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 ...

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


Sarah said...

A delightful dozen Annette!! I've loved your fantastic painting this year and its been great to see your hard work take centre stage on your more CAS creations. Looking forward to seeing your knitting/crochet in 2016!! xx

Deborah said...

Twelve stunningly gorgeous cards Annette. I have loved looking at your creations and am looking forward to to seeing what you create in 2016. Have a great New Year.
Deborah A

Carol S. said...

It was great to see you in the magazine again!! Congrats and well deserved. Love your choice of your makes. Your colouring is always perfect and CAS shows the images beautifully. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a great New Year. I missed being able to get online and see all the Christmas goodies, but our move was eventually a good thing to do. Hugs, Carol S.xx

Anonymous said...

I love all your creations sweetie I LOVE your look back and your optimistic look forward too!
Happy New Year lets hope 2016 is better for all of us hugs me xx

KT Fit Kitty said...

These are beautiful, Annette! I enjoyed your review very much! And congratulations on your achievements! What an honour! And well deserved! Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Lynne R. said...

Your cards were the ones that inspired me to start crafting earlier this year. I will never be able to colour to your standard but I can admire yours from afar! Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations and I enjoyed seeing your favourites. Happy New Year. Lynne x

Mojca said...

your cards are always so gorgeous Annette! Happy New Year! Let it be a creative one ;) hugs! Mojca

Aileen (mum) said...

Always love coming here to see theinspiration you are providing. Love every one of these 12 cards, all so perfect in their own way. Continue to inspire me and take care of yourself.

Sue said...

Oh Annette, you are an absolute marvel. Your top 12 are all totally exquisite, I have loved seeing them again. You are a super talented lady and it has been great to meet you this year - here's to 2016!.

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