Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Transformation

Everyone who knows me understands that I have a passion for running.  Most people also know that I have a passion for sewing (embroidery, digitizing...) as well.  Last year and for most of this year I have had to temper my running due to an injury.  Sewing has kept me sane- or retain some sanity at least.  I decided to start up a small digitizing business as well called Hug Longer Digital Designs. I do generic and custom designs. You can find me on Facebook- Hug Longer Digital Designs Facebook page and on Etsy as well Hug Longer shop.  Because I am now using my sewing area more I have had some challenges with organization.  I share the room with a treadmill and running paraphernalia.  It was beginning to feel as if the walls were closing in with stuff everywhere.  Something had to change.  I was challenged by an organization event to get things cleaned up and I got serious.

Here is the Before picture of my sewing area, it is embarrassing to even share!

I found some fabric that I LOVED from Michael Miller Fabrics (although there are 3 Michael Millers in my family the fabric company is no relation to me or mine...wishful thinking as they have so many beautiful fabrics!).  You can check out Michael Miller Fabrics here:Michael Miller Love to Sew collection  I knew that I wanted to make table curtains to cover my fabric storage areas and thought it would be nice to have a matching serger cover and ironing board cover.  Once my fabric arrived I could barely wait!  Since the patterns were fairly easy to make I did them myself.  Here are a few of the after pictures.

I would say that it is very much improved!

Now for some more good news......My foot has healed and my running is picking up :)

Dear sewing machines and digitizing programs....you now have to share a bit more of your time with my other passion.  When I am not sitting with you I am probably up in the mountains playing :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why I Run

I have been asked that question so many times.  Here is a quick little video to share with you some of the reasons that I run. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Product Review: INKnBURN Lust Capri Pants

ong Lasting
U nique Design
S  tylish

A ctive wear
eady for adventure
NKnBURN quality
ech fabric

Get a pair....you will not regret it!
For an added incentive if you set up a new account online you can use my special discount code:  RedToldMe and receive 15% off your total order!  Plus by setting up an account you will also receive 10 points that you can use on your next order for 10 dollars off your 2nd order!

Must have Lust Capri pants  http://www.inknburn.com/women/capris/women-s-lust-capri-pants.html

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Applique and Embroider a t-shirt




I have tried several ways to embroider on an t-shirt and have found the following way to be the most effective at keeping the t-shirt from stretching during sewing and also to keep embroidery from blending into the fabric too much.  The first thing I do is I iron the t-shirt to make sure the area that I will be embroidering on is flat and wrinkle free.    Next I flip the t-shirt inside out and apply an iron on cut away interfacing.  I use the Inspira brand.  I have not seen another brand available.  This interfacing makes sure that the t-shirt does not stretch out while it is being hooped or embroidered.  It makes a big difference in how well the embroidery looks when finished.

For appliques I take the fabric that I will use to applique onto the t-shirt and I will use a light or medium weight iron on interfacing on the back side of the fabric.  Prior to applying the interfacing I iron the fabric to get rid of any wrinkles.  A wrinkle in an applique will not make the finished product look neat.

In order to see the center of the shirt well I like to very lightly press a line down the exact center of the t-shirt.  This helps me in the hooping process.

Here is the shirt hooped and ready to attach to the machine.  Each machine has it's own hoop style.  Carefully experiment with yours.  One thing to remember is that you do not want your t-shirt to be stretched while it is hooped.  The iron on interfacing should help you keep from pulling the fabric too much during the hooping process. 
The first stitches that will be sewn of the applique typically are marking stitches.  These will show you were to place your prepared applique fabric.  Once they are sew carefully place your fabric making sure that the entire placement area is fully covered then.  Occasionally I like to tape the fabric in place on the edges but I find that it is typically not necessary.  The next stitched that will be sewn are the tack down stitches. These stitches will sew your fabric to your t-shirt with a double stitch.  (occasionally I have seen applique patterns that do not have the marking stitches as part of the pattern.  Then you will have to know how large the pattern in for placement of your applique fabric for the tack down). 

 Once the prepared applique fabric is tacked down you will have to remove excess fabric.  Most of the time this will require removing your hoop from your machine but DO NOT unhoop the t-shirt.  Carefully remove hoop from your machine and using sharp curved scissors clip away excess fabric.  Take extra caution not to clip the t-shirt or the stitching.  Then place the hoop back on your machine for the final step of the applique. 

The last step of the applique will finish off the edges of the applique.  Typically a satin stitch is used.  It will also add any design to the applique.  

If you would like to add on a name or some words to your design be sure to use a Wash n Gone interfacing on TOP of your t-shirt.  This keeps the stitches from falling into the t-shirt.  Once you have completely finished your design unhoop and cut any jump stitches that remain.  Then trim away as much of the Wash n Gone interfacing as possible.  

Turn t-shirt inside out and gently pull loose the iron on/cut away interfacing.  Trim excess. Clip lose threads.  Flip t-shirt again and dab off the remaining Wash n Gone with a damp sponge.  Any remaining interfacing will wash away with the first washing.  Sometimes I go ahead and rinse the area then toss it in the dryer for a couple of minutes to dry.

I hope you get good results with this method as well!  The extra steps are well worth the time, money and effort.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Equality seems to be a hot topic right now but really if you look at history it has been a hot topic for a long time.  Back in 1848 a campaign started for woman's rights.  Several woman and some men too started the movement working toward equal treatment for women.  In 1920 some 70 plus years later woman finally gained the right to vote with the 19th amendment.  One more step toward equality.  But even today when most might say that women have equal rights woman still earn 77% of what men earn.  That is not equality.

African Americans gained freedom from slavery in 1865 with the Emancipation Proclamation.  In 1870 African Americans' rights to vote were given with the 15th amendment but only if you were male....woman would have to wait 50 more years.  Equal rights in the USA are protected....or are they?  African American men make only 72% of what white men make.  That is not equality.

In 1967 the supreme court decided that interracial couples could marry.  It was their right.  Wow, that baffles me because it seems like a no brainer and yet until then it was not legal  It seems asinine.  Why should two people who really love each other not be able to get married. 

So today as LBGT ask for their unions to be recognized as marriage I remain hopeful it will happen.  There are so many against it for religious reasons but I hope that they can remember that our great country was formed with a separation of church and state.  LBGTs rights to marry should not be based on anyone's religious views.  It should be based on equality of all people.  And unfortunately the right to marry will be only one step to gaining that equality that many of us Americans are still waiting for.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sin Carne, Sin Queso, Sin Leche

In about 2 weeks my husband, fellow Mas Loco Chris Rios, Guadajuko and I will be making our way back down to The Copper Canyon's of Mexico.  As I prepare all the happy experiences from last year's trip floods me with joy.  Last year as I readied myself for the trip I was nervous about traveling by vehicle to Mexico.  I was nervous about the race and worried about how rusty my Spanish was.  Last year I thought the trip was about getting there and running a cool race,  The Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon.  But before I got to Del Osso at the top of the canyon I had learned the the trip was about the entire experience, the people, the Raramuri, the locals, the Mas Locos and about me.  I immediately felt at home at Del Osso.  Surrounded by friends that I had already known and ones that I was meeting for the first time.  As cliche and funny as it sounds there is a peace in the canyon areas that I had not experienced before.  I believe it stems from the Raramuri spirit of "Korima".  It is the belief of sharing what you can without expectation of anything in return.  It is the lifestyle of random acts of kindness.  I am looking forward to feeling that peace again. 

Traveling into the canyon is not easy.  By foot it is about an 18 mile hike and by vehicle you experience a narrow, steep, twisty turning bumpy dirt road.  But once into the canyons you are welcomed to a small village where you can buy handmade tortillas or huaraches right from someones front room.  There are several hotels to choose from and a wonderful hostel of sorts called Entre Amigos owned by Keith. In the canyon internet and phone service are difficult and suddenly seem unnecessary.  More enjoyment is found by a day long hike and a plate of food and a beer at Mama Tita's restaurant.  One does not need to tell Mama Tita's what to bring, mostly you just order a plate of food.  You get what you get and it is all good.  I am a sometimes vegetarian so I order un plato sin carne, sin queso y sin leche.  Then I feast on all I can eat beans, rice, cactus, tortillas, pasta...or whatever is brought to me.  The food, although good, is secondary to a meal on wooden picnic tables and plastic table cloths surrounded by friends...eating, drinking and sharing tales.  Love and korima abounds and meals are bought for the Raramuri who have traveled long distances by foot to be at the race.  Warm food fills their bellies and peace fills your heart.  Korima.....

This year there is no worry because that peace is already creeping into me.  There is a sadness that the beloved Caballo Blanco (Micah True) is no longer running the Earth with us but at the same time a joy in knowing that his mission of preserving the lifestyle of the Raramuri (The Running People) lives on.  I look forward to seeing my fellow Mas Locas and sharing more time and tales together.  The Copper Canyons are calling me.  I am excited to be answering that call.

La Roja

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 Reasons that Running and Ultra is like Battling Cancer

5 Reasons that Running an Ultra is like Battling Cancer

Several things got me thinking about how running an ultra is similar to having cancer.  One of my Facebook friends David Murphy https://www.facebook.com/runlikeamug?ref=ts&fref=ts recently mentioned in a status that he never dreamed he would run 100 miles or that cancer would affect his life.  David raises money for Relay for Life during his runs.  I shared his status with a link to donate as well as mentioning that I also never dreamed that I would run 100 miles or that cancer would affect my life 4 times.  After writing that status I knew that I had more to share on the topic  

1.  The race/fight is tough but it will make you stronger. 

For me the thoughts of this started last summer.  I have an old friend who I worked with as a teen whose daughter had been diagnosed with cancer and it looked like she had a rough road ahead of her.  I like to focus on people and run with them in mind while doing ultras so during a 50 miler I ran with my friend’s daughter in mind for my 3rd loop (3 loops=50 miles).  I talked to her like a crazy woman.  I shared with her my first realization on how her fight was like my race.  I told her I knew it was tough, just keep going.  “You got this girl.”  Thankfully people were well spread out by the 3rd loop and my sanity did not become in question.

Realization on how awesome it is to be alive

While doing ultras and when I went through cancer treatments there were times that I could not get a smile off my face if I tried.  I guess during a run it can be explained as a runner’s high.  But for me both occasions seemed to be driven by the thought that life is precious.  Everyday is a gift.  Just like the smiles there are tears as well because again life is precious.

Dealing with despair.

Sometimes it feels as if you are trying so hard and that it might not be enough.  You are using up every bit of energy that you have and it might all be for nothing.  Yes, in ultra running and in fighting cancer there are times of despair.  What gets one through that time of despair is remembering that it will pass and the smile will return.

Friends, family and faith help you through.

Friends, family and faith were so important to me during the time I was dealing with cancer.  My husband was my number one supporter.  He felt a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty but also knew that I was tough.  He never shared his fears with me but instead supported my tougher side as much as possible while still being a shoulder for me to cry on when I felt like taking a pity day.  Other friends and family called or visited to check up on me.  They let me know that they were there if I needed them.  Their support meant a lot to me.  They were all encouraging me to stay strong.  They sent prayers and good vibes.  They were all a part of it.

During an ultra you lean on your crew and pacer.  You also lean on the others supporting you.  No matter how tough you are the support is something that can make a difference between finishing and a DNF.  During the JJ100 this past year I was so blessed to have Carol and Tim pace me and to be able to fall into my husband’s arms at the finish line.  Also support from the aid stations of people that I knew and from complete strangers all meant something.  They were all cheering for me to finish.  They were all a part of it.

Not everyone makes it.

Despite your best effort, sometimes in an ultra you DNF.  My first attempt at JJ100 I dropped down to the 100K when I was 77 miles in.  I considered that a DNF.  I did not do what I set out to do, I failed.  It was a wise decision for me at the time and one that I do not regret making but still....I failed.  Despite months of training and planning I could not complete the 100 miles.  Regardless of my efforts a finish was not a guarantee.

Despite eating well, exercising and great medical technology not everyone who has cancer beats it.  regardless of their efforts a remission or healing is not guaranteed.

TODAY is a blessing.....nothing but love!