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AR Workshop: Making My Own Chunky Knit Blanket

10 Oct

Back in July, Lindsey and I made a couple awesome plank wood signs at the AR Workshop in Annapolis (you can read about it here). We had so much fun that when I saw that they were running a chunky knit blanket workshop, we immediately signed up!

You can find an AR Workshop closest to you here: The chunky knit blanket workshops registration fee was $85 and it included all our materials and instruction.

I’m not really a knitter. In fact, I tried taking a knitting class about 10+ years ago and found it so boring that it literally would put me to sleep when I tried doing my knitting homework. However, these blankets were hand knitted, meaning that no hooks were needed… just the chenille yarn and our hands. So, I thought they might be easier.

We started off with balls of yarn – Lindsey used 5 balls of yarn and I bought an extra ball because I wanted my blanket to be a little larger (since my knitting was a bit tighter). From there, we closely followed the instructor to make a slipknot and then the braided end of the blanket. I literally started and tore mine out probably a half dozen times until I ended up with this:

Once the end was finished, we started making the loops. Once you get this step down, you are good to go, because the rest of the blanket is basically just making loops over and over again:

And over and over and over and over again.

And over and over…

Once we got down to our last balls of yarn, the instructor came over and helped us finish the ends of our blanket with another pretty braid. And we were done!

It took us just about 2 hours on the dot and we both LOVE how our blankets turned out. While we both are pretty darn crafty, neither of us had much knitting experience… but our blankets look pretty darn awesome. They are soooo soft too and were perfect for some couch laziness while watching Netflix movies that night.

When I got home, Jack immediately tried to steal mine and when I told him that it was MINE, MINE, ALL MINE he asked if he could go to a class and make one too! I did a little searching online and I some similar yarn on the Joann’s website for about $6.50 each… so I went ahead and placed an order. I’m hoping to recreate another one with Jack at home… so wish me luck!

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Pottery Fun

26 Sep

Back before I had Jack, I used to love to make pottery. A friend and I took a class at a nearby studio, which then allowed us to use the studio whenever we wanted for our projects. Well, it’s been probably 15+ years since I sat down at a pottery wheel, so when my sister invited me to join in for some studio time… I was all for it!

We decided to book a Mud & Merlot class at The ClayGround Studio in Ellicott City. It typically costs $45 per student and it includes an instructor to teach you how to throw a vase, cup or bowl. It’s also BYOB, so we brought some hard cider and wine to enjoy while we played with clay!

The Family (me, Jack, Katie (my sister), Jason (my brother), Jaclyn (Jason’s wife), my mom, and Craig (Katie’s husband).

For our first session, we each made our own item. You can see my bowl and Jack’s cup here:

Then, they put our items in the kiln and we were told to come back in a few weeks to glaze them. Well, a few weeks turned into a couple months so that we could pick a date that worked for everyone… but we finally got back there at the end of August.

Here are how our items looked after they were baked for the first time, before the glaze:

I decided to paint mine with a pretty smoky blue on the inside and then do a white base and dotted blue design on the outside of the bowl:

Jack decided to work with my dad (his Dippy) to paint his with a solid color and then had Dippy paint little designs all over it (I didn’t get a  good picture of his, but you can see it in the background of the last photo).

Here are all out bowls before they went back into the kiln for the last time:

Two weeks later and they were done! Here is how my bowl turned out:

And here is Jack’s cup:

That’s a LEGO head on there, in case you were wondering! Each dish is dishwasher and food safe, so we have already started using them at home. My bowl is perfect for serving fruit at dinner and Jack’s cup has been used for little snacks and water too.

It was really fun to get back into throwing some clay around and everyone else had a really fun time too. I love that Jack was hanging with the ‘big kids’ and even worked on his own little project too.

So now I feel like I want to do some more classes. They have a mosaic class… so maybe we will try that one next!

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DIY: Studding a Denim Jacket

16 Sep

I think it’s pretty clear that I wish I was a Rockstar.

I mean, give me a pair of studded motorcycle boots, some dark denim and a microphone and I’m a happy girl! As it is, my day job is NOT being an actual Rockstar, so I do need to dress a little less Living on a Prayer and more Marketing Queen.

With that being said, I like to add a touch of fun to my clothing… so when I saw this sad denim jacket for just $8, I thought I could refurbish it a bit.

It already had some fun bedazzling going on the shoulder area, but it had lost some of it’s fun with just splotches of glue left behind.

First things first, I bought a pack of 100 black metal studs. I searched and searched Amazon for the exact kind I wanted – I didn’t want them to be too pointy, or too flat… I wanted the Goldilocks of metal studs. And I found them here: for just $6.

I used my pocketknife and scraped off the remaining glue, as well as ripped off any other loose bedazzled pieces. Then, I just started adding new black studs. They have four super stabby bits on the bottom of them, so I poked them through and then used my pocketknife to squish the pointy bits down.

I’d then rub my finger over the squished inside to make sure that it wouldn’t catch on my clothing or stab me and did some extra squishing when necessary.

Then I kept going. And going. And going until I felt like I had enough studs on the jacket.

Here is my finished product:

And here it is on me:

I wore it to work last week and then left it at the office so I always have a topper to keep me warm on those chilly office days. I mean, a jean jacket looks good with basically every outfit… but a STUDDED jean jacket makes me feel like a marketing ROCKSTAR!

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Dyeing a Sweater (and a Couple Tank Tops)

19 Aug

When I shared my July Thrift Haul, I showed you a pretty J. Jill wrap sweater that I had thrifted for $4. I loved the slouchy shape of the sweater but there were two things wrong with it: (1) it was pink and (2) I wouldn’t be able to wear it to work because it was just see-through enough that you could kinda see my arm tattoos.

I really liked the sweater through… and it was FOUR DOLLARS. So I thought I’d take a chance and try to dye it a different color!

I picked up this Rit Synthetic dye in Graphite because it is made specifically for polyester. I grabbed an old pot, filled it with water and stuck it on the stove until it started boiling. Then, I added the entire bottle of dye and a squirt of dish detergent. I stirred it a bit, wet my sweater in the sink and added it to my witches’ brew.

The directions told me to keep it near boiling and stir it consistently for 30 minutes, so that is exactly what I did. When the 30 minutes was up, I moved all my stuff over to my laundry sink (in case of staining) and pulled the sweater out while wearing a rubber glove (only one… because I have no idea where the other one went). I figured that throwing out the dye water at this point was kind of a waste, so I grabbed a couple tank tops that I didn’t love and added them in:

I let them sit for about 20 minutes and stirred every so often. Then I rinsed everything out and added all three tops to the washing machine for a bath (I added a towel to fill out the load a bit). I washed and dried the tank tops, but pulled the sweater out after the wash to let it hang dry.

And here are the finished results! First up, the wrap sweater:

This turned out a gorgeous shade of dark gray and is no longer transparent on the sleeves. Here is a close up so you can see the color a little better:

I LOOOOOOOVE how this turned out and I’m so glad I went ahead and dyed it!

Here are the bonus tank tops:

They both turned out dark gray, but the Bloom top has greenish/teal undertones. I hated that Sassy Lassy was white, so even though the text is much more muted now, I’m calling this an improvement. As for the Bloom Where You Are Top, I love the new color and how the text pops against the new dark background. I will absolutely wear both of these now instead of shoving them to the back of my dresser drawer.

It’s amazing the change a little dye bath can do to your clothes. Of course, now I’m looking through my closet to see what else I can update with a different color!

Do you personalize your clothes with dye?

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