Saturday, 31 December 2016

Annual Review of 2016

I can barely believe that 2017 is just hours away, but here I am having my traditional nostalgic look back over my creations of the past 12 months and picking out my favourite projects.

This time last December I wrote that I'd 'only' written 206 posts (my fewest to date) but this year has been even fewer at just 196.  Yet I continue to believe that I've concentrated on quality rather than quantity.  

There have been an increasing number of clean and simple designs which I've been loving, although I still adore all my fancy flowers, ribbons and sparkly stuff so still sneak them in every now and again!  It's nice to create using both styles depending on my mood!

As well as already being part of the Lili of the Valley Design Creative I was so proud to be invited to join the Lili of the Valley Design Team which allows me to be among the the first to play with any gorgeous new releases!

As part of the Lili Design Team I was also invited to my first multiple page magazine spread which involved making 11 cards for a full feature length pull-out at Papercraft Essentials!  Talk about jumping in at the deep end, but in truth I absolutely LOVED it and my favourite card from the set was even featured on the front cover! :0)


I've also became 'Nutty Netty' at 'Squirrel's-Not-So-Random-Challenge', a fun new challenge which began in August.  One of our most interesting (for me) challenges is the current 'then and now' theme which asks us to look back to one of our early creations and 'recreate' it in our current style.  The difference in my 'then and now' creations was eye opening for me and although I'm still experimenting, learning and improving, I was delighted to see a huge improvement.  If you want to pop by the challenge please click on the link here but here's a quick reminder of my transition, from this (in October 2010):


   

to this in December 2016:




As usual I've made some new, and deepened some existing friendships with some lovely blogging buddies, and met up with a couple again which has been lovely.  That's what makes this such a special hobby for me. I can convert something which can be a solitary pursuit into something far more social.

Anyways, enough natter for now because 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 2017 ...


I loved the image, the simple layout, and of course the pink!



I was pleased with my brushwork on this one, as well as the frilly bits perfect for the 'love' theme.





I love making non-card creations too, like this clock, as well as baggies and plaques.




I was pleased with my colouring on this one, as well as the layout and velvet ribbon, flowers etc.



This is one of my favourite Stamping Bella images, given full focus on this CAS layout.



I love making wedding cards since it's a great excuse to get pink and girlie with all the frills!



I had to include this one because it was my made for my first magazine feature.



Something different from me (not cute!) and I was so pleased with how it turned out.





My favourite shape and I was pleased with the brushwork and embellies too



I love personalised cards, and being pink, cute and fussy this was my favourite baby card this year





Another one featuring my favourite shape and lilac is my favourite colour for winter.



I was really pleased with how the brushwork on this pingu turned out



No list of favourites would be complete with out James the bear!


I'm usually not happy with my masculine cards, but this was an exception

And last but not least, was this stepper which I was so happy with.




Looking Back:
Well there's an awful lot of pink there, but a mix of fussy and clean & simple styles, perhaps leaning more to the CAS later in the year when I needed to increase my production of Christmas cards in time for December!  

Looking Forward:
So what are my optimistic resolutions for next year?   Well, although my resolutions this year are going the be similar to last year's, I'm going to be more specific this year, mainly because I've been failing miserably!  So my 2017 resolutions are more 'measurable' in an attempt to improve the likelihood of any resemblance of success! 
  1. Make a minimum of 2 Christmas cards per month to reduce the late rush in December.
  2. For every card using a newly purchased image, I must make 2 featuring an older image.
  3. Make one male card per month (although this could be combined with #1).
Happy New Year:
Well that's all folks.  If you've stayed for the full post then I'm impressed! :0) It just leaves me to say 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 2017 brings you health and happiness (and lots of crafting time too!)

Happy crafting
Annette
xx

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The best things in life are free ...

I had not intended to post much between Christmas and New Year, but there's something I wanted to share with you.  It's not a card for a change, but I hope that it will still give some of you a smile when you see it.

As some of you know, hubby and I on the coast in a beautiful part of South Devon that is so easy to take for granted.  Today we walked from our house to the harbour for lunch by the pier and a general meander.

The sun was reflecting off the calm sea, and there were a couple of jetskis having fun on the water. The outer harbour was full of boats and people were having lunch on the parade.  We felt like we could have been in the Med!

I took a short video on my phone from an area called Rock Walk.  It's only a few seconds long so I hope you have time to take a quick peek at the beautiful views near where I live.





Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Baby Bear

I'll be back on Saturday, but today I'm sharing my last card of 2016 featuring a cute baby bear from LOTV.  I've used some of my favourite papers from the Snow Princess set from Nitwits. The dies are also some of my favourites and the sentiment is bespoke.  I was really pleased with how this one turned out so I was heartbroken to learn that it was lost in the post so was never seen by its intended recipient. :0(



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




Monday, 26 December 2016

Light Brigade

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day yesterday and Santa brought you lots of new crafty goodies!

I've got one more Christmas themed card to share with you because I didn't get chance to blog it before the big day, but then that's all of my festive makes for 2016 shared with you guys, until I start to make the 2017 Christmas cards!!!  And that may not be long! :0)

This card actually ended up being one of my favourites from 2016 and I hope you like it too.



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




Sunday, 25 December 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Happy Christmas to all my lovely Friends and Visitors!

It's just a flying visit from me today as I suspect you're all busy, but I wanted to wish everyone who follows my ramblings a very Merry Christmas with a sweet little comical card today.

Have a fab time with your families. :0)



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




Saturday, 24 December 2016

Carol Singing

1 sleep left to the big day ...

I'm getting in the spirit now, finishing work today and then off work for over a week!  Here are my cute carol singing critters again, singing their hearts out on Christmas Eve! :0)



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




Friday, 23 December 2016

Charge of the Light Brigade

2 Sleeps to go...





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




Thursday, 22 December 2016

Pink Christmas

3 Sleeps to go...

I'm having a break from my flurry of CAS cards (unfortunately I've discovered that CAS doesn't necessarily translate into "quick" since it's the painting which takes me most of the time)

Today I'm also using a Tilda that I've bought recently and using Magnnolia papers, pink accessories and some gorgeous WOC flowers.



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




Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Reindeer with a present on top

4 Sleeps to go...

I've been playing with another of my Stamping Bella images, this time Rudolph with a Present on Top with a purple colour theme.

I've resisted from adding a lot of embellishments, but instead have included a huge organza bow from two-tone coloured ribbon and a sentiment die.




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




Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Carol Singing

5 Sleeps to go...

Yup, yet another CAS card from me today. I received these stamps about 2 weeks ago and they're adorable!  What can be better than a singing bunny, penguin and moose!  :0)




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




Monday, 19 December 2016

Seeds and Greetings

6 Sleeps to go...

It's CAS again today, but again this one's for a wee laddie so I've used masculine colours and a sweet Snowman image from Lili of the Valley.    The colours are traditional red and green and the sentiment is a die cut from Lawn Fawn in dark green card.



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




Sunday, 18 December 2016

Penguin Pals

I'm back on my CAS cards today, but this one was for a little laddie so I've got good reason to stay clear of the frilly stuff  :0)   I've given it a snow theme, with the image, glitter, snowflake paper, wavy snow die cut banner and spotty brad.



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




Saturday, 17 December 2016

Squirrel Gift Bag

It's something a bit different from me today, because I've tried to stamp onto a small jute bag that I have used as a gift bag.

And when I say 'tried' to stamp, I really do mean 'tried' because it was harder than I thought it would be.

I knew that my usual reinkers would not work for the colouring, nor would Copics, so I bought a basic set of acrylic paints which did actually work, but even so, still wasn't easy!

I purposely chose a small, simple stamp because I knew the colouring would be difficult and I'm glad I did!

The shading isn't great.  Well, I attempted some shading, but it looks non-existent really.  Well, the thought was there!

Finally, I had to re-draw the features of his face with a black glaze pen because they disappeared underneat the acrylic paint!




Here's a close up of the little critter:




Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
  • Simon's Wednesday Challenge - Gift It
Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Friday, 16 December 2016

Pingu Present

It's another quick CAS card from me today featuring a pingu that I'm rather fond of already (and I think this is only his second outing!)  I see from the photo that the image panel looks a bit wonky'm pretty sure it didn't show that much in real life! Maybe it's just my new specs! :0)



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




Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Snowman

This project is to support the challenge at As You Like It Challenge where the theme is your favourite Christmas song.  I really like the song from The Snowman, 'I'm walking in the air'.  If you're not already singing it, then click on the link and see the flying scene with the boy and his snowman!



I coloured the fireworks with my Sakura Stardust gel pens to give them some sparkle, but they didn't show up much in the photo above, so I've taken one with a bit more light on them so you can see what they look like in full sparkle mode!


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




Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Merry Mouse-mas

It's day two of my CAS Christmas card frenzy and today's card features another Penny Black image. It's actually one of my oldest too and one for which I've had a soft spot for a while.  I really don't use it enough, so today, I'm putting that to rights!




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




Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Charge of the Light Brigade

I've had a bit of a last minute frenzied Christmas Card blitz and to try to speed things up I've kept the designs very clean and simple so prepare yourself for a flurry of CAS designs!

And they don't come much more CAS than today's card.

I've rekindled my love of this Penny Black image and have used it 2 or 3 times, so you may be bored of it over the next 2 weeks! (sorry!)



Card Recipe:
  • Image - The Light Brigade from Penny Black
  • Colouring - Distress Ink Reinkers
  • Stazon Ink Pad
  • The Langton Watercolour paper
  • Crystal Glamour Dust
  • Glossy Accents
I've been inspired by:
  • Winter Wonderland - Frame It
  • Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Christmas
  • Sweet Stampin' - Animals
  • Country View Crafts - Christmas (painted with DI reinkers from CVC)
Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Monday, 12 December 2016

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Following yesterday's Wee Freddie, today's card features Wee Rudolph, again using the no-lines technique.  I've stitched the panels as well as using a stitched wave die for the top banner.  A little strip of button twine and a couple of dinky bells is all I've added to him.




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




Sunday, 11 December 2016

Magical Dragon

Today's post features a very quick 'just for fun' card using a Wee image that I just 'had to have'! I've watercoloured him using the 'no lines technique' (yup, I'm a glutton for punishment!) but I was quite pleased with how he turned out so gave him the focus of the card in the end. :0)




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




Saturday, 10 December 2016

Dressing the Snowman

I'm sharing another commissioned card today for a lovely lady who's requested a few cards from me. It's really nice to make a card specifically for someone and this one is for a little laddie.  The pingu image is one I've not used a lot, but is versatile on a clean and simple layout for a laddie's card.




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




Friday, 9 December 2016

Blue Christmas

A 'just for fun' card today featuring Tilda all dressed up ready for the cold!  Except that it's actually been quite a mild 14 degrees here this week and I actually considered turning off the central heating last night.  But then I talked myself out of it! :0)



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




Thursday, 8 December 2016

Mr & Mrs Claus

Today's project is to support the challenge at In The Pink where the theme is Christmas and I've used an image from our sponsor, Polkadoodles.  I decided to make life more difficult by using the 'no-lines technique' which always takes me three times as long to watercolour. I've compensated by making the layout uber clean and simple, with just a bit of stitching and some poinsettia dies.  I was really pleased with how this one turned out in the end, so much that I was reluctant to give it away, but I've decided to send it overseas to someone who I hope will appreciate it! :0)



Card Recipe:

Created for:



Sponsored by:


*****


I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Penguin Chicks Skating

I've used the same images that I used to create Monday's tag set but this time on cards and added a sentiment to create a simple flat card matted onto Kraft card.  They're really CAS and I think they could be ok for a guy's card.  The sentiment is a digi which I printed onto white card before stamping the image and die cutting using a square that I ran through my die cutter half way before extracting and re-positioning and running through again to make a die cut rectangle rather than a square!






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




Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Bunny Stocking

This is the another card I made for a recent order and I must say that I really liked this one.  I loved the stepper fold and the papers are from my favourite set, Snow Princess.  The poinsettia die is new and I've used it a bit over the last couple of weeks. I think it goes beautifully on this layout. I hope you agree.





I was recently asked for the dimensions of my stepper cards so I'm attaching a template for the shape below too. Please feel free to take it if you want it.  :0)



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




Monday, 5 December 2016

Penguin Tags

I'm sharing a simple project today, just a little trio of tags featuring the Chicks (again in disguise as penguins) from Stamping Bella.

I've used a small tag die to create the tag shapes and threaded some red organza ribbon through them for tying.

This is the first time I've coloured onto Kraft coloured card and it was a challenge, especially the white but I really like the effect of the white snow on the coloured background.




Card Recipe:

I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx




Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Wishes - Take 2

Following yesterday's post, I'm sharing the second set of my uber CAS cards today. They were quite quick to make and although they're still cute, I think they'll be ok to give to the guys!







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




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