Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hello Peeps...

~ Greetings Friends ~ 
I have been a busy little beaver again and got lost somewhere between January 6 and January 28... Ha! 
I will be back in a couple of days with a more updated and content rich post for a very special day, however I wanted to introduce  you all to a new blogger and cross stitch designer! 
Please meet Holly of Misty Hill Studios.

 She has released her first design:

 Crow on Snow


 isn't it so darling?

:) 

If you are a Facebook User, please "LIKE" her page: Misty Hill Studio 
but even if you don't do Facebook, please load her Blog into your reader and go on over today and give her a welcome to Blogland. Here is a link: Misty Hill Studio Blog

See you in a couple of days!
Until then, I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Winter is here...

~Happy New Year ~
and a very warm, wintery Welcome to you, my friends!


Come on inside and sit a spell with me...

Would you like a tour of our wintry decorations?
Well let's take a look...


January's Calendar Girl from Little House Needleworks popped out of the 'ol ironstone bowl and got to make her month's debut. December girl...all worn out from her month long party, jumped back in the bowl and to the back of the line, waiting for her return to shine. You can see February and March patiently waiting their turn..

LHN_January Girls

Have you ever noticed...
that I hang things in my windows pertaining to the seasons? Well for winter...of course it is big silver, glittered *SNOW FLAKES*...
the glitter hangs to the outside and you ought to see them shine when the sun hits them! I do it for me really, but you wouldn't believe how many neighbors stop and tell me they love to see what is hanging in my windows. 
(at Christmas it was Peppermint Candies... then snowflakes for winter... Easter I have eggs and then summer stars...)

Living Room Windows and Hearth

Here's some more wintry things on display....

Frosty
~my Uhl crock is filled with white lights and then I made it into a "snowman"~ 



Over the River
~Over the River and Through the Woods by Little House Needleworks~



Snowman Pennies 
~A sweet Snowman on a penny rug both gifted to me years ago from my dear friend Marie P ~ 


  Snow Guy on my Pie Safe
~A happy little snow guy hanging from the knob on my pie safe ~



Tree and Sled
~A sled leaning against the sweetest pine tree ~


Winter Hearth
~ Ellie and I made clothespin snowflakes to hang on our Winter Wonderland mantle ~



Winter in the Entry
~ And the top of my Grandmother's china cabinet (filled with my great-grandmother's china,I might add) is topped with a snowy saltbox village ~

There you have Winter at the Pfeiffer House :)



Now on to some stitching, I know that's why you stopped by.....
On the very night of New Year's Eve, I slipped the very final stitches on:


"Christmas Carols"
by The Little Stitcher
from the design pack entitled "Red Christmas"
stitched on 32 ct. Vintage Examplar
using DMC as charted
Little Stitcher_Christmas Carols from Red Christmas

You will have to wait...
to see how I finish up "Christmas Carols" next December during the 25 Days of Christmas with
The Twisted Stitcher! 
;)

On January 1, 2015...
in the very, early morning I slipped the first stitches into my New Year start and just last night I finished the stitching and just this afternoon I finished the *finishing*. 

So may I present to you, my first stitching finish and *finish* finish of 2015:

"North Pole Express"
by Little House Needleworks
stitched with Classic Colorwork cottons
on 32 ct. Natural linen

LHN_North Pole Express_with wintery pick

Do you like it? 
Well it can be yours by simply telling your Local Needlework Shop OR your favorite On-line Needlework Shop that you would like the North Pole Express pattern, that is a "FREE WITH PURCHASE" of the needed Classic Colorworks cottons to stitch the design. 

When I was thinking about how to finish this design...
I wanted it to work with my "winter" decor. So I pulled colors from the design and also played on key motifs from the design in little details to make the finish special. Its truly all in the details.

A big snowflake silver jingle bell with a twist of burlap ribbon...
Jingle Bell detail

Something I've always wanted to try was reverse applique...
so I tried it and it worked! Along with a "divider" of burlap ribbon and chocolate colored rickrack and a sweet bow tacked on just because...
Reverse Applique detail


Do you decorate with your Cross Stitched items?
I sure do, as I am sure you know by now.
But there is variety in decorating with cross stitched pieces.
This piece can be displayed like I have above, with a sprig of wintry mix or you can:

add it to your favorite chair...

LHN_North Pole Express_cozies up a chair

Or twist some jute twine and take a safety pin and attach the jute cording to each corner and ....

Pin


make a wintry door decoration!
Winter Back Door

I think...
that's pretty perfect right there...hanging on my door where I can see it and smile every time I pass.
:)
Next year, if I don't want it as a door decoration, I can remove the safety pins and tuck it in my chair or pretty up a spray of wintery greens, it all depends on my creative mood that season!

Thank you for your visits...
have I told you lately how much they mean to me? 
Well they mean a lot! Thank you! 
and...
thank you too for your kind comments and words! They make my heart smile.
and...
for those of you that commented or e-mailed me after watching my "vlog" from the post before...
Yes! I do have a Southern twang. I grew up near Evansville, Indiana in a very small town and the proximity to Kentucky influenced the speech dialect down there. Or heck, its just hick, I don't know. But maybe you can just look at it as a little dose of added charm? 
;)

 although I'll admit I was trying very hard to tone it down in the video, but it still wormed its way in. 
....ha ha ha...

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always. 
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Vonna's 2014 End of Year Review...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~

Here we are on the cusp of a New Year and I can say that myself and my family have been sincerely blessed. There has been "issues" along the road of life, but that is just the seasoning that is added along the path that makes us who and what we are. Forged in fire and strong as steal!

I've gotten very lovely, most sincere letters, cards and e-mails over the past year from many of you and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! You do not know how much joy each word, each kindness that has been shown to me and mine brings to me. Thank you!

In 2014 I have...
stitched and finished or framed -  58 items...down from 65 items in 2013.

Highlights in 2014 include:
finished stitching and finishing the Calendar Girls from Little House Needleworks
began stitching and finishing for a new series ~ My Sampler Tree  by Little House Needleworks
began stitching and finishing for a new series ~ Classic Collection Ornament by Country Cottage Needleworks
stitched and finished the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Special Ornament Issue ornaments submitted by Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks

I am honored that Diane and Nikki entrust me with their beautiful designs and allow me to bring them to life. Thank you to you both!

Last year I wrote...
in my 2013 year end review, that I really only had one cross-stitching goal and that was to work toward a Prairie Schooler tree. Well, I met that goal! Of course it is a work in process as is everything in life.

For me in 2015 I want to....
in my personal life: 
Continue to work on my health, by daily exercise and dieting. 
That is forever going to be on my list each year
I have started a prayer journal, as I spoke about in my previous post. I want to work on a closer relationship with my God. I want to work on me spiritually. And as I asked before, if you have a special prayer request, please e-mail me privately (my e-mail address is under the picture of a mailbox in the sidebar) and I will write the name(s) and intentions in my journal and pray every day for the answer that God will provide. Miracles are worked every day through prayers.
  Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened.
I want to become a better "pray-er" in 2014.
Nothing is impossible with God.
I've had a tremendous response from my previous posting, but I know there are still souls out there that need prayer, that are thirsting for answers. E-mail me and get those intentions in my journal and help me in my spiritual journey by helping you.
It is in giving that we receive.

in my cross stitching life:
I want to stitch for my very own "Sampler Tree" which I discussed at length HERE, on Day 19
I want to continue stitching for my Prairie Schooler Tree
I want to continue to stitch ornaments for our main tree
 I want to stitch at least one large project
I want to compete in the 2015 Monroe County Fair
and 
I want to have fun stitching :)

In closing...
I have one more thing to share with you. I've been asked on multiple occasions how do I cross stitch, so I made a quick video on my technique that I have developed over the years. I stitch using the Needlework System 4. I have the floor stand, the lap stand and two Q-snap heads. I have stitched using these products for many years (since 2007). So I stitched two handed and I never turn my needle, therefore the floss does not twist. If I am stitching something for judging, I will use a laying tool, but most of the time I stitch just as I show on this video.


I guess...
this is my first "Vlog" :)

That does it for 2014!!
May 2015 bring us all what we dream and aspire to!
In the meantime...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holy Smokes....its over!

~ Greetings Friends and Warm Welcome ~
what happened to December? My heavens to mercy...that went FAST!

We had a lovely Christmas here at home as a family and then we traveled to my husband's parents home and have a lovely time there :)
We hit some of my childhood favorites...
We went through the Easter Seals and Ritzy's Fantasy of Lights in Garvin Park in Evansville, Indiana. Garvin Park is right by Bossy Field which (as a little "side" note) was one of the fields that they shot in the movie "A League of Their Own". In fact all of the fields featured in the movie was from the area that I grew up in. I even saw Madonna the summer they were there. She was quoted saying that the Evansville area was worse than Russia because at that time (early 90's) only the city areas had cable television and where she was staying (in an older farm house in the country near Darmstadt, Indiana) did not have cable and she couldn't watch MTV.

We also hit "Sandy's Pizza" in Fort Branch, Indiana for our once a year "Pizza Extravaganza". Sandy's has a lunch "all U can eat" buffet and believe me...well you just feel like "ugh" afterward...But a well worth it "ugh"!!!
Sandy's is in the little town right next to the one I grew up in (Haubstadt, Indiana). Sandy's was the local pizza joint where you went after a HS ballgame with your friends and ate pizza and drank all the Coke you wanted and just had a good time! Here we are at Sandy's: 

The girls and I


The Boys
(notice my husbands shirt.....)

Awww....a great good time, had by all! Thank you to my mother-in-law Bernie for showing us such a great time! She always treats us like royalty when we are staying with her! 
:)

Here are three ornaments that I didn't show during the 25 Days of Christmas with 
The Twisted Stitcher.


BBD_Peace



Bent Creek_ABC Christmas



Little Red Bird

And I also stitched "Santa's Fill" by Shepherd's Bush, but I didn't photograph it, apparently, and yesterday we took down our Christmas decorations. So I'm not digging through hundreds of ornaments to find it. But you can see it at this link: Santa's Fill 
We took our decorations down early because, Keith will be travelling on business and I have to work all next weekend and I can't lift and carry boxes by myself, so down it came. 

I'll be honest...
I love Christmas, but it is always a great feeling to have your house all cleaned and fresh and ready for a "new start" for New Years!

I'll have one more post in 2014...
my "Vonna's Year in Review" post on New Year's Eve, but before I go into that, I'd like to talk about one thing that I'm working toward in 2015. Our priest at my church is relatively new. He has been there about 1.5 years now. Its hard to have a change in your pastoral "care" when you are used to and love the priest that was there before, but I have come to respect and love Fr. Mahan, our current priest at our church: St. John the Apostle 

All of Advent...
he has had a series of sermons based on "your personal relationship with God". It has made me think deeply about my "personal relationship with God" and know that I need to work on it. I have purchased a prayer journal and plan on writing intentions from my friends in my prayer journal so that I can pray for those in need. Do you have a need for prayer? If so I would like to pray for you and your needs or your family/friends needs, please e-mail me privately (my e-mail is under the picture of the mailbox) and I will add your intention to my prayer journal and remember them in my daily prayers. Of course, it would be private and I would not share anything with anyone. I just want to improve my prayer life and myself and in the process help any that are in need.
Thank you in advance!

In the meantime...
I'm picking my New Year's Eve cross stitch start...are you?!

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Day 25...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to the 25th and final day of ~ 

My family and I have "prepared" the way...
as Mark writes in his Gospel:
"Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight your paths for Him.."

Just as God sent the great prophet John the Baptist to make the way for the coming of the Lord, sending him out to urge the people to confess their sins, do penance and be baptized; so have my family and I prepared. Confessing our sins, doing penance, caring for others, praying... turning our minds to what truly matters in life.

And today, He, whom we have long awaited has come!

As foretold by the message of an angel....
to a young Jewish woman who's fiat changed the course of world history 
and the stoic Jewish man who took his charge from heaven to be the foster father of God the son. 

Whom angels rejoiced, shepherds watched, nature sang and Kings from the Orient came to admire.
(the Christmas Pageant at our church last evening with all the little angels and shepherds)

The coming of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Ian who was St. Joseph

And the Word was made Flesh!

Jesus came to earth to teach us the way to eternal life. He gave us the greatest commandment of all:

LOVE

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Seems so very simple...yet so very hard to truly do. I struggle with this, although I strive, I still struggle, for I am just a poor sinner.
 I believe that in this world people are thirsting. Thirsting for genuine honesty, hospitality and love. You can find that...if you search within your heart. You can find it. 

Jesus came to teach us love.
 Love. 
Yes, sounds so very simple, yet, so very hard. 

It is so very hard to feel kindness, to feel love toward others when:
your feelings are hurt
 injustices are done towards you or your family
you just can't seem to get ahead
nothing seems to go your way
you lose your job
you feel lost
you feel alone
you do for others, yet they don't do for you
you try your best, yet still others persecute you, 
or say what you have done, what you are, is not good enough
the list could go on...
Sound familiar?

 So very hard to deny ego. To deny self. 
So very hard.

 Yet, we are charged to love:
with our whole heart, 
our whole mind and 
our whole soul.

That is why He came.
That is what He asks.
For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Son.

Love for my neighbor, for those far and wide is what I strive for and will continue to strive for until I am no more. Peace within our heart. Humility. Thankfulness. All of these can be ours because of the one little word: Love.
 The road is rocky, the road is long, the road is tough. 

But LOVE is the answer to all our problems.

Wouldn't this old,weary world rejoice again, rejoice anew if we but followed His one simple commandment?

LOVE. Will you?

And because the world needs it I shall pray an old Catholic favorite prayer of mine which invokes the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that Jewish woman that DID choose love, for it was her choice to make. It was not thrust upon her, it was her choice and she chose it. And He loved her so, His mother, that He listens to her requests in our favor.

The Memorare
O most gracious Virgin Mary, 
that ever was it known, 
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, 
I fly unto thee, O Virgins of Virgins my mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.

O mother of the word incarnate, 
despise not my petition but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.


May the world find love this Christmas day and always.
May it be so!

Merry Christmas!!
and a hearty thanks to all those that have followed the 25 Days and have written so many wonderful comments or written to me so many wonderful e-mails, notes, cards and have shared my walk awaiting this most holy day!

My most sincere thanks and love to each of you,
I lit a candle for a friend's friend who is in need, and four little candles on the bottom left hand corner. Do you see them?


Three of those were lit in honor of some very dear friends of mine. The fourth candle was lit in honor of all of you, my friends who come here, visit with me, love me for who I am. My prayer for you last evening at Christmas Mass, when I lit these candles, was for us all to Love each other as we love ourselves, as He loves us.

With Love on this most blessed day!
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day 24...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~ 
Day 24...
the big man arrives tonight!! Today we are attending high Mass and celebrating the birth of our Lord. My eldest twin, Mr. Ian: 


was asked to play St. Joseph in the Christmas Pageant and Procession prior to Mass. What an honor for him to play the foster father of Jesus. He's not too happy about having to "touch" the actress playing Mary though :) HA HA! He has to "help" her off the donkey and "help" her sit down. Not too much touching to be done :) I told him I thought he could handle it! 

I was asked to sing...
for the Children's Pageant and also to sing at the Mass. That will be joyful! I love to sing!

Today...
on the day before the BIG day...I'm sharing with you our Christmas Tree. I've been stitching ornaments since I was 15 years old. Most of those, I do not own, as I gave them as gifts to friends and family. But I started in earnest when Keith and I married and I have in my estimation 200 ornaments on our tree. Our tree spins, so it has handmade ornaments 360 degrees around the tree, top to bottom. 

Here's pictures static...with the spinner turned off...The whole tree...then starting from topper down:
2014 Christmas Tree 1 Angel Topper 2014 Christmas Tree Middle Front 2014 Christmas Tree_Bottom Front
Then here is the Back side of the tree...then close ups top to bottom:
2014 Christmas Tree_Back Shot 2014 Christmas Tree_Back top 2014 Christmas Tree_ Middle Back 2014 Christmas Tree_Bottom Back
Now...so you can get the whole idea...I took a video at dusk so that you could see it when it spins:
to "zoom" it in look in the lower right hand corner and click the sort of open square area to make it "full screen" :)
if clicking on the "play" icon doesn't work you can go directly here: Our 2014 Christmas Tree 
a lot of time, love and heart went into that tree for the past 18 years....its not perfect, but it is perfect to me! Thank you for taking the time to look at it :)

and that is DAY 24!! 

I'll be back tomorrow for the final day of The 25 Days of Christmas with The Twisted Stitcher!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 23...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~
Day 23...
Almost there and I've yet to get Ann's present done...
TODAY IS THE DAY! I hope...

Today I have to share with you:

La D Da's
 "Merry Christmas" 
found in the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Magazine Special Ornament IssueLa D Da Merry Christmas
I did use the silks called for on the pattern, but obviously the dye lot has changed quite a bit. But no matter...I love it! It is finished with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe's hand-dyed seam tape in "gingerbread" color. I think it suits perfectly and looks really good on my tree!

Do you know I still have MORE ornaments that I stitched this year and that I don't have enough days to show them in? Ha ha ha! I've been an ornament stitching dynamo this year! So that means I'll have more to show you in the week between Christmas and New Years! Some of you are probably groaning...oh heaven's no no no, please stop! :)

I have another share with you today...
from my dear, sweetest blogging buddy, Marie P. of Creative Thread; we met on exchange boards about 10 years ago...and we've been buddies ever since ;) Sister's of the heart!

I had a package delivered the other day and wasn't expecting anything, I opened it up and found: 
Gifts from Marie
Yep, she went and did it again...
stitched me a Prairie Schooler Santa for my tree :)
Marie's Prairie Schooler Santa for my tree
and inside the package I found:


Good Luck Nutcracker from Marie Her dear husband took a recent trip to Germany and Marie had him running all over Germany to get gifts and one of them was me! 
Its a tiny little Nutcracker "good luck" ornament that he picked for me!
I cannot tell you how much this meant to me. My husband and I are of German descent...I grew up in a little German Catholic Village here in Indiana named: Haubstadt. I'll be honest, my husband and I are not world travelers. We really aren't even travelers at all. We take our yearly vacation each year and adore it. But honestly, we are happiest being in our own home. There is just so many good things that go on in our home, and it is the hearth and the warmth and the love that makes it ours! Anyhow, this is all to say, I'll never get to Germany in my lifetime, but to know that Marie had her husband pick me up something so meaningful for me...from there...well it had tears in my eyes.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart Marie!

That does it for Day 23...
I'm going to get my fingers stitching Ann's gift. I have GOT to get it done...

Tomorrow...
I'll be showing my large tree in many shots to show off handmade ornaments that I have stitched over a lifetime. Its been a lifetime of love and devotion to this most miraculous season! My favorite holiday!!

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx





Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 20, Day 21 and Day 22....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~ 
Day 20, Day 21, and Day 22...
well, I dropped off the face of the earth because: 
I got called in to work odd shifts again, alone, this weekend. I did my duty to my fellow colleagues and filled in :) Its hard to swing around doing things that you are not familiar with on a schedule that is up in the air all the time. BUT it is a job, and I didn't put myself through 4 years of college to get my BS in Biology and then 1 extra year to get my advanced degree in Medical Technology for nothing. So there you go! You do what you gotta do ;) And I'm thankful for it!

What do I have to share with you today...
WELL.... I'm sharing with you 5 finishes that I'm very proud and honored to be associated with, that's what! And there are still 7 more coming :) but I can't share those yet...

Many of you...
I'm sure are on the automatic shipments (and if you are not, you need to at least be getting these sweet designs) for Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Classic Collection Ornaments
Nikki asked me last summer if I would be the model and finisher for this series...and well I am not only a huge fan of Country Cottage Needleworks and Nikki is my friend, but you know me and ornaments, right?! ;)
So of course I said, I would be honored to help Nikki out!

Country Cottage Needleworks...
kicked off the series with:
"Angels"
CCN Angels

Adorable! Did you know that I'm posting step by step instructions and tips and hints on how to finish these? Those can be found here: CCN "Angels" Ornament Finishing...

Next came...
"Dear Santa"
CCN Dear Santa

This one was a darling...and again you may find the finishing instructions: CCN Dear Santa Ornament Finishing...

Third in the series was...
"Snow Love"
CCN Snow Love
and let me tell you, I was snow in love after I finished this sweetie. LOVED the polka dotted fabric!
The finishing for this is found: CCN "Snow Love" Ornament Finishing...

Then came...
"Christmas Cookies"

CCN_Christmas Cookies

And you can find out how to finish this darling: CCN "Christmas Cookies" Ornament Finishing...

and last, but not least because there are 7 more to go!!
"Christmas Cheer"
CCN_Christmas Cheer

Don't you love this one?! those little Elves...so cute! You can figure out how to finish this cutie at: CCN "Christmas Cheer" Ornament Finishing...

All of these are just darling! There are many blogs that are devoted to monthly stitching of ornaments through the year. I'm going to really push myself again next year to stitch, stitch, stitch as many Christmas ornaments as I can! These sweeties are NO exception. They are darling on a tree. Why don't you join me in stitching ornaments 365 days next year? 

Today on the slate is....
Laundry...ugh!
and Christmas Cookie baking with my kids.... yea!
and probably I need to get in a solid 30 on the elliptical....UGH!
so that I can eat some cookies...YEA!

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 19...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~
Day 19...
This summer I was dreaming about Christmas and stitching ornaments. That started the whole wheels in my head turning, spinning really. I had this idea in my mind...I'm stitcher, not a designer. But I have a good friend who is a designer so... I pitched the idea to her and her wheels started turning, and whammo! A whole design line came out the other side :)

Today I am honored to present...

"The Sampler Tree"
designed by: Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams

I am the model stitcher and finisher for this entire series.


You may read about the new 12 month series at the Little House Website: HERE

I've stitched and finished the first four in the series and I have (in my hot little hands) the next 4 designs ready to stitch and finish them. I know there has been much speculation about the series and I can say without a doubt this series is fabulous and will result in 12 gorgeous, sampler inspired ornaments for your very own Sampler Tree!

The first installment is entitled:
"Old Colonial"



See...
when I came up with this idea for myself, before I had talked to Diane about it,  I was dreaming of  "themed" trees. I was stitching on a Prairie Schooler ornament thinking that I was going to finally (after years of desiring a Prairie Schooler Santa tree)  have one! Then I started thinking about other trees. Trees that sum me up, sum up my stitching, my interests, what I really like when I am stitching. What do I like? I like Samplers. I like houses, I like big, stylized urns, reindeer, snowflakes on big snow dusted evergreens....

All of these things can be incorporated in a Sampler....
pull them out and stitch just "parts" and "pieces" and what do you have...
"The Sampler Tree"!

I've been making ornaments...
like these on my own for years, using "parts" and "pieces" of patterns to make "family" ornaments for my big tree. Here let me show you what I mean...
(NOTE: All of these patterns are from Little House Needleworks and may be viewed: HERE )

Let's start off with: 
"Poinsettia House"

This pattern dings my bell and toots my whistle on many levels. Let me tell you why, its simple, the house and the urn. Diane does the best houses. When I saw that urn...I nearly flipped over my chair. I love urns, I adore poinsettias...bingo bango...my wheels start turning and I stitched these ornaments to commemorate our 2011 Christmas:
Poinsettia House_Little House Needleworks
Poinsettia House
stitched 1 over 1 on 25 count Vintage Country Mocha using called for Classic Colorworks Cottons

Then I stitched one of each of these for our family members:
Poinsettia House Urn_Little House
"Poinsettia House Urn"
I stitched these on 32 ct. linen that I hand-dyed myself all I did was "pull out" the urn from the original design.
(I'm just showing Katie's, but I have one for each family member)
When I got these done...well they were just as I envisioned!
Perfect!

The next year....Diane released
"Holiday House"


Well...
 I stitched my copy of"Holiday House" like this:
Holiday House_Little House
"Holiday House"
stitched over 1 on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha
and pulled out the big black urn holding the topiary trees on either side of the house...
and filled it by stitching either the little snow flower bushes (for the girls of the family) or the evergreens for the boys. Here is an example of one of them:
Holiday House Urn_Little House
"Holiday House Urn"
stitched over 2 on 25 ct. fabric to make the ornament larger
Do you see a pattern here? I do! :)

So see...
as I was thinking of "The Sampler Tree" of my dreams, it all consists of things like these that I've shown you. So am I getting all of Diane's new "The Sampler Tree" ornaments to stitch for my own "Sampler Tree"? YOU BETCHA!
and then while I wait each month for the next pattern to arrive, I'm going back over all of the patterns I have with a fine tooth comb and pull out "motifs" from them to make for my own "Sampler Tree". 

Let me show you...
For instance, take the pattern by Diane (again found HERE on her Holiday and Winter page of LHN Website) entitled:
"New England Winter Sampler"

You could stitch for little Sampler Ornaments:
  •  The house with the trees on either side, the snow, fence and birds and a couple of those snowflakes
  • The man and lady with the flower urn on her side and the ever green on his side...just move the trees closer and stitch a couple of small snowflakes falling around them 
  • The large urn with the red flowers 
  •  The big tall tree 
  • The whole top half of the sampler: large trees on either side, house, man, woman, etc. 
  •  The large snowflakes

**The border can be stitched around some of these ornaments too, to give the "sampler feel" to all of them, or left off completely.
See folks! Right there is 6 ornaments (and there are more than that in the design...) all you have to do is use your creative eye and you can see all the different possibilities!

Want to do another? Let's do it! How about:
"Winter Whites"


Well what ornaments do you see....
  • the house with a tree on either side
  • the house with the tree on the left side, sheep, bitty tree and moon
  • the house with tree on right side, sheep, star and bitty tree
  • The alphabet alone with the evergreen boughs and berries at the bottom using the border to frame it
  • the big tree with the bird house
  • the big tree with the bird
  • the whole darn pattern stitched over 1 on appropriate linen to make small enough for ornament
That's SEVEN ornaments from one design!

It's like a game! ;) and I bet you have TONS of designs in your stash that you can use this technique on. The only thing you need is your design that you want to use, some time to pull out the motifs you want to stitch and a stitch calculator such as this one that I use: STITCH CALCULATOR to determine what count fabric you want to stitch it on to make the size appropriate for your very own "Sampler Tree"! I like my ornaments to sort of be various sizes and shapes, I believe that adds visual interest to a tree that you are viewing. But that is all up to you! I like a mix of pillow and flat ornaments, but that's up to you too! What do you like?

Now I've just told you about Little House Designs...
 that you can pull motifs from...but let's say you are a big school-girl sampler stitcher. Well guess what?! Those work too for this idea! Like Adam and Eve? Pull them out of a sampler and stitch them up. Lots of sweet roses and urns on a sampler you are stitching...HEY there's an ornament! What about that sweet Bessie the cow on the school-girl sampler you're stitching....stitch her with a garland of greenery around her neck for an ornament for your tree. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

Another Designer that I own a bushel basket of patterns by (and had really good intentions of stitching and HA HA HA! right...) are the Blackbird Designs gals. Think of all the possibilities that these ladies bring to the table for Sampler Tree Ornaments...urns, trees, houses...OMGosh!

How about some more designers? 
OK...I've got loads of patterns from: 
Plum Street Samplers
The Scarlett House
City Stitcher
Little by Little


Do I need to go on? 
No, I don't...you get the idea. Make 2015 the year of "The Sampler Tree"!! Stitcher's unite! Sign up today at your Local Needlework Shop or your On-Line Stitching source for Diane's gorgeous "The Sampler tree" ornaments! GO GO GO!

Then while you are waiting for them to arrive...
start pawing through your stash. You've got ZILLIONS of Sampler Tree ornaments right at your finger tips waiting, literally waiting to be stitched. Change the colors, change the style...get your creative juices flowing! 

Let me start them flowing by my vision of my 2015 Sampler Tree:
I can see it in my head. A smaller tree. A large, silver, antique looking star on the very top of it. Tarnished silver beads strung among the branches. All of my sampler ornaments that I'm going to stitch finished with shiny, antique colored rushed ribbons, flashy beads on some, just sort of plain on others hanging from the boughs, with shiny, slightly distressed jewel toned glass balls strewn among the hand stitched pretties or houses, urns, flowers, trees, reindeer, antique sleds, horses......

Sounds pretty perfect to me....
May my dream for Christmas 2015 and the Pfeiffer House Sampler Tree become reality!
May it be so!

That does it for Day 19...
whew...my little heart is all aflutter with dreams of Samplers :)

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always! Join me while a dream of my Sampler Tree!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx