A while ago I nudged y'all a little about forming local "Community Circles" so you could get together once in a while to have lunch, chat, make projects and generally help each other out. Believe me, it was NOT my doing, but the "How many live in Central Florida?" thread has grown to 209 posts, 13 pages! Again, not my doing (I'm telling you this because I don't want you to think that I've planned and organized this thing, which I haven't. I'm simply a machine embroiderer in Central Florida who has been posting on the thread.) but a luncheon has been planned for next month and we're expecting more than 20, including a couple of hubbies.
In discussing this coming, much anticipated event, in addition to deciding where to have lunch and with whom to carpool, the main topic of conversation has been about name tags. A unique thing about ME-ers is that we want to embroider everything we can get our hands on. You'll find that at most, if not all, embroidery retreats, seminars and get-togethers many of the participants will wear very original embroidered name tags.
11 years ago a group of 43 Brother, Baby Lock and Deco embroiderers (All these machines use the same file format and similar software.) met up in Paducah, Kentucky, for what I believe is the first machine embroidery retreat ever. (I'm 3rd from the left on the bottom row. Monica, with whom we had lunch in Toronto is 4th from the left in the top row. June Mellinger from Brother is in there somewhere and the lone man is one of the Brother programmers from Japan.) You'll see my old, faded name tag at the top left. The machine in the center is a button with the shank cut off and glued on. The little pair of scissors hanging from a ribbon is something I picked up at some sewing store somewhere I have no idea when. As you can see, I have by now accumulated a gazillion, give or take, name tags by now. When I need one I usually just pluck one off the rack and put it on. For our upcoming luncheon, however, I'll be making a brand spanking new one.
Now, when you've attended several retreats and seminars you find yourself sticking your room key and a couple of $$ in back of your name tag so you don't have to carry a purse. Some embroiderers have come up with really spiffy name tags with pockets sewn in, with or without zippers, to carry other stuff you might want to have with you. My favorite was given to my by Sue Lord during a Yankee Swap at a retreat somewhere. When you lift her collar you find the pocket. I put my name tag in her hands with double sided tape. She's SO cute!
Okay, before I go on I'll explain what a Yankee Swap is for those of you who don't know. Some of you might do the same at parties and holidays, but call it by another name. Everyone brings a gift and everyone picks a number out of a hat. All the gifts, unwrapped, are placed on a table and the first person chooses the one she wants. The next person has the choice of picking something else or taking the gift from the person in front of her (who then has to pick something else, but now she's "safe"). This goes on until all the gifts are distributed. At embroidery retreats all of the gifts are hand-made embroidered items. All of them are really nice and some are spectacular. I've won, in addition to the name tag from Sue, an embroidered clock for my sewing room and a quillow.
My second favorite name tag was the one given out at a retreat in Houston. The gals who organized the retreat made the name tags for everyone! It has one pocket in the front and 2 in the back. I think that just looking at the front and back of the tag you can see how it's made.
What should be ON your name tag? Well, your name, of course, and also your screen name, because many of the people you'll be meeting know you by that name. I think that where you're from should also be there so you can quickly identify people who live near you. Anything else you put on your name tag is gravy. I'm not going to show you my name tag for our Orlando luncheon, first because I haven't made it yet (still have 5 weeks to work on it) and second because I don't want to give it away. But I can show you my first draft of just the embroidery.
Some of your comments on my Fathers' Day post really squeezed my heart. Yes, my father was quite a "dandy.' On the evening that my daughter was born, my father's first granddaughter after 3 grandsons, he must have been already in bed when my mother called him from the hospital with the news. He got up, got dressed in full regalia, shirt, tie, jacket, hat, walking stick and walked into the hospital and onto the maternity floor. He rapped on the glass of the nursery and told the nurse that he had come to call on a young lady. Now this was back in the days when they knocked you out when you had a baby and woke you when it was over to tell you whether you had a girl or a boy. I was still asleep when my father was there, but the nurses couldn't stop talking about that "gentleman who came visiting last night."
Clearing up some Catalog XPress misconceptions
Another thing that's being hotly discussed in the Central Florida thread is organizing designs. I posted something of a rant there a couple of days ago because everyone was telling how they organize their designs but no one was mentioning my baby, Catalog XPress, the first embroidery software program I ever designed and which is, as Mary Poppins would say, "practically perfect." I'm going to copy part of that "rant" here:
My embroidery designs are sorted on my had drive into several folders, Original Designs, Purchased (commercial) Designs, Downloaded Designs and, of course, all the Free Designs from my web site. Within the Commercial designs folder are folders for each of the companies from which I've purchased designs, Dakota, Amazing Designs, Embroidery Library, Brother, OESD, etc. So you can see that I'm fairly well organized. BUT when I want to find something I look for it in Catalog XPress, the program I designed for us. You see, for example, I have designs of cats in several Amazing Designs sets, several OESD sets and at least 2 Brother sets. But all of the cats are in Catalog XPress in the Cats folder. When I want to stitch a cat, instead of having to look through all of those folders, I look in only 1 place. If I have a design with a cat and a dog it will be in both the Cats and Dogs category. If the cat and dog are wearing hats the design will be in the Cats section, the Dogs section and in the hats section. If the hats are red, white and blue the design will also be in the Patriotic section. And, to carry this even further, if the cat and dog wearing red, white and blue hats are riding in a car the design will also be in the transportation category, in the Cars sub-category. You could, of course, do this on your computer by putting copies of the design in folders with those names, but then you'd have multiple copies of the design. With Catalog XPress I have only the one original design.
You say that all your designs are on flash drives or CDs and Catalog XPress doesn't know where they are? Yes, Catalog XPress has the memory of an elephant. Or at least the memory of a much younger woman than I am. When you click on a design that says "Not Found" look at the address bar at the top of the screen and Catalog XPress will tell you exactly where to find the design. You complain that all you can see are wimpy little cartoon pictures of the designs (on the other hand, in Windows Explorer you don't have any pictures at all). Again, not so. Right click on the design in the preview window and choose 3D view. Now the design appears in all its stitch-filled glory. Picture not big enough? Grab the edges and pull it bigger. Sorting is the main function of Catalog XPress, but not the only one. The programmers who helped me develop Catalog XPress thought of lots of things that didn't even occur to me or that I didn't think were even possible.
Well, I think I've talked long enough now. Y'all turn off your computers and sew something! TTFN