Short Term Goals: Get Shit Done!

For Procrastinators everywhere: Here’s your sign!

December is almost here!!! This year is coming to an end. I am inspired to get some shit done and the first thing is to up my blogging game next month (starting tomorrow…holy cow).

So I will be writing a daily blog post for the last month of this year. Not exactly sure what about, but I figure I’ll wing-it and let it come to me organically. It’ll be a surprise – for you and me both! It’ll be good though that much is true.

I love to write-and talk-about anything and everything. Mostly, I try to use my words for good and make things better. It’s never my intention to cause havoc, but sometimes the truth hurts and people get riled. That’s where love and hugs come in, my next favorite thing in life! I wish I could find a job where I could just give hugs and spread love…is that a thing? It should be.

What are your goals for next month? You got 31 days to accomplish something of importance to you, what is it?? Mine is to focus. Focus on what I want to be best at, that’s writing. Practice makes perfect, or at least proficient, so that is what I will be doing.

My first step is to write daily for the next 31 days. I know in November there was the writer’s challenge to write 1,000 words a day or write a novel start to finish in one month, but I wasn’t ready in November.

Goals are personal. They are pacts we make with ourselves that create a true sense of worth when we accomplish them. You don’t make and work toward goals for anyone but yourself.

So here’s to getting some things checked off our list in the last month of 2016!




Art For Sale

It’s that time of year when everyone is out shopping for their loved ones and I want to share that I will be a part of an artist Holiday Sale on December 3rd in Seattle!

I’m making knitted children’s hats/hoods. They are the cutest things ever! I found this book at my local Joann’s store and have made almost every hat for different charities and for family and friends.


It’s called “Monster Knits for Little Monsters” by Nuriya Khegay (click on her name to go to her Etsy shop where she has all her designs for sale). She is also on Instagram. Nuriya is a talented knitwear designer. Her designs are imaginative and simple to follow. I enjoy creating these kiddie hats!

This will be my first time at a Holiday Sale in Seattle. I’m exited to be a part of it! My friend from Pilchuck Rozarii Lynch  (check out her photography, she’s simply amazing!) invited me to show in her studio. I look forward to meeting fellow art lovers and spreading some holiday cheer!


Come say “Hi” if you are in the area and support local living artists when you can!





Having gratitude for things large and small just makes life more enjoyable. It’s a matter of “glass is half full versus glass half empty” kind of thinking.

There have been moments that I’ve struggled to be grateful for all I have, but thankfully I don’t dwell there and I have surrounded myself with people who help lift me up when I’m feeling down or overwhelmed.

This Thanksgiving is the first of what I’m sure will become our new normal with children growing up and moving off to college. Our oldest child is not coming home for this holiday and will be gathering around the table with new friends and welcomed into a family meal on the other side of the US. I’m grateful she will be fed and cared for in our absence.

I think I will start a new tradition of placing a picture on the table of those that are missing from our time together so they will be with us in spirit. And I will make sure my camera is out and handy to capture all the new memories we’re making today.

I am thankful for all the years we’ve gathered as a family and all the friends that have joined us in breaking bread with much joy and laughter. It’s been great and I know it will just get better and better, but we may have to accept that it will be different in the future and our table will grow with pictures of those we love who can’t be with us in person but who will be with us in spirit.

Wishing you the best this time of year! Stay grateful! ~Tillie XOXO

Thanksgiving 2015

Too Trusting = Easy Prey


Con artists are real and I had the misfortune to meet one in the flesh recently. I didn’t see it coming. That’s exactly how they do it too. It’s a long story, but one I will be using in my writing when I start my novel. This part will be based on a true story! And OMG is it a page-turner!!!

But let me pay forward what I have learned from my experience and how you can prevent being duped like me.


Step 1: Don’t talk to strangers. (This one I struggle with since I’m an extrovert and love to chat with anyone about just about anything. I find it makes life more fun but BEWARE! This can be your undoing.)

Step 2: When you meet a stranger that seems decent and kind, don’t feel bad for asking questions that verify a story or place or time. Call them on their crap. If they are the real deal then this is just a “getting to know you better” step, but if they have something to hide you will make them uncomfortable and probably send them running, which is a good thing.

Step 3: Google them! Seems simple enough, but do it right away…don’t wait. Google everyone you know or meet just to be sure they are on the up & up. I did a Google search and nothing came up so I figured this person being 65 years old was just not online and wasn’t a wanted person so it seemed logical that nothing was there. Don’t stop with Google though! No, keep going deeper. Court records in the state they reside, county property records, spell the name several different ways. I found a serious rap sheet that had me thanking my lucky stars I am alive and haven’t lost anything more than my dignity. My family will tease the shit out of me until the day I die now, and it’s totally deserved!

Step 4: Don’t trust people right off the bat. Seems jaded, but people need to earn your trust. I have that whole thing backwards so no judgment here if you need to work on that like me.

Step 5: When on vacation in a tropical location when your defenses are down is when you are your most vulnerable. You get duped by the magic of a sea breeze and the beautiful waves. Keep your guard up around new people you meet. Not everyone is who they say they are. You only know yourself and those in your life that have proved themselves trustworthy. Question everything and everyone that comes your way. You’ll be glad you did!


I know that 99% of people are decent and honest and not on the take, but that 1% of psychopaths with a devious nature are sure hard to spot. Better to be safe than sorry and practice these steps to protect yourself from being caught in their web of lies.

Sending all the best to you and yours!  ~Tillie

PS. look for my amazing book Christmas 2017! You’ll want to put it on your wish list!XOXO

Read This

These cold, rainy days are perfect for getting caught up on your reading list. I seem to gather books wherever I go and end up waiting until autumn and winter to read them. But I read them quickly, one after another, so I am always in another world or learning something new. I read everything, too; cookbooks, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, craft books, smut, comics, old and new.

I want to share three books that are worth putting on your reading list.

First, is a novel by Jason Skipper, a local man who teaches at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. It’s call Hustle. I read it in one day, but it was so good that I may just re-read it. It’s about family and how every generation has its personal struggles, but it shows that love is the healer of all wounds.

The second book I think is worth a read this winter is Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman. Hattie was the first Native American journalist to report on national news channels. She’s a member of the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. This book is her memoir with a focus on God’s love and how she overcame addiction. I had the honor of meeting her in Tacoma a few years ago at the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast held at the Tacoma Dome. She was the keynote speaker. It was a wonderful speech that moved me to tears and laughter and gave me hope that all things are possible with a little faith.

My third and final recommendation for a book you can’t put down is In the Company of Mules by Jody Foss. Not only have I met the author and believe she is one of the coolest and truest women of the earth but she loves mules like me! I enjoyed reading this memoir of her two-month-long mule ride from Sandpoint, Idaho to Newport, Oregon all by herself. Jody paints a picture with words and you feel like you are right beside her taking in the beauty of the trail. She also met many interesting and kind people on her 600 mile journey through small towns of the Pacific Northwest. There are nuggets of wisdom from old-timers and personal accounts of a time when settlers and Indians co-existed. This is a story of a woman brave enough to strike out on her own and tough enough to see it through to the destination, but it’s the journey that is life-changing.

Spend some time with these authors and I promise you, it’ll be time well spent!

Custom Couture

I just finished up a custom order for this Boho chic pet carrier. It was a joy working with this client to pick style and fabric! The synergy of creation is why I do what I do.

In the coming months I will be adding a carrier sewing pattern for creating your own carrier that crafty DIY’ers can purchase to make their own. I love creating, but I also know that there are people out there who would prefer the pattern so they can custom design their own. Anyone up for doing a pattern test for me once I create the PDF and written instructions?

Enjoy the day! Spread some cheer and smiles along the way! ~Tillie

Just Do It

Nike is on to something. “Just do it” is really great advice. The fact that you miss 100% of shots you don’t take and that fear of failure kills more dreams than actually living them out is enough to get me to act on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a bit.

The small town I live in has virtually no learning activities offered and we are a good 45 minutes away from towns/cities that have classes and skill share opportunities. So I’ve been thinking about teaching sewing (which I’m good at and love) right in town where local people can have a chance to learn a great skill and save money on gas and time, as well as keeping the class affordable for everyone, too.

So…I took the Nike challenge and set up a series of classes for this month to help people learn how to sew on their machines and to guide them, step-by-step, through using a sewing pattern and through the garment construction process. It’s to be an informal and small class that will be hands-on. Sure you can read books and watch videos to learn skills, but learning happens at such a profound speed when you have the opportunity to apprentice with someone who has the knowledge you would like to gain.

Now that the excitement of setting up all the classes and booking the venue is wearing off and I wait to see if anyone will actually sign up, the fears and doubts creep in and I think maybe this is all silly and who would want to learn sewing when you can just buy shit already made and I don’t have a degree so maybe that makes me unqualified to teach anything?! YIKES! What have I done????

I keep reminding myself that what I have done is created a space and time to give the opportunity to people in my community to learn to sew from a professional seamstress with over 15 years of experience in a comfortable learning environment close to home. Whoever does come to my classes will come because they desire the skills to sew well and I will help them get there. I love helping people to help themselves and I love teaching and sharing what I know and what works for me.

If this idea is a failure and nothing comes from it, at least I can say I tried and I am sure I will learn something from it all.

SEWING CLASSES Taught by Tillie Vuksich

Sewing 101-Learn to use your machine July 6 (8am-11am/1pm-4pm/6pm-9pm)

Sewing 102-Sew a little girl’s dress. July 16(8am-11am/1pm-4pm/6pm-9pm)

Sewing 103-Sew a little boy’s button down shirt. July 20(8-11am/1-4pm/6-9pm)

Sewing 104-Sew a tote bag and zippered pouch. July 27(8-11am/1-4pm/6-9pm)


$24 for each class. Max of 10 students per class. You can choose from three class times.

Learn on your machine and make new sewing buddies!

Classes held in the meeting room at Mill Village Motel in downtown Eatonville, WA.

Sign up at least two days before class to hold your spot. Pay class fee with Paypal ( or by mailing check to: 10710 440th St E, Eatonville, WA 98328

Questions? Email me at

(There is a small supply list for Classes 102, 103 and 104 that I will give you at sign up)

All I do know for sure is that I always have fun sewing and these classes will be educational as well as enjoyable and you will leave with the skills to sew from a pattern or your imagination. And to sew like a pro!


My, my, my…

Well, I am back! After what feels like ages, I am tapping at the keys and here to fill you in on what a busy – insert the word “unfocused” here – person I have been.

I have finally finished some carriers for my Etsy shop: Petz Couture. They are awesome and I hope they find a good home soon!

A good friend of mine is about to have her third child. A little girl this time and I’ve knitted and crocheted some darling dresses for her. I absolutely LOVE making baby things! They are soft and small and will be filled up with a sweet new baby. Yes, I love babies and, no, I don’t want to have another. I look back on my days with five small children and wonder now how the hell I did it?! I know for sure I can’t do it now. I like sleep way too much to go back to those sleep-deprived years.

BIG NEWS: We have decided to move somewhere warm. It’s been something my husband has talked about over the years, but I was resistant…until now. I think I’ve hit that age where I realize I’m not getting any younger and life is to be lived in the now. Putting things off is so easy to do, yet sometimes the day never comes when you actually fulfill those wishes and wants. So we are living in the “now” and planning our next adventure. Details to come…

But what I am most looking forward to at this very moment is a vacation with one of my daughters to Florida to see family and soak up some sun!!! Spring break on the beach is a dream come true. Can’t wait until it’s just a Tuesday on the beach, you know?! Soon it will be a daily event with my family. This makes me happy and excited for our future!

I will be posting some giveaways as we get closer to our move. I’m packing light and keeping it simple for this adventure. Plus, I like paying-it-forward when I can.

Wishing you a wonderful day and a peaceful night!



Never Too Late To Learn Something New

We have three-amazing-acres with great soil and sun. It’s been fun growing a veggie and fruit garden over the last eight years. We have grown flowers too, but now I realize there is a need for local, organically grown flowers and I can help out with that (I am a helper by nature…whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen, but that’s the way God made me and I won’t complain).

In order to be a successful flower farmer, I took a series of classes at the Oregon Small Farms Conference (February 20th, 2016) and I learned a TON! It was an amazing gathering of minds!! It only cost me $45, but what I learned and the people I had the opportunity to meet was priceless.

It was held in Corvallis, Oregon at Oregon State University. Saturday was the Small Farms of Oregon conference, but I took only the flower growers classes out of the 30+ classes offered. There were vendors selling their gismos and gadgets and organizations sharing their mission throughout the day. A lot of info in one place with the friendliest of faces.

My first class was taught by Shannon Algiere called “An Intro to Growing Specialty Cut Flowers.” She was awesome and told how she practices resilient agriculture and uses sustainable farm practices.

My second class was called “Business Planning and Marketing for Cut Flower Farmers” taught by Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm, Molly Sadowsky the Manager of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Seattle, WA, and Joan Thorndike of Le Mera Gardens. I can’t tell you how instrumental this class was to my research into flower farming! These women are my personal heroes!

The last class of the day was “Beyond the Annual Field: Successful Strategies for Growing and Selling Cut Flowers in the PNW Shoulder Seasons.” I learned from the best in the biz: Tony & Denise Gaetz of Bare Mtn Farm, Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers, and Kendra Neveln of Glenwood Farms. They showed me that I can extend my growing season with some easy additions like a hoop house and unheated coverings.

I was late to the next day’s event, the PNW Flower Grower’s Meet-up, because I was so inspired and I was planning my flower farm! But it was a great meeting with awesome people and a ton of information to help with all things flower farming.

Thanks for all the people who put on such an informative event and for the sponsors who helped make it possible!








Sew Like A Pro

I’ve been sewing for over 10 years now and have learned a lot “the hard way.” So to speed up a newbie seamstress’s learning curve and help you achieve professional results, let me tell you about a few of the most effective ways to take your sewing to the next level.

Here’s my top five best tips to get you started making couture pieces you’ll be proud to show off:

  1. If you are looking for a sewing machine or are ready to upgrade, then the best advice I have for you is to buy the best you can afford and only get the features you really need. I have a Bernina Activa 230 and it has the ability to go from sheer fabric to denim with a ton of features that I absolutely love and use a lot. Go “test-drive” machines at dealers before buying one. It’s an investment that will pay off huge when it’s a joy to use and can tackle every job you use it for.2016-02-06 21.05.56.jpg
  2. Get a really good iron! And use it religiously! Nothing like pressing your seams to take a garment from looking homemade to “Where did you buy that?” Pressing seams as you go is essential to professional looking sewing. My iron is a Euro Steam Evolution. I LOVE it! (and I’ve had some real crap irons in the past that leaked on my fabric or never got hot enough) Invest in the best you can afford.
  3. Sewing machine needles are cheap, but so very important, and need to be changed often because they go dull with use. I change mine with every project. It’s also in your best interest to choose the right needle for the fabric and weight. They are all labeled with the brand name/type of needle/size of needle. The two numbers that you want to recognize is the needle size and it’s listed by the European#/American# like this: 90/14. The Euro numbers range from 60-120 and American numbers go from 8-19. The larger the number the bigger the needle size and tougher the fabric it can handle. So silk charmeuse, which is light and airy, will require a needle size of 60/8 or 70/10 and for a heavy, thick leather you will use a needle size of 90/14 or 100/16. There are also needles specific to jersey fabrics with stretch. Those needles have a rounded tip to help stitch between those stretchy fibers and not break them.  Choose right and change often!2016-02-06 21.04.59.jpg
  4. Patterns can make or break you in time and materials, as well as make you lose your mind when they are so poorly drafted that you basically have to redraft the whole thing to get good fit or for all things to line up correctly. I started out using Simplicity patterns and felt there was something wrong with me, like why couldn’t my garments ever look like the picture on the pattern?! But it wasn’t me, it was the poorly written directions and the lack of quality control they use in their mass-produced patterns that was the problem. I have since learned to use Burda, Ottobre, and Japanese patterns which have such great fit and better directions or diagrams that you are destined to create a great looking version of the pattern with less waste of time, materials, and mental hardship.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Those are “learning moments” and can actually speed up your experience level. Get a couple seam-rippers and keep them handy. Try it all; zippers, buttons, linings, sheer fabric to leather, dresses to curtains…just do it! Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out exactly as you pictured it in your head, you will get better with every project and before you know it you’re sewing like a pro!

*Sewing & Stitchery EXPO is February 25th-28th, 2016 at the WA State Fairgrounds*