April Bullet Journal Q&A

Over on my Instagram account, I asked if you had any Bullet Journal-related questions and a bunch of people sent these in! (If you’re not already following along there, I’m @amytangerine. I would love to see you there too!) For my full answers and a look at how I set up my April bullet journal spreads, watch my latest Plan With Me video.

@meandmybutton asked: What are your thoughts on planning ahead? How many days and weeks do you prepare in advance?

Well, quite honestly, because I use my Google Calendar for set deadlines and meetings, I really only plan one or two weeks out in advance in my bullet journal. I like that I can always reference my google calendar on my laptop, my computer, or my phone so that reduces how much I need to write in my planner. I’ve found that combining analog with digital and using each for different kinds of tasks and plans works well for me and makes planning ahead less overwhelming.

@letteringbyusha asked: I would love to know where you get your inspiration from and what supplies you’ve been loving!

My inspiration really just comes from my mood at the time when I’m setting up these weekly spreads! As I’m working in my bullet journal, I go with what feels right and what I decide to do in the moment. I find that it helps to remind myself that I don’t have to decorate every page if I’m not feeling inspired as I’m working on it.

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Here are the supplies I’ve been using in my bullet journal recently that are still available! 

Yellow Journal | Pilot G2 Pens | Tombow Brush 96 Pens Set | Tombow Glue and Adhesive | On A Whim products | All The Things pouch | Craft Tote Illustrated Faith | Illustrated Faith Black Ink | Washi Tape Illustrated Faith | My Brush Letter Alphabet stamps | Washi Tape | Roller Date Stamp | Acrylic Blocks | Sweet Stamp Shop

Another thing that’s really great about the bullet journal system is that you can make it whatever you want it to be and use whatever you have on hand. For that reason, I actually used a bunch of old supplies that aren’t available anymore when I was working on this month’s spreads! 

@rrrrachely asked: “What do you recommend when you have a full to-do list and you are not sure where to begin?”

To be honest with you, productivity has been something that I have had to keep at the forefront of my mind because I’ve had my own business since I graduated from college. I’ve tried many different systems that have worked for me throughout that time, but one of my favorites was the Get To Work Book. That particular system was really good for me because it provides room for three to-do list items that are the most important.

What I learned through using that system is that even if you dread those three important things, tackling them first thing helps you to get that out of the way so that you can do more fun stuff. For that reason, I really try to prioritize those three tasks.

Sometimes, I also set up little reward systems to encourage myself to finish my work! If I get those hard things done, then I’ll allow myself a little reward and do something that’s just for me. Whatever that thing that you love doing is, you can use it to reward yourself. You could get a manicure or a massage, go for a walk, or even create some art for no reason at all. I found that the system of incentivizing the tougher tasks really works for me.

@milafeijoo asked: “How do you figure out the spacing of your days ahead of time?” 

Monday and Tuesday are usually my busiest days, so I’ve learned to leave the most space in the beginning of the week.

Sometimes, I add a section on my weekly spread that I title, “This Week”. That gives me a place where I can really highlight the priorities that stand out for the week and I can make sure there’s space to write those important tasks because they aren’t divided up by day. Then, I can write the smaller tasks and to-dos on each individual day. Because that extra section takes most of the weight, I usually don’t have to worry that I’ll fill up a day and run out of space for more tasks.

This works better for me because sometimes, things carry over for multiple days. If I am really doing it the “bullet journal way” where I’m constantly migrating the same task over and over again, I find that I prefer to keep that task in one spot for the whole week.

This is a good time to mention that there are really no set rules with this system. I like that when something in the basic system doesn’t work for me, I can adjust it! That’s just one example of how I’ve changed the system to make more sense for my working style.

@cindykwaldron asked: “Do you use one planner for all aspects of your life or do you use a couple different planners for family, business, personal, etc?”

I only use this one planner for all areas of my life. I’m personally just better at keeping everything in one place where I can pay the most attention to it and keep it up to date.

That’s it for today’s answers! If you have any more questions about bullet journaling that you’d like to hear me answer in a future Plan With Me video, leave them in the comments below!

Here is the full video where you can see how I’ve been filling out my bullet journal and hear more about my creative process.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support and every little bit helps me to bring you consistent content!

DIY Happy Spring Card - Easy Watercolor Resist Technique

I know it's been Spring for some time now, but I couldn't resist showing you how to make a pretty watercolor greeting card that uses a super easy technique. You can use it to write anything you’d like, but mine is going to say, “Happy Spring!”. 

Watch this tutorial video to see how I made this lovely springtime card using a easy resist technique! 

1. Paint your message onto the card using Pebeo Drawing Gum, which is a masking fluid. 

Whatever you paint with this will stay white as long as you make sure that you have enough coverage. Feel free to add any other little details as well - I painted some little flowers to fill in some of the blank space!

2. Let it dry. 

I let mine sit for about 20 minutes until the drawing gum was dry to the touch.

3. Paint over the whole card.

I used horizontal strokes and an ombre effect by blending the colors together, but you can do this any way you want. As long as you’ve covered the whole design from earlier and choose colors that aren’t too close to white, your message should be readable. I mostly just played with the paints until I liked the way it looked!

4. Once the paint has dried, remove the Pebeo Drawing Gum with an eraser. 

Gently rub the eraser on your design so the masking fluid comes off. Take your time peeling it off if you’re a perfectionist; mine stuck to the paper in a few places whenever I rushed too much.

My favorite part is getting to see the resist effect taking shape as you remove the drawing gum. It’s kind of therapeutic! And once you’ve finished, you’ll be left with a lovely watercolor resist card.

What I love about this project is that it’s so simple, you can really just have fun and enjoy the process! I hope that you do too. If you’re inspired to make a card using this technique, be sure to tag it #amytangerine on Instagram. I’ll choose some of my favorites to feature in a future blog post! 

Shop ON A WHIM now! Check your local retailer and online: Simon Says Stamp | Scrapbook.com

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support and every little bit helps me to bring you consistent content! 

Zinia's Ice Cream Layout

Hello everyone! My name is Zinia Amoiridou from Abstract Inspiration and I’m really thrilled to be here and share with you fun creations using Amy’s gorgeous designs.

The layout I’m gonna share with you today is really sweet and whimsical. I used a mix of the two most recent collections Amy designed “Oh happy day” and “Oh a whim”. On a first glance, you may think that these collections don’t work well together but if you isolate the colors a little bit, they complement each other beautifully.

So to create this page, I used a few of my favorite papers from “On a whim” to create an ice cream on a stick. Instead of using my Silhouette, I decided to free hand the design and make it look a bit more playful. I drew the ice cream on a scrap piece of printer paper, cut it down to pieces and used it as a template to cut my paper. As I was cutting the pieces I decided to do some decorative drips. After I put the pieces together, I cut off any excess from the sides and rounded the bottom corners.

For my background, I picked a paper from “Oh happy life” and I started building the final page. I placed the ice cream around the middle and created a small cluster to help my photo pop. I used a couple of ephemera pieces and paper scraps to layer behind the picture and embellished around with products from both collections.

I really love mixing different materials so I included clear stickers, puffy stickers, chipboard, washi tape, rubber shapes and even a little bit of stamping. I also fussy cut some hearts from one of the cut apart sheets and used them around the page as ephemera.

As a final touch, I added some big splatters around the ice cream. I used hot pink next to the blue and blue next to hot pink to keep the colors balanced across the page.

I love how this page turned out. Both collection scream summer and fun and this design really captures that vibe. I hope you will give it a go.

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Zinia Abstract Inspiration Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Thanks so much for sharing this sweet layout, Zinia! Other Design Team member posts can be found here. Shop ON A WHIM now! Check your local retailer and online at Simon Says Stamp and Scrapbook.com

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales at no cost to you. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support and every little bit helps me to bring you consistent content!

Five Tips for Creating a Stress-Free Home | Art Naturals

Tips for a stress-free home

I may come across as put-together, but trust me, all you have to do is feel my tense shoulders to know that a very different story is going on in my body. I am constantly stressed and anxious about everything from work and finances to whether or not I'm doing all that I can to create a happy life for my family. 

One thing I've learned is that no matter how busy I am or how long my to-do list is, I am much more productive when I make a conscious effort to de-stress. For me, the best place to start is my house! I've found that surrounding myself with things that give me an opportunity to breathe and ground myself helps me to maintain my stress level. I highly recommend creating a calming space that encourages you to relax and remember what's important in life! 

Do you notice a difference in the quality of your work when the sheer quantity of it has started to get to you? I know that I'm not alone in my stress level, and  Art Naturals has asked me to share some tactics that have helped me. 

Here are my top five tips for creating a stress-free home: 

1. Everything in its place. After 30+ years of never having proper homes for all of my belongings, I had had enough of the guilt and frustration that comes from searching endlessly for an elusive item only to end up repurchasing it. I finally realized that I am heavily influenced by my surroundings and when my living space is in disarray, my mind is in disarray. Now I consider myself to be an aspiring minimalist so I try my hardest to keep clutter to a minimum and only bring in pieces that I absolutely love. I am a work in progress and always striving to improve myself, so when I slip up, I let it go and start fresh the next day. I hope to instill this quality in Jack so that he learns the value of being organized from a very early age.

2. Create a cozy space for relaxation and reading. If you're like me, you're probably never further than a stone's throw away from your phone. As much as I love Instagram, I know that I can get easily pulled in and suddenly realize that I spent the last hour or so scrolling mindlessly through my feed instead of paying attention to what was happening in front of me. At night I make a conscious habit of putting down my phone and picking up a book instead. The act of reading instantly relaxes me plus there's nothing better than getting lost in a good story.

3. Choose your favorite photos that remind you of happy times and display them. We have framed images of Jack as a baby on the wall, photo booth strips of me and JC tacked to the fridge, and a handful of other small family pictures on the dressers in our bedrooms. The nice thing about having these photos in frames is that you can easily move them around too. Create little vignettes of happy in various spots. I love when in the midst of a busy day, one of my treasured images will stop me in my tracks and allow me to relive that special moment all over again. 

4. Invite only what you love. We enjoy entertaining and try to make our home as comfortable as possible for family and friends to drop by and share a meal with us. One of my favorite ways to foster community within our home is to have unique conversation pieces that cause others to take note and start a discussion. Since we decided when we bought our house in 2013 that we would only bring in the things we love, our home is full of the things that bring us joy. We have a bookshelf in our main living space that holds some of our favorite books in rainbow order and nearly every person that enters our house makes a comment about it. We also have an owl collection throughout our home that also makes for interesting conversation. 

5. Think about all five senses. Not only is important for your surroundings to appeal to you visually, but they should also bring comfort to your other senses as well. I love having soft textiles underfoot, calm or upbeat music (depending on my mood) playing on our speakers, lots of healthy foods in the kitchen, and soothing fragrances permeating throughout our home. One of my favorite ways to achieve the latter is by diffusing essential oils in this Art Naturals Blue Tooth Oil Diffuser. My go-to essential oil mix is 1-2 drops of tea tree oil, 1-2 drops of eucalyptus, and 3 drops of lavender essential oil. Talk about instant relaxation! 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the notion of overhauling your home into a spa-like experience, don't panic. My advice would be to be to START SMALL. Choose one area in your living space that already makes you the happiest -- perhaps the room with the best light or the one that is used for savoring your morning coffee -- and tackle that room first. If a room is too large and intimidating, simply start with a smaller spot like an entry way table. Then you can move onto a different area. Once you have created a calming environment in one room, use that momentum to propel you to the next room until you have worked your way through your entire house. 

And if it would make more sense for you to wait until your schedule calms down before you tackle anything on this list, I made a little piece of art that will keep you from forgetting about it. Pin this graphic on Pinterest to remind yourself to take the time to de-stress when you have a chance to!

Create a Stress-Free Home

Now, I'm going to turn it over to you! How do you de-stress when the weight on your shoulders is getting to you? And what are some ways that you're hoping to make your home more relaxing? 

FOR 10% off at ART NATURALS, USE CODE: Diffuser10

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Art Naturals but all opinions and experiences I mentioned are my own. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support! 

As Seen on Babble

Craft a Life You Love | Top Adult Coloring Books | Babble

I have to say, there's something really wonderful about sharing your message with the world. When I committed to writing Craft A Life You Love, I knew I had to write from the heart and I had to share my most authentic self in order to really convey my story. That sounds easy enough in theory but it also can make you feel vulnerable. I mean, what if no one read my book? What if they didn't agree with my message? Those were things I had to get over and I am so glad I did. The response to my book has been overwhelmingly positive and better than I could have ever imagined.

I found out that Babble chose Craft A Life You Love as one of their top picks for adult coloring books! Needless to say, I was so excited! I'm thrilled that others are making good use of their books and using them not only as a source of inspiration but also as a place to express their creativity. 

Also, we have some VERY exciting news about the book that we can't wait to share with you soon!