December 6, 2014

yay 30!



29 was a good year.... a very difficult year, but a good year. and yeah, i got to galavant all over paris!! sometimes i equate goodness with easiness, as if something easy is automatically good because it doesn't hurt. this year has taught me that just because something hurts, doesn't mean it's bad. actually, most of the things that hurt me are good for me. 

pruning is necessary for fruit... and severe pruning is necessary for abundant fruit. that picture has been stirring in my heart for the last few weeks and i know God is sharing His heart with me. He doesn't just prune back the dead, unwanted stuff, He prunes back perfectly good, thick branches in order to see the best fruit come forth. does the fruit sprout up immediately? nope. when you prune something, it takes a few seasons before the new growth is even seen. He knows what He's doing and my hurt is only for good whether i see that now or not. i love that hope and promise all throughout His word!

29 was a year of a lot of pruning. A LOT. but i'm so thankful that He is actively pruning in order to bring good, acceptable fruit that will bring so much good and bring Him glory.

so i'm so happy and grateful to be getting older... and as year 30 is added to my heart, i want compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience to clothe me where those branches have been pruned. to bear with the people around me, to forgive like Christ has forgiven me... and let love wrap it all together in a perfect unifying bond. [colossians 3:12-14]

yay 30! you're gonna be a good one! la vie est belle! 

xo
ash

December 1, 2014

meowy christmas tags

with the last few hours of cyber monday upon us, i thought i'd post a little freebie to give your wallets a break :: cat tags [with + without guidelines] for all the gifts you just bought. :)

meowy monday!
xo!
ash



November 20, 2014

God does not forget us



the husband and i have been reading through genesis lately, and twice now i've come across a little note in my Bible i'd written before - "God does not forget us." and for some reason that little phrase struck me as if a brand new revelation had just been given. of course, it's not a new thought, it's not even a profound thought, but that simple truth has brought me so much comfort the last couple of weeks.

jacob was a hard-working, loyal employee of his father-in-law, laban, for 20 years and he was only ever repaid with false promises and cheated wages... from his own father-in-law! jacob had been robbed by laban multiple times over and the Bible never mentions jacob complaining, not once! he faithfully stuck to his duties through frost-bitten nights and scorching hot days.... again, for 20 years. i can't even go through a week of below-zero temps without complaining! he was faithful until God called him to something new.... and God redeemed all those years of injustice:

"if the God of my father, the God of abraham and the Fear of isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. but God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you."
genesis 31:42

God does not forget us. through hardship and unfair treatment, God does not forget us.

a few chapters later, that phrase appears next to the point in time when joseph suddenly finds himself in a dungeon, labeled a criminal. prior to this, joseph had big dreams for his future which made him the object of his brothers' jealousy then victim of their betrayal.... sold into slavery, then unexpectedly flourished in his role as slave, only to soon be falsely accused by his master's wife of rape, then imprisoned by the very man that had previously elevated joseph to a trusted position. through it all, he managed to keep his heart focused on God and whatever work He provided.

after he interprets a dream of a fellow inmate, joseph is given a glimmer of hope to be freed only to be forgotten by the inmate, and continues on in the prison for 2 more years.
two. more. years. in prison.

he was forgotten by man, but not by God. at the most opportune time, God orchestrated not only a way out for joseph, but also the fulfillment of dreams He gave him early on in life. like jacob, through all the years of injustice, joseph never lost hope that God had a plan for his affliction:

"you [his brothers] intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." 
genesis 50:19

through betrayal and false accusations, God does not forget us.

even when we've been beat up, forgotten, and accused by enemies, by friends, or even by family, God does not forget us and He is not afar off. He sees and hears and feels all that we're going through. it might take some time for God to bring restoration, but just know that there is a perfect plan of redemption being carefully knit together. trials are inevitable, but they are inevitably for our good.

"... for God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."
genesis 41:52

God has not forgotten you, friend, He is right there with you, planning the time of harvest in the land of your affliction.

xo!

November 17, 2014

logo for candice lawrence photography!




what a lovely honor it is to collaborate with other artists to create something unique for them... and the best words i could ever hear from a client is: "it's so me!!" ...and to my delight, that was just the reaction  that candice lawrence had when she saw this one! i'm so happy that i could help get her vision + vibe down on paper, capturing a little bit of who she is to represent her brand.  

candee's work is absolutely gorgeous and i'm so thankful she wanted me along for the ride in this chapter of her life + business! you can browse through all of her beautiful photos here.

thanks so much candee! the best + blessings to you! :)

xo!

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