It’s Spring so it must be time to do the big clean-up, get the house in order, and start those projects that have been put off all winter. For Krista Aasen, a self-proclaimed "housie", this is a year-round passion. Married with two young boys, the elementary school teacher finds crafting and scouring the internet for inspiration a way to unwind, get creative, and release stress. So far she manages to balance everything she loves to do with everything she needs to do, and a few years ago started sharing her ideas and skills with others.
Aasen was born and raised in Port Alberni and has a long line of family in town. She grew up actively involved in dance, ice skating, soccer, and piano. She enjoyed band, media, and photography in high school and had a natural flair for decorating. By that time, she met her future husband and the two started dating in college.
Aasen completed her first year at North Island College and then attended the University of Victoria for an undergraduate degree in Sociology. After a couple years of working in Port Alberni, she decided to go back to school, this time at Vancouver Island University (then Malaspina College), where she graduated with a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in teaching in 2002.
Before her current position as a Kindergarten teacher at Alberni Elementary, Aasen gained experience teaching a broad spectrum of grades. Her first contract was at E.J. Dunn, her own former middle school, where she taught art and drama and then for five years, taught grade 7 there. Through her practicums, Aasen's sponsor teacher was Kathleen Battand at the former Mt. Klitsa Junior Secondary and she noted her as a career mentor.
"She is amazing and I learned a lot from her," Aasen said. "I admire the care she showed to the kids and the dedication she showed to their learning."
After maternity leave with the couple's first baby, they moved to Tofino for a short time, where Aasen worked in the elementary school and soon had her second son there. When they returned to Port Alberni, Aasen started at Alberni Elementary with guided reading and a Grade 2 class. Then she acquired her Kindergarten and Grade 1 position.
"In Kindergarten we get to do fun things and seasonal art projects," Aasen said. "I like to make the class a nice space visually."
As a child, Aasen remembers her parents often renovating and redesigning the family home.
"I remember my grandparents always had the Ikea catalog so I would spend hours scouring it," she said.
Similarly, she now satisfies her hobby by reading blogs, pinning hundreds of project and searching for ideas online. She has her own blog, The Happy Housie, where she shares her own projects and those of others.
"I love discovering new ideas and then come up with my own version," Aasen said. "I have always done the projects, but now I take pictures and do a write up for the blog, usually when the kids are in bed."
In the archives there are DIY craft and home projects and lately her posts have been related to her own home makeover.
"I love reading comments from people who have tried the tutorial and successfully made the project," she said. "That's the whole purpose. The project might not necessarily be difficult but they may not know how to do it or where to start."
Aasen said finishing her master's degree is one of her biggest accomplishments to date in her teaching career, but sees life as something that is always in progress. As someone who is focussed and determined, Aasen likes to set goals for herself.
"I think I like crafting and working on projects because there is a clearcut start and end," she said. "In life there is always room for improvement."
Check out http://thehappyhousie.porch.com for inspiration and ideas.