About Me

Hi all! My name is Collette, t-shirt and vinyl designer extraordinaire:)) My love for design began when I was a little girl, watching my father hand paint designs on race cars. As his business grew, so did his need for help; this is when I made my appearance into the world of t-shirt and vinyl design. Although my pay was meager (you know how dad's can be), I loved the process of design -- taking one person's idea and watching the look of excitement on their face when I handed them the finished product; a product I created. Now, nearly 20 years after working for my father, successfully tackling every challenging task he gave me, I am on my own. Proudly, I present to you: Collete'sTshirts&Vinyl. I invite you to read my weekly posts for updates about my new adventure. Check in for regularly for information about the world of graphic design, but most importantly, think about me when you want your next hoodie, t-shirt, hat or bag. I promise, you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall Trip

A few weeks ago we took our annual fall trip to Gary's daughters house. I always love this trip! I think its because its simply about having fun with the family. We started the day by going to a cool little 60's dinner (Gary loves that kind of thing)  
You can't tell by this picture but Garrett loved it too.

Next we went to the pumpkin patch!

We did the hay ride! On this farm they have a Choc. Lab that walks ahead of the tractor. Getting off the path here and there to explore then coming right back to lead the way. The kids love to point out all the monsters on the path. Tiffany and I love to watch the dog. They also have a large yellow lab who seemed to be wanting a little attention because she laid down right in front of the ticket line causing everyone to have to step over her.

If you can carry it buddy you can keep it!
Next we got to pet the horses and chickens.
We played an apple sling shot game.
This game was so much fun I had to try it! Then I embarrassed myself so bad I wished I hadn't played. I was wearing heels and every time I let go I fell on my butt. How did the kids make it look so easy?
                                           Who wants to do the corn maze?
Its a good thing that every one did because it took all of us to find our way out.
OK mostly the boys got us out.
                                 Garrett really did have fun! Even though you can't tell by this picture.
                                              We got back in the car and off to the football field.
We got to see Katie cheer. The cutest part was her father who sat behind me cheering right along with her. He has clearly been to a few practices since he knows all the words! Then we watched Tyler play.                                                         His team won!
The next day we went on a hike through the woods.
                                Maybe next year we can add white water rafting to the list?

                                           Its always hard to say goodbye. But we'll be back next year!
This blog brought to you by http://collettestshirts.com/

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to print a t-shirt

How to print a t-shirt

Many times I have been asked questions about different steps in the process of printing.  I’m not good with words but I’m going to try to explain how it works.
    First we start with a design. Customers may bring in a design or they may want us to create one. The key here is to take your time. When I printed for my Dad it was so hard to wait for him to get done with the design. I would feel like “come on your holding up production!” Now I see how important it is to take your time and get it right! There is nothing worse than looking at your finished t-shirt thinking “I wish I would have done this….”  For a good print the lines need to have sharp edges. If not it will look like a fuzzy print. The design is drawn or printed onto a transparent piece of paper or plastic. The paper needs to be as transparent as possible to let light go through. The design needs to be nontransparent. It’s now a film positive.

        Next we coat the screens with a direct emulsion. This is a glue-like liquid that is light sensitive. We use a scoop coater and apply a thin even coat to both sides of the screen. This is done in a dark room. We lay the screens flat with spacers in between to allow them to dry. After the screens are dry we tape the design (film positive) onto the back of the screen. Then we lay the screen back side down on the light table. We lower the blanket top over the screen and turn on the machine. A vacuum comes on and holds the screen down firmly to the table while the lights are exposing the screen. Why hold the screen firmly to the light table? This way you have even exposer and sharp lines. This takes about a min. but can vary. We then open the light table remove the screen peel off the film positive and quickly rinse the screen. Ever where that was exposed to light stays. The parts that were blocked rinse out. After the screen dries we place it on the printer.  Line it up exactly where we want it and clamp it in place. We tape off the inside edges to keep the ink from coming through the screen where we don’t want it to. We then apply a good amount of ink to the screen. Do a test print. Many years ago when I was just learning how to print, my Dad had an employee showing me the ropes. He was just about to print when my Dad called out “Test print” Randy called back in his best Mexican accent “Test print! We don’t need no stinking test print!” then went to work printing our first misprint of the run. So after we run a test print and fix anything that needs to be fixed, we are ready to print our first t-shirt.
       First I tilt the squeegee toward myself so that it is on the edge of the rubber blade. Then pull towards myself with firm even pressure. This forces the ink through the screen. We raise the screen remove the shirt place it in the heater and ta-da! Your beautiful design on your custom made shirt!          
Brought to you by http://collettestshirts.com/

Friday, September 9, 2011

Benefits of custom printing

Custom T shirt printing has many benefits. Businesses use them to gain publicity,bands use them to promote albums and tours, even just regular people trying to share with the world what's important to them. A lot of shirts made have witty lines and jokes printed on them. Shirts like these help people find things in common and connect with others. Everyone reads shirts,peoples eyes are simply attracted to the design, and the better the design the more people look at it. Custom t-shirts can be a unique gift for family and friends because family photographs and inside jokes can be applied to t-shirts. Personalized t-shirts can also be used to raise money for noble causes, such as fundraisers. You can find many custom t-shirt printing websites online. These are helpful because many printing businesses offer very affordable online prices and even provide added discounts for buying bulk. T-shirts made by a printing business may be ordered in small quantities, and they come exactly how you want them, in any size you need them. Most t-shirts are high quality and very long lasting there for, as a marketing tool, custom t-shirts are extremely cost effective.   This blog brought to you by http://www.collettestshirts.com/

Monday, September 5, 2011

New equipment!

After waiting for what felt like months our printing equipment finally came! It was packed in the truck so tight that one of the boxes we had to open and unpack on the truck.

There was some assembly required. Lucky for me Gary is good at that kind of thing. (I'm sure they throw in extra parts and bolts just in case you lose some right?)

We had to do some electric work. Note the boss watching through the window.

It was a lot of hard work, but all worth it look at my beautiful shop! I love it and can't wait to get to work!

Don't you feel that way too Gary? Maybe right after your nap?
This blog brought to you by http://www.collettestshirts.com/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dirt track racing

Our first weekend here we took a little break from all the headaches of moving and went racing. It was a great way to learn more about the local culture. We loved it! The whole night was very entertaining. Its true we are easily entertained. Example the red clay or as we called it "orange dirt". All night we kept pointing it out to each other. "Look at the orange dirt on the cars!" "See the orange dirt on the walls!" When the cars really got going..."Look at that orange dirt FLY!"
 The people around us must have thought where are these morons from?
I loved the southern rock music blasting, all the children dancing. During cautions the announcer would tell us jokes and play music.
 My sons favorite part was the candy! They called all the kids to an area below the balcony and they throw candy to them. It looked like it was raining candy. Now we have hyper children all around us dancing to sweet home Alabama.

Can't wait to go again!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Last day of work and the bird that saved the day.

On my last day of work for my Dad I spent most of the day trying not to get all weepy. I plugged away trying NOT to think about things like... how long I've worked for him. Or I'll never be able to look across the shop and tell him my goofy story's, recap survivor, or cry on his shoulder...sniff sniff .
Then a humming bird saved the day! It flew in the shop and could not find its way out. Poor thing. Papa was worried. The last time this happened he spent hrs. trying to carefully get the humming bird out the door unharmed. In the end Papa was standing in the door way holding a hand full of tail feathers. The humming bird sat on the electric wire staring at him. As if saying " Why did you do it to me man?"
 This time the bird made it feathers and all!  He didn't move for a long time just sat in the palm of Papa's hand . Papa set the bird on a grapevine. The poor thing flipped over upside down. Papa held him upright until the bird caught his breath and flew away.   Now Papa and I have this cool memory for my last day instead of awkward silence :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

A New Beginning

Hello all! I thought it would be nice to talk about my new beginning; the move from one state to another that essentially prompted me to start my own t-shirt and vinyl graphic business.

My husband, who recently retired after more than 30 years of teaching Automotive Technology for Alfred State University in NY, presented me with the idea of moving to NC. Apprehensive at first, I warmed up to the idea as the thought of starting my own business excited me. And where better to do this than the heart of racing country? So after years of planning and months of packing, our adventure began. My husband, with a loaded truck and trailer, and me, with a 10-year old co-pilot, two Bassets and a turtle, set off on the open highway.

I learned many valuable lessons about moving, especially when it's a 12 hour move. First, don't let your 10 year-old control the iPod. You are bound to hear the same song over and over, whether you like the song or not. When you stop for gas, make your HUSBAND walk the dogs. Next, make sure you read the packaging on the curtains before buying the panels. I now have multiple rooms with uneven panels that I must hem with a sewing machine. With everything I must unpack, I surely do not have the extra time for this. And always remember where you pack your cell phone charger. As I dig through box after box, trying to locate this all-important electrical cord, here my phone sits, deader than a doornail.

Through it all, though, I wouldn't change any of this. I love my new home, and look forward to my husband enjoying his much deserved retirement. Most of all, I wait with bated breath for my first vinyl or t-shirt order to come. I feel like an anxious child at Christmas, wanting to make others happy with the artistic ability God gave me. When you walk down the street and say to yourself, "Damn, did you see that shirt? The design was awesome!" I want it to be one of my shirts you are in awe of. I look forward to designing shirts, hoodies, hats, bags and cars for any person, for any occasion. If your son's baseball team needs matching caps and shirts with the  team logo, I can do it. Race car drivers, give me a call. My husband is a sprint car driver, and I have designed his shirts for more than 10 years. If you have a unique design specific to your personality, not a problem. I have multiple colors for you to choose from, and the perk? You can contact me by phone, or online, and I can ship anywhere in the U.S.

My business will be up and running in approximately one week. I'm simply waiting on the manufacturer of my equipment to process the order and the UPS man to deliver them. You can reach me by phone at 704-240-4093, or email me at collettestshirts.com. Thanks for reading and I will catch up with you soon:))