Let's actually think INSIDE the box!

We've created an exclusive video for Practice 5 from the Creative Handbook, you can find it here.  And if you don't have your copy of the Creative Handbook yet, download it free here.

Creating art, or breakthrough ideas for that matter, is intimidating enough without putting pressure on yourself to make something completely original and unrelated to anything that has come before. We're often told to "think outside the box" to create breakthrough ideas, but Practice 5 is all about turning that advice on its head.  In this practice we challenge you to take what is already in front of you and shape it into something new. Like a wood carver patiently chiseling away until a form emerges, we too can "create through elimination."  Inspired by Austin Kleon's "Blackout Poems", in this Practice we start out with a page ripped from a magazine and then create a poem by blacking out words rather than writing them. This leads to an unexpectedly emotional experience for both Jamie and me, so be sure to watch the video here.

Jamie's poem on the left, mine on the right.

Jamie's poem on the left, mine on the right.

Updated to include the poems (so that you can actually read them!)


Breathe it in, Over the years, married, have children sitting on the couch Wanted to be a wife and mother

felt like forever, focused hard, fulfilled me, friends family

Secure corner of the world

fell completely in love, magical and miraculous, Whoosh!

felt so certain, new and fragile, family now

steady stream of photos



innocent.  It made my heart heave

contentment.  My future, divine messenger lend a hand

existence. answers, family dynamics




Don’t eff this up.

children in their car seats, casual and cheery

your eyes are wet

love you, solid and heart-bursting, You cannot quite believe

this is real.


WONDERFUL thought crave giving themselves certain things in life.

experience so many things

adapt, be productive and present

time, succeeded

whatever it takes

relax. Ultimately can focus,pay attention, getting stuff done.


Pretty neat, right?! So that is the 5th and final practice from the Creative Handbook. In case you missed it, here are the links for Practice 1 | Practice 2 | Practice 3 | Practice 4

We hope you've filled in your pages and made the book your own.  Thanks for joining us on this journey!  We hope that you'll come back to the handbook again and again as you seek inspiration and breakthrough. We also hope you'll share it with your friends. Use #amytangerinehandbook if you are comfortable sharing your work on Instagram!

Next week I'm announcing my newest project with Jamie Waters. I can't wait to share it with you. Here's a hint, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't done so already.  

Creative Handbook Practice 4 - Silence your inner critic

Amy Tangerine practice 4

At first Jamie and I didn't plan to make a video or share our pages from Practice 4, as it is the most personal of all the practices in the handbook. But then we decided it was probably the most important to share because of this fact. Practice 4 is about becoming more aware of the inner monologue going on in our heads. The fearful voices we hear inside of us like "you can't do that" or "you're not talented enough" can really weigh us down. By writing down those fears (which I consider to be lies), we can learn to overcome the things that are potentially holding us back. What is stopping you from expressing yourself more fully and clearly? We can replace those negative voices with affirming truths. What do you hear right after you have a really big and bold idea?  The act of creativity is above all else an expression of ourselves, and this is what makes it so vital and powerful. When we create we are declaring that our voice has value, that we have something to say. I firmly believe, that the world is not made up of those who are creative and those who aren’t, but those who create and those who don’t. I love creating and know so many of you out there too. So what's stopping you?

I’ve been around so many wonderfully creative people in my life. And it’s tempting to say that those people are gifted, were born that way and just aren’t afraid. They are so talented and confident that self expression comes naturally and easy. But that’s not true. More often than not, these successful people have the same insecurities and hear the same voices you and I do. Yet somehow they manage to overcome, step through, and do the hard work anyway. How do they do this? They listen with intent. They become self aware by acknowledging the lies that are holding them back, and then pushing right through them by replacing them with affirming truths. Let's do the same.

In case you missed it, here are the links for Practice 1 | Practice 2 | Practice 3

Have you been playing along with the #amytangerinehandbook? We are so impressed that @jd_jessie completed the entire thing and posted this on Instagram. Way to go, Jessie!

@jd_jessie completed the Amy Tangerine Handbook

There are now almost 150 photos on Instagram under #amytangerinehandbook. We love seeing all that you're sharing.

IG practice 4.png

Get Inspired... Then Get Creative

Amy Tangerine Handbook

Yesterday in the studio, we were almost finished recording video footage when Jack woke up from his nap (of course!), and Jamie grabbed him from his crib. Moments later, Jamie brought him in and sat him down as I finished up. He was quiet and observant, as it usually takes him a few minutes to fully wake up. Then he felt right in his element and even wanted to play along. The kid loves markers just like his mama.

Jamie and I worked on our Creative Handbooks (get yours free by entering your name and email in that orange box on the right side bar). After clicking Yes Please you will even have a chance to download a free scripted printable as a thank you. The handbook email should show up a couple minutes later, but be sure to check your spam folder as it has been known to show up there - urg!

Amy Tangerine Handbook Practice 3

Practice 3 is about taking all that inspiration we’ve gathered on places like Pinterest and putting them into a list of projects we’re committing to do.  Is there such a thing as inspiration overload? Sometimes we need to step back and evaluate how much time we're spending looking around instead of getting stuff done.

Social media, blogs and sites like pinterest and instagram are great sources to find new and exciting projects.  But they present two challenges:

1. They are never ending streams that can suck a lot of our time and attention

2. It’s so easy to see, tag, like and add to our boards that we can become overwhelmed.  There are too many projects we want to do and sometimes this leads to paralysis by analysis.

So how can we get the most out of this inspiration overload, stay productive and actually get things done?  By curating, which is what practice 3 is all about!

The top page of the page is designed to make inspiration we’ve gathered more tactile.  Jamie noticed that printing photographs immediately made them more meaningful to her- and more memorable.  She thought, what if we started printing elements from our pinterest boards and other projects we’ve been meaning to get to? Would that make us more likely to do them? Well it worked! Printing these out does two things:

1. It forces us to choose- we can’t exactly print out the hundreds of projects on our inspiration boards. We immediately pick ones that speak to us most at the moment.

2. It gets the projects out in front of us where they can be gentle reminders to be worked on.

For a little motivation, we added the quotes page to the bottom page.  We both went through and looked at the quotes we’d liked, shared or added to our pinterest boards to see if we could find patterns. We realized there are themes that emerge when we look at all the inspiration. For me, it was very much based around priorities.

We hope this practice inspires you to take some of that inspiration you find online and print it out- get it on your walls and in front of you- we think you’ll find this is a much more effective way to turn inspiration into output!

In case you missed it, here are the links for Practice 1 & Practice 2. And a special shout out to Jodie of Polka Dot Creative who posted this lovely write up on her blog.

There are now over 100 photos using #amytangerinehandbook on Instagram!

Amy Tangerine Handbook

What projects are you most excited about right now? Comment below and share using hashtag #amytangerinehandbook, we’d love to see what you’re working on!

Creative Handbook Practice 2

It seems like many of you have already signed up to receive your free handbook. And then some of you are even diving right into it. We've gotten such positive feedback and are thrilled that you all are enjoying it. Do you ever wake up and feel completely overwhelmed with your day? Anxiety drains us of energy and steals joy from our lives, and most times that feeling stems from a lack of clarity and purpose.  

I've been thinking a lot about habits in general. More specifically I've tried to instill simple habits that can become the cornerstone for living every day to the fullest. I have started a regular practice that has completely changed my life by creating more intention and momentum to each day. 

Check out this video to learn more about how one practice that takes just five minutes every morning (five minutes people!) can truly change your life. 

We are loving seeing what you're sharing. Emily and Adeen sent me an email sharing a link to a blog post of Practice 1. So awesome, ladies! If you missed the part 1 video, you can find it here

If you have started in on your handbook we'd love to see your work.  Share on facebook or instagram with #amytangerinehandbook and leave a link in the comments! We will be featuring some of our favorites in an upcoming video!


Creative Handbook Page 1

You may have already noticed the new look around here. Thanks for all the emails and notes! The website has been updated (there may still be some kinks) and we have some exciting fresh, new things in the works for you. One of the most important things when revamping the website was that it was a place you could come to and feel inspired. Although I do have intentions of posting each weekday on this blog beginning in February (January is already halfway done!), I really wanted to start the year off with something I've never done before.

Because I often get asked about how I stay inspired and what I do to stay motivated, I thought it would be great to put together a free Creative Handbook. It's made up of 5 Practices that you can read through and implement into your life. If you sign up for it, you also get a free printable quote download right away.

Jamie and I worked on creating the handbook together. Once we got the concepts we wanted to cover down, we hand wrote many of the pages and had a great time for our first Studio Session, where we recorded filling out the first page. We really enjoyed filling in the blanks, but then realized while we were recording, that neither of us had make up on. So let's not focus on that aspect, please. Once you have downloaded and printed the handbook, we recommend just diving right in. Here's a little peek at what you get.

We hope you'll choose to create along with us! Remember, this is YOUR handbook. It doesn't need to be a work of art. Set a time limit. Ours was around 20 minutes. Use your supplies. Have fun, get inspired, get messy, be neat, whatever YOU want! Here's how our pages turned out.

Amy Tangerine Creative Handbook - free download

If you choose to share yours, please link up in the comments and tag your photos #amytangerinehandbook. Can't wait to see what you make!