Life on the rocks: Colorado Springs 2017

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs with my friends Joe and Chris – just for fun. A vacation for the sake of vacation! And let me tell you… we had the time of our lives.

We climbed rocks!

image5

And mountains!

image2

We took a train to the summit of Pikes Peak – 14,000+ feet…

image2

Our heads were truly in the clouds!

image7

We braved a cave!

IMG_0970

We walked in the footsteps of Olympic athletes at the Olympic Training Center!

image5

And – the highlight of the trip – WE FED WOLVES (Disclaimer: We did this at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Do not try this at home).

image1

Sooooo… where does sewing fit into this story, you ask? Well, there are two sewing stories.

It’s rare that I take the time to sew for myself, but the deeper I get into this sewing journey, the more I realize how useful this skill really is. And this time, it played a part in my vacation prep!

Colorado Trip – Sewing Project #1

I really wanted to have a simple travel purse/bag for all of our adventures. I wanted it to be small so that I would only need to bring the bare minimum with me on each outing – cash, ID, credit card, phone, lip balm, car keys.

I really, really, really love the Zip and Go bag from Dog Under My Desk that I made a few years ago using a pair of Mickey Mouse boxer shorts. It’s my go-to bag every time I visit a Disney Park! But, while the Mickey Mouse fabric is perfect for a Disney Park, I thought it might be a little out of place out there in the real world. Plus, I thought the red/black combo might look a little “loud” in our photos, so I was looking for something a little more subtle.

purse3

So, a week before the trip, I whipped up a gray, polka dot Zip and Go using fabric and hardware I already had on hand. I only had to purchase the zippers! The bag is lined with a solid teal fabric… which is not pictured, but I know it’s there! 😉 I had to add a little bit of color to the bag, even if it’s hidden on the inside!

image4

The bag was PERFECT for the trip! I am so glad I took the time to make it happen. I really adore the simple utility of the Zip & Go. Here’s a pic of it in action! We were hiking Helen Hunt Falls and I was giving a stern pose in front of a stern sign. You can see that I’m wearing the bag in a cross-body fashion for the hike.

Colorado Trip – Sewing Project #2

While I was packing for the trip, I revisited the rules on the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife web site. We had signed up for the special “Alpha Tour” because we really wanted to have one-on-one interaction with the wolves, but for obvious reasons, there are some pretty unique safety rules in place for those participating in the experience. For example, while interacting with the wolves, you cannot wear fur (even faux fur) or sheepskin. You also cannot have fringe, tassels, etc. on your clothes.

IMG_0976

These are the exact wolves we met! Raksha and Isha – they are Arctic wolves and only 10 months old.

While revisiting the rules, I realized that even skinny jeans were banned. Well, ever since I identified the need for skinny jeans in my life a few years ago, I have pretty much only worn skinny jeans. I’d outgrown or worn out all of my non-skinny options.

So, just a day prior to our departure, I headed over to Old Navy to grab some boot cut jeans for my wolf adventure. And of course… they needed to be hemmed. Once again, I experienced the magic of hemming jeans and maintaining the original hem. It’s one of my favorite sewing techniques. So useful and impressive!

image1

And honestly, I’m glad that I had two pairs of jeans on the trip. I ended up wearing the new jeans quite a bit, and I realized that the skinny jeans would not have been the best option for hiking, etc.

image6

So there you have it. Another vacation, a slew of life experiences, a million photos – and two more sewing projects for the books! 

Till next time!


 

Advertisements

Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!

wisconsin

Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending time up north during the summer is always special. Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a few years ago when I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern Wisconsin.

Continue reading

The Quilt Cottage & other tales from up North!

With some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations at our fingertips, have you wondered where we Central Florida “Disney” people go on vacation? Well, here’s the answer – in my case, at least:

Wisconsin postcard

Mooooooooooooooove over, Mickey Mouse!

My family started taking annual summer trips to Minocqua, Wisconsin long before I was even born – my dad’s family started going when he was a kid. We spend more than a week residing in lakeside cabins with a large group of our closest friends.

Ideal Minocqua days are spent water skiing, boating, kayaking, jet skiing and swimming in the lake; Evenings grilling, playing board games and passing out from exhausting, activity-filled days.

Dad water skiing

My dad is really, really good at water skiing!

Of course, there’s always at least one dreary day in Northern Wisconsin – it’s not the Sunshine State, after all! This year, my mom and I visited The Quilt Cottage, a warm and welcoming Northwoods-y fabric shop.

The Quilt Cottage

The Quilt Cottage on Highway 51 in Minocqua, Wisconsin

The store was homey and friendly, and definitely had an overall woodsy feeling. Most of the fabrics were very muted without many bright or bold colors. I spent a lot of time checking out the small selection of bag and purse patterns. I liked more than a few of them, but I refrained from getting any knowing how many patterns I have sitting at home! Even though I didn’t purchase anything, it was interesting to see how regional differences can affect the overall tone of a fabric store.

Now that I’m back from vacation, I do have a rather large scale sewing project in the works, but as usual – it’s top secret and I can’t write about it until it’s finished! Of couse, my “to sew” list is pages long, so hopefully I’ll have a new project to write about soon.

Although not completely responsible for my month-long blogging absence, my vacation preparation and recovery time have definitely taken a toll on my sewing adventures this past month. What have you all been up to?