Questions Answered

4:42 PM

A while ago I had a post where readers could ask me anything they want.
Here's the questions I got, and if you have any more questions, you can leave them in a comment or email me here:
and if there's anything else anyone would like to know we'll do a Part 2.
Just like before, I feel happy to pretty much answer any question you have, even if it's not a craft/ blog related something you've been wondering about me.

1) Have you been sewing for a long time?
        I guess so.  But if I say the total years, it will be pathetic how crappy my sewing is.  The first thing I ever sewed was probably as a 2nd grader I sewed a pillow for my barbie.  In Jr. High I made pajama pants, and pieced square quilts together.  I took sewing classes at school in home ec and added a windsock and lame ruffled pillow to my repertoire.  I also made a bunch of simple elastic waist skirts, but not really that much.  In college I made my husband a rag quilt and pajama bottoms when I was in love with him but we were only friends forever.  So I feel like I've sewn a little here and there throughout my life.  I knew how to work the sewing machine, but not until I became a stay at home did I really start to sew and develop skills in it.  For me, I'm always learning and sewing clothing is a new passion I've had this fall to get better at .

3) What project are you most proud of?
This is a hard one. 
 I guess for sewing, lately I'm most proud of making myself jeans or my moscow wool coat.  I think I've made items that I like better, but for those I'm most proud that I actually had the courage to tackle the project, and pleased that they turned out.

Furniture probably this front facing bookcase.  It was the first furniture I built completely by myself from buying the wood all by myself, working all the tools, and mounting to the wall solo.  I was shocked I could do such a manly project all by myself and it gave me a lot of confidence in furniture.

4)  What hobby would you most like to do for the rest of your life if you could get paid to do it? 
That's a hard one too because I really like so many different areas of projects.  But I think for me sewing would probably be my favorite as it has instantaneous satisfaction as it comes together, and lots of variety.  I think I could sew the rest of my life and still love it.

5) And if you could take one non-essential luxury item to a desert island, what would it be?
probably books actually

6) favorite movie? Rudy.  My mom gave me the DVD a few years ago for Christmas and I started watching a special feature and was already crying.  My husband Rhett came in so we could start the movie and said something like: "oh no, you're crying already and it already hasn't started..." Rhett teases me about it a lot.  I just cry so easily in movies.  I was 8 years old and saw Home Alone in the movie theatre and even cried then.  The only other person I know that cried in Home Alone is George Castanza.  I'm also ashamed to admit I got a little teary in Tangled and even Toy Story 3.  I can just cry so easily.  As a kid I learned to cry at will, and my dad utilized my skill to tease my mom on more than one occasion but then it backfired when no one took my tears seriously anymore.  

7) what is your favorite book?  that is too tough.  maybe favorite authors would be easier: Roald Dahl and CS Lewis.

8) what is your favorite part of sewing? what is your least favorite? 
my favorite part of any project is definitely the planning stage.  Getting the inspiration, the initial creativity, thinking through the details, picking colors/ fabric/ etc.  It's the fun, exciting part.  Then I get started and don't like the process very often, then when it's done I love it again...most of the time.  Disasters happen.

Cutting out is by far my least favorite part of sewing.  I hate cutting out, but it's so important to get it right in the end.  

"How on earth do you have the time to complete all the projects you do with two kids, one being an infant???"
a few people asked this in different ways...ummm.  There's probably lots of factors.  A few I mentioned already in this post.  To add to all of that:

1. Limiting my time to get things done.  Cheri at Momma Hear Me Roar said it better than I could, basically if you give yourself 10 minutes or all day to do something, most often you'll use all the time you allot for the task.  For example I hate laundry.  So I try to encourage myself to just wash, fold and put it all away in one day rather than living out of a laundry basket of clean clothes which we sometimes do--that's just life sometimes at our house.  But I find if I reward myself with one episode of a TV show to fold laundry, I can get it all folded most of the time, rather than all day if I don't set a limit and it takes 3 times as long.  

2. Working Fast.  This sometimes ends up in lower quality obviously, but time is valuable.  So I try clean my house like my mother in law will be here in 20 minutes and try to sew as fast as I can.  I remember when I bought my sewing machine my little sister said she could never sew on a home machine because it drives her crazy how slow they are compared to industrial.  I thought how rarely I sew with full blast speed so that didn't matter to me.  After a few years sewing more, I feel the need for speed on a sewing machine and often feel it's just slowing me down not sewing as fast as I need to.  So something that would take me a few hours then, may only take 20-30 minutes now.  You just get smarter about how you work I guess.

3. Limiting Photography/ Blogging Time to Make More Junk: The computer can suck a lot of my precious time just taking/editing photos, blogging your projects, all the steps of tutorials,  let alone all the blog management/ networking that you'd do if you were a good successful blogger (which I'm not...checked out my tutorials tab lately? it stinks I know).  I tend to scrimp on the blogging side of things in order to make more projects.  

4.  Having a Designated Craft/ Hobby/ Studio Space:
For me, this is huge.  I share all my project stuff with our office, and so it's cramped but it's so vital to have my sewing machine always there ready to sew at any time.  Sometimes I'll sew for 3-5 minutes while my son is finding his shoes, and stop.  My husband's Negroni shirt sat over 24 hours with the needle down in the shirt and the seam sewn half way until I could get back to it.  Having a physical area/ space to jump in and leave my projects at any time really allows me to take advantage of tiny little breaks of time that pop up throughout my day.  If I had to pull my machine out of the closet and set it up on our kitchen counter, I wouldn't get nearly as many things done for sure.  So I am so grateful we were able to allot some space for my projects.

5. Night Owl/ Husband Works around 55-80 hours a week
My kids have a 7-8pm bedtime and I never go to bed before midnight.  So I have (usually) a good 4 hours most nights to get my household stuff done, or if I'm lucky to work on projects.  I stay up late until 2am probably once a week...some weeks a few really late nights.  I guess from being a mom I'm getting used to functioning on less sleep or something.  

My husband is in a really busy stage of his career and works many and unusual hours.  So I have lots of time at home, and where I used to/ would rather hang out with him, he's working a lot. His high intensity career right now adds stress to a family and my creative outlets are therapy for me kind of.  I keep busy myself with my own interests and hobbies rather than feel bored/ lonely/ neglected.  Granted I still have a melt down now and again from feeling overworked and under appreciated (most moms have these right?).  But in some ways, some weeks, projects help me survive when I'm tempted to feel I'm a single mom...which I'm not, but some weeks it can feel like that and it's fun to have something cheap, useful, and personally fulfilling to look forward to.

7. Natural High (I sound like a DARE campaign)
But I actually think, for me, there's a synergy element of making and creating things.  It kind of gives me energy, even though it obviously uses energy to create stuff.  The idea of making crap late into the night after a day of being a mom can seem exhausting, but it kind of gives me energy for the next day.  I'm excited about the projects and it kind of fuels me to do everything else.  I don't think I'm addicted, but creating fuels more productivity in the rest of my life.  I don't feel it drains energy, but actually gives me energy to be a more active mom, etc.  Maybe that doesn't make sense and sounds weird...and maybe the energy I reap from creative outlets is more mental than actually physical.

8. I'm Real and Lame 
I have a wall hanging that says: DULL WOMEN HAVE IMMACULATE HOMES.
I am not a dull woman.  My house is definitely not a pig sty, but you will find dust and probably some little kid finger prints on the glass door, etc.  I try to keep things clean and the main areas of our house presentable, but we live there with little kids so yes, it's not immaculate and some times dishes get left in the sink overnight to be taken care of the next day.  I obviously value a clean home but know as a granny on my death bed, the last thing I'll think is "I wish I kept my house cleaner." Sometimes you can have tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner, spend a whole afternoon playing Battleship, and do the quick clean version in the bathrooms and still be OK I think.  As for being lame, I really don't have any other hobbies/ interests I'm involved with.  With the baby still taking naps, we are kind of home bodies and I'm not very social and kind of a hermit crafting away.

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  1. Hey Jessica.
    I found that very interesting reading. I think it's really nice to know that people are really all the same.
    I would love to have my own sewing space but with 8 of us in one house including 6 kids there is no chance. I'm lucky my hubby doesn't mind if I leave my machine on the kitchen table while I'm working on stuff.
    Anyway thanks sharing your valuable information. ♥

  2. Ha ha, I'm underslept, excited about projects and otherwise lame as well. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for all the insight. I totally relate in all the areas. I went for a couple of months last year not making/sewing and found out I was not happy at all. So I'd rather have a cluttered house and be happy. I don't think my kids care about the clutter anyway....

  4. That was fun to read. I'm pretty lame myself. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing!! Its always fun to read more about people. And don't worry, I always cry watching Toy Story 3, too. I know they aren't going to be incinerated, but its still makes me tear up.

  6. I've been following your blog for awhile and am so happy I found it. You've been an inspiration to me to get back to crafting. So, thank you!! And, I want you to know that I also cried watching Home Alone and Toy Story 3. So, don't feel like you're alone!! My family calls me "ol' waterworks". :-)


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