Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stitching Santa's Village...

Nikki Leeman of Country Cottage Needleworks announced yesterday that she will be beginning a NEW 12 month series entitled Santa's Village. You can read all about it here: Santa's Village.

And being that I love to stitch-a-long, I've opened a Stitch~A~Long Blog and you can view it here: Stitching Santa's Village Together I also have laid out some stitching options, etc under the various tabs so that you can consider and contemplate :)

If you would like to join us in the stitching frenzy, please follow the instruction on the blog under "JOIN".

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shipshewana goodness...

How's it going people?!
I tell you what...I just returned from a fabulous weekend of friends, food, fun and spending money!
I attended the Inspired Needle retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana this past weekend and a great time!

I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Shipshewana 1
Lots of stitching...

Shipshewana 2
My table mates and more stitching...

Shipshewana 3
Saturday night exchange group...

One of the main reasons...
was to meet up with the Illinois stitchers, many of whom I have an online friendship with through blogging. I met them and they accepted me into their group unconditionally! We had a good great time and I think they even liked me :) or at least I sure do hope they did!

Here's some gals many of know...
on the fair end is Linda of Keeper of the Crowes , in the middle is Brenda of Brenda's Stitching  and finally is Karin A Stitching Expat Life . In front in the blue plaid shirt is Ranae of Stitch by Stitch
and next to her in the teal and black sweater is Ranae's good buddy Anna (no blog).

Shipshewana 4

Here's a sweet picture of the gals directly across the table from me...
I got to look and view their sweet, smiling faces any old time I wanted! In the red sweater is Pat (no blog), Linda and Brenda. All of these ladies, are just as sweet and kind as can be! :) Hi ya girls!

Shipshewana 5

Here is Barb (holding coffee cup) and Jayne another pair of sweethearts! (neither blog) Barb is like a guru with linen colors for projects. I believe most of us used her expertise a lot during the weekend. (Which you will see more below....)

Shipshewana 6

There was lots situations going on at the Situation Table. In depth discussions deciding on fabrics, projects, charts - which usually resulted in me purchasing something else, even if I wasn't in on the Situation Table discussion! I nicknamed the whole frenzied scenario "SHARK ATTACK" ~ cue Jaws Theme Music *please*!

Shipshewana Situation Table 1
Barb overseeing the color of linens...

Shipshewana Situation Table 2
More consultations...notice Barb again available for discussions!

Shipshewana Situation Table 3
Situations being discusses with Patti (left), Jayne, Kellie and Pat

What is a retreat...
I ask you if you don't spend a little cash (Okay, Okay, a lot of cash) Here's the stash I purchased.
(I won't bore you with the Brighton Bracelet and charms, little nick-nacks and food that I got to bring home to my kiddos....)

Shipshewana Stash 1
I purchased 4 charts (believe me I had more, but I thinned them out as I have enough charts to start my own business!) But the ones that I couldn't leave behind are (back to front):
Prairie Moon - Peace on Earth
With Thy Needle and Thread - JM Gardner (which I called 50 different names all weekend)
The Scarlett House - Christmastide at Holly House
By the Bay - Mermaid Cove

The girls decided I need to visit....
The House of Stitches in LaPorte, Indiana (about an hour north of Shipshewana) because they knew I'd never been there and that I too needed to go pay homage :) So on Friday, Brenda loaded us up and off we went! I, not having a shop that has such an extensive fabric selection near to me, went a little nuts:

Shipshewana Stash 2

On Saturday evening...
We all were gifted with this sweet scissors holder, beaded fob and DOVO scissors!

The Shipshewana Prize

On Sunday....
we all had to pack up and leave. I wanted to get a group shot of all my stitching Buds so here we are! Yeah, I belong in a gang! :)

The Shipshewana Gang
(far back l - r): Barb and Laura (Maude and Mozart)
(back): Katrina (The Needle's Promise), Anna, Karin, Patti, Jayne and Kellie
(sitting): Me, Pat, Linda, Brenda
(front): Ranae

I finally wanted to get a picture with the two people that made it possible for me to attend:
Cathy (owner of Inspired Needle)
Laura who bugged Cathy and got me on the waiting list!

Shipshewana 7
Laura, Cathy and Me

What a fabulous, great, good time I had! Thank you Cathy for a wonderful experience and awesome retreat!

I also want to wave hello to all the stitchers I met, both new friends and old friends! And a special thank you to the Illinois stitchers that welcomed me with open arms and treated me just like I was one of their own! I love you gals!

what did I stitch on retreat?! Well I had a lot of stuff in my bag! I also bought a lot of stuff....but I stitched on only one thing. I had hoped to *bang* it out in a day, but due to my BS-ing I kept on miscounting and frogging and miscounting and frogging. Heck, I think I stitched this cottage about two times over from all my stitching and frogging. But finally today, I finished it and here she is:

March Cottage
"March Cottage"
Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Nikki Leeman
Copyright 2012
Stitched as charted's where I am to date on the project....I know BEHIND as usual!
Cottage to date

Speaking of Country Cottage Needleworks...
have you seen the announcement of her New Series? You can view a snippet and read an explanation to Nikki's latest and greatest 12 month series here: Santa's Village

Does it strike your fancy?...
well it should! It has mine and because I'm the master of disaster...I'm going to open a Santa's Village Stitch~A~Long (SAL). If you would like to join....(and if I were you, I'd reserve my spot if you plan on purchasing and stitching these pretties as spots ALWAYS go rather quickly) Please kindly e-mail me: Vonna at and I'll get you on the list. I haven't created the blog yet, but I will ASAP.

Thank you so much...
my dear friends, blogging buddies and readers for hanging on for this rather loooooong post! Until next time, I'll be keeping my "hands to work and heart to God" just like always!
Vonna xxx

Monday, October 22, 2012

Where in the world is Vonna?....

Hello my dear blog readers and stitchy friends!...
Did you think I fell off the face of the earth?! Nah....I just have found that all those wise people in my life who told me 15 years ago that I would be busier when my kids became teenagers were 100% correct. :)

My whirlwind summer of travelling to and fro with the kids, became a hurricane of horrendous activities about 2 weeks prior to the first school bell ringing. We settled in and held on tight as the roller coaster of practices, clubs, activities, games and competitions whipped us around for a good three month ride. We're settled now a bit, and more is sure to be on the way....but that sure is OK, because the good Lord gave me my health and a stout character and we will "git r' done" and be thankful that we can do it together.

Here's a pictorial review of our fall sports activities:

Ian FB

Ian (#72) was lineman this season for the Batchelor "Bulldogs"


Jake ran Cross Country as a Batchelor "Bulldog"

Katie CC

Katie ran Cross Country for Bloomington South High School "Panthers"

All three big kids...
did great in their selected sport. Ian decided that he will not be playing football again next year. As our "gentle giant" (he's very tall for his age standing about 5' 9" already and yes a 1/2 inch taller than Mom), football sort of trounced on his genteel sensibilities. He is just not an aggressive, mean, "get in there and knock the stuffing outta that jerk", kinda guy. He has decided that he will begin running and train himself for next Cross Country season.

Jake did awesome in his first Cross Country season and he has desire to train with Ian so that he can knock the coaches socks off by next season.

Katie ran her first ever season in Cross Country and just in Katie fashion, totally surprised everyone with her mental tenacity.

All of the kids athletic seasons are over, and today marks the last day of there "two week" rest. Today marks the first day of their training and Katie has it all planned out what they are going to do: she told me this morning that she can't wait to get home from school and run her 40 minute "recovery run" - to which I snorted (delicately, of course). Her brothers will be joining her to train, as well, and I am firming my loins to referee a huge argument once they return from that "recovery run". As typically Katie, always very serious, will get tired of the boys goofing off during the run, so she will begin to lecture and the boys will get miffed and then it will all fall into my lap to sort and soothe. :) Teenagers! and may have noticed....I am a bit psychic. Not medium potential however...

What has Vonna been up to?...
Well my dear friends, I have been stitching a huge model for Little House Needleworks. I started in June and ended in September. I believe, Diane said, it is the largest pattern she's released yet it is definitely in the large category! Mum's the word, of course, but it will be released sometime next year (2013) and its a beauty! If you are a fan of sweet, simple and Little will. love. it!!!

What else has been going on? Well, basically 2012 has been a time of reflection and renewal in many ways throughout my life and my family's lives. After living in this home for 6 years, we decided it was time to repaint, redo and reorganize. We started in March finishing the main level, had the summer off and then at the beginning of October we started the upstairs and finished it. After 16 years of marriage I finally feel we have our home *perfect*! I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, how it looks, the purpose of every room. We have cleaned house top to bottom, gotten rid of a lot of stuff we were hoarding. It just feels good!

I also have continued to reflect on my personal self. . . my prayer life, my diet, my health routine. Happily I can announce I've lost 30 lbs and have started jogging/walking (I jog, then walk, then jog, then walk, sometimes I have a heart attack in there somewhere). I don't make it look effortless, like my kids do when they run. No, I look exactly like what I am a 42 year old overweight woman - but I'm trying and I'm doing and that is what counts! I have more to lose, more to focus on but its a constant process and progress - and however small its still progress and that is what it is all about.

So I didn't have much personal stitching to show you this year and well, life got harried. So no blogging... for months and weeks on end....

I'm gearing up for another go round of blissful stitching and sharing with all of you! My house is in order, our schedules (though busy are slowing - a bit)  and lets be frank: I've missed blogging frequently, I've missed reading your blogs, I've missed your ideas, I've missed visiting with you...well I've just missed a  lot! I feel like I'm out of the loop. I have ideas, lots of ideas....because when I can't stitch....well I still think about it. I go to my charts and play with them, drowsing and dreaming....what to stitch, how I'd like to finish it. There's lots of stuff going on in my head at all hours of the day and night.

So to kick it off....
let me introduce my latest finish and creation:

Raggedy Ornie

"Happy Hearts"
a complimentary design by: Diane Williams of Little House Needleworks
for the Norden Crafts Spotlight.
The design can be found: HERE - at the link at the bottom of the page
I stitched this one on my own dyed 32 ct. linen with DMC threads as charted

*this ornament will be an exchange piece for a retreat that I am attending this weekend in the Amish Country of Shipshewana, Indiana with the Inspired Needle*

so...this is how I finished it on the back so that the recipient can always remember that she received it at the Inspired Needle Retreat in 2012 and that some person with the initials  VP stitched :)

Raggedy Ornie_back

I must admit....
that I *really* love how I finished this. I didn't really intend for it to turn out this way when I went looking for fabric. I thought it would be a small pillow style, simple ornament with a bow. But I went to Joann's looking for inspiration in the fabric aisles and when I saw this red ticking....well that was it! Because Raggedy Ann's legs are red ticking, right? At least my old Ragged Ann had red ticking legs. So perfection was born! And then I found that great piece of green cotton....and when I laid it next to the stitching....perfect color. And when I was finishing and had it all in mind how I wanted it to look....well it just came together didn't it?! I'll be making myself one of these. :) FOR SURE!

my friends, you will definitely be seeing me again soon. (NO! I hear many of you gasp....not her again so soon...) But I know I'll have stories to share after my four days of utter BLISS stitching with my Illinois stitching buds (whom I have never met, but share a friendship over e-mail). We are gonna party like it is 1999 and we gotta stitch up our stash before the Apocalypse! :) And I bet we will be buying some more stash and pretties just to say we owned them prior to the Apocalypse! Ha....ha....

In the meantime....
I'd like to share a little something that brings happiness to my heart:

Phil, Si, Jase and Willie Robertson
of A&E's Duck Dynasty on Wednesday evenings

People....seriously tune in and have a great time belly laughing for a half hour! Laughter is good for the soul and this show has definitely been good for mine!

Until next time...
I'll be keeping"my hands to work and my heart to God" just like always! Join me....
Vonna xxx