Entries Tagged as 'create'

morris family holiday cards with minted.

Posted on: Friday, December 16, 2016

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Do you know what moms really love? FAMILY PHOTOS. Do you know what two year olds really hate? FAMILY PHOTOS.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

This year I was determined to get a few solid Morris family photo gems for my mom (and me!) to frame and treasure forever, but Briar clearly had other ideas. There were tantrums, there were tears, there were staunch refusals to even look in the vicinity of the camera — ha! It ended up taking two separate photo shoots on two separate weekends when all of us could get together in one place, but thanks to the powers-that-be, we managed to score a handful of cute shots (Briar included!) that were totally Christmas-card worthy.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I got over the hurdle of getting a few decent photos, I then had to decide which option use on my parents’ holiday cards. And since my kids were in most of them and I am 150% biased on how adorable they are, it became a real challenge to choose a single image! Thankfully, Minted had this perfect collage design (in gold, no less!) which allotted me FIVE separate spots to include my favorite captures of everyone. It was perfect.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I finally decided on a design (there are so many good ones to choose from!), it was super easy to fill the photos in and order the cards ASAP. My parents have been a tremendous help to me and my little family over the past year (and forever, for that matter) that the very least I could do was help them put together their Christmas cards to send to loved ones near and far.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

When the cards finally arrived, I was thrilled with how they turned out! But if we’re being honest, no one was more excited than Briar. For someone that put up such a fight against getting in front of the camera, she sure loves looking at the different photos of herself on the card — ha! Two years olds, y’all…

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

If you like to the wait until the last minute (UHH, THAT WOULD BE ME), there’s still time to order your Christmas — or even better, New Years! — cards! Use the code GIFTEVENT to save 15% and be upgraded to priority shipping from now until December 20th. If I can get my two year old to cooperate, you can get your cards ordered! ;)

This post was sponsored by Minted, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

december daily 2016.

Posted on: Friday, December 9, 2016

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Every time we move, I curse myself for having so many scrapbooks and craft supplies. They’re so much fun to play with but good lord, they are such a pain to move and find room for. That being said, I decided to take a more practical approach with my December Daily this year. Instead of starting a new album, I am just adding a December Daily portion to my ongoing 2016 album. I figure that this will be the easiest way for me to stick with it AND save some space in the closet. Additionally, Briar loves paging this particular album so I know this will get a lot of attention long after December passes.

Here’s the first spread:

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

It wouldn’t be complete unless there was a ton of color!

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

For the introductory page, I am using one of my all-time favorite papers from Amy Tangerine’s Oh Happy Life collection. As soon as I saw it, I put it aside for this particular project knowing that it would be the perfect palette for my version of Christmas. I also used a die cut tag, a Crate Paper pinwheel sticker that I’ve been hoarding for years, and Amy’s holiday stamps.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Instead of doing a strict daily format, I’m doing an “almost daily” format. Basically, I’m too scatterbrained at the moment to be that disciplined with documenting everyday so I’m just going to wing it and call it good ;) For this page, I used three different photos and added the “love,” “merry,” and yellow paint swipe using my Hand-Lettered Holiday Digital Brushes. I only had about an hour to pull all this together so using the brushes on my before I printed helped to bring in fun design elements without having to dig through my stash.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

I woke up this morning excited to look at what I made last night. I’m eager to add more to this album! Stay tuned.

 

 

diy rosemary wreath.

Posted on: Monday, December 5, 2016

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Two months into parenting two kids and I finally feel like I am hitting my stride. Sure, there’s plenty of room for improvement but the initial overwhelm has faded. I can now have everyone dressed, fed, packed, and buckled in the car and only be running about half an hour late! (ha!) I have days where I feel like I am killing it in the mom / wife / work-from-home department and I have days where all I can do is count down the minutes until John gets home and I can lock myself in the bathroom with a glass of wine. Life, right?

But for the most part, I’m feeling pretty darn good and when I feel good, I want to make stuff! Yesterday we spent the day at my parents’ house and while both babies napped, I sat outside in their backyard and whipped up a quick rosemary wreath. Here’s how I made it:

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are pretty basic: lots of fresh rosemary branches, sharp scissors (or pruning shears, if you prefer), gold wire, and neon pink cording.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Gather a thick stack of rosemary branches, approximately 10 – 12 inches each.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Piece the ends of the rosemary branches together and secure the center with gold wire. (I also wrapped a long strand of gold string around the wire because I had it on hand and wanted to use it all up.)

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Cut a long strand of the hot pink cording and tie it to two of the upper branches to act as the hanger. Pro tip: Make sure you choose sturdy branches near the front so that your wreath doesn’t tip too far forward or backward when it’s hung.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

And now…enjoy!

customizable holiday cards.

Posted on: Friday, November 25, 2016

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

There are maaaaaany areas of my current life where I feel that I am falling behind. I can never seem to stay on top of the toddler toy tornado. I wash my hair maybe (?) once a week. I basically wear the same nursing-friendly outfit every single day. My daily to-do list seldom gets finished. But every once in awhile, I pull off a solid victory. Case in point: our 2016 holiday cards!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago I managed to get several photos of my little family. It was quite the effort trying to convince everyone to cooperate (I’m looking at you, John) but we pulled it off and now I have a little time capsule of this crazy time in our lives. So in a rare moment of peace and quiet, I sat down at the computer with a glass of wine and whipped out our holiday cards using Amy Tangerine’s holiday collaboration with Mixbook. My favorite thing about Mixbook is how customizable their designs are. Being able to manipulate each design element to my exact liking to fit each photo makes the graphic designer in me very happy.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the original layout of the “Merry Christmas” card design by Amy Tangerine looked like. I really love this look but with the centered family photo that I was going to use, the diagonally-oriented layout wasn’t going to work.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Luckily Mixbook makes it a piece of cake to rearrange and resize every single element. So I started the process by deleting all of the phrases and floral element and then reintroduced the ones I wanted to incorporate by using the Stickers panel on the left hand side of the screen.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

I placed “Merry Christmas” in the upper center and then flanked the phrase using mirrored versions of the floral patterns. So simple to do!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I was done with that, I worked on the back of the card which was equally as easy to put together. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love being able to customize!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Now that it’s the day after Thanksgiving, we can OFFICIALLY send these cards out the door! Let the holiday madness begin!

P.S. You can save 45-55% off everything at Mixbook from now until November 27th using the code BFRY16! Happy card making!

diy polka dot wallpaper.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

There’s nothing quite like the threat of a new baby arriving at any time to light a fire under your butt and compel you to NEST SO HARD. Two week ago I had one of those days when I woke up feeling so invincible that I loaded Briar up in the car and headed to IKEA where I proceeded to wrangle her and a huge bag of unwieldy items for two hours. In the back of my head I knew I was pushing my luck but when the desire to take on IKEA appears (even at 38 weeks pregnant), you don’t ignore it! It was definitely an adventure complete with sweat, tears, and a $2 plate of macaroni and cheese. So overall, a success!

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

Well, once I got a taste of the nesting bug, I decided to tackle another semi-big project that I have been thinking about forever: DIY polka dot wallpaper! I’ve had my eye on removable wallpaper for months but decided to do the next best thing and make it myself. I was really inspired by these loose, freeform dots and was determined to try it a different way! I figured, if it’s a total bust, I can easily remove it. But if it’s a success, I could revel in my crafting glory until the end of freaking time.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

To cover this long wall, I picked up three rolls of black vinyl and freehand cut out circles. I had thought about using my Cameo to expedite the process, but I kind of love the look of the imperfect circles. So scissors it was! Sometimes low tech is the best way to go.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

The whole wall took about 4-5 hours from cutting the vinyl to applying the last dot. Not too bad! I had many podcasts to keep me company and a wonderful father in law to entertain the toddler while I got to work.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s room (that she will eventually share with her brother) was the very first room I tackled when we moved in. I wanted to make sure she had a fun and welcoming place to play and read and get acclimated to her new surroundings. Somehow it has ended up being the room that all three of us love to hang out in! It sadly doesn’t get great natural light so we have filled it with warm lamps (including this heart-shaped beauty!) and lots of bright, happy colors to make up for the void. I’d say she’s pretty happy with the results :)

diy painted wooden bead necklace.

Posted on: Friday, September 23, 2016

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Sometimes I go through these obscure crafting phases where I feel compelled to buy supplies that I don’t normally gravitate towards. Case in point: wooden beads. Initially I bought a variety of wooden bead shapes so that I could make Briar a necklace, but then I realized that I kind of wanted to make one for myself!

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are about as easy + cheap as they come: a pack of small wooden beads, white twine, acrylic paint, and q-tips.

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

By a very happy accident, I came to the realization that q-tips are the perfect way to hold beads in place for painting. Just make sure you don’t let the fuzzy part of the q-tip come in contact with the paint, unless hairy beads are your jam.

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

For the polka dot bead, I painted it white and then once it was dry (like, four minutes later…I love acrylic paint), I added dots using a regular black Sharpie.

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Once all five beads were painted, I strung them on a long strand of twine and tied a knot to seal off a circle shape.

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s the finished product!

how i edit instagram photos.

Posted on: Thursday, September 15, 2016

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve seen a handful of people write this post and each and every person (all of whom have impeccable taste!) has a completely different method for achieving her beautiful images. I love learning new tips and tricks so I figured I might as well chime in and share my personal take on getting Instagram photos to my liking.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

Here is the photo I took using the built-in Camera app on my iPhone. I always try to make my photos look as good as possible from the very start so that when I go to edit them, I don’t have to make any major cosmetic changes. In the case of a flat-lay like this shot, I used a white foam board (a must if you take a lot of overhead shots!) and placed it near a window with plentiful natural light.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Once I have my photo, I open up the VSCO app. Not only does VSCO make my favorite iPhone photo app but they also sell my favorite Lightroom filters that I use with my DSLR images. Needless to say, I’m a big fan! To begin, I almost always use the C1 filter and adjust it to suit the needs of each particular image.

02. Bumping up the Exposure is a must. I try not to go higher than 2, however, because it quickly diminishes the quality of the photo.

03. Sharpen is a handy tool for bringing in a little more polish and drama to the image.

04. For a colorful photo like this, I love using Saturation to really exaggerate the bright colors.

05. I prefer that all my images have a warm quality to them, so a little bump of red from the Shadows Tint feature makes my eyes happy.

06. In the case of this image, I felt that the overall picture could use a little more depth, so I ended the VSCO editing process with a slight bit of Contrast.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s how the image looked once I exported it from the VSCO app. I adore the way this photo looks but I knew I could make it even more eye-catching if I used two small tweaks in Instagram.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

07. I bring my edited photo into Instagram where I apply a small degree of the Clarendon filter. I love how sharp and white this filter makes my photos look! You can still see a little bit of the pink-ish hue created in VSCO, but the overall image is much brighter and more striking.

08. Finally, I use the Brightness feature to pump up the image even further. I really love how far Instagram has come with their built-in editing features!

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

And here is the final image! Pretty crazy how a few small changes can really elevate a photo, no?

What are your favorite photo-editing apps?

faux letterpress tray for toddler room.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I are moving this week and possibly having a baby next week, so I figured, what better time to ignore all my responsibilities and work on a project I pinned? Ha! All I have to say is, when you feel the need to make something, MAKE SOMETHING. You’ll feel so much better once you give in to your creative urges. Even if it means ditching your to-do list for a few hours ;)

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

I have been obsessed with the idea of filling a letterpress tray with miniature animal figurines basically from the moment I knew I was having Briar, but I haven’t been able to track down a cool letterpress tray for a decent price. So! I decided to do the next best thing: buy a $6 divided wooden tray from Michaels and paint it myself!

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

This tray is pretty shallow so it didn’t take too long to cover it with white paint. I think applied maybe three coats? As usual, it’s not a perfect paint job but that’s more than fine with me.

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

While the tray was drying, I painted each of the animals’ ears pink and added a little heart to the donkey. Because why not?

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

And once everything was ready, I styled it up! The animals fit into the slots perfectly, plus a few of the recent Instax photos of Briar make for a fun addition to the overall look.Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so happy with the way it turned out and I’m already excited to swap out the animals for bottle brush trees in a few months! Yay for procrastination crafting!

diy doll necklace.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Last week, after hitting a few deadlines and finally having a few hours to myself, I felt that old familiar urge to visit Michaels for the first time in a long while. I didn’t have any specific project ideas in mind but after a quick scan of my pin boards and a leisurely (i.e. toddler-free) stroll up and down each and every aisle, I came up with a few concepts that made me excited to get home and start creating.

The first project I felt compelled to take on was a spin on these adorable keychains. I mean, how cute are they?! Instead of making keychains, I decided to try making a necklace modeled after my favorite little gal. Briar is going through a major jewelry phase at the moment plus I knew she would love seeing herself in wooden bead form.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin, I chose a handful of acrylic paint colors, small round wooden beads, candle cup beads, colorful pony beads, and white twine.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

I decided that one round bead would make the head and one candle cup bead would make the body, so the first step was to tape off half of the candle cup bead for painting. I wrapped a strip of thin washi tape around the bead a few times as evenly as possible, but as always, perfection is never my goal.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had the bead taped off, I painted one side and let it dry. Once that step was complete, I tore off the washi tape and reapplied it over the first paint job so that I could then paint the other half.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

While the body portion of the necklace was drying, I tackled the heads. I quickly discovered by happy accident that q-tips work perfectly for holding the small wooden beads in place while you are trying to paint. Love when that happens.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

For the blonde hair, I used yellow paint and for the black hair I used a Sharpie pen. Both options worked really well. Then for the faces, I used a tiny bit of pink paint for the lips and pens for the eyes. Holy moly, I had to hold my breath for that step! Those teeny tiny facial features are just that — teeny tiny!

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Once everything had dried, I began assembling the necklace.

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s how they turned out!

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Wooden Doll Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

After making these necklaces, I got the ball rolling on a few other wooden bead projects…stay tuned!

diy magic foam.

Posted on: Thursday, September 1, 2016

DIY Magic Foam | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I exhausted every one of my tried-and-true toddler activities by early afternoon. We played with play dough. We watched many an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We read several of her favorite stories. We went to Gymboree and Target and Starbucks. We did just about everything (including her taking a much-too-short nap) But nothing seemed to hold her attention long enough for me to get a little work done. So! I finally realized that I needed to call for backup and consult Pinterest for new ideas. Lo and behold, I spotted a recipe for creating amazing colored magic foam and knew we had to try it!

DIY Magic Foam | Ann-Marie Loves

The ingredients are pretty basic: 1/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup of Dawn soap, 1 tbsp of cornstarch, and a few drops of food coloring mixed together at a high speed. I used a KitchenAid stand mixer but I know that a hand mixer would work just as well.

DIY Magic Foam | Ann-Marie Loves

With Briar as my trusty assistant, we made the first round of magic foam. I’m not sure who was more impressed: the toddler or her mom! It’s so much fun to watch simple ingredients turn into such a cool sensory experience.

DIY Magic Foam | Ann-Marie Loves

I made about four batches which was enough to create a shallow layer around Briar’s water table. She had a blast playing in the colored magic foam with her water toys. That is, until she got a taste of it. I should warn you that this is a very cool diy just so long as your child knows not to put it in her mouth. Just ask Briar ;)

DIY Magic Foam | Ann-Marie Loves

Luckily, her first (and hopefully last) taste of soap was not enough to deter her from playing. This simple activity proved to be a big hit (minus the minor taste test snafu) and it bought me a nice chunk of time to get a little work done. It’s all about the small victories, right?

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