Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Review

I can't believe another year has been and gone.

And guess what ... by complete coincidence this is my 1000th post.

Actually I realised two weeks ago just how close I was to 'the big one', but it has honestly fallen very neatly into place with all my DT commitments over the past 2 weeks, so I didn't have to rearrange my planned posting schedule at all.

Being 31st December, I am going to do my customary annual round up of my favourite projects from the last 12 months.

Selecting my favourites for 2013 seemed to follow a distinctly Christmas theme. Because I make Christmas cards throughout the year (to try to get ahead for December), and am a DT member on the ABC Christmas Challenge, something featuring snowflakes or holly usually sneaks its way onto my blog most weeks.

Christmas is also my favourite crafting topic too, which tends to encourage my mojo and helps me to make a card that might have a higher chance of ending up being a favourite!

But I've forced myself to introduce a few non-festive projects into my favourites list, mainly because I was so surprised at how weighted towards Christmas the list ended up being.

So my favourites for each month of 2013 are up next.

Brace yourself for a photo heavy post ...


This Papermania Lucy Cromwell paper pad was a firm favourite as soon as I bought it.  I used it loads.  And loads.  And loads.  But this card was about more than just the papers.  I also loved the aqua colour scheme, the stitching, satin ribbon, lace and pearls.  I was unusually pleased with the outcome of the highlights in the girlie's hair.  All that hair on Krista's images looks great in my head, but as soon as my Copics hit the card all my sense of "light source" goes out the window ... *sigh*!  Still, as I say, this one was one of the better versions!

I loved this card as soon as I finished it.  I think it was a mix of the rich festive red, the pretty Nitwit Papers and the cute Mulberry Wood image.  I also stitched around the panels which was one of my 2013 resolutions, and added my favourite ribbon combo of satin ribbon held on with a gorgeous pearl brad.

I became addicted to a new digi brand this year, Sylvia Zet's Wee Stamps, and was even lucky enough to be invited to be a guest designer for one month.  The creation I've chosen for March's favourite wasn't one of my GDT cards, but I loved it because it was stamped onto linen rather than card, which created a really different effect.  The colouring was quite difficult, and blending was almost impossible, but it was fun, and I loved the unique effect it produced.

Well this was a really experimental card.  I'd received a store-bought pop-up card last year from a university friend who lives in Tokyo, and I wanted to have a go at making one myself. This was actually my first (and only!) attempt, but it didn't turn out too bad, all things considered!  All the characters stood up to attention when the card was open, and laid fairly flat when it was closed (although the card was a bit bulky with all the layers).  I ended up sending this card to my Japanese friend this year, hoping she might like it as she'd picked a similar theme for me last year! :0)

There were so many reasons I had to pick this card.  It was my first DT card for As You Like It Challenge, and I can safely say that this card was definitely 'my style'.  The sketch was one that saw several repeat outings during the year, but I also love the stitching, aqua colours, LOTV image, dies, satin ribbon, flowers and pearls.  I even painted the image in water colours rather than taking my usual lazy option of Copics.  Overall this remains one of my top favourites of all time.  So much so that I made a pink version later in the year (but I refrained from picking that as a favourite too, although could have done so quite easily!).

I'll admit that June's favourite might not have made it onto my favourites list under normal circumstances.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't 'dislike' it, but there are probably others I would have picked if it had not been for one special reason that made this card stand out for me in 2013.  This this card was included in this list because this is the creation that won me the first prize in the Wild Rose Studio category of the National Cardmaker of the Year 2013 Competition in the Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine.  When I got the notification call from the assistant editor I was absolutely stunned.  Even hubby realised how pleased I was, and he popped a note on his Facebook page (not that his friends probably understood what it was all about, but it showed that he was still proud!). So here it is, featuring my new lucky mascot Tilly the puppy.

It seemed that part way through 2013 I experienced either an epiphany or a serious bout of laziness because I started making C&S style cards.  I'm not sure what came over me, and at first it seemed really unnatural not to splatter my creations with flowers, pearls, die cuts, ribbons, twine and other embellishments.  But as I started to make a few, I began to feel more comfortable with the effect, and realised that there wasn't 'something missing', and I could happily hold back from my embellishment addiction.  Another reason I particularly liked this creation was because I started experimenting with paler ink for stamping or printing the images, and also continued with my quest to practice painting using water colours, rather than using Copics.

August's favourite is another (fairly) C&S style card, and I just had to include this image in my favourites list.  The 'snow cute' image from LOTV was loved from the moment I bought him, and he motivated me to use some of my favourite Silent Night papers, my favourite colour (hmmm can you guess what that might be?) and some gorgeous velvet ribbon.  Again my little critter was pale-stamped and water coloured.  I love the effect that was created with the inserts of the snowflake border die too.

This card is probably a bit similar to February's with the rich reds, satin ribbon and pearl brad, and again I love the papers, although this time both the papers and the image are Wild Rose Studio.  To be fair, I personally prefer this card to the June Tilly card, and I love the paw print border die which I don't use nearly enough, but seemed to fit in well with the doggie image.

I'm back in C&S mode with this card which created a bit of a story with George the snowman decorating his tree.  I love the purple, the twine (thanks to the lovely Deanne for getting me into this stuff), stitching and stickles.  It was also quite a quick make (once I'd measured and arranged the images and sentiment to fit my card base), and I was quite pleased with the colouring on most of the image, even though I do struggle to 'colour' white.

I couldn't let my favourites go by without including at least one non-card creation.  Towards the end of the year I tried my hand at clocks, and this was one of the first ones I made.  I was really delighted with the outcome although the shape was a bit tricky to cut out, but I decided it was worth it, and ended up making quite a few different versions, giving most of them out as gifts to friends.  I bought the clock mechanism from my local craft shop, and the clock bases were cut in photo frame mount board that I got from an art shop.  Take a look at my freebies page if you want to download a copy of my clock template to have a try yourself.

And last but not least we arrive at December.  My final top pick is another of my favourite LOTV images, and surprisingly another C&S design.  Penguins are one of my favourite critters, and I loved the simple purple design, pretty frostyville border die and shimmery backing paper.  I also loved that the sentiment was included in this image, so it saved me adding one (or at least saved me from feeling guilty for not adding a sentiment, since I often forget!).

Well that's all folks.  If you've stayed for the full post, I'm impressed!  :0)

Thank you to all my lovely followers and everyone who has left a comment this year. I hope you've liked what you've seen, and hope you continue to pop back next year.

Happy new year to you all, and I hope that 2014 brings you fun times (and lots of crafting fun too!)

Happy New Year


SoniaW said...

Love all of these cards found myself smiling as I read through the post as when I scrolled down I thought to myself I remember this card! Some truely fabulous creations. Xxxx happy new year to you and your family. X

Sharon said...

Gorgeous selection of cards, it's always hard to choose favourites. I particularly love the LOTV stamps. Best wishes for 2014. Sharon x

Rebecca Bradshaw said...

Beautiful selection!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely array of cards. Every one is stunning. Looking forward to seeing your wonderful creations in 2014.
Happy New Year to you.
Love Val in Spain x

Sarah said...

They are all fab with that distinctive inimitable Netty style!!
Happy New Year!! xx

Kat W said...

It may have been a long post but I really enjoyed reading why these were your faves as well as seeing the creations themselves. And of course they are all gorgeous!
I hope you have a wonderful 2014 filled with happy crafting :-D
Hugs, Kat x

Carol S. said...

Hi Annette, Love the stunning selection of your work. I do prefer the painted ones more than the Copics. They are all beautiful though. Have a great New Year. Don't get too drunk tonight!!:-) Hugs, Carol S.xx

Mojca said...

Oh Annette! Your projects are such a big inspiration for me! I wish you all the best in year 2014. hugs! MOjca

Chrissy said...

Fantastic selection from 2013 Annette..all are just beautiful...wishing you a very Happy New Year 2014..


Carissa said...

I don't recall seeing some of these this year. They are all gorgeous!
All the best for a Happy New Year.

Elaine said...

A fabulous collection of gorgeous cards and a feast for the eyes (which is much better than all the other feasting I've been doing lately!)
I really need to make more Christmas cards!!!

Happy New Year to you Annette and all your loved ones. I hope 2014 will be a happy, healthy and blessed year for you.

Big hugs
Elaine xxx

Wishcraft said...

Your cards are always gorgeous Annette, and I love the ones you've chosen... all fab! Happy New Year hun :o) Hugs, Lisa x

suzanne2 said...

beautiful cards and so much inspiration here. ive enjoyed getting email updates this year so I can visit and see your creations. looking forward to my visits in 2014 too.
happy new year x

Suzanne x

Pia S said...

Congrats on your 1000th post!
The cards you've picked to sum up your 2013 crafting year are so beautiful! The clock you made in September is really special - original design and oh so very sweet!

Jools said...

Loving all of these cards, but my favourite has to be January. I adore Krista's images, they are so........ big eyed and cute. Not sure what you meant about the hair, looks like plenty of light in it to me. I'm your newest follower, so you'll be seeing a bit of me. Going to join some of the challenges too. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy New Year. Jools. xx

Ann said...

I've been enjoying browsing your blog this morning. I love all your cards, you are very talented. I've never quite had the knack for putting together cards or scrapbook pages.

Christine L said...

All absolute stunners Annette... I think my very favourite has to be the pop up card tho - even tho there's no pink!

Big hugs and Happy New Year
Christine x

Katelyn said...

All of these projects are gorgeous! I wish you all the best in 2014.

cotnob said...

This is a fabulous selection of creations Annette, such a wonderful variety.

Larissa said...

Wow congrats on your 1000th post!!

I loved seeing all these cards again and they are all so amazing.


debby4000 said...

These are all gorgeous Annette and I don't have a problem you entering my Favourite Five Creations since I make up the rules.

Sam K said...

Such a stunning collection of cards. Both your style and colouring are out of this world and you truly inspire me. Your pop up card turned out wonderfully, but I think my fave is the September doggy. What a lovely way to round up last year too. Hugs x