How is it already August all of a sudden? What did I do all year? Oh I’ve been busy for a while, but the last few months were dedicated to Nico’s knee replacement surgery and the extra duties for me that came with that. He’s starting to get more mobile again, slooooowly but surely, so I’m trying to get back to Feel The Fire stuff!
My biggest thing in the spring was investing in t-shirts! Buying an as-good-as-possible heat press for my budget, and a bunch of shirts wholesale to start with. I’m feeling I’m coming full circle again, as I used to screen print t-shirts back in the Netherlands for decades!
Heat press: PowerPress PW 15×15
After many hours of research for my budget of roughly CAD$300-$350, I chose this PowerPress clam style one: https://www.amazon.ca/PowerPress-HPM-1515-BK-Industrial-Quality-Digital-Sublimation/dp/B0773Y1TNX/
A clam style is more sturdy than a swing away one, and because it’s a simpler mechanism, it’s less likely to break down. But you have to be careful with placing items under the plate, as it doesn’t go up very high and you can easily accidentally touch the hot plate with your hand or arm. Ouch! Almost all presses in this price point have very similar reviews, but this one stood out a little bit as it was often mentioned in articles as a relatively professional one for the money.
Cotton shirts all the way!
As for shirts, I like normal, sturdy, cotton t-shirts. Not the thin, flimsy, (but maybe softer) t-shirts that many people seem to like these days. I like several brands, but I usually get Gildan at blankclothing.ca. They have a relatively low point for free shipping in combination with good prices, which makes a lot of difference for me.
My own designs as much as possible
I want to make shirts with designs I have drawn myself. Most of the time! Sometimes I don’t have the time, or there is something out there for sale (or free even) that is already so nice that I just want to use that. As a camping fan, I have wanted to make a series of geographical themed designs, based on popular campgrounds and lakes. As for copyright, I’m not allowed to use “provincial park”, but there is not copyright on geographical names, so for instance I can do Buffalo Pound without adding the park name. Buffalo Pound and Saskatchewan zentangle/doodle designs are the first two in this series! I also try to make my own designs when someone asks me to put something specific on a shirt. The quote may not be my own invention, but at least the design will be. My diabetes and beading themed shirts are good examples of that. The beading ones I make for my friends of CreeHearts Designs, who make fantastic indigenous bead work and sell these shirts to their clients.
And of course I take custom orders!