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AR Workshop: Countdown to Christmas

14 Nov

Lindsey and I are totally on a roll with our AR Workshop projects. First, we did a couple plank signs (see here) and then we went back and made our own chunky knit blankets (here they are). I follow the Annapolis AR Workshop on Instagram, so when I saw that they just came out with personalized advent calendars I immediately texted Lindsey and we signed up!

{Pssst, this isn’t a sponsored post, but if you want to find an AR Workshop you can find them here: https://www.arworkshop.com/}

Usually, I leave Jack at home with Travis. But he was super busy over the weekend with some tree felling goodness, so I figured I’d just take Jack with me. And I’m awfully glad I did, because he had a great time helping!

Much like my previous plank sign, we started with picking our colors, sanding the wood board, stained it, cut out and attached the stencil, painted the letters, took the stencils off, and then did any touch-ups needed. For this particular project, we also stained some extra wood pieces to attach to the front of the sign. After marking each straight line, I turned it over and used a nail gun to connect them together.

Funny story: when the helper lady brought out the nail gun and handed it to me to use, Jack raised his hand and let us know that he is NOT comfortable using a nail gun. Yeah kid… you’re 7. We know!

Here are some photos we took throughout the process:

Jack did help every single step of the way – except for the staining of the board and the nail gun use – and was super proud that he could hang out with the adults. I love that every year when we bring out our new Countdown to Christmas calendar, it will remind us of the fun memory of making the project together.  

Here are our finished projects:

Lindsey made a sign for her parent’s mantle and we made our Countdown sign. We just need to find something small – like a little tree or stuffed toy – to place on the ledge in front of the appropriate date as we count down.

As always, we had such a wonderful time at the Workshop that I’m already checking the website to see if there is something else I want to make. My sister reached out and wants to go too, so maybe I’ll have some more Workshop goodness to share soon!

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Den: Before & After (Again)

7 Nov

Remember back in August when I shared my Sunroom: Before & After post? Yeah, I messed it all up.

Here’s the thing: I LOVE my sunroom. After I redecorated with the hanging chair and fluffy white couch, I would spend every weekday evening out there with a book and every weekend morning hanging in the chair with a coffee cup in my hand (and Ollie on my lap).

And then one morning I went out into the sunroom for my Saturday morning laze-a-bout… and it was too cold.

I knew that it was going to happen soon, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up my comfy couch sitting! So I did what any sane person would do, I dragged my sunroom couch into my den.

Before my abrupt redecorating, the den looked like this:

Actually I wrote a whole blog post about it in February, because that was the last time I redecorated that room (you can find it here).

So yeah, I was totally happy with my den AND my sunroom. Until suddenly I wanted that damn couch inside. I moved the massage chair out into the sunroom (for now), the large leather recliner into the corner with the lights and my honey helped me drag the couch where the chairs previously lived.

And I love it! Which is a problem… because now what do I do about my dang sunroom?! It seems silly to buy a duplicate couch for the sunroom in the spring, but now that I love the new den set-up I don’t want to take it back apart. Of course, maybe I should just wait until the spring and see how I feel…

Have you ever redecorated a room with literally no thought or planning? Is it super weird to own two identical couches that live in separate rooms about 15 feet away from each other?

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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?!

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