Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On the mend...

Dearest friends....
I am dropping in to let you all know that I did have my surgery yesterday.
I have been sent the most lovely get well wishes, notes, cards, prayers, and I know that many of you have been wondering how I have done.




I did very well...
after 9 months of dealing with severe pelvic pain, my doctor found the source of the problem. 
My surgery was to last only 1 hour. However when my doctor got inside, he found it worse than expected. I was in surgery for over 3 hours. It was found that I had severe endometriosis and scar tissue, my ovary was 4x larger than normal and my tube was damaged. He believes that I had a tubal pregnancy early this year and some of the damage was due to that event.

At this time...
I am happy to say, the surgery is behind me, my doctor told Keith that I will be good as new (minus an ovary and tube) as soon as my insides heal. He also told my husband that I was "one tough cookie" and it was apparent that I had endured a lot of pain. I was never given pain medication as all my tests had been negative, so I just endured. (Barely here the last couple of months...)

All of you have been so kind...
wishing me well and praying. You all deserved to know. I felt all of your prayers and love and good wishes yesterday as I lay awaiting my surgery.

Top of my list is just to...
rest, relax and heal! I'm letting my husband take good care of me! 
and to be honest I am using his undivided attention to my FULL advantage ;)

Besides...
from a really sore throat from my extended intubation yesterday, a big bloated tummy from the laprascopy and some minor pain, I am in really good shape. I AM enjoying my pain medication immensely! LOL!

Please...
keep me in your prayers that my pathology reports come back all clear. 

In the meantime...
top on my list is:

Thank you all so very, very much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers! God is so very good and He was so good to me yesterday! I am so very thankful and so very blessed!

Until next time....
I'm going to be resting for awhile but keeping my heart to God. You all will have to keep your hands to work in my stead. I know I'm in good hands :)
My love,
Vonna





Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Hello Autumn...

~ Greetings Friends ~ 
Here I am for a fallish update :)
I'm in the mood for a little frost on the pumpkin, especially after seeming not to really have a hot summer and all of the sudden we're in a hot, humid sauna the past few days...ugh! I'm tired of sweating...a little chill in the air would be a welcome relief!

To spur on the mood of frosty evenings...
I just finished this darling new design:

"Hallow-Day Inn"
designed by ~ Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread
Stitched on 36 ct. coffee stained (and baked) linen
Stitched with GAST, WDW and CC as charted. 

With Thy Needle and Thread_Hallow-day Inn

I finished as a wee quilted wall-hanging and I embellished the design "frame" by adding free hand embroidery of "bittersweet" :)

Hand Embroidered Bittersweet Frame

I think the bittersweet "frame" compliments the wee little bittersweet branches the witches are adding to the pot. I love those witches and they spoke to me from the first time I saw the sweet photo on Brenda's Blog announcing the design...and the big lopsided pumpkin...well that sealed the deal ;) 
How darling is that?! 

WTNT_Hallow-day Inn

And here is where it resides today...in our living room decorating our antique dresser inherited from my husband's family. I love it!

Hallow-day Inn decorating our Antique Dresser

Speaking of decorating...
I couldn't stand it anymore and put up our fall decorations. Here's a few snaps from random places around our autumn home...

Fall China Cabinet

Fall Mantle

Autumn Milk Jug

Fall in the Office

Fall Dining Room

Fall UHL Crocks

We've been hopping along here at Pfeiffer House...
it was still the middle of summer when the kids started back to school on August 4th ~ our school corporation is transitioning to year round school basically.
Here's all four Pfeiffer kids on the first day of school, with bright and shining faces:

2014-2015 School Year_all


Here is just my High Schoolers...
Katie: Junior Year
Jake (l) and Ian (r): Freshman Year

2014-2015 School Year_big kids

And the baby...
Ellie: Third Grade

2014_2015 School Year_Ellie

The big kids are in Cross Country again this year...
and here is snap of them after their first big race of the season. They all ran in the Early Bird Invitation at LaVern-Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana. They did FABULOUS!! and continue to do well. All three of them keep beating their PR (personal record) each new meet they have. We are so proud of their hard work and dedication to running. Running is a mind game and it makes them tough and mentally strong. Katie tells me she prays the whole time she is running, sounds logical to me, as I would be calling on the Lord too if I had to run a 5K :)

Pfeiffer Cross Country Season 2014

I don't know if you all have ever noticed...
but my Ellie is a card. And she's a whole lot like her Mama. The other week I was looking through my iPhone and here was a weird picture of Ellie. I asked her "what is this picture about?" and she said, "I'm posing like you did on your profile picture!"....
ha ha ha!! (Look in my sidebar to see the resemblance! LOL!)
Ellie Profile Pic

I'm sure most of you...
have seen Country Cottage Needleworks newest series! Nikki is doing a series of Ornaments called the "Classic Collection" and I am honored to be the model stitcher and finisher for the series. People they are darling! She has released the first two in the series to date and I have stitched and finished the first five of them. O my heavens! CUTE as buttons! As a courtousy to Nikki and also to all of you that need a little help, I have created tutorials to teach you how to do the finishing for the series. The first two are up on my tutorial blog: Learn to Finish with The Twisted Stitcher
Look for: CCN "Angels" and CCN "Dear Santa"
and if you haven't signed up at your Needlework Shop of choice to get these monthly designs, RUN to get them today! ;)

CCN Ornaments

I have some things coming up...
in the next few weeks. I'm having surgery. I've been having some female issues and all testing and ultrasounds have shown nothing, but pain persists and its getting worse, so I am scheduled for an exploratory laprascopy on September 15. Please keep me in your prayers. The doctor is pretty sure that it is likely scar tissue from my C-sections, but he doesn't know for sure of course and always niggling in the back of someone's mind is...well you know. So...prayers are appreciated :) Thank you!

Also...
I don't know that I'll be back much before Christmas...I know, I know...but I have had lots of e-mails and questions about "are you going to do the 25 days of Christmas with the Twisted Stitcher?" and the answer is: I'm sure gonna try, really hard! And to do that, I have to plan and execute 25 days worth of goodies to share. :)

So until next time...
I'll be stitching and thinking up good stuff, while I keep my hands to work and heart to God, just like always! Please think of me on September 15 and send some prayers up to heaven for me that all is well!
Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Monday, August 04, 2014

The 2014 Monroe County Fair....


~ Hello Friends ~ 
I know that many of you are awaiting my 2014 Fair Results and look forward to what the judges told me and what my own comments are on each entry. I turned in 19 entries into 4 different divisions. I will break down each division and give comments from judges and how I scored and then give any comments that I have of my own. I mean, fair is fair, I deserve to give my own 0.02 worth too!

A note on awards:
  • All Open Class entries receive either A first place, second place or third place ribbon.
  • One Champion and one Reserve Champion ribbon can be given in each CLASS; if merited
  • Honor ribbons are picked from ENTRY first place winners
  • One Grand Champion and one Reserve Grand Champion will be given in each DIVISION
Alright with that out of the way...
LET'S GO!


Creative Crafts Division
Recycled Item Class
Entry: Altoid Tin Sewing Case

Scoring sheet results:
Recycled Items Class: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Very good
Attention to Detail: Very Good
Originality/Design: Very Good
Entry Operates Properly (If Applicable): Very Good
Proportional to its Function: Very Good
Entry is Complete: Very Good
Sturdy/Solid for Intended Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments: 
Very useful!! Great craftsmanship!

Award Received: 
Blue
Honor 

My Comments:
:)
Creative Crafts_Recycled Items


________________________________________


Mixed Media Division
Paper Class
Entry: Halloween Paper Mache Door Decoration

Scoring Sheet results:
Clean and undamaged: Very Good
Cleanliness/Workmanship: Good
Artistic Balance: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Durable for Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Really cute project! Lots of glue showing. Nice use of mixed media. Finish the inside. 

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I agree with everything they said. There is some glue showing on the berries and on the witches broom. The inside is not finished, but it is a door decoration so I did not paint the inside of the cone on the witches hat. Agree with everything. 
Mixed Media_Paper Class


___________________________________________

Tin Item Class
Entry: Tin Snowflake Decorator Piece

Scoring Sheet Results:
Clean and Undamage: Very Good
Cleanliness/Workmanship: Very Good
Artistic Balance: Very Good
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Durable for Purpose: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Make sure ribbon is even. Nice stitching. 

Award Received:
Blue 
and
Honor

My comments:
:)
Mixed Media_Tin Decorator Item

_______________________________

Holidays at the Fair Division
Ornaments Class
Entry: Santa Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Beautiful

Award Received: 
Blue
and 
Honor

My comments:
:)
Hoidays at the Fair_Santa Ornament Set


_______________________________________


Ornaments Class
Entry: Angel Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Useful and neat

Award Received:
Blue
and 
Honor

My comments:
Uhhh...."useful and neat" (?!) judge must of been getting tired... but I'll take it! 
:)
Holidays at the Fair_Angel Ornament


______________________________________


Ornaments Class
Entry: Single Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Pretty

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
Hmmmm.....???
Holidays at the Fair_Single Ornament


___________________________________________


Ornaments Class
Entry: Snowman Ornament

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Good work

Award Received:
Blue
and
Honor

My Comments:
I agree :)
Holidays at the Fair_Snowman Ornament


____________________________________


Ornaments Class
Entry: Other; Non-Specified Theme

Scoring Sheet Results:
Originality: Very good
Choice of Material: Needs Improvement -
**with comment: "POOR COLOR CHOICE!" (written in all caps)
Structural Design: Good
Workmanship: Good

Judges Comment:
Cute

Award Received: 
Red

My Comments:
Well...here we go again with the color choice. Let me just state right now that it clearly states in all of the Open Class rules that color choices ARE NOT supposed to enter into the judging. It is only supposed to be judged on intent, purpose, design, workmanship, etc. ~ not color choice. I got dinged last year on a beautiful set of ornaments submitted to the Needle Arts category because of my use of black ribbon on them. Is this the end of the world...no.

**Interesting side note though...yesterday when I went to pick up my entries, the supervisor of the Holidays at the Fair Division apologized for the red ribbon. She told me that she did not agree with how the whole Division had been judged. She told me I had gorgeous things and to please, please come back next year.... I assured her I would, as Christmas and Holidays in general were my "thing" and that she could bet her bottom dollar, I'd be back, a second place ribbon was not a big deal, I had many other wonderful ribbons. Although as I write this, I'm wondering what got Champion and Reserve Champion for the Ornaments Class?? I never saw them...hmmm...maybe there was deeper issues than my red ribbon?
Holidays at the Fair_Ornament Unspecified


__________________________________



Soft Home Holiday Decorator Items Class
Entry: Stocking

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Originality: Very Good
Choice of Material: Very Good 
**with comment written: "clever"
Decorative Design: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Cute

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I'm happy with blue, but the judge needs to get a Thesaurus...there are more adjectives than "cute".

Holidays at the Fair_Felt Stocking


______________________________________________


Decorator Items Class
Entry: Christmas Picture

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Choice of Material: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Great

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
Cute
:)
Holidays at the Fair_Decorator Items


_____________________________




Holiday Soft Home Accessories Class
Entry: Wall Hanging

Scoring Sheet Results:
Usefulness: Very Good
Originality: Very Good
Decorative Design: Very Good
Workmanship: Very Good
Finish: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Very well done

Award Received:
Blue
Honor
Champion

My Comments:
YAY!

Holidays at the Fair_Holiday Soft Home Accessories Wallhanging

Ok Folks....
NOW we get to the meat of the entries...the Needle Arts Division. I so badly (SO BADLY) want to be the Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion of the Needle Arts Division. In the Needle Arts Division you are against the following "types" of needle art: 
Tatting
Knitting
Crochet
Needlepoint
Plastic Canvas
Embroidery
Hand Applique
Bead Work
Needle Punch
Cross Stitch
Now, I'm cool with all the things that actually use needle and thread. But I personally think knitting, tatting and crochet need to have its own division. How can one judge a knitted/crochet/tatted piece against a needle and thread piece? I don't know...but that's the game.

Needle Arts Division

Cross Stitch; Other Items Class
Entry: Non-Traditional Finishing

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Good

Judges Comments:
Unique presentation

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
This was the first comment card I opened for my Needle Arts submissions and knew it was going to be a long hard road to get through them. The comment from judge was: "Unique presentation" and I got a "good" mark for Unique Presentation of Exhibit? Hmmm....gonna be a long day....
And also notice...no comment on my actual cross stitching..
NeedleArts_Non-Traditional Finishing


______________________________________



Cross Stitch Other Items Class
Entry: Perforated Paper

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Unique idea; well done on paper, watch crispness of cross stitches

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
"crispness"....
NeedleArts_XS Perforated Paper


________________________________________________



Counted Cross Stitch; Other Items Class
Entry: Pillow

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Very Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Very Good
Attention to Detail: Very Good

Judges Comments:
Excellent work on 40 count - all stitches can be seen, no sinking-

Award Received:
Blue
Champion

My Comments:
I'm over the moon with the Champion, and her "excellent work on 40 count" is a true compliment; however left blank on the scoring sheet is "Unique Presentation of Exhibit" I feel that this is one of the main things about this entry is the "unique presentation" yet no comment about that. Oh well...happy, happy!
NeedleArts_ XS Pillow Class


_____________________________________________



Christmas Needlework Class
Entry: Picture

Scoring Sheet Results: 
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
NONE given

Award Given: 
Blue

My Comments:
No comment.
NeedleArts_Christmas Picture


_______________________________________



Christmas Needlework Class
Entry: Ornaments

Scoring Sheet Results:
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Needs Improvement
Unique Presentation of Exhibit: Very Good

Judges Comments:
well finished and shows off design; inconsistency in tension of cross stitches that creates unevenness, some are not complete crosses

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
Here we go on tension, (although I will say this year is a new judge, apparently). I want to address two things: the incomplete crosses, I'd love to be shown where they are, I have looked with a magnifying glass and cannot find them. The second thing I'd like to address is the "unevenness". These are done on 40 ct. with a mix of overdyed threads and DMC. This "unevenness" is not from inconsistency in tension (you cannot see where my needle came up or went down - so tension is fine) the "puffiness" or whatever of the stitching is due to the mix of overdyes and DMC. Has anyone else ever noticed that occasionally overdyed threads are flatter than DMC? They lay flatter than DMC. Like they are stretched flat when dried or something? I notice it from time to time....but whatever...my bad, I guess. I pay VERY close attention to my tension because for the past 4 years I've been boinked on the head about it year after year from the fair judges, these ornaments are beautiful and deserve greater than a blue ribbon.
NeedleArts_Christmas Needlework


______________________________________________



Creative Items Class
Entry: Special Item other than Christmas

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
watch evenness of stitches

Award Received:
Blue

My comments:
Again no mark given for "Unique Presentation of Exhibit" and this darn judge is telling me about "unevenness" of stitches again....Again, the use of a mix of overdyes from different companies and DMC. Maybe some of my X's aren't perfect. So I'll take one for the team. Still irritates me that the "unique presentation" was not marked nor mentioned. Isn't that a part of "creativity"?
NeedleArts_Creative Items


_______________________________________



Framed Cross Stitch Class
Entry: Small framed

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Needs Improvement

Judges Comments:
Sweet design, cross stitches are uneven, laying the threads would help

Award Received:
Blue

My Comments:
I agree that the cross stitches ARE uneven...I stitched this when I was basically blind, after my Lasik procedure in January. So it was a poor example and not my best stitching. Totally agree. But hey, ho: a shout out to Lizzie Kate..."sweet design"! Even though the stitcher obviously sucks! HA HA!
NeedleArts_Framed Small



_______________________________________




Framed Cross Stitch Class
Entry: Sampler

Scoring Sheet Results:
Overall Appearance: Good
Presentation of Fabric: Good
Workmanship/Neatness: Good
Attention to Detail: Good

Judges Comments:
Fine work, each cross stitch is seen, especially the house - there is no pulling of fabric, excellent on 36 count. 

Award Received: 
Blue 
Honor
Champion

My Comments:
Well I wonder if the judge knows that the dipshit that stitched all those poor examples of uneven stitching above actually stitched this sampler? And if this is the Champion entry for all the framed class, WHY?! did I not get one "VERY GOOD" mark on the score sheet? If this is a "fine work" piece as she wrote......then why is there not at least ONE very good mark? Mind blowing...

NeedleArts_Framed Sampler


So here is my ribbons for the 
2014 Monroe County Fair....
and again this year there is:
NO GRAND CHAMPION
NO RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION
ribbon laying in the pile....

2014 Monroe County Fair Ribbons won by me


Just a few words about entering the fair and personal things about me....
I am a very competitive person. When I do something, I put a lot of effort into it. I expect myself to be the best I can be. Period. So if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it and do it right. If my name is attached to it, its going to be as perfect; or as perfect as I can make it be from imperfect human hands. If I'm not doing it right and I love it, then that means I'm going to research, practice, figure out and try, try try to do it better than anyone out there. 
THIS is a personal flaw, I know....ha ha ha! :)

But...
It explains why I get down when I don't see my work (especially when I have so much success outside the fair with my cross stitching) win the Grand or Reserve Grand Champion ribbon.  But I guess it isn't perfect yet ~ so more work, more practice is needed! And I'll do it! You cannot be a Grand Champion with sub par work. 

I'll admit...
that after the fair there are occasions that I do get upset when I read the comments. Its a blow to one's pride, for sure. You go in confident, thinking that your work is just pretty as a picture. And I come home a week later and read the comment cards and think...boy I stink! Its a blow sometimes. I mean come on its human...and I can't be the only person out there that can, at times, get their feelings hurt!

Having your items judged...
therefore, is a practice in humility. And being a Christian, humility is part of my faith. It is what Jesus taught. And that is a major part of my struggle in life on many different levels  - denying self, denying pride and becoming humble. I try, but I fail. 

When one practices humility...
however, it makes one realize that these judges are humans too. They took precious time away from their lives to come to Monroe County to judge other's work. It was a big job. They are human too. They have frailties just like anyone else. They are not perfect. But they did the best job they could do. And for that, I am sincerely grateful.

This is my 4th year....
to enter. And I don't want to be greedy, I've had great success in all the fairs my entries have competed. Entering into the fair has taught me invaluable lessons in life....but also I have become a better stitcher, a better finisher, a better person. Because buddy, its hard to take criticism; but to take that criticism and put to good use, that's the way to do it. 

So...
the fair is a lesson in life and that is why I keep entering. One day, after trying really hard and hopefully getting it right (eventually) here on earth. I hope to enter the pearly gates of heaven too. And hopefully when I enter, St. Peter will say: Vonna Pfeiffer, welcome our good and humble servant....and GRAND CHAMPION NEEDLE ARTS WINNER AT THE MONROE COUNTY FAIR!!!!
*but I'm not there yet...not even close! Maybe someday....

Ha! ha! 
:)

May it be so!

Until next time my dear followers...
consider entering in your county fair. Its a practice in humility. But its also a preservation of hand work that is losing ground in our young people every day that passes. Promote our art!

And until then, I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always! Join me!
Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

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