In Kinship - A podcast for makers
who crave a vibrant life on their own terms

Show Notes

Episode #29 - Get Your Mojo Back

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Being a beginner at something you already know, seems counterintuitive.  But when I was looking to deepen my artistry, reconnect to my mojo, and embrace new ways to do what I love doing, being a beginner was just what I needed. 

Learning anew gave me a deeper connection to my craft and a mindset that allows for more curious experimentation rather than rushing to the end product.   I highly recommend it!

Give it a listen! 

Mentioned in the episode:

Brooks Ann Camper’s Skirt Skills
Laureen Nowlan-Card
Episode 18 – with Laureen



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Hey there you are listening to the, in kids podcast. And I’m your host, Tina Vandenburg. Thanks for being here. On today’s episode, I’m going to talk a little bit about going deep into mastering your craft, mastering your hobby mastering. Maybe your life. I’m going to talk about what that looks like and how I have been embracing that in my life lately. I’m also going to share with you. The information that I have about the retreats that are coming up for 2024. 

I’m super excited about them. And they really relate to the idea of mastering or going deep. Into your craft into your artistry. So. Without further ado. Let’s get started.

You are listening to the in kinship podcast. And I’m your host, Tina Vandenberg. A podcast for makers. who crave a fully lit up alive life. What does that mean? Well, honestly, I don’t know about you, but I’m a maker. I love to make things with my own two hands. I also like to craft my own life. I like to craft. Every part of it that I can, um, there are lots of things that I can not have any control over. There are lots of things that. Uh, The university’s hands to me or things I have to do, like take my child to school at a certain time. But there are a lots of spaces that I do have control over my time. And I do have control over how I experienced life. And so in this podcast, I love to talk about that. 

I love to talk about the ways in which we can bring joy and peace into our lives. No matter the circumstances. I like to talk about those moments. When you listen to that little voice in your head and you don’t really know why. And the most amazing, beautiful thing happens. I like to talk about. What it looks like to bring ritual. And ceremony into your life. And. How. To go deeper and get more depth. In the life that you have right now. 

And what that might bring to it. So. There you go.

Hello friends. It was the beginning of March and I am giving you the first episode of season two for the in kinship podcast. I had hoped to do this a little earlier, but if you can tell from my very sexy voice. I’ve been sick for a long time, sort of annoying. But here I am and I’m doing it. Gravelly. Uh, cracky voice or not. 

So bear with me as we go into this. But this is the first week I have felt really. In 2024. But I felt like. Looking forward. And looking into the future of my life to some degree. Other than this, I really been holding on to each present moment and trying to get through those things. 

And that’s been challenging and also beautiful, right? 

Because. There is a beauty to just surrendering to the moment. And being okay with where you are and what is occurring. Because honestly, like, We can certainly drive our own ships. But.

When we surrender to the reality of what is, we have such a greater opportunity for ease and joy and peace in our lives. For me, it’s always, when I’m fighting. Scrambling. When I have decided something’s going to take me 20 minutes and it takes me an hour and a half, and now I’m frustrated and irritated and behind it, everything else. 

And I have not giving things. Given things enough space or time. That’s when my life gets the most. Challenging. Whereas in when I clear the ducks and I’m like, this is what I’m doing right now. Not multitasking. I’m single tasking. And I’m going to give it this much time or I’m going to do whatever it is until it’s done. It’s when I have the most ease and I’m in the most flow. And so. It sort of leads me into some interesting things that have happened to me lately. I, as you know, have recently moved into my new. Onto my new property. At the end of the season last year, I was sharing about the property that I have and

while I feel settled onto it more so than I did. 

I’m not fully settled. And I realize that’s probably going to take a season or two or maybe a full range of seasons, maybe a full year. I’m not sure. There’s still a lot of sand around, right. There’s like a lot to be done to have it be. Uh, home and at the same time, I’m living here right now. And so it is a home. And I was alone in a lot of ways. I also have purchased. A 5 million bird feeders. I’m finding so much joy. Uh, The massive amount of bird activity I’ve been getting. I’ve always been a bread lover. Even when I was a tiny girl, like whenever my dad lifted me up onto the counter. So I can look out the window where the bird feeder was and he would tell me. All the birds that we’re seeing, the black cap tickety though. White breasted, not at. The grubby little grosbeaks, which he never liked. Because they ate like pigs. 

I don’t really know what that means, but poor grosbeaks, you know, we all have our things. Anyway. I’m in a very lover for a long time. Not like a bird lover, right? Like I don’t. Oh, I do actually. I was going to say, I don’t have like a bird book and binoculars in my car. But I do. I just don’t use them very often. 

I’m not getting up at the crack of Dawn and going to a marsh to look for migratory birds. How’s that? I want to, it sounds really appealing, but. Uh, it’s really nice to sleep in too. So maybe someday I’ll be that kind of a bird lover. What I’m not quite yet, although, you know, I could see that shifting. Into total bird nerd dumb. Anyway. 

They’re helping me to feel settled and welcoming me into the neighborhood. 

It helps that I’m, you know, spending a lot of money on bird seed. But. 

In settling in here, I’ve been craving. Uh, reconnection to my hobby. And craving and reconnection to my artistry, which if you’ve been following the podcast for awhile, you know what, for me, that’s karma at sewing. Not just caring about some way, but like design pattern drafting. Um, sometimes it’s natural dying or embellishment with stitches, embroidery, things like that, but almost always to do with textiles.

And specifically clothing. Because I love being able to wear. The things that I make. That’s not to say that I don’t have like some homemade pillows and I definitely have this idea of doing these really great curtains. I found this fabric I’m Spoonflower, which you’re not familiar. It’s been flour. It’s. Uh, website where. People. From all over the world can upload their designs and you can get printed onto fabric. 

And so I found this very cool 12.

That I might get made into curtains. This. That project has to be down the line though. I have enough. Right now, and just like making steps up to the house and putting in an addition on and getting a topsoil and then making it not be just a sandpit, like things like that, right. Things are a little more immediate than curtains, but. The curtains are calling me anyway, textiles and clothing in particular are my passion. And so I’ve been craving. Uh, connection back to that. 

Cause , my life has been in a lot of upheaval and I’ve had quite a bit of illness the last couple of years. And so. I have not. Allowed myself as much time or energy as I want to. And so not only do I want to reconnect to my, my craft. But I want to create reconnect to it in this really deep way. And so. In the last couple of months, I did two things I don’t normally do. 

They’re actually the same thing, but two different avenues. I took two different courses, one on inner child and feminine work, which is not related to crafting. And one on pattern drafting. And both of those topics, I’ve done a fair amount of work in, in both of those topics. 

I’ve got a lot of experience in, and so I’m sort of shocked. I decided to be somewhat of a beginner again at both of them. And I consciously made that choice. Right. I was very intrigued. I, I just finished. Brooke, sand campers, uh, skirt skills course, which was amazing by the way. And if you are considering taking it, even if like me. You’ve considered yourself sort of an expert level in a lot of sewing ways. I think it’s worth taking. 

She had insights that I have never experienced before, because she comes at it from such a different perspective. She comes at it from the costuming and professional aspects. And I come at it from somebody who learned by. Scrambling her way out her kitchen table. Right. And reading a ton of books and doing different courses. 


Her mindset around taking the time to do things in this really beautiful hand-sewn if needed deep way. Um, Was exactly what I needed. It was a total mind shift change for me, this deepening. And another thing that I got out of it is this allowance to be creative and try things out on your fabric. Before you. Do your final project. Right. 

Like, I have always been like, I only have this much time or I’m very prolific, so I want to make a bunch of things. So I’m going to rush through it. So sometimes. Even somebody. Even as somebody who’s got a lot of skill and has a lot of ability. I’ll make things that I’m like, oh, I so could have done this better, but I wanted to get it done. 

Cause I had four more things I wanted to do that day. Right. I bet you, you can relate to this. I wanted to find a way to slow that down and have it not feel like I was wasting my time. And that’s exactly what I got out of brick sands. Of course. Not only that, like I got this block that fits me really well, and that feels amazing. And then I worked through all of her lessons on sewing up the garment and that’s where a lot of her tips. On hand basting and trying something out and just like getting. Your project, some space and some breathing room. And it’s been amazing. I had such an ease filled lovely time. 

And that’s exactly how I want to fill in my life. And so to embrace that as a beginner and to go through every one of the lessons, even when I’m like, I know this, I know this, I know this right. This kind of mentality. There was a loss that I didn’t know. There’s lots that I got to learn from. And. 

I got to pick up things that. 

Help me go deeper, which is exactly what I wanted. Exactly what I’ve been craving. And it was delightful. So if you are considering taking Breck sands, Skirt skills course. I think the next one is in the summer of 20, 24. You should definitely do it. It was well worth it. Even as someone who doesn’t really wear woven garments, right. 

I wear almost exclusively net. But I went into it wanting to gain more skill. Wanting to change my mindset. I knew that she had a different way of approaching sewing than I did. And I wanted to embrace that. And that’s exactly what happened and it was amazing. And sometime. In the next few months. She’s going to be on the podcast and we’re going to talk about her skirt skills class, because I have some questions for her. And I would love for her to answer them and to talk more about her process. And how she embraces this sort of slow. 

Meditator , at least in my opinion. Meditative way. Of going at her craft. Because I find it so beautiful. And I’m so grateful to have a little piece of that . In my world now. 

So I took that course and I’ve been working through that and I’m still working through my final project cause you know, I’m a good student, so I’m going to finish all of my projects up. Because I also am investing in myself. I am investing the time and effort. To make a change. And so. I’m going to show up for that.

And then . In the fall I took Lorene Nolan cards course feminine freedom. I Went into it with a very specific topic that I wanted to work on. I felt like I had some blocks around money. And I wanted to go in and I wanted to see if I could shift. Um, some of my old beliefs around money and around my ability to earn money and just different things that we all have money things that it seems right. So I knew that I was ready to try to work on some of that stuff. 

I had had some work with Lorene before it, in fact, if you recall last summer, she did a session with me on the podcast. Where we do the sort of pretend situation. And I had some. Very real breakthroughs on it. It was very interesting. I can’t really episode number, but it’ll be in the show notes. If you want to check it out.

And so I took her course, even though, like, I feel like I’ve done a lot of work on getting the feminine, the sacred, feminine back into my life. And also on doing inner child work, right. I’ve been for this one to focus in mind for probably 15 years. And so I felt like. A lot of what. She’s sharing. I’ve done work in maybe not the same structure, but I don’t look at it. 

So I was a little hesitant. I’m just sharing this on a transparency. I was a little hesitant to take her course, because I thought, is this really going to get me where I want to go? Because some of it’s going to be work I’ve already done. 

And so I went about this course with that same beginner mind, the same curiosity. What can I learn from this experience? And I did all the lessons and I did all of that exercises. And it was amazing. It was amazing because I had in one of the meditations, I had such a breakthrough in my own mind. And then we come together for a group conversation. And I’m sharing about this amazing breakthrough. 

I have. And Lorene. See something that I never saw and it immediately. She points it out to me and it’s immediately like, Oh, my goodness. And I have to sit with it for like two months, because I don’t know how to answer it. Definitely. I can see. Where is a black for me, but I don’t know how to shift it. 

And I sit with it for two months and finally, through the coursework of this. Of this course that I went through with her. I come to this most beautiful realization is got nothing to do with money. It does have to do with receiving. But it also had to do with like how I mother and the ways in which for the most part I’m really. I feel very grounded as a mum. And I feel like I listened to my soul. And I’m really proud of them that I am. But there are some ways in which I don’t love how I react to certain things. And going through this with Lorraine showed me. Exactly why I react that way. And it has changed it. All it needed a great it’s like, it’s amazing. 

Now in March after like maybe two and a half months of having this realization come to me in this. This opening, come to me. 

One. I don’t have money blocks anywhere. Like I don’t feel that block anymore. It is. It has been shifted. I know any of you who have done some of the inner work that you could do in life, I don’t know about need to, but you could do in order to find more peace and joy within yourself. And we’re acceptance. 

Really? It’s all about acceptance. Isn’t it.

You know that once you heal something, sometimes it sort of just like poof disappears right out of your life. Like you don’t even remember that it was an issue. Whereas in before it was a very pressing issue. Which is sort of a magic, I think. And so I actually can’t even feel the urgency or the stress around this block that I had anymore or around this way of mothering that I was doing, because. It has shifted. As. I mean easy. And so I guess I’m here. Two. Encourage you. Tail. 

Follow your heart. 

And if you are being drawn to something, even if you can talk yourself out of it, even if you can talk yourself and be like, yeah, I. Probably not going to get anything out of this. This probably isn’t really, for me. I already know all of this, right. It’s of course it’s like the laugh of the century. 

Right? If you are feeling that way about something, but you are drawn to something. If you are able. And we almost always are. Right. Cause we really can do the things that are most important to us.

Go for it. Because I have been amazed at the growth that has happened in my life and the mindset shifts that have happened by taking these two courses. That while very different. Um, We’re both things I was resistant to to some degree, because I’m not really sure if it’s right for me. But I felt this draw to them. And I’m so grateful that I did. 

There’s such a beauty to being a beginner. There’s such a beauty to going through something and being in that beginner energy again. And also letting go of the ego that says, I already know this, I already know this and be like, well, what can I learn from this? How can I grow from this thing? That maybe I do know some of, but. How can I grow from it? And it’s intriguing because I have this little board is, you know, and he’s eight. And. Key is just like, Smart as a whip. Such a smart little guy, like. Almost always, if he’s crying to me, which is so annoying. Um, Like about a fact or something. He is almost always right. And I have got it slightly wrong. Which is man, is that annoying? 

Well, anyway, he was just such a smart little guy and his whole life he’s hated to be told what to do. Which I can relate to. I definitely have that same independence. I got this on my own kind of straight to me. Right. Not even a strict it’s like solidly in my DNA. But he has that same thing. And so sometimes if he knows a little bit about something. 

He thinks he already knows it. 

All right. Very similar to my situation here. So having gone through this recently and really embracing, being a beginner again and embracing. Um, re exposing myself to things that I already know.

I have had the most beautiful experiences and I’m also able to share with them and say, I know that you already know how to swim, right? 

So like he’s been a supporter for a long time. And the doing the swim classes at school right now. And like, what if you approach is one classes at school? Not from like RD, know how to do this? But from a thing of like, what can you pick up? What. What can you learn that you didn’t know already, like make a game out of that aspect of it, right? 

Like what can I find that I’ve. I didn’t know what, how can I shift what I’m doing? And I think there’s a way previous to that. So I wanted to share that with you. But it really ties in to this desire of mine to go deeper. And sitting at my table. With my new ugly thimble. Which I adore by the way. It’s actually an ugly thimble. 

You can look that up. It’s a great little product. It’s my favorite nimble. And of course, brick, sand camper has a whole section in her course. I’m using a thimble because there’s a fair amount of hand sewing. And it’s not as time consuming as you think. I know you’re hesitating. I know you’re like, oh, Yuck. I don’t want to hand sell because it like. Makes us stop what we’re doing and shifted into something else. 

But. You know, as well as I do, if you’re sewing clothing, That the prop work. Preparing the pattern, getting the fabric ready, cut in and out, doing the fit, work. All of that. Is way more. On the actual sewing time at the machine. And I think that if you’re like me, I have sort of like. Rushed through all the things that weren’t the actual sewing to get to the final product. And if we just can step back from it. And let go of that and realize like all that prep work was actually. What it is to sew clothing. 

And embrace that. How much joy we can have in our project. And probably the same is true for painting or. 

I don’t know. Anything out there. Right. The prep work is part of the time. You probably have this there. So recently, you know, I moved my little house and I needed to paint the interior of the house. And this is very same energy, actually.

Prepping to paint takes twice as long in getting all the materials together, getting everything going. 

It takes twice as long as actually painting. But somehow, because it’s not the actual act that we’re doing, we’re not like. Painting yet. It feels like. It’s. Waste of time. In some way, at least it has in my experience, right? Like going to get the lumber, going to get the materials feels like not part of the project, but it is part of the project. 

And actually it’s a big part of the project. And so embracing that time as valuable. And as part of. The artistry part of the creation process. I think kids serve. Uh, certainly is serving me well. And possibly. You might resonate with that as well.

So that’s kind of where I am here at the beginning of the year, I’m excited for where the season’s going to take us. 

I’m excited for where our year is going to take us. I know that there’s a lot going on in the world that is really horrific. And there’s also a lot. That’s really beautiful. And. 

Yet, we are putting one foot in front of the other because that’s life. And so. Part of my.


Really the deepest part of learning to live a vibrant life is learning to live at my real life. No matter, no matter the circumstances around you, right. Finding the joy in the everyday, because. This is what life is. This is life. Oh, Wow. Look at that. Okay. 

 This really leads me into the retreats for this year. So last fall. I was considering. What I wanted to teach at this year’s retreats. Like what it was that really felt deep and important to me. And like, it would be exciting, right? 


I as a teacher needed to be excited about one or two team, or it’s going to feel flat to anyone who’s attending. And so that’s an important part of it’s being. Is that it feels like. Magic. For you because it feels like magic for me. 

And so in thinking about that, I have always been drawn and I’ve always taught. How to take a pattern, right. How to fit it well to your body. It’s one of my super powers. And then how to change that pattern into new designs, because I guarantee you. As a maker, you have looked at a pattern and thought to yourself, oh, I love this pattern, except I’m going to make it a little bit this and a little bit that maybe thin the sleeves down into this. 

And those are that’s right, because. We are makers and we are fine tuning into our own. Desire is our own style, our own. Fit. And so. I love sharing and showing people how to do that. And typically I’ve used patterns. I created that. I consider like a core pattern. In a very basic design. To get us to that point. And this is what I love teaching because it’s always empowering and it’s always. 

It’s always exciting. 

And so. This year, I decided in the spirit of going deep into our artistry. But I wanted to teach pattern drafting from scratch. So for the spring retreat, we’re going to do a a master knit skirt pattern. Where we’re going to draft her from scratch from your unique body. And then we’re going to get the FA really, really down pat, we’re going to use professional techniques to create a pattern that may be different from front tobacco. Might have. Uh, different from left to righty, right? 

Like we are going to map your exact body and not as some generic way, but in a really authentic to you kind of way. In the fall, we’re going to do a top. So in the spring we’re doing it. Uh, skirt. And in the fall, we’ll do a top. Then the next day, we’re going to what take and learn about pattern manipulation. 

And you’re going to do samples and you’re going to get your hands dirty. And we’re going to use small little pattern pieces and create different patterns. 

And I am so excited for this part of it, because this feels like a slowing down and a curiosity. And trying different things, not just maybe the one or two pattern changes you want to make to it, but learning a broader range of them. I’m so excited for this part. I think it’s going to be amazing. And then we’re going to take. All that inspiration and that pattern that we had, and you’re going to create. Uh, dream garment. Maybe it will be, Skirt with a waste joke. And a pocket tucked into the seam. And it maybe will be a circle skirt, you know, or a wiggle skirt or something. Plea to walk in or any number of things like really the sky is the limit and we are going to work through that together. And then in the fall is going to be the same kind of thing, but we’re going to do it with the top. 

And I also want to do a focus in the fall. I’m using texture. To create interest in your garment. So adding in pin tucks or stitch lines, things like that, that are still amazing. And so I’m really excited. It’s going to be so much fun and to give us some space for all of this, each retreat is going to be a day longer. So it’s going to be a six days and five nights. You arrive on Sunday night. We have class all day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And then you have half class on Friday and you leave around one or two o’clock on Friday. So that’s kind of the rhythm. For the rich rates, I should say too. I also always build in an afternoon. Where. We are not. Planning anything in the studio you can sell if you want to, but you can also just go explore the island. I love to have a little space as well through a tree so that you can explore Makena island because that’s where the retreats are. And they are. It’s so much fun. 

It’s such a unique place. There are no cars allowed. It’s all bicycles and all horse drawn carriages or horses. It’s got this magic to it. So I always wear my bike. We always do a group bike ride around the island, which is amazing. And it’s. Gorgeous.

And there’s just a magic to Mackinaw island. 

And I’m so excited to share that with you. So. If you want more information. The early bird pricing, which is a hundred dollars off for both retreats and on March 3rd, which is this coming Sunday. If you’re listening to this, as it drops.

 It makes sense that I would have moved on to this new land and I feel this deep call to root myself into the land. So, of course it would make sense that I also feel as deep call to root myself into my life. Into my craft into my artistry. And then that translates into what I want to bring to the retreats. 

And I’m hoping that that resonates with you. And that you are ready to be a student is to be curious and to experiment and to join me. This spring and fall. The spring, the tree is April 28th through May 3rd and the fall retreat is October 13th through the 18th. You can check out all the information about threats rates. At kinship handwork. Dot com. And click on retreats and you’ll go right there. I would love to see you there. Uh, don’t doddle. 

There are only 12 spots. This is a very intimate retreat. And. It is going to be so much fun. 

All right. Darwin’s my voice is failing me. I’m excited to have gotten on and just talk to you. I can’t wait to share with you. Some of the guests I have coming up. I can’t wait to share with you some more in-depth conversation I have around process and making and ritual. Oh, it’s going to be a great season. 

All right. That’s it for the show today. Thanks for listening to me. Talk about process and going deep. And becoming a beginner, getting my Sojo back quite honestly. I hope that it resonated with you and if it did, would you share it? Share it with your friends. Maybe go leave a review. And subscribe. I would love it. If you did, you can also jump on the website and get on my newsletter. If you jump on the new website, kinship, I send out a newsletter from time to time. You never quite know when it’s going to come. But it’s full of the same kind of musings that you get in the podcast. And also I share whenever I have a workshop, because I’m going to have some virtual workshops coming up here. 

So. And I’m going to have a retreat or something like that. I also share things that I just really love, which is super fun. So. And jump on kinship. And you can sign up for the newsletter. You can check out the rotaries. All right. Darwin’s have the best day. 

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