January 31, 2013

a lovely palette: navy + neutrals

well, v-day is in two weeks and as you've probably noticed, i'm just feeling all kinds of romantic... so i've been putting these pretty palettes together for inspiration.

i tend to default to pinks + reds when thinking "romantic" but navy hues paired with neutrals are absolutely lovely... a calming, moody romance.

xo :)

[pins // a plateful of haute cakes + mini cake + textile love]

January 30, 2013

little sailor boy

i just love illustrating fun little characters [like the one i made for the lavik family]... so naturally, i was incredibly excited to connect with sammy cosa, a photographer in southern california, who wanted a little character mascot for his upcoming workshop... what a delightful idea!

thanks sammy, so wonderful to work with you! :)


January 29, 2013

a lovely palette: cream + crimson

a pop of red is just so perfect in any place especially when paired with creamy whites, don't you think? :)


[pins // strawberry cake + book love + red lips]

January 28, 2013

rough sketch: eli eash of double e design

yay! it's monday! i've got green tea in my hand, music on, a full belly of delicious breakfast that my sweet husband made.... it's been a very good, long morning. :)

so so so excited to be sharing today's artist with you all - or maybe i should say "y'all" because i'm featuring a real-life cowboy who can build pretty much anything - eli eash!! you might remember his lovely wife, leah eash, a fashion illustrator that was featured a few months ago... and i know you'll love eli's work just as much hers!! you can see all of the beautiful pieces here!

a very happy monday to you friends! :)

 q. // when did you start making reclaimed trays + what prompted you to start?

[ a ] I built my first tray out reclaimed barn wood for my wife about two years ago. She wanted a unique piece for our bathroom to hold various bottles and candles. The larger serving tray with horse shoe handles was originally built as a Christmas gift for some friends of ours who love horses and have quite a few of them. Both ideas came from the discussions we would have on what to do with our growing pile of wood we had pulled off of several old outbuildings and barns. Since then, we've added several different handle styles.

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a ] The rustic beauty of wood which can be found on the side of an old building or in the details of bark on a tree, carpentry work by others whether local or online, and conversations with my wife inspire me.

q. // when you're not building things, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a ] I enjoy bowhunting and spending time with my family.

fill in the blank: i have a penchant for coffee, the great outdoors, studying the Word of God, and pecan pie.

January 25, 2013

a breakthrough

"...and david defeated them there; and he said, 'the Lord has broken though my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.'..."
[2 samuel 5:20]

a breakthrough of water. i couldn't get this verse out of my head after i read it... david had defeated the philistines, a familiar foe, one that he had fought many times before, but this time God gave a such distinct victory - like pent up water breaking through. 

i couldn't get it out of my head because like david, it feels like i've been fighting the same battle for too long - the battle against discouraging thoughts, then the battle against frustration when i realize i've been listening to those thoughts... like, "shouldn't i be past this? am i really struggling with this again?!" 
have you ever felt like that? it's so difficult to overcome! then once i do, it doesn't take long for the battle to ensue once again... and i just sat there reading this verse, picturing david who has battled these philistines so many other times, he could've easily asked the same frustrated questions that i am... and then God broke through, a victory like none other. 

...that's what i envision happening to the things we're battling against - being swallowed up and carried away in the water. it's not the end of them, but a rest from them. david had to fight the philistines later in his life again, but after that breakthrough it's recorded that the philistines were subdued for awhile - david finally had rest from his relentless enemies... 

i'm praying you have rest, a breakthrough of water, a long-awaited victory in the coming months... maybe even today! 

xo!! :)

January 24, 2013

a lovely palette: pink + ivory + mustard

simply enchanting... wouldn't you say?

p.s. three weeks till valentines day!

wedding wreath

sent this all the way to australia a couple of weeks ago! i love connecting with people all around the world... it's truly humbling + amazing! i'm so honored that jessica would have this illustration apart of her special day!

thanks jess! :) xo

January 23, 2013

romantic wedding invites for amy + chad!

this was one of my favorite projects last year, not only because this couple was exceptionally lovely/kind/amazing, but because it was just so romantic! i loved the vibe that chad + amy were going for, and i'm so glad i could convey it on paper with pretty pink + peach watercolor swirls... along with some twine to tie it all together. :)

thanks amy + chad for having me design your invitations, it was an honor + so much fun working with you!!


your part matters

"but david said, 'look at what the Lord has given us! the portion of the one who went down into the battle will be the same as the portion of the one who remained with the equipment! let their portions be the same.'"
[1 samuel 30:24]

let me paraphrase a little background to this verse... david and his army had just defeated their enemy in battle, rescued their wives and children from captivity, recovered all the possessions that had been taken from them, and are now coming back to their camp to restore everything to its rightful owner...

when they got back home, some of the soldiers thought they should entitled to keep all the possessions they had recovered, that the ones who stayed behind shouldn't get anything because they didn't fight in the battle, they weren't heroes after all.
enter david. [a man after God's own heart] he's like, "no way! we're going to treat them the same as those who fought - their portion is the same as ours." we each did our part, and each is equally important!
isn't that truly God's heart?

we all have a role, a role that God has called us to, a role that is different/specific/special to each of us, a role that is just as vital as the others - we just need to be faithful to do it, whatever that role is, seen or unseen.

maybe you've been having those moments where you feel like quitting, or feel unimportant [i've felt that soo many times!!], or even frustrated that you're just 'watching the equipment' while everyone else is being applauded for their battle victory - just remember that you matter more than you can fathom...we're the same in God's eyes... He has chosen you for this!

don't lose heart friends, be faithful at your post and He'll bless you. 


[photo pinned from oncewed]

January 22, 2013

downton, darling

oh my, valentines day is nearly upon us and i'm drawn to everything romantic right now... especially downton abbey. [anyone else as addicted as i am??] i can't get enough of it! i find myself speaking in a british accent far too much and wishing i had a reason to dress like they do... i'm going to make up an excuse soon enough!

until then, i've gleaned some inspiration from the crawley mansion, so that we might try to infuse a little bit into our own place... a mixture of 'upstairs' + 'downstairs', if you will. :)

clockwise from top left: a modest gold chandelier, a worn-in wood table, antique fixtures + fresh cut roses, white washed chest with little antique vignettes.

a good day to you friends! xo

January 21, 2013

out with the old

good morning friends!

i know i haven't posted an artist in a couple weeks, but i just wanted to let you know that i'll be picking it back up next week... things have been crazy and i didn't want to leave you hanging. thanks for being patient. :)

soooo, the husband and i still haven't taken our christmas tree down.... it's always so sad to part with it, especially this year because we actually hunted for it and cut it down ourselves! well, i didn't really help with the cutting down part, but still! i did help pick it out, and i'm such a sentimental sap that throwing our hard-earned tree to the dumpster is a little sad and i avoid it for as long as possible... i won't even show you what it looks like because now it's just embarrassing... so i think today is the day.

yep, it'll be a good way to start the last full week of january... oh my, is it really the end of january?! ok, now i really need to take that tree out!

happy monday! :)

January 18, 2013

a fresh start

a fresh start was just the thing i needed. as much as i enjoyed last year's adventures, there were lots of dark days too, and to be completely honest, by the end of 2012 i kept finding myself in what felt like a a huge pit... it was depressing!

as i've been reading through the old testament of the Bible, i've felt God lift me up and out, giving me a breath of fresh air. i'm not saying that difficult days are gone forever, but His word has been a warm, encouraging light to my soul... reading about joseph in prison, moses being chased by egyptian soldiers, joshua coming against giants... and the words God gave them over and over again - "don't be afraid, don't be dismayed. be strong, be courageous for I, the Lord, fight for you." 
i love that God loves to remind us of His promises, because i am seriously so quick to forget!

the same God that elevated joseph to a kingly status, that parted the red sea for moses, that crushed the walls built by giants, is the same God today, helping you and me! yesssss!! 

of course, since i've felt such a freshness personally/spiritually, i just needed to bring that to my logo... to remind myself to take a deep breath, enjoy the journey, and keep moving [those are little sparrow tracks up there :)]... i hope it does the same for you!! :) 


January 16, 2013

mid-january desktop + wallpaper!

well, as you know, kelli + i collaborate every month to give you a new desktop + iphone wallpaper... but the last couple weeks of december [when we normally brainstorm for the next month] brought unexpected events that, of course, halted our creativity...

in the midst of grief with our dear friends, my husband + i caught a horrible flu, that kept us in bed for a week straight.... as we were finally recovering, i got a text from kelli that her blog had been accidentally deleted from its server.... it was obstacle after obstacle!

when we finally got the chance to meet up about the desktop, kelli + i both wanted something reflective/calm/peaceful for this month's desktop - a reminder to slow down + savor the moment, because life is too short not to.

yes, go after your goals + climb those mountains, but don't forget to enjoy every step of the journey...
i don't know about you, but this is something that i need to be reminded of constantly.

i'm a huge fan of c.s. lewis, + love the quote we chose from him. just knowing that the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe wasn't even published until he was 52, gives a lot of weight to his encouragement... it's never too late to start fresh, to give it another try, or to begin a completely new adventure!

love you all, happy mid-january! :)

ashley :)

January 15, 2013

little woodland friends in the shop

in case you missed it on instagram... just wanted to let you know that i've added a couple of little woodland creature prints to the shop! hope you enjoy! :)

keep checking back for new prints + little lovelies coming soon!


January 11, 2013

save the dates for allie + taylor!!

so dreamy! i absolutely loved designing these save the dates for allie + taylor!! they sent these out via email, which i think is a great way to cut down on costs if you're on a budget!

happy friday!! hope you're all having a lovely morning so far! :)


January 10, 2013

our christmas cards!

well, i know it's a little late to be posting about christmas cards [i blame it on being sick], but i just had to share them with you!
[front + back below]... then i wrapped each one with a piece of fabric or bakers twine with a little pine branch attached... a little piece of montana for all our friends. oh, and of course, the addresses were in gold ink. so festive. :)

photos taken by the ever so wonderful kelli trontel

ashley :)

be courageous!

on january 2nd, the husband + i started a reading plan to read through the Bible in 90 days... whew... sounds like a lot, right?? it totally is. honestly, it sounded impossible at first, but now that we're a week into it, it's actually amazing + seriously, doable.

what i love most about it is that you get a different perspective on things, a bigger picture of what's going on. take the story of joseph for example, the guy's mom died when he was really young, then his brothers plot to kill him but instead sell him into slavery when he's 17, then a few years later he's promoted from slave to head steward of his master's house... but then wrongfully accused of a crime so he's sent to prison, then a few other crazy things happen and then he finds himself standing before pharaoh when he's 30 to interpret nightmares, then becomes pharaoh's right-hand man, where he would soon save his family from dying. 

i never realized it was a span of 13+ years of trial after trial. he so easily could've asked "why, God?" or could've been angry with God, but he wasn't, he was obedient in every situation and God blessed him, eventually bringing him into an amazing prosperous position, + a position to save his family. 

i was so encouraged by this, like never before... it's so easy to look at trials as just plain bad. of course, they're usually really difficult, but God is in control... He'll use those situations to bring more good than we can imagine, not just for us but for our loved ones too! love that.

take heart + have courage, friends! if you're going through difficult things, know that God will not only use it for your good but also for the good of those you love. 

ashley :) 

January 9, 2013

logo for the lovely alicia!

i've been so fortunate to have absolutely amazing clients who truly become friends... and alicia watkinson is one of those girls that i feel like i've known forever and can just chat for hours over coffee!!

isn't she just adorable?! i'm honored to have designed a logo to represent her beautiful, editorial-feel photography... you must check out all her amazing work here!

many thanks + hugs to you, alicia... so excited for you!!

ashley :)

January 8, 2013

christmas cards for the trontel tribe

i love this family so dearly, + i love that i could hand write their christmas card message [+ take their photo!!]. :)

January 2, 2013

cheers to a new year

i hope you all had a fun new year's, spent with people you love. the husband and i were both sick in bed, so i wouldn't say it was fun but i was glad to be together.

i love the idea of starting fresh - a new year, a blank canvas, another chance to tackle those goals we didn't quite get to last year...

2012 was a full, stretching, adventurous year with lots of surprises [some good, some not so good] and it only gets me excited for what the new year will bring. i've never really been one to make new year's resolutions, but i do have a few goals this year...

- give God my best, not leftovers
- love more, + without fear
- create create create, even on those days i feel like quitting
- step out in faith, + out of my comfort zone

have you set any goals for the new year? would love to hear them.

cheers to a new year, friends!!

ashley :)