Saturday, November 23, 2013

Market Day and Prepping for Thanksgiving

Hello friends, and happy Saturday! We're up bright and early this morning for Riverside Arts Market. Today is Dogfest Walk'n'Roll. So if you're in the area, be sure to bring your pup and swing by my booth in the lower half of the market. I'll have a little jar of small milkbones for your fur baby. 

We finally we able to get the entire American Tourister Collection up for sale in my Etsy Shop. Be sure to check that out as well. The collection was originally 50 pieces, but we're down to 20 after a few weeks at the local markets. I can't wait to figure out and plan my next collection, that will debut two weeks before Christmas. It will be small, but it will be amazing.

After the market today, I'm really excited to finally get to go take a look at CoRK Arts Open Studio Day. It's an 80,000 square foot factory that has been converted into artist spaces, studios, and a few galleries. It's my dream work space, but they haven't had vacancies in forever. Today is one of two days a year they open the entire space to the public, all the artist studios and everything. 

Sunday, Matt and I leave Jacksonville for the week of Thanksgiving, heading back to Augusta to spend time with his family. I'll be sewing all week (of course), prepping for small business Saturday. Work never ends.

How has your week been? What have you been up to? Whatcha think of the new collection? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The American Tourister Collection for sale online!

Phew. Finally. Time to take a break... well, as soon as I finish this blog post. Ha. My new collection is now available in my Etsy shop.

Gosh, if there's one thing I could do without, in terms of owning my own design business and online store,... I absolutely despise listing things on Etsy. The photo shoot, not too bad, but man, listing things on Etsy, I hate it so much! But I do it, because I love selling my work. So here it is... click here to see the 17 remaining handbags from the American Tourister collection. And enjoy a few pictures of my new pieces.

This bag is my absolute favorite. While the whole collection is made form a vintage suitbag, on the bottom side of each bag, they are all 100% vegan. This one is also made from vintage curtains that hung in my apartment in Augusta, Georgia. My sister, Rachael, bought them for me, and I just loved them. When I moved into my last apartment in Georgia, before we moved to Florida, I never put them back up, and then Matt moved in, and the last thing he wanted in our room was cat curtains haha. I'm happy to know that I've made a few badass bags with them. AND! I only used one of the two curtains, so there will be 2-3 more bags with this print coming soon.

Another fav. This fabric was given to me by a fellow RAM vendor, Evon's Muse. Christie told me she had a few yards of an awesome fabric, and that she was going to bring me a yard to cut up for my new collection. The next week, when she brought me the cutting from her holt, I was SO PUMPED to use it! I made 3 different handbags with what she gave me, all with different color zippers, and still 100% vegan!

Meow meow. Another cat purse. This one made from a pair of women's scrubs! Not kidding. Love this one. There are two of these available.

And tomorrow, time to cut out twenty more purses to make during Thanksgiving vacation, just in time for Small Business Saturday. I can't wait until Christmas, when I'll take a mini-vacation. Hope you are all having a great week so far!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY Pillowcase for a Throw Pillow
Made from a framed wall hanging

As Matt and I continue to settle into our home, I'm still trying to rearrange throw pillows, wall hangings, put together swatches for curtains, and it's finally almost a perfect home. Today, I'm going to show you how to make a throw pillow from a tapestry, or any fabric for that matter. It will close with a zipper, and a flap to hide the zipper, giving the pillow that extra polished look.

This wall hanging has been in all my homes since I was 18 years old. Bought for about 50 cents at a thrift store back home, it reminds me of Marushkas. If you look closely, you can see it's not a perfect rectangle. It's always been a bit off, and that made me love it even more for being irregular. Somewhere throughout it's 30+ year life, the wood warped and it's wider at the bottom than the top. And I was finally ready to take it apart for a throw pillow.

You will need: 
  • Fabric/wall hanging
  • Scissors
  • A zipper as wide or wider than the pillow height. I used an invisible zipper
  • A zipper foot attachment for your sewing machine
  • Measuring tape
  • Matching thread
  • Straight pins
  • A throw pillow

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The American Tourister Collection and it's debut at VegFest!

Here it is. And I'm so proud to share it with you. The American Tourister Collection from Sally Ann. I made a 50 piece collection of accessories from all kinds of recycled materials. Primarily made with and inspired by an American Tourister piece of luggage, the purses and other accessories mimick the look of brown earthtoned leather, and combine functionality with versitility. 

As a part of this vegan art and food festival, VegFest required that all things sold be "vegan" and animal free. This rule was a great challenge and push for me to create a cohesive collection for fall and winter. Where I'd normally use a pair of leather pants or a suede dress, cut it up, and make a bag with a sturdy bottom, I replaced that leather for this faux leather. As a result of this collection, I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with the vegan stance with my brand. I'll use leather here and there, but I love working with vintage luggage, and challenging myself to really use every last piece. 

Selling close to half of the collection on Saturday, above are some happy customers, posing with their purchase. I'm still in the process of posting them on Etsy, so be patient. I'm also making a handful 'add-on' handbags that were *this close* to completion for Saturday's festival, but a girl's gotta sleep, right?

My new hog friend, Kevin Bacon. This little piglet is only three months, and we first met when he was about 4 weeks old. He's the sweetest little piglet, and he always stops by my booth with his 'parents'. I recently switched to a mainly meat-free diet (still can't kick fish completely) and also cutting out all dairy, and it's wonderful to see this little guy and know that I will never (knock on wood, willpower) eat pork again. Seeing his little face makes all the difference. 

That was the best part about this festival, talking to all kinds of people about the vegan lifestyle and what it entails, seeing 100% vegan products, eating amazing food, and of course, getting to tell people how I made a collection just for them, on this day!

Along with purses, I made 15 small pouches, and 15 sunglasses cases, all from the smaller scraps of "pleather" from the suit bag. I think I have a few pieces left the size of a quarter, that's it! I am proud to say that I utilized every last piece, and wasted very, very little with this collection. 

It couldn't have been a more beautiful day at Riverside Park. My friend Michelle, looking sassy on the far right, helped out all day, and we had such a fun time. Matt and my sister, Rachael, were also there for a while. Such a great day. I wish this festival was every weekend!

Purse and a matching skirt. 

Now time to set up my photo studio for photo time! We turned out guest room into a photo room, since we have much fewer guests than we anticipated, when we decided upon a three bedroom house. It will allow me to have better, clearer, crisper photos for my online shop, and hopefully more tutorials as well. I am staying away from showing y'all how messy my work room is at present, and should spend a few days cleaning, but no time, NO TIME! Must sew, and soon! Hope everyone is having a great week! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Life Lately...

Work work work. Sewing has been day in and day out for me lately. When I'm not sewing, I'm planning what I'll be sewing next, or out on a video shoot with Matt. I've got the fever! I have a huge show this weekend, and it will coinside with me releasing a new line of handbags and small accessories. You'll see soon enough!

I've also been perfecting the layout and organization of my work room. It's always an uphill battle to keep a work room 100% functional, clean, and productive whilst being bombarded with two cats and a dog. Take Clem for example, above,... I was organizing belt hardware and she decided to make that a bed. Thanks, cat. Make yourself at home on my work table. I trick them most time by putting sheets in a box like it's fabric I plan to use and they're on it, pronto!

And again. On everyyything. Instead of buying zippers and hardware, I always try to harvest them from other things when I can. I found a bargain on old luggage at a local St. Vincent De Paul, 50% off. At $3 per bag, with up to 6 or 7 zippers per bag, plus hardware and fabric, it was a great deal. While it's a lot more time consuming to rip out all the zippers, they are sturdier than store bought ones, and I have an excuse to watch an episode of Downton Abbey while doing it. Plus! I'm keeping everything recycled! Yay!

This handbag I made last night. Will be presented with the entire collection later this week! Hooray, I'm so excited and proud of myself I can't wait to photograph it. Crossing my fingers that I can get to it later today. My to-do list is monstrous! 

Anyone with sewing rooms can relate to this, right? Gah. Thread is the bane of my existence! Always getting caught up in the wheels of my work stool. I use an old doctors stool to wheel around my hardwood floors. A few times a week, I take a razor blade and clear out the castors. But never fails, within a few days, I have to do it again. AGH! Such is the life of a seamstress.

Well, folks, that's all! Gotta get back to workin'! Have a pleasant day, and hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Coming soon: American Tourister Collection

Coming soon: a collection of vegan, eco-friendly handbags, made from recycled materials, recovered hardware, salvaged zippers, and a vintage American Tourister suitbag. A collection of 16 handbags. Are you excited? I know I am!

The hangbag, above, was made from curtains, a vintage zipper, scraps, and the belt from the inside of the American Tourister bag. I've managed to use almost every piece of vinyl from the bag, and all kinds of vintage scraps and textiles. Agh, I've so excited for this collection. I have a handful to finish, along with straps for a few. 

Must. Keep. Sewing. I've drank almost a pot of coffee, and I had an apple drizzled with honey for breakfast. Coffee+sugar high, yeah!! While sewing, I'm listening/rewatching the TV show Lost. Second season just started about twenty minutes ago, and they're entering the hatch. I love rewatching old TV shows I've seen a million times while working. Then I just listen, and I don't have to take my eyes off my work. 

So I know I've been neglecting my blogging duties this week, but for good reason, and you all shall see soon enough! This collection is going to be so amazing! Have a great Friday, everyone!