Hi, I am Amy!
The short version of my bio is pretty simple, “Mom. Daughter. Wife. Nerd. LARP-er. Sewer. Crafter. Crocheter. Photographer. Gamer. Outdoor Enthusiast.” I have a deep love for chocolate, diet coke, and tacos. I also have a head of hair that Todd refers to as “The Beast”, and has also been known to be called Medusa. On good days, my curls don’t turn into a Gorgon. On great days, I master the curls and tame the beast.
I grew up the daughter of a wildlife biologist in Eastern Oregon, and most of my time as a child was spent in the outdoors while my dad conducted his research. As a result, I developed a love of nature and a great appreciation of the stunning beauty surrounding us. My family on one of our many hiking trips: Dad – Burr, Me, Sister – Erika, Mom – Donna.
Todd and I have been together for nearly 11 years, but we decided to make it “paper official” in 2021. We were married in a very small ceremony with our immediate family and a few special friends at my parent’s house. It was a really relaxed, special day, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Todd and I have four absolutely amazing kids Emma (with her husband, Tony), Harley, Terrance, and Reagan. They are all grown, following their dreams, and generally kicking butt at life.
Art and creative ventures have always been a part of my life, and as I have grown older, I have found new artistic ways to express myself. My parents believe that immersion in art and culture are a necessary part of a child’s life, and therefore, I was exposed to many different forms of art throughout my life. Art was taught to me as a way to express feelings, to connect with others, and to stimulate change. My two favorite forms of art are photography and pottery.
One of the skills my mother instilled in both my sister and me is sewing. I can remember sitting on her lap “sewing” while she ran the foot pedal. If I were to guesstimate, I would say I was about 4 or 5 years old, which means I have been sewing for 40 (OMG!!!) years!
When I began sewing, I used commercial tissue patterns, but I have discovered the Indie PDF pattern community, and there’s no turning back! I do still use some commercial patterns to make the LARP costumes Todd and I use. In addition, I have several historical sewing pattern companies I use for the historically “adequate” (accurate) garments I create.
My first sewing machine was my mom’s old Viking Husqvarna 6460, and it was a workhorse! When it started having problems that were going to be cost-prohibitive, I moved on to a Brother C6000i and I also added a Brother 1034D serger. The serger changed the way I sew, and I love having one.
When I started creating historical garments, the Brother worked okay, but sewing those garments was really hard on it. Todd and I found a floor-model Viking Designer Epic that was marked 50% off, so we invested in it, and I have not struggled to sew anything since!
The Nerd In Me
Todd and I are involved in a LARP group that holds two weekend-long events and a few casual get-togethers each year. Todd plays a wizard named Lazaro, and I am an elf named Elenetessa (Tessa). Read more about our LARP group, Sojourn.
My Sewing Room
In 2015 when we remodeled our house, we converted the detached shop (20’x24′) into a family room/theater. It was a great space when the kids were all still home and having friends over. Now that they are all on their own, it wasn’t being used to its potential. Todd was using one corner as his office, and my sewing space was in one of our extra bedrooms. We decided to remodel the theater and swap spaces during the winter of 2021 (hello COVID remodel).
The room actually looks quite a bit different from these pictures. The general layout is the same, but I am no longer working from home, so I have additional desk space for my Silhouette machine.
In addition, I have a rolling, solid surface cutting table that has replaced the one my dad built with fold-down sides. It has a shelf on the bottom that I use to store my scrapbooking supplies. The tables are the same size and height, so I can butt them against one another if I need an extra large cutting area. When I’m not using the one my dad built, I keep the sides folded down and use it to store the containers that hold my current projects in process.
There is also another hutch next to the original and a fabric storage cabinet below the cupboards. We took down the projector screen because we don’t use them at all anymore. I love my room, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time out there.
I originally started my blog in 2006 as a way to keep track of our family and share our life with relatives we didn’t get to see often. It is named Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen because we are a female-heavy household, and it is abundantly clear most days. My blog has since evolved into a place for me to share thoughts, projects, and family life. Now, I mostly share sewing projects and adventures.
I love nature. Hiking, kayaking, and just being outside, especially in the summer. I find that if I am really stressed, even a drive up a mountain to sit and look at our gorgeous valley helps me relax. We are very lucky to live where we do. The Grande Ronde Valley (Eastern Oregon) is within an hour’s drive of four different mountain ranges – Eagle Caps, Elkhorns, Blues, and Wallowas, and it is absolutely gorgeous year-round.
Thanks for Visiting
My hope is that my blog and writing remain interesting, and I won’t bore the socks off my readers. In addition, I hope people learn something new. I love the sewing community and the way we support one another.