Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May days...

~ Greetings and Warmest Welcome to all of you, my friends ~

The sunny days of May have been inspiring....
and very busy! I have been wanting to share a post for quite a few days now, but my body has been hopping to and fro and when not hopping, I have been coughing. Yes, I caught the dreaded "spring cold" that probably is a leftover of the winter wrath. It came on without any clue I was getting sick and before I knew it I was in the throes of coughing and hacking about. Which, the horrible complete body spasms from coughing, inflamed my sciatic nerve and then every cough, every sneeze, every movement caused a horrible, terrible electrocution feeling down my left leg that left me sobbing. Anyone that has ever dealt with sciatic pain understands exactly where I'm coming from. Sciatic pain is some of the worse pain I've ever had to deal with. I couldn't sleep in a bed for 4 days, one night I couldn't sit, couldn't lay...So I leaned against a wall for hours. It was horrible. But thankfully, with some fluids, rest and Advil...I finally am back to normal...I still have the odd twinge from my sciatic, but it has calmed down mightily. It will go away steadily now that I'm not coughing my head off every 30 seconds. 

How about stitching?
Well...I have many updates!

Here is where my "Early Americans" by Little House Needleworks stands after the addition of John Hancock:


*again all the information about changes I have made in colors, my fabric choice and my own creation: the border is all available in the tab above entitled Early Americans Progression

I made some progress also on my "As Life Wears Away" by Carriage House Samplings:


*I absolutely adore this piece...the satin stitches which could be called bargello, flame stitch, flourentine stitch, but it is essentially at its base level - satin stitch - is absolutely fabulous. I am LOVING how this is turning out! Stitching on 32 count limited run Lakeside Linens stitching with DMC not the NPI silks called for. 

Next Up is "Let Freedom Ring Sampler" by Lila's Studio and my progress there after three evenings:


*again information on colors, fabric, etc may be viewed at tab above under "Let Freedom Ring Progression" 

I started some new things as well this month...
I dyed my own linen and took a foray into Mirabilia mermaids...
May I present "Mermaids of the Deep Blue" started on my own hand-dyed fabric. (inquiring minds? I use RIT and I painted it with brushes to get the blues, aquas and pinks where I wanted them - the fabric is absolutely stunning)


And lastly I had a new start and a border of my own creation for the new series by Country Cottage Needleworks. The New series is a ten part series and it is entitled "Main Street". You can read all about it HERE
Here is my start:
I did change some things. I omitted the light pole and added a bicycle. Why? There is a flower shop in my city where I live, that has an old bike painted white with big baskets of flowers on the front handlebars and the back tire basket. I have always thought it so cute. So in my "Main Street" I am recreating it and going to add/delete things to make it my perfect little city. At my flower shop I added a bike with a big basket of flowers. I didn't have a pattern, I didn't even make a pattern. I just did two bike "tires" then added the pink stitches and handlebars until I thought it looked good enough like a bike, added some back stitched fenders then added a basket that is loosely like one of the pot of flowers on the shop. Viola! :)


and here is my layout, again I designed my own border: 


and before anyone asks, yes, you may have the pattern. BUT again I want to reiterate. This is - my work. I spent a good 6 hours on this, doing math, counting, recounting, and designing - if you use it, PLEASE give my name credit for it. I am sure most people that follow me notice: I give everything away freely to the world. Everything. Tutorials, patterns, any gained knowledge about stitching, finishing, designing. I'm not doing this for monetary compensation in any way. I'm doing this because of my love for needlework and my love for fellow humans who love and enjoy stitching as much as I do. I'm promoting stitching, I'm promoting kindness and giving of myself freely. The best thing you can do for me in return is to credit my name if you use anything that I give freely (tutorials, patterns, information, etc)

I cannot offer this in PDF printable format because it was created by using the free version of PC Stitch. It is in my Flickr album and if you blow it up  (by clicking on the spyglass in Flickr) you can see the stitches on the graph visually from your computer or your tablet - EASILY. So please don't ask for a "hard copy" or a "printable copy" I stitched it myself using my flickr album and iPad. I didn't have a printed copy myself.

Main Street 2017

I've done a lot and all of those items may be viewed under the tab "My Finishing Service" and clicking on the 2017 Finishing Link contained within...I am currently up to 208 finishes that I have completed for clients since January 9, 2017. Blessed to be very busy! Thank you to those who use my finishing service. It is my honor to finish for you!

I believe that sums me up for the present time...
my boys and Ellie have 9 days of school left. Katie is back home with us and currently working at her internship job for the summer. I'm trying to get caught up on finishing work. Mr. Pfeiffer is currently at home this week, but every other week he has to travel to St. Louis for 7 days for work. So he's home a week, gone a week, home a week, gone a week....for the upcoming 6-8 months. :( 
I don't like him gone...but such is the way of an engineer in the throes of a sell off. 

Until next time my dear people...
Be kind.
Tell someone you love them!
Open the door for a stranger.
Stop and smell the roses.
Thank God for your blessings!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Catch Up!...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my stitching friends!
I hope that this finds each of you well, happy and enjoying life

I have been busy since we last met!

The retreat went well...
teaching 4 classes that took a little longer than what I expected, but feedback has been very positive and I'm proud to say all 72 students left my classes with  completely finished pieces to take home with them. I didn't want them to have partially finished pieces, I made the commitment that I was going to teach, help and do as much as I could to ensure that each student left with a finished piece!
I'm proud to say they did!

Here's some random shots from retreat...



peeps 4


peeps 2

peeps 1

my display

mouths wide open

Good shot of me...in my normal life pose ~ My Big Mouth WIDE open :)

It was a great time! There IS going to be another retreat same time next year...stay tuned!

On to my stitching....

I have had a really great time stitching on "Let Freedom Ring Sampler"
by Lila's Studio
(information on what I'm stitching it on, with what threads, and more at TAB above)
Here is where it stands today:
LFRS April

I also finished the next in the Hands on Design 12 Days Ornaments...


Betsy Ross....
from Little House Needleworks new series "Early Americans" 
(information on my Early American SAMPLER ~ as I am doing it all on one piece and have created a border. Can be found at TAB above)
LHN Betsy Ross April 17

I also started something else new...
thanks to Michele of the blog "Striped Rose" fame...of which I followed devotedly for years...and now Michele is now doing FlossTube Videos at her Channel of the same name HERE

Michele has a FANTASTIC finish of Carriage House Samplings "As Life Wears Away Sampler" 
here is a still shot of her explaining it on her FlossTube Episode


Isn't that FANTASTIC?! 
I stopped the video right then and there...
I knew this sampler, and had never been intrigued until I saw Michele's version. I was gobsmacked right in the choppers. Stopped the video and ordered it smack dab, right there. 
It came...and here is where mine stands as of today:

CHS As Life Wears Away

I'm stitching mine in DMC on 32 count pearled barley from Lakeside
I am so in love with this sampler. SO in love! 
Thanks to FlossTube and all the people sharing their love of cross stitch. 

So that's all the cross stitching...now let's talk family! 

We have been:

Celebrating Easter!

Inducted into the National Honor Society
because we carry a 4.2 gpa (Jake) and a 3.9 gpa (Ian)

Running Races... 
Track 4-17-17

Winning races!!!....
Jake WINS 4-17-17

A member of the IUPUI's Society of Women Engineer's all female Go-Cart Racing Team and have competed at Purdue University's Grand Prix!!! 
katie go cart

Making Cookies...
and eating cookies :)

 Celebrating 21 years of being married to a real SWEET gal :)

EAGLE watching! 

and winning Scholarships 
(she's up to $12K worth of scholarships for next year!)

Are ya still with me?! I'm barely still with myself! 

If you made it all the way down here...
Thank you, my friends! 
I've been finishing like a real banshee...but you can catch a gander of them in my FLICKR album located in the TAB above under My Finishing Service. I have finished 175 items since January 9, 2017 after reopening after the holidays. Yep, I'm busy. Yep, I'm blessed!

~All the Honor and ALL the glory goes to God who sustains me and mine~

Until next time...
Smile real big...
be a friend to all you meet...
be kind...
be humble...
think before you speak...
you don't know what others are going through....don't judge!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hello There!...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my stitchin' buddies 

Today I have a quick share...
I'll be back with a new tutorial and my general life and stitching updates soon,
Scouts Honor!

I was honored to be asked...
to be an honorary member of The Fat Quarter Shop's monthly club of the month featuring Hand's On Design's sweet new series: HELLO THERE!  which features darling monthly designs that are the palette and backdrop for delightfully charming buttons from Just Another Button Company

My Hello April kit came in the mail and it was so sweetly packaged, I have to share:
Hello April

Isn't it darling?! 
You can click on the photo to enlarge it to see details, but included in the kit comes, a check off list, a sweet thread palette with all the called for colors, a piece of called for linen, the finishing tutorial pamphlet, the chart pack (containing all 12 designs), the button pack for April, a needle and a darling NEEDLEMINDER made from a JABCO button! 
pretty sweet!

So if any of you would like to join this club, and stitch along monthly with me...
please go to these links, as is appropriate for your stitching preference and join me! 

Until next time I fly in friends...
keep life simple..
stop and smell the roses...
stitch something beautiful...
Love in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

America, America!....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~ 
to my friends!

It's a rather damp, chilly, spring day here in good 'ol Indiana!

All the stuff is starting to bloom...
dogwoods, cherry trees, red buds...
the robins are getting fat...
the red-winged blackbirds are singing sweetly...
the sparrows are flitting to and fro gathering bits to build their nests...
I'm running to and fro getting ready for the retreat this week!
Almost there...

But in the evenings...
my needle has been singing!

I was gifted a pattern from the lovely designer Lila over at Lila's Studio: click HERE
of the "Let Freedom Ring" sampler because I mentioned it on my FlossTube channel in February and many people went nuts over it contacting her about it :)
Wasn't that nice?! 
So I started it! and after 9 evenings of working on it...here it is:


You can follow my progress on it as I stitch by clicking the album above in the TABS section that reads: "Let Freedom Ring" sampler progression

It is going to be SO LOVELY!

Not only have I started that, but....
Little House Needleworks has asked me to be the "all on one piece" model stitcher for 
"The Early Americans" series, just as I was for the "ABC Samplers" series. Lots and lots of people  followed my progression on "ABC Samplers"...
so we are going to do it again on "The Early Americans"

I get my patterns a little bit ahead of the distributors so I can get a head start and last night I started!
I *created my own border design*....
to encircle the sampler. While I was stitching it last night...well I could see that my 8 hours of effort in creating the border, measuring, doing math choosing colors...

Here is my start: 


the completed border (when the entire sampler is complete will look like: 

Early American Border

I also have created a TAB above so that people can follow my progression through this gorgeous sampler...
Under the tab it will tell you ALL the particulars about my choices of fabric, count, color, flosses I'm using, ETC. I invite you to take a look if you are so inclined. 

I've got loads to get through today and time is ticking!

Until the next time...
enjoy every one of your stitches...
be kind...

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Details, details, details....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~ 
to all my stitching friends

I've got so much going on basically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
some days are more full than others but Spring-time...

What is making this spring particularly stressful is...
I'm teaching 4 classes next week to roughly 70 ladies at a retreat that I was honored to be asked to headline. There was such a huge response to the retreat that what started out expected to be a group of 30, soon more than doubled. How excited I am to be meeting people from all over the country that is coming to visit with me and other like minded individuals, learning, sharing and stitching our little fingers off!

But along with the excitement also comes a lot of work for me...
Making over 70 finishing kits:
that means cutting 120 mat board pieces for flatfolds,
72 mat board pieces for ornaments,
I bought DMC out of house and home so we could learn how to make our own bi-color cording, miles of ribbon has been cut,
lots of charms purchased,
I got a gallon of glue ready (literally),
 yards of batting and beautiful finishing fabrics ready to be cut up,
  dozens of paint brushes ready,
more good stuff has been purchased for me to fill the finishing kits.

Now the only thing left is:
cut up the finishing materials into the swatches needed, cut up the batting pieces and pack everything into ziplock bags. Then I am going to make some prizes for my class attendees to have a chance to win. And of course keep up with my clients for my finishing business and take care of house and home.
No problem!...
ha. ha. ha.
But the Good Lord gave me a strong constitution so as in all things, I will get 'er done.

I just wanted to share with you my excitement and productivity this fine Spring Day, while I'm taking a break from all the hustle and bustle I've been doing around here. 

Would you like to see my models for my Finishing School classes?

~ Embellished Flatfold Class ~
Design: The Flagmaker
Designer: Notforgotten Farm
*The design is a free offering and may be found: HERE 
NFF_Flagmaker for Finishing School

~ a close up to spy, with your little eye the details...my favorite detail - Betsy's needle in her hand...thought about putting the needle in her hand since I saw the pattern last summer!


~ Flat Ornament Class ~
Design: Happy Hearts
Designer: Little House Needleworks
*This is a complimentary design that is available: HERE 

LHN Happy Hearts - Finishing School Finish 2017

So there you go my friends...
up to date with me!

Until next time...
I'll definitely be keeping my hands to work...
and always my heart to God.

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, March 17, 2017

An ending to a beautiful story...

~ Greetings and Warmest Welcome ~
to you, my friends!

I have much to share...
but I will share it at a later date because what I am sharing with you today deserves its own "sacred space" so to speak.

"ABC Sampler Series"
Little House Needleworks
LHN_ABC Sampler Series framed

~ hanging in it's place of honor today! ~

Be still my heart...
I thought it was gorgeous when I completed the stitching, but seeing it all dressed in the frame...
completely different!

One last time with all the particulars on how I stitched this piece and then it will live on my walls :)

Linen: 32 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside
Floss: used called for colors (Classic Colorworks and DMC) throughout
There are 2 stitches between houses in the row (side to side)
There are 4 stitches between rows (top to bottom)
There are 6 stitches from the edge of the houses to the broken line border and one stitch between the broken line border and the solid line border. The border colors were my own choosing and design: Sassy Brassy and Caterpillar

It is beautiful and a stupendous exclamation mark for my last 10 months of stitching.

Stitching is good for my soul.
May it be good for your soul too!
Until next time...
be kind, 
be a friend, 
stitch ALL the things!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ooo la la...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my friends here in blog land!

How are you?
I hope you are doing fine this fine Spring day...
well its not really spring yet, is it? 

I am so excited!
Tomorrow I get to go get Katie for Spring Break! 
9 whole days of all my little chicks under my roof :)
My other kiddos are also on Spring Break next week, so we all will have a week together of fun and frivolity. What are we doing? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! We will go out for lunch a couple of times, we don't eat out often so doing that when we have a "vacation" is extra special.

let me show you what I got framed last week. 
Oh my, my! So very, very beautiful!

CCN - Afternoon in Paris

"An Afternoon in Paris"
Country Cottage Needleworks
Stitched with the called for colors; on the called for linen
framed in the Family Tree frame "Beatrice"

Isn't it just gorgeous?! I framed it myself using museum glass (any of the large box craft stores will cut the glass for you and you can use the coupons that each craft store has for the glass). Before anyone asks: I do not have a tutorial about framing. Why not?! Because frankly (I can be frank right? We are friends): framing is a personal thing, and I don't want to get into a debate with people about pinning vs. lacing, acid free, matting or not, glass or not, etc. etc. etc. I will tell you what I do: I pin onto acid free conservation foam core. I use museum glass always. I use spacers between the glass and the piece so my stitching isn't smack dab against the glass. I have a points driver to hold the pinned piece inside the frame and I seal the back and string my hanging wire. Sometimes I do use mats around my piece, and I have my own mat cutting system here (remember Ellie is an artist so I frame all of her pieces too) so I bought one about a year ago and it is the Logan Simplex Elite 750-1. Another one of those purchases that although costly made a HUGE difference in my finishing business as well as my personal finishing and framing. So there you have it! I'm tickled pink with the outcome of her :)

What else have I been up to?
Well remember I finished "Land of the Free" by Little House Needleworks a collaboration with Classic Colorworks thread pack. 
Here it is to jog your memory...

LHN_Land of the Free

"Land of the Free" 

Stitched on my own 28 ct. "bake and basted" fabric. Tutorial: HERE
using the called for Classic Colorworks (that came in the thread pack) 
and I put a JABCO button on the urn, because: I wanted to and I LOVE it!

And I'm trying to fill my walls of my patriotic room and since I was on a roll with finishing projects, I quick like stitched up another Little House Needleworks and Classic Colorworks collaboration thread pack: 
LHN Long May She Wave

"Long May She Wave"

again on my own bake and basted fabric I did sub some colors from "Land of the Free" into "Long May She Wave" so that the pieces would be all the same colors. 

See...here they are together:
LHN_Land of Free_Long May Wave

There is one thread pack left to stitch to complete the series (that is out to date), "Home of the Brave" and you called it ~ I have it kitted and will stitch it up soon!

Nashville happened!
What did you buy? I was sedate this year....
First off, on my YouTube Channel I had talked about "The Freedom Sampler" from Lila's Studio.
Isn't it gorgeous? Well Lila had a lot of interest from my saying something about it that she sent me a complimentary copy of "The Freedom Sampler" and I just last night loaded it on to my Rolaframe and will hopefully sink my first stitches soon. 

What else has caught my attention?
Well of course ~ Little House Needleworks ~ "Needlework ABCs"


La - D - Da ~ "Fraktur Flowers"


With Thy Needle and Thread ~ "Lady Liberty"


and lastly...
With Thy Needle and Thread ~ "Quaker Handworke"


All came to live with me yesterday!

I think that does it for me for today!
I wish you all joy in your journey!

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Goings on in my Neighborhood....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my friends in Blogland today
*smiles* and *hugs*

The last couple of weeks...
I've had two more finishes for the year.

I finished "UVW" and "XYZ" house blocks on my

This happened last night with this:

when I slipped the last stitches into my XYZ house, signed it with my signature and the years I've worked on this piece.
And then I sat back and admired my handiwork....
(this photo is over exposed the linen does not look true to color in real life...)
LHN ABC Samplers Series

"ABC Samplers"
by Little House Needleworks
(the following photos show the true color of the linen)

LHN ABC Samplers 2

stitched on 32 count Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens
2 threads over 2 threads with all the original called for colors (for the most part)

LHN ABC Samplers 3

I worked on it diligently....saving time each month to stitch my block so that I could stay on top of things. I didn't want to get behind...

LHN ABC Samplers 1

Started on June 14, 2016....
amidst some turmoil in my life (specifically in my career outside my home), I remember struggling with anxiety the first row of blocks because I was so miserable in my job, and my daughter had just graduated from high school and dropping her off at college was looming on the horizon. Remember we adopted little Augie, and I was force feeding him weighing less than 1 lb. listening to ever gasp of his breath and taking him to the kitty litter to do his business as he was too sick to do anything himself...
I remember stitching DE the week we were packing to take Katie to college, which also coincided with the last day on my hospital job that I decided to quit. I stitched FGH reeling from those two huge things happening all at once....

IJK saw me rebounding a bit while LMN had me preparing to leave on a month long vacation, that I was apprehensive about. OPG had me rejoicing because I had returned from my vacation back in the bosom with my loved ones, my dears, my family....

RST and UVW and XYZ seemed to just happen in a split second and last night when I slipped the final stitches in...I rejoiced because this sampler is not only beautiful...and it is beautiful ~ much more so than the photos give it credit. But I rejoice too because as in all things in life....
there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven

Finished on February 25, 2016...
I am thankful, that God led me through the storms of life over the past 9 months
my beacon, my rock, my consolation
and I come out stronger and more humble for the gifts he so richly blesses me with in my life.

A verse I thought about over and over as I stitched these walls, these houses...
comes from Proverbs 24: 3-4

By wisdom a house is built, 
and through understanding it is established; 
through knowledge its rooms are filled 
with perfect and precious treasures.

For surely as I share my life here, there and everywhere...
you all see the perfect and precious treasures that God has blessed me with that reside in my home ~ both those made from my body through His grace and from those made by my hands through His gifting of talent. 

Thank you for sharing my journey...

Until the next time...
Smile at a stranger...
be kind to all...
hug someone that needs a friend...
choose your words carefully...
guard your mind against negativity...
and do all things with great love...
Hugs in stitches....
Vonna xxxx