Friday, January 30, 2015

Inspire Your Heart with Art...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~

Did you know that Saturday, January 31, 2015 is
"Inspire Your Heart with Art Day"

I was invited to write about how Art Inspires My Heart by Patience Brewster, an artist who specializes in ornaments and gifts.  

I typically do not accept invitations such as these because (to be honest) this is my blog and I want it to be a representation of me, not a free advertisement for others. However in correspondence with Patience Brewster's daughter, Marietta, about this National Day of Art Inspiration, I felt that it did encompass me and my life, so I accepted the invitation graciously, and here we are ready to learn how Art Inspires My Heart!


what is art? If you look up the word art in the dictionary the definition is: 
something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings
Well that's sort of rigid, isn't it. I agree imagination is typically always used. Skill? hmmm...maybe not so skillful in every step of the process I employ. Beautiful? well I've created some pretty bufugly things before. Expresses important ideas or feelings? well......I'm not trying to change the world when I create. So...I guess I cannot be considered an artist.

that's not right either. Let's just say that the art that I create is one that inspires me, inspires my family and if I'm lucky it inspires a whole lot of people from all over the world that I'm lucky to have come and visit me, encourage me, right here in my little corner of cyberspace. I sure know that when I visit other little corners of cyberspace, I sure do get inspired with the art they choose to create! 

I have been very blessed with a very active imagination....
I sometimes will not be able to sleep all night long (I'm not kidding!) thinking about how I'm going to finish something, how I'm going to decorate my house, what I'm going to stitch next, how many ornaments my poor tree will be able to hold before it falls over... 

In fact I have learned that...
I cannot look at Pinterest or Blogs (of any kind) before I go to bed, if I do...forget it, sleep will never come because I'm plotting, planning, creating in my mind.

A good example of this is...
Barn Quilts. Familiar with them? If not they are similar to this: 

I don't have a barn. But I'm going to have one of these quilts in my landscaping this year. Period. I've got it all planned out, two sleepless nights and a whole lot of research proves that! I know how I'm going to make it, where its going to go, patterns I'm using - well you get the idea. In fact, last night I realized I actually could have TWO barn quilts in my landscaping, one in the front of the house and one on the side (we live on a corner) so...visibility on three sides of our home. Barn Quilts...its happening at my house this spring. Period. My husband...he rolls his eyes, shakes his head and...endures


So one way my heart is inspired with art...
 is through making things and decorating my home with my handmade items. How do I do this? Well I don't draw or sculpt, but I paint with needle and thread onto a canvas of linen and create treasures for my family to enjoy. Such as this little ornament that shall adorn our Christmas tree: 
Country Cottage Needleworks motif taken from Snow Sampler
This sweet ornament was created using a motif from:
"Snow Sampler"
I converted the DMC cottons into over-dyes from Classic Colorworks
I used colors that was in the same colorway as the DMC, but the varigation found in the overdyes makes the colors a little more interesting. 
I finished it into an ornament using rick-rack that I had hand-dyed myself to compliment the fabric I had on hand to finish it. I'm really pleased with how this all turned out.

As if you, my loyal blog friends, don't already know this fact: I love Christmas and I adore making ornaments for our tree! So that is another way my heart is inspired by art...through the finishing of my stitched pieces creatively to make the stitched piece shine to its utmost potential. I love to think up new ways to spotlight my stitching. 

My children got some of my creativity genes...
and I'd now like to share with you some of their creativity with art.

My eldest...Katie:


When she was a little girl, used to color and draw and craft up a storm! As she's grown she hasn't had as much time as she did when she was a little girl, but at 17 years old and a junior in High School, she's got places to go and people to see and classes to study for! But there was a summer where I enrolled her in a summer camp art class at John Waldron Art Center and she made me a beautiful item that sits in my corner display case top and center:Katie's Clay Bird in Nest
Katie's Pottery "Bird in Nest"
Created just for me when she was 12 years old
Katie inspired my heart with her art!

My eldest twin boy...Ian:

isn't as crafty as some of my other kiddos but this year he needed to fill a slot in his class roster and chose to take Stained Glass. I was shocked to say the least, but then he came home with some really great projects that I have displayed in our windows. When the light shines through them, they make me smile! (today isn't such a lovely day...)

"Tulip Window Pane"Ian's Clear Glass Suncatcher

"Geometrical Stain Glass Window"
Ian's Geometrical Stain Glass Window

Ian's stained glass projects inspire my heart with art!

My youngest twin boy....Jacob:

used to sit for hours and draw and draw! I have a beautiful Nativity Story Book that was made by Jacob when he was just a little boy. His pictures portraying the birth of Jesus are beautiful and I enjoy pulling it out and looking at it every Christmas season. But when Jacob was in Second Grade he won Youth Art Month for his school and his work was displayed in a month long showing at the Indiana University Art Museum! Jacob's Second Grade experience wasn't so joyful. He had a lot of learning problems and sadly he and his teacher just didn't "jive". In his Third Grade year he was diagnosed with a learning disability and things really didn't even out until he was in Seventh Grade. Those handful of years and the struggles that we faced as a family was made better by allowing Jacob to create. I sent him to art classes for drawing and cartoon creating at John Waldron. To focus on something outside of the classroom was a blessing to Jacob, as he had a lot of negativity at school. So between Art, Karate and Boy Scouts we got Jacob through some tough times. When he was chosen as artist for the second grade representing his school...that was the most jubilant wonderful thing that could have happened. Here is his wax and watercolor painting:

Jacob's Swim With the Dolphins
"Swim with the Dolphins" 
a self portrait by Jacob Pfeiffer

Jacob inspires my heart with his spirit, but he also inspires my heart with his art!

Bringing up the rear of the Pfeiffer clan is....Miss Ellie:

Out of all four of my children, Miss Ellie is the most creative by far. She is constantly creating. Her venue of choice is drawing. She watches You Tube videos of drawing techniques all the time, she checks out drawing books at our local library, she saves her allowance to purchase drawing books, she is drawing, drawing, drawing! 
Last year, following in her brother's footsteps, she also won artist for her school and her art work was on display at the Indiana University Art Museum the entire month of March. Here is her winning submission:
Ellie's At The Circus
"A Day at the Circus"

I have been the recipient of many lovely handmade gifts from all of my children, but Ellie has made the most gifts. When she was in first grade she made me this lovely plate...I love how I am pencil thin and tall and my hair has that perfect curled and flyaway look that I always strive for :)
Ellie's Family Plate

Last year at Christmas she made me a pinch pot for my scissors that was glazed and fired to match my stitching chair (arm visible in picture)!
Ellie's Scissors Pinch Pot

Like I said before, Ellie is always practicing her drawing...
Here is a picture I snapped this morning of her toy box with her write-on/wipe-off board on top with this gorgeous Mermaid. Look at that tail detail!

Ellie's Mermaid

I'll admit.....
sometimes I get tired of picking up papers scattered all over the floor....but an artist has to have their creative times at a moment's notice! She's really trying hard to learn how to draw portraits...can you tell?
Ellie's Art

Last night...
 I was gifted this self portrait of Ellie walking home from school. See the house and the sidewalk? Ellie has a doggie sock-hat that has button eyes and muzzle with bows on the ears and long braids that come down the side and ends in puppy dog paws. I love the detail of that hat, not to mention the gorgeous shirt detail and the skirt that she's wearing.Ellie Walking Home From School

Ellie is just 9 years old...and her art inspires my heart!

You know what other kind of art inspires my heart?
The art of my creator...I look out my window and whether I see sunshine with big cottony clouds billowing by, pouring rain with slashing lightening, silently falling snow powdering the ground, angry churning clouds heralding an upcoming storm, blooming spring flowers dotting the greening grass or the world painted in colors of autumn matter what the season or time of day or heart is inspired by the art of Mother Nature!

I also am lucky...
 to live in a college town and have access to beautiful art in museums. 
I've already mentioned the: Indiana University Art Museum
but also in my city of Bloomington, Indiana we have a second art museum that showcases art of primitive and past peoples found in the study or archaeology at: Mather's Museum Of World Cultures. In fact Bloomington is home to many artists and there are many artist colonies in the surrounding counties. The famous artist T.C. Steele was born in Owen County and his adult home (that he shared with his wife) is in Brown County, Indiana. Brown County is just a quick 20-25 minute drive from my doorstep. In fact, Brown County is a well known artist colony and highly visited during the autumn season because of its scenic rolling hills and beautiful fall foilage. Learn about it here: Brown County, Indiana . 

Just north of Bloomington is Indianapolis, Indiana and it is home to some very wonderful museums of art:
and the Eiteljorg Museum of Art which is the countries leading museum of Western art.

I am surrounded by art....and it inspires my heart!

So there you go....
Saturday, January 31, 2015 = Inspire Your Heart with Art Day!
A fabulous day to think about art, what it does for your heart and what you can do to inspire your heart with the art that surrounds you and what you can create to inspire your heart with art!

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always, inspiring my heart with some art!

Love in stitches,
Vonna  xxxx


  1. thank you so much for sharing yours and your family's creativeness. in my family - it is the same way. my older children aren't as creative as the youngest. although - as my daughter got older, she experiments more and more with trying different creative methods. my youngest (who is 16 years younger than his sister) draws constantly....just like your youngest. it is a great outlet for him when he needs a break from the dramas of middle school. :) again, thank you so much for sharing. you blessed my day as it let me revel in the creativeness of my family.

  2. This was a lovely read, thank you for sharing!

  3. How nice Vonna. Indeed , some of the skills you have, your kids pick up just living with you. My oldest graduated FIT in NYC. My son volunteers at a museum, and my youngest is in her 3rd year of college, studying to make films. All art ,in different forms. Thank you for the post

  4. My mother often shares the story about how grandma had a neighbor lady over for tea one afternoon and how she showed off her most prized artwork. She called them her diamonds. The neighbor lady cried when my grandma proudly lined up her 7 children and presented them to her guest. Your post today reminds me of that story. You are lovely Vonna and so is ALL of your art.

  5. A lovely post! Loved seeing how your talented family is full of the love of art in your lives.

  6. What a lovely post!! I see you also have writing as an art too! Your posts all make me smile and think of things in my life too. Did not know about ART day, but now I do. Thank you for being a wonderful blogger! Linda from Kansas

  7. I love reading your blog. It is so inspirational and your love of your family comes shining through. Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. What a beautiful post Vonna! What I got from your story is how much love & support you give to your family & they to you especially expressed thru their gifts of Art!!! So special.
    love Annette

  9. This is such an inspiring post. I enjoyed each note about your children.
    All of us that stitch share the art in our lives.
    Thank you for always sharing with us your amazing talent and creativity.

  10. A lovely read. It's got me thinking about how I am inspired each day and how that is influenced by the goodness of others.

  11. All your children were graciously gifted with artist skills from their talented momma❤️ Thanks for sharing their bios and accomplishments! I loved reading more about Art in your area of IN also.... May The Arts thrive!

  12. I loved this post Vonna!!! There's a lot of talent and creativity in your household!!

  13. I loved this post, Vonna! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yours and your children's creativity!!

  14. This was very enjoyable indeed! We have two of our three as very accomplished artists.
    I look forward to the Barn Quilts. I love them.

  15. Love your new ornament Vonna ! I think I will have to stitch that one for my tree ! Wow ! You have such creative kids ! I am excited to see the barn quilts !

  16. Oooo....I love posts like this that make me think! I've been considering the meaning of art as well, mostly as it applies to cross stitch - I should get my thoughts together and continue with this theme! You did a beautiful job writing about this subject and showing how it is lived out in your own life.

    I absolutely LOVE how you support your children's talents and abilities. You never know where it will take them and how they will use their creativity in their adult lives. Remember, as Ralph Waldo Emerson so brilliantly stated, "Every artist was first an amateur". Your support of their creativity gives them the confidence to try new things and grow in the things they are passionate about. Great post! Love ~Holly

    P.S. I am crazy about those stained glass windows!!

  17. Anonymous10:34 AM

    What a amazing post Vonna! I loved seeing all the creativity of all the Pfeiffer children! It is so amazing. Each one has talent! I loved the ornament you finished, I would be interested in the color changes I love stitching with overdyes! Have a wonderful weekend!

  18. What a wonderful post Vonna! I loved reading how each of your children differ in their creativity.
    I can't wait to see your barn art! Great job on your post!!
    Have a great day!

  19. Great post, Vonna. What a joy to watch your children grow with all the pictures that you share with us. Now to watch as their creativity blooms is truly a delight. Your ornament is, as always, just super darling. I've been drooling over all the barn quilts on Pinterest myself. We are in the process of buying an old farm with an old barn. When we first saw the property, I told hubby the barn is perfect (although old and run down and needing lots of work) because NOW I can have some barn quilts of my own. Can't wait to see what you come up with this coming Spring.
    As always, I appreciate all that you so graciously share with us ~ Bobbie :)

  20. I enjoyed your post and review of art in your family, etc. Looks like you have some budding artists who are coming along! Can't wait to see what you do with a landscape barn quilt. Make sure you post pics when you complete that process. We will all be looking forward to it! Happy stitching, and being artsy!

  21. Art of any sort lifts us from the mundane to the glorious!

  22. I love that your children have your spirit!

  23. This was a great post! In your finishing you are a great artist! I loved seeing the art of your children. My children are grown, but the art done by my little neighbor is on my refrigerator.

  24. How wonderful to read this post and to read about your talented family. Getting creative is something that everone can do and it's such a wonderful journey to find out where the creative talents of our children are. And our own.

  25. Wow! What a creative family a true gift...for all to enjoy. Thank you...

  26. Dear Vonna,
    you are great!
    And I totally agree! Art is what you create - and what your talented children create - and what we all create, when our we bring something to life what our brain imagined. I am so much looking forward to the barn art in your landscaping! I hope you will share pictures of it, when you have made it.

    Thank you for this post!


    P.S.: Please excuse my bad English - I hope I found the right words for that what I wanted to express!

  27. I agree with everyone--an inspiring blog entry! And you are so creative in your finishing and decorating, it is a joy to see. You appreciate each of your children and it was interesting to hear of their artistic efforts. Bravo Pfeiffer children! When I read about your family I often think how much more wonderful the world would be if all children grew up in a home like the one you and your husband have created.

  28. Wonderful post Vonna! Such treasures.

  29. I loved reading this! Thank you so much for sharing about all of the wonderful art and artists in your life!

  30. Ooh, barn art in your landscaping--I look forward to that, Vonna! And you have certainly inspired so many of our hearts with your art through the years!! Love your latest ornament and the kids projects through the years :)

  31. With all that you accomplish I knew that you probably don't sleep! Your creativity inspires me and I cannot wait to see what you do with the "Barn Quilt" in your yard.
    I enjoyed viewing the artwork of your kiddos. I am impressed with their talent as well.

    Love your newest ornament. :-)

  32. Your latest ornament finish is wonderful!

    I disagree with such a rigid definition of art as well! We are all artists!

  33. We all knew how artistic you are, but thanks for sharing the creativity in your kids. I'm looking forward to seeing the barn quilt. You would love going to Shipshewana in the summer and see all the quilts made with flowers!

  34. You have some talented kids!! And I am really looking forward to see what you have planned for your barn quilt, sounds like fun! :)


Thank you for following me on my blog. If you have any questions, please ensure that your e-mail is left or associated with your profile so that I may contact you. Or you may contact me personally at:
My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
The Twisted Stitcher