Exploring style with Parsons and Teen Vogue

Oct. 15 was my first day of school. Fashion school.

In September I  was accepted into the Parsons School of Design x Teen Vogue fashion program: 10 weeks and five courses on fashion production, media,  PR, and more. At the end of the program, on Christmas Day, I’ll have earned a Certificate in Fashion Industry Essentials. So far it’s been a great learning experience!

In the first course, Parsons faculty and magazine experts teach how to unlock visual style, how different elements join up to create a certain look, and how to tell a story with clothing. One assignment asks students to visit Pinterest and pin to a mood board several looks they love. So I did. And it didn’t take long to notice the similarities. All of my pins were sweaters, all were neutral colors, and most were loose fitting. Then I added some shoe options and some other accessories.

From there I build an outfit that told the story within my mood board. My ensemble included a soft knit sweater, a sheer blouse, and black boots to anchor it all. Delicate flowers sweeten the look that’s overall loose and flowing, kind of fun and relaxed — and exactly what I’d like to wear as I explore fashion (and downtown) in this new way.



For another assignment I created a board describing “My Story.” Pinning the pretty things around me — things I like and things that describe me — actually taught me more about myself. It helped me see what’s most important to me, and that will be important moving forward with Painted Ashley. Here are a couple photos I snapped of things around the house.



Thursday marks the start of course No. 2: “Thinking Like a Designer.” Stay tuned and have a good week!


Art, Life

Life lately and future plans

Hi everyone! It’s been a while. To make up for my absence, here are some fun recent photos.


Adam and I visited Cary, NC, and Kure Beach to unwind before his second semester of school. We had a great time and found that we love The Triangle, its wonderfully paved roads, greenways and trails for biking, art scene, southern location…

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We went to the pool one time. It was fun too.

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I left my family at The Record Delta to pursue freelance writing and blogging. That first week I spoke with editors at two national magazines, and from there it’s all been in God’s hands. I believe He’s redirecting me back to painting—and that is OK!


Finally met Leo, my best friend Tiffany’s baby. He is such a sweet little chunk!


And I finally. Bought. A sewing machine. Learning slowly but surely. :)

Last month I also accepted a part-time banking job, which will likely be full time through the end of the year. It’s not in the creative field, and so far that’s been great. Now I spend a good bit of the day working with people and numbers, then I use my creative energy—namely on various painting projects—during the evening. I can’t wait to show you what I’m making!

Six years ago God was clear in telling me to paint. Lately, thankfully, I’ve felt refreshed and ready to do just that. For the last three weeks I’ve painted 4-5 times per week, for several hours each time. I’m working on one commissioned piece, I’ve garnered interest in a Paint Night—which we’ll host at home in a couple weeks—and I have some cute ideas for Christmas too. It’s unbelievable how quickly things picked up when I began seeking God’s will.

There are a few things I really want to stress in this post. Here they are: If we never take a leap of faith, if we stay in our comfort zone, we might never truly start down His path for us. We may never realize what He has in store for us. We probably won’t reach the people we’re asked to reach.

I don’t know about you, but someday, when I stand before God, I don’t want to try to explain why I didn’t make the most of the gifts and talents He gave me on Earth. I want to do my best to follow and obey Him now.

I do intend to keep this blog for style purposes, but in the future there will be a greater focus on faith, life, and art—hence the blog’s name. Thanks for being patient during this time of rebranding.

See you soon!

“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. —Proverbs 8:32-33

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. —Jeremiah 29:11

Fashion, Style

Coat as a cape

Coats and jackets—cute as they’re intended—look even better when worn as capes this season. Put one over your shoulders and be amazed as it frames everything and shows your clothing underneath (I know you don’t plan to actually cover up your clothing all day). Let it become more accessory-like and less like outerwear.

I picked up this immaculate Ann Taylor jacket for $2—YES, $2—from Goodwill. This Talbots purse accentuates the golds I love to pull out this time of year, and it was also from Goodwill. I’m a sucker for that place.

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Top: The Limited (old) | Coat: Ann Taylor | Jeans: Vera Wang | Shoes: Tahari (but similar to these from Nine West) | Purse: Talbots (similar to Calvin Klein)

A better shot of the purse will come in one of next week’s posts. Stayed tuned!



fall style, Fashion, Style

Denim, denim

Because the blues are the stuff these days, and because the weather is getting cooler.



Tunic: Liz Claiborne (similar at Gap) | Jeans: Vera Wang | Shoes: Banana Republic | Purse: Liz Claiborne (old, but a similar one here)

Happy Monday!


Fashion, NYFW, Style

What I’m wearing to NYFW

NYFW is officially in full swing.

Shows on shows are happening simultaneously, fashion lovers are scrambling to access most of them, and style — on the runways and streets — is at a bi-yearly high.

Twice a year I crave these dates. While living in Manhattan last year, I attempted to talk my roommates into trying to sneak into NYFW, namely the DKNY show on 26th Street. Shockingly, that didn’t pan out.

Oh, but how one designer is changing it up and bringing new possibilities.

Givenchy’s show, a first for NYFW, also marks the opening of their flagship store on Madison Avenue. Making moves, Riccardo Tisci, partnered with, gave away several hundred invitations to Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, slated for tonight at 6 p.m.

Unfortunately my fumbling at the computer on Sept. 2 did not secure an invitation. Fortunately, however, the show will be live-streamed. And for that show, here’s what I’ll be wearing:



Mixed textures and a bold print work well together for this look, finished with hints of gold. Shout out to Mary Orton from Memorandum, who inspired me.

Most importantly, please remember to pause and pray for the families disrupted by the 9/11 terror attacks, to remember the heroic lives lost. It goes without saying that today is a day forever remembered by Americans, first responders, and many others all over the world.


Fashion, Style

One girly tank top

September may mark the start of fall and pumpkin spice lattes, but the summer temps are climbing to heights we haven’t seen in a while. That means we can break out the tanks for one last hurrah.

This one I’ve had since high school. Crazy, right? It had a polka dot bow on one of the straps, but I felt it detracted from the sophistication of the top. With a little snip-snip, the tank transitioned into something I can easily pair with jeans and heels.



Summer-style-tank-top-girlTop: Charlotte Russe (old) | Jeans: H&M (old) | Shoes: Lucky Brand

When I removed the bow, that’s when it hit me: You can do anything with your clothing. That might sound silly, but seriously — if a quick modification increases the life of what you already own, go for it! You’re the only person stopping you.

In what ways have you changed up any of your pieces? Let me know in the comments below.


Fashion, Style, Summer Style

Summer Sunday

Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! Adam and I spent it with family — at the pool, by the grill, and later with a pan of brownies — so our’s was a success. :)

Here’s a couple photos of what I wore to church Sunday, before temps hit the 90s.



Dress: American Eagle | Necklace: American Eagle (super old) | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Purse: Nine West

A few years ago I entered a contest for AE, and although I didn’t win, I did receive a bunch of gift cards, which is where this dress came from. The morals of this story: It always pays to try, and the price — in this case, zero — can make a piece all the more attractive.