Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 16, 2008



I am thinking about projects today.

Looking for my list (or, ahem, lists) that I have been keeping which details my thoughts on what I want to do next: projects, art, organization, and long term stuff. Anyone else like me and have way too many places you stash lists? Just a few minutes ago I counted six blank notebooks that have about 10 pages full of different stuff in each one. Seriously, one would be good.

I'll just put that on my to-do list to tackle today.

Finishing up my CK column for August. Picking up the piles of stuff that have accumulated during the past three weeks. Working on another issue of the newsletter (it has been way too long). Keeping the laundry going. Getting the rest of those layouts in albums. Writing a FAQ for this blog. Thinking about drawing and working with fabric and painting. Considering a garage sale.

I have pretty much fallen off the wagon on the 365 project. Considering doing some smaller 30 day photo projects like Amanda did a few months back. I like the idea of focusing on something specific and making a project out of that idea: like choosing a color, or macro shots, or found typography, or Simon's current antics. Andrea is great at that sort of thing as well. 

What's your current project? Or what's at the top of the list for your next one?


  • 1.
    Alicia Sharp said…

    I always have lists! I so know what you mean! Right now my top list project is Spring cleaning and organizing and purging!

  • 2.
    Kim H. said…

    I am doing a cute transparent mini-album for my dad who turned 77 yesterday. I was inspired by your love of transparencies and those yummy numbers you posted yesterday.

  • 3.
    robyn said…

    oh my god i have lists everywhere! i make them at work, at home, in notebooks, on napkins, everywhere! if you can make a “one notebook” system work, let me know how!
    my current project is scrapping all my parents’ old photos. they were really bad at storing them, and i kept finding them all over the house. so i’m scrapping them, putting the doubles in page protectors as well, and then mailing them off an album at a time (i live in omaha, they’re in chicago).
    that one should take me some time!

  • 4.
    {vic} said…

    I have the lists everywhere too!!
    On top of mine is to do anything creative!!!!!!!!!! It has been so long since I have scrapped anything–got to get back on track!!!!!!

  • 5.
    Steph H said…

    I feel like there’s always a project going on around here. Right now I’m just working on getting the house together before wedding season starts off in a couple of weeks.
    I love your idea of a monthly thing. I think I could handle that better than a year.

  • 6.
    erica said…

    I have 5 notebooks that I {try} to carry around with me: layout ideas, a “want” book, a quote book, to-do list book, and a journal. Right now at the top of my list is to organize all my pictures and ideas from a recent trip to SLC, Utah and complete more pages about me, and less about events. It’s such a daunting task! But I don’t feel stressed about it after reading Stacy Julian’s blog entry from March 29th about balancing life, work, and creating.

  • 7.
    kT said…

    I fell of my 365 wagon as well. i got tired of it because, well i got uninspired. Oh well.
    BUT i’ve been working scrapping an old album full of letter and pictures from friends that they gave to me when i was in fifth grade and moving to a new state. It made me want to scrap old things for a while, which might get my attention.

  • 8.
    Amanda said…

    I’m thinking of a way to make my trip to Disney into an album that won’t take forever to complete. I have a couple ideas rolling around.

  • 9.
    Sara said…

    I just sent you an email, Ali, with my solution to this (it includes your “daily something” word art)… I don’t know how to attach a photo of it here, so hope it’s ok I emailed it!

  • 10.
    mama t-rex said…

    I’ve had a notebook obsession since my teens so I completely relate. What’s worked for me this year is to have one big notebook for everything where I can dump my thoughts (like Artist’s Way — except my entries include grocery lists and layout sketches/journaling drafts). Then I write in my “real” journal twice a week (I notice my entries have been a little deeper, maybe because I’ve gotten the whining over and done with, and had time to mull things over).
    My big project now is a Weight Loss mini book. Resolutions, quotes, mini triumphs like increasing the incline on the treadmill. I just add on to it as I go and read it when I get discouraged / lazy.

  • 11.
    Danielle said…

    I am the same way I have lists of projects everywhere! I have my planners I carry around with me, I have notebooks in my scrap room, and stashed in my nightstand and the desk I share with my hubby it’s crazy! I have to get everything in a place or have one notebook for lists and one for journaling because right now it’s just all everywhere! I am currently scrapping some of the stories from the past year that I would like to tell. I also picked up a clear album that I would like to work on – thanks for the inspiration on that one!

  • 12.
    jennifer said…

    I have a ton of lists. I have post-it note lists, small legal pad lists, large legal pad lists, back of garbage mail lists, lists in my head…need I go on. I am glad someone else besides myself is inflicted or inundated with too many lists going at once. :)
    My current project. Sheesh…um get my lists organized. :)
    I am a part of that 365Project too and you know, I don’t always do a picture everyday. I feel a bit guilty but then I think to myself, “This is just to get me to think creatively at least once a day, to take a picture once a day, I’m not bound by a contract and it’s not written in blood that I have to post everyday.” So when I don’t post for a bit I don’t worry about it. I just get right back into the groove and keep at it. :) No worries.
    p.s. It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood! (Lakeville, MN) It smells like spring here.
    Scrapbook-wise…get going on an album I’m doing for my niece. When my nephew was born I did a layout for each week of his first year and so now I have to do it for my niece as well. I’m waaaaaaay behind. I need to kick it into overdrive.

  • 13.
    Irene said…

    Top on the list is doing a photo book (on-line)of 2007. I am trying to free myself from the everything-must-be-documented-in-cronological-order thing (thank you Stacy). I think that if I could get the photo book off my things to do list, then I can free creativity to scrapbook/create in an exciting way.

  • 14.
    Melissa LaFavers said…

    Yeah, I’ve got those lists, too, Ali. Last night, my husband and I were adding to the list of bigger ticket purchases this Spring, as well as the list of things we need to do this season.
    I also have lists of techniques to try, lists of supplies to get, lists of projects. Put them all in one notebook, you say?
    Now what fun would that be?? : D

  • 15.

    I always have a million projects floating around in my head, and never enough time to do them all. Right now I am working on a scrapbook of a trip my husband and I took to NY City last year. I have a question for you about your column in the latest CK. On the layout where you used the metal edges by 7 gypsies, I noticed that you had stapled them on. I haven’t seen any in person yet and I have thought about ordering some. Are they thin enough that a regular stapler will adhere them?

  • 16.

    Hi Ali,
    I am from Brazil, and the local newspaper asked me to write an article about scrapbooking – which is a fairly new hobby to our region. Would it be possible if I emailed you a briefing, and you helped with the answers to some of the questions? Pls let me know! My email is Take Care!

  • 17.
    ~leah g~ said…

    I love blank books, and have lists in many of them (although some are “too pretty” to write in just yet).
    I guess it seems that most of us always have some project or another floating around in our minds. I am hoping to start a 365/6 project sometime this year. I have laundry to complete, rooms to purge, but the top project for the next two months is the final details on my wedding. Who knew that it would be so much work?

  • 18.
    jkhenson said…

    I have “remember the milk” for gmail, so it keeps my “to do list” prioritized and dated right with my email. This has helped me eliminate some of my paper lists! I still like to have idea lists to travel with me, etc. But this seems to help with my home lists.
    Next projects are a small, 8 x 8 book for each of my daughters, of 2007, and the qualities I love about each of them.

  • 19.
    Vivette said…

    So thrilled to know I am not the only one with multiple lists in multiple places! OH- I also have electronic lists in my computer and flash drives!
    My top project is to work on a family heritage album for my parents with copies for me and my brother.

  • 20.
    Julee said…

    I have many things on my list(s) too. Like you I have a list about everything. At the top is laundry … my dryer has been broke for 15 days, it’s now fixed. I have three little boys (Thank Heaven for boys) and they love mud and grass!! Next I would like to get layouts of their fall sports in their books seeings how Spring Sports started last week …. and then I can’t find my list …

  • 21.
    Keely said…

    forget about the garage sale. too much work for too little benefit. better off to donate and take a tax deduction. i’m speaking from experience.
    i need to address and mail invitations to my parents’ 50th anniversary, then work on my handmade book of the month (Tena) about our puppy :) i’ve been saving photos and wanting to do a Ginger book for a while. but right now, i need to get back to work work. sigh.

  • 22.
    Michelle B said…

    i have 3 mini albums I never finished. 1 from easter, 1 from christmas and 1 from our trip to the circus last year.

  • 23.
    d. reeves said…

    It seems like so many of my projects lately are to organize something. I love using my creativity along with that.
    Here are my latest projects.
    ornament box-inspired by yours
    inspiration file- pictures are at bottom of post
    gift ideas-I keep finding random pieces of paper with gift ideas for family and friends, this has totally helped my get it together.
    I am enjoying the feeling of completion and definitely ready to create just for fun.

  • 24.
    Relly said…

    have you ever read Getting Things Done by David Allen? I thought it would be really corporate but I have to say I’m working on making the system work for me as a more artsy person, and it absolutely relates to me.
    What I love about it is that it is totally common sense. Once you read it you go ‘well, yeah! why don’t i do that!’
    All about having a list in one place and not running around putting out fires.
    (I use omnifocus on the mac to keep track of my stuff)

  • 25.

    I’m working my way through a 6-month self-challenge to create art every day…in alphabetical order!
    I brainstormed 7 rounds of the alphabet in themes, supplies and techniques and started on January 1. I will finish on June 30.
    Every day is posted on my blog.
    Debbie D. Dodd
    Studio 3D

  • 26.
    Kimberly L.C. said…

    I take on TOO MUCH in general, which in turn results in lots of lists and Post-it notes everywhere! I need to get my list system under control and start saying NO to some people!
    Top on my list of projects is to create a cool inspiration board/collage set-up on the wall in front of my desk in our new place… but I won’t be able to get to that until all the boxes are unloaded… DRAT!

  • 27.
    Amy said…

    I’ve taken to writing on my hand–I won’t misplace it I hope. As for projects–I’m currently taking photos of funny things I see while driving. I saw a crosswalk sign where someone had put a sticker of a hula hoop on the person and then another crosswalk man where someone had painted a big smile on the face of the person. I was off and snapping pictures after that.

  • 28.
    Marta Valdes said…

    I am currently taking Library of Memories class taught by Stacy Julian and I have lots of projects to get done before the class ends. I have an organizer with lists that I update everyday. I tend to fall off the wagon a lot, but I still make sure to carry it over day to day until it gets done.

  • 29.
    noell said…

    Ali, I have almost as many notebooks as you. They’re in strategic places (in my purse, in my kitchen, next to my bed, in my scraproom, etc.
    I think it’s important to have all those notebooks in different places so I can write down a thought at any time. The key is to get a routine or system for transferring those notes into one organized place on a regular basis, which I am not so good at. I say, keep your multiple notebooks and just find a system for filtering the contents.
    One thing I use for organizing my projects is called Basecamp and it’s a free online tool. I use this to organize with all my contests, blog articles, podcast topics, long-term plans for expanding the company, etc.
    There is also an computer application that I plan to download, which is not web-based, called…oh shoot, now I can’t remember what it’s called. I want to say, “Projects” but I don’t think that’s it.
    Anyway, it’s for organizing all your projects. You can keep track of all the steps you want/need to take for your various projects and them filter those into to-do lists. Really cool. My husband is using it. I’ll get back to you if I remember what it’s called. I’m planning to add it to my system.
    As for what I’m working on now, I am preparing today’s blog post and then I need to plan the next video tutorial. After that I need to do some organizing/cleaning; both my scraproom and the house. Everything seems to be falling further and further behind and I’m currently feeling overwhelmed by all the upkeep the house is requiring. And I never have weekly housekeeping. Yikes!
    Good luck with your projects today!

  • 30.
    noell said…

    Okay, I know my first comment was already too long, but I have a thought to share about garage sales. I don’t do them. Donating the items is such an easy way to contribute to society. I wish I could contribute more money than I am able to for causes that are important to me. Donating my unneeded items is something I can do. And save an entire weekend on top of it.

  • 31.
    Lori Johnstone said…

    I have (gasp) lost my little book of about a months worth of the cute little things my kids say while out shopping. So, have to get organized with all of the individual pcs of pp lying around the house that now house these notes. I have also got to organize my baby pages of my daughter and son into an album. I haven’t done enough as of yet to worry about where they are going, I have been working on the present for the most part.

  • 32.
    janine said…

    I could probably do a whole blog just on my ongoing lists, jobs, projects and the general stuff that needs organising! Got a layout to do for a The Scrapbook Magazine, a photography business to get sorted properly, 2 sets of curtains to get finished so I can spread the mess round a few more rooms and generally making sure all my boys are fed and clean! Trying to keep it simple at the same time. Feeling the 365 pain – I’ve pretty much decided mine will be ’300ish or so’. Less guilt with that:)

  • 33.
    Monica said…

    Well… me and my lists… I have many of them, LOL!!! My top list project is finishing my UFOs… I have some LOs and journalings to complete… and don’t start anything new til end this!

  • 34.

    Hi, Ali :)
    My current project is keeping my mind and eyes open for things to incorporate in NEXT year’s INSPIRED class. It took me months to develop the last one, so I love the relaxed feeling of writing down techniques, colors, and products I want to use in my next one. That’s actually how I developed the cedar fencing project. I had a running list of techniques I wanted to incorporate and as I sat down to create the final project, I checked off each technique as I added it. The list was months in the making but the final project took hours. I love notebooks for that reason. :)

  • 35.
    Michelle said…

    I took some much needed alone time this past weekend and went to my favorite antique store. I always find something really unique to start or incorporate into a project. This time, I found this really great old fashioned recipe binder. I am not sure if I want to use it to store my own recipes…or maybe use it to gather family recipes plus add some photos to it. Kinda of like a recipe/heritage album.

  • 36.
    Jo said…

    I love lists. On my current list of things to do is to make more craft items for an upcoming craft fair (mixing a variety of crafts; sewing, knitting and felting, scrapbooking/paper crafting) – you can see some of my latest efforts on my blog.
    Top of my list tonight though (now 21:00 in England) is to finish my coffee, get off the computer and go to bed. I have a little boy with a little sick tummy, so I’m expecting to be up through the night!

  • 37.
    alexandra said…

    Hi Ali!
    I can totally relate to your lists and your notebooks – I’m ridiculous with both and now half the time I don’t know where I wrote that ever-so-important information. Something to work on.
    On the top of my list… organizing and painting the house, creating (sewing, life-art etc.) and studying for my new interior design/home-staging course. Somewhere in there I’d also like to have some fun with dinner parties etc..
    Thanks for making me think and focus on what’s to come!

  • 38.
    Angela said…

    my entire life I’ve been a list maker and the way I make lists has evolved over time. I typically make one big list on lined notebook paper every Sunday evening, and add to it throughout the week; with sections for home (laundry, yard work, cleaning, hanging curtains, etc) errands (things to do and get when I’m out) create (projects I’m currently working on) and commuicate (including all calls, emails, letters, I need to take care of). I also keep a seperate grocery list and meal planner on the fridge and a long term create projects list. I use a 3 ring binder to keep my lists in that also includes calendars and pockets for invitations, tickets, etc. Whatever I didn’t finish on my list the previous week gets moved to the next week on Sunday. I find that if something is cute it makes me happy therefore I will use it more. So my binder is simply decorated and stays in my kitchen or office at all times. I hope this helps….and by the way…I am impressed that 8 bags of groceries ia alot for you. I tend to have that many bags every week and there’s only 2 of us. YOu must be a very wise shopper.

  • 39.
    Molly said…

    ahhh… projects. so many going on right now. You probably know I’m doing the 30-day macro challenge, but I also imagined up an idea that I’m calling “my royal menageries” a reference from the book that got me thinking. Here’s the concept:
    Also, looking to incorporate the diluted PVA + fabric idea that you shared last week into something … anything! Plus adding more texture and layering to nearly everything. Those are some things at the top of my mind, lately.

  • 40.
    Susan Harrison said…

    I got these really cute 3 ring binders at Russell and Hazel thinking that I was spending a little more so surely I’d keep on in the car and one at home. I find myself jotting stuff in the notebooks from the $1 bin at Michael’s. Oh well. My project right now is Library of Memories on Big Pic Scrapbooking. It’s kicking my tush. I thought I was so organized, but this new way of thinking is kinda rocking my little world. Oh well – off to sort and order prints and change the laundry – both tasks seem never ending. _susan

  • 41.
    O said…

    I have a list of lists ;) As for projects, I just finished my ’12 of 12′ layout for April and I’m keeping up with my 365 project. I have the materials I need to do a couple of your Weekend Creative projects…I just haven’t done them. ;\ I’m on the look out for some new projects, something different, like you’ve mentioned. I look forward to your next AEzine! :)

  • 42.
    Gina said…

    like you, i have too many lists in different places. lots of projects to do but not enough time. I’ve been wanting to make a fabric type scrapbook/journal/mixed media. i’ve been inspired by projects in cloth,paper, scissors and donna downey. Have fun! and I always look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  • 43.
    mary Erickson said…

    ah lists. . . .the never ending! the worst is to make a list and then forget where i put it :0>!!
    i took a photo a day in feb. and really enjoyed playing with my camera and then photoshop. like the idea of macro shots. . .maybe for may
    thanks for always putting out new projects, goals, etc. for us

  • 44.
    Artful Yogi said…

    Making a little book for my sister in law’s birhtday. Just completed a vacation book from last month’s spring break. Should really clean up that mess! Getting ready to paint the art room. Yikes, this means organizing all my albums + stuff!
    Just reread part of your lastest book over breakfast, Ali. I feel ready to tackle all this and my family stuff, and my job stuff, and the unyielding piles of paper!

  • 45.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    I love books for recording lists – seem to have a few going on. Trying to amalgamate those books where I record my quilts made each year – almost done that project. Then have two birthday quilts to get done for mid May and then 14 scrapbooks for Brody’s class at school. His teachers are amazing, and there are 2 classes of 6 kids each – the program is specifically for Autism, so I have some amazing shots to work with – and the school will bind the books for me. Then hopefully on to my scrapbook pages which I haven’t been able to touch since before Christmas and also one major quilt that was started a few years ago and always gets put on the back burner while some other project is being worked on!! I am trying to get these things completed this year (at least some of them – it is very gratifying – got two old projects done just before Christmas and felt great) So somehow fit that in between working and Brody starting swimming and baseball at the end of the month – so excited for him to finally be in some community programs – we think he is ready. Time will tell.
    Thanks for sharing – enjoy your Crop for Autism!!
    Nicky Anderson
    P.S. Finished my Everyday Life book and ready to order – I will send you a link – I am so happy with how it turned out. Thanks for all your help.

  • 46.
    Krystyn said…

    I fell off the 365 wagon too after the birth of my son…I was SO determined too…phooey!

  • 47.
    Kim bolyard said…

    top on my list is finishing up projects such as mini albums that have been laying around half finished…actually finished up two yesterday…that felt good.

  • 48.
    lisa said…

    Ha! I have too many lists too. As for projects, today I want to work on a wellness album, a note to self mini-book, and, well, having a baby. =)

  • 49.
    Amber said…

    I am an absolute list maker. Always have been. My mom even jokes about how I did it when I was a kid. Anyway, I have a few journals as well, but I use them for different purposes {scrapbooking/design, projects, everyday, Maddie’s funny sayings, etc}.
    My current project has been scrapping Maddison’s entire kindergarten year. I had it all organized in a binder last year, but it got too full, so I had a stack of papers on top. I decided I’d better stay on top of it, because time waits for no one!! So I did about 40 pages in 2 days, and I’m just finishing the last.
    As I went, I scrapped the must-haves, and made a pile for “maybes”. Now I’m going back and weeding out the stuff that is least important, and scrapping the rest of it. Such a big project, but I’m so pleased with the results. Now I’ll just have to stay on top of this year {first grade} and thereafter!
    Love EVERYTHING you do! :)
    Last week I reorganized my scrap room, painted some shelves and put them in my space. It looks amazing, if I do say so myself! I have some pics up on my flickr, if you’re interested. And I’ll be putting more up soon.

  • 50.
    KazT said…

    I love making lists, but not necessarily doing what’s on them! I’ve discovered this little gem that came with Office 2007 called OneNote, it’s like a list heaven on a computer. You can even do a Note file for every project you can think of and then keep adding tabs and pages everytime you come up with a new idea.
    Two projects at the moment, drawing a nightingale in coloured pencil and doing an 8 x 8 scrapbook for my Dad’s 70th. We have this really cool thing called scrapwear in Australia, will post a photo when I’ve finished.
    Keep doing those lists,

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