Guest Post | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I've been scrapbooking since my junior year of college and although my passion for it has waxed and waned over time, I've never lost my love for the hobby. After working in the scrapbook industry for several years in addition to scrapbooking on my own time, I definitely burned out and needed to take a breather from paper crafting to fully appreciate it again. Thankfully I've been feeling the pull to jump back into the hobby again and I couldn't be more excited about it! I've missed playing with paper and am so happy to be reunited.

Here are some of my recent pages, made with Amy's new line, Better Together (which is now restocked at and Simon Says Stamp!):

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine
Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine

Last year I started a 9 x 12" Messy Book album for my daughter and have been periodically adding pages whenever the mood would strike. When it came to this layout, I knew I wanted it to be a page about all of Briar's new words, but I didn't have a particular photo in mind. I didn't worry about that, though. Instead, I focused on playing with all the fun Better Together patterned papers and embellishments and then adding the image at the very end. 

TIP: Try putting the bones of a layout together BEFORE you choose your photo. As long as you leave enough room for a picture, it's super fun to change up the normal order of scrapbooking!

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine
Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine

This past New Year's Eve, my husband and I took our one year old to an awesome children's museum in Pasadena called Kidspace for a "Noon Year's Eve" balloon drop. It was such a cool experience for all three of us that it made putting this page together a breeze! Before I started, I applied Tim Holtz yellow distress ink to the background paper using both a blending tool and a polka dot stencil by Heidi Swapp. Yellow is my favorite color and I love the way it added to the already cool watercolor patterned paper! Once I had my photos glued down, I had a blast using embellishments from the Better Together and Stitched lines.

TIP: Try scrapbooking events that you're excited about instead of worrying about working in chronological order. It helps to build momentum and keep you creatively energized for future layouts!

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine

This year I decided to make another "Project Life-style" album (using BasicGrey's Capture album + page protectors) that will act as a landing place for all the everyday photos and memorabilia that I collect throughout 2016. I didn't make an album last year and I felt that I was really missing that big picture perspective on life that weekly / biweekly scrapbooking can offer. I'm only a few pages in, but I'm already having such a great time filling up my album!

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine
Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine

For the first spread, I pulled together some of my favorite patterned papers, Thickers, embellishments, photos, and a cool Ira Glass quote postcard to fill up two different page protectors.

TIP: Use all different kinds of photos in your albums...Instagram, DSLR, Snapchat, photobooth, etc. The wide range of styles will help to round out the documentation of your life story, plus it keeps the process exciting! 

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine
Ann-Marie Espinoza | Amy Tangerine

For the second spread, I highlighted a fun morning that my daughter and I enjoyed while playing in the rare Southern California rain. I took a bunch of adorable photos that day, so I chose to highlight my favorite image on the left by printing it large enough to fill the whole page protector and then printing the rest of the images at 3 x 3" each to fill up the six pocket page. Since I wanted the photos to be the central focus of the spread, I only used a few embellishments and utilized one of my favorite techniques: adding a large title over the center of a picture.

TIP: Don't feel like big life events (birthdays, holidays, weddings, etc) are the only milestones worthy of double page spreads. Highlighting the smaller -- but equally important! -- moments should be celebrated in a big way!


Thank you SO much Ann-Marie - loved all the projects and tips and that Briar is just the cutest! You can find Better Together (hurry, it just got restocked) at and Simon Says Stamp.

Finders Keepers projects + Behind The Scenes video

It was Finders Keepers week over at American Crafts. I thought it would be fun to do a round up of the projects using my newest collection, even though it just started shipping and will be in stores very soon! UPDATED! Finders Keepers is available at these fine online retailers: Simon Says Stamp | Blue Moon Scrapbooking |

In the midst of many projects, I carved out 30 minutes and put this layout together.

Finders Keepers scrapbook page
Finders Keepers scrapbook page

For the title, I thought it would read "Peek A Boo Life is better with you", but then I started adding some elements in the top left corner, and I am not sure if it comes across that way. When layering papers, I recommend a combination of patterns with smaller designs mixed in with more solids. If you want your Thickers to stand out a bit more, simply tear a strip of washi tape in a different color and layer the letters on top. Also, I had fun using the tops of the pineapple wood stamp for the little splashes of aqua scattered on the page.

UPDATED: Finders Keepers is available at these fine online retailers: Simon Says Stamp | Blue Moon Scrapbooking |

Here is a quick little video shot by American Crafts while I was in Utah back in April. You'd never guess that it was snowing outside, so we made sure to create as much sunshine inside as possible.

I'll be sure to update this post as well as do another blog post when you can start getting your hands on the products. Hope you enjoy putting your own twist on your projects with Finders Keepers!

Studio Calico Poet Society kits

Can't believe another month has gone by and summer is about to come to an end. Jack will be turning 1 next month and I can hardly believe it. I used a lot of photos of him, some older, and some more recent. These Poet Society kit colors were versatile enough to use for any occasion, for boys or girls. Here's how this main kit only page came together. I first stamped on the patterned paper because I wanted the tags to have some lines. Then I cut them out and layered on more bits.IMG_1283 IMG_1284 IMG_1305 Used my Instax Share to print these little photos taken on my iPhone of Jack obsessing over finding his belly. For the title work, I wrote it out with pencil, poked holes and used a back-stitch with black thread. amy tangerine- studio calicoThis layout using all the scrapbook add-on's was too fun to make. I created a collage using a bunch of different die cuts. Love how they all meshed together nicely. I added a little machine stitching to the top left corner and bottom right to tie it all together. And the shadow stamps in the Dickinson add-on are great for layering and adding just the right amount of detail. Please disregard my laziness when it comes to removing older stamps from the other side of the acrylic block.amy tangerine- studio calicoIMG_1297IMG_1299Still working on Courtney's wedding album and since I included so much of the bridal party, I thought it would be best to focus on the guys a bit. Well, one guy in particular, the groom. This layout used the main kit only and some Fiskars craft knife action. The photos were taken by Dustin Prickett from Sunglow Photography and you can see more of my BFF's wedding pictures here.amy tangerine- studio calicoUsing a mix of photos from my phone, I put together this spread using only the Project Life kit. I love how much the white Uniball pen - aka the ONLY white gel pen that you'll need - pops off of even the lightest shade of pink. I still enjoy putting some of the embellishments on the outside of the pockets as well. IMG_1301All photos (except Instax) printed by Persnickety Prints. You can shop for all the Poet Society kits here and see all my projects here. Keep in mind that subscribers can shop the pre-sale each month at noon EST on the 27th. Others need to wait until the clock strikes midnight tonight. Become a subscriber and get in on all the benefits and rewards that Studio Calico has to offer!

Plus One | Guest Post by Paige Evans

There is something about using all of the Amy Tangerine Plus One patterned papers together that makes my heart go pitter patter! I've made more than 8 layouts and projects using this line and it seems like every single one uses ALL of the patterned papers - I just can't get enough! Today I'll be sharing 5 layouts featuring the awesome Plus One collection and my favorite techniques!


I made this layout just for this guest post for Amy - never before seen :) With a handy dandy hexagon punch I made dozens of hexagons and placed them in fitted rings on the center of a gray cardstock base. I love the way the colors pop off of a gray background! To make sure everything stays in place I sewed the paper pieces down with a sewing machine. In the center I layered a photo onto doilies and then used the Kal Barteski "Love" Thickers word for the title. To help draw the eyes all around the page I journaled on the top left and bottom right corners then dropped black India ink around the layout. A smattering of buttons on matching colors of paper finishes it off!


On this layout I used a square punch to make this houndstooth background. Some of the squares are trimmed in half to make the triangles and the others were left whole. I sewed and outlined a few of them for more texture. I filled in three of the empty spaces with journaling - gotta love a visual triangle! I layered a favorite photo of Chris playing with the kids when he got home from work on a wood veneer journaling card, die cut pieces, tag, and ticket sticker. Again I dropped black India ink around the layout and finished with some buttons!


Boy oh boy do I love punches! I used a circle punch to make circles from all of the Plus One patterned papers then placed them in rows down a yellow cardstock base. To add interest to a few of the circles I painted underneath them with white paint and then sewed an argyle pattern over the circles to keep them in place permanently. I layered a photo, tag, badges, and alphabet/Thickers title on the bottom left corner then journaled around one of the circles and dropped black India ink in three places for a visual triangle.


Once again punches came to the rescue! I used a petals punch to layer Plus One patterned paper pieces and make these dimensional flowers held together with fabric brads and puffy stickers - all from the Plus One line. On the background I watercolored a rainbow and sewed a few diagonal lines to make more texture. In the center I layered a photo, tag, wood veneer card, and the title. The photo is of Jane trying to take over my box of American Crafts supplies. I said, "No way Jose!" :)

Seriously Darling

On this final layout I used another of my favorite techniques which is backing large die cut shapes made with my Silhouette Cameo using patterned papers! So here I die cut the doily (from the Silhouette Online Store - design ID #51759) from white cardstock and backed it with patterned papers from the Plus One collection and adhered it on a gray cardstock background. In the center I sewed a round black & white photo of darling Jane and titled it Seriously Darling using the Kal Barteski Thickers. I edged the layout with the thin washi tapes from the Plus One collection - I love how it adds color all the way around the layout! Again I dropped black India ink for a dash of whimsy and journaled on the bottom right corner.

Thanks for letting me share some Plus One layouts! - Paige

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Shop for Plus One at your local scrapbook stores and online at and Simon Says Stamp!

Summer manifesto

This summer I plan to keep calm and:

  • road trip
  • enjoy every moment of this pregnancy
  • travel
  • set up our new house
  • eat healthy but enjoy ice cream
  • wear long dresses
  • get a tan
  • try to avoid mosquito bites if possible
  • drink lots of water and smoothies
  • laugh a lot
  • & take photos

this summer1this summerDays of Sunshine | Copyright Two Peas In A Bucket Complete supply list can be found at Two Peas In A Bucket.

Also, did you see the newest class from Celine Navarro Mini Books Big Style?  It looks perfect for the season, as does this fantastic watercolors set! I use a similar set in my classes and projects and absolutely love it. Now you can get your own online and will hopefully be all set for crafting this summer!