Thursday, April 10, 2008

Question and answer. You asked!

Let me tell you first that I'm (or blogger) having formatting issues! I hate when this happens. It won't let me put spaces between the questions and answers. If you can give me any tips, PLEASE HELP! I will change the post as soon as I know what is wrong.

Katie asked: I'm about to homeschool. We're starting next year. So, tell me your favorite thing and least-favorite thing about homeschooling. Plus any advice you might like to add.

A:I love that we can learn about whatever is going on at the time instead of a super strict curriculum, and that it's not just one child learning your younger kids can learn along with the bigger ones. A good example of this is the zoo. We have season passes to the zoo and we're going to see the opening of the kangaroo exhibit. We can just take opportunities to learn as we go instead of learning everything out of a book. We go back to the book learning when there is nothing new in real life. Oh and I love that my kids can be with me all the time. I can't really think of anything that I dislike about homeschool. I guess there are little things like sometimes we just want to be lazy or we have something really fun we want to go do. But, that's good too because when we want to be lazy we just skip a day, then we divide that work up and do a little extra each day until we have made it up.

Cindy and Megh asked: What process do you use to draft patterns and how did you learn?
A: LOL! I don't know if I have a real "process" I am pretty scattered! It usually starts as a thought I guess. I think of a dress I want to make but there is no pattern similar, so I just have to figure it out on my own. Every now and then there is a pattern close enough that I can have a starting point, but a lot of the time I'm on my own. I just think it through, sometimes this part takes days. I have to tell you something! Ben knows me so well! When I am in this phase of the "process" I don't talk much because I am thinking. He starts asking "What are you building?", I think it's so funny that he can tell when I'm "building". After I have it all worked out I try it with not so cute fabric, in this stage whoever i am sewing for has to be close at hand. At this point I know where the kinks are and I have to go back to thinking about how to fix it. After I have the not so cute version fitting the way I want it to I make the real version. This may sound so mixed up to you but in my mind it makes perfect sense! LOL! "Where did I learn to draft patterns?" Trial and error.
How did you learn french heirloom sewing?
A: Books. I inhaled every book I came in contact with after I had Molly! I started sewing when she was just a few months old. I have been sewing and devouring books for 6 years now.
Karen asked: Do you have any words of wisdom for heirloom sewing on a budget? Most of the materials and patterns needed seem to be so expensive.
A: I use a lot of thrifted clothing or bed sheets. I always use those extra soft white sheets to make slips and linings. I guess my trick to using thrifted sheets is Cascade. Yes, the dishwasher stuff. I get the original white liquid Cascade. You know how the sheets or pillowcases have that yellow look to them. Well soak it in some cold water in the sink with cascade for a few hours (1/2 cup of cascade to a sink full of water) and they will be the brightest white! Don't you remember the collar. On heirloom dresses I just save my money and get the better fabrics, you really are saving money. The dresses that I made for Molly are just as nice for Maddie because the better fabrics hold up so well. The cheaper fabrics are just not for "heirlooms", they don't hold up kid after kid. When it comes to the heirloom patterns I would say they are worth their weight in gold! You can use them forever, they don't really go out of style, and they are a lot easier than the more commercial patterns.
Sheila asked: I've asked you this before Samantha, do you ever sleep? You seem to get so much accomplished.
A: Since the surgery I have been sleeping at least 8 hours a night because the medicines I'm on make me soooo sleepy. But the funny thing is I don't feel near as productive! Normally I would say that I stay up past 3 am at least twice a week, the other nights I probably get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of sleep. I am such a night owl, all the good ideas start flowing in at around 10pm. LOL! I usually wake up around 8 am, sometimes the kids will let me sleep till 9 before they get up

This is the view from my bedroom door. That's my fabric/pattern wardrobe.

Where in your house is your sewing machine/room?

A: My bedroom. I have a corner and a wardrobe that I use to store fabrics in.

This is to the right of the door. I know it's not very pretty or inspiring, but it's enough!

Do you have unfinished projects that didn't turn out how you wanted?

A: Yes! I usually come back to them when I get a good idea of how to make them better.

If you weren't a wonderful stay at home mom, what career would you be in?

A: This one is so easy! I was a pediatric nurse before, but I feel kind of out of the loop. So if I ever went back to nursing I would LOVE to be a lactation nurse. I am the lactation nurse of my circle of friends! I love helping new mamas nurse their babies, it is just beautiful! This is a area of nursing that I feel like I have been WELL trained in. I have 5 1/2 years experience!

Anonymous asked: You seem to be such a calm, down-to-earth, and fun mom on your blog... what are your top 3 mommy tips?

A: I have often wondered how people perceive me as a mother by reading my blog. Sometimes I worry that people will think I'm this perfect mom that never makes mistakes. I'm not! I have grumpy days just like everyone else, my kids fight, we have our own little set of battles, but we have so much fun!

I guess my first tip would be let your kids help out, give them little chores. Some people think this is slave labor LOL! But it gives them something to be proud of, a job well done. It makes them feel like they are needed in the family. A good example of this is Molly helps me cook and clean up every night. If she didn't do her job we wouldn't have dinner. She knows she is needed and she is so proud of her job. The other night she told me that it was her favorite part of the day.

Tip number two. Hmm... I know everyone has something that they love doing with their kids, mine is walking. We call it "the adventure". When I feel like my day is going down hill fast and everyone is grumpy, we just drop everything and go for a long walk. I love it! Everyone forgets what they were being ugly about when your having so much fun.

And number three, look at everything as an adventure. We could spend a whole day playing and never pick up a toy or electronic device. We have fun digging up buried treasure in the back yard, riding down a road we have never been down, building a campfire and pretending to camp out, playing survivor man (we build a shelters, LOL!), sliding in footie pajamas across the hardwood floor, I think we could have fun doing anything!

And because we answered these in our home group tonight...What would you do with a million dollars if you had a week to spend it, anything left would be gone?
A: Pay off my house and give the rest to our church for a new building (we are in a converted garage right now).

What's the best gift you ever gave?

A: I have no idea! Maybe.... a wedding dress....This one is hard!


Megh said...

Thanks! I'm stunned that you haven't been sewing for your whole life. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering all of these questions! It's been like a little "get to know me" session. I think I'll do something like this on my blog. (But I would be so sad if no one asked me anything!)

And you know, if I were a nurse, I would totally be a lactation nurse. I loved breastfeeding and am always so sad (to myself) when someone I know chooses formula. I understand that everyone has their own ideas and tendencies, but I always thought bfeeding was so much easier than having to fix bottles. I also had lots of issues with low supply (thanks to a dr. who told me the mini-pill wouldn't affect my supply--LIE!) and clogged ducts and disinterested (or over-interested, LOL) babies. But I just let the babies be my guide and it all worked out. Plus it was a matter of principle for me, and prayer (and I had two super phone lact consultants to call on). So I would love to share my knowledge with other moms. If I were a nurse.

Sorry, I'm writing a whole 'nother blog post in your comments. Thanks again for the Q&A!

Steve & Molly said...

I enjoyed reading all your responses to the questions, even tho I didn't ask one. :) I think I will have to remember that "adventure" idea the next time we are having a rough day during school! Wish you were here to help me "whip up" a skirt for Tali for Sunday...long story, but she needs a black, off to the machine I go. Have a great weekend!

Cindy said...

Samantha....thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions. It was fun learning more about you. I nursed all my babies too. I was even a La Leche Leader for quite a while. I can definitely understand being a lactation nurse!

Unique Gowns said...

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