We’re delighted to welcome Ashley Presley as our guest blogger today. Ashley is the owner and designer at Ellywise Studios, a custom line of felt flower bouquets, center pieces, wreaths, and other decor. At the heart of each and every flower is Ashley’s love for all things fun, pretty, and whimsical. A SCAD graduate and working full-time as an interactive designer, Ashley uses felt flower making as a creative outlet for her less technical side, and to channel her wildly imaginative nature.
In my family, the year of 2014 was Woodard-Wedding-Central. I got married in May and my little sister in October. I wanted to do something special for my sister’s bridal shower decorations, so I spent four months making felt flowers for all the table decorations. Commitment, my friend.
I truly enjoyed it and was so inspired by the possibilities that I continued to make them just for fun. When my house began to burst at the seams with felt and flowers, my mom suggested posting some pictures of them online and seeing what happened. They were so well received it was overwhelming. I couldn’t be more excited about the whirlwind success around my little flower child that is Ellywise Studios!
This is my darling Rue. We’re not totally sure of her breed, but I do know that she’s my perfect little rescue buddy/muse. Though her fur-fluff often covers most surfaces of my house, she loves to lie in my studio while I work and watch herself in the mirror (she knows how gorgeous she is, and she’s so modest about it – gotta love her).
When she’s not admiring herself in the mirror, my sidekick Rue often stares at me with a look of fear and dismay. You see, one does not simply create in silence. My go to? Broadway. I’m not just talking singing, my friend. I’ve got the emotional acting, the dance numbers and volume. My husband checks in on me every once in a while to make sure I haven’t fallen and that these noises are not in fact cries for help.
My love for musicals came late in life. My first trip to New York was in 2011 where I saw my first show, so I’ve spent my time since then catching up. My karaoke song of choice would have to be Adelaide’s Lament from Guys and Dolls. I really feel like it gives me a good range of my acting/Rue-scaring skills. Although, when Jerry Lee hits the piano on Million Dollar Quartet I find myself
flinging my body dancing around like I’ve escaped the asylum (who doesn’t??). So, that’s a close second.
My main decorating theme/general life philosophy is floral. For anyone that has had to room with me (sorry college-besties-who-hate-pink) they know that in my interior-design-dictionary there is one word: flowers. And when I married my husband last year we bought a house and décor was discussed. The poor guy HATES flowers. “Please, no floral prints.”
To be fair, we don’t sleep on floral sheets, and thankfully I do have my entire studio dedicated to making felt flowers.
I think the thing I love most about the felt flowers is all the different ways they can be used. I’ve gotten to meet so many people around my hometown of Memphis through my flowers and everyone has different ideas of how they want to use them. I’ve made keepsake mini wedding bouquets for brides, baby announcement wreaths for expectant mothers, decorative garland for artists’ booths at shows, centerpieces for showers and parties, office decor, nursery decor – seriously, the list goes on and on. It’s so amazing to meet all these different people and be able to execute their ideas born from an image of my flowers. They’re so creative and I’m equally inspired by them!
Ellywise has given me an opportunity to combine so many things that I truly love. Weddings, flowers, bright colors and, well, basically anything pretty. Oh, and hot glue…lots and lots of hot glue.