3 Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

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Find out what you love to do and where your heart sings. Make it a part of your every day. Last month, I had the opportunity to head down to the beautiful state of Texas to teach a stamping workshop at the Erin Condren Flagship store in Austin. It was an amazing time! I got to play fun products from our collaboration and interact with some awesome crafters.

Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

Here are three highlights from the workshop:

1. The awesome space. If you haven’t had the opportunity to go to an Erin Condren store, you should. It’s colorful, inspiring, and an ideal space for stamping and crafting to happen. After all, it’s hard not to smile when you’re on a rainbow staircase with an amazing group of crafty women!

Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop
Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

2. The incredible sense of community and positivity. We spent Saturday morning sharing the joy of stamping, planning and getting creative. We used the stamps in my collaboration with Erin, of course. In a world, where competition is so dominant, it’s an amazing feeling to come into a space where everyone gets to express themselves, there are no wrong answers or bad ideas– it’s just people putting themselves out there, trying new things and seeing what happens. It’s one of my favorite things to see how people inspire and encourage each other.

Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop
3 Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

3.  Getting to see products being put to good use and all the amazing different ways people use them to make their own crafts! Also I’m seriously considering putting together a creative retreat so let me know in the comments where you’d want it to be held! I’ve also created an interest form you can fill out here.

3 Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

So many people reach out to me and say they aren’t sure where to start or what to focus on in their creative journeys. If you’re looking for more great ways to craft a life you love, the only signed copies of my book are available at Erin’s flagship store in Austin.

3 Highlights from the Erin Condren Workshop

It’s hard to not smile when you’re on a rainbow staircase with an amazing group of crafty women! It was such an amazing morning sharing the joy of stamping, planning and getting creative. There’s nothing like connecting in person so hopefully you can join on the Plannerland in Paradise Cruise in March 2020 that I’m excited to be a part of. Have you gone to a live event? Aren’t they the best? You can always see where I will be for events listed on the sidebar of the blog.

Photos courtesy of Thao Lou.

Major News!

Major News

I’m so excited to tell you this and I’ve hinted at it for months. Today I’m dropping the first episode for my brand new podcast, Craft A Life You Love. This project has been on my heart for such a long time. I’m so excited for you to hear it.

Here’s the official description:

Craft A Life You Love is a podcast dedicated to empowering you to create space and intention for your own personal hobbies, happiness, and harmony. Some weeks it will just be me sharing my perspective, ideas and inspiration to living your best creative life. On other episodes I’ll talk with someone remarkable as they bring juicy wisdom and the freshest takes on how to shine your brightest and squeeze the most out of this wonderful life.

I can’t wait for you to hear it. Please take a listen to the podcast trailer. Let me know what you think! Be sure to tell me who you’d like to hear me interview. If you enjoy the show, please be sure to subscribe (it’s on iTunes and Google Play) so you never miss an episode!

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Zinia's DIY Minibooks

Hello everyone! It’s Zinia here and today I’m back with a really fun project to share with you.

I don’t know about you, but when I scrapbook, I tend to pick pattern papers with simple designs like stripes and dots. Although I love more complicated and busy patterns, from time to time, I feel intimidated to use them. I know I’m not alone in this so if you feel the same, I have a really cute project that’s perfect to use all those gorgeous patterns that are a bit more challenging to use on scrapbook layouts.

I won’t keep you wondering any longer, the project I’m talking about is DIY notebooks! They are perfect for journaling, planning or keeping notes about all sorts of things. You can also take them a step further and fill them with photos and memorabilia turning them into little minibooks/smashbooks. 

Zinia

For my minibooks I picked some patterns from the Stay Sweet 6x8 paper pad. One sheet of paper folds into a perfect 6x4 sized notebook! You pick any patterns you like no matter how simple or colorful. 

For the inside pages of my notebooks, I used printer paper but if you plan to turn them into minibooks or art journals, make sure to use the paper you will need.

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There are millions of ways to bind a notebook but I went for a simple saddle stitch cause I really love the way it looks. Using the WeR Memory Keepers book binding tool, I poked the holes on my cover and pages and stitched along the spine following the instructions of the tool’s booklet. 

Zinia's DIY Minibooks

You don’t have to own the bookbinding tool to create this minibook but it definitely makes the process much faster and easier.

To finish my notebooks, I picked some sticker quotes and added the at the front size of the cover. Alternatively, you can a title or date of what’s inside using your favorite thickers or letter stickers.

Zinia's DIY Minibooks

It really makes me so happy and motivated to see these beautiful notebooks on my desk when I start my day. They also look incredibly pretty when they sit next to each other on a shelf.

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

PRODUCTS: WRMK Bookbinding Tool, 351198 Stay Sweet 6X8 PAD, 351207 Stay Sweet THICKERS Roll With It, 351208 Stay Sweet STICKER BOOK

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

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

PRODUCTS: Stay Sweet Collection: 351212 EPOXY HEART STICKERS, 351211 SUEDE FLOWER STICKERS, 351213 TINY MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS, 351199 WATERCOLOR SET, 351208 STICKER BOOK

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