Happy 2010, everyone! I’m still on holiday really, but am slowly starting to rev my motor for the new year by making my first blog post of the decade.

Once all the relatives left town and we weren’t making treks across the peninsula laden with bowls of salad and bags of presents, Paul and I spent an intensely domestic holiday at home. We cleaned and cleared, hung pictures and polished wood, polyfilled and painted, read piles of novels, napped, and drank pints of tea. All of this has been deeply restorative, and I’m very happy to have prepared so well for the inevitable entropy of a new year.

But apart from cleaning and reading, the thing I always find enormously restful is cutting, so between cups of tea, I gathered blades, cardboard, paper and tape and set myself a project, which involved cutting hundreds and hundreds of small squares of card.

It took a while, but once I’d cut all these squares (over 500 of them!), I had myself a month-by-month calendar for the new year, and one I can reuse next year too, as the dates are written on a sheet of writing paper taped behind.

Those little cut squares are called “negative spaces”, but they represent a couple of positive things for me: Firstly, looking at those piled-up squares gives me a sense of all the days available in 2010, which is an exciting prospect. And secondly, having made the time to make something just because I wanted to, and having had the time to make sure I did it really well, has been a rare treat, and most satisfying. My intention for this new year is that I will arrange my life so that I can do things properly, and not in a mad and frantic gallop, which pretty much wore me out in 2009.  I’ll try to use the spaces I cut on my calendar to remember to carve out positive spaces in my year.

Happy 2010 everyone! Hope it’s full of piles of positive spaces for you too.


  1. Sounds awesome! Here’s hoping every day has at least a little positive space. Lovely calendar, too!

  2. Wow – such profound meaning in your process, product and remains. Really jazzes me up when something hits me like that, too. Very appreciative of the reminder to sloooooow down and do things right. Happy New Year!!

  3. Heather, as an engineer I have to point out that you could have just cut out one piece of card as a template if you had not insisted on cutting out the month on each card. The one could then be a template with the sheets of writing paper stacked behind.
    But that would not have been as satisfying so i will not mention it.
    As always, a beautiful creation.

    • Hee hee. You’re absolutely right, and I did consider that option, but I actually wanted to take the time to cut all those squares. Menial tasks, they’re my forte! Will remember I have an engineer brother to call upon in the future though, when I have less time on my hands to much about 🙂

  4. The calendar is wonderful! I love the idea that it is a reminder to make time for yourself. And also fantastic that it is reusable year after year.

  5. Pray you don’t get too busy, or hopefully you’ve got small handwriting. I know those spaces wouldn’t be big enough to fit MY days inside them!

    • ha ha. Yes, my days are pretty insanely busy too, but this calendar is just for keeping track of which day I’m on ,who is having a birthday, etc.

      Enjoy your busy year,

  6. if i had the time, i’d make one for myself too….

    what a lovely post to start off the new year. very symbolic. great reminder. thanks again for the food for thought moment!

  7. Happy New Year ! Heather. May your days be filled with just as much success or more and may there be times in-between for well deserved rest.
    from a snowy and cold Toronto xo

    • Hi Arounna

      Happy New Year to you too! I was just thinking of you yesterday, as I had a day in the studio and decided to try to use up some of my fabric scraps, so used the lovely little purse you sent me (and which I use every day) for inspiration. I’m no great shakes in the sewing department, especially when it comes to zips and lining, but learned a lot from your example. So thanks for the lesson across time and space.

      I hope your 2010 is full of more of your beautiful things, and big congrats on your recent Apt Therapy accolade.

      xx Heather

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