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You ready for a long one??

Sometimes I get to thinking.
And sometimes I sit and re-evaluate why I blog on this little ‘ol blog.  And do you know what I come up with every time?  I do it because I really enjoy it.
I love creating new things, I love meeting so many new people, and I love having something turn out just the way I envisioned it (but believe me…there are many projects in the trash!).  Oh, and I really get a kick out of making something that I’ve seen at the store and then sharing it with all of you.  And most of your reactions are so sweet and so gracious.  I love that I can help save us all a few bucks!
And that all brings me to another topic.  How this blog actually runs.  I am a wife/mom first….and then a blogger.  And I love that I can do both.  And I feel even more grateful that I have sponsors to make this all possible.  I love meeting new sponsors, love their talent, and love sharing them all with you.  (Aren’t they great?)  But seriously, I really wouldn’t be able to  do what I do without their support.  So in all honesty, they support the cost of keeping things running.  And for that, “thank you sponsors for supporting my creating addiction!” Ha! (And I get a huge thrill to hear of your successes.  So keep it up!)
Oh, and a friend of mine suggested I read a blog post by Disney over at Ruffles and Stuff(Can I tell you how sweet that Disney is?  Always upbeat and also very clever!)  She asked her readers about giveaways and what they thought of them.  I read over some of her comments and agreed with some of them.  I get a kick out of sharing sweet little shops during a giveaway and I love emailing the winner to let them know it’s their lucky day.  Honest.  I love that.  However, all of the entry possibilities can get a little crazy.  And I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few months……so I’m glad it came up.  Anyway, I agreed with many of the thoughts posted and will eliminate many of the entry possibilities.  I still want them to be fun……but just not so overwhelming.  The last giveaway was only one entry and I liked how it turned out.  It was simple and easy.  Perfect. 
And I never have more than one giveaway per week and sometimes there are even a few weeks in between them.  And since they seem to help the sponsors……..I’m all for them.  And really, who doesn’t like a sweet little something for free to possibly arrive on their door step.
One more thing, while I’m chatting the day away……  Can I tell you how much I love hearing from you!?  I always try to reply to emails  because it tickles me pink that you would take a minute to send me a message/email/comment or even ask my opinion on something.  I’m telling ya, we could all be dear friends.  If only plane rides weren’t so expensive.
So, thanks for reading.  And thanks for hanging out with me here on this blog.
And sometimes when the blogging is going slow, it may be because I’m sharing the day with one of my little monkeys.  By the way, I can’t believe this little one just turned two.
Happy Birthday you bright and cheery little guy!
I will forever have a thing for his cheeks.  You are all welcome to come on over to smooch one of them.  They are delicious! 
(Even though, yeah, that’s more his forehead I’m smooching in the picture…)

Anyway, I just wanted to be really open and honest about sponsors, how much I appreciate them, and how much they do for this blog.  (And eek, what would I do without them?!)  And yes, as you can see, sometimes I get a little ramble-y, and off topic……whew, so I’ll stop now.
I have said this before but I really wish we could all meet somewhere and have a good chat.  Maybe laugh about our quirks, share sewing catastrophes, and then have the best little fabric swap of our favorite samples.  Anyone up for a getaway? (I’ll bring the treats!)  I would love to meet all of you in person.  I’m not kidding.
Enjoy your day.
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. Karena says:

    My cousin turned me onto your blog close to a year ago and I have been hooked since then. I have made several items and always give you credit for the ideas. I really love your blog, thanks for doing it!

  2. Kim says:

    You are amazing. I have thought about you many times when I'm not reading your blog. Thank you for sharing the simple directions and great photographs on projects to make my house a home. I love that you see something and you just figure it out and make it better than it is in a store. Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Crafty Batches says:

    I'd be so sad if you stop sharing your ideas – they're such money savers and I always look forward to seeing what your latest project is! :)


  4. MamaD says:

    I love your blog – it is the only craft blog that I follow on a regular basis. And I'm always thinking, why can't this girl live in my neighborhood and then she could teach me how to sew and do all these cool things. I have yet to actually do one of your crafts, but I will someday! Let us know if you ever move to Utah!

  5. Canadian Princess says:

    thank you for making the giveaways simpler…I'd stopped entering giveaways in general as they seem to be just a waste of time with all the hoops, but I'll definitely start entering yours again.

    and thank you for your wonderful blog and ideas…I love just love all of it;)

  6. Tiffany says:

    sweet post. it's fun to visit here.

  7. Lilybird says:

    I love your blog and check back almost everyday to see what new and amazing things you have come up with. You do such a great job. Thank you for sharing it with all of us and keep up the good work.

  8. Jenny says:

    Thanks for all your posts, and your blogs. Your creativity is an ispiration to me. Don't stop rambling, either – we love to read your thoughts. Keep up the good work!

  9. Never A Plain Jane says:

    Seriously? A sewing/crafting getaway with you? Sign me up!

  10. Amy says:

    i always wonder how the giveways with multiple entries work, especially if there are SO many people that enter. how do you track all of that? seems like a hastle.
    i LOVE your blog and appreciate your honesty – that makes us love you more, like your talking to just me:O)
    did you say fabric swap?!?!?

  11. Lettie says:

    I love your blog and I love it when people like you who are so good at the whole crafting/blogging thing sit back and take a few days to themselves. Even if you posted two times a week I would be happy. I just love that you share all your great ideas. :)

  12. Kara says:

    I would love to meet you in person! I had so much fun with all the crafty bloggers at CBC, we are all dying to get together again. Are you in Utah by any chance?

  13. Alaina says:

    I love your blog, Ashley. It's in my "top sites." I get UBER excited when I see that you have a new blog. I appreciate your work, your creativity, and your writing. THANKS for sharing it with everyone.

  14. Maria says:

    I just love your blog and I check it everyday. I love your ideas and have made several things thanks to your wonderful tutorials, and have a list of other things I am going to make too! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and also for teaching us how to do them! I liked reading your thoughts, that was fun! And your son is just SOOOOO CUTE! Your little lady is too!

  15. Heather says:

    I love love your blog. I have only been following for a little over a month and I find myself looking forward to your posts.
    I think Giveaways are fine and the number of entries don't bother me as much as the frequency. When I follow a craft blog I want to see crafts not giveaway after giveaway after giveaway. There are couple of "craft" blogs I read that seem to have a giveaway everyday and nothing else. I want craft ideas or sewing help more than giveaways!

  16. Darlene B says:

    Thanks for your long entry. I love reading your blog and get many ideas from it. I must say that as much as I enjoy reading blogs, I don't have one of my own. So if a giveaway gives you more chances when you mention it on your own blog, I don't even enter. It seems a little biased against those who only "read" not "write" blogs. I appreciate the chance to say so!! In kindness,

  17. Katherine says:

    good thoughts about the giveaways.. and I totally agree. It doesn't matter, because every giveaway is just that (a gift), but I often choose not to participate simply because I don't want to "jump through all the hoops".

    I've really enjoyed your series on decorating the home! Keep up all the good ideas!

  18. Katherine says:

    good thoughts about the giveaways.. and I totally agree. It doesn't matter, because every giveaway is just that (a gift), but I often choose not to participate simply because I don't want to "jump through all the hoops".

    I've really enjoyed your series on decorating the home! Keep up all the good ideas!

  19. Joanna says:

    I love reading your blog, and making your stuff – seriously! I am always inspired by your creativeness, and I am a craft-lover. To be honest, I don't think I have ever entered one of your give aways. To me it is just advertising for the sponsors, and so many people enter, what is the point for me? But I totally get why you do it. and I know I will never win unless I enter, right? haha. Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas with us!

  20. jlk says:

    I rarely leave a comment, but I love your blog. It is fabulous. Definitely one of my favorites!

  21. Delia says:

    I think you do a good job of balancing giveaways and crafts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Even though I don't want to do giveaways on my little blog right now, it doesn't mean I hate it when everyone else does. I will restate what I put on Disney's blog though and say that I love it when bloggers hold contests and then give sponsor giveaways as prizes. I have never won that way or any way for that matter but I just like the idea of working for what you get…at least every once in a while… when it comes to giveaways. :)

    I adore you as a blogger and I am sure I can speak for many of us when I say that I am SO glad YOU blog and help feed our creative habits.

  22. Andrea Hardman says:

    Whenever I see blog get-togethers I feel sad that I live too far away! So you should have it here in Northern Alabama! Great idea, right? ;)

  23. Kerry says:

    amen to one entry thing. sometimes there are so many this' and that's that I just stop reading and keep goin.

  24. The Clines says:

    Ashley- Thank you for running such a great blog! I really enjoy it- your creativity is inspiring! And… your son is adorable!!

  25. Lisa says:

    I can't believe how big your little guy is getting! I don't think I've seen him for a LONG time! Happy birthday little man!

  26. Jolanda says:

    Yes, I totally agree, if there is more than one entry option, I don't even bother to keep reading or enter.

  27. Amy says:

    I love readingyour blog! I would love to see less giveaways and only entry when it is possible. I enjoy reading about YOUR good ideas and find that I am not always interested in the sponsors.

  28. BigSis LilSis says:

    Make it and Love it was the first blog that I began to follow and you have inspired me so many times with your creativity and motivated me to get crafty myself. I have tried a few of your crafts, I think my first one was the mod podge hangers, which became birthday gifts for my mom and mother in law!
    I love your blog and love seeing all the new things you come up with, plus your tutorials are so helpful to understand how to do it ourselves, because it truely does save us a few bucks sometimes, which is always nice when you have a large family with many birthdays!!
    Thanks again for sharing,

  29. Bethany says:

    I am SO in support of simpler giveaways! I do love your blog, but in the past, I've never entered any of your giveaways because I just can't justify spending that much time to enter a giveaway, you know? So THANK YOU for simplifying! :)

  30. JuliaVP says:

    It would be so beautiful to have a blog meet and greet. hmmm

  31. Kristi says:

    I 'blog stalk' you on a regular basis, and I just have to say that you totally make my day! You're so crafty and fab. It inspires me, and I love, love, love that you are REAL!!! I hate surfing blogs of 'perfect people' and leaving feeling like a crappy mom. Thanks for keepin' it real, and fabulous all at the same time! YOU ROCK :)
    *and I have a little guy who is turning 2 in a couple of weeks and I can totally understand the cheeks!!! I kiss his incessantly!!!

  32. The Mom says:

    I love all your ideas and I also love give-aways. But when I see all the entry possibilities, it turns me off and I generally don't even bother to enter. I don't have time to do all that. I am a wife and mother too. So thank you for making it simpler!

  33. leardonsbelle says:

    I just wanted to take a second and say thank-you for all the wonderful ideas you have shared. You have inspired me to stop buying as much and take the time to make it myself. It has been a lot of fun. Thanks!

  34. Sheila says:

    What a sweet post! What a sweet boy! :) I enjoy all your ideas. As for giveaways, I don't twitter, I don't blog, and I don't use facebook, so I skip a lot of giveaways. That's okay. Giveaways are fun, but for me they are just that – fun. I don't want to jump through hoops, and I'll enjoy your blog just the same even if you decided to never do another one. I'm here for the ideas. And oh, how I wish I had one of those cupcakes! Have a great day!

  35. Emily says:

    Make it and Love it is my absolute most favorite blog to follow and I know that many, many of my friends follow it, too. Sometimes thats the thing that we find out we have in common when meeting new friends, "Oh, you follow make it and love it too!?" (bam, instant friend!) Just today a girl from my neighborhood stopped by and noticed some decorations I made for my home and she said, "Did you get that idea off of make it and love it?" I was so excited to tell her, "YES!" Anyway, one reason that I love your blog so much is because I can tell that you are doing it for fun. I can tell that you are not doing it to make money off me. So, Thanks! (I hope you DO make money off of it by the way. But I guess I'm saying that when I read your blog, I don't feel used as a consumer, ya know?) I also follow your blog because you are down to earth and It seems like we have similar values, (family, etc.) so I can relate to you. You are so creative and have the best tutorials to follow that I've found out there. I know you're not lying about wishing you could be dear friends with all of your readers. You've responded to my e-mails and questions before and I appreciate it. So keep up the great work and enjoy what you are doing. Especially enjoy your cute kiddies. They really are more important than your blog and we all understand that. You've been a great example of a mom and woman even if you weren't even trying to be. :)

  36. Valerie says:

    What a lovely post. It is amazing to me that you do so much and take care of your children! Kudos!

  37. HILLARY says:

    I know it really does feel like I have "blog friends". I will tell my husband something about "one of my crafty blog friends" and half way through he'll say "who was this?" I have to remind him that it's no one he (or I) really even know.

  38. cuppycakey says:

    I "catch up" on about 8 craft/scrapbook blogs whenever I have the time, and I love your blog the most! I LOVE your ideas! They are not only useful, they are so creative and beautiful!
    My opinion, I love giveaways! I have never yet won one but who wouldn't like to get free stuff? I only enter the easy ones(leave a comment, that's it!) I think you should keep doing them!
    Also, keep up the great work on the blog! I have 3 kids and could never find the creativity/energy/time to craft like you seem to!

  39. Jenni says:

    I LOVE your blog! Everything about it makes me smile! Out of all of the crafty blogs out there, I feel the most comfortable trying your things! So thank you for sharing and letting us try what you do!

    I would love to meet all the amazing ladies out there that I have met through blogland! It would be such a wonderful trip!

  40. Disney says:

    Wow, imagine my surprise while reading this post to see my name in it! I feel totally famous now. (And thank you so much for your sweet words!)
    I totally agree with you about the sponsors. I do my best, but I have to admit that not having the money from sponsors makes it really hard sometimes to come up with crafts and tutorials. (And that's why other blogs usually have fancier, prettier ideas!) :o) So yes, sponsors are fantastic!! I'm so glad they are available for bloggers! Besides, you put tons of work into this blog, you totally deserve to make ten times whatever you get from sponsors, I'm sure!
    And thanks for the "long" post, I love those!

  41. Natalie @ Perrys' Plate says:

    I love it when bloggers stop their regularly scheduled program to ponder a bit or talk about their personal lives. It reminds me that a real, live, person like me is behind all the brilliant ideas. :)

    About giveaways… I read that post you were talking and I have to agree with many of the comments. I love the idea of helping out little shops get their names out, but I really dislike when giveaways take over a blog. It's like watching commercial after commercial and never getting to the show that I like! I also don't like having to jump through a bunch of hoops for more entries. As a fellow blogger, I'd rather have someone follow me because they like my blog or my recipes, not because they just want free stuff.

    Anyway… I really enjoy your blog even though I'm not a big crafter. I love all the ideas and creative things you come up with and stuff them in the back of my mind for when I have a little more time on my hands. :)

  42. Rob, Michelle and Luke Greer says:

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG and appreciate all your hard work. I totally agree with simplifying the giveaways as I often get overwhelmed with the many ways to get an extra entry.

  43. Tanyia says:

    I too love your blog and do not mind some chatting at all! :)

    I did comment on that particular post of Disney's and I agree with you!

    I do not have any idea how sponsors work I do not have any, in fact I hardly get comments and sometimes I wonder why I bother blogging also…but like you it is because I love it. Oh well I guess that not many people see it lol.

  44. I♥thesecrazykids says:

    Your blog was the 1st I'd ever read. I read it long before I knew anything about blogging. I didn't even have a blogger acct for a long time. I just stuck you in my bookmarks and checked in every couple days. I have enjoyed making several of your projects. You have helped me to venture out into my own creative world. Thank you for sharing your blog and life with us.

  45. Jeff and Bethany Davis says:

    That sounds great! You have some awesome giveaways, but sometimes I don't enter because it's too overwhelming to get all the entries. Thanks for paying attention to us and changing so our lives will be easier. ;)

    And as always, thanks for the amazing ideas! So many times I look at your projects and think "how did she come up with that?!"

  46. Deb says:

    Love your blog…so glad you were chatty today!! Your little boy is just precious. We have 2 GRAND-sons…one is almost 4 and the other 2 1/2…and I love to kiss them both, but the younger one gets kisses on his chin..and he'll tip his chin up for me to kiss!! Anyway…as far as give-a-ways….I like only entering one time and not having to "tweet", "FB", or ever how many other things that some people require. Now who's chatty?!?!?
    Blessings to you!!!

  47. PECK says:

    You're awesome. Your blog is #1 on my reading list…and it also helps my business out so much more than any of the other blogs I advertise on.

  48. Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy says:

    I completely agree! My first one had like 13 ways to enter. It felt… Silly. I like the easy one entrance way of my second give away! When it becomes a JOB it looses it's fun. So keep up the amazing crafts you (and the rest of us) love!

  49. Shauna says:

    I have to say that I was relieved when I got about half way through this post because I was afraid that you were going to stop blogging! Noooooo! Love your blog =)

  50. Sara says:

    I just want to say I love your blog! I also agree about giveaways. I hate having to jump through hoops to enter. I like the idea of one entry just by commenting. It gets overwhelming!

  51. Funky Kim says:

    Treats! I'm up for treats!

  52. Mary says:

    I was glad to read your rambly-ness. I must say I agree about the number of entries. I usually don't enter the give-aways that have more than one option. But I do enjoy reading about new ideas!

  53. Kell says:

    Yep yep I have to agree, your blog is one of my favorites as well. I love checking to see what new fantasticly super fly things you have posted, even just little rambles like today and sweet pictures of a birthday boy. I love it! So a thank you is in order! Have a magical day!

  54. Jill says:

    I love your blog and it's in my folder of blogs that i check up on daily. :) I'm currently a new university grad looking for a job, and crafting in the mean time. I started my own blog (inspired by so many of the great ones I read – like yours) and I'm always blown away by the moms who have time to be a mom, craft, and blog. You're amazing! :)

  55. Dana says:

    what a lovely, thoughtful post, I love blogging too and have two little ones that keep me busy in between. Your little boy is gorgeous, mine turns 2 in two weeks aswell, how the time flys!

  56. Leigh Anne says:

    I found your blog about a month or so ago and LOVE it! By FAR one of my favorite crafting/sewing blogs. I've got a list a mile long from all of your wonderful tutes – I think I'm gonna start on some scarves for Christmas gifts. I've got 2 boys – 3 yo and 15 mos – so I craft during nap time and after bedtime….just like you. Well, just wanted to say hi and keep up the wonderful work! May you be Blessed in all you do ;)
    Leigh Anne from Texas

  57. Mardi says:

    If only we had discovered craftiness in college. Can you imagine the late nights? I appreciate all your posts. And I can only imagine how great the sponsors are. I like the idea of one entry for giveaways. Maybe it will increase my chances. :) Keep up the good work. (and your kids are darling!)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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