Monday, July 21, 2014

Altoid Tin...

~ Good Day Friends ~
I know, I know three posts in such a short amount of time?! What is wrong with her??

:)

I've been having a spate of creativity of late and when I get into experimentation mode like this...I just go with it!

When I stitch...
I have a little Altoid Tin that a very sweet lady stitched for me, a loooong time ago when I was strongly involved in exchange groups. I loved it! I kept my needles and scissors in there (and other bits and bobs). The top was very puffy and I used it as a pin cushion to place my needle as I ended off, prior to re-threading it.

Well...
that sweet little tin (after years of hard use) got pretty nasty from being thrown in and out of bags and then horror of horrors, I sat on it. That pretty much did her in.

:'(

I missed that tin. I longed for it. Would reach for it and it wouldn't be there....

What to do?? Make me another!

~ So I did ~
LHN_Two Red Houses_Altoid Tin LHN_Altoid Tin_sides
"Two Red Houses"
(although this is only the "One Red House ~ Vonna Version")

Designed by: Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
Copyright: a very long time ago and I don't have the pattern right next to me
Stitched: 1 over 1 on 28 count tea/coffee dyed lugana
using DMC


When you open the tin up....
I stayed into the "home" mode. I'll let you see for yourself: 

LHN_Altoid Tin_ Inside

~ A sweet little pillow and coverlet ~ 
 for my scissors to be warm and comfy...
with the pillow doubling as a pin cushion! 

LHN_Altoid Tin_coverlet and pillow

~ The starry sky is framed with the sweetest set of curtains ~
 that of course doubles as a needle nest!
size 24 on the valance
size 26 on the left curtain
and
size 28 on the right curtain

LHN_Altoid Tin_Curtains and Stars

~ I pretty much am in love ~
LHN_Altoid Tin

~ What about you? ~

Until next time...
I'm about bone dry on my creativity now! Plus, I have a lot of models to stitch and finish for a couple of sweet designers. You all will be anxious to see, someday.

I'll be back with my fair results...
in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck ~ open class turn in day is this Wednesday (July 23, 2014), I'm a whole lot nervous, but anxious at the same time!

Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back again, so soon?....


~ Good Day Friends ~ 
I've had a productive week so far, and after a finishing bout today in my finishing room, I'm really excited about how a couple of things turned out! And I had to share them ASAP!

My first share, my faithful readers, have already had a sneak peek last week. I alluded to those of you who read, that I had a finishing idea. Well, it turned out just like I had it in my head. Maybe a little bit better because I added the ric-rac at the last minute and...well, I'll let you make your own decisions on the outcome. Here is:


"In Full Glory" 
by Blackbird Designs
Copyright 2014
stitched on: 40ct pearl gray linen over two
finished as: a small pillow
Blackbird Designs In Full Glory
 ~ ~ ~
I like my finishing and details to be as pretty on the back as it is on the front...I mean think about it we all look at backsides....now don't you tell stories, you know you sneak a peek of backsides too! 
~ ~ ~

In Full Glory Pillow backside
And then...
when I saw this design when it first came out, I knew what I would do with it. 
And it turned out just as I intended...


"Busy Bee"
designed by: Lizzie Kate
copyright 2014
stitched on 30 ct. WDW straw linen over 1 
using the converted DMC colors 
finished as: a pocket watch necklace

Lizzie Kate Busy Bee Pocket Watch Necklace

Finally a pocket watch necklace for me! I've made three of these and have gifted them to dear friends and finally this time it was time for little ol' me to be a recipient. I love it!

These two newbies will definitely be entries from my corner in our county fair next week. I've got cross stitch entries laying all around my house right now. I'm going through and trying to pick the best of the best of what I've stitched in the last year to fill as many entries as I can. The more entries, the more chances I have of bringing home the gold. Ha ha ha! Really I just enjoy entering and seeing how I do. I hear rumors that its a brand spanking new judge this year!

So until next time....
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always...and picking out some winners (I hope!) for our fair :)

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Playing Catch-up...

~ Dearest Friends ~ 
I did it again...
I disappeared from my blog. Not intentionally, and I'm about to show you *at length* what I was up to. So you might want to grab a drink and perhaps a snack to fortify you :)

MAY 2014:
It was a busy month, as May's tend to be...
end of the school year is upon us and we have final band concerts, honor's nights, graduations, class parties...and so on. Ours was jam packed and I'm still not caught up on all that happened!

Katie got a job at a local business. She works at Lazer Lite Games and Fun. Here she is cleaning the Super Shot game :) She also became a licensed driver! Which worries Mom a little (to be honest) but she is a good, defensive driver and I pray (a lot)!

Katie's Job



Ellie's Honor Day was filled with lots of honors! Her teacher asked me if I brought a wagon to school because I'd need one to haul all her awards home. He didn't lie...Ellie had a lot of awards handed to her that day, but most of all her teacher told me what a pleasure it was to teach her and that he would have missed out in his career had he not had her in his classroom. You know, that makes a parent feel good! Ellie successfully completed 2nd Grade and she will move on to 3rd Grade.

Ellie Honor's Day 2014

Jacob and Ian was promoted from 8th Grade to 9th Grade during their Promotion to High School Night. Here are our handsome boys the evening of their Promotion Ceremony. They also earned a LOT of awards from their Middle School years leaving Batchelor Middle School behind with 3.8 gpa for Ian and 3.9 gpa for Jacob. Way to go boys!

Boys Promotion to HS

Katie was invited to attend Honor's Night at Bloomington South High School, where she received top honors for carrying a 4.6 gpa 5 trimesters in High School. She is in all Honors Classes, meaning that she has carried A+ in all classes for the past 2 years. Can't ask for better than that!

BHSS Honors Night 2014


Late May, Katie was Confirmed in our Catholic faith. Here she is prior to Confirmation with Bishop Christopher Coyne. Katie was a reader during the Mass and got to take a special picture with the Bishop.

Katie and Bishop Coyne

Here she is as she was sealed with the Holy Spirit receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. She now is considered an adult in the Catholic Church. She took the Confirmation name of St. Bernadette and her Confirmation Sponsor was Lynn Hansen, a very good friend of mine at our church. Bernadette is the name of her paternal grandmother and Bernadette was also a wonderful saint. You can read about St. Bernadette Soubirous HERE

Katie's Confirmation with Bishop Coyne

JUNE:
The first weekend in June was the weekend that Ian held his project for his Eagle Scout Award. The project consisted of clearing an area of ground by the backdoor of Faith Lutheran Church Preschool so that when it rains the water will not pool at the backdoor of the Preschool and will also run away from the foundation. All four Pfeiffer children attend Faith Lutheran Preschool and Ian wanted to do his Eagle Project there. Here is the before and after pictures:

Ian's Eagle Scout Project
Ian has his final report on the project prepared and soon he will ask 8 people for letter of recommendations and soon, we are hopeful his project will be approved and he will be an Eagle Scout! :)

The second weekend in June...
found us on the road heading to our beloved St. Augustine for our annual Summer Vacation!!!! We had a fabulous time, superior weather (it never rained once!) and it was just perfect! Here are the kids at the pool in Jacksonville, Florida on the first evening after a 15 hour drive:

Kids at Jacksonville 2014

The first real day of vacation, we drive down Hwy. A1A (which runs all along the coast of Florida) to St. Augustine. It is the scenic way to go and we love to ride along the coast and catch glimpses of the ocean....until we arrive at the mission of Nombre de Dios. We always start our vacation out here at the shrine of the Madre de la leche. This is the first Catholic Church built on American soil. We light our candles in the shrine and we say aloud a Rosary in thanksgiving for a safe trip, for a safe vacation and for our personal family intentions. Last year we had 14 people join us in praying our rosary. This year we only had 4 people join in.

Nombre de Dios

After our annual pilgrimage to Nombre de Dios, we head on down to Old Town and eat at our favorite spot: A1A Ale Works. YUM-O! We always eat al fresco on the balcony that is by the Intercoastal Waterway. Here is Ian, Katie and I on one side of the table:

Ian, Katie and Vonna A1A Ale Works

And here is Keith, Ellie and Jacob on the other side of the table :)

Keith, Ellie, Jacob A1A Ale Works

After eating, the girls and I got some custom fitted toe rings down on St. George Street. I didn't know about it at first, but now I love mine! I can't even feel it and it makes me feel pretty when I look down and see my toes. 

Girls Toe Rings


Happy Father's Day!
The second day of vacation was Sunday and we celebrated on the beach all day and then came in and ordered a BBQ feast from a local spot. Here is Keith in our condo salivating and ready to dig in on his special day! We love you so much Daddy!
:)

Keith on Father's Day

We had lots of fun on the beach:

Sea Watch Patrol...
Sea Watch

Ellie made friends with this man that was fishing on the beach. She would go up to him every morning and ask about what he was catching and how he knew so much, what was he using for bait that day, etc, etc. (there is not a shy bone in the girls body!) One morning he caught a baby shark and he gave it to Ellie to put in a shallow pool to watch while the tide came in. So everyone took pictures with a shark. (NOTE: This made me think twice about going in and body surfing...because if there are babies....that means there are big ones. Of course, I know that sharks are in the ocean, but ..... visual evidence of their procreation is another story!) 

Shark Collage

Katie always writes this in the sand each year and sends a picture to her boyfriend:

K + K

Jake, lamenting that he has no significant other, decided that the next best thing was:

J + PT
POPTARTS! hahahahaha!

We have been waiting for Salt Life to open in St. Augustine. Its an eatery that first started in Jacksonville, Florida and we love it. We finally got to eat there in our beloved St. Augustine this summer! WHOOP WHOOP! My favorite thing on the menu was:
THE OYSTER SHOOTER: a shot of beer, layered with a bit of horseradish, a shot of hot sauce and a raw oyster. Bottoms up people! YUMMY! I loved them - I had two! If I wouldn't have been afraid of anaphylactic shock, I would have had three. But I have a mild allergy to shellfish, so I had to settle for two. (Keith only wanted me to have one, but I vetoed his opinion!) 

Oyster Shooter


On the last day of our vacation, we tried our hand at some Beach Jumping shots:

At Attention...
Beach - at attention

Almost!
Beach - almost

Got it!
Beach - got it

We are getting good now!
Beach Jump - got the hang of it

This one reminds me of the movie "Up!" for some reason and I don't know why...
Jump Up

Look at Ian...cracks me up every time! hahahahaha!
Beach Jump SMILE

Showing off now that we got the hang of it with some: Karate
Beach Jump Karate Style

These shots were so fun! I took 100 pictures and to go through them quickly on the computer is funny! Its like watching a movie :) And we all sit and laugh and laugh! 

Here is the final day picture of Crescent Beach....we wait all year long to go and we are waiting again. But we have our memories to sustain us! It is like a little slice of heaven. And I will bring it out and cherish it every day.
Crescent Beach

July:
I had my 44th (ahem) Birthday on July 5th. I received lovely packages from my friend Pat:
Pat's gift to me

Here is another spectacular package from my longtime pal, Marie:
Marie's Gift to me


July also brings Boy Scout Summer Camp! Here is the boys in front of their tent last week during Family Night:
Boys at Boy Scout Summer Camp 2014

And that evening we stayed to watch the Order of the Arrow ceremony. We were so proud that Ian was "tapped out" that evening! CONGRATS IAN!!!! He will perform his induction "ordeal" next month to become a full-fledged member. He was also named "Exemplary Scout" at the ending ceremony by his Troop Masters.
Order of the Arrow Ceremony ~ Ian 2014

Here are the boys (yesterday 7/12/14), hot, tired (and a little stinky!) after their 7 days at Boy Scout Summer Camp:
Boy Scouts 2014

Ellie...
 has spent the last 3 weeks at her Grandma and Grandpa Pfeiffer's house. She came home yesterday too! (Thank goodness, because I was about ready to go get her myself!). Her birthday is coming up (August 5) and Target was running a great deal on iPad's. Ellie had saved up $320 on her own and sweet talked her Daddy into an early Birthday present to cover the remaining money needed so that she could get an iPad Air 32 GB. Look...her sweet talking worked!
Ellie and iPad Air

Then, being that I have been wanting an iPad Air myself....
I did a little sweet-talking of my own and got my very own iPad Air 32 GB!!! Thank you Daddy!

iPad Air

And speaking of Daddy...
here is that poor hen-pecked sweetheart sporting his new goatee. Isn't he a hottie?! ;)

Keith Summer 2014

OK, so that catches us up in the life department! Now let's get down to talkin' some stitchin'

May and Early June found me stitching and finishing 6 models:
The final 4 Calendar Girls
for
Little House Needleworks.
Oh these are the best ones yet - just you wait and see!
AND...
two models for a  NEW series that Nikki of Country Cottage Needleworks just announced. You are going to LOVE it!!

I've also picked up quite a bit of work in recent months for my finishing service. Always a good thing. I had sort of "retired" from finishing for the general public due to carpal tunnel syndrome and a very busy family life ~ but am hopeful that if I pace myself, I can start finishing again at least a little bit for some clients.

In June I stitched and finished:

"Freedom"
by Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
copyright 2014
stitched on 28 count Clay Linen
using called for colors
Finished as: Door Hanger
Little House Needleworks_Freedom_door hanger

And....

"Old Glory"
by Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
copyright 2014
stitched with called for colors
Finished as: Ditty Bag which I filled with greenery and a grubby flag

Little House Needleworks_Old Glory_Ditty Bag filled and hung


I'm currently stitching:
Blackbird Design's (highly popular) "In Full Glory". I have a unique idea on the finishing. We will see if that pans out next blog post!
Current Project


 Summer is...
 winding down for us here at the Pfeiffer ranch. The kids return to school, August 4th..... that is only three short weeks away. Our Monroe County Fair is next weekend, so I am in stitching overload trying to get a couple of more projects signed, sealed and delivered. I have high hopes (as I do every year) to bring home the Grand Champion rosette for the Needle Arts division. We will see...

So folks...
That does it for me, for right now. I'll be back soon with my Fair Entries and their results. It will certainly be here sooner than this post! I'd like to take a quick moment and say a big THANK YOU *so much*  to all of you! So many people have e-mailed me to make sure I was still alive and kicking. That means so much to me! I hope that the wait was worth it :) We are so mightily blessed as a family. So much to be thankful for and I am so full of thanks! We have lived life to the fullest the last couple of months, and none of that, would be possible if it wasn't for our deep and abiding faith in our God and his work in our lives.
I'll be back soon and as always, I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, as usual!

Hugs in stitches,
Vonna   xxxx

Monday, May 05, 2014

May is here...

~ ~ Warm Welcome to my readers ~ ~
and greetings!

Well...
I fell off the face of the earth, just like I feared I would following the surgery and subsequent recovery of my colleague. Last Friday, May 3, was my last day to work on the day after day solid stretch. I am "on call" now for filling in if needed as my colleague returns to work. I am aware, he may need to have a day off now and again, as he gets back to health. It was a long month...but I am happy to say:
 I SURVIVED! :) 

Somewhere in there we...
celebrated Easter Day!

The Kids _ Easter 2014

Pfeiffer Kids Celebrate Easter...

Keith and I....
celebrated our 18th Anniversary of wedded bliss on April 27. As I recounted to my friends, on that day I married my Prince Charming and have lived a fairy tale ever since!

Untitled

On our anniversary...
Katie and her quartet companions were featured in Bloomington's Celebrate Music Day at a local spot called Rachel's Diner, think the coffee shop on the old TV show "Friends"... quaint, improv style entertainment and dining. She did fabulous as always!

Untitled

In the mail....
I was the surprised and happy recipient of Annette of California's super duper RAK gift!
How functional and beautiful is that zippered pouch and needle wallet? Darling! And all the sweet things to adorn a pretty of my own making and a seam ripper tool that I am in love with (see the green nubby headed tool in pouch...SUPER!). Thank you so much Annette!

Annette's RAK

As for stitching...
I completed:
Shepherd's Bush - "Naughty or Nice" 

Shepherd's Bush _ Naughty or Nice

I had finished this same design for a client into an ornament and secretly coveted doing the same for myself. The client generously gifted the chart to me and I made a replica for myself :) I just love it! It makes me smile. 

I also finished:
Lizzie Kate's - "Song of Spring"

Lizzie Katie_Song of Spring


and in honor of Easter, I finished:
Lizzie Kate's - "A Little Easter"

Lizzie Kate_ A Little Easter

that does it for my stitching for the month of April.

Just this past weekend...
we celebrated the First Holy Communion of our sweet girl, Miss Ellie!
We had a most gorgeous day in family fun and celebration!

Here is the photo of the whole Communicant Class:

Ellie First Communion Group



here is Ellie with our priest, Father Daniel Mahan:

First Communion1


Here is a sweet photo of all our sweet babies:

Ellie First Communion_siblings


and I'll end with a photo of my last *sniff* baby, at dawn, all dressed and ready to go to church and receive the Eucharist.

Ellie First Communion 3

Such profound joy I feel as a Mother to these little darlings, these blessings from heaven sent to me to care for here on earth.

Finally....
I will leave you all with a framed:

Little House Needleworks - "Hands to Work, Heart to God"

Little House Needleworks_Hands to Work

Stitched with the colors as charted on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha over two threads.

I stitched this for my dear, dear friend and colleague - Ann. At 73 years young, she has been and is such a blessing in my life. She listens to my hurts, counsels me, shares my joys, she is the best example of true friendship and of true Christianity I have ever met. She is simply one of the best people I have ever had placed in my path. And I know that God put her there - smack dab in the middle - for a reason. She is a gift to me. So I stitched this for her, my tagline (ha ha!) and gave it to her when she came to see Ellie, yesterday. Ann is a woman after our own hearts people! She crafts like the best of us, is a hoarder at heart, owns 8 (yes 8!) sewing machines and you put she and I together and we can sit and talk for hours and it feels like 10 minutes. I love her and I hope she knows it! :)

I have been so lucky...
so many good and true people have reached out to me in friendship over the past years. Some from here in my "real life", others resulting from this little piece of cyberspace. I've been really lucky in so many ways. So let me take this opportunity to thank you - my readers and my friends - for being placed in my path. For those of you whom I have formed bonds with, I treasure you and value our friendship! Thank you!

And with that...
my dear friends, that does it for me for now!

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