May 27, 2013

rough sketch: jennie lusko

happy memorial day friends! i'll probably never know the full weight of the sacrifice made by so many men + women serving our country, and yet i get to reap the rewards of what they've given... a 'thank you' doesn't seem like enough, but i pray that soldiers and their families feel immensely appreciated today + always!

i'm so excited to share today's artist with you guys, she's one of my sweetest friends and it's been nothing short of amazing to see her continue to blossom even after one of the harshest winters of her life...

jennie is not only the lovingly devoted wife of pastor levi lusko, but also a creative + supportive mom, a passionate soldier of Christ, and now an inspiring blogger! basically a proverbs 31 woman, right?!
i was honored to collaborate on her new header and just couldn't wait for her blog's debut! i'll let her have the floor now, but don't forget to check out her new site -!!

thanks jennie for taking the time to hang out over here for a bit!! xo!

q. // what prompted you to start blogging?

[ a. ] As a pastor's wife and mom of young daughters, I love meeting other women who are in the same stage of life, to be inspired by them and to learn from them, and to know that it really is possible to live passionately and courageously in such roles. I've been writing and journaling since I was seven years old, but for the past few years, God has really been teaching me and showing me things that I'd love to share with anyone but specifically to young wives, moms, pastor's wives, and women in ministry

Recently the fire underneath this blog has been stoked even more as the brevity of life has become even more intense with our five year old, Lenya Avery dying suddenly on December 20, 2012 from a severe asthma attack. You can learn more here:

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

[ a. ] My first and most important inspiration is my Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible - that's mostly what I write about - things I'm learning from Him. But I also want to point out that my husband, Levi Lusko, is the most inspiring person in my life. He does all of life with such passion and intensity and I really wish everyone could know him the way our daughters and I do. He has a very unique way with words and can not only preach with all his heart, but he can write words down effortlessly, and his blogs and writings inspire me, and I can't wait for his books! If you're not familiar with our church, you will definitely want to go to and listen to these messages from God's Word that could very well change your life.

I also love Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham. I think if she had the access and ability, she would have been a huge blogger! She wrote many books and many books have been written about her. Her life, her passion, her wisdom, her creativity, her love for her husband and children and people are all things I aspire to.

q. // if you could give one piece of advice to fellow creatives, what would it be?

[ a. ] In light of how short our lives are, the biggest piece of advice I would give would be to focus on the eternal impact of what we do. To look at our responsibilities, our jobs, our work, our families, our relationships through the lens of eternity and how what we do will impact that Day. Everything we do, if we are doing it in worship to the Lord, can count for more than here and now, but for all eternity! And that is amazing, that the little seemingly insignificant things can be eternally significant! "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58

q. // when you're not writing, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a. ] I love time spent with my family, which is a daily joy for me because I'm a stay at home mom, and I'm so thankful for that. Our family days are on Fridays and that is always a happy day.

fill in the blank - 
I have a penchant for... creating new things out of old things (ie taking apart old t-shirts and sewing them into dresses for my daughters; taking scraps of paper and making birthday cards, thank you cards; taking something ugly and making it pretty; etc.)

[photos by kelli trontel]

May 22, 2013

planting workshop

last week, kelli + i found ourselves on a spur-of-the-moment adventure to a planting workshop. we had containers we'd been meaning to fill, so it sounded like the perfect outing, especially in the rain!

neither one of us had heard about this nursery, so we were giddy when we arrived -  the place was adorable!! with iced lattes from the red caboose in hand [+ baby ezra in tow], we began to explore the aisles of pretty plants until the workshop began.

we were unofficially assigned to employees who taught us how to fill a pot, 'tickle' the roots, and press in the soil.

ok, i can't help but apply this to my spiritual life. with the may desktop adorning my computer screen, i've been constantly reminded that pruning is necessary for growth. most of the time, pruning hurts and far from a pleasant experience, but think about if it never happened... we'd be in the same spot we were ten years ago or even one year ago.

when i picked out my lovely little plant, i took it away from its home, roughed up the roots a bit, and put it in my own container, by itself, a foreign place. have you ever seen a plant fresh out of its container? its roots are compacted and molded to the shape of whatever container it lived in.
that's me! i thought. there are moments when i feel 'out of place' here in montana, when i just want the comforts and familiarities of california and my family nearby, when i feel like my roots are having a hard time acclimating to the new soil, but in those moments, God is so good to remind me that He's the one that's transplanted me and in the midst of my discomforts, in His hands i'll flourish.


[ all pretty photos taken by kelli trontel ]

May 21, 2013

hand illustrated album title!

i've always wanted to create album artwork and getting to illustrate christina falub's album title was such a dream!! so excited for its release, and not just because i got to work on it, but because 100% of the proceeds will go towards building a school for orphaned children in kenya, africa. this team is so humble that they didn't even tell me about that part; i only discovered it after the project was completed!! check out her facebook page for more details!


May 15, 2013

info cards for izzi ray!!

i had the loveliest pleasure of making these info postcards for izzi ray, a fantastically talented [+ beautiful!] singer/songwriter. you should take a little trip over to itunes and listen to her music; you'll be so glad you did!!


p.s. have you played with the new app from the brilliant girls at a beautiful mess?! it's oh so addicting!

May 11, 2013

as ever photography logo!

when jenny and i first emailed back and forth about a logo for her photography business, i knew we were going to make such a great team. she was so friendly and honest and her love story was like something out of a nicholas sparks novel, i practically cried when i read it!! i'm convinced someone will make a movie out of it someday. :) 

even the meaning behind her business name is romantic - her grandmother used to sign every handwritten letter with 'as ever' instead of 'sincerely' or 'truly'... so naturally, all i could think about was drawing a quill and i'm so glad i ran with the vision! funny enough, it was something that jenny had thought about too, but didn't mention it to not hinder my brainstorming process, ha! [how sweet is she?!]

after the logo had been created, we dove into design elements for her blog - the social media buttons, background, and a blotted line underneath the menu [which is one of my favorite parts!]... and i just love how it all came together. jenny was an absolute dream to work with, and i'm so honored i had the opportunity to do so! thanks again jenny!! :) xo!

May 10, 2013

from the nest: currently reading...

about two weeks ago i was in barnes + noble, perusing the endless shelves when i stumbled upon this little beauty. i've heard about a wrinkle in time ever since 5th grade - the title always sounded intriguing but for whatever reason, i never chose to read it until now... and i absolutely love it!!

every night i read a little, refreshed by her style of writing. it's a smart sci-fi fantasy novel and i'm pretty sure that if i read it when i was 11, i wouldn't understand most [if not all] of it. children must've been more intelligent in the 60s...

but in the words of c.s. lewis - "a children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."

so yes, i'm enjoying it. :)


May 9, 2013

blog elements for the lovely kelli trontel!

yes! i know you've seen her name a lot on this blog [since kelli and i have put together a monthly desktop + iphone wallpaper every month for the last year] and i'm once again honored to show you a few of the blog elements [social media buttons + sidebar headers] i've created for her!!

kelli has been one of my biggest cheerleaders... it was after just a few conversations with her that i really felt like i could take my art to a new level and start creating for others... so i love every chance i get to supply illustrations for her.

if you haven't visited kelli's blog before, you should take a little break and browse/read/enjoy her work + posts... she's the real deal and i'm blessed to call her friend.


May 8, 2013

fashion illustration class

ok, this is so out of my comfort zone.... well, honestly anytime i put my work out there i feel somewhat uncomfortable! it's difficult to be vulnerable, but i guess this time is especially hard because it's my first stab at fashion illustration so i really didn't want to post these ha!! thank goodness i said i would share it, because that's the only accountability that's motivating me to show my class homework i did about a month ago... or has it been longer?! ah! time always has a way of escaping me! i digress....

i've been meaning to share these sooner, but i haven't had a chance to put glitter + embellishments on these yet!! so i guess that'll be another post... i continue to digress....

anyways, i wanted to encourage you to do something out of your comfort zone today or this week or month... taking paperfashion's class on skillshare was extremely valuable, enlightening, and fun!! it pushed me to do something new, it made me vulnerable to others' critiques, which in turn, helped me to let go of some fear and insecurities.

i had an amazing experience and i plan on doing more things like this in the future!! any other fun classes i ought to know about??

May 7, 2013

a feature + an art piece

i feel like it's almost a cliche to say that i adore all my clients, but i can't help it, it's true! i've been really fortunate to be paired up with so many inspiring, encouraging, talented people that have really become friends... i'm so grateful!

last summer, i received an email from sarah teeter, who was interested in logo design... and now almost a year later, we've become email pen pals -  chatting about everything from design to vacations, it's a friendship that i cherish!! just today i received a sweet email from her, saying that she had featured me and a painted verse i did for her last year. might be the best way to start a work day!! :)

sitting on her desk, this verse is a lovely reminder to do everything in love as she builds her business... such a great way to go about life and business!!

thanks for the feature + such kind words sarah!! so happy to know you.
ashley :)

May 1, 2013

may desktop + iphone wallpaper!

spring has sprung!! i can't believe it's been a year since kelli and i began this collaborative download... and hopefully it's just the first of many to come!! every month has been so different, with such a unique vision + story behind each one, and i can honestly say that i've loved them all! this month is no exception... 

we wanted to incorporate flowers for spring + our lovely mothers' day, of course! so we roped in our sweet friend, floral designer + shop owner cara [of mum's flowers, who i recently interviewed!], to collaborate with us... aren't her floral picks just stunning?! 

the quote [from christine caine] is so encouraging to me in this season. i never like or ask for the pruning process, but God knows i need it to grow - it's the only way i'll bloom into the person that He wants me to be. after all, pruning produces much prettier things. :)

thanks so much friends for being a part of this year of collaboration! your notes and comments of encouragement + kindness have made my heart so very happy! hope you continue to enjoy these little monthly gifts, from our hearts to yours!!


[ iphone 5 wallpaper ]

[ iphone 4 wallpaper ]