December Daily Days 7-13

If you're scrambling around and feeling like you're overloaded this holiday, here's an article that really resonated with me, causing a great shift in my mindset these days. It also truly states what has been my way of approaching creativity and documentation. Somehow on Saturday morning while we were all at home, Jack slept for over 2 hours and I was able to catch up on documenting. JC was outside getting the last of the decorations/lights up. I worked in the kitchen scrambling and realizing that at any moment he could wake up. But somehow through doors opening and dogs barking and people coming in and out, he slept through it all as if he was 3 weeks old instead of 3 months. It was blissful and I enjoyed it while it lasted.20131217-090430.jpg20131217-090442.jpg20131217-090452.jpgAmy Tan's December Daily20131217-090523.jpgAmy Tan's December DailyAmy Tan's December DailyI've also allocated a page that's in progress for the stamps from the lovely cards we have been receiving. Amy Tan's December DailyOther supplies include: Studio Calico December Daily kit | Cut & Paste Project Life kit | Kelly Purkey washi tapes | Cut & Paste phrase stickers | Cut & Paste Chipboard Thickers | Camera stitched using this stencil kit | Airplane punch | Mama Elephant Ink Pads | Photos with text from the app, A Beautiful Mess

My pages are simple, with pops of color and lots of photos of Jack. Enjoying the present and not fussing over perfection. But I have to say that my journaling would have been messed up numerous times had it not been for the Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Pens.

You can see the rest of my project pages for 2013 here: December Daily Cover Day 1 Days 2-6

KP's Daybook

Just love what Kelly Purkey has done with the Noted Daybook, available online at Two Peas and Simon Says Stamp.And I am crazy about her washi tapes - the colors are perfect not only for this season, but anytime. I personally don't need any excuses to collect more of this sticky stuff. Keeping it simple and small these days seems like a theme I can work with. How about you?

In stitches

One of the best things about dreaming up design ideas and new products for a paper line is getting to infuse some of my fashion background into it. My love for all things embroidered started a while ago. Since I know not everyone loves to do the actual stitching, it was important to me to create these tags with the option of leaving them as is. Here's how I added the embroidery.Amy Tangerine Stitched TagsMy favorite thread to use is Aunt Lydia's crochet thread in size 10. Herrschners stocks every single color. The one I used is Hot Pink. Instead of tying a knot in the back, I simply used a bit of washi tape to secure the end.Amy Tangerine Stitched TagsThen I simply added the xx's starting from one side of the heart.Amy Tangerine Stitched TagsAmy Tangerine Stitched TagsThe quote bubble was made using a back-stitch.Amy Tangerine Stitched TagsFinally I attached the tag to the front to create this card.Amy Tangerine Stitched TagsTags available here, as well as other items from my Cut & Paste collaboration with American Crafts. Dear uninterrupted sleep, this card is for you ;)

Behind the Scenes | Cut & Paste CHA booth

Hi! I'm Lindsay Bowerman and one of the designers behind a few of Amy's collections for American Crafts. I'm excited Amy invited me to share a little behind the scenes peek at one of the many things that go on at AC. One of my favorite things about working at AC is taking a collection and creating a tradeshow booth around that collection. Amy's Cut & Paste line debuted at CHA in Las Vegas this summer, and a few of us in the office (ErikTim and me!) helped pull everything together for the booth.Amy_BehindTheScenesAfter looking over a few sketches and ideas, we decided on covering the back wall of the booth with cork to create a huge pinboard and pin some of the icons to the wall, showcasing some of our favorite pieces from the collection.

We made a few trips to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby to pick up our supplies, and it was time to get to work. It was decided it'd be fun to cut the collection name right out of the cork, exposing the teal paint below. To say we were nervous about messing up the cork would be a huge understatement, but it ended up turning out better than we had hoped.Amy_Cut&PasteBoothSmallEverything came together once the back wall was finished. The extra large pink scissors on the wall are probably my favorite cut out. I made little push pins by gluing the resin bows from the collection to thumb tacks--they turned out so adorable! I think I need to make a set of those for my home pinboard!

It's always rewarding to see the whole collection come together at tradeshows. It's really the first time that we as designers see everything together and seeing it in a booth adds to the experience!

We have an exciting new collection with several new products in the works for Amy's January release, so stay tuned!

Find me elsewhere: Instagram: linniebell Pinterest: pinterest.com/linniebell Twitter: @linniebell

Behind the scenes | Guest post by Jennifer Simmons

As you may already know, I had a baby boy on September 18th. As I take a mini maternity leave, I have a series of talented friends/guest posters who agreed to fill in for me throughout the rest of the month (and into October). I will try to pop in with random posts here and there, but we are just trying to enjoy our family time right now. Enjoy! Behind The Scenes - Collection Inspiration

Hi everyone, my name is Jennifer Simmons. I've been lucky enough to work with Amy on each of her collections with American Crafts. As a designer, I help Amy translate her ideas into art files and, eventually, the products you all know and love. I thought I'd share a bit of our process here for you today.

We kick off each new collection by spending several days meeting with Amy. This means she travels to the AC office in Orem, Utah. Sometimes Buster comes along too. As a dog lover, I absolutely adore the days when he joins us in the conference room. JenPhoto_1_JenBusterDuring these early meetings, all of the inspiration Amy has gathered is discussed and eventually narrowed down. Below is some of the inspiration we selected for Amy's most recent collections.JenPhoto_2_InspirationAs you can see, the inspiration for the collection includes hints of the trends, textures, patterns, icons, type and illustration styles we hope to achieve within the line. Our inspiration usually drives our font selection and sometimes requires a bit of hand lettering, which is always fun to do. We also sort through hundreds of color chips and cardstock colors to arrive at a color palette. Picking colors is not the easiest or most logical process, but I love it. Finally, when all is said and done we compile our efforts into a style sheet. With the style sheet completed, a new process can begin – creating the illustrations, patterns and phrases that will be used across the collection.

About Me: I've been a designer/art director at American Crafts since 2007. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my family. In May, I welcomed my second kiddo, a baby boy, and have been enjoying a summer away from the office on maternity leave.

You can find Jennifer on her Blog | Twitter | Instagram