Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Patriotic Stitches...

~ Greetings and a Warm Welcome Friends ~
I am participating in a Patriotic Stitch~a~Long over in the 
Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks 
Facebook Page. 
If any of you are members of Facebook and not a member of this board, please do join in with us!

A very kind group, with lots of great ideas and creativity abounds! 

Here is one of my favorite patriotic pieces...

"From Sea to Shining Sea"
silk thread pack from Classic Colorworks and Little House Needleworks

I stitched mine on 32 ct. Blue Sky linen
it looks like fluffy clouds bounding along the sky. 

Stitched in 2011...
at the beginning of a family vacation and finished here at home, this hangs in our office where I am currently working to fill it with patriotic samplers and finishes :)

What about you....
do you have favorite patriotic pieces? Ones that represent your country hanging in place of pride in your home? 

Don't forget about that Facebook group...
join us there if you would like to join a group of people that loves to stitch Little House and Country Cottage Needleworks designs! You get early sneak peeks of designs from Diane and Nikki and inside "information" on all things Little House and Country Cottage :) Plus you get to interface with people of like minds in a kind atmosphere! Very similar to the old style of Bulletin Boards when the internet first got going.

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God while working on the best me I can be and being kind to my neighbors.
To thine own self be true....and loving my neighbor as myself. Mottoes for life!

Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Sampler Tree...

~ Greetings Friends and a very warm Welcome to you! ~

Over the past few months....
I'm sure most of you have seen the releases of Little House Needleworks
"The Sampler Tree Ornaments"
I was blessed to be asked by Diane to stitch and finish these ornaments for this series.

Everyone knows...
how I love Christmas so they have been a joy to stitch. And I will be happy to stitch each of them again for my own someday "Sampler Tree".

In case you missed them, here they are in all their glory:
*photos used by permission from Little House Needleworks

"Old Colonial"

LHN Old Colonial

"Oh Christmas Tree"

LHN Oh Christma Tree

"Three Crowns"

LHN Three Crowns

"Christmas Rose"

LHN Christmas Rose

"Deer Valley Inn" 
*Funny note on this one. As I was stitching this, I told Diane that I started stitching the "inn" part first and I thought...this is going to be UGLY, because the thread combination threw me (the windows, window sills, color of the inn) When I got it done...and held it out and looked at it I was amazed, it was gorgeous! My favorite of the series to date. I love this one!

LHN Sweet Apples

and the newest release:
"Sweet Apples"

LHN Sweet Apples

Next Month's release is entitled "Peace" and would you know that I have no clue what it looks like?! HA HA HA! and I just stitched and finished it not that long ago. My brain is like a sieve. I process it and once its out of my hands its gone. Poof!

I am working on the last 4 models for "The Sampler Tree" and then this series will be a wrap for me.

I am so enjoying it....
are you? If not you should be, because these are sweet designs. Quick to stitch, the Classic Colorworks threads used are gorgeous and repeat throughout the series so not much extra money is tied up. The finishing is simple. The designs are timeless and elegant.

I have been stitching! Just a lot of things that are not for me to share! 

On a personal note....
I'd like to ask each of you a favor. I am a minister to the sick of our Parish. What that means is: I take the Eucharist, visit with them, pray with them and generally add support to them during their time of need. There is a lady that I have visited for the past four years in the nursing home. She is completely deaf, but lost her hearing late in life and she can read lips or she writes on a board. She has no trouble conversing with me and she says I am one person that she can easily read my lips. So to be honest, if you would come in the room when we are talking you wouldn't know she was deaf. We just talk like friends. Anyway, yesterday when I was with her, she told me she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and the tumor is very large. It has not been graded yet, options have not been discussed. But may I please ask of you to pray for healing for her and for a patient advocate that will guide her during this time and help her with all the many decisions she has facing her? I worry for her. She has never been married, has no children, she does have at least one sister, but I get the feeling that there is not many visits or help there - but I don't know that for a fact. All I know is that the nursing home sent a care taker with her to her first appointment, her sister was not there. She also suffers from severe arthritis and is unable to care for herself, therefore she is in the nursing home. Her name is Jan, prayers appreciated. And not to leave on such a down note, she looked at me yesterday and said: "I know that God will heal me!" and so He will, I know it too. That my friends is the true meaning of faith and the joy that resides inside that faith.

Until the next time my dear friends...
I will be keeping my hands to work, my heart to God while working on being the best I can be to myself and my neighbors. 
To thine own self be true....and loving my neighbor as myself. Mottoes for life!

Once again, daylight is burning and I have mountains to climb and rivers to fjord!
Hugs and love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blessed is the life...

~Greetings Friends and a Warm Welcome~
I hope on this day, wherever you may be, has the sun smiling on you and gladness in your heart!

In early April....
I was honored to be asked to stitch and finish for Little House Needleworks a design that was going to be released in celebration of Hoffman Distributing's 30th year of business. 

Diane designed...
this sweet design that was definitely poignant and meaningful to her, considering the twist in her journey that she had just learned about.

Isn't this...
a sweet design? 

"Blessed Is the Life"
stitched on: 30 ct. R and R Century Brown Linen
Using Classic Colorworks cottons

Stitched on this linen it was about 11 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide (if memory serves) and I finished it as a flatfold. This photo is darling, but the colors are not nearly as vibrant as what they are in real life. The checkerboard is more deeply rusty red and the sunflowers are more vibrant yellow. It's really darling and would be sweet in a kitchen hung to remind the home's inhabitants to find "Joy in their Journey" each and every day....putting the right foot forward. It's sweet as can be!

And while we are on the topic of Hoffman Distributing...
they have created a blog that I've known about for some time as it was sort of "announced" on their Facebook page.  A word about is floundering...and it makes me sad. I understand that Facebook and Instagram are much more quick, definitely less personal and there are some definite advantages to both venues along this mien. Especially when an author of a blog receives critical words or judgement. So believe me, I understand the idea of leaving a blog behind and closing up shop. I've considered it myself. 

But in the end...
why should I let a very rare, few bad apples spoil my basket of fruit? I'm not. So I'm going to continue to be a voice for the joy of blogging. Blogging has been a wonderful part of my life for nearly 10 years. I have made many close personal friends across the globe. So for those of you blogging, keep blogging, for those of you reading keep commenting in positive ways, because blogging takes commitment and time, and is not fun nor is it fulfilling when nobody "has the time" to comment. One word... is all it takes. One powerful. Be generous of words and deeds and use them wisely.

please join me in welcoming Hoffman Distributing to blogging. You may access their blog: HERE  Please take a moment to hike on over there and see the newest releases. You get first view of them by following them there (and on Facebook and on Instagram). And why don't you tell them I sent you there. :)

Until next time...
Daylight is burning and I've got mountains to climb and rivers to fjord.
I'll be keeping my hands to work, my heart to God and working on being the best I can be to myself and neighbors. To thine own self be true...and loving my neighbor as myself. Mottoes for life.
Join me...

Hugs and love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Passing along good information...

~Good Evening Friends~
Yesterday morning I was perusing my blogroll reading and came across a post by Donna Bayliss of "By the Bay Needleart Designs". The post was entitled, "Taming the Tongue" and it was fabulously written and I soaked up every word, as what she said in the post was something that I was raised with and something that I try very hard to do. I fail at times, but don't we all?

Perhaps the kind person with the name "Unknown" that left a most helpful comment on one of my most recent blog posts today would care to take a look at Donna's post. 

It can be accessed at this link: Taming the Tongue :) and a free chart Oh by the has a free chart too, but that isn't as important as the words contained within that post.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I need to get a life! Chapter 2....

~Welcome Dear Friends~
to Chapter 2 of "I Need to Get a Life!" 


On May 7, 2015...
Bloomington South High School celebrated 
Underclassmen Honor's Night.

Ian received....
Test of Engineering Aptitude in MathematicsIan Honor Night

Jacob received...
Test of Engingeering Aptitude in Mathematics
4.0 Honor Roll

Jacob's Honor Night

Katie received....
Test of Engineering Aptitude in Mathematics
4.0 Honor Roll
National Honor Society
Excellence in Physics
Katie's Honor Night

We were so proud of their hard work and distinguished accomplishment! To have all three of our eldest children recognized and called out to walk across the stage all in a row, was a moment!

Kids Honor Night

and Katie's boyfriend was honored that evening as well!
Kids and Kamryn Honor Night

celebrated his 45th Birthday on May 14, 2015! He is a looker isn't he?! 
Happy Birthday Daddy! We LOVE you!

Keith 45 Birthday

Got my NEW pantry all finished....
and promptly filled! 
(no more running up and down the stairs to the basement! HURRAH!!!)
New Pantry Inside
and cutsied up!
My Black Hen Punchneedle on my pantry

I decided it was time for....
Summer to arrive in the old homestead :)

Saltbox Houses got a little patriotic
Saltbox Houses

Little House Needleworks "Old Glory"
Old Glory

My favorite spot...
my old milk can from my grandfather's dairy filled with summer hydrangeas and a burlap bow!
Milk Can

The hutch got patriotic!

Blackbird Designs "In Full Glory" with some firecrackers I made all tossed in a old wooden bowl with some ivy. 
BBD Glory and firecrackers

Our Summer Mantle...

the last two days I've been cleaning my "finishing studio"...
We live in a large home, but we have a large family. I've had my sewing room all over the place, but finally I have found a home for it (and I'm not moving!).

It is in our unfinished concrete walls and floors, but we spruced it up with some carpet remnants and I've tried to "warm" the walls up with some clearance posters from a craft store. 
So here it is:
The Twisted Stitcher Studio

trims and such...
Trims and Materials

My personal project baskets...
Baskets of Projects - Copy

but the REAL accomplishment here is the organization of my patterns and fabric!
Patterns and Fabrics - Copy

All organized and ready for me to disorganize again! HA!
Doing this really made me realize how many GREAT things I have that I need to work on. I recommend going through and organizing your things. It doesn't have to be fancy...none of my stuff is fancy and I'd never have my "finishing studio" between the pages of a magazine for how beautiful it is, but I have re-purposed or re-used a lot of older furniture/desks/tables, etc to come together and make something that was both economical and functional. It works beautiful and I work well in the space. And that is all that matters. Getting in touch and organizing your stash makes you fall in love all over again with things that you already have. Do it. What can you find to start stitching on?

I've gotten together a couple more times with my stitching buddy....
Carol of Linen Stitcher. In March when I was at her house I fell in LOVE with a wall hanging that she had done years ago on Black Heatherfield fabric. She had done it over two using 6 strands of floss. Well I thought about that on the hour drive home from her house. No I didn't think about it...I OBSESSED about it. I came home and for two days called and e-mailed trying to find Heatherfield fabric. Well verdict: they don't make it any longer and it is hard to find. So...I improvised to start this project:
Prairie Schooler Year Rounds - Copy
It is stitched over 2 on 25 ct. black lugana fabric, using three strands of floss. I am stitching the full 12 Prairie Schooler Year Rounds (Book #52) on this piece of fabric and then I will finish it as a sort of hanging quilt. 

Here are the first two "rounds" done!
JanFeb Rounds - Copy

and while it waits to be worked on...
I slip it in my new Yoga Frog Project Envelope
hopefully the limber frogs will stay off my fabric!

Yoga Bag
and slip it in my awaiting WIPS basket ;)
My next "stitching" project is to....
stitch this badges in place of the old ones 
Eagle Badge
Well, with that my friends....
brings you full circle to the present day. Exhausting and it has taken me 4 hours to write this novel out. I appreciate your taking the time to read this and visit with me. 
Your visits and kind commentary that you leave me or send me via e-mail always, always brightens my day. 

Little Miss Ellie, has not been featured much of this entire time, but she will be having her honor day in the next few days and I'll be sure to let you see her too!

Not only has our life been filled with all this good stuff...
but I've been busy doing a lot of good stitching and finishing stuff. 

I've stitched 1 and finished 3 models and sent them back to Little House Needleworks.
Of course I can't show you those, but let me just say: 
You will love them!

I'm in the middle of: 
stitching and finishing the final 4 "The Sampler Tree" Ornaments from Little House Needleworks.

I just signed on to stitch and finish another upcoming series of designs from Country Cottage Needleworks, due out this late fall, I believe. So they are in the mix too. 

and not only all of that, but....
 I have finished lots of beautifully stitched items from my clients!

Let's begin...
Carriage House Sampling Stockings These are Carol's that she brought me last Friday when she came to my house for a stitching day. OMGosh...I fell in love and I have all these patterns (that I just found again in my "organizing") and I vow to start one of these soon for myself. GORGEOUSLY stitched! She came back and picked them up Saturday and she was so pleased!
 Here they are in order (left to right)
1. Quaker
2. A Primitive Stocking
3. Truth and Virtue
CM_Carriage House Sampling Stocking Collection

Stacy Nash 
"Country Sampler Sleigh Bells Pinkeep and Ornament"
JS_SN Sleigh Bells Ornament and Pinkeep

Shepherds Bush Stocking
DTS_SB Stocking_Lucas

Little House Needleworks
(free with purchase of Classic Colorworks threads)
"Rabbit Hill"

DTS_CC-LHN Rabbit Hill

a whole set of Little House Needleworks 
"Calendar Girls"

PH_LHN Calendar Girls

Lizzie Kate
"Ho Ho Ho"

Little House Needleworks
 "The Sampler Tree" Ornament
SF_LHN 1798 House

Shepherd's Bush 
9-Pane Window "Hide and Seek" pillow
GM_Shepherd's Bush Pillow

Bent Creek
 "Seasons" Flatfold Collection
CB_Bent Creek Seasons Flatfold Collection
and there was a whole lot more, this is just a "sampling". For others check out my Flickr 2015 Finishing Service Album!

I hope I inspired you to get your patterns, thread and needle out and create a treasure! 

Until next time...
my dear friends, I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God in thanksgiving for all the many blessings in life. Including you!

Hugs and love,
Vonna xxxx

I need to get a life!....Chapter One

~Welcome Sweet Friends~
I have been gone quite a long time, and I always know when I've been gone too long because I start getting e-mails, texts and messages on FB from my dear followers asking me...are you OK? Why have you quit blogging? Something hasn't happened to make you stay away? 

my dear buddies, I have just been terribly, terribly busy. But in a very good kind of way. And in a way where you can see all the many, many blessings God has bestowed on our lives. I am going to do this in two posts because it was overwhelming for me and it will be overwhelming for you too!

April 14, 2015...
The three Pfeiffer big kids trained from late fall all the way through winter and up to this day preparing to run the Hoosier Half Marathon. That is 13.1 miles on a very rugged course. I don't know if many of you know about the landscape of Monroe County here in Southern Indiana, but it is either up or down, not much flat, so the running of this half marathon is much different in preparation and execution than others in the country. 

Here is the official pre-race selfie:

Hoosier Half Starting Selfie

Then Mom took a photo of them standing on the start/finish line, which is right across from Assembly Hall on 17th Street:
Hoosier  Half StartFinish Line 2015

The Jared Foundation is a co-sponsor of the Hoosier Half. Jared, the Subway guy, went to Indiana University (which presides in our fabulous city of Bloomington, Indiana) and he was at the race:

Its Jared

No sooner had they ran by....
and I lost them again in this sea of humanity.
(this is about 1/2 mile and Armstrong Stadium is on the right)

Hoosier Half Marathon Runners

They had professional photographers along the route. This is near the end of the half marathon so Ian has ran approximately 10 miles and look at his face...cheesing it up for the camera! This boy with a heart rate of 49 beats to minute could run for hours. He's a dynamo!

Ian HH

Here is Jake...pulling out all stops at the finish line:

Jake HH

Here is Katie at the finish line...she still is looking great but the sun is in her eyes:

Katie HH

Ending Hoosier Half Marathon results:
Ian 1:54:26
Jacob 2:00:23
Katie 2:00:39

They ran a smart race by taking it easy. They didn't know what to expect but still for their first half marathon and the course difficulty that it was...these times are fabulous! Way to go Pfeiffer Big Kids!

April 25, 2015 saw us preparing for: 
PROM 2015
I had to work that weekend so scheduled, hair and nail for Katie in the early afternoon. I got home in mid-afternoon and did her make-up myself (I'm a Mary Kay lady). 
Then we got her dressed and here she is:
Katie Prom 2015 TTS
The big tradition in this area seems to be that the parents play chef/wait staff for the couple or for a group of couples. Katie and Kamryn decided that they just wanted it themselves. So after work, make-up session, I ran down and prepared the table.

Prom Dinner Table:
Prom table 2015
Then Keith and I together prepared the meal:
Prom Dinner Plate 2015
For dessert I had Keith make the cupcakes and then I made the homemade butter cream icing and piped it on. They turned out great!

 Prom Dessert 2015

Then it was time for pictures:Katie and Kamryn Prom 2015 B

Here they are at the Prom itself and the professional photographer:

DSC_7982 Sharp

My favorite photo of them:

DSC_7984 copy

So ended the very late was a fabulous day. Katie had a ball and her gown and the girl in it was utterly stunning! If I do say so myself, she was the prettiest girl with the the prettiest dress.
Of course I know I'm partial :)

Two days later...
On April 27, 2015, Keith and I celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss. 

Engagement Photo:


After our wedding ceremony:


I loved Keith so much the day we were married, but that love I felt then was paltry to the love, friendship, devotion and esteem that I hold for him today. My Dad told me this spring when he was visiting me: "I always tell anyone that asks: Von Marie met the only man on the face of the earth that she could live with, and married him!"
That is true...I met him, and from the first moment knew, he was it. So I sat my hat for him and reeled him in! HA! :)
Of course life isn't a fairy tale, but pretty darn close.

The following weekend...
on May 3, 2015
we celebrated the long awaited Eagle Scout Court of Honor for our precious boys.

Here is their Official Eagle Scout Portrait that I took myself:

Small Ian and Jacob Eagle Scout Photo

Here is a copy of their Eagle Scout court of Honor Invitation that I made myself:
(thank God for PicMonkey, Microsoft Publisher and SAMS Club photo lab..saved us lots of money on invitations)


The Court of Honor Eagle Trail:
these look like no big deal, but to earn each one of those badges takes a tremendous amount of not only effort, but time, learning and volunteering.
Eagle Trail Table

Ian's Speech...
Ian Speech

Jacob's Speech....
Jacob's Speech

Both of the boys chose their Daddy as their Eagle Scout Mentor, 
the one person in their life that pushed them to excel, to meet their goals.
...and this photo brings tears to my eyes every time I look at it. I love my husband so very much and he is such a private, humble man. 
This photo shows his pride in his boys...and in turn their love for him:

Keith and the boys

Here we all are together...
it was hotter than Hades in there that day and I had ran all over the place preparing and decorating. So I look a little frazzled.
Boys and Parents

Their Honor Table...
I framed myself all of their awards and badges they earned over the years and this was our gift to them. These now hang over their beds and they are so proud of it!
A momento to last a life time!
Honor Table Boys

Here they are with their Eagle Tower of Cupcakes...
(I made 300 cupcakes the day before)
Boys Cupcake Tower 

Their Reception Table:
Boys Treat Table

(I made cookies for 3 days)
Cookie Tray 1 Cookie trays 2

The Eagles were my favorites

Ian's End...
(the Ball Jar were bouquets that I made and had scattered on the guest tables - but I forgot to take pictures of those....)
Ian's End
Jacob's End....
Jacob's End

The "Thank You" table...
each guest got a THANKS cookie as a take home treat

Thank you table

Are you still with me? 


I know...a lot! and this is only 1/2 way through the story! 
Stay tuned for Chapter 2!