Hmmm....2011. Where did that go, then? The week between Christmas and New Year is, for me, always a time to reflect on the year that has gone, and make some plans for the year to come.
For me, crafting in 2011 was about new products. Some things stay with me throughout - I think scrapbooking and cardmaking will always be a part of my crafting repertoire. But this year I definitely noticed myself trying out new products and techniques, which I'm really pleased with. I feel like I've made a great start, and 2012 will be all about learning even more. So before I come up with some plans for next year, in no particular order, here is my 2011 Top Five:
1. Promarkers. I know, I know, I'm late to the party. No change there then! But I'm so glad I discovered these little beauties. My stamps have all gained a new lease of life and I love the bright, vibrant colours that Promarkers give. I will admit I was a little bit nervous in the beginning - there are a lot of tutorials and blogs out there and I had the impression that there was some 'secret' to Promarker technique. I'll tell you now - there isn't. I'm sure there are lots of ways I can improve, but even my first efforts are pretty pleasing.
2. Border punches. These aren't new either, but this year I've moved away from just using them on scrapbook pages and they've really helped my cardmaking. I love pretty trims, and I feel a bit daft for taking so long to bring these into my cards. Now that I have, I can't stop!
3. Greetings stamps. Something else that has completely changed the way I make cards. These fabulous sets of clear stamps on an A6 sheet are reasonably priced, great quality, and really versatile. I used to either write my greeting, or look for a sticker, but these stamps give me dozens of options and look much more professional. They are absolutely the most useful stamps I own.
4. Yarn! Specifically, the Sirdar Bonus range. I first started using this last year, on my first crochet blanket. Since then, Mindy has expanded the range to include almost every colour you could need. And I'm using quite a few of them in this ripple blanket. It's also deliciously soft and has beautiful stitch definition when you crochet.
5. Wooden crochet hooks. Apart from being gorgeous, they are also easy to use and much lighter in my hand than the metal ones. I've also managed to develop a new technique for crocheting which doesn't make my wrist click, so I'm hoping to avoid any craft-related RSI in future.
...and, 6. Paint Fusion. I'm sneaking this in, because it's not a product I use. But Hilary has spent a lot of this year perfecting her technique and doing some amazing paintings. It's so exciting to see someone learning something new and loving it so much - and deservedly so, because the results are amazing.
What products have you enjoyed this year? I am so excited for 2012!