Hi friends! Somehow, some way, we are coming to the end of another year. I won’t say that 2022 has been the easiest year for me, personally, just because navigating life as a mom of four in this crazy world is pretty scary right now. But, I have always been someone who tries to be positive and compartmentalize the negative, and my cardmaking job/hobby (jobby? haha) has played a huge part in doing that successfully (mostly, ha). I am so, so lucky to be able to help support my family doing something that I love so much. 2022 was a wonderful year in the crafting world, with such an enormous array of beautiful new products to play with, so I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and select my favorite projects from each month. This is a long post covering each month of the year, so let’s get started!
I have been lucky enough to illustrate several floral stamp sets for some of my favorite companies over the last few years, and the project above features the first stamp set that I illustrated for Simon Says Stamp: Beautiful Bouquet. One of the reasons that I was so thrilled to start illustrating stamps was so that I could create massive blooms that people who loved to color would really enjoy coloring with their favorite medium. This Beautiful Bouquet stamp set is huge and covers most of the slimline card above, which I stamped using Contour Ink and used Copic markers to color in no-line style. I masked off the edges to do a little light ink blending to create a frame and added a vellum sentiment! You can see more of the details on this project HERE.
Boy, looking through my archives for February made selecting a favorite really difficult. I couldn’t narrow it down to just two projects, because two of my favorite stamp sets that I’ve illustrated this year were released in February. The first set, Orchid Rose Bouquet, is another of my illustrations for Simon Says Stamp, which I colored using Copic markers on Neenah Desert Storm cardstock. These projects were especially unique for me, as this red/kraft combo is not a color combination that I use frequently. You can check out all of the details for these projects HERE.
My second project that I couldn’t help adding to this list features the Chrysanthemum Slimline stamp set that I illustrated for Pinkfresh Studio. Another stamp that is huge and hugely fun to color! I loved really digging into the nooks and crannies with my most favorite Copic color combo: RV99, RV69, RV09, RV17. You can read all of the details HERE or watch a video demonstration HERE. February was a good month for big fat flower stamps! 🙂
The war in Ukraine sent the entire world reeling in so many ways. I was so proud that Pinkfresh Studio used the Sunflower Washi Suite that I illustrated to do a fundraiser to benefit the children impacted by the war in Ukraine. I created four projects, two using the Sunflower Washi Tape + Dies, and two using the Sunflower Stamps +Dies.
The different washi tapes from Pinkfresh Studio make creating an absolute breeze, like you have an endless supply of stickers! I am especially proud of the ones that I’ve illustrated and watercolored, because they help me to remember that even though I have no formal art training, I am an artist (no matter what the dreaded imposter syndrome might whisper in my ear!). These Sunflower Washi Tape images were the first washi tape images that I created, and they mark an important milestone for me, professionally.
The Sunflower Stamps coordinate perfectly with the dies used for the Sunflower Washi tape, allowing endless possibilities for creativity! I created a pair of cooler cards, adding pops of blue and crisp white, with accents of silver, to go along with my cheerful yellow watercolored sunflowers. You can read all of the details about the projects above HERE.
April was the month of flowers. I promise this entire blog post is not going to be a catalog of stamps that I’ve illustrated, but the release of these stamp sets are so exciting to me, even months later, and the projects that I created with them remain some of my favorite projects from the year! This favorite project from April features the Lisianthus stamp set that I illustrated for Simon Says Stamp, but I actually illustrated four different sets for the April release: Thankful Magnolia, Just A Note Pansy, Celebrate Rose Corner, and Lisianthus.
Colored pencils are one of my most favorite mediums to use, but using them is quite hard on my wrists, so I have to limit how frequently (and intensely) I use them. You can’t beat the beauty of colored pencils on colored cardstock, in my book anyway, and so I thought they were a perfect match for this huge Lisianthus stamp and some lovely lavender cardstock. You can check out all of the details for this blog post (along with four other projects using stamps that I illustrated!) HERE.
May was a month of experimentation for me. The Hero Arts Creative Team was challenged by Hero Arts to create Mixed Media projects for their new Mixed Media catalog. Now when I think of Mixed Media, I think of grunge and vintage, with splatters and lots of sepia tones. Totally the opposite of my normal super colorful, somewhat clean style! But I was informed by some of the Mixed Media masters on the Hero Arts team to not overthink it and that Mixed Media is exactly as it sounds: using more than one medium on a project, which can be different kinds of paint, different stamping mediums, different textures… using more than two different kinds of media on one project technically makes it “Mixed Media.” Cool, right?
These projects that I created for the Hero Arts Catalog feature one of my most favorite “discoveries” from 2022: colorful gouache on vividly colored cardstock. I mixed the Hero Arts Liquid Watercolors with white gouache to paint these floral images on deep navy blue Nautical cardstock. I absolutely love how they turned out! Lots of color, a little sparkle, a clean design… but still definitely checks the “mixed media” boxes. You can check out all of the specific details on my projects HERE.
June was a bit of a slower month for me, with my big kiddos home from school and trying to keep everybody entertained and happy, ha! But, I was able to create a few projects that I really loved, including this pretty watercolored project using Altenew products.
No-line watercoloring continued to be a favorite technique of mine, and this project for the Altenew June release showcases just that! I love “leveling up” a somewhat simple image by stamping it first with no-line coloring ink, then watercoloring or coloring with alcohol markers. I think it lends an air of elegance to a simple image, like this image from the Sentimental Florals stamp set, and makes it look more complicated than it really is. I paired the Sentimental Florals wreath with the Artists 24 Pan Watercolor set, which is one of my most favorite watercoloring mediums. You can check out all of the details from this project HERE.
July featured lots of different styles and subjects, including Christmas in July and lots of flowers (even a new Magnolia Apple Blossom set that I illustrated for Simon Says Stamp), but my favorite card that I created that month featured one of my favorite techniques that I really loved playing with in 2022: alcohol markers on standalone die cuts!
I used the Simon Says Stamp Ice Cream Scoop dies with my Copic markers to create these super fun vanilla, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip ice cream cones, then used coordinating colored inks and Layered Confetti stencils to blend this super festive and colorful bokeh background. Creating birthday cards is one of my most favorite “excuses” to create, following closely behind flowers and holiday cards, and this festive, happy, colorful card ticks all of the boxes for me! You can read all of the details on this project HERE.
As the summer came to a close, the color combinations in my projects for August seemed to reflect the color combinations of late summer: lots of intense, warm colors, reminiscent of the warmth of the August sunsets. My two favorite projects from this month showcase those warm, rich tones.
This project from the Pinkfresh Studio August release utilizes lots of ink blending, both with stencils and without. I used the Happy Dance stamps with the coordinating stencils and dies, layering the stencils over a softly ink blended background. Layering the same shades of ink on top of each other created such a beautifully subtle effect, with each color fading into each other while still picking up the shading details on the stencils. Check out the full blog post HERE.
My second favorite project is technically for Stamptember, but the releases go live at 11 pm my time, so I’m sneaking this one in under the wire for August. Teehee! One of my favorite sets that I’ve illustrated this year was the Butterfly Ranunculus stamp set. The fluid grace of these blooms creates lots of movement, and I made sure to include lots of different sprigs of foliage and filler flowers to make creating bouquets a breeze. I did some no-line watercoloring, adding in a few sprigs of metallic solid leaves, an embossed background, and some metallic splatters to create this almost-autumn card. Check out the full blog post (featuring this project and another project that I created using another of my new sets- called Floral Frames) HERE.
September was the month in which Christmas crafting started in full swing, and I. was. here for it! Christmas crafting season is one of my most favorite times of the year, and I could easily buy my weight in holiday themed stamps, dies, and hot foil plates. I did not have nearly enough time to use all of the beautiful holiday products that are currently residing in my stash, but I am really, really happy with the holiday projects that I was able to create in my (somewhat limited) crafting time!
These “blue Christmas” cards using a bunch of different goodies from Spellbinders were some of my most favorite holiday cards that I created this year. I am a sucker for unique, non-traditional holiday color combinations, as well as being a big fan of monochromatic color schemes, and the multiple shades of blue with those tiny pops of peach and sparkly, shiny silver accents made my heart go pitter-patter. Can we also just talk about the perfection of that Plaid Tidings hot foil plate? A more perfect plaid background cannot be found! Check out the full blog post HERE.
Switching gears slightly… September was a particularly prolific month for me in blog-land, so I have another favorite project to share with you from September. This almost-one-layer card features marvelously whimsical Anita Jeram stamps from Colorado Craft Company. I paired these sweet stamps with another of my most favorite new finds from this year: OLO markers! The vibrancy and intensity of these markers, as well as the simplicity of use, makes them one of my most favorite new additions to my craft room for the year. (Full disclosure-OLO sent me the markers to test out, but I absolutely love them and would not share my enthusiasm with you if I didn’t!) You can check out all of the details on this project, as well as another movie-themed project using Anita Jeram stamps, HERE. You can also check out several of my videos featuring the OLO markers on my YouTube Channel.
Ah, October. The month of the holiday cards. Nearly every card that I created throughout the month was using one of the phenomenal holiday releases from the phenomenal companies with whom I get to work. I hope that I get the opportunity to create more projects with these beautiful products, because they are so creative and so inspiring!
Honey Bee Stamps had a particularly spectacular holiday release, and I was lucky enough to be able to play with several of the products from their release. These muted holiday cards feature more of my favorite non-traditional holiday color schemes, while the berries, pine needles, and overall wintry feel helped to make them feel very holiday-appropriate. If you haven’t taken a look at the Lovely Layers: Winter Greenery standalone dies, you absolutely should, because these dies are so infused with holiday imagery, they are sure to be a staple in my holiday crafting for a long time! Check out the full blog post with all of the products and creating details HERE.
The Grandma’s Christmas Tree Dies, 3D Embossing Folder, and Layering Stencils were some of the most unique and, may I just say incredibly clever, holiday products that was released this year from all of the companies. I’m sure that nearly everybody had a grandma, aunt, or other relative who had those beautiful lighted ceramic Christmas trees growing up. My Grammy had the most gorgeous white one, which my husband painstakingly replicated for me for my birthday a few years ago. The holiday cards above showcase these wonderfully clever products, creating a traditional A2 holiday card as well as a shaped card. Check out all of the details HERE.
November was filled with more holiday goodness, with a few non-holiday releases sprinkled in here and there. I, however, was in full on Christmas crafting mode, so I was loathe to let go of my holiday stamps and dies!
I have to say…. I think these might be my most favorite holiday cards that I’ve created this year, which is saying something considering ho w many holiday cards I created with some utterly amazing products. The combo of Sparkling Snowflake Frame and Trio from Simon Says Stamp, peachy-pink cardstock, subtle ink blending, metallic splatters, and Rose Gold Metallic Foil cardstock (also from SSS) makes my pink-loving, monochromatic-obsessed heart go all-aflutter! Check out the full blog post HERE.
This card is a close runner-up for my favorite card of the month. I took part in the Honey Bee Stamps video hop and shared how I created this custom-colored die cut card using OLO markers and Honey Bee Stamps’s Lovely Layers: Poinsettia and Lovely Layers: Winter Greenery dies. I am in love with the rich Spruce cardstock and that intense, vivid, plum-colored poinsettia. It’s one of my top five favorite holiday cards from the year, to be sure. You can check out all of the details and the video HERE.
Finally, we have December. The crafting community is starting to transition out of the holiday mindset, and with that comes a whole host of new product themes that are not Christmas related. Some people might be saying “hallelujah!” but I am personally quite sad, because I didn’t get to accomplish as many projects as I wanted. I guess there’s always next year! Hopefully, my entire family and I won’t be sick for 10 days in the middle of December 2023. Totally threw a wrench in my holiday plans!
Looking back over my projects from December, I particularly loved this celestial project that I created for the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero blog hop. It used the super creative and beautifully designed new Star Cluster Stencil, which I paired with a vibrant, ink blended background and White Hero Wax. I love that this is an outer space card that still feels like “me” with the pinks, purples, and navy blue galaxy. I sometimes struggle with projects that are not inherently feminine, so I was really happy with the finished product! You can check out all of the details for this project on THIS post.
Whew. That was a long blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I have. I noticed during my tour of my 2022 blog posts was just how lucky I am to be able to have the opportunities to work with so many wonderful companies and their phenomenal product. So many of these products have been neglected in my craft room, because I always have new product coming in with which to create and share with you, so one of my goals for 2023 is to utilize these older products that I really love, perhaps with a new coloring medium, or paired with product from other companies! I tend to stick to one company’s product line when working on a card, so it will be fun to put my thinking cap on and pair the products of several companies together.
One last bit before I sign off on this New Year’s Eve day: I could not do this job without your support, your kind words of encouragement, and your use of my affiliate links when you are inspired. Your affiliate link purchases or the purchase of coloring panels or FOTG art supplies helps me to continue supporting my family while still being at home to do all of those important wife & mom things, too. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I sincerely send all of my best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2023 to each of you!