Entries Tagged as 'decor'

thrifting for baby.

Posted on: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

Before I got pregnant, I never truly appreciated just how much fun it is to shop for babies. I’m talking SERIOUS FUN. I also never realized just how expensive (!!!) baby gear is and how much of it you have to buy right off the bat. Stroller, bassinet, crib, blankets, diapers, burp cloths, bottles, breast pump, carriers, car seat, rocker…the list goes on. Luckily (or is it unluckily?), I’m not a big spender by nature and am more than willing to thrift and DIY as much as possible!

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

Needless to say, my thrifting habits may or may not have gone into overdrive recently. I’ve been hunting down all sorts of baby ephemera, including everything from clothing to toys to books to decor to a glider in excellent condition. Like all thrifting, the secret really lies in going frequently. There are many days when I walk out of the store empty-handed and then there are other days when I can barely fit all my finds through the door (mkay, slight exaggeration). I never know what to expect and that in and of itself is half of the thrill.

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

While thrifting for little ones, I ask myself two questions:

1. Am I attracted to this because I genuinely love it and not just because it’s a killer deal?

2. Would Emily Henderson approve of this?

If the answer is YES to both of those things, then I snatch the item up immediately. But if I’m only being seduced by the price, then back on the shelf it goes. So far, the glider has been the biggest baby item I’ve invested in through thrifting. Even though it’s not as sleek as my dream rocker, it was a mere $65 which allows for more room in the budget to splurge on other must-have, well-designed items. If there’s anything I’ve learned over these past six and a half months, it’s that having a baby is all about patience and compromise!

P.S. If you’re looking for more (non-baby) thrifting tips, check out my e-course!

workspace wednesday | inspired by everything.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workspace Wednesday | Inspired by Everything | Ann-Marie Loves

Lately I’ve been bursting at the seams with inspiration + ideas. I’m inspired by:

- My BFF’s new Silver Lake apartment (oh, how I wish she had a blog…she’s a DIY queen!).
- Thrifting for cutting boards to hang in aforementioned BFF’s kitchen. I love thrifting for other people!
- Instagram! Somedays it’s just scroll, scroll, scroll without anything grabbing my attention, but recently, it’s been taking me an hour to get from the top to the bottom because I have to stare at every single photo for a solid minute! (And then screenshot it, of course.)
- Jordan Ferney’s thoughts on decorating, via Cup of Jo.
- Everything on my Little Ones board.
- This quote, which totally speaks to my unnecessarily competitive self.
- And many other things!

Workspace Wednesday | Inspired by Everything | Ann-Marie Loves

Setting up shop on my parents’ dining room table.

I spent Easter weekend at home with my parents and of course, brought all the usual suspects: pajamas, my hair brush, and a giant bag of thrifted yarn + my loom. (You know, the essentials.) In the short time I was there, I managed to bust out three new woven wall hangings (and it don’t stop…), several yarn tassels, and a couple of tutorials to work into my blog post queue! I’m a big believer in acting on your creative impulses whenever possible. If something is inspiring you, drop everything and follow your muse! There’s so much to be said about what can be accomplished in a very short amount of time when you’re genuinely thrilled to work on a project.

And when it comes to crafting / thrifting / ‘gramming / pinning / photographing / and just about any other creative endeavor, the thrill is most certainly genuine.

diy yarn tassels.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Things I am loving these days:

- Sandwiches.
- Long walks + good podcasts.
- YARN CRAFTS. YARN CRAFTS. YARN CRAFTS.

Aside from the occasional knitting project, I’ve never really been much for any sort of fiber crafting. Paper was definitely my medium of choice. But ever since I fell in love with weaving last week, I’ve been on the hunt for even more ways to put my growing stash of yarn to use! So on Easter, I decided that I would start making yarn tassels for various nursery decor projects, including a mobile to hang over the changing table and a garland to string along her crib. They’re incredibly easy to make and so satisfying to hold in your hands!

Here’s how you make a yarn tassel:

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Gather together a ball of yarn, sharp fabric scissors, and a surface to wrap your yarn around (in this case, I used a thick book, but it all depends on how big you want your tassels to be; the bigger the surface, the bigger the tassels).

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Wrap your yarn around the book several times. If you plan on making a bunch of similar-sized tassels, it helps to remember the number of times you wound the yarn.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Carefully slide the yarn off of the book.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Fold a new string in half (the length depends entirely on how long you want your “hanger” piece to be), and place it in the center of the wound yarn.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Pull the ends of the strings through the loop, making sure to keep an equal amount of yarn on both sides.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Pull the strings tightly to secure the knot.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Using another piece of string (approximately the same size as the surface in which you created the yarn cluster), tie a double knot around the width of the yarn to create the tasseled look.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

Slice through all of the loops and trim where need be to create an even, uniform look. Ta-da! Now you have a yarn tassel! The more you make them, the faster you get.

DIY Yarn Tassels | Ann-Marie Loves

With a little bit of my favorite mint masking tape, an adorable bunny printable from Made by Cay, and a handful of photos, I created a temporary vignette to hang in the baby’s nursery. I’ve already begun the mobile and the garland for the crib…I can’t wait to show you the finished results!

diy front door weaving.

Posted on: Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Front Door Woven Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

On Tuesday night, while burning through episode after riveting episode of House of Cards, I decided that our front door needed a little facelift. Considering the fact that we’ve had this festive wreath hung up since the holidays (and now it’s, oh, mid-April?), it was definitely time for something new. After going back and forth between creating a dream catcher or a weaving, I decided on the latter. In case you haven’t seen my recent ‘grams, I’ve been on a major weaving kick, so I figured I might as well ride the wave while it lasts!

DIY Front Door Woven Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Using my Martha Stewart loom, my favorite thrifted yarn colors, and a better understanding of how to create a quality weaving, I got to work on making a little decor for the front door. The whole weaving process took maybe three hours tops (or more accurately, three episodes of House of Cards) and then I tied it off the bottom strands and strung the top loops through a sturdy stick I found on a neighborhood walk. It was easily the most satisfying DIY project I’ve created in a very long time and it inspired me to create two more additional wall hangings last night!

DIY Front Door Woven Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

A few things I learned about weaving this time around:

- Adding new yarn colors is best done one or two columns into the warp (assuming you want a more uniform look). Last time I introduced new colors by knotting the ends of the the warp and I wasn’t a fan of all the extra strands that hung down the sides as a result.

- It’s best to leave an inch (or more) between the top of the weaving and the point where you introduce your first strands of yarn. I had to push the cream color at the top of my design down with my fingers because I hadn’t accounted for the size of the stick until the very end.

- Minimal tension on the yarn strands is required in weaving. In fact, the less tension, the better.

- This weaving is actually much smaller than I thought it would be, considering I used the entire length and width of the loom. I’m fine with the size, but I was definitely surprised.

- Thrifting yarn is the best way to stock up on fun colors while still saving a ton of money! My local thrift store sells big bags of yarn for only a few bucks each, so I pick them up whenever I see my favorite colors included. Eventually I want to create weavings with unexpected materials, such as leather, pom pom ribbon, and tinsel!

DIY Front Door Woven Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

There’s something to be said about crafting victories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to make things only to feel less than thrilled with the end results. This project not only made me so incredibly happy to make, but now every time I walk up to the front door, I am overcome with those happy crafty feelings all over again. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving ;)

P.S. Here’s my first attempt at weaving!

workspace wednesday | finding a happy medium.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

Finding a Happy Medium in a Workspace | Ann-Marie Loves

At any given moment, my office is a hotbed of projects and piles.

These days it’s equal parts workspace and storage unit, especially as we make the transition into 50% office, 50% nursery. There’s a big part of me that desperately wants to work in a clean, pared-down space and absolutely despises these creative messes (and myself for being a magnet to so many supply-intensive hobbies!). But there’s another part of me that loves having a sizable craft stash on hand for those times when a big project rolls around and I have the necessary products ready to go. (This was especially helpful while planning a DIY-centric wedding…I barely had to buy any extra crafting supplies since I already owned almost everything!)

Finding that happy medium has proven to be my holy grail, time and time again. I realize I may never permanently strike that balance and maybe that’s okay. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep trying!

How do you find your happy medium?

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!

happy at home.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lately John and I have been commenting on how nice it feels to be “home.”  After a weekend spent with family, it felt great to return to our Pasadena abode and get re-settled back into our daily routines. We’re both well aware that in just a few short weeks, this place will become even more baby-central than it already is, so we’re enjoying every last minute of the limbo phase while it’s still just the two of us.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

This basket went from holding laundry to holding blankets to holding rolls of paper and I’m sure it will one day hold toys. I love to repurpose!

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

Our daughter’s wardrobe is already bursting at the seams! I need to start taking inventory of which sizes I have and which sizes I need before I fill an entire closet with 3-6 months.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

Instax photo from our engagement photoshoot which feels like, oh, five million years ago.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

The ever-changing bench! It’s still my favorite flea market find to date.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

Most of our shoes get kicked into the closet as soon as we get home, but I dig this little pop of hot pink as part of my “decor.”

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

Overflowing copper cans of pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, bone folders, paintbrushes, xacto knives…

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

The most difficult part of the apartment to photograph! SO MUCH GLARE. But we love curating our fridge displays on a regular basis. Currently it boasts an Artifact Uprising calendar with wedding photos (thanks Katie!), well-wishes on our wedding from the President and First Lady, random photographs, a holiday card from Go Forth Creative, a recipe for homemade waffles, and a hilariously accurate description of our relationship.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

This is by no means my favorite vignette (decorating is always a work in progress, no?), but I love being able to incorporate the gold-fringed letters from our wedding into our home.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys. I thrifted this glider for $65 the other day…! Every time I find a killer deal on baby ephemera, it feels like the universe is rewarding us for jumping the gun on the baby train five seconds after getting married. Eventually it’ll get moved into the nursery, but for the time being, we both kind of dig it’s current location.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

So many stacks of paper around here. I feel like my life is an endless exercise in corralling stacks of paper.

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, the baby goods that are slowly but surely taking over the whole office (soon to be nursery). Can you believe those little shoes? They are SIZE ONE. I don’t care if she only wears them for fifteen minutes of her life for the sake of a photo op…they’re irresistibly cute!

P.S. All of these photos were edited using the Photoshop fade tutorial I shared last month!

die-cut wall art.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Die-Cut Wall Art | Ann-Marie Loves

Tuesday might as well be called “Good Vibes Only Day” because it seems to be the only thing I talk about on the third day of the week. (But who’s keeping track? ;)) Last week, I decided on a whim that our dining room wall needed a little something extra to offset the antler scarf hanger and to greet guests as they walk in the door. So, unsurprisingly, I turned to my go-to tool and started die-cutting my favorite new phrase out of 8.5 x 11″ white cardstock.

Die-Cut Wall Art | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had all the letters cut out, I adhered them to the wall using rolled pieces of scotch tape (super high tech!). I love when projects come together in no time (and at virtually no cost) at all! Plus, every time I walk in the house, I’m reminded to check my attitude at the door. Good vibes only here in the Espinoza abode.

P.S. You can download my desktop wallpaper with the same sentiment here!

gallery wall.

Posted on: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gallery Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

Between the two of us, John and I have amassed a lot of prints. In fact, our honeymoon was an exercise in figuring out just how many prints we could safely pack into a single suitcase (the answer: PLENTY). And even though our tastes and styles are different, when paired together in a gallery wall format, I’m happy to admit that they jive pretty well. (This whole marriage compromise thing isn’t so bad after all!)

Gallery Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

The print on the left is from December Baby Designs and features a sentiment that resonates with me on a deep level. The photo on the right is the view of the gallery wall from our dining room. I love the pop of color it adds to our otherwise dark hallway.

Gallery Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

To save on framing costs yet still protect our prints from holes or tape, we used binder clips hung by tiny nails to the wall. The other perk to not using frames (with the exception of one) was that we were able to have the whole wall put together in less than half an hour!

Gallery Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

We picked up this print in Portland, which as turns out, is a pretty magical city.

Gallery Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

Every time I walk down the hall, I can’t help but smile. I love living in a place with colorful art that holds meaning to the both us!

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” by Dave Perillo // “Heart on Sleeve” by Sycamore Street Press // “I’d Rather Be Thrifting” by Ashley Goldberg // “The End” by Ashkahn // “Adventure Time” by Mondo // “Community: Six Seasons & A Movie” by Tony Bui // “I’m So Happy We Both Showed Up Here” by Two Sarahs // “Wander for a Bit” by December Baby Designs // “Arrested Development” by Rose Feduk // “We Are Starlight” by Nikki McClure

tote bag wall.

Posted on: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

There are so many things that I love about our apartment, but like all places, there are always a few minor details that I wish I could change. For example, our circuit breaker is on full-display in the kitchen. As in, a giant black box with no cover. I’m not sure who green-lit that decor move, but ever since I first saw it, I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of ways to hide it. After going back + forth for months and taking inspiration from retail displays, I finally realized a tote bag wall would be the perfect multi-functional solution!

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

Following the same steps as my previous tote bag tutorial, I used three plain canvas tote bags, my Cameo die-cutting machine (where would I be without that thing?), and Martha Stewart yellow craft paint to create breakfast, lunch, and dinner totes to hang on the wall.

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so happy with the way it all came together for minimal cost and effort. Not only do I have a stylish way to hide the circuit breaker, but I can also grab the bags before running to Trader Joe’s and put my “art installation” to work! (Insert thumbs up emoji here.)

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