The Best of 2011

It's always zany how fast New Year's sneaks up after the Christmas wrapping clears away. Suddenly we're looking at the scale, transferring birthdays to a new calendar, and determining to make the year ahead our chance to do everything we didn't get to in the previous year. But before I start straining myself trying to eat healthier and exercise more and setting artistic goals to paint more and stay true to my vision, I like to encourage myself by looking back over my favourite projects and highlights of my 2011. January 2011: Project: This beautiful canvas made with Unity stamps. Memory: My oldest daughter's 8th birthday, where her cake exploded. My sister tells me it was more dramatic than I made it sound in this post.

February 2011: Project: I love this beautiful layout of my oldest girl. Memory: Our 17-day road trip across the USA. What a wonderful trip! First post about that is here.

March 2011: Project: Because I hate falling behind in my scrapbooking, I started documenting our trip as soon as we got home. I love the colours and design of this one which sets off some of my favourite photos from our holiday. Memory: Visiting two of my favourite paper manufacturers while on our US trip. The kind folks at Cosmo Cricket and My Mind's Eye helped me start an account, do some wholesale purchasing for my scrap classes, and even loaded me up with freebies! And I knew I was a super-fan when I introduced myself to Lindsay and Kathy at Cosmo Cricket and they said, "Oh, Angela Fehr!" in obvious recognition.

April 2011: Project: I was absolutely floored when I found out that I was one of the winners of Paper Crafts magazine's Stamping Royalty competition! How awesome to be ranked among some very talented card makers! My winning Christmas card appears in the November/December 2011 issue of Paper Crafts magazine.

Memory: I spent Thursday evenings during May and June teaching watercolour for the first time in five years. Loved it! Here's one of the paintings I walked my class through, step by step.

May 2011: Project: I started doing a few video tutorials this month - hampered a bit by equipment issues. Did a little tutorial of this mini album which I make from scratch. Memory: Attending a Steve Bell concert with my mom and sister. An experience of a lifetime!

June 2011: Project: I love it when a painting turns out, like this lilac watercolour. Memory: We spent some time in Saskatchewan in June and my favourite part was trying a new running route. How beautiful it was to run beside a marsh full of birds, the wind in my hair!

July 2011: Project: I had my first card published in Paper Crafts magazine! Talk about starting a new addiction! Memory: Not too much stands out from July except the tons of rain that fell in our area. And the cool hair tutorial that I've been using to tame my frizzles.

August 2011: Project: I created two cards using one inspiration photo (on the Moxie Fab World blog) that were both very different and memorable. They are favourites of mine because of their uniqueness and eye-catching-ness. Memory: I found August and July both very stressful, having taken on the administration of our church's vacation Bible school program. We were profoundly short of volunteers this year but my stress was really pointless - the details fell into place through some very generous people and the faithfulness of God - and we all ended the week knowing that our sacrifice of time and effort was a worthwhile investment in the lives of the kids who attended. I pray they will always remember the love and acceptance they felt that week.

September 2011: Project: This gorgeous layout using Close to My Heart's Sonoma project kit and stamps and Spellbinders Blossom Stackers Memory: Became the home schooling mom of three kids as my son started kindergarten and my daughters entered grades two and three. Suddenly feel much busier!

October 2011: Project: This pretty card won the Moxie Fab "Textured to Perfection" challenge. It's the kind of pretty I just love to make. Memory:  I got to announce that I've started designing stamps for Paper and Such. It's so cool to be able to do this and starting in January, my stamps will be available for sale online.

November 2011: Project: I joined my friend Meredith MacRitchie in a week's worth of holiday inspiration paired up on our blogs. This Christmas ornament/tag is my favourite from my week of holiday creations. Memory: We got a new kitten in November, kind of accidentally. I also taught another series of watercolour classes which was even more fun than the spring session. And I did some DIY home decor projects that turned out great.

December 2011: Project: If I had not had to step out of the Spellbinders Design Team competition, I would have submitted this layout for round two. I just love it. Memory: December was a wonderful month! I can heartily recommend simplifying Christmas and instead of hours spent in stores or shopping online, making gifts for loved ones and baking with the kids. We had a really meaningful month, once I got caught up on the bookkeeping, that is.

I've enjoyed looking back over my year. I got a lot done, and celebrated some really neat milestones and events. The challenge for 2012 won't be accomplishing more than I did in 2011, but equaling it.