Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

May 9, 2008

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. ]


  • 1.
    Sharna said…

    This was an awesome series Ali! Thanks for taking the time to share it with the world. I really appreciate that. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!!

  • 2.
    Helene said…

    thanks for this week; I’m surely going to make a try on this WE challenge, I have made several or them, this is so inspiring, and hlps me think “out of the box” !
    smiles, Helen

  • 3.
    HeidiG said…

    I have sooo enjoyed this week’s blog! I always learn so much from you – whether by reading your blog or books, you seem to put everything into perspective and make it that much easier to put into words what I really want to say on my pages. Thanks so much Ali!

  • 4.
    Diana said…

    I really enjoyed this week. Thanks for sharing so many fantastic things with all of us. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • 5.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this little series! :) I know this is a lot of work on your part, but I have very much appreciated it and hope to see more as they fit in your life as scrapper, mama and wife. :)

  • 6.
    sue said…

    Awesome series Ali! Thank you.

  • 7.
    sue Treiber said…

    great series, Ali. You are the best at photos + words.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • 8.
    HeatherC said…

    ALi -
    I really enjoyed this week’s feature. Really made me think about my stories and I do not think I write enough — made me want to rethink how I scrap — am I telling the most important stories for my children and grandchildren to read in the future>> When you think about it, it is a way to leave your voice behind for future generations. Thank you! HeatherC

  • 9.
    Susan Bowers said…

    Ali, I took your photos + words and basically simplified. I’ve gotten 5 layouts done so far this week – No! I got five stories told and photos scrapped! Thanks for the ‘simple’ push. I’ve posted them on my blog (many are scraplifts of YOURS!!!) at
    Blessings to you

  • 10.
    Molly said…

    This story is so touching. Without the words so much would be lost; the photo adds to the emotion. Paul Rand said “A work of art is realized when form and content are indistinguishable.” This surely qualifies.

  • 11.
    Marge said…

    Thank you, Ali, for such a great week! You have definitely inspired me (again!), and I have some great ideas. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • 12.
    Lourdes said…

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this series. I haven’t commented before but I have been taking notes, jotting down ideas and being very thoughtful of the stories I want to say when I have taken pictures this week.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • 13.
    Amanda said…

    Thanks for the super coolness this week. I am so inspired to do more with “our story” particularly using more words and thinking about the reader. Thanks!!

  • 14.
    Jenny A. said…

    Thank you Ali! What a very powerful and inspirational week you have provided us (again). I would love for you to do this more!!! Happy Mother’s Day!

  • 15.
    emily said…

    I always love how you show new products but I’m really loving this words + photos approach. I’ve been using the stuff I have on hand (which is way too much), and I’ve been really just focusing on telling the story, and making lists of those stories I want to tell. This weekend I am working on telling the story of my husband and I before we had our twins. We had 10 years before them and when I look in our scrapbooks it’s as if our life started when we had the babies-which it kind of did. But still our story is pretty cool too. Happy Mother’s day!

  • 16.
    Jenn said…

    Thanks, Ali, for all of the posts this week. I have really enjoyed reading each one and am hoping I can take some time this weekend to create a words+photo page. It is amazing how much words+photos can bring to a page! I want to simplify my life+simplify my scrapbooking. This was such a great boost for me to do that!

  • 17.
    Sarah said…

    Loving these ideas! What wide format printer do you have for 12×12 layouts? I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before but I looked around and couldn’t find it…

  • 18.
    Katie Lee said…

    A big THANK YOU for all the blog posts this week on words + photos. It really reminds me of the real PURPOSE of scrapbooking. I loved it. Happy Mother’s Day,

    • ….
      Loree said…

      Just do me a favor and keep writing such treachnnt analyses, OK?

  • 19.
    Sue said…

    Ali, I look forward to looking at your blog every day. You are truly an inspiration. Thanks for sharing:) Sue

  • 20.
    Mary Jo said…

    Thank you for sharing this week!
    I have been a huge fan of your work since I stumbled across 2p’s back in 2004.
    You never fail to inspire :0)

  • 21.
    alyssa said…

    Really enjoyed the series, Ali, and I know it’s something I’ll refer to and think about for quite awhile to come.
    Like lots of other people, this has really sparked my creativity this week. Creating is such a different experience when I ask myself whether I have “time to share my story” as compared to “time to scrapbook”. It sounds like such a no brainer, but it really shifted my thinking. Thanks so much!

  • 22.

    I followed your Words + Photos with great interest. Thank you for reminding us about going back to the basics.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • 23.
    O said…

    I haven’t thanked you yet for all the thought and work that went into your blog this week. All of it, for us, for our creative hearts. Thanks Ali…your insight is priceless and so very appreciated. :)

  • 24.
    Stephanie said…

    LOVED what you did this week!
    And for the printing part…have you ever printed photos on Avery Printable cotton and used them on a layout?
    Great texture and so fun to work with!
    Definitely give it a try….I did a whole layout on it digitally, sewed it to cardstock and then added traditional elements on top and I loved the end result. :-)

  • 25.

    Thank you so much for all the work you put into writing the detailed daily words+pictures tips!
    This was a very inspirational week..

  • 26.
    Shelly said…

    Ali, thank you so much for putting all the time and effort into this series of posts and for sharing them with all of us. You continue to inspire me.

  • 27.
    Amie said…

    This is totally my favorite style these days! thanks, love it!

  • 28.
    Danielle C. said…

    Ali, such a great series this week. This is what motivates me to scrapbook. So many times I go to crops and pretty much everyone there is just placing as many photos on a page as they can with little to no journaling. Might as well put them into a photo album! What they fail to realize is that they are not telling their stories. It is the stories that motivate me and that is what we will want to remember years from now. The photos, while they help to tell the story, are almost secondary. Thank you for your inspiration!

  • 29.
    deana said…

    Thanks so much for such a great week! I have all of your books, but ALWAYS enjoy hearing MORE from you! I especially appreciated when you made me stop & think this week. I’ve been playing around with different scrapbooking styles, trying to learn digital scrapbooking, looking at blogs, etc… & when it comes down to it… it’s all really just a DISTRACTION from getting the photos & the words on paper. This week has really been a reminder that my scrapbooking style is OK, it doesn’t need to be like everyone elses and to just focus on words + photos because in the end, THAT’S what’s going to matter.
    Thanks for your continued inspiration! :-)

  • 30.
    Tracy B (in Alberta) said…

    Thanks so much Ali for a week of inspiration :) Sometimes we do need to go back to the basics. Thanks for re-teaching me about words + photos instead of the latest and greatest new tool and technique. The fluff & stuff (aka tools and techniques) are great, they are the icing on the cake, but they DON’T tell the story, capture the moment and preserve the memory like the photos + words do.
    Thanks again for the free ‘class’.

  • 31.
    Lea said…

    Thank you, Ali. I’ve really enjoyed the series this week. It’s nice to remember that things don’t have to be so darn complicated all the time.

  • 32.
    Angela T. said…

    Thanks, Ali! I really enjoyed this weekly series. I know I’ll be referring back to it a lot for advice and inspiration. Looking forward to the next one! :)

  • 33.
    Cindy said…

    Thank you. This was a great series filled with practical and important messages.

  • 34.
    RUTH ALLMART said…

    Thank YOU Ali for a fun and very informative week. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog each day. Have a terrific weekend :o )

  • 35.
    Calli Taylor said…

    What a wonderful picture. My seven year old had “tie” moment that I didn’t capture in a photo. It’s a great reminder that it is the little moments that matter.

  • 36.
    Elisa said…

    Thank you so much for all the work and inspiration you put into the words + photos series this week. I absolutely loved reading it every step of the way, and am a little sad it’s already over. Looking forward to putting all the learning and inspiration into practice this weekend. Thank you again for getting down to basics, and for focusing on the heart of scrapbooking.
    Have a great weekend, and Happy Mama’s Day!

  • 37.
    Kimberly White said…

    Thank you so much for your thoughts this week Ali! I’ve been thinking a lot about how I don’t want to make “You are cute” fluffy superficial layouts anymore … but I want the story of our lives to be front and center in my layouts. I’m also really wanting to scrap for me and not be so competitive in my thoughts about this hobby. Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s day … thank you again for your inspiration and your willingness to share!

  • 38.
    Tracey Mc. said…

    Thank you for a
    Simply Inspiring week!
    Happy, Happy Mother’s Day, Ali.
    Enjoy all the MOMents

  • 39.
    JANE said…

    THANK YOU..! I really enjoyed reading your blog this week. I actually copyed a little and put it on my blog to tell other people. You made me really think about my pictures. I am really not good at journaling at all.

  • 40.
    Diane said…

    Thank you Ali, for a wonderfully encouraging series this week. It has been redirected me back to the original reason to why I scrapbook and reminded me to be more consistent in focusing on our family’s stories. Your work is such an inspiration!

  • 41.
    lacey said…

    Hi Ali- i did this photo collage kind of thing for the Becoming More class at BPS- just used images and words-i thought of what you were saying on your blog while i was doing this. Pretty cool :) if you want, check it out at I think its the 5 & 6th pic :)

  • 42.
    DNese said…

    Loved this week. I hope to have you do many more of these. It was great learning from you. You ARE the best in my eyes..

  • 43.
    Gina said…

    Hi Ali- You really set the bar high this week (for blog commitment, that is). I have admired your approach in your books,and just recently tuned in to your blog. As a handletterer, I’ve mostly ignored my computer, but I decided to jump in with both feet and try blogging. I hope you’ll take a peek someday! (Dig out your old 2003 Hall of Fame book, I’m in there too somewhere.) Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 44.

    My take on this is here
    on my blog post from May 7th. Seems as I’m always on your train of thought! When my daughter said this last week – I knew I had to scrap it or it would be easily forgotten in the busyness of life!
    Thanks as always for your insight and thought provoking ideas!

  • 45.
    Jodee said…

    Ali, you are such an inspiration and such a wonderful teacher! I have really enjoyed this week and I hope you do something like this again. Thank you for all your insight!

  • 46.
    Mary said…

    This was a great week that got me doing LO’s again. My block was a huge hurt I was nursing from an insensitive older daughter who should have known better. You inspired me to go ahead and write the story while using her photo. My thoughts became very concise – I realized the fact she could hurt me so deeply was because I love her so much. The words formulated just as concisely but a little more poetic. There was no need to air the dirty laundry but just express the depth of that love and that sometimes – love hurts. I paired it with a great picuture of her and some simple embellishments. It turned out to be a fantastic layout for me personally that someone could read later without causing more pain.
    You rock!

  • 47.
    Martha said…

    Ali – Thank you so much for a great week – I’m soaking this up like a sponge. ;) Mart

  • 48.
    Viki Banaszak said…

    What a cool idea. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to try this product.

  • 49.
    Dawn Priestley said…

    Thanks very much for sharing your philosophy with us Ali, and reminding us why it is we do this crazy thing called scrapbooking. Peace to you and your family.

  • 50.
    Erin Glee said…

    This week has been so FULL of great info. and reminders…. thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do!
    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day~Simon is so sweet and special~thanks for “sharing” him with us!

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