Entries Tagged as 'tutorials'

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 | how I organize my files.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago when I posted about three tips for faster blogging, I received a lot of comments and e-mails asking me how exactly I keep my files organized. So today, I am sharing a brief overview of my system and why it works so well for me.

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin with, I only keep one item on my desktop: a folder that says ALL. Within that folder are all of my files, broken down into smaller folders. Much like having too many tabs open in my browser window, I can’t stand desktop clutter. Whenever things start getting out of hand, I take a few moments to put files in their proper places and trash anything that I don’t need. The cleaner my digital workspace can be, the happier and more productive I am!

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

For the most part, I keep my personal photos and my blog photos separate, so within the 2013 and 2014 folders, I store all of my personal photos from each month of the respective year. Each month then gets broken down into events that I will remember by the name I assign it (i.e. Balboa Park).

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I edit nearly all of my photos (at least, the ones that I plan on using), I always make two folders when importing files from my camera to Finder (by way of Image Capture): EDITS + ORIGINALS. Everything starts out in the ORIGINALS folder, but once it’s been edited, it gets moved the EDITS folder. Pretty self-explanatory, right? This makes the process of finding my favorite photos so much easier since I don’t have to dig through every single file in search of “that one image.” Once I’m done going through all the originals, I chuck the files that I know I will never use and back up the rest on my external hard drive every month or so.

The secret to having a system that works is to make it as fool-proof as possible. The more you can narrow down your folders (i.e. 2013 > 01 | January 2013 > Rose Bowl Flea > ORIGINALS > EDITS), the quicker you will be able to pull up any given photo at a moment’s notice. I will admit that I have not always been so organized, but now that I have this system in place, I can’t imagine ever going back!

styling | shooting | sharing e-course is live!

Posted on: Monday, March 31, 2014

Styling | Shooting | Sharing // An E-Course by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a busy weekend over here as I’ve been working hard to create my third e-course: Styling | Shooting | Sharing!

Styling | Shooting | Sharing // An E-Course by Ann-Marie Espinoza

In this class, I share all of my favorite techniques for styling, shooting, and sharing your photos + your personal voice to create blog posts that represent the amazing person you are! I divulge all of my top secret tips and tricks, including:

- six video tutorials on my most frequently used Photoshop editing techniques, ranging from adding text to photos to using the clone stamp tool to experimenting with the Gaussian blur filter
- lessons on how to style and compose photos to best fit your personal aesthetic
- my tried-and-true approaches for shooting and editing quality photos that you will be proud to share with your readers
- ways to hone your personal style and boost your blogging speed
- developing your online voice and expanding your reach

Styling | Shooting | Sharing // An E-Course by Ann-Marie Espinoza

As my blog has grown and evolved over the years, I’ve picked up several habits that have not only made my images (and in turn, my entire blog) much more visually appealing, but have also taught me how to blog smarter and quicker than ever before. I’m thrilled to be able to share my best-kept secrets with you!

Styling | Shooting | Sharing | A Blogging E-Course

*Please note: Although this e-course features tutorials and ideas using Photoshop CS3, a digital camera, and a WordPress blogging platform, you do not need any of these things to take this class. It’s also ideal for anyone looking to simply better their photo styling and shooting tips!

You can purchase Styling | Shooting | Sharing HERE.

P.S. This week only, all e-courses (including this one!) are 25% off with the discount code: SPRINGFEVER

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!

tutorial: adding fade to photos in photoshop.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

Although I was lucky enough to take a few awesome photography classes in college, the majority of the tricks and tools that I use on a daily basis for photo editing have come from personal experimentation. In fact, I’d say that statement applies to the bulk of my formal education vs. real life knowledge. I learned so much during my four years of college, but getting out into the real world and having to figure things out for myself has been the best classroom setting of all. So today, I’m sharing one of my go-to photo editing tricks: adding fade!

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

Adding fade to my photos is one of my favorite ways to create an ethereal vibe or to temper a color palette that doesn’t exactly jive with the look I’m going for. This effect is often seen on Instagram through the help of the Afterlight and VSCO Cam apps (shown above), but can also easily be achieved in Photoshop. Here’s how I do it:

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Open a photo in Photoshop.

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

2. Edit it to your liking (I always adjust the levels, contrast, brightness, and curves).

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

3. Go to Image > Exposure > Offset and play with the dial to achieve your desired “fade” effect.

TUTORIAL: Adding Fade to Photos in Photoshop | Ann-Marie Loves

4. The over-saturated colors have been dulled a bit to create a more subtle, moody image. While I’m positive that I will never master Photoshop, it sure is fun to try!

What Photoshop tricks or techniques would you love to learn?

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 (;

diy gold scissors.

Posted on: Saturday, August 3, 2013

DIY Gold Scissors | Ann-Marie Loves

I have been on the hunt for an affordable pair of gold scissors for-like-ever and after seeing what the designers at BG pulled off for the gold + aqua-hued props for the booth at last month’s tradeshow, I was INSPIRED. As someone who uses scissors in just about every single stylized photo I take (Typo aqua scissors…you’ve served me well), I need options, people.

DIY Gold Scissors | Ann-Marie Loves

Not only is this DIY super quick and easy, but it only requires three supplies! (It just gets better and better, doesn’t it?) I used an old pair of fringe scissors found at a swap meet for two bucks, a can of gold spray paint, and blue painter’s tape.

DIY Gold Scissors | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I just wanted to gild the handles, I did my best to tape off the bottom portion of the scissors and then wrapped the rest in a small plastic bag. Once that was done, I laid the scissors out (outdoors, of course) and sprayed one side and gave it about 10 minutes to dry. Then I flipped them over and sprayed the other side. After both sides of the handles were completely dry, I lightly sprayed over any spots that I felt needed a little extra paint. And that was it!

DIY Gold Scissors | Ann-Marie Loves

To be honest, I anticipated a little sticky residue left over since I didn’t use any primer, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was none! #craftingsuccessstory

DIY Gold Scissors | Ann-Marie Loves

I will warn you: the thing about spray paint (much like wood stain) is that you spray one thing and all of a sudden you want to spray EVERYTHING. In fact, I have been known to do a little digging through drawers and cabinets in search of an item that needed (read: didn’t need) a change of color. You’ll see… ;)

washi tape box diy.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | All Ready Memories Washi Tape Box

As someone whose washi tape collection runneth over, I was THRILLED when Adrianne from All Ready Memories sent one of her washi tape boxes my way. Aside from being a genius organizing tool, it also comes in a natural wood color that is perfect for customizing!

Ann-Marie Loves | All Ready Memories Washi Tape Box

After experimenting with wood stain on my ring box a few weeks back, I have become obsessed with painting anything + everything in sight with it. Nothing is safe from me. So, it was pretty much a no-brainer that my washi tape box would eventually be covered in a little honey-colored wood stain.

Ann-Marie Loves | All Ready Memories Washi Tape Box

Initially I had planned on applying a few coats, but after the first layer dried, I decided to leave it as is to really allow the natural woodgrain to shine through. The secret to achieving an even coat is to let the paint soak into the wood for just a few seconds and then wipe off any excess with a rag. The other secret is to wear gloves. At all times. (Not that I’m that I’m speaking from experience or anything.)

Ann-Marie Loves | All Ready Memories Washi Tape Box

I am such a fan of the way it turned out and I love how easily I can organize and access my ever-growing collection of tapes! Thank you, Adrianne!

diy watercolor calendar.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I realize it’s mid-June and to most people, it’s not exactly calendar season. But for me, I just want a change of scenery. Since I can’t write on my Rifle Paper calendar (thou shalt not deface any Rifle products with messy handwriting…everyone knows that), I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own. Here’s how I did it:

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

S U P P L I E S

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrushes
  • Number stamps (mine are from The Curiosity Shoppe, which sadly appears to be closed!)
  • Cup for water

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To begin, I (roughly) measured out the lines for my calendar squares and then ran my paintbrush right along the edge of the ruler. I should preface this by saying that I am NOT a perfectionist. I have little interest in making everything look uniform; I just want to have fun creating and get things done. Plus, watercolors don’t exactly lend themselves to clean lines. The more freeform, the better!

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Once I have the lines and month name painted, I gather my number stamps.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To stamp with watercolors, I simply paint the rubber stamp with the paintbrush and stamp directly onto the paper. Easy peasy.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I decided to go with a light paint color so I can eventually write over the date without competing with the overall design.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Let dry and let the planning begin!

diy muffin tin planters.

Posted on: Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

The other day as I was browsing the shelves of the Goodwill, I spotted this muffin tin + knew instantly that I wanted to turn it into a planter. Once I picked up the muffin tin for $1.50 (50% day – look out!), I swung by Lowes and had a wonderful time picking + choosing my succulents.

Click here to see my Vine video of the planting process!

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To create this planter, you will need:

  • Six succulent plants (I purchased all of mine for less than eight dollars at Lowes)
  • 1 muffin tin (the deeper the cups, the better)
  • Vinyl Bumpers
  • An awl or drill (and drill bit)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

After cleaning the muffin tin as best I could (a good rule of thumb for all thrift finds), I flipped it over and punched drainage holes in all six of the cups using a bookbinding awl. Luckily the tin was super easy to punch through, but if yours is thick, I recommend using a drill with a small bit.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

From there, I added a vinyl bumper to each of the four corners of the tin to allow for proper drainage. This is key if you prefer living plants.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I then played around with the arrangement of the succulents and placed them in the muffin tin.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Then I began moving the soil around, adding in a handful of small rocks, and finessing each of the plants to my liking. After that I lightly watered the individual plants and called it good. The thing to remember about succulents is that they require minimal watering. In fact, it’s best if you leave them alone until their soil is completely dry. (You can read even more care + keeping tips here!)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

So there you have it! A quick + easy Springtime DIY that has yet again fueled my thrift shopping habit! I have plans to make a bunch of these for my wedding and display them amidst other floral centerpieces on our tables. Good times ahead!

Follow on Feedly

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie