Friday, May 30, 2008

Home....

HOME: (definition): 1. one's place of residence 2. familiar surroundings.

All I can say is: It's good to be HOME....we went on a 4 day mini vacation with the kids from Tuesday until this evening and I never wished nor longed for a place more than HOME! ;)

We went to Holiday World and Splashing Safari two days in a row, we stayed 4 days and 3 nights at Lake Rudolph in a King Size RV...sound luxurious...not really....we went to Blue Springs Caverns and we rounded out the vacaton at Abe Lincoln's Boyhood National Memorial.

Holiday World and Splashing Safari (formerly called "Santa Claus Land" when I was a youngster) is the best amusement park around in my honest opinion. It's clean, it's fun and the owners focus on family - what more could you ask for? Lake Rudolph is owned by the same family as Holiday World and the RV's were fun for the kids, we ate hot dogs and made smores around the campfire each evening. What a hoot we had! Blue Springs Caverns, is just a hop skip and jump from our home, but we'd never been there and it was relaxing and informational, and brought out the adventurer in all of us and Lincoln Boyhood Memorial made me proud not only to be an American but a Hoosier (Indiana Resident). Although Keith and I have been many times to Lincoln's boyhood home, (every Southern Indiana child has a field trip to this site during 4th grade Indiana History), our children had never been and I must say - I've not been for probably 10 years and they've made some super upgrades to the homesite itself and had a knowledgeable, period dressed "Thomas Lincoln" at the homesite and he gave lots of great information to the visitors. They also added lots of farm animals and the kids got a hoot out of the cows, sheep and chickens. Ellie chased this poor hen around the perimeter of the fence about 10 times before the hen finally found an escape route! Exhausting, but a lovely time with the family...no phones, no t.v. just good together time, well spent!

Now on to the secret stitching I've done of late.....

First up: I stitched up this monochromatic design for the Make a Wish Board and specifically for my wisher - Andrea. She asked for a Quaker design stitched monochromatically in any color and finished as a pinkeep - this is what I stitched for her:

Designer: A Mon Ami Pierre
Design: Octagonal Quaker Heart
Thread: DMC 115
Fabric: Sassy's Creamy Cocoa 32 ct.
Finished as: a Heart Shaped Pinkeep

Next Up: I had an exchanger on the Fair and Square board that didn't receive a set of squares, so I stitched up these for her:


Designer: Lizzie Kate
Design: Freebie from website entitled "Count Your Blessings"
Stitched on 32 Ct. Sassy's French Vanilla Lugana
Fibers: DMC
Stitched for Darla of Fair and Square

Next Up: I participated in the Fourth of July Fair and Square Special Holiday Exchange and stitched this for my partner, Kim S.:

Designer: Lizzie Kate

Design: Liberty for All

Stitched on: 32 ct. Tan Marble Sassy's Fabbys

Stitched for Kim S. of Fair and Square

Ok folks...well that's all for me for today....I was behind on reading blogs prior to my vacation and I'm disheartened at the reader's numbers today (993!)....thank you for your continued visits, well wishes, kind comments and everything...rest assured I WILL (I think I can, I think I can...) catch up and visit you back....thank you too for all my new readers...I've had a couple of you leave comments and I've added you to my list to read....I appreciate you all so much and you don't know what your kind thoughts and words mean to me!

Until next time my dear friends, stitch and live with joy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some Stitching to share....

Our neighbors and good friends are celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday, May 25th. So in honor of their special occasion, I stitched up this:


Designer: Little House Needleworks - Diane Williams
Design: Always and Forever
Fabric: 32 ct. Belfast my own personal hand-dye job
Fiber: Sparklies - Topaz
Finished as: Flatfold
I hope this brings them much joy! Every stitch was crossed with love and well wishes for them. The design is perfect and once again I've added this one to my own list. Diane just doesn't have a bad design does she? She's pure gold.
On a personal note, this is my kids last "official" day of school. They have their awards ceremonies, so being the mother of twins not in the same classroom...I have to run back and forth between their classrooms and doing hand signals to their teachers so that I can see what all they've been awarded. The twins have their ceremony first thing this morning. Katie's is this afternoon. And I can just sit and look pretty (my Grandma always said that...."all you have to do is sit and look pretty!").....LOL! brings a smile to my face thinking of her....Anyway...I'm excited to see what the Pfeiffer kids bring home this year. News and pictures to follow, I'm sure....
Until then, my friends, stitch with joy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The BEST things in life...

The BEST things in life are those small tokens of little material value but given straight from the heart....this is what my daugther, Katie, gave me today after school. Made just for me for my birthday (which is more than a month away but couldn't wait to give it to me). It is glazed clay, molded by her own little hands - a Mama bluebird (my favorite color) in a nest:


I very nearly cried....my precious girl knows me so well....
Until next time....I'm still trying to click away at the blog comments!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Makin' Plans....

Hello Friends....I'm jumping in for a quick "drive" by post....I'm still chasing my tail like a - well I don't know what...but like something! LOL! Yesterday as I was trying to knock down my Google reader numbers....YIKES - you people are prolific!....I stopped for a visit at dear BeckySC's and I saw that she was starting something from the recent Cross Stitch and Needlework Mag that I had set aside for doing myself! She asked about anyone wanting to SAL and although I've not been a very good stitcher at all of late, I decided to jump in the fray with her! :) I believe my other dear buddy AmySC is going to play with us too! I'm seeing a trend here, or maybe a "pattern" as my kids say...maybe I should be called VonnaIN or Vonna TTS (the twisted stitcher) but I think that "Vonna" is unique...not many of those running around, huh?

So to start a SAL you have to have the perfect fabric right? Well I didn't have any - and didn't want the boring antique white that it called for. I'm an aged/used looking lover and just like sweet Edgar says...."splotchy does it for me"...well it does it for me too.. and I didn't have anything really around that I wanted so...I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and picked up some linen and some RIT. Prior to my blogging days and when I was on a Lizzie Kate kick I used to RIT all my own fabric into those wild colors (orange, purple, blue....) well I've not done it for years....I got on the coffee/tea dying bandwagon and added my own basting and baking procedure to the linen...but I didn't want to have to do that last night (that takes a long time and you have to stand with the linen so it doesn't burn)...so RIT it was - Here's the outcome:

#1 attempt
25 ct. I used RIT tan and RIT Cocoa Brown
I twisted it and dipped in Cocoa Brown, and then dipped in Tan...rinsed; twisted it a different way and repeated; rinsed; repeat above steps a few times.
It's a little splochy, but more even than what I was going for. Nice attempt...will use it for something....not what I was wanting....but good try! Grade: B-


Attempt #2
Used RIT tan and RIT Cocoa Brown again. This time I:
put whole shebang into Tan pot soaked for 1 minute - got it out - wrung it out twisted it - and dipped into Cocoa Brown - wrung it out - repeated the twisting in a different area - dipped - wrung - twist - dip -wrung - twist - dip....then rinsed, rinsed, rinsed....hung to dry...today the above is what I got! Darn near PERFECTION! It's splotchy...looks like it's been through the wringer, a mud puddle, had some coffee spit on it, PERFECT! AND if I may say so myself it's pretty darn close to the R&R Linens Creek Bed Brown that everyone raves about. (psst...and it's a heck of a lot cheaper!)

Here's the floss toss with pattern, fibers and my fabric - pretty darn good isn't it?! I'm excited!!!

And while I was at Hobby Lobby I decided to stock up on my good 'ol monochromatic favorite DMC 115....hmm....I've got lots of ideas my pretties :)

So there ya go....go out and buy some linen and RIT and go to town....heck have a party! I'm DEFINITELY going to do it again the next time I'm going to try a yellowish (golden)/Cocoa brown combo and see what rules the day! I'll let you know ;)

Until next time my dear friends....stitch with joy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hello Friends!

First off, I need to apologize for neglecting everyone's blogs...I have over 600 posts that you busy stitcher's have been posting all about and I'm so far behind....I'm trying to catch up, but as soon as I get the number down a bit, I refresh and its back up! LOL!

I've been very busy, and to not get in the gory details I'll just let your imaginations run wild ;) Let's just say there's been a lot of working between my two outside of the home jobs, a lot of baseball games, award ceremonies, end of year parties (scouts/school), teacher luncheons, spelling bees.....

Thank you for all the notes that some of you have been sending me asking if I'm ok....I'm ok alright, just have worked every weekend for the past 9 weekends...(GEESH!) and I've done very little stitching...I'm behind on that too....

You all need to go and check out Diane Williams' latest designs coming out...I'm thrilled speechless with the new "Little Women" Thread Packs, plus there is information on her website about new designs coming out...including a Little House "villiage" that is using designs/motifs from previously published designs to look reminiscent of a Neighborhood Round Robin! Plus another newbie is entitled "Embroidery Guild" and she's coming out with a new line called "All Dolled Up!" Guess it's a good thing that I've been working a lot, huh?! Of course any news about new designs from LHN is a cause for celebration and a quickening of my heartbeat ;) Anyway go check her website out at: Little House Needleworks While you are there check out the Stitcher's Finishes Page...our lovely Su is the latest lucky lady to be showcased on the site! CONGRATS SU!!!

I hate to post with out pictures, so I'm going to post some finishes I've recently done for client's from my finishing service. All are varied and lovely and I won't steal their thunder and say who's finish is who's I'll let them display them on their own blogs - some of them don't have blogs, but some do. I'll let the pictures do the talking :)

Until next time my dear friends, keep stitching and I'll be by to visit you ALL soon...I promise!







Saturday, May 03, 2008

Q-snaps Trick

Hello Friends! I've had a few personal e-mails and a couple of people comment on the fabric seen on my waiting Q-snaps as seen here in this picture:

Well, it was a trick that I learned from someone else and I gave it a try....here's what it looks like when I'm actually stitching:


The reason I do it is:
  1. If I have to move my Q-snap around, I feel it protects my other stitches and they won't get smooshed
  2. The primary reason I use it though is because it keeps the fabric *very* taut - and if it does slip, you just give the the "snaps" a little twist and it's back to being really taut

The colored "fabric" on the Q-snaps is just 10 cents craft felt....nothing special, I just buy it and cut it into strips and there ya go...instant tautness! Now if only my Oil of Olay worked as well!

Give it a try you Q-snap lovers....you'll never go back to naked snap stitching ;)

Until next time......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A garden rich in flowers

Hello Friends....nothing like a good night's rest and sunny day to turn a frown to a smile ;) I'm feeling much more like my good 'ol self today! Plus it never hurts to get up and remember: HEY it's the first of the month that means The Gift of Stitching comes out today! And this issue doesn't disappoint! Congrats to Tanya of "The Sampler Girl" and Monique for her exclusive Jane Austen thread holder featured with Tanya's pattern. Lovely things girls!


I wanted to share with you what my sweet husband gifted me with for our anniversary:




Two Dozen Red Roses


Then when I was purchasing a gift for a dear friend's birthday I thought it may as well be my birthday too and I bought myself this:



Old Fashioned Hydrangea Bush

(hopefully to be transplanted in my flower garden)


And then I had my last Girl Scout meeting on Monday and my sweet BFF Kelly gave me this:



If you can't tell....it's a rose bush - Kelly says everything dies that she buys in the way of flowers


I'm nursing this one a long and there is one viable bud near the top of the bush...fingers crossed this one will go in my garden too!



And finally, a sweet mother of one of my Girl Scouts last week came to our door bearing this for Katie:


Flowers for Katie from the Forrest family


Here's the garden rich in flowers on my dining room table:




Lastly I'm not much into meme's but I shamelessly stole this one from dear Kendra over at the Stitching Hour....I liked it and thought I'd participate....Kendra and I grew up near the same city/town and I feel a special bond to her for that reason. If you've never visited Kendra go give her a holler!



Stitching Meme:

Who taught you to stitch and were there any special circumstances/memories surrounding this?


I taught myself to stitch at the age of 15 (1985). I was visiting my Dad for a couple of weeks at his house and I think I must of looked bored or something. My step-mother gave me two little kits of Teddy Bears that she had gotten from K-mart I believe. One said Good Night and one said Sleep Tight. I took those kits and read all the directions and off I went stitching!! Here are the finished products; even in some little yellow plastic frames that my Mom bought at 3-D (like Target):


What's your favorite kind of thing to stitch? (A project, kind of stitching, etc.)

Well I know you all know I'm nut-so over Little House Needleworks, but I also enjoy Blackbird Designs...I like rustic, primitive looking items that compliments my home. But really most anything appeals to me, besides cartoons, etc. What it comes down to is: my home is my castle and I treat it as such, I want it furnished with items that make me happy. So everytime I start to stitch something for myself, I think of what I'm going to do with it, how it will look, etc. So my favorite stitch is anything that will accent my home and personalize it and make it mine.

What do you stitch?

Stitching for me is my "Calgon moment". I'm centered by it, it quiets my mind, soothes my soul, it is my friend. The "what" of the stitching means little to me - it's the "why" that I'm most interested in. (plus this question is sort of answered above in question two)

What is your special stitching time?

When lunch is done, Ellie is napping and it's me and my needle and thread. I stitch from 12 (noon) until 3 p.m. basically every day. Of course there are days that this doesn't happen...but I strive for this daily. And really I stitch basically all day long whenever I get a few spare moments. But the 12 - 3 stretch is Mama's time :)

Where is your special stitching place? (an accompanying picture would be nice)

My Special stitching place is in our family room right by the window. We recently were given a couch and chair from my Dad and Stepmom so I put the chair by my stitching chair. Now Keith and I have a "conversation" area for when we want to talk in the evenings. My chair is by a window and I look out on the goings on of the neighborhood as I stitch. Plus I have all my little accessories and personal things I need to stitch right there handy....


You can see my stitching table has the "Lemon Recipe Box" that holds my scissors, I have my Ball Jar "orts" bin, my current book on CD (which is The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory) and if you look on the floor there is my selection of varying Q-snaps just waiting to be used.



Also beside my stitching chair is a sweing chest that my Pap made in 1927 for my great grandmother (his Mother). He was 14 years old and it's weathered many a years and my Mama gave it to me when I got married. She and my Granny (her Mama) decopauged it and added some fancy gold stuff (my Granny liked flash) sometime in the 70's...If you see that little girl on the horse there on the side...it's not me, but I always thought it was when I was little. It's so quaint that I love it just like it is...it sits beside me as I stitch and is a special heirloom I'm proud to own!

Alrighty then folks, that's all I have today....I got a gift certificate to Subway, for my last ever Girl Scout meeting...and I think I feel a hankering for a sub today! Until Next time....stitch with joy for it's the small things in life that bring fulness to it!