Thursday, January 31, 2019

Last day of January 2019...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome, my friends ~
I hope this finds you all warm and snuggled in where ever you are....
We are a balmy -8 degrees this morning with the hopes of at least rising above the 0 degree mark on the thermometer. Good heavens it is cold! I love winter - I love all seasons - but goodness gracious when it is this cold it is almost mind numbing!

Yesterday our area was essentially "closed down"...
no school, my husband telecommuted from home, Jacob's college was even closed. . . so we all stayed in and did what we wanted to do (except for Daddy who was working - in his jammies - in the office). I got to work on a number of things yesterday - it was too cold to go down in the bat cave (holy smokes - I would have been a block of ice - I do have a small space heater, but it really doesn't do much other than keep the lower half of my body warm. We have a "walk out basement" which means one of the 4 walls is not in the ground...I have windows down there and a door that opens to our back yard - we live in limestone country so a completely in the ground basement is a rarity. Anyway....the concrete walls just literally radiate ice when it is this cold - our basement is "unfinished" meaning no air ducts blow down there. So...brrrrr in the winter. In the summer it stays relatively cool because three sides remain in the ground and the back of the house (where the wall to the back yard is and thus not in the ground) doesn't get sun until late in the evening and never at full force so stays cool in the summer even without air conditioning....heat rises so pleasant in the summer, in the winter...YOWZA! 

Anyway, I digress...back to what I want to share with you....
January 2019 saw me tearing through my "at home" needlework shop and my WIPS (works in progress) and here is what I either started or decided to work on this month: 


My friend Renee and I are hosting a stitch-a-long over on the Facebook group: Little House and Country Cottage Needlework Stitching Group. Our January/February SAL had 4 choices both seasonal and non-season from both designers. I have long wanted to have an entire Little House Needleworks Inns wall, so I chose Red Rooster Inn...

Little House Needleworks ~ "Red Rooster Inn"
stitched on 40 ct Vintage Examplar linen by Lakeside
Using called for Classic Colorworks overdyed cotton threads
*this shall be my focus on the finish for the very short month of February that is nipping at our heels
(why does January seem so long and February seems like here and gone?)
January 2019_LHN Red Rooster

My Oldest WIP saw a little love this month...
Told In a Garden ~ "Song of a People"
this is so old (21 year long WIP) I have no idea the color of the evenweave, but I am stitching it with DMC.
January 2019_TIAG Song of a People

I started this yesterday during the polar ice cap visit...
Teresa Kogut ~ "For Ewe"
I did my own conversion to Classic Colorworks and am using called for DMC
stitched on 28 ct. "Midnight" by Luminous Fiber Arts (owner: Misty Pursel dyes her own fabric line) this is a beautiful navy/blacky mottled fabric. You can find Misty on her own YouTube Channel and also buy her fabric and designs on Etsy at her shop of the same name: Luminous Fiber Arts 
January 2019_TK For Ewe

Last week I found myself falling deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole when I stumbled (literally) across a new to me designer: Modern Folk Embroidery
BEAUTIFUL designs, stunning work are done by the proprietor and designer: Jacob
I joined the 2019 Stitch-a-long there and here is my start:
Modern Folk Embroidery ~ "2019 SAL"
using DMC 115 stitching on 46 ct Heritage Silkweaver
January 2019_MFE 2019 SAL

Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery is a beautiful person inside and out. She recently did a very heartfelt video, link HERE about a set of 4 designs that she has designed for some charities that she holds close to her heart. Her earnest appeal and striking design had me immediately. I have purchased all 4 and am hoping to do "one word" per day. Here is my start:
Heartstring Samplery ~ "Justice"
stitched on 40 ct. Picture This Plus "Legacy"
using Classic Colorworks Black Coffee
January 2019_HSS Justice

So that, folks, was my works in progress for, are my:

January 2019 Cross Stitch Finishes

Little House Needleworks ~ "Monthly Thread Pack Series"
oldies but goodies...I have the entire series, have had them for years - purchased when they first released and did I stitch them? No. To remedy that I pulled out late spring/early summer pack and got "May" done!
Stitched on 28 ct. Clay Zweigart linen
using called for Classic Colorworks overdye cottons
LHN_2019 Monthy Series Threadpacks

Tanya Brockmeyer of The Scarlett House fame...
gave her loyal fans a beautiful complimentary pattern entitled "Love". 
I stitched it up using my own conversion to all Classic Colorworks - my conversions are available at the TABS above but I can link you HERE 
The Scarlett House_Love_2019 The Scarlett House_Love side

I finished it as a mounted flat door/knob/cuboard/wall hanger - tutorials are available to achieve the look if you are a follower and user of my tutorial blog where all of my many, many tutorials are linked to both WRITTEN and VIDEO tutorials available. 
**a word about my tutorials, tips, conversions, techniques, etc***
I give everything I know away free.
And I do it with a happy heart. I love to share. It brings me joy. 
Some are really great about giving freely, especially if it will help sell their patterns or get their company out in the eye of the public. That's just good business sense, right? Right! And I'm all about having good business sense. However I don't benefit monetarily by anything I share. I just give. I feel strongly that what talent God has given me, I am to share freely. I do that and I ask for nothing in return except my NAME be associated with the item made, done, used, utilized, fill in the blank. Hundreds of hours, literally, have been spent by me making tutorials to share and help others learn to make their stitching shine. I love to do it! I truly do love to help and teach others. I do not like seeing things made (and I can tell when my tips and techniques have been used) and there is no mention crediting the help they received. We all have learned to credit designers - as we should - for their creativity and beauty they have created in a pattern that we have purchased from them to create for ourselves. The same holds (in my mind) that the tutorial or tip we use to make something of beauty in finishing, the author of that help should be credited too. Just a little seed to plant in your mind to be aware. That is one thing I always believe in credit, where credit is due. 


I made a quilt from Jo Morton's ~ "Jo's Little Favorites" book 1
It's a Log Cabin Quilt and I chose all my own colors using Jo's recommendation on tones. 
It's using mostly scraps and I love a good scrappy quilt. 
Here is the top...I have sandwiched or quilted it yet. 
My idea is to use the "Baptist Fan" pattern for quilting.
JM_Jan 2019_Jo's Log Cabin

Lastly and certainly not least....
I am now a regular contributor to Fiber Talk
and I will be chatting Gary up every 3 weeks on Wednesdays! WHOOP!
if you are not a subscriber, I recommend you go on over to YouTube: HERE
Click or Tap on that red SUBSCRIBE button and tap on the BELL so you are alerted when a new show is uploaded (twice a week one on Wednesdays and one on Sundays) and just sit back and listen and stitch. I love Gary and I love how he is bringing attention to the needlearts. Join us!

that's it! Are you happy!? HA HA!

Until Next time...
love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Can you tell I went back to work?

~ Greetings and Warm Winter Welcome ~
from me to you!

As the title suggests....
yes, I went back to work in the finishing (bat) cave. I always sort of laugh to myself, when people call their sewing/craft rooms things like: studio - I even (at first) started calling my own place a "studio" and then I realized - who was I fooling? HA HA HA! My place is in an unfinished, un-heated/un-cooled, raw poured concrete floors and walls and stud ceilings with the wires and pipes still showing...a studio? No I think not! HA HA HA! Mine is a cave. Pure and Simple!

Home Sweet Cave....
Of course it is MY cave and I'm really lucky to have the space, and I've made it "mine" in a thrifty, re-purposed, eclectic, "do you have any junk you want to get rid of?" kind of way 😆😂
Posters and the fronts of calendars and cards paper the concrete walls...hanging? Simple! Just slap some backing tape on the back and slap it up there! Old carpeting from our home (when we got vinyl planking all over) grace the floors and makes it feel cozier. My husband has installed GREAT overhead LED Daylight shop lamps all over so its nice and bright. I've added little bits of me all over...and made it mine. So yes, it is Home Sweet Cave....but really, really cold this time of year. Yowza...we are talking it was 47 degrees this early morning. Yikes. Long johns.

One bit of news....
I'm going to be a regular co-talker on Fiber Talk with Gary Parr! Every 3rd week scheduled for the next few weeks, I'll be helping Gary with his Mid-week chat on Wednesdays. I already did one that was posted earlier in the month. 
So here is my first "regular" appearance show: January 9, 2019 (also available on YouTube: HERE)
I'll be back this coming Wednesday January 30, 2019! WAHOO! come join Gary and I as we chat about our FAVORITE topic - needlework! If you aren't a subscriber to Fiber Talk, seriously, you need to be one. Gary is doing a wonderful thing for those of us who live, eat and breath needlework. As always - THANK YOU GARY!

Little stitching has been done. Very little quilting. But I have been finishing. I've already finished like 34 items this month and I have several days left. So...there you go. And here you are: 

KD_BC Scarecrow KD_HOD O Say KD_HS BEE KD_JBW WitchKD_LK 2014 Stockings KD_LK Spring Smalls KD_WTNT Flag Day AL_LK Busy Bee AL_LK do small things AL_LK Red White Beach AL_Stitcher Hideaway fob AL_Stitcher Hideaway pin AL_LK Be you Bravely RH_Main Street VH_HOD day 3_day 4 KB_LK Things We Love LS_CCN Forest Snowfall LS_HOD Squareology_Merry DB_HiH Valentines Bird in Hand HC_LK Paddy Clara and Pansy BJ_Bird Stoneware BJ_Stoneware bunny BJ_JBW Witch BJ_Rovaris Oct 31

There you go...
my efforts in the cave since 1/8/2019.
I must say here, I know my devoted readers know that for the past 3 years I have struggled in the sanctioning of work time vs. personal time. I'm nervous by nature - I'm sure you know that too - and not only nervous but I'm very sensitive emotionally to others needs and desires and wants. I have very hard time doing for ME, a really easy time doing for everyone else. This new system I've implemented of scheduling my days ON the workbench and my days OFF the workbench have been VERY beneficial so far and seems to be working. It makes going to work every day (only 5 days a week!) a JOY! 
Like my husband says, "if they want you to finish their things, you are worth the wait, and they know that because your true clients want you and no one else." That's hard for me, because I don't see myself or my work as valuable...sad to write this and think this - but it is true. I'm working on that, on me, on my self confidence, on boundaries....and I can't help but think that it is because of my age, my life experiences - that I am able to intelligently look at my issues, my problems and try to find a solution. It's hard for me to tell people no. I've had a few situations this past fall where I've had to draw the line with people. They didn't like it and came at me from a place that I did not at all intend for them to think I had placed them.... and like a cornered cat came out with claws drawn. The written word is don't see body language to infer what is trying to be conveyed. You don't know where a person is at the time of writing it. From these 2 situations I have had (and of course I've had many, many others in my lifetime) but from the place I was in this fall (and very few knows the place I was in - but it was hard and very difficult and my family and I are still dealing with ramifications) I had people come at me harshly. Just from a hastily written email in response so that they would have the information quickly and also giving options if that didn't appeal to them of what could be done... well it was shocking the responses. When all I had was their best interest in heart. 
That's why if I had a tattoo I'd have these done on the inside of my wrist: 
One wrist would say: BREATHE 
The other wrist would say: "You never know what someone is dealing with..."
Give people a break. 
Just give people a break.
You can see what I experienced with a few of my clients this fall - every time you walk outside your door, every time you go to the grocery store, every time you go anywhere you see people responding with anger, accusation, makes me stop and reflect on me, because when I see things like this, it reflects poorly on those that respond in such a manner and I sure don't want to be seen like that! The world hurts, doesn't it? 
Don't contribute to it - just spread joy. Spread happy. Be happy. It all starts with me (you). 

So burning question...
What sort of questions do you have about needlework? 
Let me know will you? Either leave a comment (I moderate them so they won't show immediately). And I'll try to do blog posts addressing each one that is given to me. Let's grow our community of love of needlework in a positive way by sharing our tips and techniques together. 
Have a question you want answers or ideas to? Send them to me and we will get going!

Until next time...
when I *hopefully* can share some of my OWN work ;)
Love and Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Monday, January 07, 2019

2019 Finishing Service

Please click on photo to blow up to "readable" size.
Thank you!

Inquiries? please contact: Vonna Pfeiffer

Back to the grind....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to you, my friends ~
I hope this finds each of you well.....

So it begins....
College kids are back in college....
Ellie just left on the bus....
Husband is at work....
and here I sit here, writing a blog post rather than mosey-ing my backside down to the cave to begin my 11th year of finishing for clients.
I'm a procrastinator...
and I'm that doesn't help things.
I had my flu shot (I always get them, am a believer in them). I drink Bragg's apple cider vinegar every day. I take increased vitamin C all year long. I'm very rarely sick. I'm going to let you in on a secret - I am a horrible sick person. Awful. Whiney. Grumpy. Terrible. On January 1st, I began to feel a little scratch in my throat. I drank lots of water. Then I noticed drainage. Oh no. I began to drink mugs of chicken broth ~ to no avail. I was full blown sick on Wednesday. I feel like a Mac truck has run over me. Stopped. Reversed and backed over me. Stopped. Put it in drive, then ran over me again. I'm hoping he just keeps driving and doesn't think he needs to back up again. I'm taking my meds like a good girl. Setting my watch and letting it buzz me when its time to down some Alkaseltzer Cold and Mucinex tablets.
Plop Plop Fizz Fizz....guzzle, guzzle.
I am a terrible patient.

This cold has sort of put me on "hold" but I found my stamina to put our holiday decorations away for another year and also to decorate for winter and redo my dining/kitchen because Keith decided that we needed to repaint our dining/kitchen area. He got done painting mid-week last week. We let it cure a few days and finally put the final touches on it yesterday. We will do a white subway tile back splash in a few weeks. In the spring we are going to repaint our cabinets. (These are custom cabinets and the man that did them did a fine job on the making of them. He STUNK on the finish of them. Since we've moved in (like BEFORE we moved in) the finish has been flaking off. We even had a very serious discussion with him to redo the doors and I lived without cabinet doors for ONE YEAR (yep, almost had to take him to court to get them back......) but the facing and now the doors again are flaking off. So after 12 years of dealing with them and their dubious quality...we have decided we are just going to sand and paint them ourselves. That will happen in the spring. We did our bathroom cabinets last fall as a "pre-trail" run to see how our paint job would be...and they look better than they have EVER looked. are some shots of our wintery home:

My view in the mornings, while I'm drinking my cup of joe...
Living Room 2019

Winter 2019

Winter Box 2019

My winter/snowman tree....
Snowman Tree 2019

The quilt in the copper tub was made shortly before Christmas by me :) it is a free design that is a reproduction quilt from Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilt Lovers Facebook Group. If you are interested in small quilts, I highly recommend joining Kathleen's Facebook group. She gives free patterns, lots of encouragement and monthly goals. 

Here is our new dining/kitchen area...
Paint color is: American Restoration color by Valspar called: Woodrow Wilson Blush. It looks yellow in some light, but its sort of a light buttermilk creamy butter color, so sometimes creamy white, sometimes very light creamy yellow. I love it. I have this in my entry and in our halls/stairwells. We first used this color 8 years ago and we went with it for the kitchen because it is one of our favorites. Our whole house is done in American Restoration colors. I find it sort of fun to paint in them thinking about the antique homes these colors were found in :)

Dining 2019

Kitchen 2019

In the remake of our kitchen dining area I went "full-on barn" theme. I've always been country, even when country wasn't cool.... (hardy har har!) But I decided to charm it up a little bit more with the "barn doors" on either side of the windows. I really like them. I used to have our Grandmother's rolling pins on either side of the windows hanging, but I put them in my big Uhl crock. I collect red handled 1950's vintage kitchen utensils....actually, I need to be honest, I started collecting them and my good friend Edgar  now collects them for me and sends them to me every so often when he finds things at the sales he and Rico go to in San Francisco and the surrounding area. I find some every now and again, but my collection is in large part thanks to Edgar. I LOVE the kitchen utensils and I even use the very best ones in my own kitchen. Nothing beats a quality vintage kitchen tool! You can even see some in my white granite ware tub there on the hutch...THANK YOU EDGAR!! Everything in the tub was sent to me by Edgar :) Some of my favorite things to collect are of course the rolling pins and my next favorite are the rotary beaters. Why I don't know, but pins and beaters are my favs!
Dining Quilts 2019

This is my little red wagon from my childhood, circa 1970. I thought it was so cute, rusty redness filled with vintage quilts and my hen and rooster. Love it!

Little Red Wagon

Last "house" shot is of my window over the kitchen sink. I found this sweet wordy plaque and I love how it looks above my window 💗

Kitchen Window

I used my Santa cash to buy some fabric, then put them to good use for my January Mystery Quilt Challenge....
again a free pattern over on Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilt Lovers Group on Facebook.
Did I tell you I got a Singer Featherweight? 
Well I did, last summer.
 I love her. 
I call her Fanny. 
Fanny, The Featherweight.


Santa brought me a wool kit....
called: Merry Mittens
by: Rebekah L. Smith
I started them on Christmas Day and got them finished a couple of days later.
Filled them with "snowy" rosemary. 
Love them!

Merry Mittens

Stitching? yep...I'm doing some.....
My New Year's Start ~ which is a stitch-a-long over on Little House and Country Cottage Stitching Group Facebook Page. There were 4 choices 2 Little House Needlework Designs and 2 Country Cottage Designs. Each designer had a winter themed choice and a non-winter themed choice. I love the Inns done by Little House, so I chose Red Rooster. It will look good in my kitchen someday 💗

(stitching this using called for colors - subbing the red for Cherry Cobbler Classic Colorworks because, it's my favorite red - on 40 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside)

LHN Red Rooster Inn jan 7 2019

And this....
Started in the spring of 1997 when I was pregnant with Katie. I am determined to get this finished this year. Math minds will figure out that this is 21 years old. Embarassing. 

Stitched on 28 ct evenweave. Using called for DMC. This is Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum's Told in a Garden "Song of a People". I have a thing about Amish people. Always have. Likely always will. This has a big red barn on it. Quilts! and a big ol' farm house.
What's not to like?
It will look good in my full on barn kitchen/dining area. 
It's on like donkey kong to get this done.
Here is where I was as of last night:
TIAG_Song Jan 7 2019

Have an old Told in a Garden WIP? 
Pull it out. 
Start stitching on it. 
Join me!
Updates on Instagram. Tag it: #tiagoldwip

there you have it! All caught up on the life of The Twisted Stitcher!

prayer intentions? Email me (mailbox photo, left sidebar) and I'll place your intentions in my prayer journal, let's make 2019 the most peaceful journey. Peace, flowing like a river. 

Until next time....
I'll be stitching and finishing and coughing and guzzling chicken broth and alkaseltzer cold....
Love in stitches....
Vonna xxxx