Band T-Shirt Giveaway

I was recently commissioned to do a sketch of Teddy MacSpade, a past and founding member of The Toasters; one of the longest active third wave ska bands. MacSpade still plays occasionally, using the ’68 Goldtop Les Paul and the ’71 Sunburst Strat he did back in the day.

When I was done with the sketch, I wanted to send them a little something extra as a thank-you so, I scanned and emailed it to my friends at Crooked Brook to have a couple t-shirts printed.

They loved it and since t-shirts are very popular with bands, I decided to offer a giveaway to bands, musicians or recording artists to have a sketch of themselves printed on t-shirts. All the winner has to do is:

Send me a photo. . .

Teddy MacSpade

I’ll create a sketch. If you’d like I can add your band name and/or text.

Teddy MacSpade Sketch

I’ll email a copy off to Crooked Brook (the t-shirt printer I’m partnering with to sponsor this) and. . .

BOOM! DTG, Bitches!

Teddy MacSpade t-shirt

The winner will be chosen randomly using Rafflecopter and they will receive:

• A digital copy of the sketch that the band or musician can use in whatever ways they see fit (all I ask is, as a courtesy, I am mentioned as the artist).

• Two (or one for each band member in the photo), white, unisex, Gildan, G200 6.1 oz. Ultra Cotton® T-Shirts made in 100% preshrunk cotton (in a size of the winner’s choosing) with the sketch of the winner’s band printed on the front or back.

Although the most popular method of printing t-shirts is screen printing, Crooked Brook t-shirts are printed using Direct To Garment Printing (DTG) which is the process of using inkjet printers to print an image directly onto t-shirts without the use of screens that are needed for screen printing, which requires a lot of setup e.g., creating screens for each color. In addition, DTG printing uses eco-friendly, water soluble ink, unlike some screen printing methods that layer Plastisol (a suspension of PVC particles in a plasticizer) on top of the t-shirt. The only requirement for DTG printing is for the image to be high resolution, resulting in photograph quality printing with no setup fee or minimums for custom t-shirts.

Terms and Conditions:

You must be 18 years or older to enter.

You must be a recording artist, musician, or part of a band in order to win (ie. this is not for a fan/groupie to have their favorite group drawn and put on a t-shirt).

The winner has 48 hours to reply with a high resolution photograph or a new winner will be chosen.

Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Sara Kerr will email a digital copy of the sketch to the winner within 30 days of contest end and reserves the right to use it as a sample of her work for her portfolio (online and print).

Crooked Brook will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of receiving the digital sketch from Sara Kerr.

Click Here to Enter the Band Sketch T-Shirt Giveaway!

*Please note that you will be directed to the Rafflecopter site*

Natural Handmade Soap Giveaway Winner

Castile Soap From The Mohawk Valley Trading CompanyCongratulations to, Angel V Burcé, the winner of my Natural Handmade Soap Giveaway! You have been notified via email and have 72 hours to reply. Thank you for participating, congratulations, and most of all, enjoy the soap!

‘Thank-you’ to all who entered! This soap really is amazing and I highly recommend you check out the Mohawk Valley Trading Company.

Mohawk Valley Trading Company natural soaps are made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic or artificial fragrances, dyes, detergents, preservatives or any other toxic or harmful surfactants, degreasers, plasticizers, reproductive toxins, pesticides, carcinogens, industrial chemicals or hormone disruptors.

Handmade Soap Review and Giveaway: The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

I want to kick off my up-coming post about the next steps in making Calcei with a giveaway of an ancient cleansing product. I originally believed Ancient Romans used olive oil based soaps to cleanse themselves, but after some research I learned many things I didn’t know about our ancestors’ bathing habits and the evolution of soap.

Castile Soap

For the most part the Romans didn’t use soap to clean their bodies – it was used for cleaning clothes. Instead, they would rub olive oil on their skin, sometimes mixed with sand, then scrape it off with a curved tool called a strigil. Soap’s use in personal care increased as people discovered the benefits of using it.

At any rate, I feel like a handmade, olive oil based soap is as close to ancient roman cleansing as I’d like to get – no oil, sand, and scraping for me, thanks! I promised more giveaways for 2014 and what better way to start off the new year than with natural handmade soap?! You know. . . wash away the old grime of twenty-thirteen and start fresh and clean in twenty-fourteen.

I had the privilege of working with the Mohawk Valley Trading Company over the past several years and I was given the opportunity to sample a few of their soap varieties. I especially like the castile soap because it has no animal products in it whatsoever – I’m not a vegan, I just like that it uses an alternative to tallow because personally, it just seems more natural to wash myself with plants than it does animal fat.

Handmade Soaps From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

I was able to try the castile, goat’s milk lavender, tea tree oil, sage, pine, and rose soaps. The sage and pine seemed like they’d be good for clearing your sinuses if you use them in a hot shower. I was surprised at how much I liked the rose scent because I don’t typically like floral fragrances and rose tends to be overpowering. Most of the time rose scented soaps smell like old lady, but this one is mild – probably because it’s natural and not some manufactured “rose-like” scent.

All the soaps left my skin feeling smooth and not dried out like a lot of “beauty bars” and “moisturizing bars.” My favorite was definitely the castile; I love the smell, and the way my skin feels after I use it; soft and smooth.

Castile Soap From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

About Mohawk Valley Trading Company Soaps

Mohawk Valley Trading Company Natural Handmade Soaps are made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic or artificial fragrances, dyes, detergents, preservatives or any other toxic or harmful surfactants, degreasers, plasticizers, reproductive toxins, pesticides, carcinogens, industrial chemicals or hormone disruptors.

Instead, they are made with:

Goat’s milk, shea butter, natural plant oils including; olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, palm oil, castor bean oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and other botanical sources such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts.

• 100% natural plant-based essential oils distilled or pressed from fresh citrus peels, flower petals, spices, leaves, herbs and other naturally fragrant botanical materials.

• Beeswax and raw honey.

I know what you’re thinking; “Enough about soap already! What’s the giveaway?!!” Enter below for your chance to receive one bar each of goat’s milk lavender, castile, sage, rose, and pine soaps. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Handmade Soap From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

Terms and conditions:

  • You must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • The Mohawk Valley Trading Company will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end.
  • Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Click here to enter the Soap Giveaway

*Please note that you will be directed to another site*

Art, Design, and Illustration Portfolio Gets a Fresh New Look

It’s been months in the making (for no good reason other than life is busy so I’ve been picking at it here and there) and here it is! The Kerrminator’s Art, Design, and Illustration online portfolio gets a facelift for twenty fourteen! I’ve revamped it a bit with a new color palette, some new design elements, added some pieces from 2013, and I’m now on more social media that I can’t seem to keep up with! Hurray!

Kerrminator Logo

2014 looks to be a fantastic year for me and I look forward to sharing more of my projects, rants, advice, and I PROMISE I’ll do more giveaways! Thank you all for making 2013 a great year for The Kerrminator’s blog. I had more views this year than the previous two years combined!

On the docket for the coming months includes my tips on designing logos for embroidery, the next section on making roman calcei, and so much more!

Keep checking in, or better yet, subscribe! Or follow me using your preferred big brother method listed below:


Happy New Year, internet friends!



The Balance of Structural and Decorative Design

It’s time for a throwback to my time in high school with a vase I created Freshman year. A book I was reading on my recent flight to New York;  Art in Everyday Life, by Harriet and Vetta Goldstein, got me thinking about the vase again.

The book starts out explaining the importance of good taste in design, then goes into a chapter about the balance of structural and decorative design. This was the part that piqued my interest because in one section it compared two vases: one with both good structural and decorative design (fig. 7 – left) and the other with good structural design, but poor decorative design (fig. 8-right).

The vase they described as being “bad” has a similar decorative design to one I created in high school. It was amusing, insulting, and thought provoking. It really made me rethink how I feel about my piece.

Ceramic vase crafted by Sara Kerr, age 15.Looking at my vase now, I feel the primary shape of it is well designed, but the handle is way under sized and poorly crafted for strength. It really serves little purpose for containing anything, especially not liquids, and it can’t be picked up by it’s handle. So, it’s easy to conclude that it has poor structural design. Regarding it’s decorative design, I’m conflicted; I’ve always thought it was very beautiful and I put a lot of thought into the placement of the leaves, and vines. Besides, I meant for it to be a decorative piece. So, what do you think? Does it’s imbalance between decor and structure work for it or does it fail because of it?

Constructing Leather Roman Military Boots (Calcei) – Part One: Pattern Making

Ryan Noel's handmade Roman Caligae (leather hobnail sandals)I figured I’d switch gears from embroidery and touch on a topic that has been rather popular for my readers; Roman footwear. I should note that when I started typing this article I had intentions of providing all the steps in one post, but I’m barely halfway through and it’s already over 1000 words. So, I’m breaking it into a couple different articles; beginning with the pattern making process, followed by the calcei construction, and I’ll even be throwing in a Roman-related giveaway.

My previous articles talked about the construction of a pair of Roman Caligae (shown on left), Calcei, carbatinae, and trying out a duct tape pattern. I said I’d post an update when we had the patterns cut out of leather and it’s been a year and a half soooo, better late than never! As per usual, Ryan works faster than I can photograph, so excuse the gaps in pictures, but I’ll try to include links to the sources we referenced while constructing this pair.

Back tracking a bit, there were quite a few ‘newbie’ problems with the caligae; They turned out way too big, the hobnails went in crooked, and they had shifting inner soles. Live and learn. We had never made leather shoes before, but we at least know to not make the same mistakes twice. We opted for the duct tape pattern for the next pair, in this case the Calcei. I’m sure professional shoe makers are probably laughing at our duct tape method, but honestly it’s quick, effective, easy, and above all else, it’s a very custom fit. Plus, this is a hobby for us and I have no intention of becoming a professional shoe maker.

Calcei Duct Tape Pattern

As I said, the second pair completed was a pair of Calcei. It’s a roman military cold weather boot. In hindsight we really should have started with these due to the ease of construction and uncomplicated design compared to caligae.  It’s a more ideal style for beginners to try in order to get used to forming leather into a 3-dimensional shape. I left off on the step of drawing the design on the duct tape form. . .

Roman men's military boots duct tape pattern.

Pattern Adjustments

Once you have the design drawn onto the duct tape, you cut it out. The way you do this is by slicing out exactly where your sole was and cutting the pattern open along the green line shown above (The green line being the visual center of your foot). The pattern should lay [relatively] flat though there will be some puckering around the toe areas. Try to ignore that as much as possible. You’ll want some heavy duty card stock or thick paper (bristol board works well) to trace the duct tape pattern onto. I should also mention that while you’re cutting and tracing, be sure not to rub off your calibration marks and to freshen them up if they begin to fade. Once you have them traced onto your card stock pattern you’ll be safe, but until then, make sure not to let them disappear.

Chances are you are going to have to make a few minor adjustments to your pattern if the cutting process resulted in some funky edges. Ryan had some issues with the heels of his due to shifting and bending the sole during the duct taping process. You can see below the difference between the duct tape cutout and the final altered pattern.

Right Foot Calcei Pattern

You will also note the pattern is bigger than the duct tape form. So let’s break it down to what modifications you need to make to your pattern:

Calcei Pattern Modifications

1. Smooth out your lines, removing any really odd chunks that got chopped due to an error, like the heel on the right boot on Ryan’s, and make the ankle/top a graceful curve. Be sure to compensate your addition/removal on the sole pattern as well. Also, try to stick to the rule of not deviating from the duct tape pattern by more than 1/4″. (Or you’ll fuck it up!) 😀

2. You need to be able to extend your tabs so if when you press your duct tape pattern flat, the tabs seem to overlap or one gap is larger than another, even them out, but keep them about 1 inch deep. *TIP* I drew one side then used tracing paper to transfer the identical tabs to the other side, making sure they’ll line up when the shoe is closed.* When modifying the tabs, BE SURE not to move the top tab, and that the length of the toe is IDENTICAL, so don’t cut into that at all.

3. Once you’re happy with your shape and lines you can move on to adding to the pattern. DON’T move onto these steps until you’re absolutely sure you’re done tweaking because otherwise you’ll be doing things twice. First thing you’re going to add is the 1 inch extension onto all the tabs.

4. Next add 1/4″ onto the top of the toe for seam allowance.

5. Finally, add 1″ along the entire bottom

Take your time on the pattern because it’s really the most important step. If it’s wrong, all your work will be for a pair of ill-fitting, P.O.S. shoes!

If you have any questions regarding the pattern making process, or pattern modifications feel free to leave your comments/inquiries in the comment section below. Check in regularly for part two in this series and for a chance to win a certain cleansing product used by Ancient Romans!

****UPDATE!!! Check out Part 2 of the Calcei Making Process here!!!****

Winner of MMA-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Custom Polo Shirt Giveaway 1

Congratulations YANES! You are the lucky winner of a custom Jiu Jitsu polo shirt!

You have been contacted by email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. Crooked Brook will ship the polo to you within 30 days of contest end. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes.

Enjoy, Yanes!

Thank you to everyone who participated and check back often (or subscribe on the left) for more giveaways in the near future 😉 Free stuff! Why wouldn’t you want in on that?

MMA-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Custom Polo Shirt Giveaway!

Guess what, my avid readers and embroidery fans! We’ve been talking so much about embroidery lately, I think it’s time to announce that I have teamed up with my friends at Crooked Brook to sponsor an embroidered polo shirt giveaway!

This polo shirt is the first of a fresh new series of martial arts designs they’re releasing. The polo shirt is embroidered with the flags of Japan, Brazil, the USA, and the Jiu Jitsu kanji on the back with the Jiu Jitsu kanji on the left front chest.

Polo shirts are another inexpensive yet cost effective marketing tool. More casual than button-front shirts and dressier than t-shirts, embroidered polo shirts are part of the uniform for many businesses.

Polo shirts are also called “polos” or tennis shirts and they became so popular on golf courses, people started calling them golf shirts. Although the words “polo shirt” and “golf shirt” are used interchangeably, the term “polo shirt” is more popular.

Polo shirts embroidered with a company logo given as gifts or giveaways are called promotional polo shirts or golf shirts and are great way to get your name out there and build brand awareness.

These giveaways are first quality, polo shirts from Crooked Brook’s inventory and the brand will be determined by what they have in stock at the time the winner is announced. The winner will be chosen randomly, from those who post a comment BELOW with an answer to this question;

What gender and size polo shirt would you like to win?

Terms & Conditions:

You must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest ends midnight (Eastern Standard Time) 08/09/13. The winner will be chosen by me and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. Crooked Brook will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Happy Winning!