Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite Cards of 2015

I love doing this post every year. As I scan though my FLICKR folder of cards, I relive so many memories. I remember birthdays and funerals. I remember friends who needed support and encouragement, and I remember friends who were celebrating. I relive the milestones in my children's life. All of this through cards that I've made.

It's been a a year of changes in my life. My oldest son graduated from high school (yes, I'm old!) and then decided to defer college a year (which was a wise decision) but actually thought he'd hang out in our home playing video games - not! I began working full-time but in an interim situation to gain experience. (I graduated with a degree in accounting a little over a year ago). I'm now looking for just the right job to begin my second career (or my third career if I count my years as mom). My youngest left the large public high school to do cyber school from home, which was a necessary but not an easy transition.  It's been busy. 

I only did about half the card posts in 2015 that I did in 2014. That's a little sad, but it also kept cardmaking as my escape - not my job. I kept the design team positions that I most loved.  I was first on board with the Curtain Call team and continue with that.  I love being part of Freshly Made Sketches - it's the nicest, most caring, and friendliest team around - not to mention great sketches. My "company" team is Taylored Expressions - their product is such a good fit for me. I've often stressed over design team commitments, but truly, working with their product is easy every single time - I love it.

I've had some of my peak cardmaking accomplishments this year.  I was published for the first (and the second time!) My first published project was in the November 2015 Happy Holidays special edition by CardMaker magazine. It was a trio consisting of a coordinating card, tag and luminary using Taylored Expressions products, focused on their Nativity Border die. I was thrilled to not only be in the magazine, but one of the trio was pictured on the table of contents page! I also had cards in the British publication Die-Cutting Essentials but I actually haven't seen that one.

Another milestone was reaching 1 million pageviews on my blog.  I know that's a fairly meaningless number with the use of things like bloglovin' and feedly - but it still brought a big smile to my face when I saw the number.  Thank you all! What means the most is how many of those viewers I feel like I know. I can't believe how much this community cares about each other - it's a wonderful place to be.

Picking cards to put in this post can be difficult. I'm always amazed that some of the cards that I like the most get very few views, while other cards that I'm not even convinced that I should display get lots of attention. I think it probably relates to the memories. The cards that I like may not be the best from a strictly artistic point of view - but I love what they remind me of. So here are my favorites for the year, picked for a variety of reasons. I hope you enjoy them too.


Products by Taylored Expressions
Sponging doesn't always work well for me, but this was an exception. I love the soft color gradient behind that beautiful tree

Heartfelt Tree

Under the Sea
Products by Taylored Expressions
I'm just tickled by that pop of orangish red on all of the pretty blue waves!

Taylored Expressions Under the Sea

Circles for You
Products by Simon Says Stamp. Done for the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.
Although I LOVE the look, I am not particularly good at just graphic cards. I always seems to end up with coordinating images, sentiments and die cuts. This simple card appealed to me because it didn't have a specific image - just a lot of fun circles.

Beach Balls For You

Get Well Flowers
Products by Lil' Inkers. Done for Freshly Made Sketches.
LOVE the monochromatic colors especially using that ombre paper. I was thrilled that this one just popped up on the Lil' Inkers blog.

FMS 199 Get Well Soon

Cheers
Products by My Favorite Things.
A friend gave me this beautiful confetti and I wanted to show it off with these large die cuts.

Cheers

Merry Wishes Rainbow
Products by Stampin' Up. Done as a guest for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge.
I'm not good at "random" but I was quite happy with this swoosh of colorful snowflakes.

Merry Monday Rainbow

Oh Holy Night
Products by Taylored Expressions.
I think this might be my favorite card of 2015. 

TE Watercolor Panel: Joy to the World

Merry?
Products by Taylored Expressions.
I love every single set of Grumplings!!

TE Holiday Grumplings

Bright Spirits
Products by Paper Smooches.
It's hard to go wrong with the bold images and fun fonts of Paper Smooches!

MMLights_Glitter

A Jolly Season
Products by Taylored Expressions.
I'm giving myself extra points for this one because #1 - it's not just a card and #2 - I actually staged a photo!!

Gift Giving with Happy SantaGift Giving with Happy Santa

Peace on Earth
Products by Reverse Confetti.
I got more emotional making this card than I've ever gotten before - you'll have to check out the blog post to read about why.

FMS Peace on Earth

Perfect Blend
Products by Taylored Expressions.
I love these cute little dies!

Taylored Expressions Blender

Love You a Watt
Products by Taylored Expressions.
LOVE the colors and patterns bursting from that cute little light bulb.

TE Love You a Watt

Farewell 2015!!

Welcome 2016!!

11 comments:

Amy O said...

What fun to look through the highlights of your card making year! I love them all, Kim. But I always love everything you make. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Marisa said...

Great post. Love looking back at all a year has brought. Fabulous array of wonderful cards too :) Hugs to you and wishes for a fabulous 2016!

MaryA said...

I like all your cards. I'll make a bigger effort to leave my comments because your work is an inspiration for me. I loved the champagne glasses. That's a really good card for a lot of occasions including weddings and New Years. The sympathy card is really lovely. Those are hard cards to make. This one is particularly nice and had a hopeful feel about it but was also subdued as I think they should be. Thanks for updating you family and education milestones. I enjoy knowing a little bit more about you.

Mary

Karren said...

Wonderful selection of cards, Kim and it is so cool to look back on cards and relive the memories. Happy New Year!

Four11Lady said...

EVERY one of your cards are magnificent. Keep up the good work! Happy New Year!

Happy Dance said...

I'm so glad you shared your favorites; and I understand exactly what you mean about the ones people respond to the most. I'm often conflicted, but if I like a card, I'll post it. That's part of the reason we blog; to post what we like! And speaking of 'like,' I like your cards. All of them. I can see the thought you've put into each and every one of them. The care you take in your designs and colors shows through. Your loving kindness comes out in every single card. It's always a treat to stop by your blog to read what's happening in your part of the world, and to see the wonderful creations you post. Have a very blessed and happy New Year. Bev

Monika/Buzsy said...

Happy New Year! Fantastic cars Kim. Looking forward to many more to come this year. :)

Jean said...

A stunning collection! Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

So much eye candy Kim!! I remember them and love them all. The champagne flutes are especially pretty!!

Kara said...

Lovely Kim!!!!

cm said...

Belated Happy New year, my friend! Your post resonates with me on many levels; the challenges and triumphs, the goals accomplished (super congratulations on your publications!) and those remaining to be reached (or 'renovated'); the journeys started - your eldest son in his transition year, your second in his alternative schooling, your search for a career-fit; the rejuvenation in seeing crafting as a joy, rather than a chore...and so much more. At the essence of your post, in my view, is your willingness to embrace change - even when it's challenging or unexpected - and to find the positive. Reflection and insight, sprinkled with humour and a dash of 'practicality', and a heavy helping of creative expression: your blog is rife with all! An inspiring place to visit! And speaking of 'visual' inspiration: oh my! Your gallery of favourites is amazing - and for me, how fabulous to see them as 'second helpings.' Loved them when you first shared; love them even more now! You = a gem!
~c