Entries Tagged as 'create'

diy cheerios necklace for baby.

Posted on: Friday, July 24, 2015

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

If your baby is anything like my baby, she likes to snack. A LOT. From the time we introduced Briar to solid foods, she was pretty adamant about taking matters into her own hands (literally) and feeding herself. While this was frustrating at first, I’ve learned to view it as a huge help (I can eat my food while she eats hers!) and an amazing way to foster self-sufficiency.

Most of the time, I can plop Briar in her high chair, place her meal in bite-size pieces on her tray, and let her happily munch away. But when we are out and about or when she’s stuck in her car seat for an extended period of time, it’s not so easy to let her feed herself. The solution: Cheerios necklaces!

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are pretty self-explanatory: Cheerios, twine, and scissors. Just string the Cheerios onto the twine until you feel like you have provided your baby with a decent sized snack and then tie a knot and place it over your baby’s head. If I know we are going to be out for awhile, I like to make a couple of necklaces so I can swap them out as need be.

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

It didn’t take much convincing to get Briar on this bandwagon — she’s a believer!

handmade greeting cards.

Posted on: Thursday, July 23, 2015

Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves

As much as I LOVE well-designed greeting cards (especially of the letterpress variety!), I will almost always resort to making a card by hand versus buying one in a store. It’s just something I have always done and I will probably always do, as I’m more than happy to sit down with my favorite paper supplies and craft up a love note for my favorite people! Here are three cards I made for the special women in my life in celebration of this past Mother’s Day:

Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves
Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves
Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves Handmade Greeting Cards Using Dear Lizzy Products | Ann-Marie Loves

Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Patterned Paper Pad // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sticker Roll // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Puffy Stickers // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Pleather Bows // Dear Lizzy Fine and Dandy Sticker Roll // Multicolored Chipboard Thickers // Gold Foil Thickers // Craft Scissors // Tape Runner

I look forward to the day that I can recruit Briar to help me make cards and show our nearest and dearest just how much we love them :)

briar’s first birthday | invitation progress.

Posted on: Monday, July 13, 2015

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend was a big one. There was a sprained ankle (Mine! Zumba! Gah!), first steps for Briar (I’M SO PROUD I COULD EXPLODE), and lots of fun working on my almost-one year old’s birthday party invitations! It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, Briar will have made a full trip around the sun. I could swear we just brought her home from the hospital?

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

But instead of wallowing in the fact that my baby is getting older, I am focusing on all the fun things ahead. Namely, birthday crafting! For the invitations, I’m jumping on the hand-lettering bandwagon and pairing my handwriting with a little watercoloring. (There will also be a photo involved, if only I could just get her to stay in one place for five seconds…)

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m pretty sure I could write out her name all day, everyday. I used to FILL notebooks with lettering just because I loved playing with my handwriting and trying out different words in different ways (anyone else?). The thing about hand-lettering is that I need a marker with a wide tip to achieve my best look, so I busted out my forgotten Copic markers and went to town. Those markers are expensive but they really do work like a dream.

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I also had a great time creating full page watercolor washes to use as a background texture. I am by no means an expert painter, but I do find it to be incredibly relaxing, especially with a fun podcast on in the background.

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve already scanned in all of my favorite samples of the lettering and watercoloring (using this method!) and I am so excited to pair them together to create a finished product. Stay tuned for more party updates coming soon!

briar’s scrapbook | part five.

Posted on: Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

So here’s why I love digital stamps: this entire spread, from start to finish, took twenty minutes. Twenty. THAT’S IT. In fact, the hardest part was choosing which photos to use…! When I first started scrapbooking, the concept of “digital scrapbooking” could not have been less appealing to me. I mean, who would want to their supplies to be on the computer? Wasn’t the tangibility of traditional scrapbooking where all the joy of the hobby lived? But as the years have passed, I’ve come to think of myself more as a hybrid scrapbooker. While I still love physical products and shuffling papers between my hands and holding a tangible layout before my eyes, there’s definitely something to be said about using the computer to streamline and expedite my scrapbooking process. I love adding titles or journaling to my photo BEFORE I print it; not only does it expedite the situation but it also looks good. The minimalist graphic designer in me love love loves it.

For these two pages, I used my new (or should I say old?) digital brushes to add titles where I saw fit. Here’s how it all turned out:

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Photo by La Rousse Photo

Lord knows I love a massive photo, so for this page, I sized one of my favorite images to 8 x 10,” added a pink gradient and the “Let’s Go On Adventures” brush to the top, and then mounted it onto a sheet of patterned paper. Couldn’t have been easier!

Supplies: BasicGrey Aurora Paper // Yellow Washi Tape // Aurora Die Cut Tag // Amy Tangerine Heart Sticker // Greatest Hits Digital Brushes

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the second page, I used a mix of photos (when did my baby get so big?!) and digital brushes, with a few physical embellishments as well. It’s funny…I designed most of these rubber stamps-turned-digital brushes waaaay before Briar was born, but now the sentiments are SO FITTING for our parent / child relationship. I love how that works.

Supplies: Greatest Hits Digital Brushes // Amy Tangerine Epoxy Stickers // Amy Tangerine Die Cut “Love”

So maybe I was wrong about the whole digital scrapbooking thing way back when I was a newb; now I can’t imagine my style without the computer close at hand!

P.S. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four of Briar’s scrapbook album!

digital brushes: greatest hits | now available!

Posted on: Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | New Digital Brushes! | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m excited to finally announce that all of my most popular rubber stamp designs from 2012 – 2015 have FINALLY been turned into digital brushes and added to my shop. It’s only been on my to-do list for, oh, a whole year? Turning files into digital brushes is not what was stopping me; it was the sheer volume of files that I had to go through that intimidated me for so long. I mean, seriously, SO MANY FREAKING STAMPS (ha!). It’s all good, though :)

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | New Digital Brushes! | Ann-Marie Loves

These are the sixty-seven designs that are included in the pack.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | New Digital Brushes! | Ann-Marie Loves

As someone who loves to put type on photos, having brushes at my disposal is a huge time-saver! In case you’re not familiar with how to use them, Elise put together a fantastic tutorial video that I highly recommend watching.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | New Digital Brushes! | Ann-Marie Loves

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing how I use digital brushes in my scrapbook, so stay tuned! :)

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | New Digital Brushes! | Ann-Marie Loves

You can find my Greatest Hits digital brushes HERE and my Holiday set (now on sale!) HERE. Yay!

homemade iced coffee.

Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

As the temperature continues to rise and Briar continues to wake up in the middle of the night, one thing has become crystal clear: I NEED ICED COFFEE. As much as I love hot coffee, I’m more than happy to switch over to the iced version during the warm summer months. I love it in the morning with my breakfast but I really love in the afternoon when my energy begins to slump…it’s the perfect pick-me-up! Recently I had been going through the Starbucks drive-thru (God’s gift to moms of babies) on an almost daily basis, but I realized I could save a lot of money by making it at home. So! I did a little research and experimentation and found my favorite new way to get my caffeine fix.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

What you’ll need:

- 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (anything but instant coffee)

- 4 cups of water

- Cheesecloth

- Two pitchers or carafes

- Saran wrap

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Directions:

Pour 1/3 cups of coffee grounds into a pitcher or carafe. Then, heat up 4 cups of water on the stove for about a minute (no need to boil) and pour it on top of the coffee. Once both the coffee and water are in the carafe, cover the top with saran wrap and leave it on your counter for at least eight hours.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

After eight hours, remove the saran wrap and cover the mouth of a different pitcher or carafe with a few layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the coffee over the cheesecloth and let it filter into the second pitcher.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, fill a glass with ice and then pour in the coffee and any other flavorings (I like a splash of milk and the tiniest bit of homemade simple syrup) and enjoy! I store my pitcher of coffee in the fridge and cover it with saran wrap to preserve the taste. It usually only lasts a day or two before I find myself drinking it all up and starting the brewing process all over again! So good and so easy.

P.S. My daily coffee routine and coffee stories from my Utah days!

briar’s scrapbook | part four.

Posted on: Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

We’re already to part four of Briar’s scrapbook and I am still loving the process. I made this particular page using Dear Lizzy products and it was a fun way to utilize some of my favorite photos from the past several months in a single layout.

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

This page incorporated some of my favorite divided page protector techniques: placing embellishments on the top of the plastic and splitting the same photo up amongst multiple pockets. It always feels like a bit of a puzzle putting everything in it’s place!

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I’ve been asked about how I print my photos and here’s my simple answer: I do what works best with the resources I have on hand. Since we moved in January, I haven’t gotten around to replacing the cartridges in my home printer (I have no idea why?), so I just order prints from Target instead. There are pros and cons to both options, of course. With a home printer, I can customize the size of my photos based on my project with a few simple clicks in Photoshop, however, it always takes way longer than I anticipate it will and it uses up a ton of ink. By printing straight to Target, I don’t get to customize the sizes (well, aside from 4 x 6″) and I have to pay every time I need prints, but it’s so nice to have a huge stack of photos to pull from when I sit down to work on this album each week.

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Supplies: Messy Book album + page protector // Serendipity Sticker Roll // Pleather Bow // Serendipity Patterned Paper Pad // Fine and Dandy Paper Pad // Gold Foil Thickers // Circle Punch

P.S. Part One, Part Two, and Part Three of Briar’s scrapbook album!

briar’s scrapbook | part three.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I’m beginning to find a really good rhythm with Briar’s scrapbook. Once or twice a week during nap time, I surround myself with all my favorite supplies, put on Keeping Up the Kardashians on my iPad (I can’t quit it!), and get lost in crafty land until Briar wakes up. It’s a great way for me to zone out for a bit and remember how fun this hobby can be. Plus, blog fodder! Win win.

Also, I’m now at the point where I’m ready to start throwing in random photos from various weeks of early Briar-hood. After all, there’s only so many photos of my puffy, exhausted face from our time in the hospital that need to be on the internet. (You know how it is.) So this week, I made two pages featuring the last of the hospital photos and the start of the thousands (milions?) of photos I took once we got home.

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the left page, I split four vertical 4 x 6″ photos into four respective pieces and placed them in the pockets of a Messy Book page protector. I’ll admit it took a little math to figure out how to do this evenly, but somehow I managed. Once all the photos were trimmed and glued into place, I treated each photo as a separate “page” and embellished them accordingly. (Looking at these early photos of Briar makes me laugh; she used to sleep ALL THE TIME…how do we get back to that?! Ha!)

Supplies: Dear Lizzy phrase tape // Basic Grey Highline papers + letter stickers // Dear Lizzy “Hello” Stamp // Flair Badges // Black pen

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the right page, I created a layout featuring a photo of Briar at six weeks old. I decided that I would not worry about making sure everything is chronologically accurate, so if I skip back or forward a few weeks, that’s a-okay with me. This page incorporated all of my favorite colors and more importantly, my favorite scrapbook paper print of all time…Amy Tangerine’s flower paper! Gah, I just want to wallpaper my life in this pattern. It’s absolutely perfect. I did some fussy-cutting (P.S. I despise that term) to trim the flowers and frame the photo. Additionally, I busted out Kelly Purkey’s wooden alpha stamps and stamped the most fitting title I could think of. I reflect back on those early exhausting weeks and I have to admit….I don’t miss them! I love my ten month old Briar who can eat solid foods and take long naps and entertain herself while I load the dishwasher. It just gets better and better :)

Supplies: BasicGrey Aurora papers // Dear Lizzy heart paper // Amy Tangerine flower paper // Amy Tangerine stickers // Dear Lizzy “XO” stamp // Kelly Purkey Wooden Alpha Stamps // My favorite black ink pad

P.S. Part One and Part Two of Briar’s scrapbook album!

diy painted bags.

Posted on: Monday, May 18, 2015

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Recently, I’ve been enjoying a resurgence of creative energy and I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me. Being crafty and using my hands is how I make sense of my world, so I am beyond excited to be back at it again. Yesterday as I was roaming the aisles of Target picking up the essentials (faux-Birks and loose tanks, as one does), I decided to try out a few new paints from Handmade Modern. I had a few crafty projects in mind and I couldn’t wait to get started!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

A few years ago, I purchased a handful of these small zippered bags from the dollar section at Target with the intention of using them to hold bridesmaid gifts. But as it turned out, I was never able to collect all six, so those plans were thwarted (sorry b-maids) and they’ve been sitting in my craft stash ever since. However, when armed with new paint and a need to corral Briar’s stuff in my backpack, I was able to turn those bags into something usable!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

To paint the bags, I used a mix of small brushes and different patterns. I allowed each side plenty of time to dry before I flipped them over and painted a similar pattern on the back of each respective bag. Super simple.

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Let me just say, I’m kind of thrilled that loose + free-form is where the current style trends are pointing to because I have never been one for straight lines. (There’s nothing that kills my creative mojo more than having to use a ruler!) I’ve also been making a concerted effort to just experiment strictly for the sake of experimentation. The more I can play around without any preconceived notions, the more fun it is to craft!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Even Briar wanted to get in on the action, by slyly dipping her hands in my black paint when I looked down for half a second…!  Ay yi yi. But I guess it just goes to show that she’s a girl after my own heart ;)

 

briar’s scrapbook | part one.

Posted on: Friday, May 15, 2015

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

It’s been nine months since Briar was born, which means I only have about four million photos of her sitting on my hard drive. I cringe at the idea of those images living there forever, never to be seen by anyone other than me, so I finally had a bunch of photos printed. It felt so good to hold those pictures in my hands and reflect back on all the precious memories that they hold. It was right then and there that I realized that my Briar Bear deserves her own scrapbook. After all, I documented my pregnancy in scrapbook form…it was only a matter of time until I continued the story! So here’s the first installment of Briar’s scrapbook:

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I can’t think of a more perfect overlay for Briar’s scrapbook than the one that came in A Beautiful Mess’ Messy Box kit…I’m obsessed! To add it to my album, I simply punched four holes with a Crop-A-Dile and popped it into place.

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie EspinozaBaby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the first page, I kept things pretty simple since I wanted the photos to do most of the talking. I also added in a journaling card with Briar’s stats and a few of my favorite gold papers + embellishments.

Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Heart Thickers // Amy Tangerine Fabric Stickers // Precision Pen

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this page, I used the backside of the first page protector and broke up the grid by placing a 4 x 6″ photo over four pockets filled with the same sheet of Dear Lizzy ombre paper. I also added a subtle title using Kelly Purkey white letter stickers.

Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Daydreamer Map Paper // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sticker Roll // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Puffy Stickers // BasicGrey Flair Badges

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the third page, I decided to make a traditional layout…such a fun change of pace! This photo of John and Briar is one of my very favorites from her first day. She had just been cleaned up in the nursery and brought into our room and John couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Such a magical moment. (P.S. Since the 9 x 12″ page protectors are currently out of stock, I improvised and punched extra holes in an American Crafts 12 x 12″ sleeve and plan on cutting off the extra bit and sewing up the side.)

Supplies: Woodgrain Paper // Messy Box Kit // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Amy Tangerine Foam Thickers // Precision Pen

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

 

I’m excited to continue to work on Briar’s scrapbook each week! I plan on keeping the album as loose and rule-free as possible; if I miss a few things or go out of chronological order, that’s totally fine. I figure, as long as I’m capturing the big picture of her babyhood, then I’m doing my job.

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