Her next big thing is tackling the swing by herself. Why does she feel she needs to do everything her brothers do….forget the infant swing.

She pulled this dresses out of the folded laundry pile to wear. ???

While she is working on her next big thing I am working on finding another type of Big Thing. Remember last year when I shared about The Christmas Gathering?

I did a bunch of diy projects you can use as gifts.

The audience is always huge….two nights of hugeness.

It is a local Tulsa event that goes on two different nights, about 1200 women each night. You can only get in with a ticket and the tickets sell out EVERY YEAR. The dates are Nov. 18th & 19th. Well this year I am not presenting any of my ideas, but I am helping with a new segment called “The Next Big Thing”. Here are the details:

Tickets to the event go on sale this Sunday (October 3rd). You can buy them in person at The Church at BattleCreek or online (starting Monday go to this site and follow the links to purchase) Remember they sell out every year. This is a super fun event to go as a group of friends…or do it as your Christmas office party for the ladies. For more information or questions contact The Church at BattleCreek (not me!).


On a similar note….Christmas shopping….handmade gifts….check this out next week….


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  • andy - her dress is awesome
    where did you get it

  • Jenn W - I LOVE The Christmas Gathering! I can’t wait!

  • ashlee - wow… im putting my thinking cap on:) your sweetie is beautiful.

  • meg duerksen - she looks JUST LIKE YOU!!!!

  • Hollie - What a smart girl. I wish that dress was in my laundry pile. And I wish The Next Big Thing was on tour, coming to my state. *Sigh*

  • jessica h - oh, how I wish I could go!!! The Christmas Gathering is always *unbelievable!!*

    oh, and that little cutie in the darling green dress makes the cutest faces πŸ™‚

  • Stacy - That is the cutest baby girl I have ever seen! Really – precious!

  • Angela Carter - I just absolutely love your blog! I check it every day and it always, always makes me smile.
    Thank you so much.

  • Leanne - once again, firecracker is ADORABLE! my little miss recently learned how to do the swing too…sigh…I love the last pic.

  • Julie B - Oh my goodness there are ideas going off like fireworks in my head!! I know just what to enter I can’t wait! I love The Christmas Gathering it is sooo much fun.

  • Heather - id pull that dress out of the laundry to wear too.. its adorable and shes adorable!!!

  • Reesa - Ashley-the children are beautiful, I see so much of you and Chris in each of them, I enjoy checking in occasionally to see what fun things you are doing! Really makes me miss the days when mine were small!

  • Meaghan - Firecracker is very adorable and it’s sweet that she wants to try the big swing!

  • crystal - I went to my first Christmas Gathering last year & absolutely loved your DIY projects!!!! I was so excited when I left & I’m so glad to have gotten your blog that night! I made some dry-erase clipboards for Christmas gifts last year & they were a hit! I wanted to make everything that you had presented, but, well, not enough time! I wish you were showing your DIY projects again this year : ( But I’m still excited & can’t wait to see what they have this year!

  • Ian Miller - Yep, she’s a cutie. I especially like the black and white picture.

Today I am excited to announce that I am guesting posting over at Design*Sponge. It’s a little post about how I coveted & ‘stole’ my neighbor’s trash.

Here is the ‘before’:

You have to go over there to see the post, but you can get a peek at the project from these ‘behind the scenes’ photos of my diy studio – complete with sword fighting and cheddar shark attacks.

And for those of you that asked about my new mantle:

I was inspired by Rita Konig’s mantle. In Photoshop I used the action Grandma’s Tap Shoes (by Totally Rad Actions) to give the photos a cohesive look. Then I cropped each image to a 4×4. I then ordered each 4×4 as a 4×6 print. By cropping before I ordered, the print company has to fill the extra space with white. I could have printed each one as a 4×4 but it would have cost more. I could have just printed them as a 4×6 and then cut off the extra 2 inches. By saving them as a 4×4 I had a clear white line showing me where to trim once they were printed. Finally I found the center of my wall and hot glued each photo to the wall. If your paint is old hot glue sometimes will peel off without damaging the paint. Since my paint was new, it will peel the paint when I remove the photos. I don’t really care because by the time I remove the photos I’ll be ready to repaint anyway!

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  • Lindsay - Awesome! I love how it turned out! I can’t wait until I have a house of my own and I can finally decorate!

  • Cara @ Mischief and Laughs - I WILL be doing this after the holidays (I like the mirror and the reflections it provides with candles and stuff at Christmas) but I think I’ll have to glue the pics to something or another besides my wall. Hubby would freak is freak if I hot glued them, even if I told him it would just peel off. Luan is el cheapo, though.

  • amy - oh ashley, if only you made house calls! this looks fantastic and yeah, you pretty much rock.

  • tasha roe - congrats!! that is super cool!!

  • The Lady - Your mantle is genius,lady. Hearts, The Lady of the House

  • Kirra Sue - Love the photo wall! Such a fun idea!

  • ashley jensen - Whew! Look at all those tiny little leaves you cut out! That corner is proablby all my patience (and 3 year old) would allow me to do! Oh, and I saw a children’s school chair like you have at an atique store over the week end and it made me think of you!

  • Heather - that collage is so fantastic! i love how many photos that include you and your husband. i’m terrible at that. my photos only tell the story of my kids growing up, not of how our family evolved. boo. i need to change that.

  • karen brown - you seem to really like totally rad actions. when i looked online, it appears they have several packages. is there one you would recommend if you could only have one? one you use the most? thanks ashley!

  • Jessica - cool! i was thinking you could probably glue the photos to a piece of foam board or something similar as well and just prop it up somewhere or hang it. that way you could even move it from place to place…if you wanted.

  • Hannah Bunker - Do you happen to know what brand of scrapbook paper you used?

  • Leanne - I LOVE that tray! you rock.

  • meg duerksen - so cute….all of it.

  • Lisa P. - I love this idea. I want to try it and put it on a canvas or something.

  • jennifer - LOVE it.

  • Katie - your creativity and style totally inspire me! i love reworking older pieces, so that tray idea looks terrific. and your mantle? i called my husband over and he fell in love, too. thanks!

  • Quincie Cotrill - I love the mantle! Thank you for explaining how you did it! You have so many great ideas and you are truely inspiring! Next question- how do you take pictures with your self in them? i love all the posed and non posed images that you are able to include yourself in. I fear my little ones will grow up and look back at all the wonderful images i have taken of them and say, Mom was never around:((((! I have got to get myself into my pictures and i use a canon 5d. any suggestions?

  • Erika C. - Hello – okay, this may sound like a stupid question, but how in the world do you spray paint it and it not bleed through? Meaning, how do you have such crisp lines?? Everytime I do something like that it bleeds!! (Again, it may sound like a dumb question – thank you!)

  • SeaminglySarah - That was so clever to use some scrapbooking paper as the stencil! I am always amazed to see how other people see something in the trash or the thrift store and see it for what it “could” be. I am so darn pratical sometimes that I can’t see it. I even went into a thrift store yesterday to try and exercise my mind in this regard. No luck. I saw egg cups as egg cups. Pray for me!

    But I am going to go scour my scrapbooking paper and use it with some ink and fabric now. I’ve been into inking fabric lately! (http://seaminglysarah.blogspot.com/2010/09/finally.html) Thanks for the idea.

  • Michelle - Guess what I scored in a yard sale today … a set of 4 vintage tv trays! I may not have looked twice at them had I not seen your post this week. Now I’m excited to give new life to these useful trays thanks to You!

  • tiffany - you have so much great stuff on here it never ceases to amaze me.

    but, i have a quick question about your concrete table that i love, love, love, love, love – how did they attach the tabletop to the legs of your old table?

    i have big plans to make a concrete table of my own for my new house and that is my biggest question about the project. all of the others i have see inlay into a wooden base and I am not such a fan of that I like seeing the edges of the concrete and just want normal legs.

    thanks so much!

  • kate - i love this photo idea so much! and, i just have to ask, did you add the molding to form a fake fireplace from a bare wall? or was that actually an unusable fireplace? i love that too!

  • Leslie - I love this and am definitely doing it. I also shared it on my blog; check it out:)

    Thanks for the awesome idea!

It is hard to believe that it was almost two years ago that I saw the cutest little Mary Janes on Jesse’s blog. I had just found out I was pregnant with our fourth and didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl. I jotted down the name of the store…just in case. Well, ‘just in case’ happened. I purchased those cute little Mary Janes – my first purchase for our daughter. We used them in a picture to announce we were having a girl. They are a cherished possession. I still am a huge fan of Gracious May. I have had the privilege of doing a few mini-sessions of some of the products and they just keep getting better. Well FireCracker (which is a nickname, not her real name…someone asked) is now walking and I was stoked to hear that Gracious May is now making cute booties for walkers. Here is a peek….

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  • Jen Mirabile - i just adore these little shoes!! my daughter is 6 months old and i can’t wait to get her some! btw… your little firecracker is precious. πŸ™‚

  • Heidi - LOVE the shoes on that sweet little girl! Great layout!

  • ashley jensen - LOVE them! I found shoes similar to this for my daughter when she was learning to walk.

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - Soo weird…I clicked on your page, saw the picture of your kids feet at the top adn thought to myself “I really need to get some of those gracious may shoes for Evelyn”…scroll down to find this post! Now if only I had the extra money right now to get some!! <3 them all!!

  • Amy - These are so adorable! I have to order a pair for my 15 month old! Are you using templates for your picture layouts? They are great! ;-D

  • Colleen - So super cute! My girl is 24 months and running now. Would the soles on these work for her or are they just a pre-walker type?

  • giozi - They are so beautiful. If I have a new girl (thing that I want it)I going to get these little booties.

  • jessica h - I looooooove those shoes!!! If the Lord blesses us with a girl someday….

  • Karen Davis - they’re adorable…we’re adopting..so as soon as I find out what age we’re bringing home… I will be purchasing as well πŸ™‚

  • Brooke Whitis - I buy these for gifts ALL THE TIME because I love them so much. Maybe a girl someday, but until then, I’ll keep buying them for other sweet girls. I love that sweet little Firecracker. It’s hard to believe it’s her in the cateye onesie. She’s such a big girl now!!

  • Sarah - Love Love these shoes, but my little girl has some chunky feet. Do you know if they run big or small? I am so excited they are making walkers!

  • grace - Her little feet are sooo precious in these pictures!! Thank you!!

  • Cassie - To die for!!! So cute!

  • Julie - Your daughter is so precious! Every time I come across your blog I find myself praying that one day soon I will have a little girl as cute and spunky as your daughter πŸ™‚ I know you don’t publish your kids names on your blog, but please could you tell me what her name is. I’m sure it is equally as cute as she is πŸ™‚