Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fancy Works Retreat...

~ Greetings Friends ~
My Local Needlework Shop is hosting a retreat in March.
I am attending. 
There are some slots still available.
Might you be interested?
If so...
Please VISIT HERE

and once on the page, click on RETREAT
It's a fun weekend full of laughter and good times!
Join us!

Until next time, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week #3 of 2018....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to you all ~
It's been sort of an "off" week here at the ranch....
We've had lots of snow. We've had lots of very cold temperatures. My bum cheeks feel like two blocks of ice. My cave is freezing. And generally I've been a little unmotivated and have found myself wasting copious amounts of time.

Monday I did finish the 6th installment of the Early Americans ~ Paul Revere, so may I present:

Little House Needleworks ~ Early Americans Series ~ Paul Revere
remember all of the details of this piece - as I am working it -  may be found in the tab above under "Early Americans Progression"
Early Americans Update_Paul Rever

Then I'm trying to have at least one new finish every Friday.
(I'm in trouble for next Friday if I don't get my butt in gear)
Here is my Fully Finished Friday piece:

Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Frosty Forest ~ Snowy Deer

Country Cottage Needleworks_Frosty Forest_Snowy Deer


Country Cottage Needleworks_Frosty Forest_Snowy Deer_close

Do you like stitching Little House and Country Cottage Designs? 
I know some of you aren't members of Facebook, but for those that are, I host many, many Stitch-A-Longs in the Little House and Country Cottage Stitching Group on Facebook. Diane and Nikki both are on the board too. There are sneak peeks and lots of good info...come give us a try!
If you are on Instagram and a follower of mine there - I post reminders there about the stitching SALS for the LHN/CCN group there too. If you would like to stitch along on Instagram rather than FB, just stitch and when posting use the hashtag and there you go!

This week, poor Ellie....
had to add the dreaded rubber bands to her braces 😭😭😭
She's hurting and it looks like a weekend of pudding and ice cream for her.

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And although I'm not officially supposed to be in the cave yet....
I have started finishing again, because if I don't start now, I'll be so far behind before I've ever started!

Here's what came out of the cave this week for clients:
SD_LK_Jingle SD_LK_O Christmas Tree SD_Hands On Design_Be Mine SD_Bent Creek_Ground Hog Day


So there you go folks!
I'll do better next week...I've been a little out of gas this week...

Until next time...
Keep smiling because God loves you and so do I!
Be kind...because kindness matters!
Stitch every day....because it lowers blood pressure!
Take your vitamins....because its flu season and who has time for that?!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sharing some news....

~ Swinging in to share some news ~

I have been honored with two things this week that I would love to share with you....
Monday, Jan 15, 2018 -  I taped another podcast with Gary and Christine on 

We had a great, good time on this podcast! Gary and Christine do bi-weekly shows on Wednesday and Sundays. The shows always feature great commentary and guests each week that focuses on the hobby we all love best! I sincerely urge you to tune in and I really would love for you to swing by and listen to my 3rd guest appearance (Thank you Gary and Christine!) this Sunday night, January 21, 2018. 
You won't regret it! You'll find out some really good tips and have a whole lotta laughs 
😂😂😂😂


If that wasn't enough....
Today I was notified by Lord Libidan  that my blog was given a "Top 10" status in the world of Cross Stitch Blogs! WOW! 😲😲😲😲😲😲


I'm in the top 10 cross stitch blogs

Who would have thought a simple gal from the middle of nowhere, doing nothing special, would be recognized like this? I am simply and sincerely honored, thankful and blessed.

I appreciate YOU all. I appreciate your friendship, your readership, your loyalty and your encouragement to keep on doing what I do best. I thank YOU from the bottom of my heart - sincerely, I do. Thank you!
I also thank God, for the many blessings granted unto me in this life. I am blessed. 

With an ever grateful and humble heart, 
Vonna xxxx

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Week Two - 2018

~ Greetings my friends ~
It's frosty outside this mornin' and we are snowed in!

I wanted to update you...
(can you tell I'm trying real hard to blog at least every week?! it's a resolution for 2018)
This is sort of a diary of what I work on because I get so bogged down as the year goes on and I like to look back to see historically what I've done and prove to myself I AM actually getting somewhere - when a lot of the time I feel like I'm sitting in one place spinning my wheels.

I finished stitching this week:

Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Snowy Deer ~ Frosty Forest Series
stitched on 32 ct. Picture This Plus Alchemy
using called for threads.
Isn't this beautiful?
got BIG plans for displaying this series in a unique way come next winter...hope it works out!

CCN_Frosty Forest_Snowy Deer

Also started stitching on:
Country Cottage Needleworks ~ The Natvity
Stitched on 32 ct. Picture This Plus Storm lugana 
got an idea about this one too...

CCN_The Nativity


Walking the aisles of Michael's I saw something that caught my eye. I bought the items, and thought real hard about it because I had an idea - this is what I do - I see something and it triggers something in my head and then I sit and think about it and how I can get it to work in my head for a week or so and then I go for it. This was the result of my going for it.
Snow Globes are HOT in decorating. They are everywhere. I have one from my grandmother that is old and plastic and filled with some sort of liquid and I can remember as a child holding and shaking it up and watching the snow swirl inside, dreaming about it. I was fascinated with it. I came up with this Snow Globe Ornament. I used half of a plastic ornament to make and mounted a design element from Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Snowflake Serenade. I added embellishments including the snow (Buffalo Snow for Christmas Villages on the inside for the "snow")
This is my "prototype"
CCN_Snowflake Serenade_Snowglobe Ornament

Side View:

Snow Globe_side view

I learned some lessons while finishing it.. 
next time I'll do it BETTER. Not completely unhappy with the result, but I will do it cleaner and better next try.

I also did some client finishing the week: 
Would love to show you...but SORRY!
The last 3 models from the:
Little House Needleworks ~ Farmhouse Christmas
were all finished up and mailed back! All 9 parts are completed now and my word...cute from start to finish! If you aren't aware of this series click on the link above to explore. Definitely a worthy series to look into!
Shhh Models

RH_CCN_Main Street RH_CCN_Be My Valentine RH_CCN_Dream Big RH_SHD_Peeps


This week some of us also:
played around with photo filters, sending silly photos to their kids and friends via text message and SnapChat. Here are a couple that are particularly funny
😂😂😂😂

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We had a "snow day" fiesta...
featuring homemade chicken enchiladas...oh my word they are so delicious. I make my own homemade Enchilada Sauce and it makes all the difference.



Do you want to have great Enchilada Sauce too? Well here is the recipe:

Enchilada Sauce
in a dutch oven pot add:
6 TBS of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
whisk in 6 TBS of all purpose flour
let simmer on medium heat for 1 minute.
Then add:
 9 TBS of chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin

mix together well, then slowly add:
 6 c. of chicken broth
whisking it all together until smooth and no lumps.
Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes and the sauce is thickened.
Use immediately or store in glass jar for 1 week in refrigerator.


Some of us went sledding:

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Some of us studied really hard...

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and lastly one of us made a tutorial on how to create these:
 STAND UP ORNAMENTS

RH_CCN_Main Street

Well there we go! ~ Week #2 of 2018!

Until next time...
I'll be doing something, you can count on it!
Hugs and love, 
Vonna xxxx

Vonna

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Week One ~ 2018...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~

Week #1 of 2018 is nearly history...
time flies when you are having fun. Heck, it seems to fly even when I'm not having fun.
Monday things will get back to normal, Keith will go back to work (although he's been working the entire 2 week vacation he took over the holidays here at our home. He has painted about every surface he could paint, cleaned about every thing he could clean. He makes me dizzy!) Katie will return to college Sunday 😭

and the boys and Ellie will return to school on Monday...
so that means...I'll once again be alone here at the old homestead during the day. A little sad...but time marches and when you have a group of kids like I do I try very hard to celebrate their lives and their many successes and urge them to keep marching, keep being them. (even though my heart breaks a little as I know with each day we are getting closer to them all flying off to make their own nests...)

Oh well...
I comfort myself imagining the great grandma I'm gonna be 😎
someday...

2018....
the ball dropped and 10 minutes later I had my first FINISH!! 
WAHOO!

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Today I fully finished it into this pillow ornament...
which I made cording for the sides and hanger, accented the ornament with a sprig of evergreen, gingham bow and a white snowflake.
Insert shows backing fabric and my signature/date tag that I do to all of my ornaments.
LHN_Oh Christmas Tree_2018
2015 Sampler Tree Ornament ~ Oh Christmas Tree
I've stitched these and finished these before ~ for the cover models. It's been long enough now that I can stitch them for me and its like a new pattern because I have a short memory 😂

I took down Christmas this year...
Here is the Boy Scout and the Ballerina being wrapped together and put away, just like I do every year.
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My Winter Decor came out to play...

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Hey EDGAR!! Edgar knows I collect red-handled 1940-1950's kitchen utensils and he sends me some every time he sees some when he's doing his junkin' rounds. Many of these beauts came from Edgar and I love, love, love to actually USE them in my kitchen but I also use them as display pieces, these sweeties are on my tea cart with my snow gals for company.

I have long admired Genny Morrow's counted canvas design "Nova" - which is a monstrosity and a little bit difficult, but I started it bright and early on the morning of January 1st and I'm pretty pleased with my three days worth of work. One per day is what I'm hoping for....but let's not keep me to that promise nor hold our breath ~ I don't want any deaths hanging over my head 😂

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Another thing that has long been on my bucket list is:
QUILTING
I have long had this Madeira by Blackbird Designs Jelly Roll in my stash. So....
yesterday I pulled it out and in 3 hours had this quilt top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Here's a closer look...
I did the Jelly Roll Race 2 by Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern. 
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Today I bought some materials for the side sashes, the batting and the backing...
I also purchased some basting safety pins and talked to some ladies at my local sewing shop (had to take one of my sewing machines in for their yearly oil, lube spa day). I also got her measured for an extension table because I am thinking that Quilting may soon become another obsession. Keith told me it fell under "needle arts" so...it DOES count in the "umbrella" of one hobby. (snicker, snicker)

I'm so pea-pickin' pleased with just how that top looks...I hope I can get the whole piece to look as good all finished up.

Well the kids are saying they are STARVING...so off to make supper. 

2018 is off with a bang here...
1.) First Finish of the year AND completely finished
2.) Started Nova
3.) Christmas is down/Winter Decor up/ Deep House Cleaning
4.) Cave Organized
5.) Quilt Top - off bucket list

Until Next time....
I am still taking prayer requests (at any time of year - I pray every day!)
Can I pray for you? Add an intention close to your heart that needs prayer?

I'll be staying warm, staying positive and smiling!
Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Finish of 2017....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~

Today is bitterly cold outside my window...
but it was warm in my heart as I sunk the last stitches into this sweet design:
VP_M Designs_Letter K

"Letter K" by M Designs
stitched on 32 ct. white linen using Classic Colorworks "Rainy Day" cotton.
Finished at around 1 p.m. this afternoon. I raced down to the cave and at 2:50 p.m. I had it upstairs all framed and ready to hang. Katie is thrilled with it and I am too!


Wrap up for 2017....
I didn't stitch as much as I would have liked put I did manage:
33 stitched finishes (3 of that number were stitched and finished models for Little House)
I had a heck of a finishing business year, finishing: 653 items from 1/9/17 until 12/1/17
YOWZA....

Tomorrow....
begins the rejuvenation of my exercising daily and eating right. NO SUGAR! So I'm going to get off of here and settle down with my much coveted pint of Ben and Jerry's Fudge Brownie ice cream. I'm doing Nineveh 90 starting tomorrow. I did it last year and I got off of drinking sodas during those 90 days, not to mention I grew my spiritual life by leaps and bounds during those 90 days. So I'm doing it again and maybe I can come out the other side a better version of me. May it be so!

Prayers....
I pray every day. I have a prayer journal...and as in previous years, I'd love to pray for you or your family or special intention or whatever it may be. If you'd like to privately e-mail me with an intention to write in my prayer journal and pray over daily...I'm happy to add it to my list. I'm honored to pray for those asking for prayer. I also would like to reiterate that I don't remember specific requests. I have this "thing" that God gave me and I remember names but I don't necessarily remember specific requests. I leave that to him. EVERYTHING with me is confidential. I never share anything with anyone. This old world needs a lot of prayer. If you would like me to pray for you: My e-mail my be accessed by the photo of the mailbox on the sidebar. 
Help me, give God a chance to help you through prayer.
He listens and awaits.
And I'll be storming heaven with my rosary and my prayers.

Until Next time....
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
thank you for being my friends
May 2018 be blessed, bright and beautiful for you all!

Off to flirt with Ben and Jerry...
Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My 10th Year....

I am proud to announce my 2018 Finishing Business Plans....
My 10th Year of Finishing for industry designers and private clients.
Thank YOU to those who use my service!
and please take note 😊

2018 Finishing

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas on Day 24....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~
Day 24
Well...
I've got some notes and e-mails and a messages asking if I'm OK and I am. I'm fine. I realize we lost a few days there and I'm sorry to say with it being Day 24, this will be the final installment of The 25 Days of Christmas. I started off on a roll and as people got off of school and the rush of the season happened, I found myself with less and less time and a little unmotivated to share. Next year we are going to have to take a look at maybe not doing the 25 days or perhaps revamping it. It is really a time suck because I try very hard to make it special and give good information and I ran out of steam this year. It's all good. Life happens and as a good friend of mine told me recently - you celebrate each day and put to rest what needs to be put to rest rather than rehashing over and over.

This morning at Mass....
the final Sunday in Advent the priest said something very poignant: God wishes us to be our very best and essentially (I'm summarizing here) being our best is what we have to explore, it isn't about being "better than" someone else, rather being the best example of His gifts granted us and therefore letting our little light shine. I needed to hear this. I beat myself up a lot. I expect more out of myself than most and I accomplish a whole lot on a given day, however if I don't hit every mark that I have on my list, I beat myself up. I've been beating myself up a lot this year and a whole lotta years before. My biggest problem in life: learning how to love myself.
That's something I'm going to explore more and figure out in 2018.

Joy....
I have a lot of joy in life and one of my greatest joys is: doing for others. That's when I'm happiest. 
Thursday and Friday were spent making cookies. (My Cookie Recipe that I use and the Royal Icing Recipe that I use and every technique and every little thing that I learned about decorating cookies was learned from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. Questions that I have gotten before about my cookies - and this year too since people have been questioning me on IG and FB: I do not use corn syrup in my icing. The icing is essentially egg white powder, water, baking emulsion and that is it. I use water to thin it to either flood consistency or piping consistency. My cookies are delicious. They are soft and chewy)

Snowmen 2017 Trees 2017 Light bulbs Felt Hats

approximately 250 iced cookies...
plus we made:
Mexican Wedding Cakes
Butter Balls
Dutch Butter Cookies
White Chocolate drop cookies
Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Macadamia Nut Cookies
Snickerdoodles 
Jam Thumbprints
M&M Wreaths
Rolo Turtles
and 
caramels

I've made approximately 10 of these Cookie Gift Boxes for our friends and Neighbors.
This particular box went to a party today and was gifted to Katie's Boyfriend's parents:

Cookie Tray 2017

I feel like that was a special gift to receive and it was filled with love from my and Katie's hands as she helped me make each cookie in some way or another.

Handmade gifts....
are special. As you all know Ellie is quite the artist. She made her student teacher a gift and I framed it...she is holding a honey badger (it's an inside joke - I'm not privy to)
Ellie Art_Student Teacher

She asked her three teachers what was their favorite Book or Movie Character and then she drew them for their Christmas gifts:
(L-R) Star Wars, Guardian of Ga'hoole Barn Owl, Harry Potter
Ellie Art_Teachers

She also did special drawings for her sister and Austin. Austin is a long boarder and here is their drawing (I framed this but it is wrapped already)
(the likeness she captured of Austin is remarkable)
Ellie Art _ Austin and katie

She also drew a picture of Ian and his girlfriend Edie, but I already framed them and they are under the tree. It is remarkable and I will get a picture of Edie holding it to share next blog post. I am so proud of Ellie (who just turned 12 in August, if you will remember) and her incredible God given talent of art. 

Happy day 24!

This will be my final post for the 25 days series. I'm going to take some time for me. I need it. I need to learn to slow down a little bit and take care of me.

Until I write again....
please know that I will be praying for all who follow me here on my blog, YouTube, Instagram and wherever. You are my friends. You are my people. You are my family. I am thankful for what you bring to my life. Thank you, for supporting me by your random acts of kindness from your kind words, letters, cards, notes and comments. 
Thank you!

When the infant Jesus lays in his manger this evening at midnight mass, I shall pray for all of us, I shall pray for our world, I shall pray that there be greater kindness and more love in the world for us all to enjoy! He listens....

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx