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My Sweet Grandma…


Baby girl and I flew to California for the weekend.  My beautiful grandmother, Claire Singley, passed away recently at the age of 92.  My grandma was the sweetest and most soft spoken woman you’d ever meet.  Very elegant.  Very demure.  She also had a killer jewelry collection that she’d always let us grandchildren try on and fancy ourselves up with.  Oh, and her high heel closet?  The most fabulous thing for a young girl to dig into.  And she never minded one bit.


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My grandma raised 5 children, my mom being the second oldest.  (She’s the one on the left with braids on her head.  And the youngest wasn’t born yet in the photo below.)  My mom recently told me that my grandma started sewing at a very young age and sewed her first item to sell, when she was only 10 years old.  It was a pajama set for a friend’s mom.  I guess she’s the one who passed this sewing bug along to me.  And I love her for it. :)



My grandpa, Fred Singley, passed away 12 years ago.  He was so uncomfortable at the time and his body kept breaking down.    I remembering feeling sad that my grandma would then be alone.  However, at the age of 80, she reunited withe her old high school sweetheart (who had also lost his spouse), rekindled their love, and were married………both of them in their older years.  George Leavitt has taken care of my grandmother in Hawaii for the past 12 years.  They have been living  a very simple and calm life.  And how wonderful it has been for her to have someone to love her and take care of her for this past while.  (And it has sure given many of us (but unfortunately not me) a great excuse to visit the islands of Hawaii.  ;)) 



But recently, she left this life and was reunited with my grandpa.  I’m sure it was a sweet reunion.  One I wish I was able to see.  I can only imagine the excitement of my grandpa, to have his beautiful bride back into his arms.



We are all gathered together here in Sacramento, celebrating her long life, and happy to be her children and grandchildren.  She was an honest and kind-hearted woman.  One who was willing to help anyone who asked of her.  And lived a life that she should be proud of.  Of course, we all will miss her dearly.  But know she is much happier leaving behind the ailments of her older age.




We love you so much Grandma.

I know I’ll see you again some day. :)


More on my beliefs here.


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 Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend.  I’ll be home soon.  I miss my other 2 babies.  And my patient husband who rearranged his schedule (and flight plans to GA to take tests) so I could come here.


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Ali Michalove says:

    I am so sorry to read about your Grandmother. It seems as though she had a long and fulfilling life, although, I understand how much you will surely miss her. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Rashfa says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your grandmother is so very Beautiful and you are very lucky to have the sewing bug passed on to you by her. :) My mother, who made a living by sewing, passed away when I was 4, but somehow I have the sewing bug passed on to me by her, and I can’t be more thankful. Family roots are so Precious. :)

  3. ruma says:

    She was so beautiful……………and love the way you described her .Thanks for sharing your feelings with us all.

  4. Erin says:

    Ashley, your grandma sounds like she’d be best friends with my grandma–also 92, glamorous, who let us play with her fantastic collection of jewelry and heels (it makes me cringe now–I don’t know if I’ll be so generous with my treasures!). I’m glad your grandma is no longer in pain or feeling suffering…I am sure your sweet children will admire and love their great-grandma through your wonderful memories. How wonderful, too, that she had two wonderful husbands in one life. Your post is a great tribute to your lovely grandma! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Anna says:

    She has to be the most beautiful “aged” woman I’ve ever seen. Truly elegant woman. My dear grandmother passed away last year and I miss her all the time. There are memories that creep in unexpectedly and I often pause and reflect how sweet it was having such an incredible woman in my life growing up.

    I like to think she’s near me and enjoying the things she taught me as I teach them to my daughter.

  6. Dielle says:

    What a beautiful woman she was at every age! My grandmother passed away 10 years ago and I still miss her very much!

  7. Shannon says:

    So sad to lose a loved one. I’ve lost three grandmas. (one of them I adopted when I was eleven, the other two are my parent’s mothers) Grandmas are extraordinary people. Your Grandma sounds lovely – and she is absolutely adorable! I hope to be an adorable old grandma some day. :-) I am sorry for your loss.

  8. Taylor says:

    Praying for you, during this time. Your grandmother was a very beautiful lady.

    “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (KJV)

  9. melissa says:

    Sorry for your loss, my grandma was 92 as well when she passed back in 2007. Take care :)

  10. Esther says:

    Sorry to hear about your Grandma. My grandma who was 94 just passed away the night before Thanksgiving. It’s hard to lose them.

  11. Kim says:

    Praying for you and your family, Ashley…

  12. Meari says:

    My condolences on the loss of your beloved grandma. I lost mine when I was 10. Your g’ma was a beautiful woman, even as she got older. I’m sure you will miss her.

  13. Andi says:

    Hoping you are comforted through this difficult time. May the Lord bless you always. Hugs, Andi

  14. kristie says:

    What a beautiful lady, even in her later years!!! I love the pictures! My grandma passed away last january, and i started a fun tradition on making their favorite dessert on their birthday. It has been a wonderful way to remember my hubby’s and mine grandparents and also teach our children about them and help them feel connected to them. It’s nice to know we will see them again someday….

    1. Kim says:

      What a wonderful idea, Kristie! Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Paula says:

    I’m sorry that you had to bid your final farewell to your beloved grandmother. She sounded like a lovely lady. She seems to have a lived a good and full life and now she is enjoying the rest of her life with your Grandpa.

  16. Beth says:

    So sorry for your loss. You and your grandmother were lucky to have each other. I have to agree that you look just like her!

  17. Sabrina Jackson says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandma sounds like an amazing woman! And I agree with E.F. Looking at these pictures, you look a lot like her!

  18. E. F. says:

    sorry to hear about your grandmother. i lost both my grandmas last year (was a hard year).
    just wanted to tell you that it’s amazing that you look like her – same cheakbones smile mouth. amazing these things go on three generations…..

  19. marisa says:

    So sorry for your loss. You are in my neck of the woods. Grew up in Land Park in Sacramento and still reside here. BTW I can see your grandmother in you :)

  20. Tracy says:

    Ashley, I am sorry for your loss, but so happy for eternal families! You have her same infectious smile!

  21. Wendy says:

    Your grandma was beautiful. I’m very sorry for your loss, but I’m very happy to know that you will see her again one day.

  22. Kanchan says:

    Your grandma was a beautiful woman. She looks gorgeous and graceful in her older age. Sorry for your loss, Ashley.

  23. Gloria says:

    Wow. She was a beauty. Their generation were true ladies in every way. Here’s to honoring them by being and raising true ladies ourselves. What a great heritage.

  24. Beth says:

    What a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful woman. No doubt your Grandfather is taking great care of her now. Smiles~Beth

  25. Cristina Mara says:

    I loved your post. I’m from Brasil and always read your posts, but today is wonderful!!! It reminds me my granfather who hás married afther my gramother past away with an old friend from school. And now he is with my gramma again. Kisses for you and sorry about my english, Cristina. My email

  26. Lynette says:

    My Grandpa also passed away recently. The funeral was this weekend, and although we will miss him, we are so happy that he is with his parents and other family members. My grandma is still here, and being tough through it all. It is wonderful to know that we can be with our family members again someday isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your beliefs in such a beautiful way. You are brave! :) What a beautiful grandma you have, thanks again for sharing.

  27. Deb says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. I’m sure she is looking down on you, beaming with pride. Thank you for this reminder of how important and precious our family is.

  28. Paula says:

    Oh Ashley, as I was reading this beautiful memoir of your grandmother, I was thinking what a sweet lady she must be. Then I got to the part about her remarrying and living in Hawaii…and made the connection (and knew why she looked so familiar!)…she lived in my ward here in Hawaii! She truly was a beautiful woman and I loved her singing :-) She and I have had a couple conversations, since my maiden name is Leavitt. I’m not sure how much she remembers, since I only knew here for the past 18 months (we’re military). Hope your family is doing well and I’m sure you are all excited to see her again someday! :-)

  29. Katera says:

    That last picture of her made me smile. She has such beautiful eyes.

  30. Diane says:

    My only surviving grandparent is my maternal grandmother who turned 92 this past summer, very good health so far. We are truly blessed to have her. Your grandma was a very beautiful woman, and the most darling cheekbones. :) This was a very touching story, thanks for sharing. Take care.

  31. Bonnie says:

    I am sorry for your loss, your grandmother obviously left an impression on you!
    I think that is the reason we are here!
    PLUS she was absolutely adorable!!!

  32. Barbara says:

    So sorry about he loss of your grandma. I’ve been feeling close to my grandma the past few days. She made a nativity set for me in 1965 that I just put out for Christmas. We lost her long ago.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to Sacramento, but I am so sorry to hear the reason for your visit. Your grandmother was a beautiful lady, as are you. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I know she is still with you and am sure she is so proud.

  34. ali says:

    wow she was BEAUTIFUL.

  35. Bethany says:

    What a lovely woman. It’s a sign of a life well lived when someone’s passing brings less SORROW and more JOY that you had them in your life in the first place. :)

  36. Kathleen says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother. What a sweet and touching tribute you gave to her in this post. She was a beautiful women. Family is so important. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings,

  37. Jeanette says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady,

  38. Dominique says:

    Lovely tribute and I can see the family resemblance very clearly!
    Sorry for your loss – from Finland.

  39. Lucy says:

    What a beautiful woman she was, what a wonderful life she had, and what precious memories you have of her. She touched your life in a profound way. You can never lose that.

  40. Alison says:

    I feel your loss. My grandmother passed away this week as well, we are headed to Idaho to celebrate her life this coming week. Grandmothers are wonderful, but like you i am glad to know that she is reunited with her husband and free from her earthly pain.

  41. Summer says:

    She is so beautiful! Even now – those eyes! So sorry to hear about your loss, it is never easy. You are blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel that you do!

  42. Jennifer says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. She sounds like such a wonderful lady and I am sure she will be missed.

  43. Keri says:

    Sorry to hear about your Grandmother passing. My grandma died this week as well and her funeral was today.

  44. Lindsay says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandma’s passing. She looks like she was a lovely woman.

  45. mom taxi julie says:

    What a great tribute to your beautiful Grandmother!

  46. Kari says:

    What a touching post on your Grandma. Deepest sympathies for your loss. I hope your great memories get you through the grieving. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

  47. kathy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our grandmother this year too. It hurts.

    I hope to leave a legacy half that of your grandmother!!

  48. CoDele Lurker says:

    She is beautiful. I am struck by the twinkle in her eye. May we all be blessed to be so content in this life and the next. I can see from where you get your facial features. Knowledge of eternal families makes it ALL worth it.

  49. Kristina says:

    I’m glad your grandma and grandpa are together again. My grandma passed away last year, and I do still miss her, but it was wonderful to know she’s in a better place now.

    When you said you’re in Sacramento (where I’m from), I thought, “maybe I could get to meet her!!” Then remembered that besides you being busy with much more important things, I’m…well…not there right now because I live in AZ now. Hahaha. I blame pregnancy brain. ;)

  50. Angie says:

    That was sweet! I’m glad you knew your Grandma so well. Also, I think you look a lot like her. Two pretty girls!

  51. sue says:

    she is so lovely and sweet…may God bless her beautiful soul…

  52. kelly says:

    I lost my grandparents almost 4 years ago. My grandfather died after his 1st chemo treatment for cancer. My grandmother ( a very healthy woman) died 30 days later. I’d say that was long enough for them to be apart. ( He was her high school sweetheart too.) What a wonderful woman your Grandma sounds like and just as beautiful. How sweet to have love twice.

  53. Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful life your grandmother had. I’m glad you were able to make it there for the service and to be with family.

  54. Ashlee says:

    This was lovely. We’ve had 5 funerals this year, but it is a comfort to know all the reunions goin on. One of them went through the temple just a few months before passing. On a upbeat note, I think there should be a club for all the Ashlee’s in crafting land like on “recess” don’t you? :)

  55. Ashlee says:

    This was lovely. We’ve had 5 funerals this year, but it is a comfort to know all the reunions goin on. One of them went through the temple just a few months before passing. On a upbeat note, I think there should be a club for all the Ashlee’s in crafting land like on “recess” don’t you?

  56. dannyscotland says:

    Such a touching tribute to your grandmother.

  57. Mercurial says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, she was obviously a wonderful woman!

  58. Megan W. says:

    *hugs* I’m so grateful to know that families can be together forever, but good byes are still hard. I’ll remember you and your family in my prayers.

    Your grandmother is so beautiful! Now I know why your mom is aging so gracefully! You’ve got some great genes, both in looks and crafting! :)

  59. Amanda says:

    I’ve been a reader for a while..sorry for your loss. It’s a little easier to take when she’s 92…I say that after having gone through this with my 94 year old grandmother back in October.

  60. Hollienoel says:

    This was such a sweet tribute and your beliefs shine through in your positive outlook on her passing. I hope your family finds comfort in each others’ company while you remember her :)

  61. Carrie says:

    You are the spitting image of your lovely grandmother. I’m sure she is very proud of your accomplishments and will live on through the twinkle in your cutie pie’s eyes.

    1. Heather says:

      I thought the same thing when I saw the pictures! Beautiful tribute! You do look very much like your grandmother!!

  62. Heidi Ceto says:

    What a beautiful post about your Grandmother Ashley! I am sorry for your loss but I am so glad your taking it so well, Your Grandmother was a very beautiful women! Young and old! What flawless skin she had! May God bless you and your family in your time of loss! HUgs!

  63. Kyra says:

    So sorry for your loss! I also lost my Grandma this year so I feel your pain. It’s very comforting to know that famlies are forever though :). So glad I have that knowledge!

  64. Molly says:

    What a gorgeous woman! I’m sorry for your loss, but what a life she led!

  65. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life says:

    What a sweet way to remember your Grandma. She sounds like she was a lovely woman. I am so sorry for your loss.

  66. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. We lost my husband’s grandmother a little over a month ago due to a car accident. She was only 67 and left behind her highschool sweetheart and husband of over 45 years. It was the hardest thing our family has had to go through, and continues to go through. The biggest blessing though is that she’s with our savior and the assurance that we’ll see her again. I’ll definitely be praying for your family.

  67. Aimee says:

    Your grandmother was beautiful, and what a gorgeous family. She sounds like an amazing woman.

  68. Sarah says:

    I am so sorry for you all! Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful,wonderful woman. I’m sure she was so proud of the way you carried on the sewing bug, and of the wonderful mother that you are. I hope you enjoy this time with your family and know that people are praying for you.

  69. Karan says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. It is hard. I lost my last living grandmother in 1993 and I still miss her. She was actually my step grandmother but had been married to my grandfather when my mother was just 6 so though not blood she was the only grandmother I ever connected with grandpa.

    I have so may special memories of all my grandparents and was luck enough to have 3 sets of Great Grandparents living when I was young. You will always hold special memories for the rest of your life of her and your grandfather also.

    It is wonderful she had someone to care for her and love her again. I love seeing the elder generations find love the second time around. I have worked with seniors for over 10 years and have seen many become close and marry again.

    May God give you strength at this time.


  70. Amy says:

    What a beautiful to your grandmother! It struck a chord in my heart, my grandmother has a wonderful jewelry & high heel collection and always let me get “fancy” when I was visiting!

  71. AndreaR says:

    I am so happy for your grandma to be reunited with your grandpa. I lost my grandmother in 2003 and it was difficult for me, but I know she is not suffering anymore. :-) And I love even more that I will see her again someday! Isn’t it great to know that families will be together forever?!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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