Friday, 6 January 2012

Hello! x

Hello again. It's been a long, long time since I posted here as work took over in its usual pre-Christmas fashion. In fact, I broke my previous record on order numbers in a given week...twice! I now know how many orders I can take and complete in a given week as a business of only one member before complete collapse is inevitable, so a worthwhile exercise all round. Can't wait for the next year and plans are bubbling away in my head.

Another less pleasing reason for the lack of blogging is that the computer refuses to let me upload any photos at the moment, a situation which will hopefully be sorted this weekend. I have missed using the camera and realise just how much it makes me slow down and look at the world around me - in the meantime, please forgive these previously blogged images, though they are all from winters of earlier years. It's amazing just how blue-skied and shiny a January day can be isn't it?

So, another year and for once I haven't made specific resolutions. Hopping around the land of blog it seems resolutions bring out strong feelings with some people loathing them and some finding them a means of embracing the notion of regeneration. I fall into the latter camp and, as I have said before, never view the non-achieving of aims as failure as long as I enjoyed the planning!

This year though I fancied a slight change; so many thoughts were in my head yet I couldn't seem to find specific aims out of them, or perhaps it was that there were almost too many aims to list! I found certain words and phrases kept popping into my head as I sorted the sewing room ready for the return to work, and decided they worked well for me. I have printed them out and now have them as company on the walls of my sewing room. Here they are - let me know what you think:


It occurred to me as the orders poured in and I became busier and busier that I was not feeing remotely frazzled. Previous years had been almost as manic and I had struggled with the guilt of having a little one only at school part time. Not my favourite year I can tell you. This Christmas saw a different scene and the result made it feel easy(ish) in comparison making me feel much more in control. I handled any problems immediately and worked through the piles of orders without any sense of panic. I had children home ill and was very ill myself for three weeks, a state which would usually tip me close to the edge with worry, but I carried on and even took myself to bed for a day without batting an eyelid ( I NEVER go to bed when I'm ill!), a sign that I was feeling CALM and because of this I was able to cope with whatever came my way, thus I stayed calm. Even the one night I worked right through to finish the last of the orders didn't finish me off!

Lesson learned:
Calm breeds calm and makes for a much nicer/happier me who is in control and productive rather than feeling like I'm chasing my tail just to get by.


I honestly think if you want something enough there is always a way to get it (not talking about winning the lottery here) - you just have to find a way and believe in yourself. Not always easy is it? The best way for me is to draw a stepladder and write the aim at the top, plan the steps I need to take to get to that aim and make each step a rung of the ladder. By breaking it down in this way it seems more achievable plus I have to make sure I have really thought about it first to actually plan it out. This means I can see potential problems before I start and work out how to get round them. I love the sense of crossing off each step and the ability to see the aim getting closer to being a reality. Visuals like this work well for me, especially when the ladder image is pinned on the wall above the ironing board where I cannot fail to see it!

: Whatever you need to achieve Pip it can be done - just find a way that suits you best (step-ladder works for me but you may not be a visual kind of person) and plan it out. If you can't plan it, it isn't a realistic aim so move on or change it!


Sort of speaks for itself doesn't it? For me this means not always adding the 'but' to a line in conversation or the thoughts in my head (an ever-fertile yet not always helpful space!) For example, when someone compliments me on something I have made/done I almost always used to say thank you and follow it with a but it was easy/ it has this missing/ it would be better with... you get the picture? If I really feel like that then why am I making it? Why would I expect someone to want to buy it? This negative way of being comes from that Britishness which suggests that to agree would be arrogant. What poppycock!!! If I can't show I believe in myself then what am I teaching my children about themselves? So, I will try to change the 'but' for an 'and' so that 'thank you but I think it needs' to 'thank you and I think next time I will add...'. Small change but so much more positive.

REMEMBER: But sticks you in a rut; and lets you expand (I made that up - can you tell!!!)


Despite all my talk on planning, I realise it is sometimes good to just grab an opportunity by the hand and fly. I can often talk myself round in circles and then lose the impetus to follow a thought or chance. If it is something that feel like it needs planning then I will use the stepladder, but if it is something that springs out of nowhere, feels exciting and 'right', then I will leap and see what happens. I guess this also means keeping your eyes open to possibility - you never know what may crop up and bounce over your head if you don't keep a watch for it.

: Be excited by possibility and step outside my comfort zone a little more than I do.


I know I respond well to being inspired by many things but don't always make time to allow this to happen. Reading certain blogs can make me want to rush outside and grab the day, cook up a fab meal, turn the garden into a paradise (oh, if only - it currently is knee deep in mud) yet I don't set myself time to read them. Certain magazines can be inspiring as I love reading of other small businesses and their success stories, the paths they took and where they hope to go next, yet I rarely make time for this either. Meeting up with people locally who work for themselves is something I hope to do more of as a chat with a friend who shares the same concerns/thoughts can be such a great stress-buster and need not use up much of that precious time. As for 'inspire', bit difficult this one as I revert to sounding all coy and British again but (and I do mean but here) I hope I may inspire someone somewhere a little with my blog/work/something just once in a while!!

: Allow myself to read about, meet with & generally enjoy people who inspire me and try to write the flipping blog more than once every two months!


This really links in to the one above, but also encompasses
making time for the things I need to make me able to be me. Making time for walks on the beach and in the woods which I really haven't done enough of in the last year; making time for my garden which I have sorely neglected of late; time for creating for myself, whether that is sewing quilts or dressmaking, knitting or crochet, baking or preserving. None of these things have been done on the scale I usually do them and I have felt a little lost as a result. They are imperative to my well-being and I miss them, so they will be very much back on my agenda starting tonight when I shall start another pair of fingerless mitts for myself as I have lost yet another pair! Oh, and I miss blogging too as love my little space for whittering on.

: Schedule time for these things in if necessary as they are too important to be left out and affect how creative I can be in my work and how happy I feel in my head.

And last, but not least:


Totally linked as if you are enjoying what you are doing you will inevitably achieve, and if you achieve things you will inevitably be enjoying it!

So there you have it and there I will leave it (thank the good lord!). The headings are printed out and pinned up as daily reminders of my New Year's Thoughts & Solutions - of course, I'll let you know whether they work, but if not there's always next year!

Have a lovely weekend xx


  1. Great to see you back Pipany and that is a lovely post - I intend to go back and re-read it slowly! Lovely photos -who cares if they are not current ones when they are as inspiring as these?

  2. Pipany I missed you. I think, possibly, this is the best list of new year's resolutions/thoughts I have had the pleasure of seeing so far. Perhaps because your points speak loud and clear to me.

    I wish you and your family as much peace, harmony, joy, and creativity a new year can bring.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you make of 2012.

    Bring it all on!


  3. Hello Pip Happy New Year to you. What an inspirational post. If we all copy you, and put your words to good use we'll have a fantastic year. I'm now off to draw some steps and do some planning. Thank you for sharing.

    Bertie x

  4. Hi Pipany lovely to see you back in the land of blog. And Happy New Year to you too.

    I love your list of aims, I think they are all acheiveable in some small way.Or even big ways. I like the way you think. I know what you mean about praise. I always bat it back never sure what to say or how to respond to it.

    Hope you get to acheive all those great things well into this New Year and many more.

    MBB x

  5. A lovely positive post, Pipany, and you have expressed very eloquently many of my own thoughts! I so love your photos, they are absolutely gorgeous and always delight the eye in a very special way. I look forward very much to visiting you this coming year!
    Helen x

  6. Happy New Year Pipany. Your resolutions are such good ones and I hope to follow some of yours. They also sound like exciting ones -as though you have lots of plans! My list is small and brief but I do hope to stick to it.

  7. What a wonderful blog and I've missed reading them. I love your words and phrases - I was hanging on to every one as I'm also about to launch my own small business. I love the step ladder analogy. I'm currently on the bottom rung of mine, but I have a plan! Great to see you back (and lovely photos - well worth seeing again). xxx

  8. Well that sums me up too! I had a very, very busy Christmas again this year and I was stressed and worried and anxious but as my husband kept telling me.... ' you will get there in the end and worrying won't help' He was of course right! Thank you for that post, I will read it again for sure to remind myself as much as anything that there are others like me out there! I want to manage my time better and make time for meeting friends. I wish we lived nearer, I think we'd get on well! Glad to hear you had a busy Christmas and I hope this year is good for you too xx

  9. This is such a great post Pip, well done for putting it down and I think I shall put it in my sewing room as a reminder. I particularly like the 'Believe' part as you are so right, we Brits are rubbish with compliments. Love your little mantra.
    Happy New Year.
    Kate x

  10. It's lovely to see you back Pipany. So many things for me to go away and thinking about. Thank you for sharing.

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend....

    Lou x x x

  11. Pipany, it's very good to see this post from you, and to learn how you did manage to get over that flu business and still stay calm and able to also take care of your wonderful Pipany business.

    A very happy new year to you and your family. All those visual steps seem an excellent way to keep your focus positive and not too complicated.

    Bravo, and thank you for sharing that visual aid with us.

    I predict that your business is going to go to a totally different level this year. Time perhaps to hire a helper?


  12. Fantastic and inspiring list and not a diet in sight! I shall print this off and re-read when necessary. Thank you so much x

  13. Your post stikes a chord with me and puts into words many things I feel too. I'm going to make some notes based on it in my journal so I don't forget. Thank you.

  14. love all of these thoughts and I am so glad you cracked Calm this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Wow, what an inspiring and positive post. I love your words for inspiration - I'm going to make a list of my own to pin to the fridge to spur me on!
    I hope you have a really happy 2012.

  16. You have said a lot of what I have been thinking lately, but so much better than I could (that's genuine praise, don't 'but' me back!).

    Hoping all you hope for in 2012 comes true x

  17. Hi Pip, I read your post the other day but didn't have time to comment but just come back for a second read! Everything you say rings true and most, if not all of them, are things which I have been thinking I need to aim for this year. My Christmas was v busy but nowhere near as busy as yours, I don't know how you coped with the volume of orders! But even so, this year, I want to make more time for me, for Karl, and for my family who I don't see often at all. Time to relax in the evenings with a book or a project is so important and these things often get cast aside for other more 'important'/ necessary things, but in truth, they are so important, just to be able to rewind and enjoy is such a precious thing. Well done on such a successful year last year, I hope 2012 is even better for you, your family and your wonderful business. Have loved getting to know you through your blog and facebook this last year and even though we've never met, I value your friendship greatly :) Have a fab week, Jenny xx

  18. I would like to ask quite a personal question if I may please? Obviously you don't have to answer!

    I am currently thinking of setting up some sort of craft based business. What I would like to know is this: Is it possible - when there is only one of you (I have no intentions of expanding to employ anyone), to make a full time living out of such a business?

    I ask as everyone I read about, who is doing such a thing is either married or has a partner. I am neither and would have to fully support myself including the expense of housing etc. I cannot think of anyone successful who does not have in the background a supportive partner. Actually I can, one, and they have recently split up and returned to live at home with parents, I would not have that security.

    If it is possible I would like to work towards being entirely self supporting. If it is not then I would continue working and hope to build up a part time business. I ask the question as even though there are people who 'make it' like Alicia Paulson of Posy gets Cosy for instance, they always labour the point that there is not much money to be made. What I can't ascertain is whether that is a relative or absolute thing.

    Obviously, as a one person business there are limits as you have illustrated so well in this post - you can't create miracles as there is only one of you with one pair of hands. So before I proceed with my 'plans' for the next year, I would be so grateful if you wouldn't mind answering my question. If it is not something you want to discuss, I quite understand. Thank you.

  19. Hi Jane. Happy to chat this one out but it would take too long for here I fear! My email is so drop me a line if you like and I'll see what I can do to answer some of your questions.

    In the meantime, I would say to take a slow route and plot it alongside a part-time job if at all possible. Yes, I think it is possible though you do need to be realistic about what you want from it and also diversify as much as possible (unlike moi who often forgets this bit!)>
    Bit vague but email me if you want and I'll get back to you when I can x

  20. Hi, Pipany!

    well, now, you've just spoken a lot of the things that are on my heart and in my mind, too. and, I mean...down to the same heart thumping words. I don't need to make new resolutions at the new year, I just need to remember where my thoughts were at before the rush hit and tumbled everything in its waves.

    Calm, inspiration, time, planning (curious how you've come up with my very same epiphany from this past year) - it's all refreshing. You're always so refreshing!

    I'm glad that you had a wonderful Christmastime and that your business was so productive. Then, isn't the calm of January so wonderful?

    Sending best wishes for this new year to be filled with these characteristics and that you'll always remember it as such!


  21. Dear Pipany

    Thank you so much for responding to me. I really appreciate it, as I felt it was rather cheeky of me to ask. I am very heartened to hear that you think it possible.

    I am much encouraged by what you say. I agree with taking it slow and steady too. I really wouldn't want to encroach on anymore of your valuable time and am very happy with the advice given in your reply.

    I am very vague about everything and certainly need to make some plans. I liked what you said about planning in your post!

    Thanks so much for your reply, it has made me feel quite sparky about it all!

    Thanks again

    Jane xx

  22. Oh you definitely inspire Pipany, absolutely.