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.