Head & Heart – 2014

Published Categorized as Life

For this December’s (dreadfully late) Head & Heart post, I thought I’d do something a little different and review the whole past year instead of just the month. I know that everyone has already done their year wrap-ups and New Year’s resolutions, but having just returned from holiday I hope you’ll forgive me for running a little behind!

“A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.”

2014 was a year with some big changes and challenges, some downs but a lot of ups. You can see a lot of it wrapped up monthly in my previous Head & Heart posts, but here’s a bit of a summary and maybe some things I missed previously.

What I’ve been grateful for

Friends, family, The Boy, colleagues and blogging buddies – all who keep me inspired and in check. Technology to keep me connected with them even when they’re far away. Opportunities and privilege, which came sharply into focus when I travelled. Living in one of the most beautiful and liveable cities I’ve ever visited. Having a quirky but charming home to call my own.

Home sweet home
Home sweet home

What I’ve been thinking about

How to sum up a year’s worth of thoughts?

Reading and travelling inevitably leads to thinking (or the best kinds do at least). Not that I’m particularly worldly or political or philosophical, but I’m finding myself far more interested in these things than I’ve been before. It really is true that the more you learn the more you realise you have to learn, and how small you really are in the scheme of things. I’m finding myself drawn more and more to minimalism, even whilst being quite tech-centric and a bit too attached to my phone. The past few years I’ve felt a shift from striving for more typical ideals of success to kindness, happiness and inner peace (as wanky as that might sound). Defining my own version of success and not being swayed by conventional wisdom is something I’ll keep working on this year.

Letterpress wisdom
Letterpress wisdom

What I’m excited for

More Side Project issues (#2 should be out in March!). Finally getting around to making a stationery collection, with the Side Project team. A few weddings, including a very special one where I’ll be the matron lady of honour, my first time being a bridesmaidsidekick. Much more lettering, calligraphy, typography and art, which I’m hoping to get around to writing more about over on teresawatts.com. The aquaponics system we’re currently half way through installing, which should hopefully supply us with more than half of our veggies and herbs. Properly dealing with my back pain, not just when it gets bad. The year of 30th birthday parties, including my own. Bring on 2015!


What I’ve been doing

In the start of 2014 I really upped my dessert-making and food styling game, making an almost weekly dessert up until April. Although it ended up being too hectic to keep up that kind of schedule, I feel pretty proud of those blog posts and those delicious sweets!

I left my previous job and started a new one, with the agency I did my work experience at 10 years ago and have pretty much been trying to go back to ever since. We have a coffee machine and went to Bali for our ‘Christmas party’. I have no regrets.

I did Sketch Dailies quite regularly for some time, and found the best ever painting app for iOS. I’ve lost interest in the daily themes, but really want to get back to sketching and painting again.

Melbourne, Brisbane, Bali and South Africa (will write about the last two soonish) gave me a decent bit of travel, mostly involving heaps of eating and landscapes – just the way I like it.

I rebranded and redesigned teresawatts.com and ChiGarden, and created Teresa Sketches and Public Transport Haikus. I haven’t kept up with updating them as much as I’d like, but the intent was there!

Click for the case study
Click for the case study

Donating blood and volunteering for the first time turned out to be rewarding experiences, and I wondered why I’d waited so long to do it.

I dabbled in print-making with letterpress and screen-printing, and even a bit of 3D printing – all of which I still have yet to write about properly

I hosted a waste free (ish) dinner party for 13 people, which I have decided is the maximum we can fit for a sit-down meal at our place.

I taught a brush lettering workshop at Beau Est Mien, which was scary but very rewarding. Inspiration for things to come.

Along with my partners in crime I created an actual printed (on 100% recycled stock no less) zine called Side Project, the first of hopefully many issues. Making a publication had been on my list of things I’d love to do but didn’t have to drive or skills to achieve on my own, so it felt AMAZING to complete it!

Side Project launch party - photo by Sabrina Wong
Photo by Sabrina Wong, at our launch party

What I’ve been reading

Here’s a few things that made a big impact on me last year:

  • Brain Pickings – the best way to read little digestible bits of wisdom from authors, artists and visionaries old and new, conveniently interpreted by the brilliant Maria Popova.
  • Monocle Magazine – I picked up a subscription last year, and whilst they are a bit too dense for me to keep up with easily I feel smarter for having read them, haha! Also, those lovely editorial illustrations!
  • Offscreen Magazine – putting a different perspective on web and digital work.
  • I didn’t make it through many books this year, but Walden, for all it was a pain to read, put some of my jumbled thoughts together quite beautifully.
  • xkcd always and forever.

What I’ve been spending money on

As much of my money I could last year went into the mortgage – how boring! But also on travel, slowly furnishing our home, excellent food, some good bottles of whiskey, stationery and magazines. I think we’ve reached the point of being relatively comfortable living within our means, investing in things that are worth spending money on and being thrifty with what isn’t. Sometimes I do feel pangs of jealousy when I see friends going on lots of holidays, eating expensive meals or wearing beautiful expensive clothes, but in the end I don’t think that lifestyle is for me.

So that’s the year that was – coming up soon: some belated goals and resolutions for the year ahead, some travel posts, and hopefully slightly better frequency of posts than the end of last year!

As always, if you’d like to join us or see others’ posts in this monthly series, head on over to helario.us for the master list.


  1. Ahhhh Tereasa – I always love reading your posts, because it feels like me writing them, but not.. oh kindred spirit haha :)

    on the topic of travelling – when are you hopping over to sydney lady! perth may be an option for us this year as we don’t plan to go anywhere too far in order to save up, so i will let you know if it ends up being on the cards!

    And what a year it was for you in 2014 – so impressed and happy for you!! I can’t wait to see where you guys take Side Project – coming to your nearest newsagency? ;) that reminds me, i will send you an email about that!

    ooh and an aquaponics installation – would love to see a post about that when you’ve got it all sorted, how interesting!


    1. I always feel the same way ;)

      No specific plans for Sydney but Eat Drink Blog is going to be in Canberra this year, so might add on a couple of days over your way if I can! Definitely let me know if you’re coming to Perth sometime :)

      I spoke to the designer of another local creative magazine last year who sells in newsagencies – it’s a bit tricky as you need to have much higher quantities than we’re producing, and compete with the likes of Frankie etc. I really want to get it into more little shops though, even if we don’t make much money out of them. So many plans!

      I am so excited and scared about the aquaponics – it’s quite a large investment (literally and monetarily) so I really hope it works out.

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