Mary's Grab Bag/Finding a Stitching Friend
Mini Give Away
RJ's Recipe of the Month
Mary's Grab Bag
This past May I had the pleasure of visiting The Crafty Framer in Largo, Florida. This store is 4 short miles right down the road from the Clearwater/St. Pete Airport and if you are ever in the area you must visit Peggy at her wonderful shop. I went on a very rainy day to kill some time and I ended up spending 4 hours at the shop!! Upon walking into the store, I was warmly welcomed by the very genial Peggy. This was only the second stitching shop I have visited and I spent a lot of time absorbing it all.
What do stitchers do when they get together? They talk stitching of course and Peggy was more than happy to share her knowledge of stitching with me. The time flew by and I learned so much!!!
I walked into the shop a stranger and walked out feeling like I made a new friend!! Visiting The Crafty Framer is on my must do list for all my future trips to Florida. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting her shop be sure to tell her StitchingFriendsForever sent you!!
|What could be more perfect than a stitching and framing shop together?|
|Here's my new friend Peggy tallying my order.|
|"Can I have one of each please?"|
|I love the colorful Halloween display!|
|There is comfy seating for everyone to sit and stitch|
|Look at the lovely Blackbird Designs stitch in the left corner with the bi-color linen. Peggy said she realized that she cut the cream linen too short after she started her stitch. I love how she added the green linen to the bottom and turned a mistake into a positive. The addition of the second color linen makes this stitch even more striking!|
Peggy, how long have you been stitching? I took a class in Minneapolis, my home town about 35 years ago. But all I knew was Aida, DMC and patterns. What a surprise to find out about linen and overdyeds and all the fun things we now have to offer our customers.
How did you happen to combine a framing and cross stitch shop and how long have you been in business? We opened in January of 1999 as a frame and country gift shop. We took crafters in on consignment, hence our name. I was CRAFTY and Rick was a FRAMER. For 3 years we fought trying to keep the craft part going and it just kept bombing but every time a cross stitcher brought something in for framing they complained there was no where to buy cross stitch. One day, like a piece of sky hitting me in the head we said, "Why not try cross stitch supplies on our retail side," and the rest is history!
What is the most rewarding aspect of store ownership? The people we have met and can call friends has been HUGE. We hug and cry and pray and have all kinds of connections with our customers.
Have you seen an increase or decrease in the interest in cross stitching? We see many people who are getting back into cross stitch who have been quilting and knitting and realize they miss stitching. I say INCREASE DEFINITELY.
How has the internet affected your business? To the benefit or detriment? I love the internet. People can window shop all they want to at all hours of the day or night. Then they come to me and place their orders. I inspire in them that the internet is not going to go away-it will be there forever. However, if you don't support your stores they will be gone. And my gals don't want that to happen to us so they shop and buy here. I love the groups and the websites and Floss tube as it all is teaching so many so much. I use it to my advantage rather than disadvantage.
Please tell us about your F.A.S.T. events and what you offer as far as classes, etc.? Now that really is a loaded questions. We have 4 groups a week that come here to stitch. They bring their own projects in and have a ball. A couple of our gals love to bake so there is always something to munch on. I have watched perfect strangers and totally shy people become the best of friends and come out of their shells. They help each other here in the store but also outside the group. F.A.S.T. stands for FRIENDS ALL STITCHING TOGETHER. It is an all day event that we hold at a local church. Everyone gets a really cool goodie bag, a great lunch of hotdogs, hamburgers cooked on the grill and all the fixings. WE have a sweets table where we ask for donations from those that love to bake or love to eat sweet things and they really deliver on that one! We have door prizes and a theme for each F.A.S.T. January is SNOW, May is FROG, July is RED, WHITE and BLUE and November is THANKS 4 GIVING, our annual food donations drive. We do a Stitch n Bitch Cruise to Cozumel in Feburary and in the early fall we do a retreat called BEE TREAT. It is all Bee Themed. Both of these even get BIGGER and BETTER goodie bags. If you want the really, really good stuff you have to come for a weekend.
Anything else that is interesting or pertinent about yourself that you would like to add? I hope the good Lord leaves us both here for awhile so we can continue to do HIS work.
Peggy offers classes at her shop and for further info please visit her website CRAFTYFRAMER.COM and your welcome to join her facebook group at I LOVE THE CRAFTY FRAMER
Peggy's Give Away
When I asked Peggy if I could interview her for our blog, she generously offered this adorable t-shirt for a giveaway. (excuse the wrinkles) The t-shirt is a large size. Please be a sidebar follower and leave a comment if you wish to be entered in the giveaway.
I hope you have enjoyed meeting Peggy and learning about her wonderful shop.
RJ's Recipe of the Month
Want a quick and easy taco recipe that is also extremely tasty? Then try my husband's Tacos. His room mate in pilot training taught him how to make these and we have made them this exact way ever since. Instead of just lettuce and tomato, make a dressed salad for your next taco dinner. Don't forget the "secret ingredient" of salad dressing. It makes all the difference in the world. And if there is anything below that you don't like just leave that item out.
George's Tasty Tacos
Bag of Fresh Express Sweet and Crunchy Lettuce or any lettuce of your choice
Tomato (one from your garden or farmers market would be great) chopped
Sweet peppers chopped
Sweet Vidalia onion chopped
"Secret ingredient": Kraft Balsamic Vingerette or any Italian Dressing
Urban Cowgirl Salsa or any Salsa of your choice
One pound of Ground Sirloin
Package of Taco Mix (we use only half of the suggested water)
Soft Flour Tortillas
|Lettuce, Heirloom tomato, sweet peppers and sweet Vidalia onion.|
While your taco meat is simmering, start to make a salad in a large bowl. Mix your veggies with either a Vingarette or Italian Dressing.
|Ground Sirloin simmering on top of stove with added taco mix|
|Veggies are chopped and waiting to be dressed|
|Our favorite Salsa but any one will work.|
|Tossed Salad with "secret ingredient" Vingarette or Italian dressing|
Then warm your soft flour tortillas on a hot electric griddle. A hot non stick frying pan will work too. It's great to brown them slightly and even get some bubbles on the tortilla.
|Tortillas warming on high on your griddle|
To make taco put some meat into your tortilla, then top with some of your favorite salsa and finish with a generous helping of salad on top. Pull sides together when you are ready to bite into your taco.
|Casual dinner at the island|
You may also like to serve shredded Cheddar Cheese, sliced Avocado and Sour Cream in separate bowls for extra choices. Tonight I just served chips and salsa but you could make Mexican corn, rice or beans as a side dish too. This makes a great meal for a large group like a football party. Just put out the ingredients and let them make their own.
Can be made the same way as above.
Start with the prepared salad in separate dinner size bowls
Topped with some of the taco meat.
Then add some Salsa
And finish with broken Tortilla chips
Again you may use your choice of shredded Cheddar Cheese, sliced Avocado and Sour Cream too.
We thank you so much for coming by for a visit and we look forward to coming by to see all of you too. Big thanks to Peggy for doing such a lovely interview and giving away such a cute shirt. We will be back in about ten days with our newest challenges. Hope you will stop by to see them. Until then, keep stitching!!!