Pilgrimage to Israel

Pilgrimage to Israel

Jerusalem – the old city

Dear Friends,

My husband and I were blessed to have the opportunity to join 43 others in our church family to go and experience the Holy lands of Israel.  We saw where Jesus was born, lived and died.  It was truly a trip of a lifetime and we all came back changed.  It was an honor to carry your prayers with me, and each day as we celebrated mass they were placed at the foot of the alter and prayed for.  I was humbled at all you experience and the prayer requests you sent.  Know that although on the last day, we left all the prayers there in Israel for future pilgrims and visitors to pray over.  You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

I hope you enjoy this photo montage of my experience and time in Israel.

Beautiful paintings in the churches.  Here in the city of Bethlehem.  I think I’ve seen this one turned into a Christmas card.

Homes of the wealthy

Homes of the poor

Church of the Holy Sepulchre built over Calvery.  This was the most moving and memorable place for me on our trip.

Morning sunrise coming up over the Sea of Galilee.  It was sunny every day of our trip with temperatures in the 80’s.

On a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the city of Capernaum.

Synagogue ruins in the city of Magdela where Mary Magdeline is from.   These were discovered in 2007 under 2 feet of dirt.  This was just opened to the public 2 months ago and they are some of the best preserved ruins.  This the the tile floor of the synagogue and they are 99% certain Jesus taught right here.

King David’s 23rd Psalm – Valley of the Shadow of Death.  The sun never reaches areas of it.  Thieves would hide in the shadows yet travelers wanted to take the trails their to be out of the heat of the sun.

We were fed well.  Buffet breakfast and dinner.  Note:  I was expecting to eat a lot of beans.  I wasn’t sure what we would get to eat.  We had seafood with every meal.  Always hummus and bread.  Stuffed grape leaves with supper.  Always amazing desserts.

Streets of Old Jerusalem

This is also in Old Jerusalem and it is open to air.  It is more modern, yet it is just an open shop and we just walked right by.  We could touch the meat hanging there as we walked along the cobblestone streets.  🙁

More beautiful paintings

In Cana.  We had just finished renewing our wedding vows.  We wore the ear pieces in each church so our guide could speak quietly and we could all hear what was being said.

Delivering coffee and tea to the merchants.

Spices for sale

We spent an hour of prayer at a church here at the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was from 9 to 10 pm.  Like Peter, I could not stay awake.  Some of these olive trees are over 2000 years old.  I imagine they would have been quite young and small when Jesus prayed here.

Jordan river.  People were getting baptized here.  Behind us is a rope with buoys.  The other side of the rope is the country Jordan.  Signs all around stated do NOT cross the rope or you may get shot!  If you look past all that has been added by man, you could just imagine Jesus getting baptized by John among the reeds.

One cannot see these things and remain unchanged.  I think about this trip every day since my return and how it has brought the Bible to life.  One of the greatest things to see was the strength of the Christian faith and the community of believers from every country around the globe.

Much love to you all,


Kombucha Machine Embroidery Designs

Kombucha Machine Embroidery Designs

Kombucha machine embroidery designs

Dear Friends,

If you recall, from this post HERE, I’ve been learning how to make Kombucha.  It has become a summer project for me to learn about and follow the process and you can google kombucha to learn more about it.  Essentially, it is fermented tea that is very low in alcohol, yet plentiful in probiotics and B vitamins and is said to be very healthy for us.

I’ve created a design set for all you kombucha lovers.  These are great stitched on a koozie to go around the kombucha bottle or stitched on a t-shirt or apron.  For anyone who enjoys kombucha, stitch up some related items, add a bottle or two and it makes a great gift basket.

Yes, I’ve gone a little overboard trying different fruit flavors.

And because this is a process that can change with each batch, kombucha brewers keep a notebook of all the details for each batch.  This design can be used to decorate the brewer’s notebook.

Machine Embroidery Kombucha brewing design

There are 3 designs total in the set and all fit in your 4 x 4 hoop.

machine embroidery kombucha design

Kombucha machine embroidery designs

Kombucha tea brewing machine embroidery designs

Kombucha embroidery designs can be found Here in Etsy and Here in Zibbet.

And if you haven’t tried Kombucha yet, grab a bottle at your local grocery store, it is located in with the refrigerated produce. Let me know what you think as I think blueberry is wonderful!

Make it a great day,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Update on Trust

Update on Trust

Machine Embroidered Sleeve Cuff

Dear Friends,

My word of the year for 2017 is TRUST.  Friends, let me tell you that rarely has a day gone by when I haven’t said that word in my head again and again.  God is good – always.  And He is in control – always.

You may recall, mom had a heart attack just before Christmas.  Let me report she is doing wonderful.  We’ve just finished up 3 months of cardiac rehab and she really has her energy and strength back to where she was at before the heart attack. – Trust.

I do see her getting a bit more forgetful with time and repeating herself as I hear the same news again and again many days in a row. – Trust.

Something I haven’t shared with any of you is in early April our oldest daughter who finished her 4 years in the Air Force had a house that she was trying to sell.  It had been under contract twice and both times fell through.  The third time it was under contract, one week before closing it was broken into by gang members and vandalized.  Everything was broken, painted, torn up, smashed.  This was back in April.  I know this is all just physical “stuff”, but it was one of the most heart breaking things I’ve ever had to deal with.  I think it was so hard because it just made no sense whatsoever.  I’ve dealt with mom’s heart attack and dad living with cancer and some of that I explain to myself by saying it is a part of life.  But when someone blatantly does something malicious, you are just left feeling numb. – Trust.  Let me tell you, by the grace of God, the house did close.  For weeks after, I kept thinking that something would still come back to haunt us with that house.  Thankfully now, most days pass and it is a slowly fading memory.

When events such as these happen in our lives, and I know life changing events happen to all of us, it reshapes it.  It changes our perspective and our goals.  I know it has not only affected me, but it has affected Embroidery It.  Goals and plans have been adjusted and changed as needed.

These have been just a couple of examples how “trust” has been placed on my heart.  Seriously though, there has hardly been a day that has passed when I haven’t thought, “just trust Nancy, just trust.”

With everything going on, disarray has settled in.  Many things need to be finished.  I turn my head I see something that requires a phone call to be made, an e-mail to send, or steps to take to finish the task.  When you see that all the time, your mind can’t relax, and you don’t feel peace.  I have said my focus in July is to “complete”.  Finish all the little things yet to be done.  I’ve been keeping a running to-do list that grows as I see things that need to be done.  It helps though to get everything on paper and it even helps me by writing here and getting thoughts and feelings out of my head.  I’ve come to realize my word for, if not just July, the last half of the year should be “complete”.

Word of the year complete trust

What’s an embroiderer to do but that to my shirt cuff.  The soft denim shirt I wear every day like an apron.  As “complete” was stitching I realized how beautifully it goes with the word “trust”.  “Complete Trust.”  Amen.

I have complete trust; to finish the tasks at hand, for my family, for my mom, for my health, for Embroidery It, and the list goes on.

Have you kept your word of the year top of mind? Has it had meaning in your life?  I’d love to for you to share in the comments and hear your story.

Previous blog posts about Trust this year may be read HERE and also HERE.

Wishing you all many blessings,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Update on Word of the Year – Trust

Update on Word of the Year – Trust


Machine Embroidered Sleeve CuffMichigan was hit with a huge wind storm on Wednesday leaving hundreds of thousands without power.  We were one of them.  No electricity, not internet or cell phone service.  Thankfully as soon as hubby got home he was able to connect a small generator we have to run enough electricity for the refrigerator, deep freeze and well pump so we could have water. . We had a couple of large trees fall, one hitting our daughter’s boyfriend’s car.  We will take care of that.  Trust.  Now I’m a country mouse through and through, but little hiccups like these throw me for a loop.  Trust.

Trust Word of the Year

Friends, since I chose the word “Trust” at the end of last year, that word has come into my mind every single day.  I don’t understand why that one simple action of trust is so hard for me.  I think about it and pray.  Alot.  You can read my initial blog post on trust HERE.

I think and pray about the littlest of things.  I try a new recipe and I hope it turns out and is not a waste of time and money.  I’ve misplaced my car keys.  My weight.  Trust.

I think and pray about the bigger things. Hubby’s job.  Embroidery It.  Three college age children.  My mom.  Trust.

And I think and pray about the biggest of things.  Natural disasters.  ISIS.  Drug trafficking.  Trust.

I hear so many people say, “God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle.”  Sometimes I think the truth is ‘we handle what God gives us.’

But lately, as I spent time thinking about trust, I’ve had a new perspective about it.

God is so great and he loves us so much, that perhaps we need to trust that when we come through our problems and issues, we will, in some way, become greater or better.  God loves each one of us so greatly that he can use the simplest of our problems for His good to improve our lives.

So now as I think of my problems and I think of ‘Trust’, I wonder and think about how I will grow?  How will my life become better as I come out on the other side?  How is God using this situation in my life?  I’m no longer going to just Trust I get through the situation.  I’m going to Trust God has something in store for me that is good and wonderful as I get through to the other side of this problem or situation.

I hope you can see my thought process and understand the feelings I’m trying to convey here about Trust. And I trust that these words have in some way been a blessing to you.

With much love,


2017 Word of the Year – Trust

2017 Word of the Year – Trust

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)
  • My children’s lives – Trust
  • My business – Trust
  • God’s word – Trust
  • Embroidery Bee membership – Trust

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.

AQS Show Grand Rapids 2016

AQS Show Grand Rapids 2016

Embroidery It AQS 1

Embroidery It AQS 12Dear Friends,

On Saturday I was so happy to get a chance to take mom to the AQS show here in Grand Rapids.  Mom has been a quilter for over 30 years and I think some of the quilts she has made rivals many of what we saw.  Friends, I wish I could have gathered you all here with me.  What a fun day it would have been for us all to be together to see all the hundreds of quilts and to shop at all the vendors.  Even the vendors booths were loaded with quilts and inspirational goodies.

Just sit back get a cup of coffee and enjoy scrolling through the photos.  There were literally hundreds and hundreds of quilts and so here are different ones that spoke to me in different ways.

Finally, HERE is my post from my last year’s visit to the AQS show if you’d like even more quilty goodness.

be creative daily everyone,

Nancy ~ Here we go!

Embroidery It AQS 2Embroidery It AQS 3Embroidery It AQS 4Embroidery It AQS 5Embroidery It AQS 6Embroidery It AQS 7Embroidery It AQS 8Embroidery It AQS 9Embroidery It AQS 10Embroidery It AQS 11Embroidery It AQS 13Embroidery It AQS 14Embroidery It AQS 15Embroidery It AQS 16Embroidery It AQS 17Embroidery It AQS 18Embroidery It AQS 19Embroidery It AQS 20Embroidery It AQS 21Embroidery It AQS 22Embroidery It AQS 23Embroidery It AQS 24Embroidery It AQS 25Embroidery It AQS 26Embroidery It AQS 27Embroidery It AQS 28Embroidery It AQS 29Embroidery It AQS 30Embroidery It AQS 31Embroidery It AQS 32

Start of the CPAP Machine – Healthy Living Series

Start of the CPAP Machine – Healthy Living Series

Dear Friends,

I finally received my CPAP machine a week ago.  It seems like a long time in getting here and it has been months since my atrial fibrillation episode.

Perhaps I’m giving this machine too much credit but I have hopes it will solve many of my problems.  I still have the very rare occasion of what I call my heart popping, which I know are PVC’s and my heart skips a beat.  I’m hoping this machine will completely eliminate this.  Of course I hope it eliminates my sleep apnea.  It was recorded I would have 33 episodes an hour which seems insane to me.  Normal is less than 5.  After one week of use, each day it has recorded 2 or less episodes per hour!  I’m hoping that with improved sleep my blood pressure will improve and that I will have improved weight loss because of having more energy during the day.

So speaking of weight loss.  I’m exactly where I was when I started.  I went on vacation for two weeks and it put me right back at ground zero.  Sigh.  Since Katie has moved back home she has literally twisted my arm to go to the gym.  I’ve whined like a little child about going, but I’ve gone four times this past week.  I’m not overdoing it because of fear of my heart, but I’m at least moving my body.  I’m walking just under two miles on the treadmill at 3.5 miles an hour and doing a few strength exercises.  Today at the gym I was lucky enough to see a full length side view of me. (not)  It is down right disgusting and depressing.  Why is it that I have wanted to lose weight for so long that I’m not willing to fight tooth and nail for it?  I just don’t understand myself.  I try.  I keep on trying.  I will not stop trying.

Today is a new day.  Every minute is a new minute.  Every minute is a chance to make a decision to move forward, or backward.  Here is to moving forward with good health.

Wishing all of you the best of health today.


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Clean Eating and My Definition of It

Clean Eating and My Definition of It

Embroidery It Healthy Living Series 3Down 4 pounds!

Dear Friends,

One thing I’m trying hard to do with healthy living is clean eating.  But wow, there are so many different ideas as to what clean eating is.  Some say no wheat or grain, some say no dairy, some say no meat.  Makes my head spin.  There are more books on clean eating than you can shake a stick at.

One thing I’ve learned in my life is that most everything should be in moderation.  Any time we swing the pendulum to one extreme or the other we are usually asking for problems.  Of course there are exceptions to this.

My definition of clean eating is that if it came from God, then it is good for me.  I’m all about fruits and vegetables and trying to get more of them in my diet and to make them the majority of what is on my plate.  I’m also for meat and dairy products.  Finally I am for healthy carbohydrates but in moderation.  No more of the food pyramid where we have been encouraged to eat 6 to 11 servings of grains.  I’m personally limiting myself to one serving of a healthy carbohydrate a day.  I’m also ok with healthy fats and oils but again sparingly or in moderation.

I’m also ok with one cup of coffee a day and stevia as a sweetener in it.  Limiting myself to 1 cup, not 1/2 pot due to the atrial fibrillation.  Yep, that was me.

I’m ok if my food is not organic.  Costco sells quite a bit of organic fruits and vegetables and many times all they offer of a certain food is organic which is fine.  I’m just not going out of my way to buy only organic or free range or all those other ‘supposed to be good for me’ foods at twice the price.

What I’m not ok with is sweets.  This is an addiction of mine.  I’m telling myself I can have one desert a week.  Not one after every meal which I had been having.  And if that one a week fires up my sweet tooth, I may have to consider eliminating it completely.

I’m not ok with processed or pre-made food with the exception of condiments.  I’m not going to the trouble to make my own ketchup, mayonnaise, or barbeque sauce as an example.  I am, however, making my own Thousand Island salad dressing.  Recipe below as it is easy peasy.  I’m also personally ok with milk, yogurt, cheese and butter in moderation.

I’m not ok with deep fried anything.  I love French fries so this is another tough one.  Boy-oh-boy my eating habits were just out of control.

I think we all need to look at what works best for our own bodies and take that into account when deciding what we will or won’t put on our plate.

And here is my Country Style Thousand Island Recipe I told you about.  Just click on the picture to enlarge and then print it out to add to your recipe box.

Thousand Island DressingMake healthy choices friends.


be creative daily and live life beautifully



Live Life Beautifully – Healthy Living Series

Live Life Beautifully – Healthy Living Series

Dear Friends,

It has been quite some time since I have updated you on my health.  When it comes to doctors, sometimes it can be a very slow process.  As you recall, a few months ago, February 10th, I went to the ER and my heart was in atrial fibrillation.  They shocked my heart to get it back in a normal rhythm.  You can read about it HERE if you are interested.  I think/hope that things are finally coming to a conclusion here.

Since that time I had an echocardiogram and a stress test.  Both of which came back normal.  Thank you Jesus for that.  In fact the cardiologist says my heart is fine.  I still on occasion feel my heart ‘pop’ which I know to be a PVC because I watched it on an EKG so I know what that feeling is related to.  The doctor is not concerned about the ‘popping’ and it has been occurring less and less.  Again, thank you precious Jesus.

What I have been tested for lately is sleep apnea.  I go in for another sleep study on the 26th of this month and they are going to fit me for a CPAP machine.  Over 50% of people who have atrial fibrillation have sleep apnea and I am one of them.  I’m actually looking forward to getting the machine because having the atrial fibrillation was so scary and I NEVER want to go through that again.  I’m just praying now that the CPAP machine will forever solve the problem.

Friends.  I heard this phrase and it has truly struck a chord with me.  “We are not living longer, we are dying longer.”  I am not in bad health, but I’m certainly not in excellent health either.  I haven’t been to the gym since this heart episode and I still eat some foods that are unhealthy and you know I struggle with my weight.  I’m at the point I would love to lose 30 pounds.  You may remember reading in the past I wanted to lose 25 pounds.  Now look at me.

Since hearing that phrase, “we are not living longer, we are dying longer,” I have had a change of mindset.  I will be posting here at least weekly about my journey to better health.  My posting here is not to bore you, as is a form of accountability for me.  I also hope I may serve as an inspiration to some of you.

I finish off most of my blog posts with “be creative daily and live life beautifully.”  Well, caring for ourselves with healthy habits is most certainly one way to live life beautifully.  If you are on a journey of improving your health, I’d love to hear your story.

I raise my water glass with a toast, “Here’s to living longer.”



be creative daily and live life beautifully


Morning at the Gym – Afternoon in the ER

Dear Friends,

What a day yesterday.  A day that started at the gym and then ended in the ER.

Let me back up by letting those of you who don’t know, I have about 30 extra pounds stuck on me like glue.  Most of which is around my middle which is supposed to be the worst place to carry the extra weight.  I’ve tried a number of different plans to get those stubborn pounds off.  Truth be told, I just like eating.  Plain and simple.

For the last year and a half I’ve been going to the gym 4 to 5 times a week. (Yeah me!)  And I really work out there.  Let it be known I HATE exercise but I know it is important for me and honestly I do feel younger and better each time I go.  I have been working with a trainer and have been going to some of their classes.  (Still not losing weight but I know my health is improving)  Anyway, yesterday I was doing a strength/cardio class and about 20 minutes into the 45 minute class I didn’t feel well.  I’m thinking, don’t throw up and don’t pass out.  I just took it easy the rest of the time and finished off with some stretches.

I came straight home and had lunch thinking my blood sugar was low, hopped in the shower and still didn’t feel well.  I have an automatic blood pressure machine from Walgreens.  (I just went to their website so I could share with you which one I have but they don’t carry that one any longer.  It was around $50)  The machine tells me my blood pressure, heart rate, and usually says I have prehypertension. (I take blood pressure medication)  This time it also said, “an irregular heart rate has been noted.”  It also said my blood pressure and heart rate were both high.  I waited about 5 minutes and took it again.  Same thing.  I still wasn’t feeling well, and just feeling like something wasn’t right.

It was nagging me just enough to give my doctor a call and they said to come on in.  While there they ran an EKG and it showed my heart was in atrial fibrillation.  A Fib for short.  And that I needed to go to the emergency room.  Seriously?  I’m 51 years old.  This isn’t supposed to be happening.  I wasn’t feeling like myself, but I wasn’t feeling THAT bad.  No pain, no dizziness, I just felt like if my body had gears, that the gears weren’t lining up right.  I did drive myself home and Mike came home to get me and take me into the city.

In the emergency room, it still showed I was in A Fib and my blood pressure was up and heart rate was 148.  They started an IV and gave me some IV medication to slow my heart rate which also brought my blood pressure down.  The rhythm of the heart remained abnormal, fluttery like, and didn’t want to straighten itself out.  To correct this, they put me to sleep for about 3 minutes and shocked my heart, called a cardio version.  It worked like magic and my heart resumed beating in a normal rhythm.  I was released and told I could resume all activities but to use moderation.  I’m to take an aspirin daily and the cardiologist they consulted with should contact me today to follow up.

This morning I feel fine, but I’m scared.  I’m just scared that I might do something that will set the A Fib off again and I don’t want to have to deal with all that again.  I keep checking my pulse to see if the rhythm is normal.  I’m not going to the gym today, but if it isn’t insanely cold out I would like to take a walk after the cardiologist calls.

It was a crazy day yesterday for sure.  The doctors and nurses were glad I came in when I did as some people wait longer and then they cannot always do the cardio version which is considered the simple fix.  Today I feel just fine.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t go to the gym any more.  Ha!  Seriously friends, I share this both as documentation for me as well as to encourage each of you to listen to your bodies and don’t put off things when you know deep down something isn’t right.  Get it checked out.  I care about you all and you are loved…by me!

Here’s to a healthy day.


be creative daily and live life beautifully


A New Year, A Creative New You January Reflection

Embroidery It A Creative New YouDear Friends,

We are already through January.  1/12 of the way through the year!  At the end of each month it is a good time to look back and to reflect.  I hope in your reflection time you find you have made progress towards some of your creative goals.

Looking back at my schedule of creative plans is something I enjoy doing.  It lets me see how far I’ve come and what I still need to do.

Take a moment to reflect back as well as to look forward.  What worked for you last month?  What didn’t?  Did you enjoy your creative time?  Use that knowledge in moving forward.  What creative plans do you have for this month?  How will they be fit into your calendar?  How will you most enjoy your creative time?

For me, two things that really worked were scheduling creative time on the calendar and daily journaling.  I journaled 23 out of 31 days and it became a great way to process thoughts which in turn helped my productivity immensely.  Because of such good results, you better believe I plan to continue scheduling and journaling.

Here are some of the creative things I made during January.

Embroidery It Mike's Birthday 1Embroidery It Mike's Birthday 2I embroidered two shirts for Mike’s birthday.  Both designs came from Designs by Sick.

Embroidery It Valentine's Day 2016A Valentine Treat Bag for Emily with her sorority letters.  My own creation.

Embroidery It Quilt Shop 1

I have also found a new quilt shop here in Grand Rapids!!!!!  Yippee!!!!  It was total eye candy.  I am hoping to take a class that will be in April which will be a lot of fun.

Another thing I did here in January which relates to creativity is I joined a local group of business women entrepreneurs that meet monthly.  It’s nice to get out of the house and share ideas with others in person.  It’s easy for me to stay at home–too much so  I need to make a real point of getting out of the house more.  I came home from the January meeting fresh and inspired and look forward to our next meeting.

If you would like to look back and refresh yourself on any of the A New Year, A Creative New You posts, you can find them here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

For now friends,  Happy Embroidering,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Happy Thanksgiving

Bottle Apron 1

Dear Friends,

This year for Thanksgiving we are getting to spend it with my brother and his family, my mother and two of our three children.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Big things, little things, there is goodness and so many blessings all around if we just open our eyes to see it.

Today I’d like to share with you my list of top 10 things I’m thankful for.

10.  Living in the Midwest.  This is home to me and I am so thankful that my husband’s job has brought us back to the Midwest where life is just a little slower, a little less flashy and beauty that takes my breath away.

9.  Our military and emergency personnel who keep us safe and who give so much of themselves to all in need.

8.  My health.  Any issues I have I am able to live and deal with but generally speaking I am in good health and for that I am truly thankful.

7.  Our home, car, hot water, food on the table and all the many tangible blessings and that includes my embroidery machine.

Embroidery It Bottle Apron 2

6.   My ability to create in all areas of my life.  Machine embroidery, crafts, cooking and decorating our home are all ways I can express my creativity and I’m thankful to be able to do so.

5.  My business Embroidery It. Let me share that I have wanted my own business for years. Seriously years! The closest I ever came to having my own business before Embroidery It was I belonged to a party plan company for three years. Even though I could schedule my own hours, it was still their business and not truly my own. I longed for my own creative business and I was so scared when I took the leap and went forward with Embroidery It. It may be small, but it is 100% mine and I’m thankful for it each and every day.

4.  I’m thankful for YOU. Oh my goodness you are some wonderful people.  And dear friends, you are helping me with #7. #6 and #5 on my list so “thank you so much.”

3.  Our extended families and our church family.

2.  My husband and children and our little old beagle.

1. I am so thankful that Jesus died on the cross for all believers and that he forgives all our weaknesses so that we may have everlasting life with Him.

Embroidery It Bottle Apron 3

Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving today.



ps.  In-the-hoop embroidery design is from Embroidery Library

Michigan Embroiderers Fall Fest

Dear Friends,

This past Saturday I drove over to the East side of the state to teach a class for the Michigan Embroiderers Fall Fest.  My class was about embroidery on jeans and I will be writing a blog post about that within the next few days.

For now though, enjoy a few pictures of the day and may it inspire you to create something.


Be Creative Daily and Live Life Beautifully

Embroidery It Fall Fest 1Embroidery It Fall Fest 2Embroidery It Fall Fest 3Embroidery It Fall Fest 4Embroidery It Fall Fest 5Embroidery It Fall Fest 6Embroidery It Fall Fest 7Embroidery It Fall Fest 8Embroidery It Fall Fest 9Embroidery It Fall Fest 10Embroidery It Fall Fest 11Embroidery It Fall Fest 12Embroidery It Fall Fest 13Embroidery It Fall Fest 14

Farm Girl Vintage Quilt Show and Tell

Dear Friends,

Actually today will be more show than tell.  I have been participating in the Farm Girl Vintage quilt along from the Fat Quarter Shop using Lori Holt’s book Farm Girl Vintage.  I love these scrappy country quilts.  In this quilt there are 42 blocks!  That is a lot of fabric cutting friends.  🙂 I post my quilt pics on Instagram if you would like to follow along.  For now though I hope you enjoy the handful of pictures I’ve selected for you here.


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Embroidery It Farm Girl Vintage BookEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Apron Strings BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Baby Chick BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Baking Day BlockEmbroidery it Farm Girl Vintage Cool Spools BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Corn and Tomatoes BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Furrows BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Crops BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Fres Pears BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Pinwheels BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Postage Stamp BlockEmbroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Scrappy Maple Leaf BlockIMG_457846684IMG_458101875Embroidery It Farm Girl Vintage Collection 2


American Quilter’s Society is in Grand Rapids

Dear Friends,

What a fun, Fun, FUN week!  The American Quilter’s Society held their convention right here in Grand Rapids, my back yard.  Talk about an inspirational overload – in a good way 🙂  Fabric, Cool Tools, Patterns, Classes, and so much more.

Enjoy a few pictures I took and you will also see my new toy.  It is my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and anniversary gift for about the next 5 years.  I’m so excited.

Embroidery It American Quilters Society 3Embroidery It American Quilters Society 7Embroidery It American Quilters Society 2Embroidery It American Quilters Society 5Embroidery It American Quilters Society 1Embroidery It American Quilters Society 6

My favorite booth was The Whole Country Caboodle.  Oh my gosh I wanted everything there!  It was seriously a 10 on the cuteness factor.

Embroidery It American Quilters Society 4Embroidery It American Quilters Society 9

They didn’t allow photography where the gallery of quilts were displayed, but this quilt was at the Gall Sewing and Vacuum booth and was the most adorable quilt there.  I wish it was on a plain background so you could really sit the effect of it.  It is actually suspended from the ceiling in the middle of their booth.  The backgrounds of each photo on the film strip were printed on fabric and then embroidered with the Disney character.  We are huge Disney fans.  LOVE!

Embroidery It American Quilters Society 8

This was also the booth where I got my new toy.  I’ve been looking at these machines for over 2 years now and I ended up purchasing the show floor model.  It is brand new except for the use at the show so it has all the warranties plus they threw in lots of extras at the best price I have ever been quoted over these two years.  Can you hear my squeal?  I’m just super excited!  Someone pinch me.

The American Quilter’s Society holds these conventions at various locations across the United States.  If you ever get an opportunity to attend one, don’t pass it up.  You won’t be disappointed.

Make it a great day everybody,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Starting the Daniel Plan

Daniel Plan

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all doing well this summer.  This morning it is a cool, rainy day here in Michigan but I am hopeful the sun will come out this afternoon.  I’m trying to grab hold of all the summer days we have left as I know it will be only a few short weeks and the beautiful green leaves will be turning bright yellow orange and red.

Now that my travel is over with it is time for me to hit hard back with my weight loss journey.  This past week I’ve been back to the gym every day.  I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday and I am also following the Daniel Plan in conjunction with Weight Watchers.  It is a Christian lifestyle program based on Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends.

From my original weight, I am only down 8 pounds now.  At one point I was down 14 pounds.  Oh how they can quickly come on when we are out of our routines.  Anyway, now I know I will have a stretch here where I can focus on healthy eating and exercise and I am truly trying to turn some of this into good habits.  Portion control and sweets are both my downfall.

If any of you have tried the Daniel Plan or are using it currently, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment.  I’d love to hear how you are doing.

Blessings everyone,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Applique Chili Peppers

Embroidery It Applique Chili Peppers 2

Chili pepper design comes from Embroidery Library

It was a sad day for me as I had to say good bye to my dear friend Laura.  I’m leaving on vacation and when I return she will be gone and getting settled in the great southwest state of Arizona.  Laura is both my neighbor and also my gym buddy.  Knowing we would meet at the gym is what would help keep me motivated to get up and go.  I hate exercise.

Having lived in Arizona, twice, I know how southwest décor is very popular down there so I made a couple of hand towels with chili peppers to help her feel like she is fitting in.  🙂

Embroidery It Applique Chili Peppers

I took some twine and tied it in a bow for an added embellishment and stitched it in place.

I will miss you Laura.  Best wishes to you!


be creative daily and live life beautifully

My Weight Loss Journey and Thoughts

Embroidery It My Walk 1

Over this past month, losing weight has been very difficult for me.  On May 16th I was down to my lowest that I had seen in some time.  I could even tell in my face as well as my waistline that I had lost 14 solid pounds.  I was almost half way to my 30 pound weight loss goal.  Then came Tim’s graduation.  We had lots of family visiting us for a week.  The week after that was the week before our vacation so no motivation that week knowing what was ahead.  Then came a week of vacation to a country I’d never visited before and I wanted to experience it all and that included food.  I know I all I just gave you were excuses.

Since May 16th I watch the scale as it slowly crept up.  The day after our vacation I was now up 6 pounds.  Sigh.  I worked so hard for those 14 pounds.

Now that I am home from vacation I’m trying very hard to get back into the groove of things.  Mike and I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I’ve been back to the gym or walk/jogging 3 1/4 miles at home.  Even though I’ve been back to Weight Watchers, I’m finding it difficult to stay on the program.  Afternoons are so difficult for me and I’ve said it before I hate exercise.  I wish I liked it but I just don’t.  The thing is, I think it is probably the most important thing we can do for our bodies.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought.  You can agree or disagree with me, it is just my own opinion here.  There are so many good things we can do for our bodies.  Things like: eating right, exercise, stop smoking, decrease stress, getting plenty of sleep, and the list goes on.

All these things are important, but I feel like one item on this list trumps all the others by just a smidgen.  That item is exercise.

The reason I think it trumps the rest is because if we exercise, that will help us lose weight.  It will help us get better sleep.  It decreases depression.  It lowers our blood pressure, our cholesterol and in general re-sets our bodies hormones.  It just does so many good things for our bodies.

When I say exercise, what I’m referring to is actually getting my heart rate up.  I think it is that increase in heart rate is what does the re-setting our bodies need and releases all the right chemicals.

I was on the treadmill today.  There is a place on each side of it for me to place a 5 pound hand weight so I use two of those.   I walk for a while.  Then I lift the 10 pounds, 5 in each hand, over my head up and down as I walk.  That gets my heart rate up.  I can do this for about a minute.  Then I just walk for a while.  Next I increase the speed.  Normally up to 5 or 5.5 miles but today I went up to 7 miles an hour!  Woo Hoo!  I can barely do that for a minute.  Then I walk again for a while.  Over the course of 30 minutes I will alternate these things and I get in 3 weight liftings and 3 run/jogs.  That is 6 times during my workout I get my heart rate really up there.  I hate it.

But I feel great when I’ve finished.  And that is why I force myself to do it.  Friends, I just have to learn to like exercise.  I feel like this is the real key to improving my overall health.  Oh how I wish I liked exercise.  What can I do to like it more?

Did you watch America’s Got Talent last week?  Did you see that 96 year old lady dance?  Wowsa!  She looks younger than my parents who are 10 years younger than her.  I bet that lady has moved her body all her life and I want to be like that, vibrant and fully alive till the day God calls me home.

Last year mom got me a Nutribullet for my birthday – Thanks Mom!!  I love that thing and make myself a smoothie most every morning for breakfast.  The recipe is the same each day except that I change out the fruit for whatever I have on hand.

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Nancy’s Banana Blueberry Smoothie Recipe – Just blend all ingredients together

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats – uncooked
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • Ice

I’m so glad I can ramble here on my blog.  Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out of my head and if you’ve read this far then thanks for reading my friend.

Have a wonderful day everyone.


be creative daily and live life beautifully


Happy Mother’s Day and The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible Book Review

Happy Mother’s Day and The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible Book Review

Dear Friends,
Happy Mother’s Day to all you sweet moms.  We put in thousands upon thousands of hours raising our babies and I must say, we deserve a special day in which to receive a bit of pampering.  I hope you are all being treated like queens and getting the royal treatment.  Despite all the sacrifices we do for our children, what a blessing it is to be a mom.  I am so grateful for my three.
This morning Mike and I walked to a favorite breakfast place and shared an order of biscuits and gravy along with a great cup of coffee.  The walk is just over 5 miles round trip so I certainly got my exercise in.  I love going for walks with my hubby so this is a treat to spend time together just the two of us.
The beautiful roses are from my son Timothy.  They smell so good.  Timothy knows I LOVE flowers!
Mike has driven with him up to Santa Fe for his rugby game.  I’m staying home and resting this afternoon.  Sore throat is there but much better today.  Several of you e-mailed me that you were praying.  Thank you!  Prayers answered!!!!
Emily came up with this clever gift.  She gave me $20 in a jar in $1 bills.  I just cannot lose those 20 stinkin’ pounds.  The scale is stuck like gon my current weight.  Yes, I could try harder, but I really LIKE food!
For each pound I lose, I am to move one dollar to the other jar.  The jar with the money in it says “pounds to go”  The currently empty jar says “pounds lost”.  When I have lost all 20 pounds I am to spend the $20 on myself.  I love this!  This is real motivation now as I can’t let her down and a bonus for me when the weight is off!  The jar on the left better not stay empty for long.
And from my Air Force girl Katie, I received the best gift, a phone call with lots of love.  Love is all this mama really needs.

Now from Mike, he did get some direction as to what I would like.  He got me this book, The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner and Lorna Knight as well as a couple of specialty sewing feet I had asked for.  I thought you might like to take a little look into the book.

The bias binding foot you see in the picture is what I used on all those boy scout neckerchiefs.
One of the specialty feet Mike got me was an adjustable binding foot for larger size bindings.
 The other specialty sewing foot Mike got me was a cording foot which you can see above.
Mike and I have always been do-it-yourself kind of people when it comes to many things.  We have gutted a house, done electrical work, plumbing, tiling and much more.  One of the things we say is why pay when we can do it ourselves and also that it is best to have the right tool for the job.  That is the way it is with these specialty feet.  They do a great job for the technique the are made for.  It makes life a whole lot simpler to have the right tool for the job.  Plus, doing specialty items in sewing is just plain fun!

Let me give you just a brief overview about the book.

First off, the book is such a pretty book to look through.
Chapter 1 is the Essential Kit
Chapter 2 is Basic Feet
Chapter 3 is Specialty Fabric and Technique Feet
Chapter 4 is Pretty Edges
Chapter 5 is Fancy Stitching and finally
Chapter 6 is Buyer’s Guide
With each foot, it first talks about what the sewing foot looks like.  Then it goes into how the foot works.  Then there is an “ideas file” which shows other effects you can get from each foot.
I really like this book and should go over to Amazon and give it a 5 star rating as honestly, it is just well done.  It will certainly remain on my shelf as a reference that I know I will look at again and again.

Finally, to finish off my day, after Mike and Tim get home we will be going to church this evening.  Thankfully our church as numerous options as to when we can attend so when our schedule is thrown off, like with the rugby game today.  Then I’m sure we will be eating out tonight and I won’t be cooking.  My favorite food when we go out…..Sushi!  Yum!!  {Yes I could cook myself.  There are times when we do make exceptions to the DIY attitude we have!}

Happy Mother’s Day and love and blessings to you all,

More Machine Embroidery Free Standing Lace Coasters

More Machine Embroidery Free Standing Lace Coasters

Dear Friends,
I really enjoy creating free standing lace.  It is just so delicate.
Remember this one?  It is the one I gave to my mother when we went for a visit.
These are from the same collection by Pixies Rule in their Lace Coaster Set.  I just finished up a couple more of them the other day.

On a sour note, I’m typing this in bed as I’m dealing with strep throat.  I had made it through the winter with nothing more than a sniffle (blessed) but WHAM I’m knocked off my feet today.  Praying the Tylenol and antibiotics kick in quickly.  All prayers for pain relief are appreciated.  Thank you.

I really think this hit as I feel under tremendous stress here lately so I’m certain my immune system is down.  I’m dealing with Emily’s high school graduation, Katie’s wedding and so much more to list here.  I’ve made a long L-O-N-G list of all that needs to be done and recuperating was NOT on that list.
Here’s praying that all my readers are healthy and that you have a happy day embroidering.  One more note; all the coasters were made in a 5 x 7 hoop.
With love and blessings,
Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.