The Craft Project

The New Year’s Resolutions

Following through on the process I began earlier in the week, I have decided upon my 2011 New Year’s resolutions (and not a moment too soon as today in fact is New Year’s Eve and I’m due at a big party in a few hours).  I wanted to create a visual representation of my goals so that I could share them with you in a more meaningful way.  I’ve made a concentrated effort to align this year’s resolutions with the manifesto I created the other day.  I didn’t want to create this year’s resolutions without a plan to achieve them (essentially I wanted to turn them into something more concrete: goals).  I also wanted to tie them to some big dreams for the future.  So that’s what I`ve tried to do…and what I will now share with you.

Launch Raven Mad Designs & Expand and Improve the Craft Project

The Craft Project has already expanded beyond my wildest dreams for the project (in large part thanks to all of you).  It has given me the chance to start living out a few dreams that I kept hidden away and locked up – to become an artist and a writer.  Some of my goals and plans for this year include:

  • Launching the Etsy store for Raven Made Designs (look for some crafts related to this on the near horizon including a huge amount of hand dyeing and spinning of wool and some very unique business cards).
  • Expanding the Craft Project’s reach – if I could get 1000 Facebook and Twitter followers this year I would be over the moon.  I also want to do everything I can to help foster and support the online arts and craft community as much as I can (suggestions are always welcome).
  • I’m toying with the idea of creating a podcast to accompany the blog.  It would involve me learning how to produce podcasts which could be a steep learning curve, but also an amazing challenge (this could help with the goal of supporting the community as I could be featuring community members on the podcast).
  • I’d like to create a seasonal zine for the Craft Project as well – better tying the Craft Project into the amazing arts and culture scene that exists here in Whitehorse (I would of course scan it and share it with all of you on the blog as well).
  • Finally, I’d like to try my hand at producing an e-book, featuring some designs and projects that I will develop for others to work with….this is a big one, so it will probably take a lot of the year to build up to.


I was a dancer for my entire life up until I headed off to university (after making the very tough decision to take the science scholarship instead of the fine art and dance scholarship).  At the time I thought that I could always paint and dance in my free time, but I couldn’t become an earth scientist (which at the time I thought was the surest way to be able to help change the world) in my free time…a completely true statement, and I’ve never for a moment regretted the decision, but I’ve since been forced to face the reality that the concept of “free time” is in fact an urban legend.  And so, this year I’m putting dance back on the priority list.  I`ll be back in my old studio on Wednesday (I’m so excited), and I’ll be in there a minimum of two days a week (hip hop and burlesque are my first two focus points).

Develop a Daily Yoga Practice

This ties into one of those big dreams I was talking about – I want to spend July of this year in Greece securing my next level of yoga instructor’s certification (finances permitting) and some day I would love to become a Lululemon Ambassador.  Being the eternal optimist I’m currently working on the assumption that I will find some way to finance this goal, which means that I need to be training in order to feel sufficiently prepared (working so intensely within the youth climate movement for the last while has taken me away from a steady yoga practice).  And so, I’m implementing a daily yoga routine (in actual fact I implemented this on Sunday…so far so good).

Compete in Another Triathlon & Compete as a Solo Rider in the Kluane Chilkat

I have successfully completed two triathlons to date (Hawaii, to fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honour of my mother’s successful battle with cancer, and Whitehorse, simply for fun).  I would like to compete in my third this year (I’m open to suggestions for where) helping me to build again to some of those dream goals: to compete in a half iron man by 2012 (and hopefully a full iron man in the future), to compete in the Goofy Challenge (the Walt Disney World half marathon followed the next day by the full marathon) and to find a way to bring Team in Training (the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s marathon and triathlon fundraising program) to Whitehorse – I’ve been asked to mentor the program in Vancouver, but as I no longer live there I want to find a way to make it possible for northerners to take part.  I’ve already set up my training program (it’s ambitious but not unmanageable) and I’m really excited to tie this into working with my Special Olympics athletics athletes (I’ve been named head coach for 2011).

Following off of this insanity I thought I should just go all the way and aim to compete in the Kluane Chilkat Bike Relay as a solo rider.  The relay is an annual race that goes from Haines Junction, Yukon to Haines, Alaska over a crazy mountain pass covering 239 km.  I’ve raced on 8- and a 4-person teams before, but I really wanted to throw down a big challenge to myself this year.  Tyler’s going to ride solo as well….but he wants to race it (really fast) so I’m on the lookout for anyone wanting to pick up the gauntlet and join me (at a slower-than-Tyler-pace) – let me know if you’re keen.

Finish My One Month Novel Project

In the fall I set myself the challenge of trying to write a novel in a month.  It was a fantastic goal with terrible timing…I immediately got swept up into work chaos in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations that I was only able to dig myself out of after my resignation from the position earlier this month.  But now…I have time (the joys of almost unemployment)…and I’m going to make use of it…the start of next weeks marks my return to my one month novel challenge!

Work Towards a Mixed Media Exhibit

This one’s big…huge, in fact.  The achievement of this would actually result in the living out of one of those big, big dreams.  And I’m going to make it happen in 2011!  Don’t worry…I’ve got some steps laid out to help me (but I’m soliciting advice from everywhere I can find it…please let me know if you have ideas).

  • I’m taking part in the Brave Girl’s Club’s Soul Restoration program starting in mid-January.
  • I’m working my way through daily art and creativity exercises to center and focus me in my studio and in art creation.  At the moment I’m pulling these from: Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists and the Crafter’s Devotional.  Any other suggestions?
  • Create some t-shirt designs to submit to Threadless – challenging me to expand the scope and style of my work.
  • Deepen my understanding of digital mixed media (you might have guessed that simply from the images in this blog).
  • I’m looking into membership with the Yukon Artists at Work Co-op and the Yukon Arts Society.
  • I have a vision for a series of pieces under the broad title of “Into the Woods” drawing from fairy tales, literature and myth.

Make a Meaningful Impact in South Africa

Although I have now stepped away from my role with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, I can’t bring myself to step away from the battle for climate justice as a whole.  At the close of 2011 the world will again come together for the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations, this time in South Africa.  These particular meetings have the potential to do amazing things, more so than any before them.  Whether they live up to that potential or crash and burn (as we saw last year in Copenhagen) is still to be determined.  I have given a number of years to trying to contribute to the success of this process, and I find that I simply can’t walk away from it at such a crucial point.  So I’ve started to work with a couple of close friends to figure out how to make the most meaningful impact at these meetings.  I won’t be doing it in a youth role as I have in the past, which opens up the opportunity to re-evaluate my work through a completely different lens.  I’m excited about the potential.

Well there you have it…my 2011 New Year’s resolutions.  What are yours?


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  3. Malva

    I just found your blog on Urban Yukon. I love it!

    You wrote:
    “At the moment I’m pulling these from: Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists and the Crafter’s Devotional. Any other suggestions?”

    If you haven’t read it, I suggest What It Is by Lynda Barry.

    I heard her at the beginning of last year on CBC’ Q and had to request her book from the library. One day, when I “have time”, I’d love to work my way through it.

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