Field Trip Friday: TS Designs Makes Revolutionary T-Shirts

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My husband has been fascinated with screen printing for years, and that’s why I was so excited to find that TS Designs would be open to having us come and tour their facility.

We soon learned more than we ever expected.

TS Designs

Eric Michel, Chief of Tech and Logistics, kicked off our tour with a history of the company.  TS Designs started out as a standard screen-printing company back in the late 70s, and business was strong as they printed shirts for companies like Gap and Nike.  When these major companies began taking their business overseas after NAFTA, president Eric Henry knew he had to make changes.  He and fellow founder Tom Sineath changed their focus to what they call the 3 Ps:  People, the Planet, and Profit.  With this as their motto, they jumped on board the green movement.

TS Designs

That’s when the Cotton of the Carolinas line was born. This new line features cotton from local farmers, and it’s processed into shirts locally, too.   Eric passed around samples of the cotton at each stage of the process so the kids could feel and examine it.  There are more steps than I had imagined!

This is a really fascinating process, and TS Designs works with experts.  Want to know more? Watch this clip of their UNC TV Special here.

TS Designs

Now printing for a smaller customer base, TS Designs no longer needed to print hundreds of thousands of shirts at a time.  Instead, they needed to be able to keep a smaller amount of inventory on hand.  Since most screen printers print on the color of the shirt desired, this caused a problem, as TS Designs didn’t want to keep shirts in every color in storage.  Instead, they developed a new technology that would allow them to dye the shirts after being printed.  Even now, they’re the only printers they know of using this REHANCE technology.

TS Designs

Then we were on the move:  out onto the factory floor, where we learned about how the giant screen printing presses operate.  In full production mode, each one takes several people to operate and can print a shirt every six seconds.  Wow!

TS Designs

The kids were full of questions about the printing presses, the screens, and the large drying machines we saw on the floor.  Who knew screen printing required so much equipment?

TS Designs

After that social media queen Jen Busfield took over.  She taught us about the variety of ways that TS Designs employs to keep their company sustainably minded. TS Designs not only prints t-shirts that are completely local, but they use their property to benefit the community in many ways.  They’re a drop-off station for fuel recycling, and they have a garden manned by the staff, too.  Outside of the garden area is a bench that becomes the home for several bee hives come warm weather, and they’re tended by local beekeepers.  The honey they share with TS Designs is then enjoyed by the employees.  While the staff has enjoyed fresh eggs from chickens kept on the property in the past, a new local law made the hens relocate, but they have hopes of returning soon.  They even have solar panels on the roof and an outside patio area for staff!  It is obvious that TS Designs is working hard to be friendly not only to their customers and to their employees, but also to the planet as a whole.

I’ve never heard of a business diversifying in so many ways to be friendly to their environment.  TS Designs might have started making these changes to stay afloat many years ago, but it’s obvious that it’s become a heart decision since that time, and we learned many things from them.  Seeing a business care about its employees and environment in such concrete ways was refreshing. 

TS Designs

Of course, at the very end of our tour, we headed to the Breakroom Boutique, where TS Designs sells extras and overruns for $5 each.  We were able to find some great shirts – some designed by Mindful Supply, which are all super cute, and all featuring the REHANCE technology that makes even the printed area soft and pliable.  This company is definitely doing good, and we’ll be hitting up this shop again.

TS Designs

Where have you field-tripped to learn something new?

While TS Designs is definitely the way to go to print shirts for your youth group, business, or special event, you can learn more about small-batch printing at home!  Check out these resources:

 

 

Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – February 1, 2017

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It’s been a hard week here, full of celebration and travel and tough stuff.  We drove through snow squalls and bundled against cold wind and returned home to temperatures in the 60s.  We’ve spent the day unpacking and trying to get ready for a busy weekend, when it’s supposed to be cold again, and I’m looking forward to an evening with my family in front of a warm fire.

Exciting news!  The weekly blog hop formerly known as Hearts for Home has been updated with a new name and logo!  While we’re still dedicated to sharing encouraging and inspiring ideas for your home and family, there are a few new features.  Isn’t the new logo beautiful?

Blog Hop

That’s not the only new feature; the most clicked post each week will be entered to win a monthly prize package!  So share your favorite posts and link up your own to increase your chances of winning these great prizes. 

Tweet: Find encouragement for your heart and home at A Nest in the Rocks. This week’s blog hop is live! https://ctt.ec/epe5O+

All of this excitement is one reason I’m excited that …

A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for the weekly Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog link-up, which means that every Thursday you’ll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post. If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link up your posts and join us. You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

The most clicked post from last week was Kindle Freebies.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

Creative valentines ideas for kids

5 Homemade Valentine’s Day Gifts to Give.

Unique Valentine’s Day Gift – Creating Kilter

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our ‘Featured Blogger’ buttons! Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Please share your family friendly posts with us!

The most clicked posts of each week will be entered to win a Monthly Giveaway!

So, be sure to 1) include your email when you link up and 2) share the link to Encouraging Hearts and Home via social media with your readers, fans and followers! 

By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. 

Monthly giveaway winners must be 18 yrs.+ and live in the USA. Winners will be given 48 hours to respond to winning email. Mailing and/or email address will be required to receive giveaway packages. You may only win 1 time in every 6 month period. 


The most clicked posts of each week will be entered to win a Monthly Giveaway! So, be sure to 1) include your email when you link up and 2) share the link to Encouraging Hearts and Home via social media with your readers, fans and followers! 

By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. 

Monthly giveaway winners must be 18 yrs.+ and live in the USA. Winners will be given 48 hours to respond to winning email. Mailing and/or email address will be required to receive giveaway packages. You may only win 1 time in every 6 month period. 

Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – January 25, 2017

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We’ve had lots of crazy busy days lately, and last Friday I decided we needed a break.  After all, part of this homeschooling adventure is supposed to be great together time, right?  We decided to have an art/lit day, and the kids  created these paintings while I read to them.  I love break-in-the-routine days!

Exciting news!  The weekly blog hop formerly known as Hearts for Home has been updated with a new name and logo!  While we’re still dedicated to sharing encouraging and inspiring ideas for your home and family, there are a few new features.  Isn’t the new logo beautiful?

Blog Hop

That’s not the only new feature; the most clicked post each week will be entered to win a monthly prize package!  So share your favorite posts and link up your own to increase your chances of winning these great prizes. 

Tweet: Find encouragement for your heart and home at A Nest in the Rocks. This week’s blog hop is live! https://ctt.ec/epe5O+

All of this excitement is one reason I’m excited that …

A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for the weekly Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog link-up, which means that every Thursday you’ll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post. If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link up your posts and join us. You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

The most clicked post from last week was Favorite Homeschool Posts from Bloggers You Love.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

30 Valentine’s Day Desserts

Road Trip Notebooks keep children busy

VALENTINE’S PINWHEEL COOKIES

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our ‘Featured Blogger’ buttons! Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Please share your family friendly posts with us!

The most clicked posts of each week will be entered to win a Monthly Giveaway!

So, be sure to 1) include your email when you link up and 2) share the link to Encouraging Hearts and Home via social media with your readers, fans and followers! 

By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. 

Montly giveaway winners must be 18 yrs.+ and live in the USA. Winners will be given 48 hours to respond to winning email. Mailing and/or email address will be required to receive giveaway packages. You may only win 1 time in every 6 month period. 


“The Mark of the King” by Jocelyn Green

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After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Jocelyn Green has penned an epic new adventure saga in The Mark of the KingA fantastic and dramatic look at life in the French Louisiana colony in the early 1720s, I couldn’t put it down.

There were so many aspects of history that Green wrote into this book that I was completely unaware even existed; I didn’t realize that any part of North America was ever forcibly populated by criminals; that there were wars between the French and the local Native Americans long prior to the well-known French and Indian War; that New Orleans was a planned city, and much, much more.  Knowing that these true historical facts formed the basis of this story made it even more exciting.

Not that it wasn’t on its own.  Life was hard in New Orleans, and Julianne faced more than any one woman should ever have to endure.  I constantly wondered at her persistence and diligence, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have her outlook if I lived in her circumstances.  The humidity and mosquitos alone would have done me in!  Her faith and character are to be admired and can teach much.

I loved Green’s smooth writing style, too.  Each time I thought I had something figured out, due to words that stood out or perceived foreshadowing, the story swung into a new direction.  I never saw it coming, but the transitioning was smooth, and the details made it all fit perfectly as events unfolded.  That can’t be easy to do, but it makes for a fabulous story.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction of any kind, definitely give Green’s The Mark of the King a try.

Click here to see more reviews in this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.

 
 
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.
 
 
Want to win your own?  Check out Green’s giveaway!

Jocelyn Green

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

 

Encouraging Heart & Home Blog Hop – January 18, 2017

Encouraging Hearts & Home

Exciting news!  The weekly blog hop formerly known as Hearts for Home has been updated with a new name and logo!  While we’re still dedicated to sharing encouraging and inspiring ideas for your home and family, there are a few new features.  Isn’t the new logo beautiful?

Blog Hop

That’s not the only new feature; the most clicked post each week will be entered to win a monthly prize package!  So share your favorite posts and link up your own to increase your chances of winning these great prizes. 

Tweet: Find encouragement for your heart and home at A Nest in the Rocks. This week’s blog hop is live! https://ctt.ec/epe5O+

All of this excitement is one reason I’m excited that …

A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for the weekly Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog link-up, which means that every Thursday you’ll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post. If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link up your posts and join us. You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

The most clicked post from last week was Free Organization Printables.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

Beautiful and Easy DIY Gift idea

100 Super Bowl Sunday Recipes

30 Amazing Winter Science Activities for Kids

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our ‘Featured Blogger’ buttons! Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Please share your family friendly posts with us!


All Teens Should See “Alison’s Choice”

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Alison’s Choice is a full-length feature film that seeks to answer the question, “WWJS (what would Jesus say) to a young woman planning abortion?” 

As the story goes, young Alison (played by Chanel Marriott) finds herself pregnant by a dead-beat boyfriend. Feeling she has no other options Alison turns to abortion. There in the clinic’s waiting room, she encounters a cast of quirky characters, each with their own brand of wisdom and advice; a flamboyant counselor, a suburban mom, a heart-weary receptionist, an inner city counterpart… And more than anyone else, a gentle-faced janitor with mop “eternally” in hand.

The two begin to talk and it quickly becomes clear he is no mere janitor, but Jesus manifest (played by Bruce Marchiano of The Encounter and Gospel of Matthew). He’s come to plead for the life of her baby. 

With the clock ticking precious minutes away, He pours out His heart of care and compassion, His message unequivocal, “I love you, Alison, and I love your baby too.”  Suddenly a nurse appears, “Alison, we’re ready for you.”  What will Alison choose…

Alison’s Choice is a movie that every teen should see.  It makes a strong visual, moral, and emotional case for the importance of caring for babies, whether born or unborn.  The debate  between Alison and Jesus run through a myriad of different arguments, both for and against, the practice of abortion and will answer the questions commonly raised during any discussion of abortion.  That’s why it’s the perfect movie for teens to see; it will help them to understand more fully the entire issue.

The movie is not just scientific, though; it’s full of drama and emotion.  Alison has a most difficult decision in front of her, and the movie shows that clearly.  Other women are depicted with varying attitudes towards the practice, and the physical danger is not dismissed, nor are the possible future problems.

I feared that a movie about such an important topic would by dry, but humor was injected at appropriate times.  Those spurts of laughter kept the pace of the movie moving.

Alison’s Choice would be a great tool for youth groups or church events.  It could serve as a wonderful springboard for discussion and could open communication lines between generations.  I hope that many take advantage of this movie.

Don’t take my word for it, though – watch the trailer here for yourself.

There’s also a giveaway happening, and you could win a copy of the movie!  Enter here.

I received a free copy of this movie.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Club, Girls’ Edition: “Tuesdays at the Castle”

 

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We read an exciting fantasy book this month called Tuesdays at the Castle.  It’s about a castle with feelings that grows and shifts on its own and the potential takeover of the kingdom from other lands when the king and queen go missing.  Heirs Rolf, Lilah, and Celie work to find their parents, learn about the castle, and stop the takeover before life as they know it is ruined.

Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own-magically inventing, moving, and even completely getting rid of some of its rooms. Good thing Princess Celie takes the time to map out these never-ending changes. Because when the castle is ambushed and Celie’s parents and oldest brother go missing, it’s up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom. A great new series that readers will devour! 

We started our time by summarizing and discussing the story.  The girls seemed most interested in what kind of castle they would have, or what kind of rooms they would want a castle to make for them, if they had a magical castle like Castle Glower.

We moved from there to talk about the Glower coat of arms and the flag. 

Book Club

After we looked at pictures of real, medieval heraldic symbols, I asked the girls to design their own flag – not necessarily using the strict 14th-century code, but a combination of symbols and colors that were representative of their family.  I love how my Big Helper thought her flag needed a bee!

Book Club

Next, we moved on to designing castles.  Since Castle Glower adds and subtracts rooms at will, as well as making life decisions and interacting with the royal family, I asked the girls to think about what special features they might want in their own living castle.  They worked together in pairs to come up with a design …

Book Club

and then they began to build.  Because icing can take so long to dry – and because I don’t know how to make the real, official kind of gingerbread icing – we used a combination of hot glue and icing to construct our castles.  Each girl brought supplies, and we had enough for each team to have a full box of graham crackers and their own tub of icing.

Book Club

This was a bigger-than-usual project, and it required a lot of time, so we didn’t cook or bake anything.  Instead, because there were graham crackers everywhere, I made a simple chocolate ganache and poured some into dipping cups for each girl.  They dipped and licked and snacked (and then washed their hands, because it is flu season, after all) while they were working.

Book Club

After construction was finished, the girls decorated with an assortment of candy.

In the end, each team designed a completely unique graham-cracker castle.  They were interesting sizes, shapes, and made use of different candies.  I loved seeing what they came up with!

There was a lot of learning happening here, too – think creative candy uses, structural engineering, and more – so you’ll see another post soon about some of these objectives and how this team carried them out.

Book Club

I asked the girls to dress like Princess Celie, because Celie is an especially fun princess, and so I had to get a group shot of the royalty.

So that’s how we partied with Tuesdays at the Castle.  What are your kids reading this month?

Looking for more?  Check out these resources:

 

Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – January 11, 2017

Snow Fun

We got 8+ inches of snow over the weekend, and we are loving it!  We’ve been spending lots of time outside, enjoying the rare snowfall, and lots more time parked in front of the fire, staying warm, reading and watching movies together.  It’s been a wonderful break after the craziness of Christmas!

Exciting news!  The weekly blog hop formerly known as Hearts for Home has been updated with a new name and logo!  While we’re still dedicated to sharing encouraging and inspiring ideas for your home and family, there are a few new features.  Isn’t the new logo beautiful?

Blog Hop

That’s not the only new feature; the most clicked post each week will be entered to win a monthly prize package!  So share your favorite posts and link up your own to increase your chances of winning these great prizes. 

Tweet: Find encouragement for your heart and home at A Nest in the Rocks. This week’s blog hop is live! https://ctt.ec/epe5O+

All of this excitement is one reason I’m excited that …

A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for the weekly Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog link-up, which means that every Thursday you’ll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post. If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link up your posts and join us. You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

The most clicked post from last week was Your Top 10 Favorite Posts from 2016.

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

Writing Prompts about Robots

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chocolate Mousse Pie

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our ‘Featured Blogger’ buttons! Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Please share your family friendly posts with us!


The First Snowfall is Snow Fun!

 

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We got our first snowfall this week!  We’ve had snow much fun playing around in it – and since the forecasters were a bit off in how much we might get, we were happily surprised by the 8 inches to a foot that we actually received.

It’s been bitterly cold, too, which is quite unusual for this town.  Many people here don’t even own an snow shovel (which is quite odd to this Pennsylvania girl) but any snow we get often melts by dinnertime.  It’s been sticking around for several days, though, and isn’t leaving quite yet as the temp hasn’t topped freezing – or even gotten close – since the snow started to fall.

All of that means that our roads are bad.  Yes, I think they’re bad, too – because with nowhere near enough plows or salt, the snow quickly gets packed down and becomes ice, and ice is just horrible to drive on.

My husband’s office even closed today, and so we’re all enjoying this opportunity to sleep in, watch lots of movies together, work on our read-aloud (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), head outside for adventures, and then come back in to cook dinner together.  I love doing that!

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to:

Snow Fun

While walking out in the snow, the kids had an impromptu snowball fight.  They started to get really into it …

Snow Fun

and we saw lots of smiles as the snow flew.

Snow Fun

ABC11, one of our local news stations, filmed the kids, and they ended up being on the news – twice!  The kids were excited to make their first TV appearance.

Snow Fun

Surprisingly enough, we’ve never had snowball fights before, but My Little Man thoroughly enjoyed it.

Snow Fun

My Big Helper’s favorite snow activity is finding a big pile of snow that was pushed aside by a plow and making snow caves.

Snow Fun

You just have to go sledding, though.

What’s your favorite snowy activity?

For more snow fun activities, check out these books:

NEW! Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – January 5, 2017

Vote for President

Exciting news!  The weekly blog hop formerly known as Hearts for Home has been updated with a new name and logo!  While we’re still dedicated to sharing encouraging and inspiring ideas for your home and family, there are a few new features.  Isn’t the new logo beautiful?

Blog Hop

That’s not the only new feature; the most clicked post each week will be entered to win a monthly prize package!  So share your favorite posts and link up your own to increase your chances of winning these great prizes. 

Tweet: Find encouragement for your heart and home at A Nest in the Rocks. This week’s blog hop is live! https://ctt.ec/epe5O+

All of this excitement is one reason I’m excited that …

A Nest in the Rocks is now one of the co-hosts for the weekly Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog link-up, which means that every Thursday you’ll find lots of great tips, recipes, and other family-friendly ideas listed throughout this post. If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you link up your posts and join us. You can find information about the other co-hosts of this hop here.

The most clicked post from last week was How to Homeschool Simply (The Early Years).

Some of my favorite posts from last week were:

Relaxing Lavender Vanilla DIY Whipped Body Butter

DIY Easy Exercises

Colorful Christmas Quilt

If your post is listed above, please grab one of our ‘Featured Blogger’ buttons! Congratulations, and thanks for writing such inspiring posts.

Please share your family friendly posts with us!