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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

September Friendship
Friendship gifts

It is so hard to believe it is the end of September.   We always hate to say goodbye to summer but look forward to the cooler temps and changing colors of Fall.   Some of us however will endure the heat for a few months longer.  I'm actually writing this from the beach and Mary is on a business trip in Florida and it remains hot here.

We are closing the Friendship month with our challenges and some lovely gifts from stitching friends plus a freebie at the end. We hope you enjoy.

RJ's Stitching Challenges
We have missed our challenges for a few months so I have two French village stitches to share and one finished Santa.   I had hoped to have two Santas but the beach called my name.   We actually got a last minute invite and could not turn it down because it is our favorite place to be.

My stitched challenges are the village church and the village needlework store.   They were both a joy to stitch.   Not many changes were made to these two.   I did change the colors of Mary and Joseph to softer colors.  I am truly enjoying stitching the French Village and look forward to their finishes.  I still have to stitch their shop names on the empty signs and I will name the church at the bottom too.   I did find out this week that there are no cardinals in France.  I read that they are only in North and South America which was a big surprise to me. When I started my village, I did not know this.   I'm going to leave them though as anything is possible at Christmas right?

The Church
I think I will name it Saint Pierre Cathedral

Hometown Church
by Little House Needleworks
called for threads with a few changes

40 ct. country mocha linen

The Needlework Shop
Just needs a name.  Can you see the spool right under the roof?

Hometown Holiday Needlework Shop
by Little House Needleworks
40 ct. country mocha linen
called for threads

RJ's Finished challenge

Patriotic Santa
My finished challenge is the Patriotic Santa from Prairie Schooler.  I loved stitching this one as I always love patriotic stitches and this one is so sweet. For the finish I added a blue star fabric, a red plaid yo yo, flag heart button, red rick rack and a flag charm on a star bow at top.  I have five more to finish so all my Santas will be ready for my Christmas dough bowl.   Time to get busy!!!
Sitting in a grape bucket filled with  plumbago

I changed the yo yo twice trying to get the right fit.

Patriotic Santa 2002
by Prairie Schooler
over dyed threads from my stash

35 ct. Weeks cocoa linen
button from a craft show in Texas


Mary's Finished Challenge

Farm Fresh
This past August, Arlene at the Nanaland blog had a give a-way of the "Farm Fresh" chart by Hands on Design.   I was thrilled when she notified me that I was the winner.  I wanted to use this in my kitchen for my Fall decor so I changed up the colors.   I used GA Chamomile for the straw, DMC 5200 for the eggs, GA Wheat Fields for the border and GA Wood Trail for the letters.

I had no idea how I was going to display it but serendipity struck!  I was checking out Michael's 80%  end of season sale and found this cute wire basket that contained 3 bottles fused together.   It was only $4 and I knew it would be perfect for the stitch.   I aged the chicken wire with raw umber acrylic paint.

I then attached the stitch to sticky board and covered the back with a piece of fabric using Aleen's Fast Grab Tacky Spray.   I think this was the easiest finish I have ever done!  I see more stitcky board projects in my future.
Farm Fresh stitch with a flower arrangement I did for the Fall

Closeup of Farm Fresh on my new bottle holder

Farm Fresh
by Hands on Design
over dyed threads in my stash
Bottle holder from Michaels


Gifts of Friendship

A gift from Stasi to Mary

Stasi at Beemused and Bee stitching blog has two sweet granddaughters that enjoy crafting.   I have an extensive card making supply and so I sent the girls supplies to try their hand at card making.

These are sweet borrowed photos from Stasi's blog.   You can see they are in deep concentration on their projects.  Esther is first and Cora is the second photo. 

I thought it was so sweet that the girls asked what my interests were and made the cards with them in mind.
The girls included horses, a camera, flowers and many of the things I like

Stasi sent me this beautiful gift to say thank you and what a special gift it is.  Thank you Stasi for this lovely locket and crow pin.  I love them both but especially the locket as I truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into a stitched gift.  You can visit Stasi and her awesome projects here
I will treasure it!

What an adorable spool  box it came in!
This is the front of the box that the gift came in.


A gift to both of us from Robin
Robin sent us both gorgeous Victorian Motto Sampler threads to try out. These threads are so soft, beautiful and colorful.   They are overdyed skeins but the best part is they are 20 yards instead of 5 yards like other overdyed companies and they are the same price.   What a huge bargain for such beautiful threads. Right now Nancy is having a give away on her blog. You just have to be a follower and leave a comment.  If you win, you will get 11 Christmas skeins of reds, greens, golds, burgundy, and cranberries.

Thank you so much Robin for being such a generous and giving friend.   We appreciate you so much.
20 yards on each skein!!!
Colors are more true in this photo.  The last three I am using right now and love them.

The give a-way will be in a gift box.The colors are lovely for the holidays. You can sign up here


A gift from Arlene to RJ

I was a lucky winner on Arlene's lovely blog "Nanaland" too.   I won the most ADORABLE set of measuring cups.   I just love them!   Unfortunately, even though the USPS says “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night the mail must go through", sometimes they break things and two of these cups had their handles broken off.  My DH George did his best putting them back together and they still look adorable.

Aren't they the cutest???

Can you see the yellow handle?   It happened to the big blue one in the back too.  I wanted to cry but DH came to the rescue!

But, Arlene felt bad that they broke and so she sent the cutest Shepherds Bush pattern with the prettiest stocking button soon after.  I could not wait to get started on it.   I will have a finish done for the holidays and it will be hanging on my treeThank you so much Arlene for being "double the pleasure" sweet. The measuring cups were more than enough and I was thrilled to win them.  But, being a big fan of Shepherds Bush I'm truly in love with the chart and the beautiful stocking button.  You were too, too kind to me.  In the photos below, I have not used the button that came with the pattern because I made the stitch smaller. So I used a smaller stocking button I had but I will save the one that came with the chart for a future special project because it is a special button.  Make sure you stop by to see Arlene here.   You will have a good time!
Now how cute is this???

It's hard to tell but it is red garland and the cutest little gold stars on the tree!


This month's freebie is from Lizzie Kate and is called Friendship grows.   Who doesn't like Lizzie Kate and I bet you miss not seeing new patterns from her.   Hope you enjoy this one that you can find the chart here


Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with us today.   We hope to see you again in about ten days with our Styling with Stitches project.   We have two neat ones I think you will enjoy.   Hope Fall has come to your area and you are enjoying cooler weather, walks, college football games, leaves changing colors and of course lots of cross stitching.   We both are going to be out of town for awhile but we will catch up with all of you as soon as we get back.  
The girls from Stitching Friends 


Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud
Maya Angelou


  1. Wonderful stitching by you both .
    You stitch some wonderful designs .
    I just got back home so will be playing catch up all week.
    I have been looking to buy a Plumbago plant next year , any advise how to look after it.
    Always love your posts full of lovely goodies thank you.

  2. Fantastic gifts and beautiful stitching...We are still in the triple digits here in Arizona but I am so looking forward to the cooler temps.

  3. RJ...I had no idea there were only cardinals in N & S America. I think that is so sad. Cardinals need to bless everyone. I have never seen that PS Santa. I love him, and you finished him wonderfully.
    Mary, I love your little Farm Fresh finish. It turned out perfect. Wonderful idea for your extra crafting supplies.
    Great job as always ladies.

  4. Our summer has slipped right through our hands, I’m afraid... I’m hoping Oct brings a stop to our Indian summer heat and humidity... Your stitches are beautiful as always, as are the finishes and gifts~ Keep up the great work, my friends... Hopefully I’ll make a blog post!

  5. RJ - Your village shops are darling - perhaps they are Quebec - then there would be cardinals! Mary - Love your autumn bouquet, hen and cross stitch finish. You both were blessed with some lovely gifts.

  6. Two wonderful motifs from Hometown, I really like the series.
    Oh and what a nice fall decoration. Great stitching
    What a pretty gift, I have never seen such measuring cups. Congratulations to the profit.
    Big Hugs to you both, Martina

  7. Your Farm Fresh turned out so cute.
    Sometimes you can find great end-of-season deals!
    The shops are looking great too.
    So nice of Stasi's GD's to make you some cards, so cute.
    Those threads looks wonderful!
    Have a great week!

  8. Wonderful stitching. The two from the Hometown series are so beautiful. I like your Santa and your finish with the yo-yo an the button are very pretty.
    Wonderful gifts.
    The Farm Fresh looks so beautiful and I like your fall decoration.
    Thank you for the freebie link.
    Have a nice new week.
    Hugs, Manuela

  9. Fantastic finishes RJ. What sweet measuring cups. I would have been near tears too. Awesome finishing Mary!! That looks super. The girls made such sweet cards. :) I LOVE your gift from Stasi! I use Nancy's floss and love it!!

  10. RJ: Wow the Village pieces are beautiful.
    Saint Pierre is a perfect name for the Cathedral, Saint Pierre is also an Island in France.
    The little shop is so sweet, I love the spool at the top of the peak.
    Your Santa is amazing, you and Mary have such beautiful finishing techniques.
    The cups are lovely, I too would have fixed them, George is a sweet Man.
    I buy Victorian Motto's threads, I like her colors you get so much thread for the money.


  11. Mary: I am in Love with the finish and the design so perfect for this time of year, you and RJ have such great finishing ideas.
    You were so sweet to send Esther and Cora the card making supplies, I love the cards so original and adorable. ( the girls are both so cute)
    The pendant is lovely.
    Shepherds Bush design is so sweet.
    Thank-you for the freebie.


  12. Oh, no, I will gladly, gladly! say goodbye to summer! I do not like the heat. Bring on the crisp, cool air and fog of fall!

    I find it odd to think of places without cardinals. Being from MO, they're kind of bred into us with sports teams haha. They're my favorite winter bird; so cheerful at the feeders during snow! I have Victorian Motto's threads too. I love her flower sets.

    The pocket watch locket! Ack I love the possibilities for that kind of finish. You both received such lovely gifts; too bad the PO doesn't treasure such gifts like we do!

  13. Le farm fresh est de toute beauté et le bouquet automnale splendide. De bien jolis ouvrages également. Je confirme qu'en France nous n'avons pas de "cardinals". Mais nous aimons les broder :)
    Vous avez reçu de beaux cadeaux.

  14. Your posts are always filled with such lovely things, so many delights to feast the eyes upon.
    What a shame the measuring cups were broken.
    The girls look like they are having fun with your gifted goodies.
    I've stitched the Friendship Grows freebie quite a few times.

  15. Oh, you've both been busy! Seeing those cute LHN village finishes reminds me I need to get going on mine, RJ--I kind of forgot about them to be honest with you. I never thought about there being no cardinals in your French village, but I think they add a beautiful touch to each little building. And your PS Santa finish is fabulous--I know how hard it is to get the right size yo-yo! Sometimes I've tried out 3 or 4! Do you use a yo-yo maker, RJ? I bought one, but have yet to try it.

    And Mary, your sweet fresh eggs finish looks fabulous on that chicken wire bottle bargain you spotted at Michael's. I need to visit there more often.

    Such sweet gifts from Stasi, her daughters, Robin, and Arlene. So sorry that the Post Office wasn't kinder to the measuring cups--they really are adorable :)

    Hope October doesn't fly by as quickly as September did--I am in no way ready for the holiday season!! Enjoy your week, you two ♥

  16. Love the Little House Needleworks pieces! And what a wonderful finishing job you did on your Prairie Schooler Santa - love that little yo yo! That's a lovely, creative finish, Mary! You both received some wonderful gifts. Too bad about the measuring cups - glad your husband could repair them.

  17. Hi, RJ and Mary! Another great post! RJ - I love how your village series is coming along. It makes me want to dive in and start on it. Oh, and the patriotic Santa is darling. I love how you finished it!

    Mary - what a great fall finish! I think I saw that wire basket/bottle set at Michael's and passed it up. It never would have occurred to me to paint the wire to make it more rustic. That is a wonderful tip! And I wouldn't have thought to wire a project to it. Hmmm... the wheels are turning! I ordered some sticky board for some finishes, after seeing Priscilla and Chelsea use it a lot. I really don't know how it will hold up after decades (some say it causes your stitching to yellow), but for a finish that is trendy or that you don't plan on keeping as an heirloom project, I don't see the harm.

    I hope both of you have safe travels. Looking forward to connecting with you when you get back!

  18. I love that village series. It reminds me of an old fashioned Christmas. Santa is lovely!Good luck getting more finished. Mary, what a wonderful finish!!

  19. What a fabulous post to read! I love your finishes RJ especially the PS Santa. I stitched him shortly after attending several retreats in Williamsburg. Mary, your Farm Fresh finish looks great on the glass. Both of you have received some lovely things. Enjoy the coming week!

  20. Wonderful stitching. Love the Santa finish and the Farm Fresh. You have received some great gifts.
    Hope both of you have a good week.

  21. Another wonderful post from you both....and wonderful stitching too!

  22. RJ - I love your village pieces, so precious. Santa looks wonderful, you finished it beautifully! Sorry your gift from Arlene broke, but how nice of her to send you the pattern... adorable!
    Mary - Your finish is fantastic, perfect with fall flowers. Awe, the girls did a great job with their cards, how sweet of you to send them supplies to use. Your thank you gift from Stasi is lovely, and the box is fantastic!
    Such beautiful colours that Robin sent you both, what a treat! And thanks for the chart link, that is a cute one.

  23. Love all of the finishes Ladies! Mary that is my favorite finish too, it is quick and easy! What wonderful gifts you guys have received. I love the measuring scoops.

  24. What a fabulous way to finish Friendship Month. I love the cards the girls made with you in mind and the lovely watch fob finish for the alphabet.

  25. Lovely gifts and wonderful stitching of you both. I love it. I am so proud, that you visit my blog.
    Waving greetings Larissa

  26. Beautiful french village embroidery and I like the finishing on the farm fresh stitchery. Thoughtful gifts given and received - what a lovely spool box and pretty measuring cups.

  27. Charming stitches with finishes and gifts galore! You two are so inspiring!

  28. Lovely stitching, RJ and Mary! No cardinals in Europe RJ, but you can leave the cardinal in your ornament!
    Wonderful gifts, I really like the ceramic measuring cups.
    Happy stitching!

  29. Thank you very much for your wonderful wonderful post, I am happy that I found you in the world wide web.
    September - friendship - end of summer . . . . I can't say what I like best this time . . . . everything!!!!!!

  30. Thank you for another wonderful post. You both have had many great gifts, and I'm glad the girls enjoyed the card making x

  31. Hello dear friends,

    No cardinals indeed here in Europe, but we dream about them, so it's nice they can be found near St. Pierre Cathedral ;)
    Lovely stitches and lovely gifts, enjoy!

    Hugs across the ocean, Carolien

  32. Such beautiful stitching progress on your French village, RJ. And I wouldn't mind seeing a cardinal on the stitched piece although they don't live here in Europe :) And great to see the PS Santa, so nicely finished.
    Lovely cards the girls made for you.
    Mary, I love the finishing on your Farm Fresh piece, it looks so very special.
    Great gifts that both of you received.

  33. i ricami sono sempre meravigliosi e stupendi i regali!

  34. Great post, RJ and Mary, and some absolutely gorgeous stitching - much too hard for me to choose a favourite this month. You gals are so very talented.

  35. How did I miss seeing this post? Usually a new post will come to the top of my blog roll but this one must have popped up when I was out of town!! I am so glad you both enjoyed the stitches I sent to you!! Your stitching is just perfection as usual. I love all the finishes and it inspires me to look for new ways to use my own finished pieces.