The word



Last year’s word was visible, and even though I said it out loud I didn’t know just how visible i was going to become. I guess i expected to choose a word and then just forget about it and go about my business; apparently that’s not how it works. If you set your intention on a word, it might just come true, hence the need to choose your word wisely. In 2009 I finally attached my full name to this blog, started posting videos of my face (!) and was accosted by two blog readers in public (which i’ll admit was really really lovely :) Lately I’ve been feeling like i’m all over the internet which occasionally gives me the shivers (i googled ‘susannah’ the other day and was on page one of the results. Page one! It was a weird feeling, people – a bit like leaving the house without any trousers on).

I thought my word for 2010 was going to be love, as that is the one thing/state I have yet to draw back into my life, but over the last few weeks I realised that I want a bigger word, a word that will encompass all that i’m wishing to create in my life – in love, work, living and playing. So, after more thought, my word for 2010 is…



The last year has seen the creation of a solid foundation, and now I’m ready for take off. I envision this next year as a pliable thing, something i can knead and mould, and make into any shape i want. So why not make it BIGGER? Expanding to make more room for abundance and creativity. Horizons stretched, barriers conquered. An expanded heart to welcome my nephew into the world; an open door for love to find me again. I want to chase after my dreams and make them happen; I want to be brave and bold in my choices. I want to live widely and colourfully; to believe whole-heartedly and shine my light brightly.

What’s your word for 2010?

Anything is possible! I’ll meet you back here tomorrow next year with something pretty for your desktop… Happy new year, friends!

~ The year in review ~

Balloon_house In January I launched the very first session of Unravelling and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine i'd be where I am now, with four classes under my belt and about to enter into a fifth, each session selling out faster than the last. What i also hadn't imagined was how this course would create some wonderful online tribes; i've been amazed and humbled by how the Unravellers bond so tight and continue to work together even after the course has ended. I've heard of Unraveller meet-ups, phone calls, secret santas, an Unraveller's calender and rumours of a secret Valentine coming next year too!

There was so much to learn as my classes and online world stepped up into being a business of sorts (also didn't expect that) and I had to learn about marketing and promotion, making my word of 2009 become a reality in more ways than one (more on that tomorrow). This was also the year that…

… Twitter became a daily pleasure.

I gave myself permission.

My work was featured in Artful Blogging magazine and in Frankie magazine's first book, The Photo Album.

I began interviewing inspiring women for the blog in March.

I discovered I'm going to become an auntie!

In June I launched a brand new website, blog redesign and e-course.

I went to Squam Art Workshops via Montreal in September, and then fulfilled a lifelong dream by visiting San Francisco this month.

This month I also celebrated one whole year as an ex smoker!

I mused on originality and copying

I completed one year of Favorite Things with Alicia.

The lovely Jamie interviewed me in a podcast, and I revealed my face on Danielle's blog.

I sheepishly admitted my yoga shame.

I committed.

The mothership opened its door to me.

All in all, it's been a good year. I danced with bouts of illness and workaholism, and discovered that i don't always look after myself when busy, but through it all i've felt a renewed sense of purpose. I feel many ghosts from the past have been put to rest, and the grief of 2005 and beyond is far enough behind me to be able to put my hand on my heart and know it is healed. I feel proud of my independence, and my survival. I feel really proud to be doing work that is helpful to others while supporting myself. That is truly amazing to me, and i'm cooking up lots of good things for 2010. I'm so happy you're all here with me – thank you x

Rainbow_house[Alex & I searched long and hard but we finally found it – the rainbow house in San Francisco!]

~ The Year of the Polaroids ~

01 It has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the year of the Polaroids for me. You didn't see THAT one coming, eh? I know I kept it pretty quiet. I bought my first Polaroid camera in April 2008 and from there the obsession has grown parallel to the increasing scarcity of film – just my luck. Nevertheless, my DSLR sat dejected in its bag for the whole 2009; even my Hasselblad is starting to gather dust, as I expose square after square of Polaroid magic. Yet despite this fetishistic love I have for the cameras, they're simply my medium of choice for recording the things I see. I don't want to take thousands of digital shots – i want to bring home a pocket full of Polaroids instead. They feel more precious to me, and once i've scanned them and corrected the colour, they take on a life of their own. This year I also ventured into Polaroid portraiture, which has encouraged me to start approaching strangers too. With any luck the Impossible Project will make good on its promise and give us new instant film in 2010, because this is one love affair that isn't going to end.

It wasn't easy choosing my favourite Polaroids from this year – there have been so many – but I feel these 14 shots illustrate how my style has developed over the last 12 months… Viva la Polaroid!


~ New traditions ~

Baubles Sitting on the sofa in my sister's house, watching her wrap presents in the kitchen and promising not to look when she wraps certain ones. A rerun of The Office is playing in the background as i type; Steve sips from a can of Guinness and i'm considering cracking open the fancy bottle of Trinidadian rum i bought for tomorrow. Earlier Abby was sitting beside me and I rested my hand on her tummy, waiting for my nephew's little kicks hello; we are all very aware that this time next year there will be a nine-month-old little monkey shuffling around on the floor. This is the first time in all our life that Abby & I have not spent Christmas Day at our mother's house, the house we grew up in. We were all gung-ho for something new this year, a change around in preparation for all the changes 2010 will bring to our family. Mum and her partner will arrive on Boxing Day, so for now we are cosy in my sister's home, with full stomachs and rosy cheeks, the cats padding around with their muddy paws, the Christmas tree lights twinkling, the bottle of rum calling. New traditions being made…