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:

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(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

 

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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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Fruit Fly Trap

This tutorial is a bit icky, but oh so rewarding… killing massive amounts of fruit flies.

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Can you see them at the bottom of that cup? More pictures at the bottom.

Call me a weird person for being so excited about it, but man do I dislike those things. Colorado doesn’t get much for bugs, so when this cloud invades our kitchen (or entire apartment) when the trash has a lot of “fresh” food in it (because we don’t have a compost), I get grumpy. Don’t stay grumpy, do something.

A lot of people have tried vaccuming the flies. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always kill them, and if you don’t own a vaccume that has it’s own bag, the flies will just get out when you empty it. Many people have heard of the plastic wrap over a bowl of fruit and/or vinegar method. this traps a good number of them, but it doesn’t really kill them, and it just produces a breeding ground so if any of them do find their way out you just have more!

Trust me, you need to try this method.

All you need:

  • small cup or bowl
  • Vinegar (I go with apple, not sure if it makes a difference)
  • Liquid Soap
  • Somewhat high pressure water (or something else to make it “frothy”)

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This is all super simple, not sure why I have so many photos.

First: pour a small amount of vinegar in the cup. A few tablespoons should be sufficient to start, but it depends on the size of your cup or bowl.

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Then, do about 1 pump of soap. I’ve heard people stop here saying the soap is toxic to them and kills them. I recommend going 1 step further.

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Give the mixture a quick blast of water to create some good suds. Now, the flies will come to the smell of the vinegar, and then they get caught in the suds and drown.

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You would be amazed how quickly this knocks out a swarm! Check on it a few times a day and refresh the suds as they die down. The vinegar smell is usually still strong enough even if you fill the cup up toward the top.

Can you see those black dots around the bottom of the cup? ALL fruit flies. This has typically killed off most of the swarm in just a couple days. That is a LOT of flies!

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So gross. So satisfying.

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Fall explorations

This trip was actually a few weeks ago around my birthday. And around my friend’s birthday… in fact it was her birthday trip, but I went a little bit for me too. A sunny mild fall day in Colorado at peak Aspen color? Get real.

On our way out to Salida, a small mountain town with some awesome festivals throughout the year, the views alone are worth the trip. Wilkerson pass is one of my favorite passes, you slowly rise up and hit this incredible surprise view on a massive mountain range beyond a vast flat valley. It was one of the strongest memories I have from visiting as a kid, this valley covered in a sheet of snow. We wandered around some paths at the rest stop…

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On the way into Salida there is a sneaky tire swing behind a fence. It’s worth the barbed wire dodging, it has to be the most incredible tire swing view ever, a line of 14ers behind, just enchanting.

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And the grass itself was so photographic.

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Had to stop by the local cute antique store.

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Grab a couple pints. It’s Colorado, you always have to try the beer!

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Drove over to some open space near Buena Vista to take a color hike. For some reason it started off with shotputting some rocks?

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And senior posing in this field of gold…

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Just stunning…

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Hipster artsy on the stumps

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This was a magical spot, the light was hitting this clump of golden aspens just right and it literally was glowing!

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Found ourselves an old cabin off the beaten path.

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And some creepy bones in a firepit… Then we headed back instead of taking out changes with some crazy forest dweller.

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SO MUCH FALL! I took a million photos, it was glorious and gorgeous and whimsical.

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Our weekend didn’t end there, but the lovely pictures did as the sun set. If you are ever in the area make sure you check out the Mt. Princeton hot springs, where you can actually sit in a rocky mountain stream (ice cold) in the rocky pools of steaming natural hot springs. Another favorite experience from vacations as a kid!

I just can’t get enough of fall!

Fight a cold, make some great food.

Tis the season… for getting colds. Normally if I get a good night’s sleep my immune system is a decent fighter. But apparently it is no match for changing weather. It’s finally getting regularly cold, and we had our first sticking snow. I did my best to hold back my sarcastic responses to everyone saying it’s way too early for snow. My whole life, in Michigan and Colorado, the first snow has been in October (or even September!)

Speaking of Michigan, nothing is best for feeling sick like your favorite Michigan tee and some unnecessarily bright pants.

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I’ve never been one to follow unnecessary rules. And I’m wearing bright colors year round.

T-shirt – MichiganAwesome, Cardi – Mossimo (thrifted), Scarf – Yobel Market (Sak Saum), Jeans – Rue21 (swapped), boots – 6pm

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Clothing aside, my husband came up with the BEST idea recently. We like to make random treats with Crecent rolls when they are on sale. Sometimes just ham and cheese, sometimes throw in some asparagus or broccoli. But this time I had some celebratory brie, and put together with some apple slices, walnuts, and top with honey….

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…wrap them up…

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And bake them at 350 for around 20 minutes. Watch it closely, depending on how much stuff you have inside it may take shorter or longer. Ours were still a tiny bit soft on the inside, partly due to being undercooked I think, but also partly do to gooey wonderful melty brie!

Wondering why I don’t have a finished photo? Because we ate them all. You’ll have to trust me on this one. WINNER of an appetizer (or splurging dinner).

Simplified recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Crescent Rolls
  • 1 apple
  • Brie
  • Walnuts
  • Honey

Unroll your rolls, slice your apple and brie, place in the open roll, top with honey and walnuts, roll up. Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes, watching carefully.

First knit of the year.

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The past year has been… well, busy. I am well aware I say that quite a lot, but looking back at what I did and didn’t do, it really has been quite a year. I recently decided to make some intentional changes (specifically in my yes-saying) to be sure I am doing more of the things I want to be doing.

So, one of those things I didn’t do last year and want to be intentional about doing this year is knitting/crocheting.

Often my crafting process goes like this:

“Man I could use x. I could make x by doing this and this and this. Oh, and I have this and this and this to make it with. Am I too busy? Probably. Let’s do it anyway.”

So, I wanted a headband, I remembered I had some leftover yarn from my super chunky scarf, and got knitting.

What you need:

  • An idea
  • Yarn
  • 3 knitting needles at least close to the same size.
  • knowledge of knitting….
  • Fleece
  • Embroidery thread or small yarn
  • Embroidery needle

I’m not one for knitting patterns, I can’t read them for the life of me. I know how to knit, purl, and get the cable knit look, so I did all of those things. Basically I knit a row of 10, flipped, then purled a row of 10 so the knit look was always on the outside. I knit/purled 10 rows total, and on the 11th (first) I did the cable stitch. I knit 2, pulled 3 off on a separate needle, knit the next 3, the knit the pulled off 3 in line, and knit 2 more. (If you don’t know how to cable stitch, then I’d recommend going somewhere other than that terrible description to find out, it’s actually fairly simple.) And, I simple did that until it was long enough.

I was a little worried at first because the cabling makes it look a little funny and warped and not flat, as you can see on the left half. I wasn’t sure how the fleece backing would help.

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But, lo and behold, it definitely did! Look how much flatter and straight it is when the fleece is on the back!

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To measure the fleece, I just laid out my knitted headband on the fleece, gave a good estimated measure, and cut from there. It ended up being about perfect.

I used some thin yarn (you can use embroidery floss here too) and an embroidery needle. Just be sure to not send the needle all the way to the outside of your headband unless you want that embroidered look on the outside as well. I just went through the layers of yarn, but not outside the black thread isn’t visible.

I also kept a row of knitting just outside the fleece, so all you saw when I was wearing it was the knit, not the black fleece.

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Then, put the edges together in some sort of janky fashion. Mine looks a little rough, but it’s the back, so I don’t really care.

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Here is just the big ole scarf that I where once it gets remotely cold because it is so so comfy.

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And now with matching chunky headband! It’s a bit goofy and 80’s… but who doesn’t love the 80’s?

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Beginning of Fall and Applesauce

It’s been more eventful lately, and I’ve taken photos… so I just might be posting more in the near future!

To start, I talked in my last post about how I am going to occasionally post more outfit photos. Well, twice in a row, I might start pushing “occasionally”… but it’s becoming Fall, and new seasons are so much fun!

For one of those perfect sunny and 65 days:

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Jacket: Guess – second hand, Tank: J.Crew – swapped, Jeggings: Mossimo – thrifted, Belt: Marshall’s clearance, watch: Thrifted, Necklace: Yobel Market
 

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This is one of my all time favorite necklaces. Simple, geometric, just a great little accent.

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And I was so proud of myself for wearing my hair down (I lasted the entire day!), I took another photo. However, when getting my picture taken (even if I am taking them of myself) I get a little weird.

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In other news I made a GIANT batch of applesauce for us, and we are almost finished with it. If you want your house to smell amazing and celebrate fall, do this recipe. Super simple (besides the whole peeling and slicing apples part), and it’s worth it. Go here for the recipe I used, and maybe wander around, because I love their blog.

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And topped it all off with some sunset reading next to my thriving tomato plant with this super great applesauce. Including a vintage pyrex bowl, vintage silver spoon (from my grandma) and vintage lawn chair. IMG_0990