February 28, 2013



 if you're as much of a disney kid as i am, then you'll absolutely adore this short. even if it didn't win an oscar [but it did], i'd still be in love. the art + story are just whimsically beautiful.

happy thursday.... spring is almost here.... and so is the march desktop... and easter... and [hopefully] warmth. i'd love a little more sun this month... how about you??

ashley :)

February 27, 2013

freshly picked: living room love

sometimes i just need to freshen up a room, and most of the time i don't have a big budget for it... but i've found that it's the little details that really make a statement. adding a new candle, unexpected coasters, pretty books, cozy touches, and [most recently] vintage light bulbs are all pieces that i've used to change things up in our living room... and they're all priced under $40!

3. paris in color... i love it!
4. voluspa - french cade lavender

February 25, 2013

the branch family!

family illustrations are becoming such a fave for me... it's so fun to portray each member's personality through ink + paint, or any medium really. i think that's my favorite thing about any project whether it's logos, or family illustrations, or invitations -- knowing [or getting to know] each client and bringing out their personality through art.

a couple of weeks ago, a long time friend, maddie, asked me to illustrate her sister-in-law katie's growing little family... something she would give katie at her baby shower - such an amazing idea!! i'm totally stealing that. :) anyways, i've actually known katie + her husband, tyler, for years so it was just a super special project all around... can't wait to see the sweet new addition to their already adorable family!!

ashley :)

oh... and a fun 'ink-to-color' transformation:

February 22, 2013

illustration for the inspiration den!

in 2009, my dear friend amber and i started an invitation company/shop in the heart of newport beach, in a super cool old building on lido, where we'd stay up way too late collaborating on projects and inevitably end up walking to our favorite coffee shop around the block for a little caffeine boost.... it was a dream come true!! amber still works on invitations in her home studio, and is now launching a super cool inspiration blog....

all that to say, i absolutely LOVE working with amber, it's creepy how alike our minds really are... so it didn't take long for the vision for the illustration + logo to come together over just a few quick emails. i created this illustration with ink and amber added the splash of color + font.

check out her lovely new blog, the inspiration den... i love it already!


from the nest: easy, GF curry

i've been on the hunt for new [easy] recipes, because i honestly rotate the same 3 dinners... [poor husband...] so when i came across this one from martha stewart, i knew i had to try it! it seemed easy enough, it's gluten-free [the husband and i both have allergies] and who doesn't want curry for dinner?!

of course i made some alterations to it - adding spice + cutting the quantity down a bit - because we are a family of two and, well, i didn't want to have a huge batch if it didn't turn out.... oh, but it did!!

this was the perfect amount for two with leftovers! if you have a larger family, just double the recipe. :)

feel free to grab the recipe image above and store it on your computer for easy access when you're ready to cook! let me know what you think!!

February 20, 2013

freshly picked: seeing spots

i don't think i've ever owned something with polka dots on it... they usually make my eyes feel weird and the husband has mentioned more than once that he doesn't like them, ha! but lately, spots have been catching my eye and i'm starting to feel the itch for something spotted... i might just have to find an excuse to buy those spotted straws!!

February 18, 2013

rough sketch: kelli trontel

happy monday friends!! hope you had an amazing, refreshing weekend!!

soooo excited to share today's artist with you... kelli trontel!! kelli and i have been creatively collaborating every month for nearly a year and has become one of my dearest, most encouraging friends... and of course, i absolutely love all her work!!

see all of her loveliness over on her blog! :)

q. // when did you start photography + what prompted you to start?

[ a. ] I have always loved photography, but the musical part of me was encouraged and nurtured most while growing up. Photography became a huge part of my life in 2008 when I was living in Nashville, TN. I was surrounded by so much creativity and boundaries were being crossed everywhere I looked. Musicians were photographers and photographers were musicians.... I finally felt like I didn't have to "choose" between the two. This is when I experienced true creative freedom.

I was working for an Advertising Agency when I was asked to photograph the entire staff for their new website- I admired the Creative Director that gave me this job and this was a turning point in my career- it gave me wings and the confidence that I needed to own this love of mine. I also had an opportunity to learn from one of the best photographers in town, David Bean [www.visualreserve.com] and this was also a tipping point for me.

I ended up getting laid off from my day job and it was at that point that I had a decision to make- to go and look for another job [in a down economy] or start my own. I chose to start my own... and have never looked back.

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

[ a. ] People inspire me. The Creator of the universe created us... how cool is this? People living their lives with purpose... risking it all... inspires me... I love to help share peoples stories- through images- so when I come across genuine transparency- I want to know more. I also love the little details- the parts of us and the world around us that make life unique and beautiful.

q. // when you're not taking beautiful photos, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a. ] I love my family so spending time with them is priority. I mean, I have the cutest son in the world... totally in love. Can't get enough. My husband is pretty rad too!

q. // if you could give just one piece of advice to fellow creatives, what would it be?

[ a. ] Take the first step! I know too many people that just sit around and wait for the "perfect moment" to even begin... and that is rarely the case. You have to start somewhere... and so my advice would be ACTIVATE your dream and do something everyday towards that goal. No one is going to do it for you.

fill in the blank:
i have a penchant for French Toast on a Saturday morning, Stumptown Espresso, Vibey coffee shop music, snuggling with my sweet baby boy.

some of her work:

February 15, 2013

from the nest: bauble holders

i'm just going to confess right now that organization doesn't come naturally for me. i have to work at it. but when i do, i am always so happy, especially when it doesn't involve plastic bins. i love figuring out ways to store things creatively because it's really all about aesthetic for me. if it doesn't look good, then i'm not motivated. sad but true.

i've been in desperate need of a jewelry box or tree or something, but just haven't found one i like... so i was infinitely delighted when my dear friend got the organization juices flowing with this bunny dish from anthropologie. suddenly i realized i already had a place i could display my dainty necklaces on - little tree branches!

with such cute places to store my favorite pieces, i'm so motivated to keep things in their place and not on the coffee table/bathroom counter/kitchen shelf or wherever else i've been known to leave my treasures. :)

how do you store your accessories?? i would love to see your space!


February 14, 2013


you are beautiful, you are loved. :)
wishing you a very lovely v-day!!


February 12, 2013

a lovely palette: black + white + chartreuse

gravitating towards unexpected hues this valentines day... how about you?

[dressed upgreen pops + savannah]

February 8, 2013


[photo taken by kelli trontel last summer on location]

playing with paints for some lovely clients. love fridays like this... what are you up to today? 


February 7, 2013

a lovely palette: sea foam hues

i've always had a crush on sea foam, it's just so underrated and underused! i don't have much in these hues, but i just love how it looks when paired with unexpected bright colors or earthy tones or of course, gold... what doesn't look good with gold?!


[a painting snippet + quaint little cafe + pretty plates]

February 6, 2013


just wanted to say that i love you guys! that's all. :)

February 5, 2013

a lovely palette: whites + floral pops

there's nothing i love more than a white canvas with pops of bright floral colors... such a simple prettiness! goodness, i really need to incorporate more white into my wardrobe!


[a perfect stroll + pretty ice cream palette + a parisian home]

February 4, 2013

rough sketch: blaine stark

good morning!

you know, before i met nic, i said that i would NEVER marry a musician. i literally said that out loud. ha! i guess i had a pretty bad impression of them ha!! my view has obviously changed a bit since meeting + marrying my sweet musician husband, and of course some of my favorite people are musicians including today's artist + friend :: blaine stark. :)

blaine is a super talented guitar player who's played with lots of awesome artists [i.e. jayme dee, future of forestry, among others] and just so happens to be one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet... see for yourselves!! :)

q. // when did you start playing guitar + what prompted you to start?

[ a. ] I started playing guitar when I was 16 years old. I had been playing bass for a year and for some reason unbeknownst to me I was way more intrigued by the guitar so I decided to make the transition and took up playing guitar instead.

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

[ a. ] I find inspiration in many things. The people around me, the Word of God, different instruments, great records, bad records, good conversations, great songs, many more. Pertaining to music, I'm very inspired when our humanity is displayed in music by way of our imperfection. As human beings we are NOT perfect and so I love when a recording isn't perfect, when things aren't PERFECTLY in time or PERFECTLY in tune, and when a moment in time of a human being playing an instrument is captured through a microphone, in a recording. Oh and I'm also very inspired by unusual and unorthodox tones and pieces of gear. :)

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

[ a. ] I love to cook, clean, listen to old records, be with friends, drink coffee, hunt for unusual instruments and squeeze my cat.

q. // if you could give one piece of advice to fellow creatives, what would it be?


fill in the blank: 
i have a penchant for... cold, cloudy weather (rainy or snowy), a great cappuccino, cured meats, a fluffy cat, a steak cooked medium rare and a great glass of red.

February 1, 2013

february desktop + iphone wallpaper!

as kelli and i were walking around our little downtown, bouncing ideas around, we stumbled upon a few pallets tossed next to the dumpster in an alleyway, discarded as trash... and the vision just snowballed from there...

i love the imagery.... no matter what you've been through, where you're at, whether you're single or married or dating, whatever state you're in - you are beautiful and you are loved.

"... as a groom rejoices over his bride, so your God rejoices over you."
[isaiah 62:5]

oh, i can't tell you how much i need to be reminded of that!! it's so easy to measure ourselves up to society's standards of beauty and worth but the God who created our hands and eyes and hearts is captivated by you and me.

so, i hope as you work + text this month, these words that we painted will be a sweet reminder that no matter what's going on, you are so loved.

a big tight hug to each of you!! [yes, big + tight] :)

valentine's sale!

happy february everyone!! so happy to let you know that my floral friends are on sale for $15 [normally $20] through valentine's day!! yay! might be a cute little gift for your special someone whether they be a fantastic fox, a darling bunny, or a mischievous little raccoon...