When we decided to make the move back home, my husband took on the charge to find our new home. He was traveling back and forth to work in Georgia anyway so he spent time visiting properties, taking pics and measurements, and eventually narrowed down his search to two homes.

After building 3 homes and remodeling our home in Pennsylvania, I was tired of home renovations… yep, I had finally hit my limit. So my only request was “MOVE-IN READY!”

Obviously, I trust him implicitly.

Well, we didn’t wind up with move-in ready, but it’s not too bad (for me!). The husband has repainted the entire house (vaulted ceilings and all)… refinished the wood floors, added A/C vents here and there… and on and on and on…

Our biggest project will be finishing the basement – a huge, scary project that I will definitely document and share.

So for the first time in a long time, I really don’t have anywhere to sew, but I’m making it work! I’m camped out on the dining room table and on a folding table in the middle of our skeleton basement.

We’re working to get this renovation going quickly. Here are the before pictures of what will become my studio.



It’s a total blank slate. I really don’t have any vision for the after, but I know it will come together.


Do you have any ideas to share? What features would you put into your dream studio? Please share in the comments below.
I love a good challenge. I think it's because of my competitive streak.

It's no secret that the past couple of years have thrown me off of my creative game and I've been itching for a jump-start.

Enter the September Sew for 30 Challenge.


In honor of National Sewing Month, Star's Threads has issued the challenge to spend 30 minutes of each day sewing.

I have tons of patterns and fabric... {and good intentions aplenty!} My pledge includes a caveat that I will only use the fabric that I have on hand, excluding required notions.

Sound like fun? Hop on over to Star's Threads and take the pledge, too. Let's see what we can create in 30 days.

I'll be documenting my progress here and on Instagram @alwaysaproject.
It's hard to believe that 2 months have passed since moving home from Pennsylvania. In some ways, it feels like the blink of an eye... in others, as though years have passed. I am feeling a bit reminiscent today so I thought I'd share some of the wonderful things that I already miss from that beautiful, enchanting part of the country.

Mild summers...


sponge candy...


beer culture... pirogues... gorgeous waterways...


ancient trees...


Perry's ice cream... Conneaut Lake...


Hank's frozen custard... abundant nature trails...


beautiful bridges...


local wineries...


Lake Erie during any season...


groundhogs (really?)... one day of snow...


maybe two...

playing Euchre with these friends...


old train tunnels...


flowers for miles...


amazing parks and historic sites...


the fish in Linesville...


no... I won't miss them.

**shivers**

I have been so richly blessed by the opportunity to live in a part of the country that is so different from where I've spent most of my life. While it feels good to be "home," northwestern Pennsylvania will always feel like a close second.



If you've ever moved to a new place, you know how hard it is to find solid friends.

I've been incredibly blessed over the past 2 1/2 years. Since moving to Pennsylvania, I've been wrapped in support and kindness from all sides - neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances... I've been overwhelmed by warmth and acceptance.

So, let me introduce you to two ladies who now occupy a very special place in my heart - Cristy and Missie. These ladies have made it their personal mission to make me feel like family. They are now my sisters. They embody all of the characteristics that you could use to describe the "perfect friend."


Cristy was one of the first people I met when I moved here. She has done an amazing job of pushing me out of the house and forcing me into social settings. That's a tremendous feat for this introvert! She asks for as much as she gives (which is, in my opinion, THE hallmark of true friendship). She also introduced me to knitting, which has had a powerful effect on my overall well-being.

Extra bonus: our hubbies hit it off, too, and our little guys are like brothers.

Missie is one of the most positive, inspirational women that I've ever known. She has faced incredible hardship due to chronic illness over the past year and a half. Her body has betrayed her in every way. She lives in pain—yet, she never complains. She remains upbeat and chooses to focus on care and concern for others, rather than herself. I will forever think of Missie when I'm compelled to complain about trivial issues.

Needless to say, it's going to be really, really, really hard to leave these amazing women behind! I'm constantly brainstorming ways to take them with me.

In a silly moment, I declared, "We should get matching tattoos before I leave. We'll be bonded forever!" Before I even had time to process my own idea, Cristy had already made appointments for the three of us.

So, I spent the next two weeks hyperventilating at the very thought of getting this tattoo. I didn't have any tattoos... neither did Missie... Cristy, well, let's just say she has her fair share.

**wink-wink**

I'm 37 years old! I decided if I was getting a tattoo, it had to be meaningful and original so I worked up a concept for the 3 of us and the artist tweaked it.

Tattoo Day came and I awoke thinking of this video:



Needless to say, the girls made me go first. Here's how it all happened.









One week later, I'm getting used to my permanent addition. I was in shock for a few days. Not necessarily a bad feeling, but I had to work through all of my emotions. Truthfully, it was an awesome experience - one that I've always wanted to have. I'm so grateful that I got to experience it with two women who mean so much to me.

k3tog... knit 3 together... It's heartwarming to know that we're forever linked in our own creative way.


Call us "Cavy Slaves." Over the past year, we've fallen totally in love with a pair of guinea pigs, Jagger and Joplin.

They wheek and we come running. We are really at their beck and call.

Well, Miss Joplin decided to give birth to two precocious wee ones while we were on the road, traveling from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Yeah... our road trips are never boring.

Just look at these little guys!!





We have been planning to find forever homes for these babies, but now that they're here... we can't imagine giving them up!

Wheek!!