Nov 27, 2013

well, hello there.

if you’re here, reading this, you clicked either a link from my facebook page (probably something about another different kind of job application) or a link in an email i sent (probably something about a job posting, on, say, the HRDC job bank).

facebook friends, you already know me. but this post is secretly a cover letter for a resume i sent out this morning. have you guys seen my resume? i kind of re-vamped my whole approach to looking for work, and re-wrote my resume to reflect that. 
as you can see, if ever there was a resume that demanded a cover letter, i’ve written it. 

if you’re a potential employer, thanks for stopping by. i’d like to introduce myself and tell you what i’m all about.

here’s the short list, and please keep in mind, it’s (i’m) a work in progress: 

an enthusiastic taker of plunges
a “non-schooled communication specialist, in the fields of applied philosophy and workplace ethics”
a lifestyle innovator
on a quest for Personal Integrity
an artist
a thinker, talker, maker, writer 
an idealist
an optimist
my own spell-check

i’ve always been a writer. i started with paper journals, probably before high school. when the internet happened, i started a livejournal. because (in 2002) who didn’t? i hesitantly link to it here - hesitantly, because livejournal is where i learned how not to use facebook. and i was much younger and angstier when all that writing was done. well, que sera sera, i guess, and some of that writing is pretty dang funny.  

5 years ago, i was living in alberta and just starting to figure out that i like to Make Things. when i started designing crochet patterns, i started this blog to share them and talk about the other stuff i was creating. it’s since been re-imagined a few times, and now, its focus is on making a Difference, rather than just crafts. 

in 2010, i started another blog, related to, my friend eric’s bike company, to talk about the workplace philosophy we were discussing ad infinitum. catlander is probably the most cohesive writing i’ve done. it’s a place for me to make sense of my thoughts and my conversations with eric, and to get some “real-world” feedback to help keep my head out of the clouds. 

small, related tangent: 

[this last year, i’ve been reading a lot about art history. van gogh was a favorite topic this summer, but i got a little concerned about how closely i identified with the concepts and ideas that he struggled with - he cut off his ear and then killed himself, in the end. 
but this winter, i’ve moved on to lawren harris. it’s refreshing, because i don’t think he ended up losing his marbles, and he thought and wrote about a lot of the same things that occupy my mind most of the time. 

what i’ve learned is that even the great masters struggled with what they’re “supposed to be doing” in life, with how best to express their true selves, with which path to follow, and with HOW to be an artist. 

and what i’ve figured out, just recently, is that i am not a painter. i’ve been barking up the wrong tree for the last couple years, and somehow, somewhy, i’ve been avoiding pursuing my WRITING as my craft.] 

so here we are, and i hope this isn’t just a “work from home” scam job, because i want to write. i also hope that this approach serves to set me apart from other applicants (in a good way).

back to my facebook friends and other blog-followers: i think i just found my new year’s resolution. or my resolve, at least. i’ll be here, and at catlander, actually updating again. it’s been two long years of introspection and lessons, and i’m finally getting back to a place where i can process it, and re-begin to share it all with you. 

for today, though, “just keep doing what you love to do, and do it with as much intensity as you possibly can.” it’s still good advice, and i think i’ll take it. 

Jul 3, 2013

May 16, 2012

How to make a Huge, Important, Scary Change in Your Life

*** This was originally posted at catlander. More posts from there will likely end up here. I'm sorry if it's a little confusing for a little while, but things will smooth out and get a little more cohesive soon. ***

Step One - Determine what the change needs to be.

I need:
-to have a smaller, quieter life
-to walk a little softer
-to gain self-sustainability
-to not have roommates, to live alone
-to be actively involved in my community
-to be actively involved in an inspiring arts scene
-to do work that I love
-to be closer to nature

Step Two - Research your options for making the change a reality.

My lease on this apartment ends on June 30th. My job is transient. 
These two points were pretty impact-ful; but when I realized that all the "stability" in my life was actually base-less, I didn't stress out. Or rather, I totally stressed out, but in a sort-of-productive way. I didn't focus on the lack of stability, but on the incredible and overwhelming array of OPTIONS I'd discovered.
EVERYTHING was possible.

Step Three - When a particular option really resonates with you, pick that one.
Part of my research was talking to my partner, who recommended a little town called Almonte. 
It's out of the city by about 20 minutes, there's a river, a mill, some rapids. It has a grocery store, a hardware store, a drug store, parks, boardwalks, art galleries, studios, and the rent (if you can find available apartments) is affordable enough that I could afford to live alone. 
There are a ton of little shops and restaurants where I could sell the stuff I make, or work (hooray for a hefty span of dishwashing on my resume!). And in area covered, it's actually bigger than all of Centretown, where I’ve been sequestered in hibernation for the last year. 
Best of all, everything I’ve read suggests that the people who live there love their community. I'm craving some community involvement in my life, the freedom to easily fall in love with my neighborhood, and create a home (or a nest) for myself. There are a hundred boards and committees (oh, Canada) that I can work with. There are activities and groups that feel accessible, even online, that will enable me to connect with my neighbors. 
These are all qualities that line up with the changes I needed to make. And they resonate.

Step Four - Research this particular option further.

This is where I discovered the video-game magic of Google Street View. I spent about 4 hours one night "walking" the streets of my prospective new neighborhood. And I like the look of it. Then I spent 2 nights reading everything I could find online about Life in Almonte. And I like the look of all that, too. 
I found about half-a-dozen viable options for employment, a few available (affordable) apartments. 
This is where I decided it's In Fact a good idea - it makes sense and feels good. It gives me the things I need. 

Step Five - Procrastinate

This can (and did) take the form of writing about it, talking about it, sleeping on it, thinking about it, or just waiting and being patient. 
I've been horrendously (yes, horrendously) productive in all the day-to-day stuff I usually put off: housework, creating, reading, writing, seeing my friends.. but not actually contacting anyone. Passivity rules. But it doesn't git 'er done. 
Just Wednesday, I had an attack of guilt and disappointment about not having done anything yet. I went and hung out with some friends, told them what my hangups were, what I wanted my approach to be, and what I wanted to achieve, and inside of an hour, I had a direction. Now, 2 days later, I have about 15 blog posts started (this is the first), everything that's been trapped inside my head down on paper, a few emails sent, and renewed motivation. 
Just because you're not doing anything doesn't mean you're not getting anywhere.

Step Six - Quit procrastinating. Take Action.

2012 is Joy Campbell's Year of Action. A couple years ago, someone said to me, kind of disparagingly, "Well, Joy, you're hardly a do-er." And I thought about that for a long time (is that irony?), and finally, just this February, decided maybe I could be a do-er. 
I'm still learning. About fear and vulnerability, about finding balance, about excitement and passion, and about always-changing wants and needs and goals and dreams. 

I want to not only be the star, but the director of my own life. 



I’m not going to apologize for my absence around these parts over the last couple of years. But by way of explanation, though, I offer this: I became a philosopher. My brain has been taken over by making new Ideas and Concepts, and finding new, better ways to communicate these things. What writing I’ve been doing since this new development has mostly been at,or in my notes on facebook, or in email form. 

Things have really changed in my life since the last time I paid any attention to this blog. 

I’m now wibbly-wobbling at the edge of a pretty big jump: I’m leaving the city to find a quieter, slower, softer life in a little town called Almonte. All, somehow, in the next 2 weeks or so. 

This blog is also in transition. It’s going to move from being strictly (restrictively) about making crafts, in a direction that I feel is more holistic - to become a blog about Making a Difference. 

I’ll talk about my move, my new town, my art and crafts, the things I think about and talk about with my friends. I hope to get some good discussions going about the Interconnectedness of Everything. And about the idea of Making Things. Different. 

Mar 9, 2011

How I Learned to Love Crochet

...or, Why You Should Give Crochet Another Chance, by Joy Campbell

When I was little, my mom used to crochet. And it looked SO HARD. I thought it was magical that she could fling around a hook and some string and produce something I could wear.
I wanted to learn this magic, being all of about 5 years old. Impossible, but she tried.
I held my hook like a butter knife, my yarn tight in my little fist; my chain looked more like a spaghetti disaster than a neat little braid, and once I finally figured out how to build back onto my chain, my stitches were so tight that I couldn't actually do it.
So I quit, thoroughly frustrated, convinced that crochet was Just Too Hard.

Does this sound familiar?

Years later, my stout-hearted friend Sarah took another crack at teaching me. This time around, having spent almost 30 years developing my fine motor skills (and patience), lessons went considerably better. Within days, I'd made two hats and a scarf; within weeks, started designing my own patterns; and within months, I was creating custom wearables for my friends.

Crochet is sculpting with fiber. It's about creating, accomplishment, patience, and skill building. It may not be easy, bur the concepts are simple.

YOU CAN LEARN, and I can teach you.

Jan 14, 2010


i guess i took a month off. that isn't to say that i haven't been doing anything - i just haven't been blogging about it. or listing anything new in my artfire store (until now).

december was full of crocheting, snowstorms, christmas get-togethers, birthdays, and having colds. i also spent a few days working at the prairie chick, where some of my stuff is on consignment. and there are very slow-paced rumblings going on about a new skelectica handmade website! wait and see, because when it comes, it's going to be AWESOME! it'll be so nice to have everything all in one spot - blogging, shopping, tutorials, linky-links...

so. my new year's resolution probably should be to keep on top of my artfire listings and blogging, but in reality, the only resolution i've actually said out loud is to "do something with that 2'x4' canvas i've had sitting there for a year". so i unwrapped it.

oh, yeah: there's a skelectica handmade facebook page! go be a fan! (and can someone let me know if that link is any good? i'm still learning about facebook settings....)

Dec 7, 2009

happy december!

good morning everyone!

i thought i'd let you know that all the hats i posted last week have been UNlisted from artfire, and they're now at the prairie chick in red deer.

AND there are more to come!

in other news, here's why i've been crocheting so much lately:

Dec 1, 2009


here's what's new at my artfire store! go check it out!

free "shipping" within red deer!

Nov 13, 2009


my friend marianne had an awesome idea (over at her livejournal, in a locked topic) about starting an accountability group. somehow. i'm not really clear on the details, but IMAGINE if i had to explain to someone WHY i procrastinated my way out of updating this thing for the last two weeks! that just might inspire me to work on NOT procrastinating.

imagine the things i could accomplish in life if i only just DID them!