Big Thoughts for 2015

I’m definitely not one for resolutions, but there is something irresistible about beginning a new year with better intentions. Like a lot of people I am sure, I have a tendency to set rather unachievable goals and then beat myself up when I inevitably fail to reach them (it isn’t just me, is it?). So I have taken a conscious decision to look back on my work in 2014, to smile and remember the highlights – those times when I really enjoyed the creative process.

2014 round up


I have learnt a lot in 2014. I have finally absorbed a piece of information that I knew, but hadn’t take in – that for me, creativity comes out of hard work and experimentation – there’s going to be no sudden inspirational moment (is that just a myth?). I am trying to celebrate the half finished projects that haven’t quite worked out (yet) and remind myself that they are not just waste of time and fabric. So my first Big Thought for 2015 is to keep working hard and to devote myself to the project in hand (rather than worrying about whether I should be doing something else), and just find out where it leads me.

But having adopted that thought, I need to stay on top of what I HAVE to do. So I am giving myself the chance to stay organised and have treated myself to a gorgeous new Daily Planner from The Journal Shop (if you are stationery geek, stay away if you value your savings!) that is a pleasure to use.

Iconic Seize the Day v. 2 // Daily Planner (Retro Orange)-31


This is the first time I have ever felt enthusiasm about a Diary/Planner, and my intention is that keeping on top of my To Do lists will become a positive habit.

My other Big Thought For The New Year is to take more time out to relax and refresh my brain without guilt that I should be loading the dishwasher/tending the garden/sewing some binding instead. But the only way to do this, for me, is to take it on as a challenge. Maybe it’s silly to take on relaxing as part of my day’s work, but I think it is the only way it’s going to happen. It’s all about giving myself permission to commit time to doing the stuff I enjoy. I hope there are people out there who get this rather than thinking I am nuts…!


I have signed up for a reading challenge to read 26 books in 2015:

I am starting with challenge number 13 – a book with a female hero – and reading Jenny Uglow’s biography of Elizabeth Gaskell, who is definitely a hero of mine, as well as being one of my favourite writers.  If any of you out there have any suggestions for any of the other 25, I would be very glad to hear about them. I have number 20 all sorted, and I am finally going to get round to reading The Kite Runner… I plan to record my progress on Instagram, if you want to follow me, and maybe devote a bit of blogging time to it too.

Have you had any big thoughts about the coming year?

29 thoughts on “Big Thoughts for 2015

  1. Just found this and what a great idea. I ve neglected my reading after spending too much time on Pinterest and the like so this will focus me. Missed January so some catching up to do.maldo keeping up to date with each other’s reading is a great idea x

  2. I love reading and it’s taken a long time but I’ve finally convinced myself there is nothing wrong with spending an afternoon reading a good book! My favourite books are The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, wonderful stories. Sewing and reading – bliss 🙂

  3. Writing out your intentions is definitely very powerful. I need to do it more consistently and follow up as well. I think checking in and tweaking your intentions is the key to success.

    So important to make time for yourself so well done for taking that step.

    Great book list. For no 2 I suggest Holes by Louis Sachar if you haven’t already read it. It’s technically a children’s book but I love the story and the way it all fits together.

    1. Yes, yes YES!!! You have to read Holes – I used to teach it way back when. Such a clever book. A true rip-roaring read. Oh and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is a fantastic one too while we’re on kids books – just be prepared to blub a bit.

  4. Thanks for sharing the 26 Books Challenge – just my type of thing. Lovely to read recommendations up above aswell – will have to get making a list!

  5. Genius idea to see relaxing as part of your job. I’m so going to try that. Thanks for the book ideas list too. I was a bit daunted by the ’52 books in a year’ challenge but this one looks like fun and a whole lot more manageable! Now, which number to start with …..

  6. I didn’t read a single book last year, or the several years previous if it comes to that! I’m always too busy during the day and too tired at bedtime. Trouble is, once I’ve started a book I can’t put it down ’til I’ve finished (4am) then I’m knackered all the next day!! Popping over to look at those journals right now….

  7. I’d be proud to have such a set of results for 2014. My problem when it comes to crafting is procrastination. I also have difficulty in seeing my crafting as important enough to work on before other tasks.
    The book challenge sounds intriguing, there are so many books around to choose from that it’s certainly a good way to narrow it down. If you want to visit Guernsey but haven’t yet, how about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

  8. I kind of resolved to promise to do nothing lol I wrote up a post on the 1st of January about how I wasn’t promising to finish anything or use anything up, plus a bunch of other things to spark my creativity.

    I actually do get inspirational ‘a-ha’ moments, as I don’t have the time or inclination to experiment, sorry!

  9. I happen to be great at resolutions – failing them, that is. I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂

    The book challenge sounds so interesting, I hope you manage it! I have so many on my list it’s not even funny…

    I don’t think reminding yourself to relax is silly, not at all. We the self-employed and passionate ones do tend to overdo it very often, don’t we?…

    Happy new year, Ali!

  10. Ok here’s some suggestions based on books I have loved this year.
    Red Joan by Jennie Rooney – based on a true story of a British spy.
    A State of Wonder, Ann Patchett (I got it from the library ) . Bought this for my daughter. Extraordinary read.
    Gone Girl – everyone has read this, apparently. Plus now a film.
    The Long Exile, M J McGrath (Melissa), A true story about consequences.
    Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. First line in Chapter one November 1930, ” A fug of smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe.”
    Love reading but don’t know how I would handle some of this list, especially the Lion the Witch or the Wardrobe!

    1. Thanks so much for these! I am going to add these to my Good Reads ‘To Read’ section and maybe they will make it into my 26 if I can squeeze them into a category. Have read Life After Life – Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite writers, and yes, I have absolutely no idea what do about lion, witch or wardrobe, might have to cheat a bit.

  11. Like Deb, I knew I shouldn’t followed the link. Now I’ve got to try the 26 reads. I have neglected reading in favour of listening to books, and I feel really guilty. I also want to try to do a quilt journal, if you ever see a nice one on your travels through the internet!

  12. I knew I shouldn’t have followed that link! I already have my moleskines ready for this years to do lists. Now I have some fancy ink to go in my fountain pen – oops. Still, it will make my to do’s look pretty.

  13. I set myself reading challenges too to make sure I read, sad isn’t it that we feel guilty taking a break otherwise! I challenged myself to read 52 books last year and managed 72 so this year I’m aiming to beat that, Close to 100 would be good 😉

    1. Blimey Fi, that is impressive… It’s a long time since the days when I used to manage a couple of books a week. A couple a month is about right these days. All the best with your plans in 2015!

  14. I absolutely get all you say about Resolutions and am tying my hands behind my back regarding the stationery supplier! I always set a resolution to read more, but your reading challenge idea, which really is an objective as it states how many and when by, so I am going to follow you on that one, perhaps we can swap notes on progress now and again! I also love your attitude to creating things as I am never 100% happy with what I do, but am slowly getting more confident and at my age that’s probably a bit sad! X

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