a fun surprise

A couple weeks ago, I received an email with the subject line “Surprise for my wife!”. It went something like this:

Hello Amy! This week I am visiting Chicago with my wife. She likes to scrapbook but scrapbooking supplies are very hard to find in Spain; can you list some shops here in Chicago where we can buy her material to take back with us. Thanks in advance!!!

So then I wrote back:

How sweet of you! I am not familiar with too many scrapbook shops that are left in the city, unfortunately. There is Paper Source on Armitage and a store called Art Effect that I really like on the same street. There is a stationery store called Greer that is lovely as well.

As for actual scrapbook supplies though, it’s tough. How long will you be in Chicago? If you want, I can put together a package if you tell me how much you want to spend, and I can mail it from Los Angeles if you provide an address. It probably wouldn’t arrive to you until Saturday if we mailed it this afternoon.

Enjoy Chicago! And please eat some Lou Malnati’s spinach or sausage deep dish pizza for me!

We exchanged a couple more emails and he decided it would be best to address the specially curated package to his sister-in-law who was staying in the hotel room next to theirs. While the package was in transit, I received a note saying they had gone to Michaels and picked up the “Best of” paper pad.amy tangerineThen I received an email that the package had indeed arrived!amy tangerineThere was also a cute photo of her kissing her amazingly thoughtful husband.

Major points for him!

Find a way to make work feel like play

amy tangerineCombining collections and techniques is one of my favorite ways to scrapbook.  It’s been a while since I’ve created a page with a focus on just me and expressing creativity. Turns out it’s both therapeutic and fun. Both Shimelle’s line and my latest collection Stitched, contain inspiring phrases and have colors and patterns that work really well together. I also used a set of Kelly Purkey stamps (sold out, sorry!) and this set by Kellie Winnell, which remain bold with the use of black ink. You can see how the whole thing came together on Shimelle’s blog. And you may notice that I couldn’t decide whether to keep that high five puffy sticker on there or not.

yes, please

amy tangerine's studioamy tangerine's studioThough I debuted the Yes, Please collection at CHA in January 2013 (listgirl has a nice photo of the booth here), I am just now getting the yarn-wrapped letters up in my studio. It just took some help of a hammer and small nails and in the better-late-than-never spirit, nearly 2 years later, it’s up! It’s a fairly easy DIY project you could do with any inspiring phrases in your own home/office/studio.

Jack’s 1st birthday party photos

jack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerinejack's 1st party amy tangerineWe celebrated Jack’s 1st birthday on September 21st. It was a luau theme, as I shared in this post with the invitations and Jones Sodas. We spent a lot of time getting the backyard ready for the festivities. Thank goodness for having lots of help from friends and family – we seriously couldn’t have pulled it off without them.

Highlights included:

  • Jack napping for the first 45 minutes of his own party
  • JC’s whole roast pig was a total success (he got one of these boxes and ordered the pig from a local butcher)
  • catering of the other food was done by Rutt’s Cafe
  • Cindy making both a large beach scene cake that was incredibly delicious and a small smash cake that Jack barely put his finger in
  • having 2 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets in attendance
  • the mini bounce house and water table were a big hit
  • having over 60 friends and family in our own backyard celebrating with us

Considering I barely took any photos myself, seeing these pics on Instagram under the hashtag #jackarchibald1 was so fun:IG1 IG2So glad the little guy only turns 1 once because it took about a week for his parents to recover from all the festivities!

brand new bike

amy tangerine My first beach cruiser was purchased when I moved to LA in 2003. Her name was Pinky, and yes she was pink. She lived outside for about 5 years in Santa Monica and then about 5 years in Venice. After lots of use, I decided to retire her to a friend’s place last year when we bought our house. I knew I wanted to get a new bike when Jack and I could go for rides, so in August we walked into our local bike shop, Chubby’s and fell in love with this Biria and the Co-Pilot. After reading many reviews about the installation of the seat online, I decided to leave it to the experts and paid just $30 to have it professionally done.
amy tangerine- biria bikes amy tangerine- biria bikes amy tangerine- biria bikes amy tangerine- biria bikesIt’s harder than it looks riding with a little one in the back. I feel like I am 10 again (though I didn’t wear a helmet back then), just riding up and down our street over and over again. But Jack seems to dig it and is quite the perfect co-pilot.

Now we just need a name for the bike and I refuse to follow the pattern to call her Creamy. Ideas?

Love this right now

Kelly Purkey Kelly Purkey Kelly Purkey Work or play? Who cares, it’s fun and I love all the projects we have going on. Right now, on my desk is a bunch of goodness from Kelly Purkey (sorry this kit is sold out – but she has more coming out soon) and Jen Hadfield’s debut collection with Pebbles, Home + Made.

Also – if you are in Southern California, I would love to have you come and “play” with me at Studio Crescendoh on October 18! Last time we had a blast and the class sold out fast. Get more info on this awesome art journaling workshop using the newest collection, Stitched and sign up for the class here.

Cherish Layout by Shanna

shanna noel for amy tangerineOften times when I want to create a page but am uncertain on where to start, I just pick one thing that I know I want to work with and let that set the tone. For today that item was the hello let’s chat  cut file from The Cut Shoppe. I love speech bubbles and I adore how these really make a statement on a page.  shanna noel for amy tangerineFrom there I cut out the file and then just started to brain storm. What kind of story could I tell here? I will literally make a list; a layout about thoughts, adorable quotes I have heard, a conversations etc. etc. etc. you can really go on until something sparks. Once you get the spark, run with it. I had this adorable photo of Addison in my photo box and the look on her face just says so much to me I wanted to explore that a bit.  shanna noel for amy tangerineWith that simple prompt this layout came together so quickly. I used the stickers from Plus One as my color guide. So when I was adding watercolor behind the speech bubbles I selected colors I knew would work well with the line, then I used that color guide to easily select the stickers I wanted to use. I love the yellow in this line and wanted to use it for my base color, then created a color blocking effect by adding that pink washi across the center of the page. The sentiment thickers in this line are my favorite so of course I had to use them again and I love the statement they make on this page. The word “cherish” just lends itself perfectly to the journaling. Just like that I had told my story! shanna noel for amy tangerineI hope this helps you get going when you may need a starting point. What is your spark today?

Have a wonderful day! Shanna

Seriously so lovely – I adore the use of watercolors! Other Design Team member posts can be found here. Shop for Plus One at your local scrapbook stores and online at Scrapbook.com and Simon Says Stamp!

Jack’s 1st birthday invites + personalized sodas

amy tangerine persnickety printsAlthough I told myself not to go too crazy about Jack’s 1st birthday party, I did want to ensure that several of the important details were taken care of. We knew we wanted a celebration in the backyard, but JC didn’t go for my initial theme idea surrounding a pineapple, so we had to think of a different theme. Keeping it simple (relatively) was key. When we were in Atlanta at the end of July, we were talking with some friends who were doing a pink lemonade theme for their little girl who is one month older than Jack. They suggested a luau theme, which I was super happy about because it incorporated my pineapple idea. And JC was excited about the food portion.

After seeing this invitation on Etsy, I contacted A Pretty Little Party to see if she could do a custom version for Jack’s luau. Natalie was amazing to work with, and even after some random requests (like throwing a pig in the design), she came up with something that was perfect. I simply uploaded to Persnickety Prints (yes, they do amazing cards that also include envelopes – remember our Christmas cards?) – and placed my order. Their service and quality is amazing and since they are located in Utah and ship Priority Mail, I got my order just 3 days later.amy tangerine persnickety printsIn addition to the printed invitation, we also did a Paperless Post using the design. I know, it’s kinda silly, but there I wasn’t in the mood to track down addresses (if I only had their emails) and heck, some folks received something in both their mailbox and inbox, and it was just fine.

The other personalized detail that was a favorite was these sodas. Jones Soda contacted me and asked if they could send me some bottles. After taking some photos of him and getting one where he’s holding up his finger (not the middle one), I submitted them and they sent back a proof. Jones label made for JackJones Soda is such a creative and yummy way to personalize any occasion! The bottles were a big hit.amy tangerine - my jones amy tangerine - my jonesGIVEAWAY: Want your own personalized goodness? Leave a comment below with your favorite Jones Soda flavor for your chance to win a 12-pack! Winner will be chosen Wednesday, October 8 and announced on this post. Good luck!  Winner is #20 – Lisa W. CONGRATS!

DISCOUNT: Jones Soda is kindly offering all my readers 10% off using the code: TANGERINE##

35 while 35

35while35The idea of growing older used to bother me and around my birthday, I would feel a bit sad. To combat that feeling, I began making lists of random things I did the previous year. It started when I began scrapbooking, at about the age of 28. I continued the tradition and blogged about it – 30 | skipped 31 | 32 | 33 | skipped 34, but made a 13 things in 2013 list – and now here we are. I’ve said it before, but even though my 20’s were pretty spectacular, my 30’s have been the best years of my life.

  1. On my 35th birthday, I was a mom to a 2.5 week old. And still recovering from a C-section and navigating slowly, with little sleep, through being a new mom.
  2. Functioned on very little sleep for the first 4 1/2 months of Jack’s life.
  3. Learned that patience is worth practicing.
  4. Realized that my “pregnancy brain” just morphed into “mommy brain” and I may never be the same again.
  5. Had many battles within myself about this so-called work/life balance thing.
  6. Took Jack to his first tradeshow – CHA Jan 2014.
  7. Took 17 flights with my little guy in my lap and 6 flights solo.
  8. Made a video of Jack’s first trip (to Hawaii at 12 weeks).

  9. Didn’t use my passport at all for the first time in my 30’s.
  10. Laughed and cried alongside a great group of women in our Mommy & Me class.
  11. Learned about the ALP approach to parenting and how the simple act of acknowledgement can work miracles on adults too.
  12. Witnessed many acts of love and watched peoples’ faces light up when they saw Jack.
  13. Adopted a uniform of sorts – v-neck tee and leggings (occasionally shorts or jeans and a cardigan).
  14. Launched my 6th (Plus One) & 7th (Stitched) collections with American Crafts.
  15. Felt so much support and love from creatives around the world. And family and friends both near and far.
  16. Had my best Christmas ever.
  17. Volunteered once again for Foster Care Counts on Mother’s Day. Then enjoyed the rest of the evening at home.
  18. Stitched on a lot of photos.
  19. Was the maid of honor in my BFF’s wedding and in a wedding party for the first time.
  20. Appeared on HSN (live TV, people!).
  21. Peed my pants at this taping of Ellen.
  22. Went back to Ellen a couple weeks later for 12 Days of Giveaways.
  23. Finished (well, sort of finished) my December Daily album.
  24. Rejoined my favorite gym and then had to quit because I wasn’t going enough and I was feeling guilty and it’s kinda far and it’s expensive. And because I wasn’t making it a priority with my work schedule. Then a few months later joined the YMCA.
  25. Went to the Stationery Show for the first time.
  26. Switched from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6.
  27. Realized that while it’s nice to travel, having a place that truly feels like home is where it’s at, yo.
  28. Learned to say no, and still working on saying it more often without feeling too guilty.
  29. Took 2 of my favorite jumping photos ever. Cindy took this one on our hike and Rachel took this one while in Utah shooting for my 8th collection with American Crafts, which debuts Jan 2015.
  30. Turned in some of my favorite client scrapbooks ever, thanks to the help of my awesome team.
  31. Learned the reality behind “empty offers” and that not everyone does their best with what they have when they can. And some people are just lazy. Oh well.
  32. Survived having Buster in the hospital for a week. Since adopting him 9 years ago, he had never even spent the night apart from family once before.
  33. Read less blogs and books than in previous years, but occasionally read the paper, a magazine and articles on my phone. Oh and looked at Instagram daily.
  34. Felt extreme gratitude for my overall amazing partner, JC.
  35. Realized that my time is valuable. And though I cannot do it all, I CAN choose how (and usually with whom) I spend my precious time.

Here we go 36 – can’t wait to see what you have in store!

paint. plan. play.

amy tangerine studio calico ashley G paint classThis new class at Studio Calico looks so amazing! There are so many classes being offered online these days, but it’s such a great way to learn new techniques and new ways of thinking/exploring at one’s own pace.  Ashley is such a creative soul, I know this class will be a ton of fun. Plus, I am really digging the art journaling concept more these days. And the idea of putting together an art planner?! Sounds delightful. I cannot wait to get my hands painty with it.

We’ve all experienced it – the frustration of sitting in front of a blank page for hours and still coming up empty. Well, we’ve got the remedy: cutting-edge artist Ashley Goldberg. Ashley’s come wielding her brush and paints to invite you into Paint.Plan.Play, an “art” class designed for scrapbookers. Grab the paints and brushes you’ve been collecting and let Ashley help you tap into the creativity you’ve got hiding inside yourself.

During the first half of Paint. Plan. Play., you’ll explore core painting techniques Ashley uses every day, then you will transition into putting those new skills to use in several projects. With Ashley’s expert guidance, you will learn how to take control of color, pattern, and text by using paint, collage, and various other mediums to add allure to all your paper crafting projects – from personally designed journal layouts to Project Life spreads. Paint.Plan.Play will begin on November 1st.

ashley G studio calico classBY ENROLLING IN THIS CLASS YOU’LL RECEIVE :

-4 technique videos from Ashley sharing tips and tricks for painted backgrounds, mark making, stamping and working with patterned paper.
-a PDF from Ashley sharing how she uses her painted pages to create an Art Planner.
-Inspiration PDFs from our expert contributors sharing 10 ideas for using these paint techniques on art journal pages, layouts and Project Life® spreads.
-Access to a class message board and gallery, where you can share and learn with your teacher and fellow students.
-Weekly challenges to inspire you to use what you’ve learned.

More info for Paint. Plan. Play. here, I hope you can join us!