one great weekend

If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought it would be strange to spend a weekend with women I had only met online, I would have said “you bet.” However, in the last few years I have gained some truly wonderful friendships that because of distance have been limited to online. Last weekend I had the opportunity to take cherished online friendships and turn them into ‘real life’ friendships (though they were already ‘real’ and a part of my ‘life’).

I’ve never been to a blogger conference, gathering, meet-up….I’m an introvert and the idea of walking into a room full of people I don’t know just scares me a little. I can easily picture myself sitting alone and eventually deciding to leave. A weekend in a home with friends seemed like a perfect setting to finally get to meet some of my favorite people. And, it was.

Three of the ladies attending have written guest posts here before and I have mentioned each of them several times. It was an amazing experience to meet them along with 5 other inspiring gals. Meg invited 9 of us to spend a full weekend together – crafting, eating, barn shopping, talking, laughing…simply enjoying being together. If you are curious, “Yes” Meg’s house is even more amazing in person than on her blog and Waffle is even cuter (I didn’t think that was even possible).

We stayed up later than I ever did during my entire tenure in college. We shopped in a barn that was on American Pickers. We ate…without any little hands trying to steal my food or spill their drinks. My kids enjoyed a weekend with their daddy and I enjoyed a weekend away.

My friend Cindy joined me on the trip. As we exited the highway for Meg’s street I texted Chris, “Almost there. I want to throw up. So nervous.”

A few days later I found myself sad to leave and thankful for dear friends. Thankful for this crazy blog that led me to them. And thankful for truly great experience.
2.11crafty

top row: Julie, Cindy (no blog), Heather, Amy D., Jess, Me

bottom row: Jana (no blog), Kimberlee, Amy J., Meg

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You can find links to all the crafts, shopping and other information on Meg’s post about the weekend.

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  • amanda torres - If I were Meg, I would freak out having so much talent in my house. Sounds like an amazingly fun weekend. Much deserved on your part. I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of the ‘American Pickers’ trip. Very cool!

  • Katie Sellers - Looks like so much fun! I wonder if you knew where Meg got the string of “light bulb” lights hanging in her dining room? I was just searching for a reasonable set of those last night. Thanks!!

  • Fee - Wow, looks like an amazing weekend :)! Those barn shopping pictures…. ahhh jealousy!!

  • ashley jensen - How fun was that!! I would be freaking out myself going on a trip like that but it would be all good in the end! After seeing all of Meg’s crafting supplies it is now my mission to get more stuff because mine just isn’t cutting it!

  • e l l a - Awesome! I already had a sneak peek at meg’s last night 😉
    That’s so exciting that you ladies pulled this off – so cool to be in that creative circle 😉

  • meg duerksen - of course your pictures are SO good.
    so much better than the rest.
    love these!
    you make it look like a magazine shoot.
    missing you ashley.
    i am thinking….like a week or two and i am driving to you for a day.
    for real.

    i am SO GLAD you came.

    the lights were from target quite a few years ago at christmas.
    i saw them this month at pier one and world market. 🙂

  • april's craft nest - i read meg’s post about the get together the other day and i must admit, i’m a bit jealous! what a fun time to craft and be girly! it’s so neat that a community was built from online crafters. your photos of the weekend are amazing!

  • Jamie - An “American Pickers” barn!?!? I think I’d faint from excitement; that’s just too cool. What a fun weekend!

  • Cassie - Ohhhh what a perfect weekend!

  • jenn - wow. insanely jealous….what an amazing experience! i saw some of the pics on meg’s blog as well. how fun to completely unwind with so many creative gals. i bet you are so glad you took the chance and went…such fun!

  • Amanda - Your pictures of the weekend are sooo good! Love your style AshleyAnn!!

  • the whyte house - i laughed at the text you sent chris. so funny. i’m the same way and by the time i get warmed up to everyone, it’s time to go!

    glad you had some good pickin’…did you find anything fun??
    all those tins are just screaming for me to come buy them. 🙂 i’m pretty sure that you and meg will get mean emails from my husband for photographing/telling me where this is! especially since it’s 40 minutes away. haha.

  • MelissaM - How fun Ashley! I’m so glad you got that fun get away doing what you love. Now I think we would all love to see a post written by Chris of pics he took of his adventuresome weekend at home. 🙂

  • Reidunn - That looks like a wonderful weekend well spent. I wish I could have gone with you to that barn too.
    Hopefully one day I can arrange or participate in something similar. You are so lucky to have met friends that share your interests through the world of blogging.

  • Ruth - I felt the EXACT same way about going to Blissdom this past weekend! When I got there I was so nervous I was shaking, and then I saw Edie, whose wonderful blog inspires me every single day, and I HAD to go talk to her (despite my nervousness). Of course I started bawling because I have been so touched by her story and she was SO nice and real–the exact person you would think she would be from reading her blog. I ended up meeting several ladies through her who I know will be lifelong friends. Bloggers are an amazingly talented and creative group of women, and I was inspired just by being in the same room.

    Anyway, when I saw Meg’s post on Tuesday I was practically green with envy. It looked like SO much fun & I have already gathered my supplies for that ruffle pillow. I hope someday I can meet you in person and I’m sure when and if I do, you will be as real as your blog. And I promise to be as nice to you as Edie was to me. 🙂

  • Heather - it looks amazing!! i was a bit jealous when i read that you got to hang out with such amazing ladies, but now that i know you got to go to a barn from american pickers i’m super jealous! 😉

  • Lisa~ - It looks like the perfect way to spend time with blog friends! I love that idea. Thanks for sharing it with us. Lisa~

  • Liene - Such a weekend is so great and special! Hihi, nervous stomach! Sounds familair!

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - Sounds so aweswomely nerve-wrecking! I’m especially jealous about the barn shopping!

  • Brooke Leigh @ First Avenue - Oh goodness! What a treat! I would be completely smitten if I was ever invited to one of these fantastic get togethers! I’m really excited that you had a wonderful time, you need that with four kids! A weekend escape filled with all your favorite things.

  • Seamingly Sarah - I feel almost the same way. I remember the first bible study I went to. I wanted to curl up on the host’s couch and die rather than participate, share and get to know some truly amazing people. I am shy in a way that has closed me off to opening myself up more. And I find myself opening up online through my blog, but I still don’t do it in person. I’m still not really putting myself out there. Thanks for sharing what must have taken courage on your part. It sounds like a wonderful weekend!

  • BriBedell - I am totally jealous! I want to go to a craft retreat too 🙂 And that barn..to die for!

  • angie - Oh the eye candy! What fun! Yay for blogging!

  • Lori K - Oh my word! I thought that was Cindy in the pic…I was going to email you and ask a couple of days ago. This is my idea of a perfect weekend! friends, talking, shopping, junking, crafting…you had so much fun…I can tell. Truly happy for you. I am the antithesis of walking into that room. I love people. and I love you. I bet it was hard…yet you are one of my top people I have ever met that I love to pieces. So, own it sister. You are an awesome person. Put yourself out there. I love the beautiful pics and the pretty hoops. Love the material and how everyone did something so unique. I am wanting to jump in the minivan and go picking right now in Kansas…that barn is a dream. So, happy for you…and if everrrrr miss Cindy can’t go – I got your back! translation: ask me…Love it. Isn’t it amazing to see how much people have in common and how fun new friends can be????

  • Jessica P - I love that doggie! And I’m so glad you had a good time!

  • Tasha B. - That Barn is AH-MAZING! I live in the PacNW and we just don’t have those kinds of junk stores in these parts! Covet, covet, covet!!! =) I did recently find our State Surplus program though, scoring some desks, chairs, and a school chalkboard!

  • meg duerksen - ok…i am sewing right now and had to come back and leave one more comment.
    one of the funniest moments of the weekend “wait….what are you doing behind your machine?” when you learned about the cutting corner on the machine.
    🙂
    just like julie taught ME in september!
    ten years later….
    never too late for us to learn on our OLD machines!
    ha ha ha

    ok…back to sewing!

  • Callie - All I can say is WOW!!! Simply divine! You guys should make it an annual even so we live vicariously through you! 😉

  • Kassondra - soo jealous! it looks like so much fun!

  • Heather @ Cookie Mondays - Cracking up at Meg’s comment!
    You captured everything perfectly… which is why I was ashamed to even get my camera out all weekend.
    Thank you for all the photo and embroidery inspiration, it was so so so much fun.
    I truly hope we do this again- minus a coughing baby. Until then, enjoy your adorable 9 inch kiddos 🙂

    heather

  • Dacia - I can sooo relate to you as I am an introvert, too. One of my favorite things to do is sit with a friend and get lost in a deep conversation. One of my least favorite things is to attend a party and try to keep up with the level of social and excitement. I’m a dud at a party. Anyway, looks like you enjoyed it and that this weekend will be cherished for a long time! 🙂

  • Trish - How fun! I want a craft weekend! Looks like you girls had a blast!

  • Jess - Love your pictures Ashley. Can we please go back to the craft lodge!?!? I am so glad you didn’t throw up and I am so glad you didn’t turn around and go back to Oklahoma. I loved meeting you “for real”. You are beautiful inside and out…just like I expected. And of course your magic ruffling machine is AMAZING. I need to figure out how to make mine do that so that I can make more pillows. Missing you girls!

  • Jessica - looks like you all had a great time! laughing at the 12 passenger van- that’s what I drive! LOL

  • Karen - Soooo jealous!

  • Anna - That looks like such a fun weekend. I want to meet up with some blogger friends one day…and attend Blissdom!

  • amy jupin - wow. ashley, these pictures…wow.
    you have such an eye. such a beautiful talent.
    i remember seeing you crawling on the floor in meg’s entryway and i was thinking, “she sees something i don’t see.”
    of course.
    you are so crazy talented. 🙂

    laughing so hard at meg and heather’s comments! 9 inch kids…hahahahaha

  • amy d - next time we do this, you need to give a official photography tutorial! i totally laughed out loud when you texted you were going to throw up! so glad to meet you and cindy! i am bound and determined to tweak my machine to make magic ruffles too! i am in official craft withdrawl, it’s just not the same crafting by myself! 🙂

  • hearttypat - crafting, shopping, terrific homemade breakfast… what more can a girl want?? this post is really making me wanna organise something like this!

  • amosclutchpedal - Ahhhh…the pictures won’t load!

  • amosclutchpedal - Oh, got ’em finally. Great shots!

  • chantelle - please come to canada! how do you find out about such cool groups! You gals are all so fun and smart I wished I lived where ever you do!!!!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, Ashley! I am so happy for you! What an absolute blessing!

  • sarah - i love reading your blog and seeing all your cute ideas C: !!
    are those necklaces in the picture? the red and blue flower things with the chain? if so is there a diy on those?

  • Alix - Wow! How fun! A few of my fave bloggie girls and I have been plotting this very thing….and I can imagine it would be strange to meet in real life, huh! But how awesome. Good for you guys this post was so fun.

    Also, CONGRATULATIONS! I think you won the Homies for Best Kids Design Blog!
    *high five*
    It’s an honor to be nominated with ya, lady!
    : )
    Alix

  • Kristin S - Love, love, love. Seriouly. Your and Meg’s and Julie’s post about the weekend sound so dreamy. So much more enjoyable than a big ol conference. I’m not an introvert but I think I’d feel the same way you expressed.

    The friendships of women are to be cherished.

    So so glad you all were able to take the time away.

  • Pamela M - WOW…I am so jealous now but really happy for you girls. Spending a day with you and Meg would be a dream.
    PS – I would probably still be at that barn LOL!

  • Kimberlee J. - Okay…so I’m completely shocked that I wasn’t the only one that felt like they were going to throw up.

    And your pictures! YOUR PICTURES! I sent the link to Bruce and said, “I was there and this still looks amazing to me!” You totally captured the weekend.

    Which brings me to…oh I’ll email ya! 😉

  • Crystal - Looks like so much fun!!! Oh, I would love to meet waffle in person! He is so stinkin’ cute! I told my husband if we ever get another dog I want one like Waffle, he’s like “who?” I have to pull up Meg’s blog & show him pictures.

  • Jessica @ These Are The Days - Love your globe collection, I’ve got one too. I love your swags, I just made some last night for my daughters birthday party, they really added a lot to it. What a fun weekend. Found you over at the Nester. I want that chandelier. 🙂

    xoxo,

    Jessica

  • angela - Oh, I SOOOOOOOO want you to do this and invite ME ME ME! (Nothing like inviting yourself to a party!) I;ll have to tell you when you were naming the people in the pics…I immediately thought *they don’t have a blog? Wonder why?* Duh, as if everyone does……as if!

    Oh and Meg’s blog…on my top five list!

  • Karen - I am envious. It looks like everyone had sooo much fun! I wish I lived closer by!

  • Glenda - this looks like a dream come true!

  • Erin Leigh - ummm, what could possibly be more fun?!?!? It’s on my list of things to do this year!