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It's been a while since I've posted anything personal in here and since there are so many new readers (wave, wave!) I think it's a good time to share some things you *might* not know about me =] And to make it fun I'm also sharing some photos Kenny and my best friend Bonnie took for my website (re-launching soon) So you guys get a little preview of my new about photos.

  1. Ok this one MOST of you already know, but I thought I would share *just in case* – I am self-taught English speaker and started blogging after Ken and I got engaged as a way to improve, I knew I was going to move from my home country Chile to California, so I was looking for every tool I could to improve my English.
  2. I don't like talking on the phone, this could be because of number 1, because ever since I moved to california I'm as far as possible from the phone (landline, I'm glued to my cell).
  3. My passion for sewing started after I watched a Mexican Telenovela called “Simplemente Maria” when I was about 6 years old, the main character goes from sewing at her house to having a huge clothing company, and that's exactly what I wanted to do, but that time I could only make toilet paper dresses for my Barbies, because my mom would not let me play with needles. So now you know, that's where my dream to want to be a Fashion Designer comes from.
  4. At 7 years old I convinced my Mom to get me a toy sewing machine and started playing with fabric, it was the BEST christmas present EVER! It was pretty hard to sew on that thing, but I cherish it and I probably would still have it if my cousin wouldn't have given it away without my permission.
  5. I meet my husband Ken while I was hitchhiking, I shared the story back when I was blogging about our wedding plans on Weddingbee, but the short story is I came to work at a ski resort up in the mountains where I know live as an exchange work experience while in college, I needed to get to work along with my roommate, so we hitchhiked and Ken picked us up, we chatted and I found out he worked as a Ski patrol at the same resort, after a month of “small talk” almost every day, we started dating and the rest is history =]
  6. I learner how to swim while in college and got hooked, by my last year I was on the swimming team, training 3 hours a day and LOVING IT! I am super bummed I don't have any pools close enough to my house to keep on swimming, so I cherish each time I'm under water.
  7. Not many people know, but while in collage I worked at Hooters in Chile, actually I won the swimsuit competition there and visit the USA for the first time to come to Vegas and represent Chile in the international pageant.
  8. As a clarification, I am as far as someone could be to being a pageant girl, at the pageant I was the girl that asked to wake up 1/2 and hour before our appointments to take a shower and get ready (compared to the 3 hours my roommate took to select her clothes, do her hair and makeup)
  9. I am a self-proclaimed hard-core nerd, I think it might have a lot to do with my love for coding (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc…) and the fact that I wear glasses when I'm on the computer. so yeah, I'm nerdy and I know it! :P
  10. I still struggle with my English, I am a lot more confident now, after almost 3 years living here, but I'm not as comfortable as I should be, at least now I've accepted that I make mistakes and that I'm still learning, so I'll say I'm in the happy middle.

It was fun to share a little bit more of personal side =] I've been wanting for a while, so there you go!
I hope you are all having a lovely day and had a sunny weekend!




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Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop. Read more about her & the blog here →

27 replies
  1. Angel Y.
    Angel Y. says:

    I love that you’re making it work here in the US! I think it’s awesome that you taught yourself English. I would love to teach myself a second-language some day. I just need to put in the work. Gorgeous photos! I can’t wait to see how the site comes out.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much Angel! Learning a second language is not as hard as I though it was at first, but the practice makes a HUGE difference!

  2. Nancy Wyatt
    Nancy Wyatt says:

    You sound amazing and so accomplished! So glad to learn more about you! Yo soy de Mexico, tengo 39 anos en Texas. Hugs from Conroe, Texas

  3. Julie Williams
    Julie Williams says:

    Just read this entry in your blog and have to say it is quite a “joy” to get to know more about you! Congratulations on your success!

  4. Maribel
    Maribel says:

    Hola! tambien soy dise~nadora, chilena, y tambien vivi en California por 2.5 a~nos y ahora vivo en Nueva Zelanda con mi familia… tambien tuve que buscar maneras entretenidas para apreder y mejorar mi ingles :)
    Mucha suerte en todo!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Muchas gracias Maribel!

      es genial como funciona cuando uno realmente quiere aprender algo, si regresas a California nos tenemos que juntar a tomar un cafe =]

  5. Fran
    Fran says:

    I’ve never talked about it on my blog, but I’m also a self- taught english speaker. I would watch movies and learn phrases and then break them down haha

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      My favorite was to listen to music on the subway and then check the lyrics to see how much of it “I got right”

  6. Eléonore
    Eléonore says:

    Hi ! I’m from France and I read your blog for almost a year and I love it !
    I think it’s amazing that you learn a language on your own, I didn’t even notice that english wasn’t your mother tongue (but that’s normal it’s not my mother tongue to ahah).
    I wish you will realise your dreams and I hope the best for you and your family :D
    Bye and thank you for what you do !

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much Eleonore! and thank you for following a long =] Maybe it’s a thing that we (non-native-English-speakers) don’t notice hehe


  7. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    Aren’t you a cutie pie! And what an AMAZING story! Your English is really fantastic after just 3 years in the states, and you’re self-taught? WOW! What an accomplishment!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much Shannon! it means the world to me =] I was so scared to write or talk at first, now I’ve come to accept that I have an accent and make mistakes, but it could be a cute thing right?


  8. Nienke
    Nienke says:

    I love reading about you! I’m just really bad at leaving a reply on a blog… :$
    Like you, I’m an (temp) ‘import’ American as well :) and a bit of a coding nerd, although those days are mostly over. Your English is really good! I teach ESL and I know it can be really hard at a ‘later’ age. But I mostly admire your enthusiasm to tackle whatever project you have in your head! You’re truly a DIY talent!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much Nienke! That’s too bad that you left the coding behind! I can always use a code-nerd friend that understand that my favorite color is #009900 not a minty turquoise haha


  9. Elizabeth O
    Elizabeth O says:

    Wow, Joy! Yo hubiera pensado que llevabas mas tiempo viviendo en EU!!!! en tan solo tres años haz conseguido lo que muchos tardan decadas en obtener, muchas felicidades!!! En mi caso llevo una década aqui y siento que mi Inglés no es el optimo aún, pero como dices tu la práctica es fundamental. Gracias por compartir tu historia y tu talento…, te puedo preguntar como es que obtienes tus patrocinadores? A mi me gustaria obtener patrocinadores y asi no volver loco a mi esposo con las cuentas de mis aventuras ;) …
    Te deseo mucho exito, aunque yo se que no lo necesitas ya que tu talento y tenacidad te ayudaran a obtener todo lo que te propongas :)
    Que tengas un lindo día!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hola Elisabeth!!

      Muchísimas gracias, que linda que eres! Tengo pensado en hacer un post explicando los distintos tipos de patrocinadores, pero te puedo decir que deberías participar con Google adsense, ellos son los que me pagan mas por los espacios en mi blog, y es una muy buena forma de comenzar. Ojalá esto te ayude! un saludo grande!

  10. Margarita
    Margarita says:

    Hi Joy, You inspire me to continuing with my project, I have a microcompany of ecological clothes, I like very much your page and your work, congratulations, your baby is precious, regards from Mexico

  11. Elena
    Elena says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Makes me wonder how many talents can a person hold: languages, design, crafts AND coding? You’re an inspiration, you are!

  12. Aubrey
    Aubrey says:

    It was a pleasure reading your 10 things. I guess I’ll have to head off and read that hitchhiking story! Beautiful photos of you by the way, I especially adore the first one. I love getting a peak into who the writer is, a ‘behind the blog,’ per se. I just recently did one myself and can see why it’s helpful because I’m new to your blog – so I didn’t even know you are a self-taught English speaker. How impressive!

  13. Hannah
    Hannah says:

    dear Joy,

    Today my sister-in-law sent me a photo of your camera carrier insert tutorial. Of course I wanted to see your tutorial for myself and stayed on your blog to read more about you and your creative projects. Thank you so much for adding beauty to the world and being willing to share it here! I have smiled much as I have read your words and seen your photos. Again, thank you!

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