Saturday, December 31, 2022

 We are all saddened by the loss of another needlepoint legend - Brenda Hart.  Rest in Peace Brenda knowing that your knowledge and work lives on through all the beautiful pieces that have been made under your guidance.  You will be missed.


I feel most of us are not too sad to tell 2022 goodby and are looking forward to 2023!  One thing for sure, we can all say we made it through another challenging year!  We always celebrate royally and may even manage to stay awake until 10:00pm or so.  You know as you get older you tend to get a little more wild and loose!

One of our most exciting expectations for 2023 is the introduction of our Duo Designs Stitching Retreat - 2023.  This will be held September 21-25, 2023 at General Butler Resort State Park in Carrolton, KY.  We plan to share so much with our participants and are having so much fun putting the activities together.  I think of this as a stitching cruise on land.  Those of you who have been able to go on our cruises with us have an idea of what is in store for all participants!  FUN!

It seems that Santa may have left a few wonderful surprises as we are getting more registrations now that gifts have been opened!  Be sure to complete your registration and choose the class that you want to join!  Both are going to be great fun!  Remember that everything is included except travel and lodging - yes, that includes a full kit of your choice with hand painted canvas mounted on stretcher bars, all meals and break refreshments, two-day structured project class, nightly stitch-in/classes with two instructors to assist, prizes and surprises galore! We start off with a bang of a Meet and Greet the first evening where you will meet the fabulously talented Gayla Elliott - creator of the Stitching Girls!

Did I mention that designs have been finalized for the 2024 Retreat?  A totally different theme!  Think Fall!

Email us at to get your very own brochure and registration form.  Also email with any questions you may have.  We'd love to have you join us!

Some HIGHLIGHTS of 2023 for Duo Designs, Inc.

January        Besties - Session IV
                    Wisemen  Session VIII - final lesson
                    Chinese Lanterns Session VI

February      Begin Sea Shells on Seashore Online Class Session I
                    Besties - Session V
                    Chinese Lanterns Session VII

March        Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session II
                    Besties - Session VI - final lesson
                    Chinese Lanterns Session VIII

April          Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session III
                    Chinese Lanterns

May            North Carolina - Winter Cardinal Workshop - Private
                    North Carolina - Buffalo Check Cardinal - Salem Chapter
                    Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session IV
                    Ornaments Galore - Session I and II (tentative)
                    Chinese Lanterns Session IX

June            Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session V
                    Chinese Lanterns  Session X
                    Ornaments Galore - Session III

July              Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session VI
                    Chinese Lanterns Session XI
                    Ornaments Galore - Session IV

August         ANG National Seminar - Atlanta
                     Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session VII
                    Chinese Lanterns Session XII - final lesson
                     Ornaments Galore - Session V

September   Duo Designs Stitching Retreat - General Butler Resort State Park
                    Sea Shells on Seashore  - Session VIII - final lesson
                     Ornaments Galore - Session VI

October        Greece Stitching Cruise
                     Ornaments Galore - Session VII and VIII (tentative)

November     Ornaments Galore - Session IX

December    Ornaments Galore - Session X

Gotta hustle off for now and get out to that New Year's Eve Dance!  More to come next year!
Stay safe and have a healthy, happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2022


Well, this is going to be different for us.  First of all we are having the worse few days of below 0 weather of the season at home  Those of you who follow me know what a dramatic year we had last year and I don't know if I'm up to a repeat this year.  Fortunately (I think) our house sitter can deal with it (LOL) !  We'll still worry and be concerned though. It made it through the first night fine and we are praying we get the same results from our friend today.   I guess that's what you do with an old house huh? But it is managing to hold its own so far.  The temperature is slowly inching its way back up one degree at a time (I am not exaggerating folks) but at least it is going in the right direction.

But the Florida kids have all kinds of things in mind to keep us occupied.  I, for one, will probably try and do nothing except stitch and enjoy the warmer weather . (cough! cough!  They are having their own cold spell here - lol - nothing like back home but the mornings and evenings are a bit chilly.) Never was a fan of cold, dreary weather.  In Kentucky we know it won't last very long but you still must deal with it.


I hope many of you remember the wonderful adventures we have in store for 2023 and 2024 and that you have told your gift givers about them - money always works, right?


Registration is still open for a couple more weeks on the Sea Shells on the Seashore design class.

This is an 8 session class that you enjoy at your leisure.  Lessons and discussions are shared in pdf format  in a private facebook group.    Enjoy at your leisure. The first session is scheduled to begin mid-February.  Email us at to join.

Yes, Juli has done it again.  She has given us a playground to try out all kinds of techniques and embellishments.  Did someone say embellishments? Surely we can find somewhere to put a gem or two, some beads, maybe ribbon, metallics, oh dear!  This will be a 10 Session class.  Do you think I can work in an Or Nue` class in there?  How about another possible peyote on canvas class - that was popular a few years back.  Maybe we can share that technique again - it has been awhile.While we normally share one session a month, there may be a few times we can work in 2 sessions a few weeks apart.  We'll see how it goes.  I love my returning participants for this class because I know they have some idea as to what's in store for them - LOL.  Email us at with questions and to sign up.  This class will tentatively begin the first quarter of 2023.

DUO DESIGNS STITCHING RETREAT 2023- September, General Butler Resort State Park

I am so anxious to share some of the things we are working on for you - but if we share them then they won't be a surprise will they?  Hmmmm. If you have been on one of our stitching cruises you know you won't be disappointed.  We're doing a stitching cruise on land - lol.

This beautiful mezzanine is where we will be hosting our Meet and Greet.  Here you will register for the Retreat, meet Gayla Elliott - the artist of the Stitching Girl Series - snack a little and socialize.  We will leave for a brief time and return to the area for dinner.  Depending on number of people the Resort will decide where it is best to serve our dinner for this night.

During the day, your guests can come sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery (assuming they are not out wandering the Bourbon Trails, visiting Churchill Downs, etc) while you are at the Conference Center getting into trouble.  In this beautiful area we often sit near the windows and look down at the river.  Hubby takes a book to read (as he naps) and enjoy the serenity of the area.

Email us at for your brochure of details and to ask any questions.


Our agent has finally heard back with the hotel information in Venice and Athens and will be sharing the brochure soon.  The cruise part remains the same - we're just adding on some extra enticements for you.  We figure, heck, since we are there might as well take in as much as we can!

Email us to get more information on this wonderful Stitching Cruise.  We have had the good fortune to have sailed on the Pursuit before and she does not disappoint!

While we do spend most mornings running around touring, sightseeing and shopping (of course), we do get in a lot of work in the 'down' times.

If there are seats and a gathering I take my place and teach whoever (or is it whomever?) will listen.

Just email us for more details.  The brochure will be available after we settle in from the various holiday celebrations!

Have a great and safe holiday however you choose to celebrate - we celebrate Christmas so to all our friends  and followers MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 17, 2022


Can't live with them and can't live without them now days.  I have had a terrible time trying to recover my Blog so I hope that I have finally conquered that step.


This week we shared another Session in our online classes.

Three Wisemen  so near the end that I can't help but get a tiny bit sad. We are working on the last king's cloak.

Besties - the Ostrich  is moving quickly also.  This month we were a little light because we mainly just did beading.  Many do not care for beading.  Somehow Besties best friend - Froggie - just told me that he needed to be beaded and so he was.

How can you not be best friends with a face like that?  LOL

The next Session shared is in the Chinese Lanterns class.  This Session covered the top part of a two-part lantern that has beautiful koi swimming around. As I shared with the class, this is one of the areas that caused me to want to do this piece in a class.

I am having major computer issues and I am having difficulty accessing my Blog to update.  It always asks me to build a new blog - hopefully I'll get it figured out.  Before it explodes on me I want to share with you another upcoming new Online Class.  We are scheduling JP Needlepoint's Ornaments Galore next year.  Won't this be loads of fun!

Doing a quickie assessment it looks like this might be 10 lessons.  However, if I can get my stitching done I might be able to post 2 lessons a month thereby making it go quicker for you guys.  Can't you just visualize how my mind is going crazy.  I see so many possibilities and can't wait to get started.

If you would like to participate in this class send me an email to and I'll start getting particulars together.  We will invoice you for a non-refundable $150 deposit once you commit to taking the class.  Looks like the canvases are going to be around $210 but don't hold me to that yet.  I won't know for sure for awhile.  

Registration is still open for Sea Shells on the Shore by Alice Peterson.

I am having so much fun stitching on this as I audition threads to suggest to the shop for the optional kit.

I am loving the sand, and the water, and, and,. . . 

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat 2023 -- General Butler Resort State Park, Carrolton, KY

Working away on the models and fun surprises for the participants!  We will soon be sharing more WIP pictures to entice you if you have not already registered.  We are so looking forward to this Retreat.  Just email us to to receive your brochure or with any questions you might have.  We have participants from California to Massachusetts!  Woo Hoo!

This is my classroom!  We forgot to get picture of Teresa's room!

Do you know why horseshoes are supposed to be hung with the open side up?  It is so the luck won't drain out! Hanging the other way will have all the luck flowing out of the home and leave room for evil.

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures

Greek Island Stitching Cruise - October 2023

Island Stops on the Greece Stitching Cruise

                                                    Optional Stitching Kit - Santorini Splendor
We are still waiting the hotel prices for our Greece Cruise!  In the meanwhile, folks are registering to take advantage of the fabulous deals and perks that Azamara is offering participants.  Email to get more details.

Hope this gets posted correctly - and bigger hope is that I can do it again next week - lol. 

Stay safe!

Saturday, December 3, 2022


Thanksgiving Day has come and gone here in the States.  Not everyone waits for the passing of Thanksgiving before beginning to celebrate the Christmas and Chanukah/Hanukkah observances.  Some retailers are rather ridiculous in when they begin putting out their holiday decorations.  It has gotten so bad that it seems some holidays are skimmed over and almost missed!  I find this very sad.


We have almost completed our thread selections for our current class that is still open for registration.  We audition stitches with the threads as we go along. Sea Shells on the Sea Shore has some interesting techniques and threads to share.

Here's a sneak peek at the seaweed along the shore.

The class is scheduled to begin in mid-February.  To participate send us an email at

This month we will finish our class on the Three Wisemen.  Stay tuned to see the finished design. This progress will be shared mid-December.  We will also share lessons on Besties and Chinese Lanterns.

DUO DESIGNS STITCHING RETREAT 2023 - General Butler State Resort Park - September 2023

These classes are such fun to work on in preparation for this event.  Gayla's Stitching Girls always have something interesting to offer. 

Each class is 2-days in length.  All the 'getting ready' has been done for you once you register.  You only need to make travel and lodging arrangements.  All meals, supplies and socialization are provided - fun goes without saying! So just throw whatever clothing you want to bring and personal stitching supplies and come on over to beautiful Kentucky to join us.

First up is the popular Boss Lady. Teresa is putting her special touches to task on this design.  

Can you see 3 colors in the back wall?  Teresa does!  She has totally changed the floor as well!  We shared earlier her personalized office wall sign. It is hard to tell what all she will be sharing with you when she has this finished.

Next is an exclusive design done for this Retreat by Gayla for Duo Designs, Inc. - Stitching Girl with her Horse.

Mercy!  Look at all the wood variations - the barn, barrel, bridle holder, stall and door trim.  Wait until you see the jeans!  So much going on here! Sandy is in her element!

Come play with us on September 22-25, 2023.  General Butler State Resort Park is easily accessibly by air or auto.  How about doing a car pool?

Remember all your meals are included (plated dinners), full kits including canvases mounted on stretcher bars), all class fees, Goody Bag, free nightly stitch-ins with access to both teachers, and lots of surprises along the way. You will not be disappointed!  Remember to email us at to get your brochure and registration form!  

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures - private FB group - sign up to join

GREECE is next up for our journeying! However, Azamara has given us the opportunity for a special treat!  We are to fly into Venice and go to embark on the ship from there.  Our agent is working on 2 days to stay in Venice before getting onboard!  If you have not been to Venice you will be amazed at all the wonder that surrounds you!  If you have been to Venice before you know why we are excited to be returning.  One of my favorite things to revisit is the Murano Glass shops - we might even be able to go to the factory again - who knows!  We will have multiple opportunities to purchase murano beads no matter what! The beautiful glassware, etc., can be shipped home thankfully. Gondola ride anyone?  Mercy!

Have you seen the optional class kit?  

This trip is scheduled for October 11-23, 2023 - the current brochure is being created.  We are awaiting information from Azamara concerning hotel arrangements.  

We are also looking at a side trip at the end of the cruise to spend some quality time in Athens for those that desire to do so.  Stay tuned.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

 SNOW! NOooooooooo!

I am not ready for this! So far it has been a light dusting one day and a light coverage  yesterday but it is sooooo cold! Thank heaven for our wonderful fireplace.


A few days ago we posrted our monthly lessons.

We began the third king in the Three Wisemen project. Gosh, hard to believe we are already there!

Then on the Chinese Lanterns we added another finished lantern to the mix!

And for Bestie, the cute pink Ostrich and her friend Froggie, we added a  couple new elements.

Don't forget that registration is still open for SeaShells by the Sea Shore I think we have 3 canvases/spaces available. Classes set to begin mid-February.

Email us at if you would like to join us.

We are amazed at how many people are joining the group Stitching and Needlework Events. Hop over to Facebook and join if you would like. Individuals share their upcoming workshops, classes, stitch-aways and retreats for you to consider.

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat 2023 in Carrolton,KY - September 22-25,2023 - is doing well. We are so excited to be hosing this event featuring Kentucky artist Gayla Elliott. You probably recognize her from the Stitching Girl series of designs. Come join us!

We've made it so easy for you in that we have taken care  of everything except the travel and lodging!   Breakfast (included with room), 2 lunches, 3 plated dinners, full classk it with canvas mounted on stretcher bars and lots and lots of surprises! Email us at to get your brochure and answers to your questions. We'd love to have you join us. We always have such fun and make so many new, awesome friends that share the same love of needlework that we all have!

Until next time, stay warm!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Food -


Well I'm afraid that winter is officially here.  We are, in fact, considering building our first fire.  It is not just the chill - for me it is as much about the dampness caused from the rain.  I am not complaining, however, as we desperately needed the rain for many reasons.  One reason is that it is very dry around here.  More importantly, however, are the forest wildfires that are surrounding the area and burning hundreds of acres.  We have a burn ban in effect but apparently someone dropped a lighted cigarette and had endangered several homes in a neighboring county. Smoke is very bad even here in Lexington.  So sad.  Thankfully after several days the firemen contained the fires and eventually shut them out last night.  The rain today was a blessing to check any possibility of the flames reigniting hopefully.

Downside is that the rain is promising to change to snow this weekend - no thank you!

                    DUO DESIGNS STITCHING RETREAT - 2023    

If you have registered you should also have been sent an invitation to join the private group - Duo Designs Stitching Retreat 2023.  Please email me if you have not been sent an invitation!  email:

Also we are seeing some interest in car pooling so if you are interested email us and we will try to help make connections for your area.

Needles ' n Fins Stitching Adventures - Join the private Facebook Page

We have been concentrating on getting the Greece Stitching Cruise optional kit finished to share with participants and potential participants.  It is so close but looks like it will be next week before we can share.  As soon as our agent gets the new Itinerary confirmed and in the brochure we will be sharing that with you too.  It has really excited us all that we will be doing 2 days in Venice on the revised cruise.  Stay tuned!

In the meanwhile we are practicing the hula!  The Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise is just around the corner.  If Santa needs some ideas for Christmas gifts you might want to whisper in his ear - !

Let's take a close look at what we have in store on this adventure.

First we have 2 nights in Honolulu before we embark on to our ship to cruise!  

While on Honolulu we have many options to explore.  We can enjoy the beach.  Make sure you have sunscreen if you take this option.  Like to shop?  One of the most popular shopping markets - Ala Moana Market - is available and waiting to share their wares with the eager shoppers. 

Food?  You name it and you will find it somewhere on this wonderful Island.  How about checking out Diamond Head? Do you like to take in the Island on a hop-on hop-off double decker bus - that is available also. Want to do a luau?  History buffs will want to take advantage of visiting the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial. Each time I return it seems it is more emotional for me.   There are two needlepoint shops available to visit also.

Mercy!  And we haven't even started the Cruise yet!  So on Day 3 in the afternoon we board our ship with much excitement!  Around 7pm we head out to water so we can awaken at a new Island and new adventures.

Kohului, Maui welcomes us after breakfast.  We will actually be staying overnight in port of this island. Should we have golfers in our group they may well want to check out the golf courses. Then there are more beautiful beaches. Beautiful flora is here for our enjoyment at well - Botanical Gardens and Lavender fields. Much, much more.  We head out around dinner time and enjoy sailing while possibly taking in a show or entertainment onboard.  

Stitching classes will be announced once the Captain lets us know when and where.

After sailing all night, we will check out Hilo after breakfast.  We will spend the day on this island and take in all its sights. Approximately 30 miles from the ship is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which is home to the active Kilauea Volcano.  Interesting architecture is exhibited in historic buildings for our history buffs to explore.

On the morning of the 19th we will arrive at Kona.  Here we find green and black sand beaches!  Coffee lovers might want to tour a coffee plantation. The crystal blue waters will make it difficult to pull yourself away to take in other beauties the Island has to offer.

Nawiliwili, Kauai will entertain us for Day 8 and Day 9.  Oh my - look at the tour options the ship offers:
            • Best of Kauai - On this introduction to the “Garden Isle,” you’ll explore two               of Kauai’s most dramatic natural attractions - the 3,000- foot-deep Waimea                   Canyon  and the lush landscapes lining the Wailua River, including the                            famed Fern Grotto. 

            • Journey to Waimea Canyon - Discover Waimea Canyon, the breathtaking                 gorge in the heart of Kauai that is one of the island’s most dramatic natural                 attractions. 

           • Luau Kalamaku & Plantation Train - Climb aboard the Kauai Plantation                         Railroad for a narrated tour through fruit orchards and exotic tropical flower             gardens. Then  feast your eyes on hulas and fire dances and dine on a                             lavish luau. Wailua River & Fern Grotto - Board a flat-bottom motor launch                 for your journey up the tranquil Wailua River as it floats past lush                                 jungle landscapes on the way to Fern Grotto and pay a visit to Opaekaa Falls. 

Next morning we must say goodbye as we disembark and head back home.

Next week we hope to share more of the upcoming Greece Stitching Adventure!

Saturday, November 5, 2022

 NOVEMBER!  Really?

While struggling through the year it seems unrealistic that it really is almost over!  I have said many, many times - while sitting in ER, hospital rooms, waiting rooms, doctor offices, labs, etc. - thank goodness for my needlepoint.  I know most of you can certainly relate to that.  I have a nervous energy (hump, didn't know I had any energy to speak of) but I cannot sit still - unless I have some kind of needle in my hands.  Doesn't have to be needlepoint.  I love to have my knitting and crochet with me as well.  These are all such wonderful, portable loves and I am blessed to have them to help keep me sane some days.

Temperatures are dropping here in Central Kentucky.  Actually they are fluctuating - up one day to tease then boom! freeze your toes!  Soon we won't have anymore of the warmer days for awhile.  Snowbirds are flying south and that is a real sign around here that winter is coming.  But, look at my beautiful Japanese Maple.

She really strutted her stuff this year and I almost waited too long to capture her before she shed all her glorious leaves.  She is over 40 years old and was transplanted twice before finding this spot to treasure.

Needles 'n Fins Stitching Adventures - Join private FB Group

It is hard to believe that after 3 years of trying we may actually be boarding the plane to do our fantastic stitching cruise of the Hawaiian Islands.  Yes, that is plural.  

Our days will be filled with visiting beautiful beaches, shopping and enjoying the unique sights that only Hawaii can offer, as we explore 4 of the islands!  Yes we spend our days on 4 of the main islands! This travel means that nights are used for stitching and traveling the seas that show us nothing more than water and more water and fills our days with wonderful island adventures.  No passport is required as we enjoy the beauty of our 50th State! This trip is for those who want to wander but don't yet want to travel abroad.

Our first 2 days are in Honolulu as we explore on our own.  You will have time to visit the needlework shops if you like, lay on the beach, or go on a marathon shopping spree!  Fantastic market!

Might be a few shops here.

Fabulous Museum of Pearl Harbor

We have a couple staterooms available so hurry and reserve yours now.  Email us at duodesignsinc@gmail to get your own brochure and ask questions!  We would love to have you join us.

Ready to go abroad? Greece is on the horizon! Our original itinerary has been boosted a bit!  Azamara has added an extra night and - wait for it - we are going to begin our journey with 2 fabulous nights in Venice!  The date for this Stitching Adventure is October 11-23, 2023. Many of you have traveled with us to Venice before and we loved it!  So we decided that we had to have extra time while there!  We need to take on a gondola ride, see the beautiful Rialto Bridge, shop at the fantastic surrounding shops - did I mention that you can even arrange a special tour to take in Murano glass!  (Thank goodness there is a shipping option!) We will see beautiful laces if we want also and watch them being made.  Always a highlight of this trip is the gelatto!  I know you have heard of it.  

After we leave our Venice visit we board our ship the Pursuit.  We have been on this beautiful ship before and were not disappointed!

We will have a full day on the water.,  We also will have intense stitching time with a morning and afternoon session!  

Our agent is working on our various options but so far this seems to be what we are considering.  

While we end in Athens we do not have any real time there.  We are working on a tack on package so we can enjoy the high spots of Athens while there - more on that later.

Now, since we had nothing else to do, we decided to host a Stitching Retreat here close to home!

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat

Our wonderful state has such beautiful spots from which to select it was a little difficult to choose one.  However, we found a lovely spot with hills, rivers, nice lodging and great food - plus, fantastic classroom facilities! It is located approximately 45 minutes from the Louisville International Airport and Greater Cincinnati Airport (Northern KY).

Join us at General Butler Resort State Lodge in Carrolton, KY on September 22-25, 2023.  We will be featuring our own Gayla Elliott!  She is the fantastic artist behind the fun Stitching Girl theme canvas designs and lives 'right down the road'.

For our Retreat we are featuring two of her designs:  First up is Boss Lady.

You may choose this gal for your 2 day class - everything included - and can have sign, books, WIP all adjusted to your very own function such as teacher, needlepointer, lawyer, nanny, etc.etc.

The second 2-day class to choose from is an exclusive for Duo Designs, Inc. only - Stitching Girl with her Horse.

Oh my!  We are having so much fun playing with these designs and coming up with techniques to share with you.

As many of you know who have been on our stitching cruises with us, we always have something to sneak in as a fun surprise so be ready!

Due to such slow turnaround time of painted canvases, space is limited and dependent on the number of available canvases.  Sign up right away to reserve your spot.  Costs are spread out over a period of time for your convenience.  The non-refundable deposit will hold your spot in your chosen class!



NOW Early Registration Begins to Guarantee Class Selection 

Non-refundable Deposit Required $150 – applies to full reg. fee 

April 1, 2023 Early Registration Ends – Wait List Initiated 

May 1, 2023 Deadline for Registering and making Class Selection 

June 1, 2023 Last day to cancel for full refund (less $150 processing fee) 

June 1 , 2023 Full Registration Fee Balance Due 

July 15, 2023 Last day to register for Group Shuttle Service 

Sept. 22, 2023 Retreat Begins – 3:30 - 4:30 pm Meet and Greet Reception 


After-dinner stitching 

Sept. 23, 2023 Classes Begin- 9:30 am-4:00 pm 

Sept. 23-24,2023 Sat./Sun Evening Stitching Get Togethers – 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm 

Sept. 25, 2023 Retreat Ends – 11:30 am 


Email us at for details, a brochure and registration form.  You know we are gonna have a lot of fun!


Registration is open for Sea Shells on the Sea Shore

This Alice Peterson design is chocked full of interesting technique possibilities.  We have the canvases so there is no stress of trying to find one for class participation.  The shop will be putting together a thread/embellishment kit for those of you who do not have a LNS and need assistance.  She will be sharing that information after registration closes.

If you would like more information email us at  We would love to have you join us!

Phew!  That's enough for today!