Neck Pillow and Space Saver

I made this for my trip to Costa Rica this spring with Yobel International. We needed to travel light so we could bring supplies to and from, not to mention it was an 8 hr red eye on the way down. So, how about a pillow that, instead of taking up extra space, relieves space from my suitcase? Even better, you can make it for ALMOST NOTHING.

Travel Pillow

What you need:

  • old teeshirt (or comfortable fabric
  • sewing machine
  • travel plans

It’s pretty straight forward, just an empty neck pillow that you then fill with (comfy) items that you want to bring with you.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a pattern for yet, but I wanted to get you this idea with the holidays approaching. You can see the proportions on the teeshirt below. Also, sorry for the terrible photos… it was a crazy time and this was a late night craft.

Step 1: Fold your comfy shirt in half.

Step 2: Cut out half a neck pillow shape (but across the folded shirt it will make a full pillow)

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Step 3: Sew all the edges together.

Step 4: Cut a small slit on the top (for stuffing) and flip inside out

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Step 5: Stuff with clothes that you are packing!

I was able to fit all of the below in mine, it was amazing! I ended up taking a little out of the back of the neck so it was more for the sides of my head to lean on on the plane. It could be a good idea as well to put a couple undergarments in here in case of lost luggage.

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The extra nice thing is that very seldom do you get told you need to fit this in your carry-on. I flew all around with it just “attached” to my carry on, which can also be great for those of you who, like me, try your hardest to never pay baggage fees! It’s really amazing how much you can fit in your “carry on and a personal item”. I’m becoming a pro.

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Again, this was like a 20 minute craft, but kind of looks like it. You can easily class it up with some nice fabric and finish up the seem around the stuffing hole (terrible name…). You could also get even fancier and make the side with the slit 2 separate pieces, creating a nice overlap where you stuff so that nothing is peaking out! I’ll have to try that idea soon and give a 1 hour version to join with the 20 minute version.

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Colorado Style

I recently read an article that said Colorado Springs is the second least fashionable city in America. While I feel the need to fight and say Colorado Springs isn’t less fashionable than a place like Milwaukee, (I feel like being a fit city has to account for something, I saw far fewer overweight sweat suites here than I did in my time in Wisconsin) I won’t claim this is a remotely fashionable city.

I like to think I do my part to raise the bar occasionally, but sometimes simple statement is better. This is a perfect example of looking like I belong in Colorado, but not succumbing to the masses. Maybe it’s just the red pants, but it works, I think:

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(faux) chambray – thrifted. Vest – Merrell, from my pro-deal days. Pants: Marshalls, Boots – 6pm. Necklace – Yobel Market
 

This outfit is perfect for all the random fall-esque events you can do out here in Colorado. Campfires, Manitou Springs people watching, bike brewery tours, you know, the usual.

DIY Dino Sweater

The other night I thought to myself,

“I want a Dinosaur shirt.”

Then I remembered the random old sweater I got for free (clothing swap), and a pile of felting wool that I’ve had for, oh, 5+ years?  The lesson to take from this post: it’s OK to never throw things away! Because then you can make rad little things like a Dino Sweater:

Dino Sweater

(My face is a tad blurry… I think I’m OK with that.)

What You Need:

  • Sweater/shirt (Note, mine was a little chunky of a knit for felting, but it worked for now. I’d recommend a smooth knit/woven for best results.)
  • Cardboard
  • Pen/pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Felting wool
  • Felting needle/kit

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I got this wool years ago at a cool little store on Etsy that is no longer operating. There are ENDLESS color options on Etsy, as well as natural dyes and everything else. I’m not positive how much wool this was, but I’d guess around 2 oz? It goes a long way. Of course, you can probably find it at your local craft store as well.

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I hand sketched this dino from a couple different stencils I found online, keeping features I liked and adding some I wanted. It took a few tries.

Also, for felting I recommend staying away from intricate designs (especially at the start), because the nature of it is to be a little loose and lumpy. That partly influenced which dino I went with (no attempting intricate spikes for this girl!). I also now get to have nerdy conversations about the Brontosaurs vs Brachiosaurus.

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Place your stencil on your sweater. Keep in mind the length of your sweater… this one is a little short on me so the dino is higher than I was thinking in the end, but still awesome of course.

I used a little gaf tape from my job to keep it in place, then reinforced it with a couple pins to keep the sweater from stretching and deforming.

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Here’ s what my felting needle looks like. You can’t see the little barbs at the end of the needle, but they serve to “tangle” the wool and turn it into felt. Mine also came with a nice little foam square to put behind the needle so you can felt through fabric.

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Start placing a layer of wool, not too thick, over your stencil. Take your needle and start pushing through the wool and the sweater.

Make sure you have something protective behind the sweater! If you are doing this on your lap use a thick magazine or something else dense or you will stab yourself in the leg repeatedly!

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Felting Dino Sweater

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Basically, that’s it! Continue to tuck in along the edges, add more will to places that seem thin. After you have it all filled up remove the stencil an do any touching up along the edges that you need to.

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Fair warning, I haven’t washed this sweater yet. I’d recommend it gentle on cold, or hand washing warm. Depending on how well the wool fused with your sweater it could come off easily, and warm hot water can felt the wool even further.

I’d say it’s worth it for a hand made Dino Sweater!

DIY Dino Sweater

 

First Home Photoshoot

Alas, another cold has it’s painful talons on my throat. As much as I love Colorado, a TINY bit more humidity in the air in the winter wouldn’t be the worst….

So, I’ve been sleeping. I’ll get a hold of some halloween weekend photos to post soon, but in the meantime, here is a collection of photos from my first “First Home” shoot! I had the honor of shooting this beautiful couple’s wedding, and jumped at the chance to do this.

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