Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 2, 2008

Three Things : Creative Books (+ a giveaway)


Three books to inspire, challenge and fill you up creatively this week:

True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling by LK Ludwig : I got to meet LK at Artfest last year and enjoyed her art just about as much as her personality. I ordered this book last night and am looking forward to some new ideas (it's been quite awhile since I picked up my art journal). After looking through the next book on the list (see below) I have some good ideas for backgrounds to try.

Acrylic Revolution by Nancy Reyner : This book is packed full with techniques for working with acrylic paint. I have been looking through it the last couple of evenings, dreaming about potentially doing some painting, and being really inspired to get out my paints and try something new and different (new + different for me).

Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts : I was lucky to see an advanced copy of this book on my recent girl's weekend and I can't wait to get my own. There are a bunch of mixed media how-to's as well as a lot of words (of which you know I am a fan – I like to know the thoughts behind the actions whenever possible). According to Kelly Rae, "this book isn't a traditional how-to book, but rather a book that dives deeper into telling our stories about how we came into the creative life – as a way to inspire others to stretch their wings and see what is possible for their own creativity."

Here's one of the Amazon reviews on this book:

Kelly Rae Roberts is an amazingly talented artist and apparently
equally gifted as a writer as well. This book is a journey from her
soul right into yours. It's part journal, part sitting around getting
deep with your girlfriends, part interviews with other talented artists
and part art instruction. So very different from other art books, even
from the same publisher. It goes above and beyond and straight into
your heart & head, making you think about your own creativity.

And until you find your creative spirit, the how-to make art
sections are very clearly thought out and well written. I know that I
will be able duplicate even the pieces that had materials I've never
used before.

This book is a treasure that I know I will refer to again and again.

I have two copies of Taking Flight to give away this week. To be entered into the drawing leave a comment below and let me know about your favorite creative technique is these days (it can be scrapbooking, mixed media, anything). Comments will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5pm Pacific and the winners announced shortly after.


[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


  • 101.
    Jennifer S. said…

    I guess it is not really a technique (but I guess it could be) is to recycle and use what I already have in a new inventive way. I am really starting to become more conscious of the items I already have and not to over buy or buy unnecessary. I think this is a rule a lot of scrapbookers/artists are starting to adapt.

  • 102.
    Niki said…

    Hi Ali my favorite technique lately has been inking…on everything.

  • 103.
    Stacy B said…

    I am into sewing on layouts (by hand and machine) these days.

  • 104.
    cathy said…

    I haven’t had any time for paper crafting in the last few months, so I play in photoshop…doing some cross-processing stuff and playing with “Totally Rad Actions”. :) Thanks for the fun of a giveaway. Blessings!…

  • 105.
    Pam said…

    Scrapbooking is my first love. I am currently taking ‘Have More Fun’ at BPS and enjoying the process of being present in my life. And I’m experimenting with getting out of a rigid ‘all my scrapbooks are 12 X 12′ phase.

  • 106.
    Karen Tavares said…

    Sometimes when I start a project by writing, it changes the outcome of what I create. So instead of sitting down with my page, pictures, paint and tools, I’ll get out my laptop or sometimes a notebook and pen, and just start brainstorming. I might describe a project or several related pieces, write out questions that might be addressed or asked, throw in some poetry or quotes that I’ve read recently. Sometimes I’ll end up with a few pages of writing that inspires me for different types of projects – experimenting with a photography technique, creating a collage, or a card or scrapbook page. It’s nice too when I am on the subway or trapped in the waiting room with only “Dental Hygiene Today” to read.

  • 107.
    Sarah said…

    I’ve got a stash of fabrics and ribbons and have had fun incorporating those onto layouts and my art journal. I love my art journal, too! A quick way to get a little creative juices flowing without doing a whole big layout!

  • 108.
    Brittany said…

    My favorite creative technique this week is With school starting, a holiday weekend, and trying to get my classroom ready, twitter is an excellent way for me to jot down 150 words of what I’m doing at random points throughout my day. I’ve been too busy to do much else. I love going back and looking at what I was doing, thinking, feeling. I will later use my updates from twitter to do a day in/week in my life scrapbook page. :)

  • 109.
    Donna said…

    Hi Ali! Great giveaway! My favorite has been mod-podge. I enjoy putting small pictures of family and friends on my planner–on my daughter’s school agenda, and even using the mod-podge to seal a nice mini-book about vacation.

  • 110.
    Susan Slinkard said…

    My current ‘favorite’ creative technique is to layer lots of random bits and scraps of paper to create a very deep background for my page (think Tara Anderson). Then, I typically use one photo and lots of ‘non-traditional’ embellishments to help create the feeling I want. I’m trying to increase my journaling again, but right now, simple is working for me.
    Thanks for all the great give-aways!

  • 111.
    Sandi said…

    Right now I am having fun learning about all the great things you can create with the Ranger/Tim Holtz products. Looking forward to your new book!

  • 112.
    Liane said…

    Staying creative in any way is my challenge, as life with kids gets busier and busier. Reading, searching, questioning are ways I keep it happening. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • 113.
    Katie said…

    Neat books…thanks for the info about them, and for this giveaway!
    I’ve been mostly making cards lately for some reason. I’m having fun playing with stamps and with learning new techniques with the stamps – I don’t know as I have a favorite technique yet, but I’m enjoying all the distressing techniques a lot!

  • 114.
    Michelle B said…

    My thing lately is using to add digital elements to my pictures to scrapbook. Oh and paint on scrapbook pages!

  • 115.
    Karmen said…

    My technique lately is using up all the pattern paper I have in my stash. As I was looking back..most of my layouts are just solid cardstock..I love simple and for me pattern paper sometimes seems too hard to work with.
    I never know where to put it and how much to use. I love your style..thanks for all you do.

  • 116.
    Chris SB said…

    My favorite technique right now is using transparencies. Anyway that I can.

  • 117.
    Jessica said…

    Oh, just what I needed, a little creative inspiration. I’ve been using a lot of interesting pieces that I find in the mail (per a previous post of yours)!

  • 118.
    amyjk said…

    right now i love gobbing on a thick coat of acrylic paint and pressing items into it to give texture– like buttons, mesh, fabric flowers, etc
    thanks for the chance! sounds like a super book

  • 119.
    Tanya Gilmartin said…

    Ohhhh- this book sounds fantastic! Exactly what I am into right now…
    thanks for the giveaway, Ali!

  • 120.
    Wendy said…

    Hi Ali,
    Love your blog!
    Just did a digital paperback photobook. My huband’s parents and mine visited together at our place this summer and the photobooks document their time with our son and us.
    I hadn’t done this before, but everyone seems to love the results. I tend to be a traditional scrapper, but can see the benefits of these digital paperbacks.

  • 121.
    Jeanne Ann said…

    I have enjoyed learning new ways to use old standbys. I have spent the past 10 weeks or so learning from Tena Sprenger on BPS and have come away with some many new ideas. I am always looking for new ways to do things.

  • 122.
    Malia said…

    I am trying to get out of my own way and not over-thinking things when I scrapbook.

  • 123.
    Brigitte said…

    I’m enjoying combining acrylics with stamps from all sorts of sources as well as painting words into my designs. I love Kelly Rae’s style – as well as yours! Thanks for this!

  • 124.
    Marcie said…

    Morning! My newest obsession (gotta call it what it is!) is typography and fonts. I have always loved words, dictionaries, etc.. so this just seems to flow into that.

  • 125.
    Monica said…

    words and pictures. :) It’s all about telling a story for me.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • 126.
    Michele said…

    I took a class from Jesse Reno last spring that gave me the confidence to paint once again. We layered and added and subtracted and used inexpensive jars of brightly colored acrylics on huge pieces of plywood.I totally surprised myself and now I’m on a path to to understand techniques and color mixing to make my life easier! I’m a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts and can’t wait to see (or win) her new book.

  • 127.
    Deborah said…

    Scrapbooking most definately, especially altering patterned papers with acrylic paints, and also a little bit of mixed-media work :)

  • 128.
    Dianne F said…

    I just found Kelly Rae’s etsy site yesterday and am trying to figure out which piece I’m going to buy for my living room. How wonderful that you recommended her book today. I love to scrapbook. I think I’d love to try mixed media, but I’m not sure I’m up for it.

  • 129.
    Kim said…

    My favorite is acrylic paint. I love the texture, the mixing and getting it all over your hands. It’s just awesome!

  • 130.
    Pilar said…

    Congratulations to your sister! I suppose it is very exciting to experience pregnancy at the same time. My favourite technique…it’s difficult to say because technically I have just started scrapbooking, but I love using ribbons and buttons.
    Thanks for the Q&A post.

  • 131.
    Kim H. said…

    Working with paint and grungeboard!!

  • 132.
    gina said…

    My favorite creative technique right now is reverse applique, a la Alabama Chanin. Hands down, absolutely obsessed with it. In a nutshell, you use two layers of fabric; stitch-outline a shape through both layers; then trim the inside of only the top layer so that the bottom layer shows through. I can’t imagine visualizing that without seeing the real thing, so go to her site (or mine if easier). Why limit the technique to fabric? Endless possibilities!

  • 133.
    Misty K in Ohio said…

    Not really a technique but I have been doing a lot of altering items latly. More so than scrapbooking. I just love how you can put the altered items out to enjoy and for all to see vs scrapbook pages being in a book.

  • 134.
    Mel said…

    I’m having to add Glimmer Mist to almost everything—along with flocking anything that’s not moving—although the cat has been accidently flocked once!

  • 135.
    aida said…

    I am scrapbooker, who takes acrylic painting classes, and loves to play with altered art (modge podge, sewing, stamping, photos).

  • 136.
    Leslie said…

    I’ve been busy with a digital project but I can’t wait to move on to my next project, a painting for a friend. And guess what I just checked, “True Vision” out at my library!! Would love to get my hands on the Kelly Rae book! I’ll be out of commission after foot surgery next week so I’ll need to READ about creative things to tide me over!

  • 137.
    Cindy R. said…

    My favorite technique right now is incorporating Bling somewhere on the page. (even for the boy pages)After I make my 2 page layout, I try to use the papers and Embelishments to make several cards. Can’t wait to buy your book, just waiting for one of the local stores to carry it.

  • 138.
    Debbie L. said…

    Right now anything scrapbooking is my passion. I also enjoy sewing and machine embroidery.

  • 139.
    karen mcgowan said…

    my favorite technique continues to be inking the edges of everything – hides a multitude of mistakes!

  • 140.
    rebecca said…

    i liked mixed media quilting. it’s my new favorite thing now.

  • 141.
    Lisa L. said…

    My favourite techniques lately revolve around ink. I’m trying to just play more and have fun rather than worry about the final product. Very difficult for me but I’m really attempting to succeed at it.

  • 142.
    Kim Su said…

    hi Ali: I’ve been working on improving my photography skills in hopes of making my layouts more interesting and simply looking at daily life from new perspectives. playing with different angles, lighting, etc. is so much fun and the end results are amazing. thanks so much! take care, kim

  • 143.
    Leigh Anne said…

    I just purchased a print from Kelly Rae and love it – would love a copy of her book.
    My favorite creative technique right now involves fabric. I have had fun combining fabric and paper and creating fun journals/notebooks for my friends. I have loved fabric since I learned to sew in the 4th grade and even went on to major in Clothing and Textiles in college I loved it so much! Thanks for this opportunity!

  • 144.
    auntieanne said…

    Hmmm, acrylic paints on everything right now, that’s my most fave technique/tool.
    congrats on your next “baby project.”

  • 145.
    Karrin said…

    I was just drooling over Taking Flight yesterday. Lately my favorite techniques have been whatever I can get my hands on….scrapbooking, art journals, knitting, photography.

  • 146.
    Bev said…

    I’ve been doing something different for me with my scrapbooking. Keeping it simple.LOL…I’m working on a wedding book for my niece. Did a couple small practice ones for my mom (grandma of the bride) and SIL(Mom of the bride). I found I really really, REALLY like the look of consistency thru a book like that. So the big 12×12 book is very consistent. It’s a bit of a challenge not to go overboard, but I am liking it.

  • 147.
    Mary S. said…

    Fave creative technique…hm…well, I am going to try some layering, with KI Memories lace paper, and painting, and generally trying to mix things up more than I normally do. I just love minibooks for trying new things out! Thank you for all the inspiration you provide!

  • 148.
    Abby S. said…

    I’ve been playing around a lot with watercolor pencils and fabrics to incorporate into my scrapbook layouts. We’ll see what happens!

  • 149.
    Gioconda said…

    Right now, I love using colored pencils. On anything, layouts, notes, calendar. It’s so fun and a simple way to add a cute touch, doodling, highlighting or just playing around. I can’t seem to get enough of them.

  • 150.
    emily said…

    I’ve been rediscovering my love for watercolor paints. I haven’t done anything really big or spectacular just little paintings that I can finish quickly. It’s been very satisfying to wet my brushes again.