Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 4, 2007

Summer is…


Not sure I can really express how happy I am to be creating something just because today.

I have been wanting to just play for awhile lately but have come up with a million reasons not too (reason #1: all the books I have been devouring lately; reason #2: watching movies – loved laughing out loud throughout this one and this one was a visual treat; reason #3: playing outside with Simon + reading books; and reason #4: just lacking the motivation to actually do anything related to creativity…except order fabrics for some sewing adventures I hope to undertake and do other things I have to do for work and think about making stuff).

Actually I have also bought a couple of toys lately to spur some creativity: one is a Polaroid 600 and the other is a gocco printer (basically it is like a little printing press – Paper Source has a great tutorial and explanation of how to use this here). I think I have been in the gathering phase of my personal creative cycle: that place where you acquire stuff + ideas and then just let it percolate until it is ready to spill forth.

To make this little minibook I printed out a bunch of summer photos + am finally finding a home for the random Polaroid shots I have been taking. Why Polaroids? Why not. I think mainly because I needed something different – a different focus – a different way of seeing. I have been inspired by some groups on Flickr – many of the people are using old school cameras or ones that are super expensive. I also love how this woman is putting them together as diptychs. Of course I love that so many of them are capturing everyday moments.

For this little minibook I used products from the August Cocoa Daisy kit. Kristina Contes put this one together (click her name to see her samples) and it includes a bunch of patterned papers, rub ons, very cool adhesive-backed cork paper, a lovely piece of cream felt, and this little acrylic minibook from d.reeves (among other goodies).

My focus was on keeping it simple. Photos + words. Words were added right onto the photos with Sharpie paint pens completing the statement “summer is.” A bit of red stitching was added to the felt – totally just messing around and trying to feel free (how in the world do you stitch in a circle?) and not worry about how it was going to turn out.

Here are the rest of the pages:















Yeah for playful creating. Yeah for experimenting with sewing and just adding it in. Yeah for everyday summer photos that capture the essence of what summer means to me. A playful book for a playful time of year.


  • 1.
    lenee said…

    Hey Ali, love the little book. The sewing is something that I have been trying but not crazy about you always make it OK. Thanks have a good sunday.

  • 2.
    Erin Major said…

    You inspire me. Thank you for helping me remember to appreciate spontaneous creativity. Thank you for reminding me that you can create art any day, even if it’s just a little book with cute and random summer pics.
    You and your words are refreshing.

  • 3.
    Kim Hacking said…

    Great mini-book. Inspiring! Thank you for being you and sharing you + your ideas.

  • 4.
    Marty said…

    I do so enjoy it when you let us into your creativity! What a neat mini-book! Have fun with your sewing AND enjoy your summer! It is going WAY too fast for me. God bless you and yours.
    September is right around the corner and that spells NEW BOOK from YOU to me. Can’t wait to see it! :)

  • 5.
    RachelG said…

    lol! I love your circle sewing attempt. I love that you kept trying & added it anyway(its imperfection makes it perfect).
    Did you notice the first “circle”,looks like an “e” when the page is turned?

  • 6.
    Tammy M. said…

    I so love how you did this…the stitching is fab! I ordered Kristina’s kit too and can’t wait to play!

  • 7.
    Jessica K. said…

    What a wonderful little book! What white pen are you using. I haven’t found a good enough one that I am willing to use on my photos yet?

  • 8.
    Beth said…

    One word – stunning. Okay, maybe another one – fresh. They are the words I feel when I look at your mini-book. So great!

  • 9.
    teensleuth said…

    Yay! I recently went through that collecting stuff stage and then the motivation hit me and I created like I couldn’t stop. Hooray for cycles. And for beer. And for a good white pen. Seriously, what pen are you using?

  • 10.
    Miriam Kaye said…

    Ali, your minibook is absolutely fantastic love how you used that felt :)
    Take care :D

  • 11.
    Lisette said…

    How wonderful is this. All I can think by looking at all the pages is ‘freedom’. If only I could create anything like this. A great inspiration.

  • 12.
    Karen Geckler said…


  • 13.
    Jessica said…

    i think i’ve conviced hubby to get me a gocco!! your minibook is fab.
    how have you been feeling?

  • 14.
    Brooke said…

    Someone else asked above, but I would also like to know what white pen you used. I have the *worst* time with white pens. They seem to work really well for the first word, then they start skipping, or run out entirely even though there’s plenty of ink. I’ve gone through pen after pen, and none of them seem to work well, especially on photos!

  • 15.
    Barb Stewart said…

    Cute mini book, Ali! I believe I’ll give it a try myself! I have a sewing machine that someone gave me for my birthday last year…I’m ashamed to say that it’s still in the box unopened. This may have been the push I needed to open it up and try it out.
    I keep noticing the page that show your feet…darling sandals!! It’s nice to hear that summer is appreciated somewhere in the U.S. We’re in Florida…summers here are ghastly and are spent inside for most of the season. I think I’ll go for a Fall/Winter book instead!
    Thank-you for all your inspiring ideas!
    Hope all is well with you and the family!

  • 16.
    jenn shurkus said…

    love it ali ;) so glad you had some free play time.. something we all need ;) thank you for sharimg it with us ;)

  • 17.
    A.S.K.-P. said…

    Ali, I TOTALLY LOVE the album! GREAT work as always!

  • 18.
    Loni said…


  • 19.
    Candice said…

    Awesome album!! So weird that you posted today about being in a “gathering phase” in your creative maturation because just tonight I was getting bummed on myself for doing just the same. I have been creating felt and clay embellishments, organizing photos, etc, but haven’t scrapped anything for almost a week! Now I realize that I must also be in the gathering phase as well. Thanks for the perspective!!!

  • 20.
    carla said…

    I love this album. It almost makes me like summer. I hate summer because I live in Arizona.

  • 21.
    Andrea Tuttle said…

    Wow . . .what a great idea! I love this book! It totally rocks . . . I’m very inspired!

  • 22.
    Cami said…

    Nice indeed! Made me want a beer!

  • 23.
    caro said…

    this is lovely. I like the way you love circles – one of your trademarks & so symbolic of life.
    There usually is an adapter tool available if you reaaly want perfect, but you can also stich through paper (which has a circle drawn on it), and then tear it off. Personally I like the randomness of the ones you already did. Summer can be like that in its profusion & generosity.
    The Polaroids fit is SO WELL! hooray for retro!

  • 24.
    Heather said…

    Very nice!! I love polaroids!! Now I want to break out my and do something with it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 25.
    Tanja said…

    Big YEAH from me to for that little beauty you created!!!

  • 26.
    Marsha McGinnis said…

    I’ve been meaning to say this for quite some time. I check in regularly for a shot of inspiration. And . . . just to let you know you are one of “THOSE” people who deserves to be in the category of “I’m just so glad you inhabit this planet, and have the love and courage to do everything that you do.” So, bless your heart every single day.

  • 27.
    Tya said…

    Love the book Ali. It’s a wonderful idea and I love the use of the Polaroids. I just may have to dig mine out.

  • 28.
    Sherryann said…

    Love the book makes me want to go out and buy a polaroid camera. Also makes me wish I would of kept my old one from the early 70′s.

  • 29.
    carolyn streeter said…

    A Little Tip for Sewing In Circles: try drawing your circles on with a quilters pen which fades when you spray water onto it[they usually hav ablue ink] then try dropping the feed dogs on your machine i’m sure there will be a button somewhere on yours -the feed dogs ar ethe little teethe that propel the fabric through. That way with them down you can move the fabric into whatever direction you like just as if you were drwing with the needle It takes a bit of practice to moved your hands fast enough and coordinate with the speed of the machine but its great fun. I’m sure if you have a quilting friend they could show you what to do. I do quilting as well as scrapbooking and I use this technique to quilt patterns onto fabric eg to “write” peoples names on to personalize their quilts. try it you’ll love it and have a great time . Its works best with thicker fabric though a few layers or thick felt rather than thin cotton . have fun
    carolyn . s.

  • 30.
    carolyn streeter said…

    please also excuse my dreadful typing Ali!!

  • 31.
    Aleida Franklin said…

    Oh love your stuff. Nice way to start off a Sunday morning.

  • 32.
    Michelle Filo said…

    stunning, great job! we needed 40 hour days so we all could play more :) you go girl!

  • 33.
    deB perry said…

    Ali I read your blog many times a week and never comment…what’s up with tha? Well this little mini book and your ‘gathering’(how cool is that term!)perspective…finally brought me out to post. Sorry it took so long! You RoCk!

  • 34.
    Sara said…

    Yay for poloroids and for Gocco! I love both of mine! Thanks for always being such an inspiration!

  • 35.
    Jen said…

    I loved your book and all the links in your post. I am craving a poloroid camera now! I also love lomo cameras. I appreciate your love of everyday life and the art that is always present if we will look for it.
    ~ Jen*

  • 36.
    amanda said…

    THis book is beautiful and so inspiring!! And those polaroids fit in so very perfectly with this format, I think. They look wonderful, and oh, aren’t they so much fun?

  • 37.
    Kelly said…

    Great book! I love my polaroid cameras. I have been collecting them for years. The images are very different from other films and digital.
    You have inspired me to do something similar. Thanks for sharing!

  • 38.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Hey Ali, I too have been considering a gocco press. I’m loving the small prints on etsy and thought it might be a neat way to produce small runs of gifts and art, etc. saw this great image on flickr that I loved:
    Nice little book. wrapping up my summer vacation right now and will be doing something kind of similar in the next few weeks. Take care of yourself! Molly

  • 39.
    Candi Tardio said…

    hi a… the mini book! i saw all of the acrylic books at cha and they are super cute :) love what u did with this one! off to find me a poloroid!!!!!!! can’t wait to meet u in a couple of weeks @ cku/nashville!!!!

  • 40.
    Laura Melohn said…

    love the album! so much fun!

  • 41.
    jan said…

    oh my goodness! you always know how to give a project that “one great thing” that makes it pop! that polka dot overlay is the best! wow!

  • 42.
    jes said…

    very awesome, and as always, you’re such an inspiration!! :D

  • 43.
    Stacey said…

    Ali, I bought a gocco printer a few weeks ago from Paper Source after seeing how easy the tutorial makes it look to use – yet, I haven’t taken mine out of the box. What’s that all about, eh? Once you start experimenting I hope you’ll share your process. Thanks for inspiring, educating and reminding me to take care of myself from creative needs to mole checks!

  • 44.
    Care said…

    Dang. So inspiring. What a treat this morning.

  • 45.
    Leah said…

    love the book. super inspiring. (i just bought a polaroid last week; still waiting on the film from amazon. i’m so excited to play with it!)

  • 46.
    Kimberly L.C. said…

    I’m so jealous of your Gocco printer… I’ve been coveting one for a while now! Love this post from you. Last night at my design team crop I just went with it and started cutting out freeform swirls and used them to frame up a photo.. SO FUN!
    Thanks for sharing your book, your work and your life with us. I can’t wait to see what you do with the Gocco!

  • 47.
    Tiffany K said…

    Thanks to you I was up until 4am this morning buying stuff from Cocoa Daisy, Amazon, and obsessing on the Good Reads website! Argh! Your ideas are always great! :)

  • 48.
    Ramie said…

    Love it!!!! Thanks for sharing, and for inspiring!

  • 49.
    cathy said…

    super cool.
    super inspriring.
    thanks!!! :)

  • 50.
    Sharon said…

    Ali, charming book! The red thread also caught my eye. When I was in Japan, I learned about the belief that we are connected to our spouses and children by a red thread. It seemed a nice link to your family-centric summer. Cheers!

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