Yobel International

Oh, the holidays are crazy, always. I dream of a day when my job doesn’t get busier around Christmas (and Easter). Life will always get busier, I don’t need work to add on to it.

One small creative item recently, to add to my busy work schedule, my regular volunteering (and board duties) for this awesome non-profit called Yobel International also increases. Yobel International works around the world in impoverished areas to bring business and entrepreneur education to help people change their lives and communities with their own businesses. Many of the products that these people make are for sale at their market (and online at Yobel Market) Between end of the year fundraisers to help bring the curriculum to new countries, and the holiday shopping surge, they need as many hours as I can spare.

Thankfully, I’m able to donate some of my other skills. I’ve had a small hand in product design, I’ve been doing their photography for the website for the past year and a half, and I occasionally test my hand in design for them.

I GAVE HOPE

Today is a big day, all day people around Colorado (and the rest of the country) are encouraged to donate to Colorado non-profits, and especially today because all credit card fees are waved, and a percentage of the donations are being matched! I helped put together a little campaign to help spread the word. I love the little profile logo (above), and don’t hate the directions. This was just a few hours of playing, but I love when playing pays off.

Colorado Gives Contest Yobel

 

By the way, if you stop by https://www.facebook.com/yobelmarket before midnight tonight you can participate in the contest! Or if you are interested in contributing, you can still donate through December https://www.coloradogives.org/YobelInternational, or donate and get more info year round at their non-profit website http://yobelinternational.org/

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

 

Waldo Canyon Fire

Another excuse for nothing new. Though I haven’t been inherently busy, I have been preoccupied with a rather large distraction to my city. If you haven’t heard anything about the Waldo Canyon Fire, google it to catch up. An unprecedented fire causing major destruction Tuesday night, and many more homes still in harms way.

Making/photographing helps me process, so I regret to say I turned into a bit of a gawker, but I tried to do so in a safe, rule-following, out of the way fashion. Here are a few pics from the past few days:

Day 2 picture, fire coming over first ridge into view of city.

Fire on the mountainside. Viewed from downtown.

Smoke beginning to consume the city, I had no idea at the time that fire was consuming the front slope.

My city on fire.

Ash the next morning. Possibly the page of a magazine, traveled 10 miles through the air from someone’s home.

Additional Photos Here if you are interested.

It has been emotional, surreal, and draining. Many friends are evacuated, some unsure if they have a home to go back to. They are predicting this will take at least a few more weeks to contain, not sure if that changed after the burst the other night. My beautiful skyline will be altered for years to come, and peoples lives will never be the same.

If you are the praying kind, please join us in praying for rain!