Thursday, April 28, 2022

Nearly May and it's a countdown....

 ~ Greetings and a Warm Welcome to my blog ~

Well....
I don't even know where to start, so I'll start with recent happenings first and move through my mind to what I can remember (with ain't much nowadays...😂)

Yesterday on April 27, 2022....
Keith and I celebrated our 26th Wedding Anniversary.

Untitled Untitled
I think we look better older :) Which is a good thing I suppose - all that clean living! 😁
We were both *almost* 26 when we were married and today we are *almost* 52.

I have always wanted a big stack of Shaker boxes....for our 26th anniversary, my dear, sweet hubby purchased these from Joe or the "Oval Box Man" who is from Connecticut and was featured (I think like in 1996 or at least late 1990's) in the Early American Life Magazines. I had pulled his article out and put in my "dream book". Keith found him and ordered this beautiful 10 stack of maple Shaker boxes. They are absolutely gorgeous!

Untitled

The big thing going on around here is: 
PREPARATIONS FOR KATIE'S WEDDING....
Oh my word....
SO Keith and his brother, Randy, made all these box trays to my specifications.

Untitled

Last weekend....
what ended up taking a complete 12 hours....I painted them using 
Americana Acrylics "buttermilk", I wanted to have them done last weekend, but....

Untitled

This weekend I'm going to antique them with Briwax and rub them to an old patina. 
They are going to be perfect.
Untitled

To me just looking at them...
I know I could figure out exactly what they were for, but it seems a large population on social media thinks I'm silly for doing all of this and can't figure out why I am making them. 

As you may or may not know...
I collect Antique Ball jars - the real ones from the early 1900's to late 1950's. Ball is not only an American made product, but it also is a Hoosier made product, manufactured right here in good 'ol Indiana! Since my early marriage I have picked up these aqua colored jars because they "used" to be very cheap in junk/antique stores. In the past few years they have become in "vogue" so the prices have risen almost stupidly. 
Here you can see a portion of my collection (this was at Christmas time so they have snow and trees in them) but after winter they are empty. 
Untitled

So any way...
we are having a country/rustic/dressy casual wedding.
The boxes are going to be used like the one on my dining room table (also made to my specifications by my dear Husband about 3 years ago) here above.
They will each hold 3 of my ball jars. In the middle will be a jar holding hydrangeas (blue and ivory are her colors) the outer ball jars will hold lit candles and I have frosted eucalyptus to surround entire entourage on the inside. I can see it in my head...it's going to be gorgeous.
We are getting down to the wire so a LOT of my time is being spent on the wedding preparations - I am doing everything myself. We are expecting 200 guests or perhaps a smidge more.

This weekend I will:
finish the table boxes, make the bouquets and boutonnieres for the attendants - I want all fresh for the bride and groom, and I also wanted fresh for the parents. So thankfully I just opened my pocket book for those and paid to have them made. Well I guess, I also opened my pocket book for the flowers for the whole deal - ha ha ha! But you know what I mean. 😏
I am using my "finishing" business profits to help take the stress off of our family finances by paying for the wedding using my work profits. It makes me proud to be able to help my child in this way so she doesn't have to worry and I'm proud to be able to help my hard working husband in this way too. I have a budget and since I'm the one buying and doing everything - I know exactly what I have spent to date and I am way under (hugely under) my budget of 10K. 
THAT makes me proud too. Keith and I worked hard and have socked money away for college tuitions and weddings since our first child was born. Looking back on life, I think about how we didn't have big fancy vacations, big fancy cars...we do have a large beautiful home in which we have raised our family, but we cut all corners on going out to eat/vacations/ luxuries....and you know what, I'm glad we did because now as the chicks fly, we can loosen the straps and cut loose in our "golden years". We owe a lot of our success to Dave Ramsay and the class we took before we got married. What he teaches you works. We have been largely debt free our entire married life because of his classes and books we read. So there you go - go out and read all his books, subscribe to his podcast - because what he teaches is real!

Well got off track a bit...
ya'll don't care about the wedding finances ha ha!
Here we go with what I have been stitching since last we talked:
Katie's Wedding Sampler
"Heirloom Wedding Sampler" by Stoney Creek

Untitled

As you can tell from the above photo, I need to stretch it yet, but I couldn't wait to see what it looked like after I went and got the custom frame - so this is the Stoney Creek specialty mat I purchased from Stoney Creek, and then the frame I got made custom at Michael's I will stretch and frame it myself. SOON..... It will be at the wedding as a decoration item. 

I finished a 2022 ornament for my tree:
Untitled

I found an old WIP I had buried....
Pulled it out and finished it just in time for Easter!
"In His Hands" by Dimensions
Untitled
The Custom Frame is ordered - I will frame myself.

stitched on kit 16 count aida using kit floss 2/1

Close up to critique my stitches...
Untitled



I finished "Brown Swiss Dairy" by Told in a Garden - Marilyn Leavitt Imblum

Untitled

I personalized it to have meaning to me...
we live 30 minutes Northeast of Odon, Indiana which is home to several Amish families. We get our meat from them and when we drive there we pass this little Amish Dairy and this piece reminded me of that so I put Odon, Indiana on mine. I LOVE IT!
Custom Frame Ordered - I will frame myself.

Stitched on 28 ct. Summer Khaki 2/2 using DMC as called for

Untitled

In solidarity with the Ukraine - 
I started "Sunflower Snowman" another Dimensions Kit
Here is where I am:

Untitled
stitching on white evenweave 28 count 2/2 using DMC

This is what it looks like finished: 
*this is not mine - I just pulled it from the internet to share what it will look like*
Untitled

Finally....
I am sure you have noticed that my tastes in stitching are changing a bit. I find with social media and YouTube watching that I get tired of seeing the same sampler over and over and over or the same smalls over and over and over. I have a huge stash. I bought these things for a reason. I loved them! I thought they were beautiful! My life is entering a new season - one where I am not sitting in parking lots or have to fret about a baby/child eating needles or spilling chocolate milk on my projects. So I find that I am drawn to larger, more intricate stitches. 
With this being said: 
I started my "Lady of the Flag" by Mirabilia - Nora Corbet

Untitled

I'm stitching her on 30 count "Constitution Fabric" by The Primitive Hare
using called for DMC 2/2
Close up so you can critique my stitches
Untitled

With me starting this piece...I have fallen in love *again* with the BIG LADIES of Mirabilia and Lavender and Lace. I have a lot of their patterns and you can put money in the bank you will see several started over the next few month.
My stitching is changing and I am enjoying it MORE THAN EVER!

Another recent thing that happened at our house is:
Ian (my oldest twin) moved out. He too will be getting married in October of this year. He moved into an Apartment to be a big boy for a few months until his marriage. 

So.....
that meant that a bedroom was OPEN for business!
Jacob moved out of his room into Ian's empty room which left Jacob's room open and my sweet dear husband told me it was time for me to move on up to the second floor!!!!!!

He painted the room in a very soft buttermilk white that we have other places in our home. It is an old Historical Register Paint by Valspar called "Woodrow Wilson White"
I bought a hutch off of Facebook Market place and stripped, fixed the hinges, painted the pulls, and painted the whole thing "ice cap white" and we set up my new "Lair" no longer a cave as I have beautiful double windows!

Untitled

Untitled

1

2

3

4

I cannot be MORE HAPPIER thank I am with my new Lair...
it is a PLEASURE to go to work each day!

OK friends that's enough from me...
I will not be back until after the wedding...
but I will have lots of photos (I'm sure) to share with you then. 

In the meantime....
I have started back up sharing my stitching on YouTube @vonnapfeiffer
You can always catch me on there once/per month *hopefully* 
And you can follow me on FLICKR where I upload all of my finishes and several life happenings (including Ellie's Art) again Vonna Pfeiffer there
And of course I try to keep a daily update of my life/stitching/finishing when I have it on Instagram @vonnapfeiffer

So if you want to be in the "Vonna-know" there is where you'll find me! 

~ All my love to you all! ~

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

Friday, February 18, 2022

Mid-February and all it's glitter....

 ~ Welcome friends to my blog ~

Good Morning....(Afternoon, Evening...) 
Well here it is February 18....and I've been sick basically the entire month....
Yes that which shall not be named struck our household starting mid-January. Ellie brought it to the house and one or two of us has fallen each week (including the neighbors down the street (Katie and Austin) who came to eat pizza - I told them it was a bad idea.) 

Anyhoo...Keith and I were the last two to fall...he's got very much different symptoms than me. He has a horrible dry cough and some fatigue. I had horrible congestion and bone weary fatigue. I sleep in a 24 hour period about half of that. Today is the first day I've risen before 7 a.m. (I usually am up by 5 a.m.) We are 2 weeks in yesterday. My congestion and "cold" symptoms are basically over....but my exhaustion. Oh my worse than when I had mono. . . 
I'm trying to work a little each day in the cave and then make supper and that's it for me. I haven't walked in over 2 weeks. I don't think I could drag my butt around the walking trail to do our typical 2 miles. I soon will be well and I'll get back to it.

Even though I have not been myself...
I have been stitching! Let me share with you what I've gone and done :)

~ Little House Needleworks - Fall on the Farm ~
I am stitching mine on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha Lugana 1 over 1
using Classic Colorworks as called for in charts
and again my own border which you may find: HERE
Untitled

I finished!
~ Oliver's Stocking by Shepherd's Bush ~
For Keith
Stitched on 18 count natural linen 1 over 2 using DMC and Week's Dye Works Pearl 5 cottons

Untitled

Some close ups to see the bedazzling pack goodies on the piece:

Untitled


Untitled

I worked a couple of days on
~"Quaker Street" by Marjorie Massey ~
I'm stitching on 32 ct. Chalkboard Linen 1 over 2 using DMC Floche in Blanc
Untitled

Then After I got done with Keith's Stocking I thought....
Now it is time to choose something for Vonna. So I chose:
~ Brown Swiss Dairy by Told in a Garden Marilyn Leavitt Imblum ~
I'm stitching this on 28 ct. Summer Khaki 2 over 2 using DMC as called for.

Here is my Start:
Brown Swiss Dairy_1

And here I am a few days in:
Brown Swiss Dairy_2

Before anyone asks...the side "tensioners" (that's what I call them) are my own invention - thus homemade. It is double sided "velcro" and mitten clips. I just put them on the sidebars of my Rolaframe and clip to the side of my linen. Makes it drum tight every time.


I've also done some finishing....
~ here are some of my favorites ~

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

This Bunny made as a stand up turned out wonderfully ~
I found out - thanks to a helpful follower and commenter - that it is from
Leisure Arts - Holiday Reverie 1997

Untitled

This one is also from an older Leisure Arts Book - "Merry Christmas ABC's"

Untitled

Untitled

Finally - this is from Hobby House Press - A Cross Stitch Shop where the owner is designing and she asked me to finish her cover models for these two lovely projects.
You may find their website: HERE 

Untitled

They have some lovely designs that are available for purchase hard copy or with PDF download. You may view those selections: HERE 

Alright friends...
That catches you up to date with the Pfeiffer Household!
We are alive and kickin' although maybe not kickin' as lively as usual...
we are taking our vitamins and we will kick this "that shall not be named" to the curb soon....
because we have a wedding to put on coming up fast June 4th.

Until next time....
all my love, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Here's February....

 ~ Welcome Friends to my blog ~

It is a snowy and icy Thursday here in good ol' Bloomington, Indiana. They predicted 8-12 inches has been lowered to 6 inches and that's fine by me :) But pretty much we have ice and now it is snowing so - as can be imagined everything is pretty much cancelled and people are staying home. 

I love days like these. I got my lawn chair out this morning (it is before 7 am here right now) and I sat on our front stoop to just listen to the quiet. How I love the muffled stillness of a winter snow day! Magical! During those 15 minutes of just immersing myself in the still (and the cold) I gave thanks to God for my blessings and new day before me. It's one of my 3 positive things this morning..... I am practicing writing down 3 positives every morning and every evening before sleep...I used to mentally do it every night before bed as a sort of reflection of conscience and to remember all the good in my life. But I must say, writing it down is more reflective (in my own opinion) and gives it more importance (again my own opinion). I know that many people practice this and there are many ways to do the same thing, this is my way and I have enjoyed it as my "new" way to focus on joy, every day and try with all my might to remain and be: positive.

So let's get down to why you are here....
I've had a major uptake in my cross stitching life. I think it is because of what I am choosing to focus on this year: Christmas
yes, I'm pretty much keeping Christmas in my heart all year long. 
Christmas is my happy place.

This past week I finished: 

"The Watcher" ~ Camille Harrison
This is found in the 2001 Better Homes and Gardens "A Cross Stitch Christmas"

Untitled
This sweetie is stitched on 32 count Belfast linen using DMC as called for and retro dated to Ellie's 3rd Christmas (because that's what she looked like back then) I think in my last blog post I shared why I stitched this a second time....because I missed it on my tree after giving it to Katie to put on her Christmas tree in her own home......I missed it as I LOVE this ornament. So I re-stitched it for myself and as I was stitching it I thought: Ellie looked like this too at 3 years old...so I put her name on it. However, when she's a big girl....it will be gone. I sort of lamented about this on an Instagram post and  some sweet person on Instagram said I should stitch it again with my name and year that I was three years old....you know what?! I am going to do that! So at some point you will see this again. :)


Then I also finished the sweetest little Santa... I loved him from the very first moment I saw him.
From: "Merry Duo" by Emily Call of Salt & Pepper Stitching 
It is an Etsy shop and you can find it HERE 

Untitled

I stitched this little darling on 32 count black Belfast using DMC 2 over 2.
this was #2 ornament in the challenge that I decided to join (since I bought a 5th Christmas tree on the after Christmas sales) I have so many cross stitch ornaments that it was getting a little ridiculous (Keith's words... ha ha!) so I was going to stop stitching ornaments, but that made my heart sad, so....I bought another tree! Ha!
Anyway this was ornament #2 in Carol of "Stitching Dreams" 2022 ornament challenge. I know every one knows Carol's blog: HERE  Last year she lead a very successful and enthusiastic group of stitchers in Instagram stitching 12 ornaments in 2021. So successful that she was asked to continue - so this year I am participating in #12in2022ornamentstitchalong, but you know me....I've decided I'd like to do: #22ornamentsin2022
 because: goals.

~ I also got a lot done on my first block of "Fall on the Farm" by Little House Needleworks ~


Untitled
I'm stitching this series as one piece, on 25 count lugana Vintage Country Mocha one over one using called for Classic Colorworks.
I also created my own "frame" and it is in the link in the previous post OR you can find the link in the tabs above under "Fall on the Farm" Frame.


I also worked on my "Oliver's Stocking" by Shepherd's Bush....
here's where I was....
"Keith" in the alphabet that Shepherd's Bush provides for the stocking was an odd number of spaces and the stylized alphabet is meant as a little wonky... I "centered" it with the" I "off center because that was closest to center of an odd numbered, spaced name.

Untitled

I should have known after the first couple of comments that some-ones must have thought it was off center....but the coup de grace was last week when asked if I knew it was off centered publicly, on my Facebook page. I was embarrassed and I'll admit I was upset, so I deleted all posts about this stocking on Facebook and Instagram and took an afternoon to pick Keith out and I made sure to end the K and the H exactly on the beginning and ending leaf patterns and I just oddly spaced the E-I-T so that it appears centered - I hope that those concerned about it (and discussing it apparently amongst themselves, I was told) can feel relieved that I have fixed it to their discerning tastes. I don't mind being corrected, however I'd have preferred being contacted, if compelled to do so, privately. It's always disappointing to me when I give a lot of myself to the world and it seems like to me that people like to beat me up or point out my errors. I talk to my husband about this and really there is two options: take everything I have every done, written, given, filmed off and delete it - or roll with it because as Keith likes to say: "You are a nail head sticking up and there will always be someone that will want to hammer you down, because you stick out."
God love Keith, he has a zillion quotes to try to buoy my spirit that he repeats to me frequently. Another one he tells me is: "you can be nice to the lion, that doesn't mean he isn't going to eat you." Or when I'm so behind on everything he will say, "it's like eating an elephant, you get it done one bite at a time." 
😂😂😂😂

Whatever....it's centered now, I suppose - well at least to the eye it is centered. 


Untitled

I also was compelled to start a pattern that I have long loved:
"Quaker Street" ~ by Marjorie Massey
I am stitching just 30 minutes first thing in the morning (if I can swing it) per day. I have only gotten 3 days in as you will see:
Untitled


Untitled

Untitled

I am stitching this one on 32 count chalkboard by Wichelt 
using DMC floche 1 over 2. 
Floche is a fiber by DMC dyed in the same colors as regular DMC cotton embroidery threads (albeit they do not have the range of colors as the embroidery cottons). It's a lovely fiber to work with. AND if you love to work on 28 or 32 count fabrics over 2 it is fantastic as you only use one strand to stitch with. It has a lovely luster and sheen to it. 
One strand of Floche is equal - in my book - to 2 strands of embroidery floss,
 however DMC says:  1.5 strands embroidery floss. 
The photos above show the coverage. It's fantastic!

My bestest long-distance bud - Joanie Lintz from New York, is starting a new retirement business of painting - it's been a dream of hers to open a folk-art/decorative painting business. She and her husband are a dynamic duo - he cuts the surfaces and she paints them. You may remember my Jolly Old Soul from Christmas? Well this guy: Mr. Frostbite is Joanie's newest creation. 
Interested in owning one? 
Interested parties my contact on Facebook Direct Messenger:  Joanie Lintz 
or on Instagram: joanie1ny
to get on her list for these little guy(s).


Untitled

Ellie is a skating queen every Thursday night at a local roller rink. Makes me smile - I loved to roller skate when I was a preteen and teenager....roller skating to all the 80's songs :) 
She loves to skate and she's really good!

Untitled

and to end this chatty post....I am leaving you with~
 a beautiful sunset:

Untitled

a snowy view:

Untitled

and a kitty pile:

Untitled

These are Katie's cats - my grandkitties and she sends me pictures every day of them. This was yesterday's :) Little darlings!

~ Until next time ~
I leave you with my favorite quote from a man I greatly admire and is sort of my life's motto ~
"By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach." - Winston Churchill
Why? because "sticks and stones" DO break bones. Be the change - I'm trying very hard to be. 
~ Always, always kindness ~
everyone has opinions and it's OK to share them, but not at the expense of others. It is also a plus if opinions can be communicated in a kind way. And if you can't think of a kind way to communicate, it's better left unsaid. This world....has a problem of beating each other down. Turn on the TV, go to the store, drive or walk down the street, heck even stay in the privacy and security of your own home and people will go out of their way to get their own point, their own agenda, their own way of thinking across to you. I prefer kindness. I try to share only kindness. And although I fail, I am blessed if granted a new day, a new hour, a new minute, a new moment to start over and try again.
All my love, 
Vonna xxxx