Blank Canvas from Hobby Lobby                                             Littlest Brother (about an hour old)

The older 2 boys have been watching me work on the nursery and they wanted to add a bit to the room. Hobby Lobby has canvases on sale this week, so I figured I let them each paint something to hang on her wall. As I watched them paint their blank canvases my mind wandered back to the days they were born. They were so much like those blank canvases….and as their mom I became one of the painters adding color. Everyday, every interaction, every word spoken to their tender hearts I am adding something to those canvases. Sometimes what I add that day is unintentional or even hurtful and has to be painted over the next day. Other days I am very intentional and the color added on those day is beautiful…those are the days I wish happened more often. You see whether I want to ‘paint on their canvases’ or not, I am – I’m their mom and I don’t have an opt-out option on days I don’t feel like it. So with that in mind, I am so challenged to add each day in a way that I won’t have to fix it or paint over it in the future. Even with that intention, my art history classes taught me that part of building a masterpiece in a painting is all that lies underneath what the eye sees….

So I have 3 little canvases to paint today and another one coming soon….I can’t wait to see how they come out!

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  • amanda torres - I’m not even pregnant and I’m crying! What a great thought.

  • keely steger - Wow. Both convicting and encouraging words for every mom out there. Or, they certainly were for me. Thanks!

  • melanie - Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

  • Serena - Thanks so much for these words!

  • lesley - So, I should have waited to later in the day to check this…my eyes are all teared up. Great insight Ash.

  • Shannon Phillips - How sweet! Yep, I think you have made us all cry this morning. ;) I can’t wait to see what kind of beautiful art your boys make.

  • bopha - What a great post! Now with my own 2 little “canvases” it really means more than ever.

  • Christina Larsen - I love this thought. If only every mother saw her children this way, the world would be a much better place. However, thank goodness we have a savior that can re-paint the picture of our lives’ if it has gotten messed up or out of line. Thanks for posting.


So yesterday I picked up Biggest Brother from school and he wasn’t feeling well. Add that to Big Brother being grumpy and Littlest Brother only wanting to be held. I was past the point of frazzled and needed to email a client. While on the computer I noticed a comment on my blog that led me to realize Rachel from Bling on my Sewing Machine made such a sweet post about the blog. I totally felt famous and it brought a smile to my face in the midst of a non-happy moment in our house.¬† I am quite humbled and honored – I am a huge fan of hers. Her house is amazingly creative and cute…go check out her flickr gallery. Once you go to her blog, plan for a bit of a stay there is so much great stuff to look at. So thank you Rachel…and all you readers, go check out Bling on my Sewing Machine.

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  • lesley - Congrats! I can’t wait to check out more of her site and those photos.

  • rachel denbow - Girl, you deserve the attention! Your blog is always refreshing and beautiful and I’m so thankful Jennifer pointed me in your direction!

  • georgia - After looking at her blog it reminded me that I would like to see a belly shot of you! I need to see if you look any different carring a little girl.

My office/craft area is becoming a nursery so I am working hard at getting all my random craft stuff under control and organized. With more free time from not shooting I am going a little crazy with DIY projects for her room. To name a few things I am currently making: a platform bed, a rug, curtain rods, a picture wall, a mobile, some custom artwork….and that is all after I convinced Chris to help me tear out carpet and put in painted wood floors! He’s a bit of a pushover for both his girls:)¬† As I finish up things I’ll post pictures….

In the meantime, I needed a few containers and opted to go the repurposing route….

I saw this post on Design*Sponge a while back and made it to fit my needs.

Frappuccino box + Mod Podge + Scrapbooking paper

I measured all the paper to the size of the box. Then covered the box in Mod Podge…then put on the paper. Finally, I did one last coat of Mod Podge over it all.

Along the same idea…needed something cute and easily accessible to hold all my clothes pins

Why is turning trash into something cute so fun? Off to find something else to Mod Podge:)

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  • Jeannette Swan - You are so fun! I made a bunch of the clothes pins with scrapbook paper and Mod Podge…Jordan actually saw them and wanted some for himself, so he picked out paper and we made some for him (I don’t know what he will do with them, but I thought it was cute he wanted them). I used mine to hang the kids art. Now, I’m going to have to copy your container ideas for the kids’ craft table!

  • Emily Beaty - How cool! My friend & I have recently been in a kick to do projects with mod podge & scrapbook paper. Thanks for another idea!!

  • Christina Larsen - I love it. Recycling at it’s best. Who knew that trash could be cute. Thanks for sharing those ideas. I need to have a DIY notebook fo all these ideas.

  • Jesse - Really cute ideas!

  • Rachel - WOW! It’s gorgeous here! I just discovered your blog via Bling on my Sewing Machine. I’m so glad she posted about you! I’d love to link to some of your projects if you didn’t mind.

  • Melissa Shepard - I will be going out and buying some modge podge soon! Love your creative ideas, what a gift, thanks for sharing it.

  • Chris@Celebrations At Home - This is great! I found you via One Pretty Thing. I have several packs of the Frappacino bottles that I use over and over for parties. Now I have a great tutorial of how to make the boxes pretty!

  • Katherine Marie - soooooo neat!!! modge podge and frappacino— TWO of my FAVORITE things!!!

    Thank you for sharing this!

  • tammie - I love your site. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Rita - I love it! Go check out my blog today and look at my can transformation. Your blog is an inspiration. I will be adding your blog to My Blog List and “Following” your blog for more creative ideas. Please consider clicking the “Follow” button when you get there and thinking about placing my button on your site for easy access. This way we can inspire one another often!

  • Joscelyne Cutchens (@joscie) - I love it! :) I still have some frappacino cases from the time I was going to… hee hee!

  • Bululu Studio - what a change girl…now it is beautiful

  • kirstin - LOVE it! I’ll be linking…

  • Handmade Gift Ideas Part 2 ‚Äď Home and Garden | - [...] Recycled Craft Organiser @ Ashley Ann Photography [...]

  • Katie @ Cheep Ideas - SUCH a great idea, just in time for Spring Cleaning! I’ve added this to my “Get Organized” roundup for today, and you can grab an “I’ve been featured badge” if you’d like!

    Thanks so much for the terrific idea! :)

  • Rachel - you are so incredibly creative!

  • Mod Podge Amy - I love these so Ashley – they are awesome!

  • Teresa aka Tess - These are wonderful recycling projects. They look good. I found you through Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks.

  • Michele - saw this on the mod podge blog – great work :)

  • Pinterest Finds for upcycling home decor | Knox to do blog - [...] out to the store to buy a bunch of plastic organizers, check out this pretty idea from Ashley at Under the Sycamore Tree. Corral your craft and stationery supplies in cardboard caddies, tin cans and more. Spruce them up [...]

  • Mother’s Day Gift Ideas | a project at a time - [...] Craft Caddy for Under the Sycamore [...]

  • DIY | De 5 leukste tweedehands DIY’s | Dreamkey blog - [...] ¬†#2 | Tover oude verpakkingen in mooie opbergers. [...]

  • Happy Earth Day | - [...] are my posts on recycled crafts HERE are my crafts using things most people already have at home.HERE are some great trash to super cute organization caddy projects!10 Earth Day ideas to Go [...]

  • Repurposed Containers: Worthwhile Or Trash Pile? | Live Simply By Annie - [...] but something big! Image credits:¬†Lowes, Martha Stewart,¬†Team DIY, Family Fun,¬†Cat on a Limb, Ashley Ann Photography¬†x2, Summersville, Darling Adventures [...]

  • Carol - I love to use my Frap carriers and bottles. I have all my buttons sorted by color in the bottles and stored in the carriers. I have not covered my carriers yet but that is the plan. I also have put jingle bells and other small craft things in my jars.

  • Turn trash into cute organization. - Mod Podge Rocks - [...] you need with the garbage you have – just Mod Podge it.¬† Visit Ashley’s tutorial here; and if you haven’t seen these other Mod Podge projects by Ashley, she’s really [...]

  • 20 awesome Mod Podge recycled crafts. - Mod Podge Rocks - [...] DIY craft organizers at Under the Sycamore [...]

  • Latas para guardar de todo | Eco-Estadistica - […] lo puedes utilizar para¬†Llaves, palillos de madera, bisuter√≠a, l√°pices, utensilios de cocina, pinceles… Todas estas cosas que tenemos en casa precisan un lugar para mantener el orden y la limpieza, y lo cierto es que es muy simple por que solo tienes que convertir viejas latas en bonitos recipientes. […]