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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!!! 




  1. Grazie per averci fatto conoscere questo meraviglioso negozio! Fino a qualche anno fa compravo solo su internet, pensando di risparmiare, ma col tempo mi sono resa conto che mi mancava il contatto umano, il creare una comunità e sono tornata ai negozi. E, sorpresa, spendo meno e sono più felice!

  2. What a great post ,I love reading about Peggy's shop , Mary you did a great interview ,I wish we had a shop like this
    one where I live ,If I was younger and not so busy I would have opened a shop , but I do the next best thing I run a cross stitch club .

    RJ your cooking looks wonderful.
    Wishing you both a lovely week.

  3. Wow what a wonderful shop. I wish I had a shop like this in my town.
    Five years ago I have visited a cross stitch shop in California near L.A. The Shop like this from Peggy.
    In my town is a small shop for cross stitch.
    The Recipe sounds delicious.

    Big Hugs to both of you.

  4. Wow Peggy's shop is amazing! We don't have stores this big in the UK, I wish we did! Thanks for sharing with us Mary.

  5. You are so lucky to have such big and fantastic cross stitch shop in USA, we're not so lucky in UK! :) I would have gone crazy and buy more than I can stitch.

  6. Mary...great interview with Peggy; The Crafty Framer looks like a great shop! And Peggy is correct, if we don't support our local, and not so local, brick and mortar shops, they will not survive. Nothing beats seeing beautiful models, stroking lovely linens and fibers and talking the "talk"!!! Thanks for sharing and I'd love a chance to win the tee shirt!

  7. I enjoyed the interview. I would love a local store. Just to be able to see and touch before I purchase. I am grateful for online, but nothing ever beats being able to see something in person. I have no problems believing you spent so much time in there.
    T t-shirt is so cute too.
    The recipe looks yummy. We love our Mexican food here. IT always makes for quick and easy and covers all the food groups.

  8. Love the shop -- wish we had one here! The Tacos look fantastic and now I want one!

  9. Thank you for sharing this cross stitching shop with us. Yes, we do need to do all we can to keep the local shops in business!!! Stitchers tend to be very tactile people -- we like to touch and feel before we commit to a purchase (at least, that's how I feel about it). Great blog post.

  10. Mary, what a wonderful shop adventure you had and thanks for the recap and the interview. RJ, thanks for sharing the taco recipe. Now I want a taco salad.

  11. Loved Peggy's interview and those tacos sound amazing. I love what Peggy said about stitching making people instant friends. I have found that to be true online and in the real world. I love their themed stitching days. I have a friend who lives in St Pete so if I get down that way, I will check out her store.

  12. Oh Mary, I very much enjoyed your interview with Peggy. I miss our two LNSs. I would LOVE to a chance at that T-shirt PLEASE!! Thank you to Miss Peggy for the gift of the T-shirt. How very kind. RJ I may just try those tacos. We have Mexican night at our house. I have a few Mexican dishes I prepare actually.

  13. The shop looks amazing! Great interview too! How pretty that Halloween display!

    The model is not from Prairie Schooler is from Blackbird Designs called Midnight Watch. Peggy's did a great job on the piece! The two colour linens are really pretty!

    Your recipe looks so yummy, RJ!

    Happy stitching!

  14. I just got back from more travels so I'm attempting to catch up on blog commenting! One of my first stops today was to visit you two :)

    I would so love to have a local shop near me--it is just so wonderful to be able to see and touch the fabrics and fibers in person. An experience that you just can't get with online shopping. I enjoyed your interview with Peggy and do love that two-toned piece--very innovative! (It is from BBD and I have it patiently waiting to be stitched in my stash :)

    And the taco recipe sounds so tasty--I will just leave out a few of the peppers and make sure to take my heartburn medication before I eat them :) I love Mexican food, but it doesn't always love me!

    Hope you two are enjoying this last bit of August!

  15. Oh quel bonheur la boutique de Peggy. C'est plein de trésors qui font tous envie. Dans ma région, en France, il n'y a plus qu'une petite boutique. J'y passe mes commandes lorsque j'ai besoin ou envie de quelque chose. C'est ainsi qu'elle survivra..
    Merci pour la recette :)
    A bientôt,

  16. That looks an amazing store and such a friendly owner too!

  17. Great interview with Peggy, I love her green Hallowe'en dresser. What a great display. My lovely LNS closed several years ago thanks to a Hobbycrafty warehouse opening.

  18. Thank you for telling us about Peggys store. What a great article. Always enjoy reading your blog.

  19. Thank you for sharing the recipe and local needlework store - as the owner said - the internet is always there, but LNS require a financial commitment from their customers to stay in business.

  20. It just might be worth a trip diagonally across the country to visit Peggy's!!I sure wish there were more shops. My closest one is at least 3 hours away in Portland. A lovely shop I try to visit whenever we are down that way. Thanks for that yummy recipe!

  21. What a fantastic shop, would love to have one nearby. There is a similar place I visit often when I travel to France and always envy those living in the area!!
    Thanks for the recipe, looks yummy!!

  22. Hi, RJ and Mary! Wonderful post! I agree with a previous comment - it would be worth the trip diagonally across the country to visit the shop. The only cross-stitch shop we had in Boise closed a couple of years ago, and even then, it was a yarn/knitting store with a few cross-stitch supplies thrown in for good measure. The first time I visited Friendship Crossing in Corvallis, OR, on vacation last year, I was in sheer heaven. I'm so used to cross stitch being a "side note" in other stores that it was unbelievable to find everything my heart could desire in one place. I agree, it is so vital to support these wonderful shops when we find one. Ordering online is great, but nothing beats seeing the displays and feeling the fabric for yourself. Not to mention the wonderful stitching buddies we meet there!

    RJ, the tacos sound delish! It never occurred to me to use Italian or balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a taco. I will have to try that!

    Sending big hugs your way...

  23. I love the visit to the shop! I so miss going inside a cross stitch shop and being able to look around and see all the pretty things they have. The nearest one to me know is a little over two hours away! When I live in Illinois I had three of them all close enough for a quick visit!

    The tacos look yummy! Sounds like it would make an excellent taco salad for dinner!

  24. It sounds like a unique visit, a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. A great deal, thanks for the interview.

    Thanks also for the great Tacco recipe, it looks delicious, and I love it.
    Big Hugs to you both, Martina

  25. Another great post from you both.
    Mary, I loved to read about Peggy's shop and to read her interview. And those pictures from the store are so inviting that I'd want to visit that store immediately. Although I know that I will probably never have the chance to visit.
    Thanks so much, RJ, for the recipe. It sounds and looks delicious.

  26. What a neat looking shop! Thank you for sharing the recipe too!

  27. Mary...what an awesome shop! and RJ...that is one full taco...looks delish!

  28. A great interview with Peggy. The Halloween dresser is lovely but the bi-colour linen was a joy to see, never thought to do that with a project that needed a grassy type bottom... i'll keep that in mind.

  29. It seems that I can once again comment on everyones blogs! Love your blog and am so glad that I can comment again!

  30. I've never been to the Crafty Framer before and if I'm in that part of the state I'll be sure to stop. I enjoyed reading about how the business started as one thing and evolved into a bit of a different direction. It's a reminder that we all need to be willing to pivot in order to be successful or to get what we want!

    The tacos look delicious! I like the idea of dressing the salad so the taco isn't too wet or runny. Such a great idea!

  31. Thanks for sharing your visit to the Crafty Framer! I hope to visit some day!!

  32. Hello dear RJ and Mary,

    I am catching up, sorry for my absence!!! I must put you up high in my banner because it is a great shame indeed. Will do that shorty because I love your blog <3
    That is such a great shop, thanks for sharing this. I loved the stitchers area, would love to sit there with you, stitching ... The bug is coming back at my place and my fingers are itching for some crossstitches. Time for that now, since I finished my shawl for a dear friend :)
    The recipe looks like yummie to me, mmm I think I'm gonna do this today ...

    Take care, dear friends, and now I'm going to change something on my blog!

    Love, Carolien

  33. Mary, I got your email and all I can say is that you are too kind! I am always on the lookout for wooden spools. I have two big ones I use as candle sticks here at Grimmwood. I am leaving a comment as I can not email from here and I will be here until September 9th!!

  34. Mary, what a great shop you found, and a new friend too! If I'm ever in that area, I know where I'll be headed. Please include me in your giveaway, what a fun shirt.
    RJ, thanks for sharing the taco recipe, it will make a nice change when the boys come back from school!

  35. Just found your blog. Going to try the wineberry (raspberry) cake! Love the saying on the shirt. If I don't win I will have to get one somehow!

    1. Thank you for coming by to see us Dede. Do you have a blog..we would love to come and sign up. RJ

  36. thank you for sharing your visit to such a wonderful store, wish we had shops like that around here. The taco recipe of RJ´s looks yummy especially as it is lunch time now in my part of the world.

  37. Wow! That Stitching store looks wonderful! Unfortunately, my LNS had shut down its brick and mortar store but dear Wendy has become a good friend so when I order something online, I usually meet her for lunch to pick it up! Great looking tacos, RJ - yum! yum! Great giveaway, too, although I will give it a miss - good luck to everyone else, though. hugs, Kaye

  38. Lovely stitchy store! The big box places seem to be taking over here. Ordering online is okay but seeing all the sparkly and hand-dyed fabric in person is so much better.

    The tacos look delicious! We always have taco rice (taco parts served over white rice), extra spicy!

  39. Thanks also for this post, I am happy that I found you in the www and can participate in your activities.