Entries Tagged as 'create'

basicgrey layouts.

Posted on: Friday, March 14, 2014

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

While organizing and purging everything I possibly could from my office yesterday, I stumbled upon a handful of layouts from CHA Winter that I hadn’t shared yet! I love when free blog fodder drops into my lap. Literally ;)

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Spice Market is one of my most favorite new collections to come along in quite some time. The saturated colors, the eclectic blend of patterns, and a handful of new embellishments all make it so much fun to play with! For this layout, I used a mix of patterned papers, Snippets, die cuts from the coordinating waterfall pack, and a one of the awesome new metal shapes.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza
BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this layout, I used a combo of Capture patterned papers, element stickers, Scrabble chipboard letters, journaling + phrase cards from from the waterfall pack, and wood veneers that I painted with yellow craft paint. I love all the bright pops of colors in the latest Capture release! Totally up my alley.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza
BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Getting married and going on a honeymoon right before the tradeshow season gave me LOTS of photo options to pull from! (Heck, I’m still pulling from them!) For this page, I used more of the Capture patterned papers, die cuts from the waterfall pack, and a strip of the awesome new printed washi tape.

BasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie EspinozaBasicGrey Layout | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this last project, I used more of the Spice Market collection, including lots of label stickers from the waterfall pack and my new favorite printed chipboard alphas. Happy photos call for happy color palettes and that’s exactly what this line provided!

P.S. In my cleaning / organizing / purging whirlwind yesterday, I filled three large flat rate boxes of scrapbooking + craft supplies that need to find new homes. You can claim yours here! (Domestic shipping only – thanks for your understanding!)


Posted on: Monday, March 10, 2014

Knitting a Baby Blanket | Ann-Marie Loves

Knitting is one of those hobbies that I pick up, become obsessed with for a few weeks, and then promptly forget about for months at a time. So really, it’s no surprise that my skills are pretty rudimentary (knit stitch, anyone?). But despite my limited expertise, I absolutely adore this craft and have recently had a sudden desire to see a knitted project all the way to fruition.

Knitting a Baby Blanket | Ann-Marie Loves

I started working on a blanket (in decidedly feminine shades of pink, purple, and mustard) a few months back, but I didn’t want to label it as a “baby blanket,” for fear that it would jinx my dreams of having a girl. (I’ve never been more superstitious in my entire life than I have over these past five months!) But then when I found out the baby is indeed a girl, all bets were off. It was GO TIME. Now every free moment I get, I’m chipping away at this blanket, stitch by stitch, row by row. Incorporating different colors into my design has proven to be a fantastic motivator. Since I can literally see my progress based on the amount of times each color gets worked in, I’m super driven to keep it going until the very end. My (ahem, lofty) goal is to finish the whole thing by the end of the month, but honestly, if I can wrap it up by the time the baby gets here, I just might consider myself a real live “knitter” ;)

baby album | part two.

Posted on: Friday, March 7, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing another installment of my ongoing baby album. This spread was all about sharing our happy news with our parents. It was such a pivotal moment in this whole adventure, I thought it was worthy of two pages ;)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the lefthand page, I used one of the inserts that came with the album as my background and covered the page with a handful of my favorite papers from BG’s Spice Market and new Capture collections. And those awesome sans serif white letter stickers from Kelly Purkey? Easily my favorite stickers ever.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the righthand page, I used a 3 x 3″ Capture page protector to house photos + papers embellished with KP’s Hello World Kit stamps and a little typewritten journaling.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

This spread turned out to be one of my favorite layouts to date! I went heavy-handed on the pink and florals, because — spoiler alert — we’re totally having a girl. (But even if we were having a boy, there’d still be a generous pink coverage ;))

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

The lefthand page features a Highline paper cut into six different 3 x 3″ squares to act as the background for my photos. To break up the grid, I adhered my strip of baby bump photos directly atop the page protector and sprinkled in Spice Market die-cuts and few strips of yellow and aqua washi tapes.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the righthand page, I took a screenshot of my Little Ones board and placed it over a mix of Highline, Spice Market, and Capture papers. As with every big life event, my pinning habits tend get slightly out of control. What can I say? I need my fix!

P.S. Here’s part one of my baby album!

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?

hero arts + basicgrey blog hop.

Posted on: Thursday, February 27, 2014

If you have arrived here via the BG / Hero Arts Blog Hop, welcome!

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

It should come as no surprise that stamping is one of my favorite techniques for customizing my paper craft projects. For this card, I used a mix of BasicGrey’s Highline collection paired with Hero Arts’ Capture Number Background cling stamp to create a bold + colorful birthday greeting.

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using the Number Background cling stamp and Bubble Gum Shadow Ink, I first stamped the numbers onto a sheet of “So Fresh” Highline paper and trimmed that out to use for layering. Without wiping off the ink from the first stamp impression, I stamped again onto the card background paper to create a subtle typographical pattern. This technique is also referred to as “ghost stamping” and is perfect for tempering a bold ink color or adding texture to any stamp-able surface.

BasicGrey / Hero Arts Blog Hop | Ann-Marie Espinoza

To embellish my card, I typed out “happy birthday” by running a sheet of the Capture Weekly Notepad through my typewriter. I then adhered it atop a Highline chipboard banner and added a Capture sticker and red + pink Candy Buttons for extra details.

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to hop over to the BasicGrey blog and enter to win one of two amazing prize packs!

P.S. If you happen to find a link that doesn’t work, you can jump back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in today’s hop.

die-cut wall art.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Die-Cut Wall Art | Ann-Marie Loves

Tuesday might as well be called “Good Vibes Only Day” because it seems to be the only thing I talk about on the third day of the week. (But who’s keeping track? ;)) Last week, I decided on a whim that our dining room wall needed a little something extra to offset the antler scarf hanger and to greet guests as they walk in the door. So, unsurprisingly, I turned to my go-to tool and started die-cutting my favorite new phrase out of 8.5 x 11″ white cardstock.

Die-Cut Wall Art | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had all the letters cut out, I adhered them to the wall using rolled pieces of scotch tape (super high tech!). I love when projects come together in no time (and at virtually no cost) at all! Plus, every time I walk in the house, I’m reminded to check my attitude at the door. Good vibes only here in the Espinoza abode.

P.S. You can download my desktop wallpaper with the same sentiment here!

workspace wednesday | career goals.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Here E-Course | Ann-Marie Loves

At any given moment, I can rattle off several items from my laundry list of dreams (buy a new car, turn my blog into a viable source of revenue, save X amount of dollars each month, etc), but it wasn’t until recently that I really pushed myself over the edge and started turning goals into reality. This past December felt like a bit of a throwaway month for me (that brutal first trimester…), but it was also the perfect time for me to take a step back and reevaluate exactly what I wanted to achieve in 2014. I spent a lot of time writing in my journal, setting hard deadlines in my planner, and really envisioning the future I wanted to create for myself and my growing family. Although I have no idea what the future holds or how my plans will change once the baby arrives, I am pretty pumped about these four goals that I currently have in motion:

- One new e-course every month. I have so much fun brainstorming ideas for topics, coming up with a game plan, and bringing it all together, so I set a fairly lofty goal for myself. E-courses are great because even though they are a ton of work up front, it’s all passive income every time the class sells. The best part of all is there’s no ordering, packaging, or shipping involved; I simply send over the link and move on with my day! Plus, one of my pie-in-the-sky dreams is to eventually pen my own book, so I figure this is the perfect training ground until I reach that goal. (P.S. the photo above is a little teaser for my next e-course launching early next week!)

- Five blog posts per week. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for such a long time, but 2014 is the year I pushed myself to really make it happen. And you know what? It’s actually pretty easy! I have a huge list of blog topics that I want to cover, so I make a rough outline each month and fill in the blanks as I best see fit. The more I blog, the more content I come up with, and the more momentum I gain to keep it going day after day!

- Regularly promote my work on social media. Each morning as I settle in with my coffee and laptop, I link up my latest blog post to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (and occasionally Instagram, but only if it’s something I REALLY want to share). For so long, I resisted any sort of self-promotion because it felt a bit shameless, but after watching many inspiring people do it in an organic, conversational way, I decided to give it a shot. I’ve found that it’s been an excellent traffic driver (especially Pinterest!) and a great way for me to gauge which posts perform better than others.

- Clean the kitchen everyday. Okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly career-related, but waking up to a squeaky clean sink is one of the best ways to start my day. Sadly, our apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher and washing dishes is the BANE of my existence (right next to unmade beds and towels hung haphazardly on the rack). Regardless, it’s a job that has to be done, so I put on a good podcast, crank it out, and then revel in the amazing sense of satisfaction I feel once the task is complete!

How are you achieving your goals this year? Do tell!

desktop wallpaper | good vibes only.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Desktop Wallpaper | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

When I saw this quote floating around on Pinterest, it immediately resonated with me. I love how simple and yet profound these three words are. So in the spirit of positivity, I made a desktop wallpaper for you to download and enjoy.

Here’s hoping this image of Manhattan Beach at sunset will fill you with good vibes only.


die-cut place cards.

Posted on: Monday, February 17, 2014

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

One of the first projects I dreamt up after getting engaged was the die-cut place cards that I made using my trusty Cameo. I knew they would be time consuming and slightly (majorly) tedious, but they were so Ann-Marie, I had no choice but to follow through.

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using a single blade and two different cutting mats, I die cut each and every guest’s first name on aqua cardstock over a period of a few days. It seemed like an intimidating project at first, but once I got on a roll, it was just a matter of letting the Cameo do it’s thing in the background while I simultaneously worked on other tasks. Before I knew it, over 120 names had been cut and were ready to rock.

Die Cut Wedding Placecards | Ann-Marie Espinoza

On the day of the wedding, I was able to sneak into the backyard (where the reception was going to be held) and take a peek at all the tablescapes before our guests had a chance to see them. I was blown away by how all of my DIY efforts –  place cards, table numbers, menus, thrifted glassware – were paying off right before my eyes. There’s so much time and energy and stress that goes into handmade weddings, I was never fully confident that it would be worth it. I had recurring nightmares that all of the projects I spent months slaving over would make absolutely no sense to the overall vibe of the event and as a result, my reputation as a professional crafter / designer would be forever tarnished and I would have to find a new career…! (I may or may not have lost my mind at this point.)

But in that moment, as I stood in my wedding dress with my hand clutched over my heart, I took in the view of the backyard-turned-rustic fiesta reception of my dreams and it all made perfect sense.

P.S. Bottom three photos by Katie Pritchard Photography

tote bag wall.

Posted on: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

There are so many things that I love about our apartment, but like all places, there are always a few minor details that I wish I could change. For example, our circuit breaker is on full-display in the kitchen. As in, a giant black box with no cover. I’m not sure who green-lit that decor move, but ever since I first saw it, I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of ways to hide it. After going back + forth for months and taking inspiration from retail displays, I finally realized a tote bag wall would be the perfect multi-functional solution!

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

Following the same steps as my previous tote bag tutorial, I used three plain canvas tote bags, my Cameo die-cutting machine (where would I be without that thing?), and Martha Stewart yellow craft paint to create breakfast, lunch, and dinner totes to hang on the wall.

Tote Bag Wall | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so happy with the way it all came together for minimal cost and effort. Not only do I have a stylish way to hide the circuit breaker, but I can also grab the bags before running to Trader Joe’s and put my “art installation” to work! (Insert thumbs up emoji here.)

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