2020 Wrap-Up: The Stories Behind 6 of My Favorite Projects from 2020

Every project I make has a story that goes with it. Whether that story is about how (or why) I designed the project or about what was going on in my life at the time, each project has a history. I love that I have created and shared so much, and it’s fun to review those projects like a little scrapbook of my year. I have my favorite projects, but I could never name one of them my favorite (because I don’t want to offend the ones that didn’t make the list). For today’s post, I’ve combed through my posts from last year to find the projects that are dearest to my heart.

I’m sharing my projects in chronological order because they tell a story of all we experienced during the year. Here are six of my favorite projects from 2020 (you can click on any of these pictures to see the original post for each) and the stories behind each:

1 – Mom’s Birthday Card

My Mom is quite a spectacular lady. I love that I can create beautiful things to share just for her. Mom loves blue flowers (she single-handedly raised three boys, so blue is the perfect color for her to love), so the cards I make for her typically feature a pattern of blue flowers that’s current at the time. In January, I made Mom’s card with some beautiful flowers I knew she’d love. I colored the flowers from the Sale-a-Bration stamp set Happy Birthday to You in Seaside Spray and gave them a soft, sweet So Saffron cake. The card is one of my all-time favorites – the layout, the colors and the beautiful flowers came together to help me make a special card for a special woman. Here’s Mom’s birthday card from 2020:

Happy Birthday to You, Peaceful Moments, Stampin Up!, Brian King, birthday cardAt the time, things were wonderful. This was a fun way to kick off the year that would kind of take some dips.

2 – Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles

In March, so much changed for all of us. We instantly became homebodies for good reason. I began working from home and didn’t leave for days on end. Even grocery store trips were limited and well-planned. One day, when we temporarily lost power, I pulled out a puzzle that started me down a path of putting together puzzles. I was sitting up until 2 am some nights, chipping away at puzzles (and my patience).

Butterfly puzzleThis new love of puzzles helped me to fall in love with the Puzzle Pieces dies all over again (just as they were about the retire). I made this card with a fun combination of orange and yellow pieces:

Darling Label Punch Box, Puzzle Pieces Dies, Stampin Up!, Brian KingAnd made puzzles with Designer Series Papers that were soon to retire. What fun that was!

Puzzle Pieces Dies, Stampin Up!, Brian King.JPEG Puzzle Pieces Dies, Stampin Up!, Brian King.JPEG

3 – We’ll Get Through This Together

Do you remember that global pandemic we had last year? It really had me looking for ways to share my emotions on cards. When the new catalog was released over the summer, I went right for the new dies in the Beautiful World Dies. A Flirty Flamingo heart on a Pool Party and Just Jade globe said more than I could have expected it to. BUT…it was my find in the Good Morning Magnolia stamp set that pulled this card together for me. Here’s the card:

Beautiful World Bundle, Good Morning Magnolia, Stampin Up!, Brian KingAll of my stamps are organized on shelves that are waist-high to the ceiling. It’s no secret that I often stand at the stamps and run my finger over the spines, waiting for inspiration. I curiously pulled out Good Morning Magnolia, a set that had been around for more than a year, to see if I could piece anything together from it. When I saw this sentiment, I knew I needn’t look any further. It said exactly what I wanted it to say. I love when that happens. We are still getting through this. Despite losing way too many people along the way, there’s more hope than ever that we’ll find a delightful end.

4 – Sharing Cards

While I was locked up during the pandemic, brave and wonderful people were doing so much to make our lives amazing. One of those people is my Great Aunt Margie. When I shared an article from her local paper about what she was doing to serve her community during the pandemic, I asked y’all to make cards I could send to her. I also collected cards for nursing home and hospital shut-ins at the same time. That request from this kind and generous community yielded over 100 cards to Aunt Margie (y’all are the sweetest!) and over 750 cards I delivered to nursing homes and hospitals at the end of Summer and beginning of Fall.

Isn’t she adorable?! The quick story – she spend many days cleaning cemetery plots in her town. Who does that?! My Great Aunt Margie does. CLICK HERE to read that story. Many of you have maintained a pen pal relationship with her throughout the year. I love that!

Margie is retired from the United States Post Office (she was the postmaster in her town for years), so I knew the Posted for You Bundle would give me a great card to include with all the others I sent to her.

Posted for You, Well Written, Stampin Up!, Brian King

5 –  Teachers are Amazing

There are some things we’ve always knows – nurses, paramedics, teachers and mail workers are pretty awesome. This year brought those folks (and many other essential workers) to the front as they kept things going for us. One of my best friends from college is a science teacher in my hometown. I know how difficult things were this year and wanted to honor her with a card that reminds her how I feel (all the time, but more intensely in 2020). Here’s the card I made:

Harvest Hellos, Strong and Beautiful, Stampin Up!, Brian KingNot only did I love the “why” behind this card, but I was so excited by how it all came together – the blocks of colors, the bold apple and the perfect sentiment. I’m as proud of this card as any other this year.

6 – Hearts Come Home

I always enjoy playing with Christmas products to make festive and beautiful cards. The Holidays in 2020 were not like any other, and this card felt very special to me:

Trimming the Town Designer Series Paper, Home Together Dies, Stampin Up!, Brian KingI didn’t see my family for Christmas, and I know a lot of people were in the same boat. This was the first year I understood the “hearts come home” sentiment – even if we can’t all be in the same place, love can bring us together. I look forward to the Holidays this year and pray we can all be in the same place once again.

2020 is one for the history books. While the year leaves us all feeling a little bummed, I know I have so many things to be grateful for. Despite the downs, there were some really great highs. 2021 will be an amazing year, and I look forward to sharing more with you over the next 12 months.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Shop Online with Brian


I’ve launched my Product Shares and Designer Series Paper Swatch Books from Stampin’ Up!’s January – June 2021 Mini Catalog. If you missed out or want to learn more, please click on the photo below:

Jan-Jun 2021 Designer Series Paper Swatchbooks, Stampin Up!, Brian KingI would love to include you in the shares – sign up today!

Year-End Closeout

Stampin’ Up! kicked off the year-end last week – all of the retiring products are being sold until January 4 or until they sell out. AND many of them are discounted. YAY! For a recap of this sale, CLICK HERE. To shop this sale, CLICK HERE.

Shop with Brian Host CodePlacing an order today?  Of course you are! If you are placing an order for $150 or more, I want you to enjoy all of the Host Rewards you have earned.  If your order is less than $150, I’d love for you please add this Host Code – CG7UZWF9 when prompted. Thank you!


  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful stories and cards. You truly are and inspiration.

  2. You are such a master of simple but creative. Loved these stories!

  3. Beautiful … just beautiful, each and every one. Thank you for sharing.G

  4. Roberta Sullivan

    The fact that each card has a wonderful story brings to light how creative you are. It also shows that you are a very caring and thoughtful person. I enjoyed each card story reading your words about what motivated you to make each card. Brian, the best to you in the new year.

  5. You are just awesome Brian…happy to call you my friend! Hugs!

  6. I love this post!!

  7. Those were all beautiful cards , your is VERY ADORABLE, PLEASE SEND ME her address again , her envolope was trashed when I got it , thank you my friend


  8. I read the article about your Aunt. What an amazing story and woman. Thank you for sharing the story and cards.

  9. Brian even though 2020 brought us sadness like nothing we could ever imagine, it’s a pleasure to read wonderful stories that happen in the mist of a pandemic. Of your six stories, highlighted by six beautiful cards, your Aunt Margie story will hold a fond memory that will make me smile every time I think of it. You wanted to bless her with our letters to her, yet we were surprisingly blessed beyond belief of her replying with a wonderful letter back to us! Some souls have a double dose of kindness. Thank you Brian!

    • Thanks so much, Katrina! Instinct is to say everything about 2020 was bad, but there are lots of great things that came from it. I’m so hopeful for 2021 – and maybe we’ve learned a lot in 2020 that will help us in the new year. Hope yours is wonderful!

  10. A wonderful parade of cards and your stories are beautiful. You summed it up for many of us and show that your creativity comes from your heart!

    • Thanks you so much, Debbie! While there were some projects that were “slap something down on paper so I have a blog post tomorrow,” I was amazed by how many of them really did come from what was going on around me. Much love to you!

  11. Not many of us want to walk down the 2020 memory lane…..But it was a thrilling ride with you this morning my friend. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  12. Thank you for sharing your creativity and thought process with us. I always look forward to your daily inspirations! Best wishes for 2021.

  13. Oh Brian – what a special, special post you did for us today. I remember each of these cards and yes, they are like a mini diary of the past year. I love everyone of them and am so glad to have found you and your blog. You truly are an inspiration and a blessing to us.

  14. Great post, B. Do you think recipients know we are thinking of them constantly while we make their card, reliving happy memories? Or in the case of your aunt, just her presence in the universe makes this world a better place for all of us. She put out great vibes & we all felt it, then we reciprocated by card making.

    • Thanks so much, Cindie! I receive a lot of cards. While I like to study them and look at the design, I also imagine the love that went into each one. I’ve always known my Aunt Margie is a special woman – this just confirms it to me. Glad I could share that story with y’all. Happy New Year!

  15. I always love the backstory of people’s lives and thoughts. I love that you shared your process with us and it is always great to see your cards again. I think my highlight of being a follower of your blog this year is how you introduced your Great Aunt Margie and that she took time to reply to each of us who sent her a card. That was the sweetest thing. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create this year.

  16. Love your “favorites”. My favorite of this collection was the one you made for your mother. I don’t remember seeing it- did you share it? In any case it’s a beautiful card and I’m sure your mother loved it! Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! I shared that card on Mom’s birthday last year – January 10, 2020 feels like light years away. So glad you like it. I always appreciate hearing from you. ♥

  17. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful cards, the “behind the scenes” stories for each of them, and all the kindness and thoughtfulness that go into each of your creations. Thanks for helping all of us remember happier times in the midst of a challenging year and for sharing gratitude for family & friends — & hope for the year ahead! Looking forward to sharing 2021!

    • Thanks so much, Paulette! I felt like I was paging through a scrapbook as I was finding the cards that mean so much to me from last year. Funny how they can tell a story about what happened. Much love to you and your family in this new year! ♥

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