Friday, December 18, 2015

Day 18....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to the 25 Days of Christmas with 
The Twisted Stitcher

Day 18...
We are getting closer and closer to the big day...just 7 days out now!

Today I'd like to share with you a couple of models that Diane asked me to stitch and finish for her December releases.
First up is...
"The Tree Lot" 
which is a part of the on-going series Hometown Holidays 

Diane told me when I finished it that it reminded her of Indiana. It does remind me of Indiana too, but the tree lots around here don't typically have nice little homes by them...its usually a big rusty camper 

;)

The second piece I stitched and finished for Diane is called
"Snowy Winter"
it is part of the on-going series of patterns that uses a little "bling" ~ the All Dolled Up series.


finished very simply as a hanging pillow with hounds tooth wool...and three JABCO snowflake buttons. Run, RUN to get these :)

Looking at these finishes...
and looking at my tree, around my home on my walls and in bowls filled with wee pillows you can see that Diane has made a large impact on my life ~ although she might not know how much of one she's made...

It all started waaaayyy back in 2007, with these finishes I did for an exchange: 


This is Little House Needleworks
"Summer House" 
(which was a freebie, but is now available in a compilation pack that you can find on the bottom of this PAGE)

At that time I was a novice to the internet and all its workings because I had been having and raising babies. I had started the blog in 2006, and had done small things...but I didn't know about Bulletin Boards or Yahoo Groups or anything like that. 

Well...
from my blog posting of this finished set, I guess some people got wind of it and liked it and soon I guess it was on the Yahoo board and lo and behold one day in late 2007/early 2008 I got an e-mail note from Diane herself. I nearly flipped out!
I had been an admirer of her work since her days in the old magazine 
"For the Love of Cross Stitch"
I still have all of the magazines too....somewhere....

Anyway...
we e-mailed back and forth and finally she asked me if I would be willing to model stitch and finish a fob for her? I agreed and that very first project was: 


from this first collaboration, our friendship and our working together has grown into a relationship that, frankly, I do not know what I would do without. We pray for each other, we share our battles, our sorrows, our joys, our victories. I have never personally met  her or any of her family members, but I know them and I love them. I also help her daughter, Nikki, in the stitching and finishing department for her company Country Cottage Needleworks. There are very few days that go by that we don't exchange some short text conversation. Both Diane and Nikki indulge me in "pitching ideas" to them. LOL! We'll see if my latest pitch wins (or not)!! HA HA! Not only is she my friend, but Diane allows me to create with her - creating beautiful things that people all over the world admire and then recreate themselves. How awesome is that? 

"It's a Wonderful Life"...
isn't it though? Think about George Bailey in the classic Christmas movie. All down on himself, depressed...talk about kicking a dog while he's down. I've felt like old George on occasion, as you know...and instead of staying down I've decided that I'm going to think about the "Wonderful Life" I lead...how through connections that I've made from this blog and the true, real, friendships I've made through my simple words written from my heart here have changed my life. Because, dear friends, they have changed my life....

Diane told me....
I could quote her because she says, "...I wouldn't know what I'd do with you!"
that makes me smile, when my part is so insignificant, but it makes me proud too. But what I'm most proud of, is my friendship with her and with her family.

I'm know I'm not alone...
when I say, Blogging and Social Media make the world a smaller place. It connects, it draws people and hearts together. YES! There is manure mixed in with hearts and rainbows, but in the end the people that count, still drop by, still drop in, still drop you a note and let you know what you mean to them. 

I have made true connections with people all over the world. I'm glad that there has been angels working over time to bring me friendships that make my life complete.
Friends like: 
Renee, who always knows just the right thing to say and makes me laugh
Barbara across the pond that is my prayer partner
Donna in Illinois that advises and listens and always there with a smile and hug.
Sherre with her cards and letters and good wishes
Edgar and Rico who hunt red handled 1950 kitchen utensils on their ramblings - just because
Jannie who encourages me with her wit and humor
Pat the sweetest lady anyone would ever wish to meet always worrying if I'm OK
Cindy the most sincerely kind individual I've ever met
Yvonne...she's right in the same league as Cindy
Robin who unfailingly always visits and comments on my blog and a hundred others
Marie my sister of my heart
Holly who gives me more credit than I deserve
I could go on and on... 
(and if your name isn't here...know you don't mean any less to me, I love you all, dearly!!!)
And likely...I'll never meet any of you face to face...but yet we are connected!
See....It IS a Wonderful Life!

This year in May 2015...
I received a letter. I read through it and I was just a blubbering fool by the end. Because you see, I honestly do not set out to set the world on fire. I truly am just a chubby, middle aged woman from Indiana. I lead a simple life and this blog is sort of my one "claim to fame"  in life ...well beside my children. Although I have authored this blog for 10 years now... I never truly realize how far my words travel. Let me share this letter with you...

******
Dearest Vonna
Last year in August after a particularly bad headache I collapsed in my kitchen. The last think I remember was "this is it, Oh God don't let this be it!"  I had a massive brain aneurysm.
  
I woke three months later. I had had so many surgeries I was.confused, weak and unsure who I was and very confused about who the two grown children were beside me!  I only remembered them as babies.  It took months of work to reconnect with the present.  

Each day my beautiful daughter Sophie read to me, showed me all the wonderful blogs you had written, and showed me all the cross stitch I had done.  I couldn't believe they were mine and though I am clumsy I have started again.  Your blog inspires me when I am too tired to fight on.  My Faith has been incredible, Through everything I know there is plan, just not sure what it is!  God has been there with me in the dark days and there have been a number of those.  I have met some incredible people and I know my recovery which my surgeon calls "miraculous" is for a reason.

My reading and cross stitch is slow work, but there has been progress, and I want you to know that your blog made me laugh, cry and aspire to keep going,  I won't be going anywhere for a while, but one day in the future I would love to meet you, share a pot of coffee and share the joy of being alive! 

I hope this is readable, Sophie usually checks my spelling and checks if everything makes sense - so here goes my 1st solo email.

Love to you and your family

Mary   


--
"He shall cover you with His feathers
and under His wings you shall take refuge." Ps. 91.4

******

Mary, from New Zealand...
with her daughter and son on his graduation day from University in a picture she sent to me.


when she awoke last year in late 2014 it was in the middle of the my 25 Days of Christmas...
Mary and I had exchanged e-mails back and forth for years prior, and I had wondered where she was...in May I found out. 

See "It's a Wonderful Life"....and God has blessed me so with you!

That, my friends...
is DAY 18!!

Thank you for being a part of my life!

 Until tomorrow....
I'll be keeping my hands to work..
my heart to God..
while treating my neighbor with kindness and respect, 
and trying to be the best me I can be.
It's hard, isn't it?
I may stumble and I may fall, but I pick myself up and I remember:
To thine own self be true...
because...
I want to BE the change I want to SEE.
Join me!

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx

43 comments:

  1. Wow Vonna - you really do make a difference through your blog! and in ways you never imagined either. What a lovely letter Mary wrote to you. You have been very generous with your stitching advice over the years, and many people must enjoy getting a little insight into your life. I love your stitching and your cookies!! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  2. So good to know that you can truly make an impression in someone's else life.
    Hugs

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  3. Vonna, your blog is an inspiration to many--not only with your beautiful stitching and finishing, but with your warmth, caring, and kindness.

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  4. Yes......what a WONDERFUL life it is. And you are such a bright spot in our world. You have touched so many people.......heartwarming !!
    Thanks for sharing another heart touching post :)

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  5. A lovely and inspiring post,I enjoyed reading it very much,thank you Vonna.

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  6. Vonna, I agree that I have made many online friends that I will most likely never meet. I treasure their friendship as we share our stitching, hobbies and families. Your blog is always very uplifting to me. You have inspired me and many others over the years. Your finishing tutorials have helped me learn new ways to finish and prove to myself I can do it as 75 years old.
    Merry Christmas to you and all of your lovely family.

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  7. Big hugs for you dear x

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  8. Vonna wow it is nice to see how you have touched so many people and they have touched you, it is truly a Wonderful Life.

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  9. That letter gave me goose bumps and in a good way....God works in mysterious ways and He definitely has tapped you for His ambassador.I feel if You came to my front door, I would know immediately who you were and give you hugs :)

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  10. Oh, goodness. What a precious gift you were given to receive a letter like that. A little word of encouragement goes such a long way and strengthens us for the hard times. Blessings upon you, as my Dad would say. You are truly a blessing to all of us! ~ Tricia

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  11. It is indeed "a wonderful world" each and every day. You have touched many hearts through your blog which inspires, motivates, and uplifts. You remind us through your posts that we all have gifts and to immerse ourselves in this wonderful world. Enjoy your weekend, Vonna.

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  12. Wow. Just... wow. I have goosebumps all over. Praise be to God for Mary's life. Thanks for sharing all this Vonna.

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  13. really pretty pieces vonna.

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  14. Just beautiful and the perfect rumination during this season.

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  15. Vonna another beautiful post - you are an inspiration to more than you know. I look forward to your tales in 2016

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  16. What a story! It does make you think, doesn't it? How wonderful of her daughter to read your blog to her to bring her back to the joy of a hobby she loved.. Thank you for sharing it, Vonna.

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  17. What a beautiful post. I'm glad Mary's letter helped you see how you touch so many lives. You're truly an inspiration - and not just with cross stitching and finishing, though you're amazing there, too. You prove we really can live a wonderful life!

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  18. God's handprints are all throughout your journey Vonna!

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  19. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share with us. You are truly a special person.

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  20. I'm always amazed at how our blogs can make a difference in someone's life, Vonna... I'm glad Mary reached out to you to tell you what a difference yours has made in hers! Your work is so lovely and you have been so kind and generous in encouraging us with your finishing tutorials. Thank you for making a difference and for the wonderful inspiration I find each time I visit you :)

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  21. Wonderful Post Vonna! I have It's a Wonderful Life out so I can watch it next week. You impact so many people through your blog. Most who are too shy to say anything but admire from afar. It's a pity that sometimes the complainers have a louder voice. I "met" so many wonderful people through blogging including you. I really need to get back to mine. It's a new goal for the new year.

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  22. Lovely, just lovely.

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  23. A touching story. When I read the letter I envisaged an older lady but when I say the photo Mary is so young to be going through this. It is a miracle that she survives with having a brain aneurysm.
    Beautiful stitching and finishing. That's something else to add to my list!

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  24. What a lovely sentiment, Vonna. Your blog and the positive energy you put out into the world makes a difference to so many. I'm enjoying your 25 days. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  25. Thanks for your blog Vonna! I miss Indiana so much and this helps to keep me connected in some way! I grew up in Martinsville and now in Ohio but I will always be a Hoosier�� My mom and sister live in Bloomington too so it's still nice to go back and visit!! Have A Merry Christmas and a great New Year! Keep up the good work��

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  26. Truly inspiring. It is a WONDERFUL life! Thank You for reminding us.

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  27. You are truly an inspiration to a lot of people including me. I look forward to reading your posts so much. I have always wanted to have a blog, but just don't know where to start. I'm not very good with words, trying to put my thoughts in a blog. I have several journals, but I just dont have the gift of writing like you and others do. I'll just enjoy reading what you and other stitchers have to say. Merry Christmas!

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  28. Very heartfelt post Vonna. Mary's story is amazing. God bless her. It's wonderful life because you are in it. Merry Christmas!

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  29. I loved reading this blog, you are wonderful how you write about your friends. Yes internet is a great place to make special friends, even if we never meet them, they are special.
    I too love those two new deisngs from Diane and ordered them right away, can't wait to stitch them.
    Although I don't comment every day (I read your post through email alert), know I just love reading it.

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  30. That was a beautiful post...simply beautiful V
    Hugs

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  31. Your sharing this letter with all of your readers was an early Christmas gift for each of us. What a lovely reminder of how each of us can help someone else over an enormous hurdle with our words. Thank you.
    And on another note...my Ott light tray arrived from Hancock's this afternoon. Yippee!

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  32. So glad that you have touched so many people via your blog; you never know what may grow from a tiny seed that you plant. Merry Christmas, and happy stitching................

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  33. Isn't that just the best story? I can see why you would be a blubbering fool by the end. I know you have been special in my life when I needed it too! And that was by pure accident. I love the LHN &CCN things. I'm sure part of that is the awesome finishing that you've done for the models.

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  34. Another very moving post!

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  35. Wow! What a beautiful and incredible story. Thanks so much for sharing. It really is true that we have no idea who we are impacting.
    Thanks also for sharing how you started model stitching for LHN.
    It is a wonderful life!

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  36. Mary is truly a miracle. You do so much for others Vonna in so many ways. Your Faith is such an inspiration in my life and I thank you for that and all that you share with all of us. May God bless you.

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  37. What a great post this is. It was wonderful to read your thoughts about life and your tribute to friendship in so many different ways. And how motivating it can be to visit the blogs of people who we don't know personally but who we appreciate after a while because we get the feeling that we do know them and are inspired by what they write and show. It was so very touching to read Mary's letter.

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  38. A lovely post, Vonna. I didn't know how or when you started on model stitching.

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  39. What a lovely, inspiring post. I so enjoying reading your blog and Facebook postings. I am in awe of all you do.....you ARE special. Thank you for sharing Mary's letter.

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  40. That is an awesome letter from Mary, and tho I don't know her, I thank God for bringing her back to our stitching world! Stitchers are wonderful... Other descriptive words would include: generous, sharing, caring, sisters/brothers in stitches, funny, ready to help at a moment's notice, and I could go on... but you get the idea. I have enjoyed your blog a LOT, and again, thank you for sharing! Hugs!

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  41. Another lovely post Vonna. I have made many true friends through blogging.

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  42. Such a heartfelt and emotional post. I'm very touched and teary eye. xoxo

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  43. what an inspiring post vonna - I have been on vacation so I have gotten behind on blog reading. Christmas joy to you ! Mel

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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: thetwistedstitcher@comcast.net
My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
~Vonna
The Twisted Stitcher