DIY Friday – travel pet pillows

Around this time last year when we were away on holidays, I shared a little picture of the pet travel pillows I made especially for us to bring with us since we’re crazy cat people to our core and really miss little Juniper and Toshi while we’re away. I figured being able to smoosh our faces into poor replicas of them would stave off a small amount of home sickness whenever we’re away. And since we’ve brought them with us 3 times since, it actually works!

And here’s how I did it …

Last year when I made these travel pet pillows, I had taken photos of each step, but when I went through my external hard drive I couldn’t find a single picture. So apologies for the lack of tutorial photos. It’s a fairly straight forward project anyways, and I’ll try to explain as best as I can how I did it. 

I first photographed Juniper and Toshi on their own, in good light, making sure they were facing me and being their cute selves. I opened each photo in Photoshop [or the Linux equivalent ‘Gimp’] and traced around them using the paint tool set to white. I carefully did this and coloured out the rest of the photo until the entire photo was white, with the exception for each fur baby. 

I saved each image as a jpgon a USB key and went to one of those gift kiosks in a local shopping centre that specialises in printing images onto objects. They printed Juniper and Toshi onto a square pillow each. As these were going to be travel pillows and the smaller they are the better, I sewed the pillow closer to the silhouettes of each cat and filled them with extra stuffing I had. That’s it really! 
We bring our travel pet pillows every time we’re away from home. Even during our Christmas holidays when we’re staying down the road with family for a few days, our pillowed kittens come with us too. As crazy as it sounds, it’s a little ritual we now have to take Juniper and Toshi out when we first get to our hotel and squeeze them a bit. 
Husband even has a few sneaky photos of me passed out, face mask on with a kitten pillow under each arm for every holiday we’ve been on since I made them. And no, you won’t find those pictures hitting the internet any time soon. Sorry 😉

Meeting people online + my history with the internet

This past weekend I played host to two fabulous UK bloggers I met online. Yes, I invited internet strangers into my home. When I write it as bluntly as that, it sounds incredibly dodgy. But in reality it isn’t and [thank god] it wasn’t. I think the internet is a very different place nowadays; if you’re actively on social media or if you’re a blogger, the idea of meeting up with people you meet online is now normal.

My first experience interacting with another person on the internet was in roughly 1995. I was about 10 years old and I was hanging out in my friend Megan’s kitchen. Megan was allowed to go on The Internet by herself – this was a HUGE deal. She logged on and directed us straight to a chat room that she frequented. A chat room. My mind was blown. She started messaging a guy she had chatted with before, but had never met in ‘real life’. It was insane. We all chatted for a while and then the guy sent us a jpg of a rose. A ROSE YOU GUYS. OH MY GOD

I was so excited. When I got home I told my dad all about it. 

My dad proceeded to give me the most undiluted level of stink-eye I have ever received. And rightly so because it was creepy AF. I pleaded to be allowed to use the internet, and I was met with a firm ‘NO‘. There’s really no better way to convince your parents to let you use the internet than telling them about a man who just sent you a heavily pixelated rose. 

I was eventually allowed to use the internet by myself. But for years, I’ll be honest, I judged people for meeting other people online. It sounded so lame. What’s wrong with you that you can’t find friends or a partner in real life? I can safely say I have royally changed my tune.
This past weekend Maria of Dinki Dots and Kimberly of Swoon Worthy flew over for 3 days and I have to say, it’s been a long time since my face hurt that much from laughing. I had it in my head that I should be the ultimate Dublin tour guide and show them the sites, but the truth is we ended up falling from one place to the other, talking complete and utter nonsense. We were to meet with Hilda of Hilda by Design on our first night, but we were too shattered and in stead retired to our onesies. Soon, Hilda. SOON
Just know that if I pick you up from the airport, I will embarrass you.
I had met Maria before at Blogtacular in London last year. I knew she was alright because she didn’t fillet me with a machete in the hotel bathroom. But don’t let her sweet manner and posh accent fool you – she is as hilarious and inappropriate as they get; just how I like them. I hadn’t met Kimberly before, but the moment we met it was like we had known each other for years. Probably because we actually had, virtually. Kimberly is wild, hilariously honest and has stories that make me wish I could have built a camp fire just to listen to her all night. 

I think the most surreal thing about this weekend was having Kimberly and Maria walk into our apartment and know where everything was, be able to recite projects back to me, and know so much about our home. It was so weird but hilarious. Like I had my own really polite stalkers.

That’s the wonderfully strange thing about bloggers – we put it out there. Not everything, but we get to know each other through our different styles and personalities. You find bloggers you click with. You realize you have a lot in common and you have a penchant for inappropriate comments. You follow each other for years and then sometimes you meet up and I’ve got to say, if the opportunity arises for you to meet an online friend, go for it. Make plans and make it happen because, as cheesy as it sounds, you only live once and you need a weekend like the one I had. 
I consider Kimberly and Maria to be really good friends of mine. Yeah, we met online about a hundred years ago. They aren’t axe murderers. They are wonderful and they’re exactly how I thought they’d be. Bring on #DrunkInteriorsRound2.

A weekend in Edinburgh

This weekend husband and I spent 3 days in Edinburgh, Scotland. We got home late last night and would give our right arms to have stayed another 3 days. Edinburgh was immense. Even when I went through our photos this morning, I had a tough time narrowing down which ones to share. I whittled it down to 24. And even that was a struggle.

We flew over early Friday morning and checked into The Glasshouse Hotel, all sneakily booked and organised by husband. He did good. 

When we checked in, we were bumped up to a delux suite which was nothing short of lush. At the end of each day we longed nothing more than to go back to our hotel room. After walking 10+ hours, all we could think about was the larger than life bath tub and fluffy bed which were perfect for getting over the bitter weather. Less than a 10 minute walk from the centre, if you find yourself in Edinburgh, I strongly suggest you stay here. It’s luxury.

When we hit the streets of Edinburgh on Friday, I was rather pleasantly surprised to spy my favourite colour. Everywhere! Edinburgh had a running theme of my favourite berry hue. I’m assuming this is the city’s colour, as it was everywhere. But you won’t hear me complaining. I did however wreck husbands head by pointing it out at every opportunity. 
I don’t know what we were expecting from Edinburgh, but we weren’t expecting what we found. The buildings, the streets, the scale and the history. And the buildings. Did I mention the buildings? Edinburgh was a feast for my eyes. 

On Friday we took a bus tour around the city and further wandered for hours around Our Dynamic Earth, the Scottish Parliament Buildings, and the Palace of Holyrood. Stopping and creeping and photographing. We had bright blue skies met with bitter cold. We weren’t well prepared for the cold so sitting on the open-top tour bus took its toll. It snowed in the late evening but as we love snow, it just made is squeee an embarrassing amount. We walked up Calton Hill before retiring to our hotel. We were so cold that we basically slipped into hibernation the moment we got to our room. 

The next day we were a bit more prepared for the cold. It was a colder day, but as we wore all the clothes we packed, we were warmer. I wore my dress, skirt, 2 scarves, 2 pairs of tights, hat, faux fur thing, gloves and coat and I even used my own hair as insulation inside my coat. We were still cold. But it was a good excuse to stop in for whisky and hot beverages every chance we could. We ate haggis [which I now adore. I found it to be a cross between white and black pudding] and drank all the Innis & Gunn
On Saturday we ventured around Edinburgh Castle. We made our way up, and the views were mind = blown … 

The view from Edinburgh Castle was immense. I can’t even. Snowy mountains, mismatched rooftops, spires and even a soldiers’ dog graveyard. This and the tale of Greyfriars Bobby got us right in the feels.

We wandered up and down The Royal Mile, visited the Games Masters exhibit in The National Museum of Scotland, and stopped in for lunch at the Whiski Rooms. Again with the Edinburgh berry. On point. Oh and though it’s more of a Glasgow thing I think, we indulged in a deep fried Mars bar. And I thought it was heaven. 

We visited the Edinburgh Dungeon at night which was equal parts creepy, informative and terrifying. We could have done with a few more days in Edinburgh, but we managed to pack in a serious amount in the 3 days we were here.

Edinburgh, you blew our minds. We will be back.