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 ...

January

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!


February
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.


March
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.


April
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)


May
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!).


June
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.


July
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
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.



September
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.


October
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.


November
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.
 

December
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
Annette
xx


Monday, 30 December 2013

If at first you don't succeed ... there is always the waste bin.

I'm still on the contemporary Christmas colours today with another purple themed card, but this time featuring the cutest reindeer on the block.

She started up really pale, but I totally messed up the colouring on her head, and after several attempts at correcting it (with each version getting darker and darker to cover up the previous layer) I finally ended up with a version I was half happy with.  Plus I didn't have any darker browns to go for another corrective layer, so I had to stop!

Then I found I'd got a couple of splodges of purple ink on the image from doing the edging around the panels, so they had to be covered up with a few spots of liquid pearl snow.

Shhhh, no-one will ever know!



See my cards available to buy on eBay

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Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx

   

Friday, 27 December 2013

Starry Night

I hope that you all had a lovely day with your loved ones, and managed to relax a bit over the last few days.

Although the big day is over, I have some more festive makes to share I'm afraid (it's never too early to start making the Xmas cards for next year, is it?).

This one uses some contemporary colours of purple and teal.  Even the holly die cut is purple!



See my cards available to buy on eBay

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Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
I've been inspired by:

Happy crafting
Annette
xx

   

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The charge of the light brigade


Merry Christmas Everyone

Well the big day is here, and I hope that you woke up to some crafty treats in your stocking this morning.

By coincidence Christmas day is also our final challenge of 2013 at ABC Christmas Challenge, so I have another festive card for you.  Our theme this fortnight is Z for Zany, although I think my card is more 'W' for Wry smile, rather than full on zany!

Still, I'm hoping hubby will like it because it's his Christmas card this year!  He's interested in military history, so I thought he might like the theme of the card being a bit of a nod to the original 'charge of the light brigade'.  Plus, his birthday card had the same layout and he said that he really liked it, so I hope that he wasn't just being polite, because he's got a matching Christmas card now!  ;0)

Anyhoo, I won't keep you today as you should be spending time with your families, but I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's visited my blog this year, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Enjoy some time with your loved ones, and try not to eat too many mince pies.  Ok, just one more then!



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

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Believe in the Magic

Woohoo, it's Christmas Eve, so only one more sleep to go!!!  At Top Tip Tuesday where we are having a huge Christmas Party for our final challenge of the year, and we want to see your Christmas projects.  Nice and easy, huh!

I seem to be on a bit of a Clean & Simple mood at the moment and they don't come much more C&S than today's card.  I've used a pretty snowflake digi paper from Bugaboo and a Sugar Nellie fairy image cut into a trimmed circle.  The sentiment is one I've typed myself in Word, in two different fonts, in different sizes, fitting the words into each other like a jigsaw.  I think the sentiment goes quite well with the sweet fairy image.  Apart from the fairy's hair, it's also a completely blue and aqua theme.



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

Monday, 23 December 2013

Peek-a-boo

I've still got some Christmas makes to share, despite the "big day" only being 2 sleeps away.  I love these little Bluebell the reindeer images from Wild Rose Studio. This one's a sweetie called Bluebell behind presents.  I've used a festive colour scheme of greens and rich reds.




See my cards available to buy on eBay

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Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx

   

Friday, 20 December 2013

Rudolf the Red-nosed Kitty (& details of a winter SALE)

My Silent Night paper pad is back on my desk again, although I'm still not actually through my first pad and have a couple more pads yet for 'emergency backup' because I love it so much!  This time I've teamed it with some gold mirri card, gems, a spot of forest green satin ribbon in a double bow and a gorgeous holly corner die from Cottagecutz.  This die is really elegant and cuts and embosses beautifully.



There's also a HUGE winter sale on at The Stamp Basket, so pop over there to grab a bargain.  All the details are over on the blog as well as in the store itself.

If you would like to display our banner on your blog, please feel free to take a copy


See my cards available to buy on eBay

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Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting
Annette
xx

   

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wish upon a date

I've made a calendar to hang up using a shaped chipboard hanger.  I covered the base with papers, and then typed out a calendar in Word, cut out the months roughly and laid each month on top of each other starting from December and moved forwards through the months. Because I'd used paper, I could just about see through to ensure that the month titles and day numbers were lined up.  I then stitched across the top to seal them all in place.  After they were stitched, I trimmed off the edges so they were all neat.

I then decorated my hanger and threaded some satin aqua ribbon through the holes to hang it up.  I figured that the stitching will act like perforations so that the months can be ripped off as they end.

Hope you like it. :0)   This project is to support the challenge at Crafty Little Fairies where the theme is a super easy 'anything goes' this week.  Make sure you pop over to the challenge blog to see what my talented teamies have been up to.





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

   

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Purple Barry

I've got a just for fun Christmas card to share with you today, and it features the lovely Barry bear from Stampfairy.  He's shrouded in a purple colour scheme and I kept the design quite simple, following a C&S style sketch.  I already had the image printed out, and I just had to colour it, so it's made a quick and easy last minute Christmas card.



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

       

    Tuesday, 17 December 2013

    Molly Fairy Tree Topper

    The top of our tree at work was looking a bit bare.  Probably not helped by the fact that the fairy lights are not working.  So it was suggested that I might make something to pop on top.  So when I saw these gorgeous creations by Norma, I decided to have a go myself.  I'm not sure my attempt is quite up to Norma's standard, but it's not bad as a first attempt, and it does the job!  She is now perched on top of the tree suffering from vertigo!  I've coloured her in shades of blue, which is in support of the challenge at Party Time Tuesdays.





    See my cards available to buy on eBay
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    Card Recipe:
    I've been inspired by:
    Happy crafting.
    Annette
    xx

    Monday, 16 December 2013

    Mountain Lily

    I found some of my lovely Nitwit papers at the bottom of my stash, and decided to use them on today's card. These papers are really thick and have a gorgeous fabric appearance and I really love them, especially the blue one and needless to say that's the one I only have scraps of.  But I decided to follow a simple sketch where I could use some of my scraps.

    I've used a sweet Wee Stamp called Mountain Lily, and I've popped a layered snowflake in the top corner for her to look at as she is looking up into the sky.



    See my cards available to buy on eBay

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    Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
    I've been inspired by:
    Happy crafting
    Annette
    xx

       

    Friday, 13 December 2013

    He's making a list, And checking it twice ...

    I've got a C&S card again today, this time featuring Maya and kitty from Whiff of Joy, this one is Maya dressed as an elf checking Santa's list.

    I think I got a stray speck of glitter just to the right of Maya's hat.  I spend ages faffing with the angle of my lamp in order to get the light hitting the glitter on the hat and ground for the camera, and then it's Sod's law that the bit that sparkles the most is the bit that's not meant to be there at all  :0(



    See my cards available to buy on eBay

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    Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
    I've been inspired by:
    • The Ribbon Girl - Christmas
    • Cute Card Thursday - Christmas Catch Up (the Elf is catching up on Santa's list, and I'm catching up on some late Xmas makes!!)
    Happy crafting
    Annette
    xx

       

    Thursday, 12 December 2013

    Merry Christmas Penguins

    I've been busy trying to make some quick last-minute cards which also won't break the bank to mail out, so I've been trying to keep them quite flat.  I've made a couple using one of my favourite Lili of the Valley stamps from last year's purchases. I love this image as it's quite large so it fills up quite a bit of a C&S style card, and I love images that create a scene with more than one character.  Plus it features penguins, and who doesn't love cute penguins!

    I've made a couple in different colours, one is to support both the 'favourite Christmas stamp' challenge at As You Like It Challenge and the other supports the 'Snow' challenge at Crafty Little Fairies.

    First up is a purple one with lilac shimmer backing paper ...


    And secondly, a pale blue one, with blue glitter backing paper ...


    See my cards available to buy on eBay
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    Card Recipe:
    I've been inspired by:
    Happy crafting.
    Annette
    xx

    Wednesday, 11 December 2013

    Frosty Barry

    I'm having another revival of my Silent Night papers, and have created a frosty coloured Christmas card featuring Barry the bear.  The design of the card is quite simple (for me) with just a few embellishments.  I have made the pin myself and fixed it in between some flowers.  The panels are all layered on silver mirri card, but it's really difficult to photograph so it looks a bit shiny in one corner, and dark everywhere else!

    This card supports the challenge at ABC Christmas Challenge where the theme is Y for Your own embellishments.

    See my cards available to buy on eBay
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    Card Recipe:
    I've been inspired by:
    Happy crafting.
    Annette
    xx

    Tuesday, 10 December 2013

    Mimi Snowflakes

    The theme today at Top Tip Tuesday is Snowflakes (I love this theme!).  I've used a cute Mimi image from Stampfairy who are sponsoring us this fortnight.  They've also got a sale on so if you want any images, grab them while they're half price.

    My snowflakes are a fab new die from Cottage Cutz.  It's really versatile, as it was not quite the right size circle, so I snipped the circle to make a gap, shaped it around my circle image panel, and then filled in the space that was left with flowers.  Simples!  :0)



    See my cards available to buy on eBay

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

    Monday, 9 December 2013

    Frosty Bluebell

    I'm a guest designer today at Incy Wincy where the theme is Let It Snow.  What an easy theme, ideal for those last minute Christmas creations!

    I'm showcasing another adorable Bluebell the deer image from Wild Rose Studio; I just love these Bambis!  I've also used Wild Rose Studio papers in a frosty blue.  Although I've created quite a few layers, there are only 2 embellishments, a spot of vintage ribbon and some pearls.

    I've created another double bow. I'm really liking these (but they do take up quite a bit of space on the card!) But they're surprisingly flat so don't bulk the card up in the envelope.



    See my cards available to buy on eBay

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    Card Recipe featuring items from The Stamp Basket:
    I've been inspired by:
    Happy crafting.
    Annette
    xx

    Saturday, 7 December 2013

    Charlotte Elsie

    We've got a month long "Anything Goes" challenge at A Gem of a Challenge to take us through to the new year, and I've got a special card to share for the occasion.

    Following on from yesterday's post, this card was actually one of the cards commissioned by the lovely Lorna.  She had seen my recent Jungle Clock and wanted a personalised baby card for a friend using the jungle images, because her friend has decorated the nursery in a similar theme.

    I arranged my images again in the same order, resizing them to fit the area, and typed the babe's name, DOB and weight in fancy font - her name is so sweet; Charlotte Elsie.

    I used my favourite Papermania papers for the occasion, in various pinks, and stitched around all the panels, layering them up on 3D foam pads.  Finally I decorated with pearls and flowers, and a strip of soft pink pompoms.


    See my cards available to buy on eBay

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

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