Monday, December 31, 2012

The Very Best of 2012

Welcome... I'm glad that you have stopped by! As an end of the year treat, I'm going to share my very favorite things about 2012. Some of them are cards, some are not! But all of them have to do with my love of paper crafting. Enjoy the list... and let me know what were your favorite things of the year too! :)

The Best Of 2012!

10 - Shaped Cards - At number ten, this is my favorite style of card of the year. I really need to make more of them next year because I love the shapes and the surprising ease of assembly. The pieces are all cut (except for the lacy edge border punch) from the Cricut Cartridge "Art Philosphy" by Close To My Heart, as well as the flowers and leaves. The purple one in particular was my favorite card also because of the use of my favorite "Sonoma" paper. I made a just a few of these for some very great friends. Next year, more!

9 - Sentiments - Being primarily a card maker, I've always been on the search for more sentiments for my cards. The right ones are always hard to come by and it's very good to have a variety to work with. This year, I invested in several CTMH sets called "Card Chatter" - available in different themes like love, sympathy and birthday. Each set has several sentiments and now I've got tons to work with. These sets are definitely worth the buy which is just one of the things I love about My Acrylix stamps!

8 - Moneysavers -  Earlier in the year I was on a roll with Moneysaver Monday in which I shared some fun tips on how to save money on scrapping supplies. One tip that I did use a lot was making my own striped twine. On several occasions I found myself in need of just a few inches of striped twine for tying a button or adding to a card. Many of these times, I wanted a specific color to match my card. I can't imagine how much I would have spent investing in each color of twine. This tip worked for me many times over, and as for that 400 yard roll of crochet thread? I'm pretty sure I still have 390 yards of it left. :) Maybe I need to learn to crochet?
7 - Best Bang For Your Buck - Another smart investment of the year - Titanium blades by Friskars. Maybe this is not a new thing to you where you live, but here in the back woods of Idaho, they were new to me. I found them on a spontaneous trip to the craft store one day and I've never looked back. They are a little more expensive than the original blades, but so worth the money. I hate the boogered edges of paper cut with a dulling blade and these blades seem to last a very long time. Four blades lasted me all year long - and I cut A LOT OF PAPER. No really, A LOT.
6 - Best Tool, Ever Ever Ever - The ATG- I'm finishing out my first full year of use with this adhesive applicator and I am still singing that lame Taylor Swift song about my old glue runners. (Weee-eee are never, ever, ever getting back.. together...) the ATG inspired my favorite tutorial of the year as well and I think that I love this tutorial because it is such an awesome conglomeration of helpful hints from lots of people. The money I have saved on adhesive alone makes the ATG so worth it... but it's not just that. My ATG and I have bonded. Without it, I would be sitting here, staring at these piles of paper with nothing to do. :)
5 - Authentique - In the past, I have had favorite paper packs or product lines such as Imaginisce or DCWV  or Echo Park. This years' favorite was Authentique... sorry guys, please don't squabble amongst yourselves and don't take it personally. I just loved the texture and colors of the papers that I got from Authentique this year and my very favorite of all was the Glory line. Thanks Kim, for surprising me with this paper my July Express The Moment kit... it was the best surprise treasure of all!
4 - Embossing Folders - Every year I also tend to have one product or another that I just have to collect because... well... I NEED THEM ALL. I know that some of this is the thrill of the hunt. I can't possibly ever own or even see every embossing folder that is out there on the market, but I can have a danged good time trying. :) I added several folders to my collection this year and I know that these are tools that I will use over, over, over and over again. They are definitely one of my favorite things. And hey, isn't this a cool Pinteresty way to keep track of the ones that you own? I need to do that next year.

3 - Border Punches - See #4 above, lol! My border punches are another tool that I moved to be strategically closer to hand because I tend to use them on nearly every card. I even discovered a way to store them in the paper organizer next to my desk so that the ones I use the most are easy to grab. IMHO these EK Punches are the very best quality. My first one was purchased on a trip to Seattle two years ago and I haven't been the same ever since. :)

2 - Lawn Fawn - I have so much to say about Lawn Fawn - this is definitely my new very favorite website. I love their stamps - they have such a cute little doodle look to them with bold lines and cute little smiley happy faces! They are fast and easy to use and they come with lots of sentiments. I used Lawn Fawn stamps to create lots of cards this year for Operation Write Home (and kept a few for myself... hehe). I haven't tried their paper or twine yet but with the great customer service I got from my other orders this year I know that I will be ordering again soon. WATCH THEIR VIDEOS when you have time. I love watching them while enjoying my crafting time because you always learn something and they all make me smile. Especially the ones with Kelly Marie - she just cracks me up and I feel like I want to play some kind of drinking game every time she says "cute." This is why I do this kind of stuff folks, to make other people smile... and if Lawn Fawn always brings a smile to my face, I know that the cards I make with their stamps will make other people smile too. :)

1 - None of this would be possible without... the iPad - I've always been somewhat of a techno-geek. I do love new beepy, electrical, computery type things and gadgets, but when I broke down and purchased an iPad at the end of 2011 I had no idea that I could use it so much in paper crafting. It's amazing - and I'd love to share some of these things this year if there is enough interest. (Interested? Leave me a comment!) 

In the past year I have used my iPad to:

  • Surf my favorite websites and blogs to keep in touch with others - I have favorite blogs and websites just a touch away by storing them on my desktop.
  • I used Skype with some of my favorite people while working together on projects.
  • I used it to organize and keep track of special dates like card making parties and blog posts.
  • I can easily organize files like photos .pdf files and more.
  • I can sketch a card or jot down an idea fast and easily without scrambling for paper/pen.
  • I can always read up on my favorite paper crafting magazines and publications on the go. So much easier than subscriptions and magazines that will just pile up after I read them once! I can download just the ones I want. And there are some great prices for this.
  • I can listen to music, watch YouTube or Netflix while crafting.
  • I made my own iBook for a tutorial on creating Card Holders.
  • and so much more!
Did you know that you can keep a digital copy of all of your Cricut cartridge books on your iPad for fast and easy reference?

Did you know that anything that comes in a .pdf file can also be stored on your iPad for fast and easy browsing? I keep all of my OWH and deconstructed sketches... without having to print them out any more! Hooray for saving printer ink!

As you can tell from above, I'm a pretty frugal spender when it comes to my supplies. The iPad was something that I really had to save for and plan carefully to purchase but it was so worth it.

More resolutions for 2013? I'd like to post more... quality posts and I'd like to improve on my photos. I did learn a lesson about blogging using my iPad this year. (Don't do it.) Without a doubt I will be continuing to work hard for Operation Write Home and make as many cards as possible for our deployed heroes. 

Thanks all of you, who stopped by to see my list of Top Ten and I wish you all the very best of everything in 2013, I hope that you will stop by again soon. :)


Jen said...

I love your top 10, Nancy, and I agree with quite a few of them. My ATG and I are bonded, too (in fact, I even have 2). LOL! :)

Carol L said...

I really enjoyed your top ten list! I'm too dumb to own an Ipad or Iphone, but I enjoyed reading all it's capable of doing anyway :) I agree with the ATG gun 100% - I would never be without mine, and the ef's - that has to be my biggest collection of crafting tools too! I LOVE using them and they're inexpensive enough to continue collecting them.
I gave away my Fiskars cutters and bought a Tonic cutter and have used it for nearly 4 years now and it still cuts as clean and crisp as the day I bought it. Well worth the investment IMHO!
Have a great new year!

Misty said...

Love your top 10. # 7 nice to know, when I need new blades, and #6 just saw that tut and thought it was great. I need to decorate my pink ATG, though no chance of theft this far in the woods. If I ever get a job I'd love to get an iPad, or at least a crimper & exlarge floral background!
Hummer Hugs,
hummingbird204 at comcast dot net

Sherry Hickey said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for sharing your Top Ten favorite things; I really enjoyed (and chuckled at ) your post. I also plan to look for those titanium Fiskar blades. I look forward to seeing your card creations in 2013! Happy New Year!

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Nancy you are so cute! I loved your blog post today =) Your ipad sounds wonderful & I'd love to have one. Your relationship with your ATG cracked me up!

I want to work on being a better blogger too and commenter =)

Happy New Year my friend!

Seongsook Duncan said...

(Umm... where did my comment go? I hope I am not duplicating it.)

Nancy, thanks for sharing your ten favorite things. I can tell where you are from for these great tips. You are the OWH Tutorial Coordinator, right? So thankful for your efforts. You seemed to make things easier and more fun.

Happy New Year!!!

Linda said...

Hi Nancy...great top 10. I totally agee about the ATG...I bought one this year just because of the OWH FB comments. Keep up the great work in 2013!

Dixie Cochran said...

This is a great top 10 list. Aren't those titanium blades the best?! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I agree with lots of your Top 10 favorites--especially EK Success border punches, embossing folders, Lawn Fawn... Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year! --Yvonne

BobbisTreasure said...

Almost bought an iPad, but it would not support my cutting and sewing software. Bought a big, honking laptop, but still envy the iPad.....

Lee Mae said...

Really cool top ten! I love my ATG and couldn't do without it and having a bunch of sentiment stamps is so much fun. Thanks for posting your top ten!

Marilyn's Cricut Crafts said...

I have an IPad and would love to learn more! TFS!

AmyS said...

I love this post! I will have to look for those titanium blades next time I am in the US. I also plan to get an ATG gun... Thank you also for the kind and encouraging comment you left on my blog post of ten cards. I really needed it!

Patricia Vanderwolf said...

I had no idea you can do all these cool things on iPad. How do you store circuit books.

Lynn said...

Fun post! I like a lot of your favorites too! Especially the CTMH stamps, wink! wink!

Cindy E. Burton said...

I love how you handled your top ten! Very clever. And I loved reading why you liked what you liked. No ipad here but I am interested in making my COMPUTER work better for me. I have no rhyme or reason to what I do on it and it's sometimes crippling. Here's to a productive year in 2013 and more inspiration to follow from cardmakers like you... :)

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Diane said...

Nancy- I love looking at the kids cards you have been making-- but your top 10 is got me smiling! I have been stuck like glue to my ATG for a few years- LOVE IT--- and your tutorial was helpful and fun! I like the idea about the embossing folders-very clever! I do not have an Ipad but sounds like I should get one!! Lol great post!