So You Want to Be in The Shirt Business

DO IT! Why not? Then we can suffer together! Seriously tho, why do you hate yourself? Do you have THAT much to say? Yeah, me neither. lol

Does anyone blog anymore? Now THAT would be a cool shirt, no?

Yes, the ideas are endless. The plan is to come up with something that is worth dragging the heat press out to iron on.

So you have an idea, what do you do with it? If you can draw, sketch it up. Do so either in your favorite computer design program, or, on paper. If it is something you can take a picture of, do that. In either case, import it into your favorite design program, work an invert, trace, posterize, or bitmap conversion. From there, make it as detailed as you are willing to work on it. Give yourself some time to find you eye for working something into a usable image. To silk screen or cut in heat transfer vinyl, you will want to take a different approach with each type of design to suit the medium.

HTV is cut in reverse on the substrate. This rule can become mute for images that can be flipped but text you’ll want to be able to read the right way unless you’re making shirts for people who chase cars so drivers can read them in their rear view mirrors. Always cut and weed a sample piece before doing a bulk cut to check sizing and make sure no corners are sticking and to insure you did remember to reverse the art/text. Refer to the instructions that came with your HTV. I use Siser easy weed. I launder and tumble dry all the garments pre press with diluted Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. Doing so is important to remove any starch or finishes on the garment, and to shrink the material so it doesn’t pucker and mess up the design on the first wash.

The design part is the funnest. The cutting is work and the pressing is the real work. Preparation makes for a smooth finish. People loving and wearing your designs is the reward!

Always watch the machine or be in the same room when it is cutting. I’ve had more than one long strip of HTV go rogue in the middle of cutting, slashing thru the material in a loosened frenzy of self annihilation. If you catch it quick you can save yourself some material loss.

Weed all your cut material and stack it HTV side up. Heat your press. If you are making all one thing, you won’t need to divide the work by size.

Pre-press garments to remove any moisture. I press the whole shirt so they finish neat, ready to wear, and professional! If I am doing a multiple shirt order, I stack them on top of each other and fold them as a whole, tucking the sleeves and bottom and neck line towards the back, not creasing the design. Or if you are delivering, bring them on hangers for best results! I use the maker’s tag to line the front image centered.

I don’t have the room to silkscreen but if I do something small, I use acrylic paint with a fabric additive to soften it. Typically silkscreen ink needs solvent for clean up and that’s just too much for me to deal with. I am able to make vinyl of art to put on plexiglass to use to make the screen depending on the design. That’s about all I can commit to at this time.

The hardest part for me is knowing when to stop! I put jammer stars on hoodie hoods lol, do words or designs down sleeves, pockets, derrieres, front and backs, of course!

The weeding and pressing is the real work you are getting paid for. Each garment gets a pre press, then press the design on, peel and re-press with silicone mat. VOILA! Done! Depending on the design the weeding may go smooth or you may need magnifying glasses, especially if weeding white HTV. That stuff will make you think you are going blind!

I love doing custom work. People come to me with their design idea and I make their ideas come true. The down side to doing custom work is sometimes people will ask you to make something cringy, or inappropriate. I won’t make anything I don’t want my name on or that is hate speech of any kind. That’s not my scene. I’ve get better things to do than make people a billboard for their mental limitations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free speech. But unless you are helping, you are harming, and I don’t want that on me.

A problem with being a small shop and doing ‘one of’ designs is the shirts are relatively inexpensive but the shipping cost $12+ for a single shirt to get to me to work on. I don’t have the space, or overhead to keep every size, color on hand. So I do prefer doing at least $200. a run but that is not a rule, I will do one of you are willing to pay to cover costs, materials, shipping, and work.

Have a neat idea that you want to brand but don’t have money for equipment and materials? There’s plenty of awesome sites like Cafepress, Redbubble, etc., who can make your design right on product for you. Cafepress even has a wholesale purchase option you can use of your own designs to sell at fairs or festivals. Pretty darn handy!

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Bitches Loves Freedom

Subtleties of freedom lay in something as sublime as picking up a book to read. That’s just what these derbyladies are doing! By reading banned books, they are exercising the freedom of their birthrights given to us by our forefathers. It’s a beautiful thing.  See for yourself.

Freedom is subtle & sublime as seen here

Freedom is subtle & sublime as seen here

These ladies of the Roller Derby league The Elm City Derby Damez in Keene, New Hampshire answered a call to action in celebration of freedom.

Meet now, Bitches Bruze,  who writes The promise of derby and share in her knowledge & inspiration. Take some time to visit all the many facets of her blog and read her response to the call of action.


                  Bitches Bruze/Amy Jo Moore  Reading SEX by Madonna

  • Mostly I play blocker, but I pivot often and some times jam. I’m in my 7th season of roller derby.
  • I am currently the co-Captain of the Elm City Derby Damez, a world-wide travel coach having coached around the US as well as England, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
  • I referee and NSO which means over some 275 bouts I have participated in every single position on the track except for scorekeeper (for some odd reason).
  • I am also an announcer having started announcing in 2008 as a guest of the Ithaca League of Women Rollers. I’m unaffiliated, but I can often be heard on during ECDX and usually one of the playoffs. Last year it was Eastern Regionals. This year I was on the stream for D1 Richmond. I also announced for World Cup 2011 and had the honor of covering the stream for Stars vs. Strips at that event.
  • If I had to pick a favorite album I guess it would be Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew – after which I named myself. I feel that it is the jazz representation of roller derby.
  • I’m a Libra and I teach computer programming and applications at my local community college.
  • My personal derby web site is Promise of Derby
  • Outside of derby I enjoy sailing, but I also spend pretty much all my spare time pioneering with my husband to build our new house on 10 acres. We’re cutting down the trees ourselves, milling our own lumber, working the land with heavy equipment (backhoe, bulldozer, skid steer, concrete mixer) that we own and maintain. It’s a very long term project.
  • Not much scares me except the idiocy of crowds.
  • I have a new puppy this year and she makes me laugh and keeps me entertained. She’s very energetic.
  • Elevating awareness of banned books is important because art reflects our humanity. Trying to sanitize away our selves and the things that live deep inside us serves no one. There is no such thing as “bad words” or even bad images (so long as bad things weren’t done to create them).

Find out more about the awesome people behind ECDD and support these wonderful people! 

Love ECDD on facebook too.


Banned books that Shaped America

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Fight The Power of Oppression!



Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

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Fool’s Cobbler recipe



“Everyone will be fooled by this great zucchini squash recipe! It looks and tastes just like apple cobbler! I serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or the next day room temp with whipped cream. Use one of those giant ‘I’ve been hiding’ zucchini you find in the deep vestiges of the garden! A real family favorite! Even people who think they hate zucchini will love this recipe!”


    8 cups peeled, seeded, diced zucchini
    3/4 cup fresh lemon juice approx. 4-5 lemons
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    2 cups flour
    2 cups rolled oats
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 Tb. molasses
    3/4 cup butter
    3/4 olive oil (or applesauce)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup sliced almonds
    Directions- Preheat oven 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
 Peel. Seed. Chop. Cube squash into large chunks. It already pretty much looks like APPLES!
Cook zucchini with lemon juice in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring     occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar & 1 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg. Simmer for a min. Remove from heat, set aside.
    Combine flour, oats, molasses, 1 tsp cinnamon & 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cut in butter (or melt & drizzle) & olive oil into coarse     crumbs (or applesauce). Add (optional) vanilla & almonds.
    Stir 1/2 cup of crumb topping into cooked zucchini mix.
    Pour into dish. Top with remaining topping. Bake 35-40 minutes until light golden brown & bubbly.
    Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Great the next day.

    Prep Time: 25 min.  Cook Time: 35-40.  Ready In: 1 hr.  Servings 16.

This is a cinchy recipe that adapts well to experimenting & altering. I didn’t have lemon juice so I made a batch with orange juice and my daughter thought it was peach cobbler! (I stayed up late and made it while everyone was sleeping so I could fool them! HEEHEE). Feel free to adjust any ingredients as you know your family’s taste. Almonds & vanilla are optional. Don’t press top crust in or it can become a challenge to spoon thru. I use all the topping on the top but you can make a bottom and top crust if that’s your preference. I usually use a large deep dish corning ware pan and a small one so I can share. SOOO GOOD! And wait until you see their faces when you tell them it’s ZUCCHINI!?!

Even the staunchest zucchini naysayers will rave & crave this recipe! I get such a kick out of making stuff my husband thinks he doesn’t like then watch him gobble it up and ask for more! This stuff rules!

2nd place ribbon in the Gold Country fair. We’re #2! We’re #2!



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I’ve been speculating on Roller Derby and the role it plays in women’s lives. I think it’s safe to say if RD doesn’t steer your life in the direction it needs to go, then you are doing it wrong.  On the same note I don’t know anyone who has been a part of RD who hasn’t been thrust into their truth!

I watch in amazement as girls become women. I see ladies getting married or divorced. Coming out of the closet. Losing or finding their religion. Going back to school for degrees or following their dreams as artists, writers, musicians, comedians. Having babies & raising strong children. Starting their own businesses. Doing something for themselves. It’s very empowering to watch and be a part of something so dynamic.

Roller Derby has a way of sifting out the unnecessary;  simmering everything down to it’s concentrated essence. It’s like an alchemy. Take strong women. Give them all a common goal. Change your world. It’s a beautiful thing.


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Fire me already

I’m no good at blogging. I don’t have the self discipline to come on here and write up all the things going round & round in my mind. I dialogue to myself in my brain so much of the time of all the expert things I have to share. Funny, witty, good timing all exist in my mind. I’m brilliant! But when I come to actually write something, I become a Zen Buddhists blank slate ready to be filled. It’s embarrassing, really. It makes me wonder do I even have any good ideas or something worth sharing at all? Who knows! But maybe one day I will sync my wit with my typing and get something entertaining for you to read.
Until then, I will be busy making decals. We also are now branching off into the shirt biz. I am very excited. My hopes are to eventually get into silk screening. Right now we are working with heat transfer & a clam shirt press, which is perfect for custom designs. My cutter/plotter is just as adept at cutting iron-on heat transfer as it is vinyl. The silkscreen I want to use for multiple single image, limited edition, numbered runs of unique designs. This thrills me!

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Fonts and more fonts F#CK MY FACE!!!! MY EYES!!!

I have a disc that brags as it’s name 5000 FONTS. WOW!!!!!!!! 5000! Five Thousand! 5 thousand! Anything & everything ever woulda coulda been there! Ya think? But no. Fonts spill over like beer head foam wetting the soles of my shoes and making me walk sticky. I hate you 5000 Fonts! You dissect my eyes into pustules of globule blobs retreating until words are weapons gouging out my brain making a spot repetitively worn down where words are without any comprehension or meaning! Gibberish! All a blubbering mukluk of rambling nonsense passing before my eyes.*%@#$ ^KFCD#@ & O@IUB :LJJ HYR%# *^(& amp;* Y_ )(_)!@#$%^&*UIJZVDGSTFJYUHG:LH
Until my brain is saturated; dripping beer foam from my head holes. Grab a mug! 833R!

Don’t see a font you would like your name cut in on my font board?
Just give me the name of a font or a link or a style you like-retro, classic, geeky, horror, script, country, alien, stencil, metal, goth, modern, bats, graffiti… and I can find something to show you that you might like.


Not all fonts can be used in a cut vinyl art medium format. Scuffed, excessively jaggedy, worn, splattered, messy, extreme fine lines and points all aren’t able to be read and cut by the cutter/plotter machine and/or don’t wear well on something that gets a lot of use (hopefully) like a Roller Derby helmet. We are willing to do finer lined fonts if your black heart is set on something in particular. But we don’t have the same satisfaction guarantee for they may not wear as well as the heavier styled fonts we have chosen for you to match our vinyl medium. If you do opt for the more delicate styles, I recommend using a drawstring helmet bag so it doesn’t bash around inside your skate bag scuffing and peeling your decal.

I’ve got no bones about telling you it like it is.

Derby Luv always, Blastfemi

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TL Kelly Graphics

This blog is to pimp my Roller Derby decals.
I’m having a great time doing up Roller Derby names for leagues all over the world. It started as a hobby, became an obsession and is now my profession.

You want them, I have them.

We are as flexible as our market is demanding. I love my job and working with all the hard working women & men of Roller Derby. It’s my passion and my love.
I’ll be taking the time to explain some of the different idiosyncrasia of designing graphics.

Until then, feel free to ask my any questions you may have. I am happy to help. In fact, I’m known for (and take great pride) in my ridiculous customer service. No request too bizarre or big! Try me! We work for you. Fast & fresh!
OXO Blastfemi



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New Beginnings! CTRG Sponsorship!

I’m tickled pink, black & blue to announce the new sponsorship we have with CTRG! What a great feeling! We got the privilege of making a couple handfuls of decals for CTRG. In fact we’ve had many 1st’s with CTRG now since they were our first team order & now sponsorship!

It’s been a total thrill to work with you ladies! Thanks for everything! Why does everything derby feel soo good? Wait! Don’t tell me! I can’t keep a secret! Let’s just ride this one as it crests. Time to go swing some chains & crack some whips!

CTRG News in the news & sign up for newsletter


The Daughters of the American Derby Revolution!

CT All Stars The Stepford Sabotage
vs. Green Mountain Derby Dames


CT Yankee Brutals
vs. Assault City Roller Derby

Doors Open @ 5pm, First Bout @ 6pm TICKETS: $10 in Advance, $12 at the door (CASH ONLY)Kids under 12 FREE with a paying adult.Tickets for CTRG home bouts are now available for purchase at Diamond Designs, 500 Boston Post Road, Orange. Cash only. $10 per ticket.






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Roller Derby Equipment Care & Gear

Washing your equipment is essential. There are several ways to wash them from putting them into the shower with you after practice to running them in the dishwasher. The way I prefer is to hand wash with a mild soap or shampoo in the sink. Cold water rinse well. You can put pads into the washing machine on the spin cycle only to get the excess water out, blot between a towel or let drip dry in the tub or sink on hangers or clothesline. Never use laundry soap for hand washing without using gloves. Never say never. Can you say c-h-e-m-i-c-a-l p-e-e-l ?

Alternately to hand washing, you can put the pads into your automatic dishwasher and run a normal/light load and rinse cycle. Again you can run these on a spin cycle only in the washing machine to remove excess water. I recommend using my homemade dishwasher powder recipe.

If you have the freedom & luxury to be able to hang on an outdoor clothesline, this is a great way to dry your pads during warm weather. The sun kills bacteria that causes odors. If you can’t wash your pads as frequently as you want, hang them out in the sun to freshen & kill germs.

Helmets are a hidden equipment stench of derby! Ever washed your helmet? Check your chin straps! Can’t find that stench you keep smelling? It’s right under your nose (chin)! Remove the Velcro pads in your helmet and gently hand wash in warm water with mild soap & cold water rinse. Hang or gently squeeze in a towel to dry. Don’t rub the inserts vigorously, they are usually made of thin foam rubber and are delicate. Submerge whole helmet in sudsy water while washing with your hands paying particular attention to those sweaty straps. Rinse & hang or hand dry.

To clean your gear in a pinch, stop the shower drain up while you shower, drop pads in. Give ’em a squirt of shampoo, stomp, stomp, stomp, rinse, rinse again, hang or spin dry. (That is so Derby!)

Mouth guards are mandatory. You will be ejected from the building without one. I have a snap on lid little plastic container to use. A plastic bar soap travel container or a denture container would work too. rinse mouth guard as soon as you can & dry well. Store wrapped in paper towel inside container to keep fresh for next use. Most mouth guards have an insurance form for dental coverage should you come to the event of having a mouth injury. Fill that out and send it in for coverage.

Well fitted, properly operating equipment is a major part of derby. Must haves are knee & elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet & mouth guard. I also strongly recommend sweatpants, tights, 2 layers pantyhose/fishnet stockings, yoga pants, leggings, long socks (poly blend to minimize friction & blisters), something to cover all the skin on your legs for those falls or baseball slides! The floor will peel the skin right off your body! Speed+contact=friction+rinkrash! And while I think the fishnet scars are the only scars I ever want if I ever wanted scars, the rinkrash I want to avoid! It is one of the most painful injuries you can get, sans, sitting on a wheel, broken bones, bashed backwards knees & busted tailbones. Rinkrash hurts! When skating/falling outdoors it’s known as roadrash. You can also get carpet burns at the rink, if you get too close to the wall. It’s all about the equipment. The safer & more protected you feel on the floor, the more confidently you can exercise your derby skill and bounce off the floor and walls with minimal repercussions. I also recommend using a poly sports bra. I use to get total nipple hard-ons from my cotton sport bra getting saturated in my sweat then cooling off ‘the girls’ to such an extent that my nipples were hard the whole practice. If you ever experienced this it isn’t pleasant! It hurts! The poly bras wick the wetness away, keeping the girls happy & calm. That’s one of my highest recommendations.

Optional equipment may include headband or bandanna under helmet to protect hair from breakage & absorb perspiration, elbow, knee or ankle support worn under pads, bottom/butt pads with or without plastic inserts, fingerless gloves or wristies, headband, leg warmers, (sometimes worn on the upper arms/elbows, too).
If your hair is long enough to braid or put into ponytails make sure you do so at a point on your head that won’t interfere with the fit of your helmet. Have helmet strap fit under chin snugly. Double chins are sexy! Intact heads are sublime!

My pads & equipment are my constant skating helpmates. I would have knocked myself out a long time ago had I not been properly equipped! And while stinky pads may be an effective defense, it’s offensive. We will sniff you out and destroy you. Bwaahahahahahaaa….

When hanging laundry is illegal only outlaws will hang out clothes.

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