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Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Time For Winter Mix Tea

OK, so I know this has nothing to do with sewing but I wanted to share this. It is the time of year when I hit my herb pantry and pull out some of my secret herbs for my Winter Mix Tea.

The blend is an immune booster and it has a wonderful blend of herbs that are also great when battling a cold. It is an earthy tea because it contains many root herbs but it is spicy and delicious. I blended several pounds of it and I am getting ready to share with family and friends. I like to keep all of those around me well. It is a bit self serving or a means of self preservation.

The blend consists of organic and wild harvested herbs such as Dandelion root, Astragalus, Cinnamon bark, Lobelia, Rosehips, just to mention a few. I had considered offering on the web store Winter mix by the ounce, if anyone is interested, please let me know. I will be glad to provide you with a full list of ingredients. Also too, just to let you know, all my herbs come from a certified organic supplier that I have been purchasing my herbs from for years.

Hope everyone is enjoying what little bit of fall we have left or if your up north, I hope your winter is off to a beautiful start. We have already seen snow in the mountains here this past weekend but tomorrow it is suppose to still reach 70 degrees. It should be a beautiful autumn day.

Blessings to you all!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

So Excited, I Have To Share!

This image is copy protected ©2010 Lily Field Designs.

I have been working on some new screen print designs. I love the newest design of Yoga Girl and Zen Kitty. She will be screened on shirts in sizes ranging from 3T to adult 2X and in multiple colors. I will be making yoga pants and yoga skirts to go with this design. I also have a very sweet design of Zen Kitty which I will be screening him alone on a few shirts as well as on the yoga skirts and pants. I also will be including a few sweet and positive phrases to go along with them. I can’t wait. I will post more as soon as the first ones are in the store.

May you be happy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Weekend Buying Trip

This past weekend, Joe and I took a run to Atlanta to pick up some shirts for screen printing. Going to the warehouse to pull our shirts was great fun and we walked away with 23 dozen in all sizes. I will be doing adult sizes as well. I will be posting up some of those by next week for sure. The shirt on the left was a cute shirt that I ran across while in a fabric store. I thought the saying was cute and sure rings true for many of us who love to sew.

While in Atlanta we did some scouting around looking for discount fabric warehouses and we learned, Atlanta isn't necessarily the best place to shop for apparel fabrics. If we had been looking for home décor fabric, we would have been in the right place.

We did a quick run down to Covington, GA to check out a fabric warehouse called SOCO. They had rolls and rolls of fabrics by the yard in their warehouse but again, most of it was home décor fabrics. They also sold oriental rugs and close out fabric by the pound.

We did buy 14 lbs. of assorted knits and cottons in the closeout section of the warehouse. I wished there had been more of a variety. If a person was making drapes or recovering furniture, this would be a great place to go. We had a great time and jammed all we needed to do into a day. We had a relaxing dinner and enjoyed the evening.

When we woke Saturday morning, we decided to just head back home.We stopped for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Joe sure deserved his Smokehouse breakfast after being my helper on Friday. The biscuts and gravy were really good. Atlanta I am sure is a much more interesting place if you know where to look for things to do. I love unique little shops and out of the way places to check out. You never know what you will find in places like those. I didn't know where to go to find those. They do have some wonderful museums in Atlanta too. If anyone has any interesting places that they think is worth checking out, please write to me and let me know. I know there has to be things tucked into Atlanta besides just malls and namebrand outlet stores.

On our way back Saturday morning, I did stop in this a very adorable fabric store called the Red Hen.

The store is geared toward quilters but is a great shop for all who sew.

The prices were reasonable. Most everything was priced from 5.99 to 7.99 per yard. I did pick up a few yards of some very pretty prints that I will be making into skirts very soon. The store had every possible sewing gadget you can imagine.I had to look at everything. Joe was a very good egg for going along and helping me. One little lady in the store even said as we were walking by, Joe with fabric in his hands helping out, she said, “you’re a good egg there Charlie Brown.” We stopped and chatted with her for a few minutes and discussed other fabric stores around that she thought we might want to check out the next time we are down that way.I really did enjoy the Red Hen. If you get a chance to get to Marietta Georgia, you should stop in and see the shop. It is located on the corner of Cherokee St and North Marietta Parkway.The address is 305 Cherokee St, Marietta, Georgia. Be sure to pop over to Red Hen's website to learn more about all the classes and things they offer.

The store was so wonderfully laid out. I must share the rest of the photos with you.

Their quilting room is much larger than this one photo shows. They have several quilting machines as well as a class room area. It is a dream shop for quilters. If I lived near there, I know I would be spending lots of time there.

They have so many wonderful patterns to choose from. I did pick up a couple that I had been looking for.

The store is 6,000 sq. foot and has over 6,500 bolts of fabric to choose from.

It was a great trip and I can’t wait until next week when I nothing on my adgenda but prewash shirts and screen print some of my new designs. I promised to help out this week with the school fall festival and also will be in the class room at least one day this week. It should be a fun carnival. I have even managed to get my son and his girlfriend to help out. Our class will be doing the hay rides. I am glad of that since, I do have tractor experience.

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful fall we are having.

Blessings to you all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding Balance

Happy Fall Y’all

Fall is my favorite time of year and I am looking forward to day drives up into the mountains to see the colors as they start to hit their peaks. Oh how I love living in this area this time of the year even if I am highly allergic to rag weed which loves this time of the year as well.

I know it has been a bit since I have shared what I have been up to. I think sharing my day to day fall household cleaning projects may not be anything you may have wanted to hear about. My organizational skills are not such that I could offer any good pointers and insights; however, my inspiration for fall cleaning came from Melissa over at The Little Gray House blog. That gal got busy and just kept going and I was so inspired that, I cleaned out 5 closets, reorganized my therapy room/sewing studio and general cleaning. My dining room is still crying out for a good dusting of the pie safe cabinet and such but I will be getting to that very soon. For my birthday my hubby gave me a Ladybug steam cleaner so needless to say, walls have been steamed, windows too, furniture, carpets and bathrooms. Now that the house is pretty much so in shape, I can’t wait until we clean out the garage and get rid of the things we no longer need and pass on. That is coming!!! Cleaning is not something that a creative person really enjoys but still is a total must for me to keep my creative energy flowing. Now that so much of it is done, I can relax and get back to sewing. Yeah!!!

In the last week or so, I have been able to steal away a few hours here and there to sew a bit. I made a dress for Doodlebug for picture day at school and just this morning I finished up this ruffle skirt for her to wear with her Ramona t-shirt that I found her a few weeks back.

This skirt was inspired by Makeit-Loveit Their version was made with knit fabric as the base and frilly fabric for the ruffles. I was curious to see what making an all knit version of it would be like so this is what I came up with. The color combo was selected to go with the Ramona shirt. It was a very fun skirt to make; however; a bit more time consuming that I had wanted with having to finish off and gather each ruffle but my Doodlebug loves her new skirt so, I am really glad that I made it. It is a fun an easy project and the Makeit-Loveit blog gives full details on the project and is very easy to follow along.

Since school has started back, I have been busy volunteering and sponsoring our Doodlebug’s first grade class. Our group this year is an awesome and lovely bunch of kids. I love being with the little people so much. I can’t tell you the deep, personal joy and satisfaction that I get from spending time with these kids. They have so many challenges in their little lives but they have such pure hearts and I can’t imagine giving up my time with them for anything else right now. It has truly been a bit of a conflict for me personally because in trying to start a new little cottage business and be truly successful, sacrifices are called for and I know that. I still think in the end, I will work out my business to match my commitment to these kids and this class. I don’t think I would truly be happy here working otherwise if I didn’t balance both. With that being said, hopefully you will understand why you don’t see more postings of my work. I am still trying very hard this fall to find a good balance but I know it is coming.

I did manage to hit a little country fabric store that was recommended by my friend Deb at Doggie Duds by Deb. You must check out her site if you have a doggie diva. She makes very adorable clothing for our furry friends. Deb told me about this very small town fabric store in a very old little city here in Tennessee. It was a couple hour drive from where I am at so, I called my mom and she drove there and we met for lunch at this old coffee shop restaurant that has wonderful country cooking. Nothing beats a home cooked veggie plate with cornbread and a drink for 3.75 and truly a country girl's kind of place.

After lunch we strolled down the street to the fabric shop and then hit a few of the antique shops. I could have kicked myself for not taking my camera. I had not been to this town since I was a small child and not much had really changed which it was like truly stepping back into the past for me. After our little stroll around town, we drove up on the mountain to a local apple orchard and picked up some wonderful apples, had a fresh fried apple pie and a cup of coffee. We sat outside in the orchard at a picnic table, talked, ate our pies and enjoyed the afternoon. It was a wonderful day with my mom and I had a great time. She and I have not had this kind of a day together in ages but we have to change that soon. We do have such good outtings together. The fabric store was a wonderful inspiration for the trip and I found some great pieces of fabrics but I loved getting to just spend a day with my mom enjoying what the afternoon offered us.

Not all of the pieces shown here are from there, over the weekend I also hit a sale at JoAnn’s and picked up a few pieces as well. Some of those pieces are in the washer as I write this. I do prewash every piece of fabric before I work with them but the photo is a small sampling of what is to come. I will be posting a few new outfits on the store front very soon using these fabrics. Also too, now that our weather seems to be cooling a bit, I will be screen printing several new designs that I have drawn up in the past few weeks. I am very excited about sharing those too and they will be on dresses as well as t-shirts on the store front.

Speaking of the store front, just an F.Y.I., in the next few days be watching for a Lily Field Designs’ Sale to be announced on Facebook. We will be offering a 10% discount code to use on any product that is featured on the store website. My technical guru will be setting up that coupon in the next couple of days so, if there is something there you would like to have at a discounted price keep an eye out. We are also in the process of setting up our Ebay account and I will be doing a few custom auctions up there as well. I will fill you in on all of that when we get the first ones up.

Well, I will say to you all many blessings and I will be posting new things very soon. I truly am a cottage business and oh how I long for a gardener/landscaper to keep up our front 7 acres and a housekeeper. Now wouldn’t that be something?

Blessings to you all!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Learning Serger Secrets

I am so excited to be experimenting with a few new serger presser feet. They were a birthday gift and I love them. I had been looking at and dreaming of them for months now. I started to experiment with a few this morning. I am looking forward to learning more about all the things that a serger can do.

A few months ago, I picked up a book called Serger Secrets and it showed all the different types of stitches some sergers can do as well as all the different types the different attachments and accessories. Once I ran across the shirring foot, I knew that was one attachment that I would make good use of.

After spending a little time playing around with the shirring foot and a tiny bit of tweaking of the stitch width and length; this is what I came out with. I am in love now. I see lots of gathers in the future.

Now I am off to dig through the Serger Secrets book and try out a few more of the presser feet. Yeah!

Hope everyone is have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing Beats Added Pizzazz

We hit the sales rack looking for good little canvas sneaks for Doodlebug to play in. We found a not so attractive pair of red canvas sneakers that really wouldn’t go with much of Doodlebug’s clothing but were made well and the price was right, $3.00 a pair. Who can pass up a deal like that? We sure couldn’t. Red really isn’t Doodlebug’s color unless it is Christmas time, which then she wants everything red. We found them in her current size as well as her next size up. So, we bought them and picked up a few things to give them a bit of added pizzazz. We always love embellishing, adding personal touches to things so, we tried our hand at painting these sneakers. Doodlebug painted one pair and I helped with the grow into size.

The materials we used were a basic fabric medium, Gesso, Tulip fabric markers and a few bottles of squirt fabric paint and scotch tape.

The very first thing we did was to put tape along the rubber soles to cover them so we wouldn’t get any paint on that part of the shoe.

Next we added a little of the fabric medium to the gesso, stirred well and thinned it down some. Then covered the shoes completely using a brush and left them for a couple of hours to dry.

After the long awaited two hours were up, we really started to have fun. Using the fabric markers, we just added all sorts of squiggle lines, over lapped colors and just went nuts. There are no rules here, our favorite type of craft. I loved Doodlebug’s X’s and O’s idea.

When the fabric markers were dry, which didn’t take very long at all, we used the squirt bottles of fabric paint and added little designs, symbols, words and more squiggles. It was really hard to stop, as you can tell.

This is the grow into pair that I helped with.

The end results were very satisfying. As you can see, Doodlebug couldn’t wait to try on her recreated sneakers and show them off. I think she did an awesome job.

This was a very fun and simple project and kids really love getting involved in creating their own style.

Speaking of style, Doodlebug’s new favorite, all time television shows to watch are all the old Punky Bruster episodes. If you remember Punky, you know she knew a thing or two about added pizzazz and style. Papaw happened to find the Punky Bruster seasons on DVD in a bargain bin at Books A Million and Doodlebug loves them!!!

If you try adding some pizzazz to a pair of sneakers or anything else for that matter, we would love to see your creations. Send us an email or post them over on our Facebook friend’s page.

Blessings To You All!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Making Screens for Screen Printing

Making your own screen for screen printing is really super easy. It was even easier than I thought.
My sweetie always loves and opportunity to use his power tools so, it was a very simple project for me *grin*.
All I had to do was ask and point out how much money could be saved. So we gathered the items we needed and made four in about an hour or so on Thursday evening. It was great fun and they turned out so good and certainly will be durable.

I think the idea of making them with the specs that I wanted them was the biggest treat. We made the first screen 7.5" X 33" (inside measurment)actual outside measurment was 11.5" X 37". You may be asking "why so long and skinny?" Well, It is the perfect length for using 3 acrylic sheets with the designs on them, end to end for using the photo emulsion technique for transferring images to the screen. I have designed a few new scribble fabric designs and screening long chunks will be nice. The length is just perfect for me too. This was the motivation for building our own screens.

The items we used were:

1.5 yards of monofilament fabric mesh used for screen printing. See tip in blog about using other fabrics.

About (4 to 6) 6’x 2”x 2” pine boards

Screen spline. We bought the kit at the local hardware that had 3 different sizes in it because we were not sure the thickness we would use. You can find it in the screen door repair section of your hardware.

Wood glue

Box cutter


A corner clamp

A drill

Great music and a nice box fan… cause, boy was it hot in the barn!

First, Joe mitered the corners with his miter saw. Wow, it looks like it may be a great time to collect some of that saw dust for making fire starters for fireplace this winter. Opps, that's another project. Back on track.

After miter cutting the corners, he then cut the tuck line channels for the spline, using his table saw.

He set the saw to cut 1/4" deep. The blade width worked out perfect for using the .14 thick screen spline.

And as you can see here, he cut the channel 3/16" in on the side.

Next, he applied wood glue to all corner pieces for added strenght in the future.

Placing the wood frame pieces in a corner clamp.

Then using his cordless drill, he screwed the corners together from both directions.

These turned out beautiful and fit together perfect. Good job babe!

We placed the fabric mesh down over the frame. At this point we are not cutting it at all. I am on the other end pulling down toward the corner to lightly keep the fabric in place while Joe starts the .14 thick screen spline.

Once he has it tucked into the channel, he uses the spline roller tool to finish laying it in around all sides. Each time we rotated the frame, I would pull the mesh fairly taught at the bottom as he rolled the spline into the channel, making sure there was no wrinkling of the fabric.

Joe rolled around the channels one extra time, pushing the spline further into place.

He then trimmed off the end and tucked it in. We decided not to use any glue in the channels while adding the spline. We wanted to be able to replace the fabric when needed and the channels seemed deep enough that it didn't seem necessary. The .14 screen spline fit very nice and tight but still will be removable in the future The end result was good. The fabric was tight as a drum.

Joe then trimmed around the edges using a box cutter, still leaving about a good 1/4" of the fabric sticking out. I will be adding a waterproof stop fray around all the edges just to prevent any fraying.

A real thing of beauty here. These turned out awesome. The fit of the fabric is very good and the frames will last for years. Good job Honey!

*Fabric Tip* I am going to give using drapery sheer fabric a try very soon. An instructor from a screen printing class suggested it and said that it worked great and allowed the inks to flow through easier and on images that were chunkier and less detailed. So, I do intend on trying that route. I think it will save even more money.

In all we purchased 1.5 yards of monofilament screen fabric and paid $16.00 for it. We bought it at an art's and craft school supply store, so I am pretty certain we didn't get it for the best price there. We thought it best to maybe buy a small amount first to see how well the construction would go before making a larger investment to buy a roll. The cost for the wood, screen spline and spline tool was about $20.00. We did have a bit of left over spline after making 4 frames.

Using the 1.5 yards of fabric we made 4 frames of different sizes. One was the 7.5"X33" (inside measurment). The second measured 20"X33"(which is going to become a permant screen for my flower power fabric design). The final two screens measured 17"X19". I was amazed at the sizes using only 1.5 yds of fabric.

Roughly the cost worked out to be about 9.00 per screen and that was using a few screws that we had and not buying them. We also had wood glue on hand and didn't have to buy that as well. These screens are sure to last longer than any pre-made screens. Using the 2"x2"'s turned out to be lighter than I thought they would be but still weighty enough, I am sure they will not slip around on me while I work.

With the few small Speedball frames that I have and with these new frames that we have made, I will be set for a while before we may need a few new ones build.

I do love the idea of being able to make a few permant screens for future use. When being able to construct them for so much less, I won't feel guilty about having a few dedicated screens. I know so many printers love reclaiming a screen and cost wise, it is a good idea but the costs for fillers and emulsions can be costly. I think having a few permant screens for those designs you know you will be doing many more of in the future is worth saving.

I will let you know how using the sheer drapery fabric works out in the future. I am certain that it will not hold up as well as the monofilament fabric does but if it is much less per yard, it may be worth it and may work just fine for those dedicated screens that will not be reclaimed. A bit of scrubbing is required when reclaiming a screen for a new design and I am not sure how drapery fabric would hold up to that. I think washing out the inks after printing would be fine but really having to scrub a bit to get the fillers out it might not hold up as good.

Well, I hope this will give you a few tips on making your own screens for screen printing. It is very simple to do. If you would like to see blogs in the future on the process with the screen fillers and how an image is taken to the screen to be ready for screening, let me know and I will snap off a few shots here and there and post them up. There are many, many tutorials on line on this process if you are curious just google search. There are so many creative and talented folks out there using screen printing as a wonderful form of art.

Now get ready to see some designs made with these screens. They are coming!

Blessings All!

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