Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 4, 2008

One little word.


Now that many of you have chosen a word for the year, what will you do to keep it in mind throughout the year? It can be very simple or complex, a craft/scrapbooking project or a simple reminder in your planner or on your bulletin board. Some sort of visual reminder is a great way to add a bit of focus to your word.

Here’s a couple ideas for honoring your word this year:

• Go through some magazines looking for your word or themes/phrases/etc that relate to your word. Cut them out and collage them together as a visual reminder. This could grow and expand throughout the year.
• Commission or locate a piece of jewelry that features your word. I am ordering a necklace with "vitality" from Lisa Leonard. Love this as a daily visual reminder.
• Print out a word card (see photo above) and place it where you will see it everyday (a bathroom mirror or refrigerator or bulletin board are all front and center).
• Create a canvas that introduces your word. Dump some paint right on there and go for it.
• Start a journal to document thoughts, feelings, experiences you have with your word over the course of the year. This could be a visual journal or just focus on the words. Your journal could be as simple as a Word document on your computer.
• Expand your interest in words by playing along with the challenges on the one little word blog.

What are the ways you are planning to honor your word in 2008?


  • 1.
    StarrAltered said…

    Ali, i have enjoyed your blog for over a year now and want to thank you for sharing your life and art with us. i enjoy your message of capturing the life we live today and both perserving and learning through our scrappn’ art. i also wanted to point out someone to you that i find tremdously talented at life art. i’ve met her through a scrappn’ website and have been folowing her story and her art. here is her blog..
    at this moment she is losing her husband, and has shared the journey she’s been on with us via her blog… her story as well as her art is just amazing and i’d like to share it with you… since i think it just falls perfectly in line with your idea of life art…

  • 2.
    Heather said…

    I wanted to thank you Ali for your christmas album idea. I am currently attending grad school to become a physician assistant and have been trying to find a quick and efficient way to document this crazy adventure. I don’t have a lot of time to scrapbook, learning medicine gets in the way of that, but this album is the perfect solution. Just spent a little time yesterday putting a little bit of it together. Excited about printing off photos and placing them. Thanks for such a new and fresh approach. Your work is appreciated! :)

  • 3.
    slierk said…

    i’m thinking about writing my one little word “play” on my forehead in marker for a day — just to see what people say/do. hilarious or crazy? maybe a little bit of both.
    seems like a play-full thing to do though., :]

  • 4.
    Lisa O said…

    I am still considering my word for the year and am always amused by the list you make with everyones word. I agree with Veronica when she pointed our Christine. She is such a strong life artist!

  • 5.
    Stacey said…

    Hmmmm, I think after last year, my word this year needs to be HOPE. It is where I am at….for the first time in a long time. So, hope.
    I don’t know what I will do with it quite yet. But I am pondering.

  • 6.
    Bev said…

    I’ve already scrapped my word. I put chipboard letters together and altered them. Now my word is stuck on a cupboard door right above where I sit everyday when I am on my computer.

  • 7.
    Tna said…

    thank you for your challenge, ali. i have been wanting to start a scrapping journal…and have put it off…this time, i will start it and have my word BEHOLD as its theme…i am sure that there are a lot of things and people who can be a subject for my little word…
    again, thanks so much for being such an inspiration… :) mwah to simon…

  • 8.
    Julie Behm said…

    I ordered a bracelet from with my word printed on it. I did the same thing last year. I wear them every single day and have found it to be a great visual reminder for me. I’ve also started blogging about it on my livejournal and even found a book called “Living Artfully” that discusses it. I’m currently trying to come up with other creative ways to honor it and look forward to hearing what others are doing!

  • 9.
    Lisa B. said…

    I’ve altered the Shabby Princess desktop fo my laptop for January to include my word..CREATE. Plan to do the same each month when I update my desktop.

  • 10.
    jamie said…

    i have not documented this thought yet, but looking at your thoughts on your word has caused me to pause and get this down: love.
    a very, very simple word, but one that can be hard for me to live out. the challenge of purposefully showing love to my family to my friends daily continues to surface in my mind. but mostly this is goaled towards my husband. i get tired with four little ones running around and schooling them daily. i get grumpy cause he is gone so long in the day working. i can get bitter cause he is so tired and has little left to give at the end of a day. but he has given it all during the day so we can have a great life in an unstable world. and i want to show him that daily, on purpose, somehow. this means even when i am grumpy…so…i think that is it: love.
    thanks ali! i needed to focus on this, and again, you have inspired.
    God bless…hope you are feeling well today.

  • 11.
    Brynn said…

    I already have mine all made and hanging in my office!!
    Here is a link to my reminder:

  • 12.
    noell said…

    I guess I was a little over-anxious when I posted a link to my project on the last posting. I’ll re-post here so they’re all together.
    I love all your other ideas, Ali! So cool that you found a necklace with your word on it. I doubt I’d find one with my word, lol.

  • 13.
    Danielle said…

    Thanks for all the inspiration! Question: What are your plans for your daily pics? I’ve started taking mine (it’s harder than I thought) but don’t know yet what I’m going to do with them. Would love to hear what you have planned. Thanks!

  • 14.
    LisaMK said…

    I started a blog devoted to my one little word. Thanks for the continued inspiration Ali.

  • 15.
    louella333 said…

    Happy New Year All! I feel kind of silly as I was thinking about a necklace as I have chosen the word PURGE for 2008!!! LOL LOL!!! I can’t really picture a way to do that one. Any help out there guys???? I don’t want to change the plan but can anyone toss a little gentler “prettier” word to what I want to accomplish in my home this year Help! Help and thanks in advance

  • 16.
    Melanie said…

    Okay, the only word I can come up with is
    I am telling myself to live every moment -
    - it means enjoying my children (stop being so tired all the time!)
    - create what I want and stop being scared about whether it is any good or not
    - stop feeling bad/guilty for taking some me time and having Artist’s Dates (in the end, that will help me enjoy my kids more because I will have some down time!)
    - start being more energetic (being 3 months pregnant with third child + working full time outside the home does sap my energy levels – gotta do something about that!)
    - JUST LIVE. Stop feeling as though I am only going through the motions to make it through another day.
    Have some ideas about how to visualize that …. will work on it.

  • 17.
    Sara said…

    I made a little NOW sign for my craft room… and I have NOW on my computer background. I want to start a special journal to honor my word as well… but I have started two other journals already this year. But I think I will still do it. :)

  • 18.

    Love these ideas and I’ll be adopting one or two of them. Now I just have to pick my word! That’s for this weekend when I have time to really think about it…
    And I’ve loved reading about everyone else’s words…very cool!

  • 19.
    Angela said…

    Ali ~ I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” for consistently being a place of inspiration I can come to – ANY day. :-) I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, so I just want to take a moment to thank you!! Your positivity and generosity of spirit has been such a blessing!! :-) VITALITY. May you be blessed with the meaning of that wonderful word each and every day.

  • 20.
    homedotmade said…

    JOURNEY: one little word is going to be made into a book with quotes and pictures that inspire me, plus a desktop for my computer/screen for my pda and phone. And I’m also thinking of making a canvas for my craft room. It is making me happy to think about my word; it energizes me.

  • 21.
    Betsy said…

    Hi. I am a new fan but completely in love with your whole site!! I think want to choose “direction” as my word. I am so excited about this!! Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

  • 22.
    laura said…

    Ohhhh!!!! I LOVE Lisa Leonard’s jewelry!!!! I ordered the “Wish” necklace w/ my fave phrase….Live, Love, Laugh. It is Beautiful!!! I also got a small tag with my beloved cat’s name on it. He died Apr 02, 2007….one week before my birthday. I miss him so much.
    Check out Lisa Leonar’s blog…It’s The Little Things. Order some jewelry…give her some love! She is AMAZING!!!! =D

  • 23.
    noell said…

    LOUELLA333–You need a prettier word for “purge” so you can put it on a necklace? That is so funny. My word was BUILD, and I didn’t think that would go so well on a necklace, either. Another word for purge might be “cleanse” ROFL–probably not the best word on a necklace either.

  • 24.
    Molly said…

    it’s decided: make. Can’t get it out of my head today. those Lisa Leonard pendents are yummy.

  • 25.

    LOUELLA333 – what about SIMPLIFY? That’s on my short list of words for 2008. :)

  • 26.
    Ann(i)e said…

    My word is SLOW. This is something I have been thinking about and reading about for a couple of years….2008 is my year for ACTION
    To get myself going, I made a layout with some of my goals/thoughts/reminders about a SLOW life:
    The journaling reads:
    *Slow = balanced
    *In 2008, reclaim your time, reclaim you health, & take charge of the quality of your life.
    *More energy, more efficiency & a better quality of life through slowing down
    *Sometimes to be faster you have to slow down
    *A slow, balanced approach = a happier, healthier, more productive life
    *Take time to figure out what is really important; resist trying to pack as much as possible in the shortest amount of time
    I am also keeping a journaling (a plain old store bought journal) to track my progress, write my thoughts, write inspirational words and quotes.
    I am doing this….I am regaining control of my time and energy through slowing down!!
    Thanks for the inspiration Ali!!

  • 27.
    Mandy said…

    I made a painting.
    Thanks for encouraging us to keep ourselves reminded of our word. This will become exceedingly important the further away from January 1 we get. :)

  • 28.

    to help me stick with my word “schedule” I am joining you and Donna Downey in doing a 365 project – just started today and put up a post & photo album on my blog to document it all.
    Still deciding on what I want for a visual reminder – love the necklace you are ordering – I think that will be an awesome reminder!

  • 29.
    Michelle said…

    Ali, thanks again for the inspiration. My word is AWARE. The dictionary meaning of the word is: having or showing realization, perception or knowledge; having knowledge of something; implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences.
    The is a list of some of the things I want to be aware of:
    Aware of what makes me happy
    Aware of what is important to me and my family
    Aware of what I put into my mouth and how I treat my body
    Aware of how I am feeling
    Aware of the moment and living there
    Aware of doing what I want to do and not what I think that I should do
    Aware of the environment around me.
    In 2008 I want to be AWARE.

  • 30.
    Katy said…

    I am in the process of making myself an inspiration board, so I will definitely be putting my word up on there. I also plan to do a layout about my word and I have written about it in my journal and on my blog. The more places I see it the better it is for me.
    Hope you have a great weekend. :)

  • 31.
    kass said…

    I mentioned in my other post that I have made a blog too.
    plus there are going to be some visual reminders created for my home!

  • 32.
    kristy said…

    I’m going to make a necklace for myself ;)
    and i’ve started an art journal… i’m working on a canvas/memo board as well :)
    looking forward to seeing all your ideas over the year!!

  • 33.
    Greta said…

    Well ALi, I have finally added my word to myy blog – better late than never ;-)

  • 34.
    Amy Gleason said…

    My planner/journal from Memory Dock has a small place to slip a photo on the cover. When I received the planner last year for Christmas, I made a mini art journal page to fit in the spot. This year I will make one some sort of collage with my word, perspective.

  • 35.
    Lea said…

    I love these ideas. I finally came up with my word today… EMBRACE.

  • 36.
    Ana said…

    Hey, Ali! Finally delurking again… ;) Thanks for the inspiration, as always!
    I think my word is CHANGE. I had been so fearful of changes, but 2007 showed me change is good, and more, is essential to the human being. We cannot just be stuck – we have to move forward, experience new things, live life to the fullest, view things in a different way, be more tolerant to others (meaning: putting yourself in others’ shoes), etc. This is what CHANGE means for me. I expect lots of changes for 2008.

  • 37.
    Bernie Berlin said…

    I found your blog via Tim Holtz and will come visit often!!! I Love the word challenge:) just what I needed to spark my creative juices..
    my best to you!!!
    Bernie Berlin

  • 38.

    Delurking for a minute…
    A few of us in a critique group/COF group over at are doing a challenge using our words. The challenge is to create something with our word that can hang on the wall…whether it be canvas, clock, altered letters, etc. but it has to hang on the wall so we can see it everyday! BTW my word is ACHIEVE.
    Now back to lurking status!

  • 39.
    Bethany said…

    Love the tips. I use a Franklin-Covey planner at work every day and am going to stick my word (perspective) on the little plastic page marker that I see multiple times each day.
    I’m also considering doing a small weekly album (probably templated in Photoshop) where I can pull my picture-a-day and write a short paragraph about my perspective for that week.
    Quick question–what font(s) did you use for your card?

  • 40.
    Sarah van Wijck said…

    Thanks for your inspiration Ali. This is my year to stick to a new way of living. Being positive and living in the NOW. I’m in the middle of making a collage of words to hang next to my computer.

  • 41.
    Erin B said…

    I scrapped my first page with my word last night! Love the visual reminder and getting my thoughts out on paper.

  • 42.
    LoriKaye said…


  • 43.
    Tanya Ellis said…

    Happy New Year Ali.
    I started a challenge for the first time ever. It’s the 365 Day challenge and so far I’m keeping up with the girls which is a miracle.
    My word for the year is SIMPLIFY. I’m thinking of getting one of those necklaces myself. I love those.
    So here’s to finding my word in all kinds of places and to me keeping up with the challenge.

  • 44.
    beth said…

    happy new year, ali! first of all, you are going to love your lisa leonard necklace. i have a couple pieces of her work and think they are great. one of them is the wire bracelet with a charm that says CREATE. (my ’07 word) and a couple days ago i ordered another charm with DO. (my ’08 word) on it. i have a couple other ideas of what i want to do, but just need to sit down and do it.
    thanks for being a continuous source of inspiration!

  • 45.
    Courtney De La Torre said…

    Hi Ali,
    I just set up a blog to post all my picture a day shots.
    You should check it out. :)

  • 46.
    Sharon said…

    I made a new desktop image for my computer. I’m on the computer throughout my day and it’s a great way to keep it at the forefront of my thoughts.
    I also put it up on my blog.

  • 47.
    Diane said…

    Firstly, I just need to say thank you for all the inspiration your blog provides! Last year I chose the word ‘Savor’ to remind myself to slow down and enjoy life and in particular, to enjoy the last year that we would have our 19-year-old son at home with us. This year, I’ve chose the word ‘Act’- both to remind myself to not only ‘react’ to what life throws at me but to also take charge more and not put things off! January has only begun and ‘Act’ is already making a difference.

  • 48.
    Sue said…

    I have a reasonably old desktop screen and over the last couple of years have taken to adding rub-ons around the edges of the screen of inspiring words. Last year I added my word, “simplify”, this year “grateful”. I also have the words “make time” along one edge – as I am at my computer at least once every day, these words are a constant reminder to me (and a curiosity to my teenagers if they venture into my scrap room to use my computer!).

  • 49.
    rani Shah said…

    i’ll be using my word in my monthly banners for my blog. My chosen word is cultivate and each month I’ll be adding what to cultivate…for Jan it’s cultivate health!!

  • 50.
    Holly in Virginia, USA said…

    my choice: EXURBERANT
    because: I am 51, my 5 kids are growing up into great fun adults;
    I am married to my high school sweetheart & he still makes me giggle;
    I lost 30+ pounds last year;
    I have my health;
    I am working part-time at the local scrapbook store;
    I planted a fruit garden last fall and am exciting about this
    I am proud to admit that I nap daily to re-charge;
    and I HOPE to be more productive & finish many of my ‘stalled & shelved’ craft projects.
    PS I make alot of mistakes, joyously and with much vigor

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