Monday, October 18, 2021

Kitchen Remodel....

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to all ~

Thank you so much to those of you who left me such lovely comments and wonderful words! it gladdens my heart, more than you will ever know. 

Thank you!

I'm going to do a series of posts just to "catch you up" on what we have done this summer. 

Today's Post is all about our: Kitchen Remodel

For a period of about a month we lived like we were camping....inside our house. We wanted to do a series of "refreshes" all over our home. Batter #1 up was the kitchen. 

BEFORE: Now many people said: Your kitchen was lovely...why would you want to change it? Well....to make a long story short: our cabinets were custom, made in a woodshop of a local cabinet maker. As soon as we moved in, the finish on them started flaking off, sometimes in large sheets. We called the builder, who in turn called the cabinet maker.....he came and took the doors off and I was 9 months without doors on my cabinets....in a new home. I was fit to be tied. Finally doors were returned and they were better but soon started doing the same thing. By this time the cabinet maker declared bankruptcy...I wonder why?

Anyhoo....I lived with the cabinets for 15 years and it was ready to make them better. 

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We stripped the cabinet facings....

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and all the doors....

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Primed everything and then did 3 coats of cabinet paint in mountain peak snow

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While I was painting inside, Keith was sanding and stripping doors to have them prepared for me to run out in between coats inside to do coats outside in the garage on the doors...

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and while I was running inside and outside painting, Keith was cutting wood to fit in the tops of my cabinets to make a flat surface AND installing LED up lights along the top and LED down lights along the bottom of our cabinets - I have been wanting these done like this for YEARS!

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at the end of 7 days the painting was done and Keith bought me a cake because I was completely exhausted and he knows how much cake revives my spirit....LOL!

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here's a shot of how our kitchen appears today....
I have my extensive vintage Ball Jar collection displayed to perfection (in my humble opinion) with the LED backlighting them beautifully...

In 25 years of marriage....I have never picked my own appliances - Keith has always done it and frankly I never really cared but for our redo I DID care and I told him to open up his pocketbook because I wanted all stainless steel appliances. They are all Whirlpool - Keith's Daddy worked at Whirlpool soldering appliances for 50 years in Evansville, IN. We only ever purchase Whirlpool, American made, appliances. 

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Our dining room table and chairs and our hutch are all Indiana made furniture. The dining table and chairs are by Tell City Furniture and the hutch is Keller. Both companies are now defunct. I was going to paint the hutch and the table and chairs white....but as I painted the cabinets I kept thinking about them and after I got the cabinets done I had decided that NOPE, I wasn't going to do it. These are fully wood, no wood chipboard. That's hard to come by. The table and chairs (well 4 of the chairs) I ate on from the time I was 4 years old (that makes the table and chairs: 47 years old....) Given to me by my Mom when I married, I didn't want to ruin them. So to make a long story short, I kept them true to themselves, and I'm glad I did. I did do a little refinishing on them - they are really worn in the seat and along the top of the chair backs and spindles. You can still see the age to them - they are nowhere near perfect...but my home has a cozy, lived in feel to it and they fit in.... a little shabby chic. Ha ha!

Until next time....
I hope you enjoyed our kitchen remodel. I didn't really ENJOY it but I sure LOVE it now that it is done!

Big hugs and lots of love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Long time no see...you know what that meant....

~ Greetings and warmest wishes to you all ~

I have been missing in action for MONTHS, I'm not even certain if anyone is around or even cares anymore about this much neglected blog. But I am going to get back to me and finally, finally I have made a very big decision.

Two weeks ago today...I turned in my notice at the quilt shop. I really enjoyed working there, I loved the new friends I made, enjoyed learning more about sewing and quilting. I really learned invaluable information about sewing machines and how to fix them and when to call in the specialists to fix them. It was a wonderful almost 4 years. 

I also turned in notice at church for several of my volunteer jobs there. Half of them in fact. I no longer will be visiting the sick and taking communion to them and I gave up the angel tree coordination position. 

In September.... I had my yearly physical. All was tip top, no problems, but my blood work showed very high (extremely high in fact) Cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, put out by the adrenals which is located on top of your kidneys. Its the "flight or fight" hormone. When a mouse runs across the floor and freaks you out - that's your adrenals pumping cortisol out that makes you jump up on the table. When you are in a constant state of stress - like you think you don't have enough time to do everything like - clean your house, do your laundry, make all the meetings, do for others volunteering all the time -  your adrenals get fooled into being in a constant state of "flight or fight". When you are in a constant state of "fight or flight" you don't sleep well, have depression and anxiety, your blood sugar will start to rise, you can't think straight/remember things well, and finally if it stays high for extended period of time, over time you will induce a stress heart attack or stroke. My doctor said: I had to give up one of my jobs and half of my volunteer positions and start doing a whole lot more for Vonna. 

I am sure.... most of you who have followed me here for a long time, have noticed that: I have a hard time saying "no" and keeping boundaries. My job at the quilt shop got more and more intensive - I wasn't working full time there, but between there and my finishing job and my family I was never (and I mean never) having any time for me. When I did do something fun I was wracked with guilt and therefore didn't do anything fun for feeling guilty. Church volunteering was out of control too. God doesn't want me to kill myself doing for everyone else and nothing for me. I was losing my quiet, devotional prayer time for helping others. 

I know many of you will say: Well we saw this coming....and to be honest I saw it coming myself. The last couple of years (even not factoring in this pandemic) was extremely hard emotionally and mentally.

Being I worked in the Clinical Laboratory for 25 years, when I saw my cortisol level I knew I'd be getting a call, I knew the ramifications.  Now this doesn't mean that I'm bound to be an invalid, what it means is that I have to take steps every day to do for me. It means I have to say no. I have to have boundaries and I have to stop letting others rule my mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights. 

You know what I want to do: make, create, be. I see lots and lots of people of Instagram and Facebook going all over the place - coast to coast - to cross stitch retreats and classes and all that jazz. I sort of get jealous seeing them. What fun are they having! They are getting all of the exclusive designs! Friends, fellowship, rubbing elbows with the big league people of the crafting world, they are popular and celebrated and wonderful.... then I think: I don't need all of that. All I need is my faith, my family and my needle and thread. All I need is ME and HOME. I AM ENOUGH! 

51 years of living and I still have to remind myself: I am enough. That's sort of sad and reflective of a defect in me that I see myself so much less than everyone else and....that's a note that I need to write in my journal and discuss with my counselor. Of course he knows that I already need to work on that...ha ha :) One ability that I do have is: the ability to note my faults and laugh at myself...that's a gift.

There are several wonderful things coming up in the next year of our lives:

Katie was engaged at the end of June. She will be marrying Austin: 


Ian engaged Edie, his long time girlfriend since Sophomore year in High School (they have been out of school 3 years)  I didn't get a picture of them because they are so private, but here is one of them from last Christmas:

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Well there goes March, April and half of May....

 ~ Greetings and Warmest Wishes to all of my friends ~

I am sure by now you know that I am "missing in action" that I have become extremely busy....

This is my goal every year: to slow down. This is what happens every year: it doesn't happen.

😂😂😂😂

Well, it seems that soon Spring will run into the lazy, hazy days of summer! So before that happens, let me catch you up on what has been going on here:

~FAMILY~

This past weekend we had two milestones reached:

Kate Graduated from Indiana University - Purdue University of Indianapolis with her Masters of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, Circuitry and Signal Processing is her specialty. 


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How proud are we?
Pretty doggone proud! She begins her job at Crane NSA (same place her Daddy works) as a Project Manager in July. Until then she is planning on reading for her own pleasure and not a bunch of schematics (😂) and she wants to learn PUNCH NEEDLE!!!! 

We also celebrated this weekend another milestone...
Jacob graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with an Associates Degree in Advanced Automation and Robotic Arm Technology! 


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We are SO very proud of him as well! The final picture above is where he took his first big boy job...PRD in Bedford, Indiana. A plastics injection mold company where he will be an Automation Technician and will take care of all the manufacturing automated lines and robotic arms. He started yesterday and is so excited about his future! So proud of him!

Finally....
Keith celebrated his 51st Birthday on Friday, May 14!

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Yes....this ALL happened within 2 days. I am EXHAUSTED!
(and feeling rather guilty and BLOATED after all the eating of rich foods and lots of cake....)


~QUILTING~

I am currently trying to put together 4 quilts 😂 yes, you read that right...and yes I'm a mad as the mad hatter. Katie wants a King Size Quilt for her graduation, Jacob wants a Queen Size quilt for his graduation, I want to keep up with the shop's (where I work) Block of the Month club AND I also want to do an Underground Railroad Quilt. Do I have pictures of any of these?
No, but I do have one photo of a block of Katie's Quilt....well I currently can't find it so just imagine: Kansas Troubles fabrics, in stars with 16 patch scrappy centers. It's going to be pretty.
More on that (hopefully) to follow in future posts...

I did finish 4 of these runners...
I'm teaching a class at the shop and they turned out so cute I:
1. made a model for the class
2. made one for the shop owner
3. made one for my mother
4. made one for my mother-in-law
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~CROSS STITCHING~
Well I have some big news in cross stitching! I've done quite a bit of it of late....
I finished: 

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Berry Sweet by Cherry Hill Stitchery
28 count ivory linen 
2 over 2 using all DMC

Then I finished my 25 year old WIP!
Told in a Garden ~ Marilyn Leavitt Imblum
"Song of a People"

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Oh it turned out so lovely....
and it reignited my love of her designs. Stay tuned for the next one I'm starting REALLY soon!


and I framed a previous stitched finish, but the pandemic hit and I couldn't get a frame...and it deserved a custom beautiful frame. So here it is:
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"Early Americans" by Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams
I used Classic Colorworks throughout a couple colors I swapped around.
I made my own surrounding "frame" and my own "center square"
The frame I shared with the world for free use, it is linked above in the Early Americans tab, with my compliments. 
My center square, I designed and it is mine and mine alone and I am sorry but I will not share it. A girl has to keep some things to herself, and while I don't do that very often, I am doing it with this one. Besides I used aspects of some of Diane's other designs from charts I purchased and it is a copyright infringement for me to share those. 

~PAINTING~
None done recently 😔 I just haven't had time....

~NEEDLE PUNCHING~
I am to the point now that I can share some news in Needle Punch. I am offering a FREE needle punch class to whomever is interested, wherever they are in the world and it will happen:
Friday, May 21st, starting at 7 pm Eastern Time
It will be a LIVE class on my YouTube Channel. Link to my channel is to the left of this blog, but if you go to YouTube and search for Vonna Pfeiffer - there I am. If you subscribe to my channel, ding the bell for all notifications and then set a reminder you will be alerted when I go live. 
It will be not only educational, but there will be a live chat with my daughters moderating. If you would like to join us for this fun, free, educational class, please do so...😃

~THAT'S ALL FOLKS~
I think that pretty much sums up what I came on to say...
so until next time....
Keep a smile in your hearts and one on your face and you just can't go wrong!
Love and Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

March Madness....

 

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my blog ~

A place where I share my love for all things needle and thread and crafting!


After a couple of weeks of bitter cold and 15 inches of snow at one point on the ground...
the weather has turned surprisingly beautiful and warm! Spring is on the way!

The first thing I'd like to share is:
Little House Needleworks has put out a lovely new Autumnal Series. It is a three part series that can be stitched individually of course or all as one piece. You may view them all and the information about the series HERE 

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I was lucky enough to be the model finisher for this darling series!


~ STITCHING ~

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I finished Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Sampler Months - February Sampler

and finished it into a piping edge pillow. I also did a video on how I do these types of pillows. You may view it HERE and while you are there, please subscribe and like my channel...make sure to click on the bell so that you are notified of all my new videos. I'm working hard at rebuilding my own blog here and also sharing as much information as I can FREE about cross stitch and finishing. Sharing is caring.


I also started:

Little House Needleworks - Needlework ABC's

(my piece is on a Rolaframe - I am going to "redo" my information about Rolaframe's and will post links above about them (i.e. how they work, where you can find them, etc)

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Then before too long I finished Needlework ABC's onto an Antique Spool

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I just loved how it turned out. I finished it with a "faux" binding (its not a real binding as that would have been too thick when winding on the spool.) I have it displayed simply with it all rolled out and it is just the sweetest display!


I also finished my January 2021 ornament into one of my "snowglobes" I was the originator of this type of ornament - although it has been reinterpreted and claimed as others original ideas - mine was first and I have a video on how to make these as well on my YouTube Channel: HERE see why it is important to subscribe?

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~ QUILTING ~

I made some "friendship braid" quilted table runners (3 of them to be exact and I'm working today on quilting and binding them.) These are FREE patterns that may be found on Jordan Fabric's Website and also a tutorial on YouTube: HERE  Donna Jordan is a fantastic teacher and I love her style AND I love that she shares FREE! I support designers and business owners who give out of the goodness of the heart and she definitely gives.

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The fabric line is from Me and My Sisters for Moda


~ PAINTING ~

In Painting, my new hobby, I painted this lovely piece for my Mother's birthday. It is by Lynne Anderson Folkart and is called (of course) "It is Well With My Soul". You can see some other beautiful pieces and patterns for painting at her website: HERE

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I painted it in mostly Americana DecoArt acrylics and I cut the wood piece it is painted on myself on my scroll saw :)

~ NEW STARTS ~

On Fat Tuesday I started Peaceful Paradise by Midsummer Night Designs. I haven't gotten very far because after this 3rd day I had to go to work for 9 days straight and after working full time and coming home to catch up on laundry, cooking, etc I'm about done. So here is where it stands.Untitled 


Then I so love all of Carriage House Samplings stockings (design original Kathy Barrack) and I sure do love the ones I have already done, I envision a mantle full of these stockings (ha ha!) anyhow, I decided to pull the next on my list and start it. Here is Pennsylvania German Stocking (for some reason I always call it Pennsylvania Dutch Stocking)...anyway, here it is: Stitched with the DMC conversion on 40 count Weeks Dye Works Linen Scuppernog color

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~ COOKING ~

I love Monte Cristo Sandwiches...so I tried my hand at "recreating" one at home - I'm sure you've caught on that we rarely eat out - even before the pandemic we rarely ate out and long ago in my early marriage days I realized if I wanted to eat like I was eating out I needed to learn to recreate things like a restaurant. I've basically been able to do that with about any cuisine you can think of reasonably well. 

So here you go: Monte Cristo Sandwiches

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Here is how I did them and they were (if I do say so myself) FANTASTIC!

3 slices of white bread (it has to be white - wheat doesn't get soft and smushy like white), mayo, black forest ham, roasted turkey (both from the deli sliced thin) swiss cheese, butter, powdered sugar and raspberry jam for dipping. 

Here is how you assemble: 

White bread down, light mayo spread, swiss cheese, ham layer, white bread, turkey layer, swiss cheese, lightly mayo spread, bread.

Once all assembled, SMASH down from the top of the sandwich to compress. 

Then crack 3 eggs and add 1/2 cup of milk and a dash or two of vanilla extract. Dip all sides of the sandwich in the egg wash.

In a skillet on LOW melt a pat or two of butter and place 2 sandwiches at once in the skillet. let set on one side for 6 minutes on LOW heat...this is critical to get the sandwich golden brown and heated and melty all the way through. After 6 minutes, flip (add a little butter first if first pats are all gone). Sit an additional 6 minutes on the other side. 

Pull off skillet to plate, cut in half, sprinkle with powdered sugar liberally, add side of Raspberry jam and ENJOY! OH MY WORD! So very, very good!

~ JUNKING ~

The girls and I went junking recently (otherwise known as antiquing) and I found some treasures!

This sweet Shaker tray basket!!! isn't it fantastic!?!?!?!

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Then I saved a couple of cross stitches: The Barn Raising by Told in a Garden (Marilyn Leavitt Imblum)

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Here is what I found on the back (stitcher is deceased)

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and then this lovely Christmas stitch saved too!

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I will treasure these always. The Barnraising was just $10 and the Santa was $15

Makes my heart sad a little to know the love and care put into these pieces to be in a junk store. BUT I will treasure them and love them and give them a home.

~ HOME DECORATING FOR SPRING ~

This weekend I decorated for spring inside my home (well outside too for that matter) here are a few snaps of our home.

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Stand up: "Spring Hare" by La D Da

Pillows: Country Cottage Needleworks "Sampler Months"

Spool: Little House Needleworks - "Needlework ABC's"

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One of my Cross Stitch Walls:

Top Left to right: Goode Huswife (unknown title of piece), Little House (Needleworker), With Thy Needle and Thread (Remember Me - limited edition design)

Middle Left to right: With Thy Needle and Thread (Spring Hare), Pineberry Lane (Can't remember off the top of my head), Notforgotten Farm (Thomas)

Last Row: Country Cottage Needleworks (Stitching Time), With Thy Needle and Thread (Coverlet piece) and Goode Huswife (Garden Series Bee Keeper)


and a little cloche filled with grass, eggs and this darling 
"Spring Gathering" by Scattered Seed Samplings

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There you go folks, done and done for this month! 

Until I have some more to share, please keep a smile in your heart and one on your face and you just can't go wrong!

Hugs, love and big smiles from me to you, 

Vonna xxxx