Clique Kits

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Designer in the Spotlight – Sheryl Banares

Hello everyone!!  I am super excited to introduce you to our  Designer in the Spotlight!  She has been a member of the Clique for sometime now and recently became one of our newest members on our Graphic Design team!  This month she designed the June journal cards that are included in your June Kit and even some of the exclusive cut files!

Our Designer in the Spotlight  has taken some time to answer our fun Q&A to share with all of you today!  Please say hello to Sheryl Banares!



1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process. I love creating where I feel comfortable at that moment, it can in the kitchen or in the living room even on in bed sometimes (when I’m super lazy). I don’t force myself to think of how to make a layout. I just sit down and start scrapping whenever I feel like it.

2. Where and when are you most creative? I don’t like scrapbooking at night because my lighting is terrible so I mostly scrapbook on daylight. My layouts are often inspired from pinterest, that’s where I like to search for random stuff when Im bored.

3. What are some of your must have supplies? scissors, zig glue pen and double sided tape.

4. Who are some of your influences? I’m a graphic designer so I meet a lot of creative and interesting people that are inspiring me everyday and let’s not forget the amazing scrapbook community we have on Facebook and youtube, there are lots of talented woman that truly inspire me.

5. 3 things people probably do not know about you. – I love korean dramas! (be aware! super addicting once you start) – I’m learning russian, since my fiancee’s family speak mostly russian. – I play the guitar, ukulele and keyboards.

6. Favorite: !

Book- It ends with us by Colleen Hoover !

Movie- Phantom of the opera (2004) and Titanic ! Candy- Coconut chips !

Drink- Coffee!! !

Music- anything 90’s 🙂 !

Color- light blue !

TV Show- anything with action and suspense- NCIS, Criminal minds.

7. Can you share what helps you break out of a creative slump? I love taking a walk, listening to music and riding my bike.

8. How long have you been design and what inspired you to get started. I’ve been scrapbooking for 4 years now. I started scrapbooking when I accidentally saw a process video of someone on Youtube and ever since my world became colourful and scrapbooky (I think I just invented a word)

9. How would you describe your style? My style is very much colourful and heavy embellished, I love taking my time when I’m creating the layouts. I add sometimes mix media and some stitching.

10. Can you share with everyone the places where they can connect with you such as your blog, Instagram and website. Blog- Instagram-

11. What are your predictions for the new trends? I think we’ll be seeing more colors that we usually don’t see in scrapbook collection like purple, neon colors and some gold rose foiling, maybe even metallic colors with abstract designs.

Sheryl thank you so much for being our Designer in the Spotlight!!  I am sure our readers are looking forward to more beautiful designs from you!

Thank you for stopping by our blog today!  To get your hands on some of Sheryl designs you can grab a June Clique Kit HERE in the shop or head on over to our Digital Shop and purchase some of her cut files!  Have a wonderful day!


Clique Kits March Designer in the Spotlight – Shimelle

Hello Clique Fans!  We are super excited about this months Designer in the Spotlight!  Our March 2017  kit featured the Little by Little collection designed by Shimelle!

We want to thank Shimelle for taking the time out of her busy day to share a little bit about herself with us!  So grab your drink of choice, curl up in your favorite place and say HELLO to Shimelle!

Tell us a little bit about your creative process. Where and when are you most creative? 

I work (and play!) from a studio space that is a room in our home with the outside ‘wall’ actually a floor to ceiling window. The light is beautiful even on grey days, which we have plenty of here in London. For many years I was a night owl, but my son is not on board with this plan and likes to get up far too early, so my most creative time is whenever I have five minutes uninterrupted really, almost matter what time of day that may be.

What are some of your must have supplies?

My giant scissors have been on my desk for so many years that they feel like an extension of my hand. I could give plain cardstock a miss entirely but you will have to pry the patterned paper, little tiled letter stickers, and glitter Thickers from my cold dead hands.

Who are some of your influences?

I was a film and theatre student when I first discovered scrapbooking, and much of my inspiration comes from that visual world: Wes Anderson, Mary Blair, and even Busby Berkeley.

3 things people probably do not know about you.

My family tree is a long line of performers in one way or another. My mother is a musician and my grandmother still sings several shows a week.

I take great joy in the extremely trivial craft of coordinating-but-not-exactly-matching family clothing.

I grew up in Kansas and came to England as a student but knew within the first two weeks that this would be home. 


Book Alice Through the Looking Glass
Movie Romeo and Juliet.
Candy do they still make Butterfingers in America? They do, right? I’ll say that.
Drink coffee. Except I haven’t had caffeine since 1996. Sometimes this is frustrating.
Music there is little I don’t like but I have a serious passion for Sigur Rós.
Color really? I have to pick? Aquapinkgreenpurpleredblack. That’s just an unfair question so I’m giving an unfair answer.
TV Show Buddy the Vampire Slayer (though for current things, I’m glad Designated Survivor has come back!)

Can you share how Glitter Girl came about?

I was at the end of a year-long video series for Two Peas in a Bucket (an online shop that has since closed) and we were happy with what we’d done with a series of twelve videos over a year but at the same time, it didn’t always feel right to lock into a single topic for a whole year when trends can change so much over that time. I really liked the idea of working with the community and involving them, so I pitched the idea of a scrapbooking superhero who kind of flew down to the message boards to give a surprise video response each week to one of the discussions. I pitched it totally out there bonkers hoping they would say yes to something, even if it was less – like once a month could work so I said once a week. They loved the idea and took it on board pretty much exactly how I pitched it. I think we did 122 episodes with the store? Then a while after the shop closed I was able to start the series again and now the questions come from those who watch and comment on YouTube or post on the Scrapbook Like a Superhero Facebook group. There’s no single shop involved and everyone is welcome, no matter the style you scrap.
We love the little by little collection! Can you tell us what inspired you when creating this collection?

Thanks so much! Little by Little is inspired by British children’s literature, and you’ll find references to Harry Potter and Peter Pan if you take a look. I wanted the colours to be a real highlight of the collection, that you could work just with pastels for one look but switch it up to primaries on your next page and then again with black and white plus a bold colour of your choice. I hope the variety gives you so much versatility while you craft.

Have you always had a love for design?

Perhaps an appreciation for design is a better term for me. I never took an art class after elementary school (until the last few years when I’ve done some study to broaden my skills) and although handwriting and lettering were something I can see developing in the notebooks I have from my youth, I didn’t know where to start with drawing or painting. I could see it in my head and then just nothing would come close on paper. I was quite embarrassed about it so I just stopped doodling, which is really the worst you can do in terms of keeping your sketches improving. But I did use the time to absorb so much visually so I developed a much stronger idea of what I liked. I don’t regret that chain of events though, because it has been quite enjoyable to learn essentially a whole new aspect of the craft at this point in my life, just since working with American Crafts.
What is one thing you love about the scrapbooking industry and what is one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out with scrapbooking?

I love how the industry creates products that become a neverending mix of unique pieces on unique pages. I dabble in crafts that ask you to follow a pattern and I can enjoy a sewing project, something to stitch, and so on. But scrapbooking is my passion because every page is its own creation, from start to finish. I love that feeling when your words come together in a way that you wonder if anyone has ever said that before in the history of the English language, and I love that same feeling when mixing and matching supplies de new and old collections across dozens of manufacturers.

If you’re just starting now, be true to yourself and don’t stress. Today’s photos can easily be reprinted if you decide you don’t like something and want to start again. Don’t be scared out of something that feels right to you- for years I printed all my journaling with fonts because someone told me I should. It’s been ten years since I did that on a single page and I’m so much happier for it. Whatever it is that makes it joyful for you, keep doing it no matter what trends tell you.
How would you describe your style? 

Relatively simple at the core, but filled with colour and pattern, and always created with a story in mind. In fact, that’s how I design products as well as my pages: if I can think of ten different stories scrappers might be able to tell with a particular product, then I know that’s something I want to include.

Shimelle thank your for being a creative superhero and connecting with our readers!  You can check out the Scrapbook like a Superhero Facebook group HERE and also find Shimelle on Instagram and Twitter!  Thanks so much for stopping by today and have a wonderful rest of your day!


February Designer in the Spotlight – Beth Snyder

Hello Everyone!  Erica here today to bring you our February Designer in the Spotlight!  This month our kit featured the beautiful Hazelwood collection by 1 Canoe 2 and we could not wait to meet the designer behind the collection!

Beth Synder is the owner and one of the many faces behind 1 Canoe 2!  She has taken some time out of her day to answer a little Q&A for us today!  So grab your choice of drink, sit back relax and say hello to Beth!

1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process and what inspires you?We are makers at our core. We love to play with paper and glue and bits of fancy things. We are based in a small town in the Midwest, where the skies are big and the flowers are wild. Inspiration is all around us in nature and life, but our customers are the biggest inspiration. Making things for all of our followers is what keeps us excited!


2. Where and when are you most creative?
Personally, I’m a morning person. If I could get up at 4am and work till noon, that would be ideal. The other two artists on our team are night owls and often work at the office in the morning, take a break in the afternoon, then paint till the wee hours of the morning. There’s something about the quiet hours when the world (and social media) is asleep that draw out the best work. It’s probably the limited number of distractions.


3. What are some of your must have supplies?
Gouache paint, a couple of really good brushes, and an Xacto knife! And washi tape.


4. Have you always had a love for design and can you share where we can find
more of your work?
We are new to scrapbooking, but we’ve had a bustling stationery company for 7 years! You can find planners, notebooks, greeting cards, and lots of other fun stuff on our website (, or in a shop near you!


5. 3 things people probably do not know about you.
  1.  I won an Emmy for television graphic design in my former job.
  2. I’ve broken my arm 4 times.
  3. All I really want in the world is for all the great people I know to know each other and be best friends.


6. Favorite:
● Book: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, or The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
● Movie: Steel Magnolias and Bridget Jones’ Diary (the first one)
● Candy Peppermint patties
● Drink Gin and Tonic, or Diet Coke
● Music Fleetwood Mac
● Color GREEN
● TV Show The West Wing
● Smells I have a terrible sense of smell! But probably lilacs.


7. We love the name 1 Canoe 2! Can you tell us how the name came about and
how 1 Canoe 2 was started?
1canoe2 is all about the spirit of friendship and team work. We like to think of one canoe, two girls. We started out on Etsy and have gone on to sell to over 1000 stores worldwide, including Anthropologie and Paper Source. I ran the business out of the basement at my house for 4 years before finally moving first to a little red barn, and now to a renovated bank building in our little town.


8. A piece of advice you would give to your younger self.
You be you. And never apologize for it.


9. The Hazelwood collection is one of our favorites and the response from our
subscribers has been incredible! Any plans for another scrapbooking collection?
We are just wrapping up the artwork for a new collection with American Crafts that will release in July! It’s called Creekside, and is all kinds of outdoors, starry skies, and family travel oriented. There are some SERIOUSLY CUTE accessories coming with it too. I can’t spill the beans yet, but let’s just say that you’ll squeal when you see the collection.

Beth thank you so much for being our February Designer in the Spotlight!  I know our readers are just as excited as I am to see the new collection!  To check out more from 1 Canoe 2 head on over to their website and blog and follow them on Facebook!

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September Designer in the Spotlight – May Flaum


Hey everyone!  Erica here with you today to bring you this months Designer in the Spotlight!  This month we are so excited to have May Flaum sharing a little bit about herself!


I love May’s style and have been a huge fan of hers for a long time so was super excited when she agreed to be our Designer in the Spotlight!  We got to meet May and check out her new line 28 Lilac Lane at CHA and she was super sweet and fun!  You can see more of May on her blog HERE and if you missed her post here on the blog on Monday you can check it out HERE.  May currently has a new class out called Kittastic where she is using our August 2016 kit along with some other products and will be covering everything from scrapbooking to mixed media as well as every product in her stash!



You can take $5.00 off this class until the end of September by clicking the HERE and if you would like to pick up the August kit and you check it out in the Clique Kits Shop!



  1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process and what inspires you?

Life and the world around me are my ultimate inspirations! From getting an idea at Target to my supplies inspiring me to an event or random musing – I’m always finding inspiration!


  1. Where and when are you most creative?

I am the most creative when I am regularly creating on a daily or near daily basis. Creativity is muscle best used often and kept in shape!!


  1. What are some of your must have supplies?

PPA adhesive, kraft cardstock, Heidi Swapp gold mist, distress inks, and an assortment of buttons are always with me when I create.


  1. Have you always had a love for creating?

For me creativity comes in many forms from baking to gardening, scrapbooking to holiday crafts to creating an awesome table centerpiece. My entire life, I’ve loved creating in many forms, and I believe I always will!


  1. 3 things people probably do not know about you.

My studio is the messy wild place, the rest of our home is very minimalistic and clean!

I am obsessed with sticky notes and notepads.

I get a minimum of 8hrs sleep every night, and drink water almost exclusively – keeps me active and healthy!


  1. Favorite:
  • Book            Pride & Prejudice
  • Movie          Summer Stock
  • Candy          Blackberry starburst
  • Drink           Coca Cola from Mexico
  • Music           Harry Connick Jr
  • Color            Lilac
  • TV Show    Game of Thrones
  • Smells          sleepy dogs


  1. Can you tell us a little bit about 28 Lilac Lane?

I dreamed of a place full of embellishments, where creative thought had total freedom and all ideas were given green lights. Where planners to scrapbooks, mixed media to simply playing with pretty embellishments was all good. I named this place 28 Lilac Lane. With my embellishment line my goal is to offer beautiful mixes of colors, textures, and types of embellishments that you can enjoy and create with in whatever way inspires you.


  1. A piece of advice you would give to your younger self.

The best advice I’d give anyone, would be to not let fear stop you. Don’t let being afraid stop you from wonderful experiences and taking chances on new things!


  1. One of your favorite embellishments to use on your projects.

I am obsessed with gold mist (Heidi Swapp) + sequins and beads and buttons on projects


  1. What was the last thing you took a photo of?

The dogs! They are always doing silly stuff at my feet and get photographed constantly.

May thank you so much for sharing with us today!  To see May’s collection 28 Lilac Lane please head on over to the Buttons Galore website and see all the beautiful embellishment kits May has to offer!  May sure to follow May on YouTube and her blog for tons of inspiration and fun!


Designer in the Spotlight – Jill Yegerlehner


Hey everyone!  Erica here with today to bring you our Designer in the Spotlight!  We are so excited to have Jill Yegerlehner from Jillibean Soup as this months Designer in the Spotlight!  If you have been a subscriber for a while you know we love to add Jillibean Soup products to our kits!  Not only do we love the products we love all the hardworking people behind Jillibean Soup!  Walking into thier booth at CHA is always a great time!  You are always greeted and everyone is always so friendly!  The quality in all the Jillibean products is alway top of the line and we can not get over the new releases coming soon!  Today we are thrilled to bring you this Q&A with Jill and we are so very honored that she took the time to share a little bit more about herself!  Please say hello to Jill Yegerlehner!

Jill Yegerlehner_Family Photo

1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process and what inspires you?

My creative process starts with pulling together a board of design elements, colors, patterns and any “seasonal” items. In most collections we have a “focus” page and this is usually the first page in the collection and is the “focus” of the collection. Recently we’ve been pulling in many different elements, kind of making it a “hodgepodge” of designs. Just about everything inspires me – clothing, fabrics, home décor, my kids, print ads, publications, other designers, paint colors and so much more. I probably spend a little too much time on Pinterest.

2. Where and when are you most creative?

Hmm, good question – I have to be “on” or “creative” most of the time. We work on a lot of product that does not come to fruition so we’re always coming up with new concepts. I work best in the evenings when things are quiet and I’m not being bombarded with distractions.

3. What are some of your must have supplies?

I love cardstock that matches our key Jillibean colors (we always use the same colors throughout our collections so you can mix and match), my Cutterbee scissors, Tombow adhesive, 3L foam squares are a must for me (I use them on every project), my Silhouette Cameo and a good paper trimmer. When I’m making wood projects – I always use vinyl stencils, Jillibean Happy Hues paints and make up sponges.

4. Have you always had a love for design?

I have. I love it. I love interior design, product design, retail fixture design… I just love it all.

5. 3 things people probably do not know about you. Ok..

1. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and graduated with 52 people. 2. I’ve bicycled across thestate of Iowa. 3. I have a Biology degree and was a food scientist prior to starting Jillibean Soup.

6. Favorite:
• Book – 50 Shades… just kidding! To Kill a
• Movie – Silence of the Lambs (I know, creepy) or the
• Candy – Chocolate all the way
• Drink – Diet Pepsi (it’s my vice)
• Music – Adele, JT, Pentatonix, Coldplay and many
Christian artists as well
• Color – Yellow, Apple Green or Aqua
• TV Show – Dancing with the Stars – the girls and I
watch it together

7. Out of all the collections you have created so far which is your favorite?

It’s too hard to choose! I love one of our latest collections – Hardy Hodgepodge which was just released for the fall.

8. Can you share how Jillibean Soup came about and where the name came from?

Your question about always loving design ties into this…I have always loved design and wanted to somehow get into this industry.  I’m not a graphic designer but I direct every piece of product we do. I researched and researched how I could break into the industry. Our first collections were actually printed on kraft paper to set us aside from everyone else. Jillibean Soup was actually not the first name of the company. “Jill’s Attic” was. One day I came across a product that was trademarked “Jill’s Attic”. I had to sit down and make a list of new names after that. I picked my top 6 and sent them to my friends/family to see which one they liked. Every single one of them came back with “Jillibean Soup”. It has allowed us to do some fun marketing with the “soup” part.

9. Who are some of your influences?

God, my husband, my girls, our design team, Pinterest, HGTV just to name a few

10. Any hints on what is to come Jillibean Soup?

It may involve “planning”.. hint, hint. 🙂

Jill thank you so much for being our Designer in the Spotlight!!  We can not wait to see some planner Jilllibean Soup products!  Thank you everyone for stopping by the blog today!  Not only did Jill share a little bit about herself with us today she also has a fabulous prize for one lucky reader!


Jillibean Soup is giving away this beautiful new collection Hearty Hodgepodge!  All you need to do is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Jillibean soup product or collection!  We would also love for you to check them out on Facebook!  Have a great rest of your day everyone!

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Designer in the Spotlight – Nancie Rowe-Janitz

Hello everyone!  Thank you for stopping by today and spending a little time on our blog!  Today is one of my favorite posts of the month!  Our Designer in the Spotlight!  This month our kit included the beautiful Attwell collection from Fancy Pants Designs designed by Nancie Rowe-Janitz.  This collections is amazing and the colors and designs are so unique and bold we just love them!  We are h0nored to have Nancie as this months Designer in the Spotlight!  So sit back, grab a beverage of choice and get to know Nancie a little bit better!
1. Do you remember the moment you fell in love with designing? Can
you share a little bit of that moment with us?
I have always loved to draw and color as a little girl… but I ended up growing up and getting a business degree so somewhere along the way I lost my love for art. In the early 90’s I worked in advertising saw these brilliant creative minds working in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, so I bought a Mac and the programs and at night I began to teach myself. After that, I worked in the graphic design industry until I had my daughter in 1999 and in the early 2000’s I began traditional (paper) scrapping and fell in love with the patterns and colors and textures of scrapbooking. In 2004, I opened my own digital scrapbook website called ScrapArtist and shortly after that began designing for Jodi at FancyPants.
2. Where and when are you most creative?
I have a small home-based studio and I enjoy painting and drawing in the early morning. My art table looks out over the back yard and I love to see the trees and hear the birds while I work.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process.
I work most intuitively in collage—it’s the process that comes most naturally to me. I work by first laying down old papers and ephemera or washi tape, then blocks of colors and finally some mark-making. Around this time, a focal point begins to emerge – like a cup or flower or a face. Then I paint around that and finish off the collage.
4. If you had to pick just one of your top favorite collections that you have
designed which one would it be and can we expect to see more paper
collections from you anytime soon?
I currently do not have any paper lines in the works, but I’ve just begun designing for the home decor market so you may see some of my designs at stores like Hobby Lobby or Target. My absolute favorite collection that I’ve done for FancyPants is the last line I did which was the Attwell Collection. I think I like this one the best because I mixed traditional painting with vector patterns.
5. Who are some of your influences?
I think Mary Blair is my biggest influence for illustration. Some other favorite illustrators are Carolyn Gavin from EcoJot. Jennifer Orkin Lewis and Shirley Ng-Benitz. Other favorite artists include Mindy Murphy Lacefield, Flora Bowley and Danielle Donaldson.
6. 3 things people probably do not know about you.
7. Favorite:
Book I love anything by Kate Morton. My favorite book of hers is The Forgotten Garden
Movie: Romancing the Stone or Broadcast News
Candy: Hot Tamales
Drink: Peppermint Tea or an Arnold Palmer
Music: Any soundtrack by Rachel Portman
Color: Citron
TV Show: Outlander
8. What are some of your must have supplies?
My watercolors and and gouache paints. Also my Tombow markers because they activate with water. I love Washi Tap!
9. One piece of advice you would give your younger self.
Do exactly what brings you joy. Don’t say yes to everyone and everything. Pick and choose where and with whom you spend your time. And only do what fuels you emotionally and physically. (I guess that’s more than one thing – sorry!) LOL
10. Can you share with our readers where they can find you on social
Nancie thank you so much for being our May Designer in the Spotlight!  I look forward to seeing your home decor products!  Thank you everyone for stopping by today and please take a moment to check out Nancie at the above links to see more of her work!
Have a wonderful day!
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April Designer in the Spotlight – Amber Crowell

Hello Clique fans!  I am so beyond excited about our April Designer in the Spotlight!  This month our kit featured the Life in Color collection by Simple Stories designed by  Amber Crowell.


This women is not only amazing but genuine and one of the nicest out there!  Last year at CHA was my first face to face meet up with her and what a thrill for me!  Simple Stories and the people behind the scenes are all amazing but today we are shining a huge spotlight on the one and only Amber Crowell!  Amber is the very talented designer behind Simple Stories and we are excited to have her sharing with us today!  So pull up a seat, grab a drink and say hello to Amber!


1. Do you remember the moment you fell in love with scrapbooking/designing? Can you share a little bit of that moment
with us?
I remember exactly when I was first introduced to scrapbooking – it was in 1995 right after me and Kevin were married. I was visiting a cute little store in St. George, Utah that had the most amazing scrapbook “kits” in 8 1/2 x 11. There was a mix of paper and elements like frames and stickers and I was hooked. I bought a ton of wedding stuff and began scrapbooking every photo I could – complete with mismatched paper, cut out photos and sticker sneezes all of the page. I still love the hobby and products as much today as I did then…nothing is more exciting than seeing a mixture of adorable, beautiful paper and embellishments. Plus the smell of freshly printed paper is to die for!
2. Where and when are you most creative?
Right before a deadline. No matter how I plan and prepare, some of my most creative ideas come right before hitting an important deadline. Our team likes to joke with me about it and that my mantra is “…it’s never too late” even though it drives Kevin nuts that we’re so close to a deadline and I throw in some new product ideas at the last minute!
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process.
What many people may not know is that along with being the founder and owner of Simple Stories I’m also the creative director and I have a direct hand in all of the products, designs and collections we release. I love what I do and it’s unbelievable the amount of detail and work that goes into each product – but I truly love every minute of it. I work closely with our graphic designers on the color palette, illustrations, patterns and designs – even sketching ideas for journal cards, papers, and elements. In order to meet our launch deadlines and get the products produced and on store shelves, I’m always working at least 6-8 months on products before customers even see them. So many of the collections you see I’ve had ideas for from the very start of Simple Stories and some are inspired by what I want to see in my own scrapbooks or current trends in the industry. I love
compiling the colors, pattern ideas, and mood boards for collections – it’s indescribable to know I’m creating something from scratch and anything is possible. And it seems the more I create the more creative I become – I don’t think I’ll ever run out of ideas!
My favorite part of the creative process is when all of my ideas and designs just come together in the end. Throughout the design process there are lots of drafts, changes and evolving, and I’m fortunate to work with some amazing graphic designers who help bring my visions to life!
4. If you had to pick just one of your top favorite collections that you have designed which one would it be?
Oh…it’s hard to choose just one. I have a strong connection to all of the products I’ve created – it’s like having to pick your favorite child!
The original Life Documented collection was the very first Simple Stories collection and will also hold a special place in my heart because its what started it all. I loved Urban Traveler, Vintage Bliss, Summer Fresh, Homespun and Summer Vibes.
I will say that my favorite collection to design was Say Cheese and Say Cheese II – our family is a huge Disney freaks and I wanted to do something cool and different than the typical theme park collection – with trendy, fun designs I’d actually want to scrapbook with my thousands of Disney pictures. I had the idea for Say Cheese since the very beginning of Simple Stories – so it was so exciting to see it come to life.
One my most rewarding collections was I AM…as the design was beautiful and had such a deep connection with customers. The new Heart and Hope lines also have a special place in my heart; Heart was designed in honor of the loss of some of my daughters special friends this past summer, and Hope was inspired by one my best friends who battled breast cancer.
I’m also working on some more amazing designs that I can’t wait for customers too see!
5. Who are some of your influences?
I am inspired and influenced by our amazing customers and everyday scrapbookers. Everything we produce is very important to us as it’s for our customers albums and will be a treasured keepsake for years to come – so we think of our customers first with everything we do. That’s why create a lot of art with fun themes, coordinating patterns and designs that our customers can have fun using to showcase their memories and photos. Some of the best ideas I’ve seen come from how our customers and design team members use our products!
6. 3 things people probably do not know about you.
• One thing that may surprise our customers is that I studied classical piano for 15 years – and even took from a University professor in high school and college. Even though I’ve performed at amazing places like the Kent Concert Hall at Utah State University, performing terrifies me and is one of the reasons why I chose to major in marketing in college instead of music. In fact, my sweet husband surprised me with my own baby grand piano for Christmas this past year – a dream I’ve always had.
• I’ve had lunch with the drummer from The Doors – seriously. I had a really cool job at USU during college where I worked with the student government and student activities. Part of that was bringing in cool speakers and workshops – John Densmore was one of the performers we scheduled to come speak to the students and we got to take him to lunch before. Wow – the stories he had!!
• Before starting Simple Stories, I was a marketing manager for a regional shopping center. I loved that job – I graduated in Apparel Merchandising and Marketing so it was a perfect fit. I oversaw all of the shopping centers marketing, advertising, retailer merchandising and events – I even worked closely with Santa and the Easter Bunny. A lot of the retail and marketing experience I have is because of that job!
• Okay I can’t just stop at one…here’s one more thing. I’m adopted – and our first daughter Katelyn is adopted too. Adoption is very close to my heart!
7. Favorite:
Okay – I just have to preface to say I really am an “all or nothing” girl. So there’s not just one of these – except for of course my adoration for all things Diet Coke!
● Book
One of the things I love to do besides scrapbook and paper craft is read…I LOVE it!! In fact, reading is how I cope best with the stress and demands of running a business. So I read a lot of books – a LOT of books (don’t even look at my Amazon Kindle bill…) Just like my taste in music, I’m all over the place with books. I love anything Jane Austen – Emma and Pride & Prejdice being my favorite. I love Regency romances and historical fiction. I love thrillers like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. I love anything by Amy Harmon (she’s the BEST), JoJo Moyes and Liane Moriaty. And, of course, I can’t resist a good chick lit once in a while 😉
● Movie –
That’s easy – the BBC versions of Pride & Prejudice and Emma…aww…Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightly…sigh…
● Candy –
Kit Kat, Almond Joy, Twix and peanut M&M’s (see I can’t pick just one!!)
● Drink –
Diet Coke!!! We have some really cool places here that do mixed soft drinks – my favorite is a Dirty Diet Coke with coconut syrup and lime.
● Music –
Just like books – I’m all over the place with my taste in music. Right now it’s anything 21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons. I also love Taylor Swift – I totally want to be part of her squad. #squadgoals
● Color –
I’m loving Navy, Robin’s Egg and Coral
● TV Show
I love The Goldbergs, The Middle and Modern Family. And I absolutely love The Grinder – Rob Lowe is hilarious!
8. A lot of our fans know what Gia, Erica and Lacey connected through Memory Works. MW and Simple Stories share a special place in our hearts because without you and Memory Works we would have never connected. Can you share a little about Memory Works and how Simple Stories came about?
Gia, Erica and Lacey have a special place in my heart too. They were all huge supporters of MemoryWorks and they’re some of our favorites! We were so excited when they launched Clique Kits and are so proud of them!
Many people may not know that before there was Simple Stories, there was MemoryWorks. Kevin and I started MemoryWorks in 2002 as direct sales scrapbook company with consultants all over the nation that sold the top scrapbook brands. During that time we had 3 kids under 3 and we ran the business from our home, but it soon became too much that Kevin quit his full time job and we moved to a commercial space and hired our first employees. It was during this time where the concept for our Simple Stories came – pocket pages had just been introduced to the market and we even sold them in our catalog. But companies were not producing products
to be used with them. It didn’t make sense to me to not have product such as pre-designed cards and pieces that could be inserted into the pocket pages for simple scrapbooking. After a few years of having no options on the market for this type of product, we decided to produce our own. We developed and designed our first kit Simple Stories “Life Documented” by MemoryWorks in 2009 that featured a variety of predesigned cards and elements on 12×12 papers that could be cut apart and inserted into the different pocket page options. It was shipped and distributed to our consultants in January 2010 only through the MemoryWorks program. It was such as hit with consultants and customers that we decided to branch out to offer the product to all retailers on the wholesale market. We brought our original Life Documented collection, as well as the Elementary school collection and Destinations travel collection to the CHA Winter 2011 in LA. We had a tiny booth in the new manufactures area – and we were blown away with the success of the products! Our Simple Stories concept was a hit with retailers and consultants and the rest is history. Our Simple Stories brand has grown significantly in the past 5 years and we’re so thankful for our customers support and excitement about our products. When Simple Stories started to expand beyond our wildest dreams, we decided to it was best to focus on the manufacturing aspect of our business and we made the hard decision to discontinue our MemoryWorkis business. As hard as it was for us to say goodbye to MemoryWorks it was the best decision for our business so we could focus on our creating amazing products. We now have our own albums, pocket pages, planners, paper, embellishments and so much more. We now have 18 employees and just moved to a 22,000 square foot warehouse and office. It’s amazing to see where we are in 5 short years and so excited for what our future will bring, but we will be forever thankful for MemoryWorks and the relationships with consultants like Gia, Lacey and Erica that will always hold a special place in our heart.
9. One piece of advice you would give your younger self.
I would tell my younger self that I made it!! I survived high school, I graduated from college, I had a cool career in marketing, I married the most amazing guy, I have an awesome family and I get to do what I love doing everyday! Even though it’s been hard and the journey has had so many ups and downs, all of the dreams that I made for myself are happening. It’s not
perfect and there’s definitely bumps in the road but I’m thankful every day!!
10. Any hints on what is to come from Simple Stories?
Ohhhh….so many things!! But I can’t share yet….but I promise it will be worth the wait!

Amber thank you so much for being our April Designer in the Spotlight!  This is by far one of my favorite DIS posts ever and we can not wait to see what is coming up next from Simple Stories!

Thank you everyone for stopping by our blog today!  For more information on Simple Stories please check out their Facebook page as well as their website and blog!  I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the day!


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March Designer in the Spotlight – Ashley Goldberg


Hello Everyone!  I am excited to be bringing you our March Designer in the Spotlight!  This month our kit featured the Goldie collection designed my Ashley Goldberg!


You can see Ashley’s designs everywhere from Target to the Land of Nod and most recent with Parasol.  We were beyond thrilled when we saw the Goldie collection!  Ashley has taken some time out of her day for a little Q&A to share with everyone!  Please say Hello to Ashley Goldberg!IMG_9008

Tell us a little bit about your creative process and what inspires you?

My creative process these days is centered a lot around deadlines. Because there are both deadlines and administrative work to manage. I try to let myself be creative when I feel creative. That has been a struggle for me. Normally, it’s answer emails, go over contracts, meetings, etc and THEN create. But I think it’s more efficient to create work when I have that creative pull to create.

It can’t always work quite like that. We can’t abandon laundry because we want to create BUT if you can do that on some days I think you may get some great work made : )

 I am also making an effort now to try to build time back into my week time to create art just for me. Let there be more exploration and mistakes and discoveries. That’s the only way to next place creatively.

Where and when are you most creative?

That’s easy! In my house from late afternoon to late at night. But man, I wish my answer was early in the am!!
What are some of your must have supplies?
If I had NOTHING else it would be a sketchbook and black pens. My extended version of that is access to a computer with photoshop, a scanner, and a wacom tablet . A lot of my process professionally happens digitally. For my personal art there is a lot of acrylic paints (A mix of professional and craft paints), a ton of brushes, pens, and pencils.
And I am a product dabbler and hoarder. I like to buy products that intrigue me and see if I can incorporate it into my work.

Have you always had a love for design and can you share where we can find more of your work?

Yes, yes, yes. I can’t remember a time in my life when design and art and even a love of product and product development weren’t a passion.
 The best place to find me is on instagram: ashley goldberg. I can also be found on periscope under ashley goldberg and I am trying to snap chat more and there I am ashleyashleyg 
and of course my website:

3 Things people probably do not know about you

3 things people probably don’t know about me. Hmmm. That’s a good question.
1) I almost never go to movies in the theater and I don’t watch a lot of movies. I don’t know why, I just never have. And that is really surprising to a lot of people. But if my fiancee starts watching something, I get sucked in pretty easily.
2) I love making jewelry. I haven’t in a long time. But I still love it and collect beads here and there.
3) I’m really intimidated by dslr cameras. I have one and I use it, but I feel it’s still really intimidating to me.
that’s tough. There are so many to chose from! The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore  was an interesting read in the last year.
I don’t actually have one. My answer to my be explained by the last question ; )
peanut m&m’s
mostly hip hop (anything from 90’s to now) and same with “alternative” music for lack of a better word.
-white, black, and light pink. all equally.
tv show
My answer is I like GOOD tv and I like BAD tv. I could binge watch anything from the wire to ghost whisperer. I am currently watching the OJ show and high maintenance.
camp fire, cut grass, pretty much smells associated with outdoors and change of seasons.
I read on your website that you like to go thrifting!  What are one or two of your favorite finds?
I do love thrifting! I have many many many favorite thrift finds. When I was 18 and moved into my first apartment I bought a $70 (it seemed so much at the time!) electric blue velvet, tufted sofa. It was crazy and I both loved and hated it. I had it for several years and when I moved to portland and sold it a coffee house bought it, so it lives on and that just makes me happy
When I bought my house I was on the hunt for these very specific mid-century fireplace tools. And yes, I know that sentence sounds a bit strange ; ) But I was looking on eBay and craigslist and I couldn’t find them for under $250. And then I found the exact set for $2!!!!! That was a good score.
A piece of advise you would give to your younger self.

For international Women’s Day a company I work with often, The Land of Nod, asked me the same thing. My answer was “Pride is not a bad word or feeling. Find something each and every day to be proud of yourself about.”  I am a person who really values humility, so it is sometimes hard to remember that you can still be proud of yourself and be humble and grounded.

The Goldie collection is one of our favorites and the response from our subscribers has been incredible!  Any plans for another collection? 

That’s the best! I love hearing that. Thanks so much! I don’t have another collection like Goldie in the works right now. Although, I LOVE all things paper crafting. But I do have some really fun things in the works that are paper related that I can’t talk about quite yet : ) But I do hope everyone will keep an eye out on my instagram (Ashley Goldberg) for an announcement in the near future.
What was the last thing you took a photo of?
I just checked! And it was a picture of a progress shot in my art journal.
Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview and including my Goldie collection into your March kit. It has been AMAZING and inspiring to see all the ways members have creatively used it.
Ashley thank you so much for sharing with us today we really appreciate it!  Thanks so much for stopping by today to connect with Ashley check out all the social media links listed below!  Enjoy the rest of your day!


February Designer in the Spotlight – Nicole Nowosad

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Today I am so excited to be bringing you are February Designer in the Spotlight!  This month our kit featured the Shine collection by Maggie Holmes with exclusive cut files designed by Just Nick.    Just Nick is a digital cut file shop that offers unique and fun cut files that can be used on varies digital cutting machines.  Nicole Nowosad is the owner and designer behind all these fabulous cut files.  This month she created exclusive designs for our February kit Hot Mess and they have been extremely popular!

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We are very thankful that Nicole took some time out of her day to answer our Q&A for February Designer in the Spotlight.  Please say hello to Nicole!

1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process and what inspires you?
I am really inspired by graphic design and colour/pattern. I really start a page or design with a shape in mind and go from there. I like to keep things fairly simple, but layered.
2. Where and when are you most creative?
Definitely in the evening and I usually scrap better when gathered with other scrappy friends.
3. What are some of your must have supplies?
Well, I can’t live without patterned paper. That and my digital die cut machine.  Most embellishments and titles can be made with just those two things!
4. Have you always had a love for design?
I have loved to tinker on computers and draw on them. It is much easier for me than actually physically drawing on my own 🙂
5. 3 things people probably do not know about you.
I am pretty much an open book, but for sure one thing is that I am quite shy in person. I like to talk  A LOT once I get to know someone, but at first, super shy. Hmm, what else.
I worked 18 years for a pizza fast food chain and believe it or not, although I hated it at the time, I miss the job quite often.
I was a drum major for the high school marching band. I know, I was a band geek 🙂
6. Favorite:
● Book  – Outlander series
● Movie – Pitch Perfect
● Candy  – Hot Lips or Swedish Berries
● Drink  – Slurpees
● Music – Maroon 5, Adele, anything mainstream
● Color  – Aqua/Teal and Mint Green
● TV Show  – Days of our Lives. I have watched it since the 6th grade 🙂
● Smells  – Cinnamon, vanilla. Anything with a yummy spice
7. How did you get started with scrapbooking and designing cut files?
I started scrapbooking at a home party about 17 years ago. Cut files came much later obviously, but as soon as I came across the Silhouette, I was hooked. Like I mentioned earlier, I have always liked to tinker on the computer. I took a desktop publishing course in college and so maneuvering the software came easily to me. It was a natural fit and I love it!
8. A piece of advice you would give your younger self.
Definitely take more risks earlier. Travel before settling down. Stay in college. Live alone for a while.
9. What advice would you give someone who is a new cut file user?
Start slow. Take a basics class. Learn a few favorite tricks like welding and tracing. Try to edit shapes on your own to create your own unique things yourself! And, of course take advantage of all the great freebies out there!
10. If you could visit any manufacturer who would it be (any industry)
Honestly, I think I would like to check out a fabric manufacturer. I would love to dive into the patterns and color!
Thank you so much Nicole!  It is always so fun to learn a little bit about the designers we love!  If you are not already following Just Nick or Nicole on social media please take a minute and visit the links below!  If you are new to cut files or have been afraid to get started now is the time!  They are so fun to use and once you get the hang of cutting you will be hooked!  Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you all have a wonderful day!  To get your hands on the February kit please CLICK HERE before they are gone!
social media links:
Instagram: @nicolenowosad & @justnickstudio
JustNick digital cut files:
Pinterest: @nicolenowosad
Twitter: @nicolenowosad
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January Designer in the Spotlight – Kim Watson

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Hello everyone!  I am so excited to bring you our January Designer in the Spotlight Kim Watson!  We were so excited when we saw her collection with Fancy Pants Designs called Happy Place we just had to feature the collection in our January Kit!


We are very thankful that Kim took some time out of her day to answer our Q&A and be our January Designer in the Spotlight!  Please say hello to Kim Watson.

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1. Tell us a little bit about your creative process- As a rule, ideas never come when I need them to haha. They tend to happen when I’m running around or doing dishes or trying to fall asleep late at night.  I must be honest, when sitting down to scrap, a page design doesn’t usually come to me in a light bulb moment, I mull. I give the projects head space when I am going about daily stuff & in the end the story usually dictates where I end up design wise. I love challenging myself with hidden meanings or symbolism by the motifs I use or design elements included in the project. I think these subliminal elements are what make a page personal & help tell the story. Once I have a direction, I tend to push paper around until I have a design that speaks to me, then the fun part starts. 
2. Where and when are you most creative? I love my scrap area…unlike those insanely Pinned crafty spaces on Pinterest, it is not glamorous or fancy in any way, actually you couldn’t swing a cat in there without losing an eye but I find being surrounded by all the tools of the trade, pretty papers, magazines, art supplies really inspire me to want to craft. I also love that my scrap space is in the hub of our life…I am surrounded by the things I hold most dear, my family. I do find that I prefer crafting in the quiet so whether day or night, you’ll find me grabbing a crafty moment as & when those moments come. 
3. What are some of your must have supplies? 
  • If we are talking about tools, my number one is my Mac, which I couldn’t do without.  
  • Xacto knife & magnetic cutting mat from We R Memory keepers 
  • Tombow mono glue
  • Sewing machine
  • Cameo cutting machine

4. Who are some of your influences? Ok…I admit I am a Google fanatic. Having the Internet is like having the largest library at your fingertips, making an array of influences available in a blink. Art, Graphic Design, Magazine layouts, Packaging, Interiors & home decor, Book covers & old posters, textiles…actually I find gorgeous inspiration just about anywhere.

5. 3 things people probably do not know about you. 
  • I am a vocalist in a local band. I think if I didn’t end up as a Fashion & Graphic Designer, I would love to have sung professionally. 
  • I really love what I do. I couldn’t live without Adobe Creative Suite being part of my daily life. I find the process of learning new tricks everyday stimulating especially if the result is pretty crafty products. So yes…I am a ‘Watch Youtube for the tutorial’ kinda gal.
  • Working for Creating Keepsakes magazine for so many years developed in me a love for writing about all things crafty. I love the process of massaging words, & turning other peoples wonderful art into a creative process others can be inspired by. 
6. Can you share what helps you break out of a creative slump? Coffee…lots of coffee & an adult coloring book. I find 30 minutes with crayons, caffeine & an intricate design…really helps get the creative juices flowing again. In saying that, I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth…a long walk on Long Beach (5 minutes from my home), really helps me out of any funk. 
7. We are loving the Happy Place collection! Can you tell us what inspired you when creating this collection?. It was the Origami birds…I had been paper folding with my son one afternoon & loved the sweet little birds so much that I hung them with thread on a twig in my living room. They sat on my mantel for weeks all happy & free. One day I got the urge to create an origami repeat pattern…that is when the fun started & the result was Happy Place.  
8. Have you always had a love for design and can you share where we can find your work: My creative journey started later in life. Actually I was a Science major who dabbled in Fashion design. My love for Fashion & textiles ignited my love for design, which influenced where I find myself today. You can find my work on social media here: Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook |Gallery | Blog 
9. What are your predictions for the new trends to hit in 2016? You will still see the influence of hand created patterns & motifs with minimalist, clean overtures. Fonts from classic slab serifs, to loose hand inked fonts excite me as does modern nostalgia with a lick of water color. Textures from natural to modernistic will make emerging collections fun & tactile in unexpected ways. 2016 is going to be a year of creative fusion.
10. How did you get started in the scrapbooking industry? Quite by chance actually. As an extreme newbie to scrapbooking, I entered an online contest in the Creating Keepsakes magazine member forum in 2005. I surprised myself by winning which lead to my page being published. That first published page gave me the confidence to submit my work regularly which resulted successes with many magazines as well as manufacturers design teams. One of my fondest highlights was designing for Creating Keepsakes magazine on their Dream Team for 5 years. I think the experienced gained from working with such an amazing team of creative professionals, definitely prepared me for designing my own collections. Everyday I am grateful for the opportunity given me by the sweet Jodi Sanford & Fancy Pants Designs, who helped my dream come true. 


Thank you so much Kim for sharing a little bit about yourself with us today!  You can follow Kim on her blog HERE and check her out on Facebook and Instagram!


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