Friday, 26 January 2018

Carla from Alaska Wolf Pack

This week's Blogger of the Week and I bonded over a love of Teresa Wenztler's designs a good few years back.  I have followed her blog and her FlossTube channel from the frozen wastes of Alaska to the Tiny House living in Colorado.  If you watch her videos, you will read this interview in her voice which is always fun to do!   Please welcome Carla from


and



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Carla.  To state where I’m from would take all day as I’ve been from all over the United States and Canada.  Originally, I’m from New Mexico.  I’ve spent most of my life in Alaska (35 years) and just recently moved from Alaska to Colorado and now live in a 36ft 5th Wheel RV in my second son’s backyard.  I know that sounds “off”, but really it’s quite wonderful.  I own the RV so essentially I own my home.  I am the proud mother of 4 incredible people; two boys and two girls.  They are all adults and have their lives, but strangely they all still want me around!



2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?


I have been stitching for about 30 years now.  When I was 8 months pregnant with my second son, his father decided we were going to move back to his hometown of Manistique, Michigan.  This is located in the U.P. (Upper Penninsula) between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  Once there I realized I had nothing to do and found myself wandering around downtown.  There was a Ben Franklin’s Store there so I went in.  It was similar to an olde timey General Store and was really fun to wander around in.  I came across the “craft” section and noticed some cross stitch kits and thought I would try making one of them for the new baby.  Please don’t choke when you view the picture...it was Barney and Friends.  All the rage back in the day.  When I got home I set to work on this little kit without reading directions or knowing how to do anything….because why read directions or learn anything?  It ended up being horrible, but I did finish it and showed it to my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law who both looked on in horror and amusement.  I was gently told what I had done wrong and to this day can still hear their voices any time I want to “cheat”.  They taught me how to start a thread (knots are unacceptable) and advised me that all stitches should go the same direction (not however you want them to).

  


Even though that first bit of stitching was horrible, I WAS HOOKED.  I was fortunate enough to have two experienced stitchers at hand to tell me what to do and how to do it and I am forever grateful to them for teaching me so gently...I can still see Jane’s face...the struggle she had not to laugh at me could have caused an aneurysm!


Thank you Ben Franklin’s and thank you Jane and Joann for showing me the way.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?


I had started my blog August 30, 2009.  The original name was Sceal Teach which means Story House.  I wanted to write the stories about my cross stitching and crafting because I felt that each project I worked on had a story behind it.  That still holds true today.  I love a good story and it occured to me that some of my cross stitch pieces had some great stories behind them.  No one really read my blog for a really long time so I didn’t really post very often, and I wasn’t sure how to write the stories.


After a few years went by I found other bloggers who blogged about cross stitch, knitting, crochet and quilting...our main staples of the crafting world!  That’s when my blog started getting noticed.  It was strange going from no one reading what I wrote to getting over 1,000 hits per month.  I had found a way to write my stories and strangely people liked them.


A few years ago I decided to change the name of my blog to Alaska Wolfpack.  When I did this, I ended up losing most of my followers because I did it wrong.  I still haven’t managed to get my followers back up to where they were.  I wasn’t very smart about how to change my blog name and how to notify everyone of the name change.

I changed the name because my business was going to be called Alaska Wolfpack and I had some serious personal reasons for the change.  Even though I don’t live in Alaska anymore, the name will stay the same.  I love the name and it represents myself, my siblings and my children.  We ARE a wolfpack.



4. How would you describe your stitching style?  Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?


When I first started stitching I was one at a time.  I did it this way for YEARS.  When my desire to stitch ALL THE THINGS really ramped up, I had too many starts, UFOs, WIPs, and I had to buy ALL THE THINGS.  I think this really became an issue when I finally found groups, and met more stitchers around the world who introduced me to EVERYTHING.

When you are a solitary stitcher it’s easier to stitch one thing at a time.  When you become part of a community...well we ALL know where that leads us!  The excitement of stitching everything and showing it off to others who appreciate what you have accomplished is wonderful.

I have tried rotations, finish the WIPs, and various other ideas over the last few years and have finally settled on a small rotation.  This actually worked in 2017 and I believe it will continue to work throughout 2018.



5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?


My all time favorite designer is Teresa Wentzler.  Her patterns are works of art that make a stitcher better at stitching.


Honestly, I like everything.  I think I have stitched every kind of pattern so I’m not really stuck on any one particular style or design.  I do go through phases.  One month I’m all about Sampler patterns, another month I need something pretty and bold and another month I want cute and simple and so on.  It’s safe to say I’m drawn to cross stitch in general!



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I couldn’t really narrow it down to just a few.  This is a difficult question for me because I love everything I’ve ever stitched.  I supposed I’m most proud of stitching the pieces I lost interest in or had serious emotional issues attached to them. 


Two examples would be Peter Pumpkin and Butterfly Vignette.


Peter Pumpkin I absolutely LOVED!  It was pure joy to stitch and so fun I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it every single day.  



Not so for Butterfly Vignette.  I despised it and wanted to throw it away every time I thought of touching it.


Of course, when I look at the framed piece I actually like it more and am proud I finished it, but it still is a constant reminder of a period in my life I wish had never happened.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?


This question makes me laugh!  I immediately remember EPIC FAIL (the name of the posted picture).  It was a speed stitch competition that Jody with Unconventional Cross Stitch had put on back in 2009 where she would release one section of the pattern every week and the first to finish wins.


I made a serious error when I started and during that time I was using a scroll frame so wasn’t paying attention to positioning.  I knew the fabric was large enough for the full pattern…..



…..but as you can see I started in the wrong spot.  I was so disappointed!  I could have won that contest hands down, but I made a serious error in spatial judgement.  Sadness!


I did re-stitch this pattern and my brother promptly claimed it as his.  I still have this in a box, hidden from view...away from the world...sadness!



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?


Hardanger.  I have never done this particular type of stitching and the joy on stitcher’s faces when they finish something really has me wanting to give it a try.


Also, I’m currently trying different ways of finishing projects.  You can only make so many pillows or wall hangings!



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?  Or is everything FFO'd?  What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?


Oh yes, but thankfully there are only five finished things in that box waiting to be finished off.  I don’t really have a favorite way of finishing anything.  I usually wait until my mind figures out a way it should be finished.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?


This question has me feeling a little soulless.  I know many stitchers have a favorite thing, but I really don’t have anything in particular that represents me.  I love everything I stitch, so I suppose everything I stitch is a representation of me.



11. Tell us a secret about yourself.  Or a joke.  About anything!


From the immortal Chef Ramsey:


Q:  Why did the chicken cross the road?
A:  BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T COOK IT ALL THE WAY!!



12. Anything you would like to add?


“In order to reach a goal you have never achieved you have to do things you have never before done.”


I found that quote somewhere and that’s what helped me achieve all the goals I had for 2017.  My dream of living a tiny house lifestyle has been achieved and now I need a new goal for 2018!



Thanks Carla for your great answers.  If anyone who follows Carla can think of an answer for Q 10 for her, maybe they could leave a comment!






37 comments:

  1. hellooo .. lovely to meet you and had a giggle about Barney ...love T|W too .. got the Castle half way done ... one day too that will be finished :) love mouse xxxxxx

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    1. I apologize for my lateness in responding! OMG that Barney, so horrible! hahah! I'm very happy to meet people who also love TW!

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  2. Hi Carla! It is so nice to meet you. I really enjoyed reading about you and your stitching. I will check out your blog too. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

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    1. HI RJ! I apologize for not responding sooner. I really hope you enjoy my blog and I'm so pleased to meet you!

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  3. Hi Carla, so lovely to learn more about you. Have fun living in the RV!

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    1. Hi Kaisievic! It's been a real learning experience living in my RV, but I have to say it's a wonderful space perfect in every way!

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  4. What a lovely way to meet you Carla. I remember Barney hee hee. Stitching certainly grabs you and becones a great friend. You should try hardanger it's quite easy and the cutting is not so scary. I designed 3 bookmarks increasing in technique for each one.

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    1. Hi Clare! I still have not tried hardanger, but it's is still top of my list of new things :D Although you have me wanting to drop everything and give it a try right this second!

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  5. Hi Carla! It's funny, I've known you for years and can still learn something new about you :)

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    1. Hi Leonore! Zum Glück haben Sie und ich ein Leben lang voneinander zu lernen!

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  6. I enjoyed meeting you Carla. :)

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  7. Loved learning about you and your Tiny House. Your Barney and Friends adventure made me laugh.
    xxx

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    1. Hi KimM! I'm glad the Barney and Friends adventure made you laugh, it's still funny to me after all these years!!

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  8. Hello Carla, nice to meet you. Barney was a favourite of my children.

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  9. So nice to meet you Carla! Seems you have come a long way since your Barney days. I think your Butterfly Vignette is beautiful, congrats for sticking with it.

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  10. Nice to meet you Carla. Great answers. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Hi Carla, So nice to meet you and I'm intrigued by your life in your RV. Will certainly check out your blog. ( your butterfly stitch is gorgeous) Mary

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    1. Hi Mary! Well my first year in my RV has been about LEARNING. However the space is absolutely perfect for me. I am a serious advocate for tiny house living and only have the one video on my channel regarding that, but I do intend on putting up another one about how I survived the winter :D

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  12. Hi Carla.I have enjoyed reading about you and seeing your stitching.Home is where you are happy and your RV sounds like it makes you very happy:)

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    1. Hi Lesley! Thank you and the RV DOES make me happy. It is pretty posh, but I have seen far more extravagant RV's than mine so I guess mine would be mid-range haha!

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  13. Nice to meet you, though I've been a somewhat silent stalker of yours for a while. We all had to start somewhere! That Barney kit ahaha. It also had a good amount of backstitching so I bet that was an adventure too!

    I dunno how you do the RV life; I need my foundation to be very solid!

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    1. Greetings silent stalker! The backstitching wasn't as hard as the cross stitching, for obvious reasons hahaha! I still have no idea why I chose that pattern over all the other pretty kits that were on sale, seriously...Barney! haha

      Ah, well I too like a solid foundation and that will be done this summer. My son and I have researched proper methods and will have it more leveled and stable. I hope to have video of that this summer :D

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  14. Hello Carla, so lovely to meet you and get to know you through this interview. Very nice stitching that you show here. I'm a bit like you when it comes to styles and designs - I just love about everything and stitch whatever catches my eye.

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    1. Hi Brigitte! It's lovely to meet someone as eclectic as I am!

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  15. Lovely to meet you. Such lovely stitching - and I love your first piece was Barney! x

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  16. Wonderful to meet you. I love Peter Pumpkin and the butterflies are beautiful.

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    1. Hi Mary it's lovely to meet you as well! Peter Pumpkin was so fun to stitch, and I even made a short progression video of the stitching to show just how fun and fast he stitched up :D

      Ahhhh, the butterflies, yes they are pretty and I do recommend using sparkly Sulky Holoshimmer with the floss to give the wings some pop :D

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  17. Oh those butterflies are gorgeous!AriadnefromGreece!

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    1. Hi Ariadne! Thank you! If you ever stitch that kit don't forget to put some sparkle with the floss! It really makes the finished piece even more lovely.

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