All I want for Christmas is an entire day alone in my house to finish projects. I could accomplish in a day without kids what takes a year to accomplish with kids. I’ve been trying to tackle one small project a week. However, reality is it has taken three weeks for me to actually tackle one project. My most recent small project was to paint three black frames white and add some art to the girls’ room.  Three weeks to get three frames painted. I could probably remodel my whole kitchen in a day without kids – hint, hint grandmas.

Here is the new (and old) art hanging in the girls room.

12.14gallerywall-01

A couple of the prints have a singing/song theme. My youngest daughter’s middle name is Song. We often say life is a musical with my oldest daughter – she is always singing. It is a good fit for both girls. I know someone will ask where the prints are from so here are the sources (left to right, top to bottom): Fill My Heart with Song (a handmade gift from my friend Amy), Let Your Light Shine, Be Kind, You Put A Song in My Heart (by Megan for the Incubator Project), Far Better Things Ahead, He Sings Over Me, Girl band original painting, Do You Suppose She’s A Wildflower, Sweet as Honey

The watercolor painting of the girls was a surprise gift from my friend Ruth. I had posted an image on Instagram of the girls playing guitars. A little while later I was scanning instagram and an image of a painting of my girls popped up. It was such a fun surprise! Ruth mailed me the painting and I’ve been itching to finally get it hung in the girls’ room. I hung it low because the girls like to look at it and re-enact the moment.12.14gallerywall-03In adding the new frames, I had a couple spacing issues. The frames are not all perfectly spaced. We like wonky around here – that is what I tell myself anyway. There was one part that had a pretty big gap, so I decided to add something to the top of the frame – to make my bad spacing look more intentional. I grabbed a piece of thin balsa wood and hot glued random stuff I found in a craft jar (ribbon, birds, old flowers). At first I sat all those objects on the frame and they wouldn’t sit flat. Gluing it all to balsa wood provided a flat base. It also means when the the girls knock it off, it is super easy to set back on the frame. I wanted to add our peg people family dolls, but a few family members are missing….off to find those.12.14gallerywall-0512.14gallerywall-0712.14gallerywall-0812.14gallerywall-09I am so jealous of her swoopy bangs and lack of cowlick.12.14gallerywall-11And then there is this cowlick. Bangs will never be in her future.12.14gallerywall-12“Girls, can I take a picture of you hugging?”12.14gallerywall-1312.14gallerywall-14Sisters are the best.

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  • Debbie - I love the details in the painting. So special!

  • Michelle Hill - oh man, those girls are so ridiculously gorgeous!
    I love that painting of the “girl band”…tell us more about it?! I can’t help but wonder if a devoted reader painted it for you, hee hee.

  • cathy - LOVE it!! Especially the wonky! I love wonky and use that term all the time. And yes…all I want for Christmas is projects finished!

  • Monique - You must know how freeing your first sentence of this post is. I literally said the same thing to my husband yesterday, who can’t pitch in at all because of college finals week. We have no family nearby and a house of toddlers, and ALL I WANT is to finish the multiple half baked projects around here without a child underfoot because uninterrupted I could get so much done. I’m learning to let go of expectations, to be ok with not quite finished or perfect, and to be full of gratitude for the beautiful reason and souls behind our mess. But. It’s just so nice to know even Ashley Ann feels the same way. Overwhelmed and inadequate feeling: Gone :)

  • kribss - They are both GORGEOUS!

  • Jack - I love the ‘Girlband’ painting – just gorgeous!

  • Bird - Definitely, sisters are the best, even though my sister is only my sister by heart and not by blood… it does´t matter really! This love is something so precious, it will never leave you again!

    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2014/12/inspiration-lately.html

    Bird

  • Haley - I love how you can make the like-a-craft-room-threw-up decorating style look amazing (I swear I remember you calling it this before, so it’s not supposed to be an insult). I feel like if I tried the same thing, it would look like literal throw up.

  • Diana - Adorable!! And I agree, sisters are the best!

  • Lori - Love the wall with all the sayings! Your sweet girls are beautiful!

  • AshleyAnn - Haley – yep, that is how I describe it! Thank you :)

  • Georgia - They are so adorable. Love the room and the pictures, too. The watercolor is the best!!

  • Eva - This wall is just too beautiful!!!!! And so are your girls!

  • Ruth - I love your oldest daughter’s ragamuffin hair! It reminds me of my daughter’s (minus the cowlick, but still crazy).

  • Julie B - If it was hung perfectly then someone would fix that right? Story of my life, lol! Embrace the wonky I say! I love how you added that bit of extra to the top. It really makes it pop.

  • Rebecca - Your oldest daughter looks exactly like Meg Ryan in that last photo. They are both beautiful. And I have two boys (18months and 4months) and I want exactly the same thing as you for Christmas.

  • Stephanie - Love your blog:) I had to comment because you put into words what I was thinking yesterday! I homeschool my 3 kids (ages 10, 8 & 6) and I love being with them, but all I want for Christmas is a day to finish my projects too:) And I am working on a gallery wall in my daughter’s room too, while they were dancing around and coloring right under where I was trying to level and hammer;)

  • jenny - this is so adorable… i have been meaning to do something that like in my girls’ room forever… and paint the walls… and the dressers… ack… like you said… a day :) that older post with the peg people.. wow! they were all so little… and seeing the early phases to your house… wow! i may have to ready me some archives :) (someday, when i have more time) :)

  • Ruth@GraceLaced - Oh friend, it looks so great! I loved how your watercolor turned out and am so pleased the girls like it! And your girls…they are precious.

12.14pompoms-01

I’ve posted a few peeks at pom poms here and on Instagram. I didn’t do a tutorial because there are about a million tutorials for pom poms online and they are all basically the same. However, I keep getting requests to post more info on how I make pom poms. You won’t find anything in this post that is new or unique to me, but for those that asked – here is how I make yarn pom poms:

Supplies

  • Yarn – I just get the cheap kind whenever it goes on sale
  • Scissors – a small SHARP pair make this project so much easier
  • Pom Pom maker – you can use anything from cardboard to a fork, I’ll share my favorite below12.14pompoms-02

In the picture above, there are two kinds of pom pom makers. I’ve had the ones in the middle for a few years. I got mine at Hobby Lobby. Basically, you hold the two pieces together and start wrapping yarn around them. Here is my biggest tip with pom poms – WRAP TIGHT AND USE LOTS OF YARN. If you want a full pom pom, you need lots of yarn. I wrap both sides tightly and as thickly as possible.12.14pompoms-03After both sides are wrapped, you push the two sides together. Next, follow the center line and cut all the strings. Make sure you cut ALL the strings.12.14pompoms-05

See the picture on the left – if you look closely you will see some strings going between the hinge part. Make sure you cut those strings. Next, using another piece of yarn, wrap it around the center and pull TIGHTLY. Tie it in a knot then remove the pom pom maker.12.14pompoms-07

The pom pom will look all wonky at first. Take a good pair of scissors and trim it up. The only part I liked about Barbies growing up was getting to cut their hair. Trimming pom poms is kind of like that.12.14pompoms-09

Below are some pictures using the other pom pom maker. Meg introduced me to these. They are easier to work with in my opinion. I picked mine up at Michaels using the 40% off coupon. You can make your own pom pom maker or use a fork, but for a couple of dollars I think these are so worth it.12.14pompoms-1112.14pompoms-1312.14pompoms-15When I make a garland, I use embroidery thread and just string the pom poms through the center.12.14pompoms-1712.14pompoms-1912.14pompoms-20

I leave a basket of yarn out with the pom pom makers. I often find kids making them during random times of the day. It is something a bit challenging for them, but fun at the same time. It is a great activity when someone needs a little time alone or wants some quiet space.

12.14pompoms-22He came inside from digging in the dirt….dirty hands and pom pom making boy. He is well rounded:)12.14pompoms-23

And a few ideas I found online of ways you can use those big and small pom poms!

pompom

The Lovely Drawer || Aunt Peaches || It All Started With Paint

ao at home || Be Spoke Bride || Design Mom

Make: || Eline Pellinkhof || Vintage Revivals

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  • Beth Ann - Thank you for posting this! I just received the pom-pom makers I ordered online for my 7 & 8 yr old for Christmas. I was trying to find things for them to do inside in the winter when it is bitterly cold out. Now I just need to make a trip to the store for yarn! All the ideas on using the pom-poms are super cute!

  • Debbie - They look great. I love the colors of yarn you picked. I will have to get a pom pom maker to make things easier! I love adding pom poms to the tops of the hats I knit. Also—just FYI, the store is spelled Michaels, not Micheals. I know Michael is a hard name to spell, but it’s a big pet peeve of mine as I have a friend named Michael and he hates when people get it wrong. :-P

  • Sara - How would you use a fork to make the pompoms? Do you need one of the pom-makers? I don’t have one but would love to make one of these garlands for christmas!

  • AshleyAnn - Debbie – I fixed the spelling for you ;)

  • lindsey - What is your secret for them not falling apart? I have two young girls and a cat who love pom poms, and I often find strands all over! Maybe the trick is the makers (I tend to go with the hand method or most recently the multiple pom pom in one method!)

  • Kristin S - I bought those on Meg’s suggestion too and love them! I haven’t put as much yarn on as you have and now I will because yours are much fluffier.

  • Sabine - love Ashley, today I wanted you like to write because I have to think so much of you. you inspire me at the time with your very creative craft work and also with your homeschool. not to mention your family management of five children, animals, and your marriage. I have two children (10.7). Little is now the third week at home sick with pneumonia. you can tell him not to but school Capable he is not up to Christmas. now we do every day homework we get, but the motivation drops and I do not know what to do yet. I admire you. to make this work with joy every day. as you managest only your day? I would be really interested in burning. ashley, stay the way you are: an inspiration and encouragement for everyone. in love Sabine

    ( sorry for my english ????)

  • Liz - i love making pompoms! I just use my hand, but they are never as thick as yours! i might need to check out those pompom makers!

  • Bethany - ahhhh…thank you for showing how tightly you wind the yarn! I have the same pom pom makers but mine were always turning out a little…blah. Now I know how to give them some ooomph! :)

Today I want to introduce some of this month’s blog sponsors.

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  • carol paxman - I love the little vintage shop but none of the links are working. Is it just me?

  • AshleyAnn - Carol – they should be working now…