Entries Tagged as 'create'

diy neon tassel keychain.

Posted on: Thursday, June 12, 2014

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

First of all, can we take a moment to talk about how difficult it is to edit photos with neon colors in them? Ummm…virtually impossible. One of these days I’ll figure out the secret to getting the colors juuuust right, but even if that takes forever, I’ll still continue to sneak neon pink into every single project. I’m in too deep to quit now ;)

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Since getting a new car last month, I’ve been taking extra precautions to make sure it stays in great shape. I take everything out when I am done for the day. I make sure that no food gets on the seats. I click my heels together to remove excess dirt before getting behind the wheel (okay, I lied about that one). The bottom line: the car is getting the royal treatment.

So, I figured it was only fair that my keys receive the same care and attention! Using two different shades of pink twine, I created a quick and easy neon tassel keychain that not only makes my keys look good, but more importantly, it makes finding them a snap!

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the tassel, I followed these same instructions, but modified them slightly to accommodate a keyring.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had the strands tied together, I slipped the keyring in the center of the knot.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I took single strand (about twice as long as the original strands) and wrapped it around the grouping several times and then secured it with a double knot. Once everything was secured, I trimmed a little off the bottoms of the strands to make the tassel even.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, I added my keys back on to the keyring and called it good! Now my car AND my keys are rolling in style.

baby album | part nine | new printables for sale!

Posted on: Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Happy Friday! Today I have two new pages from my baby album as well as two new printables in my shop to share! First up: the baby album progress…

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

For the first page, I used a hot pink sheet of paper from BG’s Highline collection and then embellished it with a gold feather, a phrase die cut, candy buttons,  yellow washi tape, and aqua washi tape, which I then tucked into a full-size page protector. I also used the dotted lines on my “Kindly Send To” stamp to create a textured look across the background paper.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the second page, I used a 3 x 3″ Capture divided page protector to house my 20, 25, and 30 week bump shots. I also used my new 52 Weeks Journaling Card printables trimmed down to 3 x 3″ (I just trimmed a half inch off the top and a half inch off the bottom to make it work). You can read more about these printables below!

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

P.S. The jump in bump size from 25 weeks to 30 weeks? WHOA BABY. (Terrible pun intended.)


New Printables at Ann-Marie Loves Paper! | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com


This week has been one the more productive weeks that I’ve had in awhile, and as a result, I was able to crank out printables for both scrapbooking + pregnancy alike. Here are my two latest designs:

Pregnancy Week-by-Week Journaling Card Printables | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com
Pregnancy Week-by-Week Journaling Card Printables | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com
Pregnancy Week-by-Week Journaling Card Printables | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Pregnancy Week-by-Week Printables. I’ve been meaning to design these for quite some time, but I guess 8 months in as good a time as any, right? (Ha!) This set of printables includes 39 multi-colored cards (1 for each week of pregnancy, from week 4 to week 43), sized at 4.25 x 6.75.” They are perfect for weekly bump photos or even as inserts in a scrapbook or baby album! The best part of all is that if you don’t want them to be printed in color, you can always change your printer settings to black and white for a more uniform look.

52 Weeks Journaling Card Printables | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com
52 Weeks Journaling Card Printables | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

52 Weeks Journaling Card Printables. This pack of printables features 52 journaling cards: 1 for each week of the year. Each card is 3 x 4,” making it perfect for memory-keeping systems such as Capture or Project Life. These printables can also be used for documenting a pregnancy, as you can see by my baby album pages above :)

letters to baby.

Posted on: Thursday, June 5, 2014

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve been given a lot of advice from seasoned moms over the past several months in regards to caring for a newborn and I genuinely appreciate it (even if I know I will do the exact opposite).

I’ve received advice on how to get through labor and delivery. I’ve heard success stories about sleep training and getting babies on a reliable schedule. I’ve listened to moms wax poetic about savoring each and every moment because it all goes by so fast. But the one piece of advice that seems to ring true across the board is that I should not expect to do anything other than focus all my time and attention on my tiny little human for the first several weeks. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

So in an effort to make documenting my daughter’s life as seamless and easy as possible, I decided to forgo the traditional baby book and invest in a blank journal instead. To avoid worrying about ruining a beautiful baby book with sloppy handwriting or forgetting to fill in all the pages, I have designated this book as an informal landing spot for all of John’s and my thoughts, feelings, and memories as we enter parenthood and get to know our daughter.

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

We made our first entries on Monday after my 32 week ultrasound + appointment and it makes me so happy to see the pages slowly filling. When I read John’s first entry, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to crack up or cry tears of joy (this is not an unusual predicament these days). His writing style is equal parts humor and heart, and I am thrilled that he wants to contribute his thoughts to this book just as much as I do.

We’ve tossed around the idea of keeping this journal going up until she is 18 and then giving it to her as a high school graduation gift, but I’m not sure I can hold out that long! (I mean, I could barely wait a few weeks to spill these beans.) Only time will tell…

as of late | june edition.

Posted on: Monday, June 2, 2014

As of Late | June Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

And the great changing table mobile prototyping of 2014 continues…

Coming: to terms with the fact that most of my shoes no longer fit my feet. The first time I noticed this was two weekends ago when I put on my (normally) loose-fitting tennis shoes and noticed that they were super snug. Then! The next day when I went to put on my favorite pair of booties, I couldn’t even get the zipper up! So it seems as though the fashion forecast is calling for flip flops and running shoes from here on out.

Sleeping: in and not feeling the tiniest bit of guilt about it. Late nights and early mornings are in my very near future. But for now? Blissful, uninterrupted stretches of my favorite pastime.

Reading: Great with Child, after several people recommended it to me. OMG. So good.

Reveling: in the small things these days. Natural light in the kitchen and bathroom. Beautiful baby shower invitations. Never-ending group text messages with good friends. Iced coffee with milk. Wedding photos (finally) on display in our home. Watching the baby roll around. The season finales of Modern Family and Parks + Rec.

Limiting: my thrifting trips to one day a week. Sometimes I just have to be honest with myself and reign it in.

Listening: to this song over and over (and over) again.

Taking: on projects that are slightly out of my wheelhouse, but as a result, are pushing me to grow my skills and build my repertoire (insert thumbs up emoji here).

Feeling: incredibly grateful to everyone who has purchased my latest e-course! (And all of the previous ones as well!) I have two more in the works that I am hoping to launch before the baby arrives, but I would love to hear your ideas about anything you want to see :)

Designing: new printables.

Crying: over everything and I MEAN EVERYTHING. Even the most mundane of circumstances will elicit crocodile tears. (I’m tearing up as I write this post.) (Not really.) (But kind of.)

Struggling: with super uncomfortable knots in my upper back when I lay down at night. Luckily, I’ve found that heating up one of those heavyweight eye masks in the microwave and plopping it on my back will usually loosen things riiiight up.

Tackling: my extensive list of things to do before a certain child arrives. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

Wishing: my fridge was perpetually stocked with watermelon slices. Please?

Finding: cool moms with stylish children and beautifully-designed nurseries on Instagram is one of my greatest sources of joy. (I’ll share my favorites soon!)

Nesting: mode is full-steam ahead and I love every minute of it.

Realizing: I have plans every single weekend from now until July. And then in July…baby time. WHOA.

“Make It Happen” E-Course is Now Live!

Posted on: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Make It Happen | An E-Course on Getting Things Done | by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Happy Thursday! I’m so excited to finally be launching my “Make It Happen” e-course! In this class, I cover all sorts of tips and tricks for getting things done and feeling good about yourself. It’s very akin to my Workspace Wednesday series, except in much greater length and detail.

Make It Happen | An E-Course on Getting Things Done | by Ann-Marie Espinoza

“Make It Happen” includes advice on:

- overcoming those inevitable creative blocks
- developing up a rewards system that fuels you to power through any task
- knowing when to take a break and when to push through
- setting deadlines and sticking to them
- determining your ideal workflow

The class also comes with a free goal setting + achieving printable worksheet that will help you break down any project into bite-size, manageable steps.

Make It Happen | An E-Course on Getting Things Done | by Ann-Marie Espinoza

As a creative freelancer for the past two years, I’ve learned a ton about what it takes to stay on top of my to-do list and make things happen for myself time and time again. I can’t wait to share my knowledge with you!

To purchase “Make It Happen” (for only $9!), click HERE.

baby album | part eight.

Posted on: Friday, May 23, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Awhile back, I made a bunch of spreads for BasicGrey’s forthcoming line, Grand Bazaar. Given my current focus in life (maybe you can guess what it is?), I used some of my favorite recent photos and went to town. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had that much fun scrapbooking…! Even though a lot of these images and topics have already been covered in my main baby album, it doesn’t bother me in the least. I’ve got more important things to worry about. Like how in the world do the dishes pile up so fast and what will the baby’s Instagram hashtag possibly be?? (2014 is officially the WEIRDEST?)

Here are some of my favorite pages that I pulled together:

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

Supplies: Grand Bazaar papers + embellishments, Cameo Die Cutting Machine, yellow washi tapeCapture album

In case you missed it: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven

workspace wednesday | digitizing hand lettering.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves
How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

One of these days I’ll become the proud owner of a tablet, but until then? I have a great workaround for converting anything hand drawn into digital format. I’m sure there are plenty of (easier) ways to do it, but this is my method of choice:

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Using white paper or tracing paper, create your design. The best part about the recent hand lettering movement is that the more you can incorporate natural imperfections into your work, the more interesting your end product will be. I like to use a mix of pens for this kind of work, especially plain old black Sharpies (that I turn always into a broader tip by pressing down at a sharp angle on a scratch piece of paper) and fine-tipped Zig pens.

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, choose your favorite hand lettered examples and cut them out into individual pieces.

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Place each piece face-down on a scanner (I use the one that came with my HP Photosmart D110A Wireless Printer). Using your scanning software, save the scanned image as a high-quality JPEG and drag it into an Illustrator document.

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’ve dragged your hand-lettering into Illustrator, highlight the image using the Select tool (dark arrow). At the top of the document, click on the “Live Trace” button.

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you have live traced your image, click on the “Expand” button (right next to where the “Live Trace” button was).

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Right-click on your image and select “Ungroup.”

After ungrouping my two hand lettered phrases, I deleted the phrase on the left since the one on the right is a little bit cleaner. (I figure that if I want to use the left phrase at a later date, I can always repeat this process.)

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves

Using the direct select arrow tool (white arrow), move each letter around to your liking, or leave it as is if you are happy with the spacing.

I deleted each of the letters in “ARE THE” because I decided I wanted to use a simple font instead.

How to Digitize Hand Lettering | Ann-Marie Loves


Add in fonts if you wish, or leave the design as is. If you plan on using your design in Illustrator for your end use (i.e. invitations, prints, rubber stamps), save it as an Illustrator document. If you plan on using it in Photoshop, save it as GIF (File > Save for Web and Devices > GIF).

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

I like the mix of hand drawn and uniform type, so I paired the two together to create a stamp for my baby shower thank you notes (which you can see here!).

*Like I mentioned before, there are probably tons of easier options for digitizing your hand lettering, but this is the way I do it :)

my favorite breakfast | oatmeal with fruit.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

With the exception of a few days here there (oh, and maybe the whole first trimester when all I could handle was bagels), I’ve eaten oatmeal and fruit for breakfast every single day for the past several years. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and definitely what gets me out of my nice, cozy bed in the morning. Plus, it’s super healthy!

Here’s what my daily breakfast routine looks like (bathrobe included):

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves


- 1/3 c. old fashioned oats

- strawberries

- 1 small peach (or apple, depending upon what you have on hand)

- handful of unsalted almonds

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats and 2/3 cup of water into a saucepan and heat on the stove at a low temperature.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Chop up your fruit and add into a bowl. I like to fill my bowl as high as possible with fruit, but you can add as much or as little as you prefer.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Be sure to stir the oatmeal occasionally and remove from heat when most of the water has been absorbed and the consistency is thick but moist.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour the oatmeal into the same bowl as the fruit and mix around with a spoon. Finally, top with almonds.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a good magazine, and enjoy!

baby shower thank you notes.

Posted on: Monday, May 19, 2014

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

These days, life is very much a “two steps forward, one step back” experience. For example!

Two steps forward: this weekend we picked up the bassinet we’ve been wanting for a killer deal AND I got a jumpstart on my baby shower thank you notes!

One step back: after looking over my mile-long to-do list for the umpteenth time, I decided that I needed to put my perpetually tired feet up for a few minutes, which quickly and not-so-unexpectedly escalated into a two hour nap / coma. So…the to-do list remains long, but man, I felt refreshed at 11pm! Sigh. Pregnancy is weird, you guys.

So after beating myself up these past few weeks over not being more productive, I’ve decided to just roll with it. Did I absolutely need to work on baby shower thank you notes when they won’t be mailed out for another month? Mmm, not exactly. But I was in the mood to do it and now that’s one less thing I will have to worry about as my due date draws (scarily!) closer and closer. Baby steps, people.

Here’s how I put them together (shower guests, look away! ;)):

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

If ever there were an excuse to use as much pink as possible in a single package, I think my baby showers just might be it. I used pink A2 envelopesneon pink ink, hot pink wrapping paper picked up at Target after Christmas last year (best time to shop for packaging!), white cardstock, and a phrase stamp I designed using my own handwriting. Since I planned on making a bunch of these, I purposely kept the design and the process as simple as possible.

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

I started out by creating A2-sized cards out of white cardstock, folded them in half, and then stamped the front of each with my hand-lettered phrase and neon pink ink. Originally I wanted to design a stamp using a bunch of my favorite fonts, but then I decided that incorporating my own handwriting would be much more personal. I mentioned on Instagram that I rarely order stamps for myself anymore, but when I do, it’s like Christmas morning ripping open the box! (Note to self: find more occasions to design personal stamps.)

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

To line the envelopes, I created a liner template out of a scratch piece of bristol paper and traced it on the backside of the wrapping paper several times. Once I had them all cut out, I tucked each liner into the envelope first, added a little adhesive to the envelope flap, and then folded the flap down. I’ve found that just a tiny bit of adhesive on the flap (always applied after tucking the liner into the envelope!) is more than enough to keep it securely in place.

Hand Stamped Baby Shower Thank You Notes | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, for the front of the envelopes, I stamped one of my “Kindly Send To” stamps with my new favorite black ink pad. I would love to start addressing them now (is it weird that this is my favorite part of the correspondence process?), but I guess I can wait until after the showers ;)

P.S. Later this week, I’ll be sharing how I digitize my hand lettering with nothing more than a scanner, a sheet of paper, and Illustator. It’s super easy AND crazy addictive :)

nursery wall hanging.

Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2014

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

In my never-ending quest for nursery inspiration, I recently stumbled upon this impossibly cute room tour. The first thing that drew me in was the impeccable styling and color usage, but what ultimately stuck with me was the mom’s theory on decorating a room for little ones:

“I keep redecorating and changing their rooms. I see it as a never ending challenge and a good reason to keep on looking for new and fun things for the girls.”

Ahh, I love that. I’ve been putting an awful lot of pressure on myself to get this room “right” the first time. (Something about having a baby makes everything feel more “final.”) But the truth is, I’ll never stop decorating and redecorating, especially since we don’t plan on living in this apartment for more than another year or two. There will be plenty of opportunities for my style (and hers!) to grow and evolve over the coming years. Thinking of the nursery as an ongoing project vs. an item I have to cross off my to-do list, is so much more freeing and inspiring!

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

So in the spirit of decorating however I want to in this exact moment, I decided to make yet another yarn project and create a simple wall hanging above the glider. Much like the card I made last week, I used this awesome tutorial as my jumping off point to pair a stick and a skein of thrifted yarn together.

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

The whole process took a little over an hour and cost less than three dollars. Just how I like my DIY projects!

Nursery Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m still undecided as to whether I want to hang anything on the wall space directly over the crib. Since we live in earthquake territory, there’s no way I’m going to suspend something heavy or sharp over a sleeping baby (or sleeping adult, for that matter), but I have been contemplating a few paper projects that might look cool.

In the meantime, I’m going let my ideas percolate for a bit. There’s no rush, right? ;)


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