I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday 5 January 2018

Not A Baker's Dozen of 2017

Hello all!  There's a great deal going on behind the scenes at the moment, but I can't share any of it with you right now (though there's a little sneak peek tease over at PaperArtsy which will give you a giant clue).

While all that's under wraps, I thought I'd share my annual round-up of some of my favourite projects from the last year.  I was trying to stick to an approximate Baker's Dozen, but it all went to pot.  It's more of a "Baker's Many"!

You'll see certain themes and products making multiple appearances.  It's one of the things I like about creating these collections each year - it's a chance to reflect on the directions in which the journey is taking me.  And there was one very clear new direction which will be obvious pretty quickly!  Click on any of the links to see the projects in more detail, in case you missed them at the time... 

So the greatest crafting thrill of 2017 for me was, without question, the launch of my own line of word stamps at PaperArtsy - Eclectica³ Alison Bomber.  The quotes on each stamp plate are linked by theme.  These words come from one of the first releases, EAB02 Darkness & Light, and the tag uses the fabulous Distress Oxides, also brand new this year.

Lots of my favourite things - little houses, fresh inky greens and blues, meadow flowers and springtime!

It was an absolute delight to play with the new Lynne Perrella releases at PaperArtsy.
The woman on the right has to be one of my all-time favourite stamps, and she's appeared quite often since!

I've been doing more experimenting with my own mark-making in 2017.
These pen and ink wild grasses were a big step on that particular journey.

More grasses make the cut with this dreamy delicate wooden tag,
and it's in a looser layered style which makes me feel light of spirit when I look at it.

I love the play of light and shadow, and especially candlelight.  These altered jars for Destination Inspiration at A Vintage Journey are all about the light - including some more words from my EAB02 Darkness & Light.
It really is worth checking out the post to see how different they look in different lighting states!

I had a lovely time "colouring in" with my watercolours - one of my new obsessions this year.
(See also a little further down this post.)  And the brickwork makes me happy too.

I simply have to include my first handmade dolls, Shakespearean characters created to go into the Tudor Tavern in Cestina's dollshouse museum, Small Worlds.  I put off making them for an age, convinced I wouldn't be able to do it.
They were one of the great surprises and delights of the year to me when they turned out so well.

This set of cash-envelope ATCs really came out of nowhere - a little bit of this, a little bit of that... scraps and leftovers...
and they've ended up being one of my favourite makes of the year!

I was thrilled to be part of Eileen Hull's Journal Treasury E-book.  Her journal die is a fabulous tool for making your own handmade books, and Lin Brown's PaperArtsy grasses put in their second appearance in this round-up of favourites!

I've already mentioned my watercolour experimenting.  This post gives you some idea of the early steps in the journey.  You can catch more of them by checking out the Watercolour label search (though there are other projects mixed in for which I also used the watercolours).   And I haven't yet shared what I got up to with them late in the year.  Another time for that...

The fabulous Lynne Perrella stamp put in another appearance on this 12x12 canvas of nature gatherings on the PaperArtsy blog.  There's a lot of story built into this one too - almost always an ingredient in my favourite creations.

More tiny houses, more watercolours, but this time in a whole different colour palette!

Another appearance for Eileen Hull's journal die, but this time with a surprise on the inside...

I used one of the Calico Craft Parts Printers Trays - a perfect fit inside the journal die.
Again, lots of stories inside this one... a journey for the imagination.

Another handmade book with the journal die, and some more of those extraordinary Distress Oxides, as well as the scrumptious seasonal Tim Holtz Thinlits dies... can't tell you how happy this journal makes me.

More fabulous Tim Holtz Thinlits, more altered jars, more candlelight... what's not to love?!

A set of ATCs which grew out of a grey mood into something I really loved.
The Darkness & Light words felt completely necessary - I was so glad they existed!

My new stamps in September included EAB05 Autumn Edition - and I had a wonderful time pairing some of the quotes with some of Scrapcosy's wonderful fungi images, also from the Eclectica³ line at PaperArtsy.

More new words from probably my favourite set so far, EAB03 Music & Silence, and my favourite way to play with Distress Oxides - mixing them with Distress Inks.  It all adds up to a surprise rainbow entry... far more colour than we're used to here at Words and Pictures!

Handmade books have been part of the journey since the beginning, but they started to appear more regularly as I became part of the design team for the new challenge blog, the Mini Album Makers Challenge.
I loved making this gentle, meditative tag book, and the wildflower covers make me especially happy.
(There are also lots of quotes from EAB01 Trees & Flowers involved.)

Autumn colours, autumn words (yes, my quotes again... well, the blog is called Words and Pictures!) and meadow grasses...
and that glow of light at the heart of it is maybe my favourite part.

More Oxide backgrounds (again smooshed with Distress Inks), more of the autumn words, and another triptych.
I do seem to like pairs and sets and especially trios.

An autumnal creation for Destination Inspiration at A Vintage Journey... I do love autumn crafting and I didn't really get to do any in 2016, so I indulged myself this year.  More words from EAB05 Autumn Edition to go with the falling leaves.

Sorry, the quotes are here again, but we've moved on to a new season.  This wintry pair of tags make use of some of my favourite words from EAB05 Winter Edition.  Spare and bare, just right for icy winter days.

Tiny houses, wildflowers, lots of crackle, and back to my all-time favourite colour world of blues and browns...
I simply had to include these!

Another handmade book - a slightly different look, though still with plenty of crackle... 
and the words couldn't be more apt.  I feel incredibly lucky to live life as I do.
Creativity and inspiration are part of both work and play - and that's a true joy worth celebrating every day.

As you can see, I've often been inspired by the quotes in my stamp sets, but the other great joy for me this year has been seeing other people inspired by those same words and watching the stamps working in other crafters hands, shaping artwork I could never have imagined myself.  An amazing, uplifting feeling.

Thank you all for your company, your friendship, your lovely comments and feedback, and for all the inspiration I find when I have time to visit Craftyblogland.  There hasn't been as much of that as I'd like in 2017... work and travel made it another busy year, but I really can't complain!  Here's to a year of creative adventures and fulfilment.  I hope 2018 will be kind to all of us.  Happy crafting all!

To be human is to have a collection of memories that tells you who you are and how you got there.
Rosecrans Baldwin


Helen said...

Its always a pleasure to catch up on your yearly reviews... another year of fabulous art Alison! I hope to make enough to review myself this year, but we'll see!! Hope 2018 is as productive for you and that you get some time to enjoy it as well.

Valerie-Jael said...

You made some wonderful art in 2017, and I am looking forward to seeing what you create in this year. Have a great one! Hugs, Valerie

Nikki Acton said...

A stunning bakers many! X

Christine said...

Lovely post. It was wonderful to revisit some of your makes. Thank you.

Dortesjs said...

awsome art, you always take me up to a higher place..its gorgeous all you do - thanks so so much for showing ;O)

Marci said...

Some of my favorites are here, beautiful!

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Wow some of my absolute favourites here Alison, you’re so talented but you already know that of course!
Donna xx

Julia said...

What a lovely review of your 2017 projects. Seeing the Lynne Perrella images again reminds me that I have one of the LP 2017 stamp sets and I have not used it yet, maybe I will play with it at the weekend. I am also now the proud owner of your Autumn words stamps set, I looking forward to playing with that too. I wonder what 2018 will bring, there is always something new and exciting in the arty crafty world. X

Patty O'Malley said...


Jackie PN said...

Well, what words can I use that would described just how very much I love each and every work of art in this post??
Those dolls are amazing and I can't believe I do not recall them! Of course there are my favorites here..all of them! heehee
The fungi coasters...
Amazing, incredible, Outstanding, Brilliant and Absolutely all around Fantabulous works Alison!
I look forward to what else may come this way!
Jackie xo

Dorthe said...

A wonderful tour down memory lane, dear Alison.
So many amazing creations, lots of nature , which I love, and love your little houses, too. And of course the dolls speak to me , as a dollmaker myself- they are so fabulous created,- so mini and yet so detailed .
I wish you a new year filled with happy creating hours, and lots of joy mingling and matching in 2018, too.
Hugs, From Dorthe

Fliss said...

Wow! A totally amazing array of stunning artwork Alison and love every one, especially the beautiful wallflower tag.
Lovely to see everything as I missed some of these when they first appeared so thank so much for sharing them again.
Happy New Year to you.
Hugs, Fliss xx

Meggymay said...

A wonderful revisit to see some of your amazing projects from the past year.
I'm sure you have some fantastic inspiration projects for us to see in the coming weeks.
Yvonne xx

Redanne said...

Another wonderful year of creations from you Alison, so many of my favourites too - the Nature and Cabinet journals, the tiny greenhouses and of course, those fabulous Shakespearean Characters! Thrilled to see what is coming over at Paper Artsy too! Happy New Year Alison... Anne xx

My name is Erika. said...

So much wonderful art. It was a productive year for you. And not just productive, but you made some expleary pieces. Happy new year! Hugs-Erika

Kate Yetter said...

So many beautiful things you have made this year! Lovely Alison.

Craftyfield said...

What a fantastic collection of makes! So excited for you by your latest PA adventure and I'm looking forward to get more than a sneak peek! xx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Amazing to look back on all these fabulous makes Alison, each one as individual to the next. Wishing you a Happy New Year if I have not already done so & so looking forward to see what inspires your mind to create even more loveliness in 2018.
Creative Wishes Tracey xx

craftytrog said...

Lots of gorgeous eye candy! A great review Alison!

Lys said...

What a delight to watch again all your last year creations! Congratulations again on your stamps release, no doubt this new year will give you inspiration! (off to seee what's on Paper artsy!)

Astrid Maclean said...

An amazing year of creativity Alison! Each more beautiful than the next! A wonderful review and well worth the bakers many :o)

chrissie said...

A stunning collection of wonders and so good to see them all again

Love Chrissie xx

Pamellia said...

So many gorgeous projects Alison! It was a creative year, sending wishes for a year even more creative and full of joy! hugs :)

sarascloset said...

I actually opened this blog post yesterday, and have been slowly soaking all the beauty in. It is especially fun for me to see which projects tickled your fancy this year. I don't know how you possibly can choose; everything you make is my favorite! You have had a wonderful year--thank you for sharing it with us! So many successes--congratulations on each of them! It sounds like another great year ahead! Sending hugs!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Well, I'm here and ashamed to say I am on catch up having just been to look at your final tag and also that fabulous album with that gorgeous crackle and the lovely circle of leave! It must have been to hard to choose what to show as all here are just wonderful! Wishing you a creative and Happy New Year! Chrisx

Meihsia Liu said...

Wow... all these projects are amazing, Alison. Love your beautiful style and great details. Looking forward to seeing more of your creation. Happy new year! :)

SewPaperPaint said...

What a stellar year Alison! Your work has always, and continues to inspire me greatly! I pray 2018 will bring even more inspiration and joy to you through crafting and blogging. Hugs, Autumn

suzyb said...

Wild Grasses caught my eye and my heart as I look at all you have created with wide eyes. All of your work inspires me and all of us out here I'm sure. I love them all, but the grasses is my favourite! I look forward to see what 2018 brings us and wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year oh and a creative one as well. That goes without saying. ;)
hugs from across the pond.

Sue said...

Such beautiful pieces Alison, definitely worth a second look. You have a style which makes it so easy to pick out an 'Alison' creation xx

Etsuko said...

I remembered your 2017 creations and you always inspired by me. I'm looking forward 2018 too!! I'm too too late but Happy New Year Alison. xxx

Cocofolies said...

Wow, wow and WOW again Alison.... I remember well each and every of these beauties made by you, all SO fabulous and stunning pieces of real artworks.
LOVE them ALL to bits.
Hugs xxx