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.
Candy canes just speak Christmas with their beautiful red and white stripes. They are such a fun addition on the tree where children can come and pluck one each day. They adorn packages beautifully and go great with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
These are a fun in the hoop machine embroidery project. All designs are made in your 4 x 4 hoop.
Here are just a few ways to add just a touch to those candy canes that boost their gift giving presentation.
Ho Ho Ho Candy Cane Sliders are designed to make 3 in one hooping to get your gifts done three times as fast.
The Candy Cane Bow looks beautiful done in felt, or here you see it made with glitter vinyl.
Two candy canes create a lovely heart in this Merry Christmas Sweetheart design.
Have fun with these projects. It is a busy season for sure, but these projects are all quick and easy, stitching up in just a few minutes. They create that added special touch that makes them great for coworkers, classmates, neighbors and more. Add one to your plate of cookies or homemade candy. They are sure to bring a smile.
You’ve heard me say before it is my favorite season…..Craft show season!
I’ve been fortunate to attend several already this fall and some trends have started to emerge.
First off, I’ve seen more people in attendance. Now that could be due to the fact that our Michigan weather has not plummeted and we have yet to see snow. 🙂
What I’m seeing more of:
Hand lettered/painted wooden signs – these are signs that have a phrase and are painted on wood. I’m also seeing some done with vinyl decal lettering.
Crochet. Lots more crochet this year. Especially baby beanies and head wraps that cover your ears.
More handmade purses than in the past.
Items made with essential oils like lotions, soap, lip balm, bath fizzies etc.
Terrariums using air plants and succulents.
String art – Where the string goes around nails and creates a picture
Items made with narrow rope or twine. Things like twine wrapped bottles and pictures made with rope glued to boards to spell out words or shapes
What I’m seeing less of:
Jewelry. Jewelry is still there, but fewer booths. It could be that the craft show organizers are limiting the number of jewelry booths too.
American Girl or Doll Clothes
Machine Embroidery at the craft shows
Christmas ornaments – some of which are Free standing lace
Lots of bath towels. Some with decorative stitching around the edge and some hooded bath towels with figurines on the hooded part of the towel like a dog, cat, Disney character etc.
Feltie hair clips and bows
Biggest surprise I’ve noticed
The biggest surprise is that I saw several YOUNG entrepreneurs selling their wares. They all had a story as to why they were selling. This is Julia. She has worked on these crochet items all year and is saving up to buy a food truck! Friends, she was crushing it! Her grandmother was with her but sitting back behind the items. Julia was right out front, smiling and talking to the customers. No one could pass her booth without getting something. I bought a coffee cozy from her. Another young boy was selling and the proceeds went to a cancer fund as his grandpa passed away from cancer. Other children had made items and were selling them alongside their mom to earn a little spending money. This was a great thing to see. It is good to teach these children about money and business at an early age.
Most unusual item
The most unusual item I ran across combined fabric and cement. Yes CEMENT! Knitted and crochet items were dipped into cement and then shaped into these planters. What you don’t see in the photo are some planters with more succulents in them. Succulents were VERY popular. The planters you see below were not that heavy because I’m guessing most of the cement was squeezed out of them leaving just enough that they would hold their shape.
Well I hope you enjoyed virtually coming along to some of my local craft shows.
Warm up your embroidery machine and get ready for Christmas and for selling at craft shows by making these state coasters and ornaments.
5 designs currently released and each design can be made into either a coaster or an ornament.
They are stitched on felt using your 4 x 4 hoop. Instructions are given so you can place the heart anywhere in the design using ANY machine. You don’t need special software or machine that positions. It can be done on ANY machine.
Here is a fun in-the-hoop embroidery project for your 5 x 7 machine embroidery hoop.
Make these sweet candy bar wrappers, stitched on felt, to go around a full size Hershey candy bar. Set one at each place setting on your Thanksgiving table, or make a basket full to hand out. Also great for classroom gifts.
They stitch up quickly and easily and instructions are included.
You can find the Thanksgiving Candy Bar Wrappers in the Embroidery It Etsy shop and Zibbet shop.
You know the nurse in me just goes into full on medical mode when people reach out to me for embroidery assistance that meets a medical need they have. Our loved ones who require special feeding needs have a place in my heart. I have always asked God to use this business to be a blessing to others and I’m grateful to be able to offer these feeding pads.
My latest is the Christmas Tree feeding pad. Note that the stitching of the bulbs, star and base of tree are done only on the top and do not go through to the back layer. There is also light stitching done to help prevent any irritation to the feeding tube site.
This design is done in your 4 x 4 hoop and instructions are included.
Here are a few additional tips for making the feeding tube pads.
Use all cotton fabric and absorbent batting. I use cotton flannel as my absorbent batting and for the backing and then a decorative cotton on top.
Wash and dry all the fabrics before embroidering to prevent future shrinking.
Use more than one absorbent layer if necessary.
Use cotton thread to embroider if polyester is irritating.
Use a wash-away stabilizer or clean tear-away stabilizer
Use plastic snaps for comfort rather than velcro
Now you can stitch up a stack of these sweet Christmas trees to get ready for the Christmas season.
You can find the Christmas tree feeding tube pad on Zibbet and on Etsy.
It is a beautiful crisp morning and I’m lovin’ every minute of it. I’m wrapped up in my big fluffy pink robe with my coffee and just enjoying the quiet time before getting ready for church. Just thinking of all I have to be thankful for.
Being real here…Some days being the single owner, one who does it all, of Embroidery It is incredibly rewarding. Always having had the dream of having my own business and then seeing it come to reality is a dream come true. Then there are other parts of the business I just haven’t got a clue with.
Friends, it is time in my business that I look at getting a little help with this website. Not permanent help, but someone to get it going in the direction that aligns with my vision. Someone who I can call upon when I’m baffled with search engine optimization or when I get an error page. Up to this point, I’ve done everything myself.
Friends, it is because of YOU that I am now able to move forward a bit more. I’m just beyond thankful for each and every one of you.
If you read my newsletter you will know that Embroidery It is planning a monthly club in which for a nominal fee you will get brand new, fresh and fun designs. This will begin January 2017. Stay tuned for more information.
Please be sure to grab the tag letter D. It will be replaced on Wednesday with the letter E so you have a few days yet to get it. Offering a free design each week is my way of saying “Thank You for being a part of my journey and for your support.” I’m so grateful for each of you. Just be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the home page to grab the free design of the week.
For you Saturday stitching pleasure I want to show off the Fall Candy Holder set made in your 4 x 4 machine embroidery hoop. Candy holders make super quick and easy gifts and are a great way to add simple decorative touches to your home.
Three designs included: Maple leaf, Apple and Pumpkin.
These are stitched with felt and clear vinyl is used for the window. You can also use glitter fabric or vinyl or other non-fraying fabric. Step-by-step instructions with lots of photos included.
Fall candy Holder set can be found here on Etsy and here on Zibbet.