It's quite a strange process looking back over the immense learning curve of the last eight months or so - but useful to look at how this journey is developing, and really interesting discovering which pieces make the shortlist, and which ones I scurry past in a hurry, trying to forget! One thing is that it makes me feel quite strongly that I've taken (another) big learning leap of discovery as we headed into 2013 - I'm already looking forward to doing next year's list!!
Anyway, for what it's worth, here's what I've picked out as my 12 personal favourites (though there are a couple of others I do feel bad about leaving out!!), in no particular order as they say on those talent shows. You can, of course, click the links for more details and photos of any that take your fancy...
Sonnet Mash-Up remains one of my all time favourites - Shakespeare plus crafting, and inspired by a glorious experience in my "regular" work.
Companion Piece is formed of a pair of tags which "speak to each other" - with opposing elements shifting from tag to tag. Again it was inspired by Shakespeare and my, at that point, new Autumnal Distress colours.
A Gatherer of Simples is a little pocket spell book: all about the stamping really... with part of a spell I wrote in primary school and still remember!
And now for something completely different... The Puppeteer: an altered steampunk bookmark (note to self - more steampunk in 2013 please), and an early encounter with the turquoises that now obsess me!
Anyone suffering from shock will be relieved by the return to vintage neutrals in this tag using an image of the glorious singer Lily Elsie, Musical Tic Tac Toe.
Permanent Ghosts arrived out of me playing with what is possibly my favourite stamp set of all - Artistic Outpost's Think and Wonder. The quote was an unbelievably serendipitous find. (This one is really worth visiting the original for - it comes to life in the close-ups which capture more of its real life impact, I think.)
Another tag now, A Heart Full of Love... the start of a love affair with PaperArtsy's crackle glaze, and also part of my enduring love of autumnal craftiness.
A Sense of Belonging is another heavily PaperArtsy influenced piece from around this time (November) - I'd just seen Leandra in action at the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC. This one holds the seeds of much of my 2013 crafting so far - texture paste, turquoise and Fresco paints!
An altered book now, What the Dickens?: my mother's childhood copy of Great Expectations with the characters tumbling from its mildewed (fake mildewed, obviously - otherwise, yuck!) pages...
Golden Memories of Home is much more recent, so many of you may remember it. Texture, lots of different materials, and an aching heart at the thought of leaving my family home...
Semi-controlled Mayhem is quite an early piece, and still one of my favourites.
A circus Big Top constructed as a mobile, using lots of handmade and altered papers, it predates a lot of my followers, so I really wanted to share it here, as many of you probably won't have seen it...
It's perhaps another one where a visit to the original post is the only way to really get the measure of it!
Another handmade book now, The Year in Poetry, using beautiful images from Nicecrane Designs, some inky distressing and stamping, stamping, stamping...
I couldn't really do an annual round-up post without mentioning Tim Holtz - and this photo of his amazing book cover stamp seems like as good a moment as any.
He and his stamps and his Distress range of inks are the reason I arrived in Craftyblogland - they've transformed my whole life.
If you were to do a search on the Labels function on the blog, I don't think you'd find a single post that doesn't include his products or his influence!
So there you have it... Did I leave out your favourite? Is there one you're shocked to see here? I'd love to know what you made of the selection...
And this seems like another good opportunity to thank my followers old and new for your amazing support. If you'd told me a year ago that I'd be blogging, I'd have laughed in your face, but then it's only a year ago that I first discovered Tim Holtz and the wonder that is Distress so, you know... life changes!!
Thank you so much for your company today and on all the other occasions - it adds so much to this incredible journey to be able to share it with such extraordinarily generous and creatively inspirational people.
I'm offering this up in the Catered Crop Recipe Swap, sharing your top 12 for 2012. Love to see what others come up with if you've not already shared your favourites. The link is open for another week, until Saturday 2nd February...
A Baker's Dozen: This consists of thirteen or fourteen; the surplus number, called the inbread, being thrown in for fear of incurring the penalty for short weight.
Hotten's Dictionary of Slang, 1864
I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately.