My Story

Are you curious about me?  I certainly am about you?  Every one of us has a story that is peculiar (Yes, that’s the right usage of the word.) to us.  Here is a part of mine.  There is so much more…



My greatest desire is to teach others how much God loves them and how to use His Word to live the life He has purposed for them.  In my home church, I co-direct Worship and Music, play all keyboards, and sing with the Worship Band.  God has seen fit to give me the gift of teaching, which I use for leading 3 Bible Study groups.  He specifically called me to writing/blogging about 5 years ago.

I have been married to the perfect partner, chosen for me by God, for more than 45 years. It was God’s plan that we would not have children but would be able to love in a unique way our nieces, nephews, and the hundreds of children who touched our lives through the years I spent in Public Education as a Music Specialist and Elementary Principal.  I hold a B.S. Degree in Music Education and Performance from Defiance College and an M.Ed. Degree in Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University.

Our family includes two cats named Smokey and Salem, three awesome sisters and one incredible brother, 7 sisters-in-law, 7 brothers-in-law, 36 nieces and nephews and their spouses, and many great nieces and nephews.

Music has been part of my life from my earliest years.  One of the greatest honors of my life was to be invited to sing in the Rose Garden of the Whitehouse with the Ohio Youth Choir at the invitation of then-President Richard Nixon.
As a 25+ year Cancer Survivor, I have been able to use that challenging time of my life to support others.  It was not easy but God knew there would be many who would need a listening ear, an understanding heart, and someone who understands the value of presence without words.

From the time I was old enough to hold needles, scissors, yarn, thread, fabric, you name it, I was ‘hooked’ on crafts, particularly those that are counted.   From painting count by number pictures to my grandmother teaching me to crochet, to my mother teaching me to embroider, to learning to do counted cross stitch, rug hooking, needlepoint and crewel my life has been filled with many happy hours of artful crafting.  I also enjoy sewing and often make my own clothing and things for my home.

I enjoy baking and decorating.  This hobby started when Ray and I owned a coffee shop/bakery called Maggi Raes.  (Maggie for the carved magnolias that were part of the shop’s decorations.)  I am certified in all the Wilton decorating levels and have done many wedding, birthday, and event cakes and cookies.

We love to travel, especially on cruise ships, and have been all over the Caribbean and are planning to go to Alaska for our next cruise.  We also enjoy taking a few days here and there in the Smokey Mountains, believing there is nothing like sitting on a rocker, on a back porch, on top of a mountain and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.

God has given me a great life and I can’t thank Him enough for His love and provision.

Blessings to you and yours!


(BTW: The reason this only took 5 minutes is that I copied and pasted it from a much larger article. )

WIP Wednesday

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything about cross stitching or crafting.  I really have been busy stitching and knitting and crocheting.  I’ve finished two crocheted dishcloths, a shrug that I’ve been knitting on for more than a year and was actually able to wear it for Christmas and the stitching I’ll be showing below.

WIP Januare 16 dThis piece is my own chart from a picture that Lori Brechlin at the Not Forgotten Farm drew and gave to her followers to use as they wanted.   I decided to create a counted cross stitch piece from it.   You can find it at Threads on facebook.  I’ve included the chart at the bottom of this post so if you’d like to stitch it go for it.  You’ll notice I made a slight change in the finished project.  It will work better for the small pillow I’m making from it.  (It has not been cleaned or pressed yet but I’ll be sure to put the finish here.)

WIP Januare 16 eAs you know I am part of a 10-month round robin group.  I’ve had the pleasure of stitching on some really beautiful samplers.  This one is Simply Jane Austin by the Sampler Girl.  My part of this one is the bottom right corner, ‘marry for love not money’ with the basket of flowers.





WIP Januare 16 cMy niece is getting married soon so I am stitching this sweet little marriage record.  It’s by Demensions/Gold Collection.  I love the way they organize their floss.  It really makes it easier to separate strands.

WIP Januare 16 bMy youngest sister asked me to stitch a cover for her new Bible.  It has soft leather binding and she wants it to be a bit stiffer.  I’m using plastic canvas for this project and my own design.






WIP Januare 16 aLast, but certainly not least, I’ve been working on my Smokey Mountain Cats.  I love stitching on this and can hardly wait to finish it so I can hang it in the blue bathroom.   (I know, I have a ways to go.)



I do most of my stitching while watching television.  Which gives me 2 to 3 hours a day of serious work.  During baseball season it’s usually more.  Can hardly wait to see my Tigers on the field again.  They’re Grrrrrrrr8!

Keep on stitching!


Happy Home Happy Heart

Work In Progress Wednesday |Free Christmas Charts

Yes, I am a work in progress.  Some days I get it right, other’s I get it wrong and other’s I just want to do over.  It’s so awesome to know that God allows do-overs and second, third and more chances to get it right.  Cross stitching is like that.  I can make a mistake, take it out, and start over.  When I do that, it’s gone and I can get back to doing it right.

Pink project

Thank God there were no do-overs in this piece I’ve been working on for the Round Robin.  I’m thankful for that.  It’s such a beautiful piece and I want my part of it to be as beautifully crafted as all the rest.  The pansy row is my work.  There is still about two-thirds of the piece to stitch and other stitchers will be doing different rows.Snowflakes_previewI love to stitch  Christmassy (If that’s even a word.) projects and thought you’d like to see a few free cross stitch charts I’ve seen on the internet.  This one is from X-Stitch Magic.  It could be stitched in any color you want.  In fact, it doesn’t need to be monochromatic.  Each snowflake could be a different color.  I’m thinking it would be awesome to stitch in metallic threads, perhaps, silver or gold on dark blue fabric.  One could also stitch each individual snowflake as an ornament or package decoration.  Hmmmmmmm…

MiniChristmasTreeThis sweet little Christmas Tree is just a delight.  I found it at Altogether Christmas and there are several more free charts on this page.  It would look really festive if a bead was placed in the shiny spot of each ornament.  If it’s stitched on white cloth (Actually, any cloth but the same green as the tree.) there would be no need to stitch the 3000 white cross stitches.


Is this not the most adorable Christmas Kitty you’ve ever seen. (OK, a bit of an exaggeration but still…)  I found this chart, along with 67 others at the Kreinik page.  Their metallic threads are my favorite to work with.

51ZH54d0IeL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_And if that doesn’t give you enough to stitch check out my book of Christmas Card projects at Amazon.  There are some really awesome designs  (Even if I do say so myself.).   I know family and friends would love a hand stitch design from you.

Don’t forget the ‘Reason for the Season’!

Blessings to you and yours!



Work in Progress Wednesday

Have you given much thought to the fact that in God’s eyes you are a work in progress?  He is shaping, refining, restoring, adding new, and constantly changing us.  His greatest desire is that we become the one we were created to be.  His plan (Jeremiah 29:11) is more than we can imagine, but He knows every step, every decision, every minute of every day of our lives.

Don't be afraid

I’ve been busy working on my counted cross stitch Christmas Santas again.  The two you see here will be part of a set of twelve.  (I had started the one that’s most finished, forgot about it, and started the other. That’s why there are two in progress.)  6 are finished and I hope to use all of them this year.  Stitching on perforated paper has been a great experience. Don’t hesitate to give it a try.  2 Santas


51ZH54d0IeL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_I have created an entire book of Christmas Card Charts that would look awesome on perforated paper.  The charts work up easily and can be stitched throughout the year.  When Christmas comes you’ll have some really beautiful card/gifts for those awesome people in your life.


Blessings to you and yours!




Thursday Threads

Stitches and Needles and Threads, oh, my!  It made me smile when I thought of it and I could see Dorothy with her basket of projects skipping on the Yellow Brick Road.  Yep, I’m still smiling.

I was recently watching a You Tube video on gridding and the stitcher who made it commented that her reason for gridding is it makes the finished project more achievable with fewer mistakes and less frogging.  After thinking about that for a while, I thought perhaps she’s on to something.  How many times have I put down a project because it was becoming overwhelming to get the counting right?  So, I’ve done a bit of research into gridding and I hope it’s as helpful to you as it was to me.

cross stitch grid linesGridding your cross stitch fabric is simply dividing your cloth into 10 x 10 count squares and stitching lines into the fabric to make them visible as you are stitching.  This video is really short and sweet and shows what you need to know. Just click on the picture to watch it.

61sTrwVpczL._SL1200_Of course, the next question would be, what type of ‘thread’ should I be using  to make the grid lines.  Although you can use regular dressmaker’s thread in any color you want it can be difficult to remove when you finish the project.  I recommend Easy Count Guideline Thread.  It’s not cotton so your stitches are far less likely to get caught in it. (If you click on the picture it will take you to Amazon. Really great price!)

Stitch Along CollageI’ve been busy working on another of the Designer Stitch Along smalls.  Obviously, it’s not finished.  These Designer pieces have been so much fun to work on.  I’m loving it.


This next picture is the finished portion of the Sampler Round Robin.   I’m ready to mail it to the next stitcher and get busy on the piece I get next.  WooHoo!

Round Robin Sept. Blocks

Blessings to you and yours!

Keep On Stitching!