Year In Review

I’m following along with Karin Martin’s Year-In-Review Blog Hop in doing a review post for my favorite cards or projects, as we bid farewell to the year 2011.  And I’ll warn you right now that this post is probably a bit more verbose than most are looking for, so if you’re here for the cards, you may want to quickly scroll down for the ‘drive-through’ view of them all.

Otherwise, grab your cuppa and follow me – after all, the real reason I like to blog is because I like to write….

I began blogging again in January of this year.  I actually started blogging in 2007 after our twins were born, as a way for extended family and friends to keep updated on our family, since we were keeping two preemie babies indoors through their first winter to help them stay healthy.  But I quit in early 2010, for various reasons.

I began creating really basic cards about 8 years ago, but started getting into it more in 2009.  Before quitting my blog, I did a Pay-It-Forward post where I gave each of the first three people to comment a pack of handmade cards.  That’s when I hatched my plan to give out card packs as Christmas gifts in 2010.  I started looking around the internet for inspiration and was pleasantly surprised at the amazing quantity of craft blogs there.

It was an entirely new world to me, which not only provided awesomely fabulous inspiration at every turn, but it has also been the culprit behind my shrinking wallet, as I found new companies with all kinds of products to use!  My stash of craft supplies has grown exponentially this year, and I’d like to think that my creativity has grown and evolved as well.

Anyway.  Here’s a little month-by-month walk down memory lane.

JanuaryHubby’s Book of Coupons is the only project I posted in January.  Great project, turned out much better than how I saw it in my head.

FebruaryI entered this card in Dawn McVey’s Color Combo Challenge as part of PTI’s 4th Anniversary festivities this February.  This card helped me step outside my favorite-earthy-color-combos comfort zone.  I never would have thought to use colors like these together!

ο»ΏMarchThis card was my very first Papertrey Ink Blog Hop entry, also entered in a Heather Pulvirenti Totally Hues Challenge.  It was singled out for recognition as one of her Top Five cards.  My first ever recognized card! πŸ˜‰  I taught myself how to crochet just so I could make those little flowers, and this was the first one I used on a card.

Aprilthis bookmark meant I started trusting stamps more – using them for backgrounds, for heat embossing, etc.  I have always liked to make my own bookmarks, and learning how to stamp better has made creating those even more fun.

MayOne of my favorite cards, ever.  I used online tutorials to learn how to hand-dye my own seam binding ribbon, and this was one of my very first ‘Big Bow’ projects (as I fondly refer to them).  I was amazed at how well my first 2-step argyle stamping had turned out, and the colors (though not my typical colors!) just make me smile every time I see this card. πŸ˜‰

JuneThis card helped me start to make a tiny dent in my gargantuan stash of designer papers and cardstocks.  I would buy up stacks of paper just because they were soooo beautiful, and when I came home, I had no idea what to do with them all!  There is still much room for improvement in my DP-using skills, I know, but I’m happy to at least be using more of my DP’s!

JulyMy first ever Papertrey Ink shoutout – for this card.  I was so thrilled, but had to convince Hubby it was a big deal!  Besides the shoutout, though, this card speaks me and my style and how I like things in general: earthy, practical, peaceful, pretty, but simple.  I tried a new technique, I liked how my stamping turned out, and it turned out good enough to be recognized.  Fabulous!
AugustThis card is special to me because of the special person for whom it was created.  I love it when creativity has a personal meaning like this – makes it more worth the doing.
SeptemberLove this card.  I like that my brain is starting to see inspiration in the world around me, and that I am more able to channel that inspiration through to my creative projects with good results.  Not only that, I am actually excited to create, rather than just doing it to make gifts for other people when I need them.  Now, I am more likely to create just for me, just for fun.  Although, creating for others always feels good, too.
OctoberI love this card, too, because it’s more dainty and feminine than I am usually able to achieve.  Even when I specifically aim for feminine, it often doesn’t turn out overtly feminine.  I also really like the colors and designer papers, and I love using my Verve stamps. πŸ˜‰
NovemberIt’s sometimes difficult for me to translate sketch elements into reality and make them look decent.  I hope that more experience with them will make it easier for me to get good results.  I like this card because I feel like I was able to create a fairly reasonable interpretation of the sketch and also able to use colors that would normally frighten me away at first sight.  I am starting to enjoy more and more color combinations, and I like that.
December – This card just makes me smile. πŸ™‚  Love the colors, love the simplicity, love that it’s pretty much a one-layer card…  Everything about it makes me happy.  A perfect card to round out my list.
I’ve had a good year, and I am looking forward to another good one in 2012.
Happy New Year, sweet blog readers!  Hope you have a good one, too. πŸ˜‰
To see more Year-In-Review Blog Hop posts, click here to go to Karin Martin’s blog.
Thanks for stopping by today. πŸ˜‰

10 thoughts on “Year In Review

  1. Great journey you've had through the year – may 2012 bring you even more creativity in your life! I love the coupon book you made for your hubby – great idea!

  2. What beautiful projects you've posted! Love your little coupon book (great idea!) and the serene Thinking of You card is gorgeous! Thanks so much for playing along and linking up to my blog! Happy New Year!

  3. These are all so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing! I really love the coupon bookWishing you a year of health, happiness and creativity! Happy New Year!

  4. This was fun Ally! Loved seeing your pretty creations. I started blogging in April of this year. One of my highlights was our meeting through our blogs! Your a SWEETHEART and I'm so happy we're blogging friends! HAPPY NEW YEAR πŸ˜‰

  5. Seriously Ally I love you. You have such amazing style girl and I think we could easily beome great friends. We both started our blogs last January! How close are you to Canada? hee hee hee I loved all your year in review but I was very taken with January, March, April, May and August. Looking forward to more of your amazing cretions in 2012. Happy New Year!

  6. I'm teaching myself how to crochet so that I can make those little flowers, too! Ever since I saw them on Nichole's blog I've wanted to be able to do that. I'm a knitter but have never crocheted until this Christmas when I begged my sis to show me how. Well, I've been shown and have experimented a bit but no where near making these beauties yet! Good on you, mate!

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