The mailman brought the kids and I each a gift. My gift came in the form of a canvas of sweet little feet. The chalkboard is looking a little too cluttered. I can’t decide if I like it or not. It changes all the time anyway.

The kids gift came in the form of a cardboard box that held the canvas, but transformed into a camping tent

The older boys drew other camping items on the cardboard…and had me cut them out.

1. Deer (you see them when you camp and if you are my boy’s uncle you shoot them too)

2. Guns (to shoot the deer with their Uncle Eric…I grew up with a sister. I don’t hunt. I like Bambi.)

3. Campfire (the only thing we could find red was a hat…it is the fire)

Baby Sister had fun crawling through the tent…chasing the Littlest Indiana Jones.



Do you ever have those days where you wish you could “crop” something out? Maybe you’d like to “crop out” a someone! Well the great thing about pictures is you can delete or crop out the unwanted and keep the wanted. When people see my canvas of the little feet they usually smile and say something along the lines of, “Oh, that is just so sweet!” or “How cute!” I smile because it is those things. I also smile because I remember what that picture really looked like.  With that being said, let me share again my canvas print:






And now let me share with you why cropping is a mom’s best friend!





I hope your day isn’t a “crop out” kind of day!

For Canvas Prints I recommend:

For Professional Photographers: Simply Canvas

For everyone else:

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  • amanda torres - Now THAT is funny. I totally pictured this serene moment with all your kids leaning on the wall, just hanging out. Completely cracking up over littlest bro’s face (I’m sure you weren’t at the time). Thanks for sharing! One of my favorite posts!

  • kribss - totally loving it!!

  • Margie - Oh my gosh….I am laughing out loud! Too funny :0)

  • Jill R - Thanks for sharing the full picture. I love the feet picture, but everytime I see it I think – how did she get baby sister to stand next to the boys? The mystery is finally solved! You have mad tent making skills! 😉

  • Christy - I love the canvas!! the original makes me crack up

  • Rachel - I love the canvas print..nothing better than little toes! Just thought I would throw this out there… is having a 50% sale for their 8×10’s until the 27th. You just have to enter 8x10sale in the promo code. I always order from them…good quality and super fast! The 8×10’s will be either 99 cents or $1.24 depending on your paper!

  • Jo - The first time I saw those little feet I wonder what the original picture looked like!!!! :) that is too cute! I love baby sisters face… “Come on boys get your act together!!!”

  • Elizabeth - My husband makes videos of the kids…and he takes hours of video and cuts it down to 2 minutes..and it is the same thing…final video is serene and beautiful..but there are hours of screaming, yelling and tantrums that didn’t make the cut!

  • anne c - oh my goodness, so funny! I love it..and the look on baby sister’s face is priceless!!!

  • Beth - what are they standing on? A countertop?
    LOVE the original – thanks for keeping it real!

  • Lindsay Thomas - Baaaahahahahah! I just died laughing at work – which means it was a quiet grunting kind of laugh so no one could hear. :)
    That is so hilarious. Thank you so much for sharing! I think you just put a smile on EVERYONE’s face who reads this!

  • Rachel - I love that picture! So funny to see what was cropped out. Looks like the tent was lots of fun… and by the way, I love the look of the chalkboard!!! Have a great day!

  • bopha - okay, that is hilarious. it’s good to see that your kiddo are always as cooperative as mine.

  • Jesse - I love it!

  • amber fischer - hahahahaha! thanks for sharing the “pre-crop” picture – SO funny! ( :

  • Leanne - AWESOME! so glad to see that you have normal-everyday life and not everything is picture perfect….thanks for keeping it real. and of course, we all have to crack up about the before & after. CLASSIC!

  • Ruth - Ashley-behind the scenes is the best! I was wonderin how baby girl was “standing?” Love the pajama top and the topless baby!

  • Amber - That is HILARIOUS!! I have loved that photo ever since you first posted it….I love that it’s a “cropped” photo. So funny! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Raechel - This just made me smile big! I had actually wondered what the rest of that photo looked like. Priceless!

    Thanks so for sharing smiles all around this morning!

  • meg duerksen - soooo funny!
    i may have to copy you with that picture.
    i love it.
    but i will have to cut my boys’ nasty toenails before! actually… i think my kids are too old for this. they are starting to have grown up looking feet.
    and my boys have bigger feet than me. already!
    so never mind i won’t copy you.
    and YES i feel quite often about wanting to crop people out. my day would go so much smoother! :)
    happy thursday sweet ashley!

  • ashlee - Oh my goodness…i am laughing so hard! isnt the reality so much different than what everyone else sees? i have been thinking of doing a picture like this with my little ones:) thanks for the inspiration!

  • mindy - Thanks for sharing this. It made me smile and I love it!

  • anthony - this is great. i love how cropping can make so many images go from crap to all that!

  • Yanet - Gotta love it!!!

  • Jodi - I really did wonder what the top of that photo looked like! Hilarious. Great outtake. I am very interested in canvas photos for our new family room. Thanks for the recommendations! Have a great week.

  • Lesley - LOVE IT! Eric will be so proud :)

  • Kristi - I love love love pretend play! I love the picture of the little legs and the orginal even better! Its funny to see what was really going on behind the scenes!!

  • Kristi - I started thinking and I wish I could crop myself in lots of pictures. I hate that I am always behind the camera and dont have as many pictures as her and daddy!

  • Shannon Phillips - Oh that just makes me laugh out loud. I always wondered how little sister was propped up in that one. P.S. Will you please do a tutorial on your ruffle pillows. I need to figure out this ruffle thing.

  • sarah - The before & after is hilarious! What a great post!

  • Kara - Just like everyone else, LOVE IT! I really enjoy when photographers show the original picture, especially when its funny!

  • Moriah - Oh that is classic. You always wonder how people get the perfect shot. Thank goodness for cropping. :-)

  • Abby - Hilarious!!
    We had the same experience at xmas but I was trying to get cute faces with xmas hats and my cropping was limited….BOO!! I am in love with your indoor camping.

  • Ashleigh Ewing - Hahaha, priceless!

  • Jeannette Swan - I did picture Chris holding baby sister up, but didn’t picture any crying going on! It is a perfect crop!

  • Jolie - Oh I *love* the before and after cropping…it’s gorgeous, hysterical, and a lovely *secret* reminder for you about how mama knowa what’s really going on, regardless of what others on the outside see!

  • Valerie - I love the canvas! So adorable. And the original is just too funny! Not what I was expecting. It cracks me up.

  • Sara - Love the final cropped canvas! Ashley, would you please share the dimensions of the canvas? Thanks!

  • Alison R - Absolutely love this! Who would have thought that such a “perfect” photo came from the original “reality” shot! What an inspiration! I absolutely adore what you have done with the chalkboard. I am trying to gussy up our new apartment and something like this would be perfect!

  • Kate - Oh wow! I love that! May God grant us eyes that crop out what we don’t want to see!!!

  • linda geertsen - Hi! You have become a household name for us. When I chat with my husband, I used to refer to you as “You know that photographer that I follow? Ashley Ann? She mainly teaches classes now? She has three boys and just had a girl? Remember? No? Yeah. Her.” Now! It’s just “Ashley Ann the photographer.” Cool, huh? Maybe he just amuses me. I wonder.
    Well, he and I had a good laugh about the crop. That’s AWESOME! :)

  • Alba - really goog one! jajajaja. I wondered how you take it

  • peta - awesome photo. and i am still loving that chalkboard and your box tent. what i want to know is how that gorgeous vase of tulips manages to survive there on the coffee table with three boys and a crawler in the house?

  • Amanda - Love the chalkboard and love the print too!

  • Robyn Lee - I LOVE that chalkboard… you are so creative!

  • Katrina - I absolutely love that you showed the before and after of that great foot pic. It shows that you look for the beauty and find it. I don’t think I would have thought to crop the whole top half. Thank you for sharing.

  • ASH - that is so funny. I love cropping out stuff :)

  • christina larsen - Completely cracking up over that photo.

  • Meagan - Haha! That is hilarious! I wondered how you always got your little ones to cooperate so well!

  • Debbie - Thank you for your honesty. Deb

  • ElleBows - Oh my gosh, the before crop is too funny :-)

  • julie - I adore the canvas. SO much more special to know the chaos that it really was. Real life. In 30 years you will still think back and smile when you see those little feet. Swoon. Love your new wallpaper too! Is the lovely Katie Daisy behind it?

  • ari Morris - Ashley-
    That’s a great pic with such a story! I love it!

  • Nelle - Ohh that made me laugh out loud! And your blog wall paper has fast become one of my favourite things about the blog. =)

  • homemade grits - oh man. i love the chalkboard and i also love the edited and unedited version of the canvas! cropping is such a friend. your little world is so lovely. thanks for the peek!

  • Sherri - I LOVE how you used the chalkboard and canvas above the sofa!
    What do you have holding the other photos onto the chalkboard?
    I am thinking of doing something like this for my bedroom…putting photos of the two of us over the years on it.

  • Ashley Smith - Okay, glad I came to check this out. I had not seen the uncropped version! How perfect. So cute.

  • Dina - absolutely loving it!! a great visual reminder that in any given day there is always something crop-able and beautiful to be taken from each!

  • jessica hilliker - love it, love it, love it…so fun to see the “before” of the little feet picture :)

  • Rebekah - Ashley, I love this post!! Great job :-) I was wondering if you’d ever posted on how you arrange your photos sometimes in a collage of sorts…a few smaller pictures together within one large photo (like when you post the different participants of your classes photos)…and how you put the border on your photos. Which editing software helps you do this? It makes everything look more pulled together and clean. You are doing a great job!!

  • Michelle - Priceless, I love it! Thanks for sharing the possiblities!

  • Jeep : : i love [summer] weekends! - Car Gallery - […] my copy cat chalkboard. i moved it to my half bath that gets the most use by guests hoping they would leave us fun […]

  • Bethany - I love it. Cropping is great!

  • The box is always more fun - […] while my girls’ imagination has not reached the level of her boys (they are only 1 & 2 after all), we still had a lot of fun! Nate spun them around & […]

  • Tamra - You are my new favorite blog!! I have been a stalker for 2 days now!! You make me laugh and cry…At the same time mostly!! Hard to do to a stranger!! Love it!!

  • Jessica - Question did you make the chalkboard? If so do you have a diy instructions? I just love it!

  • Kristin - I love, love, love the chalkboard photo display! And where did you find your sofa? I’ve been searching for one like it with no success. Any hints?

  • Taralynn - Hi there – Your recommendation for canvas prints is blanked out. Who do you use? Thank you so!

  • the chalk trend | Style Magazine - […] family pic, ava, […]

  • Michelle Shaw - Would you be able to tell me what size the chalkboard is?

  • jordan - what do you adhear your photos with on the chalkboard?

Wow…crazy week. I don’t have much time for posting, but wanted to share a couple of things.

#1 Spring Classes at Southern Hospitality (yes, this is just for you local readers)

I’ve shared before how much I love April and her cute store Southern Hospitality. Well during the month of March she is offering hospitality classes every Thursday night. I think this would be such a fun girls night out thing to do with friends. I imagine with April there will lots of smiles and laughing. What a great break during the week!

The classes include:

Creating new with vintage

Creating a beautiful table

Serving tea for two

Decorating ideas

Classes are every Thursday in March, 6:30-8:30pm

Cost is $25.00 for all 4 classes

Registration ends on February 28th

For more information visit the Southern Hospitality website classes page

#2 The Lovelies

Some of you noticed the new tab on the left side of my blog. Eventually that will feature all kinds of things I find lovely. For now it is just a little button leading to another website – The Lovelies (isnt’ that the greatest name for an award!). Thank you to those of you that clicked over and voted for me. Your comments are so fun to read. Thanks to you I am one of the 5 finalists in the photography category! Voting ends on the 28th (you can click here to vote), so I’ll let you know next week how that turns out. Thanks!

#3 Under the Sycamore readers….etsy sellers

If you have an etsy store please leave a comment in this post with a link to your store…for a little something I am working on! Thanks!

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All pictures below are by Evie S.

Let me introduce you to the talented Evie S…..for some of you I am sure she needs no introduction. Evie is fully of lovely ideas.

For instance how lovely is this collage of her first pregnancy?

On her blog you can also find lovely interviews with talented artists…full of more great ideas than my mind could ever process

It’s hard to find great boy clothes that you can make yourself…she has DIY tutorials for some of her creative designs. This shirt for her son being another great idea.

Picking up a paintbrush again…another lovely idea.

She also has a wedding business and sells the most lovely ring pillows…not the kind you find at most stores. Lovely idea.

Postcards for Christmas….lovely family, lovely idea.

She repurposed an old sweater into this gorgeous cardigan. Fashionable idea.

Beyond all that talent that oozes from her and on her blog is A Beautiful Idea.

Here is what Evie says about A Beautiful Idea, “As an artist, I have struggled with the “why” behind the creative urges I have – to be used for something more than myself or for profits. I have longed for a greater purpose. I know I am not the only artist that feels this way. That’s why I created A Beautiful Idea.”

A Beautiful Idea is a network of artist, creators, crafters, etc. that make, sell and donate profits for a greater cause. If you are interested in more information you can visit A Beautiful Idea website. If you get involved, let me know!

Thanks Evie for sharing such a beautiful idea.

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  • meg duerksen - very cool.
    can’t wait to spend some time checking her out!

  • evie - Thank you Ashley for the sweet compliments and for letting everyone know about A Beautiful Idea!

  • Jamie - Evie designed my wedding invitations! She was awesome! I’m so glad to be “reacquainted” with her work bc it was a true pleasure working with her in the past. Thanks for this post!

  • Robyn Farmer - Love it! Love all of her re-use of old clothing. I know after having my little one nothing really fits the way it should and I would love to bring some attention to chiffon ruffles rather than….my waistline. I am on the hunt to find some clothes to cut and dice.

  • Lisa Johnson - beautiful indeed! I’m enjoying these introductions to other creative and inspiring blogs

  • Anna Joy - Thank you for sharing this!

  • Emily Morrice - Thanks Ashley for recommending Evie.S’s blog, like yours, I love it :) So pretty and exciting to think of all the new things I need to try!!

  • Sandy - I love that pregnancy calendar! I totally want to make one too.. when the time comes, which won’t be for awhile! That repurposed cardigan is very lovely as well!

  • Madeleine Wiedemann - Hi,

    I am the production editor of a small girls magazine (pitched at ages 13-18) in Australia. We are based on biblical worldview but encouraging girls to vlaue themselves and others and providing them with hope and purpose through positive media. We love to feature craft projects and mission challenges for them. I would love to feature your next challenge as a project, we go to print for our next edition november 15th, so that’s way past the close of your current project. Could we work together on this, i think it could be mutually beneficial.