Entries Tagged as 'tutorials'

how to make journaling cards with digital brushes.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday after I dropped Briar off with her grandpa for the afternoon, I decided to take my oft-neglected car to the carwash and give it the proper treatment it deserves. I absolutely love the carwash; there’s something so satisfying about sitting inside with the windows up, cranking the radio, and watching those high-powered wipers blast your car into oblivion…all for only a few bucks! It’s the stuff of nightmares for my poor Briar, but for me? Dreamy. Anyways, once I was finished with the washing part (have I lost you yet?), I pulled over to the free vacuums and gave my car a SERIOUS interior cleaning and it felt SO GOOD. I haven’t vacuumed that puppy in maybe a year (?!), so once I drove off with a super-clean car, I felt like I could conquer the world! Or, at least come up with a fun tutorial for a blog post.

So I decided that today I would share how to use digital brushes to create journaling cards. Coming from a graphic design background and using Photoshop on the daily, I often forget how I take my basic knowledge for granted, so I am breaking it down into bite-size pieces today for anyone who is just getting started. I totally understand how digital brushes may sound super intimidating, but I promise they are a lifesaver once you get the hang of them!

Here’s how to create journaling cards in Photoshop using my Summer Fun digital brushes:

CARD NO. ONE:

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Open a new document with your desired size. For this first card, I sized it at 3 x 4.” Next I grabbed the Paint Bucket Tool and applied yellow to the whole card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

2.  Pick another color to create a gradient effect (I went with a complementary aqua shade).

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

3. Click on the half-circle in the bottom of your Layers palette and choose “Gradient.” Cool, huh?

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

4. Once the gradient is applied, be sure to Flatten Image to merge everything back on to a single layer.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

5. Next, choose a few brushes to add to your card. For this particular one, I chose the heart and the “pool party.” Then I added a new layer of text below. Once this was completed to my liking, I went back up to Layer and chose Flatten Image again.

CARD NO. TWO:

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Open a new document and choose a size for your card. This time I went with 4 x 6.” Next, I used the Paint Bucket Tool again to add a pink background to the card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

2. Repeating the same steps as I did with the first card, I created a pink + yellow gradient.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

3.  Once the image was flattened, I grabbed the swan icon from the set of brushes and created a loose pattern on the left side of the card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

4. Once I had both cards designed in separate files, I brought them onto the same document (8.5 x 11″) and combined them with photos so I could print everything on a single page. After I aligned all the cards and images to my liking, I clicked Flatten Image again and sent them to my printer.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the sheet looked like after it was printed and before I cut it up.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s how I incorporated my card designs into a page in my 2016 album! I hope this inspires you to try something new with digital brushes!

P.S. Summer Fun digital brushes can be found here!

new summer fun digital brushes + photoshop layering tutorial.

Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

When it comes to getting things done, I’ve decided that it’s the little pockets of free time that really yield the biggest accomplishments for me. For example, on Wednesday I brought my laptop to my one hour glucose test at the doctor’s office knowing that I could probably eke out a little bit of work while I waited to have my blood drawn. Little did I know, I was able to crank out a whole new set of summer-inspired digital brushes to use in my ongoing 2016 album! Being a mom has taught me nothing if not how to be more efficient with my time. Plus, I secretly love watching all the other pregnant ladies (and sometimes their nervous husbands or their newborn babies) in the waiting room, and hiding behind a laptop makes this much easier to do on the down low! I might need to bring my computer more often ;)

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Here are the latest designs, now available for purchase in my shop!

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

And here’s a spread I made using a few different brushes. I could sing the praises of digital brushes all day, everyday simply because they make creating so easy and so fast!

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

One of my favorite design tricks is to layer a solid block of text with an outlined version of the same text. It’s such an easy way to add depth to type without any cheesy drop shadows or glows. So for this group of digital brushes, I made sure to include both a solid and an outlined form of the word “SUMMER” (shown above) as well as the cacti graphics.

Here’s a little tutorial on how to layer the two different brushes in Photoshop:

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

First I dragged my photo into Photoshop and resized it to fit a full page protector.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Next, I went over to my color palette and chose a bright yellow to act as the solid layer of the “SUMMER” title.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Using the fill version of the two “SUMMER” brushes, I found a good spot on my photo and clicked to set it in place.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Finally, I changed the color in the color palette (shown at left) to black and used the outline version of the “SUMMER” brushes and carefully layered it over the solid layer, slightly off-center to create a faux shadow effect.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Once my title was in place, I added in my own journaling and two solid lines (using a 9pt solid dot brush). Then I flattened the image and printed it out to tuck into my album. Super simple!

Summer Fun digital brushes can be found here!

baked spinach + avocado salad.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cooking is certainly something I aspire to be better at, but you know, I can always find a good excuse to put it off for another day. It’s not so much the cooking part that turns me away, it’s the freaking cleanup. Pots, pans, plates, measuring cups…ugh.

However, despite my hesitation to dive into cooking full-force, I have found a few simple, healthy recipes that I turn to time and time again. My favorite one is a baked spinach salad with some of very favorite flavors: quinoa, tomatoes, feta cheese, and avocado. I swear it is the easiest thing in the world to make and best of all, cleanup is a breeze!

Here’s how to make it:

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Ingredients:

  • 1 Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Feta Cheese
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Create a bed of spinach leaves. The bigger the handfuls, the better!

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cover the top of the spinach with cooked quinoa, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Then apply a generous amount of olive oil over the whole pan and sprinkle pepper on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the salad has baked, scoop everything into a bowl and top with avocados.

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Yum! I could eat this meal every single day and never get tired of it.

diy aprons for mama + baby.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DIY Aprons for Mama + Baby | Ann-Marie LovesLast week while thrifting, I stumbled upon a huge rectangular fabric piece that was sewed up on two sides. I have absolutely no idea what the intended purpose for the fabric was (a pillowcase? a dress?), but I loved the pattern and knew it would make for cute matching aprons for myself and Briar. And best of all, it was only 99 cents! (I LOVE THRIFTING.)

DIY Aprons for Mama + Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

The idea of DIY aprons first came to me after reading this tutorial from Say Yes. I am such a fan of all Liz’s craft ideas (I made these pilgrim hats last Thanksgiving!) because they always feel so attainable and don’t require me to buy a bunch of extra supplies that I know I’ll only use once. This particular project only involved scissors and hot glue…now that’s my kind of DIY!

DIY Aprons for Mama + Baby | Ann-Marie Loves
DIY Aprons for Mama + Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

Using the same instructions as Liz uses in her dish towel apron tutorial, I cut the fabric into two separate pieces (along the vertical seams that had been sewed up) and eyeballed the length and width for a mama apron and a baby apron. I then folded down the top two corners on each respective apron and ironed the folds. Next, I hot glued a long strip of ribbon into the two folds of the aprons and ironed over it again to really secure the shape.

DIY Aprons for Mama + Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

The entire project took maybe an hour from start to finish and I couldn’t wait for Briar to wake up from her nap to try on her apron! Luckily, she loves it (you never know with toddlers…) so I guess this means we need more mother / daughter baking and crafting projects in our lives now!

diy leafy photo backdrop.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend I got to work on a photo backdrop for my sister-in-law’s surprise birthday party and it was so much fun to put together. With no real theme to work off of, I decided to go with something that would be colorful in photos but not be too difficult to execute. So after a run to Joann’s for colored paper, I started on the leaves!

DIY Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

To get these shapes, I did a quick Google search of various leaves and saved a few of my favorites to my desktop so I could cut them out with my Cameo using this insanely awesome trick. It’s a little tedious to work in the Silhouette software but totally worth it when you can take an image from the interwebs and turn them into a tangible object! To save on time, I ended up only cutting about a third of the total leaves with the Cameo and then hand-cutting the rest with a sharp pair of scissors. Once all the leaves were cut out, I taped two huge sheets of kraft butcher paper together and started arranging the shapes and then gluing them down.

DIY Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

I was very happy with the way it turned out! (Briar was thrilled about it too, as you can tell.) I haven’t worked on a project of this scale in quite some time, so it was a great creative challenge!

P.S. Happy happy birthday, Jen!

diy woven bag.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

Lately I’ve been in this wonderful creative phase of life where all I want to do is MAKE STUFF. I want to play with paper. I want to play with yarn. I want to play with photography. I want to play with design. I just want to make anything and everything! Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night and knew that I had to make Briar a colorful woven bag to house her treasures. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would turn out, but I knew it would be super fun to try it. Here’s how the bag came together:

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

If there’s one tool I can’t get enough of, it’s my Martha Stewart loom. I’ve used it countless times in countless ways and I’m still turning to it over and over again! Highly recommend. Aside from the loom, the rest of the supplies are pretty basic: yarn, scissors, and a needle (or a paperclip if you can’t find your needle right away – ha!).

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

For this particular project, I set up the loom with seventeen pegs across and wove about seven inches down using my favorite yarn colors. Each weaving took approximately 45 minutes each.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

And this is how someone who hates measuring “measures” where I ended the first weaving so I would know where to stop with the second weaving. I eyeball everything and somehow it works out.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

Here are the both of the weavings after they came off of the loom. To attach them together, I first tied the fringe on the bottom of each weaving to each other in double knots. Once that was finished, I took my scissors and cut straight across the bottom of the fringe to make it look uniform. From there, I grabbed my needle and yarn and sewed up the sides of the bag. The pom pom handle (a dollar spot find from Target over the holidays) was added in a similar fashion by simply sewing each side onto the inner part of the bag using a needle and two small strands of thread. The entire process took about three hours from start to finish…just enough time for Briar to squeeze in a nap and then wake up in time to take photos! It was the perfect afternoon project.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

She has her baby, her rain boots, and her cross body bag. Girl is set!

diy baby pilgrim hats.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Pilgrim Hats | Thanksgiving | Ann-Marie Loves

A good friend (and mama of three!) once told me that when it came to deciding on how many kids to have, you should imagine how you want your Thanksgivings to look when your children are grown. Do you want a full + lively table or a small + quiet dinner? I think about this all the time as I handle the daily minutia of raising an energetic little one. As difficult as bringing up kids can be, I love the idea of a Parenthood-style family seated around my table during the holidays. I mean, is it too late for the Bravermans to adopt me?

DIY Pilgrim Hats | Thanksgiving | Ann-Marie Loves

Even though I only have one baby at the moment, I still want to make each Thanksgiving as special as possible. This year, I decided to make super simple baby pilgrim hats for Briar and her cousin Luna. I saw the DIY tutorial on Say Yes a few days before the holiday and knew it was exactly what I had the time and the creative energy for. The night before Thanksgiving I ran to the craft store to pick up a few sheets of cream-colored felt, hot glue, and a spool of hot pink ribbon. When I got home, I took a rough measurement of Briar’s head (meaning I didn’t measure at all) and then used the tutorial to quickly whip up two pilgrim hats just in time for the big day! It took a little convincing to keep the hats on the babes’ heads, but it sure made for a fun photo shoot!

Now I just need a couple more baby pilgrims in my life and my future Thanksgivings will be set.

diy watermelon banner + free cut files.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

When I was in my second and third trimesters of pregnancy with Briar, I could not get enough watermelon. There was not enough watermelon in the world that could satisfy my cravings! It was like clockwork: every afternoon I would get a serious hankering for watermelon, so I would chop one up and scarf it down before heading out on my daily walk. INSANE. I’m pretty certain that Briar is made up of 75% watermelon (the other 25% being the bagels I lived on during my first trimester), so it’s no surprise that she loves watermelon as much as I did. In honor of Briar’s favorite fruit, I decided to make a watermelon banner for her birthday party.

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are basic: neon cardstock, my Cameo die-cutting machine, adhesive, and a black Sharpie pen. I designed and cut out the shapes using the Cameo, adhered them together, and then added seeds with the pen…super simple!

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

I hung the banner behind the teepee and I love the way it added an extra pop of neon to an already colorful scene! It now lives above her changing table where she can admire it (read: try to rip it off the wall) as I change her diapers.

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

I created a free download of the watermelon cut files (for use in Silhouette software) that you can find HERE. If you use them and take a photo, tag me on Instagram! Enjoy!

diy cheerios necklace for baby.

Posted on: Friday, July 24, 2015

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

If your baby is anything like my baby, she likes to snack. A LOT. From the time we introduced Briar to solid foods, she was pretty adamant about taking matters into her own hands (literally) and feeding herself. While this was frustrating at first, I’ve learned to view it as a huge help (I can eat my food while she eats hers!) and an amazing way to foster self-sufficiency.

Most of the time, I can plop Briar in her high chair, place her meal in bite-size pieces on her tray, and let her happily munch away. But when we are out and about or when she’s stuck in her car seat for an extended period of time, it’s not so easy to let her feed herself. The solution: Cheerios necklaces!

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are pretty self-explanatory: Cheerios, twine, and scissors. Just string the Cheerios onto the twine until you feel like you have provided your baby with a decent sized snack and then tie a knot and place it over your baby’s head. If I know we are going to be out for awhile, I like to make a couple of necklaces so I can swap them out as need be.

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

It didn’t take much convincing to get Briar on this bandwagon — she’s a believer!

homemade iced coffee.

Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

As the temperature continues to rise and Briar continues to wake up in the middle of the night, one thing has become crystal clear: I NEED ICED COFFEE. As much as I love hot coffee, I’m more than happy to switch over to the iced version during the warm summer months. I love it in the morning with my breakfast but I really love in the afternoon when my energy begins to slump…it’s the perfect pick-me-up! Recently I had been going through the Starbucks drive-thru (God’s gift to moms of babies) on an almost daily basis, but I realized I could save a lot of money by making it at home. So! I did a little research and experimentation and found my favorite new way to get my caffeine fix.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

What you’ll need:

– 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (anything but instant coffee)

– 4 cups of water

Cheesecloth

– Two pitchers or carafes

– Saran wrap

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Directions:

Pour 1/3 cups of coffee grounds into a pitcher or carafe. Then, heat up 4 cups of water on the stove for about a minute (no need to boil) and pour it on top of the coffee. Once both the coffee and water are in the carafe, cover the top with saran wrap and leave it on your counter for at least eight hours.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

After eight hours, remove the saran wrap and cover the mouth of a different pitcher or carafe with a few layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the coffee over the cheesecloth and let it filter into the second pitcher.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, fill a glass with ice and then pour in the coffee and any other flavorings (I like a splash of milk and the tiniest bit of homemade simple syrup) and enjoy! I store my pitcher of coffee in the fridge and cover it with saran wrap to preserve the taste. It usually only lasts a day or two before I find myself drinking it all up and starting the brewing process all over again! So good and so easy.

P.S. My daily coffee routine and coffee stories from my Utah days!

Follow on Feedly

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie