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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August Post Two
Mary's Grab Bag/Finding a Stitching Friend
Mini Give Away
RJ's Recipe of the Month

Hope you all have been enjoying the summer.  We hate to see it come to an end but deep down we are longing for some cooler weather.   It has been SO HOT everywhere.  Today Mary has a special Grab Bag you will enjoy which even includes a small give away.  And, RJ has her husband's great taco recipe to share too.  Enjoy!

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.

Taco Salad
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!!! 



Saturday, August 11, 2018

August Post One
Winners of Give Away
Styling with Stitches/Summer
SAL update

Hope all of you have been enjoying the summer months.   It sure seems like it flew by this year.  When Mary and I think of the summer, good times at the beach always come to mind so our Styling with Stitches projects will center around a beach theme.   We also have the winners of the Give Away to announce, an update on our SAL's and a new freebie.


Winners of Give Away:
Outside the USA winner is Martina from Germany
In the USA is Meg from Idaho
Congratulations ladies!!! 


Styling with Stitches

RJ's Summer Ferris Wheel

I've always loved Ferris Wheels...the bigger the better!   My Mom would tell a story of how she would be walking me in my stroller on the boardwalk down the shore.   She said when she was nearing the Ferris Wheel she would walk a few blocks off the boardwalk so I would not spot it.  If I did, I would start chanting Feffa Wheel, Feffa Wheel and want to go on.   No way my Mom wanted to go on the tall Ferris Wheel at Seaside.   But, when my Dad would come down later in the week he could not wait to take his little dare devil daughter high in the air.   When it stopped to let someone on or off, he would actually swing the seat much to my delight!

That Christmas my parents bought me a painted tin Ferris Wheel that I played with all the time.  Years later when we were stationed in California, I spotted my Ferris Wheel in an antique store.   I went right over to look and it cost $399.   I doubt my parents paid $10 for mine.   I asked the lady why it was so expensive when it wasn't even an antique?   She said those type of toys were big collectibles and that was actually a great price.   I could not wait to call my Mom and ask "Mom is my Ferris Wheel still up in the attic"?   Mom's answer: "Oh no I threw that old thing out years ago".  I did not have the heart to tell her what it was worth.

But from that day forth, I really wanted a Ferris Wheel.   It could be just a tiny one that was affordable but I never had any luck.   Then Mothers Day a big box arrived in the mail from our son, Mike.   When I opened it up, I started to was a Ferris Wheel.   But only when I was putting it together did I realize that instead of seats it had photo frames.   The first thing that came to my mind was tiny cross stitches.   I could change it out for the seasons too.   So my first Ferris Wheel is for the summer.   Hope you like it too.

Summer Ferris Wheel

Didn't we all have a pail and shovel to dig in the sand?

Love to watch the sailboats in the bay

Favorite footwear at the beach

Loved building a sandcastle with my Dad moat and all!

One of my favorite things is a beach umbrella.
The beach we go to always waves the American flag.

Patterns from Sam Sarah designs
and Country Cottage Needleworks
over dyed threads in stash
40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha linen


Mary's Beach Stitches

My usual mo-dus operandi is to select my pattern and then find material to display it, this time I worked in reverse order.

While scavenging the streets in my town during "bulk pick-up" week, I found this beachy style frame and knew it would be perfect for my condo in Florida.  ( For those not familiar with bulk pickup week, each Spring the local towns allow you to put your trash/treasures at roadside to be disposed of.)

It is a Spring Ritual for me and many others to peruse the trash looking for "treasures"!!  The irony in this is that I was a yard sale snob and had no desire to buy other people's junk.   But I have now made a complete turnaround in my attitude after my first find of a gorgeous antique bedroom set sitting on the side of the road.   I am now hooked on trolling  the streets for treasures and going to yard sales.

Getting back to stitching, these 2 Cathy Haberman patterns worked quite well for my beach theme. The called for count was 32 which I changed to 36 ct to fit the frame.

Framed Stitches display in NY but will eventually find a home in Florida

Common Florida sight!

Chair stitched with GA Chamomile and GA Evergreen for sign background

Flock Together and On Beach Time
by Hands on Design
36 Country Mocha linen
DMC threads and 2 GA threads


SAL update
We are moving along on our SAL's and loving every minute of it.   This is such a pretty pattern and the threads are so lovely.   It is called Quaker Handework by With Thy Needle and Thread and we are both stitching them on 36 ct. Espresso linen.

This was my first update on our SAL after 11 hours.

And now 14 hours later for a total of 25 hours:

Mary's SAL
My first SAL update after 11 hours.

Second SAL  update after a total of 23 hours.




If you would like to stitch this cute crow in the cornfields, you can find the chart at the Victoria Sampler website.  Just go here  


We thank you for visiting Stitching Friends and hope you will come back and join us again.   Next post will be a Grab Bag which will be a lot of fun. Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep stitching! We will be by to visit with all of you.  If we don't know about your blog please let us know. 

                                             Dance with the waves,
                                             Move with the sea
                                             Let the rhythm of the water
                                             Set your soul free.

                                             Christy Anne Martine