Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Designing Back In The Day


Long before PDF patterns and in the hoop embroidery designs there was Craft Magazine among many others. There were also so many hard cover craft and sewing books. It was so hard to get your designs published. You had no control over where your designs were used or seen. Once you submitted a design for publication, if you were accepted and hired, you usually signed away all rights.

One thing that was definitely different was the publication schedule. You'd submit your design in February or March, then if it was accepted, it would appear in their November or December issue. You also had to wait that long for your payment. It was fun and I was a regular designer for some of the publications but these days, it's so much easier for us designers. With that said, the competition wasn't as fierce as it is today. Today anyone can sell their designs and even their finished items. The internet has completely changed the sewing, embroidery, and craft design industry.

You want to know the worst part of it all? Back in 1993 when my first design was published in a magazine, I had to type the instructions on a typewriter! Can you imagine that? No backspace or delete button to be found. It would take me a week to get my instructions just right. Plus, different publishing companies had different requirements. One would want everything typed up with a two inch margin on the left and all pattern images had to be made with a technical pen while others wanted double spaced and wanted your pattern writing to be with a special blue pencil that didn't show up on copiers. I wonder if today's copiers could read that blue pencil?

I was so excited to get that first pattern published! Then when I saw it was on the cover, I was over the moon with excitement! I don't know if you can read the price on the image, but it was $3.95 back then. That's a lot of patterns for $3.95.

I'm sharing some links below about the pencil and technical pens so you can see what I'm talking about. Some of you might know already but the younger readers may not have heard about some of them. I didn't even know what a non-photo blue pencil or technical pen was until I was told to use them. I also want to mention that I dreaded using that pen. I had to use it for one of the publishing companies and it had to be filled with ink. I always made such a mess filling the pen!



Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Homemade Vanilla - So Easy!

If you've never made homemade vanilla, you really need to do it. It's so super easy. I made several batches last Christmas as gifts. I first had some when my daughter made them for Christmas about ten years ago. When it comes to flavoring your baking, it doesn't get better than that! If you plan to give some as gifts, you'll want to make it about three months before giving because the flavors need to mingle for that amount of time. How you make it:

Get yourself some glass jars (got mine from Amazon)

A bottle of liquor. I chose bourban, but any will work.

One vanilla bean for every one ounce of liquor.

Slice your vanilla beans down the length and put them in the glass jars. Pour liquor to fill. Set them to the side and give them a nice and vigorous shake every other day. That's it!

They really make great gifts especially if you're going for a baking theme.

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