Build your own super speedy sled on the cheap

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Sep 282012

Author: John Sheesley

It’s that time of year again; the falling leaves will soon give way to falling snow and frigid weather. With bike trails covered in snow and the nearest ski area hours away, those with a lust for speed will have to turn to the old sledding hill. Cheap, plastic sleds are slow and boring, and the speedy runner sleds can cost more than a college student can spare. It’s time to get out that screwdriver and head to the thrift shop to get supplies for your very own do-it-yourself sled.

English: Boy on snow sled

A boy on a runner-style snow sled. These are fast! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Keep in mind the fact that snow is slippery. A sled that is equally slippery is going to go fast. The sled design outlined below will go very fast on a mildly steep hill. So wear a helmet, and maybe some old football pads or other protective padding. Be careful; with great speed comes a great risk, and sleds don’t have brakes. These instructions will require some knowledge of power tools, but nothing too difficult. If you haven’t got any tools head to the Hammer Time! shop on east Laurel and check out their tool co-op. They have lots of tools that can be used for a suggested donation, and they’re happy to help you use them.

All of the needed materials to build the sled

All of the needed materials to build the sled

Mostly anything will work as a sled. An old mattress can hold a few people and slides pretty well. Trash can lids, cookie sheets, car hoods; anything hard and slick can work. Here, we go big or go home, so at the thrift shop take a look around for a pair of old skis. They can be beat up, ugly relics from the ’80s as long as they’ve still got some wax on the bottoms. Try to find a cheap, plastic sled as well, or something similarly shaped, and an old pillow. Stop by the hardware store on the way home and get some scrap wood and four nuts, four washers and four bolts. Be sure to get the nuts with the smooth round heads, as they will slide easier.

Now to put everything together:

  1. Place the sled between the skis and the wood as shown below.
  2. Drill two holes the same size as your bolts through each ski and up through the sled and wood.
  3. Bolt it all together as shown, making sure the nuts are nice and tight.
  4. Put the pillow on top of the sled, covering the bolts.
  5. You may want to affix a rope to the sled so you have something to hang on too. Just drill a couple of holes in the front of the sled and tie the rope to them.
Assembling the sled

Assembling the sled

The finished product, the pillow is left off so you can see where the bolts go

The finished product, the pillow is left off so you can see where the bolts go








Now it’s time to try out the new sled! Sit on the pillow and go for a speedy ride down a nice snowy hill.

A new season of trends

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Sep 272012

Author: Kendall Greenwood

A new season is beginning. The leaves are changing and the wind is cooler. You have pulled out your fall wardrobe. You stare at the pile of last year’s sweaters and wonder; will they still look fashionable?

The fall trends for this year are beginning to emerge.  Men and women’s trends bring new ideas on how to keep your body warm and comfortable.


According to Don Duty, 41, manager of Men’s Wearhouse, the fit in men’s apparel is the biggest change.

Herrenmode 2011 in London. Anzug mit Weste und...

Herrenmode 2011 in London. Anzug mit Weste und Binder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The trend coming up this fall is going to be modern fit, modern fit, modern fit,” Duty said. “That is the new exciting thing.”

This means that jackets, shirts, pants, and even ties are going to be more form-fitting.  The arm holes on jackets and shirts will be a little higher and pants will be closer to a skinny jean.

“It’s a little bit more like a European style cut,” Duty said.

For women, some clothing is going to create a multi-layered look. Pieces in an outfit will not create one length to the garments. Several lengths will be seen in one outfit.

“We see high and low lengths already happening in tops and dresses and we are probably going to see more of that with skirts, dresses, coats, etc.,” said Carol Engel-Enright, internship coordinator and instructor for the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU.



Men’s jackets are going to have a tighter fit and transfer from suit to casual-wear easily.

“Most of the modern fit suit coats and sport coats are very denim friendly,” Duty said.

Women’s outerwear trending this fall has a looser fit with styles like boyfriend jackets and blanket coats, according to Kevin Kissell, an instructor for the Department of Design and Merchandising.

“Blanket coats are big, giant, chunky coats probably kind of like an alteration of the trend of shawls,” Kissell said.


Greener (Photo credit: ninette_luz)


Colors for men’s clothing are fall-like, but with a bright twist.  According to Duty, pinks, lavenders, bright oranges, burnt oranges and greens will be on shirts, jackets, pants and ties.

According to Engel-Enright, color blocking is big in women’s apparel this fall. Contrasting colors will be styled together, but garments will also be made with more than one color through color insets. For example, a mainly camel coat could have black insets on the sleeves or sides of the coat.


A trend for both genders is pattern on pattern. For men, this means stripes, checked patterns and tone-on-tone paisley could be mixed and matched in an outfit.

“The jacket and pants will have some sort of pattern to them, shirts will have high color or pattern and then the ties will be high color, skinny, and pattern,” Duty said.

Women’s apparel will have a mix of patterns like plaids and tweeds. Prints are also prominent, both big and digital prints.

“Any kind of large print is going to be a textile trend,” Kissell said.

A digital print is different from other prints. Designers use photography to make a textile design.  Then, instead of printing and cutting the fabric into a garment, the garment is made first.

“[The prints] are actually printed on the piece itself,” Engel-Enright said.


According to Kissell, we will see leather in women’s apparel as jackets, skirts and pants. However, these are not the only items we will see.

“I think co-eds are going to take their twist on it, especially in Colorado,” Engel-Enright said.

David Russon, 27, a design and merchandising student at CSU, looks for trends that fit with his classic look. One of those for this fall is the military look.

“I like the details of the shoulders, the big buttons and just the structure of it,” Russon said.

FoCo Fashionista: The New and Improved Black Hair Ties

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Sep 242012

Author: Brian Guiducci

The ugly black ties that you always have just sitting there on your wrist, just in case you need to put your hair up, are like an annoying itch you can’t scratch. It’s a necessity you can’t live without. Girls, you know what I’m talking about. But guess what? I have just found the solution to this fashion faux pas.

Does this look all too familiar?

Does this look all too familiar?

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the FACE Design competition in Denver, hosting the talent of a ton of different designers, presenting their products. One designer’s speech in particular stuck out to me. Maybe it was the adorable white lace dress she was wearing that made me automatically adore her idea, but I personally like to think that my bias towards her fabulous outfit had no sway in my love for her product. She had created what she calls Black Ties.

These ties have the exact same function as a regular black hairtie, but it comes with an extra little bonus. When you are wearing them on your wrist, they look like a bracelet.

Black Ties that look great!

Black Ties that look great!

While perusing the Bloom Jewelry website, I got a small taste of this fabulous creation. There are eight different black ties too choose from and each one comes with two different styles. Adorable and chic are just a few of the words I would use to describe them.

Ladies, if you are sick and tired of your boring black hair-ties, then I would definitely recommend these for you. Time to throw out the old and bring in the new.

For more information on this fabulous product, look online here.

Too School for Cool: Only got $20 in my pocket

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Sep 172012

Author: Allison LeCain

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely hate how much expensive clothes cost. It’s just fabric and some string, so why is it $50? It’s certainly a mind boggler. Then I saw the video for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song, ‘Thrift Shop’, and had a revelation. People can look awesome wearing other people’s old clothes.

If you haven’t seen the video for ‘Thrift Shop’, go watch it right now.

OK your back! It’s a known fact that clothing trends come back around. Think about it; bell bottoms were totally hip in the 70’s and if you’re a 90’s baby you definitely wore those on the first day of school every year until you were 13. Also, leggings have been rocked on and off since long before I was born.

Since styles go in cycles like this, it makes absolute sense that there would be some super cute clothes at thrift shops that someone’s grandpa had dropped off. Plus winter is coming up, so this is a great opportunity to fill your closet with sweaters in interesting prints without breaking the bank.

Chances are when you go shopping for thrift clothes, you’re not going to hit the goldmine on the first try, but never fear. Fort Collins has an

new recycle design

new recycle design (Photo credit: artbymags)

abundance of thrift stores to check out, including Repeat Boutique, Goodwill, Arc, Eco-Thrift, and many more.  I suggest making a day out of it and hitting up several of them.

With used clothing, there’s always that awkward uncertainty about who wore the clothes before you. Most of the things found in thrift stores smell like R. Kelly’s sheets, but that’s usually fixed with a single wash cycle… maybe double-up on soap.

I’m a strong believer in that anyone can pull off any look with the right attitude. So wherever you go, whatever you buy, whether you decide to wash it or not, make sure to wear it with confidence and strut your stuff.


Get in gear: A guide to gear rentals in Fort Collins

 Beats, Features, Goods & Gear  Comments Off on Get in gear: A guide to gear rentals in Fort Collins
Aug 252012

Author: Kristin Hall

Photo Courtesy of Colorado State University Campus Recreation

The summer isn’t over yet and now that friends are back in town, it’s the perfect time of year to go experience the outdoors, but not having the right gear can be a huge problem for those living on a tight budget that can’t go out and purchase gear. Lucky for all those weekend warriors, Fort Collins has many options for gear rentals that will be easy on the bankroll.

One of the most convenient resources, located on campus, is the Outdoor Program at the Recreation Center. They offer basic outdoor gear that ranges from tents and sleeping bags to rock climbing and snow shoes, and they offer all of this exclusively for Colorado State University students and Rec Center members.

The Outdoor Program has made some big changes to its rental system this year. Instead of paying for each individual rental, students can purchase monthly or semester passes and rent an unlimited amount of gear. Also, the Program has bought more gear and moved their desk. Rentals now go through the Rec Center service desk, allowing students to rent gear any time the Rec Center is open.

According to the Outdoor Program Coordinator Eric DeLuca, this change was made to make the whole process easier and less expensive for students.

“To be honest the reason we can offer such low prices is that we aren’t here to make a profit — we are supported by student fees. The goal is to get students outdoors,” said DeLuca.

DeLuca said that though they are a great rental program, they can’t offer everything.

“If you’re looking for technical gear for something like Nordic skiing, we’re fairly limited,” he sad.

If you are looking for more technical gear, no need to fear, there are still more options in town. Jax Outdoor offers a wide range of affordable rentals charged by the day. The first-day rental will run you a bit more but each successive day costs less. And according to Jax employee Mike Engelstad, you can expect the gear you rent to be newer and less worn. Engelstad cautions students to call and make reservations ahead of time to be sure they have gear because it often goes quickly depending on the time of year.

Photo courtesy of Colorado State University Campus Recreation

If you’re looking for a place where the employees are knowledgeable about recreation areas near Fort Collins, Jax is your best bet according to Engelstad.

“People come in all the time talking about where they are going and how their trips went, so the employees know all the best places to play,” he said.

Another option is REI. They offer a wide range of gear for rent and not just purchase. According to REI employee Tegan Plock, it’s a really great deal if you are an REI member.

“Members don’t have to pay the $100 damage deposit and they get a discount on our gear,” she said. Plock notes that they also work well with busy schedules and can schedule pre-pick up and drop off.

No matter what outdoor adventure is calling, Fort Collins has plenty of options to satisfy your wallet and your wild streak.