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!