My wife Katie has been an elementary school art teacher for 10 years. Now she’s been accepted to graduate school and will be working on her Masters in Education at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland! It will be a major juxtaposition, going from the desert Southwest to frozen Scandinavia, but this is a fantastic opportunity to work within one of the best education systems in the world! To raise the money to get us there we’re doing everything we can, including selling off nearly everything we own!
How You Can Help
We obviously can’t pull this off without a little bit of help. Even a little moral support can go a long way! Below are some ways that you can lend a hand in getting us to Finland.
Follow Katie’s blog
Katie writes about art, education, travel, cool things she find and, yes, her cats.
Like Katie’s Facebook page
Katie is not on Facebook because of her employer’s social media policies, but this fan page mirrors her website updates and acts as a forum for her site’s readers.
Follow Berin’s blog
Berin is a writer, and his website is a chronicle of his latest projects as well as documenting the journey from New Mexico to Finland.
Like Berin’s Facebook page
Berin’s author page on Facebook mirrors his websites, as well as acting as an interactive forum for readers.
Follow Project Skylark on Twitter
Berin and Katie’s website updates are compiled in one twitter account.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Berin maintains a regular video log about education, writing, New Mexico life, and the journey to Finland. Katie posts craft tutorials and cute cat videos. There’s something for everyone!
Buy Katie’s art and crafts on Etsy
Katie’s original doll patterns, and occasionally some of her original artwork, are sold through Etsy.
Buy Berin’s books, stories, and games
Berin’s work is available through a variety of sources. You can find everything, from fiction to tabletop roleplaying games, for sale through Asparagus Jumpsuit, his online boutique.
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Happy Thanksgiving! This is probably the last time we’ll be celebrating this uniquely American holiday for a while, at least on American soil. I do have a vision of making a Thanksgiving dinner next year in Finland, and inviting over other expats and Finnish friends, but that’s a whole year where a lot of things can happen. I want to do it, but we’ll see how things pan out.
You would think that because it’s the Last Thanksgiving, I’d be making my usual, traditional dinner. A big roast turkey, stuffing from scratch, real cranberry dressing, the works. Nope. We’re going to be weird this year. I’m making lasagne, and a big salad, and fresh baguettes. To show mercy to Katie’s gall bladder (or lack thereof) and my cholesterol level, I’ll be using low-fat cheese, chicken Italian sausage, and a lot of veggies (mainly spinach, mushrooms, and black olives). I actually made the lasagna yesterday, so it could sit in the fridge overnight. I’ll reheat it today. You know leftovers always taste better, after all of the flavors have had a chance to mingle!
What usually happens during Thanksgiving and Christmas, when Katie is off from school for several days, is that we end up in the studio working. We’ll put movies on in the background, but she’ll be making art, and I’ll be writing. We don’t do regular meals, we just get up and grab something when we get hungry and/or hit a good stopping point in our creative process. We do the same thing in the summer; I keep salad and sadwich stuff on hand, and make big casseroles. I keep snacks around, but I also make One Big Thing and plenty of it, so we can nibble on leftovers. Lasagna is perfect for that purpose. For Christmas this year, I’m making a giant pot of goulash (probably with chicken instead of pork).
What am I thankful for this year? The usual. A roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. Books to read, and the literacy to read them. The opportunity to be creative for a living. The opportunity for Katie to go to the graduate school of her choice. The friends and support system that we have. The people who read my website and buy my creative output. Mostly, I’m grateful for Katie. I’m always grateful for Katie. I’m blessed to have Katie. I’m thankful every day.
We know that there are folks who love Katie’s original art dolls, but can’t get one. She’s no longer taking commissions, because she’s overbooked and working on fulfilling the orders she already has. The simpler dolls that she makes for craft shows sell out as quickly as she makes them. She simply cannot create a supply fast enough to meet the demand.
To that end, she’s created patterns for some of her art dolls. They come with full, easy-to-follow instructions, as well as a complete list of materials needed to make your own. They’re suggested for ages 10 and up (some adult assistance and supervision is required).
These patterns are available now from Etsy in PDF format. They’re designed to be printed on 11×17 paper, so make sure your printer can do that, or just put them on a thumb drive and take them to your friendly neighborhood copy shop. Each pattern has variations, so you can customize your monster so that it’s truly your very own creation.
As usual, all money we make from the craft show goes toward the Project Skylark.