November 30, 2012

stumptown pdx

if you've never been to portland, you really must plan your next trip there! it was my second time there, + it was even prettier than i remember. there's something so whimsical + cozy + beautiful about that place... maybe it's the amazing coffee culture, or the pretty architecture, or the unmatched powell's book store... whatever it is, the place is magical + getting to see/hear/smell/experience stumptown coffee's headquarters just made it even better!

the company is inspiring + the people there are passionate about every aspect of coffee from the way it's picked + washed on the farm, to the perfectly timed carmel-like espresso shots... it's definitely a difference you can taste.

our friends, reed + kelli [who own red caboose], had planned a trip for some stumptown training + invited us to come along so that we'd be able to help train employees, etc. so the husband + i decided to add on a couple days to the trip + make it an anniversary getaway as well.

it felt like a pdx coffee tour, visiting our favorite stumptown in the ace hotel... hopping from one barista in downtown to another one in the pearl district... walking to heart roasters from a friend's house... admiring all the bamboo work in coava coffee... needless to say we were pretty energetic the entire time. :)

in between coffee breaks, we got lots of food recommendations from local friends + even stumbled upon some pretty amazing lunch spots - even one in a yoga studio! i felt like we were in an episode of portlandia.
[see my little list of recommendations below]

oh, and we did all this on a pretty tight budget! my biggest piece of advice if you're on a budget like me :: always try before booking at a pricey hotel... you'll be glad you saved the hundreds of dollars + feel like less of a tourist. :) we ended up finding a studio apartment in a cool old brick building in downtown pdx.

hope you all enjoy your weekend!! oh + don't forget to check tomorrow for the december desktop... it's going to be quite pretty. :)


[above photos taken by kelli trontel]

stumptown @ the ace hotel [order drink of choice, then find a spot in amazing ace lobby]
heart roasters [i hear it's the hipster place, but great coffee nonetheless]
barista [not roasters, make a great latte]
coava coffee [uniquely share a space with bamboo craftsmen, + make great americanos]

pok pok [yum. expect a wait.]
prasad [vegan]
boke bowl [perfect lunch on a chilly day]
mcmenamins kennedy school [such a novelty but really fun]

November 29, 2012

more chalkboard love

i absolutely love working with chalk right now, especially when it involves a beautiful message like the most recent one i've illustrated for my dear friend crystal:

amen. :)


November 27, 2012

printable tags in a subtle revelry magazine!

brown paper packages tied up with string... these are a few of my favorite things!! i love wrapping gifts + adding cute little touches... like these hand painted tags i made for a subtle revelry magazine! yay!

i'm so thrilled to be part of this piece, everyone did such an incredible job... still pinching myself!! go check out the magazine here [trust me, you'll want to get over there asap] + the printable tags can be found on page 39! :)

eek! this time of year just makes me plain giddy... how about you??

happy christmas!!
ashley :)

November 26, 2012

rough sketch: nic rodriguez

yay! today just so happens to be my 6 year anniversary of wedded bliss... so what better artist to feature than my amazingly talented husband?! gosh, the guy is unreal. i can't tell you how many times other musicians have come up to me, sharing their admiration for him + his talent - telling me how incredible he is + one of the best musicians they've ever worked with. pardon me while i gush a little bit....

he has played on dozens of records, huge stages around the world, + has had the chance to work with some of the most renowned producers, but remains the most kind + humble guy i know.... yeah, i snatched him up as quickly as possible. ;)

love him so much + i'm inspired by him daily... + so glad i can introduce you guys, hope you're inspired for the week! :)

[husband on the right, playing with phil wickham at skull church. photo taken by kelli trontel.]

q. // when did you start making music + what prompted you to start?

[ a ] I started on piano, focusing on classical music from about age 8 until I was 17. My parents were musicians and my dad played drums for a living, so I grew up watching and listening to him play, and listening to the records my folks were in to. Dad played a lot of Jazz, R&B and Funk, but he also loved the Beatles. So I was exposed to a lot of different stuff. He taught me how to play Beatles songs and he eventually borrowed his friend's Fender Bullet Bass for me when I was 12. My twin Jules had started playing drums, our buddy played guitar and I had a bass. That was my garage band. In jr. high and high school I played a lot at my church and in my own bands. Sometime during high school my dad was playing on a record and he recommended me to the producer to play bass. Meeting those people ended up leading to a career in playing and recording music.

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a ] Good songs and melodies always inspire, but I think seeing people that are passionate about (and really good at) whatever it is they do... film makers, producers, songwriters, artists, great singers. Also the up and comings, kids that are obsessed with their instrument or whatever creative thing it is that they are into, that's super inspiring!

q. // when you're not picking up an instrument, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a ] I love being with my wife, her name is @thornandsparrow.
I'm sort of obsessed with musical/recording gear, reading about how people use it, and the technology behind it (nerd). I have a dirtbike, and I love sitting in coffee shops hanging with @thornandsparrow :)

fill in the blank:
i have a penchant for making espresso drinks, if I could I might do that all day. 

[l-r: the husband, his brother + guitar player matt, jack joseph puig, + singer/songwriter adam watts.

[husband at anaheim stadium for harvest crusade.]

isn't he the best?! :)

goodnight friends!

christmas joy!

last year was the first year the husband + i sent out christmas cards... i know, crazy right?! anyways, i absolutely love this design + since it's cyber monday, i'm offering this file to you guys for $15 [after today the file will be $20]!! this price includes me swapping out our photos for yours + of course our names for yours.... if you wanted to change the text, it would be an extra $15.

once i've formatted your card files, i'll send them to you as jpegs, ready to print!

these are 5x7 cards + as you can see, there's a spot to the right of the wreath for a photo, + another spot on the back for a photo... CLICK HERE to place your order!!

happy christmas!!

November 20, 2012

board + banner!

i always get a little nervous before i start on a large scale project... looking at a huge blank banner can just be plain intimidating... but as soon as i start working on it, i fall in love. there's just something about doing something completely old school, without any use of technology, that is really magical + inspiring.

banner .....

a couple of weeks ago i painted a 5' banner for the splendid holiday vintage whites market; the banner was used as a photobooth backdrop... + i recently got word that jana [co-founder of vintage whites] is going to be hanging it in her house because she loves it so much!! makes me so happy!! [oh + those are my beautiful friends that so graciously posed for my photo :)]

board .....

just this morning i finished up the main board in the red caboose, and i really love how clean it turned out! i wanted to create something that would be super easy to read for customers, but still have a dash of whimsical prettiness.

..... p.s. thanksgiving is in 2 days!! i'm mildly freaking out... it came so fast!!! any good recipes or thanksgiving tradition goodness i should know about? :)

love to you friends!

November 19, 2012

rough sketch: cloud parade

happy monday everyone!!

as much as i love to travel, i'm always happy to come back home. our portland trip could not have been more amazing and i'll be posting more about it this week, but first i want to share a new, up-and-coming online wedding community called cloud parade.

cloud parade has been developed by an awesome team [chatting with candice today] who recognized the need for a hip place where brides can browse products + vendors, filtering through color + style, create inspiration boards with items they can purchase directly from the site, and other cool stuff like that.... i soooo wish this was around when i was planning my wedding!! seriously, in 2006 i was filling a white binder with torn magazine pages and spent hours searching online for things i had seen on those pages but never finding them.

this genius wedding community will be officially launching in about a week, so if you're a bride-to-be hold on for just a few more days!! BUT if you're an artist - i.e. floral artist, culinary artist, maker-of-cute-things, etc. - now's the time to connect with them about opening your cloud parade shop!

q. // when did you start cloud parade + what prompted you to start?

[ a. ] The idea of Cloud Parade was born almost 2 years ago, while I was helping my sister plan a winter wedding. Wedding planning and designing seemed like a nightmare. My sister or I would find something amazing and the only way to communicate the idea was to screen capture an image. But after that, there was no guarantee that we would be able to find the image again, or even the link to purchase the exact item.
This ultimately spurred on the concept of Cloud Parade. Our team explains Cloud Parade as the first HIP online marketplace where couples can shop and design their wedding in one spot.

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a. ] Even though Cloud Parade is so new, we have a huge team of wonderful people. We have designers, a lawyer, CPA's, marketing staff, web developers, client managers, and more... but one thing we ALL have in common is the LOVE for RAD STUFF! We have really made it our main focus to keep Cloud Parade curated to only the best and hippest wedding items out there. We know that nowadays a wedding can be unique, and we want couples to find and purchase these items on Cloud Parade.
Not only that, we love that couples can be inspired on our site by using our "clouds". Clouds are a brides individual inspiration and design boards.

q. // when you're not setting up shops + inspiring brides, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a. ] our team loves coffee, our children, and art!

can't wait!!

November 12, 2012

rough sketch: skull church record

happy monday afternoon! where has the day gone?? oh, i know, i slept in with my handsome husband, cooked an incredible breakfast, and caught up on our five days apart...

husband has been on a work trip - not the suit + tie kind, but the music + outreach kind [which is actually how we met in 2005 but that's a story for another time] called skull church. instead of interviewing an artist today, i wanted to chat a little bit about the new skull church record that my husband had the opportunity to produce this last year...

i absolutely love this record and the heart behind it; it captures their love for God and desire to share God's love with everyone... and it's not your stereotypical worship album, which is pretty refreshing to me.

there are ten songs on the record that begin at creation on track one - "words", then journey through our desperate need for a Savior ["out of the dark"], then a dance euphoria ["all my heart"] when we come to know that Savior - Jesus Christ - then the inevitable struggle we face once that decision has been made ["coming back" + "someday"], and finally the awesome promise of Jesus coming back one day ["the sky rolls back"]... it's a brilliant pilgrimage through the Bible, chronologically.

they're offering a free song on their website and the full record is available on every musical platform! preview the songs on itunes, where it hit #3 on christian charts over the weekend. here's a quick video of my pastor, levi lusko, chatting about the record:


November 8, 2012

wildflowers photography logo!

i absolutely love the work of joy prouty [and her adorable little family] and was so excited to design her new logo for her wildflowers photography! the overall web design [isn't it perfect for her?] was created by the wonderful team of one plus one.

it was such a pleasure to collaborate with joy and i'm completely honored to be apart of her lovely look!
check out her beautiful photos here!


November 5, 2012

rough sketch: zac of tea in the woods

this weekend consisted of drinking lots of green tea, reading pretty magazines, and probably watching a little too much hulu. sickness hit my house on saturday, but i'm finally emerging from the haze to introduce you to zac schafer, a southern californian designer/entrepreneur who started tea in the woods- a company that seriously makes the best shirts [my husband and i both have 'tea' shirts!] and other goods.

 check out their shop to see all their amazing stuff! :)

q. // when did you start tea in the woods, + what prompted you to start?

[ a ] we started tea early 2008 but it was more of a project at that point. 2010 is when we started giving it more serious attention. it was inspired by the shapes, language, typography and cultural elements of the basque country in spain.

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a ] line and shape, contrast, language, simplicity... those are the core elements of our inspiration. we find it in clay, vector art, water, print and travel.

q. // when you're not creating a new design, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a ] camp, surf, climb, and clay. if i'm involved in any of those activities, i'm wearing a smile.

fill in the blank:
i have a penchant for... balance and simplicity.

fun fact... zac is brother to sam, who was featured here a couple weeks ago!!

happy, lovely monday to you all!!


November 1, 2012

november desktop: choosing thankfulness

november. i love november. i welcome it with open arms today as i sip on a cinnamon-laden latte, thinking about all that i'm thankful for...

... an incredible husband that i'll be married to 6 years this month, a supportive family, loving friends, a cozy bed to crawl into every night, hot running water to shower in every morning, countless meals shared with loved ones....

the list goes on and on. sometimes i get so caught up in the busy, the stress, the irritation of everyday life that i forget to give thanks. thankfulness is a choice that i have to make daily [sometimes hourly] because i believe each new day brings something i can be thankful for, because i believe in God, who loves me and loves to bless me- every good and perfect gift comes from Him!

instead of a quote, kelli and i thought it would be cool to simply have a phrase that would help us make an intentional effort to give thanks for things we would maybe take for granted this month... and you can make it your quote every day...

kelli and i will be using instagram to show what we're thankful for every day this month, and we would love for you to join us - just post what you're thankful for each day and tag your photos with #ichoosethankfulness
...i'm excited to see and be encouraged by your photos!

i'm hoping that "choosing thankfulness" becomes a daily habit for me even after november is over. :)