Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beach time in Michigan

Hello everyone! I'm back! Matt, Zeus, and I spent the last 10 days on vacation to Michigan and back. And what vacation it was! I can't believe how quickly the time just flew by. It always does when you're visiting home, and it never seems to be long enough. Matt and Zeus saw Lake Michigan for the first time, and it was also their first time in the midwest. Southern boys, ha, so funny they'd never been that far north. Needless to say, they were quite blown away by the beauty of the state, and the lake especially.

It's funny how one's perspective changes as you grow older. I never realized how amazing my hometown was until I moved away. My home was less than a mile, bird's flight, to Lake Michigan, until I moved away to college. Even the year that I lived in Muskegon before moving south, I didn't appreciate my beautiful town like I should have. It hit me when Matt and I got off the highway, a few miles from my mom's house, and there were seagulls in the gas station parking lot. I never realized how awesome that was. 

Matt saw his first of many sunsets that fall along the water. It's absolutely breathtaking to watch the sunset on the horizon of Lake Michigan. Another thing I'm so used to, and Matt kept shushing me and told me to put down my camera and just watch. Above, was our first night sunset of vacation, and although it was overcast, still beautiful. 

Doesn't that sandy face just melt your heart?! I'm convinced Zeus had more fun than either of us. He swam and swam and swam! His first full days in Michigan he spent playing fetch with driftwood in the lake and digging holes in the sand. I'm curious as to how much sand he actually consumed. Throw him a piece of ice and he misses? He digs it out of the sand and eats it, with a few extra clumps of sand. Silly dog. 

From the shores at my aunt's lake house, we watched all kinds of boats sailing and kite surfers flying in the wind. Having a private beach to ourselves was a blast! It's just a bit north of town, and once the sun went down, bon fire time!

Another one of Zeus' favorites things to do on the beach, go right up to a dry sun bathing girl, step on her towel, and shake off his excess water. And then push himself on the towel, sand and all. Such a goof.

Matt and I on day two at the beach. 

My best friend in the whole world, Kirsten, on our wine day at the beach. Sparkling white wine, while not something I'd normally drink, I'm a red wine kind of gal, was fantastic on the beach! 

And yes, we got Zeus, Matt and I on a kayak. The three of us were all on it for only about 30 seconds before Zeus jumped off, but it was hilarious!

I'm off to enjoy my last day off work with Matt. Unpacking, taking in a matinee, and still a little bit of recovery.

Happy Tuesday everyone! It's great to be back!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bird Trouble Guest Post

Hey Sally Ann readers! I´m Alexz. I´m the girl over at the Bird Trouble blog . I blog about a bunch of bags that I make, the journey I´m going on with my business and growing up in general, the adventures I go on in my city of Chicago, and sometimes I will throw in a style post. I´ve been asked by Sally to create a little post for you while she and Matt are road tripping their hearts out to Michigan & to my home city! I´ve known Sally via internet for a few years now. Jeez, I want to say almost 2 - 3 years maybe. That´s awesome, Sally, because I´m fortunate to know such a cool and inspiring who has always been nothing but supportive to what I love to do and my handmade business! Thank you always.

The one strong thing that Sally and I have had in common when it comes to our businesses, is that we both love reusing materials before they are thrown in a waste pile and forgotten about. I never really thought twice about not thrifting or reclaiming materials. Ever since I was in high school with my own car, I thought, why not save some cash, look original, and (most currently thinking) save the world while we´re creating this all new style that is put together by you? Not a mass produced company, not what someone else has made, but what you made! Sally has shown us the low down on how many ways you alter clothes onto yourself into a new, yourself, style. I wanted to inspire you today on reusing materials, or altering, to create a bag for yourself that none of your friends will have.

I purchased a rug at the thrift store a few weeks ago because I was attracted to it´s speckled colors and it´s thick quilted texture. I also really liked the stripes. When I go to the thrift store, I seem to always turn my brain onto this "you can change anything in here, alter it, shift it¨ mindset. At this point, it´s only natural for me to look at something, and think of something else. It´s become so natural for me to creatively work that way, it´s what I always do. I purchased one rug to test out a new collection of new bags that I want to make for Bird Trouble shop . I went in understanding the weight, how it falls, and what materials can I pair with it. I came up with a duffel bag design and drafted it on a piece of paper. Before you think my design is a little advanced for beginners... I'd think easier square / fast stitches and make zipper pouches, foldable clutches, zipper clutches, wallets, or a simple tote bag with a strap!

Now go on! Head to your favorite thrift store to find your material. You don't have to get a rug : you can get a blanket, a pillow cover, a knit sweater!, a pair of jeans, a retro dress you wouldn't dare wear on your bod but you'd carry it! If you don't have a sewing machine, get some hand needles and some patience. Then show Sally and I what you came up with because we'd love to see!


Bags handmade from vintage and found textiles.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little Sailor Skirt!
Guest Post from Nicole of Pussycat Vintage

Hello!! I'm Nicole from Pussycat Vintage and I am super excited to be here on Sally's blog today! I completely admire and love Sally's work, not to mention she is also one of the sweetest people I have met in this land of blogs!

I've been blogging for almost two years now, which seems crazy, but I love it! My blog is focused on my family, the fantastic and terrible parts of being a mom to a pre-teen, I also do weekly outfit and inspirational posts as well. It's whole lot of everything. I'm a full time mom with a full time job and I live in a small city in Indiana with my son Logan, my man Gray and our dogs Bacon & Waffles. We are a pretty happy bunch and I hope that you will pop by and say hello!

Now let's get down to the vintage details of this outfit I'm sporting here and why buying second hand is such a wonderful thing! I picked up this skirt on a thrifting trip I finally squeezed in last week. I went specifically looking for dresses and some new skirts. When I found this high waisted beauty I threw it in the cart and just prayed that they would fit me once I got home! Halellujah they did!! The best part about this skirt is that it's not really a skirt, it's shorts! There are little flaps on the front and the back to make it appear to be a skirt. Bonus, I can wear these when I ride my bike!

Those shoes I have been looking for, for oh. . . about a year now! I always find shoes just like it but never in my size. These are the exact color and style I have been searching for! They needed a little polishing up but that was it! They still have a lot of life left in them and I think that they will possibly even last me until next summer. Which I have to say that most of my vintage shoes have lasted me longer than any of the shoes I have bought from Target or Forever 21. If what you are buying was well taken care of, it will last you so much longer than something new.

Outfit Details::
Tank // Not Sure. I've had it forever!
Skirt // Thrifted
Shoes // Thrifted

I've been buying and wearing vintage since middle school. I remember I used to ask my parents for gift certificates to the Good Will and Salvation Army for my birthday's and Christmas. They used to get so mad because that was all that I wanted. Hahaha! Back then I was really into polyester button up shirts with very loud prints on them and vintage t-shirts. My taste has definitely changed as I have gotten older but my love for vintage never has. There are so many benefits to buying second hand/vintage. For example. it's way easier on your bank account than a shopping trip to the mall, you are in a lot of cases helping support a small or local business thrive, it helps to majorly reduce waste and you find something unique each and every time. Everyone wants to have something in their wardrobe that no one else will have and buying from a thrift or vintage shop is the easiest and best way to make that happen!

Do you buy second hand clothing? If so, I'd love to know what your favorite item is that you have thrifted over the years!! Mine is definitely an amazing western leather belt with roses on it and big silver buckle! Leave Sally and I a comment about yours!

Thanks again so much to Sally for having me over here today! Hope you are all having an amazing day!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

New reader?

Are you new to my blog? Well hello if you are and thanks for reading! In case you didn't know, I design lingerie from recycled materials. My spring collection is on sale, check out the button on the top right side of my blog for the coupon code! Above and below are runway pictures from my last fashion show back in April, featuring 100% recycled and handmade lingerie. I just got back the runway pictures from my photographer. Yay! 

See more backstage photos on my Facebook page.

Check out the video above from the spring show, above. There are also some fun sewing videos on my Vimeo page. I can't wait to start working on a new line of lingerie soon. I'm thinking I'll have another winter fashion show. For now, I'm going to focus on some handbags and this awesome vacation, which I leave for tomorrow. Woo too!

Talk soon, everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blogging from my iPad

I just downloaded this new app for my iPad, Blogsy, and I'm giving it a try while sitting at my desk. This Friday, Matt and I leave for Michigan, and since my computer is a desktop, I'll be doing my blogging via iPad. I'm actually loving this app, and I think it will be a fun challenge to get used to something that isn't my computer. I'm a freak about margins and spacing and sometimes these apps make that difficult to adjust...

We're so excited for our trip! Ten days back in Michigan, a little day trip to Chicago, many days on the beach, and bonus: Zeus is coming too! We're trying not to overload ourselves with things to do, but there's so much I want to do! But it is vacation and we have to remember that throughout the week and not try to overload ourselves. I can't wait for the rest of my family to meet Matt!

On my list of must see places for Matt and I (this is his first time in Michigan):
Fricano's Pizza, Bell's Brewery, the lake, of course, Michigan State University, Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Sea Doos on the lake, quads (ATVs) at Silver Lake, kayaking on the river, Chicago, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Ah!! Two more days!!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I'm having a hard time working with this excitement running through my veins!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - Daughter - In The Shallows

While listening to my favorite music podcast last week, I was playing catchup, listening to episodes from earlier this year. I came across the South by Southwest music preview episode. Oh my, talk about amazing music! This singer songwriter immediately struck a chord with me, her haunting Feist-like voice and sad lyrics. Elena Tonra is known as Daughter.

As soon as I was done listening to the podcast, I downloaded Daughter's new EP "His Young Heart", and it was only $4 on iTunes. The song, "Landfill", below is my favorite on the EP.

  Daughter - Landfill (taken from the 'His Young Heart' EP) by ohDaughter

Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY: How to turn a pantsuit (or shorts) into a mini dress (or skirt)

While thrifting a few weeks ago, I found the most perfect outfit, and at first glance I thought it was a dress. I got it home, threw it in the wash and forgot about it for a few days. When it got out of the dryer, I immediately tried it on, only to find to my disappointment, that it was a pantsuit. If ONLY it had been a well fitting pantsuit it wouldn't have been so disappointing. But sadly it was way too small in the hind quarters, and my torso is too long for most standard pantsuits. They're just not comfortable for my body type. Solution: turn it into a dress! The back of this piece has the most fabulous design and cutout. 

This tutorial will for for any shorts, kulats, pantsuit, etc that fits well in the waist. BE SURE it fits in the waist, as the sewing instructions only show you how to alter the legs. The before outfit was just too dated for my taste, the capri style too tight with the high waist. I can't even imagine showing you all the before picture from behind! Let's just say it was also a little too risqué for public view.

You will need:
  • pantsuit or skirt to alter
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • fabric marker or chalk
  • sewing machine
  • chalk hem marker
  • iron

1. Start by cutting off a good portion of the pant. Don't cut it too short! Leave 6-7 inches of an inseam. 2. Cut the center seam that runs along the inside of the pant leg. Cut as close to the seam as possible. 3. Lay the fabric out on your work surface, with side seams matched up. 4. Pin together so the fabric does not shift, you want your next cuts to be symetical! 5. Starting at the innermost part of the back seam, draw a line down to the bottom of the fabric. You can't this to be lined up WITH the previous seam! If you have a larger behind, give the line a bit of curve to it (the dashed line is more straight down, solid line accounts for curves. 6. Repeat this on the front center seam, bringing the line straight down. You do not want a curve on this seam or it will appear poofy on the front of the garment. Sew along both lines for 5 and 6 steps. 7. Cut excess fabric and zig zag stitch edges. 8. Use a chalk hem marker to mark the line of the skirt (SEE ANIMATED GIF BELOW!) 9. Sew a double folded hem or invisible hem. I chose a double folded hem. 10. Iron your new dress! AND DONE!

NOTE: when using a chalk hem marker, look straight ahead, NOT DOWN when marking the garment. ALSO!: If you wear heels a lot, wear them when marking the dress. I typically wear low heels or flats so I just did this bare foot.

This alteration makes a HUGE difference, doesn't it? I will get so much more use out of this comfortable sundress rather than it's previous state as an uncomfortable dated pantsuit. And the mint green is a color you don't see very often.

Zeus being a terrible model. Matt helped out with these pictures on our Sunday morning at home, before our day at the pool, and Zeus was easily distracted, showing off for dad.

AND the dress has pockets!

Don't you just LOVE this cutout? The bottom flap above the back zipper is so flattering with the top that isn't super fitted. Matt asked, "shouldn't you take the back in a little", and I had to explain to him that it was part of the design, the look of the blousy top and fitted waist. Plus it's so comfortable and it doesn't require a bra! BONUS!

Questions? Comments!?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sneak peek!

Happy Friday from my sewing room! Cats are everywhere today, lying on everything I get out to work on. This morning I finished up some curtains I was altering for someone and I must have removed each cat twice from the fabric. Silly girls.

I'm currently working on some purses made out of scrap fabric from two or three garbage bags I almost got rid of completely before deciding to make more accessories. (Notice the giant pile cleverly hidden behind the ironing board in the above picture) When I rearranged my sewing room, I made my fabric storage smaller, to help me get organized. When I had all these bags of scraps I couldn't bring myself to pitch them. Solution: PURSES! The hoarder in me saves any scrap of useable fabric, and that hoarding is coming in handy for this round of work. I love mismatching random piece of fabric for interior pockets and fun surprises in the design of the piece. I can't wait to release this line! Even though they're fairly simple clutches, I love the innovation in using scraps and old clothes. Plus it's nice to know they're made out of things that were going to be trash. 

Many are made out of old jeans and scrap denim, all having a nice thick sturdy base to make them more durable. This one above, was made out of my sister's old Navy uniforms she sent me, and some scrap stretch denim I had from who knows what! All the zipper are also vintage; I got lucky and found a huge batch of them at Salvation Army a few years ago. COMING SOON!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blackberry Crisp

One thing I love about living in the south, fresh blackberries! And now that they're in season they're so inexpensive at the grocery store. A few weeks ago I purchased a few pints and made the most delicious blackberry crisp from my late stepfather's crisp recipe. It was originally Tom's apple crisp, and I've made it a million different ways. 

For other fun variations, mix up the fruit! I like to add a peach to my apple crisp, even fresh pineapple. Blackberries and strawberries would be delicious, I think I'll bake that next! Follow the recipe card below, subbing apples for two pints of blackberries

Stick to the 1/2 cup of margarine or butter, one stick of butter. The oats you can play around with.

As the recipe directs, spread the oats mixture over the blackberries. I like to lightly crumble it and spread it evenly, then pat it down before it goes in the oven. It doesn't have to be perfect. That's the best part about desserts like this, you can't really mess them up unless you add too much butter.

Ready to bake! Depending on the fruit, it should bake about 30 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, use a butter knife to separate the crisp from the edges of the pan, as it will slightly sink as it cools. Serve by itself or over ice cream while still warm.

Tom passed away two years ago this month, and every time I cook I think of him. I've definitely come a long way from helping and watching him in the kitchen as a kid. He'd never give me full control of the kitchen until I was much older, knowing I'd make a huge mess, which I still do. I know he'd be proud of my cooking skills now, and I'm happy to share his recipe with you all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Over at Selective Potential...

...I'm the featured sumer blogger. It's so exciting to be featured on Tieka's blog! She and I went to the same high school, and I've watched her blog for years, grow from a project in college to one of the biggest fashion blogs on the internet. Tieka is quite impressive! So hello to all the new reader finding my blog through SP. Current readers and friends, read the interview here.

Today is a sewing day for me, so I'm headed to my sewing machine, turning on some tunes, and keeping my internet browser closed ALL DAY! My short attention span will NOT get the best of me today! Today I'll be working on clutches made from Matt's Goodwill pile of old clothes. Why get rid of them when I can turn them into gorgeous new purses?! Happy Wednesday everyone. Hope you are all enjoying your day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Can you believe this top cost $1?!

Yeah, you read that title correctly, $1! I bought this bustier sunflower top at a thrift store in Columbia, South Carolina (about an hour away from Augusta) called "His House". All clothes at this thrift store are only $1! And there are about 4 or 5 around town. It's insanely cheap and quite good clothing for a cheap thrift store. Most clothing in Columbia is very 80s, lots of high waisted demin shorts, lots of cheesy silk blouses, high waisted jeans, polyester dresses. The first time I went to a His House thrift store I filled up a garbage bag with denim high waisted shorts. I also bought this dress there.

Sometimes it's hard to pull off a bustier. Personally, I'm not really one for showing much skin unless it's my legs or back. But since I paired the bustier with a high waisted skirt, the little mid drift makes me giggle because it's so minimal. Plus is was 100 degrees yesterday, so the less constricting clothing that is flowing, the better! And added bonus when a bra isn't required in your outfit! Too much information? Ah well.

I'd like to say a quick hello to the new readers that found my blog through Selective Potential. Hello! Glad to have you here. And thanks for following along with me. To everyone else, check out Tieka's blog, where I'm the featured summer blogger.

Outfit details:
Top: sunflower cotton/denimish bustier with printed sunflowers, thrifted, $1.
Belt: thrifted, $1. Skirt: gift from Rachael, thrifted.
Shoes: Plato's Closet, $10.
Sunglasses: Aldo, gift (I say gift in that a friend left them at my 
house and never picked them up, hehe, gotta love when that happens!).

My favorite part about this outfit is my tattoo peeking out the back. I like the tease of just seeing a tiny bit of it. Since I wear one piece suits at least half of the time, it's rare that this tattoo is ever seen. So it's still quite secretive, plus I have about 5 hours left before it's finished. I'm loving summer, but part of me can't wait for it to end so I can finish this piece and get my ankle touched up.  

Funny story, the last time I wore this bustier, I also did an outfit post, and the next morning my dad called me to yell at me about the tattoo he didn't know about. I was sick in bed with food poisoning, and he still yelled at me, "What in the hell is that on your back?! Another tattoo?!" Sorry Dad. That's what I get for posting things on my blog. Dad hates my tattoos. Luckily they're almost all covered with a t-shirt.

Phew it was so hot taking these! And so was miserable with my hair down. Oh my. Poor Zeus just wants to roll around in the grass and doesn't understand why he has to stand next to me when my camera is on the tripod. I can only imagine what's going through his head during our little shoots and how he rationalizes the event. "Why does mama make me stand here and stand so still while that odd black triangle makes a clicky sound." Or something like that with his dopey human voice I give him. 

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm spending my day sewing new purses for the line that comes out next week! It will be accompanied by an amazing giveaway where you get to design the prize. More to come soon. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Auburn University

Matt and I spent this past weekend at his alma mater, Auburn University. My first time visiting the university, we met up with 7 other couples, his best friends from college and all their wives. And of course we were the only unmarried couple. I had heard so many crazy stories of Matt's times at Auburn, I was so excited to see his old stomping grounds.

All 16 of us took over a gorgeous bed and breakfast called Crenshaw Guest House. Matt and I had our own little private cottage on the back of the property while others stayed at the main house. B&Bs are the way to go when traveling, I'm convinced. It was so much more enjoyable than most of our trips. The whole group of us were able to hang out in the common area, play Catch Phrase, watch Wimbledon, and just sit around when we were between activities. It was also nice being walking distance to town and campus.

At Toomer's Corner. The most famous corner at Auburn University. (Agh, I'm so embarrassed that I wore flip flops! I only wear these when I take the dog around the yard and I can't believe I actually wore them outside of the house and on vacation in public, eeep!)

For those of you that don't follow college news and sports, Auburn has one of the best football teams in the nation. These live oaks, above, are the most celebrated trees on campus, and when they win, the trees are covered in toilet paper. It's been a tradition for decades. Nearby Alabama University has a rivalry with Auburn, and after Auburn beat them for the national championship in 2010, a psycho fan, not even a student of Alabama, poisoned the trees. He used over 100 times the dose required to kill a healthy tree. The poisoning was brought to everyone's attention when the moron called into a syndicated radio show and bragged of his poisoning the landmark trees. He is currently awaiting trial, and the University has done everything possible to save these trees. Sadly, there isn't much hope and they're dying.

The birthday boy! The reason for the trip. Matt's buddy, nicknamed Fordy, who came up from Tampa for the weekend. His sash was so lovely. Happy birthday Fordy!
Infamous lemonade from Toomer's Drugs. It was so yummy! 

All the boys.

What a great weekend we had. I can't wait to show Matt the campus at Michigan State, where I attended college. He's going to love it. Two more weeks until our vacation to Michigan to see my family and old friends! And we even get to bring Zeus!!

Happy Monday everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend.