Have you heard someone say my embroidery machine likes only certain brands of thread?
Today in the Embroidery It newsletter I wrote about why you’ve heard people say this. You know our embroidery machines are just that. Machines. Machines don’t have feelings or preferences but why do some threads work better in our embroidery machines than others?
The reason may be due to how the thread is wound or the ‘twist’ that it has. Some threads come off the spool to the right and some to the left. That little difference in ‘twist’ might be the reason some machines tend to give us fits with certain threads while other threads give us beautiful results making us say, our embroidery machines truly do have a thread preference.
Friends, I want to let you know that at the bottom of each newsletter is a new section called, “Have You Heard?” It will contain just a few sentences of a sewing/embroidery tip or trick, a new tool, or event that you might find of value. I won’t be writing them all here at the blog unless it is something more lengthy.
So be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get valuable embroidery information delivered to your inbox each week.
One more bit of valuable information….Have you heard of all the fun happening over in the Embroidery Bee monthly club? Just click HERE to find out more and join in. At only $5.00 a month you will receive an alphabet set, candy holder and monthly newsletter with inspiring embroidery ideas.
You are my Valentine! In this week’s newsletter there will be a special link for newsletter subscribers to get this free Valentine “Be Mine” snowflake coaster. It is the one way I can share a little love with all of you. Thank you all for your support of Embroidery It.
If you haven’t yet signed up for the newsletter, it’s not too late. Just do so by clicking the link to the right. 🙂 If you do so before Sunday Feb. 12, 2017, you will get the design.
It is super bowl Sunday and I hope your team wins. I must confess though, I’m not a football fan. I’m sure the game will be on in the background, but I’ll be paying more attention to the commercials rather than game itself. 🙂 So if you are like me, you will be spending time at your embroidery or sewing machine and I have a fun new in-the-hoop project just in time for Valentine’s day.
Valentine’s Day Candy Bar Wrappers
There are three designs in the set and are made in your 5 x 7 hoop.
You’re So Tweet
Happy Valentine’s Day
All You Need is Love and a Little Chocolate
You can whip up a bunch of these for all the sweet Valentines in your life and you can have them all done before the football game is over.
You may find them here in the Embroidery It Etsy shop or Zibbet store.
I’m sure most of you know this, but for those of you who have just discovered Embroidery It, There is a free machine embroidery design each week. Currently we are going through the alphabet and are up to the letter T.
This embroidery design is made in the hoop and if you use vinyl, it makes for a great key chain, luggage tag identifier and so much more.
Just scroll down to the bottom of the home page here at Embroidery It and grab it for instant download. While you are here, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. This way, you won’t miss out on any of the new designs.
Have a great day stitching at your embroidery machine today and if you are like me, up north, stay warm. It is frigid here in Michigan this week.
Here is a fun use for the Valentine Mason Jar Lid Alphabet set. The design fits perfectly inside those plastic ornaments which open in half. I got mine at Hobby Lobby and they sell them year round. Guessing they are at the other craft stores as well.
Stitch the design on a lightweight cotton fabric using a light weight stabilizer. I used tear-away. Once the design is stitched out and stabilizer removed, open the ornament and center the design. Then just close the ornament with the other half of it and trim excess fabric away.
Place a small bead of glue around the two halves and add a bit of lace or ribbon. This will hide where the halves meet plus keep it from accidentally popping open.
Add a hanger and bow. Consider adding a sprinkle of glitter or flocking inside the ornament before closing it up. Super cute for gift giving.
Believe me when I tell you the photos don’t do this justice. It turned out adorable.
Have fun with this little project!
Here is another use for the design. Perfect monogram on an infant or child’s shirt. Just add a bow for flair!
Friends, this was the January alphabet set for the Embroidery Bee members. Don’t miss out. Find out more about the monthly club by clicking HERE.
The design is now available for all in the Embroidery It Etsy store and Zibbet shop.
If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know I struggle with losing weight. It is a constant battle. Come this past January 1st, I was 30 pounds overweight. Ugh!
I had read about Whole 30 off and on for a couple of years now. When I was at at a craft show this past fall, it was held at a school and along with the craft show, there was a book sale. At the book sale was the Whole 30 book so I snatched it up for just $1. And I read it. And I thought about it.
I started January 1st and finished yesterday. I did it! I will confess, I did it perfectly with the one exception of my husband’s birthday. We went out for a nice dinner and I had a few bites of his dessert. It was so hard. I wanted a bit of sweets more than you can imagine, but that one meal was my only exception.
The results….I lost 9 pounds! Woot woot! The other thing was I’ve genuinely had improved energy.
I also have been back at the gym and moving my body. I go for 30 minutes and I’m happy with that. If I have to go for an hour, I just won’t go.
So now that the Whole 30 is over, I’m slowly reintroducing some of the foods that were removed over the past 30 days. Today I’ve added dairy and oh the half and half in my coffee was sooooo good. I’m going to slowly add back in healthy grains. But the sweets, sigh….Those need to be saved for special occasions and not a daily snack.
I haven’t written much about my weight lately because I find it to be such a struggle. Also, I was afraid of failing once again. But 9 pounds over 30 days, I’m happy with that and I hope to see it continue.
I’m not affiliated with Whole 30 in any way. I just wanted to share my experience with you and share a bit of embroidery inspiration.
Make it a great day friends and let’s treat our bodies well.
be creative daily and live life beautifully
And if you would like to read more about my struggle with weight loss you can read it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. You are not alone.
In my neck of the woods, the ground is covered in snow and everything is just white, gray and brown. With the Christmas decorations all put away now it all feels so plain. Getting into the studio is like a breath of fresh air as it is full of color and stitching for Valentine’s day is simply cheerful.
Here is the Candy Hearts Coasters which double as a wall decor project. They are made in the 4 x 4 hoop. To turn them into a decor project, just glue them onto ribbon and add a bow. Instructions on this along with lots of photos are included. 4 designs are in the set.
Make them in all different colors so when using as a coaster, each person can easily identify their glass.
Today is the most important of all the days in this series. It is about enjoying and appreciating every moment that is given to us. It is our final day in the series and I am throwing colorful virtual confetti! Thank you so much for being with me this week. If you missed a day, you can find it here. Day 1 Day 2Day 3Day 4 Day 5
I’ve written on the previous days about scheduling and planning what we need to create, so before I get started with today’s blog post, I want to just mention that I ran across a list of free calendars that you can print off which are absolutely beautiful. If you run across this post at a later time, I don’t know if this list will still be available, but for now, you can get to it HERE.
Let’s briefly revisit day 1 for a moment. We wrote down what did and didn’t work for us during 2016. If you found your list of things that didn’t work well for you to be longer than you like, or if you are looking for ways to improve those situations so they are not repeated, I have a list of suggestions that may be of help.
Begin each day with a statement of gratitude. “Thank you God for this beautiful day.” “Today is going to be a great day.” What we place in our minds first thing sets the tone for how our day will be. It may be cold and raining outside but if we wake up and say, “this is a beautiful day,” our mind will find things throughout the day that are beautiful.
Write 3 things down each day that you appreciate. Of course you appreciate your family and your home, but look for the little things in life like seeing that perfect six pointed snowflake, the creaminess and sweetness of your morning coffee, or the crisp look of your freshly made bed. This little exercise takes only a minute and will train your brain to see beauty even in our darkest days.
Keep your creative calendar that we have been making handy and schedule in specific creative time for yourself. During this time the focus is only on you and enjoying the creative moment.
Look for little 15 to 20 minute pockets of time in which you can be creative. Take along some knitting or hand embroidery to the doctor’s office to work on while you are in the waiting room. Those little pockets of time really add up and it is surprising how many projects can be completed by just working on them in short chunks.
Limit the negative thoughts that come into your head. Turn off the doom and gloom news. You can get all the important information just be scanning the headlines of news on your computer. You can do that in 2 minutes vs 30 minutes of news on the TV.
Learn to focus and not multi-task. Learn to really give your attention to one thing at a time and not be distracted to the e-mail and text messaging bells and beeps.
Take a walk outdoors. Even if it is just to the end of your driveway and back. Deep breaths of fresh air and a simple change of scenery can do wonders for our soul.
Find the enjoyment and creativity in all things. Appreciate the beauty of a freshly dusted shelf and add to it something seasonal. Enjoy the process of cooking a healthy meal and the beauty of the food we eat. Find ways to infuse creativity into work outside the home, even if the only way you can is by wearing a special necklace or setting a plant on your desk.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it helps bring to you a very beautiful and creative 2017. May it be your most creative year ever!
Welcome in joining me on day 5 of Make it a Creative New Year. If you have just joined me, you can find the previous days here. Day 1, Day 2,Day 3, and Day 4
Today we discuss when we lack motivation to create. You can read last year’s post on this HERE. Last year’s post gives some great suggestions of ways to re-inspire you and I’m going to recap them here plus add a few additional ways I’ve discovered.
Give your creative space a good cleaning or a face lift with a fresh coat of paint. Maybe new shelves or other organizational systems are needed.
Turn on some favorite tunes or listen to a podcast to give you company.
Watch a creative webinar or YouTube video.
Join a guild or a club (Like the Embroidery Bee) to have new regular inspiration.
Take a class at your local sewing or craft shop.
Try a new embroidery technique.
Try a new craft all together.
Buy a new magazine or visit the library and scour the latest crafting books.
Spend some time on Pinterest.
Share what you make on Facebook and Yahoo groups.
Invite a friend or two to come and sew/embroider with you.
Volunteer to make something for a worthy charity. I belong to a local group called Crafters with a Cause and my group quilts blankets for preemie babies. Others will make stuffed animals for children going through surgery, knitted caps, prayer shawls and a host of other needed and appreciated items that go to our local hospitals.
Make sure everything is right in your life, you’re eating well and getting plenty of sleep. Remember the good Lord took a day of rest and sometimes we just need to step back from things for a bit. Do what we did on day one of this series, we reflected. Reflect on what is going on in your life. You need the understanding of this so that you can make the necessary changes to move forward.
One final, yet probably best, suggestion when we lack motivation is to see all that is good and appreciate our blessings. If you find your lack of motivation is because there is something negative going on and you are sad, angry or upset, that must be addressed first. That can halt our creative motivation in its tracks. And to help aid in moving past these feelings, the very best thing we can do is to see the good, see beauty, see our blessings. It won’t change the sad or upsetting situation, but seeing beauty can sometimes lift our spirits enough to move forward again.
Tomorrow we will finish up the series. No matter where you are on your creative journey, I’m honored you are here with me.
Thank you for continuing on through this series with me.
Day 4 is about those Unfinished Projects. You can read the 2016 post on this HERE.
I love starting projects. I love the thrill and the excitement of planning and preparing. I love imagining the finished product.
Then sometimes I stall out. Sometimes there is a reason for this, and other times, I stall for no reason at all and find it so difficult to get back into the project and see it to the finish.
As I mentioned in last year’s post, take inventory of those unfinished projects. Be realistic on if you will finish them or not. It is ok to say yes, I will finish it, but just not now. If this is the case, put the project aside so it isn’t staring you in the face and giving you feelings of guilt for not having completed it. You have it written on your inventory list so you won’t completely forget it.
For projects you still want to complete, give them a target completion date. Look at the steps needed to complete the project and add those steps to your calendar. You will feel so good with the project is finished. Keep those good feelings in mind as you move forward.
Remember, our creative projects should make us happy and having unfinished projects can subconsciously create a lot of negativity. If forcing ourselves to finish a project isn’t making us happy, consider donating the unfinished project. There are other people who will be either happy to finish it, or to re-purpose the materials into something else for them. Look at donating as a chance to bless someone else with something that will make them happy. And for you, to have the project out of the house that you weren’t going to finish just lightens our spirit a bit not having it hang over our heads.
Let’s go back just a moment to the top of this post where I mention that I stall out. I know that happens to many of us. Take a look at your unfinished list of projects and really consider why it was that you didn’t finish it. Did you run out of supplies? Run out of time? Run into a problem with the project? Or did you become bored?
Knowing why you stall out on projects can direct you in your choice of creating moving forward. I personally like a project I can start and finish in an evening. I’ve only made a couple of quilts because they just take too long. But you know what? I’ve started and stalled on 3 of them. When I see a quilt I want to make, it is better for me to talk myself out of doing it before investing money and time in starting something that will sit there unfinished. And then I feel bad about that.
So think friends about what you start on this coming year so that ALL your creative time quality, treasured time.
Thank you for continuing to follow along in this 2017 series. You can catch up on the previous posts.
We are at Day 3 which is Schedule. You can find the 2016 post on this HERE.
You’ve penciled into your calendar some “happy me time” yesterday. Now let’s look at holidays and birthdays.
Make a list of all the holidays and events that you want to make something for. Be sure to include things such as teacher appreciation gifts, expectant mothers, upcoming weddings, and of course birthdays and Christmas and any other holiday you celebrate. On your list, include what you would like to make for each person.
Next schedule in some time a month or two prior to the event or holiday to begin making the project. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. This is particularly important for holidays such as Christmas when there are many gifts to give, or if you have several birthdays or other events occurring close together.
A real benefit of having this list is so you can be prepared. For instance, I always like to embroider a shirt for my husband’s birthday. It is on my list so I can watch the sales and when I find a shirt I like on sale, then I can get it.
Don’t stress out here. Remember, creativity is to be our happy time, our health improvement time, not a chore. Scheduling just helps in planning and I’m a planner. I know some of you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal so this might not work for you. Just use what ideas inspire you and discard the rest.
Tomorrow we are going to take a look at our UFO’s, those UnFinished Objects that we all have in our closets.
To catch up on your reading for this series, you can find:
I hope you will all take a peek at last year’s blog post because I feel like it really encompasses the planning we can do to help ourselves be the best we can be when it comes to making time for creativity. I also don’t want to repeat myself here, so if you go back to last year’s post, I promise it will give you lots of food for thought when it comes to creativity planning.
Take a moment friends and look at what you wrote down on your reflection list from Day 1. yesterday.
In particular, look at what you wrote down for “What made me happy?” and “What are my favorite memories?”
Take a calendar and add one or two items onto your calendar each month that you know will make you happy or create good memories. One such item on my calendar is to take a class every month. I love meeting people and getting out of the house. Even more, is I love to learn something new. One thing I want to learn to make this year are the rope coil bowls.
I know I could watch a YouTube video on it, but my local quilt shop offers this as a class and I just love to be with the ladies there. Other happy moments might be writing the dates of your quilt or sewing guild onto the calendar. Maybe it is marking a date of quiet time just for YOU once a month where you can be alone with your embroidery machine and not be disturbed. -That also makes me VERY happy. 🙂
Another thing that makes me happy is beautiful food and good cooking. When I find the time to be creative in the kitchen I’m in my happy place. For me personally, there is nothing better than giving food gifts pared with a bit of embroidery.
Anyway, take some time now to do some planning. These plans don’t have to be set in stone, but you will find them useful as guidelines throughout the year.
Remember friends, like I said yesterday….Creativity is good for our health. It is good for our soul and it absolutely MUST be a form of creativity that feeds us and fuels us in a good positive way.
Last year, I did a blog series titled, “A New Year, A Creative New You”. I’m going to revisit as well as update it a bit in hopes that we may inspire each other to use our creative talents throughout 2017.
So much happens in those 365 days that have just flown by. (Side note: This year, one of my resolutions is to spend time at the end of each month to document all the good things that happen throughout the month.) For now though, sit down with pen and paper and take time to really reflect back over the course of 2016. Here are some questions to ponder.
What worked well in my life during 2016?
What were lessons learned?
What made me happy?
What did I accomplish?
What are my favorite memories?
Then think of the opposite because these are the things that we don’t want to repeat. It is surprising how often we can repeat the negative in our lives.
What didn’t work well in my life during 2016?
What kept me from being happy?
What is left unfinished?
You can think about all the above questions in a general context, but for the purposes here, look at it in the context of your creative time and projects.
As you write your answers. Focus on the positive, the accomplishments, the favorite memories you had from using your creativity. Did you start a new hobby or find a style of embroidery you just love doing? Did you create some meaningful gifts for family and friends? These are the things worth repeating and these are the things that we need to build into our lives.
Keep your pen and paper handy throughout the day and even week and add to it as I’m sure things will pop up into your thoughts about this past year.
Reflection and appreciation of all the good in our lives is imperative. The more I’ve read about this, the more I realize just how much this affects our health and also how being creative in ways that make us happy benefit our health by lowering our stress and anxiety which keeps our blood pressure down, it keeps our mental health in tip-top shape, and it also keeps our hormones in balance so that all our body systems work efficiently.
So in order to keep us happy and healthy, lets be creative in a really great way during 2017!!
You may have read on other blogs where people pick a word or focus for the upcoming year. I too have done this for several years now. I will ask God and pray about if there is something He would like me to focus on for the upcoming year. Some years a word or short phrase has been placed on my heart that I feel will have meaning and that God will use in my life in some way..
In 2013 my word was “Shine”. You can read more about it here, and here, and again here. 2013 was the year we moved to Michigan.
In 2014 my short phrase was “Forward Strong” and I wrote several blog posts about it here, and here and finally here. 2014 was the year I began Embroidery It.
Then in 2015 no words or phrases came to me other than I have felt like “Shine” is more what I would call a life word. It is a word I try to use to keep my internal compass pointing North. Friends, I always pray that others see a tiny piece of Jesus through me or that I am reflecting God’s love. I hope you see that in some way you see that through my writing, photography, or embroidery designs.
2016 had a word that I never blogged about, though had written in my journal and that word was “Serve.” When life threw choices at me, “serve” was a word I thought about and would try to choose the choice that would allow me to serve and ultimately “shine” for others.
Earlier this month I had been thinking and praying if God had a something he would like me to focus on and what came to me was “Trust”. Trust is something I have a hard time with. Like many of us, I like to be in control of what happens to me and around me.
On December 10th, I wrote in my journal how I was feeling discouraged about some things and “trust” was placed on my heart. The more I thought about it, the more it impressed upon me that this is what I should focus on during 2017. Some of the things I wrote at that time in my journal were:
When I am afraid – Trust
In reaching my goals – Trust
Handbell Choir – Trust (we lost our director before Christmas yet we managed to come together without a director and play at the Christmas Eve service)
Trust is only 5 letters long but it is a really big bold word. It is a word that when contemplating upon it brings me peace, joy and comfort.
Then on December 18th, mom called me early in the morning. She was having a heart attack. I didn’t know it at the time. In fact, I thought it was pneumonia. I drove to her apartment in the senior living complex and took her to the emergency room. Things went from crazy to worse and the doctor didn’t expect her to make it. Trust. In 12 hours things started to turn around. And then 24 hours things were even better. Trust. Mom spent 4 days in ICU and has spent another week in rehab. She gets released tomorrow back to her apartment and I’m setting up any nursing care she needs. She is walking with a walker and is week, but she is good. God is great. Trust.
Trust is a concept I have difficulty with. It is something I need to practice and I am sure that God will give me circumstances in my life this year that are going to challenge me with this.
Trust in the Lord ALWAYS
be creative daily and live life beautifully
PS Friends, if you choose a word or phrase to focus on in the year, I’d love to hear what your word is.
I’m just beyond excited to tell you about Embroidery Its new membership program called the Embroidery Bee.
Each month, members will receive a full alphabet set, a candy holder and a newsletter that showcases these designs. These designs are offered at the price of only $5.00 a month and available to Embroidery Bee members exclusively for the first month. After that, they will be released to the public at full price.
This link HERE gives a full description of the club and how it works.
To get members started, a free bonus design is available immediately.
Homemade cookies hot out of Grandma’s oven and piped with icing. That is what these in the hoop candy cane sliders look like. Frosted Christmas Cookies is a fun in the hoop project to make on your embroidery machine using your 4 x 4 hoop. You will take you Christmas decorating and gift giving up a notch. Best part of all, you make 3 in one hooping!
I just want to show off some fun ways to use and display these. I added a bow with pink string, just because I could! 🙂
Today I have been finishing up the stitching of all 50 coasters and ornaments! 46 are currently in the Etsy and Zibbet shops and the final 4 will be available by Sunday. I’m just thrilled with how they have turned out and Friends, I have appreciated your support with them. For those of you who have waited for these last ones, thank you so much for your patience. Thanksgiving slowed me down a bit with Mike’s parents here and then all the activities.
As we get to the end of the year, I’ve been spending some time fine tuning some of the plans I have for Embroidery It and I wanted to share them with you so you will know what to expect.
First off, coming January 1st will be an embroidery membership program. It will be only $5.00 a month and each month you will receive a complete alphabet set as well as some type of a candy holder. These will be at a substantial savings to the regular price and members will receive these designs a full month before they are released at full price to the general public. More details on that soon.
Next will be the launch of the store on the Embroidery It website. Embroidery It will remain on Etsy and Zibbet, but will also have a store right here so you don’t have to leave. I’m going to get the membership sight up and running first.
You know, I shouldn’t be scared, but I am. You are all such sweet and supportive people and I feel beyond blessed that you are here. I think the biggest thing I’m scared of is that even though I’ve hired someone to help me with this website stuff, that it won’t run quite right. I’m just going to tell you all right now, that if any snafus come up, I hope you know I WILL make it 100% right. I hope you all know my character by now. This is not something I will take lightly.
Thank you for being on this journey with me and for your continued support. It means more to me than you can ever imagine.