Thursday, December 08, 2022

Merry Days 6, 7 and 8....

 ~ Welcome and Warm Greetings to my Blog ~ 


Well here it is 3 a.m. and I can't sleep....
of course Keith had us go to bed at 8 pm he was tired, it was dark, cold and rainy and so off to bed we went. I don't know if I've ever shared this before, but here goes:
Keith will not go to bed unless I go to bed. 😂

We do absolutely EVERY little thing together. Not much is done apart from one another, including bedtime. I usually am OK to go to be when he wants to - we get up very early in the morning (typically 4:30 - 4:45 am is when our alarm goes off) So getting into bed by 9-10 pm is the norm. But sleeping through the night....that's hard for me - has been for years. Some nights sleep like a baby. Some nights...sleep like a baby until about midnight then it is a struggle the rest of the night. Probably hormones (or lack there of). 

So anyway.... I woke up this am, and instead of laying quietly and waiting for the alarm, I was hankering for a cup of coffee...so I got up. One of my favorite things to do is get up in the early morning (read still night time) and look outside...I love the quiet of the night. Although I will say it is amazing to me how many people I will see outside at this time of morning: jogging, walking, walking dogs...

There is a Mama deer and her two yearlings that will sometimes lay in our yard or in the yard across the street and I see them. Precious little lives...

OK let's get to talking about what's been going on....
I've made 4 tutorial videos in the last week:

I'll give links to all of them for your viewing pleasure:











Guess what...
I have more that I'm in the process of making. My goal is to share as much as I possibly can to help anyone learn to finish as much as they can on their own. I have been mightily blessed in life. And I am a firm believer in “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48)
To him the Glory, always. 

~ Please remember I DO have a TUTORIAL BLOG - where all links are compiled by type of tutorial either video or written ~  AND not all written tutorials are video and not all video tutorials are written...meaning I have different finishes and different ways of showing you how to do them - either via video or pictorial written.

How about some Christmas pics of my house. I'll share just a few so as not to bore you....

I have 4 trees this year....
about 500 stitched ornaments both from  my hand and from friends through the years and likely about as many or more of ornaments that are Hallmark, other crafts, made by my kids, special trips and meanings to us....

Our Main Tree:
This one houses mostly our family memories and ornaments....

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I have so many ornament that I am struggling to get them all up....my trees are full so I bought some garland swags and hung them above our dining room window and hung ornaments on there.....

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Another view...
I tell you that worked out so well I'm going to buy more for the other windows in our home for next year. I think it looks just darling!

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The old Prairie Schooler Santa (prim) tree that I had was too small to house all of my Santa ornaments...so last year I bought a 7.5 foot skinny (ier) tree for a New Santa Tree...
it houses all of my Prairie Schooler Santa stitched ornaments, my Hallmark Toymaker Santa Series Collection and a NEW Hallmark Santa Series called - Young Santa...
I am a Santa collector. What person or thing embodies (Christmas or me for that matter) more than a rotund, jolly elf who loves sugar cookies, giving back and Christmas?
😂
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Nothing, to me says my childhood like Charlie Brown...
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I need to get working on my Shepherd's Bush Stockings....
I have one out and just last night I finished stitching a second (in a series) of ornaments I wanted to get done before I started anything new. Done now, so I'm ready to start a few things!

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Here is a close up of a portion of my new Santa Tree...
you can see a mix of my Prairie Schooler Santa ornaments, my MMMcrafts Felt Santa doll ornament I made, Toymaker Santa Series and two of the New Series Young Santa. 

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Well folks....
that does it for today! Today is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception - a feast day of the conception without original sin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Next Tuesday is another Marian Feast Day - Our Lady of Guadalupe. I happen to have a Design Works kit of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Joan Elliott. I worked yesterday to get fabric loaded up on scroll rods - I've decided today I'm going to start her. She looks like this:

Alright friends....off I go for another round of coffee...it's 4:50 a.m. so Keith is up and I can go up and get started on Our Lady and my new start!

Have a fantastic day ahead!
Love, 
Vonna xxxx


Monday, December 05, 2022

Merry Days 4 and 5...

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my Blog ~

Merry Day 4....
Well December 4 is a big day...
it was the day my boys were born- our little prides and joys. 
I was also VERY tired from making homemade rolls for our parish dinner and dance party. 
The party was a huge success! The food was delicious, the company wonderful and the dancing enjoyable! I had forgotten what it is like to gather together in harmony with people you love and care for as a church family. SO much fun!

So after Mass on Sunday....
we came home - I put my pajamas back on and I sat around doing absolutely nothing except staring at the fire until it was time to get up and start cooking a early dinner for our boy's birthday. They chose pork tenderloin sandwiches, fried mozzarella sticks and french fries (along with their cakes). 

Here is a photo of my 23 year old baby boys on their birthday with their cakes:

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They have always had their own cakes - even when they were babies - I've tried to always make sure they know that although they were born on the same day, shared a belly and a lot of other things - they are still individuals. Jacob always chooses chocolate cake and Ian always chooses a cookie cake (which I find to be an oxymoron Cookie CAKE..ha ha!) 

We had a very enjoyable afternoon and early evening together!

Today on Merry Day 5....
I shared my St. Nicholas cookies with all my brethren after morning mass to welcome the coming of St. Nick's feast day tomorrow! The man I was most eager to give my cookies to - was my very own parish priest: Fr. Dennis Duvelius. I love Fr. Dennis. He is a very humble man, kind and generous with his words and example in faith. I have known many, many priests in my 52 years of life, I can say with firm assurance that Fr. Dennis is my favorite. I love his quiet manner, his intelligence, his ability to share struggles and crosses that he bears and allows me to know its OK that I carry burdens, struggles and crosses too...plus he loves cats and that makes him top on the lot for me! 
Here is Fr. Dennis with his St. Nick cookies I gave to him after mass. 

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So, to be quite honest handing out 75 St. Nick cookies as a RAK to my fellow man did WAY much more for me than it did for the people I handed them out to. I love to give. I love to give from the bottom of my heart, freely and abundantly, generous and lavishly. Each year on St. Nick's day I try to spend the day before/or day of doing random acts of kindness - just because that is what St. Nick himself did. St. Nick evolved into Santa. in this day and age of commercialism and materialism - giving something homemade, small, made from the heart unexpectedly to people - well it warms my heart. I love to do it. 
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Which leads me to this: sadly a portion of this weekend was spent with me being attacked again, verbally and publicly. What was taken offensively? that I shared my St. Nick cookies and the fact that I had made them as simple random acts of kindness. I was told that I was publicly announcing my good works for pats on the backs and accolades. Then another person agreed and suggested I take a good hard look at myself and my motives. 

So HERE is my good hard look at my motives.
 WHICH I spoke to my spiritual director about today after mass. 
When I share these things, my painting, my home and family, my cookies, my stitching, my finishing....WHATEVER it is that I share. I am NOT doing it as a way to toot my horn, or point the light at myself saying look, look, look at me! Look at how wonderful I am, how pious, how perfect!
First of all - I regularly say that I am flawed, I make mistakes, I try again. Regularly say it. When i share, I am doing it because this is what I did with my day and I did it to spread a little joy among the people who live in my neighborhood and I also do it to evangelize. 

Apparently there are some people out there that feel like I share my crafting and tutorials to toot my own horn. 18 years of sharing...everything I have to offer. I have spent countless hours. HUNDREDS of hours to make and offer free tutorials on how to finish, how to stitch more efficiently, products I find useful, on and on...ALL FREE! I don't get anything out of it. and NEWSFLASH: I don't want anything. It is nice to offer a thank you, but I don't want it. I'm not asking for it. I don't want accolades. I don't want pats on the back. I don't want a darn thing OTHER than to help people that want to learn - LEARN. I want to bring smiles to other's faces, lighten a day, brighten a mood and shine the light on GOD, as HE is the one who made me and gave me my many blessings and gifts. To HIM the glory - not to me. 
That's it. That's my motive. Period.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again:
IF you have a problem with me...fine have a problem. 
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! Because you know what...I'm going to keep being me. I like me and this may irritate the living stuffing out of some of you - but there is a whole lot of people out there that apparently like me too. Like to read about my family, my crafting, my tutorials...(although let's be honest the people that don't like me STILL want my tutorials.) I find it amazing when all I do is share my life, how some people - calling themselves Christians - like to call me out and tear me down. Well you know what...take a good, long, hard look in the mirror before you cast that stone. I know my heart. God knows my heart and I'd garner to say that about all of the people reading this blog - and anywhere else I am - know my heart. People that have to hurt and inflict pain...have issues a lot bigger than the ones they are trumpeting that I supposedly have. 
Good heaven's HIGH SCHOOL....I thought I left that behind 35 years ago...but yet grown women continue to jab and poke and hurt.
Life is short - grow up!

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I hate to have to interrupt the joy of my Merry Days to once again define boundaries. But I'll be defending  my line, my life, my values, my family...you name it and I'll defend it until the day I die. You need to fight somebody...quit fighting me because - news flash - you aren't fighting me - you are fighting the lack in you. 

Until next time I wish you peace. Peace for you AND peace for me. 
may it be so!
God's abundant healing peace and blessings to us all.

Love, 
Vonna xxxx



Saturday, December 03, 2022

Merry Day 2 & 3....

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my blog on Merry Day 3 ~


On Merry Day 2....
I was in my kitchen doing this until 9  p.m. on Merry Day 1: 

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Then on Merry Day 2 until around 8 p.m. I was transforming the above shapes into: 

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St. Nicholas!
I have promised a couple of dozen to family that I will send in the mail as soon as I get them packaged. And the rest is then reserved for me to carry around in my basket on Dec. 6 (St. Nicholas' Feast Day) and I will pass them out to random strangers as a "random act of kindness". Just to make someone smile. 

Do you know the story of St. Nicholas? The True St. Nicholas - who of course evolved over the years into Santa? Instead of my poor words on this great saint, let me instead point you in the right direction: 

So merry Day 3 has started, I've had my coffee and now I am off to:

1. package up my St. Nick's
2. make 150-200 the yeast rolls I gave the recipe for HERE

Tonight at our church we are having a dinner and dance in celebration of our 50th anniversary. 
I was asked to make yeast rolls and cupcakes.

After yesterday's cookie icing that took 12+ hours to complete - I am exhausted (and I ache all over). 

I have to make the yeast rolls, but the cupcakes I purchased...I couldn't make them for as cheap as they were at Sam's. 30 of them for $15.98.... I bought 120 - that quantity along with the other desserts that are going to be there - should be more than plenty. I'm tired. 

I'm tired! hey I'm admitting it....I'm getting old. 
And I have to drudge up some enthusiasm to make all these rolls.
HA HA HA! 

In the spirit of sharing, caring and spreading love and grace - like good 'ol St. Nick...
I think I can make these rolls with gladness!
May it be so!

Merry Day 3!
Merry Christmas!
Love, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Merry Day 1....

 ~ Warm Welcome to my Blog ~

and please enjoy with me these

Day 1....
Merry Day 1,  my friends! I want to point out to new people that may be interested in following me here on my old blog, a few things about it.
Please scroll up to see my Link Bars. In my header bars, I have a page about who I am, my YouTube Channel - where I have videos about how to finishing your projects on your own. I have links to my TUTORIAL BLOG - where I have shared for 18 years all of my techniques both older techniques and newer ones for finishing your needlework - ALL FREE! I have written tutorials with pictures and video tutorials. All of my videos are Closed Captioned for hearing impaired. 

I also have reviews on needlework stands, I have recommendations on products - that I have purchased MYSELF - I do not do paid recommendations or recommendations based on some company approaching me to give me a product for my posting a positive review because they gave it to me. Nope everything here was purchased expressly by me, for the said purpose and I have shared because I find it highly superior to anything else I have used. I have color conversions, free boarders that I have created for sharing, I have recipes I have created and my family loves so I thought I'd share because maybe your family might love them too. I have shared Ideas on how to organize and streamline your crafting/stitching, and more! 

Don't like finishing your own projects? Well I do finish for the public and several designers and have done so for going on 18 years. 

For 18 years, I have been a blogger, an advocate for learning how to finish your own pieces and I have given it all because I want to grow the hobby and love of handwork in the world. Because handwork has brought me so much personal joy! And sharing IS caring!

I invite you all to join me for the next days prior to the big day - my favorite day of the year - Christmas Day!

To kick off the month I have created for those individuals wanting to learn/finish their own needlework projects a new video tutorial: 
and please...remember: 
if you use my tutorials (any part or piece) for your finishing and I have taught you - credit my name.
This ISN'T because I am a narcissist (yes, I have been told that several times lately) nor do I love to hear and see my name over and over. It is SIMPLY because the more people that share my name, the more people I can HELP teach to finish. Because I can teach people - I believe I've proven that over 18 years. It takes A LOT of time to create these tutorials, I'm doing it to help others, not feed my ego.

Please enjoy in good health!

Merry Christmas - Day 1!
All my love, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Vonna’s Pumpkin Muffins


 This recipe yields 24 muffins. 

Line 2 cupcake tins with papers, set aside.

Ingredients: 

29 oz. Pumpkin purée (not pie filling - this is the large can) 
4 room temp eggs
1/2 c milk
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ginger 
1 tsp salt
1 c oil
1 c sugar 
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2 1/2 c all purpose flour

Throw all of this in a bowl, mix until fully combines, scraping down sides as you go. 
Fill paper cups in tins fully with batter. 
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes (to let the baking soda puff the tops of the muffins) 
Then turn down to 350 degrees bake additional for 16 minutes. 

Pull, cool and enjoy! These muffins are not very sweet and a nice way to enjoy a sweet without it being decadent. They are delicious served with cream cheese.