Saturday, May 30, 2020


Whatever is normal?  Hubby and I ventured to the grocery for the first time since the first of March.  We went at 0 dark 30 (as Vicky would say) when good little seniors are supposed to go.  We donned our masks and disposable gloves. There were shoppers (most of whom did not wear masks) but not crowded.  We were there about 45 minutes and got what we went after.  For some reason our grocery will not deliver Clorox - we have to pick it up at the store - and, of course, are limited to 2 bottles (in our case jugs).  So that is our first brush with re-introduction to society.  Don't plan on any future trips anytime soon either.

Had a nice old memory crop up this week.  First I heard from a former co-worker that I had not heard from in over 30 years.  Then I had one also share a memory of over 40+ years old.

"Martha - You look the same. I remember all the lunch hours at Ashland Oil, Inc. when you stayed in the building and taught a class on our lunch hour. They were the good old days."

I used to teach anything anybody wanted to try (and there was no charge then) - knitting, cross-stitch, crocheting, we even stood on top a conference room table and I taught macrame by hanging the cord from the ceiling tile.  Oh my goodness.  Thanks Martha for rekindling that memory. Yes, great days.

ANG Seminar 2020 - Tucson

Exciting news!

As I shared with you in an earlier post, Tucson Seminar been cancelled - sort of.  While we will not be hosting a traditional in-person seminar, classes will still be conducted just in a different venue.  We will be teaching from a distance learning approach.  What does this mean?

This means several things - all of which I think are positive for you!  

One, you will not be having hotel, airlines, luggage, taxi, and restaurant expenses.   You will still need to register.  You will also have expenses such as class kits, etc.

     Did you know that you are not required to be an ANG member to register
     for Seminar classes?

Two,  you can download your lessons from the comfort of your own home. This means that you can also work at your own pace and timing.  

Which pajamas should I wear to class today?

Three, you may sign up for as many classes as you wish.  So if you want 3 classes and they were all on the same day at the same time you could have only chosen one in the original in-person Seminar.  Now you can choose all 3 or 6 or 9!  Isn't that neat?

I am teaching two fantastic classes under this venue.  Both have been quite popular.

Sandy Arthur 
Crazy Needles is a series of designs based on crazy quilts. This piece is called Crazy Needles Journey because most of the stitches used are names of places such as Hungarian, Dutch, Greek, Scotch, Pekinese, French knot, and numerous others.  
Proficiency Level:  Intermediate
Design Size:  10”x 12”x 4”
Kit Cost/Contents #18 canvas, threads include Rainbow Gallery Splendor  and Neon Rays, pearl cotton, ThreadworX, River Silks, embellishments including a variety of beads, sequins and rick-rack, detailed instructions and diagrams in a wonderful stitch guide, and a color copy of the finished design (Sudberry box not included!)

Sandy Arthur 20601 
This is such a colorful and patriotic design featuring red, white, and blue. Thread selections will be used to enhance the textures desired - the wood floor of the porch and the siding of the building; pots holding the flowers; the petunias, the pots and finally the flags. Stitches covered will be split backstitch, encroaching Gobelin, darning stitch, and many others. Other techniques will involve manipulating ribbons and adding beads. 
Proficiency Level:  Intermediate
Design Size:  16” x 16”
Kit Cost/Contents:   18ct hand-painted canvas, threads include Burmilana, silks, Silk Road Fibers Straw Silk, ribbons, overdyes, and embellishments to complete the design, detailed instructions and diagrams, color copy of finished design.
No time to linger
There is a very small window of opportunity for registering for these classes.  You may register at noon on June 3 and this window closes at 5 on June 30.  If you were a registered attendee for the in-person Seminar you will be given a couple extra days to register - starting on June 1. You may go to the ANG website to get more particulars.  Here is the direct link:


Remember you may register for as many classes as you wish!  I look forward to seeing your name amongst my students!


As we all are aware, the painters of canvases are buried in a backlog of orders and working very hard trying to get canvases out to the designers/distributors.  I am discussing some possible numbers with the designers in an effort to assure that my class members will have their canvases as the time approaches for their particular class.  So for now, I ask that those seriously interested in the upcoming classes next on the agenda let me know right away of your interest so that we can speak up for your canvas. You can still order them through your LNS it's just that we want the distributor to know that we definitely have 'X' number of participants who will be requesting canvases when they are back in stock.

First up is going to be the Saturday Nite Beauty with the float - aka Just Add Water. This is a CBK Design.

Registration for this class is open and invoicing will begin this coming week.  It will be a 6-session packet and it is $150 for the lesson portion. Students get their canvases and materials from their LNS.  For those needing assistance we can recommend shops to supply those materials to you. Email us at The first lesson is scheduled to be posted mid-July.

The next 'need to know' is our wonderful Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.

Whatever are we going to do with all those cute, cute animals?  Look at the giraffes peeking over Noah's head, the mice on the hippo's shoulders the turtles over the rainbow, and on and on.  Oh what fun this is going to be!  Again email us right away to join the notification list. This class will involve 8 sessions and the 8-session lesson packet will be $175.  If you know for sure you will be joining the class let us make arrangements to have a canvas with your name on it!  Email us at

Needle Felting on Needlework

Years ago I introduced the concept of adding felting to needlework.  We taught this technique to shop owners at market.  From there I started teaching classes in various venues.  I have had several requests to teach needle felting on needlework again. There is a small introduction class piece over in the Etsy Shop of a black/white cat head to whet your appetite.  I finally found a canvas that I feel will be happy, practical and afford enough canvas space for you to experience the various techniques of shading, changing colors, making area compact, making more fluffy, etc. that we will endeavor to cover.  Meet Spring Welcome from PLD Needlepoint Designs.

The design is  approximately 8" x 12".  In addition to the bunny being needle felted, I see the possibility of beading, needle weaving and maybe even some stump work techniques. Oh my gosh, this guy is going to look soooooo different!  I can't wait to play!

This 6-session class will be $150 and lessons will be posted once a month - mid-month.  We possibly can begin mid-November. We will offer needle felting tools that we use personally for those who want to use what we use.  (having rheumatoid arthritis  I am pretty passionate about some of my tools and this grouping is one of them)

PAY IT FORWARD - Hearts A to Z Sampler free stitch chart


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Pulling Weeds and other fun stuff

Things have been fairly quiet at Arthur Acres during this lock down in Kentucky.  While lots of places are beginning to open back up hubby and I choose to just lay back a little longer.  Not too eager to get this 'plateau' in reverse. We will sit back and let others be the guinea pigs and clear the way.

I am not a gardener.  Never have been and never pretended to be.  Had my fair share on the farm.  I also did not inherit my mother's green thumb.  However, even I can only take so many weeds.  I chose to take advantage of times right after a light rain when the ground is fairly soft to try and relieve my flowers from the weeds that seem to dominate.  Of course the weeds win but I do keep trying.

My biggest entertainment and pleasure at this spot in time is to enjoy my bird feeder activity.  Such color!  I love all of them - except the crows.  I put out a different suet block and it seems to be attracting the crows.  Not my birds of choice! Guess we won't be replacing that particular suet soon.  I have noticed that the orioles and the rose-breasted grosbeak have moved on for another year.  I enjoyed them so much and was sad to not see them anymore.  But he the cardinals, goldfinch and hummers add color along with the cute little rose finches, bluejays(not my favorites but I like the color), and the red headed woodpeckers with their brothers.

F-2-F Classes

We are sad to report that another retreat has 'bit the dust.'  Our scheduled retreat with the Minnesota Stitchers has had to be cancelled for 2020.  I don't think anyone was surprised but it is sad to see the venues have to be put on hold for another year.  So many get such pleasure out of visiting, stitching, networking, etc.  But it is for our safety so we certainly cannot fault that.  Look out 2022!


Things have been moving right along on our online classes.  Lessons are being posted timely and shared with the participants.  Participants are providing some feedback.  It seems many are taking advantage of the 'stay at home' request of most governors.  We have met our first major obstacle in this venue however.

Since canvas painters have also be under lock down all over the world, we have not been receiving any new product to replace our inventories.  This includes items that we have selected for our new upcoming classes. Our next new design being offered up for class is Lovable Llama by Gayla Elliott. This cutie is scheduled for a first class session mid-July.

We took a poll and it appears that a majority of participants have not been able to get their canvases.  Well it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you don't have a canvas you are not going to stitch.  We have decided it best to move the date back for the introduction to this guy.  We will revisit in June/July and see what the situation is for the expected inventory receipts around the country.  We are hopeful to start him in mid-August at the latest.

He/she is so cute that we are all anxious to start playing with the possibilities.

In the same boat (no pun intended) is Two By Two- Noah's Ark from Strictly Christmas.

We'll just have to wait and see how quickly the painters work through their backlog of orders.

Don't think that just because some newer designs need to be pushed back some that you can slack off!  Oh no!  On an opposite note, we added Just Add Water, by CBK, that is a companion to our recent Just a Sip. Since this is a design of a series, there are canvases out there for this one.  We may move this class up in one of the slots of the newer canvases that have been pushed back.  

While several of you asked for this companion piece be added to the roster, not enough participants have committed to make it a class.  If you are wanting to participate in this class mid-July then you need to sign up right away.  Send email to  Otherwise, we will likely drop this piece from the agenda due to lack of interest.

ETSY SHOP - duodesignsbySandra

We were able to add a few more stitch markers for knitters to the shop and have moved a few surplus class pieces on to new homes.



Saturday, May 16, 2020

Some Painters are Working! !

Such wonderful news!  I have been advised that some painters have been allowed to have supplies and work from home!  Lots of backorders so no idea when we will get what nor where we are on the order chain.  But it is what it is and I am thrilled that there is some movement.

NEEDLES 'N FINS STITCHING ADVENTURES - Private Group for Stitching Travelers

It is my understanding that my group's Tulips Cruise is next on the list for processing.  Hopefully UniWorld will be releasing money and credits soon.  There is not much we can do in the meanwhile.

I would like to take a small poll with you guy however.  If you feel so inclined I would like to hear from you about how various travel agencies have been handling your requests during this time of limited work hours, personnel, etc.  Seems different agencies are handling quite differently.  You can email me at or private message me on FB.  I would love to have your feedback.

ETSY SHOP - duodesignsbySandra

I have been so busy stitching that I have not had time to add new items to the shop to replace some of the extras going out.

Do you knit?  I know most of us have another hobby in addition to our passion for needlepoint.  I know I have 1 or 2 or 5 or.  Anyway, we have these fun stitch markers over in the shop.  Go take a look.  Most are one of a kind.  I still have several I need to add to the shop.  A fun way to keep the various sections of your knitting marked - you know those sleeves, those pattern changes, etc.

Face-2-Face Classes

As shared with you previously just about everything has been cancelled or postponed.  We are awaiting instructions from ANG regarding the Seminar classes.  They are working through the possibility of offering some options so be sure to keep in touch with them.  Their website is - just follow the menus.

Online Mystery Classes

Yesterday we shared lessons in the ongoing Online Mystery Classes.

In At The Beach (oops!  you can tell where my mind is) Seashore - Sandra Gilmore design we completed the sofa and the pillows.  That area in itself could justify a full class!

For the Fall Welcome Wreath PLD designs we did a set of pumpkins and some red leaves and flowers.

We also had our first session in the Kissmas Eve PLD Designs class. We added wallpaper, and did the framing around the wall area.

Now we are focusing on sign ups for the next wave of classes.  Next in line is Lovable Llama-Gayla Elliott.  Then comes Just Add Water- CBK Designs and the wonderful Two By Two - Strictly Christmas Designs featuring Noah and all the animals.




To be included on the Notification List (no obligation) email us at  We all have our fingers crossed to get the canvases before the first lessons.  Be sure to get yours ordered NOW!  Your LNS will happily take care of you.  If you need assistance contact us and we will hook you up with a shop that is kitting these classes for us so you have no substitutions.


Saturday, May 9, 2020


Who would have ever thought that the ANG national seminar would be canceled?  One thing for sure is that the year 2020 will be known as the year of firsts.  Maybe distance learning will be offered and more can participate.  We'll just wait and see what develops.

I am hopeful that in a few months it will be safe enough to travel once again. I would love to be able to reschedule our Funky Flamingo class at The Black Sheep in Orlando.  Only time will tell.


In the meanwhile we continue to focus on our Online Mystery Classes.  In a little over a week we will share our first session in Kissmas Eve.  It is hard to believe it is time already to play with this fun canvas.

We'll be sharing some exciting lessons in the current projects At The Seashore and Fall Welcome Wreath. I'm sure there be plenty in these sessions to keep you busy for a little while.

Don't forget that active registration is going on for the cutie - Lovable Llama by Gayla Elliott.

We're excited to start our Noah's ark piece - Two by Two from Strictly Christmas whenever the painters get back to work and we get our model piece.

Then comes the companion to Just a Sip - this time we Just Add Water from CBK Designs.

So be sure to go to and register for the notification list if you would like to join us.

Look what we shared this week!  Number 7 in the series of 8 of the Quickie Butterflies!  It is hard to believe that we only have one more of these guys we are doing for our set.

Isn't she beautiful.  We have some extra canvases for a few of the designs in the series and we can also provide a stitch guide for them - we don't have full kits for all of them so just ask about any you might be interested in having.

ETSY SHOP - duodesignsbySandra

    Would the gal who contacted me and asked to be on wait list for the Songbirds canvas/SG please contact me again!

No special this week.  Need to start digging through my stash to see what class extras I might have to offer.

PAY IT FORWARD - HEARTS A to Z SAMPLER - free stitch diagram each week


This stitch is shown as a filler.  Almost any thread can be used to execute this stitch.

Saturday, May 2, 2020


Is the quarantine getting any closer to an end?  It is entertaining to watch and see what is considered essential and from whose viewpoint. As for my husband and myself we are staying in until at least the first of June.


ANG Seminar this summer in Tucson is on my mind right now.  Have my threads and canvases ready to begin kitting.  August is just around the corner.

I was able to finish our sweet little donkeys for the Maine Retreat currently scheduled for October.  Fingers crossed for that one.


Just two short weeks until we start our next new Online Mystery Class - Kissmas Eve!  Isn't that exciting.

Just around the corner is this sweet guy - Lovable Llama!

ETSY SHOP - duodesignsbySandra

Continuing with our Blog Special, this week we feature one of the reindeer from Raymond Crawford's series.  We offer the Reindeer with the Candle Blanket.  This wonderful canvas is featured with a free stitch guide for a very limited time only (meaning 1 week approx).  Hop over to the Etsy Shop and get it before it is gone!