Saturday, May 29, 2021


You know flowers come in many forms.  A couple posts back I shared some of the wonderful bounty of blooms we have been enjoying here at Arthur Acres.  I cannot take any credit for these beauties other than to say that I stuck them in the ground.  Many, like this gorgeous specimen over 30+ years ago.

She was transplanted 3 times over her lifetime.  She never failed us but continued(s) to amaze with her spectacular color.

Other forms of flowers come in the guise of family.  There too we have been bountifully blessed.  First my husband of 59+ years who has always been by my side and supports me in everything I choose to do. Two children who we have been graced the time to watch as they grow and become responsible citizens and just wonderful human beings.  Two beautiful granddaughters who have also made a wonderful path of their lives.  Both successful in their own way in fields that help others.  Both married to wonderful, successful, responsible and loving young men.  Four great-grandchildren who have the whole world ahead of them to choose their own way with the fantastic guidance of grounded parents.  We are so proud of our family!

How about flowers in the form of friends.  Here I cannot say enough about the importance of friends.  If you are as lucky as we you will have a few very special friends that are by your side no matter what.  Friends who insist on helping you whether you feel you need it or not.  Friends to laugh with and cry with.  Here again we have been blessed.

Pets are also flowers to me.  We no longer have these most unselfish beings in our lives but we certainly have been blessed with many along our journey.  Right now two onery, independent ferals have decided they will let us feed them - at their command I might add - but they will not give us the joy of cuddling them.  One has been with us almost 3 years and the other has just wandered in the last few months.  A couple others have made brief visits of a few months and then just as quickly as they came into our lives they vanished.  Some more friendly than others.  

How about flowers of everyday living?  We are blessed every single day we awake to a new beginning.  My flowers include my wonderful passion of needlework.  It is all consuming of my life now that I no longer can run the fields and play like a youngster.  It allows me the joy of my wandering mind.  I sit with my needle in hand, in my comfy nest, and I never know where my mind is going to take me at any given time.  

So flowers can be in many forms.  We just need to open our eyes and see them.

Speaking of flowers, it seemed it took this girl years before she started blooming and when she did it was very sparse.  Look at her this year!  She is surely strutting her stuff!  So beautiful!

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures - private FB group

Are you a member of this group?  This is where you will first learn of our upcoming stitching adventures.  99.9% (or thereabouts) are riverboat cruises abroad.  We also have one in the works for Hawaii late 2022 or early 2023 but it will be a small cruise ship since we're gonna hop from island to island and there is only one line permitted to make those journeys.

There is much abuzz about our upcoming Tulips on the Rhine Riverboat Stitching Cruise set for the beginning of April 2022 - that is just around the corner!  Come join the many stitching friends that have already made their reservations!  You don't want to miss out.  Beautiful scenery - wonderful food - fantastic friends - wonderful food - lots of stitching time - wonderful food - did I mention that the food is wonderful?  UniWorld sure knows how to take care of its guests.

To get more information on the travel portion of this trip check with Liz our travel agent -  She can send you an up to date brochure and answer all your questions.  She can even take care of your flights if you desire.  I desire.  I like to have all my stuff under one roof.  That way the left hand and the right hand are coordinated.  At least I hope that is the situation and over the years it has never let me down.

Here's a little teaser map to entice you!

For more stitching information just email us at  My partner and I will be ready to help you with your stitching questions and plan to share some new techniques with you along the way.  There is an optional exclusive design kit available for purchase for those who want to experience every aspect of the trip - Windmills and Tulips.  You are welcome to bring projects from home as well.  

This is my stitching partner - does she look a little familiar?  She's our daughter too - Teresa.  See, I told you I am lucky and blessed!

ANG Seminar - 2021

Registration closes mid-June for the upcoming national seminar.  It has been necessary to conduct the seminar virtually again this year.  One advantage of this venue is that the classes are open to many more who might not be able to travel for various reasons.  

I have 3 classes that are taking registrations:

Heloise Hooty was a 2-day class and has a limited number of spaces.  She has needle felting, beads and gems galore and lots of fun stuff.

Vessels  was also  listed as 2-day class but has unlimited enrollment.  Lots of stitches and techniques going on here. 

Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources is a fun embellishment type class sharing unusual techniques.

Be sure to go over to ANG Website - - and check out all the classes available.  You won't be sorry and you don't want to miss this opportunity.  You do not need to be a member of ANG to take the classes.

F2F (face-to-face) Classes 

Activity is once again mounting as more and more restrictions are lifted and shops are opening.  Come visit us at Osterville Needlepoint on Cape Cod while we are there late June.  The classes are full but you can still come by and check out what everyone is playing on and maybe pick up a few 'essentials'.  

We're heading for Orlando to teach at The Black Sheep.  She is in the process of gathering canvases so our date is not yet finalized.  May be January - but be sure to get your name on the list!  Would love to see you.

Then in November we are heading back to Osterville but those classes are full as well.  If interested you might want to get your name on the wait list.

So lots going on - as we say, never a dull moment here at Arthur Acres.  Check things out and have a safe Holiday Weekend.  Thanks to all the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.  

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Mother Nature Must Have Had the Corona Virus:

We seem to be skipping some seasons here in Kentucky.  One day we have the furnace on and the next day we need air conditioning.  I think, however, that we are in for a long spell of hot weather now.  I don't complain about the heat because I am always cold but I know others are miserable.  Fortunately we don't need to deal with a lot of humidity where we are so it could be worse.


As we reported last week, we see interest increasing and slowly building back up for the riverboat stitching cruises.  Our upcoming Tulip Time on the Rhine Stitching Cruise is set for the end of March through April 10, 2022.  (UniWorld calls it Castles Along the Rhine but we're sticking with the name we had in 2020 before rescheduling.)  

We know it is going to be beautiful and we have a lot to look forward to.  So many of us have not been out and about in so long that we will not know how to act. Hubby and I will even be content to just sit on the ship deck and take it all in as we cruise down the river.  But of course we'll take in as many sights as we can. You know we're going to do the tulip gardens!  I think hubby just comes along mostly for the food anyway.  The staff of UniWorld certainly makes sure he has plenty no matter where he is on the ship.

Email our agent Liz at for travel details.  Email us at for stitching details.  We'd love to have you join us. We have a wonderful group already so knowing over half of them that have traveled with us before I know we are going to have a great time.  Our new cruisers with us are in for a treat that's for sure!


We cannot thank you all enough for the wonderful support we have received on our new Pocketbook Series Books.  As each new subject it released we are overwhelmed with the process of getting them out the door.  They truly have been so much fun for us and we love working on future titles!  Stay tuned!  There are still more on the shelf.

ETSY SHOP - DuoDesignsbySandra

Don't forget to check out our Etsy Shop.  We have lots and lots of digital stitch guides available.  We also have a few class surplus supplies.  We are entertaining the idea of broadening our offers and include our line of handpainted canvases.  Stay tuned and keep checking back!


We have had some interest concerning possibly hosting Hooters Anonymous from JP Needlepoint as an Online Mystery Class. Because of the interest we are taking a poll to see if there is enough to warrant a class.

This class will involve 8 Sessions.  The class 8-lesson packet is $225.  There will be one lesson posted per month.  Order your canvas through your LNS.  As we get closer to class time we will post a thread/embellishment list on the private Facebook Page. We will also work with a shop to prepare a thread/embellishment kit for those who want additional assistance. More details on that later.  

Email us at to sign up for the class.  You will be invoiced shortly after registering. We anticipate the class beginning at the first of the year - January 2022.  That is assuming we can get the threads and supplies needed by that time.  


Don't forget to register for the online classes of the ANG Seminar for 2021.  This virtual seminar affords the opportunity of attendance to all without the additional hassle of trying to travel!  Plus it is in the convenience of your own home!  Check out the classes being offered at their website of  You can scroll down a little and get the full details of my classes - which I would love to have you join in!.

Heloise Hooty

Conventional Techniques with Unconventional Resources


Registration closes mid-June so don't miss out!


We are taking the brave pill and getting back out 'amongst 'em'.  Our first trip will be to Cape Cod to Osterville Needepoint at the end of June.  This class has been sold out from day one.  She is, however, hosting a second class in November so I'm not sure but I think it, too, is sold out.  We do have a great time there.    

Next we are rescheduling our 'corona postponed Flamingo Class' at The Black Sheep in Orlando.  Stay tuned for details on that one.  You may contact Anne if you would like to be included - the

We are refilling our calendar for 2022 so stay tuned.  Have lots of exciting possibilities coming up!

Have a great weekend and remember to Stitch with a Smile!


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Central Kentucky is Blooming  

What a beautiful week we have had!  We have had very pleasant weather for the most part.  While there has been a bit of chill in the air, the sun has been shining and the weather has been glorious.  Our weather guy points out that we have yet to reach the 80s which is the norm for this time of year, but it has been lovely nonetheless.  

My iris have been blooming 

Our Japanese Maple (30+ years) shows off spectacularly every year - such a joy.

Our fantastic miniature lilac - I think the name is Kim - bought so many years ago in a little  6" pot.

This sweet oriental dogwood seemed to take years to bloom but it sure caught up quickly - I think it is called Kousa

Reaping the rewards of what Mother Nature and the Good Lord have provided me:

Unfortunately our son is highly allergic so when he comes to visit it is a sneezing fest.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures

Activity continues to build for our upcoming Tulip Time On the Rhine Riverboat Stitching Cruise set for March 31-April 10,2022.  People are so excited to think about traveling again.  The rules change daily - in our favor for the most part.  Fingers crossed that it continues.

                                                                            On my wish list to do:

The itinerary is amazing.  Please email us at to get your brochure and for any information that we can provide you.  There's no doubt that fun is to be had by all - stitchers and otherwise!

ANG National Seminar - Virtual

Don't forget that registration is now open:  

    Information on classes, pricing, registration, and other Virtual Seminar details are available                                 at


      To register:

Hope to 'see' you in my classes!


Yep, it is mid-month - again!  Time to post lessons for class participants.

We finished the second car of the Raymond Crawford American Train series.


Next is the Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.  We shared additional animals on this beauty.  One pair is the lions.



Saturday, May 8, 2021

 It seems that things are slowly improving!  Isn't that wonderful!

I have this pollyanna attitude where I generally only scan the news.  It is either so depressing for me or so questionable that I don't know what to believe.  I prefer to stay snug here in my little cocoon. I wasn't always like that.  When younger I could fight battles with the best of 'em.  However, at this stage of my life I just want to enjoy what is around me.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures  

Tulip Time on the Rhine  has been kicking up a notch with activity.  We are getting more active inquiries and more commitments.  The activity alone makes you feel we are moving towards 'normalcy' - lol - whatever that is. 

As we all know, guidelines are changing daily for traveling abroad.  We just keep watching and hoping we will get to see those tulips come April and all indications seem to say 'YES'!  In the meanwhile, our travel agent cannot stress enough the importance of insurance in these times of uncertainty.  Please make sure you discuss with her.  

As a reminder this is a picture of the Optional class kit to purchase for those who want to participate. The kit has a handpainted canvas, all the threads and/or embellishments needed to complete the project and a detailed stitch guide. The full kit will be mailed to you upon receipt of payment, with the exception of the stitch guide.  We will share that when we arrive in The Netherlands!

Now, I am completing one of my trip surprises for you this week.  It was almost finished when the world stopped and I moved on to other pressing matters.  I can't wait to share it with you - where will it be that I share? France? Germany? who knows but I know you will like it!  if not for you then for a gift for a special someone.

For more details on the upcoming trip contact Liz at  To discuss stitching then contact me through email at  Those who have travelled with us before can tell you what a grand time we have - never a dull moment!  Sightsee in the morning, stitch the rest of the day, or gossip, or nap, or eat. You get the picture.  Heck some of us even manage to stitch, drink, eat and gossip all at the same time!  We are multi-taskers!


I'm sure most of you have noticed that this year's ANG Seminar has gone virtual again.  While disappointing for many, including us teachers,  it also opens the opportunity for those who cannot travel to be able to take classes along with the rest.  I have 5 days of classes at this year's Seminar.  Those who know me know that I love the classes I teach.  I am not one to propose a class just to be doing something.

My favorite class (from a teacher's standpoint) is Vessels. 

One of the things that attracted me to this canvas was its simple lines.  The biggest attraction, however, was that it provides room to stitch!  Students have the space to get comfortable with the stitch.  They can study shading and how it is applied.   This class will be shared in 3 email lessons and 2 video visits. The video visits are for discussing issues you may have or asking questions.  All the techniques have been covered in the email lessons. 

A fun class with a bit of whimsy is Heloise Hooty which is a handpainted canvas from ACOD offering many stitches and techniques.

This adventure will involve a plethora of stitches and threads.  Additionally there will be embellishments of beads and sequins. Not to stop there, we will also play with needle felting on needlepoint.  This is a very happy, fun project. Lots to play with in this class.  It will involve 4 email lessons and 2 video discussions. The video visits are for discussing issues you may have or asking questions.  

A third class we are sharing is called Conventional Techniques with Unconventional Resources.

This class covers some techniques that are executed in unusual - or unconventional- ways.  The class will have 2 email lessons and 1 video discussion.The video visits are for discussing issues you may have or asking questions.  All the techniques have been covered in the email lessons.

Go to the ANG website - and get registered!  Registration opens on May 13 - just 5 days away!

I'm back to stitching on the next Online Mystery Class lessons.  Posting is schedule for around May 15!  We're working on Raymond Crawford's American Train series.  This upcoming lesson will finish the second car - The Liberty Bell!

Last session we finished the rail car and the bunting.  Upcoming is the firecrackers and the wonderful liberty bell.

On the cut Two by Two from Strictly Christmas we shared more animals. 
Up next are the elephants . . . 

and the lions . . . . 

That's it for today. Off I go to play with my needles!  Have a great week and remember to Stitch with a Smile!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

 OOPS!  Today is not Saturday - - -

I cannot believe how quickly time is going for me.  I did not even think about blog yesterday.  But, let's face it.  We did have the excitement of the Kentucky Derby and I was absorbed in some of the TV coverage (which I never do), etc.  Next thing I know it is Sunday morning.

Nothing much going on right now.  Working on upcoming lessons for the Two by Two from Strictly Christmas and the American Train from Raymond Crawford.  I love stitching my ideas and seeing what they turn out to be.

Lots of activity is resuming on the cruise front.  Keeping fingers crossed that we will be able to travel abroad this coming April.  We have plenty of people who are as optimistic as I am however.   And we are ready to leave on this end!

You know the tulips are going to be breathtaking!  And that is only a small part of our journey.

One of our ships from previous cruise!

We plan to depart on March 31, 2022 through  April 10, 2022.  Contact our travel agent Liz at for travel details.

Our optional stitching kit is the Windmills and Tulips.  This is an extra charge for those who would like to take a specific class.  Otherwise bring your favorite project from home that you would like to have help with.

Now, as those of you who have traveled with us before know, there is lots more to experience - both in adventures and stitching!  Can't wait!

Our Pocketbooks are doing great!  We are so happy that you are enjoying them.  If you haven't gotten yours yet, check with your Local Needlepoint Shop.  On our website at  there is a listing of all the shops carrying our products. 

Stay safe and remember to Stitch With a Smile!