As if we needed another crafting addiction around here…we found one. Button making. One of the Be Crafty Workshop crafts was button making and my eldest daughter enjoyed the role of teaching that craft. My sister designed a few buttons graphics for our use and we got busy. Makers gonna make.

buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-01buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-03buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-04buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-05buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-06buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-07I keep adding more and more buttons to my camera bag. It is like reliving middle school, only I am the mom of a middle schooler now. Whatever.
buttonsunderthesycamore11-16-09I’m not selling buttons because I can’t remember to check my mail everyday, so packaging up orders to mail to someone else definitely won’t happen. My sister, however, is selling some of her designs. She has super cute button sets – perfect for stockings. You can find them on her Etsy site…they would make great stocking stuffers!


Speaking of Be Craft, my friend Amy of Happily Situated Photography created the cutest video for Be Crafty Workshops. It is short and gives such a perfect picture of the sweetness of this gathering. Amy is Tulsa-based, but travels. If you are looking for someone to capture your family or event through videography – Amy is your girl! I am having trouble embedding the video. If you click on the image below, it will redirect you to the video!


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  • Jenn - such a great video. perfect
    and those buttons.
    i have already purchases four sets. i have a set for me. one for my sister, oh wait another one for me and one to separate between my girly and my bff. they are awesome. 😉

  • Kathie M - Too cute!! I really want to get a button maker too…I keep telling my husband that I want one. Someday! But what a cute video too!!

  • Rebecca - Where is your camera bag from?

  • Linda - Such a great video. And the event looked fabulous and so did all of the great details.

  • L Rock - Could you tell what brand of button maker you have? Thanks!

Earlier this school year I was looking for ways give each of my kids opportunities to learn more about specific topics they were each interested in. Driving from lesson to lesson with 5 kids is not an option for us (nor is it financially feasible!). My sister posted a picture on Instagram of my youngest niece following along a Skillshare online drawing class. I was familiar with Skillshare, but had not really dove into any of the courses or had taken the time to see what all was offered.

With Lesley’s prompting, I sat down and began scrolling through the classes. Membership is $10.00 a month and includes unlimited access to all of the courses. I sat down with my kids and began making notes of all the different courses they want to try: Drawing, Painting, Basic Web Coding, Cooking, Crafting, Game designing, Hand Lettering, Doodling, etc. Their is list is LONG!

Winter is approaching and we will be outside less often. I’m looking forward to busting boredom using Skillshare courses!

One of the very first courses we tried was a drawing basics that the girls picked out. I didn’t think the boys would be interested since it appeared to be very basic. In no time all 5 were in the living room following along. Each lesson was only a couple minutes long and they kept moving onto the next lesson after they finished one.

skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-04skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-05skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-06skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-07skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-08skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-09skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-10skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-11skillshareunderthesycamore11-16-12Chris has been using our membership for business classes and learning more about web related stuff. One of the overwhelming aspects of Skillshare is there are so many courses! It is hard to know where to start.

If you are interested in trying it out, I thought I would share a few of our favorites so far:

  • Doodle Art Basics by Karen Duchan
  • Building Kids Confidence Through Drawing by Em Winn (pictured in this post)
  • Doodling for Kids (don’t let the course listing image keep you from checking it out) by Em Winn
  • Handlettering Essentials for Beginners by Mary Kate McDevitt

Skillshare lets you save courses, so we have a bunch saved to work through in the coming cold months. The older boys and I have some more advanced classed we want to try and I’m excited to give the kids the opportunity to dive into their own particular interests without having to juggle driving to a bunch of lessons.

Once you are a member you can invite others to join and get a discount on your own membership. Since we are really enjoying the courses, I thought I would share here. I joined using a $.99 code my sister shared and planned on cancelling before my 3 months were up if we didn’t love it…but we do, so I am sharing my own code here today!

Click here to use my code to get your first 3 months for $0.99. 

I’d like to create a collection of courses to take, so if you are already on Skillshare and have a few favorite classes will you share them below? Let us know if they are favorites of your kids or for adults. I’m planning to kick boredom this winter by doing lots of creating.

Happy creating!


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  • kate - Oh my goodness, Ashley! SO MANY TIMES you have shared things on your blog I never knew about and have accessed, that have made my life richer with a new layer!! Thank you so much for always being so generous with your heart, great ideas and life experiences. I am grateful.
    Can’t wait to sign up and try out lots of classes with my kids! FUN!

  • Beth - Are you familiar with I think your kids would really enjoy it! It’s a similar concept, but all the courses are specifically built for kids. There’s pretty much everything on the sun, and it allows kids to earn badges (those cost money, but everything else is free as far as I can tell).

  • JenW - Thanks for sharing! That does look terrific for the winter! My boy and the neighbor kids always end up watching too much TV or video games in winter. They will be excited to do more “projects” as we call creating around here!

  • Sarah Morgan - This could not have come at a better time! I’m struggling trying to find activities for my 7 year old who isn’t a sports kid. I’ve seen skillshare advertised before but honestly just never thought to check them out. I’m thinking this could be a great opportunity for him to check out lots of activities and hopefully we can find one that will stick! I’m excited to possibly learn a few things too! Thanks Ashley!!

  • Carrie - Dear Ashley,
    Thank you for continuing to write this blog. I am one of those long time readers, a fly on the wall of your blog, if you will! But…you have encouraged me and brightened my day on many, many occasions. Interestingly, we have a special needs daughter who is about the same age as your youngest and she has also made wonderful strides in her development. We also homeschool and participate in Classical Conversations. And my oldest is about the same age as yours and cannot keep her nose out of a book! So, in some ways our lives have taken parallel paths. I admire you so much even though I have never met you. I appreciate your “real”ness while you also help me to meditate on what is true, good and beautiful. I rarely comment, but please know that I feel at home in your little blog niche. Thank you for making me feel like a welcome friend! You are the good neighbor from Luke 10! 🙂

  • Steffany - Thank you so much! My kids (5 and 7) LOVE to draw. The older one took art classes through a program after but it was expensive and an okay class. These sound WAY better because they can both attend and certainly less money. Mom might even sit in on them too! My husband was laid off yesterday and so three months of drawing classes for $0.99 could NOT have come at a better time 🙂 Thanks again!

  • Iara - Yeah for Skillshare! so excited to see you featuring it here on your blog. I am a long time member and started teaching paper craft related classes in September. I have so far a scrapbook class, a Christmas Card-making class and a mini album class. Working now on a mixed media / collage class 🙂 My kids love to watch the drawing classes – the all time favorite is called “drawing cute” – search for it, your kids will love it! even my boy love the cute animals and people! and my favorite is “Introduction to modern calligraphy” and the sketchbook classes by Ria Sharon.

  • Andrea - Thank you so much for posting this! I have wanted my boys to take drawing lessons for years but being a teacher and paying for private school for 3 kids it hasn’t fit into our budget. I will definitely try skill share!

  • emily hope - thanks for this! my 9 year old is just learning to crochet and I was hoping to find some tutorials for her to branch out with. now I’m finding lots more that I want to do 😉

  • Mandy Jones - Being a fellow Beagle Mom, the photo of your pup drinking out of your littlest one’s cup absolutely stole my heart and made me laugh out loud. That is a common occurance around here too. Got to love our “Nosey” kids. 🙂

  • LOUIS DEJESUS - is a great website.

  • Carla - thanks for this!! you always give such thoughtfully chosen tips and tricks that enrich lives for all.

  • Kari - Thank you for this post! I’m going to introduce my daughter to this for a Christmas gift! She loves to create and this will be right up her alley!

  • Gail - I nanny a slew of kids between the ages of 5 and 12 and skillshare has been a HUGE hit. I’m curious whether it will still keep their interest in a few months but initially, every kid has loved it. This weekend with an 8 and 10 year old, I enjoyed Lesley’s class as well as Em Winn’s class on drawing cute! It was an entertaining intergenerational activity.

Thank you for your sweet, compassionate words regarding my post about my grandpa. It was fun to brag on him and share that with you. Not many people read blogs anymore (at least not like they used to). I feel like a lot of you that are still hanging around here with me have been reading this for so long – thank you. I haven’t met most of you, but you have always been so encouraging to me and I am so grateful for that.

A week or so after Be Crafty, Amanda sent a package to my eldest daughter as a thank you for helping to host the workshop. As my girl began opening the beautifully wrapped gifts, she squealed with delight. Paper, ribbons, stamps, paperclips and a scrapbooking binder all came out of the box.

Amanda designed a couple of pages in the book to show my girl how to layer each page and get her creative juices flowing. One look at those pages was all it took..she was off and running for few hours working on her book.

scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-01scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-02scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-03She noticed Amanda did some sewing on a page, so she pulled out our sewing machine and went to work on her pages. I’m calling it our sewing machine instead of mine. These days she uses it far more than I do!
scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-09Polaroid sent Amanda a couple mobile printers for the workshop. You connect the printer to your phone and can print instantly straight from your phone. It is like having a polaroid camera, but using your phone! It works pretty great when your 7 year old is scrapbooking and doesn’t want to wait for you to order pictures.
scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-11scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-12scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-13scrapbookunderthesycamore11-16-08I’m not going to post any pictures of the pages…she wrote lots of sweet things about friends and family and it is better to keep it tucked in her book instead of sharing it here. Just know those pages were full of layered goodness. I told her she needs to start guest posting here with scrapbooking lessons. She sure has a few things to teach me!

*a lot of the paper, stickers and stamps were from Maggie Holmes new Gather line

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  • Elizabeth R. - What a lovely scrapbook. I hope that she’s doing all right. I love how intent on her work she is – I, too, am the sort of person to be happy with crafts for hours on end. Clearly she’s got scrapbooking talent! 🙂

  • Sarah Martin - Hey there- I still read. Don’t comment much but I am still so blessed by you. 🙂

  • Byron - This is something that has its roots in you, Ashley. She will enjoy not only doing this now but also adding more and more as she grows and looking back on both the books and the process in the future!

    Wonderfully done by/for both of you! If I’m ever over there again, perhaps she will be kind enough to show it to me.

  • Amy K. - I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you or Firecracker (yet!), but I have been lucky enough to meet Amanda at a Be Crafty workshop, and I can only imagine how thrilled she was to see your girl run with those supplies!!

  • Seamingly Sarah - She is WAY better at scrap booking than I am!

  • Nicole L. - How fun! Her pages looks adorable!