The BlueCotton Blog

13 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Football Gameday T-shirts: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?

Football season is here! Time for tailgating at your high school, college or pro stadium wearing nothing but the freshest swag to represent your team. Since we’re still early in the season, t-shirts are still a “go”. As the season wears on, we know the transition to long sleeves and sweatshirts is mandatory. While the standard t-shirt logo of your favorite team is always acceptable – we love making GameDay t-shirts for the big games. Rivalry games and homecoming are two reasons to make custom t-shirts for the special day. We’ve searched the web (and our archives) for some of our favorite limited edition Gameday t-shirts and Rivalry t-shirts. Check these out and find your inspiration for some gameday t-shirts for YOUR team.

Throwdown

QBShowdown

oregon

Oklahoma

BeatState

WKUHomecoming1

texasvsbaylor

greatestrivalry

WKUUKGameday1

battleofthebay

What do you think about GameDay shirts? Do you collect them? Do you think they’re too limited and only good for one wear? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.

06 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Happy Trails to You: New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding

allchildren

I only knew half the story when I learned that New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding helps people with various disabilities ride horses. I simply was not aware of all the benefits of therapeutic riding. New Beginnings’ mission statement says it plainly: “NBTR serves those with behavioral, emotional, physical and mental disabilities through the power of horses.” New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding has been a faithful BlueCotton customer since 2005. We have had the privilege of printing t-shirts for the annual Horse Show and Ride-A-Thon events, as well as individual orders for staff and volunteers.

riders

When BlueCotton began following New Beginnings on Facebook, I began to understand that their mission goes well beyond “learning to ride.”
When I saw the video below, I realized that New Beginnings is bigger than their mission statement.

Ability from Wesley Bacon on Vimeo.

I began to understand all the ways that therapeutic riding enhances self esteem, builds trust and loyalty, enhances communication and social skills, all inside of great outdoor exercise. Wikipedia tells us:

A student who interacts with his or her horse may extend this interaction to others and form meaningful relationships with people. Building a relationship with an animal is very rewarding in many respects; for a person with an emotional, social or psychological disability, the trust and loyalty of an animal demonstrates to the student how important he or she is; they may then apply this newly-acquired self-esteem to personal relationships. A horse may also help a person feel in control of his or her situation, since in dealing with horses there is a direct relationship between action and reaction. To learn how to care for (and ride) a horse, a student must also be able to communicate effectively with both horse and instructor. In this way riding is a social activity, but may be less daunting to those uncomfortable in social situations. Riding a horse is also a unique experience, and it helps empower a person, enabling them to connect with others on a personal level. The sometimes-unpredictable nature of animals and situations also creates a real-life environment in which a student can confront his or her fears, and adjust to situations beyond their control. Children with disabilities love having a quiet, peaceful environment, as do horses, so they may teach each other many things.

gasper

We sat down with Jill Steffey, one of NBTR’s Board Members to get an idea of her typical day, and what qualities she looks for in a volunteer.

1. Can you tell us about your typical day at New Beginnings?

I am a teacher with Warren County Day Treatment so my days are just a little different than others. A typical day with my students goes like this:

Ten to fifteen kids arrive at New Beginnings. Half of them begin working on grooming and preparing to ride. This group learns how to groom every part of the horse, saddle and put the bridle on. They go into the ring and learn how to follow directions and manage their horse. This is a rewarding challenge for my students.

The other half begins working on farm work including washing out feed buckets and water troughs, building or repairing fences, and cleaning the barn. This group learns how to follow directions from other adults. They are taught how to work together and build social skills.

These groups continue their assignments until lunch. After lunch, the groups switch responsibilities and work until we get on the bus to come back to school.

2. Do you have a favorite horse among New Beginnings ten program horses? Tell us about him/her.

I really enjoy Copper because of his antics and silliness. I gravitate towards the atypical so he and I get along really well. He likes to take my hat off if I get to close to him. He also likes to nip at me. He doesn’t hurt me. He is just playing.

3. What qualities do you look for in volunteers?

We look for volunteers who are prompt and trustworthy. They arrive when they say they are going to be there and stay as long as needed. I enjoy volunteers do whatever is asked of them while they are there. Our volunteers are what makes this program work so we need people who are dedicated and willing to help in whatever way necessary.

nbshirts

Tell us about your favorite t-shirt…

My favorite shirt is my long sleeved dark blue shirt with the white New Beginnings logo on the front left corner. I wear it all the time because is it simple and plain for me. That’s the way I like things.

If New Beginnings acquired a free 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl – what would you air to the public?

I would show a slide show of pictures of a rider progressing from their wheel chair to riding a horse on their own while explaining how much these horses and instructors help people with any kind of disability heal physically, emotionally, and mentally.

riders

If you would like to learn more about New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding you may find them on Facebook or at http://www.nbtr-bg.org/

If you would like to be interviewed for your organization or business and be featured on our blog, please contact leann@bluecotton.com

28 June 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Atlantic Landscaping Dishes The Dirt

Garden sprinkler

As the records for high temperatures continue to be broken around the country, we enlisted one of our customers to give us some tips on lawn care. Erik Houser, from Atlantic Landscaping in Dennis, Massachusetts happily obliged us a few questions about landscaping and his dream lawn mower!

My favorite part of caring for my own lawn is the immediate results and satisfaction of turning overgrown grass into a beautifully cut lawn. What’s your favorite part of your job?

A perfectly manicured lawn and planting bed area. I like hearing from all of my customer’s “Excellent job!”

Of course when summer’s over – the leaves fall, presenting new challenges for the lawn. Do you have any tips or tricks of the trade for us on leaf cleanup?

For all of my customer’s properties I use a walk behind leaf vacuum (BillyGoat). If your property has access to the drive way, collect your leaves there and then dispose of them. If you do not have direct access to the driveway, a leaf vac is the way to go!

In addition to lawn care and landscaping– you’ve also installed swimming pools and fences. How did you get into making people’s homes beautiful?

Several years ago, I became disabled from being an auto mechanic. I hated sitting around the house with nothing to do and not being productive. I took some online landscaping courses and started Atlantic Landscaping. I’ve contracted properties from Hyannis, MA to Orleans, MA. I now have a potential customer off the Cape that wants a custom design and installation (photos to come soon on FaceBook)!

We’re going through a heat wave here in Kentucky – the old Bluegrass state. Do you have any tips on how to keep a healthy lawn in dry conditions?

Depending on current moisture conditions, you may water the lawn 2 times per day. Once in the early morning hours (5-7AM) and if needed, once again in the afternoon (3-5PM) The later day watering hours will still provide enough water to keep the lawn cool, but will evaporate quickly enough to not cause fungi or mold that can ruin your lawn.

You have quite a fleet of equipment! If you could win any piece of new equipment – what would it be and why?

I would absolutely LOVE a Walker Mower with a high dump attachment. These mowers with a 48” front deck are the BEST in the current industry. They offer precise cutting along with a bin collection system. They are great for leaf collection as well as regular cutting. They are worth 12k-15k for the unit!

You can find out more tips from Erik and Atlantic Landscaping on lawn care here.

19 June 2012 ~ 1 Comment

From Tee to Tank: A DIY T-shirt Journey

teetotank

Do you have a favorite t-shirt that you’d prefer to be a tank top? Today’s blog will show you how to repurpose that t-shirt into a sleeveless beauty. We’ve posted t-shirt refashions before, including how to make a t-shirt bouquet and a DIY t-shirt scarf, but today we’re going to keep the t-shirt’s function as it was origianlly intended – a torso cover. With just a little cutting and sewing, you can transform your standard t-shirt into a fashionable tank top for summer vacation!

Visit Crafterhours for easy step-by-step instructions!

tanktotee

16 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

The Skinny on Mickey’s Yogurt

mickey'syogurtlogo

This week we’ve got the skinny on Mickey’s Yogurt, an honest-to-goodness family-owned frozen yogurt shop in Clovis, California. Mickey and Daryl France are the owners. We spoke with Daryl about Mickey’s Yogurt and how custom t-shirts helped them before the doors even opened!

Tell us a little about Mickey’s Yogurt.

Mickey and I met on an Internet dating site over 4 years ago. When we met, Mickey shared his dream of one day owning a frozen yogurt business. I quickly climbed on board that yogurt train and we embarked on a quest to find a great location. As much as we looked, the right place just didn’t materialize. We live in Southern California and there are lots of frozen yogurts stores in the area.

Clovis, California seems like an interesting place. Why’d you choose Clovis?

My daughter lives in Clovis and a great location opened up and we grabbed it. Clovis is a town of about 100,000 people in the Central Valley area near Fresno. Mickey loves the cleanliness of the city and the way people take care of their homes. He says it shows that people really care about the town in which they live. We now live in Clovis part time.

mickeysindoor

Mickey’s Yogurt truly is a family affair isn’t it?

We rolled up our sleeves after securing a location and got to work. Mickey handled dealing with the construction, I created the design and colors for the store and advertising. My daughter, Melisa Howell and her husband Paul Howell jumped in to help. Melisa handled the licenses and fees with the city, and Paul took care of anything technical, like wiring and utilities. Melisa is now the head manager of the store and Paul serves as the service manager. That’s where BlueCotton comes in! We knew we wanted a great design for the employee t-shirts. Our granddaughter Tiffany is an artist and student and created the t-shirt design. I sent her design over to my son Jared, who designs monsters for the film industry. He fine-tuned the design into the artwork seen on both our employee t-shirts and our promo tees.

stafftees


So you have employees t-shirts and promotional t-shirts, right?

Yes. In addition to the employees’ tees, we wanted to have a t-shirt to promote Mickey’s Yogurt. We planned to give out the tees on Opening Day. We ended up giving out tees to people applying for
jobs and people who were nice to us and before long all the t-shirts were gone. All 400 t-shirts! The tees helped generate a buzz around town. People started dropping by while we were painting and working on the store asking when Mickey’s Yogurt would be open! People keep asking if they can buy the promo t-shirts. One lady came in with her two young boys wearing their t-shirts. She told Mickey that they wear their shirts to school every day and she has to sneak them away to wash the shirts so they can keep wearing them.

So how was Opening Day?

Business opened with a bang on February 2nd of this year and has continued to do extremely well.

What are the most popular flavors of yogurt and toppings?

Favorite flavors are the traditional vanilla and chocolate. Customers say they like those flavors best because they can be mixed with any topping. The most popular toppings are the Reese’s Pieces, M & M’s and Cookie Dough. For the fruit toppings, the Strawberries are a clear front-runner. Mickey’s favorite yogurt flavors are Pistachio, Root Beer Float and Cherry Amaretto. I like the same flavors with Tart thrown in for good measure to have something a little less sweet.

darylmickey
Daryl with a local school’s mascot!

If your team, club, organization or business would like to be featured in the BlueCotton blog, please email leann@bluecotton.com

04 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

We Assemble “The Avengers” T-shirt Roundup

“The Avengers” t-shirts have been assembled and rounded-up for today for you all you fanboys and fangirls from the far reaches of the internet universe. Feast your eyes!

Mike Scott at The Times-Picayune says it best: “A years-in-the-making comic book casserole, “The Avengers” teams up some of the Marvel Comics universe’s most iconic superheroes — along with some of its lesser-known ones — all in one big, fat, popcorn-devouring, world-saving package.

Directed by the amazing Joss Whedon (think Toy Story, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly – all of which he wrote, directed or both), The Avengers promises to be a action-packed, superhero-filled good time.

Check out a few of the t-shirts we found featuring “The Avengers” below.

Navy1st

Honorable

brown

avengersassemble3

avengersassemble1

8bit

3rdplaceblack

2ndgrey

sleeves

runnerup2