Relaunching Words of Encouragement

Hello? Is anybody out there? I have been away from this blog for far too long, but I’m relaunching it today, March 1st, 2015, with renewed motivation to blog regularly. This month is special to me, because it’s the month my beloved Dad and I shared birthdays, his on the 15th and mine on the 29th. We used to have group celebrations, and my Dad, middle daughter (I have three), and I all had spring birthdays.

My Dad, my middle daughter Jen (birthday in April), and me.

My middle daughter, (birthday in April), me, and my Dad…over 20 years ago.

If you are new to this blog, I invite you to read my “About” page, which explains the purpose and goal of this blog. Part of it is to honor the memory of my Dad, who we lost in 2002 to lymphoma.  Another part is to carry on his legacy of encouraging others, a gift he had even in his final hours of life.

 

I hope to do this by posting daily devotional shares and inspirational thoughts. I have also just added a page entitled Daily Scripture Readings for those who would like to read a few verses from Psalms and Proverbs each day.

So for today, March 1st, here are some devotional thoughts to ponder:

 

“God has created us to be different from one another; and He has done it on purpose. Each of us meets a need, and we are all part of God’s overall plan. God wants us to fit into His plan, not to feel pressured trying to fit into everyone else’s plans.

We should be free to love and accept ourselves and one another without feeling pressure to compare or compete. Secure people who know God loves them and has a plan for them are not threatened by the abilities of others. They enjoy what other people can do and they enjoy what they can do.”

–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You”

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“Lord, thank You that You love me deeply and tenderly. You are compassionate and gracious, full of lovingkindness, ready to forgive, patiently considerate, and generous beyond imagining.

You desire my love and rejoice to do good things for me. You delight to give me the desires of my heart as I delight myself in You. How precious is Your love to me, O God! I sing for joy as I take refuge in the shadow of Your wings!”

–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise” [Day 1]

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“I believe we need to have what I call ‘divine connections.’ In other words, pray about your circle of friends. Don’t just decide what social group you want to be part of and then try to get into it. Instead, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in choosing with whom you want to associate closely.

Pray: Lord, I ask you to bring the right friends into my life. Give me wisdom to know whom to welcome into my circle of friends. Amen.”

–Joyce Meyer in “The Confident Woman Devotional” [March 1]

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I hope this relaunch of this blog will be a blessing to all who read and follow it.

Do you have favorite Bible verses, devotional books, or other inspirational sayings? Do you try to have a daily quiet time of meditation?

What Would YOU Like to Learn About Here?

I admit it: I’m a lifelong learner and an advocate of online learning, in particular. I don’t think anyone is ever too old to learn new things.  I mean, really, I earned my M.Ed. degree at the age of 50 – with a 4.0 GPA! I’m now 55 and in the dissertation phase of earning my Ed.D. degree. So if *I* can do it, I know younger people can certainly learn new things and pursue dreams–and older people, too, because I have had classmates in their 60s and 70s!

 

Photo Credit: LiveLifeHappy.com.

 

So with THAT introduction, and based on the writing prompt for today’s Article Writing Challenge, what would YOU like to learn about here on this blog?

I have done two blog series of posts with specific themes on my primary blog (K’Lee Banks, Freelance Consultant Services), and I am currently trying to wrap another one up there; I would be happy to do likewise here, if that is something anyone would like to see.

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I would just ask people to keep in mind the overall theme and nature of this blog, because I wouldn’t go against my own moral standards to post about anything questionable or potentially offensive, especially because I think that would dishonor my Dad’s memory–and he’s the reason I started this blog! Here is some info about the purpose of this blog, from my About page:

…the goal of this blog – to encourage others through stories, verses, thoughts, and other bits of inspiration.

This blog is my attempt, in some small way, to honor my Dad’s memory and carry on his legacy of encouragement and inspiration, to help others as he helped all of us in his family, extended family, church family, and so many others during his lifetime. This is for you, Dad – I love you and miss you.

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Since I do research for a living–between my freelance writing and my doctoral studies–I’m not opposed to researching some topic any of you indicate interest in, and learning something new myself in the process!

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This might also be a good time to share what my own vision and plan is for this blog, in addition to what I posted above regarding the goal and purpose of this blog. I post daily “Attitude of Gratitude” posts, devotional thoughts, and scriptures on my Facebook timeline and it occurred to me that I should just “borrow” those posts and bring them here for blog readers to enjoy who may not be connected with me on Facebook.

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I have been writing daily Attitude of Gratitude posts for nearly two years (started in November 2011) and then this year, I started posting daily verses from the Psalms and Proverbs. My plan, beginning in January 2014, is to post those Bible verses on a separate page for each month.  I will probably start posting my daily Attitude of Gratitude posts tomorrow.

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So tell me, please: what would YOU like to learn and discuss here, within the parameters of this blog’s intended purpose? Please leave comments to let me know–or if you prefer, check my Contact page for info on getting in touch with me privately.

 

How Do You Do That?

How do you do that?  This is a question I receive often through emails, Facebook posts and messages, forum posts, and even in person.  So since the writing prompt for today in the Article Writing Challenge is to address such questions, this particular one seemed like the best candidate.

 

Nursery Quilt and Pillow Set

This question that frequently arises, “How do you do that?” is in reference to how I create all my imprinted photos on products such as the quilt and pillow in the above photo.

I finally wrote the whole explanation in a note on Facebook at my K-Lee’s Kreations page, as well as at Etsy and Bonanza, so people would understand the process.

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Since so many people ask about the imprinting process that I use to make my photo products, I thought I would explain it here. 

Most people send photos as ‘jpeg’ attachments via email – some folks send photos via ‘snail mail’ and I scan them. I typically do a little photo editing: do some cropping, make them the right size, add different effects, or whatever works for each photo.

I have a second printer set up with sublimation ink and dye sublimation transfer paper, which is what I use to print out the photos.

The photos are then IMPRINTED into a poly poplin fabric using sublimation ink and a heat press (my first one was a DIY version that  my ‘handy hubby’ made for me, with a simple hot plate and base! Now I have an official heat press made by Gecko Heat Transfer Solutions).

These are NOT regular computer ink photos!

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!)

You can also wash and dry the items with the imprinted photos! 

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One of the reasons I most enjoy adding imprinted photos to my handmade products is the joy it evokes in those people who receive items as gifts or who buy them for themselves or others. I also get to share a little in the lives of those who trust me with their cherished photos, and I know I’m creating heirloom products that are personal and meaningful to those who receive them.

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I have concentrated primarily on creating customized products, made to order –but people often ask if I can make some ready-to-buy items. SO…recently, I decided to create a new line of products and call them K-Lee’s Kollectibles.

This will be a line of about two dozen items–a mixture of bags, pillows, wall quilts, lap quilts, and quilt/pillow sets–that will still feature imprinted images, but they will be ready-to-buy, featuring photos from various family members and friends who have agreed to let me use their photos.  Here is a group collection of sample items:

So…that is how I do that!

Did you have any idea of the process involved in adding imprinted photos? What do you think of my idea for K-Lee’s Kollectibles?