I squealed a little when I saw who won the Bits or Bobbins giveaway…it was Ang who wrote, “(current) favorite dessert: salted chocolate caramel cookies”. Why I squealed is Ang is one of my dear friends who lives out of state and I get to go visit her next week! She has a great blog for those of you that like to cook (I do not include myself in that list). Ang, I will be happy to indulge in some of those cookies with you!

Bits or Bobbins is also offering a 15% discount to my readers. Just mention this blog in the ‘Notes to Seller’ when you checkout.

The discount will be refunded via PayPal.

Be sure to visit her blog and etsy store!

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  • ~love - i asked on twitter for the most inspirational, must-read blog. several people said yours! so, here i am for the first time & i’m so glad i asked. off to explore more. =)

  • Ang - Really?! I just squealed too!

  • lifeologia - How exciting for another giveaway – is there a limit for entries? (’cause I just won recently 😉
    ~love – for another inspirational blog, go to 100 Awesome Things


    Don’t want to brag but my story was just featured there 😉

  • Mary - I just adore your sweet blog…now of to get some yummy kisses from my 8 months old…big open mouth slobbery kiss !!!

If you have been waiting to get an email back from me over the last few days…well I have been far from the computer…I’ll get to email eventually. What started three years ago with one house and maybe 1oo volunteers has grown to include thousands of volunteers and many more homes. Clean Slate began with a few of my dear friends wanting to make a difference in the lives of others. Their vision has exceeded even their wildest dreams.

Clean Slate is a community project of my church. It is similar to Extreme Home Makeover…only without the television cameras & without the huge budgets! The intention is to make over one room of the family’s choice. This year 9 homes were transformed…the designers and project managers can never stop at one room! Each home was given a budget of $2,000 – each home probably ended up in the $15,000-$25,000 range after you count in all the donations of services, products, and time.

My team made over the home of a super sweet family. In the past couple of years their story includes the blending of two families, job loss, and a courageous battle with cancer. They were ready for a clean slate and let our team come in and go crazy for 3 days. Our project manager Matt C. did a phenomenal job and the designer Lori K. seriously needs her own design show.

Here are a few of the before & after pictures…and a few in between. I am also sharing a longer slideshow for the sake of my team and the countless companies and individuals that donated to make this house transformation a reality. It was an awesome weekend….and there were 8 other houses that did the same thing!

Serious sitting water…the team took care of that. Only after a french drain was in the process of being installed did they learn that permanent structural damage was on the verge of happening due to the sitting water. Tom’s Lawn Care donated a lot to make the drainage solution happen….they were awesome!

The designer Lori is my new friend…we have a mutual love for junk…she got a little inspiration from Baby Sister’s pallet bed….”Junk to funk” as Lori says.

People ask me all the time, “What inspires you?” Well this is what inspires me…individuals who selflessly give of themselves for the benefit of others. This sweet gal held her own with the guys digging the trench…with a smile. She won’t get anything substantial on earth for spending a weekend digging a french drain for strangers…totally inspiring. This, to me, is the picture of a stunningly beautiful woman.

This is Matt, our project manager. This picture pretty much sums up Matt over the weekend. He even slept in his car one night. Selfless.

This is Lori, our designer. You will see in a minute the phenomal talent that oozes from her. She likes the word, “Shabby.” I like her.

The family pulling into the driveway…excited volunteers

The first reaction.

When it was all said and done the team spent a few minutes praying for the family. We got so much more out of the weekend than the family did.

I did photograph the weekend, but I also got assigned random jobs…like painting Lori’s vision for a family tree.

Can I just say drawing a tree from scratch with black paint on someone else’s wall is nerve wracking!

It is incredibly wonderful to get to spend a weekend transforming someone’s home, but the greatest joy for me is doing it with my friends. I believe we are most influenced by those we spend the most time with. I have amazing friends. Almost all of my closest friends were working on this house at some point during the weekend. Between the ladies below there are 9 kids…that is a lot of sacrificing and schedule arranging for these ladies to be a part of the weekend. I am so grateful to have friends that are consumed with a love for others and God – friends that challenge me not to be so selfish and self absorbed. I want to be like my friends.

and for those of you itching to see more of the story & the rooms…here is a slideshow…it is worth your time…

The “play” button is the middle of the screen hidden in the tree. The song is by Need to Breath (Something Beautiful)…you might have to wait a minute for it to load. I am not sure why the controls aren’t showing, I’ll try to fix that later…off to watch LOST!!!

I also have to say a big “thank you” to my mom – she watched my four kids for LONG amounts of time all weekend so I could be a part of Clean Slate.

My kids have 2 amazing grandmas. Thanks, Mom.

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  • Susan - What a ministry and a blessing!!!

  • Shannon - Very inspirational! Both spiritually and as far as beautifying our homes! What a wonderful thing your church does for the community! I think the world needs a few more projects like that and a few less fighting and arguing! Love it!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh wow. That is so beautiful in so many ways.

    The family tree is lovely! Big hugs your way!

  • Katie - I always get teary watching these sort of things. So awesome!! I must talk with the pastors at my church about doing something similar.

    The cross artwork above the master bedroom is really neat. What’s the story behind it?

  • denise. - ashley, this is fabulous. tear-jerking, but fabulous nonetheless! the end result is beautiful.. and the home, is equally as wonderful. my husband and i volunteer out in seattle for an organization who does similar projects: http://www.rtseattle.org/ we love it. happy rest of your weekend!

  • karen davis - what an incredible job you all did!!

  • Heather - this is so inspiring. it fills me with hope when i see so many people coming together for the good of others. it makes me feel hopeful for the future. thanks for sharing this and inspiring us!

  • Taryn Smith - Can you come paint a tree on my wall? I love it! The whole house is beautiful. What a wonderful ministry.

  • Christine - That is so awesome, you all are awesome….what a blessing for that family.

  • Lauren Roberts - I saw people wearing Clean Slate shirts all over town this weekend. I was so curious what they were for. I’m so glad to see that it was for something as wonderful as this. You guys did an amazing job!

  • Lori K - Ashley~your pictures are awesome!! your talent made the details pop out just like I wanted! so glad I know you – let’s get together with all the kids in tow and “shabby it up!”

  • Amanda - So beautiful and selfless! What a blessing GOD has given to everyone involved in this project! I can’t even express with words the beauty of it!

  • jill@ a pocket full of posies - What an absolute beautiful ministry!!! What a joy and a Blessing! and what a wonderful transformation!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • maria - What a blessing and your so right about receiving much more of the blessing by giving and serving, so amazing how that works, great pictues too!

  • Evie - this was so awesome! loved seeing the before and after. talk about some hard work! ya’ll did such a fabulous job. just wonderful. and what a great ministry. thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer P - Girl! You amaze me! Nothing like starting your day off crying, but feeling truely full of the love and so proud of my church!

  • Kristina - Wow! That is beautiful! I love the boys room…very cool!

  • ashlee - what an amazing group of people and what an amazing church. This is a true representation of the body of Christ. People giving of themselves without expecting anything in return. btw…that boys room is amazing! I love love the bunk set up for 3 boys…my 3 boys need one!

  • bopha - You guys did great and I love your tree. Thank you for sharing those pictures, they were so inspiring.

  • Jill R - I’m speechless. What an amazing transformation & awesome gift for all involved. So cool.

  • Stacey - wow. that is simply amazing.

    i have always liked extreme makeover home edition because of the general idea of the whole show: helping out families that really NEED help. it seems like the show has gotten so huge, the houses have gotten even bigger and it really takes away from the whole premise… so it’s really nice to see something like this.

    it’s nice to know that there are people out there who care enough to spend a lot of their time and hard work helping others. people who get nothing tangible out of it. this was really inspiring. it makes me want to get out and do something.

    great post!

  • giozi - Wonderful, I love the boy’s room, and the teen room. I like tree drawing, I’m going to copy the idea, and the pallet beds too.

  • Sarah - what an amazing ministry you guys have!!

    I love the tree you did,
    and the faces on the family as they see their new rooms… beautiful and priceless.

    Great job. It’s gorgeous.

  • Kelly - wow!!! stinkin’, stinkin’ stinkin’ cool! love it! kelly

  • Monica - What a GREAT!!!! group of selfless human beings!! Everything turned out sooo amazingly BEAUTIFUL!!!! LOVE THE FAMILY TREE TOO!! The whole thing just brough a tear to my eye…. It’s nice to know that there are still “GOOD” people in this crazy world we live in…

  • Mary - Clean Slate should be its own show!! What a wonderful ministry. And Lori did better than any Trading Spaces design I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing. Take pictures and share the next time Clean Slate transforms a house.

  • Mandi Smith - Looking through these pictures makes me so emotional:) TCABC is an amazing church with amazing people who really do the work of the Lord in their community! It’s so refreshin to see a church that truly cares for the lost and hurting people of the world! I miss this church terribly!

  • amy jupin - WOW. you are very inspiring. what an amazing thing to be a part of!

  • Ryan - What an awesome experience for the family and the volunteers!

    And what a small world! The family’s house is literally 2 houses down from the first house I ever bought! :)

  • paige rodriguez - absolutely wonderful and inspiring and beautiful … in a million ways. everyone did an incredible job!!

  • sarah - What a wonderful thing to get be a part of. The house looks amazing and such hard work. Thank you for sharing, it gives me hope that world is still full of people who care.

  • Yolanda - That boys’ room is off the hook! I cannot beleive the transformation! You all should be proud! Thanks for being an inspiration. And as usual, stunning, stunning photograpy.

  • jessica h - Thank God for all He is doing in and through people around Tulsa. AWESOMEness~we miss TCABC and being a part of stuff like Clean Slate!!!

  • Abby - Amazing. You guys did awesome. The family tree is a beautiful touch. And that spoon drawer pull in the kitchen? Be still my heart. I love that SO much. What a great detail.

  • Charla - so so cool

  • Jess - Wow. Just wow. Thanks for inspiring me. Thanks for being good, selfless people. You definitely understand the secret to life.

  • Jennifer B - Simply amazing. Love it.

  • Jo - Hi Ashley! First off I love the tree you did for the family, THAT is beautiful!!! :) GREAT JOB!!! And another thing, i love this song. I heard it for the first time about a week ago, and i’m obsessed REALLY!! 😉

  • patti - this kind of stuff always brings a tear (several actually) to my eye. this is so awesome and such great work. what a happy post. thanks for sharing.

  • Bev - Ashley, tears coursed down my face as I watched your documentation of God’s love. What an AWESOME testament of what God can do when we listen to his calling! I saw my son, Matt C,thru your eyes. Thanks for touching a mother’s heart.

  • Katherine - That’s amazing!

  • Emily - What a wonderful job y’all did!! Very touching!

  • ~love - love this so much.

  • lifeologia - Wow. This is incredible Ashley. So inspirational and beautiful.

  • Juliann Brenner - Wonderful story. I’d love to know how you did the cross and lanterns above the bed, and the tree. What a great idea for a family tree!!!

  • anne c - thanks for sharing this! so inspiring! I watched the slideshow over and over…and NEEDTOBREATHE rocks my world!

  • Jennifer Nickel - You guys are incredible! THANK YOU soooo much for all you have done for our family!!!!! :-)

  • Lisa C - Thank you all for the wonderful gift you have given to my neighbors.

  • boogie. - so amazing! and the family tree is such a great idea. i can feel the emotions from these pics!

  • Rustic Room Inspiration. « Li'l Magoolie - […] beds made from old storage pallets? You MUST click here to look at the rest of the nursery and here for the boys’ room. Just beautiful. I so want that daybed. I rounded up a whole lot of rustic […]

  • Andrea - Ficou lindo demais! Parabéns pelo trabalho! Abraços!

  • heidi - In crí vel!!!
    Nunca havia imagino que pudesse haver algo assim!
    Só em tv, como vc diz, verbas enormes e muita televisão!!!
    Que Deus abençoe vcs e que muitas outras familias possam ser atingidas com um amor deste tamanho!!!!

  • Wes - This is such an awesome ministry and was inspiring to read about. I live in Charleston, SC, but am familiar with RC Homes and saw their blog post about Clean Slate: http://myrchome.com/ So awesome to see God working.

  • Aline - Olá..adorei o blog e os post’s…embora não tenha gostado muito das cortinas do quarto do casal do último post,eu particularmente tenho apreço por materiais nobres, mas tá desculpada…rsrs
    Parabéns pelo trabalho, é encantador…

  • cynthia - Love it! What a wonderful idea!

The next SnapShop will be June 19th…Father’s Day weekend.

This round is going to be just for the guys and there are only a couple of spots left. Chris will be co-teaching with me and we are changing things up just a little bit. If you are interested in a spot, email me soon. You can find out more about SnapShops under the info tab (or click here).

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  • Ryan - Yay! :)

  • Dana Howell - Would love to take one of your Snap shots classes but will only be in OK June 4th-July9th any suggestions? Thank you for your time.

  • Nikki - Gleeful Peacock - I meet Lori W and was told about this project. I am so impressed and it makes me so happy to know that people are so kind. Great blog and you did a wonderful job capturing it!