Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beware of the Cats Cling Arrives

My static cling decal from Signazon arrived, and didn't it turn out great?

It's been sitting here for a couple of weeks, while I waited for the gloomy, grey, wet weather to lift. Finally, a gorgeous morning, and I'm working a late shift, so I had plenty of time to install it on our front storm door.

First impression

I was so excited to open the box and see how the static cling decal turned out. Sometimes it's hard to imagine how that little digital image you're looking at on your screen is going to look when it's printed on something. When I first unwrapped it, I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I had designed it to be on a clear background. I have to take at least partial blame for that, because before I submitted the file, the site showed me a proof and it had a white background. Lesson learned - if the proof doesn't look exactly like you want, don't click submit. Ask about it first.

Beyond that, I was very pleased with the quality of the product, how the colors looked, and everything else. As it happens, the white background probably means it will show up better from a distance, especially when our dark green door is closed behind it.


This morning, I cleaned the storm door with white vinegar. The outside was dirty with dust, pollen, and splatter. The inside had smears from snotty cat noses. I left it to dry for a few minutes while I scrubbed litter boxes, then I came back for the big moment.

I should mention that Signazon emailed me some instructions for working with my new static cling decal. The message came a couple of days after I placed my order, and I glanced through it, but that's all. Today, of course, I was ready to go. Instructions? We don't need no stinkin' instructions.

I carefully unrolled the cling onto the window. Darn! Air bubbles! Peel up. Press down. Blotchy! Peel up. Press down. Bubbles! Darn, I wish I had a squeegee.

So, I went to the computer and actually read the directions. They recommend spraying the door with water, then unfurling the cling. Hey, that actually works! The bubbles leveled out automatically, and it didn't have any blotchiness. For a squeegee, I used the rubber strip on my dustpan. It's probably 9" wide and the cling is 12" wide, so I only had to make a couple of passes to smooth everything out. The one complication was that the water under the cling will make it slide a little if you press too hard.

Once it was all in place, I realized I should have looked over my original art a little more closely. The photo of Petra, the tabby, had a fine line coming off it that shows up like a long hair against the white background. I could easily have removed it in Photoshop, if I had zoomed in and looked over every inch of the image. Oh, well, it's not that noticable until you're right up on it, and even then, most people probably won't see it. I didn't notice it when we first pulled it out of the box, only after I got it onto the door.


After everything was in place and the photos were taken, I rolled up the foam packing material, the cling backer and the cardboard tube it was rolled up on and put it all back in the box, in case we decide to take it down sometime. When I tried to put it back in the box, it caught on something.

Whaddya know? The nice people at Signazon included a squeegee! If I had opened the other end of the box (or if, you know, I actually checked inside to see if there was anything else), I would have seen it right away. It's only about 6" wide, and I really think the dustpan did just as well or better, but it's still a nice touch. If I had seen it right away, I would have used it and never even thought about the dustpan.

As I wrote this review, I went back to the website and realized that not all clings are automatically clear. I'm quite sure I didn't select "clear static cling" from the drop down menu. So, that explains how I ended up with the white background. I also noticed that there's a box to check if you want to use your cling inside the glass. I'm now a little worried that the ink is going to stick to the glass, especially when it's really hot outside.


All in all, it was a very good experience, and I think my cling looks really cute on the front door. My only recommendation is, if you order from them, be sure you look at all the options before you place your order, to make sure you get exactly what you want. I have a tendancy to breeze through the process very quickly, and until computers can read minds (would that be a good thing or not?), I need to slow down.

I am grateful to Signazon for giving me the opportunity to review one of their products at no cost to me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Beware of the Cats custom static cling decal

I can't wait to get my new "Beware of the Cats" static cling decal! It's huge (12" x 18"), and my intention is to put it on our storm door. It's useful for visitors who may not know that we have cats, so they don't accidentally let them out, and I think it's really cute. But then, I'm biased, 'cause I'm their mommy. What do you think?

I'm getting this delightful custom static cling decal thanks to the good folks at Signazon. They contacted me and asked if I'd like to review one of their products. They make all kinds of signs and banners. While I was looking at all the options they offer, I saw the static cling decals and that's when inspiration struck! I just love these photos of Petra and Kali in their devil hats. The color's a bit off on Kali's and the hat looks more pink than red, but it's the same hat. Can you tell where Petra's horn got cut off in the corner and I "reshaped" it? Thank goodness for Photoshop.

I saved the poster as a layered pdf, so it will have a clear background when it's printed. That way we can look through it a bit when we're seeing who's at the door, plus we can get light in through it. The watermarks are on there just for putting on this blog, of course. I created the file at 300dpi, very high resolution, so it will print without a lot of jaggies or image loss. I can't wait to see it for real. logo
It was very easy to upload the design to the Signazon site, although I did hit one snag. Once the image uploads to the site, it shows you a "proof" -- and guess what? it squashed the image down to fit 12" high and 18" wide, instead of like a vertical poster. Oops! I went back to my pdf, turned it on its side and resaved it, and the next time it came out perfectly. It does take a few minutes to upload such a large, high-res file to the website, but probably not more than 10 minutes (I was multi-tasking and didn't note the exact amount of time).

I'll post again when I get the real thing in hand, and I'll include photos of it on the door. It'll be interesting to see what Petra and Kali think of themselves. I think Kali will be afraid and Petra will try to attack it. We'll see.

In the meantime, check out all the different kinds of products that Signazon offers. They have yard signs, banners, magentic signs, of course the static cling decals, and something called a "magic" sign that's a type of fabric with an adhesive you can use indoors or outdoors and move it around as needed. Very cool.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Great Finds for Cat Lovers

Hauspanther is one of my favorite websites for cat stuff. I mean stuff for cats as well as cat-related stuff. That's their logo on the left. Stylish, isn't it?

I love the name, too. Wish I'd thought of it first! used to be ModernCat. My impression is that it was started to feature modern, trendy, good-looking furniture for cats. Things for cats to climb on and sleep in and play with. It also has clothes and jewelry that cat-lovers can wear or give as gifts, and artwork that cat lovers can hang on their walls. Plus, they have useable, necessary things like pretty bowls for cat food, and stands to put the bowls in, and fancy carriers for going to the vet.

I get the Hauspanther newsletter, and sometimes I almost dread opening it, because I want this stuff, and I usually can't afford it. Like, look at this Trixie Activity Center (below right). The tabby-and-white cat pictured is very like our cats Remy and Indy. I would love to get this for our cats. As I write this, it's $37.49 from Amazon and shipping is free. Still, that's a bag of the expensive cat food they eat or a flat of Indy's special diet canned food. Please don't think my cats are deprived. They have lots of toys. Still, it would be fun to watch them explore something new.

I'd also love to decorate their walls with more cat art. I have some cat art, like a painting I did in a class going on 30 years ago, and two pencil sketches of cats playing with tiny space ships. Have I mentioned our house has solid concrete block walls? Yes, even on the inside. So hanging pictures is a lot more complicated than in a normal house. If I could easily hang pictures, I'd love to add this Jenny Parks illustration of cats as the 11 incarnations of the title character from the TV series Doctor Who. It's such a cute idea.

I discovered all these things and more on Hauspanther.

Even if you can't afford to buy the fancy cat things featured at Hauspanther, it's still fun to see what's out there. Plus, they have giveaways just about every week, so you can try your luck at winning some of this cool cat gear. If you love cats, you should definitely check it out.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Important PSA on Catnip Dangers!

This public service announcement should be seen by every cat and cat parent. Stop the cycle of abuse!


Seriously, the CrazyKittyDad stumbled across this short film and said, "You have to see this." I laughed out loud several times. I recognized many of the good trip/bad trip reactions from seeing them in my own cats!

This short film really captures the feel of the old warning educational films made in the '60s and '70s. Filmmaker Jason Willis debuted it at the Sundance Film Festival this week. I'm looking forward to checking out some of his other work.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

CrazyKittyChick has a new Dyson vacuum!

I love my new Dyson vacuum cleaner. It's a DC24 multi-floor, and I bought on Black Friday.

I have used it at least four times since then. Now, you have to understand, CrazyKittyChick is not crazy about housework, so plugging in the vacuum four times in 10 days is probably a record for me.

Dyson, how do I love thee?

The DC24 is not just a vacuum cleaner. It's a transformer. The view you see at left is when the vacuum is at rest. The handle extends a couple of feet to make it easy to maneuver. You can also unplug the handle, flip it around, and hook it onto a flexi-tube that allows you to get under furniture, and behind things. It also allows you to reach the ceiling to clean the corners and the ceiling fans. It has a brushy attachment, that is also a sort of "scoop" attachment on its other setting.

It doesn't use bags; you just empty the canister. It's a small canister, so I have to empty it quite frequently, but that's just because up to now, I haven't vacuumed very often. I think that if and when I ever get caught up, like the entire house is finally clean, the maintenance wouldn't be so bad.

Also, it has two filters that can be washed and reused over and over again. Amazing!

"Years ago," eh?

My husband looked at the Dyson display in one of the stores over the weekend, and he spotted a Dyson DC33, which has a canister probably three times the size of the DC24, and the retail price on both is the same.

"Why didn't you get the one with the bigger canister?" he asked.

"A couple of stores did have the DC33 on sale Black Friday," I said, "But I went to the Dyson website and asked which vacuums are recommended for pets and allergies. The DC24 came up; the DC33 did not."

Now, upon review, the DC24 has two models - the Animal, which comes with special attachments for getting pet hair out of upholstery; and the Multi-Floor, which is the same vacuum, but without the special attachment. I have the latter.

Still, the DC24 being smaller is really easy to maneuver, and it's not too big a pain to empty the canister every few minutes.

If you hate vacuuming, try a Dyson. It may change your mind.