BOGO Craftsy Classes

Just a quick post to tell you about a Craftsy BOGO event this weekend! Starting tonight at MIDNIGHT, get 2 classes for the price of 1 with code: BOGOJAN17

I’ve reviewed several classes on here before (click the Craftsy tag or search Craftsy). There are some great ones related to embroidery and even photography (think product photos). You can also learn about sewing, quilting, baking and many many other “craftsy” things! As always, the classes are yours to keep and watch whenever you’d like once you purchase.

Click on the image below and don’t forget the code “BOGOJAN17”. This offer will expire Sunday at midnight! Please note it’s one offer per person, and there are a couple of exclusions (Mastering in Minutes series and classes from The Great Courses).

Enjoy!

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Happy 2017 Machine Maintenance!

HAPPY NEW YEAR my faithful blog readers!! It’s a NEW YEAR and I’ve got some new 2017 SQUAD GOALS!!!!

  • MORE BLOG POSTS!!! If you evveerrrr have a suggestion, please let me know! After all these years it’s hard to come up with new material. Jeff says he is going to help in this department as well. I would even welcome guest posts! Do you like embroidery related? What we are up to? What do you want to read?
  • With more blog posts I promise to actually read and approve and answer comments in a more timely fashion! 🙂
  • MORE newsletters. I actually pay good money to send you newsletters, and some months I don’t even send them. Basically it’s like giving money to my newsletter provider for doing nothing. So, I hope to send out a newsletter a month with sale info, new design info, new blog posts, etc.
  • MORE designs. We get so busy and weeks fly by. We hope to do more designs and on a more regular basis.

I’m sure the list will grow! We’ve been doing this since 2009 and we want to stay strong and continue providing you with great simple and unique designs and help you out on the blog along the way!

On that note, it’s a NEW YEAR, and a great time to CLEAN YOUR MACHINE!! Now would be the perfect time to get your machine in shape for the new year, and also set a schedule to keep it clean and maintained. Set a reminder on your phone. Mark your calendar. Get on a schedule!! The schedule really depends on your machine usage, but you need to keep your machine clean and free of lint and junk and also CHANGE YOUR NEEDLES on a regular basis. Are you using more sticky stabilizer than usual? Are you doing more towels and linty stuff than usual? If so, you need to clean it more often! I did mine this morning…

Here are the tools needed. If you have a multi needle, they came with your machine. I also use alcohol and Q-tips to get the gunk! I’m a couple of needles short to change out my 6, so heading to Joann at some point today so I can change them all. I use Schmetz 75/11 Embroidery Needles.

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Here is some of the gunk that came out of my bobbin case area. GROSS!

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I use the brush as well as the alcohol+Q-tips to clean the bobbin case area really well. I also dust around where the needles are screwed in, and dust the top of the machine where the tension knobs are. You just need to make sure to get the dust away from the machine, and not blow it IN to your machine.

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It’s amazing the amount of dust that can accumulate! I did my share of towels for Christmas, so keep in mind the projects you are working on. If you are doing a lot of towels, or using sticky stabilizer a lot, then you need to clean and change needles more often.

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Take the plate off the bobbin case area to really get inside the bobbin case. When all clean, screw it back on tightly.

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For a complete blog post on Multi Needle Machine Maintenance, check out my previous blog post by clicking HERE. It has been shared and pinned a lot on Pinterest!

Happy 2017 to you and you’ll be hearing from me again soon!

Rosemary

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Pinterest Recipe Share Time!

Merry AFTER-Christmas! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas with friends and family! I love Christmas, but once it’s over I like to go back to normal rather quickly at my house. At 9:30 on Christmas morning Jeff and I already had our tree (that fell at 5:30 one morning and broke 1/3 of our ornaments) un-decorated and it was in our yard. I could not handle the needles ANY.MORE!! By last night everything else was put away and we are back to a normal (clutter free) house. I love how people can enjoy their decorations until the New Year or after. I am not one of those people.

I wanted to share a recipe that I made about 27 times over the past month or so. Perhaps I should have shared it sooner now that the Holidays are sort of over? I didn’t think about it until my last batch Saturday. It’s a SNACK MIX recipe that I got off Pinterest back in November. I had to make teacher snacks for my kids’ school, so I made a big batch of it and sent it. My daughter told me her teacher loved it, so I made more in December when my kids’ middle and upper school had Wassail Week (aka snack week) in the library. I made 3 batches that week and sent it to school! We also made it for all of our neighbors, Jeff’s office and other friends!

Here is the recipe:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 packet dry ranch dressing (or dip) mix

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dill weed

1 – 9 oz package of oyster crackers (I used big and small ones)

1 – 11.5 oz reduced fat Cheez-its (I used the Walmart box my last several batches -cheaper. Doesn’t necessarily have to be reduced fat either)

8 oz (half a normal bag) waffle pretzels aka Snyders Snaps (I used these and also pretzel sticks. Don’t get the butter flavored snaps. You could probably use regular shaped pretzels too, but I went to great lengths to find and use the waffle shape.)

I honestly used more than the above – sometimes I threw in 2 bags of oyster crackers (1 big and 1 small size oyster cracker), and I also threw in extra waffle pretzels and pretzel sticks too. I added a little extra of the onion powder, garlic powder and dill weed. You could also use Goldfish or any other small cracker.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the pretzels and crackers. Drizzle the vegetable oil over the mix a little at a time, stirring continuously so that everything is coated. Mix dry seasoning ingredients in a separate bowl, and sprinkle a little at a time over your mix, stirring continuously so that again, everything is coated.

Spray 1 to 2 cookie sheets with non stick spray and spread snack mix evenly among cookie sheets. Cook at 250 for 15 minutes, then give it a good stir. Continue cooking for 15 minutes and then let cool. Store in an airtight container. Will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

This is my mix in my huge Ikea bowl!

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Here are the pretzels I used. They can be hard to find! Walmart was hit or miss but Publix had them. Don’t get the butter snaps! Like I said, you could probably use any pretzels, but I had these in my head so that’s what I used each time.

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My seasoning mix:

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I sprinkle, then stir, sprinkle, then stir, and so on and so forth!

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Ready to bake:

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Seriously this was like my 18th batch! We even game some to the mail lady and trash men!!

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I hope you make some, share it and enjoy!! I’m usually not a huge Chex Mix person, but this stuff is really good!!

Merry Christmas 2016!

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Merry Christmas from Applique Cafe! We look forward to what 2017 brings!

p.s. Our Christmas & Holiday Design collection is 40% off … shop HERE if you are still making last minute Santa shirts! 🙂

Happy November and DIY Costumes!

It’s November already, although it hardly feels like it. My weather app says it’s 85 degrees. I’m still wearing my stinky summer OTBTs and my closet is still in summer mode. This is the worst time of the year to attempt to dress with the season and not sweat to death. Monday was Halloween, and below is my trio in our (mostly) DIY Costumes. My 10 yr old’s costume was a 2:00 day-0f purchase from Target (Santa pjs) and I made the beard from a piece of white felt, jumbo cotton balls and too many glue sticks to count. Oh and a piece of elastic! It was in shambles before we hit the first house and was no where to be found 20 minutes later. He also wore a Santa hat so Skinny Santa had a great night of trick or treating. Bonus: PAJAMAS!! He can wear them to sleep in too! Side note: his friends were a snowman and an elf, so they were a cute trio!

My 8 year old knew a week or two in advance that she wanted to be Larry Culpepper (see Dr. Pepper commercials). Luckily the 10 year old played Larry last year so all we had to do was pour out some DPs and hot glue them to the lid of a shoe box and attach a cooler strap. By the end of the night I think 1 can was left, but she was adorable in a sea of girly costumes and loved every minute of it.

The 13 year old. This was our Sunday afternoon painting-in-the-driveway project. If you live in the Southeast, then you know who Alexander Shunnarah is or have seen a billboard or two (or 380). He wanted to dress normal and be a “bottle flipper”, but one day while driving to work last week I saw a billboard and decided this would be much funnier. His costume was a hit in the neighborhood and on Facebook! Plus it only cost me about $13 in alphabet stickers.

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In other November news… did you see our Girly Turkey aka Digitizer’s Pick? I sewed this on a little t-shirt Monday and it’s one of my all time favorite Turkeys! Plus only 3 fabrics. It’s $1.50 for a ltd time!

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Here are a few of our new designs also! The Holly & Wreath are both raggy, and I used 1) red gingham on bottom, 2) white flannel in the middle, and 3) green polka dot on top. Check them out at Applique Cafe for a better photo! These designs plus all the others are 40% off through Tuesday, November 8th, which happens to be ELECTION DAY!! Won’t we all be glad when that’s over!?!?

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

Small Shirts and Multi Needle Machines

Happy Fall Friends! I can’t believe it’s almost November. Where do the time go y’all? We all know that time does not stand still (even though moms like to hash tag that on every.single.photo of their kids), and weeks turn in to months since my last post….

Anyway… The question was asked the other day by M. Jennings in a Facebook group I’m in (and I edited it slightly)… “Ok multineedle friends. I skipped the fast frames and plan to get magnetic {hoops} soon, but in the meantime, does anyone have any tricks for when doing little people’s shirts to keep the tail out of the way?” By tail she means the back bottom of the shirt.

Low and behold, I did 4 sz 2T shirts yesterday. As you can see below, I used my 5×7 hoop and everything looks normal. By the way…. I also get asked a lot about design size vs shirt size. For all of the 2T shirts I did (and I did not take a single picture of them), I used the 5×7 size design, BUT…. when I put the design on my machine, I shrunk the design down as much as my machine would allow. It seemed to be the perfect size after that. I did the Dog Truck, Tractor Patch, Frame Patch 2 and Basketball Patch – sorry no pictures. They were cute I promise! Most machines, if not all, have a re-size feature and will enlarge or shrink your design/monogram up or down 10-20%. You can also chose 4×4 and enlarge it as much as possible!

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What she was asking is: how do you keep the bottom of the shirt {as seen below} from possibly getting caught up on top of the machine arm. As you can see there’s not a lot of room and it could get tangled up and your shirt could get sewn together. In the pic below, you can’t see the arm of the machine!

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Before this post and discussion on Facebook, I’ve always held my hand there and kept the bottom/back of the shirt held down so there is no chance of it getting caught. Not a bad thing, but, M. Jackson threw out a suggestion for us and we were all pretty much blown away at the geniusness of her trick!

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Her suggestion was to place a CD case, or a small thin children’s book, below the arm of the machine between the arm and the shirt. This keeps enough space between the shirt and the arm that no accidents are likely to happen! I used the sleeve of one of my Monogram Wizard Plus cd’s, but anything small, thin, lightweight and about that size will do. I DID kind of keep an eye on things to make sure the CD case didn’t shift or cause my machine to mess up or get caught on anything. However, it seemed to stay in place AND even when I took the shirt off the machine to trim applique fabric, it stayed in place. It really worked well for me AND I was hands-free to cut fabric and do other things.

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Thank you thank you thank you M. Jennings for the question and M. Jackson for this suggestion!! I love a good trick! 😉 If you have a great trick to share, please email me at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com. I’m always looking for blog material!

These new designs will be listed soon at Applique Cafe, along with a SALE – you heard it here!

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Back to School 2016

It’s Back to School time around here! Summer went by in a flash I tell you. We have had some big changes going on in the fam jam this fall! My kids all went to the same school up until last year, which we looovvveeeed (and still love). Browder moved across the street (literally) and did 6th grade last year at a different school. It was all good at the Gulledge abode with them being in 2 different schools until Mama decided to go back to work this past February. Long story short we decided to move the other 2 across the street this year so that everyone would be under the same roof and on the same schedule (and go to school until 3:00 every day so Mama could work). They started Tuesday with a 1/2 day and yesterday was their first full day. They were excited and seem to love it and all I heard about yesterday was the lunchroom. This was a huge transition {for me mostly} after being at the same school for 6 years. They all started Kindergarten there and after 6 years, you pretty much know every nook and cranny and how everything works, what to expect, where to put the box tops and what to do when the copier jams. We are now transitioning in to the new school and hopefully one day it’ll feel like home! The kids have already made some cute new friends (and reunited with friends from church and past soccer seasons) and hopefully I will fit in somewhere too!

Garrison is in 4th grade, Browder is in 7th and Mallory is in 3rd!

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Not sure about this one but Browder is smiling. G is in 4th…. not sure what Mallory is doing…..

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Another huge change is that our soccer loving boys are not playing travel soccer this fall! We’ve done travel soccer for the past several years, with me managing G’s team for the past 2 (which was another part time {non paying of course} job for me). Suddenly our calendars are wide open this fall to let us adjust to a new school! Browder is doing Cross Country with the school so he has a hand full of meets and Mallory will do gymnastics. Garrison will just hang out and enjoy his break from 10 year old high pressure soccer! 🙂 Part of me misses it (the kids and families) but it’s nice to have a laid back fall too!

THIRD big change… our little family bought a little fixer upper lake cabin last month which we are now fixing up. Only Chip & Joanna aren’t here and it’s taking much longer than an hour episode of Property Brothers. We did enter in to this endeavor with another family so when we get together to paint, or haul off limbs, or spend 2 hours at Home Depot staring at ceiling fans, it’s a lot more fun. I will post some before and after pics soon! We had hoped to move in by Labor Day but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’ve been painting for a few weeks and are redoing the bathroom and doing new floors before we move in.

When deciding a name for the compound, which is 800 or so sq feet of red + the also-red boathouse, Garrison brought up Terrence from this summer’s Angry Birds movie. The name has sort of stuck! Terrance is on Lake Martin which is less than an hour from where we live. Jeff grew up on this lake so it has been exciting to fix up a place so that our kids will grow up there too!

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I hope you all are enjoying your last days of summer, or are easing back in to the school routine like we are! Don’t forget to check out our new designs over at Applique Cafe too! We are still adding a few new ones here and there every week or two!

Craftsy Class Event

One more post!! Craftsy is having a class event this weekend with 50% off their top classes! The sale ends Sunday (7/10) at midnight! You can click HERE to check out the classes on sale. As always, once you buy a class, it’s YoUrS!! You can watch it as many times as you want. You can take notes and learn from the pros! You can learn how to paint, make jewelry, take great pictures, decorate cookies, learn how to knit or quilt or make socks, and the list goes on and on! A couple of my favorites are Product Photography at Home and 20 Things Every Machine Embroider Should Know, as well as How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business! Look through all of the classes available and see if anything catches your eye! 😉

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Happy Summer 2016

Happy Summer everyone! Since my last post, school got out and we’re just enjoying our {very short} summer! It’s already July 7, and my kiddos go back to school on August 9th. That is a month + a day or 2 away!!!! We still have more beach, more camps and more fun to squeeze in! I’m not ready to think about school supplies yet. We are nowhere near done with summer reading or math packets. I did, however, check new school uniforms off my list. Not. ready. nope. no. summer rules. As Mallory would say “summer is my life!”.

I thought I’d share with you a few of our summer pics. Here are my 3 this week on the 4th of July obviously! “G” is 10, Browder is 13 {gasp} and Sissy is 8. Don’t you love our store bought shirts? Pay no attention to Browder’s 2015 version.

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This keeper is from our beach trip we went on as soon as school let out. #chacos

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Another one from our May/early June beach trip. We were in Perdido Key, FL and are headed back there soon for another family vacay.

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This may be my favorite picture from the summer!

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I am also working part time this summer (3 days a week) and squeezing in a little monogramming/applique work too. Here are some shirts I did for some sweet sisters up in Birmingham. These are all Blanks Boutique t-shirts that my customer purchased and had shipped directly to me. We are also adding new designs here & there and you can check them out at Applique Cafe!

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Enjoy the rest of your summer! Thanks for stopping by! 😉

Photo Editing Update

Good afternoon! If you read my recent blog post {about my computer crash of 2016}, I have an update for you! I’ve blogged before about photo editing and which programs I use – search PHOTO EDITING on my blog.

Photoscape – I use this for adjusting photos, cropping, lightening, combining pics, adding watermark, resizing, etc. = pretty much everything. It’s FREE!

Before the *CRASH*, I also used Photoshop Elements 10 to remove the background of my design photos for the website. I was unable to get PE10 back after the crash because a) I couldn’t figure out how to download it again for the life of me because I have zero record of my serial number and b) I now have Windows 10 and PE10 is an older version and unfortunately not compatible with Windows 10. I DID download a trial version of PE14, and I played around quite a bit with removing the background. I watched lots of YouTube videos. I am just not that photo savvy folks! By the way, PE10 had a handy dandy Magic Extractor tool that made it super easy to remove your background (I did a blog post on this too). Around the time they came out with PE12 I think, they decided to leave that handy dandy tool off, so PE12 and after (or maybe 11 or somewhere around then) you have to remove your background using some other very difficult {to me at least} methods.

SO………………. I finally had sense enough to google “removing backgrounds from photos” and discovered Clipping Magic! It’s essentially the Magic Extractor from PE10 but has a lot more features and is MUCH easier to use. The only downside is that you pay a monthly fee, but it is totally worth it to me! $3.99/mo gets you 15 projects/month and credits carry over. $7.99/mo gets you 100 projects, and $14.99/mo gets you 500 projects/mo. I went with the cheapest version since I only really need this for new designs and we MIGHT do 15 in a good month!

It is SO EASY! You just click on the parts you want to keep with GREEN, and parts you want left off (the background) in RED. As you do this, it forms a border around the parts you want to keep – see the yellow line. You can also adjust this easily! Here are a couple of examples…

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Here is my before and after! Check out their website too to see other features and neat things Clipping Magic will do! I use it for design photos, but you might see some other use!

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The Gulledges are in SURVIVAL MODE around here. It’s May, which means we have 28 events on our calendar and school is wrapping up. Sunday was Jeff’s birthday AND Mother’s Day (plus we had our last soccer tournament all weekend in Decatur, AL). My triplet nieces and nephew turned 16 yesterday (and all 3 passed their driving test!). My middle child “G” turned 10 today. Jeff and I celebrate 15 years of marriage Thursday (Whoop!) and Browder will turn 13 (GASP) on the 25th. And school gets out May 20th for my oldest and May 27 for my youngest 2. Then it’s SUMMER!

Applique Cafe NEWS: All of our DESIGNS are on sale through May 17th, and you can see what’s new below! Lots of cute stuff for SUMMER!

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Until next time…..