Friday, April 04, 2014

Cinnamon Hearts...

~~ Happy Friday! ~~
to all my friends and stitching buddies!
I had a sweet little finish to share with you, may I present:

"Cinnamon Hearts"
Cinnamon Hearts by Threadwork Primitives

Cinnamon Hearts backside by Threadwork Primitives
designed by: Nan Lewis ~ Threadwork Primitives
this was a special kit that is available through Nan's blog, you may read about it: HERE

*All the sweet little bits and goodies came provided for you in the kit. It was a quick and fun stitch! It is so darling and and is hanging on the back of our front door.
Love it!
:)

Well...
in the last week, I've been working more outside the home, like I told you in my last post. Plus I've done finishing for some clients. Its been a busy week, and luckily I have this weekend off! YAY!

Tomorrow...
Katie will run in her first track meet of the season, we are hoping for her to break her PR (Personal Record) and make a new one. She's struggled a bit this year with her ankles, so if you all could send good thought, wishes and a few prayers to heaven for her to have a successful run tomorrow, I'd appreciate it. Katie is a distance runner, so she's competing in the 1600. Run Katie Run! Mom and Daddy will be rooting for her in the stands of course and we have planned to go out to eat later that day as a treat for our family - we don't do that much. So a pleasant weekend is on the horizon!

May your weekend and upcoming week be filled with sunshine and rainbows and everything that you desire...not to mention a few moments spent with your needle and thread...

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God just like always!
hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March....

Well my dear friends and stitching buddies...
where did March go?
One day it is here and it stretches out in front of me like a long lazy day and the next, poof! - all gone...

Well I didn't meet my goals for March. But I did get some stitching done. And I did add an old neglected WIP back into the swing of things. So I guess its not all bad!

I first would like to share with you:

Pear Tree

Little House Needleworks_pear tree

by Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
copyright 2006
design found in the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 2006
I stitched mine on 40 ct. Tin Roof by Weeks Dye Works
using Classic Colorworks over-dyed cottons

I finished Pear Tree in my signature flat felt oranment with the wave surround. I don't know what it is, but these types of finishes just scream Little House to me. A very large portion of my Little House ornaments in my collection, I have finished in this way. I used a wee little pear JABCO button in the center of the bow. I just love how it turned out. I have sat and looked at this evening and it just makes me smile :) Maybe because the subject is pears and I'm shaped like one :) HA!...no I'm shaped more like a pumpkin. 

Next up, I stitched and finished:

Winter's Eve

Country Cottage Needleworks_Winter's Eve

by Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Nikki Leeman
copyright 2006
design may be found in the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue
stitched on 32 count natural linen
using Classic Colorworks over-dyed cottons and DMC

I finished this as a flat ornament and I made my own two color twisted cording. This one has always been a favorite of mine and I have stitched it plenty of times for gifts, never for myself. So finally, I did it for me! YAY!

Speaking of Ornament Issues...
I just got done model stitching and finishing the ornaments that will be submitted to the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue for Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks. I must say people...both are exceptionally darling. Both Diane and Nikki have outdone themselves this year! They will be must stitches on many of your lists, I'm sure! :)

Late in February...
a nice lady contacted me asking me if she could see a picture of my Blackbird Designs "Anniversaries of the Heart". She went on to say that she was a new follower of my blog and she had seen my post about January's Anniversary of the Heart Finish in January 2012. She was just sure that I had it done by now. Well....*ahem*

So I red-facedly told her...
no, no I was not done with my AotH series, in fact January was the only one I had finished. I was so ashamed, I pulled it out and got to work. May I present after redoing the roof of that house twice, and all those BRICKS:

February's Anniversaries of the Heart: Valentine Rose

Blackbird Designs_Valentine Rose

I am stitching my anniversaries on 32 ct. Amber Linen (also called Toasted Almond)
using Gentle Arts, Weeks Dye Works and Classic Colorworks as called for on the chart. 
This block is personalized with my mother's initials: MAW (Monica Anne Weber). She was born in February 1949. 

Here is my Anniversaries as they stand to date: 
as a refresher, my January Block "Snow Garden" is personalized for paternal grandparents, Stanford and Frances Epperson who were married in January 1945. 

BBD Anniversaries of the Heart_March2014

I'm really loving how they are looking together! Makes me want to start on the next one STAT!

My kids had Spring Break...
about a week ago and that was a lovely good time together! We didn't go anywhere, but we did do activities each day. The Sunday evening before school started the next day, each one of them came into our bedroom and told us that they had a great Spring Break and thanks for everything. To me that just proves that you don't have to spend lots of money or have big fancy vacations to have a good time. Rather my kids, bless their little hearts, had fun just being with Mom and Dad. We made memories - memories of the heart - that none of us will ever forget. I love my kids so very much. My life would be nothing without them and I know each and every one of you that are parents understand and agree ;)

Now for the part that I didn't get done this month...
I didn't get done my Prarie Schooler Santas. Ugh...I was doing so good and now I skipped a month :(
But its a process and I'll get back to them, because frankly they are too cute not to get back to! 

But on the bright side...
to date from January 1, 2014 to present time I have stitched 9 ornaments (11 if you count the two models!) That's not shabby at all :)

So...
that does it for me this time round dear friends. I will be working full time (7 days a week) to fill in at the hospital for my colleague's surgery. I may be working like this up to June. So if I disappear, know it is for that reason. It seems I have finally kicked all the cold/flu bugs that were following me around and invading my life! Thank goodness!

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Ornaments...

Hello There...
how are you? I'm muddling along. I still am fighting a head cold. Now I think its closer to a sinus infection. But me and my neti pot are going to town, trying to clear it. If you haven't guessed yet, I'm not big on medicine. Sort of funny when you think I work in the health care field, isn't it? I can't stand going to doctors. I have white coat syndrome. I get heart palpitations just thinking about going to a doctor. Bad. When I was pregnant with Katie and then the twins, I had bad experiences with my providers. So, ever since then, I've been a little reluctant to go to one. I do, when I have to, but if I can fix it myself, I fix it myself. :) Just another random fact about me.

So...
February is almost over! And I'm reporting in with my monthly ornament report! I didn't hit my mark on everything, but I did, pretty OK.

Ornament #1:
Lizzie Kate's bonus pattern from
 "Joy to the World"
Lizzie Kate - Joy to the World Boxtop 
Stitched on 32 ct. natural linen
using GAST/WDW/DMC as charted
finished as a hanging tag ornament

I really like how it turned out! What do you think? 

Next up:
Prairie Schooler Yearly Santa 2004

Prairie Schooler Yearly Santa 2004
stitched on 18 ct. Khaki Davos
using DMC
finished as a pillow ornament

and

Prairie Schooler Fishing Santa from Book 36

Prairie Schooler Santa Bk 36
stitched on 18 ct. Khaki Davos
with DMC
finished as a hanging tag ornament

and just for kicks, grins and giggles, I wanted a picture to show what my 2014 Prairie Schooler Santa tree is starting to look like:

Prairie Schoolers to date February 2014
**(Santa's Pictured 2002 and 2004 Yearly Santas along with Smoking and Fishing Santas from St. Nicholas II Book 36)

I didn't meet my goal for this month...
I also wanted to stitch one Little House Needleworks ornament and one Country Cottage Needleworks ornament, but no dice. Maybe I can plan on stitching 2 of each next month? Probably not, but I won't say its not impossible, yet. The new month will soon set upon us with endless possibilities!

Soon the Lenten Season...
will be upon us. I've been reflecting on what I'm going to focus on during my 40 days of Lent. I know what I'm giving up. I think I've got a plan for what I'll be studying, but we will see. One thing I know for sure is that I'm going to focus on increasing my prayer time. Or heck, just praying each day. I've struggled with prayer over the last year. I pray, but not nearly as much or as devotedly as I have in the past. I have "seasons" like these in my life. I call it the dessert. I'm sort of in the dessert. I need to find the oasis again. I will, with focus, determination and spirit, I'll walk in the lush garden again. I always find my way thanks to the help of the Lord. And admitting you are in the dessert is the first step to finding the oasis, so I'm on the right path!

If I don't check in...
before next Tuesday, may your Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras be filled with sweet treats and lots of fun! We are having a Pancake Supper at church and my family and I are helping host it! We get to dress up and wear beads and party it up with Pancakes! LOL! Should be fun :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Hugs and stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


Monday, February 17, 2014

My Hands At Work...

~ Hello to my good friends and buddies! ~ 
I missed posting last week...I got busy and then on Friday, I got sick. *again*
:,(
I think my immune system was down from the flu and a cold virus snuck in. So, I'm currently coughing and congested and feeling dizzy ~ but I'll get better eventually. I don't feel nearly as bad as I did with the flu. So that's good news! :)

While I've been away...
I stitched up some sweeties that I'd like to share with you! First up is:

"Hands to Work" 
By Little House Needleworks
copyright 2013
stitched on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha
using DMC as charted

Hands to Work by Little House Needleworks

"Hands to Work" is currently at my LNS waiting to be framed. I stitched it post haste so that I may gift it to my colleague and good friend, Ann. She is making by hand my daughter Ellie's First Communion dress and won't charge me a dime for it. So I stitched this to gift to her on Ellie's First Communion day. Ann is 74 years young, still working, and a person that has had a very large impact on my life. She is so very special. I am so glad that God put her in my path. She is one in a million. I love her and I hope she knows it!

Next up is: 

"Joy to the World" 
by Lizzie Kate
stitched with Gentle Arts, Classic Colorworks and Weeks Dye Works as charted
it was a kit so I stitched it on fabric provided 

Joy to the World by Lizzie Kate

"Joy to the World" will be framed at my LNS. 

And finally...I stitched the bonus pattern in "Joy to the World". It is pictured as a box top, but I am going to finish it as a Christmas ornament ;) So I get to write another one down in the books for 2014! Whoop! Whoop!

Joy to the World box top bonus pattern by Lizzie Kate

Here they are pictured together...
aren't they cute?! I've been on a real Lizzie Kate kick lately...NOTICE?! :)

Joy to the World and bonus pattern by Lizzie Kate

In the last couple of weeks...
Katie celebrated a one year anniversary dating Kamryn, so of course I snapped a picture of the cute couple. Kamryn is a wonderful young man. We love him. He's a part of the family. May they share many more happy times together :)

Katie and Kamryn _ One Year

So folks...
that does it for the old Twisted Stitcher :)
I'm going to wind myself back up the stairs and take a nap before my kids get home from school. We are anticipating ice today here in Bloomington, I'm hoping that schools let out early so that I can gather my chicks in and stay in before the ice hits! 

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

Hugs and stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Hanging Tag Ornaments...

~ Dozens of Inquiring Minds ~
want to know how I made my "Hanging Tag Ornaments"... and I can't sit on the computer all day, or I wouldn't be able to create more stuff! :)

Now people, you know I have ZERO secrets because I share them all with the world ;)

I created those ornaments using my own ingenuity...
and you can too, because they are simply combining a couple of my tutorials that have been published for a number of years. 

Go to my tutorial blog:

To learn to make a "Tag" go to the tab entitled: "The Floss Tag..."
now you will not use a ring (of course) I merely just looped ribbon and twine on mine for a hanger.

To learn how to "layer" your ornaments like I did on both tag ornaments go to the tab entitled: "The Mounted Ornament..."

It will be obvious how to create your very own "Hanging Tag Ornaments" by combining these two techniques.

See no illusions, no smoke and mirrors, just simple techniques for stunning finishes and I share them all with you so we all can be fantastic finishers :)

Monday, February 03, 2014

Finally feeling productive...

~ Hello Peeps! ~ 
I'm finally back to my jovial self...thank the good Lord. I am NOT a good sick person at all. Bless my dear husband for putting up with my sorry self for the past 12 days. I don't get sick often, I honestly am as healthy as a horse, but when I do get something...I'm usually one step away from the grave. I've been that way my whole life. Happily bopping along and WHAM-O sick as a dog. But now that it is over and for the most part gone. I'm back on track ;)

Today...
was the dreaded weekly laundry. I only do laundry once a week, on Mondays. Now think about 6 people and 7 days worth of laundry...uh, yeah. LOTS. So since I have loads to do, and the laundry room is in our basement and so is my finishing room...well you can guess what I do in between loads :)

I've been doing...
a lot of thinking about my future Prairie Schooler Santa tree - specifically how I envision it to look. I want it all in red. Going with that theme I wanted something to make it BAM!
*POP*
So I sat and thought, did a little dreaming, and finally made some plans. Well for the big yearly Santas, I decided that there is so much stitching and I want that to speak for itself. The year Santas are intricate, there's a lot of X's in there. And I want them to be featured in all their glory. No frills. Sometimes less is more. So simple spoke to me for these Santas. Simple little pillow ornaments with a simple bow and the backing in simple red/white ticking:

Prairie Schooler 2002 Santa

and for the other Santas...
they are smaller and I want everything to be around the same size. I need some pops of color to offset the red/brown of the yearly Santas. So what speaks more to Christmas than red and white? What speaks more of "primitive country" than red/white pillow ticking? Nothing in my books so I made the Santa from book 36, into a flat "hanging tag" ornament. Santa is mounted on red/white ticking (think CANDY CANES!) with twine I made into cording and a simple tiny bow to give it a little punch. 

Prairie Schooler Santa from Book 36

And to see that my vision for my Prairie Schooler Santas will look pretty doggone good on a tree, here they are pictured together, to get the idea...just close your eyes and imagine a whole lot more yearly Santas and a lot more hanging tag ornament Santas, maybe a red ball ornament here and there, with white popcorn garland. Ohhhhh yeah! Perfect! :)

Start of my Prairie Schooler Santa Tree

Then....
since I was on a roll...I finished my Little House Needleworks "Seven Pines" into a felt mounted ornament. I don't know what it is, but I love Little House Ornaments done on felt mounts. Most of my Little House ornaments are finished in this manner. And they are all so doggone cute when hanging on the tree. 

LHN Seven Pines

then since I loved how my "tag" ornament turned out on the Prairie Schooler Santa above, I thought WHY NOT?! and finished the bonus pattern from Lizzie Kate's "A Little Snow" into a hanging tag ornament:

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow Bonus Pattern

Now you tell me...
how cute did that turn out? :)

So...
my day was pretty doggone productive! YES! Its good to be virus free!

A Productive Day

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

Hugs and Stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Wrap-up...

~ Warm Welcome Friends! ~
I hope you all are faring well. I was struck last week with the respiratory flu bug. Thankfully it didn't go into a secondary infection, but I am still battling fatigue and exhaustion 8 days out. I have been a professional sleeper and I could sleep more. I'm just exhausted...

But since I've not done much of anything except sleep...
I tried to force myself to do something worthwhile, so I stitched :)

May I present my first Prairie Schooler Santa:

2002 Yearly Santa
designed by: Prairie Schooler
stitched on 18 ct. Davos
using DMC as charted

2002 Prairie Schooler Santa

and I stitched a second Santa!! This cutie is from:

Book 36 St. Nicholas II 
designed by: Prairie Schooler
stitched on 18 ct. Davos
using DMC as charted

Bk 36 Prairie Schooler St. Nicholas

and that's not it! I also finished:

A Little Christmas
designed by: Lizzie Kate
stitched with GAST, WDW and DMC as charted
this was a "littles" kit

Lizzie Kate A Little Christmas

So friends...
I know I'm not very chatty today, I'm just not feeling great yet...but soon hopefully. 

Until next time...
I'll be getting better (I hope!) and keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Stitching Story...

~ Greetings Peeps and Peepettes! ~
:)
how are all of you doing? I hope grand! It is only 1 degree here in good old Bloomington, Indiana...and my fanny is nearly a block of ice, because I just returned home from walking Ellie to school. Cheez Whiz its colds outside! And on top of that, I think I'm getting a cold. . . and yesterday I was just bragging to a friend of mine that I hadn't had a cold in over a year. Sheesh. Pride, gets me in my frozen fanny every time. I'll learn one of these days. But have no fear, I'm drinking my lemon/orange juice water, taking Zicam and drinking my Apple Cider Vinegar...
(WHAT?! you say...well read here and here and here and then google Apple Cider Vinegar and read a whole lot more! The mister and I have been drinking 2 TBLS of ACV twice a day for about 8 months now and we are believers! It has noticeably helped both of us, but particularly my husband with aches and pains, I think it helps with appetite control, I have a yeast and eczema problem and have for nearly my entire life on various areas of my skin - now cured. I don't know about my cholesterol but I'm a believer and so is Keith. Katie, a runner, complains frequently about muscle strains/aches and I gave it to her once and it eliminated her leg pain within the same day. Then a second thing she noticed was her face cleared of blemishes. So she takes it once a day herself. Now if you can get a teenager to drink ACV because she believes it is helping her...that's something!)

Whoa...way off track!

Back to the story...
I had a very nice letter from a reader of my blog, and she asked me if I had a specified stitching "area". That got me to thinking about how I love to see where others stitch on blogs I read and see their gadgets and gizmos that work for them. I always learn something. So I figure I'd share mine with you.

I have two stitching "areas" in our home. Why? because I have teenagers. And because my house is hangout central for all their friends (which I am COMPLETELY FINE with!!) I never know where I am going to be on a Friday or Saturday night. I want to make sure that kids don't think we are snooping on them, so I make it easy to get up and move to Stitching Place #1 or Stitching Place #2 based on who is at our house (or not). :)

This is my safe stitching place...
and typically where I'm at the most because it is in our master bedroom. We have an "en suite" master bedroom, so luckily it is like a whole living area with sitting area, sleeping area in one large room with a connected master bath and walk in closet. It is also cathedral ceilings, so it is light and airy and during the day time filled with light. Its very nice and one of my favorite places in our home! Anyway, of our home is filled with teenagers, Keith and I come upstairs to our room and my stitching area awaits. Here is my stitching place in our room:

Bedroom Stitching Area

This is my Vera Bradley...
Kiss and Make-up clutch. I use it as my "needle nest" on the arm of my stitching chair. I filled it with a pincushion and my scissors and extra pins and it sits on my arm chair so I always have a place to stick my needle. (I lose needles all. the. time.) This is my way of not losing needles (or sticking them in the armchair to be pushed down in the arm, or into someone's hand when they come to sit down) This is also convenient for when I leave the house, I snap the lid closed, grab my project envelope and off I can go to stitch in the car (or where ever, and always have my needles, scissors and someplace to stick my needle!) Sadly, the Kiss and Make-up bags are discontinued. You can get them on eBay, but plan on $$$ for them.

Kiss and Make-up Bag

I was thinking...
lately that I need another Kiss and Make-up clutch for my downstairs area, that way I always have one upstairs and one downstairs for stitching at a moments notice. (That's what I do, I have projects ready upstairs and downstairs so if I have a minute. I sit and put in a thread or two)
anyway...I'm cheap and paying a lot of dough for a bag that is discontinued rubs me raw. So...while at work this weekend I saw this tin:

Tin

I opened it up...
and it was filled (well filled 1/4 of the way) with sugared pecans. My co-worker and I divested the tin of the nuts (yes, by eating them all ourselves). And I brought it home. Where I made this little pincushion:

Little Pincushion

and lined the tin:

Line the Tin

Then added the pincushion, I had made:

Add the Pincushion

Put it on the arm of my chair and added my ring of floss and BAM! instant needle nest! And it cost me ZERO! :) and it can have the lid put on it and slam it in my project envelope to take when I leave for a little vanside stitching in parking lots waiting on the kiddies! Cool beans!

Arm Chair Needle Nest

Which brings me...
to my downstairs (living room) stitching area:

Downstairs Stitching

this shot is from behind my chair and you will notice that the TV is on the wall facing the room (and that I really can't see it) Well I can, but I wouldn't sit there to watch TV. However, I find, that I listen to TV more than watch it, particularly when I'm stitching. So it suits fine. And if I really want to watch TV while I'm stitching, I pull the chair out a bit and I can see it fine :)
...or I go upstairs to my room...
anyway...you will notice the afghan on the back of my chair, well my colleague, mentor and good friend, Ann, made that for me this year and gave it to me for Christmas. Isn't it gorgeous? I can wrap my frozen fanny in it and stitch away!
You will also notice the random foot stool in the middle of the room...? Well that is her Royal Highness Princess Ellie's personal TV viewing stool. And if Mommy moves it, she gets her rear chewed out ;) ha ha ha! So we leave it for her Royal Highness to perch whenever she gets the notion. Its the little things in life...

Stitching Chair from behind

Here is my market basket...
filled with my project envelopes, all containing a different kitted project, all ready to go. I can move this up and down wherever I go to stitch.and its ready with all the essentials including frames, q-snaps, measuring tape, scissors, etc. Today I plan on stitching downstairs so I brought it down this morning  with me.

My Market Basket Filled with Project Envelopes

another sweet gift...
I need to share is the little ivory pinch pot there, filled with scissors. At Christmas under the tree was this huge wrapped package. It was for me from Ellie. I opened up this huge box and in the bottom was this little pot, wrapped in a huge bunch of bubble wrap :)
She had made it in art class at school and when the teacher asked her why she chose to make a pinch pot, rather than her hand print, etc. She told her that it was because her Mama sewed and that she needed a place to put her scissors so she wouldn't lose them. Talk about wanting to make a Mama cry...
So forever will this Mama use her beautiful ivory pinch pot to keep her scissors so that she doesn't lose them.

Ellie's Pinch Pot

So that's my story peeps! Want to see what I'm working on and even what I have finished?
Sure you do!

First up:
"The Melicent Turner Sampler"
A reproduction sampler from Little House Needleworks
I started this on Sunday over on the Little House Showcase and Stitch A Long Place
We have Sampler Sundays over there and I decided that I needed to participate. I've had this kitted for a long time and I went with it.

I'm stitching mine on:
30 count random linen of unknown origin and color
using Classic Colorworks cotton overdyes in the colorway Diane provided in the pattern, however I changed out Sweetest Heart, which is a pinker red for Apple Fritter which is a deeper, darker red. I think it will be sweet.

Melicent Turner Start

This is one afternoon/evening worth of stitching. I got further than I expected I would!

Melicent Turner Day One

Then I finished, Seven Pines, a complimentary design from Diane for Christmas 2013
I stitched mine on 30 ct. Dark Chino using the DMC colors that Diane gave HERE

LHN _ Seven Pines

and last night ...
Did you hear the angels singing?! Because I only have a few days of January left but I held firm to my 2014 "goal" and started the first Prairie Schooler Santa! for my someday Prairie Schooler Santa Tree, that I will hopefully have more than one Santa hanging on the tree this Christmas 2014!

Here's my progress after an hour of stitching:

My Current Project

And yes...
I DO use a floor stand and a lap stand. I get asked this the most from people, so I'll share about it because I know that people will ask me about it. So I'll give my spiel.

It is a Needlework System 4 Floor stand. I have had it now for 6 years. You buy it to suit your stitching style. Mine is the floor stand part and the Q-snap head. I also own a separate set which is: the lap/table top stand part and a second Q-snap head. I prefer the floor stand, however the lap stand is fine too. Both work...but I prefer the floor stand. The lap/table top stand is my mobile stand that I take with me to retreats, to my LNS stitching day, etc. I do use it at home too, but the floor stand is light enough that I can carry this one up or down the stairs depending on where I'm stitching here at home. Yes, these are costly and it is scary to spend that much on something. I did not "pre-test drive" it, or any model. I just did a lot of research about it. I have had two things break over the years on my head part. Both times I e-mailed the company and both times replacement parts were sent to me to fix it myself. The owner of the company even volunteered fixing it if I didn't feel comfortable, however, my husband is handy, so we didn't need to do that. I am completely satisfied, I have sold many stands over the years for the company based on people asking me about them from my blog. Maybe I should be given a brand spanking new floor stand because of my touting them as the best stand ever? :) Honestly, this stand is fabulous. If you are having issues with tendinitis (I was) or just general muscle problems, posture problems, etc. while stitching. I HIGHLY recommend this product. HIGHLY! Best single thing I ever did for my stitching life. Period. The head turns so that you can easily start out/end off. No loosening no nuts to turn, just load it and go. I stitch two-handed too, so I think that speeds stitching up a lot, which is another side benefit.

In the Q-snap head...
is F.A. Edmunds Stretcher Bars I've having a new romance with these lately for cross stitching and I have to "rig" the Q-snap head holders to hold the stretcher bars. But some old  pieces of felt do the trick. The new romance is because I have found that the stretcher bars really do "block" the piece well. Especially on a loose weave linen. But maybe its my imagination. They are also light weight, reusable, cheap and if you stitch "in hand" they are not heavy on your wrists.

So there you go folks...
That's my stitching story and my current WIPS and finishes for today!

I'll be back...
and until I do, I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Join me!

Hugs and stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little Snow...

~ Greetings Friends! ~ 
and a warm welcome :)

I have a finish to share with you...
today! It is officially my 3rd and 4th finish of 2014, but I can't show you my 1st and 2nd finishes because they are models for Little House Needleworks. But you will get to see them in July and August and you will like them a lot! 

Without further ado...
may I present: 

"A Little Snow"

A "littles" kit designed by: Lizzie Kate
stitched with called for GAST and WDW as charted
on linen provided in kit

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow

I really adore this little pattern...
the colors just are yummy! Fresh, crisp, clean, just like the frosty mornings we've been having around here lately.

Lizzie Kate  side of A Little Snow

Isn't that...
font used for "SNOW" beautiful? I love that too, along with the charming houses all bedecked and bedazzled in snow along with their sweet little snowmen in the yards.Cute!

I also stitched...
the BONUS! pattern provided in the chart and it turned out sweet as can be, and will count as my FIRST ornament of the year ;)  It is stitched on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha over two threads to make it just wee bit larger, as its tiny. 

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow Bonus Pattern

And here is the completed projects from the kit "A Little Snow" together...
Just Darling! Don't you agree?!

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow Main Pattern and Bonus

I called my LNS...
and ordered the frame that goes with this sweet design and I'll make the ornament up at a later date and it will be featured in this years The 25 Days of The Twisted Stitcher!

My eyes...
are doing great! Yesterday I had a check-up and I am seeing 20/25!!! And I'm just two weeks out! I don't have to go back for 1 month and the doctor told me that my vision will continue to improve and that I likely will end up at least 20/20 and probably 20/15! SWEET!!! 

I've got my next project...
loaded up and rip, roaring to make a start on it. You'll have to wait to see what it is. :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my "hands to work and heart to God" just like always! Join me!
and speaking of "hands to work and heart to God" did you see my signature sampler? You can view it here on Diane's Blog or right here on LHN's website 
YEP, I'll be stitching this baby up too! ;)

Love in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Happy 2014!

And a very warm Happy New Year to all of my readers :)

I want to extend my most gracious thanks to all of you who have written to me via e-mail, cards, letters, comments wishing me a good recover for my PRK eye procedure. We are 6 days out now and I can say this. I am not seeing WELL yet. I am able to type this blog post with: my screen zoomed to 250%
but yesterday I got my "contact bandages" removed and my doctor said, "Your eyes are healing beautifully and your eyesight will just get better and better from here on out..." May that be so, because as of right now, its all sort of been a pain....in the eye. BUT if it all works and I never have to wear contacts or glasses again then HURRAH!!!

So...
what have I been up to? Basically not much due to my incapacity to see anything in the new year! But with the help of cheaters, my sexy polarized sunglasses (I'm very light sensitive) and my big magnifying glass...I have been stitching! (can't keep me down!) But its on Calendar Girls that you can't see yet! :(
But I must say...they keep getting cuter and cuter as they go along! And I'm just now almost finished with August, so if you are on the fence, jump in the paddock, cause they are cute as buttons!

Soon...
As soon as I get the girls all dolled up for their photo shoot with Diane...I'll be able to stitch something to show you!

So until then...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God with my screen zoomed to 250%
Thank you for your words, your prayers and support! They helped me when I was feeling pretty down about not being able to see...and Katie read each and every word from you to me and it made me SMILE :)

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Vonna and PRK

Hello All!
Since my mom, The Twisted Stitcher, has just gone through her eye surgery and is currently sleeping, I thought I would inform you all that she had a successful surgery according to the doctor! Her eyes are hurting but we are hopeful that the doctor is right and the final result is good. Thank you for all your prayers and warm thoughts you have been sending her way. Updates on her results of PRK will also be posted as she heals up.
Thank you for all your care. :)
Katie Pfeiffer, The Daughter

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Twisted Stitcher, year in review...

~ Greetings Dear Friends ~
Its the very last day of the year, it hardly seems possible to me.  I created a collage with some random things from our year. There was a lot of creating, a lot of good times, some celebrations, some vacations and a whole bunch of blessings. God has so richly and generously blessed us (and particularly me) that its hard to look back over the year and not see Him in every step along the way. Of course there is always struggle, always strife, always heartache, always disappointments but I strive to keep in perspective that each of those things that I encounter on my path in life only does one thing. It makes me stronger, makes me better than what I was before. 

So may I present my 2013:

The Christmas was put away...
and it is always a bittersweet time for me. I can't wait to get it up, and in most years I can't wait to get it down ~ the old double edged sword. :) 

But we took down and I'd like to share with you my ornaments I have stitched through the years 
(not including those stitched in 2013)
Ornaments through the years

Here are the ornaments I have received through the years from friends and exchanges I've participated in:
Friends Ornaments through the years

These are the ornaments I stitched this year alone (minus 6 that were presents):
2013 Ornaments Stitched

I told you I was going to count my ornaments...
and I did, even wrote it down, but guess what? I lost the paper! Scatter brain...
Anyway, the number was way less than I thought. I do know I stitched 29 ornaments this year for our tree. I had around 39 from friends. And the overall total number was around 150 ornaments. I thought I had 200, I must have been drinking when I was putting up the tree ;)
(Ha! I always put the tree up with a bottle of wine. Less stress!)

With the Christmas decorations...
taken down, I like clean and simple to start off the new year. I decorate our outside as well as the inside with the seasons too. Since at Christmas I had ornaments hanging from our eaves at the front door, I thought it looked so cute, I had purchased some silver snowflakes and never used them at Christmas, so....I hung them for winter!

Here is our Winter Door:
Winter Front Door

My favorite detail...
is the vintage skates and sled. I am in love with this little sled, that belonged to my husband when he was a child. His Mom brought it up for us last summer and I knew exactly what I would do with it! The skates were my aunt's when she was a little girl that I rescued from the get rid of it pile a few years ago. 
Keith's Sled

So...
with the recap and the fresh, clean start in the house that leads my mind to resolutions for the new year... However like a perfectly reasonable young man pointed out yesterday, whilst I read away on my blogroll..."resolutions beg to be broken". Amen! 

In my 42 years of life...
I have found that I stink at resolutions, but when it comes to life plans, or schedules, or organizing or planning...I'm pretty good! So what am I going to do? I'm going to have a plan! And I'm going to execute that plan as meticulously as I can. 

What does my plan entail...
well, who knows for sure. I have vague plans for my big plan but for the most part I think they are pretty firmly set:
I am going to continue my daily exercise regiment. I exercise every day. Period. And have for the past three years. I don't think of it as I have to or else. I think of it like: I do it. AND although I may hate it before I do it and hate it for a good part while I'm doing it, AFTERWARD...I feel great. My mood is enhanced, my spirits are up and I move through my day a better person because I rolled my arse out of bed at 4:40 a.m. and got to it! If I don't do it like that, it won't get done. I've learned that. So I do it and I will continue to do it because when I don't do it...I feel like crap. all. day. 

+

Of course I want to try to lose weight, that is a constant battle. I've got the exercise down great! I need to get the eating down.

+

I want to continue to try to become a better person, Lord knows I'm not perfect, I have many flaws. But I try really hard to live a life that is good. That is in service to others. I have a spiritual adviser that has helped me to make decisions about my life this year, that has made me better. My goal is to continue that in 2014 and beyond. There are always bumps and bleeps and valleys and mountains to be forged along anyone's life path. But one of the things I learned in 2013 is that I need to quit beating myself up, focus on me and focus on those that care for me and forget the rest. I can't be everything to every person. But I can sure as heck be as much as ever to people who love me, respect me and want me in their life. That is freedom. That is living. And it only took me 42 years to realize it.

+

And finally...you all know I'm not me if I'm not dabbling in crafting. I have really only one goal in my plan for stitching. I've said it before and never got it done. I'm saying it again. I want a Prairie Schooler Santa Tree. And you want to know what I did? I bought a 4 1/2 foot tree on clearance and I am going to set about stitching my Santas. I can do it. I will do it! Got the first one kitted, in my project envelope, ready to roll! I'm not going to make schedules and say one per month, or any of that garbage. I'm just saying I'll have a Santa tree, if that means one Santa hanging on the tree....well that means one Santa. We shall see, right? I also would like to do another 25 days with The Twisted Stitcher. We shall see. I put a lot of pressure on myself to pull that together this year. But I totally enjoyed it, we'll see. ;)

With all the blabbering going on above...
I'd like to end with something that you all came here to see anyway. Here is another Tim Holtz Pocket Watch Necklace, that I have made for a very special someone. I just got it done last night. It is in the mail and zipping to the person as we speak. I hope they love it as much as I do, because I love it a lot and it was hard to package and send away. May I present:

"Snow Bird Pocket Watch" Snow Bird Pocket Watch
I stitched this using:
"Snow Bird Pinkeep" pattern by Brenda Gervais ~ With Thy Needle and Thread
1 over 1 on 32 ct. French Blue linen
Using called for colors

And with that folks...
that is my 2013 in review with 2014 in my headlights. It is my wish that each of you who visit with me have a healthy, happy, blessed 2014 with a heavy emphasis on abundant blessings.
Take time to slow down, to view the colors around you, to give thanks to all that has been given, to enjoy the moment because you just never know how many more moments you will enjoy.
Savor. Relish. Live. And Give Thanks. 
That's what its all about!

Until next time my dear friends...
Thank you for your words, thank you for your visits, I don't just gather them to be forgotten, I gather them and hold them close and savor each and every word. You all make a difference in my life! Thank you for your friendship!

Vonna xxxx