Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

Nesting Comes in Many Forms

I’ve been having bursts of nesting moments, peppered with complete exhaustion, in which I think, “I seriously can’t do this for another 5 weeks!” Saturday I vacuumed my entire basement: floors, ceiling joists, walls, the ledge around the outside walls that the joists sit on, the ENTIRE basement. Sunday I took a 2 hour nap. Tuesday I cleaned my deck, front porch, vacuumed all of the floors upstairs, scoured my kitchen with an old toothbrush and waxed my table. Today I made t-shirts.

Yes. I made t-shirts. It seemed really important at the moment.

I blame Becky for the idea. She makes t-shirts to commemorate almost everything and the idea has intrigued me for a while. My first thought was to make t-shirts for my sister’s kids on their birthdays as a creative and inexpensive way of commemorating their day. That was a good idea 6 weeks ago when my nephew’s tenth birthday was 2 weeks away. Today I was seized with the desperate need not only to make Zac’s 10th birthday t-shirt (a month late) but also make “Big Sister” and “Big Brother” t-shirts for the doodles when their sister is born.

This is where the nesting kicks in. That birthday shirt was just a bonus to the sudden NEED to have the “birth day” t-shirts done TODAY!

While Jonathan worked on spring “break” homework at the library, I took the doodles to Hobby Lobby. My original plan was just to pick up some white numbers for Zac’s t-shirt, and a little iron-on embellishment  for each of the “birth day” t-shirts. I already had some printable iron-on transfers that I planned to use for the words. As I was looking at white numbers, and deciding to get white letters too (I bought a dark shirt for Zac, a mistake I won’t make again.) the doodles were falling in love with iron on “create your own monster” kits.

Because I am a push over, we ended up going home with monster t-shirt kits. I am SO glad we did.

When we got home we cracked open those packages, dug out the t-shirts and built monsters together. The kids picked every element of their own t-shirt monster, and the “big brother” and “big sister” t-shirts became more than just something to make mama happy, they became their own creation.


The Cheesedoodle's "Big Brother" Monster t-shirt

Mackerdoodle's "Big Sister" monster t-shirt


I cut out the body, and laid it on the table, and then put the other elements out and asked them each to pick, first eyes, then a mouth, then hands. I was worried the cheesedoodle wouldn’t understand, but he clearly did. When I asked if he wanted a nose, he shook his head emphatically. When he chose the hands he did, I positioned them facing down. The cheesedoodle turned them around to face up, then nodded and smiled. It was so much fun!

I printed the words onto my iron on transfer sheets, (the children chose their fonts) and then the hard work started. While the children ate lunch and then watched a wiggles video, I set out to make the pieces into finished t-shirts.

Can I say right here that I should have asked Becky to come and walk me through this? Can I also say that if you’re going to make t-shirts, don’t start with the one that has 14 individual pieces that you are planning to give to a 10 year old as a gift! In fact, probably don’t plan a t-shirt with 14 individual elements. Zac’s t-shirt was supposed to say, “Double Digits Dude!” under a big 10. After I peeled off and positioned and thoroughly destroyed the first two words, I cut my losses, and tossed the exclamation point after the word, “digits.”


Yes, it is off center, crooked, and a general disaster.


For future reference: buy the lighter colored t-shirts and print the phrase all in one go like I did with the “big brother” and “big sister” words for the monster t-shirts. I can’t re-do it. I’m wondering if I can save it. The jury is out. I’m certainly not sending it like it is.

After this, I went to the cheesedoodle’s monster t-shirt. If you look closely at the picture, you can see I tore the monster’s body during application, but the words are straight and all in all I’m pretty pleased with it. The mackerdoodle’s t-shirt was almost perfect, until I peeled the paper off the words, and then decided the monster need a final ironing. The iron smudged a tiny corner of the end of Sister. It’s not a biggie.

I finally did the one I should have done first. The coming home outfit for the snickerdoodle was originally going to say, “Little Sister” or something like that, but when I found this pre-printed transfer at Hobby Lobby, I went with it. Pre-printed, single transfers are easy. This would have been a good one to learn on.


For the Snickerdoodle


Cute and appropriate, right? That’s one Becky can be proud of inspiring.

So now they are hanging in the closet, just waiting for the big day, and I feel strangely exhausted after doing nothing but making t-shirts. I wonder what nesting tomorrow will bring.