Follow us by email

Follow us by email

Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August Sunflowers
Week two

RJ's Grab Bag

Christmas Challenge Stitches

Before we get started I have had a lot of emails about the pinafore and how to make one or where to find directions.   It's kind of a made up term because it reminded me of how pinafores go over little girls' dresses to make them extra special.   I've been doing this to my cushions on wicker furniture to change their look for years and I thought why not on a pillow.   I will be making another pillow pinafore with a tutorial in the future and I think that will make it an easy way to understand how to make them.  They are a lot of fun to make and I hope you will all give one a try.   

On our way to Durango, Colorado this summer, we stopped for a two week visit with our son Mike in Texas.    While there, I was amazed at our son's new found hobby.   Mike has taught himself to paint. Where he acquired this talent I have no idea.   It certainly was not from me or my husband. So for my grab bag week I thought you might enjoy viewing some of his artwork. His Mom is mighty impressed and proud!

Here is a sampling of his work:
Michael Phelps

Buddy Holly


Bridget Bardot

Roberto Duran

Linda Ronstadt

George Harrison

Little Richard

Barney Fife
Thank you so much Mike for sharing some of your art with us today.  I'm sure it was enjoyed by all.

                                       Stitching Friends Challenge

RJ - This month I stitched  a cute Sunflower Santa from Prairie Schooler from the booklet called A Christmas Visit book 48.
Love this smaller PS Santa with the sunflowers and garden elements.

I'm practicing with a new 50 lens from Mary.  It fades out the edges and background.

Sunflower Santa
by Prairie Schooler
A Christmas Visit book 48
35 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
over dyed threads of my choice


Mary -    My latest Christmas Challenge is LHN's "Six Little Cardinals" and this is the second time I have stitched this. The first time it was a gift for my niece and I remember it being a quick and easy stitch.  This time not so much!  I spent a lot of time "frogging" and I blame it on the Mets!   Listening to my team losing while stitching is not a good combination! 

I assure you this is a fun and easy stitch and one of my favorite LHN Christmas ornaments.  I used all the suggested threads except I substituted Weeks Pecan for DMC 410 and GA English Ivy for DMC 3051

Six Cardinals
by Little House Needleworks
Weeks cocoa linen
overdyed threads

Next week we will be showing our oldies made new.   Thank you for visiting us today.  We hope to see you next week.   Mary and RJ

                                            Friends are the sunshine of life.
                                                unknown author


  1. Wow, the pictures from your son are great.
    The little Santa with the sunflowers is wonderful.
    The six cardinals pillow is very cute.
    Best wishes Manuela

  2. Hello RJ,

    Well that is a talented son indeed. What a surprise for you and us :)
    I am so happy Santa has other hobbies too. He's so sweet watering the sunflowers ...
    Mary, your finish is so lovely and delicate!

    When seeing this I want to make something 'Christmassy' too ... No, a quilt for my SIL and a colleague from work asked me to make a babyquilt, so I guess this will be something for next year.

    Happy stitching, dear ladies!
    Dutch waves across the ocean, Carolien

  3. Pretty, pretty. Love seeing Christmas decorations at any time of the year, I find it motivating to make some myself instead of at the last minute. x

  4. Wow!!! RJ, Your son is quite talented, thanks for sharing. Both your Christmas pieces are adorable and photographed so prettily. Mary, I love your wooden spools for ribbon/lace. I have some of those sitting empty in a box; you have inspired me to put them to use!

  5. Both of your ornaments are super. Mary, I need to add the cardinals chart to my pile. RJ, I stitched that Santa as a gift and now want to stitch it again after seeing yours. Thank you for sharing your son's paintings with us, RJ! He is very talented. Enjoy your week!

  6. Your son is very talented.
    I love all of the stitches. The sunflower PS is coming out nicely.
    I love cardinals and have eyeing that pattern for awhile. I think I need to do that one soon.
    Keep these coming.

  7. I have made pinafores before with some of my finished pieces and they are so fun to switch out. I can always find a pillow to use at Ross or TJ Maxx if I need one for a particular pinafore. I have also heard them called Pillow Aprons. I just won a Prairie Schooler Sunflower Santa card from Shelley at Key X stitch on Floss Tube. I am thinking of stitching it and displaying it in the late summer next year. You can tell I am a dedicated stitcher as I have folders for each month with my planned projects inside.:)

  8. I always love seeing what Christmas ornaments you two have stitched! I have done the PS sunflower Santa, too, RJ and just love it. I finished it in a round shape with cording. I've never stitched the cardinals, Mary, but, having a soft spot for cardinals, I know I'll do them, too :)

    I must say, I am so impressed at your son's paintings, RJ! Has he never shown interest before? As someone who can only draw stick figures (and that's questionable!), I always admire those who can draw or paint with ease!

    Hope you are both enjoying your August--hard to believe it is half over...

  9. Mike's paintings are great! I love Bridget Bardot and Little Richard especially. ;)
    Precious stitching ladies!

  10. Wow Great pictures.
    I have not seen Santa's sunflowers yet, it looks great.
    How sweet the little cardinals look.
    I look forward to your finishes.
    Hugs Martina

  11. Those paintings have so much life and character! Creative guy.
    Two lovely ornies this week, despite Mary's plague of frogs!
    As Carolien says, it's nice to know what Santa does on his days off!

  12. Mike I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. Not just for being a talented artist but for the fine son you are. Love all of your art but my very favorite is Buddy Holly ... love your interpretation of him. Mom

  13. Love how you captured Don Knotts as Barney, one of my favorite all time tv characters...unique style of painting. The stitches are lovely too...

  14. RJ, your son got his artistic bent from you. He just channeled it into painting rather than stitching. He is quite talented. Love the Santa and the cardinals by the way.

  15. RJ, your son is so talented!

    Such pretty stitches by both of you!

  16. I loved to see your son's artwork, RJ. He is very talented indeed, very impressive.
    A nice new little Santa that you stitched from Prairie Schooler book 48, my favorite when it comes to Santas
    Great little cardinals on your new ornie, Mary. I have always loved cardinals although we don't have them here. My next small project will be a cardinal.

  17. Your son is very talented, beautiful your son's artwork, RJ!

    Two beautiful Christmas ornaments! The sunflower Santa is so sweet, RJ! Such a beautiful tree with so many cardinals, Mary!

  18. Mike has quite a talent there! I especially liked Barney Fife, brought back lots of childhood memories of the family crowding around the TV.

    Sunflower Santa is a cute one and I really like the Cardinals. Great jobs ladies!

  19. I love both of the ornaments. Your son has quite a talent.the pictures are amazing

  20. Darling stitches from the two of you! And, RJ, apparently the talent did not stop with you...your son is carrying on in his own artful direction.

  21. Wow! Mike your paintings are incredible! What talent you have! I always admire anyone who can paint or draw because I cannot draw a straight line with a I know how proud your mom is of you....

    RJ...Your Sunflower Santa is just precious! I love everything about it....I love the Prairie Schooler Santas so much and I also love sunflowers...a lot...just ask my neighbors...grins because they have seen those tall yellow flowers smiling down on them in years past... grins! It makes my heart smile to think of Santa tending his sunflowers in the summer!

    Mary...I love your ornament as well! Do you know this has been on my list to stitch for some time? I have always loved cardinals...and birds in general...and seeing yours has inspired me yet again to start stitching Christmas things...ornaments, a stocking or two or three...grins...oh my may my needle be swift and my floss never!

    Sending hugs and love to you both! Mary, a little bird told me that we have a special day in! I hope you had a wonderful day too!

  22. Mike has a true gift~ Wow! Nice job~ And, I'm love the stitching.... Beautifuls works my friends!

  23. Really enjoy your blog! Both of these ornaments are lovely!

  24. It always amazes me when I see art like this, and your son's is no exception. He's very talented! And I loved seeing some Christmas stitching. This is a great time of year to do it!

  25. A talented son. Both of the stitching finishes are beautiful.

  26. The personality of each character comes through in your artwork and that is quite a talent for someone that is a new painter. You have a natural talent and I am looking forward to seeing more of your artwork. Mary

  27. The personality of each character comes through in your artwork and that is quite a talent for someone that is a new painter. You have a natural talent and I am looking forward to seeing more of your artwork. Mary