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Monday, May 6, 2019

A to Z Challenge - 2019 - 10th Anniversary Reflection

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge

Blogging through the month of April with the 10th Anniversary A to Z Challenge has been such fun.  Even though I only had a brief idea of what I was going to blog about and having just moved all my craft supplies from inside our house to a new studio that we had built in the backyard, I managed to finish on time and I am pretty happy with the way the posts came out.  I had some fun creating things along the way and even made my first YouTube Vlog! 

I wrote about my cards and mini-albums and paper crafting in general, a subject that is a passion for me.  In case you missed any of the posts, here are links to them.

A is for A+
B is for Backpack
C is for Castle
D is for Duckie
E is for Easel 
F is for Feathers
G is for Gift Card Holders
H is for Honey Do
I is for Ideas
J is for Jar
K is for Kits
L is for Love
M is for Mini Albums
N is for Name Game
O is for Overlays and Owls
P is for Promotion
Q is for Quotes
R is for Repurpose, Recycle
S is for Special Orders
T is for Tools
U is for Unique
V is for Village
W is for Winging It
X is for Expo
Y is for YouTube
Z is for Zutter Bind It All

J. Lenni Dorner gave us a list of 10 questions since this is the 10th Anniversary...
  1. What did you love about the challenge this year? ---All of it.  
  2. What would you change about it? --- Nothing that I can think of. 
  3. What was the best moment for you during this year's challenge?  --- Coming up with the topic of eXpo for "X" and Zutter instead of Zebra for "Z".    
  4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment? --- I was surprised by the great reception my craft work got from everyone.  I can't pick one specific comment.  
  5. Will you do the challenge again? --- Absolutely!  Can't wait.  Thinking of new ideas now.
  6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?) --- Very well organized as always and yes, I did fill out the survey.  I have the survivor badge to prove it!
  7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy? --- I did find several new blogs (see below) and I stretched myself to make a YouTube video which turned out better and easier than I expected so I'll bet I make more :)
  8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?) --- I was on the Master List.  I don't think it made much difference to me.  I posted on the main page and on the Facebook page almost every day.  
  9. Any suggestions for our future? --- I can't think of any right now but I'll let you know if I do. 
  10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one? --- See below for my co-host team thanks.  I've seen the T-shirts and I may get one, just trying to decide which one.  I have a mug from my first year and use it all the time.  
One of the great things about the A to Z is finding new people who are out there blogging away too.  Over the past three years I have continued to follow a number of people that I met through the A to Z.  Among the most interesting bloggers I came across this year were (in no particular order):

Gigglingfattie at  The name of her site intrigued me from the start because, hello, fat girl here.  She chose to write 500 word stories based on the pictures in a children's A to Z carpet.  Her stories were so cute.

David Kravetz at  David wrote about the alphabet using signs he came across while traveling America.  There are some very funny signs there and places I've never heard of.

Tamara at had a most informative series about the Justice System and used some true life stories to illustrate her words.

Mary at gave us songs with a word that represented the letter of the day and asked us to think of more.

Donna at told her stories using random words and pictures. 

Eschudel at used a picture story-day in the life theme and I thought it worked really well.

Crackerberries at used whatever came to mind for the letters.  Did a great job too.

Shelley at is a blogger I've started following this year and she tried the A to Z for the first time.  She caught on really quickly and had a great first year!

Dena at gave us a quiz a day using pictures and questions with the letter of the day.  Very fun.

I've seen Cherdo at before with her music posts but have not been a follower.  She showed us different aspects of our lives that may/or may not mean that we are geezers.  I'm pretty sure I passed just about every test for inclusion in that category.

I made a copy for myself of the sign-up spreadsheet and I will be working my way around to find some more blogs that I missed during the next few months.  There's never enough time to keep up with all 600+

It definitely helped me to do a draft page with each letter of the alphabet and the graphic (designed by the talented Jeremy Hawkins) that corresponds with it.  Then when I was doing research I had a place to put pictures I came across that I wanted to use and could add some links (like the link to the main A to Z page) and that saved time on the posts that were due that day.  Then even if I wasn't quite sure how the post was going to end up, I at least had a starting off point.  I didn't make a million dollars selling things in my Etsy shop but I know my views and visits to the site increased (wait, maybe that was because I was going there to link my items? - LOL).  At any rate, once again it was a very fun experience to be part of the A to Z family. 

A huge thank you to our founder Arlee BirdJohn Holton, J.Lennie Dorner and the rest of the A to Z team.  I know there must be a lot of behind the scenes work that we are not even aware of and they certainly deserve a standing ovation.  Now it's time to start thinking about next year's topic! 


  1. Congrats on completing 2019's A-Z! Nice to meet you :-)

    1. You too! It's been fun reading your series.

  2. congrats on finishing your challenge. woops i didn't see the Qs until after i'd written my reflection a week ago (;)) x

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    1. I'm sure there are quite a few bloggers out there that I missed too! Better late than never!

  3. Aw you are super sweet to include me in your list! I enjoyed finding you through the challenge! It was a lot of fun to see your posts every day! Keep up the good blogging!

    1. Thanks! I've got some ideas floating around in my head.

  4. Enjoyed your reflections Janet, and your draft process was very clever. It was a great challenge, and looking forward to the next one.

  5. Congratulations on finishing and yes having the posts drafted out in advance definitely helps.

    1. Thanks Wendy. I didn't realize how much it helped until I did it last year for the first time.

  6. I enjoyed seeing your creative crafts throughout the challenge. I'm excited for you and your new studio! What an awesome place. It helps immensely to have that dedicated space, I'm sure.

    1. Thanks Trudy! Yes, it is such a pleasure to create now and a benefit is that since we were reorganizing things out there, it has translated into reorganizing things inside the house too! Bonus!

  7. That was so nice to hear. So far I'm getting a very positive vibe from all the Reflections posts I've been reading. Thanks for joining us for another year of A to Z!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It is fun to be part of this group and I hope that whatever your "new" adventures are, they won't stop you from leading us again next year!

  8. Hi, Janet - Congratulations on your successful completion of the 2019 A to Z Challenge. Thank you for sharing your paper crafting with us -- your passion really came through. I am impressed that you are eager to accept next year's challenge as well. That is hard core!! I look forward to reading what you have in store! :)

    1. Thanks Donna! I do indeed have a passion for it...skill at it I'm still trying to develop!

  9. I'm already thinking of next year's themes haha. I didn't know about sharing on the Facebook page until I started reading the reflections page (I thought that was just for the year they didn't have the list). That maybe explains why my comments were so low. Oh well, lesson learned for next year haha

    1. Yes, each year I learn something new and that's what makes it so fun. I'm trying hard to think of something for next year but we've got a little time :)

  10. Great Reflection post, and great posts during the month! Good to think so in advance to the next Challenge ;))

    1. Thanks Frederique. I want to keep with the crafting theme but I'm not sure what else to say!

  11. Thanks for visiting me, Frederique. I'm glad we have some time to plan between challenges!

  12. Great reflections post! I liked your vlog. I've never done one. Makes me think that maybe [read: goal, but not for a while] I'll do one in the future. I'll need to think of something interesting tho. Congrats again on finishing the challenge!

    1. Thanks Dana. I started with a video showing me talking but I found I don't like the way my face looks when I talk! How crazy is that? Pretty sure I'll be behind the camera most of the time!


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