Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 21 and Day 22 ....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~

Let's talk THEME TREES!!.... of my favorite topics and one of my favorite things to dream about....
if you have been a follower of me or my blog for any length of time you will know that I have two major theme trees in my life. My handmade ornament tree, which houses over 500 handmade ornaments. About 275 of those are cross stitched by my own hands, while the rest are handmade by the hands of either myself and Keith (when we were children), my own children, a few painted ceramic ones from my maternal grandmother, a few cross stitched from my friends and about a dozen hand-painted by my sister in law. Each one is special and beautiful and loved by me. 

Here are photos of my Handmade Family Tree...
(which I think I already shared...but its worth seeing again, there's a lot of work and a lot of beauty in that tree...)
2016 Tree Front
2016 Tree Left side 
  2016 Tree right

My second theme tree is my Prairie Schooler Santa Tree...
this year's version sits inside a milk can from my paternal grandparents Dairy Farm that I inherited. I painted it black (it was rusty and rather nasty)...

2016 Prairie Schooler Santa Tree

I only added two ornaments to it this year...
it's been a rough year stitchy-wise.

Now let's talk 2017 Theme Tree Aspirations...
I'm quite certain that many, if not all of you, have seen "Hands On Design aka Cathy Habermann's 
 newest "12 Days of Christmas" If not...go look HERE
Funny, really. I just bought a knock-off feather-type tree and thought a 12 Days of Christmas ornament series would be perfect. Then the very next day...whamo! I saw Hands On Design  preview picture on Facebook. 
Other 12 Days options would of course be: Prairie Schooler's 12 Days of Christmas Version 

copyright Prairie Schooler ~ Hoffman Distributing

Or Plum Street Sampler's "12 Days Sampler" version which happens to be a freebie at Paulette's blog and can be found HERE

copyright Plum Street Sampler - Paulette Stewart

definitely a "12 Days of Christmas" theme tree is feasible and desirable to me for 2017.

The other theme tree that I have kicked around in my brain for years is a "Sampler Tree"...
I pitched the idea a couple of years ago to Diane Williams of Little House Needleworks and she created a series of 12 designs all with a nod to Sampler Making. You can see those 12 designs which I was lucky enough to stitch and finish for her: HERE 

If you want more inspiration for Sampler Trees please visit Mary Beale's website and gaze upon the beautiful trees at:  Linda Wallace's House

While you are there you can view Mary's own sampler type ornaments in her shop that is ready for instant download: Mary's Shop 

There are lovely, beautiful sampler type ornaments in the older issues of Just Cross Stitch Ornament issues (I'm talking 2010 down to 1997) Sheepish Designs, Blackbird Designs, Little by Little, Hands to Work, Sampler House and so many more fabulous designers that give a nod to Sampler's and Sampler Making in ornament designs that are ready to stitch. If you don't own the ornament issues down that far...lucky you... they are available for purchase: HERE  (if link doesn't work just go to Amazon and google Just Cross Stitch Ornaments CD and it pops up from 1997 - 2013 all magazines on one CD for $25)

Other Designers that have fantastic patterns, huge big samplers that may or may not have anything to do with Christmas, but you can pull out specific design motifs from their larger sampler patterns and would work perfectly for a "Sampler Tree" theme is:
The Scarlett House ~ Tanya Brockmeyer
Plum Street Samplers ~ Paulette Stewart
Threadwork Primitives ~ Nan Lewis

Think about it... for instance a pastoral scene which is highly prized and desired in samplers...such as this one in the Heartland Sampler from The Scarlett House
Lookie there at that Cow...perfect little side oval ornament for a Sampler tree. 

Plum Street has put out a PLETHORA of designs that are smallish and can be manipulated sizewise by choosing the linen size you stitch it on... an example is Pomegranate Santa

With Thy Needle and Thread...oh my word...I can get lost sitting and looking at all of her reproductions and original designs. Just go look at her shop: HERE

Are you seeing my Sampler Tree? 
I sure am.

Have I inspired you to create your OWN Theme Tree?
I sure hope so! 

In the meantime...
I created some videos of my theme trees to get an "up close and personal" look of both of them..

we ice the being that it will be an ALL day affair, this video and blog counts as two days in my book!

Until the 23rd...where we will have a review of my favorite gadgets and gizmos...and a where to spend your Santa bucks :)


  1. What a great post, Vonna! Your PS tree is looking good. I love your family's hand-made tree. Enjoy your cookie decorating tomorrow!

  2. 12 days of Christmas....I have been thinking that I might have to separate my ornaments from my stitching tree and starting a 12 days theme tree. I have stitched the Plum street set, the prairie schooler set, the Margaret Sherry set, and 6 of the Teresa Wentzler set. Now I see Hands on Design and I think I might have to do those as well.

  3. I love both trees. They are wonderful. I really need to give some thought to a themed tree. I bought a small tree on sale last year that would be just right.

  4. Love this post! My favorite one yet of your 25 Days of Christmas posts. :)

  5. Your trees are a beautiful display of all your lovely stitching and finishing. A sampler tree is a great idea.

  6. Wonderful pictures

  7. vonna - I have to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for inspiring me and encouraging me to try finishing. I am a very slow stitcher so I don't think a "theme" tree is in my future but it does make me so proud and happy to have finished 3 ornaments and a box top and a NP ornament this year - 3 I stitched and two my mom stitched. Not that I don't enjoy having a pro like you finish my things but it does make me proud that I did a few myself. Your creativity is definitely a blessing and that you share so much with others - an even greater blessing. I hope I count as one of your "away blog" friends, a born and bred florida girl who walks the same beaches and paths that you long to walk - take care and much happiness at Christmastime and in the new year. Mel

  8. Love your trees Vonna. Merry Christmas

  9. Your trees are just amazing. And your plans for other theme trees is so ambitious and inspiring. Thank you for sharing all of your "pretties".

  10. Very beautiful Vonna. You know what theme tree I have dreamed of for years? Think. Yep. And I even want to make a "poodle skirt" tree skirt!! Get it?! HA! Everyone in the house just stares at me when I tell them of this dream white(or possibly PINK!) tree COVERED WITH POODLES! WAHOO! Oh man! The JOY! To each her own I guess.

  11. HI Vonna!!! Having a rough day at work and not in the Christmas spirit, but you have just turned that around. What an inspiring and wonderful post!!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

  12. Your trees are beyond gorgeous! And, I like the idea of a sampler tree or a 12 days of Christmas tree. Can't wait to see what next year brings.

  13. i absolutely LOVE your trees what a wonderful work of love. my goal is to have my tree filled with handmade ornaments. my aim this year is to have a dough bowl theme for th seasons.. first up will be a Valentine's day dough bowl theme, but i have to find a dough bowl first

  14. Beautiful Christmas Tree's and so nicely decorated with all your ornaments that you made. It is fun to have the special theme to work toward. Merry Christmas!

  15. Catching up on your posts again. Hope you are feeling less bruised from your fall the other day. Ouch! As for your trees -- gorgeous! A Sampler tree would be fun, as would a 12 days tree. Did you see the Erica Michaels strawberries in the 12 days theme that are coming out? I love the 12 days of Christmas -- used to sing it to my son at Christmas time when it was time to sing him to sleep. :D

  16. I've been working on Blackbird Designs Stockings for more than a few years and I'd hoped to have them done this year... Oh well, next year they will be! I've got a skinny alpine tree that I'm putting them on. Your trees are beautiful. I love the 12 days of Christmas idea. Have a happy holiday season!!

  17. Oh, my, you have inspired me to work on "tree" goodies for next year. I am also planning to stitch up some of the PS Christmas trees (not sure, but may be #87). I think these would be good to hand down as well. PS patterns are always appropriate, lovely colors, and such cute designs. Love your trees and your inspiration. Also love the Hands On Designs 12 days of Christmas. Can't wait to see them all. Merry Christmas to you!!

  18. Love your trees Vonna, and enjoyed the video and little Augie getting in on the so enjoying the 25 days of Christmas. I bought a 4 foot tree for the bedroom and that would be perfect for a themed tree.

  19. Merry Christmas Vonna and Family: Vonna your trees are beautiful.
    I love seeing other stitchers trees.
    I think a themed tree is a great idea, I will have to get busy soon.
    I hope you have Blessed Christmas Season.


  20. Love your trees and I enjoyed watching the video.
    I've already asked one of my favourite ONS if they are having Hands on Designs 12 days ... guess what series I'll be having next year.

    Hace a very Merry Christmas.

  21. Love seeing all of your trees and your idea for a sampler tree is great inspiration! It's never too early to start stitching for next year!

    Hope you're feeling better after your fall. Enjoy the time you have with your family!

  22. Yup, between you and Carol, I have decided to commit to stitching at least one ornament each month next year! After seeing your tree, I picked at least 5 that I will be doing that have been in my stash! You always inspire us! Hope the Christmas celebration is joyful for you and yours! Hugs!

  23. Wow.. love all your trees! You sure have me inspired to have a theme tree! Am definitely going to try my best

  24. I love the idea of themed trees. Good luck with your dreams for 2017 themed trees. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Merry Christmas Vonna. Hope you are healing from your fall. Your cross stitch trees are AMAZING! Can't wait to see what your ornament theme for 2017 turns out to be.


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