UPDATE: The headband fabric looked like panty hose to me…not sure where to get it. You need the magnets because they all the bottle cap to stick to the washer…so you can interchange your necklaces.

FireCrackers visor is from Twirling Betty. It is one size fits all and it does…if you look back at the CafeMom tour I did, you’ll notice I am wearing it in the picture outside of Big Brother giving me a hug. I wear it a lot…she is a year old and we are already sharing! Her shoes are from Gracious May (I wish we could share those).



Thanks for all the congratulations comments yesterday. My niece has won us all over. It has been such a fun journey to watch my sister become a mom….I have been an aunt on Chris’ side since the day I married him. We had the cutest ringbearer and flower girls in our wedding…my nieces and nephew…who have all grown into such cool kids/teenagers. Several of them came over last week to do a little crafting. The girls had ideas for necklaces they wanted to make and needed someone who had Mod Podge and scrapbooking paper. I, of course, could fulfill that need.

I don’t really think of preteen/teen crafts, so I thought I’d share what they made for those of you that have older kids. The basic idea is to attach a washer to a stretchy necklace. Once you have that base you can create all kinds of things to attach to the washer using magnets.

Here are most of their supplies, I am not sure where they got them all.

Step 1: To make the necklace base you just tie a washer to the stretchy bands.

Step 2: Fill the pop bottle caps with a little Mod Podge and start layering stuff in it. The girls used paper, stickers and drew with markers. You could use all kinds of things. Once they ran out of pop bottle caps I cut Starbucks sleeves into circles and they glued stuff to those too.

Step 3: Attach magnets to the back of the pop bottle lids or Starbucks sleeves. The magnets below have a sticker back. You can also use smaller, stronger magnets for a better hold. Just glue them on.

I made some chocolate chip cookies for our little crafting party. All the boys had been upstairs playing Legos, but magically appeared as soon as the cookies were set on the table. They had radar noses detecting the smell. As soon as they finished eating, they disappeared upstairs again.

The necklaces on the left are the bottle caps, the ones on the right are made from the coffee sleeves.

And just so you know…there will be lots of baby appearances on the blog in the coming days.

Here we are on day 2. We only saw each other briefly, but I think she likes me. If she doesn’t like cooking with her mom, she can come craft with me.

It used to make me sad how seeing a newborn makes your own baby seem so grown up suddenly. I’m good with my girl not being a newborn. It is going to be fun to have another baby in the family and it is going to be fun watching my sweet little girl grow.

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  • annie - Love the picture of you and your niece it just screams “joy!” It was an amazing feeling when I finally held my best friends baby and didn’t have that “my baby is all grown” feeling. I love my daughter right where she is and I love our little family of 5. I find so much joy and love in snuggling and loving my friends newest additions and my own nieces and nephews (if my brother and sister in law would get started already!) ;o)

  • laura - i’m glad to know there’s hope that seeing a newborn won’t make me sad one day, too, as i’m watching my kids grow like crazy! so happy for you and your family:).

  • Jill R - Oh my goodness. Whatever Firecracker is wearing in that picture is totally killing me. I cannot get over the cuteness!! She is a scene stealer for sure!

  • Stephanie - Wonderful picture of you and Princess P!

  • tessa - I love the last picture of your daughter. My little girl is the same age, and they are getting so big, but it is fun to watch them grow! Where did you get her hat and shoes? I love them! Also, how do you get her to leave things on her head? Glue? Seriously, I need your secret!

  • Cate O'Malley - The stretchy bands they used, are they like the headband kind? And what is the magnet for? I get the basic concept, but lost me on the magnet.

  • amanda torres - Very cute. The pic of you with your niece is just priceless. I can’t wait to see her join the ranks with your kiddos. Good times!

  • colleen - I’ve been reading your blog for a while and my sweet husband has said more times that i can count…”if we lived anywhere near her, ya’ll would be friends” (: I think so too. But Alabama is a LOOONG way from Tulsa! Thanks for the older kid craft. My girl is 10 and we are always trying to come up with new ideas… What are the stretchy bands made out of? Rubber? T-shirt material? Just curious. thanks!

  • Maggie - As I was looking at the photo of you & your neice I was thinking,” aww..I hope she isn’t too sad that her baby will look so grown up now”…then I read what you wrote…funny….I get it…congrats to all~ and I LOVE that photo on the porch steps…her red poka-dot scarf against those paint peeled steps and half of big brother~ :)

  • Emily Lusk - I love the craft idea!! It is such a good craft for girls! I remember doing fun things like that with my Aunt!!! I bet they had a blast! I love your little girls head wrap!

  • Lisa Johnson - We will definitely be making these! Fun!

  • Anna Joy - I love that picture of you and your niece. I get that same sad feeling too when seeing a newborn. I guess that means I need to pop out more babies??? Haha, have good day!

  • Kara - o that visor is the cutest! aNd great DIY idea…my neice would LOVE this!

  • Carla - we made these magnet/bottle cap necklaces at our girl’s camp this year! they were quite the success among the 12-15 year olds.

    and i like babies, so bring on the cute niece ones! congrats to your sister and your whole family!

  • Tracie - We saw necklaces like that at the beach. The necklace was $3 and the magnets were $2 each! These are great. Love the pictures of your niece.

  • lifeologia - Cute necklaces. I love the versatility – these could become magnetic board magnets, or decorations on something metal…. like the fridge 😉

    Can’t wait to see more newborn pictures!

  • julianna richman - Love the blog but I had to post this time because I have that shirt and don’t know what pants to wear with it! What are you wearing with it???

  • the inadvertent farmer - I still get a little misty when I hold a newborn…I am done with that part of my life and although I adore my kiddos at the ages they are sometimes I would love just to have them to hold and nurse and cuddle just one more time…

    OK, now I need to go find a tissue. Kim

  • Joy Andrews - Ok so you have to do us a favor and share where you bought or how you made her sweet lil sun hat :)

  • Debbie - I know what the necklace bands are – they actually ARE tights! Just take an old pair and cut a strip off. It will automatically curl as soon as you stretch it. I think the narrower the strip, the better because it doesn’t interfere with the magnet as much.

  • gina - Hey! Your blog showed up in my Google reader today. Hooray!

  • Rachel - I love these necklaces! The magnets are great. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  • pamela - i’m so excited for my #2 to come along this february! these posts just add to that excitement.

    ps i love your top in the pic of you holding your niece. if you get around to it could you tell us where it’s from? : ) oh, and your hair looks great in that pic too!

  • Valerie - Could those stretchy necklaces be the loops kids weave to make pot holders?

  • diy {bottlecap necklace} « the ribbon on your finger - […] Posted in DIY Project, Recycled ashleyannphotography.com […]

  • Amy’s Notebook 08.04.10 | The Motherload - […] daughter would look so cute in these bottle cap necklaces (@ Under the […]

  • Tami - A little girl at our church had one of these on that had 3 bottle caps with different patterns on each one. I looked at it pretty closely and decided to make my own. Her mom bought them in a store somewhere so someone is making money off of these.

  • africa - love the pics on the diy bottecaps:)) thanks for posting.

I have 100s of pictures from Monday…most of them I want to share, but it isn’t my story to share. So, here’s few because I just can’t help it. I tried writing captions, but it just kept getting too personal. I am beyond thrilled to finally meet my niece, but I am even more excited that Lesley & Eric have their daughter in their arms. Motherhood…Fatherhood…words can never describe or prepare someone for the intensity of what it means to be a parent. They have their daughter in their arms. A very brief look into my Monday…

Isn’t it amazing how pictures can tell a story….so that is part of my story of meeting my sister’s firstborn. I love her.

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  • Jackie - Such a sweet story to be told – one of the oldest, but one you can never tire of hearing (or seeing)!

  • Lanny Stanard - Oh how I love this post… I have tears rolling down my face! so so sweet. :)

  • Christine - Congratulations again, she is beautiful!!! You tooks such great pics :)

  • Shannon - Very very sweet! Those pictures! They are going to be some amazing memories for your sister down the road. I love how you capture the whole story and not just the grand finale! Very nice.

  • Jodi - This post gave me goosebumps! Your story telling was perfect! Congrats to your family and God Bless your new addition. She is perfect!

  • Anna Joy - Ohmygoodness. You captured the experience so well. I am tearing up and I don’t tear up for anything. Paisley is so beautiful. Congrats to Lesley and her family! PS, my good friend delivered her baby boy on Monday as well at 350am. :)

  • Sarah - what a beautiful post. that picture of Eric kissing Lesley is so full of emotion. I got teary eyed just looking at it!

  • Stacey - The pictures are amazing (as usual)… I think my favorite one is the one of (I’m assuming) the waiting grandpa’s hand on the waiting room chair. Bah! I got a little teary when I saw it. The new babe is so beautiful and I had my first daughter last summer and I too know about all the feelings your sister is going through right now. It’s a great and amazing time. Many congratulations to you all!

  • anne c - I love it! she is perfect!

  • Jill R - Beautiful baby girl! Can’t wait to see pics of her meeting Firecracker.

  • chantelle - thanks for my first cry of the day…….you are so sweet, you love for your sis and family is like no other!

  • Liz Hurst - So sweet Ashley…I have chills. What a beautiful family!

  • Cate O'Malley - Geez, Ashley, you’re making me tear up. Wonderful pictures!

  • jenny - so incredibly sweet. Pictures tell a story that sometimes word cannot do justice.

  • Jamie - Those pics are awesome. They made my eyes water! And that is something that never happened before I was a mom myself. What a precious baby!

  • maria - I love the way you told the story, so glad she is here safe and sound!

  • Stephanie - Those photos brought tears to my eyes! Great job. Congratulations to your family.

  • Ryan - I love this Ashley! I’ve never met someone who is more of a photographer, in every sense of the word, than you.

    And what a gorgeous baby! Congrats to everyone! :)

  • Rachel W - I am so happy for Lesley and Eric! Your pictures made my eyes tear up! :)

  • Shannon Phillips - Amazing! Congrats to you Auntie Ashley.

  • Rachel C - Lesley & Eric — she is beautiful!! I love the picture of the two of you holding hands. It tells such a sweet story of love and support. I am crying at my desk. What a special family. Love you all.

  • Elizabeth - Did the birth only take 5 minutes??????? That is about how long my 3rd took! We almost didn’t make it to the hospital!

  • Kelly - Oh goodness! I’m all choked up & teary! That picture peering through the guard on the bed – you can see the raw emotion on Daddy’s face. And then the pure joy on the faces of your family when they hear the news that she’s finally here – you can’t beat that. These picture brought back a whole flood of memories. Congratulations Auntie!

  • Megan H - I got all teary! What a precious blessing. Congratulations!

  • Kari - Such an exciting post! Congrats Aunt Ashley! Your sister is very lucky to have such a talented gal to take photos during her baby’s arrival- photo’s that she can treasure forever! Great job!

  • meredith - Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. There are few things as precious as a sister’s love.

  • Kirra Sue - Totally crying. Thanks for sharing that story- it was so precious. I loved every picture. Congratulations to your sweet family for it’s newest member! Your sister is beautiful and her baby girl is too.

  • Jen V. - Those are beautiful pictures…I, too, got teary looking at them! What a beautiful story (and a beautiful little baby!) Congrats on being an auntie!! Those pictures could stand alone as a scrapbook (something from Shutterfly even) for Paisley when she’s older – the story of her birth from auntie’s view. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  • susie whyte - so sweet. loved the shot of QT. made me laugh. my fave is the one the through the railing. i love those shots. congrats to the whole family!!

  • tammy Kay - so beautiful Ashley. Totally made me cry. Maybe its because my newest is just nine weeks old and time is passing much too quickly. I wish your sister the best. Paisley is beautiful! ( I love the picture of your grandpa’s hand! )

  • Caitlin - I love it. Tearing up and I don’t even know them!

  • Erin - These pics tell a great story! So glad everything went well and she is perfect! Nieces are the best, you will spoil her beyond belief!!

  • becky - She’s gorgeous! Congrats to Leslie – those pictures actually made me cry :-)

  • kristin - Best story telling pictures ever! Kudos… great job (as always).

  • Desiree - I got all choked up and teary-eyed looking at these. Thank you for sharing!

  • Haley Nicodemus - Your blog makes me so happy!

  • the inadvertent farmer - What a wonderful post to celebrate a new arrival on the planet…happy birthday little one! Kim

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, congratulations! That is just wonderful. I’m so very happy for you.

  • rachel p - CONGRATS!!! such a beautiful story … no words necessary. and now i have tears streaming down my face. my coworkers already think I’m nuts 😉

  • Tysha - Beautiful. Congrats all the way around!

  • Stefanie - There are no photographers in my family – I’m the only hobby photographer. When we had both our children, we didn’t have much other than our point and click…and I wasn’t going to start clicking on my own (I was a little busy pushing) so I resolved to remember everything. That says A LOT because I don’t have a very good memory.

    These pictures are going to be forever treasured by her family. What a wonderful gift to be able to offer!

  • Sarah - I teared up going through these pictures.
    Congrats to them and to all of you!!

  • giozi - WOW I don’t have words, pictures say all.
    Gorgeous pictures, beautiful moments. Your sister is lucky. All the family with her, so many love around her, and you there, to take beauty pics :)

  • Jane - You’re amazing Ashley! I wish you were my sister and could have captured such beautiful photos of my children’s birth. I’m sure there are dozens more that are just as beautiful.

    As I’ve mentioned to you before, I’m a pediatrician. This gives me the huge privilege of attending many deliveries – I’ve attended literally thousands by now. I’m not an OB so I don’t do the actual delivery, but I’m called when there is a potential concern with the health of the newborn. Luckily, babies are very resilient and usually things are fine. Sometimes they are not fine, but with some resuscitation efforts the baby does well.

    Although I’m nowhere in your league, I’m known among the nurses and doctors that I work with as the photographer. They all know I have an interest in photography and take an insane amount of pictures of my own kids. I’m also known for being the delivery room photographer (if not busy resuscitating a baby, of course). Sometimes people forget their camera in the shuffle of an emergency C-section. The batteries are dead. The camera is in the car. Countless times I’ve taken a pic with at least my iPhone and emailed it to them so that they have at least something from the first few minutes of their child’s birth. I’m always happy to see a D-SLR in the delivery room because I know at least they’ll have some decent pictures vs. blurry point-and-shoot pics. I love taking family pics because the fathers are usually too freaked out by the whole experience to think of it. Sometimes, it’s hard for the father to snap pics, especially in the OR if there was a C-section because he’s stuck behind IV poles, the anaesthetic machine and suction equipment. So, I take their camera and take pics for them.

    Many congratulations to your sister and your whole family. Babies are so wonderful.

  • Yanet - Babies are blessing to all in the family so congrats to you ALL! I LOVE pic #14 of Eric holding her hand while looking at her. He has the must tender look on his face. BTW, How can your hair look so cute at 2 AM??!! No fair.

  • Jill J - I LOVE the picture of the family clapping and smiling in the waiting room! I can even imagine the smell of the hospital with this series. GOOD JOB, AUNTIE! :)

  • Danielle - i love this post. gives me chills thinking back to the birth of my boys. so happy for your sister and her hubby! what a blessed day. god is so good!

  • Tabitha - I’m tearing up just looking at the pics. So much love. Congratulations!

  • Maike - tears in my eyes, I’m so happy for you all! Can’t wait to meet my sisters firstborn in hopefully the next few days…

  • Allison - this was so perfect! She’s adorable. Congratulations, Aunt!

  • Robyn Farmer - Wow! Pictures are amazing and the gift you have in capturing those moments made me feel like I was peaking in on that precious day. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to see more pics. I also look forward to Firecracker with her sister-cousin Paisley.

  • Michelle Z. - How wrong is it that I have a crush on your dad?

  • Kellye P. - Your talent has left me speechless.

  • crystal - Thanks for sharing such a sweet, touching, wonderful story!

  • Jasie - No captions and I still cried. Also, I love the one of the donut coming at you. I thought for a moment your family might wonder what you’re doing, then I remembered it’s you. You take pictures of everything. They probably didn’t even notice because they’re so used to it. lol Thanks for sharing that with us!

  • Flier Judit - She’s so beautiful! Congratulations!

  • Tricia - Amazing how a story with no words can bring you to tears. Congratulations to your sister and brother in law. She is just sweet perfection!

  • patti - she’s perfect. and so was that photo story. just enough. thank you for always showing how beautiful the little things in between are and how important they are to the story. congrats to all!

  • Mallory - These images were just wonderful, brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely love love love your blog. I’ve never commented before, but I just have to let you know that you’re kinda sorta like my idol…I’d love to be as cool of a momma & awesome photographer as you, but first I would need kids…and a husband…but I’ve got the camera! :)

  • Lauren Roberts - Congratulations Lesley and Eric, and Ashley, and the whole family! I know this baby is another truely amazing blessing to your wonderful family.

  • bopha - the pictures are great and to have it all captured will be so special to them. congrats to the new parents and the new aunt!

  • georgia - Tell your sister I said welcome to motherhood. She is going to be great at it.

  • Whitney - Beautiful! What a blessing for your sister to have these moments documented! It makes ME emotional….I’m sure your family is over the moon.

  • Shaun L. - It was so fun to see you up there Ashley! Love seeing familiar faces when I work :) I knew you would put pics up. She is precious!!

  • Kendall - Congrats, Auntie! What sweet pictures. God is so good, isn’t he?

  • Jenn G. - CONGRATULATIONS!!! She is soooo incredibly beautiful! I can’t wait to meet her.

  • Rachel - Wow! Our God is an awesome GOD!
    Congratulations to you and your family.

  • Kristine - there is something so beautiful about a new baby. can’t believe ours is already 6 months.

  • Janica - I’m totally crying! What is it about babies that have that power?! My favorite pic (besides the BEAUTIFUL little girl) is when proud dad gets to share the news w/family:) Great job Ashley!

  • Dick - How precious!!
    Great post

  • Brooke - Congrats to her, that is so special!!!She is just adorable! and the name couldn’t be cuter. Congrats to you too, auntie! What an amazing time. We can’t wait for our birth, despite it being a little bittersweet for us, it is such an amazing miracle all the same! You do such a wonderful job capturing moments. That is always my goal. Sorry for random assortment of sentences. Rambling.

  • Shea - Congrats Auntie! She’s beautiful and I know your sister will cherish her story captured in photos from now until forever.

  • Kelly - Ashley, I just found your blog a few days ago. What an inspiration you are! This post made me tear up. Love the pictures- just amazing!

  • Cindy - loved seeing it happen through your pics… amazing! Lesley and Eric are so blessed to have all this captured! You niece is beautiful.. .My favorite pic is Lesley holding her and smiling!!! Motherhood is awesome!

  • Danielle - Beautiful! I was thinking wow I wish I had a couple of those from my son’s births!

  • emily anderson - oh. i can’t wait for the day when my only sister has a baby. she is only 19, so it might be a while…but hey, i had my first baby at 22, so one can hope that her sister would follow in the same path? right? ha.
    beautiful pictures, and congrats to your sister.

  • Jess - Oh man, Ashley. I have tears rolling down my face. Even without words, those pictures tell such a sweet story. You can just feel the love in your family. And that little girl is precious. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Kristin S - I don’t even know her and am bawling at your photo story. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lesley - Wow. Thank you all for the amazing comments about our big day. I am so blessed and there aren’t enough words to express how thankful I am to have so a wonderful sister and family. Ashley, the pictures are so amazing and I will cherish them forever. Thank you for sharing your gift of photography with us on this special day and thank you for being such a great example of a what it means to be a mother with me. I have always looked up to you as your little sister and I’m so proud my daughter has you in her life.

  • cathy - I am living in Austalia and just want to say a thank you for opening up the world to your beautiful personal photos of such an incredible moment. Your photos are truely perfect and capture every split second, they are gorgous, just like your daughter. Congrats.

  • Sandy - It is truly amazing how pictures can tell a story. I love this story. My favorite is the photo where he is telling the people in the waiting room. The joyful looks on their faces brought tears to my eyes.

  • Christy - Even before I read your last sentence, I thought, “What a beautiful story!” Great job!

  • Kathy Eller - I LOOOVE how you started this by saying that it wasnt your story to tell but then went on telling it:) I love it because my husband and I have welcomed 5 children into our lives on our won with just us there. I love it because as we add children in children get older and THEY are the ones excited. I hope someday for my boys to be excited for their sister and their nieces and nephews and have the extended family that we have not.

  • emily - this is the sweetest post!
    dare i even ask how you take such lovely pictures inside the horrid lights of a hospital…

  • Amnah - Jeez, why am I crying??
    Gorgeous pictures. I wish I had someone to document my daughters’ births like this. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on Auntiehood!

  • Jess - sigh

  • karen - wow, that was perfect! I love the shot through the rails of the bed…perfection!

Lemon Poppy Shoppe winner is:

Janine – I’d do one for my days as in Girl Guides! I still have my cute old badges!

Expressions Vinyl winner is:

Taylor – “sweet nothings” It’s corny but my husband and I like to whisper it to each other. It makes us laugh!

Remember you can use the code “SYCAMORE” at both shops when you check out to get a 10% discount.

If you missed last week’s post, scroll down for ideas on how you can use products from both shops.

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