Super Style Your Space | The Chalk Paint Experiment

Hi, everyone! The new year is fast approaching, and what’s exciting for me in 2015 is I’m moving. I’m leaving the farm and sharing a house with a friend in the ‘burbs. While I’ll be living in a much smaller space, I’m excited about decorating and making my new bedroom and bathroom truly my own. Here on the blog, I’ll be showing you my stylish transition to my new place. Will there still be outfit photos? Of course – but now you’ll also be able to follow my DIY adventures. I’ll try out Pinterest tutorials, and you can see the good, bad, and ugly of all my attempts to be handy!

My first major project will be painting a furniture set I’ve had since I was a teenager. It’s been stored in a garage for about 10 years, a little rough around the edges, but not in horrible shape. While I’m going to paint the larger pieces (dresser, chest of drawers, and headboard) after they’re moved, I decided to start by painting a small nightstand to see if I like the paint colors I picked. Here’s the before:
chalkpaint1I haven’t finished it yet, but I can show you a couple of pics of the progress I’ve made. I’ll give you a full tutorial later when I work on the whole set. What I can say now is creating this chalk paint look involves lots of sanding and using a screwdriver in a completely unexpected way!

This is my first go at using chalk paint, and so far I like how easy it is to use and all of the options I have to be creative with colors! Here is the nightstand after the base coat of paint:

Paint color: Treasure by Americana Decor, dry and sanded

Paint color: Treasure by Americana Decor, dry and sanded

I want the set to have an old, weathered look so I used a darker paint color to give that effect. Here are the finished drawers for a sneak peek of how I want the final product to end up:

Darker paint color: Relic - Americana Decor, sanded and sealed with Creme Wax

Darker paint color: Relic by Americana Decor, sanded and sealed with Clear Creme Wax

So far, so good! I’m looking forward to the whole bedroom set being complete as well as picking coordinating bedding and decor. I also think my small space solutions will be helpful to all of you looking for a little extra storage for all of your clothing, shoes, and accessories. I need your help, too! What ways have you made extra room in your place? Let me know in the comments. Until next time…make yourself at home!

Scarf Pals | How to style a blanket scarf

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Blanket-Scarf-Full2 copyHi, everyone! I recently participated in a really fun project. Heather from the blog, The Arbitrary Fox, created the Arbitrary Scarf Exchange where she partnered up bloggers and various interwebs people to exchange scarves based on eachother’s taste and personality. Think of pen pals – but with scarves! As a knitter, I was totally in.

My Scarf for Brittany: Yarn - Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Spice / Stickers: Hobby Lobby / Ornament: Cracker Barrell

My Scarf for Brittany: Yarn – Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Spice / Stickers: Hobby Lobby / Ornament: Cracker Barrel

Heather matched me up with Brittany from Illinois who makes oh-so-cute children’s infinity scarves for her fancylittlefoxes Etsy shop. (Can you sense a theme? Yay, foxes!) Brittany requested a scarf in a neutral color that was versatile enough to wear with many outfits. Since Brittany is also a mom and a nanny, I picked a yarn that is washable and requires little care, and the “foxy” rust color is an unexpected – and Brittany-inspired – neutral shade. Of course, I included some sly little friends…

(Knitter’s note: It may be difficult to see here in the box, but this is an infinity scarf that can be worn long or looped twice around the neck. It’s a simple pattern that I came up with on the fly, and it’s great for anyone who has just learned how to knit in the round. I used 2 skeins of yarn. To make it, you need a 24″ size 15 circular needle. CO 125 stitches (or any odd number of stitches to get your desired length. Row 1: k1, p1 ending with a k1; Place marker and join in round being careful not to twist stitches; Continue in pattern (seed stitch) beginning with a p1 until the scarf is the desired width (this one is about 10″ wide) ending at the stitch before the marker. Bind off in pattern and weave in loose ends.)

blanket-scarf-unfolded copyThis is the masterpiece Brittany sent me! I asked for something colorful, and the plaid is holiday-perfect. It’s called a blanket scarf, and it’s almost as tall as I am! I must be late to the party, because I had never seen this type of scarf before. I imagine this scarf is more popular up North, but it’s the perfect solution for those coldish Louisiana days when I don’t feel like lugging around a heavy coat, and it’s big enough to be used as a real blanket…totally fort approved! Brittany suggested in her note to me that I should check out the tutorials on Pinterest, and there are several as you can see on my “Style It!” board. Many bloggers go the triangle scarf route with the point in the front and a lot of fullness around the neck. While I love that style, my hair – which is slightly shorter than shoulder length and not quite long enough for a ponytail or bun – competes for neck space with the scarf and sticks out everywhere. I also saw the scarf belted and worn like a vest in some of the outfits. I decided to do my own variation of that look, adding a little shawl collar into the mix. Here’s how you do it:

blanket-scarf-folded-in-half copyFirst, fold the scarf in half diagonally so you get a big triangle…

blanket-scarf-collar-foldNext, take the folded edge of the scarf and fold it, too. The more fabric you fold over, the wider your “collar” will be.

blanket-scarf-shawl copyThen, put the scarf around your shoulders with the center point in the middle of your back…

Blanket-Scarf-Final-AdjustmentsNow, wrap your favorite belt around your waist on top of the scarf. Take the ends below the belt and unfold them so they’re spread out and overlap them slightly in the middle.

Tada! You just turned a scarf into a vest!

I’m not sure where Brittany bought my particular scarf, but after doing some research, I found out that this style was made popular by Zara, and they have some blanket scarves in different colors on their site (Zara Checked Scarves). Also, there are many eBay sellers that carry them, too, including many in the same colors as mine (Blanket Scarves on eBay). Whatever your budget, you can rock this style!

Outfit Details - Sweater: Lane Bryant (Similar); Camisole: Lane Bryant (Similar); Belt: Lane Bryant (Similar); Leggings: Avenue; Boots: Jessica London

Outfit Details – Sweater: Lane Bryant (Similar); Camisole: Lane Bryant (Similar); Belt: Lane Bryant (Similar); Leggings: Avenue; Boots: Jessica London

A very big thanks to Brittany for sending this awesome scarf my way and to Heather for making it all happen! Do you all have any ideas? How would you style a blanket scarf? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, bundle up!

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And the Winner Is…

*This giveaway is a collaboration between Jamberry Independent Consultant, Jessica Baudoin and myself. It is in no way sponsored by the Jamberry company. As a party hostess, I will receive free product and discounts based on sales.

Congrats to Mary from North Carolina! She’s the winner of the Jamberry Joyful Holiday gift set giveaway! In her gift set she’ll get three exclusive wraps to mix and match and an application kit with a cute Jamberry logo bag. What’s Mary’s favorite wrap? She thinks the Candy Cane design is pretty sweet!

Today’s the last day to shop Becca’s Jammin’ Jamberry Party and to get Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend deals – including exclusive and limited edition wraps!

Thanks for reading, and “jam” on!