Top Crafting Accomplishments of 2016

By Taheerah | 31st December 2016 | 41 Comments

Hi everyone! Happy New Year’s Eve!

I know we see a lot of ‘favourite/most popular cards’ posts around this time of year. This year I’ve decided instead to focus on some crafting accomplishments of mine instead. For one, I create a lot of cards and narrowing it down to just a few is stupidly difficult (and it feels unfair to all the other cards too! *wink*). For another, whilst I create a lot, there have been some notable accomplishments for me this year, so I’ve chosen to focus on these. But don’t worry – there will be a few favourites that get featured along the way as I count this list down!

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, my selected accomplishments are… 

Guest Designing

I was privileged to have Guest Designer opportunities for several companies in the industry this year (in fact, at least once every month I was guest designing for someone!). Some of these were for favourite companies I have worked with in the past, and others were of the pinch-me-I’m-dreaming variety, such as this opportunity with Hero Arts

Christmas Cards with Hero Arts by Taheerah Atchia


A Brand New Website

I had been aching for a change and a complete revamp/rebrand of my site for some time. After dreaming of this for at least a couple of years, I finally decided to turn it into something tangible, and enlisted the brilliant Roundhouse Designs to turn my vision into a reality. I can tell you I wasn’t the easiest person to work with (despite working in IT building software for clients, I still found myself being every bit as challenging when it was my turn to -be- the client!). Nevertheless, Roundhouse knuckled down and were very patient with me, and I’m sure you’ll agree they did an amazing job…

Examples of how the website looks on different devices


Caring Hearts Card Drive

After personal reasons got in the way last year, 2016 finally saw me volunteer for the Caring Hearts Card Drive. Expecting a couple of hundred cards to arrive on my doorstep at best, I was overwhelmed with the 2055 cards that passed through my hands, on their way to their homes with wonderful people in care homes. I did almost all of this at the same time as I was preparing/in the midst of Advent Calendar Extravaganza, and though it was very challenging, I am very proud of the small part I played in this operation – not to mention delivering the vast majority of cards to homes myself, and doing all of this without any extra pairs of hands!

Caring Hearts - One Kind Word Can Change Someone's Day Card by Taheerah Atchia


Advent Calendar Extravaganza

The ‘hop with a twist’ entered its second year – and with that came a number of changes. I hand-picked every single guest (including several new guests and huge favourites of mine), worked hard to secure some of the very best companies in the industry as sponsors, somehow convinced myself that 100 guests was the way to go when 60+ had been a challenge in itself in year 1 (but I am *so* glad I followed through with my crazy plans), overhauled the door graphic so it looked so much prettier and the interactive elements were so much more fun (which also involved a lot of technical stuff behind the scenes!), managed to film a video for Day 25, and generally I worked my ass off, turning out card after card after card for my own posts, often with multiple projects per day, and telling myself that ‘no duds’ were allowed and kept pushing myself to ‘one-up’ myself with every post (see, I told you I was nuts) – and even squeezing in a Guest Design post in all that time too! From what you’ve all been saying in your comments, all that hard work and vision paid off, and this year’s event has indeed been the huge success I imagined!

You still have until the end of the day today to enter to win prizes – and I’ll be announcing winners from tomorrow!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza


Learned Some New Techniques

In between all of these other things I was doing, I really had a couple of techniques I wanted to learn this year. I wanted to get better at hand lettering, and I wanted to colour with coloured pencils (I’m sure there were others, but these are the two that are foremost in my mind). And there were some more ‘techy’ things I wanted to learn too, to do with designing.


Taheerah Atchia - Designer. Blogger. Geek.

Although I’ve still a *long* way to go with the hand lettering in particular, I was really pleased with the hand lettering that ended up being the logo for my website – and the learning about digitising it and so on to turn it into a usable graphic for a logo. 

Taheerah Atchia Slide Frame


I also designed a couple of the other elements on my site (the photo slide frame that houses my picture was designed from scratch, and involved learning a lot of new things in Illustrator on the fly – and it even acts as a real frame too, so I can change out the picture and it automatically loads into the frame!)




The results with colouring with coloured pencils hopefully speak for themselves. I’m still learning, but I’m pleased at how ‘naturally’ the process has come to me.

Vintage Style Deer Christmas Card by Taheerah Atchia

Walking In The Air 'The-Snowman' Christmas Card by Taheerah Atchia

Warm Thoughts Penguin Card by Taheerah Atchia


Took On Additional Responsibilities at Winnie & Walter

Shay wanted a hand with bringing some new content to the Winnie & Walter blog, and I leapt at the chance. In addition to the already-popular The Gossip Column, I introduced a new monthly segment called Centre Stage, and also coordinated the day-long celebrations for World Card Making Day, including organising the guests for the Hop, and hosting some of the challenges myself. I have more ideas to come too, so stay tuned for those in the coming year!

Love You With All My Heart Friend Card by Taheerah Atchia


Reached 1000 Instagram Followers

I’ve always found Instagram to be a challenge, and decided this year to put in a concerted effort to improve my feed. I posted more often (even when I found it to be a pain to get into the habit), I prettied up my feed big time (by studying my favourites, learning some things in courses, and a few other things) and put more time into engagement, with giveaways, making new Instagram friends, and taking more time to engage with my followers. That, plus a couple of pushes from some crafty friends, helped me reach my first milestone of 1000 followers just yesterday!! Now onto the next 1000!!

1000 Instagram Followers

Overhauled My Photography

Almost certainly a large reason for the previous accomplishment was the complete overhaul of my photography. I was unhappy with my photography for a long time – sure, the images were distinctive, and they were lit okay and so on, but they didn’t feel like *me* – and they certainly didn’t feel befitting of a brand new site, and would never cut the mustard when it came to Instagram. I studied *hard* to learn about what I wanted to recreate, invested in equipment and props and practiced practiced *practiced* until I could create the look that I wanted. Although there are a lot of flat-lays out there, I truly believe the time and effort I’ve invested have resulted in a look that is unique to me, that varies with the project/occasion/theme, and is bright, inviting and interesting. I am really proud of that.

Embrace Happy Vibes Cards by Taheerah Atchia

Celebrate Your Happily Ever After Indian Wedding Card by Taheerah Atchia

Polka Stencil Magic Inside Coffee Cup Bokeh Card by Taheerah Atchia


Embraced New Opportunities

Some of which I can talk about now, some of which you’ll have to wait for *wink*, but this year I’ve embraced a lot of new and exciting opportunities, some of which have stretched me, and some of which I wasn’t even sure I had it in me to do. Next year is gonna be a really exciting one, that’s for sure!

Hooray Confetti Card by Taheerah Atchia


Created Some Damn Amazing Cards

And so we come full circle, to the reason you guys actually visit me each day. Whilst I always work hard to put every bit of my soul into what I create, and I don’t stop until I’m happy with the results, I really do feel I have ‘upped my game’ significantly in 2016. Whether it was a different style, a different medium, a new technique, a crazy vision that made it into reality, or some ‘signature styling’, I feel I’ve really grown as a designer this year, and sometimes I’ve even surprised myself with the results and what I’ve achieved. And though I started this post saying I couldn’t narrow it down to just a few favourites, I have shown a few of them already in this post, and I want to highlight a few more that I do feel was some of my best work yet…

Glitzy Lit Christmas Tree Card by Taheerah Atchia

Christmas Cards with Neat & Tangled-by Taheerah Atchia

Winter Is Coming Plaid Card by Taheerah Atchia


And that as they say, is that! 2016 is drawing to a close, and though in some ways it really has been a godawful year, I have made sure to focus and reflect on the positives and the glimmers of light that have shone and forged a crack in the darkness. I truly wish you and yours all the best for an amazing 2017. This *IS* my year (even if just literally – 2017 is the Year of The Cockerel and I am one *smile* ) – and I hope you’ll be back with me regularly in the next year to see what really exciting things I have in store.


Handwritten Taheerah name

41 thoughts on “Top Crafting Accomplishments of 2016”

  1. Hey Taheerah! So glad I came across your year-end post! What a fun read. I knew you did all those things last year, individually, but when you put them all together like that it’s overwhelming! Really love how your blog, branding, and improved photography turned out. AND, happy to see my favorite plaid card featured at the end : ) Cheers to 2017!

  2. You are so talented and love how you shared your progression with us! Thank you! LOVED all the inspiration from your Advent Extravaganza!

  3. Well done Taheerah, 2016 was a difficult year for me after losing my dad, your Advert Extravaganza gave me something to concentrate on which helped me greatly. Thank you. Wishing you all the best for 2017.

  4. Happy New Year Taheerah, and I just have to to say I am in awe of all your accomplishments. I am very excited to see what delights you have up your sleeve for 2017. Thank you for everything 🙂

  5. Congrats on your fab accomplishments! Looking forward to seeing more fab inspiration from you this year!! Yeah, I couldn’t choose just a couple of cards, either, but I found the ones I liked best were the ones I learned new techniques on, too. Have a wonderful day/week/month/year!!

  6. Happy New Year Taheerah!.You have had your talents in every aspect of creating this year and Knocked it out!.The talent you have is infectious and I love to see your work.Also the hardest worker.Thank you for an incredible year.Can’t wait for 2017..

  7. Happy New Year to you and all the ones you love !
    Thank you for sharing your creativity with us, all you posts are very inspiring.

  8. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your accomplishments. I am constantly impressed with your creativity and ability to do all that you do. I am so looking forward to the amazing things you will accomplish in 2017! Go, Taheerah!

  9. Happy New Year Taheerah! Your cards are amazing so I am not surprised that you have accomplished all of these achievements this year! You have worked hard and it shows! As for the Advent Calendar, clearly there is a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work as that kind of a hop doesn’t “just happen” by itself! So, you DID it girl! Cudos to you for doing another great Advent Extravaganza! It was SO MUCH FUN and is already a MUST DO Christmas thing for me!
    All the best in 2017!

  10. It’s been a pleasure watching your achievements this year. I had a blast during the Advent Extravaganza. I really did enjoy clicking on the images and viewing the wonderful cards from each sponsor. You are an incredible wonders. Bless you and may you have a happy and prosperous New Year.

  11. I really enjoyed your spin on the Year in Review. You have achieved some amazing things this year – good on you! Thanks for not only doing the Advent hop but expanding it to 100 guest designers – I enjoyed each and every card.
    Wishing you best wishes and further achievements for 2017.

  12. I really enjoyed your post Taheerah!! I only came across your blog a couple months ago and I have loved every minute since. All your work is so beautiful and inspiring as well!! I hope you have a very happy new year, and here’s to 2017 ?

  13. I just recently discovered your blog and really enjoy seeing your creations. Congrats on all of your accomplishments and charitable efforts! Hope 2017 is a great one!!

  14. Your Extravaganza was by far the funnest blog hop I’ve ever participated in ! I’m a girl who likes surprises too , We’ll done and happy new year ?!

  15. I stumbled into your blog this year and what fun it has been. You have had an amazing year and I look forward to seeing 2017 through your blog posts. Happy New Year!!

  16. What an amazing year you’ve had, Taheerah! Wow! I’m so in awe of all of your accomplishments and you always inspire me with the energy and creativity you put into everything you do. I am also a Rooster and look forward to joining you in a fabulous 2017!

  17. I’ve really enjoyed meeting you through the Advent Event. I’ve no Idea who pointed me in your direction but I’m so glad they did. I love your wit and sense of humour and you’ve become someone I feel I’d love to have a cup of tea or coffee with over a pile of scrapbook supplies. Your style is fabulous. Such amazing results but you make me feel that, with some effort, I might manage something similar. Ok, maybe a lot of effort and practice! =) Thanks for letting me into your magical world. Happy New Year Taheerah!

  18. Wow! You are truly an inspiration to me! I really admire your drive and your talent! I hope 2017 is an even more exciting year for you:)

  19. Wow! You are always such a busy bee and have achieved so much in the last year – you should be very proud! Thank you so much for sharing your passion and talent with us along your creative journey. I look forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for next year. Happy New Year xxx

  20. Congrats on making it through 2016 with so much on your plate. You truly excelled at all you tried and look forward seeing to all, I know, you will accomplish in 2017.

  21. What an amazing year 2016 was for you, Taheerah! I loved reading all of your accomplishments and was so inspired by all that you did. Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings for you and what you share with us via your blog and other endeavors that are yet to come! Best wishes for a wonderful 2017!

  22. When you put all of that together you must be (and should be) incredibly proud of yourself. You have worked tirelessly (seriously do you sleep??) and the results in your photography and card making have paid off and then some. Your philanthropic and selfless approach to giving back is admirable and I so pleased to see you back with gusto. Many have bemoaned 2016 for various reasons but you absolutely have helped make it a bright light amongst some of the poopy stuff that has happened. And I’m so happy to see two of your three cards at the end are my super favourites – well done to you ! Happy new year for 2017 Taheerah ! Jenny x

  23. not just saying this because we are friends, but you are one of the best cardmakers out there. your style is gorgeous. looking forward to seeing your creations in 2017

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