Thursday, December 29, 2022

New ideas...

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my Blog ~

Here we are burgeoning on the edge of a new beginning....
every year this time I try very hard to evaluate my life. As I get older I make evaluations harder in some ways, but perhaps more developed and aged - like a fine wine. I don't do "resolutions" go to a health club/gym atmosphere for one month in January and you'll understand why those don't happen here. (LOL! and have no doubt about it I would be, have been one of those here's my resolution and two week later...yeah not so much.)

Probably around the time I turned 40....
I realized that perhaps evaluations of a kind to change my inner workings, my head thinking, my heart, my direction in life were ones of a more lasting, solid kind. I evolve, like we all do. So what am I going to focus on in 2023? Read on to find know me, I'm like a scandal sheet - I tell it all!

I am doing a personal stitching challenge over the 12 Days of Christmas. Traditionally the 12 days begin on December 25 and ends on 12th Night or January 5. Keith and I are truly enjoying a 2 week "Staycation" he has been off work since, well really since he was sick (Dec 16) but it wasn't supposed to start until Dec. 21 and he will be off until January 3. I am not finishing, I am not doing one thing (other than essential daily tasks: cooking, light cleaning and going to mass) but boy buddy am I stitching! I chose to do a personal 12 Days of Christmas stitching challenge. What does that mean? That means, I dive/dove into my extensive stash and choose a project I have long admired and never stitched and start it. I have created a Stitching Scrap/Bullet Journal and I keep notes on what I've started and when I stitch on it - all the essentials of where, what, when and how. My plan is to focus on these 12 starts and ALL my other Works in Progress that has languished through the years and focus on the bounty I have rather than the bounty I have not. I am all about supporting designers, dye houses, linen companies, notions companies, etc. But sometimes one needs to know when to stop, rest and know that what they have is fantastic. 

I feel that in the last 10 years, particularly with the evolution of YouTube "flosstube" videos that it has become a "one-up-manship" on what you can buy, who you follow to be in the "cool kids crowd", what color you stitch with, what microscopic linen and needle you can stitch on/with, what venue you can go to, what club you are in, what exclusive design you can purchase. I understand people need to make a living, but I can't be the only person out here thinking that the over-commercialization, hawking and materialism of things leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sort of tired of it honestly. 

So to stay true to me and my own value of what I loved and purchased - spending hard earned money on - I must of loved it, so why am I hording it? I have put things into rotation during my 12 days of Christmas personal stitching challenge. Here's what I've done in the first 4 days:

DAY 1:
 "Santa Knows" by Teresa Kogut. Found in the 2018 Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher magazine (or she also has it in her ETSY shop for PDF download) 
I have a dream....of a mantle and hearth (maybe a hutch and a few tables) filled with stand-up Santas. I love Santa Claus - I am sure you could tell that from my previous post where I share my trees and home). Santa to me encompasses everything I want to be in life: kind, compassionate, giving, caring, sharing, jolly.... A "slew of stuffed santas" would be just the thing for my home and would bring me great joy! 
I am stitching my first "santa slew" on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha 3/2 using called for colors which is a mix of Weeks Dye Works and DMC. Stitching on this large of count will make him around 10.5 inches tall. 
*I am not stitching the entire piece, just santa the sheep and some holly sprigs tossed around edges. I have (in my mind) and idea that - of course he will be a shaped stand up (meaning unusual shape not sewn in an arch) and I will create a tiny wool bag that will be a dimensional piece for added interest to tack to the bottom next to Santa's feet. 

day 1

DAY 2:
Have always ADORED Country Cottage Needleworks' Glitter Village. I have created a border to surround the entire village, I started smack dab in the middle because I'm deleting some design elements and adding other things I want. I also am stitching a bit differently in that I've added Kreinik for the snow and snowflakes, going to add some beading, also using silver DMC Diamant to give lots of glitter. Here is my start on 32 count natural/silver linen from Fabric Flair using called for colors in Classic Colorworks

day 2

DAY 3:
Started another Santa for my "slew" this sweet, design found in  the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue, by Heartstrings/Artist Colony. Again he will be a stuffed stand up so I am stitching him on a larger count so I can get a nice size: 25 ct. Steel Blue 3/2 DMC. He will be about 6.5 inches tall when complete.

Day 3

DAY 4:
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH in 2002 when it came out. When right out and bought it and promptly - never stitched it. Bringing 4 My Boys back! LOL! 
"A Savior is Born" on 32 ct. Steel Blue 2/2 Gentle Arts and DMC

Day 4

So there we are....My first 4 days of my personal 12 Days of Stitching. What's next? Oh, I've got plenty planned! Tune in again to see what comes out of the dark!

What else is going on for me? WELL....
I've got my new Prayer/Praise/Thankful journal for 2023 all set up and ready to go. I started doing these journals quite some time ago to help my prayer life. Can I just say that it helped me then and continues to help me. Praying for others always ultimately helps me as much or more than the people I pray for. In the last couple of years, I have added Thankfulness to my journal. I have found it very helpful to remember ALL that I have to be thankful for. I write 1-3 things down in my journal every evening of something I'm thankful for from that day. On days when you feel "woe is me" -  everything has gone's good to reflect and realize there are so many hidden blessings in life. It's good for my head. 

As I do every year....I always leave the floor open for all of my friends here...
if you would like prayers, are in need of prayers, email me:
I am happy to put your name, a loved one's name in my journal and pray for them. I don't need specifics - for God knows those - all I need is names - if you would like a specific intention and you'd like to share it with me, rest assured I never think about or share it with anyone else. 

Finally I'd like to end this post with something that I am trying for the very first time this year....
I am Catholic - I am sure you all picked up on that 😂 As a Catholic, we like to ask saints for their intercessory prayers - that doesn't mean we are "praying" to the saints, rather it is like this: 

A Friend talking: "Hey Vonna will you pray for me? I am having problems focusing on my life issues." 
Vonna talking: "it would be my pleasure to pray for you about these issues."

Yes, I go straight to God for my prayers, but it sure never hurts to have others praying for me. As a saint, that means these passed HUMANS have walked the earth, had the same human issues as I have, knows the struggle life can be and they are up there in heaven wanting to help me, wanting to pray for me...praising God through eternity. 

I was reading that there is a practice of getting your "saint of the year" so for example I know many people who have a "word" of the year...this is the same sort of idea. 
Aletia is a website I frequent often and when I saw they had this Saint of the Year generator I took advantage of it. What could it hurt? I learn about a possibly "new to me" saint.

Would you like to know who I got?!
St. Damien of Molokai
I had never heard of him before. See...fruit already! 

He was beatified in 1995 by Pope John Paul II and raised to Sainthood in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.

St. Damien was born in Belgium in 1840. He longed to be a priest and missionary. He became a priest and was sent to Hawaii in 1864. For 9 years he worked as a parish priest there. In 1866, Hawaii established a lepers colony in Molokai on the Kalaupapa Peninsula. These colony was isolated, and basically was rife with all sorts of vice. In 1873, St. Damien decided to travel to Molokai to be a missionary there, serving the people for their spiritual and medical needs. Long story short, St. Damien was to serve there only for a short time, he ended up living there 16 years. He too became a leper and died there in 1889. He loved his people there, made many improvements to their living conditions and most especially their spiritual conditions. He embodies faith, hope and love. St. Damien is the patron saint of lepers and outcasts.  
Outcasts. Have we not all felt like one of these at one point in our lives? 
ST. DAMIEN pray for us!

St. Damien's photo is pasted in the front of my 2023 Prayer/Praise/Thanksgiving Journal and I am ready to go!

If I am not back by the New Year, please know, your presence in my life, makes a huge difference. 
Thank you for being a part of it!

Happy New Year!
Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. Vonna my dear, I feel precisely how you do about stitching. It is outlandish and I have nothing to do with it. I always appreciate your prayers, and so I ask, would you pray for me to have healed lungs. Ever since I took the methacholine challenge test (asthma test) on November 2nd, my breathing has never been the same. I went from horrid and being in the ER three times to somewhat maintained now with inhalers. Thank you dear friend. God bless you.

    1. You are always in my prayers and have added this special request my friend.

  2. Vonna, I always look forward to your new posts. There is so much to gain by reading them -- whether it be inspiration, validation of something that has been swirling around my head (and thinking I was the only one who had that thought), or thoughts to aid my faith journey. I have been enjoyed your 12 days of Christmas focus with your stitching. Wishing you peace during these remaining days in 2022 and wishing you much happiness in the coming new year. xoxox

  3. Lovely post, I sometimes feel the same .
    I like your new starts I am getting ready for a few new starts to that have been in my boxes some time and they need to come out .
    I hate how quick the year goes , I am hoping the New Year will slow down so I can enjoy it more .
    Happy New Year , hugs June.

  4. Happy New Year Vonna: An amazing and beautiful post, I do believe in Saints, thank-you for the link name, we are Prayers of the Rosary and have intentions mentioned before starting the Rosary, we also Pray for the unborn and aborted babies, we have a prayer card we use.
    I am so in love with your choices of stitching, we must think alike I am on a Christmas binge now to stitch a boat load of Christmas designs for next year.
    I am also working on trying to use up patterns and stash from the past in my stash closet.
    I do not make resolutions they are made to be broken so why make them.
    It is good you and Keith are able to spend quality time together.
    Please add Michael Laurent to your Prayer list he had bad news this week, I am Praying that all come out well, Prayers do work.

    Happy Blessed New Year

    1. Of course I will be honored to add Michael to my journal and am on my way to mass in just a few minutes. I will also light a candle and offer our rosary.

  5. We are so often philosophically/spiritually on the same page, Vonna.
    No resolutions, but certainly there is determination in your New Year agenda. Love your stash picks for getting to it. St Damien's story is a fascinating one and his example is one to be emulated even on a smaller scale. So glad you and Keith will have leisure time together on staycation (often more beneficial than the other kind) and hope he is feeling more himself these days. Wishing all the very best of blessings in the New Year; good health, well being, love, peace, joy and God's

  6. Prayers for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis as well.

    1. Yes, absolutely! I go to mass every day and help lead the rosary 30 mins prior to Mass. We always pray for Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict in front of the blessed sacrament to gain the indulgence. Of course, I add personal prayers daily in my journal and on my own for our Pope, Pope Emeritus, Cardinals, Bishops, Priest, Religious and Laity.

  7. I just how heartfelt and honest your posts are, I really enjoy reading them . I know what you mean about stitching these days, I don't have a lot to spend on stitching now I have a mortgage (luckily I have a substantial stash from my days of disposable income so I won't run out anytime soon!).
    I watch a few flosstubes and I am amazed about how much money people spend on buying the newest releases and endless fabric and threads, or how they stitched something on 40 count 1 over 1, I prefer not to go blind while stitching but each to themselves. It does feel like it's a competition to see who can spend the most money or buy the rarest charts/kits. I love what I have in my stash and I don't care if I only stitch on 28 count evenweave or 14 count aida, It's what I love and I don't care if I'm not 'cool' by not stitching on linen! I always appreciate your free tutorials and border charts, it is so much appreciated.
    Wishing you and your family a very happy new year and best wishes for 2023!


  8. Enjoying your challenge progress - I hope your 2023 is wonderful !!

  9. I so agree with your use what is already in stash. I am doing a deep declutter of stash which is very necessary. I have run out of room. Have boxes of cross stitch from supplies to finished stitching pieces ready to make into something. Probably a thousand yards of fabric (that is what it feels like). And on top of all that an elderly friends wants me to buy all her lovely quilting stash. ACK. Should be an interesting year. Will be revisiting your finishing videos after the declutter and sorting out finishing supplies. I see many gifts being made.

  10. Blessings for the New Year ! I love all of your posts even if I don't comment each time. Thanks for sharing !
    I'm enjoying your 12 days of stitching projects. They are all lovely and you are creating more treasures. I'm working on some older WIP's and hope to have more finishes in 2023.
    Best wishes for you and your family in the New Year !

  11. Interestingly enough, I just borrowed a book from the library called Moloka'i. It's fiction, but I'm sure it'll teach me a lot. Written by Alan Brennert.

  12. Another wonderfully inspiring post! Thank you for always sharing your heart. I'm totally with you on the rah rah rah of stitching. And the cost?? Yikes! Enjoy your time "off" from all your finishing. And Happy New Year!

  13. I love your statement 'focus on the bounty I have rather than the bounty I want.' It's so excellent I wrote it down and will share with my two stitching groups. I agree also with your statements about Floss Tube. I follow only a few and get disgusted with the 'then I got' haul that is shown. My goal is to finish what I've started!

    Thank you for taking the time to blog; it's always interesting here.

  14. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!