where needed or depending on the setup we may have an area that has been provided for us where we can gather throughout the journey. Doesn't matter - really - as we always manage to get our stitching in. Remember that we are there for you so you are not disturbing us.

Keep in mind that any 'scheduled' stitching events are planned around the ship's excursions so you do        not need to be concerned about missing anything.  (Private excursions are another matter of course.)

Easy to see why we are so excited right?  So we are hopeful to have the brochure posted late Monday or Tuesday.  Keep tuned in!


This week we shared our first session for our felting on needlework project -Spring Welcome from PLDesigns. 

One of the first things learned by my students is that the model may be a little different from the final canvas received from the painter. Nothing major of course but different.  This is something I try to stress with students all the time.  Don't get so hung up on the picture of the finished piece.  A thread could have been discontinued; a dye lot could have been changed, and who knows what.  But it can all be worked through! Anyway we are on our way and I am anxious to share the many techniques on this piece.

Scroll on down to the past 2 weeks postings to visit the upcoming classes for which we are taking registrations.  You want to be sure and not miss out.

This week and next week we will be rather brief in our postings with the Holidays and all.  Be sure to watch for the brochure and we will be posting it in various places this coming week as well as on the blog next Saturday.

Have a wonderful Holiday however you choose to celebrate and a very Merrry Christmas. Try to focus on the good stuff and be thankful of the blessings we have and above all please, please stay safe!

Sunday, December 13, 2020


I know, it is kinda hard to think of cruising and wonderful tropical weather during this time.  Even the thoughts of mingling with friends is getting fuzzy.  But when I get to thinking on those lines I just go pull up my albums of the past stitching cruising trips we have shared together and the magic returns.  That's what it is all about - making memories with instant friends who share at least one passion but generally many more - one being traveling.  There is history, many quilters, knitters, historians, collectors - just a wonderful variety and we all fall in love and come away enriched with more beautiful friendships and memories.

We are getting so excited while awaiting the brochure for the upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise!  Look at this map! Is that Hawaiian music I hear in the background?  I just say the word to myself and the ukuleles start strumming!

While waiting for the brochure you may contact Russ, our agent, direct and discuss some preliminaries with him.  He has the info - just waiting for the polished brochure.  Email:

There is lots more to share concerning the upcoming stitching cruises so stay tuned.  Also, if you have not already done so, sign up to follow the group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures.  This is a private group of individuals who love to travel and stitch!  We share ideas and welcome suggestions for upcoming adventures.  Most all my previous cruisers are in this group so feel free to ask questions. Join right in!


Holiday celebrations have kicked in and it is beginning to 'sound' more festive.  Hanukkah is in full swing and Christmas is less than 2 weeks away.  We watched a lovely Hallmark movie last night where two families were blending and honoring the beliefs of each other.  I found it very endearing.  I would be interested to know how my friends who know more about the Jewish beliefs felt about the things shared in this 'entertainment.'  I thought it was lovely but certainly have no idea as to the authenticity of representations. I think the movie was more of coexisting and thus easily watched.

We have not exchanged gifts for the last couple of years as the young families have extended families of their own and it is difficult to work all the 'gotta' go sees in place.  A few years ago it was decided to cut back and have a dollar limit and do stuff for the stockings - hmmm is that why they are called stocking stuffers?  Anyway I don't like that.  But who I am?  The mere matriarch that who! So I told the kids to do whatever you want but Poppie and I are having presents under the tree.  I am having so much fun! Nothing extravagant but fun!

Shopping is kinda weird as I am doing everything online - even the local stuff.  But this is right up my alley because I do NOT like to shop - even online.  I don't know where my kids got that gene - must have been from their daddy and my mother  because it is not in my blood. I'm one of these that if I need milk I go get milk and do not see the millions of bargains between the front door, the milk cooler and the register. Hubby goes in to get a gallon of milk and comes back and hour later with 20 grocery bags of stuff - and there are just the two of us! Well that is one of his vices- we know what mine is!

We have been blessed with wonderful weather for this weekend and then the bottom is supposed to drop out.  Weatherman won't make a commitment on snow for Christmas yet but it is what it is and a much Greater Power has control over that stuff.  We'll adjust and be thankful to be here to participate.  We recognize each day how blessed we are and even more so during this pandemic stage of our world.


We are in the proofing stage of our next new pocketbook!  I can't wait to share details with you but you must be patient with me.  Hopefully next week I can share more.  


I need your help. Is there interest in doing this cutie for an online class?  

This is Jeweled Puff Hearts.  I have been asked to consider as a project. As with most designs now it would take 8-12 weeks to get the canvas but that doesn't stop us from making plans. There may be some shops that have this in their stock so keep your eyes open.  You would be ahead of the game.

If you are interested in the class you must let me know right away and it will require a deposit of $100 so we can get the canvases ordered for those needing assistance.  Email me at and we'll get to work right away.  The class would not start until at least Fall or Winter 2021. 

Just considering the name of the design makes all kinds of things happen in my head - 'Puff' oh my just gotta do some dimensional stuff right?  'Jeweled' - look out! The beads and sew-on gems are going to be all over the place.  I already see bugle beads  and I've never seen the canvas in person. The design is listed as 14" x 14" on 18ct canvas.


BESTIES from Duo Designs is gonna be the new kid on the block.  She is one of the Long Neck Friends Series of canvases. She and her Friends - Girl Friends, DragonFli, and Best Friends were introduced at the virtual market just passed.

Such cuteness.  Well we already know she has to be somewhat fuzzy - right?  But look at those adorable eyes!  Full of wonder and love.  Eyelashes ain't so bad either.  Whatever will we do with that purple hair bow on the side and polka dots no less!  Then look perched upon her beak.  Her best buddy - Froggie. This class will probably  be four sessions and is slated to begin mid-February (mid-March at the latest).  The costs for the sessions packet is $150.  So email us to get on the notification list and get those canvases ordered - I see some shops have begun calling and ordering so going to be lots of fun!  Email

This coming week we will begin our first lesson in the Felting on Needlework class being executed on the adorable Spring Welcome bunny from PLDesigns.

Everyone has their canvases and kits and are ready to begin.  I'm excited to share this class of felting, appliquéing, beading and stump work with them!  YAY!

January brings another new class to the forefront.  Two by Two from Strictly Christmas. This piece has been such a joy to stitch.  

The plan is for each pair of animals to have their own session.  A couple of the smaller ones will share but the point is that when a lesson is done - that section and another pair of animals on the project is done! 

We are featuring the next adorable pair on the Ark- the Hippos!  OMGoodness such hugeness, I mean cuteness.  Who doesn't love a purple hippo?

The next new class on the agenda is Raymond Crawford's American Train.

The first train is scheduled to hit the classroom mid-March.  Now here's the catch.  The painters have promised to try and have the canvases out by mid-March.  We have personally reserved 10 sets and some are already spoken for so don't drag your feet on this one if interested.  Let your shop know so they can get them ordered as well.  

        A little caution here - the USA car was designed specifically for this class but we did not
        request an exclusive (I don't like to do that) - so when ordering make sure to ask for the
        USA car and not the wreath car.  

The reason we are starting the class mid-March is to allow time to have them finished by the 4th of July hopefully.  That means the 6 sessions will be covered approximately one lesson every 2 weeks.  The 6 session packet for this class will be $175.

That's all the new class activity for now.  Let me know your feelings about the Jeweled Puff Hearts so we can get the wheels in motion on this one if there is enough interest. As always, it is your call!

ETSY shop -  DuoDesignsbySandra        

From the activity in the online shop you can tell people are sticking close to home and browsing the Internet.  For those of you who do not know, this shop is where we market our Stitch Guides.  There are a few odd and ends canvases but these are extras from classes we have hosted and when they are gone they are gone.  No reorder type of stuff there.  Also no DuoDesigns, Inc. canvases are retailed here.  You must order those through your LNS.

Okay, I have a pair of animals to get stitched and determine the threads so the shops can prepare.  Until next week please stay safe and healthy!  

Saturday, December 5, 2020


Christmas? Twenty - that's 20 - days away. So, first of all the feeling is entirely different when there are no little ones in the house nor even close by.  Add to that the social taboo of gathering for a family get together and you somehow have difficulty getting the Christmas spirit - at least from the commercial side.  We, as Christians, can still celebrate the birth of Christ and all that it means to us of course.  It is the whimsical side that we will likely miss this year.  

Now the cold weather and the snow part I can do without personally.  There is only a very small window of snow acceptability for me - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Keep in mind that through my whining that we don't really get that many big nor horrendous snows here in Central Kentucky.  (I was raised in the mountains of Appalachia so I know what real snow looks like.) I just don't like the inconvenience that snow sometimes brings.  Okay - that'll do it. Enough for me.  

My thought process:  Christmas - New Years - Spring - Summer - Fall.  Broken down is Christmas - which means Family to me and this year means sparse connectivity and interaction.  New Years - not big drinkers nor partiers so thankful that we have been given another year and especially thankful that 2020 is behind us.  The rest blends together at this time for me - don't have the energy to expend to ponder on it for long. Looking forward!  

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures - Private Facebook Page - join NOW

Looking forward?  Of course - cruising and stitching!  Our plans for our Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise are back on track.  Our travel agent has been able to start getting agendas put together and firmed up for our group.  Seems this pandemic has caused some shuffling around in the cruise line as well as our agent.  New leadership all around it seems.  Russ, our agent, has a new liaison at NCL so they are reacquainting themselves with our needs and desires as well as learning what to expect of each other.

Duo Designs? Well we are stitching away on sand, water, flowers and palm trees and dreaming with each stitch.  Can't wait to share with you!  Those of you who have traveled with us before know that I am up to no good so it is hard to tell what I will have you involved in before we return home.  

We are excited with the itinerary that is currently being worked on by Russ.  It is almost identical to the one we originally had for April.  Dates have been changed of course.  Couple of things that are in the works same as before, just as I said on different dates.  Can hardly wait to see the new brochure.

RESERVATIONS:  If you are seriously considering joining us I urge you to register as soon as you can.  Given the circumstances of this pandemic we do not yet know if the number of stateroom has been limited and we don't want any of our wonderful stitchers and friends to miss out playing with us. We have had the situation where some have had to be turned away and that saddens me deeply.


Peanut Butter & Jelly is really going quickly.  This class is a new venture for us.  First the class is hosted by a guest company.  Art. Needlepoint has selected some of their more popular canvases and we are seeing how they go as online classes.  They provide the full kit and we provide the tutoring. This is not a true mystery class as you have the completed design displayed.  The second thing that is greatly different for us at Duo Designs is that the lessons as posted weekly.  Boy what a mixture.  Some love it (turbo stitchers of course) and some prefer a more laid back approach.  The beauty of this type class is that no matter your choice you may advance at your own pace. Our fourth session was posted last Monday and we are preparing for the fifth this coming Monday.  I believe the pandemic has helped this venue be successful as people seem to have more at home time than in 'normal' circumstances. This class is composed of seven sessions.  It has been popular enough for the host to reschedule a second offering too.

Another different venue for us is a class that focuses more on a few specific techniques class - Spring Welcome from PLDesigns.  This class also has no mystery and is presented fully stitched. Additionally, the lessons will be presented twice a month for the participants.

The main emphasis on this project is to teach outside the box techniques on your needlework.  You will warm up with traditional needlepoint stitches and techniques.  Then we begin to incorporate some cross-over type needlework techniques. There is off-canvas work, stump work and appliqué`.  The major technique shared is the felting on your canvas to create a different textured bunny.  The kits are all sold but if you want to join there are some canvases available and roving - you would just need to gather your threads that most LNS carry or you may even have in your stash.  Email us at for discussion of various options.  Don't hesitate too long because the first session starts mid-December (only a few days away).  We plan to share videos in this class assuming I can get it to work - lol.


One of my favorites is moving right along.  Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.  Students who have already signed up are getting eager as well.  JANUARY!

Get those canvases ordered and start preparing for after the holidays enjoyment.  Contact us at to register. I'm almost as excited trying to decide to whom I am going to donate my finished piece as I am stitching it.  It is so fun to select the next couple for stitching and then stitch them to their completeness and viola they are finished.  On to the next couple.

Have you met the sweet elephants?  I have them almost stitched and they are turning out great. (Who is that almost tucked in the ear?)

Our colorful and patriotic American Train by Raymond Crawford is next on the calendar.  

We are told to expect our canvases around mid-March so we will plan to start our classes mid-March or mid-April if we must move the date.  Sign up right away and get your canvases ordered.  Activity is going on so don't 'miss the train'.  (I know, I know - I couldn't resist.)
    NOTE:  This class will cover the 3 train cars shown above only.  While there are more cars these 
    are the three for which the class will have lessons.

Saturday, November 28, 2020


So Thanksgiving was quiet this year - v-e-r-y quiet!  No one around except hubby and me.  Never fear, however, as we still had a Thanksgiving feast!  Seemed odd - really odd.  Still had turkey, dressing, corn pudding, mac and cheese, candied yams, watergate salad, rolls,  and of course pumpkin pie, cheese balls etc. But we also had peace of mind knowing that our loved ones are safe and hopefully somewhat guarded during these troubling times. Lots to be thankful for.

Hubby and I dubbed our Thanksgiving this year as the driveway dinner.  Friends came by and dropped and picked up (I dished out pumpkin pies/watergate salad/cheeseball); son came by and dropped off turkey/dressing/candied yams./mac/rolls and cheese/gravy and picked up pumpkin pies/watergate salad/corn pudding/cheese ball).  So all in all I do not believe anyone in our circle went hungry!


The upcoming Spring Welcome has had kits mailed out and everyone is gearing up for our fun adventure into needle felting on needlework, stump work and applique`!  It is really going to be great for the students to learn something new. We will be sharing some videos of working on the actual piece as we go to help those who need more visual assurances.

After some major stitching we'll be learning how to read the canvas to develop our felting plan, define the various areas of the bunny, learn about coverage, how to correct a mistake, how to blend colors and much more as we move through the lessons.

Yes, your canvas will look like this too once the class is over!

As we stated we had limited full kits for this class and they are all gone.  We do have a few more canvases if some would like to join us and gather their own supplies (we will include roving with the canvas).  Just email me at for details and pricing. Our first session will be mid-December (as in a couple weeks) You still have time to join is you would like to.

Peanut Butter and Jelly are moving right along!  We posted the 3rd week this past Monday.  Some folks are stitching wizards! This week we focused on the fence.  Sounds exciting huh?

Well the fence has just about every direction known to man except circular.  It goes vertically, horizontally, diagonally and out of line (is it falling down in some areas)?

This Monday we will begin giving Peanut Butter that wonderful head that just oozes personality!


Two by Two - Noah's Ark from Strictly Christmas.

I don't know why - other than I love Noah's Ark and Nativities - I am so enjoying this piece.  One of the beauties of this piece is that we work on an area (say like now I'm doing Giraffes) and when they are done they are done! Such a great sense of accomplishment and feeling of progress.

Here is a close up of the cute pair of birdies along for the ride.

Registration is active for the Two by Two project and the upcoming American Train by Raymond Crawford.

I am anxious to start these cars and I know they will move fairly quickly. Raymond has created them with very clean, simple lines.

When ordering your canvases for this class make sure you specify that the last car is to be the USA car (not the wreath one).

During these uncertain times of pandemic delays we want to remind you to order your canvases as soon as you know that you are wanting to participate in an upcoming class.  That has been the major hold up so far on some of the past classes.


Are you following this Facebook Group?  This is where we discuss upcoming stitching adventures!  You surely don't want to miss out.  Sign up right away.  It looks like there might be a little activity brewing finally!

Our next trip will be Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Adventure.  While we had this trip originally scheduled for April we all know how those plans have gone for all concerned!  Currently our agent is working to reschedule this trip for October 2021.  We are very hopeful about this date.  A vaccine will be in place and people will be much more at ease to travel once again.  In the meanwhile I continue stitching on the Optional Class Kit. I hope to be able to share it with you before too much longer.

A word of advise, we are not sure if the cruise lines will still be under the directive to sail at a lesser capacity.  In this case, it would be wise to go ahead and reserve your stateroom so you won't be left behind! We've had people try to join us on past adventures only to learn that there was no room at the inn.

Tulip Time on the Rhine is also very active.  Liz of Viking Travel keeps in touch and we are gearing up to start rebuilding this adventure.  UniWorld rescheduled our April 2020 trip and we are now planing to 'tiptoe through the tulips' (sorry I could not resist) in April 2022.  We currently have approximately half the number of reservations we like to travel with so staterooms are filling quickly.  Those of you who missed out on our originally planned trip because of holding back and having to be turned away because of no room, don't make the same mistake twice. We want you to come play with us!

If you are thinking of joining us be sure to register as soon as you can.  We do not know as yet if the cruise line will be required to downsize so be sure to get that stateroom reserved! (I know this is repetitive!)

Since this is a rescheduled trip we have the Optional Class Kit that many have already purchased and ready to begin playing when we arrive in The Netherlands!  Those of you who are new just drop us an email at to get details on receiving yours.

Duo Designs, Inc Hand painted Canvases

Many of you may not be aware that we have a wholesale line of designs on the market.  To have a look you can check them out on our website  When you see something that catches your eye have your local needlepoint shop order it for you.  We do have some items in stock and, of course, some will need to be ordered  Here's a stitched version of  one member  of our new line of Long Neck Friends.  I love the attitudes these guys portray.  This is Dragon-Fli (dragon with friends butterfly).  

    This cutie is tentatively slated for an upcoming Online Mystery Class per request.  This is Besties - Miss Ostrich and her best friend Froggie.

That's it for this week.  Guess what is on my agenda this weekend?  Hubby is working on decorations!  Oh Dear!

Saturday, November 21, 2020


While we know they are short lived, gray, gloomy days are a downer and even more so during these times we are experiencing.  My brother, who lived in Albuquerque, NM, also said to me that he did not understand how we could stand such gloomy days.  That's why he loved NM - he said the sun was always shining.  BUT. . .  my husband loves the four seasons that bless our lives where we live so we muddle through the few times that do not thrill us.

I am struggling with myself whether or not to get the Christmas tree up.  By the time I post this it will probably be in place - lol.  Hubby is really anxious this year so I think I will give in.  I warned him yesterday that we would start putting things away and getting ready to do the same decorations in the same place as we have done in the last 30+ years - LOL.

So, anyway, last week we posted lessons in the Online Mystery Classes. After what seemed like an eternity we were able to finally share the first lesson for our Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott. We still have 3 people awaiting canvases but I understand that they may be in the mail so fingers crossed for those folks. 

     An aside:  people if you know for sure you want to take a class I suggest you order a

     canvas the minute you make that decision.  The ole 8-10 weeks doesn't work anymore

     during this pandemic.  Just sayin'.

We worked on the backgrounds areas (surprise huh?).  We are doing the sky, mountains and some of the terrain to get this guy setup in his environment.

The gal in Just Add Water from CBK got her swimsuit and some water in the tub.


In the meanwhile invoices are being processed for the exclusive and very limited class of the needle felting on needlework class of the sweet Spring Welcome from PLDesigns.  

Last time I checked I think we are down to two full kits.  We have a couple canvases. Email for details if you would like to join us. This is a fully kitted class - canvas, threads, beads, roving, etc .

We are in active registration for the wonderful Two by Two from Strictly Christmas

I am really enjoying stitching on this cutie.  As I work on it I am trying to decide if I want to donate it to the children's hospital, Ronald McDonald (one our my Chapter's outreach programs) or the church nursery.  Sorry I don't have the time nor energy to do one for all of them - it is such a happy piece and promises to be packed with techniques and unusual threads that the shops kitting should have for you.

How about a closer look at the giraffe couple?

Email us at to get on the notification list. We hope to begin mid-January 2021.

For those of us who love the red-white-and blue we are excited to work on a special train created for us by Raymond Crawford Designs.

When ordering this train be sure to tell the LNS that you want the Engine, Liberty Bell and USA created for Sandy Arthur's class.  The original car has wreaths and is still available we just won't be teaching that one. This class will start mid-March so get those canvases ordered and be sure to sign up for the notification list at If you do not have a LNS and need assistance we have some great shop recommendations that will order you canvases and kit it for you.


I am beyond excited that some movement is beginning to happen in our upcoming Stitching Cruises.  The Netherlands is well underway and we have over half the number of people we are planning to accommodate.  This will be April 2022. Be sure to speak for your cabin right away in case the riverboat is limiting the number of staterooms they are allowed to have.  Check with thtravel agent Liz at for more information.

We learned that the International Stitching Cruise from Australia to Hawaii that was scheduled the week after our proposed trip has pulled out and cancelled.  We are also having issues and currently are in the process of rescheduling our Hawaiian Stitching Cruise to October - those of you who are booked should be hearing from the agent soon.  We should have a vaccine by then and hopefully back to a little more normalcy - whatever that is. Stay tuned.


If you are interested in our line of painted canvases that are available through the LNS, check out our website - - and look at your leisure.  Your LNS may order them for you - many are currently in stock as we prepare for the next market. Of course, the ones that must be ordered are like all other shop issues - takes a little longer than normal so please be patient.

ETSY SHOP - DuodesignsbySandra

Be sure to check out our Etsy Shop if you are looking for stitch guides.  We update it often and add new ones as we have the opportunity.  Also listed are some surplus items from prior classes that are a one-of-a-kind type deal.

Please stay safe and healthy!  Enjoy Thanksgiving as best you can.  Like many our original plans have been put on hold and it will just be hubby and me (and those feral/sorta cats.)

Saturday, November 14, 2020


It seems that this pandemic we are in the midst of has not slowed down online classes much - in fact, just the opposite.

This week we launched the fantastic donkeys - Peanut Butter & Jelly.  These sessions are hosted by Art Needlepoint.  They will be posting lessons weekly which is a different venue than is normal for us.  However, because of our limited 'outside exposure' we are embracing this concept of activity outside our living quarters - as are many of you..

Next up for us is our Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott.  I KNOW!  I KNOW!  FINALLY!

This guy has been so patiently awaiting his turn.  This virus thing has really held up the painted canvases for our classes.  Good news is that the shop kitting has received the remaining outstanding canvases. So TOMORROW we will post our first session!  YAY! Knowing that everyone should have their kits in the next few days.

Next up is a special class that is completely kitted - don't have to wait for a canvas (lol) - however, the number of participants is limited.  Spring Welcome is a sweet bunny from PLDesigns.  The primary focus on this class is different techniques:  felting on needlework, off-canvas work, applique`, beading and stump work for instance. While it may sound complicated with the step-by-step instructions you will breeze through these different techniques and start looking for other places you can utilize your new-found skills!

Email right away if you would like to try and get in this class.  Email:  It looks like we will be starting this class mid-December now if all goes well with supply shipments.     

   Here's a stump work sample that we do. Is that butterfly flying away?

        And lots of daisy petals.  Take a peek at those whiskers too.

We received working model for this wonderful design from Strictly Christmas.  Two by Two - Noah's Ark is jam packed full of wonderment!  I am so loving playing with this piece.

This fantastic adventure is spread across 8 sessions!  The lesson packet for these 8 sessions is $200.
Come sign up right away and contact your LNS and get your canvas ordered!  We want to start mid-January 2021.  Fingers are crossed!

To entice you more here is a close up of another cute pair of occupants - turtles! Scroll back a few postings and you can see some closeups of other cuties.

Right after Two by Two we will begin Raymond Crawford's fantastic American Train. How's this for being patriotic and showing our red-white-and blue colors!  So many uses for this delightful group.

I plan to start this class mid-March.  That is the target date of canvases to be in or on their way to shops - fingers crossed.  Each car will entail 2 lesson sessions.  We may be able to do 2 lessons a month on this one.  I'll just have to wait and see.  Email us at to be placed on the notification list.  The 6 sessions posted online will be $175.  Check with your LNS for price of canvases and materials. Be sure to have them order the USA canvas for this series - there is also a wreath car which we are not going to do at this time.


There is a little movement going on regarding upcoming cruises.  Our Hawaii Cruise is low-key right now and we are waiting to hear further from the cruise lines. 

In the meanwhile the new brochure is being distributed for the 2022 Tulips Cruise in the Netherlands!  We already have a nice group started so contact our cruise agent Liz to get more details and make sure you are signed up.  I am 'assuming' (and we know what that does) that the ship has had to cut back occupancy so get your registration in early.

Hop over to Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB group and have a look at the Brochure!  Very exciting!

So have a lot on our plate here at Arthur Acres -  be sure stay safe and tune in next week.

Saturday, November 7, 2020


Thank goodness this is over for a bit.  I could not open my computer without taking a tremendous amount of time clearing off political ads.  I hope you are happy with the results and we can move forward!  Support our President - because he is the President of our great country - not because of his party lines - at the time I am writing this I do not know who that will be.  That's about as political as I get online folks. 


Okay, it's official.  Besties (Ostrich) of the Long Neck Friends Series is officially an Online Mystery Class.   The first session is tentatively scheduled for mid-February.  Canvases are in stock for a normal sized class so get yours ordered or spoken for early. Contact your LNS!

This sweet girl is stitched on 18 ct canvas.  (special orders available for 14 ct.) The design area is approximately 6" wide x 10" high.  The cut canvas size is 13" x 15".  I can't decide my favorite part of this sweet girl. I love her Bestie buddy the wide-eyed frog. They will be made up of 4 sessions.  The 4-session lesson packet will be $125.  To be placed on the notification list just send email to Contact your LNS to order the canvas and be ready to go!

For those who can't wait for future lessons, be sure to check out her buddies!  There are currently 3 and more on the way!

So we have Dragon-Fli (Miss Dragon with her friend the butterfly), then there is Best Friends - Miss Flamingo who has no short supply of friends including the affectionate gecko and the adoring ladybug, and the Best Friends Giraffe who is infatuated with her friend the snail.   Your LNS can order these and other new designs by contacting  To see some other offerings check out the webpage at.


Only two more days until we start our class of the delightful Peanut Butter and Jelly by Two Can Arts. This class is being hosted by Art Needlepoint and will be posting for 7 weeks - one lesson a week beginning Monday, November 9 - yes!  this coming Monday.  Can't wait!

Mercy!  I love these guys! For some reason they speak to memories of my youth on the farm in Appalachia.  I believe you may still sign up for the class but you may need to be patient for a kit to be prepared and get to you at this late date.  But that's okay.  I'll still be here for you and there will be no 'behinds'.  We all work at our own pace.  Here's the link to sign up for these cuties:


We are stepping out of the box on this one in order to offer something other than the Mystery Classes.  This class will push the envelope a little!  

Have you wanted to learn to felt on needlework?

H                    Before


                            Needle weaving

                            Off-canvas construction


The daisy just leisurely waves in the breeze.

        Your butterfly appears to flutter right off the         canvas!

            Stump work

            Felting on needlework

This class is very different from some of the other online classes hosted by us.  

First :  This class involves a  full kit option:  hand painted canvas, threads, roving, felting needle, beads, ribbon, wire, muslin, all stitching supplies to complete the project, plus step by step instructions that are downloadable and ready for you at your leisure.

Second:  This class involves a second optional kit that has all the above MINUS the hand painted canvas (as some have their canvas).

Third:  This class involves a third optional kit of upgraded felting tools for those who do not have them or who want to experience them at this time.  (The kit does include a felting needle and temporary mat so you can do all that is required for the class so never fear - this option is just if you want more.). I find the tools are helpful for toleration of my rheumatoid arthritis flairs.

No extra roving included - roving shown to identify tools.

Fourth:  As a stitcher you will need to have on hand from your stash 6" embroidery hoops, sundry sized needles including beading, chenille, bullion (needed for the length), tapestry - many sizes, normal stitching supplies such as scissors - to cut fabric and wire, etc.  More details provided to enrollees as needed.

Fifth:  This class will move more quickly than the normal online classes hosted by us.  There will be a session posted every other week until the project is completed.  These sessions are posted in a secret Facebook Group to which paid participants will receive an invitation to join.  

FIRST SESSION:  December 3rd.

NOW!  Here's the issue.  This class is open to a limited number of students as when the kits are gone - that's it!  So email your interest and you will be added to the notification list - this notice will advise that invoices have been mailed so all are notified at the same time.  Once invoices are sent the kits will be distributed in the order of payment received.


The long awaited Two by Two - Noah's Ark themed canvas - arrived from Strictly Christmas.  Oh my - each area is a project by itself.  The stitching I have already done has not disappointed!  Can't wait to share with you.  First session is scheduled for mid-January 2021.

Here's a closer look at those sweet zebras in the upper left corner!

My goodness gracious!  (Ever hear your mama say that?). Look at what Raymond Crawford did to our last American Train Car! 

I love it!  We have a totally patriotic car for our class and I couldn't be happier.  This will be such fun.  The first car - the engine - will begin mid-March.  Be sure to get signed up for the notification list right way .  Also be sure to contact your LNS and get your canvases ordered.  Make sure you have them ask for the USA car for Sandy's class. They may say 'Sandy who' but Raymond will know which one to provide.  (While there are now 4 cars to the train, we will not be doing the one with the wreaths in this class so only need to order the 3  - Engine, Liberty Bell and USA.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures

If you have been watching that sort of thing you will have noticed that the CDC has shut down cruise ships sailing from/to the USA, then they released that restricting and opened up sailing, then recently shut us down again.  We continue to plan our Island Hopping in Hawaii Stitching Cruise.  I will confess, however, that it is very difficult for me to remain optimistic about this one.  Hawaii is very picky about letting new arrivals come ashore.  As we get developments we will share them.  In the meanwhile we continue stitching on the optional class kit!  We think you will like it.  It covers a lot of territory.

So, I am off to turn on the TV and see if we have a new president at this time, drink my coffee and stitch on the cute, cute, cute Long Neck Friend - Dragon-Fli - you will not have difficulty spotting her as she moves around! Who doesn't love a purple dragon?

Have a great week and please stay safe!