Thursday, April 09, 2015

Easter Highlights...

~ Warm Welcome and Greetings to you ~
we had a fabulous Easter weekend! 
So much fun was had...
I'll let the pictures do the talking.

My third (and final) try at decorating cookies before the boys court of honor...

Crosses Bunny faces Cottontails Polka Dot Bunnies Carrot Patch Baskets


I made mixed plates and took them to some of our friend's house from the Easter bunny...
They were well received at each stop :)

Easter mix Easter Bunny Mix

Easter Sunday lunch...
my sweet family. There is no one on the face of the earth that I'd rather spend my day with than with these 5 precious people. 
My Family Easter 2015

We moved on this week after a glorious weekend of faith and family and last night celebrated the induction of Katie and her boyfriend, Kamryn into the National Honor Society!
Here they are after the ceremony. Katie looks a little wilted and it is because the school's air conditioner is out, its a huge school, and it was very humid and hot (and smelly!) inside the auditorium. 
Katie and Kamryn National Honor Society Induction 2015
We are so very proud of you Katie and Kamryn!

That does it my friends...
off to stitch a model ;)

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring....

~Greetings and Warm Wishes ~
to all my blogging friends and stitching buddies....
I hope that this drive-by post finds you all well!

Do you ever feel like...
you meet  yourself coming and going? I do. Some days I don't know how I keep all my balls I'm juggling in the air. But when I sit and think about it, I do know. It is only by the grace of God. I am so blessed to be healthy and able. So blessed. I won't complain about being busy. But I am busy, dreadfully so. So much so that I'm going to be honest and say...I think I've had a panic attack (or four) lately. I've got long lists to do and push through and it seems like I'm a magnet and stuff keeps falling in my plate. But I'm going to get it all done and I'm going to do it with a smile on my face and peace in my heart...one way or another!

:)


*********

Lots has happened to our little family since we last were together...
My paternal grandmother - Frances Eleanor Epperson passed away at 95 years young with not a gray hair on her head. (and she didn't color her hair!) I spent every Sunday at my Grandma and Grandpa Epperson's house when I was growing up. I have very fond memories of her. I was her first grandchild and the only girl until her last grandchild was born 13 years later and was a girl too. 

She taught me many things in life, but the best was to be honest, stay busy, stand firm in your faith, be a good wife and mother and her favorite parting words - remember you are an Epperson. She was all those things and more. She made darn good fried chicken, persimmon pudding, strawberry icebox jam (that she always put on our ice cream) and out of this world caramel corn. She loved cats and I loved her. Rest in the arms of your savior Grandma. 

Grandma and Grandpa Epperson

~My Grandpa and Grandma Epperson on their wedding day~


***********

St. Patrick's Day came...
and I baked cookies for more practice! Katie helped me decorate them this time and I think we did a good job! We had fun!!

St. Paddy Day Cookies



Jacob was honored as a Panther Plus Award Winner which means he is recognized as a leader in the classroom. Way to go JAKE!

Jake Panther Plus Award


Spring Break had us going huntin'...
for a prom dress that is...here are the girls on Girls Day Out at the Cheesecake Factory, right before we bagged the dress!
I won't show a picture of Katie yet...but all I can say is: BEAUTIFUL!

Me and the girls


I finally *finished*...
my very first punch needle project. This is:


"My Black Hen"
by Teresa Kogut
and I just finished it into this door knob hanger this afternoon.My Black Hen Punch Needle

I used jute twine as the edging, after I made it into twisted cording...
My Black Hen Jute Edge

I added the sweet little black gingham bow :)
My Black Hen _ Teresa Kogut
and hung it on my NEW Pantry door!
My Black Hen on our pantry door

Yep! we had a pantry built in our kitchen...
we needed one 9 years ago, but better late than never!


all finished, but we are just waiting on the paint to cure :)



An exciting (for me) thing happened this month....
I was featured in a British Cross Stitch Magazine as a "Stitching Star" in the April Edition of 
"Cross Stitch Collection"! 
That made me smile, I've never been given the nod before from a public arena. 
~ Thank you Cross Stitch Collection Editors! ~

Magazine Shot


Whew...I'm exhausted writing about all this...
but I think (for the most part) I'm done with the "stuff" that has gone on in the last few weeks.
What's coming up?

Well Ian and Jacob...
are soon to have their Eagle Scout Court of Honor on May 3, 2015!
This is their "formal" Eagle Scout portrait that I took for their invitations and also for their large portrait that will be on display at their Court of Honor reception that I am hosting. 
~ I'm going to be completely honest here ~

I'm so proud of them I could bust.
I love them so and I know all parents adore their children so probably isn't a news flash or anything :)
I know they aren't the first kids to make Eagle Scout, certainly aren't the last. They aren't the best kids or the most talented or, etc. etc.
But they are my kids.
I've lived my whole adult life for them and my heart is so full with the blessings that they are to me that I just want to shout it to the world. I love them with my whole heart and I am so proud. 
My babies...

Ian and Jacob Eagle Scout Invitation

So with this looming on the horizon...
I have invitations to send (they are already made (by me) and ordered)
See all those badges? We bought them again and I am framing them (myself) for them as a gift for their accomplishment. That's on the list of "to do's"
make 300 cupcakes
make 300 iced decorated cookies (only one more "practice" coming up here at Easter)
make the decorations for the reception
make the food for the reception
I've got lists people...lots and lots of lists....

:)

Thank you for hanging with me! I've not had much stitching of my own to share. But I sure have been busy finishing for other people. If you are on Facebook look up my Finishing Service page where I update what I've been working on in my finishing studio. There have been lots of lovely stitches that people have stitched and I have finished. Or you can just look above in the Finishing Service tab above which links to my Flickr album. Gain some inspiration!

Until next time...
may I be the first to wish you a most blessed Easter Sunday!
I am actually off work this year. Which is the first Easter Sunday I've been off since Ellie was a baby. So I am planning up a big shindig with the family! 
There WILL BE iced cookies so stay tuned :)

I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always...
join me!
Love in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx








Monday, March 02, 2015

DIY Organization and some NEW Starts...


~ Greeting Friends and Warm Welcome!! ~ 

I hope each one of you is warm and well....
Indiana has recently been slammed by a lot of snow. We are bracing what could be a very LARGE nasty mess tomorrow (ice). But who knows?! It seems that winter predictions swing wildly and you don't know what is happening until you look out your window.

I bring to you today...
an idea that I have for organizing your stash. I have a lot of stash (hahaha!)
What about you?
:)
But today I'm talking about Over-dyed Threads stash. I have never had a good way to organize it until I saw an idea of storing scrapbook supplies on Pinterest in a similar way. I changed a couple of things and brain stormed and here we go! I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Supplies needed:
1

Cut off the top of the hanging file folder with a two inch piece left from the top:
2


Punch some holes:
(I did 1/4 inch from end; then 1 inch from punches from the end punches)
3


Alphabetize by using vinyl letters and key tags:
4

5

Sort your threads and alphabetize the load them up:
6


Hang them in your specified box!
7


Hmmm....I need Classic Colorworks "Calico Kitty". All I have to do is: turn my box to the side see where the "C's" are: 
8

and grab it out!
9

HOW easy is that?
So I did my whole over-dyed collection.
Simple.
Perfect.
Save money because you can instantly see what you have.
Threads stay neat.
No tangling!
Compact.
Saves space.
Go out. Do it. Today! Or really soon!
You'll thank yourself. 
and you'll love me ;)
hahaha!

10


So I started a new BIG project....
 It's all done in sepia/ivory tones. I'm not going to tell you what it is because I think it will be fun for you to see the picture emerge. Here's a couple of evening's worth of stitching:
New Start

I recently finished a  punch needle project for a client...
and I loved how it turned out, so I started my first punch needle project.
It is:
"My Black Hen" by Teresa Kogut Designs
My Black Hen Punchneedle

and Sunday saw....
Miss March jumping out of my big 'ol ironstone bowl. Sadly I hadn't had a chance to purchase some Four Leaf clovers yet...but I am soon :)

March LHN Calendar Girl

Finally...
I leave you with an ink and pastel drawing of Rose Luck Pony by Miss Ellie :)
she's really getting good, I think!
Ellie's Pony Ink and Pastels

How about Nashville Needlework Market?!?!?!
What are your favorites?

I am so in love with:
"Fraktur Friends" by Shakesphere's Peddler

(photo copyright by Shakesphere's Peddler)

and also...
"Giving Thanks" by Little House Needleworks

(this is going to look GREAT under my finished and framed "Needleworker" from a couple of years ago in Nashville)
(photo copyright by: Little House Needleworks)

And everything from With Thy Needle and Thread...boy Brenda Hit it out of the ballpark!

Tomorrow is my LNS Market day...
barring any catastrophe with ice and snow, Mama is going to stitch all day and she's bringing her credit card! Watch out Fancy Works! ;)

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

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cookie Escapades...

~ Greetings Friends ~
Today was THE day....the day that I decorated cookies for the very first time. Yesterday, I made the dough, I used my cookie idol's recipe which you can find here: Sweet Sugar Belle's Basic Sugar Cookie recipe.

Baking the cookies were not without some hardship...
my first batch spread... a lot. So, next batches I worked a lot more flour in and I paid attention to how it felt when I touched it. I looked for the the hints and tips Sweet Sugar Belle gave and the result was perfect cut sugar cookies. I let them "dry out" for 24 hours so that the butter would not leech into the cookies once decorated.

Today dawned...
and I hit the elliptical for my 30 minute date...(ugh!)
then I started in making the icing. Again I used my idol's recipe: Sweet Sugar Belle's Royal Icing Recipe

Making the icing was the easy part. Getting the correct consistency for piping, flooding and the 20-second icing (which in my research can be called 10-second 15-second, etc)...that is the tough part.
But I watched the Sweet Sugar Belle's YouTube videos over and over and I took the plunge! Actually, I have been watching and reading for the past 6 weeks. 

Here are the results....

First Cookie Escapade - Copy


"Hot Lips"
Hot Lips - Copy

Hot Lips zoom - Copy


"My Little SweetHearts"
My Little Loves - Copy

My Little Hearts zoom - Copy


"Love Birds"
Love Birds - Copy

Love Bird Zoom - Copy



"Dutch Tulips"
Yellow Tulips - Copy

Yellow Tulips zoom - Copy

Now...
they aren't perfect. For instance my Love Birds...the accent piping is a little sloppy. On the Hot Lips, I didn't get a good disappearing lip line on the piped edge...but I did get a good seam line and highlights! Same goes on the SweetHearts, I didn't get a good disappearing piped line and my writing needs a little work. On the Dutch Tulips, I used the 20-second icing and I think it was too runny. The green was DEFINITELY too runny.

For a first try...
I'm pretty happy. I have St. Paddy's day coming up...that's gonna be another time to practice before I have to do it for real. 

All in all...
I'm really tickled with myself at how well these turned out. I never, in a million years, thought I'd get these to look even this good. Again, not perfect, but not bad for a first go around!

I learned A LOT of lessons today and I think that means my St. Paddy's cookies might just be a bit better than these! We will see :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, while loving my neighbor as myself!
Join me!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Monday, February 09, 2015

My Valentine.....

~ Warm welcome to all my friends ~
I was overwhelmed with all the many comments and entries that was left on my 

"Be My Valentine"

post, that I must say, I felt as if I needed to make everyone a project envelope!


But....
 I'd need to hire a helper and get a bank loan for that, so instead I did the best thing I knew how and just went ahead and bought some more fabric and made two more Project Envelopes for a total of three...

So that means I have three Valentines and they are....


Linda
Ana R.
Sandi F.

I want to thank...
each and everyone of you for your kind comments, visits, friendship and the inspiration you all give to me! 

Thank you!

And until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God
and...
loving my neighbors as myself!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


Friday, February 06, 2015

Won't you be....

~ My Valentine? ~



Comments on THIS post only....
will have their name put in my heart for a chance to have this project envelope to arrive at your doorstep by St. Valentine's Day if you promise to be my Valentine. 

Please don't advertise this giveaway...
as I want it to be for the people that actually visit my blog, read my words, comment
 (a little or a lot ~ it doesn't matter
and follow me. 

This is for you, from MY heart :)

Winner will be picked by random and announced Monday, February 9. You have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 8 to enter.

Good Luck!

Love and Kisses,
Me