October 21, 2014

logo for melissa johnston photography!



i really like working in lots of different mediums... i like to switch between gouache, watercolor, ink, acrylic, pencil, and charcoal... i think it prevents me from getting bored with one look, and exercises my brain to switch between how each medium works. each one is so different, requiring a different touch and method for creating light and shadows. for instance, the mountain range on melissa's logo was created by painting a strong line first, rinsing my brush from all color, then taking my water-filled brush to the line and washing it downward. i love the way watercolor works, it's so soft and free...

...and that was perfect fit for melissa johnston's logo! she wanted her logo to be romantic without being too girly, and with the help of her desired color palette, watercolor always has a way of looking romantic. like all logos, i couldn't have created this look without her inspiration! branding is always a collaboration for me, and i absolutely loved working with melissa! also... her work is gorgeous and oh-so-lovely... take a little walk through her gallery here! you won't be disappointed. :)

so much thanks to melissa, she was such a dream to work with!!

hope you're all having a lovely morning... and do something you love today. whether that's painting, snapping photos, taking long walks, or just sitting at a cafe sipping your latte... savor it. :)

xo!
ash

October 16, 2014

little christmas things in the works!




christmas has always been my favorite time of year... and now that we have white christmases, it's just more magical than ever! so of course, even at the start of fall, i'm already dreaming about wrapping gifts...

more to come! hope you enjoy what's coming to the shop!! yay!

hope you're all having a lovely week so far!
xo!

October 11, 2014

etsy banner for kylie rae!




i always love getting work with friends as they launch new endeavors and chase their dreams. kylie rae is an incredible baker who i had the opportunity to create a logo for.... and now she's launched a new etsy shop with her art pieces! so excited for this new branch of her artistic talent.

xo!

September 29, 2014

plant + plow video!



recently, i had the pleasure of creating a logo for one of my sweet friends in california, who is one of the warmest, kindest people i know...... megan has been working with video for awhile and God kept bringing people her way, so she decided to make it official and start a business! it's been so cool to see His faithfulness just in the last few months as i've been able to work with her and create a logo - it came so easily and naturally and i really feel like He placed the vision right in our laps!

so excited for this new chapter in her video journey, and can't wait to see all that God continues to do through this endeavor! honored to work with you megs! loved every minute. :)

check out plant + plow's inspiring blog and don't hesitate to contact her if you need a video! :)

happy monday!
xo!


September 16, 2014

plain *jungle* jane



i like simple things, and i tend to think of myself as a plain jane - my wardrobe is mostly neutral in color, my house is mostly neutral in color, i'll choose white anything over whatever the other option is, i don't accessorize a ton, maybe a hat here + bracelet there...

so i think the wild / colorful / adventurous side of me comes out in my illustrations and story writing... *enter jungle pattern on a thursday night*
i love this green thing!! i want to plaster it all over my walls! i'm still seriously considering painting giant murals in every room of the house, but i've resorted to keep this little tropical ditty on my phone... and you're welcome to use it on yours too!

hope you're all having a lovely summer's end!
xo!
ashley


September 15, 2014

a little peek into my story...



i was asked by with hearts united to share a bit of my story in Christ [you can read it here], and i ended up writing a lot more than i expected! isn't so funny how we tend to think that our lives are 'simple' but when you sit down to write your story, you realize the plot is thick with so many twists and turns, so many finely sewn threads that lead you to where you are now... it's the flawless weaving of a Master at work. oh that fills my soul with so much hope and peace for the future. the seemingly good and the seemingly bad all intertwine with each other, making something completely beautiful with our lives.

we are profoundly loved and refined, day in and day out, moment by moment, by the Creator of the intricately shaped universe, the Author of thousands of heroic, redemptive stories... and i can't believe i get to be a piece penned and molded by Him. i pray i always let Him write it and that i don't try to skip ahead a few chapters and try to write it myself!

let's allow Him to write our stories, it'll be one of love when all hope is lost, peace in the darkest of moments, and victory against all odds. as His workmanship, friends, our stories are anything but simple.

"the Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands."
psalm 138:8 

September 5, 2014

floral invites for amy + ryan!!



illustrating florals is such a favorite of mine, especially for wedding invitations! amy + ryan were so sweet + lovely to work with, and i was absolutely giddy to create floral invites for them... their color scheme + vibe was right up my romantic alley! :)

a warm thanks to amy + ryan for having me design their invites... i loved doing so!

xo!
ash

[p.s. above is a digital mockup of the invitation, because amy + ryan decided to print themselves! i offer the option of home printing for anyone looking to cut costs where they can!]

September 3, 2014

the need for silence



"truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.
my soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him."
psalm 62:1, 5

i love that david had to remind himself to keep quiet, because silence isn't something i naturally seek either. with all the avenues of entertainment, it's honestly really hard for me to choose silence over noise. silence often feels lonely; it often feels weird and uncomfortable because we're so comfortable and used to the voices of others... even right now i'm listening to music while i type this!! [insert blushing/embarrassed emoji] ....and now i'm sheepishly clicking 'stop'. see!! i can't even write about silence without struggling to keep silent! i'm forever grateful for God's patience with this hyperactive heart of mine. sheesh.

our hearts and minds are constantly filled with thoughts and plans and distractions and praise [clearly]. it's all a jumbled noisy mess inside - all that's peaceful fights against all that's distracting. encouraging thoughts war against discouraging thoughts. feeble prayers war against ever-present sin and temptation.... and in the most chaotic of moments, i usually turn to writing in an attempt to release some of the noise. fragments of thoughts and incomplete sentences fill my journal, and by the end of these scribble sessions, the noise has subsided because i've finally taken my eyes off what's going on in my heart and onto Jesus - who can always be found in quiet places.

isn't that something we so often forget?? Jesus loves solitude with us. He desires those quiet intimate moments of refreshing... where we've run out of things on our list and finally sit quietly, waiting for Him to speak.... gosh, how often do i wait patiently for Him to speak? not nearly enough. oh, i'll chatter all day long to God - "help me with this, help me with that, show that person they're wrong, intervene here, heal so-and-so" - and of course, God loves when we share all that's on our hearts, but we forget that He, more importantly, should have a turn to speak. i want to listen to Him as much as He patiently listens to me.

...and sometimes, even when i shut my mouth and make room for Him, He chooses not to say anything. sometimes He'll be silent too. His voice isn't "on-demand" like my favorite shows on hulu or music on spotify. i think He allows silence for our own good... so that we'll learn to trust without hearing and walk without seeing.... so that we'll learn to submit to His timing and not ours. His silence then is rich in love and lessons, just like His word. so whether He chooses to speak volumes to us today, or chooses to keep silent, let's accept both with rejoicing because both have their purpose and both are for our best and both are for His glory.

praying our hearts find rest in that lovely silence today!

xo,
ash

September 2, 2014

birch tree invitations for sarah + josh!


oh, how i love wedding invitations! it's not every day that i get to work on these incredibly special pieces, but when i do, i'm smitten through the entire process! the love + new life represented in this particular set of wedding stationery is really second to none. reading through this couple's sweet love story and seeing their beautiful engagement photos, it was easy to see they're meant to be... and what a delight it was to design invitations for them!

heartfelt thanks to sarah + josh for having me create these special pieces, it was an honor!

xo!
ash




August 29, 2014

kelli "&" vanessa



when kelli & vanessa rebranded a few months back [you can see their previous brand here], they asked if i would paint a little "&" between their names... such a fun little collaboration, and so fun to see it not only on their site, but on their shirts as well! [photo below taken by kelli]

those girls are doing great things, be sure to check out their blog if you haven't already!

xo,
ash


August 11, 2014

new prints in the shop!


finally updated and filled the shop with new prints! yay! with my health back in tip top shape, i'm so excited to be focusing on paper goods again... so please keep checking back for new products! or you can follow me on instagram [@thornandsparrow], where i'll be posting photos of all the latest illustrations!

thanks so much for all your support, i so appreciate you guys! :)

xo!
ash

August 5, 2014

august desktop + wallpaper // listen + go


"But safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the Spirit."
- madeleine l'engle, walking on water

isn't that such a profound truth? safety is an illusion... because as much as we try to preserve ourselves from harm/failure/disaster, we inevitably encounter it. too often we weigh our options on the scale of security - as if  the "better" choice will look safe, financially stable, socially acceptable, and easily mapped out with a 5 year plan.

we have to let our finite idea of safety go if we truly want to listen to the Spirit and embark on the adventure He's called us to - whether that be moving to a completely different country or culture, or starting that novel you've always wanted to write. don't push away that voice that's telling you to step out of your comfort zone... don't let the questions of 'what-ifs' and 'does it make sense' stop you from following your dreams...

because most of the time, God will call us to do something that doesn't make sense and we have no idea what will happen, but if we believe that God has the power to make the sun stand still, to part the red sea, to shut the mouths of lions, and to multiply one kid's lunch to feed multitudes, then we believe He can do anything and He's worthy of our trust and obedience even if we don't understand.

this line always comes to mind when talking about His wild [perhaps considered 'unsafe'] plan for our lives.....
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
- c.s. lewis, the lion the witch and the wardrobe

praying this would be an empowering reminder that the King is calling you and paving the way for you, so take a step... and go!



for this month's collab, kelli + i [+ ezra!] ventured up to glacier national park, because i don't think anything evokes journey and adventure and "go" quite like that place! it's dreamy and inspiring... and really those words don't do it justice! hope you enjoy this snapshot of our inspiring location on all your tech!

love you all!
ash