Clean Slate….transforming lives by transforming homes

What a weekend! Starting Thursday evening our church kicked off a Clean Slate weekend. Clean Slate is similar to Extreme Home Makeover, but on a smaller scale. Last year we did two homes on two separate weekends. This year we transformed 5 homes in one weekend…with nearly 500 volunteers from the church. We partnered with Rosa Parks Elementary school to pick the families. Following the big reveals we hosted a block party to honor the families and celebrate with neighborhors. Each home had a team…and a team photographer. Sunday morning the church media team put together some short slideshows of the homes, but I wanted to make one a bit longer for my team to enjoy. There are some sneak peek pics at first and then the slideshow is much longer with more “before” & “after” pictures….

Our family consisted of two incredibly kind parents and their four small children. They asked that the garage be made over to better ‘serve’ their kids and all the neighborhood kids that enjoy playing there….the garage got a makeover, the yard got incredible landscaping and all the rooms got a bit of a facelift…

The backyard “before” & “after”

The garage “before” & “after”

And to brag a little bit on a friend….Jeanette was in the first SnapShop class and she did family portraits for the family. She did an incredible job. This is a glimpse of some of the family pics and the family’s reaction to seeing them. (Have I mentioned that about 7 recent SnapShop grads are starting photography businesses…fun stuff.)

Slideshow below…click the very center to view. (It’s late and I can’t figure out how to center it)

Chris was super busy with the weekend, namely the celebration party at the end. Biggest Brother helped him with set-up then had the “job” of helping me with take pictures. The media team made him his own “Event Photographer” badge, he was pretty cute…and serious about it.

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  • Kari S. - Wow! What a wonderful opportunity to help others! Great job! :)

  • christina larsen - what a wonderful weekend for all of the families.

  • Trinity - AWESOME idea! I love seeing your church’s ideas! Thanks

  • kelly - Amazing!! Love what your church was able to accomplish with the help of so many volunteers!! (Corbett’s event photographer badge totally made me smile)

  • Jeannette Swan - Thank you so much, Ashley…I was hoping to see this post this morning, your pictures and the story they tell make me cry. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to help on this house this weekend!

  • bopha - What a great post, you guys did an awesome job and everything looks great!

  • Liz - It looks like Corbett may be following in your footsteps! I love that serious look on his face! I can’t believe all that your church accomplished this weekend! That is so awesome!

entering the girl world {a bunch of random projects}

Remember this post? So this first project doesn’t have anything to do with having another girl in the house, I just thought I’d show the “before” and “after”…

Notice my ‘new’ theatre seating in the background. We have to build a base for them, but I am a fan!

Another “before” and “after” – inspired by Rachel’s receipt box. Mine will hold diapers…we are leaving the changing table in Rett’s room.

I’m all for having diapers, wipes and a changing pad stashed somewhere in every room for convience:)

After the Little Dresses for Africa party, I decided I would attempt to make a “coming home from the hospital” dress for our girl using that pattern. I sew pillows and other straight lines, so attempting a dress by myself was a big deal. My mom was nearby to help…and her help was needed. Anyway, I bought some Heather Bailey fabric to use, but it was a little bright for me. So I decided to try to fade it using bleach. If you ever want to fade fabric, here are some simple instructions:

You need 3 bins:

1. In first bin combine 1 part bleach with 10 parts VERY HOT water

2. Fill second bin with COLD water

3. Fill third bin with a mixture of water and chlorine neutralizer (I had to buy it online and felt like I was breaking a law ordering chemicals online). Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Try test strips first

5. Submerge fabric in first bin until desired color (remember it will dry lighter). Submerge in cold water and ring out. Submerge in third bin according to neutralizer’s instructions.

6. Launder with detergent….dry in dryer.

And my faded newborn dress. I am pretty proud I made an article of clothing. The second picture is a sneak peak at the nursery:)

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  • Charissa - You amaze me.

  • Christina Larsen - Beautiful completed projects. I wish I had one ounce of your creativity.

  • Shannon Phillips - I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with for the nursery! I love the little dress. I would wear one. ;)

  • Lisa - Oh my goodness! I can only imagine how amazing that nursery is going to be!

  • Serena - I can’t wait to see more!! You inspire me all the time!! :)

  • Cassie Raney - Ohhhhhhh you are killing me with the sneak peak at the nursery! I can’t wait to see it!

  • jill - Wow- can’t wait to see the rest of the nursery- that little peek looks AMAZING! Love your “dressed up” vintage finds too! :)

  • rachel denbow - I love how you thought to bleach those fabrics! They look so good! I am in love with your nursery sneak peek. I’ve been dreaming of reds, oranges and pinks, too! Except I can’t get my hopes up yet. We may have more of the same aquas and greens still.

    And your diaper holder is so pretty! AND…everything else. This was such a good eye candy post.

  • meg duerksen - it’s all very cool.
    i got a metal box like that at the thrift store awhile back and it’s way uglier than yours was. i plan on doing just what you did…not for diapers though.
    i love it.
    when we had our fourth we ditched the changing table too.
    :)

  • Carla - i’m just loving your blog! and i wanted to let you know that i was so inspired by your Little Dresses for Africa post you did, that i’m hosting my own with some friends and family. i linked you from my blog, and just thought i’d let you know. thanks for the wonderful idea, and good luck with your newest daughter! she is lucky to have a momma like you :)

Underwater

Remember this post? Well I kind of got to try out my new camera case. The water was too cold for me, so the only pictures I took consisted of me dunking my hand and camera into the water hoping I got things in the frame. Chris…being the dad…was the one to brave the cold water with the boys. I am looking forward to warmer water so I can try it out more…meaning taking a picture and actually looking at what I am taking instead of guessing!

this is as far as I got in the water…

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  • Shannon Phillips - How fun! It makes me want to go swimming.

  • Christina Larsen - Those were so cool. For not being able to see what you were shooting, they were cool to look at. Can’t wait to see more.

  • Jeannette Swan - You seem to always be having fun!!

  • bopha - How fun, I’m impressed that Rett goes under water.

  • meg duerksen - i want one of those!!