Monday, January 24, 2022

Little House Fall on the Farm....

 ~ Welcome Friends to my blog ~

trying to stay true to myself, I took Saturday and Sunday off after working all week at the quilt shop. 

Yep! I do have finishing orders coming out of my ears and people contacting me every day to get on my list for finishing - and boy do I appreciate my client's loyalty and new people interested in being a client. Some day soon I'm going to have to say I'm closed, but right now I'm keeping my head above waves. 

Saturday really wasn't an "off" day....we did a bunch of wedding shopping. Then I didn't sleep all night thinking what else I needed to buy/get/ no sleep. Last night I went to bed at 7:30 and I am proud to say: I slept  ALL  NIGHT LONG! I didn't get up until 7:30 a.m. that is huge for me to get 12 full hours of sleep. HUGE! (and I'm still tired! HA!) 
Before my big sleep fest, I managed to stitch my afternoon away after mass and lunch....
I'd been waiting to get a free moment to start stitching Little House Needleworks - "Fall on the Farm" 

During my Christmas Break, I spent one whole afternoon and evening creating a pleasing (to my eye) border for my Fall Farm Community. I like all of my Little House communities that I have stitched over the years (and there have been a lot of them) to have a border to encompass them in harmony. I try to focus on elements that I pull from the original photo that Diane posts about the design series and incorporate them in the frame. I worked hard on it and I think it turned out rather nicely.

Last night I shared my start on my Instagram account:


I am stitching mine 1 over 1 on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha 
I have so many large cross stitch pieces that I thought maybe this would be darling as a small, small piece ....look how tiny it is compared to my bottle cap needleminder 💝
I think it is going to be darling!

I like stitching over one as long as it is an evenweave. Don't much like stitching over one on any count of linen, it hurts my eyes. However, over one on evenweave for some reason - for me - is OK. Almost like stitching on hardanger or aida. 

I posted this photo and went to bed pretty much after I posted it. This morning I awoke to....
tests, direct messages, emails and comments left on my photo of my stitching all with the general question: "Would you consider sharing your frame?" 

I love to share....
and sadly I feel that many people have come to expect me to give everything I create from my head away. But I sat out 16 years ago to do what I loved best, celebrate what the Lord gave me in blessings and gifted abilities and share, as He asks us to do with our gifts, to help others. When I started out stitching 40 years ago....when I got done with something all I knew to do was frame it. As I got older and in college I started experimenting making ornaments and such. There were no books or the internet to draw inspiration from. I just messed around and most of them turned out just like that - a mess! But I had a few triumphs!  

Way back in the early 2000's when people started asking me how I did something from sharing here on my blog or on bulletin boards, I made it my life goal to share what I had learned through the talents that had been gifted me. There ARE no exception, not then and not now.

Here is the border I have created:


I do not give colors - rather I printed each stitch in the color palette that I envision it, and it is up to the stitcher that uses this pattern to interpret their own color choices. I personally have pulled from the palette that Diane uses for her series. I give stitch counts and fabric sizes to cut if using the frame - please double check! and I use 3 inch borders always.
The orange boxes are for pattern placement ONLY do not stitch! 

To get the pattern to print, I purchased a cross stitch software so that I could print the pattern, then scan it and upload it to put it on the web so that others could print it. So this free pattern to you, that I created for myself was not free to me, in cost or time. So please if you use it, all I ask, is to give my name credit. Thank you!

P.S. I also reproduced my Early Americans frame and reprinted and reuploaded it to the internet so that it could be printed - since I got a lot of flack about it not being printable from a discerning few disgruntled people. So it too is now printable if you are interested - link is in my tabs above - click on Early Americans border and there you find the link to my files.

P.S.S.: stay tuned - I have a Country Cottage Needleworks Series that I have created a border for....I have a great idea and I'm not sharing it yet, but I think it's going to be fantastic, and of course - I'll share it too - as soon as I do some test stitching - to ensure that it is going to work. 

~ and please ~
if you use any of my free designs, use any of my free tutorials - please give my name credit. That is so very simple and all I ever have asked. It helps others to find help and that alone is my goal - to help others find joy in their stitches. That's it! No fame, no glory - just help. 

Blessings to you this day and always,
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, January 20, 2022


~ Welcome Friends ~
to my blog

It's been a couple of weeks or so since my  last post and I can tell you that I have settled into a nice little routine. I try to finish just 4 days of the week and do "Vonna Stuff" the other three. It's nice! I am thanking God for allowing me to work from home - where I love it best. 

At the beginning of January sometime....
I'm a horrible record keeper on starts and finish dates, but I do know it was right after the new year, I decided that after missing this ornament from my tree this year: 

I needed to go through my 1001 magazines and find the design again and stitch it for me. HOWEVER...
as I stitch it I realize that not only did this little sweetie remind me of Katie when she was little (thus why I stitched it in the first place). It reminded me of Ellie when she was little. SO.....dilemma. 

I've stitched on it for weeks (or it seems like it to me...)
and here is where it stands as of today, right now at this minute of January 20, 2022:


The name of this piece is: 
"The Watcher"
and it is found in the: 2001 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
Cross Stitch Christmas

I loved all those magazines and I always got them each year. I have well....1001 (haha hahaha!)

The reason I missed this ornament from my tree this year is because being that Katie bought her own house and had her own tree, I boxed up all her childhood ornaments that I had stitched for each year and then her own handmade ornaments from school and such and gave them to her as a surprise. (which it really wasn't a surprise because she knew that is what I intended to do when she got to be a big girl and move out.)

Little did I know...
that I would miss these loved ornaments that hung on my tree each year for 24 years. I was doing it for me as much as my kids it appears. And out of hundreds of ornaments on my trees....I still missed the ones I sent away home with her. 

So it appears....
that this one will be Ellie Eileen's ornament and I will retro-date it for when she was 3 years old (that is how old Katie was when I stitched this one for her) and it will hang on my tree until Ellie leaves home. 
Then I will have to stitch it again, this time for me :) 
OR maybe I'll just stitch two this year and that way I have it no matter who leaves! Ha!

I have decided that 2022 shall be:
the year that I keep Christmas in my heart all year long. I am going to focus on the magic I feel at Christmas and keep it with me. 

I also have decided that I need Shepherd's Bush stockings on my mantle at Christmas. I figure since my family is growing by obtaining a new son and a new daughter this year, this year was as good as any to start stitching them. (before I start getting grandbabies - fingers crossed and God willing!)

This week...
the owners of the quilt shop that I used to work at called me and asked me to work a couple of weeks to help them out. They had a family emergency in Washington State so they had to leave immediately. I agreed so have been at the shop all week. 

Since I cannot see tiny linen holes for love or money without my magnifying lamp, I decided to go ahead and pull out my kitted Shepherd's Bush stocking and start on it since I am stitching it exactly as Shepherd's Bush calls for.

In fact....
If you are wanting to stitch these (or I entice you to stitch them) I found the ladies at Shepherd's Bush most helpful. I just gave them a ring and told them to send me two stockings (Oliver and Lois) completely kitted - the whole shebang. That saved me hunting down all the pearl cottons and the linen etc. So I highly recommend just giving them a call should you want to stitch these. The ladies are most kind and helpful!

Here is my kitted Oliver Stocking - which shall be Keith's Stocking


Here is where it stood on Day 1 as I stitched on it between customers:


and here it is after Day 3 stitching in between customers and phone calls on Day 2 and Day 3 at the shop:


It's turning out rather nicely - if I do say so myself. 
I am stitching on 18 ct. raw linen 1 strand of pearle cotton over 2 threads.
I am using the called for flosses which is a mix of DMC and Weeks pearle cottons.

There it is: keeping Christmas in my heart all year long 2022!

I have today off....
and it is COLD here in Indiana, so I plan on: staying in my PJs and stitching away. I am hopeful to get "The Watcher" done and move on to my next ornament. I am trying to stitch ornaments each month. Although Keith says I have enough ornaments - he is sadly mistaken and during the after Christmas sales I bought a 5th tree for next year! 

In quilting news....
my friend Melinda and I are going to do a "friendship swap" of several of these blocks from the Eleanor Burns Book "Underground Railroad" 
I have long wanted to do this quilt - this is an older publication. I have been accruing Civil War prints for several the time is ripe. 

Here are my first blocks.
They are "Jacob's Ladder" and 6.5 inches square. I am doing three...
one for me
one for Katie 
and one for Ellie's hope chest.
You'll notice I am also doing different color ways:


It will be ALL scrappy too. After doing this block Melinda contacted me and decided she was preferring the 12 inch blocks so it looks like I will be doing 4 quilts :) 

My family usually had Sunday dinners all together...
Austin prefers having BIG breakfast on Sundays at his own house, so we moved Pfeiffer Family Dinners to Saturday. Here is our first one in the New Year! I love my family to always be together.


Speaking of Austin and Katie....
did you know they adopted 3 kitties from a local "Feral Friends" group who trap and socialize kittens from feral parents?

Here are the little lovers - Charlie, Gracie and Teddy:


Who would think there would be full blooded FERAL Siamese cats in Bloomington IN? 
The Siamese boy (isn't he gorgeous?!) is: Charlie
The tiger girl is: Gracie

These two were found together at less than 6 weeks old. Gracie was near death and Charlie was protecting her. Their foster mom said that it was touch and go with Gracie at first and everytime she became critical Charlie would wrap himself around her and lick her and comfort her keeping her warm. Gracie pulled through every time and made it to be adopted by Katie (and Austin).


then they decided they still had room in their heart and saw this little scamp and brought him home too! (just 2 weeks later). So gray boy is: Teddy


These little guys have not been without their of them had cat herpes and so each of them have that - which all that means is periodically they will get gunky eyes and be sort of subdued for a couple of days. Then they bounce back. But the real issue is: they have worms. Apparently rather bad as yesterday morning - Katie called me all freaked out. Charlie has been having vomiting issues and yesterday vomited 2 adult round worms. They HAVE been dewormed 2 times before. 

yesterday I told her to call the vet and they'd be .able to get dewormer without having to take them all in. She called and just like Mom said the dewormer was ready to pick up in a few hours and I told her to tell them to send enough for a couple of treatments to ensure they killed them all. 

They sent 3 weeks worth of dewormer....
and Katie started cleaning EVERYTHING in her house again. Bleaching litter pans, stripping all beds, washing all floors and places they sleep and sit. It's a job I know, but it needs to be done to ensure this time it the worms are gone for good.

That's a little gross isn't it?

What else have I done in 2022? 
FINISH - I would invite those souls interested in looking through my finishing album for 2022, link in the tabs above. 

Alright folks....
that gets you up to date!

Until next time....
love, Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

A fantastic season....

~ Hello! dear friends ~

I'm back so that you know I'm going to stick this year :)

We enjoyed a fantastic holiday season this year and here are a few shots of how we spent our precious time together...

Manger Side at Midnight Mass 2021


Celebrating Chinese Food Christmas!
(we had cashew chicken, egg rolls, dumplings and crab rangoon - if they want it, they have to wrap it so I made the fillings and here they are wrapping them all up for me to fry)


This past fall Keith had a new fireplace insert that is vented installed - a hefty amount to pay, but the payoff is FANTASTIC for ambiance and heat. Chatty loves warming his old bones by the fire :)


Hunting the Christmas Pickle and Christmas Bigfoot - a family tradition. Pickle finder gets to open presents first and Bigfoot finder gets a bag of  "scat" Hershey Kisses. 


more rolling and wrapping...


The cooks...


one of our beautiful trees...


My Christmas present from Keith. We were junking late fall and I found an old Holly Hobbie. I picked her up and held her and Keith said "Whatcha got there?" I went on to explain that on Christmas 1976 I had received Holly and a couple of her friends for Christmas. How I loved those dolls! I put her down and went on to explain how I'd load them up in my Red Flyer wagon in which I had placed a box and put an old towel or sheet over the box and pretend it was a covered wagon (pretty ingenious if I do say so myself - ha ha!) and I'd pretend we were on the trail to the west like pioneers. 
I didn't get Holly that day....but Keith apparently came home and searched the internet and found every single Holly Hobbie doll. Here they all are, one even came in her original box (albeit a little nasty looking). 


Here is our Christmas Feast...


New Year's Eve was tame...we ate cake, drank cherry limeades (cherry syrup in sprite with a dash of lime juice) and made recycled Christmas Card Ornaments like we do every year. Would you like to know how to do them? I made a tutorial HERE


For the past 3 days (January 2, 3, 4) I have been DEEP cleaning. Since we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany at Mass last Sunday (I know the real day is Jan 6, 12th night...) but I wanted to get Christmas up and winter out so that I could enjoy the last few days of my self-given vacation. Next Monday I'll start finishing again. . . 
Here are some shots of our newly cleaned and winterized home...

Our entry:


Living Room...



Keith wired LED lights on my hutch because I wanted it to light up like my cabinets that he did this summer....


Our cabinets...


How it looks all together....isn't it great!!


Some more winter "places" in our home...


My granny's Duncan Phyfe chair with my great-grandmother and her sister's (my great-great aunt Kate) quilts....

some more little places I winterized...
(have you noticed that stacked old books is a "thing" in decorating? so I popped down to our local antique mall and picked up some...)


So there you go. I did NOT have a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day start in cross stitch....I was too busy soaking up time with my family. We played games and ate. 

Now that the work is done....
TODAY and the following 5 days I get to PLAY!!

I have plans.....and I'll share them in a few days time.

Until next time....
May I also put out my yearly request that if anyone of my blog readers have special prayer intentions please email me (address under the mailbox picture upper right hand side) - I will happily add your request in my prayer journal and pray throughout my days giving my "first fruits" to God each morning.

May you each enjoy a wonderful week ahead!
All my love, 
Vonna xxxx