Vegas has never seemed like my scene, but Phillip and I are planning to be there in a couple weeks. His longtime friend Michael, who now calls the area home, is getting married, so we’re taking a road trip! It’ll be my first time in Las Vegas (outside of a brief layover en route from Indiana, which doesn’t really count). So I’ve been researching things we might want to see – both on The Strip and beyond it.
Southwest Maker Fest on Saturday had interactive booths, workshops, stilt walkers, craft projects, artists at work, and all kinds of fun stuff.
Since lunchtime was pretty hectic at downtown Mesa restaurants last year, a couple of food trucks were standing by: Burgers Amore (which I was introduced to at Fan Fest) and Queso Good (which I tried at Phoenix Comicon).
I wish I had gotten a shot of the inside of the IDEA Museum, where my workshop was (I had my hands full of craft supplies at the time), so you could see all the delightful creative chaos of the projects going on in there.
Upcycled Travel Journal Workshop
For my workshop, I made the project a little less open-ended this time, because too many possibilities can stress some people out.
I showed how to make travel journals out of 2 envelopes folded and bound together.
Some people chose to keep the books blank for their next trip. One attendee covered his pages with red tape; another wove plastic bags together using a plastic-yarn technique they were teaching at another booth and threaded that into her journal.
Both adults and kids got to have fun making stuff, and that was really the point.
2. Moleskine Journal – For travel journaling, lately I’ve been starting with a blank Moleskine, writing about the day, and using washi tape to attach ticket stubs (like the transit pass from our Re:Make trip) or folded programs or whatever I happen to collect. The cahiers 3.5″ x 5.5″ size comes in a 3-pack and is really convenient for carrying with you. I throw one in a quart-size ziploc with my ultra fine tip Sharpies and washi tape and take it along, in case I want to journal on the plane or while we sit at a cafe. Some brick-and-mortar options: I’ve seen these at Changing Hands Bookstore and Target, but you can find various sizes of Moleskine journals lots of places.
4. Bodum Travel Press Coffee Maker – Basically, it’s a shatterproof French press you can drink out of. This is especially great for camping, but you could also use it to upgrade from the hotel coffeemaker. I’ve had mine for awhile, so I didn’t see this exact design – I linked to one that’s similar. I just saw these at Cost Plus World Market.
5. GoToob Travel Bottle – Humangear travel bottles are made to keep from leaking, and mine has been fine when altitude changes have made a mess out of cheaper bottles. They have this neat little ring you can twist to designate the contents (sunscreen, soap, etc.), but they’re also food safe, in case you want to fill a small one with sri racha or a bigger one with pancake batter. I’ve spotted these at my local REI and Target. I think they may have been a little cheaper at Target, but REI had a much bigger selection.
6. REI Flash 18 Pack – Very comfortable day pack with a streamlined silhouette. It’s great to throw stuff in for a day at a convention or on a hike. In the photo, Phillip is wearing it while admiring the view from Mt. Lemmon. Since this is REI brand, they’re most likely only available in REI’s stores and site.
What travel gifts do you love to use or have on your wishlist?
I talked a little about making minimalist travel journals that you can start during your trip. Then I gave everyone an envelope with odds and ends to represent what you might pick up on your travels — attraction flyers, paper scraps, coffee sleeves, Travelcraft Journal stickers, etc. Then I set them loose to create something that told the story of their day.
Because the room I was assigned to was in a children’s museum, some of the parents assumed it was a “kid thing” and were surprised when I handed them an envelope to create one too. Also, the open-endedness of the project freaked a few people out a bit at first.
But, by the end, everyone — kids and adults — really got creative and made some fabulous things. They journaled, they drew, some of them went outside the booklet format and got architectural, building things with their materials.
This site is for informational purposes only. I'm not your doctor, lawyer, travel agent, or your mom. You are responsible to use common sense and take any necessary precautions to stay safe as you try things and go places. And before you wreck yo self.