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!

planting new seeds.

Posted on: Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves

This past week has been a bit of a doozy, to say the least. There have been many moments where I am overcome with feelings of “what am I doing?!”, except with more expletives and maybe a tearful outburst or two. But despite this week’s rocky start, I’m now feeling renewed and ready to jump back into the fold. I recently read my 2014 horoscope and whether or not it has any shred of truth to it, I choose to believe it wholeheartedly. I like imagining positivity whenever possible and this year is apparently full of it for Scorpios like myself!

Yesterday I left the house for a bit to run some errands and I have to say, being out and about in this beautiful city was like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes I spend so much time at home, I forget that I get to live in Pasadena (a longtime dream of mine!). I remember writing in my journal about wanting to move here a few years ago and at the time, it seemed like a long shot (this was back in my Utah days). But it’s amazing how a tiny seed of an idea can get planted in your subconscious and before you know it, you’re walking down Colorado Boulevard on a Wednesday afternoon because this is your neighborhood, gosh darn it! Life is a funny thing.

So what I mean to say is, I’m planting new seeds. I’m thinking about what’s next for me and I’m hoping for the best. First up: a brand new e-course in which I share all of my favorite tips + tricks for styling, shooting, and editing photos for blog posts! (Look for it to launch by the end of the month!)

P.S. The photo above? Old. Pre-wedding. Pre-baby. But totally fitting of my mood ;)

workspace wednesday | three tips for faster blogging.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three Tips for Faster Blogging | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Keep a running list of blog post ideas. Anytime a potential post idea strikes me (or better yet, when the post is basically writing itself in my head!), I scribble it down in an e-mail to myself or in my journal / planner. While I don’t schedule my posts too far in advance, I generally have a rough idea of what topics I want to cover on a monthly basis and then plug them in where I see fit.

2. Maintain a collection of your own stock photos. There are many aspects of my life that could use an organizational overhaul, but when it comes to my digital photos, I have systematized it down to a science. Because of this, I can pull up any photo at a moment’s notice when I need a picture for a blog post. I have a particular folder (aptly titled “BLOG”) in which I save images that I know would work especially well for my brand of posts, including stylized shots of my desk, landscape photos with substantial white space, etc.

3. Stick to a small selection of favorite fonts. If you’re anything like me, you have a million and one fonts in your collection that have the potential to be used in countless ways. By narrowing your list down to just a handful of favorites, you can expedite the process of incorporating text on photos or graphics considerably. (Here’s a list of my go-to typefaces!)

What are your tricks for cranking out blog posts?  I would love to hear them!

P.S. If you’re looking for more blogging and freelancing advice, you can check out my posts on generating content ideas, getting motivated, and many others under my Workspace Wednesday category!

wedding menu + food label cards

Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Designing all of the paper elements for our wedding was a true labor of love. Going into it, I knew I wanted the whole “branding” of the event — from the save the dates to the invitations to the menus to the food labels and everything in between — to be as cohesive and unified as possible. The food-related paper goods were especially important for me to get right because not only did they have to fit in with the entire wedding suite, but they had to work in harmony with the table decor as well. (Or maybe I was just hyper aware of the details that nobody else would notice?) (Most likely!)

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Like all elements of our wedding suite (minus the save the dates), I was able to print the menus at home on my HP Photosmart D110A printer. For the paper, I bought a bulk pack of paper bag cover weight cardstock from Paper Source and printed two menus per page.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

At each place setting, the menus were tucked inside the napkins for safekeeping.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

The food labels were probably my favorite component to design, simply because they were the quickest! All I had to do was hammer out a complete list of the various dishes and desserts we would be having on the big day and then plug them into 2 x 3″ boxes in an Illustrator document.

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The finishing touch to all of the food-related paper goods was a few swipes of Martha Stewart metallic gold paint to the top of each card and they were ready to be put on display!

Wedding Menu + Food Labels | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

The funny thing about having delicious food prepared for your own wedding is that once the big day rolls around, your appetite is nearly non-existent. John and I were so hyped up on adrenaline, we barely touched our dinners much less grabbed a bite of dessert! Ideally, we would have had a plate of leftovers put aside, because at the end of the evening as we were leaving our reception, our appetites returned in full-force! (Also, I could really go for a churro right about now.)

To see the rest of my wedding projects, click here!

Photos 3, 5, and 6 by Katie Pritchard Photography.

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!

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