Wednesday, June 21, 2023

June Update....

 Greetings and Warm Welcome to you, my friends!

I thought I would share my progress to date on my:
Santa of the Forest
by: Lavender and Lace
Marilyn Leavitt Imblum

I am stitching him on 28 count natural raw Zweigart Linen
DMC and Kreinik

Here is where he stood on May 1: I had determined I was stitching monogamously on him all through the month of May


Here is where he stood at the end of May after stitching on him pretty much every single day of May: 
(I may have missed a couple of days, but I pretty much stitched on him every day) I did not stitch on any other thing in May.


And seeing the huge amount of progress I got on Santa being monogamous on him, I decided that I would continue stitching monogamously on him with the hopes that I would get him finished by my birthday, July 5. What a huge, wonderful goal that is to finish him by my 53rd birthday!
I don't think I'm going to make it. I took about 12 days off of stitching at all (I had pressed hard on him in May and I'm really busy in my finishing service.) I have about 2 weeks left in my personal goal, and here is where he stands as of today: 


Here is the cover photo of the chart: 


I've got the bunny and wolf, a whole lot of green and red, the staff and the gold banding along his cloak. Probably 10-15000 stitches left, I'd guesstimate. Can I do it? 
Probably not...ha ha!
But in all reality - it WILL be done before Christmas and to me that's a goal I didn't even think I'd make at the beginning of the year, to be honest. So good on me! But we won't celebrate yet, because that would be a death knell for me and my stitching...ha ha!

I share my progress on social media outlets...
as most of you may know. I go on Facebook and Instagram for social interactions with people of like minds. People crafty, hobby focused....I have met many genuinely beautiful, caring people online.
It can be, however, a real drain on one's emotions at times. For instance this morning: I had a comment left by a stitcher that said, "I'm not a Santa person, but the bear is cute." Now I try not to jump to conclusions when I get comments like this. I try to take a deep breath and step back and look at it from all sides. I even showed my husband, Keith, who is about as cool as a cucumber when it comes to other people's words and deeds and said, "am I jumping to conclusions about his comment?" 
He agreed it could be taken in many ways, but the over-riding feel was snarky. 

Why do people seek to sort of tear down rather than celebrate? I responded to the comment with, "I am not a fan of many things, but I still seek to positively encourage and cheer others stitching what they love." to which the commenter responded: "and I'm being positive with you, I don't like Santa, I do like the wildlife." 

I blocked them. I don't understand and I do not have time for that. 

Some may say: that's exactly why I don't do FB or IG or any social sharing at all...
but again I will say, the connections I have made online have been long lasting and I am learning that the negative experiences reflect more on the person leaving the negative than on me, on my work. I see a lot of things every day that is not my cup of tea. I celebrate with them, encourage their hard work,  try to understand their struggles. Life is short. I try to leave a fingerprint on other's heart that is positive. My legacy alone will be my memory. Others won't remember me as a great stitcher, mother, microbiologist or anything else, but if they remember as a kind human, I will have fulfilled my goal.
Kindness matters. Words matter. Actions matter. 

Not to leave this blog post as a negative, but maybe as a learning reflection for all of us, including me. I don't like controversy. And my day got started off on the wrong foot through what could be a misunderstanding on my part. All could have been alleviated however with just a rewording/reworking of some individuals thoughts, words and actions on my personal work.  

Until next time....
fingers crossed for a stupendous finish...because that is what this Santa will be to me...
my largest, most stupendous finish, ever.

Peace, love and stitching, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. He looks wonderful! Would love to stich him someday. Keeping the negativity out of your life is a good is too short to put up with people who bring you down. "Negativity is the enemy of creativity."

  2. I love everything about the Santa and your stitching is beautiful!

  3. Sigh...why couldn't they say something like "So cute...I particularly like the bear!" I've been a very long-time follower and appreciate all that you share with us!

  4. Vonna, I think your Santa is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for posting on your blog as I am not on FB or Instagram. I also watch all your YouTube videos. Thanks

  5. Vonna i think you Santa is gorgeous. I give you credit for stitching on him every day. I am lucky if I can stitch twice a week!!! Keep up the good work and I am rooting for you to finish by Christmas!!! It is a wonderful piece. I find that people who don't encourage other people don't have good feelings about themselves. Also, if you are on social media you can't take negative comments to heart. Congratulations to you.

  6. This Santa (and all the critters and details) is absolutely phenomenal Vonna....and your progress is amazing. And as for the "comment," hmmm.... I agree with everything you said and, being a (perhaps overly) sensitive person (and insecure), I tend to read more into people's words than often is intended...and I would likely have interpreted your commenter's comment similarly to what you did. However, I do know that sometimes I can be brutally honest...and am sure I have said things that could have been phrased more artfully. I try to live by the caveat of would the words I say hurt/offend me if they were said to me....but, again, there is always a possibility of misinterpretation. Words not intended to harm do....but here the commenter was given an opportunity to clarify her meaning...and, unfortunately, I think she did... Long way of saying, yes, we all need to take care of the words we use. ~Robin~

  7. I am astonished by the cruel.comments I have come across in Instagram. Really ugly, hurtful comments to total strangers. I don't get it.
    Anyway...I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your projects. I think the most beautiful piece ever was the wedding sampler you did last year.
    Happy birthday early. Your birthday is the same as my mothers and 4th of July is my favorite holiday for that reason.

  8. I think Santa of the Forest is already gorgeous, Vonna. You have made incredible progress on this beauty. Like you, I try hard to be positive and complimentary about things that aren't my cup of tea/coffee or do what I was taught and that is to say nothing if I can't say something kind. I strongly believe those who are mean and/or negative don't feel very good about themselves so they need to bring others down. Thinking of you!

  9. Vonna I am stitching vicariously through you. I've had that graph for YEARS and never even picked the fabric. Beautiful work and hurrah for sticking to it till the end. You are extremely talented. And you have also encouraged me many times. As for the comment?? Well, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". Nuff said.

  10. This Santa is really something to be so proud of. I know your work is always beautiful! Your finishing techniques are gorgeous also. I always look forward to viewing your creations!

  11. Dear Vonna, I've learned so much from you. Even though the comment was not what you wanted to read, the writer did make a positive comment about your project. I have read several really hateful comments on the web, but truly I think the writer wanted to express something nice. It just wasn't what you wanted to read. Not everyone loves Santa Claus like you do, but we find beautiful things on your blog every time you post. Please continue your good work.

  12. Happy Summer Vonna ! I love, love, love your Santa ! Beautiful stitching and it will be a treasure when finished. You are so kind, thoughtful, and generous. It's hurtful when others say mean comments. Sending wishes for a fun summer and time with your family. Hugs to you.

  13. Przepiękny haft! Podziwiam za tak szybką pracę. Pozdrawiam.

  14. That is gorgeous. Actually everything you stitch is amazing. I hope you continue to share for all of us to enjoy. I will never be able to stitch something that intricate, so I love seeing what others can do. It would take me forever to do something like that. Some people are never happy unless they are trying to make others unhappy. Strange isn't it. God bless.

  15. Hello Vonna: It saddens me when people do that I would also take it as snarky, if you do not like Santa at least that person could have just said I love the bear.
    In todays world there is very little that surprises me but that comment about Santa did.
    You are a very talented and beautiful person inside and out, I love seeing what you are doing and see your videos which I look forward to and of course your postings on Blogger.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.


  16. I LOVE SANTA! all of them lol but i dont understand why they leave comments like that, like if you know it takes hours to complete something and im on a high coz i just finished a beard why try to steal my high ? you dont like santa dont stitch santa but be happy im happy stitching santa, because i would be just as happy for you and your high about your wildlife stitch

  17. Trolls are everywhere. They can say hateful, snarky comments because they are safely ensconced behind a computer. Even if a piece of art is not to my taste, I can still appreciate the time and effort that went into it. Love Marilyn Levitt-Imblum. She was truly gifted. The Santa is heirloom quality. Your kids may fight over this piece. I have the chart and was looking for the Gold 284Z. Can't find it on 123 stitch. What are you using, please ?

  18. I totally get it as a blogger, Flosstuber, and Instagram-er (is that a word?). Cross stitch is such an amazing hobby that brings so many people together. You do wonderful work and are the best at sharing your talents and accomplishments. My wish is that everyone keeps their comments positive! Your Santa of the Forest is a beauty.

  19. Your Santa is beautiful and the bear mighty and strong.

    As for the "non-Santa" person. At least she didn't call you a devil-worshiper. Last Halloween I posted a neighbor's skeleton all done up with a pumpkin treat bowl, big bat wings, and flashing eyes. The next post I had found some guy in a neighboring town with what seemed like a whole Home Depot's worth of those huge skeletons. That's when some lady decided I was a devil worshiper and let me know.

    At first I was upset and was going to give her a piece of my mind. Then I thought better of it .....deciding I really didn't have enough mind left to be giving bits away.

    Soooooooooooooooooooo... skellys show up on my blog with amazing regularity. There are some up there now that are decorated for summer. So far, the lady has not been back, but if she is....I'm ready for her. Bring on the skellys. (I do realize skeletons are not everyone's cup of tea, but I find those huge ones hilarious. Who in their right mind would spend that much money on a decoration, much less have 10 of them. LOL) Happy stitching my friend!