I offer a limit of 20 sponsor spots each month. If you are interested in being a December sponsor, the deadline is Nov. 25th.

If you would like more information, send me an email at ashley at ashleyannphotography dot com

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Steph - What a beautiful event and so many wonderful ideas! I love that you said just what I was thinking – wow, that many women in one room, could definitely be good and bad.

    Those cupcakes are so neat and unique looking – what fun!

    Those lampshades are killer, I love it.

The first night of The Christmas Gathering wrapped up last night (technically it was last night, but as I am writing this it is the early morning hours of today and I should be asleep). I’ll explain more about A Christmas Gathering on Monday, but I thought I’d share a peek of two of my favorite things from this year. These are made by my friend Lori…more info on her and how to make these on Monday.

My house is going to be covered in these flowers soon. ADORABLE.

About 1,200 women attend each night (so nearly 2,500 women total). This year I am helping with a DIY contest. A trusting friend gave me 2 $100.00 bills, the prizes for each night. Since they were a prize for a DIY contest I couldn’t just put them in a white envelope…had to make them cute, right? I folded each bill into a small section on one end of the envelope and sewed a ruffle & doily on the other end. Finished it off with a little baker’s twine.

As I sat back and admired my cute little envelopes I realized one envelope didn’t feel quite right. I SEWED THE END WITH THE $100.00 BILL!!! Oh my word, stupidity my name is Ashley. I had to get out my seam ripper and gently remove all the thread. I basically preforated the entire bill. Quite possibly my biggest diy mistake.

I couldn’t imagine going into a bank to exchange it and telling what I did. However, I had to get a new bill and I didn’t want to fess up to my mistake until I took care of it. I called a friend whose husband is a banker and asked if he would exchange it for me at the bank the next day. Well I went to meet him and he wasn’t there. I tried to tell the kind women helping me, but how do you explain…”Hi, I thought I’d cut up an old shirt and sew it on an envelope. In the process I sewed the old shirt ruflle to the $100.00 bill. Can you give me a new one that isn’t covered in holes?”

Be prepared for a long post on Monday….

By the way, thank you for your comments on yesterday’s post. I am sure it seems like I share a lot of personal things on this blog, but as my close friends know…I share about 10% here. I try to be real and just me….but this is only a part of me. Only a part of what our family is like. Only a part of what our home is like.Β  It is a big part of what I like to create and my love of photography, but in reality I am a fairly reserved, private person. I know it doesn’t seem like that here…I am grateful you feel like you know me and from what you know you think you might even like me. So thank you.

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Amy Coose - LOL, now that’s a story! I can’t wait to see the pics from the party. I’m so jealous I don’t have an event like this close to me.

  • Morgan - Love it!

    Just last week I was making the cutest little onesie for a friend who recently moved away from Texas and is pregnant, due next month, I painted the state of Texas on the front of the onesie, and then hand sewed a sweet little red felt heart over Austin. It was going with a card that said, “all your friends in Austin already love this baby!”

    I finished the onesie and was so excited for myself. I went to roll it up and tie twine around it just to find out that I had sewn the onesie together. Front to back. A baby was definitely not going to be able to get in there.


  • Buebau - That’s a great story to tell at the prize delivery :)

  • Linda - Oh, this is SOOOO something I would do!!! :-)

  • Andrea - Hi Ashley,

    I love your blog and look forward to checking it every morning! I find your ideas so inspiring and I always want to try them! This envelope is so adorable! I could totally see myself sewing through the bill too! What a neat way to decorate the envelope!

  • emily anderson - i just made some of those rose flowers for a baby shower…they are the easiest little craft ever!

  • amanda torres - That was utterly hilarious!

  • Alba - I think it’s quite funny and it could happen to anybody. do not worry!
    If I would live close to you and I would see you in the middle of the street, I would stop you and give you a big hug because you are making my days more enjoyable. For me , 14.15h on working days it’s a MUST !!!!

  • Hannah Schreiner - Too funny! I used to be a teller and you wouldn’t believe the crazy things we see. It would be no big deal for you to come in a switch it…they’d just put it in with all the other mutilated money and ship it back to the feds.. I’m excited to see how to make those cute Christmasy flowers!

  • colleen - Hey! Can’t wait for that monday post. As for feeling like i know you – i don’t really; but this little corner of the picture of your life that you share with me through your blog sure makes me wish that i did! It also makes me smile to think that one day, on the “other side”, i will get to know you and that will be great! I hope we get to be creative and crafty in Heaven!

  • Rebecca - Looking forward to Monday!

  • KaraM - Hilarious! The girls and I are so excited about The Christmas Gathering tonight!

  • SeaminglySarah - oops! I think you could’ve totally just explained the whole story to the bank teller. Excellent conversation starter! I’ve had my fair share of mistakes too. Sewing things in backwards or upside down one too many times. I’ll stay away from sewing with money though! =)

  • Holly - That’s too funny! Nice job on the envelopes though.

  • Marie - I LOVE those flowers! I’m going to the Christmas Gathering tonight and I’m SO excited!! I also LOVE your blog and read it daily!!

  • Stephanie - The Christmas Gathering was so much fun! I felt truly blessed for going and laughed a lot. The two pictures you have up are a couple of my favorites!!

  • Katie @ explanation required - Ha!! Don’t feel bad about that messed up bill. I worked in a bank for 8 years, 3 of those as a teller, and I’ve seen far, far worse. And who cares about a perforated bill when the envelope is so cute!

  • ashley jensen - Are those baby pom poms on that twig tree?! CuTe!! I really like the brown paper envelope (though the WHOLE package is stinkin’ cute). Silly things like that make me happy! I am working on a painted plate (as a christmas gift) like you posted and will email you a pic!

  • Karen - Ohhhhh, I hope you share how to make those fab paper/glitter roses!

  • Leanne - I totally would have done the same thing. so sad…

  • Alice H - Last night was fun! And it was nice to meet you. I hope you will post step-by-step directions for the Photo Lamps. I didn’t see a website for the lady who won :-(

  • Hollie - I can see myself doing the same thing – totally. I went to the Goodwill at lunch and bought cute striped knit t-shirts so I could make ruffles on my presents :) Thanks for the inspiration – can’t wait to see Monday’s post. Silver glitter is on my list too…

  • Kenyon - Do you know what’s funny? My mom showed me how to make those flowers yesterday with old book pages. It made me smile to see that someone else had the same idea.

    And PS: If you’re ever in Florida or I’m ever in Tulsa, I will definately say “hi”! Your posts have become an essential part of my weekday!

  • Kristin - I love getting to know this wonderful side of you. So fun and inspiring. I love your cash envelopes. I wouldn’t want to open them up – they’re so pretty – even knowing 100 bucks were waiting inside!

  • Bekki4 - Can’t wait to see more on Monday! I love those flowers and am in the process of making an entire wreath out of them. Here is a link to where I found the idea. Though you might be intrested also.


  • Ethel - I was hoping to get to say Hello last nite and tell you how much I love reading the blog and seeing your kiddos grow. We had such a fun evening. Thanks for all the hard work that goes into an event like that.

  • Heidi Meyer - Hi – my DIY friend, Ann, just sent me to your blog. I LOVE it! The Benjamin packaging is too cute and a funny story too (not far removed from something I would probably do). I completely get wanting to exchange the bills for those less perforated. Thanks for sharing a fun post – love the roses too! Blessings ~ Heidi

  • Lisa - Ashley, Thank you for sharing a little of your life, your family and your crafting! It gives me so much inspiration. And yes I read your blog and not just enjoy all the amazing pictures. The large picture of your four kids with just legs and feet is absolutely adorable and inspired me to go BIG with some of my amateur efforts at photographing our kids. I too love to catch them just having fun and being themselves. I recently captured a half posed and half being little people pic that is just precious to me. (ages 8, 6, 2 and 1) I found this great offer through another blog that I have been meaning to share with you for a FREE 8 x 10 canvas print – you only pay shipping. Here is the post for the free offer. http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/10/free-canvases-to-everyone.html I decided to go with a discounted large size and love it!! thank you again for the inspiration!

  • twirling betty - It’s always such a relief (and a giggle) to see other people do funny things like this. Makes me feel much more normal!

  • Jesse {GoodGirlGoneGlad} - I was there Thursday night. It was fun.

  • Carolyn - oh dear..for a minute there I thought the perforated bank note was some kind of design feature! :)

  • Kim - LOVE those flowers–please share. You may feel stupid, but your story is SO funny–at least to the rest of us.

  • Jeannette - Finally reading this and laughing even at midnight!

  • Hollye - I’m obessed with those flowers since Lori showed them at Christmas Gathering! I got up early this morning thinking I still had 2 twig wreaths in my closet that have been there for years & was going to make some flowers to put on them & they are not in my closet!!! Now I’m thinking all my picture frames need them! lol

  • Kelly - Ashley, I was just thinking about this again the other day! I am learning to sew McGyver style (I linked to you on that post) and I decided I would sew a strip of paper onto an envelope and I almost sewed it shut and then I remembered not to from your example. Thank you! :) Kelly

  • 5 on Friday: Under the Sycamore | - […] I have so many of these! The most recent was sewing a $100.00 bill inside and envelope! [see THIS post] It was a prize for a crafting contest and I thought I’d be creative by sewing ruffles […]

  • 5 on Friday: Under the Sycamore - […] I have so many of these! The most recent was sewing a $100.00 bill inside and envelope! [see THIS post] It was a prize for a crafting contest and I thought I’d be creative by sewing ruffles […]

Maybe you can help explain this…

On a regular basis people mention to Chris that they like my blog and regularly read it. Not a big deal. Simple conversation.

On a rare occasion does someone tell me that they read my blog. And if they do it is like a confession with a bit of embarrassment.

Why is that?

If you read my blog and see me somewhere, please introduce yourself and say “hi”. Writing a blog is a very one sided conversation most of the time. I read each and every one of your comments, but I am rarely able to squeeze the time to respond. It is so fun for me to meet people that actually like this blog. It is a fun creative outlet for me and is still surprising that people choose to read my craziness. So if you are local and you see me…say “hi”. If you attend the Christmas Gathering tonight or tomorrow night…I’ll be there, say “hi”. And that is that.


Since I can’t leave a post ending that way, I will answer one question that comes up in the comment section a lot. How do I hang plates on the wall? I use Disc Adhesive Plate Hangers. I get mine from Hobby Lobby, but I am sure they are sold many places. They are so easy to use and easily removed when you are done.

The Christmas Gathering is tonight and tomorrow night. I have been working a lot on that this week. I’ll post some pics tomorrow of some of it – including my biggest diy mistake thus far. Once I get this weekend behind me I am starting in on decorating my bedroom. Chris was getting concerned about me…it has been about a month since I was last working on a room…here’s some of what will be in my bedroom’s future:

Well this was short and sweet but I am off to get things ready for tonight…1200+ women tonight…it will be crazy.

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • julie m - O

    I had no idea such a thing existed…now my walls are going to be covered in plates!

  • colleen - Am praying for you and the women of your church right now. Our “BIG” woman’s Christmas event at my church just finished last night. 4 sessions, about 1,000 women! It is so much fun, but exhausting. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Don’t know what your weather is like but here in Birmingham, Alabama it has been in the 70’s so i needed a little push into the Christmas season!

  • brittany - Ashley, I read your blog every day – I see you about once or twice a year. When I ran into you at DFW airport I was impressed with both Chris & your parenting of your little ones. I knew they were at the end of their “goodness” and you were hanging onto sanity with both hands. (I know the balloons & doughnuts were a double blessing!)I want to say that your kiddos were so good on that flight to Tulsa! Your blog inspires me to be a better mommy and it reminds me that even though they are bigger, they still need an engaged, loving, ready to celebrate the every day parent. I appreciate you & I KNOW you’ll have a great time tonight!

  • Reidunn - I love your blog, and I would for sure walk up to you and say ‘hi’ if I ever was in your corner of the world and spotted you on the streets. For now I can only tell you via email or the comment section.
    (But maybe people feel like they are stalking you, and thats the reason for their embarrassment?)
    The colors you’ve chosen for what I’m guessing will be some kind of wallpainting, look great. Good luck with both the room makeover and your christmas gathering.

  • Holly - All I can say is “people can be weird”. If I saw you I would probably hug you and start babbling about how much I love your blog and your eyes would dart from left to right trying to find an escape. Anyhoo, I’m getting rid of my claw-like plate hangers right now and getting those disks, how cool is that? Have fun tonight!

  • Shoshana K - I’ll say it loud and clear…I LOVE YOUR BLOG. And reading it makes me happy. I cannot wait to see the next posts and check it almost everyday. Keep it up and don’t stop!!!!!

  • Melissa - I would most definitely say hello to you if I ever saw you but unfortunately, I’m miles away in Indianapolis so the chances are unlikely. And actually, I would probably run and give you a huge huge hug if I ever saw you. And say thank you for being such an inspiration and beautiful person!

  • Kari - I love your blog! I’m glad you’re on facebook too! You are an inspiring young woman, who is not only very talented, but a wonderful example to mother’s around the world! Thank you for taking time out of your crazy, busy day to connect with the rest of us, via Under the Sycamore!

  • amy - i have one of my grandmothers wedding plates that i’ve been wanting to hang but didn’t think it was possible.. thanks for that!

  • Gevay - I too love you blog and being in South Florida the chances of me seeing you are slim to none, but I am with Holly and Melissa. I’d be so ridiculously excited to see you, you’d probably run for the hills. Thanks for sharing your life with us and giving us all inspiration to strive for a simple but beautiful existence.

  • Amy - I am with Holly!! If I ever saw you I would start talking to you like we were BFF’s, “so how is that pallet bed working out? I tried the doiley canvas bags, did yours bleed a little around the edges? So what how is the teething going, have you tried…” HAHA! Love the blog, it is how I start each weekday!

  • Kim - Although I live NOWHERE near you (Washington D.C.) I am sure that I would act the same way. The best way to describe it would be that even though I think you would be entirely friendly and approachable I wouldn’t want to come off as crazy or stalker like! It’s almost that even though you share your life on your blog there is still quite a bit that I am sure is quite a bit that you don’t and I wouldn’t want to seem intrusive. I met PW when she was here signing books and as much as I thought I would remain cool I totally blabbered on. But I will gush for a second and say I found your blog from a link on smitten kitchen and it’s the first blog I read every morning. I don’t have kids yet but will hopefully start a family soon and I love your realism about having kids. I also love the photography pointers (as well as the photos) and I am doing two of your DIY’s for Christmas presents!

  • Crystal - I LOVE your blog!!! A friend invited me to the Christmas Gathering last year & I’ve been hooked to your blog ever since!!! You do amazing DIY projects and I love your photography tips!! I will be there tonight, so if I see you, I’ll be sure to say hi, well that is if I can get through the mob of other people wanting to talk to you! Ever think about hiring a security guard? Ha!

  • Sabrina L - I love your blog and read it daily. I have no idea what I would do if I ever saw someone whose blog I read in real life. I think I would feel like some crazy stalker who has somehow managed to infiltrate myself into your life. :) So maybe that’s why people come off as embarrassed!

  • Shannon - For me my favorite bloggers are like celebrities! If I saw you on the street, or anywhere for that matter, I would probably clam up and act like a teenage girl seeing the Jonas Brothers. Ha!

    I hope your church activity goes well tonight, and can’t wait to see what all that paint and vintage art is going to be for your room! And thanks for the tip on the plate hangers! I find them online, but I hate paying shipping, knowing they are at HL is very very nice!

  • Anna Marie - Oh girl, if I ever made the almost 5 hour trip down there and I saw you, you better believe I would come up to you. I would also want to get a picture with you so I could do some blog bragging πŸ˜€ Better yet, I would contact you ahead of time and tell you that I am coming down and arrange a coffee date or such (or a play date…my 3-yr-old would fit right in with your kiddos). Yes indeed! I actually have a dear friend in Tulsa so maybe one day it could happen. You never know! Have fun tonight!

  • CharlaL - I wouldn’t Care WHERE i spotted you. I would NOT only introduce my self, I would probably HUG you!!!! Hoping some of you crafty genius would rub off on me!!

  • CharlaL - p.s. watch out tonight…WILD HORSES couldn’t keep me away!!!

  • Andrea - I enjoy your blog so very much! I have told many that you are my favorite photographer of all times. I have never met anyone who has a blog that I follow. I think I would be star struck if I ever ran into one by chance. I love knowing that you enjoy comments. Sometimes I feel that leaving a comment to someone I do not know is a bother to them. Please keep sharing your amazing life!

  • Becca - Okay okay, I haven’t met you yet, but I did meet someone who KNOWS you…..how about that? He works (or worked) at a camera or photography store in tulsa….Todd Walker. He is the photographer for my husbands new business venture and I CONFESSED to him that I followed your blog and you were also out of the Tulsa area. He said, oh I know Ashley….she used to come in my store! So fun! So my husbands new business is actually based out of Tulsa (although we live on the SC Coast) so hopefully i’ll make my way there sometime. THEN I’d love to meet you!

  • Steph - I am SO GLAD you posted where to get those plate hangers! Thank you! I’ve looked for them, but hadn’t found them. The plates I have hanging on my wall are hung with those springy hooks, and I don’t care for them.

    BTW: I read your blog (new find for me), and I really appreciate you. I like to surround myself with creative people like you because that makes ME more creative, and if there’s one thing I want to make sure of it’s that I continue to grow in creativity. Otherwise life would be so boring!

    If I may ask, what are the two images you posted for your “bedroom to be”? Are they old pictures, lithographs, postcards? They’re fabulous! If I had smooth walls, I’d have my DH use them to paint a mural for me!

  • Jen - Hi there~ I live in Iowa, so the chances of running into you in person are pretty slim, but I do kinda feel like I’m a “stalker” because I’ve never met you, yet feel like I know you! Your blog is truly inspiring and I’ve shared a lot of your posts with my teacher colleagues. We are a Leader In Me school which is based on Covey’s 7 Habits and a big emphasis is finding those “big rocks” in your life and making sure they are a priority. You live by that model and are a great reminder to me when sometimes my “big rocks” become pebbles! Keep inspiring:)…and your photographs are beautiful!

  • Jenny - If I am ever in OK I will hope I run into you so I can actually meet you and tell you in person that reading your blog is often the highlight of my day at work. :) Thanks for always being so honest – I think that is part of what makes this blog so special and makes so many people come back for more.

  • Shannon - I probably won’t ever run into you because I live in a tiny little town in upstate NY lol, but I would love to although I would probably clam up. I am very shy and I think I would view you as a celebrity and not know what to do!

  • Sabine - Ashley, I can’t imagine that there are people out there, who have the great opportunity to see you and don’t say HI. Or maybe they want to, but are just to shy. I’m pretty sure that I will never have the luck to meet you out on the streets – I’m living in the middle of Germany – however, I feel very lucky that I stumbled over your blog! I follow your life day by day, and I enjoy it sooo much! Take care, Sabine

  • ashley jensen - Well seeing as I kinda know you since we went to school together I would definitley say hi!! I just wish I would have known you better back then because I think you are a wonderful person. I am not ashamed to read your blog! But I agree with others that have mentioned the “stalker” feeling! Oh and I just saw the cutest plate I wanted to buy to hang on the wall but hate the springy claws so I didn’t get it. I will go buy it now since you posted the plate hangers from Hobby Lobby! *squeals*

  • anne c - so funny..I have been wondering about the plates..so thanks for clearing that up! also, I probably wouldn’t just be able to say “hi” if I ever ran into you. I would need a big ole hug…I mean, I would ask if that is ok first. since I live in SC it isn’t likely I will just run into you..but maybe one day :) if i’m lucky! p.s. I have always wanted to hear your voice too…haha. anyway, have fun tonight!

  • KaraM - The Christmas Gathering!!!! Me and my friends will be there tomorrow night. We’ll say hi! To answer your question: maybe its that we all figure you hear it all the time! πŸ˜€

  • Sissel Byington - I wish I were in Tulsa for this event. I’ll be in Pittsburgh, which isn’t all that close. 1200 women in one room, just think of the vibe and energy…..love it!! Have a great time. If I ever see you around……I’m saying HELLO!!

  • Sarah - I will be at christmas gathering tonight and I will make sure and say hi! Maybe most people dont say anything is because its like youre a celebrity and we dont want to be the annoying fans. I do love your blog and your husband has been a great mentor to a friend of mind. So for all of that, thanks!

  • Mary Craig - I read your blog everyday- its’ my favorite- and if I saw you in real life I’d probably get really shy and intimidated and be afraid to talk to you! Dumb, I know. I’m 34, not 14. But, that’s probably why a lot of people don’t speak up!

  • erika - I read your blog through Google Reader. It was referred to me by my best friend who also reads it. I can’t remember how she found your blog… She lives in Tulsa (where we both went to HS), so I want to say it’s some sort of Tulsa connection, but it’s been awhile, so I can’t recall.

    Anyway, just wanted to say “hi” since I don’t think I would ever run into you while out and about. πŸ˜‰

  • Lacey McKay - How funny that you posted this because I woke up this morning thinking “I might get to meet Ashley Ann today!” My next thought was “What in the heck am I going to say to her?” HA! I’m nervous about meeting you!

  • Julie B - I’m glad you said something because I would probably feel a little shy coming up to you. Although if we both had all of our kids it could be quite overwhelming to anyone around us. 2 adults 8 kids all under 7. I’m sure someone would say we had our hands full, lol! I’m surprised I haven’t seen you yet, according to your photography we frequent some of the same spots.

    Oh and a big thank you for telling everyone about those plate holders. A few months ago I was considering them vs the traditional ones and I opted for the traditional simply because I had no idea if those would work. I have about 10 more plates to hang and I am for sure getting those. In fact I better hit up the Hobby Lobby today before they are all sold out!

  • Haley - Well I don’t know that we will ever cross paths but I love your blog and read it everyday because you are so creative and just awesome in general and I love a good diy project! Haley in Idaho :)

  • Danielle H. - Well, because of your wonderful post about The Christmas Gathering in October, my aunt and I bought tickets for tomorrow night and will be driving up there from Dallas. I would have never introduced myself simply because I wouldn’t want to seem “stalkerish” or wouldn’t want to “bother” you. So, I’ll try to scope you out tomorrow night! So excited!

  • LaurenS - hey ashley! you don’t know me, but i sorta know you. we’ve never met, but i think you know my husband will stewart from obu. i think him, you, and chris were around the same age??? i also went to obu but am a few years younger so we never met. anywhoo i read your blog and i love it!! and if you don’t remember will then forget i ever wrote this while i crawl in my shell. :)

  • cheree - The blogging world is a strange and wonderful place. If I had the chance to meet you in person, I totally would. Since I live in several states away from you, I settle for talking about your blog posts with my sister – we always joke that you are our “friend” even though we don’t really know you. We do live through your projects and ideas and creativity. It inspires us to improve our own lives in creative ways.

  • Mariah - Hi Ashley. I read your blog. I’m confessing! :) I think maybe people don’t say anything to you, because when you read someone’s blog that is as personal as yours, you almost feel as if you know that person. Which is strange, because logically you know that you do not. I am pretty sure that the Pioneer Woman and I are BFFs, only, we’ve never met. So it would be a little awkward if I met her on the street and tried to give her a hug and tell her how cute her kids are. I am betting it’s the same with you. People obviously love your blog, but might feel like a stalker telling you how much they love it, and how cute Firecracker is, and how they love your new diningroom chairs, and so on. But the next time I see you at Starbucks, or Target, I’m saying hi!

  • Tracy - Hi Ashley! I read you blog everyday – I am a friend of Sarah W. in KY! I actually got my sister hooked on your blog too! Thanks!

  • Michelle - I love the disc hangers too and use them in my dinning room. . . but just wanted to caution folks about using them with plastic plates. . . they don’t work with plastic (no matter how cute the plate is). Otherwise they are awesome!

  • ingrid blanchette - here is a hello from a daily reader in so.cal! l.o.v.e your blog!

  • Kristen D - it’s because you are a celebrity of sorts in people’s mind. I saw a popular Utah blogger at Costco one day. I think I had the celebrity shock and didn’t dare say hi, even though I read and enjoyed her blog everyday. I also think that everyone else must bug her and so I wanted to give her her privacy. If I saw you, I would probably want to do the same thing, although, now I know that you would want me to say hi, so I would try (without seeming like a crazy lady).

  • Danielle M. - I agree with Mariah – it’s a little awkward (for us shy folk) to go up to someone and confess that you’re a HUGE fan or their blog, their work, their kids and their baby girl nursery design… it’s a bit like admitting that you’ve been spying in the dining room window all these years.
    But thanks for putting the question out there! Now I know that if I do ever see you in person, I’ll be sure to say hello!

  • hillary - i would love to meet you and wish i lived in the same town as you so i could see you out and about. i’ve heard from a family member where you go to church and have thought about visiting in hopes to see you but i’m just as shy as everyone else seems to be and would probably feel stupid coming up to you! maybe just maybe someday i’ll get the chance! :)

  • Liz R. - Well, if I ever see you walking around San Diego, I’ll be sure to say hello!

  • Lisa Johnson - Hi Ashley! I’ve been reading your blog from WAY back now. In fact, Bekah and I were talking just the other day- we remember being “introduced” to you during the December ice storm of 2007 when my then-engaged to my brother-in-law friend, Brooke, showed us your website when we were all gathered one night late at church because it had electricity and we were all bored at home :)
    We’ve been devoted fans ever since! I remember feeling a bit awe-struck when I got to meet you for the first time simply because I felt like a stalker :) But, seriously, when we’ve been to your house, I always feel like I’m about to visit Oprah or something. Haha
    Keep up the great work on the blog! It’s my absolute favorite, and I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up for the bedroom!

  • meg duerksen - a plate hanger?!! that is brilliant.
    i had no idea that existed!
    thank you ashley!

    you will do great tonight.
    i wish i was there to see it.

  • Marie - If I didnt live across the country, and happened to bump into you somewhere, I would be sure to ask you if you were the babysitter and follow by telling you, “Boy, you have your hands full”!! All kidding aside, its probably strange for people to see you around, and know you and your family, and what your house looks like, etc., even though YOU have no clue who they are. Maybe they think it will creep you out. But if I am ever in your neck of the woods and see you around I will be sure to say hello!

  • stacey - Mrs. Ashley Ann,

    Plain and simple i am a fan of your blog. The asthetics of your blog drew me in and your content hooked me. I’m not a photographer but I enjoy looking at your pictures. I dig your style. Your use of colors and all things reused is my current decorating inspiration. :)

    Honestly I’d probably be a little sheepish if I ever saw you because it feels a little stalker-ish (I live in MS so the chances of our meeting is slim.) BUt it’s good to know you’d welcome the invitation.

    I do have a quick question. What craft book would you reccommend? Martha Stewart’s Craft Encyclopedia?

    Thanks so much for sharing your life in the blog world!


  • Moriah - Your blog is a morning routine for me. Cup of coffee and your blog the moment I get to work. :-) And, I wish I was local, I feel like we could be friends… wait that sounds a little funny, but really, I love the inspiration, the diy projects and comparing our little ones, who are about the same age. Thanks so much and good luck tonight, wish I could be there.

  • Amy - I love your blog and tell everyone I know about things I read from you but I think I might be embarrassed too. Not embarrassed that I read it but that I would seem like a stalker that would talk like a crazy person to someone I don’t know but read about everyday. Maybe that all that it is. I love your daily life and your words of wisdom and that there are still families that value God as much as my family. Thank you so much for sharing your life and family.

  • Jennie Frake - Blogs are kind of a weird thing. It feels like you are snooping around in someone’s diary or flipping through their picture albums in their living room. It takes a lot of confidence (…and time) to put your life out there for everyone to see. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written a long post about something important to me and deleted it and posted a pic of Molly instead. I think we all love you for your openness. Yes we all love your creativity, inspiration, DIY posts, adorable kids, and funny stories but most of all its just refreshing to see the day-to-day stuff. I used to just follow your blog for photography inspiration but I like that its always changing. Keeps us on our toes! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ryan - I will say this much: I’ve had the chance to meet a few well-known bloggers in my life. The other bloggers I’ve met have not been as gracious or warm as the lovely author of Under the Sycamore.

    So, everyone should stop and say hi when they see Ashley out and about. And, when she’s with her kids, make sure to ask if she’s the babysitter. :)

  • bopha - so, are you also saying that it’s okay for me to say hi to your sister’s husband, since I stalk her blog as well?

  • Ashley - People always say to me (especially friends) “I have a confession, I read your blog all the time.” Umm, ok that is what it is there for? Cracks me up almost every time.

    If I ever saw you out and about I would definitely say hi. But since I’m a bit north of you I guess I’ll have to settle with leaving you a comment.

  • melanie - Wow that plate hanger is from Niwot, CO? That’s my neck of the woods! How cool.

    Oh and if I were ever lucky enough to run into you IRL, I would totally shriek and give big hugs and THEN confess my blog crush on you. So don’t be freaked out. xo

  • Rachel Ann - If I still lived in Oklahoma I would march right up to you and say “hi”! I’d tell you how much you inspire me to become a better photographer and to be more ‘crafty’ but then I’d start picking your brain about Hawaii. The week after you post about your family going to Oahu I moved there with my husband from Oklahoma City. I know you get a million comments and questions, but if you get a chance I’d love your recommendations on places to explore on the island! It was so refreshing to see the Ace Hardware when you made your post. We actually found that store on the island and my husband shouts “There’s the Ace that AshleyAnn blogged about!” It was funny, I think he got a little embarassed about how excited he was. We are major projecters and crafters, and will continue to follow your blog forever!!!



  • Christina - I LOVE reading your blog.. mostly because you give me hope that I can be creative too. :) I live in California, but if I lived in your town and saw you, I’d say hi!

  • Beth I - I am sure that people just don’t want to seem like a crazy stalker if they see you somewhere. That is my guess.:)

    Love the plate hanger tip…didn’t know these exsisted either. I love having those kind of ah-ha moments.

  • giozi - Yes yes yes I want to see your big mistake, he he he I’m bad he he he.
    I love your blog, but you know that. I love it since first time that I read.
    Today I’m very very veeeeeeeeeeeeeery happy.
    I was 3 days with fever, I was feeling awful, Yesterday I had 39,2ΒΊC and I don’t feel good to do a post, but today I went to the doctor, I came with my antibiotics, and now, 2 hour later that I drank everything I feel good. I FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL GOOOOOOOOOOD. so good, so nice πŸ˜€

  • Alice H - I will be there tonight!!! If I see you in the mix of all us crazy women, I will definitely say Hello!

  • chantelle - Hi Ashley,
    I wished I lived closer so I may run into you! I live in Saskatchewan (try saying that three times fast!) in a snow lovers paradise, unfortunatly I am a beach lover land locked with the love of my husband!(SK ishoem to both of us!) Snow-today we have had 4+ inches an it is only noon. Uhhg. I love ALL your crafting tips and hope you write parenting segment someday-just like your top 10 photo tips I’d drink up a top ten toddler tips! We travel a bit so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you at airports!

  • jennie - you are so funny! I know exactly how you feel!

    So, HI! i’m jennie. I’m not local. I live in AZ and am ADDICTED to your blog. i check it everyday. sometimes multiple times. am i sounding creepy yet?? haha I adore you

  • Holly Panter - not local
    total lurker πŸ˜‰


  • Kara - I will be there tomorrow night..if I see u I will be sure and wave! So excited to sit w a room full of women and enjoy a girls night out!

  • Sarah - I am not local. From WISCONSIN! Love the blog. Regular reader.. and if I can not squeeze the time in… when I do get on here… I check all our your posts I missed!

  • jennie sanders - i absolutely love your blog! I’m glad you shared the fact that you would like us to say hello. I guess we all feel pretty dorky because i feel like i know you so well through reading your blog. But actually i’m a stranger!well sort of. We went to first baptist together and obu but i am a few years younger than you. i remember you and Chris from college. He actually invited me and my friend Myra to your wedding the weekend before and we came!!!sorry! random info there.

  • FullertonRegan - Ha! You know, I HATE it when people tell me, face-to-face, that they read my blog. I don’t mind getting an email saying that, but I got SO EMBARRASSED when people tell me that in person. It’s like I write it only for myself and strangers and there’s a comfort in that, but if someone I know has read it I freak out and feel exposed. Isn’t that weird? If my closest and bestest girlfriends read it then no biggie – they know more about me than I’d EVER share on the internet – but all the co-workers and acquaintances and stuff? Total heebie jeebies!

  • Kristy C - I hope all goes well tonight. I have no worries, I know you and the other women of the church are amazing and it will be an amazing two nights!

  • caro - i understand those people who didn’t tell you ” I READ YOUR BLOG “, because is like gosssip, we know about your life and we love know about it. (My english is not good yet, sorry) I’ll be ashamed. But I love your blog. From Chile, Caro

  • Alecia - Hey Ashley, just a hi from Southern California – I love your blog and have read it daily for a long time – its the first thing I do after my son goes down for his nap. Would you do a blog post on gifts you have made for Chris? I am stumped as to what to make for my husband for Christmas this year. Thanks!!

  • eeny - I would definitely say “hi” if I ever see you. But I guess chances are very little as I live in Germany =)

  • the whyte house - huh.
    i chalk it up to your love of meg. a lot of people love her and read her blog, as well. however, she’s shy, so when people come up to her and say “hi, i read your blog”, she openly admits that she’s a shy gal and it kinda makes her feel weirded out. when i saw her husband last year, i so badly wanted to tell him how much i enjoyed his wife’s blog, but she’s said that he’s a shy guy, too, so not wanting to traumatize him, i refrained. :)

    you, however, don’t mention that stuff. so maybe if they’ve read it on meg’s they think all bloggers are like that?? i don’t know…or else your readers are holding back their excitement so they don’t seem like a stalker. oh, that could DEFINITELY be the case! haha.

    i would never think about not saying “i follow the blog” to either you or chris, but that’s only cause i know a little more about chris. i mean he was always a walking pep rally at the I-High…he’d walk into choir and the class would immediately be in a good mood. and with you being married to him i would just assume that God designed an equally gifted wife, just as outgoing as him, and expect you to happily greet blog readers… but that’s just me. :)

  • Dana Reeves - Can I just say that somehow I stumbled across your blog and I just LOVE it!!! You are one talented lady!!! I enjoy looking at all your many photos and projects. Thanks, for being so down to earth and warm to all us.

  • Renay - So the other day, I was just imagining these plate hangers. I was thinking that someone needs to invent them….haha…I had no idea that they were actually invented already!!! And to think that I thought that I had discovered every nook of Hobby Lobby….guess not. I need some.

  • Courtney - So if I ever saw you in public…like I would…I live in Florida, I would lavish you with praise and glory, crafty and a Mama of four littles…oh my! You are a walking, talking, crafty deity in my book! Love the adhesive plate hooks…must find those soon!

  • Heather G. - This was a great post. We have never met. I believe I ran across your blog about 6 months ago from Smile and Wave. Ever since, I check in on you a couple of nights a week. I did start feeling guilty and wondered why I hadn’t subscribed..so I did. I don’t feel guilty anymore! :)

    Your blog is fantastic! I have shared it with my girlfriends, and a cousin too! Your kiddos are so entertaining and I love your style. Keep doing what your doing!! :) ~ Heather

  • maegan - I use those same exact plate hangers for my plates. Love them! And if I am ever in the Tulsa area, and I see you, I will for sure say hello!

  • Jezreel - Hi Ashley :)

    i enjoy reading your blog. i live here in the Philippines and everyday, i read your blog everyday.:) keep inspiring through your work. God bless you and your family. (my first comment here :) )

  • Danielle - Ashley, I know I said in my email that I thought it was creepy that I check your blog on the daily. However, that isn’t necessarily the creepy part. The creepy part is that I’d love to be a fly on the wall in your home. I think you have the funniest posts and most adorable photos of your family. When I think of having children in the future, I want to do things with them that you do with your children. So no, reading your blog isn’t creepy. I love it. However, wanting to be a fly on your wall might be a little weird haha! I hope that the Christmas Gathering went well. I’m sure you hit it outta the park!

  • jade - Okay Ashley… why did I not know about these??? Goodness gracious. Thanks hon! xo

  • Noel - Love your blog, Ashley. I read it regularly in Hong Kong!

  • Brooke Whitis - I’m not sure if I commented yet or not…but can I just tell you…if I lived in OK, I would be your (forced) best friend. I just would. You wouldn’t be able to get rid of me. I would just follow you around, watching your awesome design, photography and parenting. Weird? Maybe. But doesn’t the bible say that women should raise up and teach younger women? So what if we’re probably the same age? :)

    Seriously though, I hope last night went well!

  • emily anderson - i would for sure be fist pumping with you if i saw you on the streets.

  • Natalie - interesting comments! I’m relatively new to your blog- but if you’re ever in Chicago I’d come to where you are and tell you thanks for blogging! I’ll tell you I dream that my blog would be half, even a fourth as interesting as you- but I am not crafty, stink at taking photographs, and seldom think of fun things to write about. I also update it about once a month- not the best way to retain readers- although my life IS an open book. I never learned the art of being reserved. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

  • sonja - It is such a strange phenomenon, the blog reader dilema. I have friends that I KNOW read mine, but never will say a word. Strange. It makes me feel like they don’t like the blog, but then, why do they read it?

    Anyways, I’m kind of new to your blog, and it’s one that I keep returning to! It’s wonderful. I’m Canadian, so the chances of us ever meeting are super slim, but I think I would say hi!

  • Carly - I think people get shy and feel like they’re meeting someone famous in a situation like that. I ran into my husband yesterday by chance at the grocery store during his lunch break and got all giddy like I was a teenager talking to the popular boy I had a crush on. It could be like that for some. :-) I love your blog and craftiness though.

  • Joy - I enjoy your blog and cheerful inspiration and encouragement. I am especially inspired by your discipline in taking time just to “be” with your kids. Love that, and it inspires me to stop and breathe. If I saw you in person, I would probably be a dork and not say anything, cause I would be feeling like a crazy stalker. I think this phenomenon is no reflection on you, but on people like me prone to awkward goofiness.

  • Crystal - I really enjoy your blog!!! Seriously, you have great ideas and I even hope to do some at some point in this crazy life. Thanks for sharing yours. :)

  • Melissa Biggs - I love reading your blog too. I read it all the way down here in Australia. Your blog is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us…

  • michele - seriously. if i ran into you on the street, not only would i say i read your blog, but i’d probably follow you around and beg you to take me home with you so i could see your amazing house and land and kids, then force you to pull out your camera so we could have a photography play date, then i’d want to craft something. so there.

  • Sherly - Hi Ashley,
    I think your blog is so wonderful & inspiring! I love love love reading it. And if i ever see you (in the US or here in Shanghai) I’d definitely say hi.. πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing your blog.

  • Becky - Okay, I LOVE your blog and I read your blog, and we have never met – but if you insist on making new friends I will make my presence known.
    Also, if I saw you I would recognize you and I would definitely say hello, it always is just a bit harder for me to say hello via the interwebs.

  • Becky - And in the interest of full disclosure, a few weeks ago I tried to make that cute Christmas planner but mine turned out pretty ugly.
    So I used YOUR pictures when I wrote about it on my blog.
    But I did SAY they were yours, and linked back to your blog.
    Whew. Got that off my chest. :)

  • Angela Butler - Thank you for this post!! I thought about asking you “How do you hang your plates?” but it seemed pretty trivial and such a bother for you. Needless to say I am thrilled! My daughter told me about your blog and I have been reading it for about a month. I enjoy it and thanks for all the ideas and info.

  • Sharon Arnoldi - I read your blog, I share it with friends, I absolutely adore it. I’m in Colorado so I’ll probably never run into you but your crafts are so cute and fun, photographs amazing, posts are so relaxing for me in my current crazy life. When I have kids I will definitely craft with them and I will probably be referencing your blog for ideas πŸ˜‰

  • Heather - I’m in Canada and check out your blog regularly. I love your photography as well. Thank you for all the lovely inspiration that you provide here.

  • phoebegrant - I stash the blogging in google reader and savour them en masse when I have time to browse. I yearn for a storage cabinet like yours – completely renovated of course! Another shy English girl.