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


  1. This is such a thoughtful post. When it comes down to it....Kindness matters! I'm sorry some were so confrontational with you. Just know it isn't you. I have a group of lovely Christian women I sew with on Fridays and sometimes words are miss interpreted and it's unbelievable the nasty things that are said. Not often but on occasion. I try to remember to respond with love and kindness. Love your work!! You are super talented. Patty Mc

  2. Keith is wise! And you have to "Breathe". From far :-) but through the years I can see you getting there. Hugs Paula

  3. I'm so glad to hear you're working on taking person/family time. You so deserve it. I love all the work you do and so look forward to seeing all your finishes. You truly do some amazing work.
    I would love to know if you use any plastic templates (oval, round, rectangular etc.) for when you're finishing stitching projects into ornaments for a Christmas tree and if so, which ones would you recommend?

    1. Go to the scrapbooking aisle at your local store and look at all the templates. I use a lovely bunch of templates from many different companies that were intended for scrapbooking.

  4. Acknowledging you need time to be a better you is the first step and you are well on your way! I see your kindness in every post you make. I think you are an amazing inspiration to others.
    I do have a question about your finishing:
    When clients send you their finished pieces, do you look at it and then decide how you will finish it? “This piece would look beautiful in a tart tray, or this piece will be gorgeous as a flat fold!” Or is that conversation done with the client before it gets to you?

    1. Tina, I do it both ways....some people like to have control from start to finish directing my every move. Others want specific finishes but want me to choose everything else. Still others say, I don't care finish it.

  5. First, woohooo to each of your clients. Their stitching and the projects they've chosen to do are wonderful! Vonna, each of your finishes are amazing!! Beautiful heirlooms you all have created people!. Second, God bless that sweet husband of yours. Such a supportive and inciteful thing he said about clients willing to wait for your beautiful, quality work. I pray you will one day be able to recognize your value. I can relate to what you have shared with us.
    Golly, this was a pleasant blog visit. A treat for my eyes, a bit of life counseling and food for thought. Take care :)

  6. It may be chilly in the Vonna cave, but you certainly do lovely work there. Just remember that no matter how hard you try, you can't please everyone. Some people enjoy complaining and being unhappy, I think. Take time for yourself.

  7. What gorgeous pieces you have created for your clients! I loved reading your description of your finishing cave. Your husband is a wise man. Vonna, you are kind and so giving to those of us in the stitching community and now the quilting community. I am glad you are taking time for yourself. Thinking of you and have an enjoyable weekend!

  8. Love looking at your work! You do such a fantastic job! BUT I am glad you are making some time for yourself! We all need a little ME time. And don't feel guilty about taking it--you have to take care of yourself. We probably all have had some of those same experiences where someone took something not the way it was meant and furthered the problem by speaking before thinking. I think it is a national problem--just watch the news and you see it almost daily--something taken out of context and blown up...sad state of affairs. Hang in there and stay happy! Life is too short for sure to let others hold you down.

  9. I look forward to reading your blogs - each one brings joy. It is hard for us as women to see our worth but someone once told me "you are worthy because you are the daughter of the King". Just being reminded of my relationship to my heavenly Father helps me to know that I am worthy❤ It is important for you to take care of yourself, something that I struggled with also because as a nurse, I felt that I had to take care of everyone else first. Keith is correct - those of us who love you and your work will always be willing to wait. God bless and keep you❤

  10. Yes, you are worth waiting for. I think the mood of our country at this time is very negative. That is so sad. I try each day to be kind to the people I deal with even if it is only the checker at the grocery store. We all have to do our little bit and maybe the mood will change. I am so sorry you were treated unkindly!

  11. Impressive. No wrinkling or puckering, even in corners, just smooth and tight fabric that is not always easy to achieve. So nice!
    I bought a little quiet heater and I am amazed at how well it heats my area.

    1. I have a small heater too Marly, it keeps my tootsie and legs nice and warm, but I get so chilled across my shoulder and my bottom is like two blocks of ice by the end of the day :) When it gets down to 1 and 2 degrees at night the concrete walls just radiate ice, it seems.

  12. I' m sorry you had to go thru those things . IT can leave us devastated and wounded badly. Stepping back and looking thru clear eyes can help us grow in ways we did'nt think about. Your work is amazing . Being a fairly new stitcher on linen I found you're tips and tricks great. Keith HAS wisdom on this . I so enjoy seeing your finishes
    Linda m

  13. Reading the comments of others, so many of us struggle with our worthiness. I retired early - Alzheimer's - and I too struggle whether I am worth the trouble. Connie's comment above about being a "Daughter of the King" should say it all for us.
    Like many, appreciate what you do for us-your willingness to help, your blog, your "how-tos". Thank you very very much.
    My one question is, how do I finish a piece that is stuffed, with beading all the way around it? Do I so it all together first as a pillow and then do the beading? Do it all at once?
    Again, thank you so much for everything you do for us.
    Blessings, Donna

  14. Oh Vonna, you do such beautiful work. I can't even believe you have done this many in the month of January. You have always been so generous with your ideas and tips and tutorials, but girl The LORD told us to rest. It is serious business. I know I am older than you and retired. I worked myself to a frazzle before I retired and honestly had to call it quits earlier than I wanted due to health. Take care of yourself. Call it a week after 4 every now and then and go do something just for you. You will always have plenty of clients who are happy and will send you plenty to do. Those negative people can do it themselves or go find someone else. Good riddance!
    Love ya and thank you for your tutorials and sweetness.

  15. Vonna I think the nicest people have the hardest time accepting their abilities. It just seems selfish to think you are good at something. But sweetie. You are. Be nice enough to yourself to realize you are. Look at your blog. People love you. People are unfortunately very quick to be mean. I don't know why. I wish people would go back to the golden rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. No one wants to be barked at. You spread kindness. You are amazing. Keep it up girl.

  16. Your work is so lovely. Take time to breath and enjoy your time with family. We all need to stand back and relax. Your husband is so right. Keep up the good that you do in this life.

  17. What beautiful stitching by your clients and your finishes are just superb. How wonderful that your husband is so supportive of you. Have a relaxing weekend. x

  18. I'm so glad to read that you are going to be taking more time for yourself, Vonna--two whole days off makes complete sense (maybe aim for three!). I only ever worked part-time and felt like it was perfect. I actually felt better organized before I retired and am trying to get myself more on a schedule. At least your cave has everything in one location. I've got my stuff in about four different locations upstairs and down. I certainly get my exercise on days I finish something :)

    I'm sorry about the negative people--it is just a shame that people are becoming so rude and expect instant everything. Your work is lovely and you are truly one of the most giving and generous folks around. Just look at all of the time and effort you have put into your tutorials. And where would any of us be without them? So thank you, dear Vonna--enjoy your days off and remember that you are special ♥

  19. Ephesians 4:29 one of my favorite bits in the bible. However Ephesians 4:31 would be more appropriate for those persons who spoke harshly to you during a time when you really could have used the aforementioned verse.

    Your finishes are glorious! Instead of asking you to do the finishing, I have taken it upon myself to watch your tutorials instead. I figured you took the time to make the video, why not utilize them :D Thank you for sharing, my brother is enjoying the end result now!

    I hope you get hugs of love everyday Vonna!

  20. Vonna, I wish there was a way to convey to you how important you are to this needleworking community! Your hubby is absolutely right! I love Forest Snowfall and when I stitch it up, I will definitely be sending it to you for a flat fold and I can wait because you need time for yourself. This world and country is going down the tubes and is full of angry people. I for one would like to know how we've come to be this way! It just blows my mind. I would rather be happy than be hateful and angry. I'm sorry people have to be so impatient and mean to you. I know how it is to say yes yes all the time but I now make sure to ask myself if something will benefit me and how. Yes, I would still do things for someone but only if I have time and the ability. It's going to shock people like you have found out but those who don't like it, well, throw them to the curb! Enjoy your two days off with family!

  21. Wow, I think the value of your work is priceless! Making memories and heirlooms from the work treasures people send you...that is beyond valuable. And not to mention your most important job...raising 4 kids and two babies at the same time. Now there is a job that is more important than any other. If you are ever doubting the value of your job, just imagine that it is your child doing it and of course you would see the value in that. Sometimes we just have to look at things in a different way. Thankful for what you do for us every day, Vonna.


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