Jocelyn Campbell

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since Nov 09, 2008
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Jocelyn's life is all about balance. Maybe that's why she's an accountant and is such an advocate for keeping our natural systems healthy.

As a child, she perched on branches, collected moss and fungus, caught frogs and snakes, and climbed up into swaying tree forts in her beloved Pacific Northwest woods. Then, as a teenager, she learned that reining in sugar kept her more alert and energetic. These youthful observations grew into passions for walks in the woods, gardening, herbal remedies, and natural parenting with whole and traditional foods. More recently, Jocelyn's interest in the natural and healthy led to all things permaculture and she completed her first permaculture design course in 2010.

Jocelyn enjoys helping 1- and 2- person micro-businesses spend less time on their bookkeeping, or putting on feast nights at wheaton labs (the permaculture community where she lives with her guy, Paul Wheaton), or helping achieve further world domination for the empire.
Missoula, MT
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Recent posts by Jocelyn Campbell

Someone I know once scored a gazillion sword ferns from a construction site where they were going to raze an area to build something. It might make sense to see if a friend of a friend might know an area like that where you could pop in before they bulldoze and save some things.

1 hour ago
Ah, it is listed as growing here in Montana, mostly unwanted! I learned that some call it

"Dyer's Woad" - Isatis tinctoria

Kingdom - Plants - Plantae
Division - Flowering Plants - Anthophyta
Class - Dicots - Dicotyledoneae
Order - Mustards/Capers - Capparales
Family - Mustards - Brassicaceae
Species - Dyer's Woad - Isatis tinctoria

The names above and pictures below are from here:

The flower sure does look like a mustard flower!

I think I've seen this growing here at base camp! I'll look for it this growing season. It's a plant I keep looking at, thinking I should know what it is, but haven't been able to place it in my memory.

4 days ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:
Personally, I've never spent more than $15 for a skein of yarn, and I only do that if I'm making something for a gift, like baby hats or scarves. (Added bonus to splurging on the "expensive" yarns for baby hats is that I always have some left over for my own uses, bwahahahaha!)

Was the $15 for a maybe 220 yard skein? (Google told me 220 yards might be average though a skein is by weight...) So would you pay double for twice as much albeit a thinner, stronger yarn?

Just getting a feel for the pricing thing.

r ranson wrote:It's like a battle:  Pricing what is fair to the creator but is also affordable to the consumer.

r ranson wrote:Here's a couple of writ-ups on how to price handspun yarn

The second one is a 50-yard skein of yarn and she comes up with the price of $40.  But she's also making a very different style of yarn than I do. 

I think the second one, in trying to price in the middle of what the market will bear, is really wise.

I just need to say that when folks say "I can't afford that" that's relative and subjective. Just yesterday, I heard a story about how this person A was "running out of money." Person A was telling this to businessperson B, in order to finagle a discount on B's services. Later, businessperson B heard that person A's version of "running out of money" meant they had slightly less to put aside for their children to go Harvard. Another example I've used repeatedly is someone who insisted to me that they could not afford to buy organic food though they vacationed in Cabo every year. And I've seen the reverse - people who really, truly are living hand-to-mouth, who found the capacity to pay for private Waldorf education for their kids, or who insisted on only supporting fair trade, organic practices. It's really a spectrum that we all can't help but have judgments about, and that varies widely in what could be considered "affordable."

Which is to say that I recommend sidestepping the affordability question, if you can. It's not your place to fix the entire effing world. If you have a quality product that is worth some coin - good for you! It could be how Paul views the Tesla Roadster - a high-end, quality product that proved an all-electric car was not only possible, but could be preferable; and (perhaps arguably) drove the market into creating more affordable all-electric cars.

r ranson wrote:I guess what I'm also saying is that I don't know if anyone else wants the kind of yarn I want.

Gosh, I will say that I know very little about this. And sold me on having 400 yards of the same batch for socks so that the socks could be the same color.

Also, I have fat feet. (Maybe most Americans do because of how many of us have weight issues.) I prefer thinner socks and would probably not buy or wear bulky homespun yarn, hand-knitted socks because I would never be able to get my shoes over them. Thinner socks are quite difficult to find in 100% wool. I bought some for Paul that were mostly wool, though with significant polyester and nylon (Paul does not have fat feet, just excessively large feet) and they make his feet sweat. Durn. He can't tolerate anything but (close to) 100% cotton or 100% wool socks.

This has turned in to probably too much about socks, because I have socks on the brain these days, though I imagine there could be similar issues for woven cloth or turning this yarn in to other things or other types of clothing. People want all natural. More and more people are chemically sensitive. To me, this just seems like it would sell well at the higher end prices.

1 week ago
R, your work is so beautiful, and your thoughts make a lot of sense to me, except I wish for you a MUCH healthier hourly rate!

Here are my thoughts in response, though I am by no means a textile person myself. Just a consumer and a businessperson who works with many "solopreneurs."

First thought:  this IS a high value product, for the reasons you mention about this being a longer handspun skein than most, and because it's:
  • sustainably, regeneratively grown fiber
  • natural, organic product - even if not certified, this still counts a lot in many ways
  • fair trade - no sweat shop unless your price it too low ;-)
  • less toxic dyes - whether natural or not? - and using invasive species is surely a plus!!

  • All of which, in my book, means you can charge higher than most handspun yarn.

    I like your ideas for figuring out how to increase your efficiency and thereby your hourly rate.

    Then, I was curious about the Canadian exchange rate and how the pricing you mentioned might translate to the U.S. dollar because it was hard for me to track otherwise.

    In fact, I was so curious about how your pricing compares that I did a few quick searches, and found a lot OUT OF STOCK, or 'not available' responses, plus the shorter skeins, or not 100% wool skeins, and on and on. Though admittedly, I don't usually search for this kind of thing, so I'm probably not the best to try to help in this space. I just think that even my n00b searches illustrate that your product is unique and therefore valuable.

    Two other illustrations of my attempts to gradually convert both Paul and my wardrobes to more sustainable fibers and dyes, include my samarai socks post, and the natural clothing thread. Gee, I created that natural clothing thread 5 years ago, and while there might be more mainstream sources of organic clothing than there used to be (mostly organic cotton or organic bamboo in my experience), it's still so difficult to find what I want for either Paul or myself that I have given up in some ways.

    All of which is to say that in my humble opinion, we need more yarn like yours.

    1 week ago

    Julia Winter wrote:Last night my older daughter asked "So, are you guys doing anything for Valentine's Day?"
    I looked over at Eliot.
    He said "Um, we got some cows."
    Which is true - we just got some Dexter cattle: a 3 or 4 year old cow, a yearling bull and a yearling heifer.

    Haha! So you counted cows instead of bees; metaphorically speaking.

    Wishing all my favorite permies peeps a day (and more) to love on, count, observe, and appreciate all the beings and things around your homesteads!
    1 week ago

    Jotham Bessey wrote:"it's definitely something I recommend for everybody" AAAnndd there she lost her credibility. Some people need to take steps to keep their skin dry, not moisturize it. If you have skin like mine, don't put oil on it!
    It's time to start realizing that everybody's body is different and each person needs to find what works best for his/her body.

    Well, I agree that Valeria is not exactly a natural dermatologist, though having had a fair bit of greasy skin myself, I have found oils that actually help dry it, ironically enough. Castor oil has helped me in the past, without blocking pores. Though what helped me reduce the grease even more than that was to stop using soap. I think my body was cranking out excess oil as protection against the constant stripping action of the soap! My skin is far less greasy now.

    Sooo, I didn't post Valeria's video as the be-all, end-all path to healthy skin and beauty without makeup. Of course, there are MANY other variations and differences in what works best for different folks' skin. I posted this video as what I thought was a lovely example of how a model in the fashion industry finds going without makeup to be a happier, healthier, more self-accepting way to be. I thought that was cool.

    William, I hear you on the struggles with a gorgeous young, innocent daughter who appears older than she is. Been there. And those are some interesting differences between what hair treatments or styles have been seen as objectionable by the generation before. I just went with asymmetrical hair in the '80's, which wasn't a big deal back then and I didn't catch any real grief over doing it.

    As Dale pointed out about cultural norms of beauty, we humans have been using our bodies for art and expression and examples of our culture for a long, long, time.

    So I'm not opposed to others using makeup. I'm simply very happy I don't bother with it because it saves me time, money and is less wear-and-tear on my skin. Plus, I like that anything I do put on my skin (to moisturize, heal something, etc.) is an oil or herbal or other concoction that I would be totally comfortable eating, that's how healthy and natural it is.

    1 week ago
    John, your linux and open source apps are far beyond me. All my accounting clients are on either PC or Mac, so I'm in the pay-for-it (and MS) realm for the most part. Good tips on the WordPress plugins, too!

    Shawn, so cool to hear Trello has been so useful to you! I'm with you! I feel I've barely scratched the surface in using it for myself and for other collaborative project management. I've wanted to try mind mapping, though never have, so that's a good tip, too.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and detail the agile work apps I've used and why I like some for some things and not others.

    free version is single user
    I think you have to pay to share notes/reminders/etc.
    readily/quickly available offline
    syncs automatically between phone and laptop
    this is where I keep shopping lists, errand lists, general client notes, other reference items, esp. those I might want on my smartphone while on the go
    I've only used the reminders (notifications) a small amount in Evernote - I'm more likely to use Google calendar or Trello

    see my post about Trello in the learning to prioritize thread
    free version is multi-user, just have to pay for more "bot" or automation features or pretty backgrounds though not necessary for most prioritizing
    not as available offline, though usually does okay
    has app for desktop and smartphone or tablet
    great for lists and project management for groups
    this is a more visual, flexible and appealing app than a spreadsheet or other plain-jane document lists
    each "card" can be a task - easy to drag around to different lists (such as 'hot list', 'to delegate', 'done!' etc.) or drag up or down on a list to prioritize
    plus, each card can have it's own checklist, description, links, images, assignment to one or more parties, etc.

    Google Drive
    free version is multi-user if each user has enough space in their Google account for all the shared files
    in terms of office-type apps, works best with Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and other Google app files (otherwise the only way to edit something in Drive, like, say, a MS Word doc, is to convert it to a Google Doc file, and now there are two documents...)
    in the past, this conversion, and/or the uploading and downloading of documents was confusing to my clients
    Google Drive no longer has an app for easier file management on a desktop unless you pay for it
    Drive is doing better at being available offline, but was glitchy last I tried (I don't try to access offline much any more, so might be better?)

    Google calendar(s)
    free and can be multi-user
    could mostly be used in browser on desktop/laptop, though available in app for smartphone or tablet, too
    can have multiple calendars and the ability to toggle on or off some of them
    e.g., Paul's calendar things are green, mine are blue, and wheaton labs calendar items are grey in my set up
    many of my regular reminders are scheduled "appointments" and have a notification that requires a dismissal, snooze, or reschedule before moving past it

    free with a limited storage amount, otherwise costs ($?)
    has decent security for sharing documents in the cloud (well, about as good as any other cloud storage, which is lousy, though perhaps better than sending over e-mail)
    this has a file management app for your desktop so that files can be copied or moved to Dropbox as if they are on your computer
    this works as storage only - so all types of documents are kept in original format with no need to convert for editing
    (which also means each user must have the correct app for editing files on their own device)
    if two people change a document at the same time, Dropbox creates a copy with annotated filename for clarity (unless using their new collaborative Paper app/document/thing)
    this was far less confusing for my clients and felt more secure than emailing documents with sensitive information
    not available offline

    login and password app
    once you start assisting anyone with anything online, storage of logins and passwords becomes rather important, even paramount
    I use Keeper to store passwords for myself, Paul, and about 15-20 clients
    Others I know have used KeePass or LastPass
    The reason I chose Keeper is because it was device based storage - I could opt out of cloud storage of my sensitive data - and I could sync between my smartphone and my laptop. Though now Keeper insists on syncing through their cloud backups.
    Most folks use a browser extension to have the password app fill in the login and password for them (or even simply have the browser remember it for them), but I don't. I don't like the idea of a trojan or hacker having such easy access that way if they invaded my computer. So I copy and paste logins and passwords from my Keeper app into wherever they are needed.

    1 week ago
    I think this is encouraging. When even those in the fashion/beauty industry are finding ways to appreciate, support, advocate and enjoy natural beauty, I think that's a good thing.

    This vlogger is recommending a few products here, though in a very non-pushy way and she is including alternatives - especially the DIY and natural ones.

    Note that some YouTube commenters had concerns about tea tree oil in a diffuser and coconut oil clogging pores for some people, so of course YMMV.

    1 week ago
    A doctor was addressing a large audience in Oxford :

    “The material we put into our stomachs should have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.

    Red meat is full of steroids and dye. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining.
    Chinese food is loaded with MSG.
    High trans fat diets can be disastrous and none of you realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.
    But, there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and most of us have, or will eat it.
    Can anyone tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

    After several seconds of quiet, a 70 year old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, "Wedding Cake."

    1 week ago