Follow us by email

Follow us by email

Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November Week Two
Veterans Day Thank You
Cross Stitch Birthday gift
Birthday Cake recipe
Christmas Challenge stitches

Stitching Friends would like to say thank you to all our Veterans past and present for their dedication and service to their country.   This week we have a cross stitch gifta recipe and our Christmas challenge stitches to share with you.

RJ's Grab Bag

As an Air Force wife for 30 years, I can tell you I am so proud of all the men and women who serve.  I asked my husband if he would tell me what being a veteran meant to him.  His response was the following: 

Being a veteran means being part of the 1% of the population that steps forward to defend our nation. It means sacrifices by both the service member and his or her family, but there is also great satisfactionYou learn to appreciate teamwork and a shared purposeYou have the opportunity to associate with like-minded individuals who become your extended family and lifelong friendsPeople frequently tell a veteran, “Thank you for your service.” That sentiment is certainly appreciated, but in reality, it is an honor and privilege.


Cross Stitch Birthday Gift

It was also my husband George's birthday today and one of his gifts was this cross stitch from Little House Needleworks.   It is called Brave Hearts.  The first time I saw it I knew I wanted to stitch this for my military husband.   I love everything about this stitch.   The colors really pop beautifully.   I really enjoyed stitching the checkerboard roof and the wavy navy was a great color for the house.   I always like stitching the American flag and this was a great one.  And letters are always fun which made this meaningful poem especially enjoyable to stitch.   Happy Birthday George! 

Love everything about this stitch!
Here is a WWII photo of my Dad in uniform sitting in a field of flowers with a a bouquet in his hand.  It is one of my favorite family photos.

It found a home in the green house!

 when I made this ornament in July?   I used the pattern Brave Hearts above for the house, flag, bird and some other small parts.  Then I added my own words, pots of flowers and moved things around abit to finish it off.

You can see the changes I made to make this my own ornament.

Brave Hearts
by Little House Needleworks
25 ct. vintage country mocha over one
called for overdyed threads


German Sour Cream Cake

George's favorite dessert is my Mom's German sour cream cake and that is what I will make for his special day.   I would like to share the recipe with you all.   It is a very easy cake to make.   I followed the recipe almost exactly.   The only change I made is I always use pecans instead of walnuts.  But recently, I substituted pralines (glazed pecans) instead.   It really gave the cake a nice sweet crunch.   A slice of this cake is perfect with a big scoop of Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream.   

 Mom’s German Sour Cream Cake

½ lb. butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 pt. (16ozs.) sour cream
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (we prefer pecans)
Vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell is our choice)

Cream butter and sugar.   Add eggs one at a time beating after each one.   Add sour cream and mix well.   Add all dry ingredients and mix well.   Add vanilla and nuts and blend in.   Bake in greased tube pan at 350 degrees for one hour.   I find it usually takes another 10 to 15 minutes.   Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cake is cool.  Serve with really good Vanilla ice cream. 


RJ's Santa challenge -

My Christmas challenge is St. Nicholas II Santa by Prairie Schooler.   I saw this stitched on black on Carol's site "Stitching Dreams" a few years ago and just loved it. Even though I had never stitched on black linen before, I had to give it a try.   At first it was very hard on these old eyes, but after awhile I got the hang of it.  At first I was stabbing trying to find the hole.   After the first row went in, it went fairly easy.   I love this Santa because he is holding a cardinal which is very near and dear to my heart.  I used overdyed variegated threads which really popped on the black linen.

I used cayenne for the reds in this stitch which really popped against the black linen.

St. Nicholas II Santa Book No 36
by Prairie Schooler
32 ct. black linen
overdyed threads I had on hand

Mary's Christmas challenge -

My Christmas Challenge is another favorite by Little House Needleworks called Quaker Birds.   I had to look up the name because I renamed it Snow in Love.   I just love these two little birds.  I stitched this once before all in cream and used it as the topping for a gift for my niece's Wedding Shower.  I received so many compliments on the brown craft paper packaging, burlap ribbon and this lovely stitch adorning the gift box.   I think a pretty ornament being used as a bow is a thoughtful idea for a special gift.

Love these sweet birds!

Quaker Birds
by Little House Needleworks
30 ct. Weeks Cocoa linen
called for threads

Thank you once again for stopping by to see us.   We really appreciate the time you take to comment.   It always makes our day special.   Next week will be our last old ornament made new for this year.   Hope to see you then.   Mary and RJ

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude
                                                  Cynthia Ozick


  1. A great job on the ornaments ladies!! Many thanks to your Air force husband and you too. My son is an Army Lieutenant Colonel. He is the first military man in our family. I had no idea of the sacrifice of military families until he went off to Iraq. My thanks and blessings go to you and all military families.

  2. Hello RJ and Mary....

    Oh RJ I just love the Brave Hearts Sampler you stitched for George! I am sure he just loved it! It is beautiful! My heart is just so full and I know I need to stitch this for my dad! You know how something just jumps out at you and says “ stitch me” ? Well this sampler is doing that for me! I also was so very touched by how he described a Veteran! That was just perfect! I hope he had a wonderful birthday! I also love your Santa stitch! I admired this one on Carol’s blog as well...I too love the Cardinal...I am so proud of you for stitching it on black. I am not feeling that brave I will continue to admire yours...grins!

    Mary....I fell in love with those birds the first time I saw them and stitched it as a Christmas gift for my godson and his new wife! I added “ our first Christmas together” on the back with the date. I love your idea as well.... what a great idea. Your stitching is just lovely as usual!

    Thank you both for all the work you do to make this blog so wonderful! I enjoy visiting with you both so much and you have become very dear to me! Thank you for all your inspiration!

  3. This is a beautiful post in many ways. Thank you for sharing about your husband. I love the Prairie Schooler design on black, the colours stand out so well. I have just completed a PS design on a mid brown colour and it looks dull in comparison. x

  4. Hi RJ, what a nice gift for your husband. He certainly liked it, it's perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe, it sounds very delicious.
    I have not worked on black fabric yet, but the colors are very good.
    Hi Mary, again a beautiful motif from LHN, I'm curious what you make out of it.
    Hugs to you both, Martina

  5. Hello RJ,
    a wonderful gift for your husband. I like your little cushion, too. The Santa looks great.
    Thank you for the recipe.
    Hello Mary,
    your little birds are wonderful. I'm looking forward, what are you making.
    A nice new week.
    Hugs, Manuela

  6. Lovely gift for your husband!
    Beautiful Christmas stitching, RJ and Mary!
    Happy stitching!

  7. Wow--such a jam packed post!
    RJ, the piece you stitched for your husband is wonderful and says it all! I love both versions and am sure he did too!I thank him for his service! The recipe sounds to try half with nuts and half without as my hubby doesn't care for nuts and I DO!!!
    Mary, the pair of birds is so sweet and I like your name better! :) Thanks for a great post ladies!

  8. What a wonderful post to read this morning! RJ, I like the Brave Hearts piece you stitched in full and then as an ornament for your husband. Your Christmas stitch is lovely. Mary, I just finished Quaker Birds during the month of October. Yours looks super. I look forward to seeing it in finished form.

    Enjoy your week!

  9. I always get excited when I see a post from you two!! RJ, the patriotic piece is just stunning. I know your husband appreciates the time and the thought put into the gift. I also liked the little piece, Home is where the Air Force sends you. My husband's uncle was moved all over the world during his AF career. And that Santa is just perfection.

    Mary, I can't wait to see the FFO on Quaker Birds. I have a few more ornaments I hope to complete before its time to hang them on the tree.

    Keep up the good work on your is a favorite of mine.

  10. RJ: Thank-your Husband for serving and protecting our beautiful Country.
    Love the Brave Hearts finish so very pretty.
    I will have to try the German Cake recipe it sounds yummy, thank-you for sharing with us.
    Your Father is a very good looking man.
    The Santa challenge looks like a lovely design, I have worked on black but used a light below my legs to see the holes.


  11. Mary: Quaker Birds is lovely, I am looking forward to seeing how you finish it.
    I hope you are having great weather it is warming up a little here in Minnesota.


  12. Such pretty finishes! Fantastic photo of your dad, RJ. But I have to say, that mention of Blue Bell was painful--we can't get it here! :O(

  13. Happy Birthday to your DH .
    Love both of your new starts .
    We have been to lunch this week with some of our veterans, and we marched with them yesterday I wore my fathers medals such a great day.
    Love all your stitching at the top of your post .
    Have a happy week.

  14. Happy Birthday once again George! I am sure you had a good day with THAT cake. I printed off the recipe RJ. Thank you for sharing it.
    Both your patriotic stitches are great! I love Santa on the black.
    Mary those Quaker Birds are pretty! I can see how they worked out for a wedding gift. So pretty!

  15. The patriotic pieces are so pretty. Happy birthday to your husband.

  16. What beautiful patriotic stitching RJ! I love the way the flag is waving, and words always feel as if they stitch up quickly to me.
    I was so proud of my 9 year old son yesterday who with 2 of his classmates led a whole school assembly about Remembrance Day and the reason we wear poppies...we will never forget the sacrifice of servicemen and women.

    Lovely ornaments in the making too ladies - can't wait to see them finished! You always have great finishing ideas.

  17. What a lovely gift for your husband RJ.
    Both of your Christmas Challenges are very pretty.

    1. Welcome Lesley! Mary and I are so happy you stopped by to see us. Thank you for the kind comments. All of the stitches were fun to make. Hope you have a great week. RJ

  18. RJ, that gift you made for George is beautiful and I am sure he will display it proudly! Please thank him for his service to our country. WOW, that Santa on the black is stunning! I would have never thought to put it on black!

    Mary I just love your Quaker Birds and I think Snow in Love is a perfect name for it.

  19. Such a great gift for your husband, RJ. I love it standing in the little greenhouse with the flower pots. You were very creative to make your personal little pillow ornament with some elements of the same design.
    Your PS Santa with the cardinal is one of my favorites. I stitched him some years ago but then gave him away as a gift. I think I have to restitch him, but this time on black fabric like you and Carol.

    I just love the two white Quaker Birds, Mary. The fabric you chose for them is perfect as the white just pops out.

  20. Patriotic and Christmas stitching--my two favorites! There is just something about the colors in both that I never tire of... Beautiful red, white, and blue finishes, RJ--wonderful tributes to your husband and dad. Glad my PS on black could inspire you--and thank you for making mention of my finish. I've seen so many of these out there and very few have given me credit for the snowflakes on the black fabric that I first did :) So, I appreciate it!

    Mary your ornament is one that I've always meant to stitch, but haven't. Maybe now that I'll (hopefully) have more free time!

    Thank you for that great sounding recipe, too--yum! Hope you both have lovely Thanksgivings with your families :)

  21. Brace Hearts large and small are wonderful and perfect mementos for your family. A jamming red Santa - love it!

  22. Always lovely to see the beautiful stitching you two are doing!

  23. Hello dear friends,

    Such a touching post this is. Thank you!
    The stitches are beautiful, as ever, but oh that pair of scissors too!!! Really wonderful to see. Whenever I find that one on the net, I think our bank account will be 'touched';)

    Have a great weekend already & love across the ocean,

  24. My father is a veteran as was all of my uncles. My husband and my ex both served as well. Dad was Air Force. I think his response about what being a veteran means to him would be similar to the way RJ's husband responded. Hugs to you both and thank both of your guys for serving. Freedom isn't free.

  25. Bonjour chéres amies,
    J'ai lu avec un grand plaisir votre post,merveilleux!
    comme toujours j'admire vos broderies,un délice,Santa Claus de PS est tout
    charmant, comme j'ai un petit faible pour les oiseaux brodés ,il est sûr que j'appreçie ces broderies!votre délicieuse recette et bien je vais l'essayer ce week end.
    Merci de ce partage
    Au plaisir de revenir ,un délicieux week end a toutes les deux

  26. Your Blog is the first one I know who is led by two good friends. I like your works very much! Hello RJ, today the birthday present and also Santa on black linen are my favorites.
    Hello Mary, your start on Christmas challenge look fantastic.
    A nice week-end to you both, Jutta

  27. I was an Army brat myself! That's why I love the Home is Where design, how very true. Of course the wife and kids tagged along wherever it was.
    The photo of your Dad is a lovely one too. Did he come to England?
    Beautiful stitching from you both too!

  28. I love the conversion you made to create your own unique ornament. I normally stick to the charted design, but I do like using little sections to make cards :)

  29. very beautiful and so lovely work :) i like your good idea ,Thanks for the inspiration!