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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

Fireweed Tuesdays

a

I finally got enough energy to finish two qaspeqs last night! Whew. I think I finally recovered from my whirlwind of a weekend.

Weekend consisting of fishing and berry picking, and berry picking.

And then this afternoon on my quick lunch break I was able to pick a bucket full of fireweed. I am hoping to make fireweed jalapeno jelly, fireweed raspberry and another variation of fireweed jelly before Saturday.

My next few weeks are going to be insane! I head to Kotzebue July 23-31 to visit with family and be a camp counselor at Camp Sisualik! Which I am so excited about!

Then I get home forย a day and then head back the next day to Nome for 4 days to teach a qaspeq class at the Rural Providers conference.

And then I am home for about 10 days and then off to Bethel for a week!

Whew! I will be excited once all my travels are done. And I can finally relax and continue working thru my orders.

Life is wonderful! Especially when you fill with smiles, positivity and laughter!

Wednesdays Rock!

Wednesdays Rock!ย when they are filled with fish head soup, fish egg spread, akutaq, pike and seal oil, finishing a qaspeq, and finishing a beautiful wall hanging that I inherited from my mama bear Jeanne.

The fish egg spread was ahhhhhmazing! And now its all gone! In my tummy and I shared with my coworkers and friends! I cant wait to make more.

I was able to finish this lovely qaspeq for one of my first friends in kindergarten. I loved how bright and fun it is!

You cant have fish head soup without the akutaq so I had to make a fresh batch. Akutaq is eskimo ice cream made with Crisco, sugar, milk, and berries. This time I used my fresh blueberries and salmon berries and it tasted scrumdiddlyumptious! Don’t knock it till you try it ๐Ÿ™‚

And my mama bear Jeanne gave me this beautiful wall hanging that she was going to toss aside but I gladly snatched it up! The only thing I had to do was add the binding. I love how beautiful and simplistic it is. This is her view from looking out her store in Cooper Landing.

I am hitting the road and heading to Milky Chance this evening in Anchorage. I hope to goodness the roads are not jam packed and I can make it in time to see the show!

Happy Thursday! Seize the day!

022

Sleep. Whats Sleep?

Sleep. Whats that?

I haven’t been able to catch a good wink of sleep since the fish, berries, and business have been in full swing! Oh yeah and working full time. But, next Friday is my last day andย I am going to pursue my business full time, school full time and hopefully a traveling teacher of qaspeq making.

I got to go home for 4th of July and it was so wonderful! I got to fill my bucket with blueberries and salmon berries! Lots of visits in my with stinkiest nieces and nephews and lots of visits with good friends and family.

I am having some serious berry picking withdrawals seeing all the blueberry picking and salmon berry picking photos. The berries are in abundance this year and I miss the walk to my favorite tundra spot. Urban living is a little different because you have to worry about bears, property lines, and getting lost. Ha! Bethel there is tundra for DAYS. You would be able to see a bear 20 miles away running to you. Haha. And I am not to comfortable being in the woods yet.

Dipnetting on the Kenai is in full swing! I got my first taste of it on Sunday and now I am hooked! I walked away with 3 Kenai River reds and lost about 7. Oops! I am learning this way of fishing which is definitely different from fishing on the Kuskokwim.

I tested out a new sewing pattern Prima Diva Wallet which I had some difficulty with. I don’t know if I will be making anymore. But it was a good challenge.

I had a Homer getaway with the girls which was much needed. We were tourists for the day. Homer is a beautiful place! And it is only an hour drive away which is awesome.

I was able to finish one custom ordered qaspeq with this beautiful Art Gallery buttery fabric. It turned out beautiful!

I was able to whip out some beautiful BB Bags and two of the three are sold. I will post the one that is for sale on the Items for Sale page.

We celebrated Easy E’s 11th birthday yesterday! Cant believe that kid is 11! Its been fun watching him over the last 6 years.

Salmon Life is the way to go. We use everything from the head, heart, eggs, backbone, skin and the whole fish. We don’t waste. I have yet to brine, dry, and smoke my fish because I don’t have a hanging rack, or smokehouse yet. Hopefully this month we will build one and I can take care of the fish in the freezer.

Life is busy. Life is good. I am excited for my next adventure!

Life is too short to be anything but happy! Do what you love. Follow your heart. If your unhappy find what makes you happy and jump. Don’t wait until your retired to do all the things you WISH you could do now. Make a plan and execute it.

Stay tuned for more fun posts! I got berries, fish, outdoor concerts, half marathon fun, and sewing more to come!

Happy Hump Day!

April Qaspeq Class & Fun Stuff

Check out all the fun stuff!

๐Ÿ™‚

I just returned to my other home from an amazing weekendย  in Bethel! ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a wonderful qaspeq class with 13 students and almost everyone made 2 qaspeqs and I had a beginner student who made 7 qaspeqs!

It was such a refreshing trip home. I got to visit with my stinker nieces, steam with my girlfriends, get some snuggles with Owen, and visit with some of my favorite elders.

It is always a whirlwind trip jam packed with goodies! I was so thrilled with all my students and their beautiful qaspeqs! Many of them are ready to make more and their love for sewing sparked over the weekend!

And before class I got to do some fun sewing in and made a super duper cute BB Bag.

Summer is in the air and I am getting excited for a new kind of summer in my new home. I hope to get back on the fish skin sewing train and use up my beautiful halibut, snapper and salmon just marinating in alcohol in my fridge. They are anxiously waiting to be sewn ๐Ÿ™‚

I failed to mention I made my awesome work cutting/fabric storage area in my Kenai Construction Academy! Check me out! I am trying my hand at everything so I can someday be a super duper handywoman.

Happy Monday!

Home sweet Home

Home sweet home in beautiful Soldotna!

I am so excited to start making some serious sewing magic in my new sewing room.

Stay posted! I should be getting all my things for sale posted with prices hopefully by this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ I am trying to juggle school, work, part time job at the quilt shop, my business, and my family.

Cats in the Hats where do I begin!

Its been a busy busy few months since I last blogged! But I have been a crafting fool!

Its been bags, bags, and more bags. I have been the crazy bag lady and it has been FUN! Some of these have been spoken for but some are ready to go to new homes!

scraps6
Tote Bag available $75 + shipping
scraps5
Tote Bag available $75+shipping
scraps4
Scrap tote bag $85 + shipping
scraps1
Tote Bag $75 +shipping
scraps3
Side 1 of tote bag $85 + shipping
scraps2
Side 2 of scrap tote bag
more2
Bags for days!
more
More bags for dayz!
taken
These two have been spoken for and are hanging out in their new homes ๐Ÿ™‚
scraps to good use
When in doubt use scraps to make a diaper bag ๐Ÿ™‚
scrap use
I dont like wasting any scraps so I whipped out these fun bags to put in the diaper bag
more bagzzz
Blue & Gold tote bags $75 +shipping the one in the front is taken the rest are available
more bags
More tote bags available
fun bagz
This was my first time “quilting” and I had alot of fun with this! This one has been spoken for already.
bagzz
The one on the left is available (looking at screen). I ended up keeping the one on the right because it had minor mistake that I didnt want to fix or sell it the way it was ๐Ÿ™‚
bagz in the making
What I am currently working on smaller tote bags for $65

bagzbags1bags

Whaaaat. Whoooo? Me? Busy? Naw. Just crazy.

Lets just say its been a busy few months of harvesting berries and greens, sewing like a maniac, and taking time to breathe.ย 

But here is what I what I have whipped up so far. Its been a crazy few months but as winter is approaching I will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of my labor.ย 

Deuce bigalow
Me & Joe hanging with Rob Schneider in Las Vegas
berry heaven
Berry grateful
berry grateful
Found a nice looking patch!
womens qaspeq 1
Qaspeq for one my dear friends ๐Ÿ™‚
womens qaspeq
A qaspeq for one of my very first friends!
womens qaspeq 2
Love the colors of this qaspeq and trimming
Tote bags
Tote bag heaven
dora qaspeq
Cute little dora qaspeq
my first diaper bag
My very first diaper bag
Make up bags
Make up bag madness
make up bags 1
Make up bag madness take 2
kids qaspeqs 3
Little kids qaspeqs
Kids qaspeq
Toddler qaspeq
fireweed with cinnamon &  all spiace
Fireweed jelly with cinnamon & all spice
fireweed jalapeno jelly
Fireweed jelly jalapeno
Firewee jalapeno
The finished product of fireweed jelly

Nothing like feeling rich with good food, friends, and family.ย 

My heart is happy.ย 

A whirlwind of business…

5:30 morning phone calls that boil my blood

sewing

sewing

and more sewing

I will elaborate on my fun 5:30 am phone call. Everyone wants that phone call. You want that phone tell, let me tell you. It starts your morning out with a bang.

6 Qaspeqs

in

6 days! Was fun and fun! Tiring but fun!

They turned out amazing!

Miss Megan Leary is representing our Kuskokwim region as I type!

Check out my handy dandy work! These qaspeqs were beautiful and I had a good time sewing them!

Hope you enjoy my work!

A natural Miss WEIO
A natural Miss WEIO
Purple and Green Qaspeq
Purple and Green Qaspeq
Miss WEIO posing after I rudely woke her up and made her put on her qaspeqs
Miss WEIO posing after I rudely woke her up and made her put on her qaspeqs
Red in full form :) this one turned out really nice!
Red in full form ๐Ÿ™‚ this one turned out really nice!
The whole package
The whole package
Lined hoods and all
Lined hoods and all
This red qaspeq turned out so nice!
This red qaspeq turned out so nice!
Gray qaspeq for Miss WEIO
Gray qaspeq for Miss WEIO
Loved the gold accent on this gal
Loved the gold accent on this gal
Red qaspeq with the fun trimming
Red qaspeq with the fun trimming

 

My handy dandy hood work
My handy dandy hood work
Love the purples and greens
Love the purples and greens
Miss WEIO sporting her gray qaspeq
Miss WEIO sporting her gray qaspeq
Miss WEIO sporting her sporty blue
Miss WEIO sporting her sporty blue

 

5:30 phone calls cant bring me down as long as I keep pushing.

5:30 comes and goes everyday twice a day and I remind myself I am better than that. I am better than her. I am a stronger person. I dont deserve to be rudely awakened at 5:30 am to be cussed out and called all sorts of nasty names at such an early hour. I am a better and stronger person.

 

Ring, ring

Its 5:30 wake up.

Ring, ring

Hurry its 5:30 wake up

Oh, must be important.

5:30 wake up calls are unusual.

Oh, wait am I 7 again? or 10? or 14?

I remember those awful calls.

Dad unplugging the phone.

Me unplugging the phone.

Who else would be waking me at an ungodly hour.

Ring, ring.

Maybe if I ignore it she will hang up.

Nope

On comes the answering machine

and there it is

that

dreadful

awful

voice

its her…ย 

My blood is boiling, the tears are swelling, and the assholes, bitches, mother effer’s come out

its 5:30 why not

lets start the morning off right.

Nothing but F you’s and you stupid B’s and all that jazz.

5:30

Oh how I hate you

I hate those memories

those horrible tired mornings

You stupid B just rot in hell please and leave me be

Because 5:30 comes and goes

but her

shes always there

waiting for the next morning to

call

harrass

and

ruin

my

life

one

day

at

a

 

time.

 

Thanks mom!

 

Did I mention that I hate you.. Yup, sure do.

So bring it on 5:30 I’ll be ready.