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What a year it’s been.

Much like 2014 appears to be doing, 2013 snuck up on me somewhat. The new year is only a couple of hours old, but I wanted to get my review up before my planning posts.

I saw 2013 in at Rob’s with a bunch of new friends, getting rather whimsically tipsy and generally having a wonderful time.


January saw a craft swap with some of my favourite people, lots of snow, a notice to vacate my flat, a ukulele workshop and a visit to London Edge trade show. Who knew that just a year later I’d be helping out Contrariety Rose with her stand there?!

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was my birthday month (I celebrated by having dinner with Mum & Gran, and heading to bed with wine and six books. Utter bliss.), and also the month in which I visited Lou’s shop for the first time, had an impromptu school reunion and modelled in a collaborative photoshoot.


March held moving house in the snow, to a little house with a spiral staircase in a riverside village full of mad creative people. I finally got my garden and couldn’t be happier! I spent the very last morning at my old flat creating memories with my best friends, taking burlesque photos for the Paper Dolls. I also had six inches chopped off my hair – eek!

IMG_9901 sketch editApril was full of exciting stuff. I stepped into the Night Circus for a few glorious hours, saw Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty with Hannah, went to the Stationery Show with Annastasia and the Ink Drops duck, and also managed to squish in Susannah Conway’s rather wonderful Photo Meditations course.

May was Mum’s birthday, cycling to work (in a wobbly but pretty manner), and the Make Me Joyful/Ink Drops letter writing salon in London, in which I reconnected with an old friend and made a couple of new ones 🙂

June started out gently, and ended in a mad rush getting ready for the Fling. I also packed in my first Cybher bloggers’ conference, the Indie Retail Academy course, a hilarious evening making burgers with Rach, started walking Liz’s lovely greyhound doglets, and Gran’s birthday celebrations.


July’s highlight was without a doubt the Fling festival. I never thought I’d have the confidence to burlesque in public and it was bloody wonderful! Also  went to my first model horse show in years, saw Sedge & Steve for the first time in nearly four years, and did the Harry Potter studio tour with Jules!


And at more than halfway through the year… August held a big BBQ at Jo & Dan’s, a Dream Seed Magic chat with Diane which helped me embrace my unicorn obsession, a trip to Battlesbridge for Goodwood outfits where we failed to buy clothes but I came home with a red typewriter, I started condensed hours at the day job, and fabulous Claire came up to visit (but sadly sans her little dog Bailey – next time!).

September was mostly full of my first meetup with fellow Free Rangers, and the Goodwood Revival with Rob, which was fantastic despite the rain. Lou made me a dress despite her ridiculous schedule and I adore it… and I think we nailed the vintage look, what do you reckon? (Massive appreciation to Em, who got up at silly o clock to help me sort the hair out – far above and beyond the duty of friendship!)

PhotoGrid_1379585106206(yes, it’s pasted together – we were so busy drooling at cars we forgot to get more than a couple of photos, and none were of both of us. Hopeless!)

Goodwood weekend was also when I realised I’m not as allergic to cats as I thought, after staying and snoozing with Emily’s two little kittens, Merlin and Valentino.

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Oh, and Poppy finally got her spoiler. It only took me four years! (Big hugs to Beka for letting Red’s spoiler come to me – it has the best of homes and Poppy’s very happy with it!)

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Good grief, writing this I’m starting to see how the year shot past so quickly… October was wonderful, for what I think may well be the first time in my life, and certainly the first in my adult life, I watched summer turn into autumn day by day, on my cycle to work. I’ve never before been so aware of the seasons, and it’s glorious.2013-11-13 16.21.22 2013-12-12 08.45.50

October also saw a trip to Bristol to stay with Julia and catch up with Rachael, plus meeting up with some more fantastic free range people. I have truly found my tribe this year, and it’s the best feeling in the world. I had my first coaching call with the ever-inspiring Eli, my first web design client and my last doglet walk, and a random trip to London to see the Nutcracker on ice.

November was much milder than I expected, and hugely celebratory as my parents reached their 40th anniversary, and my goddaughter Mimi and her boyfriend both turned 18. Toasts all round!


At the end of November, I went to see some small kittens at the rescue in Alresford with the intention of collecting them just after Christmas. In the pen next door to the tiny ones were the then-nameless Luna and Clover. Luna more or less leapt into my arms and purred away merrily, and Clover was more aloof but still very friendly from the start. They came home three days later. They chose me, they’ve turned my life upside down and I love them so much it’s quite scary.


December has been full of the usual Christmas preparations, alongside getting used to the magic and responsibility of being owned by two five month old kittens. Vets’ visits, Luna setting off the gas on my cooker, lots of cuddles, lots of giggling at their antics and confused mutterings when one of them knocks something over in the middle of the night has characterised my December. Oh, and I had no Christmas tree because they destroyed both while I was still putting them up. I’m basically making it up as I go along, and freaking out on a regular basis, but they are gorgeous and I adore them.

Christmas itself was magical – I forgot to get into the Christmas spirit but had a wonderful time with my family, and spent the day after Boxing Day driving out to the Suffolk coast in a rather fabulous sports car convoy with some old and new friends. Eating ice cream on the beach in December is definitely a way to feel alive!

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I saw in the new year with a day of reminiscing, dreaming and planning, and an evening on the sofa with my moglets.

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I feel incredibly blessed this year, to be in the middle of creating a life which delights me,  surrounded by people (and animals!) I love. I’m happier and more contented than I ever remember being before… long may this last into the new year!

I hope you had a wonderful festive season and I wish you a happy and abundant 2014.

xoxo, Carla

My word for 2014
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