It was hard.

It was hard to see her like that.

It has been a long time since I saw her and seeing her brought back a flood of awful memories and tears.

Tears rolled down my cheeks

I was angry.

Again.

why?

I thought I was okay. I thought I was moving forward.

but seeing her again like that

brought me back to when I was an angry, angry teenager and I wanted to bury myself

into my obnoxiously loud music, scream into my pillow and escape. But escape where?

No matter where I go she’s there. she’s always there.

I feel like I will never be able to move on with my life until I completely cut her off.

But why?

Why do I have to feel like the bad guy?

All I am doing is trying to take care of myself. Better myself. Heal myself.

But I feel like the bad guy.

What is so wrong about trying to be healthy? Happy?

All my life she has tore me down. Called me the most horrific names and I am talking

horrific. Adults should never say those words, especially to their children. I don’t care

how intoxicated a person is they should never, ever call their children the names that my

mother has called me for almost my entire childhood, and adult life.

But it will always be hard to see her like that.

No matter the day.

The time.

Place.

I wrote the blog post above almost 3 years ago and couldn’t finish it. Thats how hard it was to see her that way. But thankfully I am in a much better place that I was then and have been able to move forward. For a long time I was stuck in the same place and I couldn’t seem to get past it. But I made it and everyday I work on getting better and better so that I can give my daughter and children the best possible life they deserve.

 

 

Modern Qaspeq Tutorial

I finally created a modern qaspeq tutorial. I did my best with what I had. My sewing room might have been too sunny and I could have prepped better for the tutorial but I had the time and wanted to create a video to share with you.

I am the worst with technology and it took me two days to figure out how to work iMovie and paste clips together but I finally got it.

When I make modern qaspeqs I typically use:

2 yards 100% cotton fabric

1 yard of knit rayon spandex

The knit that I like to use is from Joann’s is a 4 way stretch and I will include the link:

https://www.joann.com/sew-classics-spandex-knits/1285451.html

As well as a shop called Made of Love I will include the link for the rayon/spandex knit that I like to purchase:

https://madeofloveshop.com/product-category/fabric-type/rayon-spandex/

1 package of extra wide double fold bias

& 1 package of ric rac, piping, or single fold bias for the trimming

Like I said this video might not as easy to follow if you have not taken my class before but if you have any questions or are stumped with what to do you can always email me at sewyupik@gmail.com or send me a message on Facebook.

Good luck and if you are able to whip out a modern qaspeq with the help of these instructions please post a photo on my Sew Yup’ik Facebook page or tag me on your instgram post @sewyupik

Quyana chuck norris (cakneq)!

61EAB488-FDC4-40E2-BCBA-19633931D17F

 

Make up Bag Tutorial

For awhile I have had my previous students tell me to make a tutorial for the make up bag that I teach in class and I finally got around to it 🙂 So here it is. And dont be afraid to sew with a zipper they are not as scary as they look.

Gather your supplies. You will need:

-Fabric of your choice for the outside

-Fabric for the liner

-16″ zipper (I prefer to use longer zippers because it is easier to work with)

-Pellon Fusible Fleece 987F

-Coordinating thread

And then of course sewing machine, iron, scissors, and sewing pins.

1

Step One:

Cut the fabric to the bag size of your choice. For this bag the finished product is 10 1/2″ wide by 9 1/2″ height. There are bag patterns all out there on the interweb that you could find a pattern if you are not sure about making your own.

– Cut the outside fabric (llama fabric) to 11 1/4″ width by 10″ height

– Cut the liner fabric just a tad bit bigger 11 1/2″ width by 10 1/2″ height

And heres why I cut my liner bigger. I dont like pinning so I make my liner just a little bit bigger because I dont have to pin while I am assembling it together. But, for this tutorial I will use pins to show you.

-Cut your pellon fusible fleece to the outside fabric dimensions

Step Two:

-Iron the fusible fleece to the outside fabric. Make sure that you iron the fabric to the textured part of the fleece. If you buy it from the Joann’s it will also have directions with it.

Step Three:

-After you ironed the fusible to the outside fabric you will sew the zipper on the outside fabric like the picture below.

-As you can see I dont use a zipper foot. If you want you can use it, it is up to you. I will sew a straight line between the zipper and the edge. I dont have an exact measure but I just tell my students sew right in the middle.

6

Step Four:

-Sew your liner to the outside fabric (make sure right sides are facing each other). And sew down that same line just like the pictures below.

Step Five:

-Now you flip the fabric and then top stitch and make sure that you are sewing over the outside fabric and liner like the pictures below.

Step Six:

-You will now sew the other outside fabric piece to the zipper. Make sure that right sides (of the outside fabric) are facing together when you sew the zipper on like the pictures below.

And as I am writing this my panik (daughter) just peed on the floor. I am trying to potty train so I have been putting her in underwear and she has not caught onto it. Shes 22 months old and I guess still not ready to potty train anyways where was I.

Step Seven:

-After you sew the zipper the other outside fabric you will now sew your liner down that same line just like we did in step three. Make sure that right sides are facing each other just like below and then sew down that same line.

Step Eight:

-You will now flip your fabric out and top stitch just like the pictures below.

Step Nine:

-You will now sew it all together right sides facing each other leaving an opening at the bottom of your liner so that you can turn your bag inside out. Make sure you leave an opening so that you can turn it right side out. Also make sure that your zipper is on the inside of your bag when you sew it shut. If your sewing machine has a difficult time sewing over the zipper you can always hand crank your machine over the zipper. If you wanted to add a handle you can add one on either side and make sure that is on the inside of your bag. See pictures below.

As you can see I used pins to show you where you can pin if you want to. I generally just sew all the way around without pins. I put pins at the bottom of the liner so show you where to leave the opening. And like I said just make sure that your zipper is on the inside of your bag before you sew it all the way around. I usually leave mine in the middle of the bag because if you leave it to close to the edges it can make turning the bag inside out just a tad bit difficult.

Step Ten:

-Sew all around make sure you dont sew over the pins. I sew over them only cause I like to live on the edge, jk I have glasses and if one of the pins shattered I have eye shields just in case. I use the edge of the sewing foot as my guide when sewing around. I start sewing on my liner fabric on one side of the pins and sew all around. Dont cut your zipper ends yet until you sew all around.

Step Eleven:

-Trim your zipper ends. Trim the excess fabric from your liner fabric. And then cut the four corners so that when you turn your bag right side out they will be nice and neat. See pictures below.

Step Twelve:

-Turn your bag right side out. Poke the corners out I use my finger but you can use a chopstick or pen. And now you will sew the opening shut, I use my sewing machine but you can hand stitch if you prefer.

Step Thirteen:

-Admire your work and reward yourself with a cup of really good kuuviaq (coffee).

And yes this bag is looking for a new home if you are interested send me a message sewyupik@gmail.com to claim it!

If you make this bag and have issues or the instructions arent clear enough or too much information send me a message or comment below! I try to make it as easy as simple as possible without the fancy sewing lingo. Or if you want a tutorial for something else let me know and I can see what I can do!

Good luck and tag me in your finished product Sew Yup’ik on facebook or instagram! I would love to see what you make!

Quyana cakneq!

Just for Fun

Fun mommyhood tips just because. My stinker is 8 months and my life has turned upside down for the better. I would not change it for a thing but goodness gracious sometimes I just have to have that third cup of coffee, put Moana first thing in the morning or maybe three times throughout the day just so I can use the bathroom, maybe eat if I remember, or guzzle three water bottles down. Mommyhood is fun but crazy. The last two nights I have lost sleep because of teething and I feel like a crazy person. And in my crazed state I was thinking about all the things I have to do on a day to day basis to survive. These are my tips and I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Its okay if you have to put on Little Baby Bums on or Moana on in the morning so you can make that cup of coffee, sip it in peace, or use the bathroom alone. I usually try not to put a show on till the afternoon or evening but somedays its the first thing in the morning just so I can make a cup of coffee, and then sip it while its hot. Its okay your not a bad mom if you have to do it.
  2. Binky or no binky its up to you. Dont listen to people when they tell you that your child shouldnt use a pacifier. You know your child better than anyone else and if your baby likes the binky then let em. Before Syd I said I wouldnt give my baby a binky but then I had her and she likes the binky and it helped her go to sleep. And I had to do what I had to do to survive.
  3. If you have had puke in your hair for three days just put a headband on it and call it good. No one will notice or smell it unless its the sour kind of puke.
  4. If you can only shower once a week just change your underwear if you remember.
  5. Dirty clothes. Put them right in the washer if you have one. And if you start the washer try and remember to change them to the dryer so you dont have to re-wash them.
  6. Co-sleep. Crib. Do whatever works for you. Since day one my stinker has been in bed with me. I had to do what I had to do to survive and she was feeding every 2 hours and if she was in a crib I would not have been able to function in the morning. And now that shes teething shes feeding all through the night. IF you do co-sleep dont forget to cut their nails. Its the worst when they’re sleeping next to you and then they scratch you with their long toenails or long fingernails haha!
  7. Some days you will feel soo flipping crazy its not even funny. You will have crazy thoughts. And just feel horrible. Get outside. DO something to get you out of that funk because if not you will go down that rabbit hole of misery.
  8. When you’re so sleep deprived and your baby is crying all night you might get upset with her. Just remember its not their fault. Try and take a deep breathe. Its easier said then done but just know that you’re not alone. Many mothers have had those same exact thoughts and feelings. It makes me feel better knowing that there are other mothers out there who have felt this same exact way.
  9. Drink water. And lots of it. Especially if your breastfeeding. I got a super duper extra large water bottle so I could remember to drink water. Some days I remember and other days I have a pounding headache because I havent drank any.
  10. Get an instant pot because it will save your life. Almost all of my meals have been cooked in the instant pot and it has saved my grumbling belly. And make enough for leftovers. Or have really awesome friends who will make you meals and deliver them to you. Last semester I lost weight because I wasnt eating. I had homework. I was stressed. Was taking care of Syd by myself. And when I had free time I would sew because it saved me from going crazy.
  11. Have a Jenine. She saves me somedays well most days from going crazy. My husband works away from home and every 2 weeks its just me and baby. Jenine is always there when I need to talk to a real person. I can text her whenever and I dont have to bother my husband at work. Have a Jenine because it be can really helpful.
  12. Try and get out of the house once a day even if its just a short 5 minute walk. It’s helpful. Trust me.
  13. Dont buy them a ton of toys. All they want to play with is empty water bottles, the outlets, empty paper towel rolls, and cardboard boxes.
  14. If your stinker is teething try everything. If it doesnt work try it one more time. If it still doesnt work then you got lucky and have one tough cookie. Lets hope that you are tougher than your stinker and remind yourself that it is only temporary and you can do it. With Syd I have tried an amber necklace, frozen wash cloths, pressing on her gums, numerous teething toys, lavender oil, clove oil, oragel, toughing it out, and frozen moose jerky which worked for a time until she got sick of it haha. And tylenol worked but I didnt want to give it to her all the time because I felt like I was over-drugging her with it.
  15. My baby girl is one of the toughest sleep fighters I have ever met. I dont know how I got so lucky but instead of getting upset I just take it one nap at a time. Some nights she gets to sleep at a reasonable hour some nights shes up till 11. We are trying to follow a nightly routine but some days I am so exhausted and can barely take care of myself we skip it.
  16. Sleep regressions are real. I dont know when or why they happen but they suck. Syd use to sleep awesome through the night and then hit one of those damn sleep regressions and she has been stuck in it ever since. And again I just remind myself that this sleep deprivation is only temporary.
  17. Just go with the sleep regressions. Its too tough to fight them and try and get them on a schedule. Trust me.
  18. Get used to using the bathroom with your stinker ALLLLL the time unless they’re sleeping. Bring toes to the bathroom so they’re not pulling at your pants or sweats. And if your stinker is mobile you might want to get those handy dandy cupboard locks because they are going to pulling at them the whole time haha.
  19. When people tell me I have a cute little boy I just agree. I dont correct them and tell them that she is a girl even if she is wearing a camo fleece suit and a pink hat. Its not worth it to correct them because usually they apologize and maybe feel bad but its just not worth it.
  20. Hold them too much because they are only little once. It goes by way too fast. Way too fast. You cant spoil a child with too much love.
  21. Be patient. Dont forget about your husband, boyfriend, partner.  Get a babysitter and take your husband out for pizza and beer. Pamper yourself if you cant do it once a week try once a month.
  22. And most importantly take care of yourself because if you are starving, thirsty, sleep deprived, and then having to take care of your stinker it is not a fun combination. She can cry just its good for her. As long as she is fed, and has a clean diaper she’s okay.

Its been so fun being Syd’s mom. Some days I feel like a bad mom because I let her watch Moana twice but then I remind myself that I could be doing something worse like getting drunk. I am learning to navigate this mommyhood and it has taught me to be flexible, patient, and super duper extra loving. If you have any fun mommyhood tips I would love to hear what has helped you 🙂

I hope you enjoyed these!

And Syd says Hi! 🙂

Syd

And if you are thinking of nursing school do it before you have kids. Because holy cats in the hat it is crazy with a little stinker 🙂 But it is sooo worth it! We start third semester in less then 2 weeks and I know it is going to get unbearably tough but I know I can do it because its only 120 days of madness!

Massive Updates!

Where do I even begin!

Since my class in Homer I vacationed in Arizona to see the in-laws.

Snuck home to Bethel for a quick visit in November.

Taught a qaspeq/atikluk class in Kotzebue November 10-12th which was awesome! At 17 weeks isnt the easiest but thanks to Saima and Maija my rockstars I was able to push thru three days of classes 🙂

18 weeks we went to Seldovia and taught a make up class and qaspeq class. Seldovia is gorgeous and cant wait to get back there for a visit!

20 weeks we snuck away for a long weekend to Ketchikan for some serious Kai sniffs, good laughs with long time friend 🙂 and another successful qaspeq class! I will have to upload pictures later my computer doesnt seem to want to cooperate with me!

After Ketchikan we made another trip out to Bethel to teach a qaspeq class and a Christmas gift making class! And I was lucky enough to be home during wrestling regions and was able to watch my nephew wrestle!

Then one last trip we drove up to Anchorage to teach a one day class!

Whew! It was a whirlwind of travel, travel travel!

We are off to Bethel to start our next chapter, Nursing school! Oh yeah, and a baby. This should be a wild and interesting semester but I am ready for it!

Stay tuned!

Homer Qaspeq Class

Homer Qaspeq Class was a huge success! I had 9 gals taking my class and over the sewathon weekend 15 qaspeqs were made 🙂

I had a quick turn around from my Bethel trip I had one day to recoup, wash laundry, repack my bags and hit the road for Homer. Mac and I had a wonderful weekend in Homer with Christina and the beautiful weather.

Quyana Homer Campus for hosting me to teach a qaspeq classes. I am finally resting in Arizona in the hot, hot sun. And I will be back on the road shortly to Kotzebue, Seldovia in November and Ketchikan, Bethel and possibly Wasilla in December. And January I will be Bethel bound for the Nursing program 🙂 I look forward to this next chapter in my life and cant wait to zoom thru the next couple years of the Associates program and I can continue on with the bridge program.

I will be posting more photos of my past classes 🙂 Stay Tuned!

img_7005img_7007img_7011img_7012img_7014img_7018img_7019img_7020img_7021img_7022img_7023

img_7024
Patricia’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
img_7026
Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
img_7029
Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq with some twists 
img_7033
Leesa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
img_7038
Therese’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with some twists 
img_7042
Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
img_7044
Linda’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
img_7045
Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 

img_7049

img_7050
Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
img_7051
Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq
img_7052
Emily’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with accent pocket, hood, and cuffs 
img_7053
Therese’s beautiful fish bag 🙂 
img_7056
Risa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq

Online Giveaway

To celebrate my new updated website I will be having an online giveaway to promote the new look.

I will be giving away a beautiful embroidered make up bag with this beautiful Art Gallery Fabric.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Like my Sew Yup’ik FaceBook page if you already haven’t

Double your chance and comment my Sew Yup’ik facebook post

2. And comment on this post your favorite fall time activity

Quyana and Good Luck!

I will be announcing a winner October 16th!

Just a heads up for those interested in taking a class. I will be teaching classes in Soldotna, Bethel, Homer, Kotzebue and Ketchikan. Let me know if you would be interested in taking one of the classes 🙂

Where do I even begin…

Its been a whirlwind of travels since July 23rd! Whew!

Where do I even begin?!

I quit my job July 21st and I was on the plane en route to Kotzebue to Camp Sisualik to be a camp counselor for a week! It was such an ahhmazing experience! Camp Sisualik is 14 miles northwest of Kotzebue and a former village and it is still currently a summer camp. It was such a wonderful experience! I taught the kids fish skin tanning. Taught them how to take a good Yup’ik hut maqii. We went out on a hike. Berry picking. The kids were able to check the white fish net. We played some native youth olympics. Made fireweed/bluerry and fireweed jelly. The students collected and made a traditional oil using stinkweed, fireweed flowers, and blueberry leaves. And the students got to just play! There were 10 girls and 6 boys from Kotzebue who made it to camp. Did I mention I was teaching the kids Inupiaq? Or what I learned from the book and shared with the kids. It was such a crazy, wonderful experience! I dont know if I would camp counsel again but it was one for the books!

After camp! I was home for an evening and then right back on the plane the next day to Nome to teach a qaspeq class to the students at the Rural Providers Conference. It was such a wonderful time! I was able to cenirtaq lots with family and friends. Berry pick. Fishing. Get some pro style pictures from my talented friend. And then I was able to share the art of cutting qaspeqs to 23 students from the Norton Sound region! It was such a wonderful experience! I also took the time to speak to our Senator Lisa Murkowski about the heroin epidemic affecting the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. I urge you if you are concerned to call her office, send her an email, write a letter. Share your concerns with those who have the ability to make waves. Enough is enough. It it is time to take back our communities and protect our future generations.

After Nome! It was home sweet home. For about a week 🙂 I was able to work on some orders before I was right back on the plane heading back to Bethel to teach a class and get lotsa of visits in. I was able to squeeze in three maternity photo shoots! I am not an expert but I am able to point and shoot and try and find good lighting. It was so much fun! I am learning lots and definitely feel like I am improving on my skills. I was able to get out and berry pick for blueberries and tundra tea. And then I taught a class to 6 students and it was wonderful! Everyone was able to make 2 in the class and we had a blast! The weather was raining and windy so it made for a perfect day to be inside sewing.

After Bethel! I was home only for a day before I was right back on the plane the next day to Takotna to teach fish skin tanning at Spirit Camp. I was so thankful for Takotna Community Association for reaching out and making it possible. It was such a wonderful experience! There were 16 students from Takotna, 16 students from McGrath, and 4 students from Nikolai! I was thankful for my Soldotna friends for saving me halibut I was able to bring halibut with me for the students to tan. The water level was so HIGH the students werent able to catch any silvers. It was such a wonderful week with the students. They berry picked. Fished. Hiked. Fish skin tanned. Made survival shelters. Ethical wildcrafting. Knot tieing. Packed water. Chopped wood. Stacked wood. And so much more! It was such an ahhmazing experience! I am so thankful I was able to make it up there and be at my other other home 🙂 I hope to make it again!

After Takotna! Home sweet home! Whew. I am finally home, rested and ready to plan for the fall classes and trips. We are also in the process of home improvements which include painting, new flooring, and light fixtures. I am hoping to make it to new places this fall to teach classes! If you are interested in having me come to teach a class in your community please send me an email sewyupik@gmail.com

I will share more photos of qaspeqs and make up bags I have finished in the last couple days. But for now back to sewing!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Choose to be happy and healthy!

End the cycle, here.

The cycle ends with me. I choose to stop the cycle. The cycle of generational trauma is on repeat. And WE need to do something to stop the cycle. Not the government. Not the schools. Not the tribal councils. But WE as a family. Community. It has to start in our homes. Aunties and uncles homes. Friends homes. And it needs to happen sooner than later before we continue to lose more of our family members to alcohol, drugs, suicide, domestic violence, and so much more.

As an adult child of an alcoholic, everyday is a battle. But I am dealing with it the best way I know how. It may not be the right way but it is the only way I know, and for now it has been working. For now. Growing up I never wanted to seek help because I thought I had it covered. I kept telling myself I was fine and nothing was wrong with me. It wasn’t until my later adult years I realized I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t okay. Something was wrong with me and I couldn’t figure it out. I was an angry kid, angry teenager, and it carried into my early adult years. I refused to deal with my emotions and I turned to alcohol and chew. But then there was a turning moment in my early 20s when I realized I didn’t want to be anything like her. And that’s when I knew. I knew that the cycle would end with me. I will refuse to be an alcoholic parent. I will refuse to be a verbally abusive parent. I will refuse to make my children live in fear, every single damn day of their lives.

I know that when the time comes for me to be a mother I will never, ever, ever put my children thru what I was put thru as a child, teen, adult. No child should ever have to hear those words, be treated with such hate and anger, or live in a constant state of fear. No child should ever have to put a restraining order on their parent. No child should ever have to be scarred for life for the hateful words that were spewed in a drunken screaming match.

 

But.

 

I am not bitter. Angry. Hateful. Sad. I do not feel like I am a victim. I am grateful. I am grateful for the person I am today. I am motivated, and determined. I have a raging desire to find my pursuit of happiness every single damn day. My childhood was a mess. But as an adult I have a choice to dwell in the past or make the best of every day. I choose to make the best of everyday. I choose to smile. Laugh uncontrollably. Cry when I feel a wave of emotions overcome my body. I am not ashamed anymore to show my emotions. They have been in hiding for 20 years. No more hiding.

 

So please.

 

Choose the path that is right for you. But please do not continue the cycle of abuse. You can stop it for your generations to follow. Think of your children. Grandchildren. Great-grandchildren. But mostly for yourself. Because in the end you have to live with yourself. Your mind, body, and soul every single day and you have to be healthy for you. Not for anyone else, but yourself.

 

But for me.

It ends with me.

I choose to be healthy.

The cycle ends here.