Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January 21, 2020....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to you all ~

The New Year is well and truly underway....
and I'm trying very hard to stay on top of all my commitments to myself and others.
I'm trying to continue to exercise daily...(I'll admit I've been hit or miss...)
Eat on my diet....(again admission of some failures here too...)
Create daily....(can check this one off with a big check mark!)
Stay up to date with my Stitch-A-Longs I've signed up for...(so far so good...)

Here is what I have accomplished creating wise the last week:

I have signed up for two stitch-a-longs...the first one is by iStitch Designs and is the 2020 Burgandy Band Sampler. I'm stitching mine over 1 thread on the called for banding using Classic Colorworks Cherry Cobbler. 
1-17_2020 iStitch_Burgandy Band

Then I fell in love with Jacob's 2020 Modern Folk Embroider SAL It's called The Family Quaker Sampler and well I just loved it. Here is the first month's work so far....I still have much to go...but isn't it looking gorgeous?
I am stitching on: 32 count Zweigart Charcoal using DMC floche in BLANC. 


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Wondering what floche is????
Yeah. I did too until a few months ago when I was reading a surface embroidery pattern and saw that it recommended padding dimensional satin stitches with: floche. Floche? What is floche? 
Well I brought the topic up on Fiber Talk one Wednesday Chat and according to the vast majority of comments...many people didn't know about it either. Of course I know that many others already knew about it...and of course we got a comment or two - to boil it all down - indicating that any serious stitcher knew about floche and well....let your imagination fill in the blanks.  ~ Thank you! ~
Anyway....
although floche is used primarily for surface embroidery...Gary posed the question what it would be like stitching with it. So I jumped in. The above is on 32 count dark fabric and look at that coverage! ONE STRAND...and it is mercerized so a beautiful sheen. Loosely woven so a very soft thread to work with and when you lay it on the linen it spreads. Beautiful. The stitches just spring off the linen and I love my stitches to pop like that. Stunning. Want to know more? Well Mary Corbet talks at length about it here: HERE and if on her site your search for floche or just google floche and Mary Corbet it will list all the places she's referred or talked about it. Mary, Mary...what a knowledgeable, encyclopedic needlewoman. 

I also used motifs from Little House Needleworks ~ "A Little Snow" to create an ornament sized project for the 2020 Little House and Country Cottage Stitching Group on Facebook, where I have organized a monthly ornament stitch-a-long. 
This gem is stitched on 32 ct. Slate by Hand dyed by Stephanie
using called for Classic Colorworks. Isn't it sweet :)

Little Snow_LHN

so that does it for stitching this week...I did work a night or two on The Queen's Sampler, but I un-stitched more than I stitched so...it's a wash on that.

In Quilting this week....
My Quilt Guild is having a 2020 Block of the Month so I did January's block.
I'm using 1930's reproduction fabrics that I've collected over the past couple of years. 

Guild BOM Jan 2020

Then I have been saving all my scraps and decided to try the Scrappy Stars String Quilt.
This was held as a class (6 times) at the shop I work at, however...I never could fit it in my schedule.
so....I looked and looked at the display model and figured out how it could be done. Since that time someone told me that it was on pinterest as a tutorial. Silly me could have saved myself some time.
Ha.
anyway...here it is:

VP_scrap stars_1 VP_scrap stars_2

Scrap Stars Jan 18

slow and steady wins the race, right? I'm trying to just throw blocks in every now and then. If I get a block or three done each week...well that's a quilt by fall ;)


In my finishing service, I am back in the saddle...
RH_Heartware RH_LHN FREEDOM RH_SH Autumn ABC


Then I decided to finish for myself...
VP_LHN Snow Globe

Snow Globe Ornament - I also made a tutorial to share: HERE

On Fiber Talk...
It was my Wednesday to co-host the mid-week chat: HERE

and instead of a Friday Night LIVE... we did a Saturday LIVE finish with Vonna: HERE

So.... there you be...everywhere I've been this week. Today is a busy day as I work at the shop...
tonight I have quilt guild...so...
I need to fuel up with another cup of java.
Get my face and hair fixed.
And race to work.

I've been grumpy the last couple of months. 
I really have. I don't know what the deal is, but I suspect it may be "the change". Anyhow...
I saw this in one of my devotions/inspirational readings this week and thought I'd share:

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." 
- Leo Buscaglia 

Important words....read them and think hard about them...because often when I feel down, someone, somewhere will do one of the above things and changes my whole day, my whole demeanor. Be that someone to someone else today and every day. The world is a hostile place. Make it better.

Until next time...
hugs and love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, January 17, 2020

SATURDAY - January 18, 2020


Sunday, January 12, 2020

I'm burning up Christmas 2020....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to you ~
Running by to say "HELLO" and hope you all are doing well

This week was a busy one...
I had another funeral luncheon to cook and serve. May the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.
This time I had very little help, but a little help is better than zero help and sometimes that is the case for funeral luncheons, it turns out to be me and my spatula. It was a very nice affair and the mourners seemed to enjoy the home-cooked meal and cozy atmosphere to share their memories of their passed loved one. It's a beautiful ministry and one, sadly, that is being lost in many churches. If you belong to a church I urge you to inquire about their bereavement luncheons and help out if at all possible.
It is a corporal act of mercy to give aid to the mourning.

I also am here to tell you that...
I am burning up Christmas 2020 (HA HA!)
I have long admired: mmmcrafts
Finally on January 1st I decided to jump in with both feet (as I am wont to do with most things I decide to do.)

I think you all know how I feel about Santa Claus....
I love that jolly old soul. And when I saw MMMCRAFTS SANTA
well be still my heart!

So I purchased the pattern - WHICH is impeccably written by the way!
I began collecting "all" the things I'd need to craft one.
AND....I jumped in.
I am so proud to share with you my Santa I finished this past Wednesday!

TTNBC_Santa_VP_2020 TTNBC_Santa back_vp

Isn't he a darling?! Oh my word I love him...
So I got out all of my wool felt and my kids picked their colors and off I am to make 4 more...sometime throughout the year. 

Hands Across the Sea Samplers....
I also would like to bring you attention to this beautiful sampler reproduction chart up for sale to help the plight of the fire brigades in Australia: 
Hands Across the Sea Samplers has sent a large amount of money to the fire brigades and every day more and more money is being sent to help our brothers, sisters and wildlife in Australia. Please consider donating and in return obtaining this beautiful reproduction of a young Australian school girl. 

Today is Vonna's Day of rest...
I'm going to go down to the cave and set up tomorrow's work day, then I'm coming back upstairs putting my nightgown on and I'm done for the day and stitching my heart out!

Until next time...
keep a smile on your face and one in your heart and you just can't go wrong!
Hugs and Love in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, January 05, 2020

New Year is here....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~
and a wish for your 2020 to be filled with health, a wealth of stitching and a big ol' dollop of happiness!
May it be so for each of us!

Every year this time....
I tend to get a little blue. The holidays seem to fly by and before I know it we are back to the grind. I always snap out of it, but today as I have cleaned my cave (back to work for me tomorrow finishing) I have been a little blue. But the cave is all clean (what a job) and I'm ready to get back in the saddle (I guess).

I wanted to swing back in here and catch you up with what has been going on in my neck of the woods. I have packed Christmas away - thanks to my family for their help....
and I have set out a little wintery mix of goodies. I like warm and welcoming, soft and cozy....
so here are some shots of my home:

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yesterday I went to the quilt shop (where I work) and took a class with my Babylock Unity, affectionately named Eunice. Together we made this: 

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I am moderator over at Little House and Country Cottage Needleworks Stitching Group on Facebook and this year I am hosting Sampler Sundays the entire year so 52 Sundays of stitching samplers of your choice as long as it is Little House or Country Cottage Needlework designs. 
I chose to pull out my Early Americans Sampler...I started on Molly Pitcher's House last week and got a pretty nice start for one day of stitching. I haven't stitched yet today, but am hopeful I can sneak in a few stitches later tonight.

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Note on my Early Americans: The border is mine and available at the tabs above (links to my Flickr album) No there is no hard copies, you must read it from a tablet or computer to stitch it. Sorry.

The middle square is mine that I also designed using elements from Diane's "America" so I cannot share it with anyone as that is a copyright infringement. Sorry.

I am on board with iStitch Designs 2020 Burgundy Sampler...I am stitching mine red, though...using Classic Colorworks Cherry Cobbler (my favorite color). I finished week 1 last night!

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That pretty much catches you up on everything that went on this last weekend. I did have a large funeral luncheon to host this week and it was a lot of work, and my legs and back always aches after such a long day with a whole lot of work included but my heart always feels good about what I do.

One last thing that I always offer up each January.
I have a prayer journal. I put special intentions inside it and close it and then pray over it each day. (or at least I try to...but I am human and some days I don't pray because of laziness...just want you to know I'm human and lack good judgement and wise use of time sometimes.)
For several years I have offered to pray for those people who would like me to, with some special intention or situation that they have weighing on their hearts and souls.
If you would like me to include you in my prayers, please email me (listed on sidebar under mailbox) and I will write your intention in my book, close it, never breathe a word about it to anyone except the Lord. My prayer life is important to me and so many have helped me have an active and focused one through their intentions. Thank you.

Until next time, my dear friends...
may your heart be filled to the brim with happiness and well being...
may your fingers be nimble and your stitches plentiful!
My love, 
Vonna xxxx

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Days 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

9 days lapsed....
but they were filled with everything I cherish most in life:
my family

I'll not wax on sentimental...
I'll just share a few pictures of our days together: 


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Then during the lazy days between then and now....
I actually LOVE to do some finishing for ME

VP HOD White Christmas Noel
Antique Brown Perforated paper using Classic Colorworks as charted.
VP HOD White Christmas BACK


VP NOEL on the tree

Snow Globe Ornament...
came up with the idea last year. Perfected the finishing process this year. Likely will be a tutorial to explain process sometime soon.
VP House Snowglobe 2
Designer: Roselyn Pittet of Fleurs de Lin
Design: Joyeux Noel 2018
VP House Snow Globe 3 VP Snow Globe on Tree


Pretty Packages tied up with string...
are a few of my favorite things.
HiH Merry 2
Heart in Hand free design for subscribers of her newsletter.
Can sign up HERE
Katie and Ian 2019 Jacob and Ellie 2019

and for interested parties that would like to know how I did the finish, I created a video tutorial free (just like always) for you: HERE

Thank you...
so very much for your presence here in my life! Although there are always negatives to sharing anything to the public, the vast majority of my interactions are positive. I enjoy the true friendships I have made through my needlework. Without my needle and thread...in whatever fashion I choose to do it in, I have found true friends of the heart - across the world. For that I am truly and genuinely thankful. So a great BIG hearty THANK YOU to all of you who share with me the love of needle art, no matter where we are far or near.
May God's abundant blessings shine upon you, may He keep you in the palm of His hand, Guide and Protect you always!

Merry Blessed Holidays to one and all!
Vonna xxxx 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Day 19, 20....

~ Welcome and Warm Greetings to  ~

I am short on time...running, running, running, doing, doing, doing... as we all are at this time of year.
I had a few moments of silence with me, my snoring cats and my coffee this morning after my 1 hour on the elliptical: 

inside 

4:30 a.m. is early and this was about 6 a.m. 
Quiet solitude with me and my whispered prayers.
It is centering.

horse

This Hobby Horse, still is my favorite and I love it bunches...

After this solitude I ran to....
the grocery and Sam's club to get some items I needed:
5 boxes of Oreos
4 pack of cream cheese
2 bags of candy
and 
One dozen eggs!

I've made 5 Oreo Cheesecakes today...whew...

Tonight Katie gets home from college after her final exam this evening!

Tomorrow we head south to spend with extended family and I have some more things to make...
So I'm running...

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Day 18...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

wonder of wonders....
less than 12 hours and I'm back.
It's going to be quick because I have to go to the quilt shop again today.

An update on Jane Stanwix 1843 by Samplers Revisited color conversion by The Country Sampler in Spring Green Wisconsin FULL KIT WITH CONVERSION HERE or CHART ALONE HERE 


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I purchased the kit so I am stitching her on 36 ct WDW Cocoa linen with Jeanne's conversion. The floss, is beautiful, but I didn't like the coverage on the house. I am stitching one strand over two on 36 count....with as dense as the house is, I felt I was seeing the linen through the stitches and I didn't like it. I was to the second row of windows before I figured out  that if I was to be happy with this house, it needed to be done differently. So rather than tearing it all out and restarting with 2 strands of floss....I just did another leg of the top stitch. So for illustration purposes I stitched my first leg / and when I crossed it \ to make the X - the coverage wasn't good enough...so I did a second \ which was the perfect amount of coverage SO each stitch on this house is: / \ \ to make my X. A little tip from me to you if you ever get a little less than perfect coverage on a piece. I am looking under a 5x magnifying glass when stitching and you can't tell the bottom leg is only one strand and the top is two. 

I also have been dreaming of my plans for quilts in 2020. My friend Melinda, who lives just about a half hour away, loves small/mini quilts. She says they are perfect for decorating, easy to do - as in you won't get tired of doing the blocks over and over and over, and you can get them done relatively quickly. I've made about 4 mini quilts myself, but I have a whole library of my mini quilt favorite designers...after sharing lunch and exchanging gifts last week with Melinda I pulled my library and have been perusing them in the evenings before bed:

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My favorite designers for quilting are: Jo Morton, Kim Diehl and Kathleen Tracy...
although Coriander quilts (Corey Yoder from BERLIN, Ohio!!!) is right in there too...

Today Matthew at Best Advent Ever...
had a poignant video. Powerful really, the video was entitled: Life is Messy.
Boy is it ever, right? In the video he speaks to the fact (and we all have heard this in one way or another) that everyone we meet is carrying a burden in one way or another. Some burdens may not be as heavy as another's burden, but burden it is nevertheless. He also quotes the beginning of a song in the musical  Les Miserables that opens: 
"There is a grief that can't be spoken, the pain goes on and on." 
I have seen Les Mis several times on the stage and this song is toward the end of the musical. All of us carry grief with us...and the pain does go on and on. When we think about this and the fact that we all have them: because no matter how perfect a life someone else in your life seems to have - news flash - it isn't. Life is messy. Everyone holds grief in their hearts, everyone has burdens...however I believe that how you deal with your messy is the difference between burden and joy. We all know people whose glass is half empty...we also know people whose glass is half full. It is all about how they deal with their messy. Our response to another's messy? Well that makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it? You can think in a self-serving, self-centered, judgmental way that: well they aren't doing how I want them to do or how I think they should do so I am going to treat them like XX (fill in the blank)
come on - if we are all honest with ourselves we ALL do that - I'll admit at times I do that. I even do that to myself...wallow in self pity - woe is me all the day long. 
OR you can affirm that we all are dealing with messy and I'm going to put on some gloves and handle it gently, with love and respect and utmost a little understanding. 
Dr. Seuss once said: "be the change you want to see in the world"
Put on some gloves and start understanding another's messy, because life is messy - mine, yours and the guy down the street.
Be kind.
Be understanding.
Be helpful.
Be joy.
Because if you do that....it will make all the difference in your own messy.
Personal thoughts on a gray day...from me to you. Take them or leave them. I've got on my gloves and I'm keeping my eyes on my goal. 

Well being as I have to work....
time to our celebration with our extended family is short....
I have to run, because I have to load up Eunice the Unity to haul her to work (and she's a big girl). I prefer to give homemade gifts to our family and I've worked so much this month my plans have gone out the window, so I'm going to have to take my work to work so that I can work on my Christmas gifts between customers and phone calls.

Until next time....
whenever that may be (I am not promising anything to anyone)
May your days be merry and bright!
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Days 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,14,15,16.17....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to the ~ 

Well...
Many days have passed and I'm quite certain that many of you(and I know for a fact a couple) think I have walked away , left you hanging and given up on my efforts for the Days of Christmas.

Nothing could be the further from the truth.

What have I been up to....
following my road of preparing the way (myself) for the coming of the Lord, just as I anticipated on Day 1...I have followed through every day. As you know, I am following the Matthew Kelly "Best Advent Ever" program at Dynamic Catholic HERE 
And I am being tenacious in my quest to live my best life and be the best me, I can be. 
Matthew has been focusing on a couple of key points in his daily videos. He talks about being a saint, that we all can be one, that God has a plan for us if we just trust in him, he talks about fear of failure, fear of disappointment in self, in others, fear of success....
Today he had a particularly wonderful point:

"Fear belongs to people without firm direction in their life."

To illustrate this point he talks about Peter and the disciples in the boat with the storm coming on and they see Jesus walking on water. Peter asks Jesus can I walk on water Lord? and Jesus says, "Come" Peter steps out into the water and he too is walking but then he hears the wind blow and the large waves crashing and he begins to sink. Why? Because he lost his firm direction. He took his eyes off Jesus. 
How many of us in our lives, in our faith walk - whatever that may be - take our eyes off our goals and begin to sink? 

Now some may be thinking I'm saying I've failed in this Days of Christmas daily blog goal that I had. No, I am not...I have not failed and let me share with you why.
I am a relatively active person. I have a relatively, by today's standard, large family. There are hills and valleys - as all people see in life. Some days I'm walking on the clouds and some days I'm slogging through mud in the valley. We all have that, right? I have not failed in my Days of Christmas to date because: I have kept my eyes on Jesus. I have done what He asks me to do: Be in service.

I work outside the home...
 one day a week - normally. This month to date, I have worked 12 days. It is day 17 today. That means I have had 5 days of "freedom" which if you note was about how many daily blog posts I have done. 

The owners of the quilt shop needed some time off...
so I filled in (and am continuing to fill in) as they need help. I am doing what Jesus asks us to do: treat our neighbor as we would be treated. There are times in life, where we need help. I hope in my hour of need there is someone there to help me - and I know there will be  - because I believe that as I have done, so shall someone do for me - Somehow, sometime, somewhere.
I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus.

I have a family, working 9 hours a day outside the home means, double the work left undone inside the home...I still have daily meals, laundry, dishes, homework, cat litter to scoop, house cleaning, and one hundred and one other little things that I have to accomplish each and every day. I'm happy to say: I've done it. Not one thing has slid. 
I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus.

I have responsibilities...
have given my word - and I keep my word - because I am only as good as my name and my word. I am a coach for Ellie's Science Olympiad Team. I said I'd coach and test and help at a 2 hour meeting every week. I have friendships that need tending. Holiday get together where friends have invited and want to celebrate our friendship and the season of giving by getting together and sharing hope and love as is right during this very special season. I am the bereavement luncheon chair person and there has been two funerals this month. When a person is in need, if I can help at all - I do.  I've participated, I've helped. 
I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus.

I also have a responsibility to myself....
I am walking a road (and have been for 1 year now) to better health. I have to plan, prepare meals that are designed to help me attain my goals of weight loss and better health. I have promised myself that I will exercise one hour every day throughout the season. I deserve some of the time I share easily with others to be given to me so that I may rejuvenate myself, lift my spirit and nurture my body to help me attain my goals. 
I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus.

We've had 2 Birthdays in the month of December...
The twins on Dec. 4 and Katie on Dec. 11. I've traveled to my college kids to make sure that they are celebrated, know they are loved and cherished and special. 

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I also am co-host of a popular podcast...
that means Wednesday shows to tape, Live Friday shows to do, Sunday Interview shows (although I don't do every one of those), Starter series, special Christmas shows....
I do what I need to do, what I said to do for that. I enjoy it, I consider it "me" time because needle and thread and all talk about it feeds my soul.
Want to hear me several times a month? See me too? Then subscribe to Fiber Talk HERE

What I have not done is come to this blog to post daily updates about my life...
why? Because I'm living it, by keeping my eyes on Jesus as best I can, each and every day.

Failure? I think not. I'm doing the very best I can, keeping my eyes on Jesus and trying not to fail by being judgmental, vindictive, self serving, self centered and all the other things that for me is very easy to fall into...believe me I am the worst sinner.

This is what I am trying to remember during this time of anticipation of our Lord:
God sent his only son to earth to be: human.
He was born of virgin teenager, inside a cave, wrapped in rags, laid in a water trough where animals drank...God chose to humbly bring his son to earth. Quietly, while shepherds stood watch. The king of kings, the Lord of Lords...wrapped in rags and laid in a water trough. Think about that.

Humility is hard. Pride...ever pride the serpent raising its ugly head. I'm trying real hard to keep my eyes on Jesus and remember my humility. Remembering He came to serve and His asking me to serve is the very least I can do.

Until the next time...
whenever that may be....
I leave you with several photos of how I've packed my days the last 13 days...
Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx


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