Thursday, January 31, 2013

Star crossed lovers

The love saga of Stella and Zeus continues. She loves him, but she's too shy to tell him. And he doesn't know how to be gentle enough when he shows her love. He gets overzealous, scares her, and she withdraws.

Stella sneaks a smell here and there, he then puts her head in his mouth. She isn't a fan of this move. Someday they'll realize how much they love each other and will live happily ever after..

Stay tuned for more of their love story... 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taillights From Hell

Now, I really wish I'd paid more attention in class when we learned about currents of electricity. DC, AC, grounded wires, etc. This past weekend, Matt and I tested out the wiring harness and new lights we purchased for Shelby. We made a little mockup of how the wires would run, not attaching them to the camper. Boy was it a disaster and frustrating day.

We wired and hooked it up to the harness, and plugged it into Matt's Jeep, checking that the turn signals worked, brake lights, etc. The ground was the most confusing thing of all! Also, using those little connectors was a huge mistake. They were so unreliable and didn't produce a good enough connection. Things to buy before next weekend, shrink wrap for wiring, and a conductivity tester. 

Patient Matt. Thank goodness he still likes me after all this work on the soon to be Sally Ann mobile boutique. We'll get it right this weekend, and hopefully move forward in Shelby's renovation! Have you seen our Kickstarter page? Check it out here.

Also, we carefully removed the old lights. While they look awesome and are original, they were rotten, and old, and not able to be salvaged. Even removing them was difficult because all of the screws were stripped, rusted and rotten.

Since they're bigger than the lights we'll use, we have to also figure out a way to plug the holes from the screws on the aluminum siding of the camper exterior. Hopefully some sanding, caulk, and paint will make the holes like they were never there.

As per usual. We work on the camper and Zeus sits and stares at dad. Whining. Such a cry baby. He gets to play outside and have his freedom and he'd rather stare at his papa. I look forward to the day he looks at me like this. Only when Matt's not around do I get the same affection. Such a sucker for his dad. 

I'll be doing a lot of reading this week on electrical circuits, and preparing for this weekend, when we install the new hardwood floor! Shelby is getting pretty this weekend woo hoo!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beerfest! Vol. 2.

The fifth annual World Beer Festival took place in Columbia, South Carolina, January 19th. Six of us gathered together to drink and sample beer, eat good food, and have a great time. Three gals, three guys, it was an amazing day! 
Matt and I spearheaded the day, convincing our friends to make the hour drive into South Carolina with our friends, for the early morning session, noon-4pm. While some of you may think noon is a little early for beer, you should have seen the crazy lines to get in. Thousands of people were just as excited about beer as we were!

The gals. Jessica, Rebecca, myself. (Sean behind us)

The guys. Matt, Brian, Sean.

While I'm typically not a beer drinker, I am a huge fan of a good beer. Generally, I prefer a good dry cider and Guinness to most ales and IPAs. This festival, and festivals like this, give me a chance to try new beers, and enjoy beer with Matt. There were 64 breweries, food, music, cask beers, examples and tents to show you how beer is made, and more.

One thing you must bring when going to a beer festival, pretzel necklaces! I made everyone's necklace in the car on the way there. A pretzel in between beers cleanses your palate, and helps you not get too crazy from all the beer, with a little food in your tummy. I was deemed the "pretzel Queen", the last one with pretzels, although it may have been a bit unfair, since Jessica crushed Sean's remaining pretzels while he turned his head. Oh what a fun day we had! 

Matt and I this year, left, and two years ago, at our first beer festival, right. Isn't it funny how two years to the day looks!? We look SO different! Two years ago, we had been dating for a few months, and the festival tickets were a Christmas present to Matt. He was so impressed with my present to him, "YOU BOUGHT ME TICKETS TO A BEER FESTIVAL?! You're the best girlfriend EVERRR!", he exclaimed on Christmas. Hehe. We had a blast, just the two of us, and honestly it was a better festival two years ago, with 100 breweries versus the 64 this year. 

But this year, friends made it so much fun. The organizers of the festival really could have done better, but I heard through the grapevine, a few distributors dropped out last minute, making there so fewer tents than previous years. I was really disappointed there wasn't live music this time. But all differences aside, it was the best day ever. And you can't beat all that beer and cheese for a $40 ticket. 

See more pictures from our first Beerfest here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cutest Couple Contest

Contest starts Friday! Email me your pictures and they'll be posted on the Facebook Page.
The most "Likes" by February 1st will recieve a two piece set. Boxer/neglige,
boxer/boxer, neglige/neglie combo. Same sex couples welcome!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Visit to International Pleating

Do you ever look down at what you're wearing and comtemplate the construction of your clothes? Look and wonder how exactly it was done? Look at the stitching and wonder about that french seam, the top stitch on your jeans, the serged edge of a t-shirt, or the pleats in your skirt? Well the pleats in general have always been something I never understood but also never looked into, to understand how exactly they become pleated. This recently changed after my New York trip.

International Pleating is a family owned and operated textile pleating business that has been in operation since 1931. Located in the heart of the garment district of NYC, I first found them on Instagram a few months ago, and was fascinated at their behind the scenes photos of their couture pleating company. They are truly masters in their field. After an email exchange with George, I set up a visit during my recent trip to NYC. It was so amazing to see first hand, a textiles business in action. They showed me all around their shop, and I even sat down and enjoyed some homemade apple pie and coffee with them!

Did you know there are three methods used to pleat fabric. One, hand pleating. Folding the fabric pleat by pleat. Two, pattern pleating. This method employs the use of cardboard pattern, a pleater's board. The fabric is sandwiched between the cardboard pieces of the pattern and exposed to high heats, to set the pleat in the fabric. Three, machine pleating, above. The use of a pleating machine is the least labor intensive of all the other methods. It uses a machine for simpler pleats like a box or crystal pleat. Read more about the three methods on their blog.

It was incredible to see how fabric is pleated, first hand. Take the above pink silk, available here, for example. It was once just plain pink silk, and after International Pleating is done with it, the fabric takes on a whole new look. Makes me wish I have the resources to pleat my own fabric.

George, the fourth generation pleater in his family, taught me so much in my hour long visit to his shop, I can't wait to continue to read his blog and improve my own skills in cutting fabric and garment construction. For all you fellow designers out there, check out their site. He is very passionate about helping young people out, showing them insights into cutting and pleating to help eliminate possible headaches we'll inevitably encounter. I love when experts in their field are so willing to pay it forward. 

I can't wait for my next visit to the city, when I'll be able to see more of the Garment District and companies like this. Meeting more future colleagues and possibly coworkers. Someday very soon.


All pictures taken from International Pleating.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Kickstarter Project: HELP US FINISH SHELBY!

Have you read about Shelby, our mobile boutique Matt and I have been renovating? Well, we've come to a bit of a bump in the road with our camper restoration, and are asking for your help via Kickstarter. The project of the 'new' Sally Ann boutique, Shelby, has come to a bit of a standstill lately, and with your help, we can finish her up and get this show on the road.

Once Shelby is finished, Sally Ann will be mobile. Able to be a vendor at more events, outdoor fairs come spring time, host lingerie and purse parties for small groups of people, and be able to go anywhere! We are asking for you help, but not to worry, you are rewarded for your kindness. With each level of donation, you get something in return. A purse, neglige, wallet, pouch, etc. Check out the kickstarter page for more information on what you get when you donate.

And you do not pay on your pledge until the full $500 has been raised. So if we don't reach our goal (which I really hope we go above and beyond the monetary level we set), you won't be obligated to pay. I'm hoping we go above and beyond the goal of $500 and can finish Shelby by spring.

So be kind, and help out a small business lady. This finished boutique will take me to the next level, and you can look back in 5-10 years, when I'm the next big thing on the fashion scene, and say, "I helped out Sally Ann before she was big and famous.."

Happy Monday friends!

View the Kickstarter page here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crocheted iPad Case

Taking a break from my Afghan, I was inspired by a recent blog post from Rebecca of The Manzanita Blog to have my hand at a something new. I crocheted a pretty little case for my iPad. Maybe this will be incentive to use it more!

The case that was protecting my iPad was boring, black leather, poor quality craftsmanship, and not as pretty as I'd have liked it to be. But it sufficed since it was purchased when I first got the iPad, and I knew I'd eventually get something prettier. Well, that was over a year ago, and the black case drove me crazy. Instead of spending money on another case I know I won't like since it's new, I figured I could just make something with what I had lying around the house. Nothing new!

In my yarn drawer, I found an old baby blanket that I quit halfway in. It was super soft, striped pinks and grays, perfect for this project! Using a size G hook, I unraveled the blanket as I crocheted the case, and the changes in color, that on the blanket were lined up perfectly. It made for an interesting irregular color pattern on the case. After a few episodes of American Horror Story, voila. Done! 

Along the last row, in the center back, I chained a row of 10-12 stitches and then stitched a single crochet in the same stitch, then finished the row. This created a loop for the button. Then, I used the last little scrap of yarn to attach a button to keep the iPad snug in it's case. I used all but about 10" of the yarn used in the blanket. I'm so in love with the final case!

Since this one is finished, and I'm not quite done with season 2 of AHS, I'm making one that Matt can slip on the iPad when he takes it with him somewhere. Poor Matt would hate lugging it around in a pink case. I'm still using scarp balls of yarn, and combining them to waste little to no yarn. So far, his will be dark green, blue, and tan.  

Do you crochet or knit? What are your favorite things to make with yarn? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Brooklyn Flea

One of the most popular attractions in Brooklyn, 'Brooklyn Flea' was so much fun to visit and shop!  Matt and I went during out trip to NYC on Saturday. BF's winter location in the former Williamsburg Savings Bank. Vendors were in the former vault in the basement, behind teller windows, and in old offices. Handmade vendors, vintage sellers, food vendors, furniture vendors, 100+ were there. It was great! Enjoy some photos of the market and some of my favorite vendors, below.

Anne Arden McDonald. She handcrafts the most beautiful jewelry from found objects. She uses a negative space method with wax and molds. One ring was from a mold of lace, another of bones, another of rolled wax. See her jewelry here.

Loyalty and Blood. This husband and wife team design t-shirts, jewelry, totes, and more. I bought the cutest wildcat t-shirt from them. I love man and wife companies. If only I can convince Matt to become apart of my Sally Ann company full-time, we'd be super cool like these guys, and take on the world. Oh, and this is the awesome shirt I got, but mine was on a cream shirt, blue print. You'll see it soon enough in an outfit post.

Up on the mezzanine, overlooking the marketplace below. We fell in love with the handmade dining room tables and desks on this level by A Little Of India, and respected the artists' "no picture" policy. You can see their work here

Osborn Design. These shoes are ah-may-zing! If only I had budgeted to spend $100+ dollars on shoes during this trip, these would be mine, and I'd possibly even buy two pairs. The next pair of shoes I buy will be from this designer. Shop their shoes here.

McClure's Pickles. A Michigan/New York family enterprise, two brothers and their family make pickles in Detroit, Michigan. And oh my are they tasty pickles. Damn the FAA for not allowing over 3 oz. of fluids on a plane. I tried the testers but couldn't buy pickles since they couldn't come home with me. Although they were so good, I probably could have finished the jar before our flight left ha. I'll definitely be shopping online in the near future. Their bloody mary mix was also very tasty. Shop here. While their website sells things in the cases, you'll have to buy a TON of pickles in one order.

Here are links to some other great artist at Brooklyn Flea we loved:
-Roots In Rust, unique plant arrangements
-Hazel Village, adorable stuffed animals
-Flux Productions, beautiful handmade leather bags
-Wrecords by Monkey, upcycled vinyl goods
-Sharon London, vintage & design

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NYC, Instagram style


Hello! We're back! Whoa, what a trip we had. Matt and I went to NYC for five days, yes, five days. It was insane. We went everywhere. It was nonstop walking, going, riding, exploring, and seeing the city. I hate seeing my vacation through a camera lens, and usually end up taking very few on my first time in a new place. Next time we'll take more. Visit more. Explore more. And we will be returning to the city very, very soon. 

I was really bad about taking pictures with my DSLR, and I haven't even unpacked it yet, so enjoy some pictures I took with my phone. While I usually hate blogging with phone pics, it seems appropriate as a first hand account of our vacation. So, ignore the slightly blurry photos and super cheese photos of Matt and I. And enjoy our silliness. 











1// Rooftop at The Press Lounge at Ink 48 on our first night, enjoying the New York City Skyline and the most expensive drinks ever. One beer, and one salty dog (my favorite) was $27! But the view was worth it, and if you visit the city in the summer, their rooftop bar would be the best spot in town!
2// Leaving Augusta, at the tiny airport we have here. We were so excited for what was to come of the next five days!
3// Our room at The Mayfair Hotel on our last night. A teeny weeny, maybe 200 square foot room with matching print everywhere. It was so cute. We stayed with friends every night before this.
4// Yummy baked brie and pecans with glaze at Taproom 307 in Gramercy while we watching the Falcons game on Sunday, also it was Matt's birthday.
5// With my new friend, Angie. Hanging out at a silly bar in the Village while our friend's band played. I introduced my new friends to Fireball that night. Enough said.
6// Getting on the Subway. Silly picture. Thank goodness we learned our way around the transit system, cabs were getting a bit pricey after day one.
7// The Comedy Cellar, which many of you have probably seen in Louis C.K.'s TV show. We were supposed to see a show there, but it sold out and we couldn't make it inside. Next time.
8// On the rooftop of our friend's apartment in the neighborhood of Sunnyside, in Queens. 
9// Again, tried to visit a place that was too busy and couldn't get in. We're outside of the Brooklyn Brewery, and the line was a lot longer than we thought. Instead we went to Brooklyn Bowl and had the best fries, their "Rock'n'Roll Fries", I've ever had in my life! Plus Brooklyn Beer was also served there. 
10// Our last morning in the city. At a diner refueling on coffee before we headed down to Lower Manhattan to see the World Trade Center memorial.
11// The silly Times Square photo my mom requested. All she wanted was a picture of us in Times Square. We walked though it a few times, for the only reason of getting from point A to point B, and this was in between the two. It was honestly not that great. Interesting, and bright. Too bright. A good place to get a few friends souvenirs, but since we didn't see any Broadway shows, this place wasn't very essential to our trip.

Tomorrow, our trip to Brooklyn Flea. And don't worry, they're real pictures from my camera haha. 

Have a great Tuesday, friends. It's great to be back.