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Thanksgiving Subway Art Print

Posted by Amy Miller on 06 November, 2013

It's so hard to believe it's already November.  Where I live (Phoenix, AZ) it just finally started to cool down the last couple weeks so I feel like Fall is just starting for us here.  I grew up in the Midwest with all 4 seasons of weather so I'm always a little confused what time of the year it is here.  So my season clock says it's September but the calendar tells me otherwise. I wanted to share that my 8" x 10" Thanksgiving subway art print is 50% off until November 20th.  You can go purchase it here.

Thanksgiving Subway Artwork Print - Amy Miller Designs

It's printed with Epson archival inks on Ultra Premium Matte paper. The print will be cut to 8" x 10" with no additional space on the sides. Once you receive your order you'll be able to pop it right into a frame with no trimming involved.  This is NOT a printable digital file, it's an actual print that will be mailed to you. Hope your November is going well!

Fall Harvest Bars

Posted by Amy Miller on 18 October, 2013

Looking for a pretty Fall recipe to use those candy corns in instead of throwing them directly into your mouth or with a few peanuts that make up a pretend PayDay candy bar?  ; )  This bar has all the goods in it:  candy corn, marshmallows, peanut butter and peanuts!  Get the recipe from Dulce Dough here.

Fall Harvest Bars

Happy Baking!! What's Baking is a section on my blog where I share various items I've been making and baking!  I've loved to bake since I was little!  Some recipes or creations I've made up myself and some are things I've made from my way too many Pinterest boards and from way too many bloggers I follow.  To take a look at some other things I've been baking go here!

Halloween Cupcake Note Card Holder

Posted by Amy Miller on 03 October, 2013

Earlier this week I shared some of my Halloween Cupcake Ornaments and today I'm going to share with you some of my note card/photo holders.

Halloween Cupcake Note Holders by Amy Miller Designs

To purchase the cupcakes below just click here.

Halloween Cupcake Note Card Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Cupcake Note Card Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Cupcake Note Card Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Faux Cupcake Note Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Faux Cupcake Note Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Faux Cupcake Note Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Cupcake Note Card Holder by Amy Miller Designs

Happy Decorating!

Halloween Cupcake Ornaments

Posted by Amy Miller on 02 October, 2013

Have you started decorating for Halloween yet??  I'm going to this weekend.  I would have started last weekend but I've been battling a cold and just didn't feel like it.  If you are looking for something sweet and cute to decorate with this year I've got you covered!  Below you will find some of my mini faux cupcake decorations you can find in my shop.

Halloween Cupcake Ornaments by Amy Miller Designs

Happy Halloween Polka Dot Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Polka Dot Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Stripe Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Black Polka Dot Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Orange Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

Halloween Dots Cupcake Ornament by Amy Miller Designs

You can use these cupcakes as table top decorations or hang them from a Halloween tree!  If you would like the cupcake not to have a string just leave me a note at check out that you would like the string removed.

Halloween Cupcake Ornaments by Amy Miller Designs

Have fun decorating for Halloween!

A Face to a Name

Posted by Amy Miller on 29 September, 2013

Hi I'm Amy!  Some of you kind of know me but most likely have no clue what I look like.  That's kind of been on purpose and kind of been just plain laziness.  I'm one of those people who HATE having my photo taken and runs away from a camera.  I'm usually the one behind the camera.  I've read many times that when you run a business and blog you should have a photo of yourself so people can feel a connection to you.  I totally get that and agree but for someone who doesn't like to have their photo taken that's kind of a big deal.  On my to do list I have "get professional photo taken".  Let's just say that always seems to slip to the bottom of the list! ; ) Why share my photo now?  Well, I got approached by a UK craft magazine a few months ago and they wanted to feature one of my cupcake ornaments in their magazine (exciting) and needed me to send in a few photos of my cupcakes (cool, no problem) and a photo of myself (eek, what?, no!).  I only had a few days to get this accomplished so there was no time to go about finding a professional photographer to get that done.  I panicked a little and told my husband he would have to put his photographers hat on (he's not a photographer, he's a math wizard) and do a little photo shoot.  I always knew this photo thing would never get done until I was forced to do so! ; ) The woman from the magazine said she would need a good-quality image with no sunglasses or silly faces.  When I read that I started to laugh a little because I wouldn't think anyone would send in a photo of yourself to be put in a magazine wearing sun glasses or a funny candid shot.  Then I got to thinking, pretty much 88% of all the photos of myself are me in a T-shirt, hat, ponytail, sunglasses and in the middle of a forest. Enter the many faces of Amy Miller:

Amy Miller

Photo details: 1.  On a hike in Kauai, HI - this hike was so beautiful and green foliage as far as the eye could see.  2.  Also in Kauai - went to a farmers market and tried some new fruit and also got a coconut, mainly for a photo opp!  The coconut milk/water whatever you call it was horrible and went into the garbage about 4.2 seconds after this photo.  3.  Hike in Glacier National Park (sorry, forgot the sunglasses) - we are obsessed with finding moose on our nature vacations.  We asked a park ranger if there were any good moose spotting areas and he shared one that we had to take a ferry and hike to reach it and sure enough we found a moose to watch most of the afternoon!  4.  Again at Glacier National Park - on one of our hikes we came across a bunch of mountain goats and posed with them!  I'll have to share some other photos of this trip sometime.  It was like wildlife palooza there.  We saw our first bear (on a hike!) and many other animals.  5.  Hike in Flagstaff, AZ (sunglasses not on but hanging on my shirt) - I'm not pretending to shoot a leaf, not sure why I'm making a gun sign, I'm so gangsta...ha ha.  I'm playing our made up game called "When it's Windy in a Forest Try to Catch a Leaf While they are Blowing Around".  The first one to catch a leaf wins!  Yes, sometimes it gets a little boring in the middle of a forest and you have to make up games! ; )  6.  Albuquerque, NM Hot Air Balloon Festival -  not sure how this photo got in here, my hair is down, no hat or sunglasses.  I am sporting an awesome ear band though!  Ok, I had to sneak this photo in because I love those two bumble bee hot air balloons behind me!  I need to share more photos of this festival too, it was so beautiful.  7. Hike somewhere in NM - My husband and I are doing our best Posh Spice/Victoria Beckham poses.  You know her famous "smile" of lips slightly pouty and look like you are pissed at the world and loath living with the very unattractive David Beckham. ; )  I think at this time the Beckhams were moving to the US for David to play soccer here so they were in the press a lot which started to affect how we pose for photos! ; )  8.  Hike in Glacier National Park - sporting my pom pom stocking hat that is probably meant to be worn by teenagers but I'm rocking it anyway!  This is a rare photo that was taken by someone else.  Most of our photos are the good old husband holds the camera in front of us selfie style, like photos 7 and 1 (cropped my husband out of that one).  9.  Hike somewhere between Dolores and Telluride, CO - See, most of all our photos are in the middle of the forest!  10.  Around Lake City, CO - lying on a bridge watching the clouds roll by.  Do you ever stare at the clouds and find that they look like things.  I did it when I was little and still do it today.  I'll never forget when I was little I saw the shape of big bird in the clouds! Bonus Footage:

Amy Head Shot Background

Here's how the whole photo shoot with my husband went down.  A floor lamp, milk crate, white foam core and a large clip were our friends for a background that day.  I knew I wanted just a plain and simple photo with a white background.  The only white walls in my house are in my office. My office is completely surrounded by furniture so I can't even really stand by a wall in there, so a piece of white foam core to the rescue!  We had to drag the floor lamp around the room to find the best lighting.  I originally wanted to do this outside on our covered patio for better lighting but it was about 180 degrees outside that day (ok, maybe only 108) and didn't feel like having beads of sweat rolling down my forehead for my debut!

The photo I chose to use was the last shot my husband took.  Off to the right of the photo I'm holding another piece of white foam core to bounce some light back on me.  White foam core is your best friend when taking photos!  I pulled the photo above into photoshop, cropped it, did a couple tweaks and the photo you see at the top was the end result.  I still would like to have a professional photo shoot done someday (probably 10 years from now) but I think this will work for now. So there you have it!  A face to a name!  One more thing scratched off the to do list.  It's now time for me to go back underground and design more things! If you would like to know a little more about me head on over here. P.S.  I'll share more about the UK magazine article when it's out.  I think it's suppose to be out sometime in October.

What's Baking: Rose Decorated Cupcakes

Posted by Amy Miller on 19 August, 2013

I've had a Pillsbury pink lemonade cake mix and frosting that's been sitting in my pantry since the beginning of this summer and needed to put it to use!  Since the frosting was pink I thought I'd try out a rose frosting technique that I've always wanted to do.

Rose Cupcakes by Amy Miller Designs

These cupcakes are mini size.  Most of the time when I make cupcakes I make them mini size.  Why?  Well there are a few reasons:  Making minis doubles the batch of 24 regular cupcakes to 48 mini ones so you get double the quantity out of the mix.  I feel more people are likely to grab a mini one being served at a function because its a smaller portion and less calories than a regular sized one.  They're just a little cuter in mini form and I'm personally a little partial to mini ones!  : )

Rose Cupcakes by Amy Miller Designs

So how do you do this technique?  I turned to a video online from Created by Diane.  Diane shows how to do this rose technique in 20 seconds, YES 20 seconds.  It's that easy!  Check out the video here.  I wasn't sure if this technique would turn out on a mini cupcake since there isn't as much square footage to work with as a regular sized one.  I think they turned out pretty good though.  I'm not sure if mine look like roses but it looks like some kind of flower and pretties up the cupcakes a little more than just frosting with a knife.  These really are super easy to do after you watch the video, I swear.

Rose Cupcakes by Amy Miller Designs

Tips for the rose frosting technique to be a success: 1. You'll need a 2D icing tip like this (left side of pict. below) and an icing bag. 2. Sometimes it's a little hard to hold the icing bag and scoop your frosting in it at the same time, you sometimes feel like you need a third hand.  Enter your third hand...use a tall glass and put your empty icing bag with the 2D tip in a glass and fold down the top of the bag over the glass and begin to put your frosting in it (right side of pict. below).  This is one of the best tips I've learned over the years to fill an icing bag and not create a mess!  3. You need a fairly stiff but squeezable frosting when doing this technique so the rose will keep it's shape while you are piping it on the cupcake.  If you are making homemade frosting just add a little more powdered sugar to your frosting to thicken it up.  I used a can frosting for these and I feel most of the canned frostings are a little soft to work with when piping on frosting for the shape to hold up.  To help the frosting hold it's shape better while piping put the frosting filled icing bag in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so to firm it up.  You can also mix in a little powdered sugar to the canned frosting to thicken it up too. 4. When working with an icing bag the heat of your hand will kind of "melt" your frosting.  If you notice the frosting isn't holding it's shape as well as when you started put your filled icing bag in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to stiffen up again. 5. It took 1 1/2 cans of frosting to frost these (48) mini ones.  I think piping frosting on vs. using a knife uses up a little more frosting.  If you're making homemade frosting you might want to make 1 1/2 batches and if you're using canned frosting pick 2 up so you don't have to go back to the grocery store...like I did!  FYI if you have some leftover frosting it tastes awesome on graham crackers...just sayin'! ; ) 6. Loosely cover your cupcakes up after you frost them.  If you store and seal up your cupcakes in an air tight container the moisture of the cake will start to loosen up your frosting and the beautiful work you did will start to lose shape and your frosting will kind of look like it's melting.  I just put the cover on kind of crooked so a little air can get in the container and help the frosting keep it's shape. 7. Don't get too critical of your work.  I wasn't sure if the first ones I frosted looked very good.  I can become a little critical of myself...anyone else have that issue?  Anyways when I looked at them individually I wasn't sure if they looked very good, but when they were all placed together they looked fine.  (I think tip 7 is mainly a tip for myself in general! #selftherapy ha ha) 8. Now go try this technique and WOW all your friends!

Rose Cupcake Tips by Amy Miller Designs

Below is what rose frosted cupcakes look like when your husband takes them to work and brings the leftover ones back home! Oops!!  ha ha

Cupcake Mishap by Amy Miller Designs

Happy Baking!! What's Baking is a section on my blog where I share various items I've been making and baking!  I've loved to bake since I was little!  Some recipes or creations I've made up myself and some are things I've made from my way too many Pinterest boards and from way too many bloggers I follow.  To take a look at some other things I've been baking go here!

Free Military Welcome Home Printables

Posted by Amy Miller on 15 August, 2013

I designed these Military Welcome Home Printables awhile ago and I'm finally getting them up on my blog.  If you have family and/or friends that have been away serving our country for awhile throw them a little party to welcome them back home!  I've made a "Welcome Home" banner and a variety of square or circle tags (if you use a circle punch) to use as cupcake toppers or for other decorations!

Military Welcome Home Printables

Military Welcome Home Printables

It's kind of hard to take a photo of the actual banner all made and put together so below is a little visual of what the banner says and looks like once it's printed and cut out.

Military Welcome Home Banner

I had to split the banner into 2 files in order to upload it to the blog so click here for the word "Welcome" and click here for the word "Home".  Once printed and cut out the individual triangles measure approx. 5 1/2" W x 6 1/2" H".

Military Welcome Home Banner

To download the tags that you see below click here.

Military Welcome Home Tags

If you use these printable for a party please share some photos with me!  Thank you to all of those that serve our country!! *Terms of use for free digital files/downloads: All digital .pdf files/designs are to be used for PERSONAL USE ONLY! Commercial use, re-selling, making a profit from, forwarding and sharing these files/designs is strictly prohibited. You may NOT sell the finished (printed & cut) designs. All designs are original creations and are copyright of ©Amy Miller Designs. All rights reserved. By downloading these files/designs you agree to these terms.  All of my downloadable files are password protected, which means you cannot bring them into a design program and alter them.

You win some, you lose some

Posted by Amy Miller on 01 August, 2013

Well from the title you're probably wondering did I win or lose.  I lost, but it's ok!  I'm a little bummed today but tomorrow I'll shove it out of my head and move on to the next thing.  I recently submitted a design to the big Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search.  By big I mean there were 1500 people who submitted artwork.  Why was this so big?  Well the winner gets a 2 year contract for international representation by Lilla Rogers Studio plus some great licensing deals.  That's a really big prize in the design world.  Today was the big day that everyone who entered found out if they made it to the next round of 50.  Yes, it went right from 1500 to 50!  When I told my husband last night that I found out there were 1500 submissions he decided to calculate the chances of me getting in, which was 3.33%.  This cracked me up because I'm like are you trying to make me feel better??  ha ha  I didn't make the cut, but I wasn't expecting to anyways.  From time to time I like to enter design contests just to learn and do something new and get out of my normal design mode.  I don't really enter them thinking I'm going to win.  If I do, awesome but if I don't no big deal, I just like to challenge myself.  I did actually win the Pantone Inspired Egg Contest held by Amy Atlas Events a couple years ago.  Go check it out, it's kind of funny!  I'll have to blog about that sometime. So I wasn't going to show my design unless I made it into the round of 50.  Then I changed my mind this morning because I personally really like it and I wasn't going to let not making it to the next round rob me of the joy I had making it.  Everyone who entered was given the same design brief/assignment.  In general you were to design a journal cover that was 5 x 7  with the theme of old-fashioned playground items and include the word "journal" somewhere in your design.   You could interpret this theme anyway you wanted to.  Below is my interpretation!

Amy Miller Designs Playground Bears

I'll share a little on how my design was developed.  The assignment was e-mailed to us while I was in Colorado on vacation the beginning of July.  For a brief moment in the woods I had an internet connection and was able to view the assignment.  The very rough sketch/concept below is the idea I came up with right after I read the assignment and sat on the deck drawing and watching the river flow by (wish I was still there!).  I'm not sure if I went with bears because I was in the middle of the woods or because the visual of chubby bears on playground equipment cracked me up!

Amy Miller Designs Playground Bears Sketch

Next was to figure out a color palette.  I came across this nail polish ad in one of the Ulta flyers and was really drawn to it and thought it seemed fun for my design.  I ended up changing the final colors in my design a little from this but this was my initial inspiration.  Some of you might have seen me post some of these photos on my facebook page.

Amy Miller Designs Color Palette

I then picked colors from my Pantone swatch book based on the nail polish ad to use in Adobe Illustrator.  I pretty much use Illustrator 85% of the time for all my designs and I usually design them directly in Illustrator.  That's why my initial concept drawings are very sketchy/scary looking because I do the real drawing on the computer.

Amy Miller Designs Color Palette

For the background I wanted a little texture and decided to take a photo of some sand since you usually find sand or dirt at a playground.  The background didn't turn out as texturey (were making that a word today!) as I wanted it to but that's ok.  So that's pretty much the process that I went through for this design.

Amy Miller Designs Sand

I like it and it really represents my design style of cute and fun!  I'll use this on another design project someday.  I think it would be a really cute allover print. Hop on over to see the 50 designs that were chosen to move onto the next round.  I found it really interesting to see everyone's interpretation when given the same assignment. Also check out this fun time lapsed video that Catriona from CR Patterns made of her design process.

 

Bake Sale and Farmers Market Price Tag Labels

Posted by Amy Miller on 31 July, 2013

I recently added these Bake Sale and Farmers Market price tag labels to my shop.   They come as a personalized digital .pdf file that will print 12 labels per page that once cut measure 2 3/4" W x 1 5/8" H.  The middle of the label is left blank so you can write in the price for the various items.  You can print them on full size sticker label sheets similar to these or print them on regular white paper and attach with tape to your baked goods.

Bakery and Farmers Market Labels

This design came about when a friend of ours wanted to know if I could make some personalized price tag labels to be used on baked goods and jam that her mother-in-law sells at Farmers Markets.  I got an idea right away to go kind of country with the design and make the label look like a little booth with a red and white check tablecloth for the homemade graphic goodies to sit on and then "built" a wooden sign with the "painted" personalized name on it.  Our friend was going to give the labels along with other supplies that her mother-in-law uses to make and sell her homemade goods to her for a Mother's Day gift.  I thought that was such a great customized gift idea, don't you?

Bakery and Farmers Market Labels

Besides using these labels for individuals you can have them personalized with an organization such as a High School running a bake sale or...

Bakery and Farmers Market Labels

a church or another type of organization.

Bakery and Farmers Market Labels

If you or someone else you know would like to make your bake sale or farmers market items look more professional go order your personalized labels here! Are you hungry for some homemade baked goods now?! : ) What’s Baking is a section on my blog where I share various items I’ve been making and baking!  I’ve loved to bake since I was little!  Some recipes or creations I’ve made up myself and some are things I’ve made from my way too many Pinterest boards and from way too many bloggers I follow.  To take a look at some other things I’ve been baking go here!

Christmas in July Sale

Posted by Amy Miller on 26 July, 2013

Are you sick of the hot weather yet?  Dreaming of Christmas time and some cooler weather?  I am!  To go along with dreaming of Christmas time I decided to throw my first Christmas in July Sale in my shop.  Everything in my shop will be 25% off when you use the coupon code CHRISJULY at checkout.  FYI - I very seldom run sales especially on my faux cupcake decorations so take advantage of this now!  The 25% off discount will be valid from July 26-29, 2013.

Christmas In July Sale at Amy Miller Designs

What's included?  Well like I said before, everything!  Here's a little sampling of some of the items. FAUX CUPCAKE DECORATIONS - I make a variety of cupcake decorations in many different patterns.  Here are just a few.  I started making cupcake ornaments because I was trying to find a realistic yet cute cupcake ornament and couldn't find any I liked so I made one myself.  I then had other people ask me where I got my ornament and they wanted one so that's how my little cupcakes were born!

Cupcake Ornaments by Amy Miller Designs

PERSONALIZED FAUX CUPCAKE DECORATIONS - These are made with the very popular cupcake circle toppers!  The personalized Baby's 1st Christmas cupcake is one of my popular sellers along with Our 1st Christmas for married couples with their names and marriage date.  Kids love having their own names on items so a personalized cupcake would be sure to please!

Cupcake Ornaments by Amy Miller Designs

PRINTABLES -  For those that don't know I'm a surface and graphic designer and will keep adding more designs to my printables line.  All my printables are available as digital .pdf files that you can print from home and print as many as you need for your celebration.

Printables by Amy Miller Designs

ART PRINTS - All my current prints are 8x10, professionally printed and shipped to you ready to just pop into a frame.

Art Prints by Amy Miller Designs

Now get to shopping!!