Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Blob!

Buttercup and Beans have a special relationship.  Beans loves Buttercup.  Buttercup loves Beans.  If Buttercup stops moving long enough, Beans will come lay down on Buttercup, wherever Buttercup might be.  (In this case, Buttercup was on my bed.)

Stop moving, Buttercup, I'm trying to get comfortable!
Buttercup lets her.  I think Buttercup likes it!
Okay, perfect, don't move!

She just kind of smooshes Buttercup.  I think it is true love.

Ah, your face is the perfect resting place for my head!
  What do you think?

Monday, December 26, 2011

T-Shirt Project - Quick & Easy

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Ours was fabulous once Superman finally made it home.  I'm finally able to catch my breath and start to think beyond the holiday, however, and thought I'd share with you the t-shirt project I did to go with the Christmas pajamas I told you about last week.

Different personalities needed different sayings!
In addition to making each of us pajama pants, I also made each of the men personalized t-shirts.  Since they're all "talls", I ordered inexpensive tall-sized t-shirts from Old Navy a few weeks ago.  Then I ordered heat transfer ("iron-on) vinyl from Expressions Vinyl.  I gathered up a silly saying for each of them, got out my Silhouette SD and went to work.

The tutorial on the Expressions Vinyl site was really clear and I had no problems whatsoever. Honestly, the most difficult part was figuring out what to say on each shirt.

Really, he is!

Long-suffering Charming truly appreciated this one!

and Valiant's:

Have a 15-year old?  Then you know how appropriate this one is!

I think they turned out pretty well, don't you?  The entire project took me less than an hour for all three.  Best of all, they really matched nicely with the pajama pants.  The men liked the sayings I surprised them with and they liked the colors of the shirts...win/win all around.

I ordered extra t-shirts, so now I'm already looking to make more quirky t-shirts for the family.

(SewDucky:  No pictures of the men in their pants...they just weren't into pictures on Christmas!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yet Another Silhouette Project

I saw a picture of this plaque at Moore Minutes.  Honestly, I did the hop, skip, and click to get to her blog...I had never been there before, but this plaque grabbed me.  Lisa had hung her Barn Owl Primitives plaque as a way to motivate her to face her own personal challenge.  I liked the plaque and I liked the idea.  So, I pinned it and, eventually, copied it.  It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I certainly believe so and hope that Lisa will agree.

I can't think of anything more motivating than remembering that we can do "hard things". Crossfit teaches me that very thing day in and day out...I am reminded of it whenever I stall and look back to see how many things I can do now that I couldn't do even three months ago. Manning the home-front while Superman works overseas reminds me of that very thing every day. Plumbing problems, automobile problems, etc., don't get to wait for Superman to handle...I've got to step out of my comfort zone and deal.

As soon as I saw the plaque, I knew I needed one for myself.   Still, I challenged myself to make it for myself (rather than buying one), as I figured the sense of accomplishment I would derive from the project would imbue the plaque with even more significance.   (After being a follower of Gail at My Repurposed Life for quite some time, I was sure I could do it.  She's so good about explaining things she does, one step at a time.)  I was right and I am thrilled to show you what I've done.

Remember when I was painting the lollipops?  Well, I painted these two plaques, too.  Simply plywood rectangles with decoratively routered edges.  Easy peasy.

 After primer, I painted three coats of white paint on them. 

Then I added Silhouette-cut vinyl of quotes I wanted.  I painted over them once more with white to minimize seepage under the vinyl.  (It was much more successful under the vinyl I sourced from Expressions Vinyl than with the Silhouette-brand vinyl, I have to say.) 

After the white paint was dry, I painted two coats of black paint and let it get almost dry.  I decided to peel the vinyl off before the paint had fully dried, as I didn't want to bring paint up with the vinyl.  It was a good decision and I had very little grab from the vinyl.  (I did use an exacto knife to start each piece of vinyl...)

I still had some seepage, so I decided to embrace the distressed look.  Sanded them down with some fine-grit sandpaper and then added a coat of Johnson's paste wax.

This is how it looks in the room.  I love it!  And this one?

This one is a gift.  I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  (Sorry for the not-so-terrific photos...a photographer, I'll never be!)

So, have I mentioned how much I love my Silhouette machine?  I really, really love it and am finding more and more things to do with it.  This vinyl project was so much fun.  As for the vinyl itself, I'm still experimenting, but have had the best luck with the Oracal 631 I get from Expressions Vinyl.   Even better, I love the people at Expressions Vinyl.  My most recent order was for iron-on vinyl and they shipped it out the day they received the order because they knew their customers were trying to beat Christmas deadlines.  That, my friends, is customer service I am willing to brag about!

SUPERMAN TRACKER UPDATE:  Superman is scheduled to fly out of Seattle at 8:00 a.m. this morning after getting a good night's rest in a Seattle hotel last night, so hopefully we'll have him home in time for a late breakfast.  Keep your fingers crossed! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Advent Present...for Sam?

Each year, my sister sends the kids Advent presents...one present to be opened each day leading up to Christmas.  She has come up with so many clever things over the past few years, but I'm just so surprised by her thoughtfulness this year...

You can't see me, but I can see you!
She even sent a box for Sam.

Using the closet door to keep an eye on the room...bwaaahaha!
He really loves it...so, I offered to help him send a thank-you to her.

Dear Aunt Katie,

Thank you for sending me a Christmas box.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.  I didn't know you cared! 



P.S.  Say "Hi" to Random Kitty for me!

Still, Sam can be a little bit selfish, don't you think?

Sam, May I have a turn?
 Not sharing with Cajun...

Come on, Sam, give me a turn...pleeease!
Not sharing with Beans...

Not sharing with anyone!

Superman Tracker Update:  After being booked on a flight to Seattle leaving LAX at 3:15 p.m. this afternoon, Superman was able to fly stand-by on a flight that left at 12:30 p.m....he's working his way home...step by step!

Lollipop, Lollipop!

Front yard lollipops!

Lollipop, lollipop!
I love putting lollipops up for Christmas decorations.   Why?  Because they look so festive without needing lights...they just feel very Santa's workshop to me.  This year, I took advantage our last day of woodshop by using the bandsaw to cut out eighteen 12-inch circles out of 5mm underlayment.

12" circles of 5mm underlayment...painted white...
Then I painted them all white and attached dowels to them.   Each lollipop was then wrapped in colored cellophane and tied off with ribbon.   Finally, we pounded (okay, Charming pounded because I took too long) PVC into the ground and inserted the lollipop into the PVC.  

See the PVC sticking up from the ground?

Why pound the pvc into the ground?  Experience has taught me that frozen ground and frozen dowels will be stuck together until March or April.  I'm hoping that sticking the dowels into pvc will allow me to pull them up after New Year.  (Fingers crossed any.)

I even put them in the pots in front of the garage (with my faux poinsettia)...so festive!
I think they turned out so well and I love rounding the corner and seeing them as I drive up the street.  It is just so cheerful.

Look at that view...isn't it fun?
 Superman-Tracker (kind of like the Santa Tracker, but better!):  Superman is stuck at LAX after his flight from Dubai was late arriving, meaning he missed his connection; but he'll still be here before Christmas...the wonderful people at Alaska Airlines helped us rebook him on flights that will do the trick.  Its all good!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The boys should never leave us to pick out the fabric

for the Christmas pajama pants!

Superman asked me to make pajama pants for the family again this year, so Buttercup and I headed out to Hancock Fabrics to find some appropriate flannel for the project.  Valiant came along, but under duress.

Six pairs of pajama pants for tall people = 18 yards of flannel
We quickly decided against plaid...too boring.  Then we rejected the light-weight Christmas cottons..."not versatile enough," we thought.  Then we found this lovely cat-print flannel and thought to ourselves, "oh, we couldn't do that to them, could we?"  Valiant unwittingly sealed the deal when he said, "Oh, man, I'd love to see Dad and Charming in those...they'll kill you."     Now, you might not know, as it is a little known fact, that the Nagle women cannot seem to resist a dare.  Truly...I think we biologically incapable.  Once Valiant through down the gauntlet, the deal was sealed. 

Purple background for the girls/blue for the boys!
Fortunately, between four bolts of fabric, we were able to get enough fabric to make five pairs for pajama pants...hey, when three of the five are well over six feet tall, we're talking a lot of yardage.  The girls ended up with purple with cats, while the boys got navy with cats.  Hey!  At least we didn't give them purple!
This button goes in front!
I even when one step further and added this oh-so-cool button to distinguish the front from the back.  (Kind, right?) 

The bunny print?  Buttercup couldn't resist it.
Oh, and the girl found herself drawn to this bunny print, too, so I actually made six pairs of pajama pants.  (Now I just have to personalize the coordinating shirts!)

An Early Christmas Gift

After growing up in a house with pets, it was only a matter of time before Charming became lonely for the companionship a pet provides.  When he moved out on his own, we told him that when the time was right, according to him, we'd buy him a cat for his apartment.  Well, last month, the time was right.  We headed over to PetSmart's rescue center and found a companion for Charming.  That evening, Aimee came to live with him as an early Christmas gift.

She's a unique little kitty.  She's a two-year old Manx, which means she doesn't have a traditional long tail.  Nope, she was born with that stubby little thing.  Funny, isn't it

She and Charming seem to be getting along just fine, don't you think?

I think she finally got tired of Buttercup taking her picture, though...doesn't it look as if she's saying "no more pictures!"?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ready for Christmas

Can you believe that we only have four more days until Christmas? The past month has flown by, hasn't it? Life in the Nagle5 household has been so busy this past month...broken bones just seemed par for the course. Still, as Christmas fast approaches, I find myself in the unfamiliary position of actually being ready. Really! Can you believe it?   Let me repeat this for you:  I am ready for Christmas.
Our Halloween spider became a Christmas spider...doesn't every home need one?
The last of my Christmas cards were mailed off today and one last present made it into the mail, as well. The presents are wrapped and waiting to be placed under the tree Christmas Eve. The food for Christmas has already been planned and purchased. Even our dress-up clothes are selected and ready for Christmas Day. All we have to do is clean the house and we're good to go.

Weird, isn't it?
The pumpkins on the cabinets were replaced with Christmas trees.
I must confess, this never happens to me. We're the family that wraps presents Christmas Eve and sends out a New Year's letter because I never quite got my Christmas cards out. Will this happen again next year? I doubt it...lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice very often, now does it.
The Fall-themed decor gave way to beloved Christmas decorations.
Superman is on his way home to us as I type this. Yes, my hero will be home for the holidays this year. The whole family is so excited, we can barely contain ourselves. 
Christmas cards get hung on the door as they arrive...
mistletoe can trap the unwary guest, too!
So, with two days to wait before he gets here, I decided to share a little of what we've been up to this last month.

I even used the Silhouette machine to make gingerbread men...too fun!
The Santa-fication process is definitely complete...there isn't a room in the house that has been left untouched.  Now, if  Christmas would just hurry up and get here!!!