Entries Tagged as 'holidays'

valentine’s cards using digital brushes.

Posted on: Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Valentine’s Day has always been a favorite of mine, significant other or not. I love the candy (heart-shaped Sweet Tarts, what what!), I love that everything is pink + red, and I love love love the paper goods. Since I am big on ideas but short on free time these days, I decided to go as simple as possible with my V-Day cards. Less is most definitely more.

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to take a recent photo of Briar, make it pink, and add a few phrases (that I turned into digital brushes!) to pull it all together. Then I printed them out, sliced them up, and glued the fronts to the backs…all before Briar woke up from her nap. Bingo bango bongo.

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

If you enjoy a good eleventh hour holiday crafting sesh like myself, feel free to download these digital brushes for yourself! Happy love day, everyone!

P.S. Other holiday digital brushes found here!

hello 2015.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello 2015 | Ann-Marie Loves

The more years I see, the more I realize that I can’t put a blanket statement on any particular year. Or anything, really. (Except cookie dough. I am ALWAYS down for cookie dough.) Each year is filled with it’s own share of victories and losses that help to mold you into your future self. But if I’m being honest, 2014 was a DOOZY. It was more powerful and life changing and terrifying than I ever could have predicted. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out in my life. Needless to say, I’m happy to put it in the past (insert peace sign emoji here).

My families rang in the new year in a beautiful home in Cambria overlooking the Pacific Ocean…all while the majority of the group battled various flu symptoms (I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). Despite our rocky entrance into 2015, I’m already feeling a sense of lightness and peace for the new year. There are big life changes on the horizon, but my main focus for 2015 is to stop and  savor the little things that make life so wonderful. I spent way too much of last year in a state of panic over the unknown that I often lost sight of all the amazing things that were actually happening. This year, I have grand plans of enjoying craft coffee everyday, taking tons of Zumba classes, finding any and every excuse to meet up with friends, allowing others to help me, taking more photos, sleeping in if it feels good, working on more “just for fun” projects, and getting down on the floor and playing with my baby as often as possible. Ever since Christmas, Briar has been hitting milestones left and right (rolling all over, grabbing at everything, sitting up) and it’s been a huge wakeup call for me to enjoy each and every moment, not just of her life, but of mine as well.

It’s gonna be a good one. I can feel it.

gift guide for the crafty.

Posted on: Monday, December 22, 2014

Crafter's Holiday Gift Guide | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Gold Stapler // Staplers may not seem like a crafting essential, but I assure you…mine gets quite a workout on the regular. I’m in love with this gold stapler by Nate Berkus.

02. PaperMate Flair Felt Tip Pens // When it comes to writing utensils, there is nothing that beats these felt tips. I use them for everything from list-making to scrapbooking to writing letters. They’re my absolute favorite and they come in a ton of fun colors!

03. Gold Scissors // I can’t think of too many crafts that don’t require a good pair of scissors. This gold version is not only perfect for getting the job done but it’s just begging to be Instagrammed!

04. Solid Adhesive Runner // When I used to teach classes and host craft demos, it didn’t matter how awesome the project was…the tape runners would inevitably become the star of the show! Ha! People love the ease and simplicity of a good tape runner (myself included!).

05. Fiskars 12 Inch ProCision Rotary Bypass Trimmer // If paper is your idea of a good time then I highly recommend investing in a solid trimmer. This version is a total workhorse (I used it for all of my wedding projects!) and a steal of a deal compared to other heavy duty models.

06. Knitting by Design // I am a HUGE fan of craft books that not only feature projects I want to make but have inspiring styling and well-designed layouts. Similar books worth mentioning: Playful and Lena Corwin’s Made by Hand.

07. Jet Black Ink Pad // As someone who digs rubber stamps, I’ve experimented with many an ink pad in my time. This version by Ranger is juicy, vibrant, and qucik-drying (aka PERFECT).

08. Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Loom Kit // If there’s one product I’ve gotten way more than my money’s worth out of, it’s this loom. 2014 was the year I became obsessed with weaving (as you may have noticed) and it’s due in a large part to this incredibly easy-to-use kit.

09. Lion Brand Yarn // I’ve become a major yarn hoarder these past several months. I am now forever on the lookout for beautiful yarn in all different colors, textures, and gauges. This hot pink number by Lion Brand is perfect for whipping up a quick tassel, pom pom, blanket, or — you guessed it — woven wall hanging.

In case you missed my other gift guides, here’s one for infants and one for guys! Happy last minute shopping!

briar’s infant gift guide.

Posted on: Friday, December 19, 2014

If Briar could talk, here’s what she would ask for for Christmas:

Infant Holiday Gift Guide | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Plan Toys Happy Puppy // Until we get Briar a real pet, this puppy will hopefully be a good substitute.

02. Munchkin Fun Ice Ring Teether // Since everything goes in Briar’s mouth these days, she might as well get a little teething relief.

03. Minnetonka Fringe Bootie // Sure, Briar can’t walk yet, but in a few months, we’ll need cute shoes for her little feet! Plus, these match the mama-sized pair that I have on my own holiday wish list ;)

04. Infantino Carrier Cover // As Briar’s gotten bigger, I’ve been favoring the Ergo more than the wrap, so this carrier cover would be perfect for keeping my little babe nice + toasty during these frigid (ha!) California months.

05. Graco Bumper Jumper // It’s hard to believe Briar is already able to (mostly) control her movements…I mean, wasn’t she just a spastic newborn yesterday? I’m hoping she will gets lots and lots of joy (and good exercise!) out of this doorway jumper.

06. Pink Piano // Am I asking for incessant loud noise with this piano? Quite possibly! But have you ever seen anything cuter?! Briar so needs this.

07. California Baby Lotion // I’ve been a California Baby fan since the day Briar took her first bath, so as the air gets colder and drier, I’ll be turning to this lotion more and more!

08. Boon Dive Bath Tub Appliques // Briar loves her baths almost as much as she loves her bath toys. These will be so fun when she moves to the big tub.

09. Crewcuts Long-Sleeved Skirted Onesie // Briar has the sleeveless version of this super chic striped onesie, but as babies do, she’s already outgrowing it. This long sleeved option in a size she can fit into months from now would be perfect!

easiest christmas card ever.

Posted on: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Given the fact that I just had Briar’s birth announcements made a few weeks ago (did you know I had a baby?), the idea of designing, printing, addressing, and shipping Christmas cards felt like an insurmountable task. But! As I was experimenting with gift tag ideas using my new digital brushes, I realized that it would be SO SIMPLE for me to bust out a quick holiday card design. Beyond simple, actually.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

I started by dragging one of my favorite Instagram photos into Photoshop. Since it was already cropped nicely into a square, I left it as is.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Then I chose the “happy holidays” brush and stamped it on the center of the photo. Next, I added a text layer with the words “Love, The Espinozas” to finish it off. Three steps and I was done.

I decided that I would make just enough copies for our immediate families (knowing that they would appreciate a Briar pic more than anyone else), so I grabbed some photo paper and printed them out at home. So easy. So fast.

(If you have any questions about how to use my digital brushes, let me know!)

as of late | december edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Going on Day 9 with a cold that just won’t quit. There’s only so much I can do to keep Briar safe from my germs (read: there’s pretty much nothing I can do), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she walks away unscathed!

Hooked on Marry Me. That Casey Wilson can do no wrong in my book.

Loving that Rachel Bilson named her daughter Briar, too! I feel oddly validated, like “See! It is a real name!”

Getting excited about my family’s upcoming trip to Cambria. I can’t wait to roadtrip and drink Scout Coffee and bundle my babe up in cold weather clothes, like this sherpa bear suit…!

Stamping this stamp on everything in sight this month. ‘Tis the season!

Dying over Lay Baby Lay. It is one incredible blog, jam-packed with baby, craft, and home design inspiration. (What blogs are you loving these days?)

Digging the branding + the styling behind this new sling wrap biz. I’m telling you, good design goes a long way.

Trying hard to come up with a holiday wish list but I’m struggling! There are really only three things I want: stylish yet comfy booties, a new fedora, and a craft coffee subscription. (Wait, am I a hipster?)

Thinking back on 2014 and deciding that it was NOT my favorite year. Not by a looooong shot. However! It was the year that my daughter made her debut, so despite the many uphill battles it held, it will forever hold a tiny soft spot in my heart.

Making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’m the only one that likes pumpkin in this house so I get them all to myself. For better or worse ;)

Feeling a little blue + overwhelmed for no particular reason these days, but I’m finding relief in afternoon walks, listening to music at home, and basking in the glow of the Christmas tree every night (bonus points if it’s with a baby in my lap).

Listening to Serial every Thursday. You were right, guys…it is good! (I found this article to be super interesting.)

Thanking the powers that be for inventing baby play mats. I can plop Briar on her mat for a huge chunk of time and not feel guilty because she is moving and grooving and learning and enjoying herself (all while Mama Bear sneaks in some work ;)).

Speaking of baby products, I spent a good chunk of time in the baby food + supplies aisle of Target yesterday. My four month old is now eating real food (well, if that’s what rice cereal is?) and I had to find some colorful spoons to celebrate the occasion.

Dreaming of what I want 2015 to be like and three goals come to mind: build a photography business, partner with an awesome company to design baby / mama products, and try something new with my shop

the need to create.

Posted on: Monday, December 1, 2014

Ann-Marie Espinoza | BasicGrey Second City Collection

These days, I spend more time dreaming about all the things I want to make (thank goodness for iPhones while nursing!) than actually making the things I want to make. Nonetheless, I still crank out a project or two every so often and when I do, it feels good. Like, “hey, I should do this all the time!” kind of good.

Ann-Marie Espinoza | BasicGrey Second City Collection

Now that Briar is s-l-o-w-l-y working her way towards longer, more consistent stretches of sleep (HALLELUJAH), I have a tiny bit of extra time on my hands to dive into creative projects. This month, I have a huge list of things I plan on making, which include but are not limited to: wreaths, wall hangings, packaging ideas, stockings, ornaments, and of course, a December Daily album. It’ll be a Christmas miracle if I can tackle the whole list in a single month with a four month old in tow, but I’m determined to take a stab at it!

Ann-Marie Espinoza | BasicGrey Second City Collection

Supplies used: 12 x 12″ Second City Patterned Paper // Second City Chipboard Alphas // Second City Die-Cuts & Transparencies // Candy Buttons // Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen

P.S. My Black Friday sale has been extended through Cyber Monday! Don’t miss out!

holiday gift guide for guys + free printable!

Posted on: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

Despite the inevitable madness that ensues each November / December, I love the holiday season.

I love the decorating. I love the baking. I love the music + movies. But what I really love is dreaming of the perfect gifts to give to all my loved ones. The girls on my list are always a breeze to shop for. The guys, on the other hand? IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t know what it is, but I find myself struggling to come up with ideas for them, year after year! So when Kohl’s approached me about putting together a holiday gift guide for guys, I knew just the person to recruit for help: my husband! (After all, that’s what husbands are for, right?) Thankfully, John was more than up to the task.

Here are twelve of his top picks for guys:

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Boat Shoes | 02. Classic Fit Sports Coat | 03. Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch | 04. Solid Twill Cardigan | 05. Mini Jambox Speaker | 06. Tapered Leg Jeans | 07. Hybrid Chino Pants | 08. Aqua Dress Shirt | 09. Plaid Casual Button-Down Shirt | 10. Keurig Coffee Brewer | 11. Nike Toki Low Sneakers | 12. Sherpa Hoodie

Thanks to this list, I won’t be racking my brain at the last minute for the perfect gift for all the wonderful men in my life. (Thanks babe!)

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

To help you get a jump on your holiday shopping, I designed a free printable for you to take with you (whether it’s to the mall or your computer!) so you can stay organized in style. Click HERE to download!

This post was sponsored by Kohl’s, but the ideas + opinions are all my (and John’s!) own. For more ideas on what to buy this season, check out Kohl’s holiday gift guide here!

holidays stamps!

Posted on: Thursday, November 13, 2014

My 2014 holiday stamps are finally here!

Limited Edition Holiday Stamps | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

01. Merry Christmas | 02. Open Me | 03. All I Want for Christmas Is | 04. May Your Days Be Merry + Bright | 05. Shiny + Happy | 06. Happy Holidays | 07. Let It Snow | 08. Made With Love | 09. Holiday Cheer Inside | 10. To / From | 11. Wish List | 12. Sending You Joy This Season

to_from

When designing these stamps, I tried to think of all the various projects they can be used for: holiday cards, packaging, tags, December Daily albums, Project Life, etc. I fully realize that wooden rubber stamps are an investment, so I want to be sure that the style + tone of my designs will lend themselves to creating year after year.

Over the next handful of weeks, I’ll be sharing all the different ways I incorporate these stamps into my holiday crafting. (p.s. let me know if there are any particular projects you would like to see!) This really is my most favorite time of year and I can’t wait to make things festive :)

Find these stamps + more HERE.

engagement party crafting.

Posted on: Sunday, February 3, 2013

It came to my attention recently that engagement parties are the thing to do these days and since when I am I one to skip out on a good trend?! John and I (okay, mainly I) hopped right on that bandwagon and decided to throw a Valentine’s-themed engagement party in mid-February. It has been SO MUCH FUN pinning ideas to my private Pinterest boards (the timing on those things = clutch), thrifting for decor + serveware, designing the invitations, and the very best part of all, crafting like a madwoman! Here’s a little peek at what I’ve been working on:

engagment party crafting | ann-marie loves paper
engagement party crafting | ann-marie loves paper
engagement party crafting | ann-marie loves paper
engagement party crafting | ann-marie loves paper

BANNERS | A giant pad of construction paper, several yards of baker’s twine, and a stapler filled with gold staples equated three HUMONGOUS banners. It was probably the easiest banner-making experience of my life (cut, fold, staple, repeat) and is totally worth the major construction paper odor currently wafting in my bedroom!

PLATES | I’ve been collecting cheap dishes from the thrift store solely to bring this DIY to life. A gold Sharpie pen + a steady wrist was all it took to create the polka dot designs. Super simple.

I just want to make stuff all day, everyday! Can this please be my life forever?

xoxo

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