Entries Tagged as 'create'

pom pom bunnies.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pom Pom Bunnies | Ann-Marie Loves

Over these past couple of months, I’ve developed a serious penchant for bunnies as as a motif for all things baby. I’ve always thought bunnies were adorable (and even had a rabbit named Button as a child!), but I never really thought twice about them until now. I don’t know if it’s the Easter effect or some strange gravitational pull spurred by pregnancy, but good lord, I have become OBSESSED with finding well-designed rabbit ephemera to sprinkle throughout the nursery. It’s like Bunny Watch 2014 over here.

Pom Pom Bunnies | Ann-Marie Loves

So now that I’ve pinned just about every rabbit-related craft idea that the internet has to offer, I’ve decided to get down to business and start making all these projects! First up: pom pom bunnies to hang from the baby’s Easter basket. (Oh yes, the child isn’t even here yet and she already gets her own basket.) I got the idea from this tutorial, but instead of using a pom pom kit, I just wrapped yarn around a fork to create the head and then yarn around four fingers to create the body. Simple enough.

Pom Pom Bunnies | Ann-Marie Loves

The next few items on my crafty to-do list include: designing a mobile (most likely of the bunny persuasion), finishing the woven wall hanging, making a bunch of baby-sized headbands, and attempting a pair or two of baby moccs! I will be sure to keep you posted on my progress :)

weaving a wall hanging.

Posted on: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weaving a Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

While casually browsing the thrift store earlier this week, I stumbled upon a giant bag of neutral colored yarns for only three dollars…! As someone who has been dying to try out the recent weaving trend taking Pinterest by storm, I interpreted it as a sign from the crafting powers-that-be that it was high time for me to give the hobby a whirl. After all, I already had a loom kit, PLUS pink and aqua yarn from previous projects, PLUS a whole board seemingly dedicated to weaving ideas…there was no way I could pass on the opportunity. So I snagged the bag, picked up a coffee, and headed home to get to work.

Weaving a Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s a fun fact about me: I hate reading instructions. I simply refuse to do it unless it is my very last resort (and even then…). So instead of reading the manual that came with the loom kit, I turned to a couple of blog posts (this one, this one, and this one were particularly helpful!) and a few videos to give me the gist of how the weaving process works. Once I figured out how to create the foundation (aka the “warp”), I fell into a flow and began to weave different yarns in and out out of the loom. Mindless crafting at it’s finest!

Weaving a Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I have zero interest in perfection, I felt free to experiment with different amounts of strands on each row and various knotting techniques. For example, the first couple of rows only use a single strand of pink yarn, so the look is much tighter. For the next several rows, I used two strands, followed by three strands, etc. The more strands you use at a single time, the more you will be able to see the “warp” strands (in this case, the vertical cream yarn) underneath. Another thing I quickly learned was that I really did not need to create such tension when I reached the end of each row. As you can see above, the righthand side of the loom is starting to curve inward because I pulled the strings way too tight. Lesson learned. Because I eventually want to hang this in the nursery, I’m thinking of going back and redoing some of the rows. I’m not striving for perfection by any means, but if I can clean it up a bit, it will make those late nights and early mornings with the baby a little bit easier on my eyes ;)

Weaving a Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

There are so many amazing fiber artists out there whose work inspires me tremendously! I would love to learn new techniques for building texture and incorporating different media into my designs.

Any weavers out there? I would love to hear your tips!

styled shoots.

Posted on: Monday, April 7, 2014

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to help style, design paper goods, and put my thrifted glassware to use on two very different but equally exciting wedding inspiration shoots.

For the first shoot (Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration as Green Wedding Shoes dubbed it), my wedding photographer-turned-good friend Katie Pritchard invited me to help style various vignettes at the OC Mix Mart, alongside a talented team of vendors (including gorgeous paper goods designed by Alex Choura!). Not only was it a great way to meet new people, but I learned so much about what goes into a pulling together a shoot of this magnitude. So inspiring! Here are some of the beautiful photos from the day, as captured by Katie:

Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Paper Goods by Alex Choura | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Paper Goods by Alex Choura | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves

For the second styled shoot, I worked with another good friend, Kate Doherty of La Rousse Photo, to bring a romantic, elegant, and slightly untraditional wedding inspiration shoot to life. After meeting up for coffee and exchanging e-mails back and forth to nail down the details of the shoot, I designed the paper goods, pulled aside some of my favorite thrifted pieces, and the had a blast pairing everything together on the big day. Not only is Kate an absolute dream to work with, but all of the other vendors and models were a delight as well! Here are my favorite photos:

Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo

If you’re looking to collaborate on a creative project, let me know! I love helping others bring their creative visions to fruition :)

baby album | part four.

Posted on: Friday, April 4, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Whereas last week was full of nonsense + frustration, this week is positively brimming with possibility and victory. What does this have to do with scrapbooking, you ask? Welp, I have no idea. But it sure makes everything easier when you have a skip in your step.

The latest pages of my album are all about two of my favorite pregnancy-related things thus far: baby bumps + miniature clothes. (Sidenote: I just compared my 13 week bump with my 23 week bump and it. was. shocking. I can only imagine what another 10 weeks is going to look like…!)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page features an awesome letterpress card from one of Kelly Purkey’s amazing kits and a feather that I die cut from gold foil paper with my Cameo.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The righthand page is my 20 week bump shot from our recent trip to San Diego, printed at 6 x 9″ and tucked into a BG Capture page protector.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On this spread, I pretty much only used what supplies were already on my desk. Sometimes it’s easier to just use those pieces up then it is to put them back where they belong ;)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page includes a sheet of one of my favorite new Capture papers and more gold letters (which peeled and stuck down like a dream).

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

And finally, the righthand page features a mix of KP’s journaling cards and a fabric feather adhered to one of the tabbed pages that comes included with the Capture album.

I’ve started thinking about what kind of album I want to use to document my daughter’s life once she actually arrives and I’m definitely leaning towards photo books (something like this!) vs. scrapbooking. I’ll probably end up doing a mix of the two, but I’m still up in the air about it. Decisions, decisions.

everybody dance now.

Posted on: Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

I’m going to be honest.

Most of the big handmade projects created for our wedding were done with less than a month to go before the big day. BECAUSE I AM INSANE. But somehow, some way, by the sheer grace of the crafting gods, they turned out far better than I could have ever expected! Perhaps the project that packed the biggest punch at our reception was the “Everybody Dance Now” banner draped over the dance floor. I had known all along that I wanted something hanging overhead, but it wasn’t until the very last minute that I decided to get cheeky and go with the most appropriate party phrase of all time.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

Like I’ve mentioned before, I relied on my Cameo die cutting machine heavily to pull so many of my crafty ideas together. With a stack of white cardstock, a long strand of baker’s twine, scotch tape, and my Cameo, the banner came together in less than hour. Super simple. The hardest part was finding a way to prevent the letters from twisting and tangling before they had a chance to be hung, but somehow we made it work.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The translation from day to night was wonderfully seamless. The white letters looked electric when they were lit up by the market lights! Definitely one of the happiest surprises of the evening.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

And judging by all the action on the dance floor, I’d say our guests got the memo ;)

Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography.

P.S. You can see more of my wedding-related posts here!

wedding menu + food label cards

Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Designing all of the paper elements for our wedding was a true labor of love. Going into it, I knew I wanted the whole “branding” of the event — from the save the dates to the invitations to the menus to the food labels and everything in between — to be as cohesive and unified as possible. The food-related paper goods were especially important for me to get right because not only did they have to fit in with the entire wedding suite, but they had to work in harmony with the table decor as well. (Or maybe I was just hyper aware of the details that nobody else would notice?) (Most likely!)

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Like all elements of our wedding suite (minus the save the dates), I was able to print the menus at home on my HP Photosmart D110A printer. For the paper, I bought a bulk pack of paper bag cover weight cardstock from Paper Source and printed two menus per page.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

At each place setting, the menus were tucked inside the napkins for safekeeping.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

The food labels were probably my favorite component to design, simply because they were the quickest! All I had to do was hammer out a complete list of the various dishes and desserts we would be having on the big day and then plug them into 2 x 3″ boxes in an Illustrator document.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The finishing touch to all of the food-related paper goods was a few swipes of Martha Stewart metallic gold paint to the top of each card and they were ready to be put on display!

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The funny thing about having delicious food prepared for your own wedding is that once the big day rolls around, your appetite is nearly non-existent. John and I were so hyped up on adrenaline, we barely touched our dinners much less grabbed a bite of dessert! Ideally, we would have had a plate of leftovers put aside, because at the end of the evening as we were leaving our reception, our appetites returned in full-force! (Also, I could really go for a churro right about now.)

To see the rest of my wedding projects, click here!

Photos 3, 5, and 6 by Katie Pritchard Photography.

my favorite fonts.

Posted on: Monday, March 24, 2014

The number one question I get asked on a near-daily basis is “what font is that?” And I totally get it. I’m completely font obsessed myself. Here are some of my favorite typefaces that I use regularly:

Favorite Fonts | Ann-Marie Loves

Trend | Thirsty | Novecento | St. Ryde

All four of these typefaces were purchased through MyFonts, though there are plenty of amazing free fonts out there as well. Whenever I’m in the market for new font families to add to my repertoire, I look for typefaces that will work well with a variety of projects and media (i.e. everything from stamps to blog posts to design work for clients). It might just be the advice of my college professors echoing in my ear, but I find that paying for a font family that I love is always a worthwhile investment (plus, as a freelancer, it’s also a tax write-off!). Not only do I have killer typefaces to pull from at my discretion, but paid fonts also tend to be significantly less overused than free fonts. Win win.

P.S. One of my favorite tools for pinpointing the names of cool fonts that I stumble upon is the What The Font app for iPhone. While it’s not always 100% accurate, it’s helped me to discover so many awesome typefaces along the way!

baby album | part three.

Posted on: Friday, March 21, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I really love working on this album. Really, really love it. Not only is it forcing me to document my memories on a regular basis, but it’s also pushing me to use up my stash and to experiment creatively with what I have on hand. Yeah for babies!

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the lefthand page, I used a sheet of BG’s number paper and embellished it with arrow stickers, aqua + yellow washi tapes, and quite possibly my all-time favorite product: gold feathers!

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the righthand page, I used a Fresh Cut designer insert as my background and included a faux photobooth strip of my 12 week ultrasound (which somehow was ten weeks ago…?!). I also incorporated a few sheets of patterned paper, letter stickers, and one of my favorite sentiments from the new “Moments to Remember” Capture stamp set.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the lefthand page, I used another Fresh Cut designer insert (cut down to be the same size as the previous page) to house my story about having a girl. Since I had already written out my thoughts in this blog post, I simply copy / pasted the text into an Illustrator document and printed it out on white cardstock. No point in doing the same work twice!
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the righthand page, I wanted my message to be bold and clear, but I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to do it. So when I saw this Instagram photo from my good friend Sarah, I remembered the gold foil sticker paper that I had purchased for my wedding ring box and knew instantly it would be the perfect material for my title!

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using my trust Cameo die cutting machine, I created this title (along with a few others) in a matter of minutes. I wish you could see how finite the words “we’re having a” are; they’re so tiny and incredibly precise! That machine never ceases to amaze me.

P.S. The fonts I used for the die cut letters are Thirsty and Novocento. I’ll be sharing all of my favorite typefaces in a post early next week!

basicgrey layouts.

Posted on: Friday, March 14, 2014

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

While organizing and purging everything I possibly could from my office yesterday, I stumbled upon a handful of layouts from CHA Winter that I hadn’t shared yet! I love when free blog fodder drops into my lap. Literally ;)

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Spice Market is one of my most favorite new collections to come along in quite some time. The saturated colors, the eclectic blend of patterns, and a handful of new embellishments all make it so much fun to play with! For this layout, I used a mix of patterned papers, Snippets, die cuts from the coordinating waterfall pack, and a one of the awesome new metal shapes.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza
BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this layout, I used a combo of Capture patterned papers, element stickers, Scrabble chipboard letters, journaling + phrase cards from from the waterfall pack, and wood veneers that I painted with yellow craft paint. I love all the bright pops of colors in the latest Capture release! Totally up my alley.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza
BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Getting married and going on a honeymoon right before the tradeshow season gave me LOTS of photo options to pull from! (Heck, I’m still pulling from them!) For this page, I used more of the Capture patterned papers, die cuts from the waterfall pack, and a strip of the awesome new printed washi tape.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie EspinozaBasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this last project, I used more of the Spice Market collection, including lots of label stickers from the waterfall pack and my new favorite printed chipboard alphas. Happy photos call for happy color palettes and that’s exactly what this line provided!

P.S. In my cleaning / organizing / purging whirlwind yesterday, I filled three large flat rate boxes of scrapbooking + craft supplies that need to find new homes. You can claim yours here! (Domestic shipping only – thanks for your understanding!)

knitting.

Posted on: Monday, March 10, 2014

Knitting a Baby Blanket | Ann-Marie Loves

Knitting is one of those hobbies that I pick up, become obsessed with for a few weeks, and then promptly forget about for months at a time. So really, it’s no surprise that my skills are pretty rudimentary (knit stitch, anyone?). But despite my limited expertise, I absolutely adore this craft and have recently had a sudden desire to see a knitted project all the way to fruition.

Knitting a Baby Blanket | Ann-Marie Loves

I started working on a blanket (in decidedly feminine shades of pink, purple, and mustard) a few months back, but I didn’t want to label it as a “baby blanket,” for fear that it would jinx my dreams of having a girl. (I’ve never been more superstitious in my entire life than I have over these past five months!) But then when I found out the baby is indeed a girl, all bets were off. It was GO TIME. Now every free moment I get, I’m chipping away at this blanket, stitch by stitch, row by row. Incorporating different colors into my design has proven to be a fantastic motivator. Since I can literally see my progress based on the amount of times each color gets worked in, I’m super driven to keep it going until the very end. My (ahem, lofty) goal is to finish the whole thing by the end of the month, but honestly, if I can wrap it up by the time the baby gets here, I just might consider myself a real live “knitter” ;)

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