the goddesses

This blog started as a recipe exchange. While I was typing in various phrases to find a URL, my 2-year-old came into the room with her little friend who was over playing and announced, "Mom, we need mangos." Dried mangos are a super-special treat. Don't we all like super-special treats sometimes, with our food, clothing, and homes? I think so too.

We are sisters who live at opposite ends of North America: 
Trina in Connecticut, USA and Mindy in Alberta, Canada. 

Operation Domestic Goddess began on 1 September 2006 when I quit my office job to stay home with my new baby girl. I didn't know how to cook or sew or decorate or fix anything. I could clean. That was about it. My husband Adam pronounced the beginning of Operation Domestic Goddess because if I was home with the baby, could I please at least make dinner?

I set a goal to learn 50 new recipes and it took me a year and a half. My rule was that we had to like the end result or it didn't count. There were many that didn't count. When I set a second goal to try another 50, I started this blog originally as a recipe exchange. The group effort didn't last very long, but Mindy and I are obviously still here ... five kids (for me, and two for her) and ten years later.

I'm still learning new recipes - Adam and I have tried to branch out into different ethnicities with our menu choices (we love Greek food). We have a garden and participate in a farm share, and do a lot of canning/freezing preservation. I bake all of our bread. And Operation Domestic Goddess has expanded WAY beyond just learning to cook.

Oddly enough - considering I actively hated and avoided it as a kid - I started sewing in 2011. My first project was a Christmas tree skirt. I made more Christmas decor items, tote bags, and curtains. I learned to make clothes - Oliver+S patterns are my go-to. Truly a sewing class in an envelope! I've bought more than 20, and share them with Mindy. When I decided to make pieced quilts, I knew I was making zero or six - no in-between. I have a list of over 20 ideas. I tried both knitting and crocheting, but they didn't really take. Quilting has been much better. My latest ODG sewing endeavor is learning to embroider.

And I finally added house stuff to the list. I'm working on painting our house and making it OUR home, not someone else's that we moved our stuff into. Love that, after 9 years in apartments. We've been in the house for 5 years now, and it still makes me giddy that I can do whatever I want to it!! It's a work in progress.

Like Trina, I've done multiple recipe challenges to find new recipes for our regular rotation, and enjoy cooking.  I'm very artistic and have drawn portraits for years, but my current passion is sewing.

I was given a sewing machine and a small stash of fabric for my 30th birthday.  A hat, and a few tote bags later and I was comfortable with the machine, but it wasn't until I made a simple Christmas dress for my daughter that I was hooked.  Art you can wear!  I love making unique clothes for my two young daughters, known here as Cupcake and Snowflake.  A few years later I have dived head first into quilting and I adore it.  My to-make list is always being added to.

My sewing corner is a small desk in the corner of the living room in our tiny two-bedroom apartment, and I iron on a collapsible TV tray.  I try my best to keep my fabric stash small, even though my husband has never complained about it.  It doesn't help that I'm incredibly lucky and have won a few different giveaways so I've had quite a bit of fabric come from those as well. (Don't worry, I share with Trina.)

(Trying on wedding dresses and veils for fun, when Tawnia was buying a wedding dress for real. 
We sew a lot, but we're not ready for wedding dresses yet!)

Tawnia, another of our sister quintet, does not participate on this blog. But she does deserve a shout out for being our biggest supporter ... for this story alone. She works for a school district in Idaho and has summers off, so she has graced us with her presence for extended summer trips. One year, she visited Mindy in Alberta, Canada, who loaded up her car with huge plastic bags full of fabric to take to Trina. Then she drove to Connecticut, USA. When she got to the border crossing, the Customs agents were not impressed about needing to inspect these massive bags. "What's with all the material?" We don't remember how many years ago it was, but it still makes us laugh. And she received the first joint quilt project we did together as a Christmas gift.

(text/photos: 2018)

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