Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Early Americans...calling Martha!


~ Welcome Friends ~
Warm Welcome to each of you!
and also...
A big thank you for coming back to my little slice of the world here on Blogger.

:)

Today I have to share...
my progress on my "Early Americans" sampler by Little House Needleworks.
Martha is in the HOUSE!
LHN Early Americans _ add Martha

You know...
when I started on this journey, I was so excited about this series...and it is so satisfying to me when I see a firm foundation laid (and I figure one row done and stitched is a firm foundation) and I can actually see that what I visualized in my head was perfect. I LOVE my border.
 I'm sorry, I'm not bragging on myself (well I guess in reality, I am) ~ I really didn't know if it would look good.
Would it be too busy? 
That was my primary worry, but when I finished Martha and I stood back and took this photo and I looked at my handiwork... and I thought...nope...not too busy. Rather, it frames it and gives it some intrigue, some dimension, some character. I am so in love with this piece. I truly am. 
Between this piece that is growing and my ABC Samplers that I finished earlier this year...I am finding these monthly series to be wonderful! I adore them! And when you are all done and the last piece is done and dusted...you have a big, large wonderful finish that is spectacular and a real show stopper!

What else have I been up to? Well...
my family is on their summer High Adventures with Daddy trip! This year the girls even went, typically just the boys go, but this year, with Ellie getting bigger and since we aren't taking an extended family vacation everyone went. We think it important that our kids have Daddy-alone time - just Daddy, no Mom. So we started incorporating these vacations/getaways into our summers about 10 years ago. It builds good relationships with their Dad and it gives them memories to reflect on once they are grown. Here's some photos that I received via text last night. They are in West Virginia white water rafting on the New River.

Jake...
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Keith and Ian...
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Ellie and Katie...
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So...that leaves Mom home OFF DUTY (!) and crafting her heart out! 
I finished this With Thy Needle and Thread Exclusive ~ "Flag Day at the Potting Shed"
WTNT up close

WTNT_Flag Day at the Potting Shed 
Isn't that darling?! 
You all know that I have a goal focus for this year, and it is to "trick out" my Patriotic Room in my home. Yes, all patriotic, all year long. This cloche will be darling in there!

And last night... during my Staycation it was Craft and Booze night ~ A couple of margaritas and some crafting until 1 a.m. turned out this cutie, Blackbird Designs ~ "Hats Off to Uncle Sam"

BBD Hats off to Uncle Sam 

BBD Hats off HAT

BBD Hats off inside

What can I say?
Maybe I need to take a Craft and Booze night a couple of times a month ;)

I am so pleased with my finishes I've shared with you here. It's the simple things in life

Until next time...
Smile...because it can change someone's day.
Be kind...because kindness matters.
Love hard...because love makes the world go 'round and changes lives.

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, June 09, 2017

I'm ready!

~ Greetings Friends ~
warm wishes to all of you!

Hey, guess what?!
I'm ahead of schedule! What do I mean?! I mean...
I'm ready for Flag Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day...
yep, I'm ready!

Last night I finished...
"Home of the Brave"
by Little House Needleworks
A Classic Colorworks Thread Pack 
(to get these just ask for them at your shop they can get them year round, always available)

With this finish...
it mean that the trio of Patriotic Designs that Little House has put out with Classic Colorworks was completed. So...if you follow me on my YouTube Channel where I do my video podcasts each month on "FlossTube" you will know that I am working on my "Patriotic Room" 
Just a room that I'm hoping to fill with Patriotic designs and leave them out all year long. 
Well anyway, I digress, with the last stitches put in "Home of the Brave" last night I had my trio finished and I didn't waste anytime fully finishing them into these:


"Land of the Free"
"Long May She Wave"
and 
"Home of the Brave"
All thread packs available through Classic Colorworks designed by Little House Needleworks
finished as: Mounted Wall Hangings

You will notice I used red pillow ticking...and put it on a field of stars...I sort of wanted to give an illusion of a real flag/ red and white stripes with a field of blue of scattered stars...
A natural jute bow and a big ol' rusty barn star were just the icing on the cake.

And where did I put them? 
Why in my Patriotic Room of course...

Now I can see them every time I walk by...
and just like always. My handiwork makes me smile real big. 
NOTHING gives me more satisfaction then seeing MY work, in MY home, finished by MY hands.

What have the Pfeiffer's been up to?
Well a whole lotta working!
Mr. Pfeiffer bringing home the bacon, Katie at her internship, the boys packing groceries and Ellie working on all her 4H submissions.
Of course me slinging hash and finishing down in the cave :)
Life is good.

I don't share much of Ellie's work...but she is a gifted Artist. Here are a few of her creations over the last few days:

this was created using Copic Markers:
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this one was created using a Pencil:
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This one was created using india ink:
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Ellie is 11 years old. She is simply, amazing. God has gifted her with a talent that continues to amaze me.

On Memorial Day...
we (and about 1/4 of the inhabitants of Indiana) went to Turkey Run State Park. It was our first time there and I snapped lots of shots of the beautiful natural beauty surrounding us that God created.

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That does it folks for this installment :)

Until next time...
Smile because I love you!
Be kind because kindness matters.
Pay your blessings forward.
Stitch ALL the things!

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Goodbye May....

~ Greetings and Warm Days of Spring Welcome ~
to all my friends and fellow stitchers!

How are you?!
We are buzzing right along...I cannot believe today is the first of June....
I need to wrap a few things up for May, so thought I'd swing in to do just that very thing today.

Goodbye May...
but before we say goodbye to May, let's view:

"Hello May" 
by Hands on Design
from the "Hello There" series

 I am a member of the Fat Quarter Shop's  "HELLO THERE" Club which is available in
AIDA (click HERE) or
LINEN (click HERE)
This club is totally wonderful and I am enjoying it so much. Everything just right at my finger tips when it arrives in my mailbox each month (AND you get a seasonal needleminder each month too! BONUS!!! )
 Here is a shot of May's Package as I received it:

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Here is my HELLO MAY all finished up on my finishing board that I hang on my Finishing Cave wall, as we are telling May "Goodbye" 
:)
Hello May

I just love it! Quick to stitch, quick to finish and cute as the little JABCO (Just Another Button Company) buttons are stitched in a line along the bottom. Sweet seasonal designs delivered right to my door with everything I need to stitch up in just a couple of hours stitching and about a 1/2 hour of finishing. Bingo, Bango! 



Diagonal PIN STITCH follow-up....
Many of you commented on my DIAGONAL PIN STITCH tip that I put up the other day with favorable comments however, I don't think many of you got the FULL ramifications on how truly stitching life altering this is. I tried to fully verbalize just how altering but I don't know if I got my point across so let's re-evaluate this again..


PIN STITCH 
looks like the following diagrams I have made: 

Step One 



Pin Stitch 1


Step Two


Pin Stitch 2


Step Three


Pin Stitch 3



The stitch done in this manner is anchored, it won't pull it out and the stitcher can put a single stitch (and end it)  anywhere on the fabric and it completely hides the stitches, so no carrying thread...it just "floats" there perfectly. HOWEVER, the one thing that I noticed as I used this stitch for years is that on single stitches you can see the center starting stitch (in red above) if looking closely. In a row of stitches (if you are using this stitch to start your thread it isn't as noticeable) however on isolated single stitches you (in my opinion) can see the center starting pin head stitches. So with that thought in mind...I started experimenting over the last 8 months or so of how to anchor my thread so that I might be able to get rid of the center pin head stitch. Maybe streamline it. . . 

That's when I started trying to just do the bottom leg of the X with the pinhead stitch and it worked...now it worked better when I started in the center of the X and went down and back up (I tried all sorts of different ways) but I found the way I illustrated the DIAGONAL PIN STITCH yesterday is (in my opinion) the best way to do it and as I got better and better at it, my tails got shorter and shorter and the need to flip my work to clip tails got less and less. 
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying I "invented" the Diagonal Pin Stitch...I thought I had (ha! ha! silly me) but after I did a little research on my own...I found that others had already come up with the idea. However starting a row of stitches and starting with over-dyes and odd number threads using the Pin Stitch...I think THAT is not as common....and THAT is why I use the Pin Stitch predominantly in my stitching now and have for about the last 9 - 12 months exclusively. 

Now HERE is where I think there needs to be some clarification or elaboration on the beauty of the Pin Stitch (no matter if you do it the traditional way I've illustrated above) or if you do it the Diagonal Pin Stitch way ( that I illustrated yesterday, at the link above) 

As I stated yesterday: you can use the Pin Stitch (regular or diagonal) TO START THREADS of odd number or of over-dye variety - when you cannot use the Loop Start Method (click here to view). Think about this....you can use the Pin Stitch to start threads! What does this mean? Well to me it means: no tails that I have to clip or worry about showing from the front side (both of which I have been pointed out to me on older works I've entered in judging)  that minute little peeks of tails have shown at the end of threads (where I've started them)  Using a Pin Stitch virtually eliminates this. The other advantage of using the Pin Stitch to start threads is: I waste VERY LITTLE precious thread on leaving tails to stitch over to anchor. I'm using tiny, tiny bits as my "tails" and my stitches are anchored on the very first stitch, I don't have to keep flipping my work to make sure my subsequent stitches are being stitched over the tail to anchor. I just wanted to clarify what the Tradition Pin Stitch Vs. The Diagonal Pin Stitch was and why to me it was revolutionary in my stitching. 

I think I've talked the Pin Stitch to death...
and that's OK because like I said, sharing is caring and sharing makes us ALL better stitchers...don't you agree?

Speaking of Sharing and Better Stitchers....
Fiber Talk is a podcast (strictly talking, no video feed) that is a weekly sharing of Designers, Stitchers, Topics to make us better in our craft...along with lots of good information put on by Gary Parr and Christine Williams. I was lucky enough to be the guest on the second podcast last January 2017, but I have been mentioned on a few others podcasts and Gary just contacted me asking me back! So...I'll be back again in an upcoming podcast talking about something doing with needlework. You know how I love to talk! Especially talking about needlework! Exciting stuff! One of my favorite bloggers (and people in general) Nicole of Nicole's Needlework is also going to be an upcoming guest! Can't wait! Sampler Lovers will love to listen to Nicola Parkman's feature on the podcast explaining her Hands Across The Sea Samplers and there are a number of needlepoint designers, counted thread designers, just fill in the blank. Go on over to Fiber Talk and click around to listen to all the great podcasts they have put together since January. Each one are about an hour long and I love to listen and just stitch. FABULOUS body of work! Gary has been so good to me, so kind...even contacted me a couple of times through the years, to comment on my blog over the last 10 years of its existence and I just want to shout out the effort he and Christine are doing for us - the Needle Arts Community. Their highlighting things to get us excited about our hobby and passion for it...making us better stitchers along the way! Just a wonderful body of work. 

One last thing...
I recently made a "Stitch with Me Video"...its not the first one ever done on the face of the earth a few other FlossTubers have done it. I've done it a little differently, not much, but a little as I non-verbally acknowledge that I know you are watching me...but the video is 30 minutes and its just me sitting on my deck stitching. I find watching others stitch relaxing, inspiring and generally informational. We all have our quirks, our own set of techniques and I love to just view that. Plus for those of us that don't have stitching buddies....we can just log on and stitch together. I think the one I did was pretty relaxing and generally centering. Give it a look if you are interested...it may be found:


That's all for today!
Until next time...
do something fun!
STOP smell the roses.
Be KIND because Kindness Matters!
STITCH!
Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx