words + photos : friday + weekend creative

The project this weekend is to create a layout using only words + photos. Maybe one other embellishment? That part is completely up to you.

What is a story you have been wanting to tell?

Remember this photo from earlier in the week?


That photo + words printed out on textured cardstock + a bit of ruler ribbon (and a smidge of ink) =


[ cardstock: Bazzill; font: Avenir; ruler ribbon: Papier Valise; ink: Stampin Up; date stamp: Staples ]

Here's a couple things that ran through my mind as I was putting this page together:

1. Use journaling as a chance to speak to your audience. In my case my audience is often Simon. I write as if I was talking with him, telling him the story. This is real language and more personal.

2. Remember that there are lots of different ways to get words onto a page: handwriting, type, stamping, letter stickers, typewriter, etc.

3. Don't forget a date. Man, this is such an easy thing to forget. I scanned this layout in before realizing it was missing the date. Depending on the story I am telling I may include that date I wrote the jouranling as well as the dates for the photos (in this case they were the same).

4. Maybe my next ten layouts will be as simple as this and maybe not. Bringing yourself back to these basics for a bit and then moving forward gives you perspective once again. So worth the effort.


Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments this week. It has been cool to delve deeper into the real heart of scrapbooking. Going through the process of gathering all the content has solidified my belief in the power of words + photos. They are what truly matter to me in the long run.

There is also something very powerful about the process of creativity. I was reminded this week that there are so many different ways to be creative.

Focusing energy on words + photos is a creative act. My creativity comes into play big time when I take photos (setting up the shot, following the emotion, capturing moments that otherwise go by in an instant) and when I sit down to write the story.

Again, thanks you for your interest and time this week!


[ The full words + photos series can be found here: monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday. ]

83 thoughts

  1. telisj

    2008-05-09 14:01:02 -0400

    This week's blog was awesome! Thank you for your wonderful insights! My word for this year is "story" so I just loved this! Thank you!

  2. june

    2008-05-09 14:03:01 -0400

    Ali, Can you put a link to this week's posts on the Categories section of your blog? I can see myself coming back to these posts as 'reference'.
    I've always taken pictures with the thought of telling stories with them later. I've always had an intention to scrapbook and document all those pictures one way or another. But somehow along the way I just didn't know how to start. Three years ago I became friends with a couple of scrapbookers. However their patterened papers and embellishments intimidated me. I still put it off. Now if I had read your posts years ago, I probably would have started sooner.
    You are really an inspiration and a talent. Keep the great posts coming.

  3. Patti A

    2008-05-09 14:39:07 -0400

    Thank you so much for this week it has been awesome. I was looking through some older photos a month or so again and saw so many stories that needed to be told. The photos may not have been prize winning shots but they were just so representative of my son at that age and I so need to tell the stories before I forget. I really think I am going to start a journal and get more of the things my DS says and does documented. I know we all say we don't want to forget but it is so easy to let the memories slip away.
    Thanks so much for reminding us to keep it real and tell the stories and not just make pretty pages. We need to be reminded about this occasionally.
    I also would love it if this series was added to your index as I know I am going to want to come back to this series over and over again.

  4. Karen Walker

    2008-05-09 14:43:56 -0400

    I've bookmarked all of these because I know I will come back to them again. Your insights into both the photography and the journaling are so inspiring. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

  5. Shanie

    2008-05-09 15:15:47 -0400

    Ali-what a fun idea! Again I am reminded of why you inspire me...I also journal to my son. Also...I finally got that blog!! YEAH!!Shanie :)

  6. Anne Alley

    2008-05-09 15:41:20 -0400

    What a great idea!! I'm definitely going to do this this weekend. Have a fantastic Mother's Day!!

  7. lori p

    2008-05-09 15:44:10 -0400

    thank you for this amazing tutorial. what a great gift to all of us from you, thank you so much for making memory preservation so simple and do-able!!
    thank you for all of your hard work, i have enjoyed it and so appreciate it.
    have a wonderful mother's day.

  8. Tiffani

    2008-05-09 16:10:43 -0400

    I think it has all been said already, but thank you for a really thoughtful and inspiring week of posts!!! Thank you for sharing your talent and insights with others.

  9. Iris

    2008-05-09 22:29:26 -0400

    Thank you so much for this week's special. Your books made me to the scrapbooker I am now and I'm thankful for this reminder!

  10. Lisa

    2008-05-10 01:26:29 -0400

    Thank you, Ali, for being so generous with your talent, your ideas, and your life. Not many people would take the time and effort to share as much as you do.

  11. Suzanne

    2008-05-10 03:22:48 -0400

    Thank you for sharing this week with us. I really feel like scrapbooking is easy again something I should not complicate and I really appreciate that you would put your time into helping us learn to create our pages again the simple way. After all the reason most of us scrapbook is to show photos that mean so much to us and this should not be complicated at all.

  12. Karla

    2008-05-10 04:28:31 -0400

    GREAT stuff you had for us this week. I felt like I had my own personal online class! Everything was so useful and insightful. I really enjoyed it...thanks ^-----^

  13. Steffanie S.

    2008-05-10 05:20:47 -0400

    Thank you, Ali, for taking us back to the heart of scrapbooking. It's so easy to get caught up in the "latest and greatest" products out there when all we really need is words+photos...truly. Thanks again!

  14. Christa Adamski aka Glittergirl

    2008-05-10 06:59:25 -0400

    Hey Ali - speaking of WORDS this week, do you have a widget that helps you out with your cool quotes or do you just find them and post them each day? I want to have an inspiring quote on my blog and yours are always just oh-so-perfect...just wondering how you can possibly have time to find just the perfect quote, update your blog, make art, be a mom and wife, do all your other creative and non-creative pursuits and still be so SMILEY! :) You absolutely ROCK in my world! Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  15. Carol Z

    2008-05-10 10:54:47 -0400

    This was such a great week! I just created a layout digitally (because I'm learning from jessica Sprague) and it was nice to be able to do it and not feel clueless. Words+Photos+one button with the date. Nice!!! Thanks so much for a great series, can't wait to meet you at CKU Houston!

  16. beth

    2008-05-10 13:38:53 -0400

    thank you ali!

  17. Joyce

    2008-05-11 12:47:59 -0400

    Happy Mother's Day Ali.

  18. Patty

    2008-05-11 13:00:01 -0400

    Thanks so much for this series, it's great! Here's my question- I have a RebelXT1 and am looking into lenses- I notice some of your photos (like Simon, Chris and the tie) have that nice blur in the background which is usually attributed to AV/fstop/DOF. But you say you shoot in auto. Why do you think you get this nice effect- is it the lens you use, or do you go into AV sometimes? I have the lens that came with my camera, which is fine, but even in auto portrait and even if I go in and change AV/fstop, etc. I don't get that blur. Can you shed any light on this? Lenses are expensive- help would be appreciated!

  19. noell

    2008-05-11 13:53:09 -0400

    I wanted to come back and let you know how much I enjoyed your blog this week. Most articles in the scrapbooking industry are so shallow (in terms of the content, not the value) and it was great to spend a week with you going much more in-depth on on topic.
    I also loved getting to see some classic Ali Edwards layouts, so many of my favorites from different time periods. That was a real joy for me.
    I hope you repeat this, the more often the better. =)
    Happy Mother's Day.

  20. Wendy Kwok

    2008-05-11 15:50:05 -0400

    Amazing inspiration... I am also a "words' girls.. I see words, love words, dream of words all the time in my already overcrowded brain... loving it! thanks

  21. Tiffany

    2008-05-11 18:24:18 -0400

    Thank you for all the great ideas but please please post your layouts in bigger resolution so that we can get inspiration from your journaling! It's so hard to read the way you post it.
    Thank Ali

  22. Stacey from Two Writing Teachers

    2008-05-11 22:44:54 -0400

    It was a lot of fun! I enjoyed it... even my Friday post, which was ridiculous! http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/words-pictures-day-5/

  23. Dana Nichols

    2008-05-13 10:56:17 -0400

    I have enjoyed this so much, Ali. Thanks for taking the time to put this series on your blog for us. I plan to keep it and refer back to it from time to time. I need the reminder :) I totally agree with noell's comments above. Good stuff!

  24. Jeanette

    2008-05-14 06:15:45 -0400

    I really enjoyed this and it inspied me. Here is the layout that I made

  25. Laura M

    2008-05-22 05:04:01 -0400

    Ali, thanks for sharing all these great ideas. I have taken this challenge and have posted it to my blog at http://lmelohn.blogspot.com/2008/05/happy-mothers-day-bit-late.html.

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