I write a contributing post to two different blogs each month. How I ended up doing these for two blogs with similar names is beyond me. I realize it is confusing for those of you that are not regular followers on those sites. Once a month I contribute a DIY post on Design*Sponge and one on Design Aglow. The two sites are not related to eachother…other than the fact you can get inspiration overload from both. Design Aglow is a resource for photographers. For my posts on Design Aglow I am using their products in a non-conventional way. Today my most recent project for Design Aglow will be published. Though the focus is some of their templates you can find ideas for gift wrap on it as well. If you are looking for beautiful gift ideas I recommend visiting The Giver’s Log.

So here are a few ‘behind the scenes’ of my Design Aglow project:

When you have young kids people always tell you that you are going to miss it when they grow up…they say it whenever you want to complain about something. Well you know what…I am out of the pacifier stage and I don’t miss crawling around a nursery floor in the middle of the night trying to find one. I am on the verge of being out of the highchair phase and I’ve never been so excited to get rid of a piece of furniture. When I am trying to be creative I have 2 little ones unrolling ribbon, tearing my beloved Amy Butler paper, dumping glitter and all in my business. I don’t think I’ll miss this type of contribution to my crafting.

She kept stealing a package of trim to push around in her stroller. If you put a doll in the stroller she throws it to the ground, but she loves pushing my stuff. When I went to retrieve it – disappeared. I still don’t know where she stuck it…

The second photo is what it looked like when I was photographing the gifts for the Design Aglow post. I stood between the window and the table.

The project involves gift wrapping. My mom had bought FireCracker an adorable little shirt with polka dot sleeves. She wore it all the time and then got a massive stain down the front. It was beginning to be a crop top anyway, so instead of throwing it away I cut up the unstained pieces to save in my scrap fabric bin. One of the sleeves came in handy for this project.

You can visit Design Aglow to see the full project and details.

In other news, I was a long time Facebook holdout. Not anymore. This week I have figuring out how to enable others to share pictures on my wall. I’ve asked those that follow my Facebook page to share pictures of things they make that were from tutorials I’ve posted or inspired by something on this blog. I can’t tell you how fun it is for me to see these pictures. Every now and then someone will email me a picture or send me a link to something they have made, but it doesn’t happen often. It is fun to see that some of you actually try the things I post here. I wanted to share a few of the pictures from the Under the Sycamore facebook page.

I will note you have to “like” the Under the Sycamore page to get feed updates. If I am only your ‘friend’…you’ll never see any updates because I don’t update my Ashley Ann Campbell wall…just the blog wall.

Onto some reader pictures:

There are so many more pictures on Facebook, but I wasn’t sure if the owners wanted me to share them here. I will share a blog link to a beautiful shower…but the Facebook ones you’ll have to go check out for yourself.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to check out the Design Aglow post!

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • giozi - Just yesterday I mentioned you, and design aglow and wrapping ha ha ha what a coincidence πŸ˜‰

    Upss I’m so glad to see one picture (baby food jars) of mine in your blog. I’m veeeeeeeeeeeery happy !!!

  • tasha roe - you have a great spot in your kitchen for taking pictures! the lighting is AWESOME!!
    love seeing the behind the scene shots. the process is what’s fun to me.
    thanks for including my baby shower. that totally made my crappy-sleep deprived-out of coffee creamer day!!

  • Hannah Bunker - Aw! Thanks for including the bird “painting!” I’m so honored! πŸ™‚

    And can I say, that if I ever got a present from you that looked like any of the ones you posted…it would cause me serious pain to unwrap it because it’s so pretty! haha! Love it!

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d - I love your wrapping! I was also planning to use recycled kraft paper as wrapping, going for a ‘brown paper packages tied up in strings’ look. Can’t wait to read the Design Aglow post!

  • Mary - Hooray for facebook! And I just have to ask…did you make that red fabric flower you used to wrap the box? It’s lovely. πŸ™‚

  • brittany - I made the rainbow cake for my daughters birthday this past week! I appreciate all the pictures with your kids while you craft – it makes me happy πŸ™‚

  • Meadowlark - I used to agree with you on the “won’t miss it” until now when the “baby” is 23 and expecting a baby of his own. (well, she’s expecting. he’s waiting). It’s those moments when it all rushes back – the fat little feet, the intense looks of concentration, those pudgy little faces … seriously, you will miss it. You are blessed to have this blog to document your babies.

    and thanks for the crafty stuff too. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Doerfler - i love your DesignAglow posts, and now love your blog too. I had to comment this time because I giggled reading about your littles. hee hee! hang in there sister! the truth is that you miss the cuddly times and the toothless grins, but not the “help”! this year i have had a hard time realizing that i am no longer a mom of toddlers – my littlest little is in jrK and my oldest is 3rd grade (with a 1st grader in between). I miss the fat cheeked gummy grins and the pudgy busy hands but what a morning i had today watching my big boy in his coat and tie singing on stage with his 3rd grade classmates! there are good things to come…and that’s why we photograph it all right? to remember the days of baby and toddler hood (and everything after that too!!!) thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • Kim - ooo so excited to see this packaging just the extra inspiration I needed !!! Thanks

  • Laurie J - love the wrapping! I can so relate to little hands taking everything and scattering it around. As I write this I’ve got playdoh in places I’m not sure I’ll be able to locate 100% today! And now my youngest son just jumped on the couch….and missed. Good thing he’s the tough one. You amaze me with how much you get done in a day πŸ™‚ love reading your blog

  • Maueen - I am so with you. I was at a mall a month ago trying to navigate my niece’s stroller through the way to narrow isles and said, “I don’t miss strollers at all” Then I was at a museum with three kids and no coat room, carrying 4 coats, and I said, “I miss my stroller”

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Miss Not-Missing,
    Sounds like your Firecracker is more of a shopping type than a mothering one! There are things about these stages you will miss but the things that drive you crazy are the part that make you so you don’t crawl into a dark depressed hole due to the passing of time… smile and move on!

    That’s How We Roll in NE

  • hearttypat - I love that first picture at the last row of the submitted pictures. Can’t take my eyes off the wall color! Anybody knows similar color paint in that shade?

  • Cherish Stockdale - these are awesome, love how all the projects turned out wonderfully! πŸ™‚

  • Ashlee - I feel so giddy to have something I did (inspired by you of course!) on your blog!!!!

  • shawna [of styleberryBLOG] - thanks for adding my picture to the post! I have a little “stuff” pusher too…wonder where they learn that stuff…??! creative mamas! πŸ™‚

  • Amber - Really cute packages, Ashley. Love the variety of textures, supplies, etc. Just out of curiosity, did you mark who they were all to elsewhere? It would be my luck that Grandma would open the gift intended for Baby Sister. πŸ™‚

  • nori - ashley… you are such a sweet soul! thank you SO much for the shout out in your design aglow post.

    blessings to you and your beautiful family… nori

  • MelissaM - Ashley, I loved your gift wrapping/gift tags tutorial you posted! However, I cannot afford the $215 worth of printable downloads for the 4 sets of gift tag templates you suggested. I know there are tons of free downloads available, but get overwhelmed when I search through google. Do you know any good websites that offer free downloads? Thank you!

  • Shannon Phillips - I love seeing all of the creations inspired by you! How awesome!!

  • Pleasant Vonnoh - I LOVE the idea of cutting up old/stained clothing for scraps! I’m so glad I came across your blog thanks to your inspiring posts over at Design Aglow!

  • Mindy - Figgin cute!!!

  • Mindy - ****Friggin forgot the R. Ha.

  • Crystal - I’m so excited my picture made it on your blog!

  • Lila - I really love the look of your presents. I think it is so much fun to make packages magical to open, I really think it adds to the gift. You inspired me to go out and get brown postal paper and doilies πŸ™‚

  • amanda torres - So cool! I love that ‘grandma’ looked at you like you were crazy, but thought it completely sane to let 4 little kids go in a store with a complete stranger. I’m bewildered.

  • sarah - hello! i found you via the lovely clusters. your site caught my attention because i too live in oklahoma and am a fellow blogger.

    your blog is just lovely. i will come back and visit.
    cheers xoxo sarah

Over the last year a few of you have left comments about my MacGyver-ish ways. Whether the comparison is meant as a compliment or not, I always take it as one. I am HUGE MacGyver fan. The man could create anything out of nothing. He never did things the correct way, but made do with what he had and made it work. It wasn’t technically correct, but it worked…which is the whole point. The more I thought about it, the more it made me laugh. “MacGyver Crafting” that pretty much describes how I create. I know that I don’t do things technically right. I don’t know how to read a sewing pattern. I don’t measure anything with rulers. I hang curtains with clothespins because I don’t want to go to the store to pick out a rod!

Then there is Martha. I know people love to hate her, but I think she is pretty genius. Most what bears her name is timeless and beautiful. Back in high school I read Martha Stewart Living instead of whatever magazine most teenage girls read. I bought Martha Stewart Kids Magazine in college because I loved the layout and design…no interest in having kids back then. I’m a Martha fan.

You know those games that ask if you could spend a day with one famous person, who would it be? I want a double date with MacGyver and Martha….we would be trapped in Lowes with no electricity, the plumbing would go out and we’d have 5 hours to remedy all the problems and have the place decorated for a party. Dream date.


In honor of my non-technical ways of crafting I thought I’d share a little diy. I picked up this candle from IKEA and it needed a makeover.

Supplies: Baker’s Twine, fabric scrap, coffee sleeve (surely MacGvyer saved his coffee sleeves)

Step 1: Hot glue the coffee sleeve to the candle

Step 3: After attaching the coffee sleeve, add the fabric and twine

If you are really lucky when you try to take a picture of your eclectic candle, a toddler will do her best to blow it out. I will note, as the candle melts you can see the inside of the coffee sleeve. That doesn’t bother me. I checked with MacGyver and Martha. It didn’t both Mac, but Martha felt I should have covered the inside too.

Another little MacGyver action in my home. I took down a large painting in the living room because I needed it for another project. It left a large hole among all my frames. A trip to the backyard for a sycamore limb and now I have a hanging branch. Odd…probably. A winter bird and doily snowflakes hanging from it make me smile. I’m pretty sure I won’t be hanging the painting back up. I love my branch….MacGuyver thought it would be better for a fire and Martha thought it looked nice, though she noted it would not look good in her Bedford home.

The big painting is getting a makeover. I am having the hardest time picking a paint color for my room. It is driving me crazy. The gray is from Martha’s collection, but I think I’ve nixed it. She has beautiful paint sample cards at Home Depot.

When I picked up my candle from IKEA I also got storage baskets for my random fabric and trims. For someone that doesn’t technically know how to sew I have acquired quite a collection. I hope FireCracker doesn’t want her closet back anytime soon!

So…what famous person would you like to spend a day with?

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • laura - you are hilarious. love that candle!

  • Kimberlee J. - I’d say Pioneer Woman. She’s famous, right?
    And Oprah. πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - I think I would spend the day with Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback. I could only do this if my kids came along since he is their hero. We would go for some beignets, watch his practice, and then end with dinner.
    http://www.bigdandme.com (if you visit today you can see what my 1 year old “ms. self-sufficient” has been up to)

  • roxanne - I would wanna spend my day with you. YOUR AMAZING!! and i would hope that your amazingness rubs off. lol

  • julie m - I love your style…MacGyver and Martha would be proud.

  • Laurie J - hmmmmm….maybe The Cake Boss? He’s got some crazy fondant skillz and I’ve currently got a little crush. But in a non-creepy way I’d think it would be fun to meet you! πŸ™‚ I’d love to be crafty but I am limited to what can be done with a glue gun and pretty much no creativity!

  • Anna Marie - Hmm…I’m gonna have to go with a double date as well and choose you and Meg. We would go to thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets and maybe do a little crafting to wrap the day up. But I have no idea how we are going to fit all of that into one day. I think we need a weekend πŸ˜‰

  • amanda torres - Definitely The Pioneer Woman. I gonna speak in faith right now. I WILL spend a weekend at her ranch! Amen.

  • RachelC - Well, I was going to say you, but based on the previous comments, it looks like your schedule would be full……so, I will have to settle for Brad Paisley and Rachel McAdams. Brad could teach me how to write fabulous songs, and maybe I could channel a little bit of Rachel McAdams’ character in the Notebook. That character was timeless.

  • BriBedell - I would love to spend my day with Martha for sure, but I think you are pretty cool too and I have neer been to Oklahoma! I live in Michigan…can I visit? LOL

  • Caroline - i’d love to spend a day with you and your kids!
    it should be lovely.
    you are realistically creative and innovative.
    your kids are all so adorable and fun!
    i love the kind of mess you have in your home!
    it’s beautifully messy! πŸ™‚

  • Shannon - Love it!

  • Mariah - I think I’ll just start calling you MacMartha. Get’s the job done, looks pretty, and as a bonus sounds like a tasty sandwich. Who doesn’t want to sound like a tasty sandwich? I think I would like to spend the day with…. Sting. But no, I would be too intimidated. Paul Simon. No, I would be too star struck to even look at him. Oh, this is just too hard.

  • Hannah Bunker - I love the tree branch! And the layout of your frames is great! I always have trouble figuring out how to arrange frames on a wall.

    I would want to spend the day with Carol Burnett. I’ve been a fan since I was in 5th grade (and I’m only 24!). I’ve read everything she’s ever written and pretty much seen everything she’s ever done. We could hang out, sing, talk about her life, and I would share with her how she has influenced mine.

    Actually, I did get to meet her once. I cried. It was one of the most surreal, special moments in my life.

  • Jenn B - I would spend the day with the president – that would be cool to see what his day is really like. Where did you get your couch – I love it!

  • Linden - I would want to spend the day with my husbands grandmother, Patricia Rose. okay she’s not technically famous BUT she does have one of her paintings hanging in George Bush’s Texas Ranch house. I only got to meet her once before she passed away from alzheimers before our wedding. She was the most talented painter I have ever met. Beautiful landscape paintings… they brought much beauty into the world and I would love to have her beauty back for a little while.

  • Anna - With you!!! πŸ™‚
    There are a couple others: Will Ferrell, Wes Anderson, the cast of Glee….but you are number one by far!

  • april's craft nest - okay! i am not the only one. i devoured MS mags in HS. i did not really care about those teeny bopper mags. i had about 10 years of MS mags stored in my gargage(moved with me 4 times). i finally gave those to a friend. and MS KIDS! oh my gosh! i was so in love with those. why did they ever stop. i saved two from years and years ago, WAY before i ever thought i even wanted a child. one had the sheep costume in it and i thought to myself, “self, just in case you ever want kids, THIS is THE costume!” and guess what? i made it this year for my sweet little 2 yrs old lambie! here he is if you want to check him out. http://aprilscraftnest.blogspot.com/2010/11/sheep-birthday-party.html

  • reeve - love, love, love the candle! So simple yet so freakin’ cute! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Julie B - Since I can’t spend a day with Paul Newman πŸ™ I would for sure pick Amy Adams and spend the day trying on fabulous shoes and singing show tunes. I am for sure a nerd. But sometimes my daydreams have nothing to do with my four kids or anything crafty!

  • Shannon Phillips - I am cracking up over here. I love you and your quirky ways.
    This is really stumping me. I can’t think of anyone famous to hang out with.

  • Nancy - What a hoot with my morning coffee. You’re hilarious!

  • Nicole - ooh- love the bins! more info, please?!

  • heather - the candle is fantastic! i’m making one today with my ikea candles. and your branch is fantastic!! i have one that my son broke as he was falling out of a tree (he was fine, but cried because he thought he hurt the tree so we kept the branch) i wrapped it in cream yarn and then hung the paper globes from elizabeth street from it. i adore how it! it’s like my own modern mobile.

  • Alice H - I really want to meet Ree Drummond (aka P.W.) and see M.M.’s bottom in real life. Is that too much to ask??? No!

  • Carrie Rosalind - Beautiful candle! Very MacGyver of you! πŸ™‚

  • Bryn - So funny – I am literally watching MacGyver right now and started reading your post…made me laugh. I have loved this show since I was litle! He is so resourceful!

  • Martina - I love this post. Haha! My husband’s college choir director was friends with Martha (well, actually their daughters were friends, but close enough!) and she said that Martha sleeps sitting up with a pad and a pen in her hand so she’s always ready to record her brilliant ideas when she wakes up. I agree that she’s a genius! And I’m sure she would have covered or painted the inside of that coffee sleeve. I learned from her show that screws on light switch plates should all be turned so the screwdriver slots line up vertically. I’m not a perfectionist by nature but now I always do it!

  • Ali Richardson - Ha ha, this post made me laugh out lour. What a trio you would be in a Lowes! I think I may pick James Taylor and just have him singing in the background all day long. Heaven πŸ™‚

  • Moriah - Paula Dean would definitely be on my list. I secretly wish my two boys will grow up to be like Jaime and Bobbie.

  • gina - πŸ™‚ fun post!

  • the whyte house - this is now my favorite post. only for the macgyver part. πŸ™‚ i died laughing. glad you looked him up…i always spell his name w an extra letter. haha. we LOVED macgyver growing up and always said that richard dean anderson was related to us(my dad’s name was morris dean anderson :)). we thought he was the coolest for having our last name. haha. so that right there should say that i was complimenting you on your macgyver sewing skills. haha!!!

    day out with a famous person?? hmm. not sure. my husband’s semi-famous in this area. a day with just him would be awesome.

    bill cosby. absolutely.

    maybe michael buble. he could sing to me all day. hmmm…maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea, afterall. i might not wanna go back home and then he’d have to pull out the whole “restraining order” card and his fiancee would go all argentina postal on me… it’s just too close to christmas for all of that nonsense.

    i need humorous and sarcastic boys…
    -chandler bing
    -damon salvatore

    yes, please.
    that would be a good day.

    kind of a random list, there. i’m indecisive. what can i say?

  • Carol V. - Martha would definitely be on my list of famous people to spend the day with.

  • Katie - Amen to reading Martha Stewart magazine in high school and buying the Martha Stewart Kids magazines because of the charming layout… uhh… long before I had kids or a home to be crafting for. Anyway, loved this post. You are so funny and likeable. πŸ™‚

    Also, where do you buy your baker’s twine? Is it just so expensive everywhere?

  • Jamie - That’s easy: I’d love to hang out with the Duggars! I’m a little obsessed with them for a few years now; such good people. Or Reese Witherspoon. I was able to attend a taping of Martha’s show 2 years ago in NYC and her set was amazing. Seriously amazing. I still have my collection of Martha Baby magazines — collected them LOOOONG before I ever thought of being a mom. I wish they’d bring it back. I get defensive when people knock Martha…

  • Trista - I found your blog today, and just read your posts all the way back to October. You are fantastic. I’ve loved every one of your posts on Design Sponge, I just didn’t know it was you. Thanks for the entertainment.

  • Lesley - So, I guess it runs in the family. Remember my young girl obsession with MacGyver? I’m pretty sure Rachel does. Me, Mac and some chips & salsa. Good times.

  • Dacia - I find this post to be quite hilarious! πŸ™‚ I, too, love Martha. Half our of our wedding registry was made up of Martha Stewart products. She is in every room of our home: kitchen (mixing bowls, pans, misc. stuff, bedrooms (linens), bathrooms (curtains, soap pump, etc), and the list goes on. OH! I almost forgot. My craft closet is full of Martha paper punches and tools. I KNOW you have them too! I’ve got my eye on a set of her flour sack towels at Macys, they come in the PRETTIEST colors.

    Which baskets are those? I love them… they look like a remake of vintage gym locker baskets.

    Keep doing what you do MacGyver!

  • Dacia - Oh and I almost forgot. I would like to have a date with YOU! And/or Martha. That would be great.

  • Christie - Is it lame that I almost automatically thought of Joey McIntyre from NKOTB? I think it’s because I watched Oprah’s teenage crush episode when she went out with Jackie Jackson – too funny! In reality, probably Anthony Bourdain.

    Separately, the couch you have in your living room – did you buy it somewhere, or just have the awesome luck of finding it? I have been trying to find a something very similar and have failed horribly.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Carolyn - Hmm…can’t think of any famous people I’d want to spend time with, but I would like to gather up all my friends who are scattered all over the place…collect the whole set and have them in one location! As for your DIY, if there’s one thing you’ve convinced me of it’s that…I need a hot glue gun πŸ™‚ The candle looks fabulous!

  • ingrid blanchette - i’d pick you to spend the day with…and we’d go to that secret rummage place you go to!

  • mandi - Your dream date made me laugh so hard! Lowe’s, problem fixing, the party- hahaha!!!

    My dream date would be with Mary Jane Butters. I’ve been reading her magazine since it was more like a fanzine and I still love her.

    {{{Also- what you said about reading Living in high school- that was me too.}}}

  • Marykay - I LOVE this post! My friends used to call me MacGyvette πŸ™‚ I have had a hard time figuring out who I would like to spend the day with, as if it is really going to happen… But I would want to spend the day with Beth Moore.

  • George - Holy cats! I’m loving the sycamore limb! Sometimes I forget how easy it can be to make a room stand out! Love it. And I’m diggin’ your blog!

    Raised By Wolves

  • Jacqui - Sometimes I feel certain that I am Marthas biggest fan. My cats are named Martha and Stewart, and I strive to incorporate a littler Martha in my life as much as possible! Though, like you, I usually invent my own way of doing things πŸ™‚ Hands down, Martha would be my DREAM DATE!

  • Lila - I would hang out with Jamie Oliver and his gardener. Have you seen his cooking show? Everything he makes he gets from his little garden and everything he makes makes me want to cook! I would love to have garden like his someday. Martha is also a favorite of mine. My friends tease me about it, I’m the one with Martha Stewart Living while they are reading Comso πŸ™‚

  • Sharon - OK, my choice would probably be the lady on Firecracker’s tee-shirt. …Wonder Woman! LOL

  • Juliann - hahaha; Lowes-Mac-Martha-you scenario sounds like a hilarious reality TV show…you should totally pitch it to a network πŸ™‚

  • Devon - Ashley! Oh. My. Goodness. You seriously crack me up woman! I love, LOVE this post! It made me smile, laugh, and wonder what I can do in my house that both MacGyver & Martha would comment about. …and that last photo? Completely drool worthy. I too have compiled quite a collection of fabric (while I am not a “sewer” either. Whenever I see something I love in a fabric store, I simply cannot go home without it! Um… now where can incorporate that storage genius of an idea in my house? πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay - It is so hard to find nice fabric where I”m from? Anyone know where to get a lot of Amy Butler fabrics in Canada??

  • ashlee - why, you, of course:)

  • meg duerksen - macgruber and blizzard man.


  • The Prairie Hen - Dear MMMMMM,
    You are my kinda girl, Ashley! I LOVE Martha! My Mama got my hooked young and when I got married our wedding theme was Martha Stewart meets John Deer!

    I think I’d choose Mary Engelbreit… and that one might come true since she recently agreed to paint a sculpture I made for my dad’s fiberglass animal business!!! Whoo-hooo!

    Dreaming in NE

  • tasha roe - I would have to say Martha or Phil Knight (Nike Founder)
    Always wanted to work for both of them.
    Will Ferrell would be awesome too – I like funny people. πŸ˜€

  • MelissaM - I would love to spend the day with Beth Moore or Anne of Green Gables. Both kindred spirits, full of passion, and entertaining! I love them both!

  • Elise - I know it sounds hokey, but I would love to spend the day with you!! We could have fun and craft and I could steal your couch!! Oh, did I just say that out loud?? I’ve been meaning to ask about your couch…is it a twin sleigh day bed?? I love it!! Oh, LOVE all your candle embellishing, too!!! I’ll link one up to your FB that you inspired.
    Hope you have a Happy Friday!!

  • Missy - This is fantastic! I hope MacGyver and Martha are reading this and it is the inspiration for a MacGyver guest appearance on Martha’s show. We’ll all say we saw it here first! Just gotta say how much I love your blog Ashley! I read it everyday and look forward to it after I get my “chores” done or when nap time comes for the little one. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. It’s truly a blessing.

    Now, random question – I need a creative idea to cover some couches that I don’t like. Tailored slipcovers are too expensive, other ones don’t fit right. Any brilliant ideas?

  • Jen - I am sooooo coming with you on the MacGyver and Martha dream date. That would be my ultimate as well! I laughed all the way through your post, I could totally see myself right there with you. πŸ™‚

  • Hannah B. - Awesome idea! I too got Martha Stewart Living in high school & bought Martha Stewart Kids in college just for the layout! (which managed to get me some serious weird-stares in the cafeteria) Oh, and do you remember Blueprint? *sigh*… so divine!

  • Amanda - You’re right on the money! I love MacGyver & Martha too! Definitely a dream {double} date….

  • Mindi Patty - I made the candles from this post!!! Check it out. I. Love. It.


  • No Impact Bride - This idea is adorable and we love it so much we’ve included it in our latest post at No Impact Bride. Hope you don’t mind!



  • Repurposed Coffee Sleeve Crafts - […] Coffee Sleeve Candle Cozy | Under the […]

Thank you for all your super kind comments yesterday. Your comments are always so encouraging.

I am grateful you take the time to write them. Thank you.


Today my monthly diy project on Design*Sponge was posted. I thought I’d give you a couple behind the scenes peeks of the project again…

Photo Tip: When you are photographing an item (like for etsy) you don’t need a great studio with tons of artificial lighting. You want a background that adds to, but does not distract from the item. You also want to take advantage of natural light. Here I sat the box on my chair, hung wallpaper (that is waiting to be hung on the wall) over the kitchen counter, turned the box just a bit towards the light and zoomed in. The camera settings for this photo were: ISO 250, 1/80, f/4.0, 70mm.

Do you like ‘behind the scenes’ posts like this for my Design*Sponge and Design Aglow posts? If not, I don’t want to bore you and I’ll stop!

Head over to Design*Sponge today to find the full tutorial (not sure what time it will be posted). I’d love to hear what you think. I’m pretty sure this is my personal favorite diy project I’ve done this year.


I did a little “Day in the Life” post for the domestic wannabe…it is posted today too…

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Anna Marie - I enjoy them Ashley, you aren’t boring me. Also, thanks for the great idea about taking Etsy photos. I am always looking for new ways to get good photos of my items.

  • Amy - i don’t think there is a post you could post that i wouldn’t love!

  • Caroline - Oh please Ashley, Continue doing it! your posts are never boring. dont underestimate yourself! i love it as much as other readers do! πŸ™‚

  • Pamela - I love your “behind the scenes” posts. Please keep them coming, they are anything but boring.

  • Yanet - Please don’t stop. I love learning about how you do certain shots and just what’s happening while your posting. It’s fun to see. You do some major multi-tasking like I do and it makes me feel “normal”. πŸ™‚

  • Karla - The wallpaper is lovely!

  • Brianna B. - I LOVE the behind the scenes stuff. I’ve never held more than a camera phone but want to graduate to a big girl camera one day. It’s fun to see how much effort goes into beautiful photos.

  • Jess - Where did the wallpaper come from? I love it!

  • Reidunn - I enjoy all your posts and photos. Yesterdays post I loved. Maybe because I can relate, having two brothers myself. Your guestposting is also great work. Already looking forward to tomorrow and your next blogpost

  • Rebecca - Yes, please do! I’m learning a lot!

    And love, love that wallpaper – will you share who makes it and what the pattern is called?

  • Jennifer Dayman - Love the behind-the-scenes, and the wallpaper! Would you share where you found it?

  • Leah R. - I love ALL your posts! LOL You NEVER bore me, in fact I can’t wait until I see a new post! I especially LOVE when you give tips on camera settings and lighting!

  • colleen - Honestly, i love it all. Especially the part about wii bowling with your family. Our wii broke a few months ago and i really miss “putting a whoopin” on my kids and husband! πŸ™‚ i think you have to be from below the mason dixon to get that phrase! I may be the one getting a new wii for Christmas!

  • Shannon - I agree with the line of thinking that I don’t think there is a post you could post that I wouldn’t love! Can’t wait to see what you do with that wallpaper!

  • kate - keep the behind the scenes stuff coming! i love your blog, and your features on other blogs, too! i have question based on “day in the life” (you might have addressed this at some other time!) i’m curious if you homeschool? or does biggest brother go to school? thanks!

  • Sara - I almost fell of my chair when I saw your wallpaper. I’m in love with that pattern/colors! I tried to get some fabric in it but lost my ebay bid over in England. It may also have something to do with the fact that she didn’t offer int’l shipping. πŸ™‚ I tried anyway. Can’t wait to see what you do with the wallpaper!

  • Katie - i adore the wallpaper! can’t wait to see the diy project, too!

  • Seamingly Sarah - I love the behind the scenes stuff, especially if it’s a photo tip I can relate to etsy. Plus I’ve already started trying some tips you gave for point and shoot cameras and they’ve worked! Thanks!

  • ashley jensen - I loooove behind the scene shots and I never find anything boring on your blog! Please continue doing what you’re doing!!

  • Trinity - I really like them. You have great tips and ideas to photograph things that are actually attainable. When I look at your pictures, I think I could never do that, but when you post behind the scenes things, it makes me want to try. Thanks Ashley!

  • Juli I - Love the behind the scenes info. Please don’t stop sharing. Love all your photo advice. I want to know how your house always looks so clutter-free? I have three kids and the house is always cluttered with shoes, socks, backpacks, toys, etc…what’s your secret?

  • katie - Ha! I was JUST wondering when you’d have another DS feature… YES, please keep the behind-the-scenes photos coming–they give this busy, crafting mom encouragement! πŸ˜€

  • marcy - that wrapping paper rocks!! and the calendar!!

  • Hannah Bunker - That wallpaper is awesome! Would love to know how to get my hands on some!

  • Tricia - Ireally ejoy the behind the scees posts. Actually, I really ejoy all of your posts.

  • Nicole - How timely! Was just wondering how I want to set up some shots of the DIYs I have done with your tutorials to post on FB! πŸ™‚

  • Tricia - Oh, and I need to learn to spell check before I post a comment and I have a three year old crafting play dough Rudolphs on my lap. πŸ˜‰

  • Nicole - Let’s try again!

    How timely! Was just wondering how I want to set up some shots of the DIYs I have done with your tutorials to post on FB!

  • Anna - oh yes, i cannot stand artificial light. natural light makes everything so much fresher and brighter. i like to take my pictures on our kitchen island or my night stand because they have the clean white background. and none of my walls are painted because i like white for my pictures. white…im all about white! have a good day!

  • patti - i love the behind the scenes peek. thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer - Ashley,
    I love your blog! I read it everyday and I’m so inspired by you! I would love to make this journal. Can you share with me where I can find a date stamper like you used? Thanks and have a blessed day!

  • Lori - i love the behind the scene shots – don’t stop em!!

  • Aunt Sandy - I love, love, love that wall paper!!!!!! Where is going and where did you find it? I am not much on wall paper, but, this one could change my mind!!!!!

  • Lesley - Love this, Ashley! Hey, by the way, I think I have a challenge for you. I found a couple of old film tins (the big, heavy, flat ones) that someone was going to throw away and thought…I bet Ashley could do something with these. So, anyway, that’s your heads up, the next time I see you I’ll give you the tins.

  • Jane - I LOVE all of your behind-the-scenes posts, especially when it involves photography tips. Are you continuting to use your zoom lens more? How are you liking it vs. your 50mm and 85mm primes? I’m agonizing over which lens to get next and can’t decide between another prime and a zoom (already have the 50mm f/1.4).

  • Jen - well…fist off i want to thank you for giving the tip about setting up for an etsy shop. i have a nifty canon, but cannot for the life of me figure how to take perfect photos. secondly, can i say i l.o.v.e your wallpaper. you are so crafty!

  • Kristin - You don’t post anything boring!!

  • Rebecca S. - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the behind the scenes photo tips. Your pictures are always so gorgeous and I love learning from you. Thank you!

  • Sarah S - It’s up! What a great idea! I started taking a photo a day recently with the same purpose in mind. But I am more of a writer than a photographer, so I think I am going to start this in 2011. So neat!

  • Pam @ Keeping Life Creative - I’m with everyone else. . . I love the behind the scenes posts! And I love the calendar idea!

  • Erica - I love the behind the scenes posts!! I also have a question for you…I have an etsy shop and don’t have a fancy camera, just a point and shoot. Do you have any tips for taking photos of objects with a point and shoot? Usually, I go outside to take my pics, but it’s like 3 degrees out there right now, so that won’t work!! p.s. Love the wallpaper!

  • nori - i love the behind the scenes tips! i always stress over how to take pictures of my etsy items… this was SUPER helpful! thank you!!! πŸ™‚

  • Christina - I love seeing how you compose your pictures! I especially love seeing how close you actually get to the things/people you are shooting.. i tend to stay away because I feel like I’m all up in their business, but I know I can get a better shot if I just step closer. These posts help!

  • Marykay - Love the behind the scenes, love the project and love that wall paper!!!!

  • Martina - Yes – and thanks for the photo tip, too! I commented on D*S already but I’ll say it here too: I love this idea. I’m going to do it!

  • Karen - forgot to comment yesterday so I thought I’d add it today. I grew up as the youngest of three- two older brothers all of us spaced two ish years apart and then me- their little sister. I was not spoiled because I was a girl or treated differently or more special but I was one of them and yet was allowed to celebrate being a girl. As we grew older, every time we would have a huge fight, my mom would get really emotional and tell us that we needed to be kind to each other for someday we would really depend on each other and that her prayer for us was to always be close. We are all super close as adults- my moms words and prayers rang true for us. Despite two of us being married and having kiddos now, they are still the first people I call to celebrate joys with or to share struggles with. We dearly love one another and I’m so grateful for a mom who prayed for this and who worked hard to instill this in us. I adore being their little sister and I can imagine your daughter is going to grow up feeling the same way!! There is nothing like having great big brothers!

  • Lindsay - You don’t ever bore. I love all the behind the scenes stuff. LOVE, LOVE IT!

  • the whyte house - you know, it’s hard to walk away from the ashley posts when there are 3 in one day….
    cruel and unusual punishment. πŸ™‚

  • gina - i love your behind the scenes peeks and your wallpaper!!

  • Dick - Always enjoy the behind the scenes. Haven’t seen a post from you that I didn’t like.

  • Bree K - Not Boring! Especially becasue you had a photo tip! Love those!

  • Shea - I definitely enjoy the behind the scenes photos and often enjoy the backstory more than the actual topic. I’m so glad you’re on d*s. And I love this project. I’m trying to figure out who for to make it this year. Well, besides myself! I love the way you record fun things in your daily life.
    Oh and I can’t wait to see that wallpaper in action.

  • Jenny B. - Oh, I love the behind-the-scenes posts – especially seeing how you set up the little photo shoot for your calendar/journal. I would never have thought to use that wallpaper as a backdrop, but once it’s all blurred, it makes the perfect background! I liked what you said on Domestic Wannabe about how being a mom impacts every nook and cranny of your life. πŸ™‚ There are movies I saw before I was a mom, and then again after, and it’s so weird to me how before, I identified more with the daughter character, and now I can relate more to the mom character (I’m thinking of Freaky Friday). Ha! Anyway, thanks again for sharing bits of your life.

  • sarah - What a cute idea. These would be so great for new moms. I never wrote stuff in my kids baby books, but this seems much easier.

  • Gretchen - I love your tips and behind-the-scenes stuff. And the journal is darling.

  • Carolyn - Yes! please keep doing the ‘behind the scenes’ posts. I LOVE beautiful photography (like yours) but I just as much love to see how a beautiful photograph is made. It’s really helpful. I enjoyed reading the guest posts too. Great stuff!

  • Jamie - I love the behind-the-scenes tips; very helpful! And, I can’t wait to see your wallpaper. I love Orla Kiely! I’m trying to figure out a way to get some in my new house. So cute!

  • kari - Love, Love, love your DIY posts and this one is especially nice.

  • Kimber - Keep these coming! I love them! And I love the simplicity of the photo tips!

  • ash - what kind of pie? you should link the recipe.

  • Nancy - I really enjoy all that you post, so don’t stop what you’re doing. You give me great inspiration! Now all I need is a little more time

  • Lynn - Love seeing them, in fact, I get up early just to see what you write everyday! I know…weird but I love your blog!!! You rock that you have so much time, I have one kid and a photography business and have a hard time keeping up and then doing DIY projects…I have bought a lot of stuff with good intentions!!! Maybe tonight I will get done the dot cheese trays I am doing for the holidays!! Then I will post photos!! Thanks for writing everyday…I miss your posts on the weekends, but everyone needs time off!!

  • Margie - It’s nice seeing the behind the scenes…it gives a taste of what it’s really like doing projects when you have little ones running around.

  • Lindsay - I wish i went to YOUR town’s flea markets… I can’t find all the neat things you seem to at mine. I searched high and low today for old postcards…i’ll check out the next flea market…hopefully I find some. Until then, I may replace the cards with pictures or something. Love the idea too much to pass up.

  • jessica h - yes! “behind the scenes” are my favorite part of your posts sometimes! real life…it’s very entertaining πŸ™‚

  • Susan Caing - i’m hooked with your blog. can’t start my work without reading your inspiring daily blog. i’m a new mother of a 1yr old little girl and hoping to have a baby boy.

  • Jeannette - I love everything you do and post!!!!

  • Adrienne B - Love that wallpaper – and LOVE the photo tips… Keep them coming!

  • michelle - I love the behind the scenes! Don’t stop!

    (I love everything else you write too… thank you for taking the time out of your day to entertain all of us.)

  • Lila - I really like the behind the scenes shots. The photography advice is also a really nice touch. Thanks for the tip!

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Ash,
    I vote “yes” for the behind the scenes… WAY cool!

    Another Blogger in NE

  • yannpendaries - your work is simply superb and I speak geek
    bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;o)

  • amac - I enjoy the sneak peeks. And the project! Incredible!! I just added a date stamper to my wish list πŸ™‚

  • Brooke Whitis - LOVE the behind the scenes…and I LOVVEEEE the wallpaper!! Where did you find that super fun stuff? I want it. πŸ™‚ I am glad we don’t live in the same town. You would come in my house and find all your crafts on my wall…no originality at all…{maybe not entirely true…but …you might feel flattered if you came in. I’m just saying…}

  • Stephanie - I like them very much. Especially when I see craziness going on around you. It inspires me to work on projects in the midst of my “craziness” 4 girls!

  • Julie B - Please please please continue! I learn so much about photography and feel like I can make my own stuff look almost as good as the professionals (you). Well good enough for me and being free! Behind the scene stuff is the best!

  • Leah - Please keep them coming! As a *just for fun* photographer I especially appreciated the photo tips! I love this project and started on it already!

  • Ana - I love the behind the scenes posts! And I find them very useful too.

  • Becca - NOT boring at all! Love it! I found a cute little brown box at Target today that will be perfect since I am not patient enough to try and find a fruit box right now. It was a basic brown box holding 50 white thank-you cards(which I can use) but the little box that held them is what I wanted πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to put it together!

  • Jessica - Yes, love the photo advice!! Not boring at all!

  • Pleasant Vonnoh - I LOVE behind the scenes posts! Love them!

  • JΓΌrgen - Beautiful photos and very good work.
    Thank you, regards.

  • Kelly - I like these behind the scenes posts a lot. It keeps it real and encourages me to know that I can still craft and do creative things even in my new role as mama. Thanks! Kelly

  • Green = Green: Perpetual Calendar | Our Humble A{Bowe}d - […] mentioned that I saw an idea for a perpetual calendar by Ashley AnnΒ for Design Sponge.Β  I always love a good calendar, so I decided to make a perpetual journalingΒ box set.Β  The small […]

  • cleaning my desk {it took a while} » ashleyannphotography.com - […] towel in a berry box from Anthropologie & Perpetual calendar from 1Caneo2 (they based this off my perpetual calendar diy!), Monogram watercolor from Emily;Β Center – journal from […]

  • diy {best of my days 2014} » ashleyannphotography.com - […] The first year we kept this going for a bit with the kids, but then I dropped the ball. This year the older four our getting one in their stockings. I am really going to try my hardest to help the kids do this each night before they go to bed. I think it will be a great practical way to practice gratitude, but it will also be really fun to look back on one day. I keep my own list in my perpetual calendar. […]

  • Holes + Impulse Buy! – Corrie Anne - […] pretty sure it’s a leftover from our wedding!!! Haha. I saw the DIY… oh 4 years ago!!! here, and it would be really simple to do. But I can never commit to tedious tasks like stamping 365 […]