from this day forward


Amy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard Wedding

one year,  two months and 9 days ago i got a phone call from amy.  “your son propsed!!”  words i had never expected to hear, but words that caused a bit of squealing, bouncing and waving of kermit arms.  kyle and amy had been together for so many years that she already felt like a daughter to me, and they seemed quite happy in their current life together that marriage was never an issue for me.  but…oh my, my heart grew 10 sizes that evening, so ready to embrace them as husband and wife.

i remember the night kyle came home telling me he had met the most beautiful girl in the world, nearly giddy telling me about her beautiful hair, her eyes, how much fun she was to be with.  and then i met her.  she came to a bonfire and timidly came inside to ask if she could please have a glass of water.  i turned to jeff  saying “this one is special…she’s a keeper”.  and she is.

the wedding was held in my parents back yard.  a simple, enchanting, intimate setting with only grandparents, parents and siblings sharing in the moment.  i was there early to set up chairs and pots of coleus that amy, her mother and i had planted and nutured.  kyle arrived with a smile that lit up the day and never wavered.  that smile was on his face the entire day.  my heart…oh my heart…is there any feeling better than knowing that your child is truly, deeply happy?

the ceremony was officiated by amy’s brother (as amy has done for his wedding 2 years earlier) and was so personal…so heartfelt, and their fur baby, ellie, was ring bearer.  but my favorite moment of the entire day was when, after exchanging vows and becoming mr. and mrs., kyle and amy stepped to the dinner bell and rang it in celebration.  it hadn’t been rung in years, but it pealed out in joy.  champagne flutes were raised in the comfort of air conditioning (did i mention it was in the 90’s???) and the newlyweds were off for photos and a bit of rest before the reception that evening.

Amy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard WeddingAmy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard Wedding

the reception was at denison university, in a quaint stone lodge.  the patio had seating  under a tent, open air, as well as some under a small grouping of trees.  friday was spent with the entire family joining together to decorate the space and we turned it into a magical place filled with light, candles, ferns and some of the 200 yards (!!) of bunting i made for the day.  bluegrass was played, dinner served, volleyball enjoyed and joy abounded.  i was honored when kyle and amy asked me to bake some of the cakes that were offered, as well as a special smaller one for their table, displayed on the vintage cake plate they had gifted me earlier.  it was a day of true celebration…no anxiety, no worries, just exactly perfect for kyle and amy.


so now they begin married life.  i wish them many, many more happy years together,  filled with love and adventure, don’t forget adventure!  my son now has a whole other family to love and support him, and i have a new daughter-in-law to cherish.  my heart is full.

Amy & Kyle // Granville, Ohio Backyard Wedding




the very bumpy bus ride…or, where have i been?

the last few months have been bumpy.  life has been filled with traffic jams, potholes and even a couple of spike strips thrown in to trip me up.  yep…all car references….it’s who i am…that’s how i roll.

along the route there have also been some major high notes.  times when the engine purred and all cylinders were hitting in rhythm.  so my plan is to just allow those bumpy days (and nights!) to fade away in the rearview mirror and concentrate on the high notes.

after a fairly extremely long hiatus from the blog, the studio and most things creative, i think i’m back on the right road and my mojo is riding shotgun!  in the coming weeks i’ll be sharing the few things that i’ve managed to create since april, a few things that are coming up soon and some highlights from the very best event of the summer…no, the year, the wedding of my middle born son and his (now officially “our”) lovely amy.

yes, the amazing snapdragon studios photographer extraordinaire married my son kyle.  she’s felt like family since they began dating 9 years ago…but it’s official…i have a daughter-in-law….which makes me the mother-in-law and i sincerely hope that i can be one that she’ll cherish as much as i cherish her (and not the one of movie and standup fame!).  picture evidence of said event is not quite ready (meaning i can’t make up my mind which prints to order and am seriously thinking i’ll end up purchasing them all!!), but not to worry…i WILL be sharing them along with my memories of one of the hottest days of the summer (in which the bride never broke a sweat!).

there will be some first time sews to share, new patterns news, a pattern hack or two, and perhaps even a late summer sale….and did i mention some wedding photos?? i think i may have mentioned that wedding in passing.

my road may still be bumpy at times, but right now i feel like cruising….and i hope you’ll come along for the ride!




5 years!

Since tomorrow is our fifth anniversary, and since I deluged you with pictures from my sister’s wedding, I thought I would share some pictures of the *other* wedding dress I made.


Mine was a silk shantung underdress with this fabulous Italian floral silk lace I found on eBay from a wedding dress atelier that was closing in LA.


I wanted a very simple style, so I chose a tea length, strapless, princess – lined dress pattern for the underdress and built the lace overlay on top. Fun fact: I used the same pattern and technique for my sister’s wedding dress bodices.


Speaking of my sis, she forgot that she needed to shower before we got ready for the ceremony, so here I am drying her hair about 15 minutes before the wedding. (We got ready in my house and walked next door to my aunt and uncle’s to get married in their front yard.)


The only point during the day when I felt nervous was after my lovely bridesmaids had sallied forth from my aunt and uncle’s front door to walk down the aisle and left me waiting my turn.



My veil was a simple birdcage net that I won in a blog giveaway. I made the flower clip from some of the leftover shantung.


At the last minute I decided to tie a pale blue ribbon around my waist as a belt, but my real “something blue” was a blue ribbon I pleated around the bottom of my lining hem.



Happy 5th anniversary to us!  How things change in 5 years…


(… and I just realized I am wearing the same shirt in both those pictures. Guess some things don’t change much after all.)


*Wedding pictures by Hannah Samuell, engagement picture by Amy, beach picture by my mom. 🙂

Finally, the big reveal!

While I didn’t make Erin’s wedding dress during National Sewing Month, it seems appropriate to share it now since there was *a lot* of sewing that went into it.  All photos are by our photographer extraordinaire Amy Schweizer.


(Warning: this is going to be a long, image-heavy post.  Go get a cup of coffee.)


When they first got engaged this spring, Erin showed me a couple pictures of wedding dresses she liked.  She decided that she wanted some lace, no rhinestones, not much heavy satin or embroidery if any and a tea-length skirt, ideally.  Our mom, my cousin (her maid of honor) and I went to a local wedding dress shop so that she could try on some dresses to make sure of what she liked, but we didn’t find any dresses that could be “the one”.  (Side note: what’s up with the hoochy mama white wedding dresses?  Why would you design a wedding dress that can’t be worn with a bra and shows side boob?  Eww.)


After the hilarious dress shopping trip Erin asked me to make her wedding dress.  She had a picture of a dress with a full-length tulle skirt and lace bodice with narrow spaghetti straps that she sketched over to show a tea-length skirt and cap sleeves, so we started there.


I decided pretty quickly to make the skirt separate from the rest of the dress so that she could wear it alone if she ever wanted to.  It’s a full circle skirt drafted using these directions and finished with a wide, silver elastic waistband.  The lining is silk chiffon and I think we ended up with about 9 or 10 layers of tulle over top.  One tip on making a skirt like this: I had to sew a panel onto the side of my tulle pieces to make them big enough to cut out the full circle.  On my first pass I used white thread to sew on the panel, and it ended up looking pretty obvious even when I stacked the tulle to alternate where on the skirt the extra pieces ended up.  (I.e. the seams weren’t all on top of each other.)  I ripped that out and redid it with invisible thread and it was much more subtle even though the invisible thread was fairly obnoxious to sew tulle with.  Words to the wise.


While we were at it, we decided not to line the lace overbodice so that it could also be worn separately over a black silk tank top or something for a special date night.  The underbodice is sandwashed silk charmeuse (dreamy, dreamy stuff) sewn into a boned tube top with a separating zipper at the side seam to get into and out of it.  The lace overbodice snapped up the back, although I ended up putting in a couple of stitches at the top of the center back after Erin got dressed so that she wouldn’t pop the snaps when she was hugging people.  The original plan was to have functioning buttons down the back, but it was tricky to get them to line up since the edge of the lace wasn’t a straight line: hence the faux buttons and hidden snaps.

0X1B2338 I hid a little surprise in the underbodice.


The lace bodice… oh, the lace bodice.  It went through some changes as we worked on it.  We knew we wanted it to be a little bit asymmetrical and kind of whimsical with the placement of the flowers in the lace.  (The hunt for the lace is a whole different post.  We finally found some we liked on eBay after looking at lace until our eyes were ready to fall out.)

The bodice was draped on Erin and handsewn while she was wearing it so that the lace could be appliqued together seamlessly.  Needless to say we had some lovely quality time together during construction.  (And we got quite creative with ways for her to rest her arms on my back, a chair back, a windowsill, a bookcase… to keep them from falling off while I sewed.)  The biggest design change came when it was time to put on the sleeves.  I was holding a length of lace up to her shoulder to find some good flowers for the cap sleeve when both of us stopped, looked in the mirror and said “It has to be 3/4 sleeves.”


(The stood around a corner from one another to pray together before the ceremony – one of my favorite touches from the wedding.)


(My mom and me with Erin.  I came in from setting up for the reception in the shelter house to help Erin get dressed and I was a little “glowy” from running around to say the least.)

It was such a neat experience to get to make my sister’s wedding dress.  Aside from some rehearsal night jitters (mine, not hers – I was so tired of looking at it by the time she tried it on for the last time that all I could see were the flaws), I’m so happy with how the dress turned out.  She was a radiant bride.

This is turning into a ridiculously long post, but here are just a few more pictures to give you the flavor of their wedding.  I decorated for the reception, which we held in a shelter house behind the church, and aside from not counting on quite so strong a breeze (the streamers got a little out of control), it was a fun and sweet space.  I also got flowers from a local farm and did all of the wedding party’s flowers except for the groomsmen’s boutionniers (which Amy made), so it was quite a busy weekend, but a good one.