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 (tillievuksich@yahoo.com) or by mailing check to: 10710 440th St E, Eatonville, WA 98328

Questions? Email me at tillievuksich@yahoo.com

(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!

 

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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!

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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.