We took the kids roller skating. Really, it was more we took the girls because the guys decided pretty quickly they weren’t big fans. I was pretty proud of my girls. They would fall and get right back up again…determined to the end.


Pictures inside a skating rink are pretty hard to get. I only snapped a few, but this one was hands down my favorite. 50mm, ISO 3200, 1/100, f/2.01.16skate-02Watching the races…1.16skate-03The girls are begging to go back. I was thinking next time I go, I’ll try to take more pictures for a SnapShop lesson. I add new lessons each month and thought one of shooting with no flash in low light might be one that could be useful for many. If you are SnapShop student, what do you think?

In other news, the whole time we were there I did not hear one Tiffany song or anything by Paula Abdul. Let me Straight Up now tell you that is wrong. So wrong. They did, however, play Adele’s “Hello”. The only problem is when I hear that song, all I can sing is “Hello, its me. I’ve avoided you forever while consuming calories. I love donuts…” (please, if you don’t know what I am talking about click this link) It would make me very happy if iTunes had an option to download that version.

All that skating made me want to create an 80s skating rink playlist…so, all you who remember skating to “Never Gonna Give You Up”…what other songs do you remember?

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  • Nelli - Hi Ashley. I’m a SnapShop student and low-light-indoor-activity-pictures is just what I need. Few days back was trying to get some photos but didn’t really succeed. Appreciate your time and effort to explain it all :) Thank you and winter greetings from Estonia :)

  • liz rose - like a prayer

  • JenW - Dudette–Never Gonna Give You Up is solid 90s. Throw in some more Color Me Badd in that skate mix an you’ll have a winner. LOL! Good memories. (p.s. I totally have that song in my non-skate related playlist…I love me some Paula!)

  • Holly - Yes, indoor activities with low light is just what I need!

  • AmandaK - I remember clinging to the walls of the rink on school field trips while listening to Joan Jett’s I Love Rock N Roll. I think about roller skating every time I hear that song! :) Fun memories~

  • Sara - Disco Duck! And there are definitely some songs that when I hear them I’m brought back to the roller rink. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Byron - My secret to skating (from my Child Care days): put one child on each side (hold hands). That way they anchor you so you won’t fall and you have a hold of them to catch them if (or when) they fall. Works like a charm! I was never good at skating but I learned to stay up and help the kids skate by doing this. (Love the “walkers” though; someone had a great idea a few years too late).

    I refuse to contemplate the sound tracks at those places! That “Hello” parody was quite funny though….

  • Lauren - I am a SnapShop student too and would think a low light lesson would be great. I would also LOVE a lesson on mirrorless cameras. I know we are the minority but it would be a big help.

  • Jenn - some Wilson Phillips and Michael Jackson for sure

  • Angie K - My little girls have recently gotten into skating as well. If your rink participates, be sure to check out Kids Skate Free to make it even easier to take them! http://kidsskatefree.com/

    I get free passes each week for the kids!

  • Heather - Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and of course, Cyndi Lauper…

  • Heather Johnson - I don’t think a playlist from the 80s could neglect Debbie Gibson. Lost In Your Eyes–that was the first thing that came to mind when I read your post!

  • D - I ran so far away… flock of seagulls, shell shock new order, pretty in pink psychedelic furs… 80s so fun! And 80s and roller skating… even more fun!

  • Kara M - Reminds me of the Retro Skate at OBU!

  • Emiles - YES YES YES to lowlight w/o flash photo tips!

  • Renee - Centerfold by J. Grills Band. And yes to the low light tips!

  • Renee - *J. Geils Band

  • TheDenverPack - All of my skating party experience is in the 80’s through my church and christian school, so I hear a lot of Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Wild and crazy times. And why is it that every skating rink smells the same?

  • Lisa Johnson - I’m older than you so my skating rink playlist would be late-70’s-early-80’s but the ultimate skating song in my head is “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gee’s. I’m excited about your new SnapShot site and yes to low-light!

  • Amber - Oh!!!! The blisters upon my feet every Friday night! The Dazz Band- Whip It and You Dropped a Bomb on Me, and anything from the Bee Gees. LOL! I still roller skate sometimes when my teenager will let me…

  • Amber - I forgot, Double Dutch Bus!!! : 0

  • Janine - We don’t have roller rinks anymore. They all closed in the 90s. They were so much fun. “Let’s hear it for the boy” and of course Whitney Houston’s, How will I know if he really loves me”. I still have my skates (i think!)

  • Carson - REO Speedwagon! My six year-old son loves to skate, and our rink does play “Straight Up!”

  • D Herredsberg - Oh, you HAVE to include “YMCA” by the Village People.

  • Jen - Would LOVE to have a low-light lesson, thank you!!

  • Amy D - SS student here! Would LOVE a lesson on low light/no flash. That would be beyond helpful. I don’t like my flash (nor does it usually have batteries), I’m much more comfortable in natural light, yeah. Super helpful. Thanks :)

  • Tracie M. - I was just talking about roller skating this weekend. Our rink is long gone, but I used to go almost every Friday night! Anything by Madonna or Michael Jackson was on our playlist!

  • Amy - I’m older than you are, Ashley, but I told my 3 girls skating isn’t skating unless you’re listening to “Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine.”

  • Rose - Yes to low light without flash lessons would be great! AC/DC and Stairway to Heaven , actually any 80’s hairband

  • Val - Definitely looking forward to a lesson about shooting with no flash in low light – very useful! And yes, I loved going to the skating rink! I could go backwards really fast haha! Could never really get the hang of rollerblades though. I grew up in the 80’s so anything from that era would be ok by me 😀

  • Hannah - Get Physical by Olivia Newton John.

  • Katie - Our elementary school skating experiences were at an ice rink on skates, but the same idea. Cheesy music rocks! I was a kiddo in the 90s, so it was a mix of 70s-80s-90s hits – classic. “What is Love”, “Eye of the Tiger”, and Savage Garden and N’Sync were the COOL new stuff added to the mix.

  • jen - Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
    Low light would be a fantastic lesson and would give you a reason to go back to the rink. I’m loving the little helpers there. All we have for our kids is to tighten the wheels so they start out walking basically.

  • Elizabeth - “oh ooh oh, she’s my cover girrrrlll, oh ooh oh, oh oooh”… nothing takes me back to the skating rink like a little NKOTB!

  • Heather - Kool & the Gang: Celebration!
    I haven’t signed up for snap shop yet but am so excited to since the announcement. I would LOVE a class on low light. It always seems to be the time when my kids are doing the coolest things and I can’t capture them. Thank you for the opportunity to do the snap shop over a longer period of time. I could never carve out 2 weeks to dedicate to learning this the way I knew I would want to.

  • Natalie - I would love a snapshot lesson on low light/no flash! And that picture of little one’s skates is so precious!

  • Rebecca A - I would LOVE low light details :) I do a fair amount of that type of shooting.

    Completely random and unrelated question haha. I’ve always wondered what you do with your canvas prints once you no longer display them? I’m assuming you update photos as the years go by, what do you do with the ones being “replaced”? I’ve been amassing a number of canvas lately, and have been wondering what will happen to them 1, 3, 5 years down the road haha

  • Emily - That parody! I’m ugly laughing. Is that what it’s called when you can’t breathe and tears are wrecking your mascara? Because I’m doing that.

  • L Rock - Boogie Wonderland!!!

  • Tiffany - Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” for me~ 😀

  • rebekah - If they’re into skating, you should take them to watch roller derby! I’m in my late 20s and have gotten back into roller skating thanks to our local derby girls. They are a freat group of supportive ladies! In my area the bouts are family friendly and typically ticket sales raise money for a local non-profit. Something to look into!

  • Mary - I am a snapshop student also… low light tips for sure. I actually did photo work for a roller derby team (the soundtracks at those bouts are the best!) and you are not lying about it being super tough. I could have used those tips 4 years ago! Of course fast glass became my top priority after just one of those games (and now I have a much better camera). As far as 80’s skate songs…pump up the jam and push it…my favorite skate songs from back in the day.

  • Alie - There was this terrible song ‘Walk the Dinosaur”, and we all loved skating to it!

  • Debbie C - Omg. Thanks for a much-needed good laugh! I hadn’t seen the Adele parody yet. Yes to 80’s jams whilst roller skating! And yes to four wheels in a rectangular formation! Also, yes to lessons in shooting with low light. I need to sign up this week!

  • Jennie - ATOMIC DOG!

  • Kelly J. R. - Downtown. Walk like an Egyptian. Summertime Blues.

    I used to go to the roller rink every Tuesday night. I was pretty good at the limbo so I usually won a free snow cone. Good times!

  • Elizabeth C. - “Hey Mickey” will forever mean roller skating to me. I think they played it (at least once) every time we went.

  • Denise L. - SS student: Yes! Please give lesson on low-light now flash. The setting I use the most. Thanks, Ashley!

  • RachelC - Glory of Love by Peter Cetera (from Karate Kid 2) — I definitely remember sitting on the sidelines while this was the couple skate song. I always wanted someone to ask me to couple skate. It.Never.Happened.

  • brooke - I’ve Had the Time of My Life!!

  • Christy - You CAN download it: https://soundcloud.com/dustinandgenevieve

  • Anna - I would love a tutorial on low light no flash! I’ve just started going through the website. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! Also, a couple years ago, my husband (a guitar player) played Tiffany and Debbie Gibson’s little comeback tour. It was pretty awesome. :)

  • Emilie - Paula’s Rush Rush + couples’ skate = awesome

  • JuliAnn - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
    Hello – Lionel Richie
    Forever Young – Alphaville

  • Crystal - We built this city on rock and roll!

I think she was three when I took the first picture of her sewing at my machine by herself. When I pick up my camera and capture her doing what she loves, I often wonder if we will look back at these pictures one day and smile about how ‘she’s been sewing since she could walk’. You know, like the musicians that have pictures of them strumming a guitar as a toddler. Maybe one day she’ll be a fashion designer and teach her mom that there is more to style than jeans and a t-shirt. I have no idea where it will lead, but I sure hope I am given years to watch.

50mm, ISO 400, 1/125, f/2.8

1.16pillow-01Her brothers were training for American Ninja Warrior all around the room. They were loud, busy, and such a distraction for any normal person, but not for her. She’s got the gift of focus when she is doing what she loves.

85mm, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.8 ~ 50mm, ISO 250, 1/160, f/1.81.16pillow-0285mm, ISO 400, 1/100, f/2.81.16pillow-0450mm, ISO 250, 1/160, f/1.81.16pillow-05Little eyes always watching her big sister…

50mm, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.81.16pillow-06She told me homeschool would be more fun if there was more crafting involved. I happily agreed, so we worked on a pillow between subjects. She always wants to use my good fabric scissors, but they are a challenge for left-handed self. If any of you seamstresses out there have a suggestion on scissors for lefties, please share. Not kid scissors…the real deal, please…she’s serious folks.

I’m going to keep capturing her doing her thing and it will keep making me smile to think about how it might play out in her life in the years to come.

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  • Tammy Henderson - Love the little peak of her tongue sticking out. I found these on Amazon.Looks like they have good reviews. Wish I’d thought to get them for my lefty when she was still home and we were working on Home-ec class.

  • Lisa K - My eight year old “lefty” just got a sewing machine for Christmas and I was just about to start Googling for sewing scissors. Are you reading my mind :) I’ll let you know if I find any!

  • Sara - My mom gifted us all a pair of gingher scissors when we were at home….my lefty sister got some as well.

  • Southern Gal - I love how she’s using the scissors upside down so they will cut properly with her left hand. And I love her seriousness. My granddaughter wants to sew on my machine so badly. I’m just going to let her go here shortly.

  • Emily - I use mundial (I’m a lefty) and they serve me well. http://www.amazon.com/2-Inch-Dressmaker-Shears-True-Left-Hand/dp/B0009VEM5E/ref=pd_sim_201_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=31PBDDVK85L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=1FB9Q7GRYGX07WBYWCTF

    If she wants a cutting wheel, it would be beneficial to try those out before buying — a lot of them have a guard on the left side to protect a left hand that would be holding the fabric but I have found that those just get in the way for me.

    When she’s a bit older and wants a serious kitchen knife, the Shun D-shaped handle is delicious for lefties – and my righty husband can use them comfortably as well.

    Happy crafting!

  • Southern Gal - Oh, and Gingher makes the best fabric scissors in my opinion. My mother has a pair that must be 50 years old.

  • Iselin Renée - Great photos :)

  • Meg - Long time reader, first time commenter! As a leftie and a quilter I can say from my own experience that I do not like left handed scissors at all and I’ve tried quite a few. Might be a personal thing. My favourite sewing scissors are these Singers – shorter blades and a comfy grip so they’re not too uncomfortable to use http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B002PIE4JI/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3/179-8681120-1514906?pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=1TY2BZN913FSM06CXJH6&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=1977604522&pf_rd_i=B000YZ8RGA
    For straight cutting she’s probably old enough to use a rotary cutter and ruler, with supervision, and you can always get a ruler holder to keep little fingers safe – if she’s serious about sewing I’d recommend learning to use a rotary cutter!

  • Bonnie - Another vote for ginghers! I got mine as a child and still have them into my 30’s! Maybe look at estate sales for gently used ones? Or Ebay? You can get them sharpened at craft stores pretty inexpensively.

  • Debbie H - http://www.amazon.com/Gingher-Knife-Trimmers-Lefthanded-01-005309/dp/B000UU6NXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452274733&sr=8-1&keywords=gingher+shears+left+handed

    Hi Ashley. I’m a long time sewer. The best scissors, in my opinion, are Gingher’s. I have a lefty also, now 24, and she has her own pair, although your daughter could work circles around mine, I’m afraid. If you take care of them, they will last a lifetime. I’ve had mine for 40 years. Amazon has them for the best price you’d likely find, but you might check your local fabric store to see if they carry them, especially if you can take advantage of coupon discounts, like JoAnn’s Fabrics. I’m from California, so your stores may likely be different than here. Much easier to do any job with the correct tools :) She is amazing to watch grow up. Her inner light is STRONG!

  • Byron - I look forward to seeing your sons on American Ninja Warrior!

    Her focus is amazing (but I doubt she ever gets you out of jeans and a t-shirt)! Wonderful pictures!

  • Marcie - another leftie here! My mom gave me a left-handed gingher scissors years ago when I was learning to sew – love them and no one steals them cuz they drive a right-handed person crazy 😉 Also LOVE my Rada fabric scissors!!

  • Haley - I LOVE this. It is so fun following along seeing how she has grown. I take lots of pictures of my 2.5 year old painting and I always thing similar thoughts.

  • Suzanne - Love it, love it! I do believe sewing is somewhat of a lost art but I sew for fun, for a living, and to keep my children from looking like waifs! I have been sewing since I was 8 years old and have made many of my own clothes (not anymore but for many years!) and now I do more home interior work. I left corp. America when I was pregnant with my second son (have 3 now) and starting make custom window treatments for others. After 13 years, I am still – there is nothing more relaxing for me than to sit down to my machine and just sew. I am left handed and the best scissors by far are Gingher and made specifically for left handers. I used ones for right handers for years but these are wonderful! Enjoy!

  • Kim B. - That’s great that you asked about scissors for lefties — as a lefty, looking at that one photo of her with the scissors in her left hand was killing me!! ow ow ow ow ow!!

    Your readers have provided good suggestions, obviously the highest quality are the Ginghers. I must say as a little girl I started out with Fiskars that are kind of “no-handed” rather than being specifically left- or right-handed – you can see on the package which ones are for which hand.

    That’s so awesome that she has loved sewing, I can remember pictures of her sewing her ribbon. I didn’t care when I was a little girl and it would have meant so much to my mom to share with me.

  • Olivia - Hello, I’m a left handed person, and when I was just a tyke my mother gently taught me to use right handed scissors. She never tried to change my writing hand or anything else, but because left handed scissors were completely inaccessible in the 80s she was determined that I would not be held back from crafting by lack of usable equipment. I’ve always been very grateful that I know this one skill using my right hand. It’s hard to find left handed scissors, and do think it’s a skill that can be learned. Good Luck :)

  • Alysa - I adore this! Especially that you’re thinking of continuing on the tradition of snapping pictures as she grows up doing what she loves!!

  • Lynn Osborne - Ashley, my mother just gave me my grandmother’s leftie 8″ dressmaker shears in the original Fuller Brush Company box. I have been looking for a leftie to give them to but no one in my circle of family/friends needs them. I will be glad to put them in the mail to you. Just email me a mailing address.

  • Tobi - Beautiful pics of your little seamstress! I have to admit, though, as a boy mama, my absolute favorite is the one with ol’ Spidey climbing the stairs upside down in the background. Classic!

  • Renae Bradley - My daughter is left handed and has had the most success with right handed sharp/fresh embroidery scissors (we do more wool felt crafting over here then fabric) -she tends to like them better then her lefty ones. Share when you find one that your daughter likes!

  • Tiffani - I’m a lefty and I swear by fiskars. They have a line of scissors in multiple sizes that have a spring action. They are ambidextrous and reduce strain on your wrists. Goods for both me and my right handed daughter to use the same pair.

  • Katie - I’m a lefty too! Got given a pair of left-handed ginghers for my 21st birthday, and they are great!

  • Rachel - I would love to second the commenter who recommended the spring-action fiskers. As a lefty, I was pretty sure cutting anything was the worst. My lefty mom bought me a pair of these when I was sewing for 4H as a kid. Total game changer. Cutting out the patterns and fabric became one of my favorite parts of the project because the scissors were no longer the enemy. (Lefties have pretty passionate responses to scissor memories. The old school lefty scissors from elementary school would not be allowed for prisoners under the Geneva Convention.) So thankful for my early training in sewing!

  • Alison - Hi Ashley!

    I met you at the Be Crafty workshop in Friday Harbor. ? I am also a lefty and my mom gifted me a pair of left-handed Gingher scissors years ago. They are probably the best gift she has ever gotten me. I know you have a bunch of comments saying the exact same thing already but I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts too. I hope this helps!!

  • Erin - I’m a lefty, and there were never left handed scissors around when I needed them while I was growing up. I learned to deal with regular scissors and now don’t mind them at all. Today I’m 36 years old, and I might not know what to do with them if you gave me a pair of lefty’s!

  • Janae - Gingers make excelllant quality sewing scissors, and I know the sell ones for lefties!!! They are sold at any true sewing store, great to use a 40%off coupon on at JoAnns fabrics!

  • Courtney - How I wish i had started sewing that young!! I have a feeling my career path would have taken a very different turn, but then again God’s plan is always better! Does your daughter sew using patterns. I love Modkid! https://www.etsy.com/shop/modkid

farmchicksThis is the week of announcements! I am excited to share that I’m headed to Spokane in June to help lead a BeCrafty Workshop at The Farm Chicks Craft Show. It is funny that I have to fly across the country to get to go to a craft show, but I’ll take it! 90,000 square feet of antiques, vintage and crafted goods from stylish curators…with a state fair theme.

I’ll be there with my sister Lesley, Amanda Rydell and Sara Parsons. Last year we hosted a BeCrafty in Friday Harbor, WA. This year it will be Spokane. Travel + Crafting are pretty close to a perfect combo for me!

craftyThis year at The Farm Chicks Show attendees will have the option to craft with us while at the show. Here are the details for the BeCrafty portion:

Each attendee will craft 2 inspiring ” FAIR ” themed projects.
All supplies will be provided.

Cost $60.00

WHEN:  Saturday June 4th
Workshop is a one hour session

* Please note admission into the Farm Chicks show is not included in workshop. Admission costs can be found on the Farm Chicks website. Due to the uniqueness of this workshop we are unable to provide refunds.

For more information on The Farm Chicks Craft Show click here

For more information and to register for a BeCrafty Workshop at the show click here
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  • Haley - What!? That is awesome, I have been reading your blog for years, not even sure how I ever came across such awesomeness, but I live about two hours from Spokane in Lewiston, Idaho. Might have to go to this!! :)

  • Krystle - You’re coming back to WA! :) Spkokane is just about as far away as you could be in WA, but only an hour plane ride 😉 Hmm….

  • Katie Burns - Awesome!! I live in Spokane and today is my birthday so I kind of feel like this announcement is meant just for me. ??

  • Nikki - Oh my goodness, this is so exciting! Farm Chicks and Be Crafty join forces, in my home town on my birthday weekend! It’s too much to handle. :) My 3 besties and I just bought tickets!! I’ve been following you and Lesley for years and you have been inspiring and challenging, in all the right ways and in so many ways. :) I can’t wait!

  • Byron - While my travels through Spokane were not so memorable that I would recommend the town, I can tell you are very excited about this. Enjoy and God keep you safe in your travels!

  • Veronica - So excited for you! I live in Spokane and am happy to provide info on hotels, food, things to do, places to take pictures, etc., if you need any recommendations. I’ll see you in June. Yay!

  • Kathie M. - OH MY OH MY!! I am so excited! I live in Spokane and LOVE going to the Farm Chicks show!! I will so be there!! 😀

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That sounds amazing!!

  • Donzel - I could actually go to this!! While you are here you should visit Sandpoint Idaho, it’s just south of where I live and is a very picturesque little town..Spokane isn’t particularly gorgeous or anything.

    I’ll put this on my calendar, it’s only a couple weeks away from when our second baby is due, so perhaps I’ll treat myself to a day “off”!

  • Serena - So excited for this! Can’t wait. xxoo