Tag Archive | learn wreath design

How God Used Floral Design To Save My Life…

Let me tell you about my gift from God…a hobby that gave me such a purpose and drive to greet every day. But first, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles.

When I was twenty-eight years old and first sick with fibromyalgia, it was very depressing to wake up in the morning not knowing how my body was going to feel when I stood up…and I mean waking up "if" I had been able to sleep at all the night before. The question always appeared at dawn’s first light: would I be able to do anything to make my day worthwhile?

Would I be able to drive my children to school? Could I really attend tonight’s basketball game? Would I be able to get in my car and run errands? For a while, no…I couldn't do any of these. Even accomplishing the simplest of tasks around my home, tasks that everyone else would take for granted, was not taken for granted by me. I have been sick for over 30 years with Fibromyalgia and Celiac disease, along with the various other health problems related to these conditions. I’ve chronicled this, along with my business failures and successes, in my book, “My Journey Through Fibromyalgia: Rumors, Ravages & The Rescue.”

For years, as my Fibromyalgia symptoms appeared and disappeared back and forth so many times, I felt like there were two different people living in my body. I tried to run retail shops in several locations. Considering the trying times along with severe pain I faced, I fought with all my might every single day to succeed in providing the finest of silk floral arrangements and wreaths to the most elegant homes in Anderson, SC, and the surrounding area. But, in order to run my business, I always hired more people to work for me than I really could afford to pay; you see, I couldn't depend upon my own body…so I had to depend upon others. There were times when I would have to leave and go home at a moment's notice — or even lie down on the floor until the severe dizzy spell would pass. I never wanted to have to close my shop because of my illness.

Later, after the economy started to change, my husband and I decided we could no longer afford to keep my business open. That was such a hard decision for me. I felt like I was giving up the only thing that had given me purpose — except my children, of course. There were then and still are the joy of my life. Our boys have married wonderful wives who have given us the five most beautiful grandchildren on the planet! I know, I know… just a little bit biased here! LOL

After closing my business, I was determined not to give up. It would have been very easy for me to give in to my pain and despair staying at home all day feeling sorry for myself. But, NO, I couldn't do that! Someone had mentioned eBay to me. Even though I didn't know much at all about it, I began to read and read and read. It wasn't easy, but I figured it out finally and after five or six months, became a power seller on eBay – before eBay began to implode. Now, I am a successful entrepreneur, teacher, writer, and businesswoman, selling my floral creations and educational products from my own website.

This all happened for me because I took a hobby that I was pretty good at and took a chance at making it something more. A hobby is something that makes you feel good about yourself, an activity that you can share with friends and neighbors and one that, hopefully, you are really good at doing – if not, you can learn! And when illness or a tragedy knocks the breath out of you and literally flattens you, that same hobby can be the support you need to climb back up and face your battles.

Floral design gave me joy, value, excitement, a reason to feel alive, and a reason to jump out of bed with such a start in the morning that even I was surprised.

Oh, can you just imagine? This hobby of mine can become your new hobby, too. Even more, this new skill can bring in much needed extra income, if you want to take it in that direction. Maybe you’re a mother with young children to care for and you don’t have a job outside of your home. Maybe you are a widow, who is alone and needs something to keep your mind and hands busy. My heart’s desire is to share this wonderful hobby that I love so much, but you must realize that you will have to accept the joy and excitement that comes with it…at no extra charge! Depending on what you do with this new skill, you may also receive bonuses, like confidence, pride, and some extra cash for your bank account!

You might be a young-at-heart Baby Boomer who needs the sense of accomplishment, inspiration, and joy that comes when you complete your first project with your own two hands – all by yourself! I honestly believe my floral experiences and business skills have equipped me at this point in my life, to teach, encourage, help and inspire you to do more than you ever thought possible.

I can finally say, and truly believe, that I am GRATEFUL for my illness, because God has used it for a greater good, to encourage me to spend time taking stock of my life. I focused on my skills and goals, which brought me to this point in my life where I now understand that one of my strongest goals is to follow God's leading and give something back to each one of you reading this.

What do I have to offer you? I offer you my care, my interest in your lives, my talent, experience, skills, and creative energy doing something that I love, and something that has changed my life in a very positive way. Floral design can turn your life around, too!

It’s Not About Me

"It's Not About Me" By, Nancy Alexander

Sing Until The Whole World Hears…

My heart is overflowing this morning.  We just got home from church a little while ago.  Our pastor talked about… "It's Not About Me."  And, it is not.  It is about you – everyone who has been sent into my path.  And something else was mentioned this morning during the sermon:  "Sing Until the Whole World Hears…"  That's what I want and need to do!  Well, not necessarily sing, because in spite of all the gifts I have been blessed with, singing is not one of them!  But, I want to use my voice, which is my God-given talent, to encourage you by introducing you to color, design, and the opportunity to learn to make something beautiful with your own hands. So, I will sing, so to speak, as I encourage many of you (who are burdened with chronic diseases, depression, and a lack of direction and joy in your lives) by singing as loudly as I know how.  This way I can get my message across to those of you who are in pain and need encouragement!  NOW, THAT IS WHERE I CAN SING! 

Lately, my husband and I have felt like God is definitely leading us on His path.  It is a very curvy path so we can't see too far ahead.  It is dark in places, and all we can see is God's hand reaching out to us motioning us to follow Him.  We are following with 'blind' faith, but we are DEFINITELY following.  And, we will follow wherever and whenever God leads us.  We thought by now that we would know exactly where this path leads.  We have some idea, because of the brokenness we have both experienced in these last few years.  God has reached down into "our pit" and has pulled us out of pain and suffering.  He has held us and has opened our eyes to such beauty, joy, and splendor – more than we could have ever imagined.  I feel it is now my/our responsibility to help those who contact me daily wanting to know how to do what I do while dealing with a chronic illness.


God has Richly Blessed us in So Many Ways!


Our own experiences with 'brokenness' are what we fall back on when we tell others:  "We understand, we have been there, we can help you."  Our 'beautifully broken' lives were put back together by His own hands.  In so doing, He has equipped us to be able to help and encourage others whose lives are broken right now.  But, sometimes, this means we need talk about our past problems and our secrets.  We need to share the circumstances of our brokenness – you know, the things you really never want to talk about with anyone else.  He is definitely leading us in a specific direction on this path of His!  He will give us strength, He will give us courage, He will reach out to us and hold on tightly as we put our 'trust' in Him.  We read His word, pray, and listen with open hearts searching for his voice – "His Leading".  But in spite of our searching, we have still not been able to discern exactly what His will is for us.

And…We are SO Richly Blessed With Family!

At 61 years old, we now feel like so many years of our lives were taken up battling the insidious diseases of Fibromyalgia and Celiac.  These diseases struck early in my life, which means I have fought them for over 30 years.  They not only attacked my physical body, they were also attacking our marriage and our family at the same time.  I researched and I was the first to diagnose what was wrong, after being sick for 15 years, but it was not until around 5 years ago that God led us to a marvelous, Christian specialist.  If I had not received help when I did, I probably would not be on this earth today — or, if I was, I would most certainly be in a wheel chair.  That is what my doctor has told me.  She literally said to me that 90 to 95% of people suffering what I have would be dead by now.  Hearing that has definitely made a difference in the way we both feel about life, and our purpose here upon this earth!

A desperate woman in tears called me at home yesterday.  This was like so many other calls and emails I receive — sometimes every single day.  She has MS, as well as another serious health problem.  Her grown daughter lives at home with her because she needs a kidney and is also in very serious shape.  This woman is married, her husband has a full time job, but he still will do all he can to help his wife and daughter enjoy happy, productive lives.  She says she and her daughter are just "waiting to die".  They have no hope, they have no joy, they have no happiness, they have nothing to look forward to.  She cannot work.  She thinks every day; "What can I do?"  What can I do to bring some joy into my life?  What would my body be able to do?  Anything, Lord, anything???

Oh… this touches my heart deep within my soul!  I was there!  I know how she feels!  I remember having hope for the first few years as I prayed day after day for healing.  But, year after year, as time went on, my hope and my determination were gradually disappearing.  I couldn't take care of my children.  I felt like such a failure as a mother and a wife.  I prayed every day.  I pleaded with God; "Please God, please…show me what I need to do!  Please lead me to a doctor who understands that I am really sick and is willing to try to find out what is wrong with me.  Please give me a heart that is filled with joy and happiness as I look around at my beautiful family wanting to enjoy a 'normal' life with them.  Please give me some way to make extra money to help pay our mounting bills.  Please help me to use my artistic talents to do something, or to make something beautiful.  When each day is over, I want to feel like I have been the BEST mother I could be.  I want to feel like I have been the BEST wife I could be.  And, I want to have been able to do something creative with my hands — something that brings a smile to my face as well as to other faces that is proof – proof that Nancy was here today, that she lived her life today as best as she possibly could, and that she created something beautiful that proves she was here!"

As I was talking to this lady on the phone yesterday, she told me she wanted every product that I offered.  She had just joined our coaching club (www.BestOfNancy.com), and she wanted all of my DVDs, my "Secret Vendor List", and my wreath-making easel.  She and her daughter were SO VERY excited that they had finally found something they thought they could do that would really bring joy to each day.  Her husband was willing to figure out a way they could each work standing and sitting as needed.

I say over and over in just about everything I write that my goal is to make a difference in the lives of others as I teach them a hobby that has made such a difference in my life.  I want to give to 'you' a reason to get out of bed in the morning…to wake up with such a start of anticipation that you just cannot lie in bed, no matter how bad you feel.  Your brain starts thinking.  This makes your body be energized as it is filled with thoughts of something special you can do that day!   YOU CAN DO THIS!  Even in my weakest, darkest times, I could find a few minutes, then a few hours, and then even days when I could got my mind on something fun and exciting, I then the energy followed!  YES, YES, YES… YOU Certainly Can do this too!

This morning as I sat in church, my husband and I both felt touched by God at the same time.  We then got a glimpse of the path we are supposed to be on.  That doesn't mean it will be easy — but we were never promised that life would be easy.  We were only promised that God would always be with us – beside us.  He has been beside me/us all along as we have been on this painful journey.  We now know that we have traveled this journey so that we could help, encourage, and sympathize with others who are now on this journey.

Technically, I still have Fibromyalgia, and will always have Celiac Disease.  I eat exactly what I need to eat on my Celiac diet.  I take the supplements my Dr. says will help and even cure my body.  We are SO BLESSED!  Please let me encourage you and teach you to do something in your life which will bring a smile along with a sense of accomplishment!  And, together… "We Will Sing Until The Whole World Hears…"

Christmas Spirit

I Have the Christmas Spirit

Oh yes, I certainly do know what you’re thinking….Seems a little crazy to me also.  But to retailers – Christmas is upon us.  I have ordered and received all of my Christmas supplies.  My shop is filled to overflowing.  And…. my husband’s garage, which he lost to me a long time ago, is stacked to the rafters.  We have arms attached to every wall sticking way out into the middle of the garage, and they are filled with our wild birch wreath forms and birch baskets.

Tables run right down the center with open boxes of Christmas supplies stacked upon each other.  Every one is open with little twigs of reds, greens, glittered treasures, and ornaments.  Santa and Snowman heads, yes, and bodies are hanging out of one box, while garlands are hanging out of another.  The shelves around the walls are full.  It’s like walking into a very cold (no heat) winter wonderland. 

It is so much fun now that we are designing our Christmas creations!  We have about 6 new wreaths made and ready to list.  That is, as soon as my computer expert, John, comes over this morning and gets the virus off my computer which I somehow managed, last night, to entice to join me!  I am usually very careful, and never take a chance, but there was a free program that I wanted so very  badly, that my greed took the place of my common sense, and yes, I got in trouble!  A quick call to John at 8:30, and I was hearing a message saying…..flip the switch…..turn the whole system off, and don’t touch it until I can get there in the morning.

Boy, what a downer.  I had a teacher coming over to give me my weekly class on Photo Shop, and after that I was all ready, with pictures already loaded to list all of my newly made wreaths.  Shirley made these for me yesterday while I was typing away and working on my website, and eBay.

But, I am all ready to go this morning.  It is 8 am, and Shirley is in the shop working away, I am working on my husband’s computer gettings shipping labels printed and orders answered while awaiting the computer expert’s arrival.  I WANT and NEED my own computer back – I am totally lost without it!

OK, I know that is enought ranting and raving for this morning!  Tee Hee Hee!!! 

Oh, I almost forgot, “THE CONTEST” you have exactly 26 days left to sign up for newsletter contest.  The response has been phenonemal – over 100 new members in the last 2 1/2 weeks.  By joining my newsletter list, you have a chance to win  any of over $1,000.00 worth of prizes!  The drawing will be November 15th at noon eastern time.  Make sure you enter, and get your name added to my free newsletter.  By reading in the posting below, you can find out exactly what each prize is – and I mean, they are really GREAT prizes.

In the upcoming months, we have so many articles about Christmas and home decorating, tips on wreath and floral design, and more contests as well as give-aways on the horizon.  So, join now, and don’t miss any of these very special treats we have in store for you!  Oh, also, and now is the time to purchase your Instructional Floral Design Videos!  You have time to get them in, view them, go shoping for all your supplies, and then begin making all of your Christmas presents for this year.  Your friends and family will be so very impressed!!!!

Have a very special day filled with blooms and blossoms!  Smiles…. Nancy