12.14phonecase-1Last week I shared a few fun DIYs related to phones. Two of those projects involved clear phone cases (a scrapbook paper case by Amanda Rydell and a Pressed Flower Case by Claire McGibbon). Those projects got me wanting a clear case that I could change out often. I like change! I ordered a basic clear case off Amazon (recommended by my super awesome friend Brian J. Barki, MD).

Once my case arrived, I started looking around for scrap paper in a print I liked. I had one “A” card and envelope by Rifle Paper Co.. The card is one of my favorite designs, so I started with it.

12.14phonecase-01First I traced the case, then cut it a bit smaller. I traced the camera hole and cut it out with an X-acto knife.12.14phonecase-02I wanted to add more of the design, so I opened an envelope and cut out the biggest section that would fit the width of my phone and trimmed it to fit the case. Finally, I taped the two pieces together and put them inside my case. The case stayed this way for the first two days.12.14phonecase-04One day three, I decided I wanted to see more of the gold of the phone. On day four, I started cutting up some scrapbooking paper.12.14phonecase-06I cut two designs out of scrapbooking paper (Amy Butler paper) and added them to the Rifle Paper I previously cut. I was trying to cover the apple on the back of my phone and still leave a little gold showing. I taped the three pieces together and put them in the case.12.14phonecase-08It has been nearly a week and I am still sporting this design. I think it will hang around for a while.12.14phonecase-10

I posted about my case on Instagram over the weekend and my friend Emily pointed out she has free downloads to use on clear cases. Click here for a link to her designs.

Yay for cha – cha – cha – change!

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  • Megan CC - I got the same clear cover when I saw your instagram post about it, perfect timing since I just got a new phone and was looking for a cover. Emily’s downloads are really cute! Hope she makes some for the iPhone 6 soon. :)

  • Renata - Brilliant! Such a good idea.

  • Paige - I love these kinds of posts that show how to got from here to here. Its not always having the final picture in mind at the start, is it? And I love how to mashed together two favorite designer paper. What a cool case.

  • Bekah Decker - I need this. I am insanely picky about things like phone cases and I want to change them constantly. The clear case is so cool!

  • Erika - Love this! Is it possible to email you? i can’t figure out how to make that happen and wanted to send an advent thank you to your family…

  • kimberly oyler - you do this just to torture me, i know it.

  • Amy @thelittlefarmdiary - Oh Ashley, what a wonderful idea! Those cases can be so expensive and now thanks to you, I can make my own! Thanks for sharing the steps!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - These are so cute! Now i might just need a clear case :) I love how you made it look 3D!

Obviously, we are in Christmas mode around here. My sister has a new print that says, “Makers gonna make, make, make, make”. Thanks to Lesley and Taylor Swift I’m repeating that line over and over these days.

Last week a package from Benzie Design arrived. She sent me some felt for a craft night I am hosting next week. She also sent me some felt balls to make a garland. I was looking forward to sitting quietly and stringing my garland. Then, my oldest daughter saw me and quickly came over to take charge. She sat stringing felt balls a little at a time for a couple of days. For now, our garland has the felt balls close together. I think we’ll space them out later.


This is super simple….just string the felt balls. My daughter is 5 and uses a regular needle. I know that will worry some, but she can probably handle a needle better than most adults.



Happy little garland. Happy video game playing boys.

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  • Michelle Hill - such a pretty and easy garland to make.
    You posted an instagram picture of Firecracker helping you with this very garland. Then I remembered how you have been teaching her how to sew on the machine as well, and so I became motivated and inspired. This weekend, I told my 9 year old niece it was time she learned how to sew on the machine and I don’t think I ever saw her so happy and delighted :)
    It was awesome!

  • Bambi - That’s beautiful! What a great idea!

    Love from bella Italia,



  • Cara - This is a lovely project! What is the length of the garland? 8 feet? Approximately how many pompoms did you use? I visited the Etsy store and I am trying to guess how many I need for our Christmas tree! Thank you.

  • christina larsen - Ashley, how do you get the felt balls to stay in place if you space them apart? Do they just stay in place due to the embroidery thread’s thickness? Just curious. Thanks.

  • Krystle - “Makers gonna make, make, make, make”
    –> Yeah, I’m going to need a link to that please! :)

  • Angela {The Mango Memoirs} - I love this project! I’ve been thinking about ordering felt balls and doing this with my daughter. She’s five, too, and loves to sew. She’s been working on buttons recently. This garland would be adorable in her room! Thank you!

  • alix - Yes please share how many. I am guessing the 200 pack. Also what is your other garland made of.
    Last question. Do you have a tutorial on your pom pom blanket on for your couch. I am making one. Did you sew or glue it. Please say glue- if so what kind

  • Amy - What an awesome project! Its absolutely adorable and I love that even your kids can do it. :) Might have to make a few of these for our house now. :)

  • Seamingly Sarah - My 3 year old loves to sew with real needles! She’s actually pretty good at it. So no worries here. :)

  • Angela Storm - I know you said you’ll space them out, but I’m kind of digging them all close together. Between that and the colors, it stands out against your chalkboard and the white yarn garland. :)

  • Angela - I love it! Totally going to pick up some felt balls next time I’m in a craft store!

  • kimberly oyler - these pictures were especially beautiful. so clean and bright and colorful.

  • Dawn - Doesn’t matter if it’s a needle, football, paint brush, or microphone – sweet Firecracker can do it all!!

  • Heidi Jo the Artist - Wow, it turned out gorgeous!

  • jenny - LOVE it!!! where do you get your felt balls? i only saw them one time in this little specialty store on a trip to the mountains.

  • Suzanne - I bought a 2 packages of the felt balls from Benzie (ordered on Etsy) and strung them on craft thread. It is a bit thicker than regular thread and because of the thickness, the balls do not move. Love the simplicity of it and promptly put it on a tall skinny Christmas tree in the playroom/homework room. AND, I added colored lights. My 3 boys could not have been more excited about the lights….I just loved my little garland (and I did space them out about 1.5 inches apart. So cheery!!

  • Lynet Witty - OMG what A BEAUTIFUL board, design, and felt balls!!! I love it! Ash, you are just incredibly talented creative! yes, i’m excited.

  • Ingrid - love it – it looks great!!

  • Friday Favorites | Cupcakes and Commentary - […] thinking about different ways to modify a felt ball garland tutorial, so both boys could […]

  • Friday Favorites :: Christmas Edition | The Price Report - […] A fun DIY Felt Ball Garland […]

  • Snacks + Tigers + Vintage | Cupcakes and Commentary - […] and likes at this age. As usual there are a few things I’m planning to make (such as the felt pom pom garland, and maybe a pennant banner) and many things I’m going to pull from around the house (like […]

Oklahoma has wild weather.

70s one day.

Below freezing the next.

We don’t put summer clothes up and we really don’t have good winter gear. Saturday the weather was gorgeous, which means ‘warm’. We took advantage of the warm weather before the temperature dropped again, to go get our Christmas tree. There is only one time a year that I always repeat a photo – us at the Christmas tree farm with our tree. It just brings up all kinds of emotions to see this photo through the years.


Oh hey, it looks like 2013 and 2014 are the years of the Target cardigan for me. It’s my favorite.  And as I look closely, it looks like 2011 was a cardigan year too. Obviously, I’m not a big shopper. Long live embroidered flowers on cardigans. Maybe I will make this my ‘tree hunting cardigan’. I could wear it every year from here on out. Or not. Or maybe.

We decided to take Arley (the puppy) this year. The tree farm welcomes dogs on leashes and we want to train her to go places with us…so along she came. So, I guess we added another to the photo this year. Chris said next year we might as well bring the chickens and the cat.12.14tree-01

ISO 125, 1/320, f/2.8

12.14tree-02ISO 100, 1/800, f/2.812.14tree-03ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.8


“Mom, let’s take a picture pretending like someone stole our favorite toy.” – the 6 year old.

I pretended like someone stole all my spray paint.

ISO 500, 1/200, f/3.512.14tree-05This makes me happy.

ISO 500, 1/200, f/3.512.14tree-06

They pick out a tree because they know I like it. Really, they prefer the running in and out among the trees and gravel road races.

ISO 500, 1/250, f/3.512.14tree-07

ISO 500, 1/400, f/3.512.14tree-08

ISO 500, 1/400, f/3.512.14tree-09

ISO 500, 1/400, f/3.512.14tree-10

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  • BIRD - Oh these looks wonderful…it is such a beautiful christmas tradition to go out and search for you own christmas tree… sadly we do not do this around my area, but I definitely would prefer to search for my tree in the forest instead of buying just any tree …. and the kids look so happy too! Wonderful – wish you a great tree decorating!

    Love from Germany and the fatcatconnection

  • Gris fleur - Oh ! I’d love to do that. But here in the Netherlands, we can do it but after Sinterklaas :((( As we like to set up the tree on the 1st day of Advent, it dosen’t work ! Have fun !

  • Liz - I have always wanted to real tree!! I have my fingers crossed for next year. Did you just set your camera on the ground, prop it up with something, and set the timer???

  • Michelle Hill - I love your family photo tradition with the tree :) So crazy how fast time flies by.
    Oh, little one and that dress…I can’t! Too cute :)

  • Julie - I love the photo of you with your boys (actually I love all of them). My family is raised now…how I miss my kids at that stage and all the hugs. Thanks for sharing your joy!

  • Lindsey McClennahan - haha this year has been especially crazy with tempuratures also!! : ) Such a sweet family! I have been loving keeping up with you all since the beautiful art of balance! Hope you’re doing well, it seems like you really are!!

  • jenw - Kids are such funny creatures. I love that you’re in a sweater. Chris is wearing a jacket. But the kids are in shorts and flip flops! :)

    Also, I don’t know what age it happens…but look at Oldest vs Youngest’s feet in the pic of you with the 3 boys. At some point the feet become less like their own appendages with individual toes and more like a whole foot as an extension of the leg with toes that are just part of that foot. I don’t know if it’s a loss of flexibility or what. But it’s something only young children have. If you watch their feet when they’re sitting quietly in young children their toes move separately. Later that stops and toes are just on the end of the feet.

  • Meg - Ha! I have a go to yellow cardigan from Target that people at church must think is my only sweater. I swear the mustard yellow goes with everything ;)
    Great photos. You inspire me daily to pull out my camera and keep shooting. One day it will all click. No pun intended and I will start getting the shots that I want to get. It is a huge help when you post your pic stats (not sure what to call it)

  • susie - Looks a lot warmer than our trip to the bighorn mtns in wwyoming to go get our tree! It was cold and windy but a lot prettier… I would trade the mountians for some flip flops though! The cold didn’t bother the kids though, they made tunnels in the snow1

  • Susan - It looks as though you had a wonderful, warm day for hunting your tree. I cannot believe that Little One is now wearing the green dress. Seems like just a little while ago Firecracker was wearing it. Love to see your precious memories in the making.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Shannon - We went to the Owasso Christmas Tree farm on Sunday to pick out our tree too. This was our fourth year! We look forward to it every year and love it! It’s really fun to see your family enjoy the same tradition.

  • Arlene - I love the story as told by your photos. The one with you and your boys is priceless. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sarah - I look forward to your Christmas tree photo every year. Thanks for sharing your family and creativity with us!

  • Diana - Awesome!! I thought it was pretty good the husband was in short sleeves (but pants and shoes) when we got our tree here in Indiana this weekend! And beautiful shots, as always.

  • Alice H - the weather the other day was such a tease!! Love these pictures. And do you know that I have never had a REAL live tree in the 32 years I have been alive

    :-( every year I say I think I will go get one and out comes the artificial one. My poor kids!!

  • Cass - I love seeing how your family has grown. You’re a few years ahead of me (we have 4 kids ages 18 mos. – 6) and it’s fun to see where we are headed. Thank you for sharing your sweet family with so many. This blog is a sunny spot in my day. :)

  • Debbie C - Something about these pictures brought tears to my eyes. So much beauty and joy.

  • Julie - I laughed so long and hard over you pretending you lost your spray paint! It was so unexpected among all the sweet family togetherness pics….I love coming here.

  • Jenny B. - So fun! We had the same crazy weather here in NW Ark., and I was just thinking that I’ve never packed away summer clothes, and can’t really imagine living in a place that was cold enough in the winter to do so. :)

  • Kristin S - 2009. Have I really been following your blog for five years?!?! I remember that pic with Firecracker as a baby.
    Seriously, every year I love your tree hunting posts. So glad you take pictures too.

  • Kelleyn - A lovely day!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I look forward to these pictures every year! And watch out – I may just have to steal that cardigan. :)

  • Carrie Rowe - Such special memories.

  • Hili - Hi Ashley , are you using self timer or a remote for these photos ?

  • Tanya - Great photos. I love that the puppy made it with! Chickens and a cat made me laugh. I’ve been known to wear the same sweater at Christmas, always cracks me up to look back at pictures later. Can’t wait to see the decorated tree in your home. Thanks for sharing.

  • Abby - Oh man, that picture of you with your boys! Love!

  • Kate S. - This is a beautiful post and makes me want to go right out a tree farm and pick out a tree, even though we have no children and haven’t put up a tree in 7 years, lol.

    This year I went “all out” and replaced the wreath I’ve hung on our front door for the past 4 years with a beautiful swag. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, too, because I actually put lights on this swag. First time–ever–I’ve put up anything lit on our house.

    My neighbors must think I’m the grinch. Or maybe that we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • SedaSD - Great pictures, great tradition..I can see through these pictures Global Warming though :)))

  • Maureen - Goodness, that little green dress of Little Ones looks very familiar! Family treasures. (=

  • Audra - I love all of your photos but my favorites are the family ones. Such a beautiful family!

  • Jenn - I love your Christmas tree post every year. so much fun

  • Lynet Witty - absolutely adorable. love how you take one every year. and that pic of your stolen spray paint!? priceless.

  • Meliss - This is such a great tradition. I wish we lived in a cooler climate that had Christmas tree farms.

  • Jen - I love this tradition of yours… I look back at these photos and I can tell when I started to read your blog. It was 2010; Firecracker’s cherub face won me over. Its been a pleasure watching your family grow over the years!

  • Nicole - I love seeing the instant and deep connection between Chris and Little One!

  • Joy - Can we see how you decorated your tree?!