Saturday, October 29, 2022


Those of you who are aware of our Online Classes (user friendly of course) and who follow our adventures (Stitching Cruises and Retreats), know that we continue to explore new ways to approach and kindle our continued love for the wonderful needlework world!

My students continue to amaze me.  They are doggedly wading through my suggestions, illustrations and encouragement and somehow manage to make my ideas and thoughts reality - and they make it look good!  I have been blessed with wonderful supporters!  I love their positive, unselfish attitudes and relish in the comfort that we have - no ugliness in our little protected cocoons. If there is any there I am not aware of it and if I were it would be surgically removed!  We are in this together to help each other and share whatever we can to continue our art and encourage one another no matter the level of our particular skill at the time. Again, I have been blessed with the best!


This week several shared their process of conquering the much dreaded stretching of Flair that has become somewhat of a trademark.  They managed to tame the beast beautifully!  Our Three Wisemen is proceeding down the home stretch - two down and one to go! You go gang!

Our Chinese Lanterns have also been doing well.  We have totally finished one of the lanterns - step-by-step - and now have shared a second one.  This one does not have as many challenges as the first. Oh but don't despair - more is waiting in the wings.

We started a new class session on the cute pink ostrich - Besties.  We begin by getting the dreaded background out of the way so we can play with the fun stuff.

Registration is ongoing for our next upcoming class SeaShells on the Sea Shore from Alice Peterson. As we approach our beginning dates we are choosing threads and techniques to be ready for playing at the sea shore!  

If you would like to join us for this mid-February class just email us at to get the process started.

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat - 2023

A daily adventure is in store for us as we play with surprises for our group that will be participating in this upcoming Retreat.  The Retreat is in our homeland - Kentucky.  We will be playing at General Butler Resort State Park in Carrolton, KY.  Only minutes away from the Louisville International Airport and the Greater Cincinnati Airport.  Quietness and forested beauty abound while edged with beautiful rivers in this setting.  No traffic noises exist here.  The only noises we will experience will be our giggles and fun as we join our peers in the love of our passion for needlework!

Have you registered?  Don't miss out on this one!  The registration fee covers everything you need after you have made your travel arrangements and reserved your room. From the time you reach the Lodge, through all your classes, meals, breaks and surprises, until your departure every thing is taken care of for you.  

You must select which class you want to take - each class has a full kit including canvases stretched on stretcher bars. The Meet and Greet Reception on Friday afternoon will get you started off in the right direction.  You will get your goody bag, meet the talented artist Gayla Elliott and the two teachers - Sandy Arthur and Teresa Kinberger - as well as fellow participants.  Each evening you will participate in stitch-ins where the teachers will be available to assist you with any of your stitching questions - plus there are surprises in the mix as well!

Although we are still almost a year away, over half the room block has been reserved.  When reserving your accommodations, be sure to specify Group Code #6066 Duo Designs,  The Lodge number is:   General Butler State Resort Park

PH: (502) 732-4384

select Reservations! Be sure to review the various deadlines so you don't miss out.  

Off we go to playing and stitching on our upcoming cruises class pieces!


Saturday, October 22, 2022


As I discussed last week we posted the next session of lessons for our three current classes, Three Wisemen, Chinese Lanterns and the new Besties.  

Three Wisemen seems to have presented an interesting challenge for some.  This session dealt with stretching Flair again.  We engaged in a more in depth discussion  about the various sections and suggested approaches. One of the beauties of this type class is that you may ask questions and we may share a kazzlion WIP pictures that may assist in the understanding of a particular technique.  The stitching that has been shared with each other is remarkable. I love it!

Chinese Lanterns presented another of the many lanterns in this design.  The session did not have as many different techniques to tackle as previous sessions.  These type sessions allow a little 'catch up' time for those who feel the need.  Of course, our approach is there is not deadline or clock ticking.  You work at your own pace and have the lessons available for you whenever you want or need them.

Besties is a new design that was added this month.  For this gal we began with the background and part of the Ostrich to get her on her way.

Upcoming classes:

Next up will be the cool Sea Shells on the Seashore from Alice Petersen. Registration is open for participants to join us.  This design is scheduled to be shared in 8 Sessions.  (It may, however, be more if necessary.) Classes are scheduled to begin mid-February 2023. If you would like to join us just email us at

Reminder:  This Alice Peterson Design is on 18 mesh canvas.  The design area is approximately 10" wide by 8" high.  The cut canvas size is approximately 14" wide by 12" high. We anticipate this class beginning mid-February 2023.  Registrations are healthy and going well. 

Those who register ahead are making sure that a canvas will be received timely. Designers are telling us 5-7 months turnaround so we're getting a head start for that part of the adventure. While it might seem some time away remember that we must register now and pay the deposit in order to get canvases painted timely.

To register email us at and we will send you an invoice for the $150 deposit.  This deposit is non-refundable and is applied to reserving your hand painted canvas.  Once the ordered canvases are spoken for, a standby list will be created. Additional registration will be determined by the availability of canvases so keep that in mind if you really want to participate you must register with deposit right away. -

The lesson packet will be invoiced after the first of the year so no urgency there. Our first draft on lessons indicated a possibility of 8 sessions - more may be necessary - we'll see.

We are working with a shop to determine threads/embellishments that will be an option for those without a LNS and desiring assistance in that area. This will be the next deadline because of availability from suppliers.  

First priority:  If you are sure you want to participate in this fun class contact us right away and make your deposit to reserve your canvas and place in class!

DUO DESIGNS STITCHING RETREAT 2023 - September 22-25,2023

The planning of this Retreat is so exciting.  Teresa and I have way too many ideas to use and we have already  set up the basics for Retreat 2024!  One of the exclusive canvases is off to the painters and the other is almost ready to follow behind.  We will be revealing these exclusive designs at the September 2023 Retreat.  AND, those participants in attendance will get to register before the information is released!  Can't wait to share.

In the meanwhile, have you registered for the Retreat 2023?  Over half the room block is booked!  Don't wait too long.

We have been playing with ideas for the Boss Lady signs and book titles for those who have asked for assistance. I am amazed at those who have given thought to presenting these to their relatives for their various professions - some are even thinking graduation gifts.  Isn't that clever?

Those of you who have gone on Stitching Cruises with us have some idea as to what is in store for the participants!  Never a dull moment!

Speaking of Stitching Cruises, we are finishing the painting of the exclusive design for our Greece trip that will be offered as an Optional project for those who like to have a themed souvenir.  All participants may bring something from home to work on and are not required to purchase the Optional Kit.    Stay tuned for more info on the design as it develops.

We begin our journey staying 2 nights in Athens. We then transfer to the ship 'Onward' of Azamara  Fleet for 8 nights.  We visit various islands and stitch as we go (in between wonderful sightseeing, shopping and eating of course).

Email us for more details and to get your brochure for dreaming and planning -

Gotta get back to the paint table - until next time stay safe!


Saturday, October 15, 2022


Today's post is going to be very brief.  We have had so many medical visits, procedures, updates, tests and traveling to the point I have not been able to concentrate on getting my act together but here is what we have.

Online Classes

Have you noticed how many of the Online Class posting dates land on or close to the blog posting?  For some reason I found that fascinating. (takes so little)

Today we share the next session of the Three Wisemen.  Session V will complete the Wiseman on the right. It is always fun to see more colors added to a WIP!

Next up is another lantern in the Chinese Lanterns by JP Needlepoint.

We introduced our new class today - Besties - from the Long Neck Friends Series. Her first Session is in progress!

So lots to do in our little world!

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat - September 2023       

Interest continues to be strong for this event and we have met our minimum to make it a go!  So those of you who have reserved your space by paying the required deposit be sure to mark your calendar.  It will be here before we know it!

Email us at with any questions - gotta go!  Stay safe and have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Our thoughts and prayers continue for our friends in Eastern Kentucky, Florida and the Coastal areas experiencing so much devastation.  Your strength and visual hope is an inspiration to us all!  Our heros also - all the volunteers, workers and friends that are helping as best they can during these stressful times.

Disney is back in full swing.  My son and his family (includes 4 grandchildren - my great grands) are celebrating birthday time there.  What fun they are having!

Duo Designs Stitching Retreat 2023

We continue to get in new 'stuff' for our upcoming Retreat featuring the Stitching Girls from Gayla Elliott.

Wonder what the teacher is going to be stitching on? (speaking of teachers I bet they love that grammar!) Perhaps should say -  On what will the teacher be stitching?

So many possibilities!

What about the pharmacist?  The accountant?  The decorator?  Of course the needlepointer could do designs or icons too!  Much to consider.

Oooo- whatever might this be?

Doesn't look like it would fit in with the Boss Lady profession at this point.

To register email us at and we'll send you a brochure that includes a registration form.  Reminder:  space is limited based upon availability of canvases.  When you register your canvas is pulled and held for you.


Next week we share another lesson in our current classes:  Three Wisemen and Chinese Lanterns.

We will also begin our Online Classes for Besties - Pink Ostrich with her friend Froggie!  Canvases have been shipped and thread kits priced through shop. Still time to register!  email: 

NEEDLES'N FINS Stitching Adventures - FB group you should join!

Seems the year 2023 is the year for Islands.  Our April Cruise is Hawaiian Island Hopping where we spend one and/or two days on each of 4 islands.  Most ocean cruising is at night,  

Then in October 2023 we cruise the Greek Islands!

Email to receive your copy of the brochure outlining the itinerary!

ETSY Shop - duodesignsbySandra

Be sure to check our Etsy shop for a possible stitch guide you are searching for.  Also look at some of the class surplus items that are available - very limited.

Have you reviewed the Pocketbook Series - TREASURED TECHNIQUES?

This handy book is chocked full of the more popular embellishment techniques we use in many of our class designs.

You really should have this book in your resource library!  Etsy Shop: duodesignsbySandra

Until next time - stay safe!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Our prayers and well wishes go out to our Southern friends who are suffering through this terrible storm and its after affects! Please stay as safe as you can under these horrible circumstances.


Some have asked how we came up with the Stitching Retreat idea.  It was more through requests than an idea although Teresa suggested the topic and it fit in with requests from other sources as well.  We have been asked to do more stateside adventures in addition to our International Stitching Cruises.  Also we have been requested to do something for those who are not crazy about water and/or flying.  We took 2 + 2 and came up with the idea of a local retreat.  Thus, Duo Designs Stitching Retreat was born.  

We are fortunate to have many beautiful locations where we could host such an event and General Butler State Resort Park just fit the idea perfectly!  It is easily accessible - within 45 minutes of 2 International Airports - Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, Ohio (Northern KY) and on Interstate highways.  It provides housing - the Lodge is like your typical hotel rooms (oh and there are also cabins if one prefers).  You can eat - well-staffed kitchen and dining rooms providing lovely menu choices.  Conference Center - roomy and private - just what our participants like.  Scenery - overlooking beautiful mountains and rivers  - and in the Fall season.

We are excited to share all the above with our participants for the September 22-25, 2023 Retreat featuring the Stitching Girls designs of Gayla Elliott.

We are also excited to share with those wanting to explore while waiting to be able to get their rooms (rooms ready at 4 pm), that there are lots of historic and famous things to enjoy before coming to the Lodge.  How about for those of you flying into Louisville and renting a car, you might want to stop and see historic Churchill Downs.  You can walk around on your own or take one of their tours.  It’s only about 2 miles (5 min) from the airport.  Also, Louisville has the largest number of distilleries listed on the Bourbon Trail.  We will be providing access to more information for that interest later.

Reservations are in progress at the Lodge - be sure to use the Group Code 6066. We have had to increase our group so don't wait too long to get yours.

Email us to request your personal brochure and registration packet -

A sneak peek at Boss Lady.  Background for the wall sign has been determined. Now Teresa can add stitching emphasis on the firm name without distracting from the background.

The Stitching Girl With Her Horse had more threads selected yesterday!  So much fun!  So excited to share with you soon.

Speaking of Cruises . . . .

Hawaiian Island Hoping Stitching Cruise is scheduled for April 13-22, 2023 for 10 days of tropical paradise adventure.  When not adventuring we can be stitching!  Send email to and request your brochure to get on this beautiful trip.

Another beautiful trip?  How about Cruising fabulous Greece?  We begin our lovely journey on October 19-30, 2023. The first two days are spent in Athens - wow the history!  We then board the beautiful Azamara 'Onward" for 8 days of visiting and exploring so many options!

I personally am looking forward to Crete and Santorini especially. Oh, and Rhodes, and, and, and  . . . 

Email us at to request your brochure and sign up for this fabulous trip with fellow needleworkers!  We always have so much fun!


Don't forget to register for the next Online Classes.  Next up is Besties - Pink Ostrich and friend Froggie.

After Besties will be SeaShells on the Shore - our first class in 2023.

Email us at for details.

Until next time . . . . .