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...

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Hello all!  I often start the new year by looking back over the journey from the year before.  I find it it really useful to chart the ideas, obsessions and possibilities which have travelled across my craft mat.  Reflecting on the pieces which gave me most joy in the making (and it almost always aligns that if I've enjoyed the process, then I'll like the finished project) allows me to see where the journey is taking me, and that helps with moving forward into the next year.

So here are some of my favourites from 2018... in chronological order - it's way too hard to put them in order of preference!  If you want to revisit any of them in detail, just click the project titles.

This ATC, made for Destination Inspiration over at A Vintage Journey is an easy pick for the list.  It may be tiny, but it has my favourite colours, some crackle, meadow flowers and ivy.  And words that very much hit the mark for what's been going on with me this year.

From a tiny ATC, we move to a pair of jumbo tags.  But they have the blues and browns in common, and those words again - the sense of potential and possibility, with the need to be strong.  And I so loved playing with the die-cut circles and the offcuts from the cutting.

You can tell I like something when I give it a Shakespearean title... even if it is a slight adaptation!  These rusty bubbles of glassy UTEE were one of my favourite experiments of the year - and the words take us on a thought experiment about finding a new place to live.

I released some new quote stamps with PaperArtsy early in the year, and these tags were part of my launch samples.  It was so interesting to work with the colour palette required - a fresh combination for me, and it worked so well for some of my favourite words - in this case from EAB07 Dreaming & Doing.

There are more of my words - these from an earlier set, EAB03 Music & Silence, and by one of my favourite poets, Rilke - on this simple, springtime tag.  The Idea-ology Paper Dolls seem to have made their way into this favourites post quite a lot.  I love how they tell me stories as I'm creating with them.

A whole bunch of quotes appear on these salty bookmarks.  And I get double points from William Morris ("Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."), since these are definitely useful - I have them tucked inside all the books I have on the go - and they make me happy each time I open the pages and see them there.

This album was created as part of my design team duties for the Mini Album Makers Challenge.  Sadly, I've had to pull out of the team now, but along the way I made some of my all-time favourite things.

I love the natural elements here - first of all used to create the Gelli prints inside, and then they made their way onto the cover, preserved forever(ish).

This second album is a companion piece to the first and I couldn't pick between them, so you get both!  This time it's all about the stencils - printing inside, and used with texture paste on the cover.

And this time I used the Gelli plate to print my inky backgrounds before letting loose with stamps and stencils and some more of my quote stamps.  When I turn the pages of this book, I feel calm and serene, and the words on each page allow my thoughts to follow fresh ideas.  It really is a meditative piece.

This concertina tag album was created to celebrate 60 years of friendship between my mother and one of her oldest friends.  It makes me happy front and back, inside and out - and it's just as well I had a lovely time making it as, having given this to her friend, Cestina demanded one for herself too.  I've yet to make it - but hope to get round to it soon!

These "engraved" panels were a PaperArtsy project for the Baked Texture theme - using Seth Apter's Baked Texture powders and my quote stamps.  I was thrilled with the outcome.  The technique has so much potential and I'd forgotten all about it... see, that's what a retrospective is for!

The vintage neutrals are pretty standard round here, as is the fact that whenever romance puts in an appearance it tends to have a melancholy twist to it.   To be honest, I'm not quite sure why this tag appeals to me quite so much - it just does, and it definitely had to be in this list.  Maybe it's those lavender sprigs?

This tag trio is definitely competing for top favourite of 2018.  Again, it may be those dried flower sprigs, or something about the spare simplicity.  Of course the meadow flowers are always going to make me happy, but there's also something about not piling too much on, and knowing when to stop.

Having said that, this giant tag is also vying for top place, and this has got plenty piled on to it!  It was made in a joint Skype crafting session, with Brenda and Nikki - each of us taking turns to suggest the next step in the process.  I'd been nervous about working on such a large substrate, but oh how I loved it once we started!

Having got over my jumbo tag fear with the Skype session, this one sprang to life almost without my help.  In fact, I started preparing the basics before we even got to the Skype session.  Autumn is the one time of year when bright colours fly across my craft desk without a second thought... where nature leads, I follow.

After a sluggish time creatively, I set myself the challenge of journalling as often as possible through December, and I had a ball.  For me, it's a tough call between Pages I, V, VIII and IX for my favourite, but you can choose for yourself by clicking the link above the photo, which should allow you to scroll through all twelve.

I'm finishing with another tag trio.  I do like sets and pairs and trios and series, something I'll definitely take forward into next year.  These came about from another Skype crafting session - something I also hope to squeeze in again, though it may be tough to schedule.  There's something very freeing about not being in charge of every step of the process!

It was a relatively quiet year here on the blog (busy with lots of theatre work) and 2019 is going to be just as complicated, involving - amongst other things - a move to another country.  But a chief reason for that move is to rebalance so that the artwork can play a larger part in life from here on.  So, although it may be another quiet-ish year here on the blog, I hope it will be a pull back in order to spring forward by 2020.  Watch this space!

Thank you so much for stopping by today, and for your company on this crafting journey.  Oh, and thank you for the lovely comments on my Winter Sun tag.  Although it's simple, I can see it making its way onto next year's list - it does make my heart sing along with the birds!  I wish you all lots of luck and joy with your journeys this year, wherever they may be taking you.  Happy Crafting all!

We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded. We are permitted merely to sense and guess at what we are actually experiencing. Only later when the cloth is untied can we glance at the past and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has.
From Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera


Helen said...

It is always a pleasure to re-cap your favourite projects. Hopefully your relocation will allow you to get back to creating more frequently.

Redanne said...

I am so glad you didn't ask us to choose a favourite, I know I never could! It is so lovely so see these beautiful creations once again. I do hope the move goes well (apologies, I thought you had already moved!). You are missed over at MAM too. Anne xx

My name is Erika. said...

I agree with you about looking back. It confirms where you are right now and how the journey went. I like seeing what didn't work and what did and where I Want want to go forward. Love seeing those pieces of yours I haven't seen and seeing those I have. You had a very successful 2018. Hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Since I haven't really been to your blog much until last month, all this is totally new to me. You are a genuine artist and I really look up to you. You have such fabulous composition skills, and a great sense of color, too. I love your use of the various paper dolls. It gives me ideas for how to use mine, too.

Thank you for sharing this retrospective look back at all the beautiful art you made in 2018. I would say it was a very successful year art-wise. And thanks for being such a great inspiration, too!

Valerie-Jael said...

A beautiful look-back. Your art is always wonderful to see, and I really enjoy visiting your blog. May this year be just as good! Hugs, Valerie

Jennie Atkinson said...

A wonderful collection Alison - I just love your creativity, colours, textures and designs. I will never tire of looking at them. All the very best for the coming year. Jennie x

A Pink said...

Alison seeing your retrospective gallery of work makes my heart so happy . Every chosen piece is an absolute treasure. It really is an honour to work alongside you at AVJ and to be able to follow you on your creative journey-Thank you.

Wow, a move to another country!! I hope all goes well with the move and may the 2019 bring you happinees , good health and lots of creative time .
Hugs x

Meggymay said...

A wonderful revisit to see some of your favourite projects.
I hope the coming year will be a good one for you and your move goes smoothly.
Yvonne xx

Mrs.B said...

A lovely selection of your favourites, and it's sounds like 2019 holds lots of changes for you, hope everything goes smoothly.
Avril xx

johanna said...

what a fantastic review... i´ll go to explore some of them in detail. i really like your style very much. have a great year 2019!!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, I would never know which one to choose , as they are so b eautiful each and everyone , you are one of my most favorite artist, my friend. You always capture wonderful moods in your creations , and you know I love your favorite colors !!
Wishing you again only all the best for 2019 . Hugs, Dorthe

Craftyfield said...

All I can say is your creations are consistently beautiful, Alison, well thought out and made. I think, beyond the stress of the move, being somewhere new will spark some new creativity. How exciting! xx

Mac Mable said...

Ohhh I so enjoyed looking at your journey in 2018 Alison and what fabulous and inspirational projects they are. All so unique and amazingly delicious x Another move to another country ......so exciting and new beginnings how wonderful x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Good idea to revisit and look back at our projects and see where our creative journey has taken us. I enjoyed looking back at your vintage pieces in your trademark style. Gorgeous each and every one. Happy New Year . ❤️❤️❤️

Dortesjs said...

waue I always ALWAYS, love your work its so inspirering,excellent.

Paper Profusion said...

Oh WOW Alison!! What an incredible testament to your artistic talents! Each one is soooo beautiful and to see the collection together has me entirely awestruck! Standing ovation happening in Dublin! x

hazel said...

Wonderful projects Alison, I couldn’t choose a favourite as I love them all. Happy New Year.
xxx Hazel.

Sue said...

What a fabulous recap Alison, every piece is wonderful. I hope you move goes well, and that it brings you everything you wish for xx

Kate Yetter said...

What a wonderful review of your gorgeous pieces. I am loving your style, as always. Soft, muted colors full of texture and vintage touches. Thanks for sharing.

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, so much amazing art! I loved looking back at all your beautiful 2018 makes; you are such an inpiration and portray so much beauty in your crdations! I love your vintage grungy style and how you capture words on your pages - stunning 😁. It must be so exciting to be moving to another country, I wish you a smooth transition and all the very best for the coming year! May all your dreams come true! J 😊 x

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

So uplifting to look back on it all Alison, I always find these posts so encouraging they seem to give a creative hug especially when time can be limited. With it's rich tones Autumn splendor is one stored in my memory bank as it is one of my Autumnal favourites of yours.
Wishing you the Happiest of Years Alison with much creative adventure.
Hugs & warm wishes Tracey xx

Astrid Maclean said...

A great re-vist to all of these wonderful pieces! I would recognize your style anywhere! A journey through a year well worth remembering! Beautiful work all round!
Happy Sunday! xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Ooh Alison! I'd love to say that my favourite is here but as all of these are so wonderful there is no way I could choose one over the others! You may not have had the creative time you would have liked but you certainly did make the very best of the time you did have! Hugs, Chrisx

Etsuko said...

Amazing works, I inspired by these creations and always fun to read. Thank you so much for shared. xx