In the fall of 2020, I launched a new business with Kate Atherley. Nine Ten Publications is a publishing house focused exclusively on Canadian works related to art, craft and creativity. Our first publication is the online magazine, Digits & Threads, focused on Canadian fibre and textile arts, crafts and industry.
As a writer, instructor and editor, my work is driven by a deep belief that our imperfections are what make us interesting. Perfect is boring.
I write about creativity and making things, all in the context of embracing mistakes and failures as inherent parts of both. When we celebrate the things that go wrong, we give ourselves license to keep trying, to keep learning, to do the work that leads us to find our voice and to allow ourselves to have fun no matter the outcome of our efforts.
My online classes are designed to get you making something new or exploring your creativity, no experience required.
ThroughÂ Mighty Ugly, I facilitate hands-on and discussion-based workshops and conversations that help attendees confront creative demons, experiment with new approaches to creative expression, gain insight into their creative process, and build confidence in what they make and do. (It’s for all sorts of people, whether they identify as being creative or not.) As a professional-development workshop, Mighty Ugly is aces for team building and for fostering novel ways of approaching problem-solving and ideation.
My book, Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises And Advice For Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty, is available in bookstores and libraries everywhere.
I had the pleasure of speaking and doing Mighty Ugly at Emily Carr University of Art + Design Material Matters New Craft Symposium in Prince George, BC, in 2019; delivering the closing keynote at the Mediavine conference in Chicago that same year; speaking alongside authors Leanne Prain and Betsy Greer in panel discussions and events at venues including Powell’s Books in Portland; The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; and delivering the August 2014 Vancouver Creative Mornings talk on the global theme of failure.
From 2006-2008 I was the editor of Interweave Crochet magazine.
In addition to working on the magazines, I’ve also written or co-authored six crochetÂ books and contributed articles or designs to several magazines and books written by other people. And yes, as I’ve told more than one border guard while traveling between Canada and the U.S., these books were published by actual publishers and people buy them. For real.
In the out-of-left-field department, I helped a client to start Clarinet News magazine.
I have a B.A. in linguistics from Binghamton University (SUNY), my honours thesis for which was about the creolization of pidgins. And I have an M.A. in educational studies from the University of Delaware, for which I performed research on babies regarding some particularities of language acquisition. You might surmise from my educational background that it’s possible to find work you love that has absolutely nothing to do with your past schooling. I love my schooling, and I love not working in the fields I studied.
I live in Vancouver, BC, with my partner, our kid and our mutt. In addition to my work I enjoy weaving, knitting, nachos, repeatedly trying to make myself into someone who goes for long runs in the woods, and reading books of many sorts. I love (some) science fiction television and am a sucker for even half-mediocre love stories.