It’s easy being green! (Who knew?)

On Wednesday I had a number of things on my ‘To Do’ list for the day. If you’ve ever seen my ‘To Do’ lists they’re not small in stature… or in quantity.

What to do... what to do...

What to do... what to do...

My plan was to eat breakfast, work on my dress, pull weeds, eat lunch, go to the gym, work on cleaning up our tree grove and take a shower. Busy day, no? Uh, yeah… That’s how I do things. I think I need to look at all the things I want to do and feel if I accomplish half of those things for the day that I’m doin’ great!

So, back to Wednesday…. I ate breakfast, I worked on the dress…. That’s as far as I got. BUT! Not only did I work on my lovely green, linen wedding dress, I finished it save for the hemming at the bottom and neck line. Not too shabby, eh?!

So what if I only accomplished one thing or so on the list. It feels like I did a pretty good job of it. I was extremely careful. Read and reread all the directions. Measured, measured, measured! I only had to rip about 6 inches of a seam for the whole thing! (It was a tricky curve.) And making a wedding dress between the hours of 9 and 2.30…? Pretty fast job!

Can you tell that I’m really proud of myself. I’m also very relieved to have that out of the way, albeit not completely, and amazed that it was so easy. I really want to try more and more patterns… Who knows what I could make!?! And I’d only get faster and better until I wouldn’t really need a pattern! But before I get over the top and start telling people that I can make their wedding dresses as well as their bridemaid dresses and the groom’s tux, and, and…. I think I’ll just be pleased as punch about my own triumph. I’d show you a picture, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!! (Plus, I’d have to kill you.)

Pret-a-porter

Soon to be a wedding dress

Soon to be a wedding dress...stay tuned

Finally, I managed to find a sliver of time to work on my dress. Yes, I’m making my wedding dress.

While I look at all the bridal magazines and think,”Oh wouldn’t it be fun to look like a princess for the big day?” I also know that in my gut I could never, ever justify it to myself. Buying a dress that cost more than my entire wardrobe for one day, even if it is the day, is silly for me, fine for others. I’m a bit of a cheap frugal person and it gives me great joy to tell people that I paid a dollar for this or 50 cents for that. I never buy things for full price (unless there’s a dire need for something) and I try to think of how to alter things so that it looks like I buy my clothes from Anthropologie. Still working on that last bit… if only I could make their shoes… I also tend to bite off more than I can chew and end up having nothing to show.

But this time is different! I have a simple dress pattern (I think), no linings, no boning, nothing fancy. Just a nice summer dress and a little jacket to keep the chill away when it gets cooler. (I assume that since you’re reading my wedding blog that you know that we’re having our wedding in our backyard. You should look at the location page to get the full idea of what that means.)

When I started and had my measurements in hand I was ready to cut out the pattern to match. Of course, like most other women, I didn’t fit one particular size. Grrr! Now what. I’ve been out of the clothing making mindset for over a decade now from my days at WWU and I wasn’t positive of what would be the next step. Lucky for me I have a secret weapon!

The neighbor who lives across the drive from us just happens to have made a career out of sewing, tailoring and pattern making. I believe she has told me that she made men’s suits from scratch for a living including all of her ex-husband’s, she worked for an opera house in Seattle doing costuming and also taught pattern making classes… those classes may have been at UW… I can’t quite remember. So, yay for me! She said that she would be happy to help if I ran into any snags. I had hit one.

She’s quite talented and I was wondering if her style of explaining things would be over my head. She came to our house and we went into my workspace upstairs – which she loved, yay! – and set to work.

Workshop attic

Workshop attic

It took just a quick minute or two before I understood what she had been telling me on a scrap piece of paper over at her house. It was like smelling something you haven’t encountered in years and having it take you back to a specific time in your history (i.e. pine trees and Christmas, cookies and grandma’s house, perfume and going to the theatre). When I saw her method for altering a pattern I instantly remembered being in the costume shop at Western and watching Gregory, the costume master, work his magic. I hadn’t even cut out the pattern and already I was ready to learn and create more and more! Hopefully, she was serious when she left and said that she loves doing this kind of stuff.

If there hadn’t been a Father’s Day pie to make I might have been further along at this point. But I have today off and only a few tasks to accomplish: phone calls, gym, shower, etc. Look out dress! Here I come!

By the way, it’s green linen. I thought I heard you ask.

Father’s Day

My father used to live two blocks from us before we moved. Actually, less than that if you looked at the size of those blocks. Sometimes he’d walk over, sometimes we’d walk over. It was sweet and quaint. While we only moved 6 blocks away it feels farther, which is silly, but it does. Now we try to have my father over for dinner on a semi-regular basis. Because we don’t fool around when we have folks over it can be over whelming – gastronomically speaking!

Last night was no exception.

Happy Father's Day to US!

Happy Father's Day to US!

I got Ian a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated online and it was the best money I may have ever spent. Since then we’ve been eating like kings even though money’s tight. Last night Ian made chicken cutlets in a porcini mushroom sauce , mashed potatoes with root vegetables and fresh herbs (from our garden) and the most perfect salad dressing for our meager little salad. For dessert I managed to make an adorable cherry pie. Maybe too adorable since we couldn’t wait for it to cool and ended up with cherry cobbler on our plates. It still tasted wonderful… all of it.

cherry pie preview

cherry pie preview

cherry pie finale!

cherry pie finale!

We had a lovely meal, wonderful conversation about old cars and I’m happy to say that when a visitor came to join us my father was happy to see him. My father… liking a cat?!?! If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed it.

The man who came to dinner... all the time! Ollie's the perpetual guest.

The man who came to dinner... every time!

Everything went beautifully. I can’t wait until Ian’s folks get here so they can experience what an amazing chef he has become. I have a feeling that it’ll knock their socks off! I live with him, I’m getting married to him and it still does that to me. What’s that they say about gaining weight after you get married… sheesh. Let’s hope I can wait that long!

uh….Happy Birthday!

My birthday was on a Thursday this year. Not a big party day to hang out with friends so Ian and I decided to go and grab a quiet bite to eat at a local pub, Bob’s Keg & Cork. 

Great little hole in the wall

Great little hole in the wall

We found a table near the window that looked out at the pub where we first met and onto the newly repaved street (in brick, mind you). (More details will be found on our “backstory” page.) We reminisced about a time when we were at Bob’s with our friends and the power went out. It was fun and a little exciting.

After having normal converstation, ordering and starting to eat Ian said something to the effect of “I’m going to ask you something that I know you would never have expected me to say since I’ve been so set against it…” Silly me. I had no clue about what he was going to say…. “What would you think about us getting married?”

GULP!

We had both talked and talked about how getting married wasn’t something that we needed or even wanted. We already lived together in sin, had a joint banking account and had seen good and bad times… thankfully, mostly good and the bad were mostly because of my health. People still envy us for being such a sweet pair. We’ve know each other for 6 years and have been together as sweethearts almost as long. Good grief, we have cats together!

In the split second after the question and pulling my stomach down from the ceiling I calmly (not really that calm) said, “Well, I think we’d have to work a couple of things out first…” See that’s the logical side of my personality. Sometimes it comes in real handy, other times… most times it just drags me down. Still, I think that the impulsive side of me was oozing out of all my pores screaming “woooo-hoooo!”

I surprised myself with that reaction. I was still caught up with the “but I thought we weren’t going to do that” thought. I also… maybe… just a little… had been hoping for a bit of on-one-knee action, even though that’s not really our style.

“I was just thinking that since my parents are coming out this summer and all…”

“WAIT! You want to get married THIS summer?!? Wha… uh… so are you proposing?”

*sheepish grin. look to the side.*

“Yes, I guess I am.”

And so, there it was, on the table.

Even though I wanted to talk about marriage details and see a counselor and talk to my sister my gut reaction was yes. I knew I would say yes. He knew that I would say yes. It was silly to think otherwise, but I wasn’t going to be won so easily! (Yes, I am stubborn, if you must know, and like to play hard to get!) We had to satisfy my logical side with all those things otherwise I’d never get any sleep.

That said, we already started talking about details: small backyard wedding, big potluck, handmade dress, linen suit…. And the words that came pouring out of Ian’s mouth were some of the most beautiful that I’ve ever heard. I knew that my guts had the right idea.

5.00 am

5.00 am blog 2

Cozy nook to write in

Can’t sleep… Too much to do and not enough time! For some reason I woke up around 2 or so and couldn’t get back to sleep. Now it’s after 5 and the sun is just about ready to pop over the horizon and into my eyes. Birds are chirping. I can hear a little bit of early morning traffic. Ian should be up in just a bit to head out to a job looking for artifacts and playing Indiana Jones. I’ll probably go back to sleep once the sun is really up… before I have to go to work too.

So the wedding is soon!! We still have to get Ian’s suit, I have to make my dress, we have to plan and coordinate and create and mail and and and…. I’m enjoying it. It’s kind of crazy but I think we’ll have lots of fun at the ceremony and potluck. I figure that since we haven’t had time to think and think about the whole thing that it’s going to have less heavy stress involved. We will do what we can for our little, thrown-together, laid back and inexpensive wedding and if it’s not perfect… Well, I have a feeling it’ll be perfect as long as Ian and I are together with loved ones. (awwww…)

I’m gonna be a wife…. So very weird!

Here comes....

Here comes....

...the....

...the....

...SUN!

...SUN!

And START!

We’re very excited to be able to share our process with you. Here we’ll have what’s going on on a regular basis while we get ready for the big day. Come back as often as you can because we hope to have new info daily!