I've decided instead to compile a list of my favorite products and techniques from the past year, using snippets from various pages. This way I don't feel so bad playing favorites with my creative offspring. :)
Here they are, in no particular order:
(1) I stocked up on these Sassafras chipboard letters at the end of last year, and plan to use them happily through 2010. They're the perfect size, and I love their colors, too.
(2) I've finally become brave enough to use my pen for something other than journaling on layouts. I'm now in the habit of outlining (and sometimes double-outlining) the edges of pages as well as the negative spaces left behind after misting -- love the effect!
(3) I'm not really a punch-happy kind of girl. I have very few -- two circle punches, a square punch, two border punches, and the one I use most often -- my Martha Stewart butterfly punch. I love using butterflies as symbols of growth, hope, and continuity.
(4) Each month I'm constantly amazed by Studio Calico's papers, including their brilliant kit inserts for special offers. One of my favorites this year has been this "Garment District" lady. She's both retro and relevant. Grace, after all, is timeless.
(5) I still can't quite get over the brilliance of Collage Press this year, for including an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice on the "Cheery & Bright" Joyride patterned paper. I would love to use this paper on every one of my layouts, but I think it has a better chance of being hoarded in the months ahead.
(6) Once upon a time I believed myself to be florally inept when it came to layouts. I've become a lot more comfortable with incorporating flowers on my layouts over the past years, though, and now, I'm loving the look of misted flowers. These lovely mesh flowers from Lily Bee took to the Maya Mist so easily.
(7) Jenni Bowlin's products are always so lovely, giving projects that amazing vintage feel. One of my favorite products are these teeny tiny letters from JBS. I like the way they can be incorporated into journaling. I'll definitely be needing more of these soon.
(8) Repurposing items that might otherwise be thrown away is something that I've been doing more often. For instance, after punching out die-cut shapes and tags, I save the negative spaces, so that I can use them as masks on projects later, as I did here on a layout using Collage Press. This layout also features one of my favorite color combinations -- red, blue, and green.
(9) So I've already established that Studio Calico's papers are brilliant, but I also need to give it up for the stamps. Month after month, SC does not disappoint. These Studio Calico month stamps are my current favorites.
(10) I've really been trying to incorporate some of the older items from my stash into my layouts lately. I know it's not really a technique, but it's a practice that I plan to continue in 2010. I do find that mixing a few older items (like these KI stickers and rub-ons) with newer products makes them easier to put to use.
(11) I have it bad for Prima's chipboard letters. I would like to see them in a smaller version, though. Can you imagine how perfect that would be?
(12) Over the past year, I have gained an appreciation for shiny objects. I'll be honest and say that I cringed frequently during the whole "blinging it out" trend when it was in its heyday, but now, I'm actually comfortable with the idea of adding a few pearls and rhinestones to a layout. I tend to be more strategic with my placement, though. There is no flinging of bling in my neighborhood. My favorite brands for shiny bits are BasicGrey, Prima, and Kaisercraft.
(13) 2009 was also the year of the sewing machine. I sewed on my first layout back in March, and never looked back. I just love the charm that sewing adds to layouts. This pic below also features one of my favorite products from the last year, Prima's Gallery Roses. As I write this, I'm down to my last rose, and not liking that feeling.
(14) This Sweet Vintage flower may very well be my favorite item from 2009. I love it so. I only purchased a few, spent half the year hoarding them, and now I am down to my last few flowers. Another one of my favorite products is here as well. I love that jade-colored button from the Making Memories Vintage Findings copper buttons set.