Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A couple of questions on finishing...


QUESTION:


Hi Vonna,

When making a cube how do you attach the cording? Do you sew it on like you do the pillow ornament? or do you glue it on?


Thanks,

Sue C.


ANSWER:
On a cube, I lay a light line of glue right along the edge of the complimenting material on the sides of the cube...all the way around the "face" of the stitched piece. I begin with one end of the cording at the BOTTOM MIDDLE  of the cube, pressing the cording into the glue line all the way around. I also pin it as I go with straight pins along the cording about every 1-2 inches. I just push the pins through the cording and into the styrofoam. This adds additional integrity and holding power for the cording all the way around the "face" of the stitched piece until I meet in the bottom middle and end off by sewing the end of the cording with matching thread, cutting the cording, placing a dot of glue on the cord ends and pressing the edges of both cords together to make a seamless transition. Secure bottom ends with pins as well. 
Thank you Sue C. for your question! 



QUESTION:
Dear Vonna,
You are a very talented lady. I love all of your stitching and finishes. My question for you is how do you come up with ideas on how you see a piece being finished? Do you search the internet for ideas? Do you keep a notebook of your finishes and refer to it? 

Thank you, 
Carolyn

ANSWER: 
No Carolyn, I don't keep a notebook or search the internet for ideas or inspiration. While I'm stitching my own projects, I think of what my use for them will be. I have these questions (literally) running through my head while I'm stitching or looking at designs to stitch.
Is it large? How much time is it taking me to stitch it? What do I want it to be? How do I decorate my home? Is it seasonal? Is it useful? Does it have a purpose? 
For example: Small Seasonal things, I rarely frame, most of these type of seasonal stitches will be ornaments, flatfolds, wall hangings, etc. These are things that are in and out of storage and that are not out all year round. 
Small Pillows that I tuck into bowls, shelves, hang from door knobs, may be out all year long and I use them as little extra details for my home decorations
Large projects that take much time, I frame. 
I don't look on the internet for inspiration, but of course if you are on Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, you can't help but be inspired by other stitchers...and they may influence what I stitch, but the finishing is usually my own creation.  I can see details of how I want things to look, in my mind's eye and I rely on my own creativity for my finishes. Not to say that I am not inspired to stitch or finish in a manner that is similar to things I have seen somewhere, but I have come up with ideas for finishing just by sitting and dreaming: examples of things I have come up with over the years are: tag ornaments, the embroidery hoop boxes, twig frames, mounted ornaments, recently I had an idea about finishing a Mill Hill ornament by making a "tag" using scrapbook papers .... all of these things I came up with by dreaming, tried it out and it worked. Anyone can have creative finishes, you just need to spend a little time dreaming to become inspired to try! I feel like some of my "best" creations came from trial and error and my dreams, of course!
Thank you for your question, Carolyn!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ask Vonna....Washing your project....

QUESTION: 
Ladybeans writes, "Dear Vonna, love your blog! You are so helpful to us stitchers. I do have a question that comes up frequently with my stitching friends..'Do you wash all of your pieces after you finish stitching them?' Thank you!"

ANSWER: 
Hello Ladybeans, thank you for your kind words and question! Here is my personal answer to your question: I do not typically wash my projects after I get done stitching them. Here is the reasons why:

*I don't stitch in hand. I stitch always with a Q-snap (or my smalls on stretcher bars) and typically on my floor stand. (You can read all about my floor stand at this link: Needlework System 4 )

*I don't wear (when I am stitching) hand lotions 

*I don't eat when stitching

*If I take my projects out and about, they are always carried in my project envelopes (link to making your own project envelope on my YouChannel: HERE ) They are also stored in my project envelopes in between stitching sessions (or if loaded on my floor stand covered with a light, old bed sheet that I've cut down and sewn to cover my stitching work and stand in between working sessions. 

*I stitch two handed and my hands rarely touch my linen and if I do it is my fingertips only

*I typically use hand-dyed fabrics on most of my projects and a large number of my projects are stitched using over-dye cottons/silks, both of these products do not lend well to washing/soaking.

*If I do see visible dirt or smudge on my piece, I spot clean. My personal solution of choice that I use is: Dawn liquid detergent diluted with water in a small squirt bottle. My ratio is roughly: 1-2 drop of Dawn to 1 oz. of water. Dawn dissolves grease and it is safe/gentle. (they use it on wildlife exposed to oil spills!)  I don't squirt it all over, AND definitely not on red/dark threads...but I merely lightly blot using the end of a soft cloth damp or cotton q-tip with the Dawn solution on the spot of dirt/grime. OR I take a Q-tip soaked in the solution and "pretreat" the area for about 5-10 minutes and then begin to gently blot with a cloth damp with the solution. Once the grime is gone, I then hold a cloth under the piece and I use a new cloth soaked in water only and blot, blot, blot to remove any of the solution left on the piece. I do this likely 3 times with different areas of the water soaked cloth until it is free of the Dawn solution. One time recently my hands must have been dirty and I was stitching SNOW and my snow looked like a garbage truck had driven through it. I gently used this process of blotting the stitched area and it came out perfect- sparkling white like fresh fallen snow!  Just take time/care and go SLOW. 

*BLOOD...sometimes I do prick my finger and won't know it and blood will end up on my stitching. Being I work in the healthcare field, I am familiar with blood ending up on clothing at some point or another. Don't freak out! You can get it out (even if it is dried) Take a small container (like a small medicine cup from cough medicine) fill half with lukewarm tap water and the other half with hydrogen peroxide and dip a q-tip in the solution and blot, blot, blot the area with this. The blood will begin to fizz and foam (and that's good!) Once done, blot, blot, blot with damp cloth and the blood will disappear. 

Now then...if you feel the need to wash your stitching things as I know not everyone has a floor stand and washing is a fine thing to do. So, if you need to wash, there is no harm in it. Probably better to wash in these circumstances than not. . . I have links here to some of the most trusted stitching sites personally known by me and share them with you to make your own decisions. 






There you go! I leave you with your research and your own decision making about washing your own projects. (Or buying a floor stand like mine! HA HA HA!)

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Monday, June 06, 2016

Graduation and other things stitchy....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~
well...
On Saturday, May 28, 2016....It happened!

One day she was still my baby...
and the next she was an adult. 

Here are some photos that I took at a local Limestone Cutting House (Woolery Mill) that is just about 1/2 mile from our home. It's very industrial and I believe adds interest to the background of a photo. People come from miles around to take their pictures here and it is literally in my backyard. :)
On a side note: Our limestone is in a lot of federal buildings in DC and also the Empire State Building....yep, all right here from good ol' Indiana...quarried and skillfully sculpted by artisans.

Katie Cap 8x10


Katie Column 8x10


Katie Standing best 8x10



and...a whole lot of this happened for her Open House Celebration on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at our home. 
2016 Scrolls

Diplomas

Grad hats

Katie Grad Girls

I also made 100 cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing in her 4 favorite flavors: Carrot, Red Velvet, Vanilla and Chocolate. We also had, Homemade cream cheese mints along with mixed nuts, berry fruit salad and fresh cut pineapple. For drinks I had wee bottles of milk (you know milk and cookies), bottled water and soda. It was a fabulous day! Lots and lots and lots of people came to show their support of my beautiful girl and offer their sincere congratulations. We couldn't have been more proud!

Katie is going to attend Indiana University ~ Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI).
She has already been accepted into the Purdue School of Engineering on the IUPUI campus. 
She is majoring in Electrical Engineering.
 (just like her Daddy...you talk about his chest being all puffed up!)
She will be approximately 1 hour from us, so it will be OK...that's what I keep telling myself.
She's ready to fly....


My girl graduated with Honors...
she earned a 4.3 gpa and many other academic awards
(Principals Elite Academic Honor Diploma, Indiana Scholar Athlete, National Honor Society Scholar...there are more, but you get the idea)

Bursting....
with pride. 

This week on Thursday and Friday she will go off to Orientation at IUPUI.
The end of July will see us moving her up there for the year (She's taking "bridge" classes early to get the hang of campus life and such before all the students return)

So the hubbub continues.... :)


On to all things stitchy....


I finished Country Cottage Needleworks, darling design entitled: "Stitching Time"
I did a few changes...
made the girl chubby to fit me, also gave her blond hair but most notable is I changed the color scheme from light cottage colors to darker color palette to fit my home. It is stitched on 32 ct. Mocha using DMC in my own colors as described.
I love how it turned out!
CCN Stitching Time

I finished the next row of...
Summer House Stitche Workes "Calico Sampler"
Again I have switched it all up changing the colors from Gentle Arts to Classic Colorworks cottons, I'm stitching it on 32 ct Wichelt Amber and I'm doing all of the letters in the same color rather than having them different colors. 
Loving this one too!

SHSW_Calico Sampler

Since I'm nuts about Floss Tube on YouTube and have watched hundreds of videos of people doing Mill Hill Kits, I finished this one:

Mill Hill Holiday Sled

I've also been working on:
"All Creatures Great and Small" by Barbara Ana Designs

Barbara Ana _ All Creatures Great and Small

and lastly...
last year I bought into the "Serenity Harbor" by By the Bay Designs. I got the patterns every week and I was excited to start but life kept getting in the way. 
First I had problems with finding the Fabric Flair fabric that was being made specifically for the piece. Then finally when I got it, it was out of stock...long story short I finally got a piece and well...it STUNK. I was not happy with the color, at all, I felt like photos I had seen of it were much prettier, more mottled than my piece appeared. So I was a little disgusted and put it on the back burner. 

I kept looking at many finishes of this sampler and it spoke to my heart like the very first day I saw the design. It reminds me of St. Augustine. I think the reason it reminds me of St. Augustine is because of the lighthouse and church in it, not to mention the water and the pelicans flying overhead in the sampler. But when I think of Serenity, St. Augustine is my place. After many years of going there for our family vacations and visiting there as a girl....it holds lots of special memories.

Since this year we will not be vacationing there...
:(

I decided on the week in June that we typically travel to St. Augustine for our yearly vacation, I will begin to stitch this design. In memory of our fun that we have. In order to do that...
I had to have some fabric that suited me. 
SO...
I bought some liquid rit in Pearl Gray, cut a piece of 35 ct. linen and went to town. 
THIS....
is what I wanted for my piece. 
First try, nailed it!

fabric for Serenity Harbor


I've also been finishing...


MW_Bunny Fobs MW_Christmas MW_St. Patrick's Day PG_JBW Snowman DJ_Quaker Box Topper MW_Believe MW_HoD January Chalk MW_JBW Ornaments MW_LHN Season's Greetings MW_Lizzie Kate Summer Exclusive MW_New Year MW_Peace HIH MW_WTNT Word Play BJ_Heart pillow

So that does it...
until next time. I've got lots of work to get done :)
Believe me.

So in an effort to switch things up, because I think sometimes people get stuck in a rut seeing the same 'ol same 'ol and skip over my endings. 
I'm going to switch things up. 

I tell my kids this almost every day: 

Treat others how you wish to be treated.
You never know what others are dealing with...treat them kindly.
SMILE!
No one likes a know it all.
Stand for something you believe in, don't be a doormat.
Say what you mean, then do what you say.

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Manic May...

Hellooooooo folks!
I'd love to post photo after photo and show you and tell you all about what is going on in my May, and let me tell you there has been A LOT, but our computer hard drive died. My husband is trying to fix it, BUT...the going is S-L-O-W...

In the meantime, I am posting this from my daughter's laptop and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that our desktop has therefore I can't post much of anything. 

However...
if you would like to see what is up with me you can see me at my Floss Tube Channel for my early May Update HERE

And I did another for the end of May: HERE

I also created another finishing video, this one is for a Mounted Flatfold. This is step by step on how to create your very own Mounted Flatfold - the finish I am using to create the Gingerbread Village Pieces for Country Cottage Needleworks models. You can access that video tutorial: HERE

In the meantime...
The Pfeiffer kids are finishing their last three days of school for the 2015-2016 school year. 
Katie is getting ready to mark the end of her High School career with Graduation that will take place next Saturday, May 28th. I'm trying to be strong.... because this is what I have been doing for the past 18 years ~ preparing her to fly,  and she will soar! I know she will.
I have lots of photos to share and will have lots more, I'm sure.

Until next time...
Treat your neighbors with kindness and respect, 
BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in the world, because it starts with YOU,
and finally, like I always tell my kids: Say what you mean, then DO what you say!
Until my computer is working again, 
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God, just like always...
while I run myself a little bit batty ;)

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Retreat...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to my blog!

I hope this finds you all well and wonderful!
It has been a busy few weeks, so let's get started....

This past weekend...
I was lucky enough to be able to attend a retreat of a closed group of ladies that call themselves, 
The Hoosier's Stitchers. 
I have been a member on-line of this group for years, but with my kids young and my working on the weekends, I just never attended a retreat, until this past weekend!
WAHOO! It was so much fun!
Here's the Name Tag Necklace I made myself :

My Name Tag

We had a whole lot of fun....just relaxing and stitching, stitching, stitching!
I taught a quick class on cord making :)

The weather could have been better, it was wet, icy and cold...but inside there was warmth, fun and LOTS of laughter!
I don't have one blasted picture to share with you because I was too busy flapping my jaw and stitching :)
I started and finished a project though!

The Gilmour House Sewing Tray
by With Thy Needle and Thread ~ Brenda Gervais
stitched on 30 ct. Weeks Dye Works Cocoa linen
using Belle Soie Icing by Classic Colorworks

WTNT Gilmour Brothers_front

WTNT_Gilmour Brothers Coverlet 

WTNT Gilmour Brothers Sewing Tray

I have the sewing tray....but honestly, I wanted it a little larger and I am going to frame it. 
I love how it turned out. But I'm going to be honest. I thought I'd have this knocked out in NO TIME...but it took me two days and one evening of stitching nearly constantly!
~ minus jacking my jaw and laughing hysterically ~
There are more stitches in there than what you think!

We had a dirty Santa game...
that was an optional experience, but I chose to participate. 
Participants had to choose items related to stitching that were:
Dull
Shiny
Soft
Hard
Chocolatey
Froggy
Just Because
and your MUST HAVE stitching accessory.

So....
I got to thinking real hard and I chose:
Must Have Stitching Accessory: Thread Heaven
Just Because: Puffin Needle Minder ~ Dragon Fly
Chocolatey: BIG bag of Hershey Nuggets
Shiny: Two packs of Bohin needles
For Froggy: A Project Envelope
My Froggy Project Envelope

For Soft: A small accessories envelope
My Accessories Case

For Hard: A Floss Tag
For Dull: A Pincushion
My BEE set

My box was stolen three times which was the most times one box could be stolen and the winner was Sandi Gomez. I hope that she loves the box as much as I loved creating it for her!

FUN!!
I got a lot of sweet colored flosses, a sweet small scissors, some aida and a gift certificate to my LNS!! The creator of my box was Jodi! Thank you Jodi! :)

On the Homefront....
we were just notified that Miss Ellie is one of the five finalists for 4H'er of the year 2016!!!

Untitled

How proud do you think I am?..........
PRETTY DOGGONE PROUD!!!!!!

And this doesn't seem possible....
but in about 5 weeks, this girl:

Katie_Senior_2016

will be a graduating Senior from
Bloomington High School South
Class of 2016

Does not seem possible.
...and writing it makes me want to cry.

What else has been going on?
~ finishing for my lovely clients ~
I'll let the pictures do the talking....


LW_Shepherd's Bush Mary's Stocking finished for Julia PG_Friendship Flatfold front PG_Friendship Flatfold PG_Memorial Pillow front PG_Memorial Pillow back PG_Merry One JP_Brooke's Books Advent 8 and 9 JP_CCN Merry and Bright JP_CCN O Come JP_Ho Ho Ho JP_LHN Sampler Tree JP_LHN Tiny Skater SR_Halloween Pillow CM_SHSW Calico Sampler Wall Hanging CM_Summer House Stitche Workes _Calico Sampler Hanging MD_AB_Charlotte MD_Chessie and Me tuck MD_Janette Douglas Designs Pincushion MD_JBW Mary Had a Little Lamb 
MD_PSS_Winter Wiener

Until next time....
celebrate every day because, every day is a gift from God!
Be kind...
Hugs in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx