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!

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!

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!

styled shoots.

Posted on: Monday, April 7, 2014

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to help style, design paper goods, and put my thrifted glassware to use on two very different but equally exciting wedding inspiration shoots.

For the first shoot (Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration as Green Wedding Shoes dubbed it), my wedding photographer-turned-good friend Katie Pritchard invited me to help style various vignettes at the OC Mix Mart, alongside a talented team of vendors (including gorgeous paper goods designed by Alex Choura!). Not only was it a great way to meet new people, but I learned so much about what goes into a pulling together a shoot of this magnitude. So inspiring! Here are some of the beautiful photos from the day, as captured by Katie:

Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Paper Goods by Alex Choura | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Paper Goods by Alex Choura | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves
Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration | Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography | Assistant Styling by Ann-Marie Loves

For the second styled shoot, I worked with another good friend, Kate Doherty of La Rousse Photo, to bring a romantic, elegant, and slightly untraditional wedding inspiration shoot to life. After meeting up for coffee and exchanging e-mails back and forth to nail down the details of the shoot, I designed the paper goods, pulled aside some of my favorite thrifted pieces, and the had a blast pairing everything together on the big day. Not only is Kate an absolute dream to work with, but all of the other vendors and models were a delight as well! Here are my favorite photos:

Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styling + Paper Goods by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo
Styled Backyard Wedding Shoot | Styled by Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by La Rousse Photo

If you’re looking to collaborate on a creative project, let me know! I love helping others bring their creative visions to fruition :)

baby album | part four.

Posted on: Friday, April 4, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Whereas last week was full of nonsense + frustration, this week is positively brimming with possibility and victory. What does this have to do with scrapbooking, you ask? Welp, I have no idea. But it sure makes everything easier when you have a skip in your step.

The latest pages of my album are all about two of my favorite pregnancy-related things thus far: baby bumps + miniature clothes. (Sidenote: I just compared my 13 week bump with my 23 week bump and it. was. shocking. I can only imagine what another 10 weeks is going to look like…!)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page features an awesome letterpress card from one of Kelly Purkey’s amazing kits and a feather that I die cut from gold foil paper with my Cameo.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The righthand page is my 20 week bump shot from our recent trip to San Diego, printed at 6 x 9″ and tucked into a BG Capture page protector.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On this spread, I pretty much only used what supplies were already on my desk. Sometimes it’s easier to just use those pieces up then it is to put them back where they belong ;)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page includes a sheet of one of my favorite new Capture papers and more gold letters (which peeled and stuck down like a dream).

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

And finally, the righthand page features a mix of KP’s journaling cards and a fabric feather adhered to one of the tabbed pages that comes included with the Capture album.

I’ve started thinking about what kind of album I want to use to document my daughter’s life once she actually arrives and I’m definitely leaning towards photo books (something like this!) vs. scrapbooking. I’ll probably end up doing a mix of the two, but I’m still up in the air about it. Decisions, decisions.

everybody dance now.

Posted on: Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

I’m going to be honest.

Most of the big handmade projects created for our wedding were done with less than a month to go before the big day. BECAUSE I AM INSANE. But somehow, some way, by the sheer grace of the crafting gods, they turned out far better than I could have ever expected! Perhaps the project that packed the biggest punch at our reception was the “Everybody Dance Now” banner draped over the dance floor. I had known all along that I wanted something hanging overhead, but it wasn’t until the very last minute that I decided to get cheeky and go with the most appropriate party phrase of all time.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

Like I’ve mentioned before, I relied on my Cameo die cutting machine heavily to pull so many of my crafty ideas together. With a stack of white cardstock, a long strand of baker’s twine, scotch tape, and my Cameo, the banner came together in less than hour. Super simple. The hardest part was finding a way to prevent the letters from twisting and tangling before they had a chance to be hung, but somehow we made it work.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The translation from day to night was wonderfully seamless. The white letters looked electric when they were lit up by the market lights! Definitely one of the happiest surprises of the evening.

"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography
"Everybody Dance Now" Banner | Ann-Marie Loves | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

And judging by all the action on the dance floor, I’d say our guests got the memo ;)

Photos by Katie Pritchard Photography.

P.S. You can see more of my wedding-related posts here!

workspace wednesday | inspiring links.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Inspiring Link | Ann-Marie Loves

Lately I’ve been stumbling upon so many inspiring articles, books, and quotes that have been making my head spin (in the best way possible). It wouldn’t be fair of me to keep them all to myself, so here’s a list of my recent favorites:

- Rebuilding a strong brand. Sycamore Street Press is one of those companies that I totally admire (and adore!), so it was incredibly refreshing to read Eva’s candid account of SSP’s rebranding process.

- Anything from Braid Creative. Some of my favorite posts include designing your dream job, a new year for your creative business, and manifesting money + dream clients. Those girls are awesome.

- 10 Ideas to Drum up Business. Like I mentioned yesterday, I just discovered Nubby Twiglet’s blog this past week and have been loving her posts.

- Setting and Tackling Big Goals. What can I say? Elise is the master.

- Hello Brick + Mortar. I thoroughly enjoy this series of posts on Oh So Beautiful Paper’s blog!

- Tips for Shopping the LA Flower Mart. Super informative post for all flower-loving LA creatives!

- Creative Diaries series. Breanna Rose has one of the most beautiful blogs I’ve ever seen and her Creative Diaries posts are no exception. So inspiring.

- This quote. And this quote. And this one too.

- Money: A Love Story. I know I touched on this briefly before, but man. This book has been a real game-changer for me. I devour as many pages as I can every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed.

- The Stop Doing List. I can’t praise Danielle LaPorte enough. She is beyond all levels.

- Money Mindset Shifts. Marie Forleo’s site is another huge wealth of business and lifestyle wisdom. I dare you to just watch one of her videos.

- How Clutter Affects Your Productivity. Another gem that I randomly stumbled upon on Pinterest.

What awesome links have you come across recently?

as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves | As of Late: April Edition

Dedicating: this week to taking care of all of the tedious tasks that I have been putting off for quite some time. I keep reminding myself that by Friday, I’ll feel like a million bucks!

Digging: Nubby Twiglet! I found her blog by way of Breanna Rose (one of my daily reads!) and I’m gleaning so much inspiration from her posts.

Shocked: by how…ummm, sizable?… my baby bump looks at 23 weeks. I had no idea how big it really was until I saw a photo of myself from this past weekend. #whoababy #elasticwaistbandsftw

Reading: Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup with great fervor! Typically I have zero interest in books about money and finance, but this one is completely up my alley.

Uncharacteristically: unfazed by all of the recent seismic activity here in LA. On Friday night, John and I held hands and stared at each other (and the breakables in the room) with amusement as we rode out the earthquake. (Except now my weird “earthquake-preventing” superstitions that were created in 1994 are back in full-force, so there’s that.)

Glad: that I finally signed up for Amazon Prime! Free two day shipping and deliveries on Sundays? Why did I wait so long to get onboard?!

Inspired: by this this awesome article about the myth of creative inspiration.

Trying: new recipes from Sprouted Kitchen and loving the results! Cooking is becoming less and less intimidating all the time.

Trusting: that everything is working out exactly as it should be.

Getting: excited about kid’s crafts! I have stumbled upon so many creative and inexpensive ideas lately, I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to play. (I absolutely positively will be turning to this forthcoming book for lots of inspiration!)

Kicking: myself for not snagging a vintage Radio Flyer tricycle at the thrift store the other day. It was so awesome, you guys. #thriftersguilt

Loving: my daily walks around town. I walk as far as I can go and then John picks me up on his way home from work and we drive home together. It’s my favorite part of the day.

Thinking: that Kevin from Thou Swell has the most beautiful Pinterest feed I’ve ever seen. Would it be too much to repin everything?

Laughing: hysterically over the latest episode of the JV Club. And every episode, for that matter.

Using: my planner and my printables on a daily basis, but finding that nothing beats a good ol’ spiral bound journal for brainstorming and capturing all of my ideas. I always stock up at Target when the back-to-school season ends and the sales begin!

Enthralled: by feeling and watching the baby move more and more everyday. (P.S. She is totally kicking my laptop right now as I type this post.)

Incredibly: grateful for the amazing response my Styling | Shooting | Sharing e-course has received! Thanks so much, everyone!

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

coveting for baby | handmade edition.

Posted on: Friday, March 28, 2014

Coveting for Baby | Handmade Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

left to right, top to bottom: 

Swallow’s Return Cotton Blouse // Ajalor Toddler Shoes // I Love Doodle “Love Yourself” Print // Emily Isabella Card // Wren and Rumor Swaddle Blanket  // Sweet Reverie Throw Pillow // Siberian Berry Wooden Bear // Freshly Picked Moccasins // Juniper Wilde Knot Hat

It’s been interesting for me to see what I’ve gravitated towards when it comes to shopping for baby. Whether it’s clothes, toys, or nursery decor, I’m loving lots of neutrals with pops of color sprinkled throughout. These nine handmade items are exactly what my dreams are made of!

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