5 Tips for Giving Your Backyard the Perfect Summer Makeover

5 Tips for Giving Your Backyard the Perfect Summer Makeover

Chances are, you need more sunshine in your life. I know I do! The possibilities for getting in that Vitamin D are endless (just don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen. This one is my favorite). But before you start checking flights to the nearest tropical destination, pause and look no further than your own porch or backyard.

5 Tips for Giving Your Backyard the Perfect Summer Makeover

Today, I want to get your creative juices flowing right here at home. Okay, maybe at this exact moment your space doesn’t necessarily look like your ideal paradise. In fact, it might need a little sweeping, dusting and, well, spring cleaning. For now, though, look past the cobwebs. This is where the creativity comes into play. Maybe you need some outdoor journaling time or the perfect space to have girlfriends over for lemonade or perhaps you’re thinking ahead to hosting the neighborhood’s most fantastic 4th of July BBQ. Whatever your dream for the space is, now is the best time to start thinking about how to style your backyard to suit all your summer needs.

5 Tips for Giving Your Backyard the Perfect Summer Makeover
  1. Set the Scene. No matter what you’re doing – whether it’s a solo activity or family time– it’s important to have the right types of spaces. Look for chairs, sofas and loveseats and try to come up with a nice combination of the different types. Create intimate spaces by adding accent rugs (we love this one and this one) and tapestries. The tapestries cover up any cracks or marks in your walls that your’d rather not look at and they can really tie a look together. I felt especially excited about this one because it reminded me a little bit of the mural I did at SCCM. And because I can never get enough sunshine, I picked up this tapestry, too. We really just purchased items that made us feel happy and fit in with the colors we love to surround ourselves with.

  2. Pair with coffee tables, planters, and colorful accent pillows. Our house is in Southern California, so we have a lot of cacti and succulents in our yard. The kind of plants you use will vary depending on weather/climate where you live. I’ve talked about our interior design before (minimal with bright pops of color) and the same is true for our yard. We like clean designs and bold accents. The Yardbird Luna Set fits in with the vibe perfectly. It’s clean, minimal, and neutral. The pops of color come in the form of our accent pillows. Having pillows can make the space feel more bright, comfortable, and colorful. Just make sure to pick up ones that are designed to be outside like this one or this one.

  3. Invest in Quality Products and the right tools to protect them. There’s nothing worse than dusty old outdoor furniture when you want a relaxing space. Sun, wind, and weather have worn them down and now they’re rickety and more than a little dusty. It’s not a good look. Take the time to find beautiful pieces that will hold up over time. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money, either. Yardbird works directly with manufacturers. You don’t pay for the middlemen– just the perfect furniture sets. The Luna set was attractive to us because it’s modern and resistant to all the things the great outdoors might throw at it including: mold, stains, fading, etc. Yardbird also makes furniture covers to protect them – just in case!

  4. Keep it stress-free. The whole point of having a friendly, enjoyable space is to sit back and relax. Enjoy it! You won’t have as much fun with it, if you associate the process with stress. Getting our Luna set was easy and simple. It was delivered to the house and if we’d needed it, Yardbird provides in-house design consultations. The furniture itself is quite durable but it’s also very light and easy to move around. That made styling it a breeze. One way to build that stress-free atmosphere is to encourage certain kinds of wildlife. For example, we have a hummingbird feeder right next to the main seating area. You could also bring in certain plants, like milkweed, if you’d like to attract monarch butterflies.

  5. Be kind to the Earth. Mother nature is a beautiful thing, so as you take a look at what would work best for your yard, keep in mind that it’s important to buy things that are recycled and made responsibly. Not sure where to start? Yardbird’s products are created using some materials (including plastics) that have been taken out of the ocean and off our beaches. They also offset 100% of their carbon footprint.

5 Tips for Giving Your Backyard the Perfect Summer Makeover

One of the best things about having my backyard set up is that I can spend time outdoors and experience a connection with the natural world from the comfort of my own home. Even though the studio is an amazing place to be, it’s always good to be able to get outside, especially when I have to work with certain projects. When working with alcohol inks (which is my latest obsession), it’s advised that the area is well ventilated. Well, what’s better than sitting outside and getting creative? Having a space that’s ready-to-go is wonderful. I’ve even filmed outside, using my favorite desktop tripod. I know Jack loves being able to sit with me and work on his own projects. Right now, he’s really excited about watching and catching bugs and my favorite thing is journaling while the hummingbirds drink from the feeder. (To each their own, right?)

Would love to hear from you - Have you ever gotten creative outside?

Thank you to Yardbird for allowing me to share all these tips and tricks with you.

Zinia's Rainbow Handlettering Layout

Hello scrappy friends! It’s Zinia here and today I’m back with a super colorful layout idea using Amy’s new watercolor set from Stay Sweet!

The idea for this layout came from Amy’s beautiful watercolor lettering so I decided to use my journaling as the centerpiece of my layout I write it down using rainbow shades of watercolors.

Zinia's Rainbow Handlettering Layout

I started by writing down my journaling on a large strip of paper. I used almost all the colors from the watercolor set and went from yellow to orange to red, pink, purple, blue and green.

Zinia's Rainbow Handlettering Layout

I decided to add some mixed media on my background as well so I pulled out a sheet of mixed media cardstock and created a watercolor rainbow following the same color order.

I just went all out adding a lot of color and water and letting them do their thing. I left my background to air-dry for a while before I continued with the rest of the page.

Once the background was dry, I placed the journaling strip in the middle and added a few additional embellishments. I added some enamel hearts all around the page, in matching colors of the rainbow and also a couple clear phrase stickers to serve as a title on the page.

Zinia's Rainbow Handlettering Layout

I really wanted to focus on the bright colors and the beautiful watercolor effect on this page so I didn’t want to go overboard with the embellishments. So I just added a little magnetic bookmark on my photo and then I picked a yellow suede flower and unrolled it into a strip. I adhered the suede strip next to my photo like a border piece to help it stand out.

Zinia's Rainbow Handlettering Layout

The process of creating this page is really so fun and relaxing. You don’t need any special artsy skills as this watercolor set is super easy to use. The colors spread and blend on their own without any struggle.

See more of Zinia’s work: Abstract Inspiration Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


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

4 Highlights from Pop Up Disney!

Pop Up Disney!

We all know Disney is a magical place. Dreams come true. Animals can talk and wonder is around every corner. And of course, who could forget the mouse who started it all? That’s why it was so exciting to have the magic come a little closer to us. Recently, Jack and I got to preview Pop-Up Disney! in Downtown Disney with one of his friends, Heidi, and her mom. It opened today and you gotta see it for yourself. It’s the perfect place to capture fun shots to post on Instagram, or just to take in all the Mickey and friends magic. You can watch our whole adventure here and book your own tickets here.

  1. We got to stop at the LEGO Store!  LEGOs are a huge thing at our house. Jack loves taking the time to assemble new creations and most of the time, he can follow the directions without any help. While we were there, we had the chance to see all kinds of amazing LEGO Creations– including a beautiful Disney Castle and a full-sized Hulk LEGO sculpture of truly epic proportions. That guy was almost as tall as me!

  2. Rainbow Room. Sometimes, you bring the rainbow vibes with you. Sometimes, it’s already there and in this case, it was a little bit of both. The rainbow room matched Jack’s shirt (a happy coincidence we didn’t plan) and it was really fun to see.

  3. Interactive Displays. The one that stood out to Jack the most was probably the entire wall made of tiny Mickey Mouse figurines. I enjoyed the wall of hearts. If you stood close to it, it looked like you were blowing kisses!

  4. Hidden Minnies. It was a big day for us and it was nice for Jack to have something to focus on as we explored the pop-up. The hidden Minnies were so fun for him– especially when he spied two in a row before I even found one.

Pop Up Disney

It was a wonderful way to spend the morning. I wish I had brought a better camera for taking photos (although my iPhone and Canon G7X did just fine), but I will on the next visit. Do you plan on going to Pop-Up Disney?

Celebrating 8 Years of Craftcation

Craftcation Conference

Craftcation is always an incredible time. It truly is the crossroads of creativity + crafting + community + connection. The whole city of Ventura gets to feel the energy of creatives coming together to celebrate what they love to do. I get to teach classes, spend time with other creators, and build community with old friends (plus make new ones along the way). I didn’t realize this until I started putting the blog post together this time around, but I’ve been documenting Craftcation on this blog since 2013.

This year I got to teach three workshops including ones on how to make your own mini vision board and improve your hand lettering. I also had the incredible honor of giving the closing keynote on the last day of the conference. I’ve put together a two-part video (here’s Part 1) on the experience. Plus, if you have a little extra time and feel like venturing down memory lane, take a look at the highlights from past Craftcations. They’re all linked here below!

Craftcation 2019 Video

Craftcation 2018 Video

Craftcation 2017 Video & Blog Post

Craftcation 2016 Video

Craftcation 2015 Blog Post & Panel Post

Craftcation 2014 Blog Post

Craftcation 2013 Blog Post

I say this a lot, but one of the best things about crafting is the incredible community and the sense of togetherness I feel whenever I have the opportunity to go to one of these awesome events. Will you make it out to Craftcation in 2020? Or have you been to any of the ones in the past 8 years?

Dreambox Walkthrough + $1500 Giveaway Announcement

Dreambox Walkthrough + Giveaway Announcement

As many of you know, the Dream Box from The Original Scrapbox has totally transformed the studio and the way I organize my supplies. It’s truly changed my life, and I don’t mean that lightly. Believe it or not, I didn’t buy any additional supplies or items for the DreamBox, I already had everything that you see scattered throughout the studio.

So many of you have asked so, here it is in all its rainbow order glory – a video where you can see it all! You’ll even get to see some close-up shots of the box and some of my favorite supplies that are front and center.

Now it’s all in one place and has really created room for discovery, doing cool things, and crafting a life I love. It’s so well thought out and completely customizable. I share a closer look and give you a thorough tour inside the drawers and compartments in the latest video on Youtube . It’s completely transformed the energy of the studio and given me the creative boost I’ve needed to not only make stuff but also to make stuff happen.

This isn’t even the best part! There’s even an opportunity for you to win a $1500 gift card from The Original Scrapbox so you can get closer to having one of your own! Of course you can also still use the code AMYTANGERINE for $100 off any furniture at The Original Scrapbox so you can have this amazingness in your own home too! Head on over to the video on Youtube and this post on Instagram to see all the giveaway entry instructions!