Tuesday, March 07, 2023


~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my Blog ~

Today just a quick share....

Last week I put out a new FlossTube Video that shares what I stitched in February 2023: HERE

I did a tutorial on Patchwork Pears....HERE

And TODAY I made this: 


Southern Squash Casserole
Now I know technically I'm a Yankee, but I can cook with the best of the Southerner's 
bring it on :)

I've tried several recipes and I've come up with a size and taste that pleases my people. 
Here it is: 

12-15 smallish summer squash. Small guys are more tender and less seedy. 
Wash and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 Vidalia Sweet Onions, chopped

Melt 4 TBS. butter in a pot and cook the squash and onions until almost soft, with just a bit of a bite to them left. Then put all in a strainer for 5 minutes to drain off all the extra liquid. 

Meanwhile grate: 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of cheddar (did you know that grating your own cheese is best for creaminess? Grated/Shredded cheese you buy has an anti-clumping agent on it so that the product will be very dry when baked. It is cheaper and better for cooking to buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself. Takes just seconds if you have a food processor. 

In a bowl combine:
the grated cheeses
2 beaten eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 c.  parmesan cheese

MIX WELL, then add in the onion and squash; mix to combine all together.
Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Then make topping: 
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers; crushed
plus 2 tbs of melted butter and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
mix and then sprinkle over top of casserole evenly. This isn't as crackery as some casserole recipes because we want the mouth texture and taste but not to overwhelm that delicious squash with a hit of spice from the cayenne.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and top golden.

Enjoy and whistle Dixie...this is DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

2/22/23 - Ash Wednesday


Remember man, you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Help me to remember, Lord, I am given only a finite number of days on this earth. Help me to turn away from my sins and do penance, so that renewed I may continue my walk with you. 

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. ✝️

Once again, I am stitching Jesus by Vervaco during Lent. I last stitched him in 2019 also during Lent and had him only a short time on my wall before I gave him to Austin to commemorate his entry into the Catholic Church after his year long study, Baptism, Confirmation and full Communion, which I was proud to witness as his Rite of Christian Initiation sponsor. That finish is in the photos in my left top sidebar of this blog.

He is being stitched on: 14 ct. Ivory Aida, DMC 2/1

Monday, February 20, 2023

Buffalo Chicken Tenders and Zuchinni Parmesan "Fries"

 I love sharing recipes that I've come up with that works for my family. This is a seriously delicious meal that I make at least a couple of times a month. The only carbs is the Panko & bread crumbs used on the chicken. The rest of the carbs are just in the zucchini and negligible. 

Chicken Tenders 
 whatever quantity that you want, I rinse them, then put into a bowl and add milk and a eggs and a little pickle juice for tanginess. Untitled I don't do "quantities" I typically add enough milk to almost cover the tenders and add 1 egg for every pound of chicken. 

In a separate flat container mix equal parts of Italian Style Panko and Italian Style Bread Crumbs + 1 package of Italian Dressing Mix. Mix together well. 
Dredge tenders into breading mix and lay with about 1 inch space in between tenders on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put into 425 degree oven and bake until done, nice and golden about 15- 20 minutes.

While chicken tenders are baking make your Buffalo Sauce:
 2 sticks of salted butter
1 1/3 c. Frank's Hot Sauce
4 Tbs. white vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic

in small pan, bring to boil and stir together well. Remove from heat and pour into container - I use Ball Jar so leftovers can be refrigerated after meal. 

Coat your baked Chicken Tenders with the Buffalo Sauce, serve immediately with Bleu Cheese Dressing or Ranch Dressing.

Zucchini Parmesan "Fries"
 8-10 small / medium sized zucchini cut into fries 
1 cup of Grated Parmesan (I use the Kraft green jar kind)
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1 tsp of granulated garlic
3-4 Tbs Olive Oil

place the fries into a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well with a plastic spatula.


Lay fries out individually on a parchment lined baking sheet.
bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until golden
Serve Immediately with a side of Ranch Dressing.


February 20, 2023....

 ~ Warm Welcome to my blog ~

It's been about a month since my last post....
sorry about that, sometimes I get caught up in life. 

What has happened in the last month?
Well....back on the old lifestyle of low carb and fasting. I think I have finally lost all the Christmas gains....
I was down in my back for 2 weeks.... muscle spasms. I get these every so often and when it happens....not good. Always takes me out for a couple of weeks. 

I've been....
finishing of course, but my plan to not take as many clients and not work 7 days a week has been going well....trying to stay true to me. I am blessed with many GOOD and REPEAT clients that have been with me for years. Seems a large percentage of the time when I take new clients it doesn't work out so well. I've decided that it's going to be a real rare occasion that I take new clients from her on out. Not to say I won't, but I want to honor those people that have been with me and have stayed true to me. Easy to work with and I know that they follow through. 

I also have done some stitching....
I was honored to finish for a client her set of 
She wanted them as ornaments and as I was finishing them, I thought what a wonderful way to commemorate our family vacations by stitching the states we have visited. SO, I decided to stitch Maine and I added the year 2022 to it as we just visited there last summer. Here it is all stitched up:

"ME - State Splendor Series" by Thread Milk on 28 ct. Vintage Country Mocha using Classic Colorworks 2/2

Then I stitched and finished up: Mill Hill's Charmed Santa Series II This is "Noel Santa". I have all 12 from these two Mill Hill series Charmed Santa's Series I and Series II. I hope to stitch several of them this year. 

"Noel Santa" by Mill Hill on 14 ct. Perforated Paper 3/1 DMC using Mill Hill Beads

I also finished the stitching on my "Jolly Squirrel" by Pigeon Coop Designs:

"Jolly Squirrel" by Pigeon Coop Designs stitched on Zweigart 32 ct Stormy Gray using DMC 2/2

Here are a couple of WIPS I've been working on:

"Father Frost" by Mill Hill on 14 ct. Perforated Paper DMC 3/1

"Solitary Skater" by P Buckley Moss on 28 ct. white DMC 2/2

That's all the stitching I've done so far in February...it seems such a short month. . . that I don't get much done. We still have a week and half, maybe I can get some more progress on something :)

Today is President's Day so....
Keith is off work and we are going to go out to lunch, a very rare treat for us! I'm excited. I've been planning for a week what I'm going to order - ha ha ha! We like to go to Cheddar's restaurant, it's a nice, clean restaurant with good food at a great price and nice size portions. We love it! Hits all our bells!

We also are planning our summer vacation today....
we have decided to go to Colorado and our bucket list is to hit as many National Parks as we can before we die. So....we are hitting: Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon National Park in Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. We will be staying in the state of Colorado for around 12 days. It's always exciting to plan a vacation!

Well that does it for me for today!
I hope this finds you all well and enjoying your stitching and life. 

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

January 18, 2023....

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my Blog! ~

It's time for my weekly check in....
what's been going on around here?

Ellie started college....
She's attending a local community college carrying 16 credit hours, an internship AND a job. 
And she is fabulous!
She IS going to continue her education in Art, however right now to meet her deadline for transfer to a 4 year university by her Junior year she has to have certain classes done. She is planning on going into Computer Science. So she isn't in Art classes currently, but she will be, hopefully this summer.

~People have asked and ~
We are exploring the possibility of getting prints done of her work, made into cards, stationary, and regular "frame worthy" prints. More info to come sometime in future....

Last week....
I did another larger order for a sweet, stitching client:

~ drum ~

~ small pillow ~

~ weighted stand-up ~

~ flat round ornament ~

~ pillow ~

~ pillow ornaments ~

~ snow globe ornament ~

~ pillow ~

~ another of my snow globe ornament finishes ~

Routine living.... 
I don't know what we've been busy about...but we've been busy. And I hate to say this, but our weather here is more like Spring than winter. Robins are buzzing by my window as I type and Blue Jays are active...Cardinals....

We are getting....
A ROOF COVERED DECK!!! added to the back of our house this year!  Contractors have been coming to give their bids on the job. I am SO EXCITED!! I have long wanted a place that I can easily just walk out my front (or back) door to get to a covered place to sit and read, nap, stitch, watch wildlife.... and so our Christmas "present" to us was that we would add this to our home this year. We currently have a deck, but it isn't covered and .... no shade so we just sit out there and bake. A couple of years ago we added a 12 x 12 pavillion and a patio on our lower level and IT IS GREAT! But to get down there I have to walk down to the basement and drag everything down 2 flights of stairs (my lights, stitching, etc). THEN if you have to use the restroom, we don't have a finished bathroom on the basement level so it's climb up stairs to the bathroom.....Having a place right off our existing living floor...FANTASTIC! I can hardly wait!

Personal Stitching...
I have continued to stitch on my Lavender and Lace ~ "Santa of the Forest" the last week. It is my #1 WIP - I'd love to see him done this year. (I re-started him last July 2022)

Here is where I left him at Week #1: 

Here is as of tis morning: 
(excuse my waste threads - I end my threads like this so I don't have to flip the frame, I just stitch and pull thread down line where I know there is stitching, stitch up to the hole it is coming out of and clip thread effectively stitching over the thread) I just find it easier this way than weaving under back - or ending in a pin stitch (when I'm doing confetti colors (especially light colors)


Here he is without any typing around him: Untitled

Here is a side by side photo comparison Week 1 to Week 2.....I've gotten a lot of work done on him, I think, personally...

OK....well that's stitching and finishing...
let's talk my lifestyle journey. Of course I'm ALWAYS trying to lose weight. And I'm trying something new this year. I feel like I want to eat something....I stop and set my timer and stitch for 15-20 minutes and drink a big glass of water. I'm trying to train myself to reward myself with stitching - which I LOVE to do - instead of eating - which I also love to do. 

So far 2 weeks in - so good.
I'm stitching small ornaments for this exercise. So far I have one done. I'll share it when I get it finished.

I think, my friends that does it for me for today....
I'll be by again next week, if not sooner!

Until next time, 
Happy Stitching!
Vonna xxxx

Monday, January 09, 2023

January Nine and feeling Fine...

 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~
to my blog!

January 9...
the hubbub of the holidays are gone, went like a whirlwind, like it always does. I always savor the Christmas Holidays because of the fact that we can stay home, snuggle in and just: RELAX. I love that!

So last Tuesday, 
everyone went back to work, including me. I finish for The Shepherd's Needle - their shop models - Ann always chooses such lovely, creative finishes for her models. She tells me what she wants and I get down to the finishing. I'll let the pictures do the talking.....







Lovely, lovely stitching to create lovely finishes. 

I continued on with my 12 Days of Christmas Stitching, personal challenge...

The Prairie Schooler Angel's piece
stitching on 32 ct. black linen 2/2 DMC
I have Charted: Gloria in Excelsis Deo and it will be centered under the 3 angels.


32 ct. Twilight Blue Wichelt 2/2 DMC:

28 ct. White 2/2 DMC, this is from the 1991 Cross Stitch Christmas magazine (Better Homes and Gardens) I have long loved this and had it marked 2023 the year!


My own stocking, on 20 ct. linen 1/2 5 pearl cotton DMC/WEEKS/Classic Colorworks:

With the 12 Days projects all started, I began my rotating through my WIPS. I started with Lavender and Lace - Marilyn Leavitt Imblum's Santa of the Forest. 
Stitched on 28 ct. 2/2 Natural Linen 
I started this the last week in July. Here was after 1 week of work: 


Then a few days more:


By this time (the end of August) Working was getting CRAZY and I lost my mind and my stitching mojo. SO I did one more day and didn't stitch again until November:


Yesterday I picked him back up and managed quite a bit of progress: 
January 8, 2023:


I'll stitch on him maybe all this week, and then choose my next project. 

We got to meet Ian's new girlfriend: Kamdyn:


She's very nice and fits right in!

Then my Ellie and Jake went to see Puss in Boots at the theaters 2 times over the holidays and then Ellie dressed our little Puss as Puss in Boots (ha ha ha!):


That pretty much sums up my life since our last visit. I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed today thinking about all the work I need to do, keep on track with my gentle stretching and walking exercises daily, my diet, my religious education class I lead.......focusing on me more and work (and everyone else less) that's extremely hard for me. Scheduling, I must remember to always schedule enough time for me into each day. That's a new and novel experience, that's easily forgotten or over thrown for more and more....LESS...I need to remember LESS is good! LOL!

Now I have just enough time on my "lunch hour" to go for my daily walk. 

May you find joy in  your stitches!
Vonna xxxx

Monday, January 02, 2023


 ~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my Blog ~
A Joyous and Blessed Happy New Year 2023 to you all!

Well here we are friends....
a clean slate :) Although I approach every day (or try to) as a clean slate it is always a bit refreshing at the beginning of the new year to think: let's write my story...

My main goal in life is....
to be the best version of myself I can be. Version. That's a strange word isn't it. Sort of gives the idea that there are carbon copies of oneself. And isn't there? We all know the voice that we use when meeting someone new...Or if someone "important" walks into the room how our body language, speech automatically changes....
Really honestly I try to only have one version of me....but it constantly needs improving. So starting a new year with God - it's important to me. And topics to help ME be a better ME. Which in my case means: SIMPLICITY and FOCUS on ME. That sounds really, really self-centered but as a mother and wife and general servant at heart - I tend to focus on everyone and everything BUT me.

Last Year I took very many big steps into making my life revolve better around my faith - I try to attend daily mass as much as possible which means in a week I tend to go 3-7 days a week. I agreed to lead an Adult Continuing Religious Education class this past year. The class is only partial year and runs from August - May.  I will continue that path, but also with a focus on me. ME time. I don't allow that for myself very often. That's going to change. I'm going to slow down on my finishing business and I am going to ramp up more walks, more meditation, more stitching, painting, sewing...whatever I want to do. I  have got to get it into my head that doing things for me...not just rushing through my day to get to my chair to stitch for a few hours in the evening... is OK. More than OK, it makes me a better person.

So my general law of the land...
well maybe not a law, how about working thesis...is to create a mindset conducive to more meditative steps to slowing down my whirlwind life I've created for myself. Giving myself more allowance for time where my hands may be idle to meditate on higher things. Giving myself more allowance for time to do creative things that are for me alone. Some people need to work on giving...that is not my problem at all. My problem: giving to myself or taking for myself - THAT is my issue. 

This is the perfect time to do it....
as I know Katie and Austin will soon, God willing, be trying to conceive. I made it my mindset from the moment that I had children was: if my children live close to me and I'm physically able - I'm going to help them care for their kids so they don't have to worry about daycare or babysitting. God put me on this earth to be a Mommy and I, God willing, will be an awesome Grandma. So if ever I was going to have a year for ME...this is the one! May it be so!

Let's talk stitching, huh?!

I gave you DAYS 1-4 of my personal 12 Days of Christmas Stitching Challenge....
so here we continue: 

I am continuing making Christmas ornaments. This one will be for Ellie - she loves squirrels. 
This is by a new to me designer: Pigeon Coop Designs. You may find his website HERE
32 ct. Storm Gray Linen 2/2


I have long loved these Santa Faces from Mill Hill - I have a couple and *may have* used some Christmas Cash to buy the rest of them. Please note, the hat is stitched on a small piece of perforated paper and the face and beard is stitched on the other (peeking out from behind the chart). Once all stitched you attach the hat to the head. 
14 ct. perforated paper 3/1


I have had this kit for about 3 years. Our Lady of Guadalupe by Joan Elliott. I got a nice start on her on New Year's Eve.
She's stitched on 14 ct. Aida that came in the kit - I'm not too good to stitch on Aida. 


My New Year's Day Start:
June Griggs Designs for P Buckley Moss "Solitary Skater" 
28 count DMC 2/2


  Like the Told in a Garden designs - I have a LOT of these in my stash. (I have long been an admirer of the Amish as a people and the tenants they hold on simplicity) My home is filled not only with cross stitch, but with prints from Nancy Noel and P Buckley Moss. So...makes sense to pull this oldie, but goodie out and get it up on the wall. It is stitching up FAST (as you can see). Some people don't care for solid stitching... to me it's almost therapeutic. As you can see I stitch in the outline and fill it in way. I prefer to do it that way - in fact I have ALWAYS stitched like that. I find I have less counting mishaps if I outline and fill in. Easy evening stitching. 

So there we are all updated to Today: 1/2/23

I will be starting today a design I sort of laid out myself. I will be utilizing the Prairie Schooler Angels:

What I have planned is stitching these all in a row and I have charted in a Celtic/Old World style font to be stitched 1/1 in gold: Gloria in Excelsis Deo. I am stitching them on black evenweave and I personally think they are going to be fantastic like this. We will see. 

What else do I have planned....
well I have pulled LOTS of things to start. I thought I had less than 12 turns out...nope - I have about 3 times 12 pulled. HA HA HA! 
I'm going to start enough to get to 12 (maybe a couple more than that depending on how I feel) 
and then rotate through these new starts and some old WIPS that I'm bringing back.

What you may see:
Told in the Garden
Carriage House Samplings
Little Stitcher Ornaments
Dimensions Gold Kits
Luca S Kits
Little House Needleworks
Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine Pieces
For the Love of Cross Stitch Magazine Pieces

What you are sure to find:
I plan 2023 to be a whole lot of fun in sharing what I love to do best. 

In closing....
thank you for all of you who leave such warm and friendly comments. 
I know that some say they cannot leave comments on my blog. I have found personally if you are on Apple products - it's hard to leave comments. BUT if you sign into Chrome on said product you can leave comments easier. I use Apple products and I struggle with leaving comments on my favorite blogs too. So sometimes I will run down to my good old computer and sign in to leave one, but have found that signing into Chrome does make a big difference. 

My friends, thank you so much! 
May your 2023 be off to a wonderful start. My family has one last day to spend together before back to the grind. We are meeting today for lunch and an afternoon of games. We will be meeting for the second time Ian's new girlfriend. She is a year older than him. Is devout in her faith (Baptist), has brought him back to God (prayers answered). She seems very kind, down to earth and works hard. As far as I'm concerned I'm on board!

Until next time....
May you find peace with your needle and thread!
Love in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx