2015: One Little Word

Happy New Year!

We have just spent the weekend recovering and catching up from the holidays. We spent two weeks in Tennessee with our families, and it was awesome! Sharing meals and games and gifts and time together is a great way to end the old year and ring in the new.

And, while we were there, Husband and I took an End-of-the-Year Getaway – something I hope becomes a yearly tradition. We booked a night at The Martha Washington Inn, just across the border in Abingdon, Virginia.

me at the martha

Abingdon in a charming little town that was fun to explore, even in freezing temperatures, and the inn, even lovelier. The history of The Martha is fascinating, and the halls of the inn are adorned with many relics from its earlier days – old photos, students’ letters, programs from performances at the college. In addition to wandering the halls, enjoying great meals, taking a dip in the saltwater pool, and relaxing at the spa, we also took some time to set goals for our year. There were a lot of little ones (drink more water!) and a few bigger ones, and I’m excited about all of them. (I’m an ENFP, so I found this to be pretty funny and also true.)

So as I started thinking about my One Little Word for this year (see past years here and here), I wanted it to reflect the goals we set and the plans we made.

For some reason, the first word that popped into my head was “refine”. Not at all what I was expecting – in fact, I even looked up past years to try to get other ideas. I thought I might just choose “practice, because it feels like an easy one. But then I looked up the definition of refine (italics mine):

re·fine /rəˈfīn/ verb

  1. remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process.
  2. improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory or method) more subtle and accurate.

In my journal, I wrote that I want to:

  • reset priorities
  • clear out the junk (not just physical stuff, but that’s part of it)
  • create processes that simplify
  • focus on our goals
  • redefine purposes
  • make choices that line up with these priorities and purposes

These feel a lot like refining to me – clearing out the unwanted elements and making small changes to make our lives a more accurate reflection of our goals. So there it is. Not the most glamorous word for the year, but it seems like a good fit.


What about you? Do you choose a word for your year or set other goals or resolutions? I would love to hear if you do and what your approach is. (I didn’t do it for years – one year, when asked at the checkout if I had any resolutions, I said, “Eat more chocolate!”) Whatever your plans for the new year, I hope 2015 is full of peace and joy for you. Looking forward to diving into the year!

31 Days: Color – Day 31: The Rainbow Connection

Finally! Made it through all 31 projects. (Well, except that crazy green one, but I’m not going to count that one since I’ve already attempted it twice. When it’s warm enough to actually wear that dress, I’ll revisit it.)


Today’s project reminded me of my 31 Days projects last year, about just showing up and doing the work. (Speaking of, I received the book Do the Work by Steven Pressfield for Christmas, along with this book – I’m so excited to dig into both of them after I finish my current one.) I didn’t really have a plan – aside from wanting to make a colorful piece of jewelry – so I just pulled out random beads from my stash and got to work. Some of the beads are “new” finds, some are leftovers from old projects, and some I’ve had for years.


The red bead is a leftover from this necklace. The orange polka dot used to be part of a pair of earrings.


The solid orange is the single remaining bead from this set. The yellows are from here and here.


The turquoise bead is from a piece of costume jewelry that belonged to my great-grandmother. The dark blue is from here.


I put them together to make a piece full of memories.


I love this idea of a “collaged” necklace – not just reusing matched old pieces to make new things, but combining disparate pieces in new ways. As I think about what I want to explore in the new year, I keep coming back to this idea. I am excited to see what 2015 brings for all of us.

Thank you so much for following along with me these 31 (plus a WHOLE lot more) Days. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s gotten me to stop to notice color, and it’s inspired me to break out of my routines to try something new. Hope my little color experiment has inspired you in some way, too!

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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31 Days: Color – Day 30: Purple Paisley Blouse

I think this is really going to happen. I know in past years of 31 Days (2012 and 2013), I’ve successfully posted 31 posts in October. But this year, it feels like quite an accomplishment to actually finish these 31 posts before the end of 2014. If I actually finish before the end of 2014.

vintage purple paisley

I found this purple and orange paisley blouse at the thrift store weeks (months?) ago, but then I lost it. (And by “lost it”, I mean Husband put it in a bag with the leftovers of this purple fabric, so I didn’t think to look there until I was on an all-out search.)

faux pockets

It had these faux pockets, which were just little strips of fabric, attached on 3 sides. I used my seam ripper to carefully removed them.


Then I cut off the sleeves and used this simple scarf hem technique to hem the sleeves. Confession: I didn’t even use pins – I just folded as I sewed – and it worked beautifully.


I love all things paisley, and when you pair orange with its “nemesis”, well, I love it even more.

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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