God is SO GOOD!

This past week I was on my mommy vacation to California. With only about a month to go to our move date, it was part house hunting and part job search, but timed so I could be present for my sister’s wedding. (I say sister a lot; including my two step-sisters, I have four)

House Hunting:
As per our historical moving experience, we’re planning to rent for a couple years until we decide if we will build on our land and/or we want to buy a house or land in a different location. It was day THREE before I found what will be our next house. By then, I’d ran the emotional roller coaster already from touring a couple rentals and numerous neighborhood drive-bys. Nothing seemed to be perfect and if it was close, they wanted us to pony up for the month of July, although we aren’t officially mainland residents until August.

House Hunt

And then along came this rental. Only one photo, the front exterior, was posted in the listing and I can’t say why I was so intrigued, but I went back to it several times. It is “modern” in the retro sense, a very nice ranch burger, with enough carpet to justify my recent Kirby purchase. The other real selling point is the neighborhood! It’s an older tree heavy development, where you can picture yourself strolling in the evenings or the boys being able to play outside freely without worry. I hear there are also three small boys across the street. Brendon, who is concerned about making friends post move, should enjoy this tidbit.

Don’t let me forget – The landlord is NOT requiring us to pay July rent, although the house is currently move in ready. A blessing.

workoutMe after a morning of wedding set-up workout, followed by signing our rental contract. I wore an ear to ear grin the entire 30minute drive to Cottonwood. Oh, it was only 115 degrees that day. I now remember my heat threshold is 110. After that it is just plain hot, I don’t care how much of a “dry” heat it is!  IT. IS. HOT.  I also got a good chuckle at hearing people say how humid it was. Humid is so relative.

Job’n it:
A longtime friend, Jason Vine, recently opened his own engineering practice, Realm Engineering. He’s so laid back, I was expecting a very small operation, with a handful of projects for the year at best, only to be pleasantly surprised to see they are actually very busy and potentially willing to let an architect ruffle the mix a bit as I ease back into working outside the house during John’s last year of preschool.


This week, Vance finalized his post-retirement job at a local Physical Therapy clinic, which turned out to be the clinic our soon to be landlord couldn’t say enough good things about. It might have sealed the deal on the house?!

Last, but not least, the Wedding:
We’ve all experienced times when you’re a witness to a terrible heartache, happening in the life of someone you dearly love, that you can NOT fix. Although, you desperately would, if it was within your power. It hurts so deep. But, only years later do you realize there was something more wonderful in store for that beloved person. That was my baby sis, Celestina.


Loved the color combination she chose! There were a steady stream of helpers for setup and cleanup of this wedding. So much love from all directions went into this union. However, I was terribly proud of the bride’s immediate family as I watched them all cleaning up the tables after much dancing and merriment, without a fuss, even down to the minis.


All wedding photos shown by Crystal Amen Photography. More found here.

Words can not express how incredibly happy I am for her and Pete to have found one another and become Mr. & Mrs. It truly is the love she (and her kiddos) has deserved all along and the feeling is overwhelmingly mutual between them.


The official family of five.

Congratulations Sis!!!

Meet Sylvie

I’d like to introduce my latest frock creation: Sylvie. A much anticipated pattern release from Christine Haynes. I love the direction she’s been going lately.  Offering slimmer fit profiles; much more suited to my frame.

Sylvie Dress

I think my View B is pretty spot on. Although, mine came out with a bit more of a tulip shape than the pattern intention. Not sure how that happened exactly, but I really like it. It even inspired me to reconsider making the Elisalex dress from By Hand London.

I had purchased fabric straight away, while anxiously awaiting my pattern, I ended up going back to get different fabric. A wonderful linen cotton blend in bright royal blue. I wanted something with a little more structure and also potentially to wear in some upcoming photos. More on that in a future late Summer post. Another purchase with this dress in mind: a tailor’s ham, which I can credit to the Sassy Librarian blouse, again by my gal Christine. (she doesn’t even know I’m calling her this. ha!)

I made this blouse several years ago when I discovered Craftsy and it was a DISASTER. It was the turning point for making a muslin (test garment) for me. Anyhow!! She talked a lot about this strange pressing item, a tailor’s ham. If you know me or have seen me up close, my clothes aren’t really on speaking terms with my iron. I despise ironing and it may possibly be my weakest domestic skill. No it is. Let’s call it what it is. I stink at ironing. I finally broke down and spent the $7 for this goodie and man oh man, I can’t believe I’ve went this long without one. Check out those darts! 

Pressing Ham

And darts a plenty for this Sylvie dress. I did a fully lined version which took 32 darts to complete! I’m pretty good at darts I’d say. The pattern is a fairly quick sew, unless you attempt to displace your Boden goodies, fully line your dress, make your own seam binding and hand sew all the binding and hem. I felt a great sense of satisfaction at the completion of this dress. My Grandma Tockey would be so proud. Seriously. The best finished garment I’ve made to date.

Sylvie Progress

One side of the bodice sandwich completed (left). Inside of the finished dress (right). I decided to line the bottom with some cotton lawn I had on hand, since I didn’t have enough of the other fabric and this worked just as well.

There was one issue for me. The ease. I like a really fitted bodice. I thought I sized it down enough after doing my test dress only to find out when I put the zipper in, I had not. Here’s how it went: I put the zipper in (did an amazing job with my invisible zipper foot), cried a little because the fit was still off, took the zipper out, waited SIX hours and then put the zipper in again, taking up extra ease. Did a jig of joy! While this is not the preferred method of altering a dress, it should be done at the side seams, and it did cause a bit of puckering along the zipper line, it worked. The fit is fantastic with a capital FANTASTIC!!!

John and Sylvie

I’m sweating and John is in long sleeves and socks; his gloves are in the washer or he’d be wearing those too. The sun was so bright, my eyes were tiny slits in 90% of the photos. Ugh. This is what I get for putting off taking photos until the last day possible.

Absolutely making another of these! After my mommy vacation that is….ahhhh….

Final shot Sylvie

The very last shot. My eyes are as WIDE as I can get them in the sunlight. Shoes by Chelsea Crew, jewelry by the lovely and talented Steinen.