Today is the last day of 2010! I wish I had a deep, philosophical post to write, but I don’t. 2010 was a gift. 2011 will be too. I can’t wait to live it.

And I am now finally getting around to sharing some Christmas photos…

The big surprise of the year was a piece of furniture my dad built my sister. She made this post on her blog. My talented dad read the post and set to work without her knowing it! He didn’t stain it yet, so she could pick the stain. The picture doesn’t do justice to the size…it is pretty big!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year’s celebration tonight. I no doubt will probably be asleep at midnight, but sadly I am pretty much okay with that for now!

If you are curious: the felt headbands are from Lou & Lee,

browns & greens floral dress Matilda Jane

brown & red plaid dree BabyGap (dec. 2009 sale rack),

the Christmas skirt from Whimsical Dragonfly

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  • Reidunn - Happy new year Ashley!
    Thanks for all the wonderful blog posts in 2010. Looking forward to see what you are up to in 2011

  • ashley jensen - I remember seeing that on you sister’s blog! How sweet that your dad just went to town making it. It is beautiful!

  • Beth - That dresser is amazing. I have a picture of that saved in one of my folders, too, thinking maybe it could be done some day. How awesome that your dad built one. Can you tell me, are all the drawers just resting on one another or are they on rollers? I would think they wouldn’t slide very well without rollers, but it doesn’t look like (either on his or the original) that it’s built with rollers.

  • Anna - wow that dresser is AMAZING! looks like yall had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • Yanet - Your dad is one talented man! The 4 generations are sure some pretty gals.

    Happy New Year to you and you family, Ashley!

  • Casey - love that dresser, it’s amazing! I’ll be asleep before midnight too, I am every year πŸ™‚

  • Jessica P - Happy New Year! Thanks for all the posts in 2010.

  • Allison - how incredibly special and sweet of your dad! Boy is he ever talented and THOUGHTFUL and goodness how lucky y’all are! what a treasure

  • Sara Beth Johnson - Your dad is amazing. What a work of art. Truly impressive! Love all those girly Christmas things!

  • Brooke Whitis - WOW WOW WOW!!! What a thoughtful dad!!!! Those are my FAVORITE kind of gifts…where people care enough to listen or notice what we want and then they create it or give it from there….that is AMAZING….not to mention COMPLETELY COOL!!!! Not that gifts are everything, but they can definitely make you feel special! Sounds like you have a great dad, from this post, and many others from the past!

  • OrangeFarmhouse - Maike - What a great gift to have a four generation picture!
    All the best for 2011!

  • Lindsey Jo - those drawers are awesome! you think if i blog about them, your dad will make me some??

  • heather - happy new year ashley!!
    here’s to a new and amazing year!! πŸ™‚

  • tasha roe - looks like a great Christmas!
    I wish I would have thought to take pictures at our candle light service. yours turned out amazing!
    and both of those books are fan-tastic!

  • RachelC - Looks like it was a great Christmas! Bob — you totally outdid yourself on that dresser. Too cool. Also, love that green and brown dress. I may have to borrow your Martha sewing book. My New years resolution is to learn how to sew.

  • Jenny B. - Wow! Those drawers are awesome! What a sweet, special gift for your sis! Your family is so amazing. πŸ™‚

  • Yolanda - Wow. Super envious of that dresser. That is AWESOME. Love all of Firecracker’s dresses, especially the apron one. How lucky you are to come from people who know how to use their hands for more than flicking remotes.

  • chantelle - ahhh! the drawers the drawers! I LOVE drawers and I LOVE ABC’s! Tellyour Dad he could make a million if he put those on ETSY! (I would seriously buy one for each room in my home!)

  • Carolyn - Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to more of your great photos, wonderful DIY’s and funny stories in 2011. The alphabet drawers are amazing – you have great talent in your family!

  • Rachel - That dresser is awesome! Your dad should make another and create a tutorial! πŸ™‚

  • Amanda Medlin - I just wanted to let you know that even though I don’t comment often (due to 2 little ones keeping me busy), I love reading your blog. You continue to encourage and inspire me so I just passed a blog award on to you.
    Check it out…

    Happy New Year!

  • Breeanna - Those are all beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Julie B - I love that her dress is from the clearance rack, but bummed that I can’t get it! Clearance is the best!

  • kari - Wow…you’re dad did a better job…can we buy one from him? Pretty please? Thanks for your re-cap. Everthing looked wonderful. XOXO

  • Krista @ Blue Eyed Yonder - I am in love with the typography drawers. Genius! It looks like you guys had an amazing Christmas. I always love your collages, no need for a lot of words, your pictures speak for themselves. Wishing you guys all the best in 2011!

  • Kelli - impressive drawers. I’m so jealous. I saw a dresser once that no one can build for me for less than the $900 it would cost to buy it. I just don’t know anyone that will do the labor part for cheap or free.
    Your mom looks really young!

  • Heather Stauffer - Oh I SO BADLY want that dresser!! How awesome! And of course I love seeing your sweet girl sportin’ her Matilda Jane πŸ™‚

  • jessica h - wow, what a great mix of memories! thanks for sharing your life & creativity with all of us on the blog world everyday…not only do I love the tips & diys, but I love learning things from you as a Mom and being encouraged by your generous heart. I’m so thankful for this blog that’s enabled me to “get to know you” more than I did when we were side by side at TCABC…blessings in the new year. I can’t wait to live it, too πŸ™‚

  • Laurie Magotiaux - First off … a belated happy new year to you ashley.

    Secondly…..Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. This is the first time I’ve tried leaving a comment but not for the lack of not wanting to. Your amazing. I’m your #1 fan…. totally love all your work and inspiration.

    Finally…..You and your sister are two lucky gals to have a talented daddy like that. I love that dresser! He did a great job!!

    Thanks for all you do ashley. Keep up the good work.Can’t wait to see what you’ll have for us.. your viewing audience… in 2011!


First, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments about the Today Show stuff. I want to clarify again that the Today Show is not at fault and things are being discussed behind the scenes. Also thank you to The Lettered Cottage for a nice feature and for all the notes on Facebook. You all are the best!

Well I did better than I thought….announced these before Monday! Several of the sponsors have special discount codes that are for a limited time only so I tried hard to get this done so the rest of us can do discounted shopping! If your name is on the list below check your email account to see if you have an email from me. If your name is “Erin” but you don’t have an email from me…you are not the “Erin” that won. Be sure to check the email account you used when you entered the giveaway…and check spam. There are instructions for the winners in those emails. Thanks!

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  • giozi - ohhhh ohhhh ohhhh snif snif
    well next time πŸ™‚
    Congratulations girls !!
    And Happy New Year!

  • colleen - I am laughing right now. my name is colleen (usually an odd name that i don’t encounter much) and when i saw “colleen” on the vintage pearl giveaway, i got giddy! Then i checked my email, no email from you. so, i checked my junk mail(often things i need to see are filed there without my knowing it)… nothing. So, i decided to check the comments and see if there was another colleen- There were 5 or 6 colleen commentors!!!! HAHAHAHA! And, i couldn’t remember what i wrote on my comment(: such is the memory of a mom over 40 with little ones! Anyway,i wish it was me but sadly, that is not likely πŸ™ I’ve never won an online giveaway but will keep trying! Happy New Year!

  • Stephanie - Congrats to the other Stephanie! I got excited for a minute then realized it wasn’t me. Sad.

  • taylor - what a way to ring in the new year… wahoo!!
    thank you SO much for hosting this giveaway.

  • Gabriela - I’m already in 2011 (I write from Spain!) and I wish you and your family a fantastic year, full of joy and adventures. You often make my day and make me smile with your pics, your gorgeous children and your wicked sense of humour, and I’m looking forward to see what is going to happen in 2011!!

  • Julie B - Yes congrats to the other Julie and to Bopha bc I know her! Lucky ducks!!

  • Jessamy - Congrats to Keiko! You lucky-duck!
    Now I want to have another baby so you can use your winnings! Ashley, your give-aways are the best!

***I have limited internet access right now. The giveaway winners will be announced by Monday.****

Last week I got an email (and a few blog comments) saying that something I made was featured on The Today Show. What? Are you kidding? It was in the middle of family festivities, but as soon as I could sneak away to watch the clip online I did.

Do you remember this project I did for Design*Sponge?

Ummm….there it is on The Today Show!!!

I wasn’t sure how to even respond to finding that out. So very wild. There was no credit given to Design*Sponge or to me which was a bit of a bummer since they obviously didn’t take the concept and make it their own…just copied mine. I’m not going to go into details, but the whole thing was not the Today Show’s fault. Honestly it really didn’t get under my skin too much. The reality is I have no aspirations for a career in the diy/craft world. I am beyond honored that I get to contribute to Design*Sponge and be a part of such an incredible collection of creativity. However, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing right now.

Shortly after I got the crazy news about The Today Show I got an email from my new friend Betsy of Elizabeth St.. She shared with me how seeing me go out on a limb to give handmade gifts this year inspired her to do the same. THEN she attached some photos of a few of the gifts she gave. I asked her permission to share them with you here because I know you’ll love them and they’ll inspire you too….and she posted a tutorial for the pillows yesterday. I would have been over the moon to get one of these!

I love the dandelion painting. Now I wish I could ask everyone I painted dishes for to give them back to me and let me start over.

So many of you have also shared photos on my Facebook page of things you have made from inspiration you found here. I haven’t had the chance to comment on all of them – yet. I share projects here because I really like to boss people around. Really, I do. I am the oldest kid. A tutorial in the most basic sense is a list of detailed instructions given to someone else. I find great joy in making tutorials because I really like to tell people what I think they should do! πŸ™‚

On a serious note, I like to create and share those creative endeavors for lots of reasons. The Today Show (with or without credit) is cool – obviously it is cool, but hearing that some odd thing I come up inspires others to create something beautiful is a lot more rewarding for me.


And on a side note for those interested….

Rambling Renovators is doing a ‘Blog Tour’ this week. They are introducing their favourite blogs and linking to favourite posts. It is a fun way to get a glimpse at new blogs. Mine is among those featured today. Most of the blogs featured are design related…and then there is random me. I’m grateful to be among them.

Most of you know I am also a contributor to Design Aglow. If you are a photographer or love playing with Photoshop, Design Aglow has tons of resources for you. Right now the annual sale is going on. When purchasing enter the coupon code happy2011 at the end of your purchase and get 15% off everything!

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  • Betsy Jo - Thank you so much, Ashley! So, this is kind of my Today show moment- being featured on your blog. Best to you in the New Year!

  • Aunt Sandy - Great post, Ashley. It’s nice to share your talent with the world and have it apprecitated. Even if the Today Show/BHG didn’t give you credit, we all know who’s great idea it was. Now, as for giving back your (MY) painted dish I got for Christmas, NO WAY, NO HOW!!! I love it! For me, getting hand made gifts, like your plate and Lesley’s artwork, are the best gifts of all. They come from the heart. Thanks

  • RachelC - I know you don’t care about “credit,” but the fact that the Today show stole from you and Design Sponge is low. I knew I liked Good Morning America for a reason.

    I do love that calendar. I’m actually going to attempt it…..and I also love that yellow pillow. As soon as I learn how to sew….I’m going to attempt that too. Look at all my crafty goals for 2011!!!

    Hope you are well. Feels like I haven’t talked to you in forever.

  • Lindsay - Um how cool is that?>!??! Congrats! Even if they didn’t give you credit. We should start a huge internet search on “ashley ann photography diy calendar” – hehe. We’ll have your name at the top of the yahoo most searched “things” in the day! I love love love all of your ideas/crafts/photography tips…everything. You’re amazing!

  • amanda torres - I’m glad it doesn’t bother you that your idea wasn’t credited, everyone who knows what’s right knows you should have been. At the very least, Design*Sponge should have been listed as a source. Regardless, you are very talented and have a great peace of where God has you right at this very moment. That’s the coolest part of this story!

  • Jen - i saw that one design sponge when looking through their diy’s last week and was SO excited that i found it before the new year began so i can start. i didn’t realize that it was from YOU! thanks for the inspiration and i’m shaking my head in disappointment at the today show. CONGRATS though!!

  • Charlotte - You know what?! Theirs looks like yours, but just a little less nice. I mean usually you at least try to make it better when you steal an idea, but they really did a poor job… And I don’t think it is ok that they steal your idea, but good for you if you don’t let that bother you. Thanks for the tutorials!

  • nicole - Ashley – made your diy calendar’s for my best friends for christmas and cannot tell you how thrilled and moved they were by them! Thanks for inspiring me with your amazing creativity!!

  • Felicia - I love those pillows. I can’t sew…2011 hope would include purchasing a sewing machine and learning how to use it.

    I love your design sponge calendar journal..I am not one for writing down thoughts too often, but want to make that so that I can have a year of memories of funny things that my son says.

    I also want to make one to use for school..I teacher preschoolers with special needs & the funniest things tend to happen. I think a book at the end of the year would be hilarious.

  • Jen Helbert - yours is definitely nicer looking, but look at it this way, you are inspiring- even the today show thinks it!

  • Tammy - I made your calendar for my best friend for Christmas. She loves it! I’ll have to post a picture on Facebook. Now if only I had the time to make one for myself…. πŸ™‚

  • Krista Lund - bummer about not being credited, but still oh so very cool!
    you are so very cool!!

  • Anna - Wow, that is so cool that your project was on the Today Show! That’s really lame that they didn’t credit you or Design Sponge as well. You’re taking this a lot more calm than I would’ve! Anyways, I don’t know why you feel like your blog is not a design blog…it REALLY is. You inspire all of your readers day in and day out with your style and DIYS. You’re one of my top design inspirations! πŸ™‚

  • Kristy Life n Reflection Photography - Wow, I can’t believe the today show did that! Congrats anyway!!

  • Ashley Hasty - I’m new to your blog. Found you through the Great Reads 2010! I look forward to following your blog (I am now your newest follower!) in 2011!

    <3 Ashley

  • Jessica - i saw that on the today show while i was stamping out my own cards for my 2 sil’s! they loved them and i can’t wait to start writing moments on jan 1!

  • Amber - Oh my goodness…I NEVER get to watch the today show and I actually watched this episode! I actually wondered at the time if you knew you had a product being featured. You are so modest and humble…they should have gave credit for the idea! Love your stuff Ashley! You inspire me to get off my duff and do something everytime I look at your site!

  • KaraM - Your idea was on the Today Show! So cool!!

  • Linda - I loved your design sponge journal and it inspired me to make some for my daughters and myself.

    I tried to find the clip on Today Show so that I could leave a comment giving you creit, but wasn’t able to find it.

  • Marie - That is flattering that they used your idea even though a shout out would have been nice! πŸ˜‰ I made your calendar journal too for my grandma and one for myself…they turned out super cute! Thanks for the great idea!

  • Courtney - Wow! That is a total swipe of your idea…I guess I’d be flatter but a bit ruffled as well…you should send Hoda and KLG an email and maybe they’d have you on for a glass of wine!

  • reyanna - I so admire your humility! I’d be kinda miffed… as in, more miffed than you are. πŸ˜‰ Actually, I’m miffed *for* you, and I’m now thinking, “I wonder what other ideas they found on the internet and passed as their own…” *sigh* I just think you should have had a credit/subtitle or *something*. It would have been nice for them to mention where they found these ideas. πŸ™‚ I saw your idea ALL OVER the internet. Literally… five different places or something. But each one credited you. πŸ™‚

    Anywho, you DO inspire… And probably in ways you don’t expect. I’m a scrapbooker, and I actually was inspired by your frame display in FireCracker’s room (I’d love to know your kids’ names! LOL). See here:

    I love that you’re in my Google Reader, and I get to read you just about every day. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and life with us! πŸ™‚

  • rachel denbow - Hey, Ashley. I saw that live (and only because I was in a hotel getting ready for the day) and instantly felt bothered for you and Design*Sponge. I know you’re a classy lady and are handling it nicely and admire you for that. Well done.

    Just to clarify so that the Today Show doesn’t get too abused by anyone, it was a segment presented by Better Homes & Gardens, which were the ones who presented the DIY’s without proper credit. I’m assuming there were other projects that weren’t original designs, either. Anyway,it’s probably some intern who didn’t pass along the right info to a presenter, etc.

    It’s probably pretty satisfying to know that it was of the kind of quality that caught someone’s eye at least! πŸ˜‰ As always, great stuff over here friend.

  • Yanet - First of all, Betsy’s pillow and plates came out adorable!!! Really, I can’t decide which one I love best. the dandelion is so simple and classy and the pillow is so colorful and fun! I want to buy that pillow!

    Second, I’m a big Today Show fan and I like to think that what happened was that the people they had to bring in the segment above basically scoured blogland for ideas. I’ve seen the chalkboard paint globe in blogland as well. Not right to not give credit. Not right at all.

    That’s all I have to say about that. Off to Betsy’s shop to see if by chance she’s selling those pillows!

  • Ruth - I loved that calendar idea when you posted it and I am disgusted that they didn’t give you credit. Very uncool. You are a better person than me for taking it all with a grain of salt.

  • anna - that’s cool about the today show, but a bit of a bummer they didn’t mention any credits. love the betsy jo projects. you are very inspiring. πŸ™‚

  • emily anderson - i love betsy and that stuff she made is fabulous!

  • Jenny B. - So cool about the DIY calendar being on the Today Show! You handled it (not getting credit) with such grace. πŸ™‚ I’ve been tempted to do one for myself, but I am so long winded. I think I would stress over writing just one little thing each day. Ha! Love those pillows! Her space makes me think of Meg over on whatever – with the pillows, the letters spelling out “read” the little globe, and the typewriter. All things I love… maybe I would love her blog too! πŸ™‚

  • meg duerksen - awesome.
    all of it.
    soooo cool.

  • Layla Palmer - I had that same thing happen recently. Found out a big department store in Australia is actually reproducing and selling my Quoteboxes. I tried contacting them a few times, but no one ever writes back. πŸ™
    I guess it’s bound to happen, but it doesn’t make it an easier when it does!

    Anywho, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and thank you for sharing your amazing blog with all of us. I LOVE IT! πŸ™‚


  • kelley - I saw your project on the Today Show! I knew it was yours πŸ™‚

  • kari - Congratulations! Even if you didn’t get the credit, there are a lot of bloggie friends that know you’re fantastic! XOOX

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife - I’m sad the Today Show didn’t give you credit; but we all know where the idea came from!! You are awesome and so creative! Hope you have a happy new year!

  • Laurie J - I am inspired by your humility when it comes to your creativity. Seriously. I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now and I can tell it’s real.

  • Jennifer - You’re so classy and humble. That’s one of the great things about you and your blog – you give and share your ideas so freely without expectation of return. They still should have credited you and design*spong though. And you ARE a design blog! One of my favourites! Everything from Firecracker’s room to your kitchen table and chairs to your DIYs is so inspiring. But most of all, I find your outlook on motherhood so refreshing and inspiring as well. Thanks so much for joining my blog tour πŸ™‚

  • CharlaL - #1 you are sooooo nice! #2 I just looked up the clip…She did it wrong and she didn’t do it as nice and…she didn’t give credit! UGH

  • Brooke Whitis - Ashley..I am not surprised at all that you are on the Today Show…and it makes it even cooler that you are just being yourself….sharing things that you create. Pretty awesome. I think you should tell the Today Show that you don’t mind that your idea was on with no credit, but that they should do a feature on your home…and design…:) Just a thought..Happy New Year!

  • Linden - just so you know (and I know I’m not The Today Show) but I made 2 of the DIY journals for my mom and mother in law and somewhat made them my own. (I put them in brown craft boxes with lids I got from Hobby Lobby because I couldn’t find any of the fruit boxes… plus I wanted to add a little bit of my own flair and decorated the boxes too). I gave you all the credit of course for the idea and my sis in law loved it so much that we are having a craft date to make some more for friends. thank you for the great idea.

  • Cindy - It’s a shame they didn’t give you credit for your lovely perpetual journal. I loved the idea. Not crafty enough to make your design, but I’ve bought myself a book and have started my own perpetual journal. What fun it will be to read in a few years time!

  • Callie - Your perpetual journal was on today too! Such a neat idea!