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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: https://www.arworkshop.com/ 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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Sunroom Before & After

5 Aug

This post has been a long time coming and I’m so excited to share my new favorite room in the house with you! When we moved into our home almost 8 years ago, we were excited to have a sunroom… or three season room as some people call them. However, rather than turning into something fun this room became a catchall for a bunch of hand-me-down furniture, outdoor toys and folding chairs.

Here’s what our sunroom looked like this spring:

The furniture was handed down to me and I slipcovered the cushions and painted the metal (you can see that post from ages ago here). The problem was that it was super uncomfortable, so we never actually wanted to sit on it. It basically just junked up the space and yes, that is a Christmas tree still hanging out on that side table because I never bothered to put it away. The rug was once cute from Homegoods, but now it really needs a good power washing session because it’s nasty.

The table was a Craiglist find from 10+ years ago. I ruined the top of it doing a painting project, so it needs to have a tablecloth on it to not be hideous. We really only use it when we drag it from the sunroom to the kitchen to add to our existing dining table so we can fit everyone for Thanksgiving and Easter. The rest of the year, it just sits there and takes up space. There are some folding chairs and folding tables shoved in the corner. I don’t know why since I can’t remember the last time we used them. Oh, and that pennant has been stuck on the wall for at least three years.

Basically the only thing I wanted to keep in the room was the yellow patio table and chair set. It was from my grandparents’ house, so it has nostalgic appeal for me. Also, it’s super cute and useful.

So, you see what I was working with. My goal was to turn this mish-mash room into somewhere where I could enjoy my morning coffee and curl up for some book reading. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, so I had to be strategic with what I purchased.

Let’s break my little room into three parts….

The Eating Area

I didn’t want to get rid of my grandparent’s table, so I moved it to the front side of the room. This is a great place to have a lazy weekend breakfast or even have our family dinner on a cooler weeknight. Of course, if it’s 100 degrees outside we are NOT hanging out in the sunroom. But if it’s under 90 degrees, it’s pretty comfortable with the screened windows opened and the overhead fan on. I added a thrifted driftwood crab and a mason jar filled with sand and shells (collected by Jack at the beach). The sign is the fire pit sign I recently made at the HGTV event (see the post here).

My Swinging Reading Nook

I found this hanging chair on Wayfair (here’s the direct link) and immediately fell in love. It had pretty great reviews and is currently on sale for $340, so I decided to go for it. I do have to say, it was an absolute BEAST to put together. There were instructions included for the metal stand portion, but no instructions for putting the chair together. So, I figured it out… eventually. I added on a soft blanket (an old Homegoods clearance find) a pretty wooden bead garland that I picked up antiquing with a friend awhile back.

The Comfy Couch Area

I really, really, really wanted to big fluffy couch that I could lay down on and put my feet up. I looked at a bunch of options, but the one that gave me the most bang for its buck was this $399 slipcovered version from Ikea (it’s this exact EKTORP version). I went with the least expensive color option for two reasons. One: MONEY. Two: sun fading. Our dark blue slipcovers got super faded due to the sun in the sunroom, so I went with a light color to keep it from getting ruined.

The rug previously lived in my den before I did that whole overhaul. I bought it about 7 years ago or so from some online company for cheap. The pillows are the same ones from the previous version of the sunroom. I found the pretty seafoam green/blue tufted ottoman from Homegoods on clearance for $39 a few weeks ago.

I also brought in some wood tones with the wooden side table (picked up at a consignment shop a couple months ago because I loved it, but didn’t have a place for it until now) and the driftwood garland hanging in the corner. I saw a driftwood garland in Hawaii at a fancy store and fell in love with it, so when I was putting my sunroom together, I found a similar one on Amazon for just $24 (find it here). I love the way it looks and I also giggle every time my husband gestures to it and says seriously that he likes my wood.

I am IN LOVE with my new sunroom. It’s like we discovered a whole new area in our house! Every single weekend morning, the first thing I do is make myself a travel mug of coffee and go straight out to the sunroom to enjoy it in my hanging chair. In the evening after work, I’ve been bringing a book out and snuggling up on the couch for a bit of reading. It’s wonderful. In fact, I keep calling it my she-shed.

After living with it for a month or so, I have decided to add one more thing. I need an extra reading light because the overhead fan with attached light is just not strong enough once it gets fully dark outside. I just ordered this one from Amazon and it should arrive this week!

What is your favorite spot in your home? Do you refer to it as your she-shed?!

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

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Reviewing the HGTV DIY Across America Workshop at the AR Workshop

29 Jul

I love me some HGTV, so when my friend told me about an upcoming HGTV DIY Across America workshop I immediately signed up. The workshop was part of a partnership with AR Workshop Annapolis and Lindsey and I signed up to create our own plank wood signs.

We had tons of options to choose from, so I want for a “Welcome to the Firepit” sign which would incorporate my last name as well as the year that our family moved into our home. The cost for the event was $65.50 for the 17.5 x 24” plank sign and it covered all of the materials we would need for the day.

My thoughts were that the sign would be perfect for our new redesigned sunroom – we have a blank wall in need of decoration AND it even has a view of our outdoor firepit! Lindsey’s project was a personalized sign for her grandparent’s anniversary party.

Since it was a HGTV event, we also were gifted the opportunity to do a second project! I picked one with a map of the US and Lindsey picked a “Happiness is Homemade” sign. We also received gift bags which contained the latest copy of HGTV magazine, a tape measure and painters tape.

Oh… and there were cupcakes! And it was BYOB, so we both had bottles of wine!

Each station was all set up for us with wood, tools and the personalized stencils of our designs. There were four people total in this particular workshop and one workshop leader.

I’m not going to do a whole boring step-by-step tutorial, so here’s the short version: we picked our paint colors, sanded the boards, used a nail gun to make our pallet, stained them, did a dry brush treatment on top of the stain, cut out and attached the stencils, painted the letters, took the stencils off and did any touch-ups needed.

Since we were doing two projects, we would let one dry while working on the other and then switch back and forth until they were both done.

We had SO MUCH FUN with this workshop and I already started eyeing other projects that we can go back and make. We are both so happy with how our projects turned out… here are some close up pics:

There are lots of AR Workshops across the US, so check to see if there is a location near you here: https://www.arworkshop.com/workshop-locations/ I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of wine and checking them out!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my workshop cost and the HGTV perks of the goodie bag and extra project were available for anyone who signed up!

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Summer Consignment Store Haul

17 Jul

I have another fun consignment store haul to share with you all! After running a 10k in early June, my friend Lindsey and I enjoyed a huge, delicious breakfast and then stopped by a nearby consignment store to poke around a bit. Just as our last visit (see it here) we both walked away with some fun bargains!

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

Grace Karin Lemon Dress, size large, $17.75

Yes, I know that the running shoes totally make the outfit! I was immediately drawn to this fun dress when I saw it hanging on the rack, and still loved it when I tried it on. But then, after I was out of the dressing room I started having second thoughts on how much I’d actually wear it. I mean, it’s cute as all heck, but I’m not sure if it’s too girly for everyday work wear. My friend Lindsey convinced me to JUST BUY IT ALREADY, so I am now the proud owner of this adorable lemon dress.

I posted it on Instagram and after seeing a comment that it looked “very D&G” I did a little internet searching and found that it DOES look strikingly similar to the Dolce & Gabbana Summer 2016 Italian Summer collection. Here’s a little comparison:

My dress was $17.75 and theirs retailed for over $3,000!

Boden Wrap sweater, size large, $16.75 on clearance for $4.19

I received a wrap sweater in my Spring Trunk Club box (find it here) and while I really liked it, I felt like it was too expensive to invest in a style I may not end up wearing much. Well, this one is by Boden (retail value $98) and it’s very similar to the one I tried and loved. However, there is one big difference… this one was on clearance for $4.19! That’s the PERFECT price to try it out. I think this will look great over a blouse and skirt for work. I can also see me trying it over a few different dresses to mix it up a bit.

Bunny canvas and Flower canvas, $14.50 each

I initially really didn’t have a reason to buy these canvases, but I really liked them. That’s pretty much how I collect anything to add to my house… so I figured I’d go ahead and buy them anyways. As it is, I ended up bringing them to my new job and hanging them in my office.

Fox and Bunny Embroidered Tea Towels, $10.50 each

Once again, I was totally just drawn to these adorable tea towels. They still have the original tags for $21.99 (each) on them and after doing some googling it looks like they were sold at Nordstrom and Modcloth, as well as some boutique-type stores. I was going to pick just one, but couldn’t leave the other behind, so they both came home with me. These will look adorable hanging on my stove!

Do you have a favorite from my consignment store finds?

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