Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And we're home!

Phew. We've made it! HOORAY! After the longest weekend of my life, Matt and I are now in Jacksonville, FLorida, our new city. With many bumps along the way, our caravan of moving truck, SUV, Jeep, and Shelby pulled into our driveway, keys under the mat, and with place to lay rest our head. Moving is no fun, let me tell you. Unpacking is still coming along, slowly but surely, these things are always the longest of all. Good news, we have a gorgeous house right by the river, a back yard for Zeus, and we get a week before Matt starts his new job to explore our new city and finish Shelby. Since we're waiting on our internet to be hooked up, I'll be remotely blogging and working from a Starbucks. At this point I'm just happy to have some internet access. It's been a nightmare trying to find a working hotspot! Matt and I spent the better part of our morning all over town, trying to connect to the internet via Wifi. First, a cute downtown coffee shop with Wifi that wouldn't connect, then to a public park downtown with the same issue, Wifi that wouldn't connect. THEN two separate public libraries that were closed until hours later. FINALLY, we made it to Starbucks a few miles from our house. At last, we have internet and I have my iPad. Sweet release.

Good news, this weekend was a blast. Our friend, Jonathan, drove down with us to help with the drive and unload the truck. We spent a bit of Sunday at the beach before more unpacking. And with Monday being Memorial Day, we relaxed all day, wandered here and there, and then headed down to The Landing for a free concert put on by the local rock station, X102.9. Coheed and Cambria were headlining, with a few other bands playing early in the evening. The concert was on the river and absolutely amazing. We just happened to run into our new friends we'd met the day before at the beach, with whom we all played beach volleyball. Talk about small world, eh?

Next on our agenda, making some furniture for the house before I lose Matt to his sweet new job with the Florida Times Union. Pretty soon, you'll all be able to go to and see Matt, their new video reporter. He's going to be a superstar in no time, and I'll be a vendor at all downtown art shows, and setting up shop in an office, downtown or in the Riverside area, set up away from the house. We're both super excited. We're also in the planning stages for a line of men's t-shirts and screenprinting division of Sally Ann. Big things ahead, big things.

Hopefully, I'll be back soon with more Jacksonville updates, but in the meantime we'll be settling in and working like crazy to get back to normal. Hope you are all doing well! See y'all soon!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Goodbye Augusta

As I complete the final stages of packing up my home, it's bittersweet to reflect on my years in Augusta. It's been a great time here, and it is very difficult to sum up the joys and memories this state has given me. Almost three and a half years ago, I moved to the state of Georgia from my native Michigan, to live with my sister, who was stationed at an Army base here in town. I brought my business with me, and Sally Ann was in it's infancy still, being only handbags and accessories made from recycled materials. 

Within a month in Augusta, I met the most amazing woman and my best friend, Sarah. She and I were both vendors at the "First Friday" art walk in downtown Augusta. I had asked her to watch my booth while I went across the street to get some coffee. I got her a cup as well and our friendship was born. Shy at first, I asked her if she wanted to get a beer after we packed up our booths. We walked down to a little dive bar and the rest is history. Last month, I was the maid of honor in her wedding. 

And next. My favorite lady, Jessica. We met years ago while dating two people that couldn't have been more wrong for us at a sports bar and restaurant. We bonded over our mother's being gun owners and badass ladies. Jessica and I immediately clicked and became close friends. She is beyond wonderful. I'm going to miss my Sunday mimosas, ice cream, and crying in public with this lady. Thick as thieves this gal and I. She's a gem.

Augusta also brought Matt and I together. We were an unlikely match on paper, with little in common and two very different people. He's a Georgia-born rock radio DJ, on-air personality, and comedian, and I'm an eccentric designer from Michigan. Almost three years later we're still strong as ever. We are so excited to start a new chapter of our lives together in a new city. Cheesy? Yes. But true.

This city has also helped me to flourish SO MUCH professionally. It's incredible how supportive everyone has been and pushed me to the next level. With all my hard work, and productions I've produced in this town, I've stuggled lately, since there isn't much more I could do here that I haven't already. I've put on a gallery show, three fashion shows, and countless craft shows. I'm ready for another city to conquer. Jacksonville here I come!

While I can't highlight all the amazing close friends I've gained from Augusta, since I should really be packing right now, I love you all of you Augustans reading this. 

People tell me Jacksonville will be amazing and not to miss Augusta. But I believe it is highly unlikely that I will meet people like those I have met in Augusta. I was so lucky to have met truly incredible, kind, loving people that have been my family for the last few years that there weren't any. I know where ever life takes me, I will make friends and build relationships with wonderful people, but these Augusta folks will always be at the top of my list.

And apologies for a disjointed writing piece for my blog. My brain is in a million places and my eye is twitching from stress. Must. Get. Back. To. Packing. Have a great weekend everyone; my iMac is going in a box, and I'm packing up the rest of the house.

Goodbye for now, Augusta. We'll meet again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moving Sale

Packing up and headed out this Saturday. 
Take advantage of this awesome sale in my Etsy shop.
Clutch pictured above listing here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Marimekko Love

Ever since I fell in love with Marushkas and silk screen wall art, I have been the biggest fan of all things Marimekko. Have you heard of either? Both are silk screen companies that make the most beautiful prints. Marimekko was popular in the 60s, Marushkas in the 70s. Similar in style, Marushkas are like the American nature version of Marimekko.

Marushkas were printed in West Michigan, where I was born and raised. Since they were so popular in the 70s, and printed nearby, they were always readily available at local thrift stores. My parents always shook their head at me and my infatuation with the prints, because to them, it was something they wanted to forget about. Ugly things from their past. I just can't get enough. In their day, everyone my parents age had Marushkas decorating the walls of their dorms, apartments, etc. So when I found an original Marimekko "Heina" print from 1957 by Maija Isola at Goodwill in Lansing, Michigan for $10, I almost peed my pants! Worth at least $500, it's the most valuable and beautiful piece in my collection. I love love love it. I can't get enough of either brand.

Why am I babbling on about these old companies? Well, when I was browsing my Instagram feed last week, I came across this gorgeous dress I'm sporting in these pictures. A Marimekko tribute collection from H&M. I just had to have it! It's so bright and beautiful and perfect for spring and summer. 

Now I can't figure out if the design of the pattern is one done by Maija herself, I'm still super stoked to have a piece of apparel to match my collection of wall art, fabric, dishes, and all other things Marimekko and Marushka in my home.

Aside from all the excitement of moving, one thing I'm really looking forward to is unpacking my Marimekko fabric! I can't wait until we get settled in our new home in Jacksonville, and I'll finally be able to get out my remnants I've been saving for throw pillows in the living room to match my Heina. 

I wish I could afford more Marimekko fabric (it's around $50/yard!) and could make myself a wardrobe of clothes! Couches upholstered in their fabric! Tea towels with flowers. Curtains with hay. Their site sells breathtaking outfits with the most amazing cuts, but are a wee bit out of my price range, and break my rule of "new" clothing. Someday soon, I'm going to have to allow for some new clothes again. In the meantime, I'm still going strong on my "second hand only" motto.

Maija Isola was the main textile designer for Marimekko, her bold prints popular in the 60s. The look of Marimekko is still mostly taken from the work of this legendary Finnish designer. She is undisuputeedly the "look" of Marimekko.

When Matt and I were visiting New York this past January, we were somewhere between Chelsea and Gramercy, we found the Flatiron building. I turned around and BAM! There was a Marimekko store! I'd never been to one of their actual locations. I dragged Matt into the store and dreamed of a home covered in Marimekko fabric. It was wonderful!

Outfit details:
Marimekko dress from H&M. 
Purse: Jen Ell's Revenge custom handbag.
Vintage shoes.
Vintage Casio watch.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Introducing Sally Ann's Closet

It's addicting. IG shops. Have you seen them? They're an online store on the iPhone and Andriod app called Instagram. So easy and fun. You look through your friends cute cat pictures, and bam! You find a super cute dress on the cheap. You comment with your PayPal address. Okay the invoice, and within a few days, the dress arrives in your mailbox. It's so incredibly easy and seriously addicting! I love finding gently used clothes on a few of my favorite shops.
While packing up clothes and sifting through the pieces I never wear, I decided it'd be fun to open a closet shop on Instagram. Plus a great way to open up a new revenue stream, since I'll be semi-retiring from bartending soon. Only near mint clothing is listed, and all details are included in the comment section of the listing. Some clothes will be ones I've made, thrifted, bought new, etc. You can check out my shop here or on IG as SallyAnnsCloset. AND everything's 20% off until we move next Saturday, May 25th.
I'll be updating it with more clothes soon, as I pack up my house for our move next weekend to Jacksonville! Lord knows I have sooo many clothes I never wear. I might as well put them out there for someone to enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - Beware of Darkness - Howl

Last week, Matt and I got a chance to see this band, Beware of Darkness, at Sky City in downtown Augusta. It's so refreshing to catch up and coming bands, when you know they are right on the cusp of stardom and success. They are an alternative rock band out of LA, and their next tour is opening up for Smashing Pumpkins on their European tour. And tomorrow night, they play on Conan! So be sure to check them out. 

The three guys in the band are super nice guys. Matt interviewed them on his radio show earlier in the day, so he was super excited about the show. I thought, "oh great, Matt's dragging me to another rock show that is going to be annoying," since I'm not a fan of most of the music his station plays. I'm a Belle and Sebastian/Bjork kind of girl. And honestly, I was super impressed with these guys. They were great! After the show, they stuck around for a beer with us while Matt picked the bass player's brain on the good and bad parts of touring. You can see more of their music on their Facebook page, their website, and Twitter.

What are your favorite bands right now?

Monday, May 13, 2013

We're moving!

That's right. Matt and I are moving south, to Jacksonville, Florida. We've been working on our Georgia exit strategy for some time now, and it's finally happening. Our time left in Augusta is less than two weeks. And oh so bittersweet. The past three and a half years here have been truly amazing. We are going to miss this town, but at the same time are so excited for a new life in a bigger city.

This past weekend my friend, Jonathan, and I drove down to Jacksonville for some house hunting. My, oh my, was it a rough day. We saw some real dumps, and I mean dumps. It's amazing how deceiving pictures posted on the internet can be. Above is my "eh how do I be nice to this guy and pretend I like the house" face. No note taking was necessary once we went inside and saw the home.

We also saw some real gems. After driving around using a realtor app, we found the house we'd been longing to find all day. A gorgeous three bedroom with ample storage space, hardwood floors, and a "Florida" room. So cross your fingers or pray for us, that we get accepted and granted the house! EDIT: WE GOT THIS HOUSE! WHOO-HOO!

I cannot wait for the next few weeks and our future. So many exciting things to share with you all very soon. Back to packing! Have a great Monday..

Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY: Shorten a polyester skirt

So many skirts and so many possibilities. I never rule out a skirt at the thrift store because of it's hem, and neither should you. In less than 30 minutes, you can have a new skirt, at just the length you desire, with just a few simple steps. This tutorial will require hand sewing and basic machine skills. Difficulty level: easy/beginner. Follow along and you'll see how easy it is!

You will need:
  • chalk hem marker
  • skirt
  • needles
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • hand needle
  • matching thread
  • seam binding
Start by marking your skirt with a chalk hem marker (not pictured but instructions here). Cut fabric below chalk with enough seam allowance to sew seam binding, I usually cut 1/2" below my mark. But this can be different for everyone. 1+2) Sew seam binding to raw edge of hem. Back stitch when you get to the end. 3) Pin skirt and press. When you press, the chalk marks should be right along the fold. 4) Hand stitch an invisible hem. You will grab ever 3/4"-1" of fabric, catching a little bit of the skirt and come through the seam binding. Press again and voila. New skirt!

This tutorial is something you can use over and over again. Insivible hems always look so much better than a rolled or double folded hem. It's a little bit more work because of the hand sewing, but SO worth every minute. 

And I'm sure some of you are saying, that skirt was great before, and I'm sure some of you would opt to leave it be. While I love long maxi skirts, I know me, and I know I'm more likely to wear a skirt above my knees in this type of fabric. Plus, hot weather is already here in Georgia. I can't wait for hot hot heat! 

Oh yeah, and my hair is super short now. I'm rocking a men's pompadour. My girlfriend and I shaved the side of my head the other day, and yesterday the rest came off. I still have a good bit on the left side, with an asymetrical women's pompadour look. Now I need to experiment with all kinds of pomade and see which one I like the best. Pretty fun. While I loved my blonde hair, it was breaking too much and I wanted something short and sassy for the hot summer.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope y'all have a great weekend. Wishing you all the best of weather for lovely spring cookouts and outdoor activities with your loved ones. Matt is participating in a Marine Mud Challenge this weekend, and I can't wait to spend tomorrow finishing Shelby's interior! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Braves Country

This past weekend Matt and I, along with his best friend from Alabama, attended the Braves games against the Mets. Can you believe it was my first major baseball game?! It was a blast, and we had amazing seats. Enjoy some photos from the game. Unlike most sporting events, I was able to bring in my SLR and take some great shots of the ball players. Oh yeah, and my hair is pink/maroon/apple now.

We even sported Braves apparel. Go Braves! I've never been one for athletics, but being with Matt has opened up more sports I'd never otherwise enjoy. Golf, football, and baseball. I will say, before Matt, I sat down and watched the entire Ken Burns documentary on baseball, and I love the sport. I'm just not going to games by myself or initiating the process. And I've attended a handful of minor league games. Matt's a crazy Braves fan, and he splurged on some amazing seats behind home plate. It was insane how the perspective of the field and it's size changed from where we were sitting.

And they won! Mets, 4, Braves 9. What a game. We had so much fun eating park food, sipping on a few beers, and loving baseball. We definitely have to do this again soon. 

Hope y'all are enjoying your week. I'm busy, busy, busy. Special announcement coming soon. Betcha can't wait to hear what it is.....!!?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DIY: How to tailor high waisted jeans

Raise your hand if you buy jeans and you think they fit, but you're always pulling them up to stay around your waist. You think you don't need a belt, but something's just missing with the fit. Chances are you need to tailor them.

It's inevitable that I have to do this alteration to my high waisted jeans I find at the thrift store. Maybe I just have too much behind for typical sizing, but jeans that "fit" are always way too big in my waist. Sure, I could wear a belt, but then it's all bunched up and just doesn't look right. I want to be able to wear a cropped top and not have to worry about how the jeans look around my waist. 

This tutorial can be done by the intermediate seamstress. You just need a few things:
  • jeans
  • pliers
  • heavy duty needle for your sewing machine
  • matching thread
  • straight pins (optional)
  • seam gauge or ruler
  • scissors
  • razor blade or seam ripper
Start by trying on your jeans and get an idea of where they need to be taken in. Measure how much needs to come off the waistband. 1) Remove the waistband and belt loops from 4 inches on either side of the side seams. 2) This is the hardest part of the whole tutorial, so don't get frustrated when you have to remove the grommets. I always use pliers. Depending on how much you have to tailor the jeans, you can also cut out the grommet very carefully. 3. Starting at the bottom of the pocket, take in the side seams the desired amount. Make sure this seams is smooth like you'd sew a dart, so it looks natural. Try on your jeans (pictured below) and make sure they fit in the hips. 4) Trim excess fabric, cut about 1/4-12" from seam. Zig zag raw edges.
If you haven't measured properly, the worst thing you can do is finish your jeans before trying them on again. Say you get all the way done sewing them, and you took them in an extra 1/2". High waisted jeans that fit perfectly are so close to jeans that are just a bit too tight. Especially if you're sewing thrift store jeans with no stretch! Newer jeans like this you'd buy at the mall have a little bit of stretch to them, so they are more forgiving. Be sure you try them on if they do not stretch! There is nothing more uncomfortable them jeans with a high waist that are too tight!

5) With the raw edges forward, top stitch along the pocket side of the side seams. Back stitch at the end of the stitch for a more professional look. 6) Now to take in the waistband. Take your measurement of how much you want to take in the waist and cut it in half. Using this measurement, on each side of the waistband, fold the right sides together and sew. Say you want to take the pants in 3". Take in each side of the waistband 1 1/2". 7) Trim excess fabric and press open. 8) Top stitch along waistband to reattach to the jeans. Replicate the look of the previous stitching so your alteration isn't noticeable. Trim threads!

No more flabby waist! 

For size reference. These jeans were a 10P (petite, notice the cropped look on the legs), and I'm usually a size 4-6. Since there were from the 90s, the 10 translates to a size 8 or so in today's sizing, so I took the waist down a size or two. They fit so much better. The fabric is a little thicker than I'd like, so they tend to bunch up a bit. Not bad for a $1 pair of jeans though!

Questions? Comments!? I'd love to hear from you.
Do you alter your jeans to fit you perfectly?