Thursday, 31 December 2015

A look back at 2015 and some New Year Resolutions

2016 is just six hours away so I'm having my traditional nostalgic look back over my creations of the past 12 months and picked out one favourite project from each month.  

I've noticed that I've only written 206 posts this year which has been the fewest annual number since I started blogging, but I like to think I've concentrated on quality rather than quantity!  

I've noticed a change in my style with more clean and simple designs making an appearance. I'm not sure if that's because I've spent so long on the image that I've run out of steam by the time I come to make it up into a card, or because I don't want anything to distract attention away from the image that's taken me hours to paint!  Either way, it's making a nice change.

Creatively I was so pleased to be part of the Lili of the Valley Design Creative (you'll see from my choice of favourites that Lilis feature quite a lot), and also sooooo proud to win 2nd prize in the National Cardmaker of the Year 2015 competition with CardMaking and Papercraft Magazine.

As usual I've made some new, and deepened some existing friendships with some lovely blogging buddies, and even met a couple this year for the first time. I think that's what makes this such a special hobby; it converts something which can be quite a solitary pursuit into something far more social.

So being 31st December, I am doing my customary annual round up of my favourite projects from the last 12 months.

You'd better brace yourself for a photo heavy post, or just scroll to the bottom to see my aspirations for 2016 ...


January
A rarity for me is a masculine card, but even more rare is that I was really pleased with how this one turned out although I never did find out if Jonny actually likes DIY.




I was delighted with this project. Like the above card for Jonny, this project was for two work colleagues who were getting married. I made them a matching card, but it was the hanger that I was most pleased with.



In the run up to Easter I made a batch of Easter cards using some LOTV images, and this one was a favourite as soon as I'd finished it. I love the chicks and the duck, plus anything featuring a chocolate egg is a bonus in my book!



I love making these clocks and this image, with its sentiment, is one of my favourites. I'd also tried my hand at phasing the colouring on the numbers from green (grass) to blue (sky) in shades to match the image and was pleased with how it turned out.



The first non-LOTV image in my top picks of the year, and I'm back to my roots with a Penny Black image.  I also love the clean and bright colours and the happy hedgie.



I'm back to LOTV with June's favourite, and probably my favourite character from their range; James the bear! This was another card for a work colleague and I used my favourite colour, pink, and a personalised sentiment.



I started my love affair with Stamping Bella images this year and this was one of my original favourites. This card was also one of my entries into the CMOTY 2015 competition where I was so proud to scoop 2nd place so it's a special card for me and has to feature in my favourites of the year.


This was one of those 'warm and fuzzy' cards. I hadn't used Tildas for quite a while, but some new ones caught my eye and I gave in fairly easily!  This one is now probably my favourite Tilda, and with gorgeous pink papers, satin ribbon, a shaped card base, floral die cuts, mulberry flowers and shiny pearls, it's right up my street!




Another LOTV image, and this time a cute little bunnykins who's feeling a bit under the weather. He was made for someone special who needed a spot of cheering up so I used purple which is one of her favourite colours (and mine!).



As mentioned above I reacquainted myself with Tilda this year and this was another of my new Tildas.  I used my favourite Maja Design papers, DI reinkers, rich plum coloured satin ribbon, some new stitched cloud dies and pretty floral embellishments.




As soon as I saw the new release at Stamping Bella included these honeybears I was in love with this image. It reminded me of Winnie the Pooh (my childhood favourite) and I was pleased with how this card using them turned out. I love the scene and although I've added some fuss around the image, I don't think it detracts from the focal point.



And finally December's pick is this cutie from WRS. I spent a long time painting these little owls as they were quite fiddly, and in the end I decided that I couldn't bear to part with it, so I gave it to hubby for Christmas in order that I could have it back when he's ready to take down all the cards (usually on 26th Dec).

Looking Back:

I seem to have found much more of a balance between CAS and fussy this year.  I've also used some other colours rather than reverting back to my favourite pinks and purples, although I still seem to have a slight addiction to Lili of the Valley images as they feature in 6 of my top 12 picks with Tildas and Stamping Bellas tying for the runner up spot!

Looking Forward:
So what are my optimistic resolutions for next year?  
  1. To ink up some of my unused stamps rather than keep adding new stuff.  Being realistic I suspect it'll be a mix of both old and new.
  2. To have all my Christmas cards made by the end of November so that I can get them written and sent out on time (I know a couple I sent overseas this year didn't quite make it to their destinations before Christmas).
  3. To continue to focus on quality rather than quantity, which probably means more CAS creations.  In reality this may help with my final resolution:
  4. To make more male cards that I'm proud of.

Happy New Year:
Well that's all folks.  If you've stayed for the full post then I'm impressed! :0) Thank you to all my lovely followers, old and new, and especially to everyone who has left me a comment or two this year. I hope you've liked what you've seen, and hope you continue to pop back next year.

Happy New Year, and I hope that 2016 brings you health and happiness (and lots of crafting time too!)

Happy crafting
Annette
xx

A Little bit of Gossip

This project is to support the new challenges at both As You Like It Challenge and The Sugar Bowl Challenge as they're both Anything Goes this time, so I've been lazy and used a Sugar Nellie image on my AYLI card!  I've used a simple layout and my new(ish) stitched scalloped die with a spot of twine and a flower die.  I wanted to make the fairy's wings look opaque, but I'm not sure I really achieved it!



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 20 December 2015

Frosty the Snowman

Although it could double up as a card, this is actually a wrapper for a gift voucher, hence the shape. I've used an image that I've had coloured for a while and eventually I've now made him up into something.  I hope you like him.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 17 December 2015

Pink Pingu

This project is to support the challenge at As You Like It Challenge where I'm using non-traditional Christmas colours.  I particularly love pink Christmas cards (well on any cards to be honest) but this one is pink and blue which is my favourite colour combo. This is also one of my favourite pingu images, but unfortunately he's been retired. :0(



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 13 December 2015

Gifts on the Tree

I've got a little CAS card to share today, and I'm really loving this layout with the corrugated card at the top.  This is a really sweet image to. It's from Lili of the Valley and it's lovely.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 10 December 2015

Mr Penguin Goes for a Ride

We're creating festive cards at In The Pink this fortnight and I'm sharing a card using Mr Penguin goes for a ride.  I've added some lace to cover the join in the papers, and some sparkly snowflakes using some glossy pink card and pearls.  I love the little pingu holding onto the tree as he's pulled along.


Card Recipe:
Created for:

Sponsored by:

*****

I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Monday, 7 December 2015

Feeling Festive

This project is to support the challenge at Without Words Challenge where we are "Feeling Festive". Unfortunately this is the last Without Words challenge, and although I've only been on the team for a little over a year, I'm sad it's closing as it's really made me focus on my colouring as well as challenging me to do more CAS designs.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and we're going out in style with a fabulously festive themed challenge for December. Thank you to Squirrel for putting up with me on her hugely talented design team, and managing the Word Birds so patiently.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 3 December 2015

Squirrel Snack

Today's card is to support the challenge at As You Like It Challenge where the theme is to show us your favourite style; Masculine or Feminine  I've used a cute stamp from Lili of the Valley called Squirrel Snack, and although I've not used overly girlie colours, it's definitely a feminine style with the image and flowers. I'm just far more comfortable with cute and pretty styles, especially if there can be a splash of glitter. I find the masculine styles so tough, no flowers, no pink, nothing too cute. It's just not 'me'!



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Harry Happy Mail (and some happy mail)

Today's card is something I've made for hubby's birthday.

His only request was that his card featured nothing cute and no bears.

Well, it's the thought that counts, right?





...and my very own Happy Mail also arrived last week in the form of November's delivery of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine where I found my name under the 2nd place prizewinner in their National Cardmaker of the Year 2015.  (yup, I'm still grinning!)  :0)




Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 29 November 2015

Seeds and Greetings

I'm in Christmas mode again today with a CAS design for Lili of the Valley.


Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hello Bunny

There's a new challenge at The Sugar Bowl and I've chosen to use this Scrapberry Bunny called Plum. The papers are actually from a Christmas pad, but are quite versatile so I've used them here too. The layout is simple, a bit like this post!



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by


Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ramona shares her hot chocolate

This is the other stamp that I bought with my Penguideer image a few weeks ago, and the first time I've inked her up.  I'm not sure that I'd be as generous as Ramona though, as the words 'sharing' and 'chocolate' don't go together in my vocabulary!



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 19 November 2015

Honeybears

I adored these bears as soon as I saw the sneaky peeks, and when they arrived on my doormat this week I knew that they would be the first I wanted to use from the couple that I ordered.  And by couple I really mean 5, but hubby only thinks I bought 2, so let's keep that between you and me, ok!

I've ended up with a kind of vintage look, which was not intentional, but I do quite like it. I decided to stitch the sections, and then immediately regretted cutting an oval shape for the main image. D'oh!

This project is to support the challenge at As You Like It Challenge where the theme is to make something representing your favourite season.  Although I like crafting for Christmas, my favourite season is summer. I love the longer days, the warmer weather and the brighter skies. I like to think that my honeybears are enjoying playing in the garden on a summer's afternoon.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 15 November 2015

Reindeer Trio, erm, Quintet

I've coloured up some of the cute Reindeer trio stamps from Lili of the Valley and made some CAS cards using them.

I've used one of my birthday sentiment dies 'let it snow' and one of my favourite embossing folders, rubbing some chalks over it to bring out the pattern.









Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Friday, 13 November 2015

Nacho Tag

I really liked the tag I made last weekend so I've made up another, this time using Nacho the pup from Stamping Bella.  I just love his expression! I managed to find a scrap of paw print ribbon too!  I've kept the embellies simple, with just some pearl dots at the base, and a trio of chocolate brown pearls on the side.  As well as making a great tag, he would be good as a bookmark too as the tag is HUGE!




Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 12 November 2015

A barrow of presents

I was lucky enough to be sent this adorably cute stamp by the lovely Sue for my birthday last month, and I've really loved using it on this card. It's just my style (featuring something cute and furry!) and was fun to paint.

The project is to support the challenge at In The Pink where we want you to show us your fancy folds or shaped cards.  I've opted for my favourite shape which is cut using a Go Kreate nesting die.





Card Recipe:
Created for:


Sponsored by:
********


I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Saturday, 7 November 2015

Thanks

Just a quick post today to share a project I've made using one of my Tildas. I faffed around with her hair for ages, and still wasn't happy with it, but I loved the rest of her too much to bin her.  I decided to make her into a tag because, by the time I'd finished my attempts to sort her hair out, I'd lost the will to live and couldn't face starting a card.  I outlined the oversized tag with a pink ink pad and a pearl pen rather than matt onto pink card because the papers are double-sided so I didn't want to hide the pink dotty pattern which is on the reverse of the lovely pink floral basecard.




Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Friday, 6 November 2015

PenguiDeer

I received some happy mail last week so had a little play with one of the contents! This is Penguideer, and I can feel that he's going to be a firm favourite already. I've also coloured him up in a pink scarf, so you may see his pink twin soon when I've managed to make it up into a card.

I added the sentiment die, but it was a bit long for the image panel, so I've snipped it down a smidgeon so that it fits better. It doesn't look too bad like that, I hope.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 5 November 2015

Looks like me when I've been watercolouring ....

This week's theme at As You Like It is 'your favourite hobby'.  Mine is definitely crafting, and in particular watercolouring my images. So I've improvised with this image which shows my young Wee pup getting a bit sticky with some pain.  A bit like me!




Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
  • The Ribbon Girl - Any Card
  • Simon's Monday Challenge - Glossy (glossy accents on the paint, glossy ribbon & pearls/brad)
  • Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Bottoms Up

Today's card is another sneaky peek of the soon to be released set from Lili of the Valley.  There are 2 images in the Bunny Friends set and I showcased the first one at the weekend (here).  The sentiment is part of the set too, and seemed appropriate for this bunny who seems to be digging for his carrots.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Monday, 2 November 2015

Mug of Tea

Today's card is one I made for a colleague at work who had a birthday recently. I used one of my favourite Odd Dog pups and tried to use the no-lines technique. Because it was for a guy, I tried to keep it masculine with the layout and colours. I also personalised the sentiment for him.

This project is to support the challenge at Without Words Challenge where the theme is Winter Birthday. I thought this Mug of Tea image would be perfect for a cold day!



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 1 November 2015

Little Sleepy Head

Today's card is a baby card made using an image from Lili of the Valley called Little Sleepy Head. The sentiment comes with him and I've kept the layout simple.  Again (sorry to be so predictable) I've added my stitched clouds. I've cut the image and sentiment out using stitched circles too.  The gems were a birthday present from the lovely Sue and matched the colours of the image and papers perfectly.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Saturday, 31 October 2015

Bunny Friends

Happy Halloween, although I'll be honest and admit that I'm not a huge fan of anything spooky! So instead of something Halloween related, I've got a sneaky peek of an image which forms part of the soon-to-be released set from Lili of the Valley.  I think they're going to be available at the NEC show next week, and on the LOTV website shortly afterwards. There are sets of little people and little critters, and I've chosen one of the critters to show you today. The sentiment comes with him, and there are two bunny images on the stamp. I'll share the other one with you next week.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Thursday, 29 October 2015

Cherry

Today's the start of the new challenge at The Sugar Bowl and they're having a DT call too, so there's twice the reason to pop over.

For my DT card, I've created a fruity number using Cherry from Scrapberry.  I love these bunnies!





Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Red Devil

I'm back with my final (I think) Halloween card. This one's a sweetie from CC Designs.  I love her expression and cute little outfit.  I hope you like her too.  As you can see, I'm also a bit addicted to my new stitched cloud dies, but the grass die has also made its first outing, which is pretty poor as I've had that die for (probably) a couple of years and never used it.



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Sunday, 25 October 2015

Joy

Just a quickie today as I'm off out for Sunday lunch in a mo, but I wanted to share something that I made last night.  It's exactly 2 months until Christmas today, so it it seems appropriate to be feeling a little festive!  :0)



Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



Saturday, 24 October 2015

Monsters

I've made some little treat holders for Halloween and I've decorated this trio with some mini monsters!  The papers are actually a Christmas pad, but they felt appropriately spooky so I hope no-one will notice any stray snowflakes!  I've made quite a few of these boxes (gave myself a blister on my finger cutting them all out with my craft knife) so I may share some more between now and the end of the month, once I decide how to decorate them all as I didn't fancy them all the same.






Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx



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