Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Early Americans...calling Martha!


~ Welcome Friends ~
Warm Welcome to each of you!
and also...
A big thank you for coming back to my little slice of the world here on Blogger.

:)

Today I have to share...
my progress on my "Early Americans" sampler by Little House Needleworks.
Martha is in the HOUSE!
LHN Early Americans _ add Martha

You know...
when I started on this journey, I was so excited about this series...and it is so satisfying to me when I see a firm foundation laid (and I figure one row done and stitched is a firm foundation) and I can actually see that what I visualized in my head was perfect. I LOVE my border.
 I'm sorry, I'm not bragging on myself (well I guess in reality, I am) ~ I really didn't know if it would look good.
Would it be too busy? 
That was my primary worry, but when I finished Martha and I stood back and took this photo and I looked at my handiwork... and I thought...nope...not too busy. Rather, it frames it and gives it some intrigue, some dimension, some character. I am so in love with this piece. I truly am. 
Between this piece that is growing and my ABC Samplers that I finished earlier this year...I am finding these monthly series to be wonderful! I adore them! And when you are all done and the last piece is done and dusted...you have a big, large wonderful finish that is spectacular and a real show stopper!

What else have I been up to? Well...
my family is on their summer High Adventures with Daddy trip! This year the girls even went, typically just the boys go, but this year, with Ellie getting bigger and since we aren't taking an extended family vacation everyone went. We think it important that our kids have Daddy-alone time - just Daddy, no Mom. So we started incorporating these vacations/getaways into our summers about 10 years ago. It builds good relationships with their Dad and it gives them memories to reflect on once they are grown. Here's some photos that I received via text last night. They are in West Virginia white water rafting on the New River.

Jake...
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Keith and Ian...
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Ellie and Katie...
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So...that leaves Mom home OFF DUTY (!) and crafting her heart out! 
I finished this With Thy Needle and Thread Exclusive ~ "Flag Day at the Potting Shed"
WTNT up close

WTNT_Flag Day at the Potting Shed 
Isn't that darling?! 
You all know that I have a goal focus for this year, and it is to "trick out" my Patriotic Room in my home. Yes, all patriotic, all year long. This cloche will be darling in there!

And last night... during my Staycation it was Craft and Booze night ~ A couple of margaritas and some crafting until 1 a.m. turned out this cutie, Blackbird Designs ~ "Hats Off to Uncle Sam"

BBD Hats off to Uncle Sam 

BBD Hats off HAT

BBD Hats off inside

What can I say?
Maybe I need to take a Craft and Booze night a couple of times a month ;)

I am so pleased with my finishes I've shared with you here. It's the simple things in life

Until next time...
Smile...because it can change someone's day.
Be kind...because kindness matters.
Love hard...because love makes the world go 'round and changes lives.

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Friday, June 09, 2017

I'm ready!

~ Greetings Friends ~
warm wishes to all of you!

Hey, guess what?!
I'm ahead of schedule! What do I mean?! I mean...
I'm ready for Flag Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day...
yep, I'm ready!

Last night I finished...
"Home of the Brave"
by Little House Needleworks
A Classic Colorworks Thread Pack 
(to get these just ask for them at your shop they can get them year round, always available)

With this finish...
it mean that the trio of Patriotic Designs that Little House has put out with Classic Colorworks was completed. So...if you follow me on my YouTube Channel where I do my video podcasts each month on "FlossTube" you will know that I am working on my "Patriotic Room" 
Just a room that I'm hoping to fill with Patriotic designs and leave them out all year long. 
Well anyway, I digress, with the last stitches put in "Home of the Brave" last night I had my trio finished and I didn't waste anytime fully finishing them into these:


"Land of the Free"
"Long May She Wave"
and 
"Home of the Brave"
All thread packs available through Classic Colorworks designed by Little House Needleworks
finished as: Mounted Wall Hangings

You will notice I used red pillow ticking...and put it on a field of stars...I sort of wanted to give an illusion of a real flag/ red and white stripes with a field of blue of scattered stars...
A natural jute bow and a big ol' rusty barn star were just the icing on the cake.

And where did I put them? 
Why in my Patriotic Room of course...

Now I can see them every time I walk by...
and just like always. My handiwork makes me smile real big. 
NOTHING gives me more satisfaction then seeing MY work, in MY home, finished by MY hands.

What have the Pfeiffer's been up to?
Well a whole lotta working!
Mr. Pfeiffer bringing home the bacon, Katie at her internship, the boys packing groceries and Ellie working on all her 4H submissions.
Of course me slinging hash and finishing down in the cave :)
Life is good.

I don't share much of Ellie's work...but she is a gifted Artist. Here are a few of her creations over the last few days:

this was created using Copic Markers:
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this one was created using a Pencil:
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This one was created using india ink:
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Ellie is 11 years old. She is simply, amazing. God has gifted her with a talent that continues to amaze me.

On Memorial Day...
we (and about 1/4 of the inhabitants of Indiana) went to Turkey Run State Park. It was our first time there and I snapped lots of shots of the beautiful natural beauty surrounding us that God created.

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That does it folks for this installment :)

Until next time...
Smile because I love you!
Be kind because kindness matters.
Pay your blessings forward.
Stitch ALL the things!

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Goodbye May....

~ Greetings and Warm Days of Spring Welcome ~
to all my friends and fellow stitchers!

How are you?!
We are buzzing right along...I cannot believe today is the first of June....
I need to wrap a few things up for May, so thought I'd swing in to do just that very thing today.

Goodbye May...
but before we say goodbye to May, let's view:

"Hello May" 
by Hands on Design
from the "Hello There" series

 I am a member of the Fat Quarter Shop's  "HELLO THERE" Club which is available in
AIDA (click HERE) or
LINEN (click HERE)
This club is totally wonderful and I am enjoying it so much. Everything just right at my finger tips when it arrives in my mailbox each month (AND you get a seasonal needleminder each month too! BONUS!!! )
 Here is a shot of May's Package as I received it:

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Here is my HELLO MAY all finished up on my finishing board that I hang on my Finishing Cave wall, as we are telling May "Goodbye" 
:)
Hello May

I just love it! Quick to stitch, quick to finish and cute as the little JABCO (Just Another Button Company) buttons are stitched in a line along the bottom. Sweet seasonal designs delivered right to my door with everything I need to stitch up in just a couple of hours stitching and about a 1/2 hour of finishing. Bingo, Bango! 



Diagonal PIN STITCH follow-up....
Many of you commented on my DIAGONAL PIN STITCH tip that I put up the other day with favorable comments however, I don't think many of you got the FULL ramifications on how truly stitching life altering this is. I tried to fully verbalize just how altering but I don't know if I got my point across so let's re-evaluate this again..


PIN STITCH 
looks like the following diagrams I have made: 

Step One 



Pin Stitch 1


Step Two


Pin Stitch 2


Step Three


Pin Stitch 3



The stitch done in this manner is anchored, it won't pull it out and the stitcher can put a single stitch (and end it)  anywhere on the fabric and it completely hides the stitches, so no carrying thread...it just "floats" there perfectly. HOWEVER, the one thing that I noticed as I used this stitch for years is that on single stitches you can see the center starting stitch (in red above) if looking closely. In a row of stitches (if you are using this stitch to start your thread it isn't as noticeable) however on isolated single stitches you (in my opinion) can see the center starting pin head stitches. So with that thought in mind...I started experimenting over the last 8 months or so of how to anchor my thread so that I might be able to get rid of the center pin head stitch. Maybe streamline it. . . 

That's when I started trying to just do the bottom leg of the X with the pinhead stitch and it worked...now it worked better when I started in the center of the X and went down and back up (I tried all sorts of different ways) but I found the way I illustrated the DIAGONAL PIN STITCH yesterday is (in my opinion) the best way to do it and as I got better and better at it, my tails got shorter and shorter and the need to flip my work to clip tails got less and less. 
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying I "invented" the Diagonal Pin Stitch...I thought I had (ha! ha! silly me) but after I did a little research on my own...I found that others had already come up with the idea. However starting a row of stitches and starting with over-dyes and odd number threads using the Pin Stitch...I think THAT is not as common....and THAT is why I use the Pin Stitch predominantly in my stitching now and have for about the last 9 - 12 months exclusively. 

Now HERE is where I think there needs to be some clarification or elaboration on the beauty of the Pin Stitch (no matter if you do it the traditional way I've illustrated above) or if you do it the Diagonal Pin Stitch way ( that I illustrated yesterday, at the link above) 

As I stated yesterday: you can use the Pin Stitch (regular or diagonal) TO START THREADS of odd number or of over-dye variety - when you cannot use the Loop Start Method (click here to view). Think about this....you can use the Pin Stitch to start threads! What does this mean? Well to me it means: no tails that I have to clip or worry about showing from the front side (both of which I have been pointed out to me on older works I've entered in judging)  that minute little peeks of tails have shown at the end of threads (where I've started them)  Using a Pin Stitch virtually eliminates this. The other advantage of using the Pin Stitch to start threads is: I waste VERY LITTLE precious thread on leaving tails to stitch over to anchor. I'm using tiny, tiny bits as my "tails" and my stitches are anchored on the very first stitch, I don't have to keep flipping my work to make sure my subsequent stitches are being stitched over the tail to anchor. I just wanted to clarify what the Tradition Pin Stitch Vs. The Diagonal Pin Stitch was and why to me it was revolutionary in my stitching. 

I think I've talked the Pin Stitch to death...
and that's OK because like I said, sharing is caring and sharing makes us ALL better stitchers...don't you agree?

Speaking of Sharing and Better Stitchers....
Fiber Talk is a podcast (strictly talking, no video feed) that is a weekly sharing of Designers, Stitchers, Topics to make us better in our craft...along with lots of good information put on by Gary Parr and Christine Williams. I was lucky enough to be the guest on the second podcast last January 2017, but I have been mentioned on a few others podcasts and Gary just contacted me asking me back! So...I'll be back again in an upcoming podcast talking about something doing with needlework. You know how I love to talk! Especially talking about needlework! Exciting stuff! One of my favorite bloggers (and people in general) Nicole of Nicole's Needlework is also going to be an upcoming guest! Can't wait! Sampler Lovers will love to listen to Nicola Parkman's feature on the podcast explaining her Hands Across The Sea Samplers and there are a number of needlepoint designers, counted thread designers, just fill in the blank. Go on over to Fiber Talk and click around to listen to all the great podcasts they have put together since January. Each one are about an hour long and I love to listen and just stitch. FABULOUS body of work! Gary has been so good to me, so kind...even contacted me a couple of times through the years, to comment on my blog over the last 10 years of its existence and I just want to shout out the effort he and Christine are doing for us - the Needle Arts Community. Their highlighting things to get us excited about our hobby and passion for it...making us better stitchers along the way! Just a wonderful body of work. 

One last thing...
I recently made a "Stitch with Me Video"...its not the first one ever done on the face of the earth a few other FlossTubers have done it. I've done it a little differently, not much, but a little as I non-verbally acknowledge that I know you are watching me...but the video is 30 minutes and its just me sitting on my deck stitching. I find watching others stitch relaxing, inspiring and generally informational. We all have our quirks, our own set of techniques and I love to just view that. Plus for those of us that don't have stitching buddies....we can just log on and stitch together. I think the one I did was pretty relaxing and generally centering. Give it a look if you are interested...it may be found:


That's all for today!
Until next time...
do something fun!
STOP smell the roses.
Be KIND because Kindness Matters!
STITCH!
Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Diagonal Pin Stitch . . . .

Greetings and Warm Welcome to all my Blog Readers!

I have a new:
  Tips, Trick and Technique
that I'd like to share with you...
I think that you might find it most useful. 
today's feature is:

The Diagonal Pin Stitch
Why Would you use this stitch?

1. When stitching isolated stitches (i.e. stars, snowflakes, etc)
2. When using over-dyed threads where using the "loop" start isn't feasible
3. When using odd number threads therefore making the loop obsolete (1, 3, etc. strands)
4. When using blending filament, metallic threads, or blended needles (tweeds)


 How do you do the Diagonal Pin Stitch?
Just like this:

STEP ONE: 
bring your needle up (from under the fabric)  at 1, then go down at 2:
leavimg about 1/4 inch (or less) of thread tail on back at 1
PIN STITCH STEP 1

STEP TWO:
Come up at 3 with your needle (this will effectively catch the "tail" of thread left at 1 because we are doubling back across where we started), go down at 4. This is the BOTTOM LEG of your cross stitch. TRY TUGGING...that is a well anchored stitch with little to no waste of thread! 
If you want to clip the tail, clip it now. Mine are typically so short, they get caught in the back leg and don't even need clipping because they are well hidden and anchored on the back of the fabric. 

PIN STITCH STEP 2

THIS JUST ILLUSTRATES WHAT THE BOTTOM LEG OF THE CROSS STITCH WILL LOOK LIKE:

PIN STITCH BOTTOM LEG

STEP 3:
come up with your needle at 5 and go down at 6. Here is your completed X. 
1.) If this is a isolated stitch, end off by tucking the ends around the leg of the stitch on the backside of the fabric 2-3 times and clip.
2. if you are starting a color, commence stitching! End your thread as you normally would - by tucking under stitches and clipping when space/color is completed.

PIN STITCH COMPLETE

For all my stitching friends...
try this! It is stitching life altering! 

Just a little Tip, Trick, Technique hint from me to you because caring is sharing!

Until next time, 
hugs in stitches!
Vonna xxxx

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May days...

~ Greetings and Warmest Welcome to all of you, my friends ~

The sunny days of May have been inspiring....
and very busy! I have been wanting to share a post for quite a few days now, but my body has been hopping to and fro and when not hopping, I have been coughing. Yes, I caught the dreaded "spring cold" that probably is a leftover of the winter wrath. It came on without any clue I was getting sick and before I knew it I was in the throes of coughing and hacking about. Which, the horrible complete body spasms from coughing, inflamed my sciatic nerve and then every cough, every sneeze, every movement caused a horrible, terrible electrocution feeling down my left leg that left me sobbing. Anyone that has ever dealt with sciatic pain understands exactly where I'm coming from. Sciatic pain is some of the worse pain I've ever had to deal with. I couldn't sleep in a bed for 4 days, one night I couldn't sit, couldn't lay...So I leaned against a wall for hours. It was horrible. But thankfully, with some fluids, rest and Advil...I finally am back to normal...I still have the odd twinge from my sciatic, but it has calmed down mightily. It will go away steadily now that I'm not coughing my head off every 30 seconds. 

How about stitching?
Well...I have many updates!

Here is where my "Early Americans" by Little House Needleworks stands after the addition of John Hancock:

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*again all the information about changes I have made in colors, my fabric choice and my own creation: the border is all available in the tab above entitled Early Americans Progression

I made some progress also on my "As Life Wears Away" by Carriage House Samplings:

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*I absolutely adore this piece...the satin stitches which could be called bargello, flame stitch, flourentine stitch, but it is essentially at its base level - satin stitch - is absolutely fabulous. I am LOVING how this is turning out! Stitching on 32 count limited run Lakeside Linens stitching with DMC not the NPI silks called for. 

Next Up is "Let Freedom Ring Sampler" by Lila's Studio and my progress there after three evenings:

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*again information on colors, fabric, etc may be viewed at tab above under "Let Freedom Ring Progression" 

I started some new things as well this month...
I dyed my own linen and took a foray into Mirabilia mermaids...
May I present "Mermaids of the Deep Blue" started on my own hand-dyed fabric. (inquiring minds? I use RIT and I painted it with brushes to get the blues, aquas and pinks where I wanted them - the fabric is absolutely stunning)

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And lastly I had a new start and a border of my own creation for the new series by Country Cottage Needleworks. The New series is a ten part series and it is entitled "Main Street". You can read all about it HERE
Here is my start:
I did change some things. I omitted the light pole and added a bicycle. Why? There is a flower shop in my city where I live, that has an old bike painted white with big baskets of flowers on the front handlebars and the back tire basket. I have always thought it so cute. So in my "Main Street" I am recreating it and going to add/delete things to make it my perfect little city. At my flower shop I added a bike with a big basket of flowers. I didn't have a pattern, I didn't even make a pattern. I just did two bike "tires" then added the pink stitches and handlebars until I thought it looked good enough like a bike, added some back stitched fenders then added a basket that is loosely like one of the pot of flowers on the shop. Viola! :)

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and here is my layout, again I designed my own border: 

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and before anyone asks, yes, you may have the pattern. BUT again I want to reiterate. This is - my work. I spent a good 6 hours on this, doing math, counting, recounting, and designing - if you use it, PLEASE give my name credit for it. I am sure most people that follow me notice: I give everything away freely to the world. Everything. Tutorials, patterns, any gained knowledge about stitching, finishing, designing. I'm not doing this for monetary compensation in any way. I'm doing this because of my love for needlework and my love for fellow humans who love and enjoy stitching as much as I do. I'm promoting stitching, I'm promoting kindness and giving of myself freely. The best thing you can do for me in return is to credit my name if you use anything that I give freely (tutorials, patterns, information, etc)

I cannot offer this in PDF printable format because it was created by using the free version of PC Stitch. It is in my Flickr album and if you blow it up  (by clicking on the spyglass in Flickr) you can see the stitches on the graph visually from your computer or your tablet - EASILY. So please don't ask for a "hard copy" or a "printable copy" I stitched it myself using my flickr album and iPad. I didn't have a printed copy myself.

Main Street 2017

Finishing...
I've done a lot and all of those items may be viewed under the tab "My Finishing Service" and clicking on the 2017 Finishing Link contained within...I am currently up to 208 finishes that I have completed for clients since January 9, 2017. Blessed to be very busy! Thank you to those who use my finishing service. It is my honor to finish for you!

I believe that sums me up for the present time...
my boys and Ellie have 9 days of school left. Katie is back home with us and currently working at her internship job for the summer. I'm trying to get caught up on finishing work. Mr. Pfeiffer is currently at home this week, but every other week he has to travel to St. Louis for 7 days for work. So he's home a week, gone a week, home a week, gone a week....for the upcoming 6-8 months. :( 
I don't like him gone...but such is the way of an engineer in the throes of a sell off. 

Until next time my dear people...
Be kind.
Smile!
Tell someone you love them!
Open the door for a stranger.
Stop and smell the roses.
Thank God for your blessings!
SHINE ON!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Catch Up!...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to all my stitching friends!
I hope that this finds each of you well, happy and enjoying life

I have been busy since we last met!

The retreat went well...
teaching 4 classes that took a little longer than what I expected, but feedback has been very positive and I'm proud to say all 72 students left my classes with  completely finished pieces to take home with them. I didn't want them to have partially finished pieces, I made the commitment that I was going to teach, help and do as much as I could to ensure that each student left with a finished piece!
I'm proud to say they did!

Here's some random shots from retreat...


peeps3

peeps

peeps 4

me

peeps 2

peeps 1

my display

mouths wide open

Good shot of me...in my normal life pose ~ My Big Mouth WIDE open :)

It was a great time! There IS going to be another retreat same time next year...stay tuned!

On to my stitching....

I have had a really great time stitching on "Let Freedom Ring Sampler"
by Lila's Studio
(information on what I'm stitching it on, with what threads, and more at TAB above)
Here is where it stands today:
LFRS April

I also finished the next in the Hands on Design 12 Days Ornaments...
"HENS"...

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Betsy Ross....
from Little House Needleworks new series "Early Americans" 
 done!
(information on my Early American SAMPLER ~ as I am doing it all on one piece and have created a border. Can be found at TAB above)
LHN Betsy Ross April 17

I also started something else new...
thanks to Michele of the blog "Striped Rose" fame...of which I followed devotedly for years...and now Michele is now doing FlossTube Videos at her Channel of the same name HERE

Michele has a FANTASTIC finish of Carriage House Samplings "As Life Wears Away Sampler" 
here is a still shot of her explaining it on her FlossTube Episode

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Isn't that FANTASTIC?! 
I stopped the video right then and there...
I knew this sampler, and had never been intrigued until I saw Michele's version. I was gobsmacked right in the choppers. Stopped the video and ordered it smack dab, right there. 
It came...and here is where mine stands as of today:


CHS As Life Wears Away

I'm stitching mine in DMC on 32 count pearled barley from Lakeside
I am so in love with this sampler. SO in love! 
Thanks to FlossTube and all the people sharing their love of cross stitch. 

So that's all the cross stitching...now let's talk family! 

We have been:

Celebrating Easter!
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Inducted into the National Honor Society
because we carry a 4.2 gpa (Jake) and a 3.9 gpa (Ian)
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Running Races... 
Track 4-17-17

Winning races!!!....
Jake WINS 4-17-17


A member of the IUPUI's Society of Women Engineer's all female Go-Cart Racing Team and have competed at Purdue University's Grand Prix!!! 
katie go cart

Making Cookies...
and eating cookies :)
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 Celebrating 21 years of being married to a real SWEET gal :)
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EAGLE watching! 
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and winning Scholarships 
(she's up to $12K worth of scholarships for next year!)
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WHEW!
Are ya still with me?! I'm barely still with myself! 

If you made it all the way down here...
Thank you, my friends! 
I've been finishing like a real banshee...but you can catch a gander of them in my FLICKR album located in the TAB above under My Finishing Service. I have finished 175 items since January 9, 2017 after reopening after the holidays. Yep, I'm busy. Yep, I'm blessed!

~All the Honor and ALL the glory goes to God who sustains me and mine~

Until next time...
Smile real big...
be a friend to all you meet...
be kind...
be humble...
think before you speak...
you don't know what others are going through....don't judge!

Love and hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx