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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Kick-Off



As long as there are children who believe, there will always be magic at Christmas. Even something as simple as the classic sugar cookie can become the stuff of dreams...and memories. And aren't memories the reason we do all this?
 





                                                       
Our personal traditions of Christmas start Thanksgiving night. We love to celebrate Thanksgiving and want to squeeze every moment out of it we can. So we always hold off Christmas until that night. Everyone is always so stuffed with turkey that we don't need another meal. So we came up with the idea a long time ago to make sugar cookies to kick off Christmas. I have been making this recipe as long as I can remember. I was 8 when I first used it myself. It is a yummy, easy to make cookie that makes a large batch, perfect for the holidays!






We use a simple crystal glass to make the cookies. Once dipped in any color of sugar, it becomes a magical snowflake design. it is a family tradition to make these this way for Christmas and a delightfully easy way to make lovely cookies. This is a chunky, crispy easy cookie to make and it makes enough to last the entire Christmas season. 
Here is the Sugar Cookie Recipe we use:


Sugar Cookies
1c. powdered Sugar
1c. white sugar
1c. butter
1c. oil
2 eggs
1T vanilla

Cream above ingredients until light and fluffy.

Sift together:
5c flour
1t salt
1 t soda
1t. cream of tartar

Roll in balls and flatten with a pretty glass dipped in any color of sugar.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. This is a large recipe, freezes well, and is crunchy. It lends itself well to gluten free, just trade regular flour for gluten free and add 1t of xantham gum per cup of flour. (5 total for this recipe).




Gypsy Canon took these lovely photos and GreatStitch did the styling and stitching. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thanksgiving



 We love Thanksgiving so much at GreatStitch. To me Thanksgiving is one of the best days because you can look around and say thank you to the good Lord for all the blessings, and thank you to all those that have helped you along the way. We are so grateful for our customers! We have a customer driven business that is all about what you all have asked me to do. This little pair is one of the very first requests 3 years ago. They are my sweet neighbors that have helped us with the very first ideas and models. Aren't they adorable? Claire's little shirt said "gobble" and Jack's said "wobble" because he was just barely walking. We will always be grateful to them for the chance to do something for them that we love doing!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All the Creatures Were Stirring





All the creatures were stirring as dreams of Christmas started returning!  See all of the new and classic Christmas designs from GreatStitch here.






This vintage Santa book caught our attention on one of our recent antique expeditions. It was the inspiration for this party! It reminded us of a time when Christmas was all about family being together!



Of course with any party you need food and our friend Shelly at KC Cakes & Bakes found a very creative way to put our strawberries to use! 



Shelly helps us out at the shop and is a multi-talented person...she made this beautiful cake also!!! 




We had yummy hot chocolate made with real cream and delicious chocolate. 


Last year this recipe came up when we searched for peppermint marshmallows and we think it may become a tradition from Little Birdie Secrets. We have not found a better tasting or easier recipe...who knew marshmallows could taste so good or be so easy!






These Birch Bark Candle Holders were really fun to put in our shoot. I am a big birch bark fan! It's the northern girl in me I guess. 


The stockings were hung beside the red buffet that the wonderfully talented Hide Your Crazy shop made for us. She is here in Broken Arrow, OK.  It was the perfect color and back drop to our photo shoot! These pictures were taken by Mallory at Mallory Hall Photography. She is amazing! I so enjoy good pictures! She drives all over OK and is worth finding! 



Santa hats and stockings can always be made custom for you by GreatStitch and shipped out to your home in time for Christmas! 






These Reindeer cookies were made by a new friend at Heidi's Sweet Shop.   She was talented, reasonable and very fast! 



At GreatStitch, our family has a Christmas tradition. New PJs! We open our PJs and stocking on Christmas Eve to keep us from opening all the fun ones the next day. Then we curl up around the fireplace and watch old Christmas movies. It is such great tradition and tradition is such a wonderful part of memories. We can help you make the memories you want to make. Don't forget the dolls or dog friends in your life!




We love Christmas! Hopefully you and yours celebrate with all the love and tradition the day deserves! 





Here is our take on the old classic....


'twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
All the creatures were stirring
Great hot cocoa with real whipped cream won't mix itself!

The strawberry snowmen kept watch on the plate
While the reindeer sugar cookies looked too good to eat
The Yule log cake had sugar berries in place
And peppermint (homemade) marshmallows were cream of the crop

A vintage book told the story A Visit from St. Nick
While a ladder climbed up where he checked on his list
Curled up in her jammies Kaylee couldn't wait for the morning
While her doll in her matching outfit rested beside

There were stockings in burlap and Santa's big sack
And some presents with name tags had already been wrapped
Flocked Christmas trees took their place on each side
Of a repurposed hutch chalk painted just for the night

There were reindeer of birchbark and paper mâché
And ribbons with snowflakes for this special day
With a scarf in a basket and even a bow
The only thing missing was Christmas Eve snow

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

EEK-tacular






In his famous poem The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe described a conversation with a dark and mysterious bird "on a midnight dreary."  I wouldn't talk to a bird that showed up like that in my house, I would just say EEK!  Our EEK! Halloween party was geared toward a spooky but not scary good time for the little ones.  Here's how it played out (and yes, there definitely was a raven).

In my mind Halloween is special because it allows us, for that one night, to have the courage to be whoever we wish to be, and to dream impossible dreams.  As we looked into this year’s Halloween season, our dreams ran into the most wonderful things: cupcakes, creepy old books, and even a few ravens along the way.  Let your imagination run wild as you join us for this
                                  EEK-tacular event.





  At GreatStitch we love dreaming up these “spooky” parties.  Some of our favorite things from Halloween crept out with all this fun: spiders, and monsters and cupcakes “Oh My!” These cupcakes are a new recipe that we tried that tasted delectable, we replaced the liquid in the buttercream recipe with apple juice! What could be more Halloween than a Caramel Apple Cupcake?! 


The younger kids got a kick out of our “dirt pie.” This has been a kooky delight in our house for years, it's always fun to bring out the familiar with the unexpected. The “ghostly” marshmallows were a huge hit and this is something anyone can do with an edible marker or chocolate chips to bring their party up to a hair-raising level. The chocolate rocks are here.

The Caramel Apple dip was enchanting to the palate, but was also a sneaky way to encourage the eating of those fruits! It is on pinterest...the one with the real cream.  



The green depression glass plates are something that we have been saving for a special occasion, and this party gave us the perfect excuse to use them. There is no better color combination than black, purple and green to encourage the diner to “Eat, Drink, and Be Scary!

We had to have a chair…so we stapled and glued the chevron onto the chalk painted chair which encouraged our little friends to sit a spell and enjoy their treats while at the same time serving as a magical backdrop to show off these new designs of EEK!!  for Halloween. 



Our purple monster shirt is accompanied by a pair of orange diamond patterned pants that Jack thought were very cool and went very well with our girl outfits.  Lily’s pumpkin is one of these great new designs, bringing a set of kooky fabric patterns together to make this sweet shirt.  Kaylee and Emma rounded out the new collection with some enchanting ruffle skirts. Trust GreatStitch for the perfect top to complete your look! Don't forget to order early!


Edgar Allen Poe summed up the spirit of Halloween in these lines: “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before.”




                Wherever you are this Halloween, we hope that you take a moment to enjoy the rich tradition surrounding this wonderfully creepy holiday and encourage those around you to be brave enough to be themselves even after the 31st has passed!

Find all of these great outfits and more at our shop here.

Photographgy by Gypsy Canon

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade

It's hot here in Oklahoma. Nothing cools me off better than something with strawberries. We recently had a party in extreme heat. Here is the Woodland Fairytales Party. I was so grateful for the shade....and the lemonade! I adore lemonade at the fair, so I tried to create a version with some strawberries. Here's how we made it.

1 cup lemon juice
3/4 c sugar (or to taste)
1 pint of strawberries half sliced, half processed in another 1/4 c sugar.
Bag of ice

Melt the sugar and lemon juice in a pan until the sugar dissolves.  Let this cool before adding strawberries. You can add the ice now. Then put the strawberries in it. I slice some to make it pretty, and process some for flavor.  Serve with lots of ice and enjoy a cool drink!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Woodland Fairy Tales



In a child's imagination, birds can talk. And behind every mushroom there may be a fairy lurking! Before the years of wonder are replaced by grown up concerns, there is a brief time when parties are filled with more than laughter, and magic is real. If you're very blessed, you're there with a camera when that moment occurs. 








We decided to take advantage of that time and show these girls the most magical place we could find. Buried deep in the Oklahoma hills of Green Country is the treasure we found called Skelly Lodge. There are butterflies and hummingbirds everywhere. Majestic shade trees and a light breeze from the rolling hills made it the perfect place to have a party! From the koi pond to the waterfall and swing, we found the setting to be the magical place we were looking for! Becky at Digital Detours took our lovely pictures.


For true party magic, you have to have a cake. And not just any cake will do! When we spoke with Stephanie of Peace of Cake in Catoosa, OK she was happy to help, and she had come highly recommended! She came up with the most beautiful cake ever! We were so pleased with how it turned out. Her twin daughters made all the mushrooms! Stephanie was an insurance agent and decided to follow her passion and start baking cakes. She has a lovely shop with some antiques right next door that make the trip irresistible! Her cakes are not only gorgeous, they are yummy too!
 




What is a party where fairies are lurking without some sort of bark? Perhaps some Toffee from Red Kite Candy? So yummy! Elaine does the most amazing job with it and I always have flashbacks to happy childhood memories when I open the mail from her!


The prettiest cookies I know of come from Michele at The Last Course Bakery. These butterfly cookies fit perfectly with our theme!


My own daughter Rhonda had a great hand in a lot of the details. She took some of the pictures, set up the table and even had a hand in the banner!


 My hubby even got in the act dipping doughnut holes in
 chocolate and putting a pretzel in it to make acorns! 


Can you imagine any good fairy without a perfect outfit? GreatStitch is always happy to create a custom monogrammed outfit to work with your party theme!



Everyone who remembers, knows that fairies love tea parties. If you want to attract them, set the perfect table. They are very particular! Especially the woodland variety! It's very important to set two tables when getting ready for fairies. They might not want to come all the way to the porch. Set it at the edge of the woods and then watch carefully!












 We had a lovely time looking for fairies...

Did we find any?  Well one look at the joy on the little one's faces and that should tell you everything you need to know! 



Credits
Styling: Brenda and Rhonda Byers
Outfits and embroidery: GreatStitch
Location: Skelly Lodge
Cookies: Last Course Bakery
Candy: Red Kite Candy
Cake: Peace of Cake
Photography: Digital Detours and Gypsy Canon


Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Birthday To Us

 It's our 4th birthday in business.  I guess anniversary might be a more technically correct term, but we are all about birthdays here, so we call it our birthday! We have been so blessed and honored to be a part of the lives of more than 3,200 special people. 



Some of them have come back to us 2 or even 3 times in a row.  I regard it as a huge compliment when people come back and ask me to do another shirt for them.  I also love when they send me pictures! That means that we have made them happy on their special day.  That's what it's all about for me. 



Birthdays are special to us for another reason.  Five years ago my daughter was diagnosed with cancer.  She beat it!  This year she got the all clear, and we certainly celebrated.  Now she has two “birthdays” to celebrate every year.  With that perspective life is more precious than ever, and we want to help everyone who is celebrating have a special day and make the most of the time they have together. My kids are very precious to me and I am so happy I was a mom! My kids have now grown into amazing adults that are my best friends. I am so very proud of them! They are Bama fans...can you tell? That's their Dad's doing not mine. But they still let me sew for them too!  They were the original birthday shirt kids! 



Birthdays are such eventful days, particularly for the little ones.  It’s the one day when it is all about the birthday girl or boy.  For years we woke our kids up with birthday pancakes, complete with a candle!  All day long we did little things to remind them it was their birthday and that it was their special time! It’s about so much more than the presents and the cake—it’s about letting them know that they are loved, precious, wonderful treasures…truly gifts from God.





That’s why I am thrilled to hear back from moms about their kid’s reaction to the birthday shirt.  One little boy runs to the dryer so he can put his favorite shirt back on as soon as it’s ready.   


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I believe it shapes a child’s life to know that he or she is loved that way—and we look forward to being part of even more special days before our next birthday



So thanks to all the moms and grandmas who care about birthdays! We have a business based on customers who have asked for thier child's interest. It is our privilege and pleasure to be a part of such special days. Thanks for making us who we are today!