Day 58 - Mandy

58 Mandy.jpeg

Day 58 - Mandy (3rd person I approached)

February 27, 2014 - Mandy was born in Ottawa, and went to school in Edmonton and Calgary. When recalling how she felt about moving from Edmonton to Calgary, Mandy told me,

“I was 14 at the time. I was worried because I was a bit of a geek, and was nervous. I was worried because I had a good group of friends at school. As it turned out, the move to Calgary was far better than I could ever have imagined. It really opened some doors fro me. Yeah, I had worried about something that turned out to be completely different.”

Mandy is the oldest of three children, her sister is a kindergarten teacher, and her brother is training to be a chiropractor.

“My bother is nine years younger than I am, and I’d have to say that while I’m close with my sister, my brother and I are very close,” Mandy said.

 

After high school, Mandy studied sculpture at Alberta College of Art & Design. When I asked what medium Mandy worked in, she told me

“I have to be honest, I spent most of my time painting. I thought that I wanted to sculpt, and yet, painting just appealed to me so much more. I enjoyed the flow, and the abstract creativity of painting. I graduated with a diploma in sculpture, even though I painted.“

After graduating, Mandy landed a job s a dental technician.

“I had a friend that was working in a lab as a dental technician, and she was going travelling, so she said I should apply to take over her job. I interviewed for it, and while it seems odd, the sculpture background worked in my favour. Building bridges and dams in dentistry is really about spatial perception and awareness. It’s refined sculpting!” That’s also where Mandy met the man that was to later become her husband, who also worked as a dental technician. “The job really played havoc with my health, because of constantly being hunched over, and working so close to the bridge or dam. After one year, I decided to leave that job. I spent some time designing and making clothes, getting models together and putting on shows. It was a lot of work, but I loved the creative control I had over the process,” Mandy tells me, while gesturing excitedly with her hands! Around this time Mandy also started knitting and crocheting. 

 

In 2009, Mandy and her friend Leanne wrote and published a book “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti” (FACT CHECK: link below*).

“The book was really well received, and it went to a third printing. That’s what I do now, I teach  knitting and crochet classes. I love teaching! I get to build a personal connection with the people I teach, and they come back often and after a time, I get to know what they like and their style, and help them to push their ability further and make things more creative. It’s very exciting to see people reach beyond what they think they might do.”

 

Mandy and her husband, who became “best friends before becoming life partners,” have been together now for 17 years, 15 of those married. Tomorrow, her husband is moving to Switzerland, to pursue an opportunity in the tech industry.

“We’ve been such good friends for so long, sometimes you forget how to be yourself without the other person. We’re at a place where he needs to do this, and I need to spend some time with myself as well. Our view is that a relationship is about bearing witness to the other person’s life, growth and development. Being there to support and encourage, to help celebrate the markers and shout out about the ups, as well as the downs. It’s a very exciting and stressful time for both of us. There is so much opportunity in our lives. It’s really very exciting.” #notastranger

*Fact Check - http://bit.ly/1gGbKhI