Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 17, 2008

An “Inspired” Project


This is what I made in Tena’s Clearly Beautiful class. My album ended up being a great little collection of personal “beautiful things” and included the bits and pieces of goodness I created in Kal’s class.

Here’s some thoughts:

1. The album was a great jumping off point. Tena created a classic structure that was really open for additional “stuff” and modification. Love that.

2. Working with Tim’s Alcohol Inks was a really cool experience. I am not much of a “color blender “so I went with single drops onto the acrylic album pages to create the polka dot pattern (the inks dry super fast). The idea of drops came about as Tena told us some of the other cool things students had done in earlier classes.

3. I loved that I felt the freedom to play. I used less words than normal in this album and I like how it became a glimpse into my creative life right now. I like that there are miscellaneous marks here and there. I like that it is colorful. It was the perfect environment for experimentation.

4. I finished the album in class.

Here’s a look at the entire album:




The photo overlay was a technique from Kal’s class using a thick piece of plastic (can’t remember the name, Kal?),
tracing the subject of your photo, and embellishing with pencil crayons. Added words cut from a random piece of paper for my title. The
clear acrylic album we used is similar to this one.


Collection of slide mounts from Random Arts. Photos adhered back to back on the acrylic pages.



Man, I love acrylic albums. Damask sticker from Heidi Swapp.


Pencil crayon drawings from Kal’s class. I just cut them up and added them right onto the background patterned paper. This is probably my favorite spread.


The canvas piece is a graphite transfer (technique from Kal’s class) from an old photo of me and my bike and colored in with pencil crayons.   



Old black and white photo (laser copy) that I had brought along to potentially use as a photo transfer.




The paper on the right side is one I have had forever. It has little metal “beads” that add great dimension and texture. Anyone know who makes it?



Another playful piece from Kal’s class. Pencil crayons on cardboad.


Thanks again Tena and Kal. I loved this experience. If you ever have a chance to
take a class from Tena or Kal I highly recommend it. Both have such a great mixture
of technique and heart.

Also, check out the newest issue of my newsletter here. Today’s topic is “getting real.”


  • 1.
    rainbowocean said…

    It just gets better, Ali. Totally cool stuff.

  • 2.
    Jen said…

    I love how you mix it up! Totally eclectic yet it all comes together so nicely! =) Such an inspiration!

  • 3.
    Molly said…

    Ali: I love how this book is so personal and incorporates bits of the hand all over the place with tons of playfullness. thank you so much for sharing it. I was pretty disappointed at not being able to work out some scheduling conflicts to attend inspired, but am working toward attending the Squam artist workshop in Sept. instead. The newsletter really grabbed me today. You inspire!

  • 4.
    jenn said…

    Very cool!!

  • 5.
    violetkey said…

    Awesome book! Makes me want to try a clear album.
    I have seen the paper you’re talking about with the metal beading and i picked it up at a local art store that considered them selves suppliers of fine art materials (so not Michael’s or the like). I doubt that helps but there you have it =)

  • 6.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    Love the book – the variety is awesome and so inspiring!!

  • 7.
    Erin said…

    what a wonderful little book. i’d love to hear more about your ink drops on the front-what kind did you use? thanks for sharing, erin :)

  • 8.
    Jana said…

    Good job taking bits from Inspired and using them together to create a memento not only about you, but also about what you created there! So often projects from workshops or classes just get tucked away, never to be viewed again—-I love what you did here. More inspiration!

  • 9.
    Grace said…

    Gosh Ali… what planet did you came from? You’re super super TALENTED… CREATING A PIECE OF ART OUT OF JUNK MAILS, USING STICKER STORAGE TO USE FOR PHOTO, this…YOU’RE A GENIUS. Thank you for sharing.

  • 10.
    Irene said…

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful album. O, how I wished I had been there! But it was a bit of swim (being in Europe) so no chance for me actually getting there.

  • 11.
    jamie said…

    not sure if it just me, but the photo of your layouts spread out the table in the newsletter covers your text. can’t read the paragraph underneath. am i the only complaining they cannot view your newsletter fully?

  • 12.
    Amy K in FL said…

    Very cool Ali. I think that plastic piece at the front of the book might be mylar…? Can’t wait to try the pencil crayons.
    Amy K in FL

  • 13.
    sue Treiber said…

    I love all the interesting little bits you have incorporated. Super cool.

  • 14.
    christen said…

    WOW! what a great creation…thanks for sharing.

  • 15.
    cathy said…

    killer. love it. completely jealous. :)

  • 16.
    amandagibson said…

    Very cool. Your lifeart is always cool and inspirational – makes me want to go home and make something.
    I’ve been wanting to make an acrylic album for a while but I haven’t found one I liked……….and I really like the one you used – can you tell me the brand of the album? Thanks!

  • 17.
    Jeanette said…

    I hope Kal chimes in with the name of the clear plastic we used on top of the photo as I’d like to know too.
    All great projects and I admire the direction you took with your album. I wondered how I’d incorporate what we learned from Kal into an album. And now I know.
    Thank you. :)

  • 18.
    Jenny W said…

    Loved the idea about drops of ink. My experiments in mixing them have often ended less than satisfactorily, so I look forward to trying it your way :)

  • 19.
    Michelle said…

    I think that Kal mentioned that the plastic was calendar plastic – the type that would cover larger desk calendars. Can’t remember where she said she picked it up.

  • 20.
    Rollie said…

    That is great how you took Kal’s class and combined it! I just might have to do some of that myself.
    I have to 2nd that motion on taking a class from either of them would be a treat anytime.

  • 21.
    Sarah said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while. I always enjoy your entries.
    This one, in particular, is very inspiring. I’ve resisted the acrylic album but may have to break down and try it now. I love your work on this.
    Also, really love your newsletter about getting real. I’ve been thinking about these things as well.

  • 22.
    Kal Barteski said…

    Your stuff turned our sweet.
    CALENDAR VINYL is the name that I found the plastic as. At an art and architectural supply store. I will try to get a better link for you. It’s hard to find BUT WHEN YOU DO – it’s worth it.

  • 23.
    psmullican said…

    very cool techniques. stupid question-hen you say pencil crayons you don’t mean colored pencils, right?

  • 24.
    Michele said…

    The paper with the little metal “beads” looks similar to some paper that I’ve had forever that is made by Provo Craft. It came in a “collage” pad of paper.
    I love your album! :)
    Michele :)

  • 25.
    Sandy said…

    Wow I love your book, you’re so creative.

  • 26.
    Glee Scrap said…

    Your album is so “Inspired”! BEAUTIFUL! Everything I’ve been reading on the blogs about Donna’s Event last weekend have been superlative. Thanks for sharing with us, and inspiring us to explore.

  • 27.
    Stacy/CA said…

    I love that you are sharing your projects. I have been scared to play with my acrylic album, but I think I may need to play with it this weekend.
    I think that beaded paper is by Crafter’s Workshop. They had a whole line of really neat embossed papers and funky cardstock that Two Peas carried in 2000, 2001? Somewhere around there.

  • 28.
    paolo said…

    I love how this project ended up meshing together bits of the entire weekend together for you. So very cool….

  • 29.
    Elliottsurf said…

    Oh Ali, I love this. Especially all of your pages with the pencil/crayon drawings. I am inspired!

  • 30.
    Leah said…

    I have the hardest time doing mini’s. Not sure why, just always end up going back to layouts. But every time I see a new one of yours I’m inspired to give it another go!
    Great album!

  • 31.
    Mae said…

    Thank you so much for sharing your fun project. I just love checking your blog…you always inspire me.

  • 32.
    {vic} said…

    my favorite was the photo overlay at the beginning of the project and the quote at the end.
    I have no idea what slide mounts are?

  • 33.
    Lan said…

    If I’ve never heard of you before, I could totally tell that you are a graphic artist! Designs are just cool.

  • 34.
    Jingle said…

    Your album is really fun to look at! I love all the unique and interesting techniques you used. It has so much texture! Thanks for having on your banner ads! They are awesome and I love that you are spreading the word!

  • 35.
    Jenni said…

    OMG, I have been doing LOTS of cardboard these days, and I love your ideas!! I am making an 8X8 for my aunt, and I cut her initials from cardboard, and also cut out a heart shape. I just made a mini book using a trader joe’s bag, and it came out so cute! LOVE these green ideas. I just recv’d LIFE ARTIST in the mail today, and I am over the moon :-}. Thanks for the inspo! Jen from SoCal

  • 36.
    Liz Ness said…

    Anis Nin…she is just so cool!

  • 37.
    ashley said…

    Gorgeous work, as always, Ali! Thank you for sharing your artwork and the small tidbits of your personal life with us. You are a truly talented woman.

  • 38.
    Veronica said…

    I too can’t read some of the newsletter due to the picture being on top of the type. Strange.

  • 39.
    Cindy said…

    I love that last quote. I have it in a shadow box frame along with the first rose my husband brought to me when we started dating. ;)
    Great book!!

  • 40.
    Cheryl Dalpe said…

    Great album–sounds like the Inspired event was really..inspiring! LOL As far as the paper with the “metal beads”. I have several sheets of it, and mine have labels from The Paper Company-purchased at A.C.Moore in Massachusetts.

  • 41.
    Teresa said…

    So amazing! Love all the different elements of your book. Great book!

  • 42.
    simply said…

    What a wonderful thing…I love the simplicity of your book…I may just put together my own…
    so cool :o )

  • 43.
    beth said…

    your book is incredible.
    can’t wait to go back and add some more things to mine.
    thanks for sharing it.

  • 44.
    maggie Holmes said…

    amazing ali! i love all of the artistic pieces – so cool!!

  • 45.
    O said…

    I’ve come back several times to look at this album you made, to take in different pieces of it. I love it. Love the new methods that you learned & incorporated into it and the quote is outstanding. I’m going to try that alcohol ink and some of Kal’s methods. Love her blog too. Oh, this all opens up new possibilities (that’s my word for this year). :) Re: the quote…”risk” really hit home for me. I’m not a risk taker and my life is the poorer for it. If I had taken risks I know I’d be happier and my life would be SO different and therein, so much better, fuller, richer, …well, you get the picture. Thanks for sharing yourself on your blog. Thank you for being real & transparent—meaning, you let us see who you really are. I admire you so much.

  • 46.
    jen downer said…

    ali! i LOVE this book!!!! it is so expressive and looks like an absolute blast to create!
    xo, jen

  • 47.
    Christina in Seattle said…

    Hello Ali!!
    Love love love this little album! The paper you were talking about I saw at the Paper Company both at CHA… Hope this helps!

  • 48.
    Christina in Seattle said…

    Hello Ali!!
    Love love love this little album! The paper you were talking about I saw at the Paper Company both at CHA… Hope this helps!

  • 49.
    barbara said…

    Wonderful and inspiring techniques. Do you have a link for the graphite transfer technique? FUN.

  • 50.
    Vianna said…

    Would this be the Calendar vinyl?
    Wonderful project!

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