If you are like me, you find inspiration in all kinds of places. Magazines. Vintage shops. Your favorite cafe. But nothing is quite as accessible as the internet where there is loads of inspiration at your fingertips. Today I'd LOVE to share with you one of my favorite sites for inspiration that was created by the super creative Ashley Campbell. You've gotta race over and visit her site but only after you read all about her here and get a quick glimpse into the creative life of Ashley Ann and her sweet family.
Ashley Campbell creates and inspires others right at home in northeast Oklahoma. She is a wife, mom, sister, friend, photographer and handmade extraordinaire just to name a few things.
Without further ado... (curtains please)...
Tell us about your family, if you'd like.
If I'd like? I could tell you lots, but probably only my mom & mother-in-law would want to read it! Chris, my husband, is the nicer more caring half our marriage. I'm thankful he has rubbed off on me over the years. We stay busy and entertained with 4 kids: a 1 year old girl and boys ages 2, 4, & 6.
Where can we find you on the web?
Mainly my blog, Under the Sycamore. I have recently joined the DesignAglowteam as a monthly craft contributor. I also have a flickr account, but it is also one of those things I haven't updated in a long time!
So when did you start creating?
I don't really remember a time I didn't was not creating something. Creativity has always been a part of my life. I grew up going to flea markets where both sets of my grandparents had booths. My parents are both highly creative and encouraged that in my sister and I at a young age. Photography has also been something I've always enjoyed, but didn't really dive into until 4 years ago while I was waiting for my second son to be born.
What motivates you to create? And what KEEPS you motivated?
Sanity and sanity. I am motivated to create because it is an integral part of who I am. When I am not intentional about finding ways to be creative I become a lot more irritable and not much fun to be around. I feel like I am a better version of me when I am able to be creative. I am a better wife, a better mom, a better friend and a better me. I stay motivated to create because when I'm not being creative I feel overwhelmed with daily life and don't enjoy all the incredible things around me. Creativity is kind of like my rose colored glasses - everything looks better when it is a part of my day.
How long is your creative to-do list?
There is no end in sight. My boys love to add 'infinity' to the end of statements right now. Infinity kind of feels like an accurate description for the answer to this question. Sometimes I wish I could see an end in sight, but the reality is there will never be an end. I'm okay with that.
What's going on in your art space while you create? Movie? Music? Snacks? Kids?
There are usually good LegoMen defeating bad LegoMen with bombs, swords, guns and lassos. There is also usually a 1 year old girl pulling things out of all the bottom kitchen drawers and a two year old boy painting with water colors. You know, your typical serene studio space.
What are a few of your FAVORITE projects you've done?
My daughter's bedroom tops the list. It was the first time I could go all out without thinking about a male's opinion. We have cork flooring on the walls of our staircase. I pin recent quotes by our kids there. It is fun to read through them from time to time. It is also very practical for a mom that can't keep up with 4 baby books. I created a onesie for my daughter with vintage cateye glasses on it - I really like that one. Another favorite is notebooksI made with my boys for children in Haiti. Their daddy delivered them, it was very special.
I know you have a few non-profit organizations that you support and have mentioned on your blog. Will you share those with us and let us know how we can be a part of giving/sharing?
The best way to get involved in giving/sharing is to know what you love to do and find ways to do that for the benefit of others. Charitable deeds shouldn't be forced and burdensome. They should be invigorating and exciting. I believe no matter what you do there is always someone that can benefit from it. Some organizations I support are Samaritan's Purse, Charity Water, Compassion International and World Vision. I also love the following two non-profits that provide charitable outlets for those that like to create: A Beautiful Idea and CraftHope.
Now a few random questions...
What do you do when you first wake up?
Fix a cup of coffee and read my Bible.
Your perfect weekend would include...
It would start with getting to sleep in. Then my dad would come over and fix me breakfast. After we ate my boys would clean it up and excitedly tell me about all the estate sales we are going to go visit. We would slowly rummage through sales all day and eat a peaceful lunch outside somewhere. The weather would be perfect for jeans, a t-shirt and flipflops...and an iced coffee. There would be no fighting, no Legos, and no complaining. We'd be together as a family doing what mommy loves to do. That will never ever happen, but I would love to sleep in and have a weekend with no complaining and fighting!
Mountains or the beach?
Beach with mountains behind me...the warm kind of mountains.
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
coffee...iced with caramel and milk.
Any other hobbies you enjoy?
Just about anything that involves the outdoors and my family...unless it is cold or involves frogs. I like a little bit of a lot of things, but don't really devote a lot of time to any specific hobbies. If I say knitting is one of my hobbies do you think that will somehow become true?
One of your top 100 to do before you die?
This isn't so much before I die, but more before my kids graduate high school. I want to take my husband and kids on a two week hiking/camping/backpacking trip in Denali, Alaska. I lived there for a summer in college and vowed to myself if I ever got married and had kids I would return with them. Indescribable beauty. My kids and husband will love it.
Any hints on an upcoming handmade project you'll be featuring on your blog?
About 20 different colors of craft paint. Flea Market find. Trees. Mountain. Serene little lake. BIG. Coming this fall.
Here are a few more images and links to some of Ashley's fantastic projects:
Remember, you can follow Ashley at Under the Sycamore and see more of her amazing projects.