Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Wrap-up...

~ Warm Welcome Friends! ~
I hope you all are faring well. I was struck last week with the respiratory flu bug. Thankfully it didn't go into a secondary infection, but I am still battling fatigue and exhaustion 8 days out. I have been a professional sleeper and I could sleep more. I'm just exhausted...

But since I've not done much of anything except sleep...
I tried to force myself to do something worthwhile, so I stitched :)

May I present my first Prairie Schooler Santa:

2002 Yearly Santa
designed by: Prairie Schooler
stitched on 18 ct. Davos
using DMC as charted

2002 Prairie Schooler Santa

and I stitched a second Santa!! This cutie is from:

Book 36 St. Nicholas II 
designed by: Prairie Schooler
stitched on 18 ct. Davos
using DMC as charted

Bk 36 Prairie Schooler St. Nicholas

and that's not it! I also finished:

A Little Christmas
designed by: Lizzie Kate
stitched with GAST, WDW and DMC as charted
this was a "littles" kit

Lizzie Kate A Little Christmas

So friends...
I know I'm not very chatty today, I'm just not feeling great yet...but soon hopefully. 

Until next time...
I'll be getting better (I hope!) and keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Stitching Story...

~ Greetings Peeps and Peepettes! ~
:)
how are all of you doing? I hope grand! It is only 1 degree here in good old Bloomington, Indiana...and my fanny is nearly a block of ice, because I just returned home from walking Ellie to school. Cheez Whiz its colds outside! And on top of that, I think I'm getting a cold. . . and yesterday I was just bragging to a friend of mine that I hadn't had a cold in over a year. Sheesh. Pride, gets me in my frozen fanny every time. I'll learn one of these days. But have no fear, I'm drinking my lemon/orange juice water, taking Zicam and drinking my Apple Cider Vinegar...
(WHAT?! you say...well read here and here and here and then google Apple Cider Vinegar and read a whole lot more! The mister and I have been drinking 2 TBLS of ACV twice a day for about 8 months now and we are believers! It has noticeably helped both of us, but particularly my husband with aches and pains, I think it helps with appetite control, I have a yeast and eczema problem and have for nearly my entire life on various areas of my skin - now cured. I don't know about my cholesterol but I'm a believer and so is Keith. Katie, a runner, complains frequently about muscle strains/aches and I gave it to her once and it eliminated her leg pain within the same day. Then a second thing she noticed was her face cleared of blemishes. So she takes it once a day herself. Now if you can get a teenager to drink ACV because she believes it is helping her...that's something!)

Whoa...way off track!

Back to the story...
I had a very nice letter from a reader of my blog, and she asked me if I had a specified stitching "area". That got me to thinking about how I love to see where others stitch on blogs I read and see their gadgets and gizmos that work for them. I always learn something. So I figure I'd share mine with you.

I have two stitching "areas" in our home. Why? because I have teenagers. And because my house is hangout central for all their friends (which I am COMPLETELY FINE with!!) I never know where I am going to be on a Friday or Saturday night. I want to make sure that kids don't think we are snooping on them, so I make it easy to get up and move to Stitching Place #1 or Stitching Place #2 based on who is at our house (or not). :)

This is my safe stitching place...
and typically where I'm at the most because it is in our master bedroom. We have an "en suite" master bedroom, so luckily it is like a whole living area with sitting area, sleeping area in one large room with a connected master bath and walk in closet. It is also cathedral ceilings, so it is light and airy and during the day time filled with light. Its very nice and one of my favorite places in our home! Anyway, of our home is filled with teenagers, Keith and I come upstairs to our room and my stitching area awaits. Here is my stitching place in our room:

Bedroom Stitching Area

This is my Vera Bradley...
Kiss and Make-up clutch. I use it as my "needle nest" on the arm of my stitching chair. I filled it with a pincushion and my scissors and extra pins and it sits on my arm chair so I always have a place to stick my needle. (I lose needles all. the. time.) This is my way of not losing needles (or sticking them in the armchair to be pushed down in the arm, or into someone's hand when they come to sit down) This is also convenient for when I leave the house, I snap the lid closed, grab my project envelope and off I can go to stitch in the car (or where ever, and always have my needles, scissors and someplace to stick my needle!) Sadly, the Kiss and Make-up bags are discontinued. You can get them on eBay, but plan on $$$ for them.

Kiss and Make-up Bag

I was thinking...
lately that I need another Kiss and Make-up clutch for my downstairs area, that way I always have one upstairs and one downstairs for stitching at a moments notice. (That's what I do, I have projects ready upstairs and downstairs so if I have a minute. I sit and put in a thread or two)
anyway...I'm cheap and paying a lot of dough for a bag that is discontinued rubs me raw. So...while at work this weekend I saw this tin:

Tin

I opened it up...
and it was filled (well filled 1/4 of the way) with sugared pecans. My co-worker and I divested the tin of the nuts (yes, by eating them all ourselves). And I brought it home. Where I made this little pincushion:

Little Pincushion

and lined the tin:

Line the Tin

Then added the pincushion, I had made:

Add the Pincushion

Put it on the arm of my chair and added my ring of floss and BAM! instant needle nest! And it cost me ZERO! :) and it can have the lid put on it and slam it in my project envelope to take when I leave for a little vanside stitching in parking lots waiting on the kiddies! Cool beans!

Arm Chair Needle Nest

Which brings me...
to my downstairs (living room) stitching area:

Downstairs Stitching

this shot is from behind my chair and you will notice that the TV is on the wall facing the room (and that I really can't see it) Well I can, but I wouldn't sit there to watch TV. However, I find, that I listen to TV more than watch it, particularly when I'm stitching. So it suits fine. And if I really want to watch TV while I'm stitching, I pull the chair out a bit and I can see it fine :)
...or I go upstairs to my room...
anyway...you will notice the afghan on the back of my chair, well my colleague, mentor and good friend, Ann, made that for me this year and gave it to me for Christmas. Isn't it gorgeous? I can wrap my frozen fanny in it and stitch away!
You will also notice the random foot stool in the middle of the room...? Well that is her Royal Highness Princess Ellie's personal TV viewing stool. And if Mommy moves it, she gets her rear chewed out ;) ha ha ha! So we leave it for her Royal Highness to perch whenever she gets the notion. Its the little things in life...

Stitching Chair from behind

Here is my market basket...
filled with my project envelopes, all containing a different kitted project, all ready to go. I can move this up and down wherever I go to stitch.and its ready with all the essentials including frames, q-snaps, measuring tape, scissors, etc. Today I plan on stitching downstairs so I brought it down this morning  with me.

My Market Basket Filled with Project Envelopes

another sweet gift...
I need to share is the little ivory pinch pot there, filled with scissors. At Christmas under the tree was this huge wrapped package. It was for me from Ellie. I opened up this huge box and in the bottom was this little pot, wrapped in a huge bunch of bubble wrap :)
She had made it in art class at school and when the teacher asked her why she chose to make a pinch pot, rather than her hand print, etc. She told her that it was because her Mama sewed and that she needed a place to put her scissors so she wouldn't lose them. Talk about wanting to make a Mama cry...
So forever will this Mama use her beautiful ivory pinch pot to keep her scissors so that she doesn't lose them.

Ellie's Pinch Pot

So that's my story peeps! Want to see what I'm working on and even what I have finished?
Sure you do!

First up:
"The Melicent Turner Sampler"
A reproduction sampler from Little House Needleworks
I started this on Sunday over on the Little House Showcase and Stitch A Long Place
We have Sampler Sundays over there and I decided that I needed to participate. I've had this kitted for a long time and I went with it.

I'm stitching mine on:
30 count random linen of unknown origin and color
using Classic Colorworks cotton overdyes in the colorway Diane provided in the pattern, however I changed out Sweetest Heart, which is a pinker red for Apple Fritter which is a deeper, darker red. I think it will be sweet.

Melicent Turner Start

This is one afternoon/evening worth of stitching. I got further than I expected I would!

Melicent Turner Day One

Then I finished, Seven Pines, a complimentary design from Diane for Christmas 2013
I stitched mine on 30 ct. Dark Chino using the DMC colors that Diane gave HERE

LHN _ Seven Pines

and last night ...
Did you hear the angels singing?! Because I only have a few days of January left but I held firm to my 2014 "goal" and started the first Prairie Schooler Santa! for my someday Prairie Schooler Santa Tree, that I will hopefully have more than one Santa hanging on the tree this Christmas 2014!

Here's my progress after an hour of stitching:

My Current Project

And yes...
I DO use a floor stand and a lap stand. I get asked this the most from people, so I'll share about it because I know that people will ask me about it. So I'll give my spiel.

It is a Needlework System 4 Floor stand. I have had it now for 6 years. You buy it to suit your stitching style. Mine is the floor stand part and the Q-snap head. I also own a separate set which is: the lap/table top stand part and a second Q-snap head. I prefer the floor stand, however the lap stand is fine too. Both work...but I prefer the floor stand. The lap/table top stand is my mobile stand that I take with me to retreats, to my LNS stitching day, etc. I do use it at home too, but the floor stand is light enough that I can carry this one up or down the stairs depending on where I'm stitching here at home. Yes, these are costly and it is scary to spend that much on something. I did not "pre-test drive" it, or any model. I just did a lot of research about it. I have had two things break over the years on my head part. Both times I e-mailed the company and both times replacement parts were sent to me to fix it myself. The owner of the company even volunteered fixing it if I didn't feel comfortable, however, my husband is handy, so we didn't need to do that. I am completely satisfied, I have sold many stands over the years for the company based on people asking me about them from my blog. Maybe I should be given a brand spanking new floor stand because of my touting them as the best stand ever? :) Honestly, this stand is fabulous. If you are having issues with tendinitis (I was) or just general muscle problems, posture problems, etc. while stitching. I HIGHLY recommend this product. HIGHLY! Best single thing I ever did for my stitching life. Period. The head turns so that you can easily start out/end off. No loosening no nuts to turn, just load it and go. I stitch two-handed too, so I think that speeds stitching up a lot, which is another side benefit.

In the Q-snap head...
is F.A. Edmunds Stretcher Bars I've having a new romance with these lately for cross stitching and I have to "rig" the Q-snap head holders to hold the stretcher bars. But some old  pieces of felt do the trick. The new romance is because I have found that the stretcher bars really do "block" the piece well. Especially on a loose weave linen. But maybe its my imagination. They are also light weight, reusable, cheap and if you stitch "in hand" they are not heavy on your wrists.

So there you go folks...
That's my stitching story and my current WIPS and finishes for today!

I'll be back...
and until I do, I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Join me!

Hugs and stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little Snow...

~ Greetings Friends! ~ 
and a warm welcome :)

I have a finish to share with you...
today! It is officially my 3rd and 4th finish of 2014, but I can't show you my 1st and 2nd finishes because they are models for Little House Needleworks. But you will get to see them in July and August and you will like them a lot! 

Without further ado...
may I present: 

"A Little Snow"

A "littles" kit designed by: Lizzie Kate
stitched with called for GAST and WDW as charted
on linen provided in kit

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow

I really adore this little pattern...
the colors just are yummy! Fresh, crisp, clean, just like the frosty mornings we've been having around here lately.

Lizzie Kate  side of A Little Snow

Isn't that...
font used for "SNOW" beautiful? I love that too, along with the charming houses all bedecked and bedazzled in snow along with their sweet little snowmen in the yards.Cute!

I also stitched...
the BONUS! pattern provided in the chart and it turned out sweet as can be, and will count as my FIRST ornament of the year ;)  It is stitched on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha over two threads to make it just wee bit larger, as its tiny. 

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow Bonus Pattern

And here is the completed projects from the kit "A Little Snow" together...
Just Darling! Don't you agree?!

Lizzie Kate A Little Snow Main Pattern and Bonus

I called my LNS...
and ordered the frame that goes with this sweet design and I'll make the ornament up at a later date and it will be featured in this years The 25 Days of The Twisted Stitcher!

My eyes...
are doing great! Yesterday I had a check-up and I am seeing 20/25!!! And I'm just two weeks out! I don't have to go back for 1 month and the doctor told me that my vision will continue to improve and that I likely will end up at least 20/20 and probably 20/15! SWEET!!! 

I've got my next project...
loaded up and rip, roaring to make a start on it. You'll have to wait to see what it is. :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my "hands to work and heart to God" just like always! Join me!
and speaking of "hands to work and heart to God" did you see my signature sampler? You can view it here on Diane's Blog or right here on LHN's website 
YEP, I'll be stitching this baby up too! ;)

Love in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Happy 2014!

And a very warm Happy New Year to all of my readers :)

I want to extend my most gracious thanks to all of you who have written to me via e-mail, cards, letters, comments wishing me a good recover for my PRK eye procedure. We are 6 days out now and I can say this. I am not seeing WELL yet. I am able to type this blog post with: my screen zoomed to 250%
but yesterday I got my "contact bandages" removed and my doctor said, "Your eyes are healing beautifully and your eyesight will just get better and better from here on out..." May that be so, because as of right now, its all sort of been a pain....in the eye. BUT if it all works and I never have to wear contacts or glasses again then HURRAH!!!

So...
what have I been up to? Basically not much due to my incapacity to see anything in the new year! But with the help of cheaters, my sexy polarized sunglasses (I'm very light sensitive) and my big magnifying glass...I have been stitching! (can't keep me down!) But its on Calendar Girls that you can't see yet! :(
But I must say...they keep getting cuter and cuter as they go along! And I'm just now almost finished with August, so if you are on the fence, jump in the paddock, cause they are cute as buttons!

Soon...
As soon as I get the girls all dolled up for their photo shoot with Diane...I'll be able to stitch something to show you!

So until then...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God with my screen zoomed to 250%
Thank you for your words, your prayers and support! They helped me when I was feeling pretty down about not being able to see...and Katie read each and every word from you to me and it made me SMILE :)

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Vonna and PRK

Hello All!
Since my mom, The Twisted Stitcher, has just gone through her eye surgery and is currently sleeping, I thought I would inform you all that she had a successful surgery according to the doctor! Her eyes are hurting but we are hopeful that the doctor is right and the final result is good. Thank you for all your prayers and warm thoughts you have been sending her way. Updates on her results of PRK will also be posted as she heals up.
Thank you for all your care. :)
Katie Pfeiffer, The Daughter