Threads from Africa- 30% off till Feb 9th

Thread colors and names inspired by African Savanah  From The COLORFUL world of African Folklore Embroidery we bring you a complete selection of multi-colored hand dyed variegated threads from House of Embroidery, South Africa.  Our exquisite hand-dyed threads are suitable for all types... [More]

Mural Painting- The Ndebele women-Creative Inspiration- Enter to win 4 African Folklore Embroidery kits

Mural Painting- The Ndebele women-Creative Inspiration- Enter to win 4 African Folklore Embroidery kits  While there are many tribes in Africa, the magnificent beadwork, doll- making and wall mural painting of the Ndebele tribe are a constant source of inspiration. The houses of the Ndebele... [More]

Embroidering Knits: Hooping is the Key

Embroidery on knits can be tricky, but the real secret is in the hooping.To get great results on knits, you must stabilize this stretchy fabric. You probably know that the text book rule for fabrics that stretch is to use a cutaway stabilizer.This should be followed, except in rare instances. If it ... [More]

World Wide Web, a Freebie and Hankies for Brides with Alpha Xpress

 You know that WWW stands for World Wide Web. Typing in WWW tells your browser that you are connecting to a Web server. However, as the Internet and related-technology evolved, prefixes became mostly unnecessary. But we are creatures of habit and many Websites use both WWW and non-WWW addresse... [More]

Back From the Workshop

Hello, Granners! It has been a while since I've been able to write to you, and I'm sorry about that. For the last year or so we've been working hard on some new products. But while products are under development I can't really tell you much about what we're doing.... [More]

A Freebie and Tip #4 Alpha Xpress Customizes Words

Some days I cannot find my keys, or my glasses or whatever I really need. Too often, I cannot find a file I need and that presents a lot of problems for me. I am always on a schedule and get frustrated with delays!  This small application is really worth its weight in gold and then some. Check... [More]

Make Patches and Emblems from Scratch

There are times when attaching a patch or emblem is a lot easier than trying to apply embroidery directly to a difficult item. Other times, it’s helpful to be able to change or remove the embroidered identification easily.  For these times, it’s nice to know how to make emblems... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Show and Tell

I hope your holidays were full of fun with family and friends.   I listened to people make their New Year's resolutions   the other night.  Some were new but many were the same old ones they make every year and find so difficult to keep.  So, we talked with the girl... [More]

Quick Coasters in the hoop- Designs Included

Quick Coasters in the hoop- Designs Included Ever need something right now!  Well last year one of the charity craft bazaars in my mom's neighbourhood needed lots of little things to fill in.  So we made a bunch of these in one night.  In sets of 4 of these quick coasters, tied i... [More]

Keeping It Simple - A Beautiful Lace Snowflake and Easy Turtles too.

Well, the Christmas music is playing everywhere, most of the shopping is done but the sewing pile still looms, at least at my house.  I have at least four more gifts to make before Christmas Day.  November and December have been busier than usually with things unplanned but just part of li... [More]

Create Timeless Keepsakes with Shadow Work - by Machine!

Shadow Work by Machine is a technique invented, perfected and patented by designer Suzanne Hinshaw. Patented designs created Suzanne are the only genuine, legitimate designs for shadow work by machine. That's fine - because her designs are timeless and elegant and are totally goof-proof. I promi... [More]

Contour Clock Apron

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

Wrap up some Sweet Treats!

Seasons Greetings Everyone! If you happened to catch my blog around Halloween, you  may remember that I used the cutest designs from Amazing Designs---little candy corn characters dressed up for Halloween.  It was the “Sweet Halloween I” collection.  Well I had so much ... [More]

Free Slideshow Program and Alphabet Xpress Tip #3, stitch view

There are several very nice slideshow programs on the Internet, but I thought that this one was the best.   Most of the freebies are minimal and require that you download their data down to your PC.  As I have noted several times, more and more of the software will be purchased/used/a... [More]

Embroider Shirt Cuffs for Christmas

Do you love the look of monograms on men's cuffs? This is a stylish touch that almost any man can appreciate. The trick is to create these small wonders in the correct size, without bulky corners and with proper placement. You can get confidence to embroider cuffs by practicing on cuffs fro... [More]

New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery

Exciting New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery We have several new designs just in time for the Holidays. Some of these include the new Hanukkah designs (this year Hanukkah starts December 1st.) Two special designs that celebrate this holiday include the Hanukah Menorah; it is custom... [More]

Keeping It Simple - A Cute Christmas Stocking

I'm not sure why but I really enjoy making Christmas stockings.  I have made traditional ones, funky ones, country ones and elegant ones depending on who they are for.   We always make a stocking for each new addition to our family.  Some years, with weddings and births, we h... [More]

A Family Freebie, Scanners and Alphabet Xpress, Tip #2, Buying Fonts

There are many resources for looking for ancestors and relatives online. reviews a number of sites, speeds up your search and is free.  Good luck finding those who may be related to you. You may already own a scanner or just be considering one for your home use. ... [More]

Keeping it Simple - Easy Runners for Small places

A while back, our oldest daughter painted her dining area walls orange.  We all thought she was a little crazy but with her black furniture it actually looks very nice.  She has a small table on one side and has been looking for a runner for quite some time now.  She really didn't... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Specialty Pillowcases

Last week Emma and I were at the fabric store picking up some fabric for my aunt who is 94 and still sewing.  While we were looking Emma saw this horse fabric and went nuts over it.  "Meesy, we just have to make something with this!" she said.  Now, why this little girl is s... [More]
Safety Information, Free Posters for your school and Catalog Xpress Tip #8, Printing Your Designs

Safety Information, Free Posters for your school and Catalog Xpress Tip #8, Printing Your Designs

We are all trying to be more ‘green' these days, but some things may remain in your home that you are uncertain about.  Green means more environmentally safe, but I use some items that I really cannot do without.   I want to know exactly what is in those products.  It may just change my mind about using them.   

This site, produced by the U.S. Department of Human & Health Services, is just what I need for so much information about everything from Automotive Products to Pesticides.   

It does not matter if you have children or pets, we all need to safeguard our health and well being.

With so many schools having financial issues, it is a good thing that there are some places that offer freebies for teachers.  This is not limited to teaching either; you can print these up for your home or office.

This site, gives you some fun and motivating posters.  There are some for just teenagers, businesses and other categories.  You simply print them out.  I was thinking that printing them on photo paper will make them very special.





Here is my next Catalog Xpress tip and it is one of those that I have always appreciated about this software.

I do sell my items online.  However, I occasionally go to craft fairs, fund raisers and the like and that presents issues with showing the available designs. 

  1. Keep notes on issues (your input) - Notes
  2. Search by the usual information AND by Notes - Search
  3. Resize designs - Resize
  4. Convert the format  - Conversions
  5. Recolor designs and background colors - Recolor
  6. Categorize designs in multiple subjects (place a design of girl in garden watching a butterfly in multiple categories)  - Categories
  7. Arrange designs in multiple methods (Name, Type, Number of Stitches, Colors, Dimensions) - Arrangements
  8. Print the entire catalog of designs in 3D (as small or large as I like)
  9. Work with Alpha Xpress to create wonderful projects.

Having designs at your finger tips can be outstanding for many reasons.

Let's say that you are going to be attending a fund raising event and you are participating by offering a nice pillow for an animal lover. 

It is difficult to tell others just how beautiful your designs are and you don't have a photograph of all the designs that you want to offer.  You want your idea to look its best and show off what you are capable of doing. 

Let's open Catalog Xpress and select Baby.  There are 162 items in that folder.



Next, select the File Menu, and Print Catalog.



Next, the software will make a suggestion for printing some pages.  In this case, it shows 4 pages with 6 columns and 9 rows. 



My designs will look something like this when printed.



That is probably good for showing a prospective client the available designs.

What if I want a reference just for me?  I can adjust the number of columns and rows to put it all on one page.  What a time saver for me!!!



Even with a lot of designs, you will be surprised at how well you know your designs from just a small thumbnail size picture.

What if I want to take just some designs that meet specific criteria?  All I have to do is select the ones I want.  Remember that holding down your Ctrl key and using your mouse, click on the ones you want.  You can also select a group by holding your Shift key and click on the first design and the last design.  Go to the File Menu, select Print Catalog and you will see that the option to ‘Print selected' box is available.  Click on that box and change the column and row information to suite your needs. 



Customize to your hearts delight.  It is a great way to keep info on designs. 

If you missed my blog on getting Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note for free, you better check it out!  If you are considering selling your embroidery - the holidays are coming fast! - you can now get my spreadsheet without purchasing Excel (about $400 by itself).   

Comments (2) -

Thank you for the valuable information, Household products and Free Posters, I'm going to pass this on to friends and family.

I downloaded the free trials of catalog express and alphabet express and have spent all weekend trying to use them and got nowhere. For some reason I have completely overlooked the fact that you had lessons here for those programs so I will go back to #1 and try to figure it out. They seem much harder than Embird. When I download the free designs from the Brother web site it automatically is bringing up Embird. It is putting the designs directly in there, which I don't even have active and can't use. What is wrong? what should I do? When I unzip the design and try to send it to Catalog Express it goes to Embird instead??? Help! Thank you.

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