Entries Tagged as 'make'

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” ;)

baby album | part two.

Posted on: Friday, March 7, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing another installment of my ongoing baby album. This spread was all about sharing our happy news with our parents. It was such a pivotal moment in this whole adventure, I thought it was worthy of two pages ;)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the lefthand page, I used one of the inserts that came with the album as my background and covered the page with a handful of my favorite papers from BG’s Spice Market and new Capture collections. And those awesome sans serif white letter stickers from Kelly Purkey? Easily my favorite stickers ever.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the righthand page, I used a 3 x 3″ Capture page protector to house photos + papers embellished with KP’s Hello World Kit stamps and a little typewritten journaling.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

This spread turned out to be one of my favorite layouts to date! I went heavy-handed on the pink and florals, because — spoiler alert — we’re totally having a girl. (But even if we were having a boy, there’d still be a generous pink coverage ;))

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page features a Highline paper cut into six different 3 x 3″ squares to act as the background for my photos. To break up the grid, I adhered my strip of baby bump photos directly atop the page protector and sprinkled in Spice Market die-cuts and few strips of yellow and aqua washi tapes.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the righthand page, I took a screenshot of my Little Ones board and placed it over a mix of Highline, Spice Market, and Capture papers. As with every big life event, my pinning habits tend get slightly out of control. What can I say? I need my fix!

P.S. Here’s part one of my baby album!

“happy here” mini book e-course | now available!

Posted on: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Here E-Course | An E-Course by Ann-Marie Espinoza

I am so happy to announce that my second e-course, “Happy Here,” is now available for purchase! In this class, I’m sharing a step-by-step guide on how to create a mini book that celebrates the people, places, and experiences that make you the happiest.

Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Espinoza

In this course, I share a step-by-step guide for:

- designing over 12 unique page designs
- exciting paper crafting techniques, including stamping and pushing your divided page protector layouts to new levels
- tips for printing photos at home
- ideas for stretching your printables
- letting go of crafting “rules” and honing your own unique scrapbooking style

Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Espinoza

This class also includes:

- a downloadable sheet of printables
- a 20% discount code for all stamps in my shop

Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Espinoza

As someone who has been scrapbooking (both professionally and as a hobby) for over seven years, I have developed a love for creating mini books from scratch to document vacations, special events, and most importantly, the day-to-day joys that make my life so rich. I’m thrilled to finally be able to share these ideas with you! :)

Purchase the e-course here!

hero arts + basicgrey blog hop.

Posted on: Thursday, February 27, 2014

If you have arrived here via the BG / Hero Arts Blog Hop, welcome!

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

It should come as no surprise that stamping is one of my favorite techniques for customizing my paper craft projects. For this card, I used a mix of BasicGrey’s Highline collection paired with Hero Arts’ Capture Number Background cling stamp to create a bold + colorful birthday greeting.

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using the Number Background cling stamp and Bubble Gum Shadow Ink, I first stamped the numbers onto a sheet of “So Fresh” Highline paper and trimmed that out to use for layering. Without wiping off the ink from the first stamp impression, I stamped again onto the card background paper to create a subtle typographical pattern. This technique is also referred to as “ghost stamping” and is perfect for tempering a bold ink color or adding texture to any stamp-able surface.

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

To embellish my card, I typed out “happy birthday” by running a sheet of the Capture Weekly Notepad through my typewriter. I then adhered it atop a Highline chipboard banner and added a Capture sticker and red + pink Candy Buttons for extra details.

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to hop over to the BasicGrey blog and enter to win one of two amazing prize packs!

P.S. If you happen to find a link that doesn’t work, you can jump back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in today’s hop.

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!

in progress.

Posted on: Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves
Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves
Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves
Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves
Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves
Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves

Getting lost in projects is one of my favorite ways to spend my days. Currently I’m working on my second e-course called “Happy Here.” In this class, I’m sharing how I put together a handmade mini book dedicated to all the things, both big and small, that make my life so full. Needless to say, I’ve been knee deep in paper, page protectors, and photos for the past few days! (No complaints here.)

Look for it to debut in my shop this Thursday, February 27th!

die-cut place cards.

Posted on: Monday, February 17, 2014

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

One of the first projects I dreamt up after getting engaged was the die-cut place cards that I made using my trusty Cameo. I knew they would be time consuming and slightly (majorly) tedious, but they were so Ann-Marie, I had no choice but to follow through.

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using a single blade and two different cutting mats, I die cut each and every guest’s first name on aqua cardstock over a period of a few days. It seemed like an intimidating project at first, but once I got on a roll, it was just a matter of letting the Cameo do it’s thing in the background while I simultaneously worked on other tasks. Before I knew it, over 120 names had been cut and were ready to rock.

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the day of the wedding, I was able to sneak into the backyard (where the reception was going to be held) and take a peek at all the tablescapes before our guests had a chance to see them. I was blown away by how all of my DIY efforts –  place cards, table numbers, menus, thrifted glassware – were paying off right before my eyes. There’s so much time and energy and stress that goes into handmade weddings, I was never fully confident that it would be worth it. I had recurring nightmares that all of the projects I spent months slaving over would make absolutely no sense to the overall vibe of the event and as a result, my reputation as a professional crafter / designer would be forever tarnished and I would have to find a new career…! (I may or may not have lost my mind at this point.)

But in that moment, as I stood in my wedding dress with my hand clutched over my heart, I took in the view of the backyard-turned-rustic fiesta reception of my dreams and it all made perfect sense.

P.S. Bottom three photos by Katie Pritchard Photography

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.)

faux instax valentine’s cards.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m obsessed with my Instax camera.

As much as I love my DSLR, there’s nothing quite like the instant gratification that this type of camera provides me with. I never know what kind of photographic gem is going to pop out! But since I can’t afford to constantly replenish my film stash, I decided to go with the next best thing for my Valentine’s cards this year: faux Instax! I simply chose one of my favorite Manhattan Beach photos and copy / pasted it at 2 x 3″ several times in a Photoshop document. Then I printed it out and trimmed each photo, allowing for the oversized border at the bottom of the image to mimic that of an Instax.

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

To decorate my faux Instax V-Day cards, I used papers from BG’s Hey You 6 x 6″ paper pad, my “Oh Happy Day” rubber stamp, aqua washi tape, and yellow paper clips from Urbanic.

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

Using my beloved Fiskars ProCision trimmer (which btw, is the greatest trimmer I’ve ever used), I trimmed various sheets of patterned paper down to 2.5 x 3.5″ and set them aside.

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I stamped “Oh Happy Day” in the bottom left corner of each photo using navy mid-tone Shadow Ink. While I could have used a more traditional Valentine’s phrase, I liked how this particular saying lends itself to a variety of occasions (thus, allowing me an out if I forget to mail these in time! ha!).

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s always a little nerve-wracking to stamp on slick surfaces, but I’ve learned that you just have to go for it and hope for the best! I also chose to use a navy ink since it seemed like a softer alternative to black.

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I loosely adhered each photo to the center of the patterned paper sheets using a strip of washi tape and a paperclip for reinforcement.

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

For a finishing touch, I added two Candy Buttons to the right side of each card. Good lord, I love those things!

Faux Instax Valentine's Cards | Ann-Marie Loves

Ta-da! Faux Instax Valentine’s cards. They may not be as cool as the Barbie ones I used to pass out in school, but they’ll just have to suffice (;

wedding invitations.

Posted on: Thursday, February 6, 2014

As two classically trained graphic designers, you would think that our career paths would have expedited John’s and my creative decision-making abilities when it came down to wedding decisions.

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

I am here to report: they did not.

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Merging our two (completely) different styles together proved to be a bit of a challenge, but after a little delegation + compromise, we made it work. Our invitations were a genuine collaboration between the two of us that I was so proud to send out to our guests.

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

I would have loved to have had our invitations letterpressed or gold foiled, but those pricey printing options didn’t exactly fit our budget. So! I went with the next best thing: gold foiled printable cards from Paper Source. This option opened up a whole new world for me! I was able to design and print our invitations directly from my home computer (who does that? I know!) for a fraction of the cost of other printing methods, while still keeping things classy with the gold foil action.

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

While I favor clean lines and bold fonts, John loves anything hand-drawn, so he took the reins on designing our map cards. Having both of our styles represented in the invitation suite really spoke to the unique designers that we are and the way that a little compromise can really turn out for the best! Win win.

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Our wedding was heavy-handed on the gold, so it was only right that our RSVP cards be brushed with a little gold paint to tie it all together. Thanks to a marathon crafting night with bridesmaids and family members, these babies were painted and postage stamped in no time at all. Teamwork!

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

After stamping the backs of the gold envelopes with our return address stamp, I calligraphed all of our envelopes using white paint pens. I was able to complete every single address in the time it took to watch the Emmy’s. (It may or may not have been my proudest moment.)

Wedding Invitation Suite | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

And finally, it wouldn’t be a complete Ann-Marie package if there wasn’t a handmade element thrown in for good measure! The hand-cut felt feathers were a last minute addition, but really helped to bring our “rustic fiesta” theme together.

Between paper, envelope, paint, twine, fabric, and postage costs, our invitation suite was slightly over $200. I’m a firm believer that weddings do not have to cost a fortune in order to be well-designed! If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can DIY just about everything!

P.S. Remember our Save the Dates? You can see them here!

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