Thrift Store Finds & Old Frame Tutorials

The other day I went to the thrift store with the intention of buying a few things for some home made gifts I'm planning for Christmas, and walked out with such a good haul!

Finding everything you're looking for {and then some} at the thrift store is usually kinda rare in my experience, so I was pretty stoked.

I'll miss these little guys once I give them away, all except the tinted aqua one ...

This is a present to myself.

Chalkboard and Picture Frames
R E - D E S I G N E D   T H R I F T

I also found some old frames that I'm going to upcycle in the following tutorials!

I'm turning the octagonal frame into a hanging chalk board

First things first I dusted the frame off and cleaned the glass carefully

Then gave the glass a few thin layers of the chalkboard paint

As the glass was drying I started to apply the paint to the frame

I used an acrylic sea glass colour and applied about three layers

After the frame was completely dry I gave it a few layers of a semi-gloss varnish

Then I got to painting the brass frame. The edges of the frame were black velvet but I painted over them too, ended up looking kinda like wood.

I used an acrylic bleached sand colour and applied about three layers

I let the paint dry and then applied a few layers of the semi-gloss finish

This was the finished chalkboard. I would have loved to write something sassy on it for the photo but I plan on gifting these frames so I decided not to!

And here is the ex-brass frame just begging to be filled with a black and white photo.



What I've Learned So Far About Aging Gracefully

I'd just had the oil changed in my truck and they'd given me a new window sticker to indicate when I'd need to bring the truck back in. As I was parking at home in the back alley like always, I stole a glimpse up at the sticker and noticed it read a date for January.

January already! My birthday is coming, I thought. Which led me to think about turning another year older. Which led me to think about this grand theory I have about aging and all of the sudden I felt a huge urge to blog about it and literally ran into the house, kicked off my boots throwing snow everywhere and went straight to my desk to start writing out a few key notes.

I don't know why, but I feel very strongly on this topic. But I'm going to try to keep things as straight to the point as possible so this doesn't become a total rambling mess!

I believe that to age gracefully we must fully embrace getting older, this means the good and especially the bad. The absolute heart of my theory lies in the power of positive thinking. You must get excited about wrinkles and grey hair. You have to welcome saggy boobs with open saggy boob arms.

If you spend your adult years complaining, worrying, thinking, stressing and being negative in general about your aging physical appearance or physique you will only make it worse, on the outside and on the inside. But if you can keep a positive outlook on getting older I truly believe that you will age gracefully not only physically but mentally as well.

If you've ever read anything about the power of positive thinking and thought manifestation you know that our thoughts become our reality. If we're constantly negative then we attract negativity. Think about those days when you wake up and stub your toe and then think "Oh it's gonna be one of those days," and then go on to experience a total shit day. Surprise, surprise.

If you can be positive and joyful then you're more likely to attract good things into your life. If you can embrace turning another year older the way you did as a child, then you're more likely to not only start off this next year of your life on a pleasant note, but you're also inviting happiness and abundance into your life.

The trick behind this theory is forgetting all the embedded beliefs in our minds that aging is something to be dreaded. From a young age we are taught {subconsciously} that wrinkles are unsightly, grey hair should be covered up with hair dye and when you're old things start to fall apart and quit working and you become a used up version of your old youthful self. 

This is where the saying "Fake it 'till you make it" comes in.

Some time ago, whenever I came up with my theory, I had to convince myself that aging was something I was looking forward to. When I would have this conversation with people I would lie and say "I'm looking forward to my hair turning grey" or "I can't wait to be a bad ass old granny rocking a half sleeve of tattoos." Ok, that last one wasn't a lie, but you see what I mean.

Eventually, like today, I realized I actually am excited to experience getting older and I've actually tricked myself into releasing my old notions about growing old and replaced them with a total positive outlook that I can carry with me as the years progress.

I think it's so important to use your thoughts and your body wisely starting from a young age. This means being kind and forgiving to yourself, not putting your body down or calling yourself names. This means nurturing your body with healthy food and clean water and getting enough exercise, yoga or meditation to sustain adequate nutrition and a healthy mind and healthy body weight, especially as you age. Taking responsibility for your emotions and your own thought patterns, and being in charge of your life and the way you want to live it.

Growing old is a privilege denied to so many and we should never regret or fear it. We should embrace it wholeheartedly, remove the ego and happily accept the inevitable with a big ol' dentured smile.



Eight Years of Ashley Alexandra Photography

I'm very lucky to have found my passion for photography when I was just a teenager, allowing me to be so much more prepared to start my business as a young adult. 

I'm so grateful not only to my younger self for keeping up with my then creative hobby, but also to both my parents for their constant encouragement and support throughout the years. 

The following is a photo timeline which includes some of my best or favourite photographs from each consecutive year since I decided to become a photographer. It was a real trip going back through some of my oldest folders and seeing how much I've progressed in not only the quality of my photographs, but in my own unique style in general.

The First Year 









Namaste Motha Fcuka - a Playlist for your Yoga Practice

Hit the play button above to listen to the tracks you may or may not have heard during my classes tonight at Under the Yoga Tree. Whip out a couple asanas while listening for extra pleasure!


What would you do if you had a french lady take over your voicemail greeting and you couldn't understand why because of the language barrier... ?


Sometimes I feel like repeatedly driving over my internet router and then mailing the smashed remains to Shaw Cable with a long and angry note, but then all that yoga kicks in and it kinda just rolls off my shoulders.


How to make a Heated Dog Pillow

My little yorkie Toby doesn't have much meat on her and at a mere five pounds she always seems to be cold this time of the year. Normally she burrows herself into a blanket or a sweater, or sits in my lap, but I thought I could make something to ease her skinny little suffering.

This is a lazy tutorial for a super easy, super quick Microwavable Dog Pillow

Grab some fabric and scissors - measuring tape optional, I didn't use it, just for scale

Fold your fabric in half and cut out the size of pillow that's going to work best for you or your dog

Fold your fabric evenly so the wrong side is face up. Sew along the edges (except for folded side)

Remember to leave a hole where we can add the filler

Grab your filler! In this case I'm using rice, but you can also use wheat, barley, oatmeal, or beans etc.

Grab a funnel and start filling your bag! If you're like me and fresh out of funnels, use a scrap piece of construction paper or cardboard. I used about 10 cups of rice, give or take, to fill my pillow.

Fold the edges of your opening inwards to create a cleaner hem and then sew the hole closed

That's one snazzy rice bag

Chuck your new pillow on a plate in the microwave for 1 - 3 minutes. Some suggest heating it along with a small cup of water as a safety precaution.

Have your dog pop a squat on that nifty little craft and see what they think. 
I don't know if Toby even knew what was going on...  But I think she was pleased

And for those rainy days that you're cold too, put this thing on your lap! Dog optional.