Monday, December 27, 2010

Ornaments to share...

Glad tidings....
to all my dear friends and readers! I hope that this finds you all well and filled to the brim with happiness! We had a lovely quiet Christmas enjoying each other, and it was made even more special by the lovely surprises that landed in my mailbox. Please take a look at all these lovelies.

Red House in Winter by dear Faye:

Faye's Ornament

Cardinal mitten by the sweet Julianne :
Julianne's Ornie

A gorgeous sewn ornament from the clever Harmien :
Harmien's Ornament

Harmien's Ornament _ back


And a gorgeous tatted ornament from the generous and kind Cathy :

Cathy's Ornament

And on Christmas Day...
in betwixt cooking like a woman possessed and work at the hospital, I stitched up and finished this oldie but goodie:
Little by Little _Good Tidings

"Good Tidings"
Designer: Cynthia Bradford of Little by Little Designs
Taken from: Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue Magazine 1997
Copyright 1997
Stitched with mixture of Weeks Dye Works and DMC as called for
Stitched on: 36 ct. Pearled Barley Lakeside
Finished as an Ornament

Since I probably...
won't be getting anything else done this week, I'm going to go ahead and give my 2010 wrap up. This year I stitched and finished / framed 58 items. I had a few large finishes. I had a lot of starts and about everything I wanted to accomplish for this year - I didn't!  Ain't that the way? *smiles* 
So what are my goals for 2011? Well....I'm going to limit my purchases. I just went through and cleaned/organized my craft room after the mad fury of my finishing clients projects had all been mailed away, I found that I have a LOT of WIP/UFO that are languishing away in various stages of stitching. So many beautiful things that as I looked at them, I wondered why I ever stopped stitching them. I also have beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful charts that I have collected and purchased over the last 10 years that I think...WHY??? am I not stitching these? So....2011 will be the year of the WIP/UFO and stitching from predominantly my stash. I'm not going to put any "rules" on myself, because let's be honest folks - I won't follow them. I'm just going to do what I can with what I have and rediscover old loves that may have faded from view for awhile. To help me in this devotion...ahem! I joined the "up for a challenge blog" (link in my sidebar along with my list of UFOs - please don't think less of me after you see the list...I'm a little embarassed).

Ornaments...
every year as I put up and then take down my tree I love to look at all my stitched and handmade ornaments. Each one a tribute to something and someone dear in my life. So as I do every year and fail (!) - although this year I did have quite a few ornaments stitched for my tree - I'm redevoting myself to stitching for me for my Christmas tree. I would L-O-V-E to have an entire tree devoted to Prairie Schooler Santas. Ah...a real dream I've dreamed for years now.... AND I know that I cannot possibly stitch an entire tr ee worth with in one year, but I can stitch 6 or more of them (fingers crossed). So I bought me some of that burlap stuff that the monthly Santa's are stitched on and guess what...got the first 4 from the 1980's kitted and ready to go! 

So Vonna's 2011 stitching goal is to:
  • stitch from my stash; tighten my belt on spending on new stash - but no rules
  • finish some of the languishing WIP/UFO which one of them is the first linen project I ever started and it is gorgeous...it has lain in a drawer since 1997 (GASP!)  nearly complete....I'm finishing it this year. Mark my word!
  • stitch a whole lotta ornaments for my trees next year
I am going....
to start a NEW project on Dec. 31 - as that is customary for me to do each year - its a tradition! Then it is back on the wagon of working from my stash, on my UFOs and ornaments. Speaking of which...I've seen the first 6 ornaments from Little House Needleworks and let me tell you...this year's selections so far...EXCELLENT! You won't be disappointed ;o) and you'll have to take my word on it.... but the first one in the series should be released sometime soon! And it is CUTE!

Until next time...
My family and myself wish you all nothing but the brightest, blessed, happy and healthy of New Years! May your year be filled with nothing but sunshine and rainbows! And while the New Year is rung in, I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God stitching away. How many will be joining me?
Hugs and love,
Signature

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Holiest of Nights....

A very Merry Christmas....
to all my faithful followers, friends, family and readers!

Homespun Elegance "Holiest of Nights"

Homespun Elegance "Holiest of Nights" Flatfold


Holiest of Nights
Designer: Sandra Sullivan ~ Homespun Elegance
Copyright: 2010
Stitched on: 28 ct. hand-dyed Vonna linen
Stitched with of GAST, Crescent Colours and DMC
Finished as: Flatfold


Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2: 8-14


Until next time....
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God!
Hugs and love,
Signature

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twinkler Ornament...

I had a person comment about my Grandparent's ornament that I discussed yesterday - stating that she had a similar ornament on her childhood tree and that it couldn't be over 60 years old as she was definitely not 60. So I did some research today - thinking that I had inadvertently mislead my readers.

Here is a picture of similar ornaments that my Grandparents had on their tree for years. We have family pictures and home movies of my mother (born in 1949) by the tree as an infant with these ornaments hanging on it. I found this excerpt written in an antique guide:
"These Christmas ornaments were manufactured in the late 1940's - 1950's by the Tinkle Toy Company (a division of Plakie Toys) in Youngstown, Ohio. The ornaments are referred to by many names: birdcage, carousel, spinner, twinkler, twirler....the list goes on. What is amazing about these ornaments are that they are made of plastic with the exception of the metal spinner (pinwheel, twirler, etc.) that is inside the ornament. Back in the day these ornaments were placed above the multi-colored lights (bulbs) on the Christmas tree. The heat from the bulbs would make the spinner in the ornament spin. Unfortunately, the heat from the bulbs often melted parts of the ornament. Today, we have bulbs that look like the old, hot bulbs, but they burn much cooler. These are referred to as C7 bulbs. These bulbs do not give off enough heat to melt these old ornaments, but they do have enough heat to make them spin."

Being my mother is presently 62 years old - family pictures and this product statement found in the antique guide - my statement of my Grandparent's ornament being over 60 years old was valid.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Tree...

Happy Hump Day...
we're battening down our hatches for another round of fridgid cold, snow and ice here in good old Southern Indiana, so I thought I'd take a moment to share with you our Christmas Tree.

On Monday...
I found a package in my mailbox from the sweet Amy and when I opened it I found two lovely special things to put on my tree! First:

Amy's Ornie to Me

And then this:
Amy's Angel Ornie to Me

Thank you Amy!!! I admired them on your blog without knowing they would soon join me :) Love them bunches!

Since I pulled....
the camera out, I thought I'd share with you our tree. So here it is (picture heavy). Our tree contains 99% handmade ornaments from our children, family and friends - with just a few personal family ornaments that are not handmade but have been given to us because of the birth of our children or some special event marking our lives.

Angel

Our Tree 1

Our Tree 2

Notice the orange star twirling ornament both right above and below in these pictures...this ornament is probably over 60 years old. From my grandparent's tree.

Our Tree 3

Our Tree 4

Our Tree 5

The paper Rudolph  and a ruler (?) appeared on my tree recently....see them near the bottom - that is Ellie's handiwork :)

Our Tree 6

Our Tree 7

Our Tree 8

Our Tree 9

See the big white stamped cookie? It's a salt dough ornament that Katie made in the 1st grade. And the snowy pinecone ornament close by on the left from one of the twins preschool days.

Our Tree 10

The little house in the middle of this picture is painted ceramic and made by my Granny.

Our Tree 11

Looking through the pictures you'll notice these handpainted ball ornaments all dipicting a biblical scene and a bible verse....these are my most cherished ornaments and made by the talented hands of my sister-in-law, Susan.

Painted

As a bride, setting up the tree the first year of our marriage, my mother-in-law gave me a box of ornaments from Keith's childhood. Imagine my surprise when I pulled out this red pretzel thing. What is this? I asked looking at Keith - who told me it was a scouts Christmas activity that he made as a young cub scout...now Christmas just isn't Christmas without the Christmas pretzel! :)
Christmas Pretzel

And our marriage was meant to be, when I found that I had made a clothes pin ballerina ornament as a young child and Keith had made a clothes pin hiker man ornament as a young child....now they hang together every Christmas season and during the off season they are stored together - it was destiny!
Ballerina and Hiker

And our very first married Christmas together I purchased this Lady and the Tramp ornament because it is my favorite Disney movie and little did I know that one day....I'd have 4 rascals myself - just like Lady and her Tramp....

Lady and the Tramp

Thanks for allowing me to share my tree and treasured ornaments with you!

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God!
Hugs and love,
Signature

Monday, December 13, 2010

Travelling Stitcher...

Happy Monday....
to my sweet friends, readers and blog followers :) I hope your season has been bright to date. We've been hit with lots of frigid weather and snow...but I must admit that I love it! So quiet, peaceful and clean looking (at least for a day or so!).
A special friend....
I have a sweet, dear person in my life, that I am proud to call my friend. I've never seen her face to face, but she is a sister of my heart. She does the nicest things for me and her birthday is coming up at the very end of the year and I thought and thought and thought about what I could do for her that would be something as special as she is to me. So I came up with this idea:

Little House Needleworks "Travelling Stitcher" Basket

"The Travelling Stitcher"
Designed by: Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
Nashville Market Limited Edition 2009 Release
Copyright 2009
stitched on: 28 ct. ivory evenweave
stitched using: Crescent Colours Cotton Overdyes
Made into a stitchers carry all basket set

My friend is....
Marie P. and we met a handful of years ago in an exchange group. Marie e-mailed me and we started e-mailing each other and we've been fast friends ever since. Now Marie has a sweet family and her two sons are grown up, so she can play and go special places doing the things she loves. Since she goes to stitch-ins, retreats and has special friends that quilt and stitch along with her in a variety of places, I made this basket set so she could throw her things inside and it can travel along with her...just like the verse reads: "Wherever I go, whatever I do, I'm never alone, my stitching comes too"

Little House Travelling Stitcher basket

Here you can see the inside of the basket...
I made a padded bottom to line the basket and made a needle cushion, and added some accessories with complimenting corded tassels so that Marie can find and pull them out
(Assessories include: Ring with thread drops for her next project, Kelmscott Designs Mother of Pearl Ruler and Kelmscott Designs Tudor Rose Scissors)
NOTE: these lovely thread drops are a particular favorite of mine and can be found at Anita's Little Stitches

To make the pincushion....
I stitched the pattern included in the design (intended for a needlepocket) one over one on 28 ct. ivory evenweave and made a cute little patchwork topper, which I sewed together and filled with crushed English walnuts then added a little button in the middle:
Little House Travelling Stitcher Pincushion

This turned out....
rather darling, in my opinion. In fact, it is so darling that I hope to make one up for myself someday soon, because next fall when Ellie is in Kindergarten, I'm going to start going to my LNS for stitch ins on Tuesdays! :) I'll need something to carry my project in...don't you think?

Little House "Travelling Stitcher" basket and accessories

Marie....
you are a wonderful friend and I hope my modest little birthday gift and wishes for many years of happy contentment stitching and carrying your projects around in the basket brought a big smile to your face. Your friendship sure does bring one to mine :)

Thank you....
sweet friends for visiting with me today. I hope your week is glorious and that you have hours and hours quietly passing time in your cozy home surrounded with love and doing the things you love best!

Until next time....
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, doing the things I do best!
Hugs and love,
Signature

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

More ornaments....

Happy Tuesday.... to all my loyal friends and readers :) Thank you for popping in to sit and visit a spell with me. I'm running round like a goose from the farmer's wife, so I'll get on with the show.

Firstly....
the last of my personal ornament exchange pieces have arrived to their respective homes, and I've also received the most lovely ornaments in return to grace our tree. Here is the ornament that Diane M. stitched for me. Believe it or not...I've never stitched this cutie from Little House Needleworks, thankfully Diane peered and searched my finishes albums and came to the conclusion that I needed this beautifully stitched ornament, pronto! She stitched it on 40 ct. linen and perfectly finished it and now it is hanging on my tree! Thank you Diane!

Diane's Ornament to me


In return....
Diane received from me this:
IMG_3546

IMG_3553

"French Country Star"
Designed by: JBW Designs
Taken from : The Just Cross Stitch 2010 Ornament Issue
copyright: 2010
Stitched 1 over 1 on 28 ct. white linen
Stitched with: Crescent Colours Belle Soie "Sister Scarlett"
Finished as an ornament

Next....
I received this darling Lizzie Kate ornament from Courtney R. I love it! Thank you Courtney! Don't you love that beaded edge?! I sure do!
Courtney's Ornament to me

And in return....
Courtney received this ornament from me.

IMG_3516

IMG_3518

"Joy to the World"
Designed by: Jane Timmers of Fancy Work
Design taken from: The Just Cross Stitch 2010 Ornament Issue
copyright 2010
Stitched on 32 ct. white linen 1 over 1 using DMC in my own color choices
Finished as an ornament

Well....
as Porky the Pig would say: that's all folks! Until next time, I hope to: avert the farmer's wife since I'm the plumpest goose on the farm, not end up on the supper table, get my house cleaned, put some make-up on so I don't scare the neighbors and get on with keeping my hands to work and heart to God!
Hugs and love,
Signature

Tool for our tool box: Be a friend.
Sounds like a simple feat, but in fact it is really a hard task if you put your mind to being a good friend. Let's think about it...denying yourself by denying your pride - that's at the heart of being a true friend. Being a friend means - no gossip, no comparisons,  no competition, no complaining about your friend or their holdings and possessions, understanding, acceptance, flexibility.....all good qualities in a good friend, don't you think? Being a good friend means - thinking ahead, anticipating their needs and being there, *really being there* without being asked in times of trouble, trial and tribulation, but also being able to pick up the pieces and celebrate when those times are over. A real friend will join hands with you and together you may face the dawning of a new day. That's what a true friend is.... not one that will lavish and spoil you with things, but will lavish and spoil you with love. That's a true friend. I hope that someday, somewhere, someone thinks of me as a true friend. I wish it for you too - may it be so, for both of us.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Welcome December...

A warm December welcome...
to all of my friends and readers on this first day of December. December holds many special, happy memories for me, but most especially it holds the birth days of my first three children. My twins were born on December 4 and my eldest baby was born on December 11. Happy birthday to my most precious gifts from heaven above! My twin babies will be 11 years old and my big baby ;) will be 13. Golly Moses, were did the time go? I remember the waiting and the hoping and the wondering that I did the entire time of all my pregnancies and it is quite like the waiting, hoping and wonder of the Advent season - all for a baby. Three  precious babies born to my arms during Advent and one most precious of all born into the arms of Mary all those years ago in a stable. May your Advent season be one of waiting, wonder - but most especially one of hope. Hope is the key to travel on in this life, isn't it? Hope for a brighter day, for a bigger tomorrow...may it be so for you too!

Looking onward...
I've had a couple of wonderful parcels land in my mailbox! First up is this darling ornament that Catherine stitched for me in our personal ornament exchange:

Catherine's Ornament To Me

Isn't it gorgeous?! All that glam and glitz? It reminds me of my Granny...she liked bling - and so does her Grand-daughter :) This hangs way up high on our tree by our Angel and I smile and love it everytime I see it. THANK YOU CATHERINE!!

Then the most lovely friend that I have "met" through this blog, Paula from Portugal and her darling husband Rui, sent the Pfeiffer family this lovely package:

Paula's Christmas Gift to us

The cute little green pencils are favorites of the kiddos, of course - what good student doesn't like a special pencil to labor over homework? Ellie believes her pencil to be a wand...(I think because the star at the end)...anyway, whether they are solving math problems or waving it over someone with incantations they are a big hit! Paula also sent a cute little sledding Prairie Schooler ornament for us to hang on our tree - which it does with beauty - and a lovely cut of fabric, a handcrafted wooden cat button (which Ellie has claimed for her "charm necklace") and a Paris notebook. THANK YOU SO MUCH PAULA!!!

I thought I'd leave you...
with a shot of Pfeiffer Christmas. Here's my birdhouses all dressed for a down home country Christmas, my sled and skates are all ready too...come on snow! :)
Christmas at the Bird Houses

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my "hands to work and heart to God" -  please join me!
Hugs and love,
Signature

Tool for our tool box: Don't jump to conclusions.
Looking over my life, (and I'm sure if you look over yours) you'll find many times that you've taken something innocent, something meaningless - whether it was done or said by others - and have added GREAT meaning to it in you mind and in your heart. Could you be making mountains out of mole hills? Take a breath, take a break and think before you speak (or e-mail) back in anger or hatred. Not jumping to conclusions, not making moutains out of mole hills and thinking before you speak is all one great big tool to add to our tool box. I like to think of this tool as a shovel - you know shovel yourself out of the load of smelly stuff your mouth or actions have gotten yourself into perhaps? Get it out, think about it, examine it, keep it shiny and ready...seek your memories of instances that could have gone better if only you had your tool at hand. Remember, learn and vow to take action - now put the tool back in your tool box, because you're ready for the next time!