Would you let your child drink this?

Neither would I. BUT…millions of moms and dads have no other option to offer their children.img_3363Her only option for her daughter WAS something like this:


And something like THAT leads to diahrea, infection, sickness…and for 4500 moms a day it means burying their son or daughter.

You can save a life…you can be a part of saving lives like these.


For $10.00 you can provide 10 years of clean water for one person. 10 YEARS!


That means for the price of:

2 Starbucks drinks

A shirt from Target

A movie ticket

A pizza

A cd on iTunes

An appetizer at a restaurant

We can save a life!!!

img_3102Today…November 12, 2009…bloggers around the globe are joining together to buy water and change lives. The campaign is titled First Gift…

Let the first gift you buy this Christmas be the gift of life.

Wouldn’t it be amazing what we could do if we all joined together to donate $10.00 (or more)…imagine the lives that would be changed…imagine the 4500 moms that would get to shed tears of laughter WITH their kids instead of tears of pain WITHOUT their kids. Join me today in letting our first gift be the gift of life. If all of the Under the Sycamore readers donated $10.00 we could buy a well for an entire village!

click here to be directed to the secure donation site of the highly recognized, non-profit
charity: water.

All donations are tax deductible.
100% of the profit goes directly to clean water solutions in west africa.


I also encourage you not to simply click and donate, but include your children in the process. For me, I served dirty water to my kids at dinner…and explained that is what millions of kids like them have to drink everyday. Together we went online to make the donation…together we prayed for those families….together we saved lives. So next time you do this:

1109water-021Think about them….


stacks_image_5_1And finally….I know you guys love etsy as much as I do….Water for Christmas has an etsy shop!

Check it out!

Here’s last year’s post on the same topic…with some gift ideas.

All photos from Africa are from Jody Landers.

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  • Faith Buss - I might should have asked you before I did this….. :O) http://faithbuss.blogspot.com/2009/11/friday-november-13-2009.html

  • bopha - i love your caring heart, it’s contagious!

  • karen brown - I love the idea of donating water as a gift and then giving something like drinking glasses too! Any other “Advent Conspiracy” http://www.adventconspiracy.org, diy gift ideas are so helpful. (I want to come to your church party and see what you have up your sleeve!) Are there any other “project” blogs that you visit that you would recommend for Christmas gift ideas?

  • Trina - my kids and I just donated. Thanks for telling us about this!

  • jody - just beautiful.
    thank you.
    loved the ideas on how to include the kids. awesome.

  • Amanda - Thank your for sharing this.. so beautiful and thought provoking. We don’t have a lot right now as my husband has been unemployed for over a year.. but I am going to do this with my kids.. they at least have a place to live.. clothes to wear.. toys to play with and most importantly.. safe food to eat and clean water to drink. Thank you for reminding me of all that we are so blessed to have.. it is so much more than what we don’t have. Thank you for your beautiful blog I have come to love reading so much and for sharing God, your heart, and your family.

  • If I Had All The Time…. : - […] Ashley Ann […]

  • julie - I love how you so vividly illustrated this to your sweet children.
    Thank you Ashley for your gorgeous heart.

  • Grace - Hey…your posts stopped showing up on my Google Reader on November 3…and I’m totally at a loss as to what happened! I miss them!

  • Courtney Connelly - Blake, Elliot and I just donated a little to give clean water to others for years, so very humbling. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  • Under the Sycamore » Ryan Arrowsmith Photography - […] Ann over at Under the Sycamore is such a sweet, seriously talented gal.  Today she posted a few of my pics and a link to the site, because […]

I’m guest blogging about this at Smile and Wave today…come visit me over there!


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  • christina larsen - Super Cute.

  • Jo - i love how it matches the quilt. :)

    p.s. your girl is so pretty!!!

  • Lauren Roberts - Great job Ash!

  • Jamie - L-O-V-E this idea!

  • Mandy B - Thank you Ashley for the great word “repurposing”, I am going to use it today in my paper!! Fancy!! 😉

  • Sarah M - Hello there! Found your blog via Smile & Wave today and I looked through yoru photography (my favorites are always bridal pics) and they are stunning! I love your “shoe” picture too, very cute.
    BTW *LOVED* the tea-towel + cookie cutter idea. I bought about 10 tea towels for some sort of handmade gift this xmas and was wondering what to do with them. Clever!
    Sarah M

  • jari - ashley! i looove your blog! i just popped over from rachels and please know that i think you and your family are too cute. i am going to be a follower (and frequent commenter (guilty!)) from today forward! thanks for the diys… yays!

  • Ryan - Forget Martha Stewart – I’m waiting for AshleyAnn’s project book! :)

  • sandy - I love you young girls with your so creative ways. Love the towels and really love the baby ruffles. Congrats on a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  • Heather - Dollar Store Crafts - Love your quilt project! Adorable! Hopefully my #4 will be a girl so I can use the ruffly bum trick, too! :)

  • vee - super idea! I have an old quilt my grandmother made that is starting to come apart, you inspire me to turn into something new! :)

  • meg duerksen - oh i love this!!!!

  • Heather McGinnis - THANK YOU so much for being a gues blogger @ Rachel’s blog because of it I was able to skip on over here and see your amazing site! This ruffle idea has sparked inspiration in me and the urge to break out a sewing machine (which NEVER happens because good things never happen when I sew)! This is such a cute idea & I have a 6 month old who NEEDS ruffles on EVERYTHING! 😉
    thank you again,

  • Heather McGinnis - oh, RYAN i totally agree with you!!!

  • Chez Us - We are remodeling our kitchen this weekend & I found your site when looking for butcher blocks!

    Now, I have to know do you sell those baby bloomers? Looking for a baby gift and these would be perfect!



  • Mandy - I wasn’t able to find the tutorial! This is ADORABLE. Can you send me the link?

    Thank you so much! Love your blog.

  • Caroline - Hi – LOVE the tea.towels w/ ruffles! Do you mind sending me the link also, I’m not able to find it. Thank you!!

  • Melissa - Hey Ashley! Could you possibly email me the link or update it? I would love to try this out. Thanks!

  • cisco academy - Love your quilt project! Adorable! Hopefully my N4 will be a girl so I can use the ruffly bum trick, too! :)

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  • new jordans - For reasons unknown, the words are messed up on this blog

  • Brianna Cullip - Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

  • Tea Towel Inspiration - […] ashleyannphotography.com via Stacy on […]

Last week I posted a picture of the new flower I made for my daughter’s hat…well of course I took pictures during the process for a little tutorial! A little while back my pastor did a series on gifts/personalities. He was describing what different ones look like on a practical level. On one he used an example of someone that likes to give step by step instructions to tell people what to do…Chris nudged me on that one. My mom always called me bossy as a little girl…

Supplies: Felt, flowers, feathers, alligator hair clip (or whatever type of clip you like), hot glue gun1109flapper-01

Step 1: Remove the stems from the flowers1109flapper-02

Step 2: Hot glue the petals back together (this makes the flower flatter than it is with the stem)

Step 3:  Get all the layers together

Step 4: I added a bead for the center by pushing a needle through the glue and then back out


Step 5: Enjoy some chocolate….makes every craft project better….especially when kids are sleeping and you don’t have to share1109flapper-04

Step 6: Cut your feathers

Step 7: Glue the feathers to the back

Step 8: Add a little lace, I cut a strip then stitch the bottom together turning it into a circle1109flapper-05

Step 9: Glue the lace on the back, then a small circle of felt

Step 10: Cover part of the alligator clip with felt

Step 11: Glue clip to felt backing1109flapper-06

Step 12: Let your little girl take your breath away1109flapper-07

If you aren’t a fan of using it as a hair clip, you could pin it to a shirt, belt, bag or purse…


Now you didn’t think I forgot about my country music theme I had going on did you?! Since my diy project doesn’t really match a song I thought those of us country music fans could play a little game in the comment section today…in preparation for tonight’s big show. Here is how to play, I’ll start with a lyric then the next commenter has to write another song line using a word (or form of the word) from the previous comment. For example:

Comment 1: You and me going fishing in the dark, lying on our backs and counting the stars

Comment 2: I must be wishing on someone else’s star

Comment 3: Call someone who cares

How fun is this! Are you singing those songs now too? For some reason my spam guard at times blocks your comments. I won’t be on the computer all day, so if you leave one and I don’t get to it before someone else leaves another comment, I apologize now.  Okay, so I’ll start it off with a line from “Then” (a Song of the Year contender):

“We’ll look back someday, at this moment that we’re in. And I’ll look at you and say, And I thought I loved you then

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  • Jennifer Williams - From this moment life has begun…

  • Trinity - I LOVE this game! “From this MOMENT, as long as I live, I will love you, I promise you this….”

  • Colette Amey - “We can’t go BACK again; there’s no use giving in. And there’s no way to know what might have been.” (What Might Have Been by Little Texas, one of my favorite country songs)

  • christina larsen - I’ve got friends (IN) low places. . .

    Sorry, I have limited country knowledge; but I couldn’t resist on commenting. And, BTW, I like to give people detailed instructions, too. However, mine has to do with cooking. lol.

  • Lesley - all my rowdy [friends] are coming over tonight (do ya wanna dance?)

  • AshleyAnn - Brother she’s [all] country, from her cowboy boots to her down home roots

  • Kari Sanchez - Down home where they know you by name and treat you like family (Down Home, Alabama)

  • Katie H. - Down [HOME] where they know you by name and treat you like family…

  • Katie H. - WOW Kari…are you in my head?

  • Katie H. - Way [DOWN] yonder on the Chatahootchie…. (had to post another one since Kari beat me last time) 😉

  • Kari Sanchez - Katie H- great minds think alike! [FAMILY]…how we went from something’s missing to a FAMILY. (He Didn’t Have to Be, Brad Paisley)

  • Kari Sanchez - [WENT]…that’s the night that the lights WENT out in Georgia (The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Reba)

  • bopha - ..dreamin of the day THAT you wake up to find that what you’re lookin for has been here the whole time…love that Taylor Swift

  • Lesley - Heeey good [lookin], whaaat cha got cooking?

  • AshleyAnn - Yea, I’ve been workin’ all week
    And I’m tired and I don’t wanna sleep
    I wanna have fun
    It’s time for a {good} time

  • Aunt Sandy - Livin’ on Tulsa (time)

  • Carol - Take me back to Tulsa, I’m to young to marry

  • Trinity - Go from a hard WORKIN’ dad to being mr. mom…

  • patti - that’s about the cutest clip/pin i’ve ever seen. seriously. love it.

  • AshleyAnn - I called home to {mom} and daddy,
    I said “Your boy is now a man.”
    She said “I don’t care if you’re 80,
    you’ll always be my baby.”

  • Tess S - When she was 3 years old on her {daddy’s} knee He said you can be anything you want to be. She’s a wild one.

    Love the tutorial.

  • Rachel - [He]’s a good time Cowboy casanova standin’ up against the record machine.

  • Lisa Johnson - it’s a great day to be alive. You know the sun’s still shining when I close my eyes. There’s some hard (times) in the neighborhood, but why can’t everyday be just this good

  • Kara - I should’ve been a Cowboy…

  • Christian T - So when you see the Cowboy, he’s not ragged by choice.

  • Kari Sanchez - Mama’s, don’t let your babies grow up to be “cowboys”

  • robyn - “Mama” tried to raise me better, but her pleading, I denied…

  • bopha - ..and today you know that’s good enough for me, breathing in and out’s a blessing can’t you see.

  • Rachel - I can feel you breathe, it’s washing into me, and suddenly I’m melting into you.

  • Elizabeth - MELTING my heart..like all those days gone by that I’ve spent with you….

  • Aunt Sandy - It ain’t cool to be crazy about (you)

  • Lesley - I was country when country wasn’t [cool]

  • Aunt Sandy - Let’s fall to pieces together. Guess you tell I like George.

  • Aunt Sandy - Lesley beat me to the last posting. lol So here’s another one to work on: (I) should have watched that first step.

  • AshleyAnn - I loved her first, I held her {first} and a place in my heart will always be hers

  • Mary - I cross my heart, and promise to give all I’ve got to give to make all your dreams come true..

  • Lesley - you were [always] on my mind – good ol’ Willie Nelson!

  • Lesley - oops, Mary beat me but it’s all good, the song she beat me with was sung by AshleyAnn’s husband at my wedding!!! This is a fun game by the way.

  • Kari - I’ll stand by [you}, I’ll stand by you…won’t let nobody hurt you.

  • Holly Todd - You got to {stand} for something or you´ll fall for anything, you got to be your own man not a puppet on a string.

  • Erin Jones - the first date “{MAN} I didn’t kiss him and I should have”
    Our Song–Taylor Swift

  • AshleyAnn - You can {kiss} me with the windows open while the rain comes pouring inside -This Kiss

  • Trinity - tomorrow’s another day and i’m thirsty anyway so bring on the (rain)

  • Holly Todd - You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors, It’s the morning of your very first {day}. And you say hi to your friends you ain’t seen in a while, Try and stay out of everybody’s waÿ = Taylor Swift “Fifteen”

  • Kari - Remember when I was young and so were you and time stood still and love was all we knew, you were the [first] so was I…

  • Rachel C - I wanna talk about [me], wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one oh my, me my

  • AshleyAnn - Let’s give them something to talk about, how about love?

  • Rachel C - Love can build a bridge, betwee your heart and mine.

  • Rachel C - That last one should be bonus points for double Judds songs.

  • AshleyAnn - This time I found a keeper, I made up my mind
    Lord the perfect combination is her heart and mine – that should be double points for 3 words in a row matching!

  • Kari - I tip my hat, to the [keeper] of the stars…{going to bed now, last entry for me tonight. Ashley, this was a really fun post! I’ve been checking in all day long! Great idea!}

  • Alba - But does the wind still blow in oklahoma
    Out here the hollywood stars sure shine bright… (Does the wind still blow in Oklahoma, Reba McEntire)(i’m not a country girl, but I wanted to participate, thanks google!)

  • ellebows - I love, love, love!! the picture is priceless. makes me want another baby girl so badly!! fabulous tutorial!

  • Norma - Stunning clip and even more stunning baby girl!

  • Christina - You said the way my blue eyes [shine]d, Put those Georgia [stars] to shame that night.

  • Creative Mom Interview: Ashley Ann - […] DIY shadow box vintage kitchen display // DIY flapper flower clip […]

  • Jodi - My Mom always said I was too sensitive! (bossy too) :) Then I found out that, really, I’m just discerning. It’s a good trait!