diy {mini-print & fabric business cards}

I think about 4 years have past since I ordered business cards. It has been about that long since I actually gave one to someone. I really don’t go anywhere that would constitute a need for business cards. Really…I rarely leave my house. However, I thought it might be a good idea to have a few on hand when I went to Hope Spoken and Beautiful Art of Balance. If I had done a good job planning ahead I might have been able to convince my sister to help me design something. I was last minute though. Chris was out of the country at the time and I needed something that didn’t involve leaving my house with all the kids. Business cards are not worth taking 5 kids to the print shop to me.

In deciding what to do for business cards I had a dilemma….what type of card do I make? I have SnapShops, then my blog, then instagram….I couldn’t figure out what logo to use. So, I went for pictures instead.

I ordered mini-prints from Printstagram (the size of business cards) and I bought a custom stamp on etsy.

Add some scrap fabric and washi tape and I had some simple business cards.
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I picked images that I felt communicated who I was without actually featuring the faces of my kids.4.14businesscards-3

Then I stamped the backside of fabric. The original idea was to stamp the back of the pictures, but the paper was too glossy. Then I tried stamping the front side of the fabric, but you couldn’t read the words very well. The back side of fabric won.4.14businesscards-44.14businesscards-74.14businesscards-6

I actually made these sitting on a gym floor during my youngest daughter’s gymnastics class. Easy peasy. Good thing I took the time to make them because I handed out a total of ZERO cards at either event. I’m thinking now I’ll pull all that fabric off the back and turn them into Memory cards for the kids!

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  • susie - I should make memory cards too!

  • christina larsen - That is such a cute idea. I’m sorry you didn’t hand any out, but I think they are precious!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Those are so cute! Hey, you can mail me one if it would make you feel better :)

  • k a t y - They are adorable, even if you didn’t hand any out. :) I’m in the process of madly stamping some of my own for a conference I’m teaching at next week. A memory game is a perfect save!

  • Carrie - Your photos always make me smile. I needed a smile this morning :)

  • Reem - these are beautiful!! :) I love the idea of not showing their faces (I try to not do that on my blog), and I like how you focused on just you, it’s tricky doing that with photography, isn’t it?! but you found some beautiful snippets!

  • Tiffany - Ashley. These are precious, I would have gladly accepted one!:) Your creativity is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us this weekend. You are full of grace and wisdom, such a blessing to those around you. Thank you!

  • Laura Sudderth - These are the most amazing, beautiful and creative business cards I have ever seen. The best part, they really do represent you.

  • kimberly oyler - feel free to mail me one. actually please mail me one.

  • Diana - Those are ridiculously adorable!

  • Lisa - Super cute! I would have snatched one up in a heartbeat—I love all of your photos and the stamped fabric is ingenious–unique and creative.

  • kim - I love it. I’m using this idea – thanks!

  • Sara - I love your creativity and how they turned out. Maybe everyone there was already following your blog, and didn’t need one. :) However, I would have wanted one just for my idea board.

  • Christy - You are so darn creative! It just comes so organic and easy for you. Love these. ??

  • Lindsey - I love them, such a sweet idea! I am off to order a custom stamp and can’t wait for it to arrive and get creative! Maybe I will order a stamp for my son too and he can make some cards using instagram pictures of him to give as little gift cards or put on gifts he makes! I love the stamping on the back of the fabric, so clever!

  • ellen patton - You are so creative. :)

  • Shannon - These are totally adorable!

  • Carrie Rowe - These are so cute!!!!

  • Fred Paccana - This is some amazing crafting!

Beautiful Art of Balance {with Shannon Ho}

After a very full week, I jumped in Chris’ truck and headed south for part of the weekend to a lake house filled with talented women. Granted – I believe we are all talented in different ways. One of the great things about the weekend was the women in attendance were embracing their talents and gifts, something we don’t always do. We had all gathered to be a part of Shannon Ho’s Beautiful Art of Balance photography workshop.  While most attended to learn from Shannon, a team of Shannon’s friends were also serving selflessly and lovingly all weekend. Along with Whitney English and Alissa Mazzenga of Feast Fine Art & Calligraphy, I attended as a Contributor.

We stayed in a gorgeous lake house. Gorgeous.

There was a private dock. Two-handed coffee on that dock.

Shannon’s friends prepared ‘lick-your-plate and get thirds’ meals. I might have slightly suggested (or begged) them to do a cooking workshop and let me come. Girls…seriously, I need to learn your ways.

Everything about the setting of the weekend felt like pampering – except the part where it was time for me to speak. That did not feel like pampering. That felt more like heartburn and nausea. Shannon asked me to share about my journey in photography, specifically ending my portrait and wedding business and starting SnapShops. I also shared a little bit about my approach to social media (this blog & instagram) and motherhood as those topics related to my small business journey. It was the first time I’ve shared my whole, long story in public. I was so nervous. Thankfully, the women smiled and no one left the room. Okay, a couple girls left the room but I think they had to fix lunch:)

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Part of the weekend Shannon led in some hands-on teaching using an incredibly kind (and photogenic) family. I had fun shooting the bigger picture shots of the day.4.14beautifulartofbalance-54.14beautifulartofbalance-64.14beautifulartofbalance-84.14beautifulartofbalance-104.14beautifulartofbalance-114.14beautifulartofbalance-124.14beautifulartofbalance-13

Alissa taught us her approach to calligraphy. I don’t have very pretty handwriting, but it sure was fun trying it. I’m excited to practice…4.14beautifulartofbalance-14

Saturday night’s dinner on the patio…a dream for photographers.4.14beautifulartofbalance-154.14beautifulartofbalance-17

There are so many things I walked away with this weekend. Practical challenges from others regarding my business. Personal challenges for me regarding my time. Spiritual challenges regarding my walk with Christ. Looking back at the weekend, I think one of my favorite things was watching Shannon and her friends. While Shannon poured into the women attending, her friends were serving and supporting Shannon. They were helping Shannon’s dreams come true. Julie Bennett led worship all weekend. She has an infectious smile and a welcoming laugh. On instagram, she wrote about the girls serving, “two words to describe these women. Dangerously selfless.”

Dangerously Selfless.

I can’t stop thinking about those two words.

I want to live dangerously like that….

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  • Janice @ NearlyHandmade - I’m always in awe of your photography, Ashley. It is definitely a goal of mine to finally take your SnapShot Course. It seems each time I’m ready to sign up, my husband has to deploy back to the desert and I get nervous having to look after my little ones and still find time to focus on the course. Our third little mouth to feed is on its way in a few weeks. Seems like time is going to quickly. I need to slow things down and let it all soak in! One of these days!! :)

  • Dawn - Sounds like an amazing weekend!

  • Erica Baker - Dangerously selfless. I like that.

    Looks like a wonderful weekend. Such a gorgeous house! I hope the weekend is spilling over to your life at home and you are still feeling relaxed and refreshed.

  • Erin H. - I spy the amazing Holli B! :-) Looks like an extraordinary weekend!

  • Julie Bennett - I left that weekend more inspired by so many people and elements that I truly feel changed forever…it was an honor to lead worship and hear just a glimpse into your journey of love, simplicity of life and the purity of motherhood. You are “dangerous” Ash, DANGEROUSLY PURE.

  • Amanda - Thank you so much for pouring out your heart and sharing this challenge. I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and continually find myself touched and growing by your stories. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  • Kimberlee Jost - Cooking workshop? I’m in. :)

  • Hannah - I have a bad habit of skipping to the end of posts, magazines, etc. and reading backwards. I have no idea why I do that. But I skipped to the end of this one first and misread “Dangerously selfless” as “dangerous selfies.” ha! But went back to the beginning and read the whole thing and “dangerously selfless” makes much more sense! :)

  • Rikki - Beautiful images, sounds like a dream. Dangerously selfless – incredible. Words to live by.

  • Amanda A - Abbey, Megan, and Holli are some of my favorite people! I love that your paths crossed with them! The way Abbey lives has changed so much about me. The way Holli loves is beyond being captured with words. Megan mothers with such grace I’m breathless when I see her with her kids. LOVE these women and their love for others.

  • Shannon Ho - Ashley, it was an honor to have you there. I enjoyed getting to know you better and loved that you shared your story with us (you did great, by the way). You are a blessing.

  • abbey - ash, I think you are one of the most amazing women God has allowed my paths to cross with and I think I’ve met and get to journey with some of the most incredible women in the entire world. Your heart and grace in with you shared it with us in the kitchen regarding the miracle of choosing love over fear is forever burned into my heart. Thank you dear friend. I have been forever changed by your “dangerously pure” pursuit of our all-loving King Jesus.

  • jenn - lovely. such great powerful words. i want to be dangerously selfless. beautiful

  • Marissa - Beautiful photos! I too enjoyed watching Shannon’s friends just care for her and all of us so well, it said a lot about Shannon as a person! I was so honored to meet you and have some two-handed coffee time on the dock with you! Your speech and humility was a blessing, I came right home and started my list of important people to care for! I hope our paths cross often!

  • Michelle Leach - Oh ya know as promised just sitting here falling in love with your blog! I’m almost glad I hadn’t read this blog before the weekend because I would have likely peed myself from excitement at meeting you :)

    You’re such a treasure. Your story is a gift! The favor of God is all over you sweet girl!

  • Shelbie Kolby - Ashley, it was a joy to meet you and to attend this beautifully peaceful retreat/workshop. Thank you for sharing your time and gifts with us! Such a blessing!

  • Nikki - I find this post incredibly inspiring. Thank you Ashley.

  • sherryI - Those words are so powerful. I think I’ll be chewing on them for a while.

  • sherry - apparently, i thought my name was sherryl…instead of sherry, and I hit enter too soon, but I have a feeling your story touched many. Your calm words and voice are inspiring and soothing all at the same time.

how they interact

Winter felt so long this year. I’m hoping the cold days are behind us now. Over the weekend, we spent time at my aunt & uncle’s house fishing and eating.  I’m not particularly a fan of fishing (unless it is fly fishing), but I am fan of watching my kids do it with their grandpas and uncles.
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My dad and my youngest son.4.14fishing-4

This picture of my dad and almost all of his granddaughters is one of my favorites. The girls all look so tiny – they are all about a year apart in age. Also, it is another example of how my sister and I either dress alike or dress our kids alike without realizing it.4.14fishing-6

My grandpa and my baby girl – this picture makes me all kinds of happy.4.14fishing-8

And my grandma and my girl – again, all kinds of happy.4.14fishing-94.14fishing-11

Fishing in a tutu, of course. She went on a date with her dad earlier in the day; she asked me to straighten her hair.4.14fishing-12While they fished, I enjoyed playing with my camera. I’m working at being more intentional in photographing my extended family in photos. We are around each other quite a bit, but I don’t always capture how everyone interacts. The interactions between those I love are among my favorite moments. I want my kids to be able to look back one day and see how much their grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles enjoyed being with them. It is a pretty spectacular thing.

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  • kimberly oyler - oh my gosh! little one posing with her hands under her chin is the cutest.

  • Lystra - I love that she goes fishing in her tutu. Tooo cute!!

  • Avenlea - I love all the pictures!! So cute! :)

  • danielle - Grandpa with his granddaughters is adorable! Great pics :)

  • Suzelle - GREAT photos ! Grandpa with his granddaughters needs to be big……lump in the throat sweet :)

  • Cathy Shealy - Love seeing the photos of your kids with their great grands. Not many people get the opportunity to know they great grandparents.

  • Jenn - your grandfathers hand on your baby girl. oh my. so sweet. so gentle. love these pics. your oldest girly in her tutu dress and a fish. sweet

  • Monica - Love your family pictures! they all look so cute! :)

  • amber - I love this. As I’m learning more & more how to be intentional in the photos I take, I’m finding myself wanting more of extended family too. Thanks for the reminder of that! It’s such a special time in our lives & I want my kids to remember how loved they are, by so many. I have one grandparent left, my Nana, & my kids get to see her once a week. I really want them to remember her. And how greatly she loves being a part of their little lives. Family can be such a tremendous blessing.

  • Cathy - Precious photos!! My daughter is blessed to have four great-grandparents still living (all my husbands grandparents), two great,great aunts and uncles, and 5 grandparents, and tons of aunts and uncles who love her to pieces and this is a huge reminder to capture their love for her to see as she grows older and some of them may no longer be with us. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Laura - I love that grandma and grandpa on sitting on upside down buckets. My parents do that too!

  • Meg - I love how grandpa is reaching down to touch her little hands. So sweet! I miss my grandpa!

  • Ashleigh - Thanks Ashley. We are headed to visit my in-laws this weekend. Your photos and post are a great inspiration to me.

  • rikki - these are so beautiful, each of them. family photos are the best, older family with younger is even better. showing the age and love is nothing short of incredible.

  • Allison - Oh my gosh! The picture of Little One with the “I’m cute & I’m a little shy about it, a little coy…but I know I’m cute & adorable.”

    Just slays me. Such sophisticated, complex emotions, & show her so deeply rooted in your family, in the love of you all, all generations! I rejoice, as I’m sure you all are. Grace in action, & of course, persistent work & giving, giving, giving. I so commend you all, now time to watch this bloom and flower and bless the world through her radiance.

    Stunning.

  • jenny - goodness! you certainly captured some treasures there! what beautiful moments :) thanks for the inspiration… as always :)

  • Sendy Yulfizar Kuswara - Nice family. Glad to see them.
    Btw, nice to know you :)

  • Eva - This post is all kinds of awesome. I don’t see my extended family like you do (we are scattered), but last year I started making a greater effort at capturing my kids with their aunts and uncles, not just their cousins. I love the moments that you captured here. They are so special. You can see the love your parents and grandparents have for your children.

  • Lisa - I love the picture of Little One doing the China squat! It’s innate! I just got home from China with my little guy and he does it all the time. We ate at your favorite restaurant in Guangzhou without even realizing it. My husband went wandering one night and brought take out to the room and said “I discovered this great little place in an alley…” We ate there the next night too. Later when I went hunting through your Guangzhou posts for the Washi tape location, I saw the pictures and realized it was the same restaurant you blogged about. The family was so sweet. The mom came out and sat with us when she was finished cooking. We visited Somitape too. What an adventure!