Thursday, May 31, 2012

Setting up at Gaartdensity Gallery

Tomorrow night, June 1st, is the opening of my first gallery show! Doing something a little different, and something I've never done before, the butterflies are starting in my tummy. I've always considered myself an artist, working with clothing, lingerie, and most anything in my home, but I've only presented accessories and clothing to the world. People like to refer to me as a seamstress, but I'm more than that, and now I'll finally show them. 

I'll present a collection of 30 embroidered wall hangings made from all recycled materials. Many are nude portraits, influenced by work from my mother, models of the 60s, and everyday situations. I can't wait to unveil my new collection to all of Augusta, the blogosphere, and to everyone on Etsy. The entire collection will be for sale in Gaartdensity Gallery (pronounced Garden City), and online for those that can't make it to Augusta to purchase it in person.

Stephanie Sunshine Forbes and myself. Stephanie owns Gaartdensity, and is herself a very talented artist. She is only 20 years old and owns a gallery! Can you believe it. She's so sweet. And a great painter. 

Eep! I can't believe I'm finally hanging everything up for the show! Whenever I find myself stressing out about the show, I remind myself, there aren't 15+ models to handle; everything is hanging and won't move. How relieving compared to my last two (fashion) shows. There will be a "live mannequin" in the front window of the gallery for opening night. My friend Jaye is going to dress in some of my lingerie and stand as still as possible, allowed to move every few minutes but stay as still as she can. And since it's First Friday in downtown Augusta, this will be a real crowd pleaser, drawing many people in off of Broad Street.

And I can't tell you how great it felt to get everything out of my house for the show! I slept so great last night, knowing that none of this work was staring at me, waiting for the show. Poor Matt will finally have a clean house again, maybe. I'll do my best but I always seem to make a mess out of everything. I like to call it organized chaos. I'm mostly organized, I just have everything everywhere. Haha. I can't wait for tomorrow night! 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I wore to my spring fashion show
Rusty Cuts Review

Check out this fabulous dress I wore to my fashion show last month! It's handmade by Judith at Rusty Cuts. Since I didn't have time to make myself a dress, I still wanted to stick with my theme of recycled fashion, and I don't buy new clothes at all anymore. I went to Etsy and started searching a few weeks before my show. As soon as I stumbled upon Rusty Cuts, this dress stuck out to me. I debated between this dress and a few others, but this one just felt right! And it was exactly my size! Bonus. It was meant to be. 

Above is myself with Erin Marty, the owner of Stella A Salon And Spa, that was responsible for beautifying all the models! 

The bodice's fabric is from 1950s curtains imported from Europe. The skirt is lace and the brown lining is from a sheet. Judith works at a vintage clothing store that imports a lot of clothes from Europe, so she has a chance to find some great fabric. 

The dress is very well made, and I am so very happy with my purchase. My friend, Morgan, bought a dress from her too! I can't wait to see how Morgan likes hers. My favorite part about this dress, aside from it being recycled AND handmade, is the low back. So fun!

Check out Judith's shop and Facebook page for more amazing dresses! I want this one and this one next!

Photos from my fashion show by David Kernaghan. Above photo taken from

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You missed it:: My spring fashion show video!

It's here! Hooray it's here! The video of my spring fashion show. It was the most amazing night of my professional career (though I hope to keep topping myself with each new event and show)! The ladies wore my new spring line, hair and makeup styled by Stella Salon A Spa. They walked the runway at Sky City, in Augusta, Georgia. There were 50 outfits and 17 models. Check out the video and tell me what you think!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial day from Matt and I and all the animals. We're enjoying our Memorial Day with a belly full of food from the grill, our skin kissed from all day at the pool, and kicking our feet up on the coffee table to enjoy a movie together. We are taking time to appreciate our freedoms that are due to brave people that fight for our country.

Our home is very festive, celebrating the day we honor fallen soldiers, with an American flag hanging in the doorway to the house's front door. Carl, our neighbor on the back side of the house, got this flag at a garage sale of all places. And it's the saddest story. 

This American flag is the flag that draped over the coffin of a Sergeant Frazier, an Army Sergeant that fought and died in the Iraq war. I can't find much information on the soldier, all I know is that he was from Augusta. The saddest part is that the flag that draped over his coffin was up for sale at a garage sale. Thankfully Carl was kind enough to buy it and proudly display it for many to enjoy. 

Thanks to all of those in the Armed Forces. It's important that people realize today isn't just a day for grilling and drinking; it's to celebrate our soldiers that fight for our freedoms. As much as people like to divide themselves according to politics, religion, and class, we're essentially all the same. We are all Americans, and we have it pretty good here in America. And we shouldn't forget that.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Process

Enjoy this video featuring me in my sewing room working on my new spring line of recycled lingerie. I talk about the inspirations and the process by which I create new pieces. See me dying fabric, sewing a new piece, and even a little peek at my little Stella getting in the way, like she usually does.

See the lingerie from this video in my shop,

Video by Armard Andrews of Vidipop.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Down to the wire - What I Wore:: 5.22.12

Once again it's down to the wire. Eight days until my art opening at a downtown gallery, Gaartdensity Gallery (pronounced Garden city). I am almost halfway done with framing, using only vintage framed and recycled cardboard to mount my embroidered pieces. Sometimes I think I scheduled this show too soon after my fashion show in April, but then I realize how well I thrive under time constraints and realize all is well, and the show will be amazing.

I'm proud to say, even more so than my last show, that nothing new is used. All the materials used in the framing and hanging of the lovely embroidered pieces is new. With my spring line, I, of course, had to purchase elastic that was new, as old elastic is no good for clothing. The embroidery thread was donated from a friend, so the only colors I could choose from were the box she gave me. The fabric stitched on was scrap pieces from my fabric shelf, reinforced with interfacing from a bolt in my sewing room, stretched on scrap cardboard from my stash or from boxes from the bar, that would have otherwise been trash, and framed in vintage, thrifted frames! I am so pleased! Aren't you so excited to see this collection?! I know I can't wait to show you all!

Nothing beats working from home everyday. This is my house I stand in front of in these photos. I live in a beautiful historic home in Olde Town Augusta. It was built in 1891, a politicians home originally, the Douglas Estate. I'm guessing it was split into apartments in the 1930s or 1940s. Matt, Zeus, the cat, and myself all share the spacious downstairs apartment. It's great to work from home and then take my breaks out on the lawn with Zeus.

Outfit details: The t-shirt I'm wearing is Charlotte Russe, years ago. I would never dream of shopping there now, I think I bought this back in 2007. Originally white and I wore it for years. When it became worn and no longer a pretty bright white, I threw it in with a batch of lingerie I was dying, turning it pink, hiding all stains! A great way to reuse white clothes and extend their life. The skirt was purchased during my recent trip to Florida, and was shortened 9 inches and the elastic reinforced, as it was no longer holding it's elasticity. Shoes: Minnetonkas. This is my typical work day outfit, a t-shirt and a skirt. Slip on shoes.

Time to head to the thrift store for more frames and crossing my fingers I come across an old can of spray paint for an amazing plastic frame I found on Tuesday. It's a dingy white and reminds me of the old wall hanging I used to have in my bathroom. With a fresh coat of paint and a new center piece, my embroidered piece, it will be new again. 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DIY Glitter Heels - How to turn vintage pumps into a sparkly treat for your feet
Shoes from my fashion show!

Have some tired blah pairs of vintage shoes lying around that you want to wear but they're just too plain? Here is a great want to dress them up and infuse them with new life! Make them glitter heels! I did this for all the shoes for my spring fashion show, above. I reused all the vintage heels I had bought at thrift stores for my winter show in December 2011.

My shoes before, and check out the first photo, up top and far right. I made them to match the dress I wore, from Rusty Cuts. Check back for a post on what I wore to the show later this week! 

Before. With Zeus. He loves shoes and he loved watching the girls during their lingerie fittings even more. They were all neutral tones or very plain, leather or synthetic material. You can use almost any heel! 

You will need:
  • shoes to glitterize
  • fine glitter, I bought an assortment of Martha Stewart glitter from Joann's, which I highly recommend. Martha's glitter is amazing
  • Mod Podge
  • paint brushes
  • custard cups or a small bowl 
  • sand paper
  • a sheet or towel 
Lay down your sheet and get everything together. Start by sanding and roughing up the shoe. Roughing up the surface of the shoe will make the Mod Podge and glitter adhere to the shoe even better!

Next, mix half Mod Podge and half glitter in a custard cup. You can use one color of glitter or 4 or 5 colors together. For the model's shoes, we mainly mixed two like colors.

Use the paintbrush and paint mixture on the shoes. It will take three to four coats to completely cover the shoes.

A pair after one coat. The first coat won't show up too much, but every coat after that will go on thicker, adhering to the previous layer.

And a pair after two coats. It will all depend on the shoe how many coats you will do, but I found three to be the perfect amount of glitter. 

 Terra in Purple Bow Peep. Dom in Blue Venom.

 Lindsey in Lady In Red.

Melanie in Arabian Night. Chastity in Little Bow Peep.

Question? Comments! If you try this tutorial email me some pictures of the finished shoes at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - Feist - Bittersweet Melodies

Feist does it again. A flawless album, Metals, is even better than The Reminder. I love Feist so much. Fest is a member of Broken Social Scene, another one of my favorites. Her solo albums are breathtaking, with her hollow, haunting, and beautiful voice. And her music videos never disappoint. Her newest video, Bittersweet Melodies, doesn't even have Leslie Feist in the video, but instead features the work of Argentinean photographer, Irina Werning. Her Back to the future project is side by side then and now pictures.

Beautiful work. I am in love with Werning's then and now style. Makes me want to recreate a portrait of Rachael and I from our childhood! Check out the video, Werning's website, and then go listen to Feist all day. Happy Tuesday! I'm off thrifting for frames for my new embroidery collection. Busy day. Less than two weeks until my next show!

Monday, May 21, 2012

DIY Recycling Old Candle Wax
Make Your Own Candles!
Guest post: Rachael of The Fanciful Dreamer

Hey everyone! Rachael here, Sally's sister. Sick of throwing away old candle wax and candles that have run out of wick but still have plenty of wax left? Save the remaining candle wax when they've burned down. No need to throw them away! All you need is a bunch of candle ends, an old pot, old salsa or jam jars, a strainer, and new wicks.

I have been throwing all my candle ends in a Tupperware box for a while. This project is great to do every few months to make some new candles when you have a nice stock of wax. When a candle burns down, I throw it in the pile. I finally got enough jars and small containers to pour the new candle into. Old glasses or pickle jars work as well!

First, divide you wax by color and scent. Musky scents and floral were definitely separated!

Second, melt all the wax in an old pan. Do not use a pan that you cook with! I like to use an old pan that is used for other crafting activities, like dying fabric and lingerie. I purchased the pot at the thrift store for a very modest price. 

Third, place the new wick in the jar, there will be directions on the store bought wicks. Pour the melted wax through a strainer and into the jar. One trick I learned while doing this is to strain it into something that pours easily. I cut a laundry detergent bottle in half and used that to be able to pour it into small jars. Before that I tried a bowl and ended up with a sink and counter full of wax, which turns out doesn't go down the sink well, good thing I live in apartments and can call maintenance!

If you want to have some really fun candles, you can also layer the candle wax by letting it cool between pouring wax in the containers. I made 9 new candles! And to think that was otherwise trash! The average candle costs around $5-10, so I saved at least $50. It was very fun and an easy way to recycled! 

Questions? Comments! My blog will be coming soon! 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon

The best part about working for yourself: taking your work with you on errands. My new favorite thing is working at the dog park while Zeus runs around and plays. It's like bringing your kid to the park and letting them run around with their little friends for a few hours while you read a book. That's what I do, but he's a dog. I met up with my friend Katie yesterday, and her pup Klaus, Zeus' buddy, and worked on a bigger piece for my new collection.

Klaus and Zeus run around like detectives, smelling every inch of the massive park together. Then they bother us for a few minutes, and then they go back to running around.

Katie and Klaus, a pitbull/lab mix and the sweetest boy. He and Zeus are buddies. 

Pendleton King Dog Park is the best dog park ever! It's huge. The city of Augusta mulches all the branches they cut down from overgrown trees around power lines and dump it here. Volunteers spread the mulch; notice Monday's drop off still behind me. Thanks Augusta for recycling! The ground is always covered in wood chips and perfect for dogs that would normally tear up any grass from playing. Plus grass is very hard to maintain in Georgia.

I love this dog. He is too funny. We have the best time at the dog park. I try to bring him at least twice a week for an hour or two. Since I bring my lunch, and now I can work there, it's really not interfering with my work. And he isn't cooped up all day indoors when it's a beautiful day.

This new piece, untitled as of now, is based on a photograph of a model from my last show. Except she doesn't have clothes on in my version. It's embroidered on the back of an 80s button up cotton shirt. I love the stripes and spots and all the colors. I thought about having a little fun with it and giving her whiskers, but instead I think she'll be blowing a kiss. I'm finishing up her face today. Her hair took a good 6 hours yesterday, layering and layering the thread to create a more realistic look to her hair.

Now I'm going to go finish her face. I did the lips yesterday when I got home, but I'm not satisfied with them, so I'm ripping them out and starting again. All my embroidered pieces for my next show are done on recycled fabric or old clothes, and the thread is donated. Nothing new!

Where do you like to bring your dog or work away from home?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Show and Tell. Video #1

Sally Ann: Show and Tell One from Armard Andrews on Vimeo.

A little show and tell video on Blue Venom, a two piece set from my spring collection. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - Ponderosa

This past weekend's music in Augusta was a real treat! A band came to town from Atlanta and blew us all away. Matt and I were headed home after a long day and stopped into Sky City to check out Ponderosa.

Photo by Banks Pappas.

The five piece band plays melodic southern folk with some bluegrass and rock influences. I'm not the greatest at describing music, I just know what I like. I'd describe them as a more rockin' Fleet Foxes with something southern thrown in there somewhere. 

We ran into some friends who were also in love with the band. We all danced, enjoyed a cocktail or two, and listened to some great tunes. And then I may or may not have asked them to play at my next lingerie fashion show. Oh Fireball...

Photo by Banks Pappas.

And yes, that is a Joy Division shirt I'm wearing. What a great night. I really need to start catching more local shows. Sky City is such an amazing venue. It's were I host all my fashion shows, and where many bands play. It has one of the best sound systems in Georgia for a small venue and makes all concerts feel so intimate and personal. 

You have to check out this band, Ponderosa! If you haven't already watched the video up top, check out and buy their album on iTunes, Moonlight Revival. I just bought it and so should you! Also, be sure to check out their websiteFacebook page, and Twitter.