Thursday, March 28, 2013

Top 5 Pallet Furniture Finds

Recycling has always been something I try to incorporate into my daily life, in my home, and in my work. While most of my furniture is thrifted or second hand, all this construction with Shelby makes me want to explore more avenues of furniture construction. The trend of pallet furniture has grabbed my attention, and here are some of my favorite finds and possible future projects. The above headboard is my dream of a backdrop for a future bedroom. I think it is so gorgeous!

Perhaps our new coffee table. The one is our living room at the moment is retched, and I hate it so much. It was only $10 at a thrift store, and I bought it for Matt when he lived in his last apartment. With the merging of the possessions a little over a year ago, when we moved in together, that table won. We figure that table will last until we move, and then we'll put it out by the street for someone to rescue. The above design would be perfect for storage, and low enough to the ground. Great for Scrabble nights and jigsaw puzzles on Sundays. Maybe a color stain to bring it more life.

Shelves for my future new office? I would love to have a giant wall of shelves for files, work orders, notions, etc. Maybe a giant cutting table with the bottom of it shelves for fabric, and a huge cutting surface. The possibilities are endless. All I know is, I want my next office to have a central theme and feel, and this look may be just what I'm looking for.

Outdoor furniture for a future patio? I love daybed couches as outdoor furniture. Fall alseep in the sun with a cat on my lap. That's my idea of a perfect day off.  
An outdoor table for gatherings, dinners, and enjoying the sunshine? I think so! This table looks super easy and so rustic, I just love it. While I'll have to narrow my choices of these few things down to just a few, it will be hard. Someday I hope to have so much more handmade furniture in my home than what we have now. As we accumulate more and more power tools, making this furniture won't be as hard as it once seemed.

While I've read here and there, and I'm a bit skeptical, it's speculated that pallet furniture isn't actually safe for the home. But then would it be okay for outdoor use? I've read that the wood is treated with many chemicals and not sealed, full of pesticides and insects, can be a breeding ground for mold. More research is needed before I'm pursuaded, and if I find that it is indeed unsafe to use pallet wood, I'll just use some other recycled wood to acheieve the look of pallet furniture. What do you think? Is it worth the risk?

Sources & tutorials for above furniture
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shelby Update:

Time for a Shelby update. There is never enough time to get out and get to work on her, but I managed to squeeze in one work day last week. My friend Reuben and I had an extremely productive day, on the only nice day before the rainy weekend. 

Driver side wall is up! The hardwoord pine runs horizontal under the left window, and vertical above. This will give the iliusion that Shelby is bigger than she really is. At only 9 1/2 feet long, and 6 1/5 feet wide, she is quite tiny, and not very tall. If I wear heels, my hair grazes the ceiling. We started and got to this point in one day. Quite a feat! 

Next step: finishing the far right, cutting a window ledge, and installing the plexiglass where the access panel currently sits. Plug the water pipe holes from the outside, and continue with the sconce wiring. The strip along the floor also needs to be finished, but we don't have a table saw at home, so we'll have to wait for a shop day, to use my friend's table saw, and cut it to the correct width.

This past weekend was very busy with my friend's bachelorette party I threw for her, and it just happened to rain all weekend as well. Worked out perfectly that I wouldn't even be able to work on Shelby in both weather and with all the plans. This week, after I finish some custom alterations on my work-line today and tomorrow, I'll be working on Shelby on every sunny day. More soon! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Morning Stroll

Loving this time of year in Augusta. It's brisk chilly mornings, perfect for dog walks in jeans and a t-shirt, while walking quickly to not catch a chill. A light cardigan that you won't need by lunch-time, and beautiful promises of spring. Oh, how I love the south. 

Watching the weather reports oh my native Michigan makes me so thankful I moved south. Many of you probably still have snow on the ground, and more falling! Crazy! Here in Georgia, we only have a month of two of cold weather before the days get longer and we can throw socks and coats to the back of the closet. 

Having been south for over three years, I can't imagine the habitual days of layering and layering, showeling sidewalks, scraping windshields. Trying to figure out which car to start brushing off, since you can't tell which one is yours... Chapped cheeks and wondering what warm even feels like. Here, we deal with the shortest period of cold, we bundle up as best as we can, and pray for an early spring. We don't even have the heat turned on in our house! Can you imagine that in Michigan?! 

This morning, I could have used a light jacket, but I refused on principle. And ballet flats from now on, no more boots! I'm convinced it will stay warm for good! Before we know it, the weather won't even allow for jeans. I can't wait! Dress for the weather, and it will come, right? Right. 

And Zeus has the best time ever We took an 8:30 walk through our neighborhood and Zeus got to "read the newspaper", what I like to call his smelling of who's who in the neighborhood. What dogs have been walking around where. He's a happy, happy boy!

In other news, Shelby has been coming along quite nicely. Planning her paint job soon, and finishing more interior work. We finally ordered all the interior fixtures, hangers, and racks. We'll be building the changing room soon as well. Never a dull moment in this household. Matt and I are constantly "go, go, go".. with my best friend's wedding in a few weeks, bachelorette shower and party this weekend, and more, who knows when the next free weekend will come. Making every moment count!

Back to work now. Coffee in hand, cat headed for my lap. I'm working on custom alterations this morning. I feel like I'm back in my David's Bridal seamstress days with a bridemaids dress that is in need of a few hours of my attention. Stay warm, friends! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Florida Getaway

Sometimes you just need to get out of town. Matt and I headed down to Jacksonville, Florida last week, for a pre-weekend vacation. St. Patty's day was going to be hell for both of us, and we needed to get out of town after so many six day work weeks. It was great. Beautiful weather, a quick trip down to the beach, exploring downtown, ah it was fantastic. 

We can't wait to go back, when we can spend more time relaxing and soaking up the sun. I hope you all had a great weekend! We're spending the day working on Shelby. Yup. Matt actually took a Monday off from work, and I'm putting off my sewing until later today. 

Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shelby Update: Ceiling is Insulated

Quick update as I rush to pack for a little pre-weekend getaway with Matt to escape Augusta for a few days. This week I've been doing odds and ends on Shelby, finishing the insulation on the ceiling and a few other things. I used fiberglass insulation, to block out potential heat, and reduce noise of the aluminum flapping when we drive down the road. Man it was itchy!

And ta-da! I told you it was going to be a surprise when we revealed Shelby, but ah well, here are the sconces. Simple, and with a pull chain switch on the side. There will be one on each of the side walls.

We spent a few days out with Zeus as he supervised. Or shall I say, he continuously brought me his ball or stick while I filled cracks with tinted wood filler. Silly boy.

And last but not least, I mounted a license plate holder on the back side. Drilled into a back support, making sure the holes wouldn't hit the wiring of the lights, and caulked the holes to prevent potential water damage. Yay!

And we're off! Pictures from the road soon on my Instagram page. If you don't follow me already, here I am. Have a great day, friends!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday On The Riverwalk

Spring has almost sprung. We shot ahead an hour Sunday morning, making for a shorter Sunday, and an extra lazy one as well. And after a very long work weekend, Matt and I did as little as possible on our only day off this past week. Working 6 days in row, both of us, we needed a nice slow moving day. 

It was a gorgeous day to go lay around down by the river and just sit. Zeus tagged along, and we were joined my Matt's buddy, Jordan. This cute little park is at the end of Eighth Street, with picnic tables, grassy areas, lots of people watching, and a beautiful view of the Savannah River.

Oh yeah, and I'm a blonde now. Whatcha think? I'm still having to go easy on it for the first few weeks. Little washing, and lots of conditioning treatments. It's almost as if I'm a whole new person! I keep getting a little surprise when I look in the mirror. I won't recognize myself in that initial split second for probably another week. I told Matt he has a new girlfriend. Hehe. I'm not sure how much he likes it, hopefully a little.

And I am so pumped that it's spring here in the south now. I can't wait for more days in the park, brown bags lunches with Zeus down by the river during the week, and more. It stays cool for very little before it gets crazy hot, my favorite. Augusta may be a little boring at times, but the weather more than makes up for it!

Calm down, buddy. Daddy's just taking a picture. Love this big dummy. Stir crazy Zeus. He is so silly in public. He can't relax. He just wants to run around everywhere. Still a good bit of puppy left in this chump. But we love taking him everywhere we go.

Hoping y'all are having a great Monday. I hope it's warming up to spring where ever you may be! Little Shelby update tomorrow! Have a great day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Looking back and planning ahead.

Looking back at the last year and a half, I am quite proud of the accomplishments of Sally Ann. I feel like reflecting on these for a post today. Since December 2011, I have produced three fashion shows, which each showcase one of the three handmade lines of lingerie, put on my first gallery show with my first work brought to canvas professionally, showed my work in countless craft shows, and now I'm building a mobile boutique. 

Above, is the first show, the "Hands On" winter collection. It was small, only 30 pieces. All sexually suggestive with instructional hand positions from a second perspective, but conservative in coverage. I made this line for comfort, and sleepwear. I also learned a lot of "dos and don'ts" when it came to dealing with models and producing a show. I really had no idea what I was doing, and totally winged it. It was a great success regardless (see video here, turn the volume down, my voice is a little schrill in the interview). I loved that night.

The "Hands On" show consisted of 13 models, two bands, a live DJ, my best friend as my backstage assistant, Stella Salon's staff to do all the girls hair and makeup, a booth of all my wares, photographers, videographers, and more, all at Sky City, where all my other shows were also held.

As soon as the winter show wrapped, I took one week from working to catch up on some Mad Men episodes, and then it was back to the drawing board. Time to start planning a spring show. I decided to make a collection of two piece sets. This line was a 50 piece collection, with more models, I believe 17 to be exact, down from the original 20, and a much bigger production. See the video here.

We teamed up with Stella Salon for a second time, and with a few local makeup artists. Came down from two bands at the last show, to just one, Sibling String. The backstage was catered, so nobody went hungry from the full day of prep. Also my friend, Danny, flew all the way from Dubai to DJ for the night. Talk about feeling special, when a friend flies halfway around the world to spin for your show that is the culmination of all your life's work.

This show was so much more chaos! Two piece sets are no joke backstage when it comes time to change clothes in a hurry. I had two assistants helping with the clothing changes. Makeup ran behind and we were doing backstage photos and makeup up until the minute before showtime. Oh the stresses of fashion shows. I had to bring out "loud serious Sally" for this show and almost crack some skulls. 

This show was the first time I had to deal with some unpleasantries with local photographers. Or shall I say people who think they are photographers. These so-called professionals decided to stand at the end of the runway and point their camera straight up into the skirts of the models. Instead of getting a good vantage point, like my photographer, and the pictures above, they chose the worst possible spot, pointed straight up into the air as if they were looking at a tall building, and snap snap snapped away with their little DSLRs. I could have murdered them when they posted all their shots on Facebook later that night. Some girls suffered some embarrassment, and eventually had some removed. Live and learn I guess.

It was a great feeling presenting regular girls on the runway that would otherwise never get up in front of people in public, especially in lingerie. Many of the women were mothers, and that's quite a big step, being in two piece lingerie sets in front of 400 people with bright lights and cameras. I pride myself on showcasing regular women. Not all women are a size 0 with perky boobs and no cellulite. And that's wonderful! There is nothing sexier than a beautiful woman with real life flaws. 

Ultimately, it was an incredible show. I was so blissfully happy that night. My mom also flew in, !!!, as did my friends from Michigan. It was amazing being able to show those I love, in person, that all this working from home and in my own little world of sewing pretty things is worthwhile. 

After the spring show ended and I took a much needed break from about 6 months of nonstop sewing. I focused on an embroidered collection for my first ever gallery show, that took place in June. A few summer art shows here and there, and next thing I know, fall has arrived and it was time to plan another winter show. This show was the best of all of them, so far. I worked so hard on this one and really poured "Sally" into the clothing. Watch the video here.

Another 50 pieces collection of negliges, dresses, sleepwear, sexy lingerie, and menswear! I included a handful of men in boxer shorts. It was a nice little treat for the ladies in the crowd. This show was more modest hems, but with sexy slits and very feminine cuts. All the pieces accentuated the natural waist.

This show we all spent a good bit of time rehearsing. That, I felt, made this show better than all the others. The girls were comfortable on the runway, and so beautifully confident. We also held a casting call to get new faces, men and women that weren't just friends or friends of friends. And then, a full dress rehearsal made all the difference. When the shit hit the fan night of the show, they were like real like models, ready for anything.

The day of show was like a nuclear bomb exploded. I won't go into details, probably not a few years until I finally get over all the anxiety from that day, but it was a wreck. I'm still a little bothered by it all when I sit down and think about it. More unprofessionalism on all fronts. Rules not obeyed, agreements not fulfilled. But most importantly, no one in the crowd could tell. It was a marvelous show! SO SO good. And that's all that mattered. I planned for mistakes and made room for error. You have to be prepared for the worst. At the end of the night, I went to bed feeling like a million dollars. So proud of myself and my work. 

What's next for Sally Ann, you ask? I'm hoping to book a summer show soon. I've decided I want to have a live band play the runway show. A beachy band perhaps. And most importantly, I'm finishing Shelby very very soon.

For more pictures from my past shows, click on the fashion show tab at the bottom of this post, and go to my Facebook Page for exclusive content. There are also some behind the scenes videos from my spring show on my Vimeo page.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Globe Sconces

Who knew there were so any options when it comes to sconces? Matt and I spent the week debating what kind of lights to install in Shelby. As we finish up the wall, we have to consider where the lights will be, and what kind, the wiring placement, etc. As once we close up the walls, it's going to be very difficult to run the wires.

Here are some of my favorites I found online. I wish our funds were unlimited when it came to picking the sconces. We just need two, one for each long wall of Shelby. They'll produce enough light to illuminate the interior on dark nights or fall evenings.

Unfortunately, our choices are also limited because we have to use a 12 volt low energy lightbulb that came with the solar panels. It's the same base as a regular light bulb, and many of my favorite, more inexpensive sconces from Ikea use special light bulbs.

The 12 volt bulb will ensure that we don't exhaust our energy source, the deep cycle battery that will be charged from solar panels mounted on the roof. We will also have an outlet for emergencies, like a dead cell phone or fan during hot days.

These abstract sconces pictured would be my first choices, but they are so expensive, and our budget is so small. We finally purchased the sconces we'll use, but it's secret until the grand opening. Stay tuned for Shelby's reveal, in the next month or so, to see what kind of light we chose.

Friday, March 1, 2013

That's amore

That moment when you get to your destination, tripod under your arm, camera on your shoulder, remote in your back pocket, and dog leash in your hand, and then you realize.... you forgot to put the memory card back in your camera. ARGH! This was today. Zeus and I made it all the way to our favorite little park this afternoon before I noticed my DSLR was sans SD card. We made the most of it and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Hey, I have an iPhone 5. That's good enough, right? 

I've been down lately, not too much, but enough to throw me off track. Rainy days, cold weather, grim gray days. Today was a nice reminder that spring is coming. I even found flowers in bloom. The sun was shining and a nice warm(ish) breeze was blowing through the park. For about half an hour we just enjoyed the day. The sunshine, the warm, the quiet. It's nice to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday and just relax in a quiet little cherub garden.

Azaleas in bloom? Already? Hopefully this means spring is right behind us! These flowers were so beautiful. I had to stop Zeus from eating them! Hehe.

Where's the water? What's the big idea? Zeus loves jumping in this fountain in the summer. I'm sure I'd get in trouble by park staff if they saw him in there, but he doesn't do any harm besides splashing around a bit. 

What a great day with this big ol' dummy. He loves wearing my shades and jumping in empty fountains. Happy Friday friends!