Entries Tagged as 'make'

diy geodes + free valentine’s printable.

Posted on: Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago I created a little dress-up area for Briar in the corner of her room. She’s been obsessed with pretty dresses and jewelry and crowns (or “prowns,” as she calls them) for awhile and I wanted to have a dedicated space to house all her fancy things. At the time, I only had two wooden branch wall mounts (purchased from Alder + Co. on our honeymoon!), but two hooks were not enough. So! I thought for a minute about what I wanted to use and decided that geodes would make for awesome wall decor / hangers. Being the cheap person that I am (ha!), I knew there had to be a way to DIY geodes, so I did a little digging on Pinterest and found exactly what I was looking for!

Truth be told, I still have yet to create the hooks BUT in a moment of sudden genius, I realized that DIY geodes would be the perfect Valentine’s card toppers.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the faux geodes, you will need:

Borax
Metallic Pipe Cleaners
Jar
String or Fishing Wire
Pencil or Wooden Skewer
Boiling Water

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

First, roll your pipe cleaner into a ball. Next, thread a piece of string through a small portion of the pipe cleaner ball and tie it to a pencil or wooden skewer. This will ensure that your geode doesn’t touch the bottom of the glass so it can keep a round shape.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Combine one cup of boiling water and 3 tbsp of Borax and stir until it is completely mixed (takes a minute or two). Then, place your pipe cleaners into the jar and loosely cover with a cloth.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

After a few hours, you will start to see the crystallization. I let my first batch of geodes sit in the jars for a few days and they turned out great!

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

The geode color is a direct result of the color of the pipe cleaners. Based on my own experience as well as the reviews of others, metallic pipe cleaners work best although you could use plain pipe cleaners and add food coloring to the jar for a similar result.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you take them out, let them sit on a paper towel for a little bit to soak up any excess water.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Once your geodes are all set, you can start your V-Day cards! For this particular design, I wanted to attach the geodes with a string instead of glue, so I used a paper piercer to punch out four holes for threading. I also decided to use a little yellow distress ink with my go-to blending tool for extra visual interest.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

How crazy are those rocks?! I had no idea if they would even work out but they are better than I could have predicted! Not only would these be fun for room decor or Valentine’s card toppers, but they would also be fun to bury in sand and use as “hidden treasures” for little ones to find. (In fact, I might have to try that this week with a certain toddler…)

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

P.S. You can download these V-Day cards here! Happy Love Day, everyone!

diy fairy wands.

Posted on: Friday, February 10, 2017

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

This past December I nearly lost my freaking mind when I stepped foot into the new Cotton On Kids at one of my local malls. I walked through the store with my eyes wide open and exclaimed “oh my gosh!” every thirty seconds because I wanted to buy ONE OF EVERYTHING. (I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt that excited? Maybe when I was in my scrapbooking heyday and took a tour of American Crafts’ showroom for the first time…now that was a happy day.) I ended up buying quite a few things for my kiddos, including an adorable fairy wand for my two year old. When it came time for her to open her gifts on Christmas morning, she was just as enthused about her new fairy wand as I was about shopping for it.

Since she loves it so much (despite snapping the stick in half in a moment of intense princess playing – ha!), I decided to try making her a few new wands myself. Here’s how I did it:

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

S U P P L I E S

Felt Sheets

Heavy Duty Straws

Sharp Scissors

Pony Beads

E6000 Glue (or other heavy duty adhesive)

Multicolored String or Yarn

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Apply the E6000 glue to a small portion of the straw and begin to wrap it with the string. Continue to add glue and more string as you work your way down and let it dry. This is definitely the most tedious (and least fragrant) part but it goes by pretty fast.

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, cut out different shapes from felt and layer them together to the front and back of the straw to create the topper. I freehanded these floral shapes but feel free to measure or map out your design first.

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the strands that hang down from the top of the wand, cut a 12″ strand of string and add pony beads to both ends. Knot each side and place a little adhesive inside the bottom beads to secure them into place. Then tie the string to the top of the straw in a double knot. Finally, when the toddler wakes up from her nap and is overjoyed to see what you are working on and eagerly wants to “help,” have her sort the pony beads by color ;)

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

The entire project took about thirty minutes and it was so much fun to make!

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar is quite the dichotomy as she is equal parts tomboy and girly girl. She’s fearless and seldom shies away from a physical challenge or a tall play structure (much to my terror). She loves playing catch and splashing in puddles and digging in the dirt. On the other hand, she’s also a sensitive soul who idolizes “Princess Minnie and Princess Daisy” and never leaves the house without her jewelry. She loves wearing pretty dresses and baking cookies (real and pretend) and showering her loved ones with spontaneous hugs and kisses. I adore these opposite aspects of her personality and am making a conscious effort to let her be herself without imposing too much of my own judgement on her. I want Briar to be as authentically Briar as she can possibly be without feeling like she needs to ascribe to any stereotypes placed on girls. I am a big believer in the fact that the future is most definitely female :)

2017 album.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Another year, another album!

This year, I am making a 3 x 8″ album that is heavily inspired by Jamaica. She sold 3 x 8″ acrylic albums in her shop and I am kicking myself for not snagging one before they sold out! Ahhh. So instead, I am using a chipboard binder cut down to size to fit these awesome Ali Edwards page protectors. I have to say, this size is REALLY FUN. A simple shift in dimensions changes everything about scrapbooking and it keeps me coming back for more.

Here are the first few spreads I’ve created for 2017:

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

The opening page is pretty simple and it features some of my favorite things: cocktails, Christmas trees (ha!), and the color yellow. Boom.

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

This album is basically the Briar + Landon Show and that is a-okay with me. I love looking back at pages I made of Briar for my 2016 album and remembering how little she once was! Also, that puffy cactus sticker was found in the Target dollar spot! (How on trend is that dollar spot these days??)

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys, I’m telling you: this size is ridiculously fun. The tall 3 x 8″ pockets really force you to edit your photo picks and crop them accordingly, which satisfies the photo-editing obsession I have. I also used the two pockets on the right to document my chunky little monkey and that awesome mural at his pediatrician’s office.

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

You know all those random die cuts and tiny scraps of paper that you quickly amass and then promptly forget about? Well, I’m determined to use them all up this year. The left page of this spread features a bunch of my favorite BasicGrey die cuts and cute stickers from Amy Tangerine. The right page features my word for the year: CELEBRATE. I’m thinking I might actually choose a different word now that I’ve had a little taste of 2017, but it’s still a good sentiment to pair with my favorite lunch and my favorite teething children.

SUPPLIES

chickpeas with spinach + yogurt.

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

This blog is fast becoming a food blog, no? Ha! My cooking skills are still basic AT BEST so anytime I learn something new or come up with an easy recipe, I feel the overwhelming need to share my insights ;)

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Chickpeas with spinach and Greek yogurt is one of my favorite and — most importantly — fastest lunch time staples. In total, it takes about seven minutes to put together which is huge when you’re starving and you have a toddler and an infant clamoring for your attention. Here’s how you make it:

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Cook chickpeas over low heat for a few minutes until they have been cooked to your liking.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Throw in a giant handful of spinach. You can chop it up finely or you can leave it whole and treat it as more of a salad base. Your choice.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, put a whopping spoonful of Greek yogurt on top. (Good lord, I love Greek yogurt.) If I have it on hand, I’ll often use feta cheese in place of the yogurt. Just depends on my mood that day.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Mix it allllllll together now.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, add in hot sauce (the spicier, the better!). That’s it!  A healthy meal in a matter of minutes.

toddler art table.

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

(Bed head in full effect ;)

Admittedly I’m an impulsive person. Once I get an idea in my head, there’s no stopping me until I can scratch that itch (just ask my husband). In this case, I had been on the hunt for a little table for Briar to use with the mini chairs that I thrifted a few years ago. Then I remembered the simple eight dollar side tables that I had used in former apartments and knew they would be the perfect size and color for the art station I envisioned. So on the day before Thanksgiving, I packed up the kiddos in their car seats and braved the holiday traffic, all in the name of IKEA!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I always get a little tooooo ambitious at IKEA and think that I can fit more in my arms (and my car!) than I physically can, but since I had two babies in a giant stroller with me, I was forced to keep my priorities straight. This impromptu adventure was well worth the effort because that eight dollar side table has not only been great for meal and snack times, but it has allowed me to live out one of my wildest dreams: watching my own child color and create.

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, that’s definitely the case with toys and art supplies. I have a basket filled with art supplies in Briar’s closet that I often forget about so I am making a much more concerted effort to bring it out and set up an art station everyday. If Briar can see it then she’s much more likely to pull up her chair and start coloring instead of begging me to turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (Although, God bless that Mickey Mouse and the wonderful babysitter that he is ;)

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

Typically Briar likes to rope others into coloring with her (“draw a mommy triangle! draw a baby triangle! draw a Nana triangle!”), and even though I don’t always want to join in, I inevitably feel better if I do. It’s like when we go to the park and she wants me to play in the sand with her. I mean, I don’t really want to be a sand monster by the time we leave, but there is something incredibly therapeutic about these simple childhood pleasures. When it comes to coloring, I love to use the multicolored heart-shaped crayons that I made for Briar this past summer. They’re so satisfying!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m always looking for toddler-friendly crafts I can do with Briar, especially anything that requires minimal set-up and clean-up. Any suggestions?

quinoa with mushrooms + veggies.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

What does a quinoa recipe have to do with the week before Christmas, you ask? Good question. I have no idea. All I know is that I’ve been running myself ragged the past several weeks and all the germs that my family has been passing back and forth have finally caught up to me. I also know that moms aren’t allotted sick days (especially during the crazy holiday season!) so I’ve been trying to take extra good care of myself whenever possible. As a result, this recipe has become my go-to lunch option since it’s packed full of healthy ingredients AND it only takes five minutes to make AND it leaves minimal dishes for me to wash afterwards. BOOM.

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

Everything that goes into this meal can be purchased at Trader Joe’s (or any grocery store of your choice) and used for a variety of meals. Here’s what’s included:

+ Cooked quinoa (I cooked this batch with vegetable broth)

+ Handfuls of spinach

+ Cherry tomatoes

+ Frozen mushrooms (or you can do fresh if you’re feeling fancy!) (I’m never that fancy.)

+ A little bit of feta cheese (or A LOT of feta, if you’re me)

+ Olive oil

+ Pepper to taste

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

The process is pretty simple: Cook over low to medium heat on the stove with a little bit of olive oil for few minutes and then top with feta cheese and pepper. It really is that easy!

holiday packaging.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

When it comes to holiday packaging, I take my job verrrrry seriously. I love wrapping presents and as a result, I am a firm believer that the packaging is just as (if not more!) important the gift itself. While ordering holiday cards through Minted, I added a few rolls of this XO gift wrap paper to my cart because, well, it’s PERFECTION. Not only is this particular pattern great for Christmas, but it’s also perfect for showers or birthdays throughout the rest of the year.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Each gift is topped with a plethora of colorful pom poms (never enough poms!) and simple tags that I quickly whipped up in Illustrator.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I also picked up gold foil polka dot paper from Target and am making a mental note to stock up on this pattern during the after-Christmas sale! It’s so good.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’d like to think my packaging obsession is rubbing off on Briar. She grabbed the hot pink washi tape when I wasn’t looking and helped to herself to a rather generous strip of it, which she promptly added to her own gift – ha!

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Clearly I wasn’t doing it right. She kindly fixed it for me ;)

pom pom maker.

Posted on: Monday, December 19, 2016

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

I have an abundance of crafting tools that admittedly collect dust most of the year. Sometimes they involve too much set up or maybe they’re on a high shelf that I don’t feel like rearranging to get to or maybe I just plain forgot about them. Regardless, there are only a handful of tools that I use on a constant basis (hello, heavy duty paper trimmer!). But since I’ve been obsessed with pom poms for a few years, I figured there had to be a tool out there that would help me improve on my creations. Enter: this handy dandy pom pom maker. For only $8 on Amazon, I received two different sized pom pom makers in one pack and they produce perfect little poms in a snap!

So in the spirit of adding toppers to holiday gifts, I thought I would share how awesome this little gadget is:

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Wind one side of the pom pom maker with your yarn color(s) of choice.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Repeat the winding on the opposite arm.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Move both of the arms towards the center of the maker.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

This is what it looks like once it’s closed.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Grab a pair of sharp scissors and trim down the center of each side of yarn.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’ve cut all the way through both sides, it will look like a yarn sandwich.
My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Cut a short string of yarn and wind it around the center of the pom pom maker and secure it with a double knot (this is what binds the two arms’ yarn together.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Pull the pom pom maker apart.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the pom pom looks like! Pretty cool, huh?

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, give your pom pom a little hair cut.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

With a toddler who is constantly redecorating the tree, I love using these pom poms as ornaments AND as gift toppers! I never have to worry about them breaking or being so valuable that I would be sad if they went MIA. I’m just now thinking that I might thread them on a string and hang them as a garland in Briar’s room when the holidays are over…hmmmm. So many possibilities!

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!

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