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! 

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.   

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!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fun Facts About GreatStitch!

Sometimes people have an influence on you. Sometimes people shape your life. In my life there were amazing seamstresses. My mother's maiden name is Taylor. And yes, it is derived from tailor. I haven't found the story yet, but someone in our family at one time tailored clothes with that name! In an honored place in my shop hangs the coat my great-grandmother made for my mother who was born in a little log cabin house with a dirt floor in southeastern Oklahoma.  It was made from flour sacks and decorated with beautiful stitching--carefully done by hand.

Then there are the dozens of quilts and afghans that both of my grandmothers made me. I have some beautiful items. My mother made me outfits for special days--Valentine's banquets, high school graduation, college graduation. She made the most awesome set of outfits for my friend and I in high school. They matched! Then when it came time for me to sew, she let me play with an old treadle machine. The first thing I ever remember making was a little skirt for my Chrissy doll. When I started Jr High we had to take Home Ec. I thought it would be a breeze. I got an A on my first shirt project. What could go wrong? I took it home and I got a, "Redo it" from my mom! She made me take it apart and do it right, even after the teacher had a given me an A!

Years later another woman had a huge effect on my sewing. I was trying to learn new things while working at a Piece Goods store as a craft class coordinator. A lady walked in and told me I needed better samples! Thankfully they wasn't mine! She was the owner of a very important company in the heirloom sewing world and she was dying with cancer. Before she passed she imparted great wisdom to me. 

So many things shape who we become. These are some of the reasons that GreatStitch is what it is. Great women in my life taught me to do better, reach further, and never give up. These are amazing words to live by and run a business on.

Here are some fun facts about GreatStitch:

*We started this business in our spare room at home. Within 2 years we had outgrown the room and the garage! We found a workspace in November of 2012. 

*GreatStitch is not our first business. We have done everything from wedding gowns to horse show shirts! I have always sewn, done wedding flowers, smocking, I even went to culinary school. I have a super good cinnamon roll recipe I developed and someone once asked me to sell the cinnamons rolls on QVC! I couldn't figure out a way to get them there fresh so I decided I would rather not have an iffy product. So if you're really nice some day, maybe you can get some GreatStitch cinnamon rolls!

*My first "store" order was for 1989 version of bloomers. We did them in every size 12M-5/6 boy and girl. My kids were my models back then. 

*Our best selling shirt is the Digger shirt, accounting for about 1/3 of our sales! There are a lot of little construction buddies out there!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strawberry Ice Cream

It is just getting hot here in OK. When it gets hot, it stays hot! One of the ways we cool off is ice cream. We adore strawberry ice cream at our house. And there is nothing better than home made. A few years ago I found a recipe that I had never seen before, someone gave it to me telling me how easy it is. It IS easy! If you have one of those little freezers, it is 20 minutes tops!

Here it is, and trust me, it will cool you off!

Strawberry Ice Cream

This recipe is vanilla, and you can mix in anything you like...we like a pint of strawberries whirled up in 1/4 c. sugar.

1 quart half and half (fat free works!)
1/2 c. sugar
1 T vanilla (we like vanilla bean paste)

1 Pint Strawberries whirled up with 1/4 c. sugar Can be substituted for any fruit or flavoring. Chocolate Nesquick milk mix tastes like a Frosty!

Start the machine, pour in the half and half, then add the sugar, strawberry mix (or any other kind of mix)and vanilla and run til creamed, ours takes about 20 minutes.