Entries Tagged as 'american crafts'

diy custom frame mats.

Posted on: Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys, I won’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously expensive it is to have an annual pass to Disneyland. It’s beyond the point of ridiculous. But in spite of the steep price point, John and I continue to renew our passes year after year, because, well, we love it! And soon we will have another person to take along with us (for free!), so of course, we’re in too deep to quit now ;)

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Last year all annual pass holders were sent a calendar booklet complete with vintage prints from all of the big attractions and something told me that I should hang on to it for future use. Well, high five to me, because when I rediscovered the booklet while cleaning out my office the other day, I knew that three of the pages would be perfect for nursery decor! The only problem was that the dimensions of the pages didn’t exactly lend themselves well to traditional frame sizes.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

So, I had to get a little creative. I went through the frames that I already had on hand and realized that if I used this simple white IKEA frame and made a custom mat with my Cameo die cutting machine, I could easily accommodate the prints! Boom. That was all it took to get my wheels turning…

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

To make the custom mat, I measured the prints and then created a slightly smaller-sized rectangle in the Silhouette Studio software and centered it within the 8.5 x 11″ paper allotment.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves
DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the mats were cut out, I turned the prints over and adhered them to the backs of each mat using scotch tape (washi tape would probably work well too!). Then I popped each print into the frame and mapped out where I wanted to hang them on the wall.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Initially, I was reluctant to hang anything above the crib given the high likelihood of earthquakes, but I managed to find a few workarounds. First of all, these frames are super light and the covers are made of plastic, not glass. Secondly, I pulled the crib away from the wall so that should the prints fall, they won’t come in contact with the baby. And thirdly, I wreak more havoc simply by running my clumsy body into things than any earthquake could ever cause, so maybe I’m the one who needs to be baby-proofed? HA!

stamped canvas pouch.

Posted on: Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Stamped Canvas Pouch | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | via Dear Lizzy DIY Stamped Canvas Pouch | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | via Dear Lizzy

Yesterday my stamped canvas pouch tutorial was shared on the always-inspiring Dear Lizzy’s blog! Hop on over to check it out :)

baby album | part eleven.

Posted on: Friday, July 11, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

As I work on my album each week, I keep thinking “is this the final week? Will I have a baby picture to pop in next time?” But based on my visit to the doctor this past Tuesday, I still have plenty of pages left in me before any baby faces grace this album ;)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I’m keeping things pretty simple these days with a full-sized photo flanked by a page of short journaling. Nothing too fancy. After all, those baby shower thank you notes aren’t going to write themselves!

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

For this page, I used an old sheet of Sassafras paper and embellished it with a Crate Paper journaling card, yellow washi tape, Thickers, and a Dear Lizzy dimensional heart sticker. I kept the journaling short and sweet as well.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the second page, I printed out a 6.25 x 9.5″ photo from my maternity shoot a few weeks back and used a strip of mint masking tape and a phrase from a Project Life card for extra emphasis. Feeling the baby kick, roll, and punch is a feeling I never ever want to forget. It’s pure magic.

Last Day to Save on E-Courses + Printables! | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Ooh! Before I forget, today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of my 37% off sale on e-courses + printables! If you’ve been thinking about taking a class (this one is my personal fave) or getting your hands on some fun printables, now is the time! Use the code THIRTYSEVEN to save at checkout :)

my freelancing story.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Freelance Story | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I should start off by saying, I never intended to be a freelancer.

While it’s the lifestyle I’ve always dreamt about, it’s not something I imagined I would ever really have the guts to dive into headfirst. But life has a funny way of throwing you into situations you never expected and showing you that you are capable of so much more than you know.

A little about my background: I graduated from San Diego State in 2009 with a degree in Multimedia Design. At the time, I had no clear direction as to where I was going to go with my career. Using the economy as a blanket excuse for any and all problems is a tired justification, but if I can be real for a moment, graduating smack dab in the middle of the recession was terrible. TERRIBLE. I had zero job prospects when I was handed my diploma. Not a one. I moved back home with my parents and took on odd gigs here and there (medical billing, anyone?). I remember interviewing for temporary work at the mall that following November and going up against people who were far more qualified and far more educated than the job would ever require. And the result of those interviews? Futile. I couldn’t even get part-time, minimum wage, seasonal work! Needless to say, it wasn’t a high point in my 27 years.

But then in 2010, I applied for an In-House Scrapbooker / Product Designer position as American Crafts. I was absolutely positive that I would never get the job (I lived in Southern California, the position was based in Utah), but within three weeks, John and I were living in Orem, Utah. Life is weird, you guys.

Working at my (then) dream job was an amazing, invaluable, unforgettable experience that taught me so much about design, marketing, and finding things to do on a Sunday in the Mormon bible belt. But almost two years into the job, I was unexpectedly laid off. I was crushed. I was shocked. I was panicked. There was no way in hell that John and I were going to stay in Utah a single minute longer, but how in the world were we going to pay for all of our moving expenses and still have money left over once we got to California?

Out of desperation, I posted a few rubber stamp designs (that I had previously made for myself) in my online shop, not expecting anyone to buy them. Within an hour after posting, I had a handful of sales. I couldn’t believe it! People really wanted to buy my designs? This was incredible! And that’s where the ball got rolling. The sales continued to grow and grow and for the first time ever, I truly believed I could support myself without the steady financial backing of a company. I had cash flow and confidence. Things were looking up.

By the time I returned home to California (peace out, Utah), I begin working part time with Amy Tan, taking on various freelance design projects, and selling more and more stamp designs in my shop. I was lucky enough to receive some press from big names including Swiss Miss, Oh Hello Friend, Fab.com, Cup of Jo, Uncovet, and a handful of others, which helped launched my business even further than I ever imagined. Each day was a new adventure and I couldn’t believe I was actually getting to live life on my own terms!

Over the past two years, I’ve grown my business in different ways. I’ve expanded my shop to include new products. I’ve put my graphic design background to work on various freelance projects. I’ve tried my hand at producing e-courses. I’ve creatively collaborated with various individuals and companies. I’ve blogged professionally. I’ve delved deeper into photography and styling. And as always, I’ve continued to craft and make things with my hands. I’m nowhere near where I want to be professionally, but I have full faith that I will get there in due time.

Now, living in Pasadena with my husband and a baby on the way, I’m still freelancing and enjoying the adventure that it is. I will admit that life is getting more and more expensive all the time (private health insurance, car repairs, and baby expenses are a few of the big culprits) and there are many occasions when money can be tight. I’m fortunate that my husband works a steady 8-5 job as a graphic designer, so the consistency of his paycheck helps to balance out the unpredictability of my income greatly. But the truth is, we are a team. I feel just as responsible for our financial future as John does, so we both do our part to make sure we are creating a solid fiscal foundation month after month.

Even though everyday is a different experience and I often ask myself “WHAT AM I DOING?!,” it’s an amazingly gratifying life and I’m so happy to be along for the ride.

fringe flag diy.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I’ve recently come to the rather startling realization that this wedding is going to happen in a few months, whether I like it or not (for the record, I love it). Needless to say, no matter how busy I am, I really need to get cracking on all of the DIY projects I have in mind. So! I’ve decided to tackle the smaller projects first, if for no other reason than the fact it makes me feel like I’m getting a lot done. Baby steps, ya’ll.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

This past weekend I whipped out a bunch of fringe flags for all of our guests to wave around as John and I walk back down the aisle. It’s about as low-tech as crafts go, but will (hopefully) pack a big punch in photos! Here’s how I made them:

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

S U P P L I E S

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Decide how long you want your fringe flags to be and cut a sheet of tissue paper accordingly. I folded my sheet in thirds and kept it folded while I fringed the ends.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Fold each sheet of fringed tissue paper in half lengthwise a few times until it is in a tight bundle.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Roll the tip of the dowel in a large Glue Dot.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Wrap the base of the fringe tissue paper around the adhesive until is completely wound (I went with Glue Dots, but hot glue would work just as well.)

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

While holding the fringe tissue paper to the dowel, wrap a strip of washi tape around the base of the tissue paper until it is completely secure. If the fringe is too tight, tousle it with your fingers a bit to loosen it up. Finally, wave your fringe flag around like you just don’t care!

One wedding craft down, five hundred more to go!

To see this DIY in action, check out my Vine video here!

Dear Lizzy’s Lucky Charm Collection

Posted on: Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One of my favorite parts about working at American Crafts was the opportunity to meet + collaborate with some amazing people, including the super talented (and super sweet) Liz Kartchner! It was always a treat when she would come into the office to work on her line, contribute to critiques, and ooh and ahh over all the new product with us! So much fun.

Here are a few sneak peeks from her latest line, Lucky Charm:

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Collection
Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Collection
Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Collection

American Crafts is thrilled to announce it’s 6th collection from designer Elizabeth Kartchner, “Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm.” Beautiful paper with a cool mix of blues, mint, orange-red and yellow, with a pop of pink in the each of the pretty florals.Lucky Charm was inspired by jewelry charms so you will find your favorite “lucky” icons here and there. As well as dreamy clouds, star-maps, hot air balloons, and darling umbrellas. Some of the new products sure to get you excited include the roller phrase-only stamp. Scrapbookers loved the Dear Lizzy Date Stamp, so in this collection you will find a new stamp that is full of just the fun phrases. There are also awesome Diecut Cards (4″x6″), striped square buttons that look like candy, a perforated sticker book, tissue fringe flags, fringe garland, printed clothespins, and a colorful Daybook. Of course, a Dear Lizzy line wouldn’t be complete without some Lizzyesque icons including jars, kites and handwritten phrases.

To see a sneak peek of another product, continue on the blog hop to Shimelle Laine and be sure to make it to the end for a giveaway of the entire Lucky Charm collection!

American Crafts Does it Again

Posted on: Saturday, January 22, 2011

These past few weeks at work have been a whirlwind of crafting, crafting, and more crafting! In other words, heaven.

Here are just a few of the things I whipped up using American Crafts’ RIDICULOUSLY FANTASTICALLY AMAZING new lines! (And I am not biased in the least):

Peachy Keen

Confetti

Confetti

Hello Sunshine

Campy Trails

One of the best parts of my job is being able to see lines come together, from a style sheet to an actual product, so you can imagine how excited I was to see these lines in person! When all the new product came in, I swear it was better than Christmas morning! Trade show season is our busiest time, but in my opinion, the most fun time. And speaking of trade shows, I will be at CHA this coming week! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! As someone who eats, sleeps, breathes scrapbooking, I am beside myself with excitement. Plus, it’s in LA so I get a trip home out of the deal! (;

Proof…

Posted on: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

that I really do get to play with paper for a living.

These layouts were designed for the weekly scrapbook challenges that Sarah, Lindsey, and I put together for each other. I have to say, it’s one of the BEST parts about my job!

For this layout, Sarah challenged us to go outside and snap pics using only our phones. Then we went back inside the office and scrapped 6×6 layouts using our new photos. Talk about a great way to shake things up! And it was a gorgeous Fall day, so no complaints from me….

This layout was based upon a graphic, simple image of a milk ad that I used as a sketch. I loved how easy it came together once I knew what the foundation would be! (Sidenote: I never used to use sketches, but lately they have been quite the lifesaver! which sounds like the most dramatic statement ever! yeesh…).

For this layout, Lindsey challenged us to stick strictly to a blue/green/yellow color palette. I loved having a limited choice as to what papers and embellishments I could pick, as I tend to include every shade of the rainbow on nearly all of my layouts! And of course, it was a layout about Disneyland. Of course.

For this challenge, I asked everyone to create a Fall-inspired layout (which is no hard task, considering the fact that fall here in Utah is GORG!). Taking pictures of the colorful landscape here has practically become a second job for me (aside from discovering “Only in Utah” gems, that is). I hear it will be gone before I know it, so I keep snapping away like a crazed tourist!

Finally, this card was made for a video tutorial I put together, which (and I don’t know what possessed me to share this!) you can watch here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MG1DPlF4OI]

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