Number 10 of 2015

For number 10, it’s my worst-best moment that comes to mind.

The “worst day” because I felt like my heart was breaking. I almost got divorced. We had even said the words and started talking logistics. It was that serious.

The “best day” because it marked the turning point-you know the one, where it can’t get any worse and must get better from there.

I spent a night alone in the local motel. It was by choice. I had had enough of the fighting. I needed to remove myself from the situation.


Having teenagers is tough. But when you are fighting with your spouse over parenting these difficult, and selfish, adolescent-beings and then those kids are fighting you over everything and harmony in your house is out of whack…well, what do you do?

My solution was to say “I’m out!” And after a quick stop at the grocery store to grab a toothbrush, magazine, bubble bath, a chocolate bar, a bottle of wine, and a pad of paper I checked in at the motel where I found peace in the solitude and tried to figure out what to do next.

While sitting in a warm bubble bath reading my magazine and sipping some wine (a literal “Calogon, take me away” moment), I felt all the knots and stress leave my body. It had been a hard few months of teen drama coupled with marital strife. I was done.

I love my family, don’t get me wrong. It was out of love that I left the house. If I had stayed, the fighting and negativity would have continued.

While lying in my motel bed, I wrote down all my feelings. I wrote a pro’s and con’s list for everything I considered a solution. I put down my needs and wants. I prayed before falling asleep at 7:30pm.

What I came to realize is that I need put my foot down with how the kids treat me. I am not only responsible for how I treat others, but I am responsible for teaching people how to treat me. If I let people act rude to me or neglect my feelings and I don’t speak up and say “that’s not okay” then I’m partly at fault for how people treat me. I own that. No one reads minds and many can’t read social queues, so I know I have to speak up and tell it to them straight.

I also realized I needed to speak my truth to my husband, again-not a mind reader or even a hint taker. So I spoke my truth to him, which was that I needed more fun times with him and less bickering and I needed better communication.

I won’t lie, it was the hardest week of my life with many tears and heartache, but I don’t regret it. It helped to bring about balance and harmony again in my household. We all have things to work on, like speaking kindly to one another and making time for each other. Sometimes in this fast-moving, busy life of ours we lose sight of the important things. We take for granted the people we love most.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it takes a radical step like removing yourself from the fight and regrouping. It takes putting yourself on the top of your list and tending to your needs for once. It takes courage to admit that you can’t continue down the same path and that things have got to change. It’s hard, because that change could mean so many different outcomes and none of which are known. But you know what? Change is the only thing that will create a new outcome, a better one.

My advice to anyone who is in a relationship that started out wonderful but has grown stale or difficult is to do something different! Because that shit ain’t working and life is too short not to try to have your best life. It’s completely possible.

My kids have gotten so much better at showing me respect, and my husband and I are in such a better place. We are going to renew our vows on our 20th anniversary, in two years, and we are making date-night a priority.


No one’s perfect and life will never be, but when you have honesty and love in your heart then you are pretty darn close!

Well, that wraps up the top 10 moments of my 2015. It’s been a full year of personal growth and crafty goodness. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned into 2016. I know there will be new challenges and many changes (our oldest goes to college next year and our second oldest will be doing running start), but I know I can handle what comes my way.

I wish you the best New Year! I’ll see you in 2016! ~Tillie




7 out of 10 for 2015

The #7 moment of my 2015 is July 10th; when I took four of my kiddos fishing this summer at Riffe Lake. It was a beautiful day, yet a bit cold, as it can be early in the day in the Pacific Northwest.

This was our first time fishing at Riffe Lake. The boys and Birdie caught little fish while Faith and I sat on the shore enjoying the views. I was knitting for the yarnbomb and noticed a boat coming into shore. It was a really nice boat with about five people, all of whom were young 17-25 and really beautiful looking (could have been a group of models for a nautical photo-shoot), when Rubin got his line stuck while bottom fishing from shore. I ran over to help before he got flustered and while the boat was floating into shore right in front of us, my footing on this little hill slips-my only options were fall face first into the water with all my clothes on or lay back onto the shore as my feet slipped off the hill…I chose the dry scenario and when I heard Faith, Rubin, Hershal, Birdie and a boat-full of models hooting with laughter, I knew I was a sight to see laying on my back on the shore holding Rubin’s fishing pole.

The group clapped when I righted myself, to which I took a bow, and I finished fixing Rubin’s pole so he could get back to trying to catch “the big one.” As humiliating as it was, I couldn’t stop laughing at myself and thinking that if a video camera followed me around I swear the footage would be pure gold!

We always have a great time when we are out in nature. Whether it’s hiking or playing at a park or relaxing in the hammock in the backyard, it’s always rewarding being outdoors.

The moment our kids switch off technology and get out in nature something magical happens. They stop pestering each other, their attention span is boundless as they take in all the colors, smells, sounds, and creatures that create our natural surroundings. We are not separate from it, but an integral part of it. It’s pretty special and that’s why it’s on of my top 10 favorite moments of 2015!


#6 of 2015

My sixth favorite moment of 2015 would have to be the day I won “Fastest Fingers In The West” at the Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair…still no clue why they changed the name) for being the fastest knitter and crocheter!

It was September 15th, 2015 and I asked my Mom to go with me for moral support. Plus, it had been over a decade since we attended the fair together and it was so much fun hanging out with Mom.

Since I was little, I’ve loved the fair! I looked forward to it every year. I had always wanted to enter some of my handmade crafts, but was afraid of the critique they would recieve. I don’t know why though, because the judges are the sweetest people who only give constructive critisism and always give an encouraging word.

When I was online doing the registration process to enter my crafts in the fair, I came across the “Fastest Fingers” contest and knew right away that I could throw-down in this challenge! I won’t win a running race, or walking for that matter, but I got some wicked fast skills at knitting and crochet, so I signed up and took first in both contests!

No matter what you are into or passionaite about, there is a place for you to shine. I found my “people” and now have some kick-ass ribbons to show for it!

Fastest Fingers contest at the fair. I got the blue, first place ribbon!

My Top 10 Moments of 2015


The year is coming to an end and I think it’s a great time to start a “Top 10 moments of 2015 countdown” blog posting.

This list is a personal one. It’s specific to my heart and the best moments in my year. It’s hard to choose from all the great times I’ve had, but that’s a nice problem to have, right?!

Without further ado, here’s my #1:

May 24th, 2015 was a stellar day because not only was it my 37th birthday party, but it was a house-painting party and my wonderful friends and family showed up to lend a hand. It transformed our home from yikes to YES!


I’m not going to even mention how long it was in this state, but I will say that every time I drove up to our house I would grit my teeth and shake my head, wishing I could get it at least painted one complete color(and not purple, even though it’s one of my favorite colors).


I never thought so many of our family and friends would be willing to come over and paint with us on a holiday weekend with a chance of rain, but it didn’t rain and everyone showed up with their painting clothes on. It was so amazing! The party started at 12pm and by 8pm the house was completely painted, even down to the trim. I am forever thankful for their time and effort. It’s made a huge difference in my life to come home and smile, not just because it looks SO much better, but because of the love that went into each paint stroke. This will forever be one of my favorite moments in my life. We laughed and talked and listened to the boom-box and warmed up by the fire-pit during breaks. Good times!!!

What’s your “Top 10 Moments of 2015” list?  It may sound easy to narrow it down to 10, but trust me, it’s not!

Making It Happen

I’ve been taking names and kicking butt-well, more like making lists and getting it done!

Look at this adorable dog, Rebel, modeling one of my newest carriers:IMG_1018.JPG

Cute, right?! Even cuter in person. So, three carriers are up for sale in my shop and I have some sewing to do today for a few more that will be more masculine styled for the men with big hearts and small dogs.

I’ve also been writing more articles and interviewing more interesting folks. This weekend I was at Stringtown Cellars and Lavender Farm talking with winemaker John Adams. He will be my next feature story for Ruralite Magazine. He served up a nice winetasting along with some yummy locally-made cheese. Needless to say, I got a great article in the works and some wine for our Thanksgiving meal. Hurrah!

Things at home are getting better…relationships are not always easy and do take work. But it’s worth it in the end. My issues ranged from a lack of communication to not feeling loved by my hubby and teenage daughter. It’s hard for me to speak up about my needs and to tell my truth, I always worry about how it will effect the other person while neglecting the fact that I matter too. So I pushed myself out of my comfort-zone and did just that. It was hard. It felt like everything was going to fall apart and it was all my fault, but you know what, it didn’t. It actually helped. I know that saying “it all works out in the end” is such a cliché`, but it is really true. Fear of the unknown can hold us back from changing what we know-even if what we know is what we don’t like.

So yeah, I’m making it happen. Hope you are too!






Ta-Da! Behold: the coolest chair you ever did see.

We did it! We finished yarnbombing the chair at the WA State Fair and, oh my, is it awesome!

ybchair ybchair2 ybchair3

The card has the artist’s signatures. I’m in the process of negotiating the sale of this fiber art with the fair. They buy a piece of art every year for their private collection. It would be amazing if they did purchase it, because the money would go to student’s negative lunch accounts in the Eatonville School District. The group I am a part of is called Yarnbombing For Lunches and last year we raised $400 with our fiber art to donate to the school on behalf of students with negative lunch account balances. This year our goal is $1,000 and this sale could get us a step closer to it. We’ll hold an online auction starting December 3rd…I’ll keep you posted on the details in case you would like to help us and also score some unique usable fiber art!

One last thing, I met a really cool kid as I was packing up my demo. His name’s Will and he sat down to wait for his Mom who was looking at all the home arts. He said he liked the chair and asked what it was and who made it. He asked if I ever yarnbombed a person and I told him “No, but a famous Polish fiber artist has, Agata Olek. I don’t think it’s been done in the states. Do you want to be the first?” to which he responded “Yes!  And I’ll wear to a sporting event and get on the Jumbo-tron.” Will’s Mom came over and said her son was serious and gave me their contact info so we can get started. I’m excited to have a life-size model to yarnbomb!

Thank you to the WA State Fair for having me out to demo my art and to all the amazing people I met along the way! We’ll be in touch.

Yarnbombing At The Fair

Last Saturday was my first ever Fair demonstration and it was AWESOME! I had a great turn-out of people who came by my yarnbombing demo to knit and crochet with me.


fair demo It was so much fun! There were people from all walks of life joining in to yarnbomb a chair. I love the collaborative nature of fiber art!! It truly brings people together.

The chair will be complete at my next demo, this coming Saturday from 4-8pm upstairs on the South Stage in the Home Arts pavilion. Stop by if you can and add a stich to the project. I’ll have needles and hooks and yarn, so bring your imagination and nimble fingers! I can even teach those who don’t know a knit from a purl how it’s done.

fair demo2 Thanks to everyone who showed up last weekend! I was blown away by your talents and had the best time getting to know you all, my fellow fiber artists. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of. I look forward to this coming Saturday. Hope to see you there!!

See You At The Fair!

I have some great news! I have been asked to be a knitting demonstrator at the WA State Fair. I will be given a little stage, microphone and six hours over two Saturdays to spread my love of fiber art. I’m thrilled!! Can.Not.Wait!

I’m focusing my demo on Yarnbombing. So it will be eye-catching, whimsical, and totally bad-ass! I’ve taught small groups and individuals to knit and crochet, but nothing on this scale-I’m excited to try it.

The Fair will print out as many handouts as I request. I will put together a pamphlet that showcases local and online businesses that support fiber arts, as well as educate people on current fiber artists that are blurring the lines of craft and art.

In our current technological age, where everything moves so fast, it’s awesome to re-introduce the art of knitting and crochet. Slowing down and focusing our energies on a tangible piece of art is where it’s at. This ain’t your Grandmama’s knitting! The only doilies we’re making now are with rope or cut-up sheets and it creates a rug or large wall-hanging.

I also plan to do a giveaway each time I do a demo. It will be a knitting bag filled yarn, needles, notions and info. Possibly chocolate and lotion! You’ll just have to come see me at the Fair to find out.

Check out this amazing crochet art from Katika:

Here is a Yarnbomber from New York who is doing amazing instillations:

Volunteer. It’s Good For You!

Being a stay-at-home-mama has been a great occupation with many rewards, however, the hours are long and contact with the outside world is slim. Some Moms plan a Lady’s Night or Girl’s Getaway, but I’m so nerdy cool that I have my “me time” while I volunteer at places that feed my inner child;Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) and the school district my kids attend.

It’s actually quite selfish on my part. I only give my time to places I think are worthy of my support and I truly get more out of it than they do.

Volunteering gives me the opportunity to get out of my bubble of domestic-bliss and gain work experience while making friends and being a part of something I’m passionate about.

I help with school tours at TAM. It’s really special to me. I get to play host (“Welcome to my museum!”) and I have the honor of being the one to show kids that art isn’t boring. I don’t know much about art concepts or technique(I’m still learning), but what I do know is how to be with kids and share my love of art. So far, it’s worked pretty great.

My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special volunteer appreciation dinner every year. It's amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special Volunteer Appreciation Dinner every year. It’s amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.

I can’t stress it enough: get out there and volunteer your time in a field you are passionate about! Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, I can guarantee you they are looking for people to volunteer.

Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you have to commit to a 40-hour week. You get to choose the hours and time that works best for your schedule, but I can tell you that even though there is no money exchanged for your service, you will feel richer for the time you spend supporting a cause or business you believe in.

Don’t worry if you find that the people suck or the work you volunteer doing isn’t something you look forward to doing, you can quit and look for another place to donate your time and efforts to. There is no shame in trying it out and changing your mind. I have volunteered in several places only to find that I can’t handle the personalities or that the work I do doesn’t line up with who I am as a person. I felt like a shit for quitting, but you know what, if I had stayed with it I would have been one of those bitter old ladies who thinks herself a martyr, who hates every minute of it, and then I would have never stumbled upon true “volunteer heaven”, where I absolutely adore everyone I work with and where every time I volunteer it’s fun and rewarding.

Doggie Style

Now that I have your attention…

I want to introduce my line of knitting and crochet patterns for miniature dogs; quick and easy but big on style.

Bringing sexy back or at least the awesome Granny Square! Behold, my furry baby, Rebel, modeling my crochet dog sweater design. Handsome, right?!
Bringing sexy back or at least the awesome Granny Square! Behold, my furry baby, Rebel, modeling my crochet dog sweater design. Handsome, right?!
It's actually a knit & crochet design. I like to use both methods in my creations.
Crochet granny square dog sweater with a knit collar and tummy panel. Warm and cute!

You can buy this Granny Square Dog Sweater pattern in my Etsy shop: or through Ravelry here:

Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns and what better way to use it than in a stylish dog sweater. This little jumper knits up fast and looks quite fetching.

Houndstooth small dog sweater knit in fresh modern colors. You know your pet wants one in every color, right?!
Houndstooth small dog sweater knit in fresh modern colors. You know your pet wants one in every color, right?!
If you have a small dog and like to knit, then this pattern is a must-have. It's quick and takes a small amount of yarn. Your pup will be stylish and warm come winter.
If you have a small dog and like to knit, then this pattern is a must-have. It’s quick and takes a small amount of yarn. Your pup will be stylish and warm come winter.

Get the Houndstooth pattern here on Ravelry: or over in my Etsy shop:

If you buy my patterns and make your dog a sweater, please share a picture! I love to see cute pets in my designs. I have a Facebook page you can post them to:

I take great pleasure in creating fun designs for pet lovers. It makes me happy to know my ideas are out there wrapping puppies in love and warmth. Added bonus, they look super stylish too!