March 8, 2015

Photo Imprinting Tutorial

Education and tutorials go together, right? Well, for this Saturday post, based on the themes for the Article Writing Challenge, I'm scheduled to share a tutorial. So I'm borrowing one from one of my other blogs about how I imprint photos on fabric.

One imprinted square on a table runner I made.

First of all, I had to buy my supplies and equipment, with my hubby’s agreement and support. I also got some advice from another entrepreneur who understood and supported the idea, plus I did some research into the whole imprinting process to learn what I needed to purchase:

Epson C88 printer
CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System)
Sublimation ink
Dye transfer paper
Heat press
Teflon sheets
Poly-poplin fabric

 The Epson printer is rigged with the CISS and sublimation ink. This is what a CISS looks like and how it works in the printer (no affiliate link here – just a helpful video!)

After printing the photos or text in mirror image on the dye transfer paper, the next step is to use the heat press to transfer the image to the fabric.

My heat press.

I place the paper image side down on the fabric on the base of the heat press, and then place the teflon sheet between the paper and the top plate of the heat press. Only about 25 seconds of about 400-degree heat and pressure successfully transfers the printed image onto the fabric. Then I sew the imprinted photo fabric squares into various products.

An assortment of some of my "kreations."

The combination of the sublimation ink and the heat press transforms the ink into a gas, which permeates the fabric. This causes the photos to virtually become part of the fabric, making them permanent, while the fabric stays soft and flexible (not the stiff ironed-on feeling!)  AND you can also wash and dry the items with the imprinted photos!

Lap quilt I made for an Etsy customer.

So there you go – that’s the story of how I added to my repertoire of “kreative” talents and imprinted photos have become my most popular option for the products I make.

If you're interested in checking out my sites to see other products, here are my links:

Did you have any idea before reading this of how much was involved in the process? What about you? Do you have any favorite tutorials that help you accomplish certain tasks?

March 7, 2015

3 Things I Completed Today

The date on this post will slip into March 7th before I'm done writing it...but I'm starting it on Friday, March 6th, and the Article Writing Challenge theme for Fridays is...

Yes, it has been a long and busy day. But I some how managed to get at least 3 things accomplished on Friday, March 6th:

1. Household chores. They seem never-ending and they don't care if you don't feel like doing them! Dishes and laundry seem to reproduce on their own, and advance from one stage to another. Clean piles to dirty piles back to clean piles again...and on and on and on...

I could say the same about other chores, such as scooping litter boxes, taking the trash out, de-cluttering...there's always something piling up that needs attention!

Piles of dirty dishes [source: morgueFile free photos]

2. Sewing. Funny (or not), but I also have PILES of sewing to do. Specifically, piles of quilt and pillow orders that are overdue, with anxious people awaiting them. And since March is National Quilting Month, of course I have to work on quilts!

Current quilt I'm working on!

3. Instructional Design. You might even say I have "piles" of freelance work to do, because I actually do. This is a nice "problem" to have, since steady work certainly helps with the financial picture. My project today happened to be doing instructional design work for a client, helping produce the storyboards for a course. Some of my favorite types of freelance work!

I do find lately that if I keep detailed lists of things I must accomplish, it really helps me stay organized and focused.

What about you? Do you make a list every day and try to follow it so you can accomplish everything you want or need to do? Did you complete 3 or more tasks on Friday?

March 5, 2015

Infographic: Too Late to Learn?

So with this post, I am back on schedule!  The Thursday theme from the Article Writing Challenge is all about infographics. So here is an interesting education-related one a writer friend located for me.  Are we ever too old to learn and succeed?

[Source: Funders and Founders; illustrated by Anastasia Borko]

I see some really familiar faces there - and others unknown to me - but how fascinating - in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and OLDER, before they ever began their journeys toward their now noted achievements in life.

I can really relate, because I was 50 when I earned my M.Ed. degree back in 2008, which launched me into my current instructional design career. Now, at 56, I may have another year or two before I finally achieve my highest academic endeavor: earning my doctorate degree and becoming Dr. K. Lee Banks!

What do you think of this infographic? Did you know some of these people achieved their success later in life? How about you? Have you recently taken steps to pursue a delayed goal in your life?

Guest Post: Jessa McClure, Homeschooler

 Welcome to my (belated) Wednesday, March 4th post, introducing my guest post from Jessa McClure, a fellow blogger (check out her blog, The Homegrown Heart), freelance writer, and homeschooling parent (something I did for over 11 years with my four children).

Jessa McClure

 Here are a few questions Jessa answered, so you can get to know her a little better.

Q. What are some of the best things about your life in homeschooling, being a mother, and being in ministry?

A. The best thing is that I get the opportunity to be with my kids every day—see their milestones, hear their conversations and know everything about them. I grew up with working parents and I always hoped and prayed that I would someday be in a position where I could stay home with my kids.

It is a struggle everyday—physically, emotionally and financially--but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The best thing about ministry is seeing the kids grasp Biblical concepts and getting to know their little hearts. They have so much to give and teach us adults.


Q. What are some of your struggles?

A. I struggle big time with time management and balancing it all. I’m also a freelance writer and have projects going on all of the time. So, it’s been a struggle to balance work, kids, homeschooling and ministry work. But, with God’s help I get through it day-by-day.


Q. How did you come up with the name, The Homegrown Heart, for your blog?

A. I have to remind myself every day that I am growing little hearts. Not just hearts that will one day love other people—friends, spouses, children—but hearts who will love Jesus. Not only do I have to plant the seeds for this love to grow in their hearts, but I have to help it grow. I feel like this guidance, this love training, even if you’re a working parent, begins at home.


Thank you, Jessa, for sharing with us. I admire you for keeping up with so many responsibilities and for your commitment to raising godly children. 

Remember to check out Jessa's blog, The Homegrown Heart

Thank you, readers, for learning about Jessa and her homeschooling efforts. How about you? Do any of you homeschool your children? How is it going?


My Top 10 List: Helping You Get to Know Me

Welcome to my Tuesday, March 3rd catch-up post for the Article Writing Challenge.

I was supposed to write a "Top 10" list, so in the interest of saving time, I'm borrowing one from another blog of mine.

So unless you're a family member, a close friend, a mutual Facebook group member, or a blog follower and reader at my KLB are my "Top 10" things you may not know about me!

Hubby Dave and me, with our pup, Desi!

1. I'm happily married (third time's the charm) to the love of my life, Dave, and we live in Maine with our "fur babies."

2. They include our 2 1/2-year-old pup, Desiree Clementine (Desi), a beautiful Plott hound with brindle markings; our 1- year-old black lab, Zoe Lee:

Me with my Zoe pup.
 ...and SIX cats -- yes, 6, although five of them arrived as a litter of feral kittens almost five years ago--and we just couldn't part with any of them.

3. I grew up in Gilford, New Hampshire within walking distance of Lake Winnipesaukee, and what is NOW the Meadowbrook Concert Pavilion. I was also within a few miles of Gunstock Mountain Resort and only about a half hour from what was THEN Bryar Motorsports Park in Loudon - NOW known as NH Motor Speedway.

4. I was NOT a NASCAR fan when I lived close enough to easily go to the races...NOW I am, since I've been with Dave, even though we have to travel about 3 1/2 hours to get there now!  GO DALE JR!!

5. I have four adult "kids" ranging in age from 25 to 33; my son is the oldest and then three beautiful daughters.  All have spouses or significant others in their lives, AND my youngest daughter and son-in-law have two daughters; so I am a grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters, born in 2012 and 2014.

Dave and me with our granddaughters.

6. Dave and I went on our first trip together - first flight, first international traveling adventure - in November 2013, to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to attend my middle daughter's wedding.

7. I am in my 8th year as a freelance writer and educational consultant; I have over 3,200 articles published online, recently co-authored a book with Dr. Christine Mason entitled Heart Beaming, and have helped develop about 15
courses for various clients.

8. I have written one book so far, a compilation of stories about my own Dad--gone since 2002--with contributions from others about their fathers. It's called Fatherly Reflections, available at Amazon for only $2.99 - plan ahead and download it in time for a nice Father's Day gift!
My book.

9. I have a custom quilt business, K-Lee's Kreations, specializing in adding imprinted photos for truly personal, memorable items. I make quilts, pillows, bags, and other fabric items.
Pillow made as a special gift for a young lady who successfully beat cancer.

10. I became a doctoral candidate in March 2014 when I passed my comprehensive exams for my Doctor of Education (EdD) degree with Northcentral University. I am currently working on my dissertation examining whether more effective online course development focused on meaningful learning activities—paired with engaging, interactive, and innovative online delivery methods—will satisfy the needs of adult learners engaged in online education.

So there you are--my Top 10 list!

Did you know all these things about me? Are any of them a surprise?