Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Easter!

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my friends and blogging buddies!

Today I have to share...
a little Easter Gift with you.

You remember my Project Envelopes?
I love them for all my projects and they are so nice in my WIP basket and not to mention fun to fill with all my current (and languishing) projects


My Market Basket Filled with Project Envelopes

Project Envelopes (January 2015)

Well I have decided that since Easter is on the way...
and Spring is here...
and it is a time of:
and all of us are rejuvenated from a long winter...
that I would share how I make my project envelopes in a new

My Easter, Spring, I'm glad you are my friend...
gift from me to you.


and remember...sharing is caring...
I give this freely and with good will.
Please give my time, creativity and work credit. If you use my tutorials for your own projects, I think that is wonderful!
I love to teach and being generous with my time and talent that God has blessed me with, is what God wishes me to do during my time here on earth...
That is why I create tutorials of written and video content...to share and help, 
but it is only kind to give your teacher the credit for your learning and new skill.
Don't you agree?

Until next time...
Have a Blessed Easter!

Love and Hugs in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Break....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my stitching and blogging buddies!

And a green and lively...
Happy St. Paddy's Day to you all as well!

Last week on March 8...
in an effort to keep life lively, we scheduled the three big kids to have oral surgery for removal of all 4 wisdom teeth. We don't have dental insurance so in an effort to maintain costs for three surgeries we went "in network" of our health insurance and traveled to Indianapolis to Indiana University's School of Dentistry and three Oral Surgeon Residents performed the surgeries all at the same time, different rooms ;)
It went well even though they were all a little loopy. Indianapolis is about 1 hour from us, so we zipped up, had it done and zipped back. It was an adventure to say the least, they were bleeding all over the place and by the time we had their pain medication filled they were all three hurting. They stayed home the rest of the week from school and basically just took their pain meds and slept. 

I made lots of mashed potatoes and milk gravy....

Here they are the day after surgery...

My poor babies....
Miss Ellie was photo bombing :)

Last Thursday evening...
we happened upon a really good deal on a used 2012 Toyota Camry. We are in need of another car as we would soon have 3 teenage drivers...
so we went and took a look and a test drive and came home with...
the Black Knight

The next day I was at work...
and my cell phone rang. It was my mother-in-law, and she knew we had been looking for a car. 
Well she didn't know we had purchased the Black Knight so she was telling me about this car that she saw at her Doctor's appointment and had talked to the owners (because while she was kicking the tires they walked out...) I told her we bought a car last night, but Keith needed to get rid of the heap he was driving to replace it, but she should call him because he listens to her and doesn't to me.
I went back to work and forgot all about the call until about 2 hours later, my husband calls me and says....
I think we need to go look at this car. 

24 hours later we came home with the Bling Mobile, a 2012 Toyota Avalon Limited, fully loaded (it's so loaded it's almost ridiculous). The owner passed and we purchased it from her daughter, she had been trying for 3 months to sell it and was happy to have it off her hands. (The Green Van in the background is what Keith was driving at the time. The next day I sold it to a person I worked with.) In 48 hours we had purchased 2 new to us, single owner vehicles and sold our old heap) WE never, ever do anything like this.

Good thing we got our car situation fixed because the boys received their driver's license on Monday, March 13. 
Tuesday, the boys and I spent it driving around putting in applications at various places around town for them to get a part-time after school job. It worked! Today they both have interviews at Kroger to be cashiers, baggers and cart getters. 

Let's hope this will be them after tonight's interviews :)

We are in the midst...
of Spring Break here in good ol' Bloomington Indiana!
We have at least had mostly sunny days, still cool, but not cold :)

Yesterday morning...
we got up before the sun to go bird watching at our local Monroe Reservoir. There are nesting bald eagle pairs at the lake and I so want to see them. We went and saw thousands of crow, lots of loons, many mallards, a gaggle of turkey vultures gliding on the air and two Great Heron, but not a bald eagle to be found. :( 
I got a really great photo of the sunrise, though....


and we found a mess of Southern Indiana geodes.


When we got home we cracked 'em open...
the white one is the prettiest. I added them to our rock garden :)


The kids....
celebrated Ice Cream Cone day by letting Dairy Queen give them a free twist on Tuesday.
My little sweeties....


My buddy in Illinois...
that I've never met in real life, but sure do love and know we'd be bestest buds if we lived closer, Suzanne sent me a FB message telling me she was remembering to
 "..watch The Twisted Stitcher twice and cut once..."

Suzanne Learning

She did one heck of a job watching....
because this was the result that afternoon:

Suzanne's Chicks Rule created by using my Video Tutorial

Suzanne, they are utterly gorgeous, you are a master finisher!
Just proves what I've said for years...finishing is easy, all it takes is time, practice and patience.
I've got another finishing video (or two, three, more) in the works.

I've been model stitching and finishing...
so I don't have anything to share of my own this time.
But I do have finishes to share that I have created for my clients in my Finishing Cave...

Bent Creek's ~ "Leaf Pumpkin"
finished as ditty bag.
FW_BC Owl on Pumpkin

Thread pack from Little House and Classic Colorworks
called "Spots of Christmas" finished as a Flatfold.
FW_CCW+LHN Christmas

Lizzie Kate's "A Little Liberty" finished as a tuck pillow.
FW_LK Little Liberty

Shepherd's Bush "A Warm Heart" finished as a photo box insert.
LN_SB Warm Hearts Box

Another box top, sorry don't know the name of this one.
LN_Threads of Friendship Box Top

Some more Lizzie Kate tuck pillows.
CS_LK Friends

Notforgotten Farm Punch Needle projects...
CS_NFF Kitty Punch CS_NFF Punch

Some large custom pillows...
Tribal Cats
...and Little House Needleworks "Freedom"
MD_LHN Freedom

and just finished today...
Heart in Hand "Joyful Journal ~ Wee Ones"
made into sweet little tuck pillows. 
SF_Heart in Hand Wee Ones Journal

Well folks...
if you made it this far, I applaud you!

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work, my heart to God...
while I love my neighbor as myself and trying to be the best ME I can be.
I want to BE the change I want to SEE in this world.
Treat people right...
because you just don't know what THEY are dealing with.
It is so hard, I know, and I fail and you will too...
but try, try again! 
We can do anything we put our minds to!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ask Vonna & Spring has Sprung & The Market....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~
thank you for all the kind comments on my 
"Afternoon in Paris" 
that made my heart smile :)

We have an "Ask Vonna..." question today!
This question comes from Amanda Lowery and she asks:
"Hi Vonna, my question is this - when you are substituting over-dyes for DMC, do you have a chart for substitutions or do you just eye-ball it?"

Well...here is how I do conversions from DMC floss to Over-dyes (or vice versa really....)

I have one of those old DMC floss card books...
the kind that has actual floss wrapped around the page inserts. They sadly, no longer make these, the only kind you can get are printed color cards, but since I've been a long time stitcher, I have one.
So I take this color book...


and let's say we are looking for an over-dye for green 731, I look at my color card to see what green color it is, then I go through my Over-dye collection and pull random greens by eye-balling what I think looks close to the green I'm going for. I lay it on the card to match. 


I realize that many people are probably saying PHOOEY! I don't have one of those cards!
Well never fear! I also do it this way and you can too!

Now remember I am a hoarder stitch enthusiast and I have a very large collection of all three of the leading over-dye company's threads. You will remember from THIS POST how I organize and store my over-dyed threads. Many people may not see the positivity to storing your thread like this, but when you are doing a conversion, it sure is a positive thing because my threads are all hanging straight and I can visibly see each skein and the color it is by easily sliding my files of threads.


So we are going to do a conversion...
the pattern calls for DMC 356 which is a rusty/Terra cotta color.
I have my three boxes lined up and I quickly sort through each box pulling off to the side the colors that are rusty/terra cotta color. (SEE THEM HANGING OUT ABOVE?!)

Then I go through with my carded DMC 356 and lay it right on the skein. 
Is it GAST Copper...
no, that's a little too pink.

Is it GAST Woodrose...
nope that's a little too brown.


Is it WDW Shiny Copper?
Not bad...a little dark...but close...I'm going to leave that hanging out for final selection.


Is it Classic Colorworks Persimmon?
Nope too pink.

Is it Classic Colorworks Clay Pot?
Hmmm...not bad I'm going to leave that hanging out too.


Then I go to the pattern calling for DMC 356. I look at the pattern picture, and I'll also search on google images for a picture of a stitched piece that maybe a stitcher uploaded to a blog, etc.
I look to see which of the two skeins I have chosen as possible maybes work best...
Would a pinker variety look good?...
would a more orange coppery look good?....
do I need to start all over?....
do I need to stay with DMC 356?...

Sometimes if I don't find exact color matches, I will pull what I think best suits for ALL of the colors that I'm converting for a piece. And I lay them out and I look at them together. 
Do they work?
Then I'll again look at the photo of the pattern and ones that I've found online.
Do I like the way my palette that I've chosen matches up?

Sometimes I switch things in and out based on that...
Sometimes I don't....

It also depends on the look that I'm wanting to achieve for my piece. 
For instance. If the over-dye is not heavily mottled or variegated then, I sometimes will stay with the DMC. Typically I want a variegated look if I'm going to use an over-dye. Or I want an aged, worn look, therefore a heavily variegated skein color is what I want.

I hope this helps you Amanda and any other stitcher out there that is wanting to know how to get started in building their over-dye collection and converting DMC palettes into over-dye palettes (or vice versa). 

There ARE some files of lists of DMC to Gentle Arts to Classic Colorworks to Weeks Dye Works that people have created and shared on the Internet. Just google "DMC to.....(whatever thread)" and you'll find them. 

Here is my very first DMC to Over-dye Conversion that I did. I used a mix of all three company threads: GAST, WDW and CCW

This is "Thomas" by Notforgotten Farm
stitched on 40 ct. Light Vintage Mocha
He's a goodie and makes me smile :)

Thomas by Notforgotten Farm

Thank you Amanda for your question!
If any other stitchers out there in Internet land has a question, click on "Ask Vonna..." on the tabs above and leave a comment with your question and we'll see what we can do!

Spring has sprung in my house....

Tulips and Eggs Dining Room Wheelbarrow The Urn The Living Room Stairway Sping Frames Stockings on the Pie Safe

It makes me smile :)
even though it's cold and rainy/icy outside today...

Now Let's talk Nashville TNNA Market!
What's on your list? 
You got any must haves?

I was going to be strong...
I was NOT going to fall into the trap...
I have a whole, entire Needlework shop in my basement.
But...if this is the worst thing in the world, then so be it. I'll be a hoarder stitch enthusiast with the biggest hoard collection. 

My list is:
Miss Kelly's Needlework School Repro from Lindsay Lane Designs 
(this was the first one to ding my bells and whistles) and I've looked at her blog post about it about 50 (million) times. I adore everything about it. 
Liberty Welcome from Plum Street Samplers
(I have all the other welcomes languishing excitedly waiting their turn, three makes a collection so there you go, have to have it!)
Little House Needleworks Exclusive
Classic Colorworks Exclusive pattern and three new threads.

That was going to be it. I was smug. I was patting myself on the back. I was going to make it through NASHVILLE MARKET with spending less than $100 bucks. It was perfect. 
Then Brenda Gervais posted her offerings at With Thy Needle and Thread.

I struggled.
I was firm.
I begin to tremble.
I wasn't going to look.
Then I did.
And I caved.

So I frantically sent a FB text to my LNS owner saying: 
PUH-LEASE add the following:

With Thy Needle and Thread's: Gilmour House Sewing Tray (The Gilmour Bros were from INDIANA - I had to have that, I'm a natural born Hoosier and lover of my home state!) Brenda was right,  A Weaver's Work is the perfect compliment to Gilmour House...so add that to my list.Then how can I deny those sweet birds in a nest...all I have to do is move Miss Robin over and add another baby head peeking out and I have my four babies in the nest, so please add: Where Hearts RestAnd that darling Good Deeds Live Long..that's like my life motto!! Can't do without that...And wouldn't that sweet...Needle and Thread look fabulous with my other themed stitches hanging on my wall? And OMGosh...is that a Red Bird Fraktur? And you know my love for Frakturs...Then I sneaked a peek at Scarlett House's offerings...and well....

"Oh Honey, I love you!...what credit card bill...that must be a mistake!"

I'm worth it. That's what I'm saying and I'm sticking to it ;)

Until next time.... I'll be...
Keeping my hands to work,
and my heart to God...
while treating my neighbor with love, kindness and respect
~ because you just never know what they are dealing with, do you? ~and trying to be the best ME I can be.
It's hard, trying to do this...
every day.
And Lord knows, I fail, time and time again...
I may stumble and I fall...
but then I remember:
To thine own self be true...
I want to BE the change I want to SEEin this old world.
I pick myself up and I march on!
Because there is joy in my journey...
and there is joy in yours...
We are blessed!
Love and Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx