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.


  • 51.
    Michelle said…

    I love your book! That is so cute. I really think its great that you included to felt that had the playful sewing on it. Sewing in a circle is not easy. I think you need a different sewing foot to make it easier.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • 52.
    Vanessa said…

    Ali, you are so inspiring!!! I love all that you create. I love the freedom you take with your designs and how you embrace the beauty of everyday life. You are one ROCKIN artist! I can’t wait to meet you at CKU-Orlando’s Week in the Life class. :-)

  • 53.
    christina said…

    love this! esp. the sewed lines…and i adore your handwriting. it could be a font. mine is so boring by comparison :) summer is all about doing things just because..

  • 54.
    Joy said…

    this totally made me smile…I love that acrylic album. Love the kind of modern, organic feel of the whole thing. So fun!

  • 55.

    So great mini-book. It really has an artistic feeling!

  • 56.
    greta said…

    gorgeous! VERY inspiring!
    Thanks so much for sharing your summer with all of us ;)

  • 57.
    Shirley said…

    I love this little album, ESPECIALLY the Polaroid inserts adn the stitching!!! What a great little creative thing!
    Love it! :D

  • 58.
    Kathrine said…

    Love your book!

  • 59.
    anam_kihaku said…

    drop the feed under your needle – you should have a tab at the back of your machine – that allows for free form movement aka like quilting. if they wont drop, stick some tape over them. that will stop them from grabbing your paper.
    cute album.

  • 60.
    Holly said…

    Yeah Ali!!
    What an awesome book! Love it, thanks for sharing.

  • 61.
    IreneF said…

    thanks for sharing your lovely little playing book.
    BTW I can’t wait to buy your 3rd book. I know it will be amazing (again).

  • 62.
    Ann said…

    I love this album, Ali! What did you use on the front and back cover. It looks sort of like chicken wire. Is this an overlay? Thanks for sharing!

  • 63.
    suetreiber said…

    oooh this is cool. I love how simple it is!

  • 64.
    emilyruth said…

    super cute, my friend…super super cute:)

  • 65.
    Ali said…

    thanks for the creative inspiration, Ali! i’ve been in desperate need of some over the past few weeks and now consider myself inspired to create just for the sake of creating. anything to stay in from the oppresive heat here in Birmingham!

  • 66.
    Karen said…

    Ali, isn’t the Gocco a fantastic toy to play with. I use it to do cards from my calligraphy designs.
    Love the little book.
    Thanks for continuing to inspire us.

  • 67.
    chrissy said…

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. :-) Chrissy

  • 68.
    melissa deakin said…

    utterly speechless.
    this is beyond fabulous.
    thanks for sharing.

  • 69.
    Amy Tangerine said…

    I adore the mini book and love the random tid bits, especially the polaroids included in your bunch. I just got a FUJIFILM Instax myself and love playing with it! check it out on if you’d like :)

  • 70.
    steph said…

    That’s a wonderful way for little hands to enjoy recent memories, too, I’d think. I made a small book about this size for my son when he was just short of one year–with the intention of being madly held, turned and chewed on, although I used all nontoxic materials, no photographs, just illustrations…I wonder how you could sleeve each page if you wanted to make something like this for a very small child? The just love photos so much.
    Otherwise, of course, it’s a simply beautiful idea! Love it!

  • 71.
    Anna Z. said…

    What a cool mini-album!!!

  • 72.
    leslie said…

    oh my gosh. amazing. i want to attend a workshop and make a book just like that. or you should open a little school. i will fly over. and bring you some japanese goodness to add to your creative endeavours. i love it all. totally inspiring.

  • 73.
    candice said…

    I love it! So cool. Don’t you love creating for creations sake?

  • 74.
    Tamara Nicole said…

    I love your book! Very cute, don’t you love trying new things and experimenting?! Good job, keep on inspiring:-)

  • 75.
    Maria said…

    So creative…as always!
    Thank you, Ali.

  • 76.
    Laura Reaux said…

    I love how Kristina’s style AND your style come through in this. I love both of your styles of scrapping, so this is really cool. I’m wondering if the pattern on the front & back of the album were the rub-ons or what. Such a cool project, Ali. :)

  • 77.
    Juliann said…

    Love your book. Your red sewing lines make me think of a children’s book called The squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaefer. One tip for sewing curvy lines is to drop your feed dogs and if you have a darning foot, you use that with the presser foot lowered half way. This is the way you do free motion quilting and it allows you to move from side to side or up and down without actually making a turn. I am not ver good at curved lines but it is fun to play around.

  • 78.
    Carrie D. said…

    Ali – Thanks for much for sharing! You’ve helped me get a “vision” as to what I’d like to do with my kit. The acrylic albums intimidate me somewhat. As always, you turn out beautiful results. I can’t imagine how lucky and thankful your family is that you’ve created all these albums and LOs. I finished my “everyday beauty” album last month for my mom (yes, I’m a little slow!), but she was so taken back by it. Completely surprised and crying, runny nose, several kleenex – the whole bit. On some level, this is what we’re trying to accomplish, isn’t it? A lot of it is a release from stress and shopping for new supplies, but it’s amazing that a mini album had that impact on my mom. Thanks Ali!

  • 79.
    Madeline R said…

    I also would love to know what is on the front and back – so cool.

  • 80.

    Hi Ali!
    Just had to pop on and leave a comment when I saw the words “gocco” … I’ve had mine for almost TEN years (wow now that makes it feel old school) and I love it. I haven’t broke it out in awhile, but you’ve inspired me. Dick Blick is/was a great source for the screens and inks. So much fun … thanks for sharing your creativity.
    Happy Day!

  • 81.
    Teresa B said…

    Soo cool.. love it.. you rock

  • 82.
    kelly said…


  • 83.
    Elaine said…

    I love your little book! It feels so free and warm, just like summer. I love seeing your work!

  • 84.
    Michelle said…

    It’s so fun to see the stuff you make – this book is really cool. I have left my craft room for the summer… there are just too many things to do outside and too many books to read. Looking forward to September and getting motivated to get back there.
    About sewing in circles… it looks like you want to try some free motion stitching/quilting. Check your manual to see if it’s possible on your machine – or just do some google searches to find out how. It’s very easy, just takes a glass of wine (to relax and let go – lol) and some scraps of fabric to practice. You can draw with your machine in no time – it’s totally easy and fun!

  • 85.
    Sue said…

    Love the little book!! I saw your ad for your new book and I sent the link to my DH … hopefully he will get the hint. :)

  • 86.
    marcy said…

    I’ve been eyeing that gocco printer for a while now!

  • 87.
    shelley said…

    I just love this album. It just sums up everything great about Summer! It will be nice to peruse over in the midst of Winter! :) Shelley

  • 88.
    Leah said…

    Very lovely! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • 89.
    jenwcom said…

    super cool.

  • 90.
    kareen said…

    You’re so cool!

  • 91.
    Kaye said…

    How did you do that wonderful neat amazing cover?

  • 92.
    chanel said…

    luv your mini book … esp the corona page (didn’t know they made a light beer – lol) we are in winter here, but i do love a corona in summer …. heat and cold corona – perfect! enjoy your week~

  • 93.
    Laura said…

    Ali, I love that little book. You have inspired me to try that one. I go through creative blocks all the time, but when it hits I can go and go with making new pages. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 94.
    Paula said…

    I usually don’t leave messages, since I think you and other celebs may be too busy to have time to read… but I have to tell you I LOVE how you excell in making the “unimportant” seem SOOO important. I LOVE that! I try to see the best of each day, and even the most “insignificant” detail has the most precious value to me. Now, what an awesome idea to make a book of those “trivial” things!!!

  • 95.
    Jaimie said…

    totally inspired by this album. This is on my list of things to do ‘for me’ – once we get through our winter

  • 96.
    Tautchia said…

    totally love your mini album. Love how you make us stop & realize that the little things are the important ones. Love that you embrace imperfection (BTW – I’ve been trying to figure out that sweing in a circle thing, too. LOL).
    anam kihaku was so kind to leave a comment here explaining the how-to on that one ;)
    But I kind of like your way. the non-circle kind of circles. Much more interesting.

  • 97.
    Carla said…

    Just have to say like everyone else that I love the mini book too. I have a sewing machine I got almost 2 years ago for Christmas specifically for scrapbooking and haven’t used it yet. My question about the Polaroid pics is this…I thought you weren’t supposed to cut the white space at the bottom because that is where the chemical is kept and it could leak out? Am I wrong in that thinking?

  • 98.
    MariaM said…

    Can’t figure out why I haven’t signed up for your newsletter yet — so, doing that tonight. I have so many photos like this — the little tidbits of summer — gets me in the mood to do something other than store them in my pc. cool. and, I pretty much consider you one of the besttest designers/scrapbookers, everything you make is just so bursting with creative I had to LOL at the sewing “circles” — they are neat-o — makes me love you more :) but a tip on circles that I learned from my seamstress mom — you can go very slow here, move your fabric where you want, you can move the wheel of the machine with your hand instead of pressing your foot on the pedal. This keeps you in control of when the needle goes down and it’s slower. Of course, this works on my vintage 1977 Kenmore, not sure what you are using.

  • 99.

    It’s good that you keep your stitching pieces organized in a book. Lovely book indeed!

  • 100.
    Maureen said…

    Very sweet little book…just perfect for a summer project.

Post a comment