2016 - WHAT A YEAR! - xanthe berkeley
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2016 – WHAT A YEAR!

2016 – WHAT A YEAR!

Oh 2016!

You flashed by in a blink of my eye. It felt like my fastest year ever… I feel like I always say that, (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011,) but each year gathers momentum and I’m taken along for a speedy ride.

I heard something recently that made me feel a little better about how this quickly this year has disappeared. Liz Gilbert was chatting on Emma Gannon’s podcast (I’m a little late to discovering this, having just met Emma at a recent event.)

Liz says if life is going by quickly and you’re doing what you love, then that’s pretty good… it’s happiness. There I was thinking, the whizzing by meant I was missing something. But this positive look at another year flying by, has given me a lot of comfort.

This year has had it challenges and difficulties… it’s not all been easy. Raising teenage boys is a new experience. Moving house for the third time in four years was an emotional roller coaster. Living in a rental is pretty tough, as you never quite no how long you can stay and the astronomical rental costs are like throwing money away! Sadly I don’t think we’ll ever get back on the housing ladder.

But creatively and in terms of my business, 2016 has been pretty amazing. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities to work with people and brands I truly love, doing the work I love. I’ve worked the hardest I’ve ever done, had things go well and made a few mistakes.

I’m so grateful to have a created a job & a business that truly reflects all of me.

I’ve put together my work & personal highlights here in this one post, but there’s more from this year with my photography and personal family films and summer scenes… as I couldn’t fit it all in here.

Let’s go…

JANUARY –  Began with new year with friends. One of my favourite films ever – Simple and so of the moment.

Then working on my online courses… with a second round of A Year of Creating Time Capsules and creation of my brand new course MAKE FILMS. This course and Creating Time Capsules ran multiple times throughout the year, guiding hundreds of people through the process of making your own films. Watching my students create magical films regularly is such a buzz… I feel so honoured to share the joy of film making with them.

The best start to the year –  The color//colour lovers project – RED : YELLOW : PINK : GREEN : ORANGE : BLUE – All that colour makes the winter a little more bearable.

One weekend it snowed for about an hour… I took my bike into central London.


Attended London Fashion week with Canon UK.

Fun work projects with Sipsmith and Cath Kidston... and filmed Liv Purvis for kikkiK’s valentine campaign.



Lots of fun had on a photo walk in Shoreditch…

So excited to collaborate with my favourites Anthropologie on this Easter Table feature and Boden & Lucy from Shiny Thoughts on this blog feature.

I was interviewed on the Blogtacular podcast with Kat.

Created this for Cath Kidston… love a table setting project!


A short trip to Marrakech… I loved the first day and seeing new colourful things.

It was a dream to work with Etsy UK on their first Etsy Awards campaign. Creating stop motions with products from their sellers.

I hosted an instameet for #wwim13 with colourful friends…

Worked on a Back To School shoot with Boden… lots of kids and a big red bus. And this From Where I Stand blog post.

Played pretty picnics for Cath Kidston…



Created some more films for Sipsmith. Attended the Instagram logo party.

Time in Wales at Fforest for Sisterhood Camp and then away with friends for half term on our special beach.

And goodbye to my sister’s bake-a-boo… Still makes me well up when I watch her turn the CLOSED sign.

Wish I’d been packing for a real weekend away!


Created these slow mo teatime films for a campaign with Kipling Bags… as part of their We Make Happy project.

Hosted a Video Walk and delivered a mini film-making workshop at Blogtacular…

Attended a wedding… Instagram’s MyStory exhibition… Photographed Boden’s Christmas in June.

And captured so much pretty for Clare at Achillea Flowers.


I created colourful breakfasts for Alpen…. for their Start Colourful campaign… what a dream job!

Went to Margate for the day.

Created some tennis fun and 4th of July stop motions.

We moved house! It was exhausting but we survived. Our final evening was the best.

Created something pretty for Betty Magazine…

And worked with Penguin Books on some stop motions for their special edition Beatrix Potter books…

Hosted a sunny photowalk in the Barbican area for Mollie Makes Handmade Awards… showed people all about Boomerangs and Instagrammer Down.

Attended Instagram’s first video workshop… the Facebook office was as cool as you would imagine.

Danced the weekend away to 80’s music at a pool party. In this outfit.

Created photos and video content at the Cath Kidston Disney launch.


Photographed the colourful Lucy for Boden again. And visited our favourite wall.

Hosted a photo walk in Margate with Charlotte Jacklin… it was lots of fun!

Created a variety of fun Olympics content for Boden.

Got a sneak peek of Instagram’s stories feature before it was released and was asked to host a meet up at The Roundhouse for it’s launch and give people a chance to play and create their own stories. Then we had drinks on the rooftop beach.

Took some time off to go camping…. Then a few days away in Wales, first to the vibrant Aberaeron, with colourful houses EVERYWHERE. Then the windiest and rainy holiday ever. Good friends and good food made it bearable.


Created another series of photos and films for Sipsmith.

And a couple of films for Twinings tea. The most perfect brief for me… drinking tea and sharing the little details that set up my day…

I spent a week in Southwold with Cath Kidston creating social media content for the SS17 campaign… such a fun and for-filling job.

Shot a fun stop motion for Etsy UK… showing my new desk in the new house…

Taught a mini stop motion workshop at Etsy Lunch & Learn.

And spent the day with Lauren Lavern for Boden. A real delight!


The Boden 25th birthday colour walk was a vibrant occasion full of lovely friends and rainbow clothes to fill the frame. I nearly forgot to set up a stride by!

The next day I had the opportunity to hangout with Erica Davies and capture her in four winter coats for Boden.

To recover from August & September’s full-on-ness, I took a little time out to visit my dearest friend and fellow creative Kim. For the past five years we’ve run or taught at retreats together, but this year we felt the pull to be just us and allow some time to create together. It was bliss.

Pumpkin time! and some cute halloween content

Then had a restful half term with the family.


Full on personal project to create 30 daily mini films, what a good challenge!. See my films here and everyone taking part films on the hashtag.

So many events attended or working at, including press days for Boden & Cath Kidston. The most gorgeous dinner organised by Etsy, where every detail was thought of… we created our own goodie bags by picking items from Etsy sellers, the menu was based around our personal tastes and the pianist even played our favourite song.

An evening visiting an exhibition of talented creatives on Instagram…

Created some festive films for Sipsmith…

I hosted a couple of stop motion workshops at West Elm as part of the 91 magazine pop up… so many great products to make move.

And watched Luke share his beautiful work at the Instagram Christmas fair…


My favourite weekend… as we kicked off our family tradition of taking one of us out for the day… Cosmo picked a bike ride for me… we spent all day in East London riding along the canal.

I then took Ky for an adventure as we climbed the 02 at sunset one evening.

I created lots of Christmas content for Boden, Cath Kidston & The White Company.

This fun shoot for Boden with Lucy took us to Golbourne Rd – can’t wait to go back.

And a fake Christmas with Dolly Alderton (who I’d secretly like to be my best friend.)

Then it was time for our real Christmas…

And goodbye to 2016… hello 2017…

Wow. It’s been an incredible year… Time for a cup of tea to reflect. So grateful and humbled by the fabulous projects I’ve worked on and people I’ve met. Huge thanks to all.

I hope 2017 brings as much joy & goodness…





1 Comment
  • Barbara Liszcz
    Posted at 17:47h, 06 January Reply

    You are an inspiration, Xanthe!!! Wow, you were moving and shaking in 2016! Amazing, lovely, creative work you do. Happy 2017 to you!!

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