Paper Suite » Crafting Lifestyle Blog by Ashley Cannon Newell

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Snow + Baking

I thought I’d pop in today to share some personal things going on here on my blog. Usually, I typically don’t have fun with either snow or baking. I don’t care for the snow because it’s cold, wet, and most of the time a pain to deal with if you have somewhere to go. Baking is a challenge for me. I’m not sure why because I enjoy cooking, just not baking. I think it has a lot to do with me not being a bit “sweet” eater.  But, over the past week I embraced both!

Last week, the DC area got a bit of snow. I decided to take advantage of it and get a few shots with my baby bump. So, here are a few that McArthur snapped of me.


I love fashion, but maternity fashion is definitely challenging. Specifically, it’s challenging on the budget. There are some fabulous maternity lines on the market, but in my opinion, they cost a lot of money when they will be temporarily worn during pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with splurging on an item or two when it is for a special occasion or will be worn with lots of love, but maternity clothes just don’t typically seem to fit those two categories for me.

During my pregnancy, I thought I’d be able to get by and not purchase too many clothes because I’d just wear whatever. Well, that didn’t last long when I was miserable wearing those belly bands around my non-maternity jeans with a growing belly. After trying on maternity jeans/pants, I was so relieved and of course my new maternity shopping addiction went out of control! I shouldn’t be surprised because I do love fashion.

After searching a few places, my maternity wardrobe is largely from Target, Gap/Old Navy, H&M, ASOS, Macy’s (Motherhood Maternity/Pea in a Pod) and bit from The Loft. I found that these retailers carried great items with reasonable price tags. I found that Target, Gap, Macy’s, and ASOS carried items that were true to size (pre-maternity). ASOS had the most convenient online shopping experience with free shipping both ways. Their shipping is also super fast and I’m sure I will continue shopping from them post-pregnancy too! Gap/Old Navy, H&M, and Macy’s were convenient local stores I could visit, browse, and purchase. However, H&M’s maternity collection seemed a bit better online.

Coat: Ann Taylor Loft (very old – from at least 6 winters ago)
Hat: Forever XXI (old)
Scarf: Gift from a dear friend
Sweater: Gap Maternity
Blouse: Gap Maternity (available on clearance in some locations)
Skinny Cords: Gap Maternity (available on clearance in some locations-colors may vary)
Boots: Uggs


I’ve been enjoying my pregnancy so far. I’ve had a few challenges, but those are the typical challenges to be expected. I won’t get into all the “complaints” or “issues” because I’m blessed to have the few that I have. I completely understand why they are pestering me now, and am hopeful they will disappear after delivery.  Overall, I’m feeling great, but have my days. I’m in my last trimester and have roughly two months to go until the big day! I’m so excited, yet so anxious for the day to arrive. We have lots still to do to prepare for her arrival, including completing the nursery and getting all those must-have items on our shopping list.

I didn’t get any cravings until late in my second trimester and I must say I love sweets now more than I ever have in my adult life. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not big on sweets, but that has slightly changed during my pregnancy. I love apples, apple pie, and sweet/sour candy.

Another question I get asked a lot is the baby’s name. We have a long list of names. Mac is doing a great job keeping track of them! We’ve narrowed down the list to a few names, but cannot decide just yet. We want to see her face and meet her before naming her. We think it’s only fair. I’d hate to pick a name, then see her and she looks nothing like a “Samantha” (just an example). I think our time in the hospital post-delivery will be well spent coming up with a name for her. So, there’s no name for Baby Newell…yet! I’ll be sure to announce everything after delivery.


I also did a bit of baking this past weekend. We attended a cookie swap/exchange, so I tried two recipes. The first one I didn’t like. I’m glad I had a back-up plan. I’ve always wanted to make a chocolate pecan pie, so I found a couple of recipes and made Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Bars. I guess you can almost say I built the recipe myself by combining two recipes together…maybe I can at least take partial credit! For my first time baking them, I think they turned out great. Here are a couple of shots.

Ashley-Cannon-Newell_Salted Carmael Chocolate Pecan Bars_01

This is how it looked after it baked and I was waiting for the caramel to set. I was a bit pressed for time, so I placed the baking sheet in the freezer to speed up the process. I cut them into bars, see below! They’re so sweet…and tasty and perfect for the holidays!

Ashley-Cannon-Newell_Salted Carmael Chocolate Pecan Bars_02

I used this recipe to make the crust (the bar component).

I used this recipe to make the filling/salted caramel part.

Want one? two? I know you do, so make some today!

Have a great week! Thanks for letting me share what’s been going on with me!

Judy C.December 16, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Ashley, you look amazing. Enjoy the last moments you have with baby Newell while you can because she will be here soon. Then all the fun begins. We just found out after six years of trying everything possible, our niece is expecting twins. Our family is over the moon about it. They thought it wasn’t going to happen for them but finally it happened. They are a sweet couple that want a family so badly and now they have an instant family. I’m so excited for you. Have a happy Christmas.

Thanks for the recipe. I’ll try this for sure.

Jennifer KDecember 16, 2013 - 4:32 pm

You look absolutely beautiful! The pink and blue was just the right choice against all that white snow. Enjoy your holidays and just think, next year at this time you’ll have a sweet little daughter crawling/walking around getting into everything! lol :)

Joan BDecember 16, 2013 - 7:04 pm

You are so cute. I love seeing how excited you are for the baby. Have a great Christmas!

GiselaDecember 16, 2013 - 9:02 pm

You look very cute pregnant and very stylish!! Love the snow but can’t take the cold, Miami is great for me. Merry Christmas and keep enjoying your pregnancy, I did!!!

jay jayDecember 16, 2013 - 11:18 pm

You look so cute pregnant.I am glad you are doing well and preparing for your big day :Merry Christmas

Susan BeauchaineDecember 17, 2013 - 10:06 am

Ashley you look PRECIOUS! You are glowing. And, you should love the snow, you look awesome standing in it!
I cannot wait to meet the new little Baby Newell! She will be gorgeous, just like her Mama!
Thanks for sharing
Merry Christmas

CaroleDecember 17, 2013 - 11:43 am

I love the second pic of you…. you look beautiful, pregnancy is great for you.

I am so happy to you and your husband, pregnancy is a very special feeling… between joy and a kind of sadness… I don’t know how to explain… but when the life is growing into your body… it’s very special…. magical…

Have a good day !

TrevaDecember 17, 2013 - 1:59 pm

Ashley, tfs you look beautiful and being pregnant seems to agree with you. Continued blessing to you and DH on this wonderful chapter in your lives. BTW, your baked dessert looks delish!

alexandra sirugue-macleodDecember 18, 2013 - 1:17 am

You look radiant!
Thank You so much for the continuous inspiration you bring to us all!

All the Best,

Kathy HDecember 19, 2013 - 7:46 am

Ashley, you are the cutest expectant mom! Wish I could have looked as put together as you all those dark ages ago when I was expecting my children. Oh I have been craving something salted caramel! I put in a request to my first-born daughter since she is bringing the desserts Christmas day that one of them be a salted caramel goodie. Yours looks delightful.
The time is getting closer for you to be a mother…what a major delight that is-totally nothing like it in the world!
Merry Christmas!

Leigh PennerDecember 20, 2013 - 11:46 am

Lovely photos, Ashley! You look beautiful!

cheryl cainDecember 21, 2013 - 2:31 pm

You look adorable! Congratulations on your precious baby girl, I can’t wait to see her photo and find out her name.

Kim l.December 22, 2013 - 10:11 pm

Ashley, you look wonderful! Enjoy the season and the remainder of the pregnancy!

KateDecember 28, 2013 - 9:12 pm

You are looking great! Thanks for all the wonderful posts this month and for getting back to me about your necklace from Shop Ruche!

Hope the holidays have treated you and your family well and Happy New Year! Looking forward to more of your inspiring work in 2014~


Mary-Anne V.December 30, 2013 - 8:44 am

Congrats…you look marvelous! Happy New Year…2014 will be very special for your family!

BeckyJanuary 4, 2014 - 12:10 am

Wonderful pictures!! The colors on the white snow background is stunning. I hope you are a scrapbooker in addition to a wonderful cardmaker :) Congrats on the baby!!!

Tracey McNeelyJanuary 24, 2014 - 5:31 pm

Ashley I am a little late seeing this post, I did now know you were expecting! How exciting and I hear you on maternity clothes. Just want to say best of luck and you look fabulous!

Papertrey Ink December Release In Review

Today is release day at Papertrey Ink. I have lots of projects to share with you today with the remaining products being released at 10 pm EST. Lots of love in these projects. Enjoy!


My first card features The Best is Yet to Be and a coordinating envelope.


I stamped the border design and heat embossed it. Next, I stamped the sentiment.


I also added the twine. To keep twine in place, try adding some liquid adhesive to secure it exactly where you want it! I also pinked the edge of the bottom of the card. I added some diagonal stripes to the top.


Here is the inside of the card, which features The Best is Yet to Be Sentiments.


Stamps: The Best is Yet to Be, Super Stripes, Polka Dot Basics
Ink: True Black, Versamark
Cardstock: Hibiscus Burst, Rustic White, True Black
Dies: Envelope Liner
Other: True Black twine


For my next card, I combined It’s a Banner Day and Wonderful Words: Love.

I stamped the card front with the floral image from It’s a Banner Day. LOVE THAT stamp! I used the floral center stamp (a dot) to create polka dotted pattern.

I layered a LL: Hearts die cut with a LL: Stitched Hearts die cut. Next, I added three Wonderful Words: Love die cuts. Last, I added the sentiment on the banner die cut.



Stamps: It’s a Banner Day,
Ink: Sweet Blush, Raspberry Fizz, Dark Chocolate
Cardstock: Rustic White, Fine Linen, Raspberry Fizz, Sweet Blush, Aqua Mist, Harvest Gold
Dies: Limitless Layers: Stitched Hearts, Limitless Layers Hearts, It’s a Banner Day, Wonderful Words: Love
Patterned Paper: Crate Paper


Inspired by those traditional Valentine treat cards I used to pass out and receive in elementary school, I created this design.


After die cutting the Card Base-ics template, I used Boutique Borders: Valentine as my top focal point. Then, I stamped a polka dotted pattern on cream cardstock and added the sentiment. Last, I adhered a few heart die cuts and added the lollipop.



Stamps: Boutique Borders: Valentine, Inside & Out: Love, Polka Dot Basics
Ink: Raspberry Fizz, Enchanted Evening, Sweet Blush
Cardstock: Vintage Cream, Aqua Mist, Sweet Blush, Harvest Gold
Dies: Card Base-ics, Boutique Borders: Valentine, Cover Plate: Hearts
Patterned Paper: Crate Paper
Other: Twine, Corner Rounder


Focusing on Cupid’s Arrow, I embellished a Valentine’s treat bag.


Using Tremendous Tag die cut, I stamped the sentiment and hearts.


I layered a LL: Stitched Heart from felt onto the heart die cut from Cupid’s Arrow. I also added a Cover Plate: Hearts die cut from cork. The arrows steal the show!



Stamps: Cupid’s Arrow
Ink: True Black
Cardstock: Rustic White, Kraft
Dies: Cupid’s Arrow, Cover Plate: Hearts, Limitless Layers: Stitched Hearts, Tremendous Tags
Other: True Black twine, Hibiscus Burst felt, Aqua Mist felt, gift bag, adhesive cork sheet


I’d like to “Propose a Toast” to the newly married couple with this card and send them best wishes for a beautiful marriage! You’ve gotta love it!


It’s a very simple, yet elegant design. I focused on black and gold – something classic and timeless.



Stamps: Propose a Toast
Ink: Versarmark, True Black, Fine Linen
Cardstock: Rustic White, True Black
Dies: Propose a Toast
Other: gold embossing powder


For my last card, I used Solid Stitches & Swirls. I love that this stamp set can be used alone or paired with Stitches & Swirls. I paired up my design with a sentiment from Heart Squared.



Stamps: Solid Stitches & Swirls, Heart Squared
Ink: Hibiscus Burst, True Black
Cardstock: Sweet Blush, Hibiscus Burst, True Black
Other: May Arts ribbon

Thanks for visiting today. Have a great Sunday! Take care.

Nichole Heady
Cristina Kowalczyk
Betsy Veldman
Danielle Flanders 
Dawn McVey
Debbie Olson
Erin Lincoln
Heather Nichols
Laura Bassen
Maile Belles
Melissa Phillips
Janet WilsonDecember 15, 2013 - 9:47 am

Wow, fabulous – what a great idea – adding sweet treats :)

jan mDecember 15, 2013 - 1:13 pm

So many fun ideas, “Love will keep us together” is adorable!

Sylvia/LittleTreasuresDecember 15, 2013 - 2:14 pm

I love this new release, and it has been so much fun visiting one and all. Just enjoyed all your designs so much. Thanks Ashley

AileenDecember 15, 2013 - 2:42 pm

Beautiful cards, love them all.

María Alba NegrónDecember 15, 2013 - 2:55 pm

Hi Ashley,

Love all your cards, keep inspiring us!


María Alba
San juan, Puerto Rico

Rosie E.December 15, 2013 - 4:18 pm

Lots of inspiriting ideas!! Thank you!! can’t wait to place my order w/ a few new releases!!

lexiDecember 15, 2013 - 6:59 pm

love your projects, ashley, especially what you did with cupid’s arrow!

NanciDecember 15, 2013 - 8:35 pm

New to your website,can hardly wait to order–so many fresh ideas! Thanks
To all.

DebraKDecember 18, 2013 - 8:21 pm

Oh I just love your snow pics. You look beautiful! Can’t wait to see the new Newell Addition.

As for the cards, they are gorgeous and reflect your personal style I’ve grown to love.

Thanks for sharing.

Love is in the details…

Hey there! Welcome to another great day over at Papertrey Ink. Today, the design team is focused on the details of the dies being released December 15 at 10 PM EST. There are so many Valentine’s Day inspired dies being released this month, which means countless of creative ideas you can use during the season of love and technically year-round. I’ve created three projects to share with you today. Enjoy!


I’ve created a fun Valentine’s project to share first. I used the small cotton bags in the boutique as my Valentine treat bags. I dip dyed the bags in sweet blush and raspberry fizz inks to get a bit of a gradient effect.


To dye the bags, I used two disposable cups. I filled both cups (about 1/3 c.) with of water. Next, I added the ink colors, using reinkers.


Next, I dipped each bag into the sweet blush cup. Then, I dipped each bag into the raspberry fizz cup, but did not apply the dye as high.


After filling my bags with treats, I secured them closed with Limitless Layers: Heart Stitches. I die cut each from kraft cardstock.


I stamped each heart die cut with a sentiment from We Go Together.


I also added the arrows from Valentine Stitches. To get the arrows to fit on the heart die cuts, I cut the arrows in half and adhered them to the back of the heart die cuts. Voila, longer arrows!


Here you can see the ombre effect of the dip dyed bags a bit more!

Stamps: We Go Together
Ink: Fresh Snow, Raspberry Fizz, Sweet Blush
Cardstock: Aqua Mist, Kraft
Dies: Limitless Layers: Heart Stitches, Valentine Stitches
Other: small cotton bags, twine


Next, I designed an anniversary card. Something sweet, yet simple.


I used a Limitless Layers: Heart Stitches die as the focal point for the sentiment. It’s just a a stitched heart-shaped outline, which is perfect for allowing the sentiment steal the show. From With All My Heart, I stamped the sentiment and embellished the card with flowers. On the backside of the card front, I added a piece of rustic white cardstock, so the dotted hearts would appear white!

I just love this color combination! It’s so unique to pair of the dark green hue with the soft peach shade. I think some gold would pair up with this palette fabulously too!


Stamps: With All My Heart
Ink: Melon Berry, Pinefeather
Cardstock: Melon Berry, Rustic White
Dies: Limitless Layers: Heart Stitches


For my last project, I created a card and coordinating kraft bag envelope for a newly married couple. Inspired by a wedding invitation I recently received, I chose the color palette of navy, “gold,” and white. I added the pop of pink even though it was not on the invitation because I just had to!

To make the shaped card, I used Notched Hearts Banner die and cut it three times. I adhered it to a 5.5″ x 5.5″ card front. Next, I hand trimmed the pennant edges on the bottom and any excess from the edge(s). Voila, a shaped notched heart banner card!


Although not photographed with the card inserted, the card certainly fits in the kraft bag. I used the same color palette on the custom envelope to coordinate together.


As a second focal point on the card, I used the Framed Love die. Instead of keeping the die cut in the frame, I hand trimmed the word from the frame (twice – once from fine linen and again from white cardstock). I layered the words together for a shadow effect.  Next, I added the sentiment from Lock & Key and a couple of heart die cuts (from Cover Plate: Hearts).

I wanted the card to focus on love, one of the most important things in a marriage (I think).


On the bag, I stamped the stripes on the diagonal.  I love all those bags out there on the market, but honestly you can stamp your own pattern and customize it to your liking. On the back of the bag, I stamped the hearts using Background Basics: Hearts.


After inserting your finished card, fold the top of the bag over and secure with some twine. I used Stitched Pinked Edges die to create the tag. I stamped the sentiment using Love & Marriage.


I just love the way the hearts and the stripes coordinate so well.


Next, I added some pink pine, a button, and heart die cuts.


Stamps: Love & Marriage, Background Basics: Hearts, Super Stripes
Ink: Enchanted Evening
Cardstock: Rustic White, Raspberry Fizz
Dies: Stitched Pinked Edges, Cover Plate: Hearts, Pine Boughs, Notched Hearts Banner, Framed Love
Other: kraft bag, twine, fine linen button

I hope I’ve left with you some ideas you can use this Valentine’s Day and beyond. There’s so much more to see from the team. Here are a few quick links! Have a great Saturday and take care.

Nichole Heady
Cristina Kowalczyk
Betsy Veldman
Dawn McVey
Erin Lincoln
Heather Nichols
Laura Bassen
Maile Belles
Melissa Phillips
Joan BDecember 14, 2013 - 7:22 am

absolutely love those dip dyed bags! everything you made rocks!

Kathy HDecember 14, 2013 - 8:05 am

Love those sweet dyed bags, Ashley! And your color combo for the love you with all my heart card is awesome. I do love that color combo and can very well see it with some gold details!

Connie MacFarlaneDecember 14, 2013 - 9:19 am

Absolutely beautiful projects today Ashley! Love the dip dyed bags and the pretty envelope you created for your third card. I think my favourite is the Melon Berry card. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sylvia/LittleTreasuresDecember 14, 2013 - 9:43 am

Lovely variety used for the fun new products.

jan mDecember 14, 2013 - 10:01 am

Great variety of looks!! Love it all!

Cindy ODecember 14, 2013 - 10:39 am

Love your card with the 3 heart banners – fun edge effect! and the feathery pink pine boughs on your package! Thanks for all the creativity in your beautiful projects.

Sharon MattinglyDecember 14, 2013 - 11:03 am

Great projects! Love the little bags!

Lindsey L.December 14, 2013 - 11:10 am

These are all amazing! Definitely a post full of “wow!”

ParkerDecember 14, 2013 - 11:38 am

The anniversary card has so much sweetness to it with being punched and the white showing through. Great looking and a technique I will use.

Janet WilsonDecember 14, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Fantastic, Ashley :)

StephHDecember 14, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Everything you create has such great detail! I absolutely love your little ombré dyed gift bags! And your beautiful heart card. But your wedding card is over-the-tip perfect! Presentation is everything and your “envelope” is so perfect!

KristyDecember 14, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Love your projects Ashley!!

BirgitDecember 14, 2013 - 2:47 pm

Beautiful projects!!! Love the colors and creations!

BevDecember 14, 2013 - 3:22 pm

I think your projects are lovely, Ashley.

Becky GreenDecember 14, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Ashley! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE your little Treat Bags!!! :) AND they’re decorated PERFECTLY!!! :)What a SWEET TREAT for someone SPECIAL!!! Your second card is FABULOUS TOO!!! TOOO SWEET!!! AND you last project is a STUNNER!!! LOVE EVERYTHING you’ve done!!!!!! GORGEOUS CARD & ENVELOPE!!! WHAT A TREAT FOR SOMEONE/S SPECIAL!!!!!!!:) SUCH INSPIRATION!!!!!!!!!!:)

Susan GosmanDecember 14, 2013 - 7:02 pm

Spectacular – just spectacular!

AileenDecember 14, 2013 - 7:31 pm

So many beautiful projects. I want them all