Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 5, 2008

weekend creative : summer memory book

The other day Chris was on my computer looking through photos from the summer and he mentioned to me that we had done a ton of stuff this summer. Because I have been out of it creatively for a bit (due to this little bundle growing inside me) it has been awhile since I really looked at the photos as a whole. I knew we had done a bunch of different things, but the proof, the actual documentation, was definitely in the photos.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the daily events (and I definitely love capturing those) and miss the bigger story over the course of a few months or over the course of a year.

Today’s prompt is to create something that is an overview of your summer. This may be a minibook, a digital photobook, a layout, or some other altered creation. What were the highlights and favorite memories? Did you travel or stay home? Did you follow the same routine each day or mix it up?

For my project I put together a digital album (that could easily be translated to paper – more on that below) and am having it printed through Shutterfly. This is an overview album, an album that skims the surface from June through August of where we went and the things we did together. It’s still called Today You (the name of the template ) and it is directed at Simon (the journaling talks to him and tells him the story of the summer). Each of the spreads represents a trip we took, an event we attended, a routine (like summer school) or a gathering of some everyday shots from the summer.

This layered template (read more about those here) album is a digital remake of a class I used to teach called Today You that incorporates the same basic design: one photo on one page of the spread and either patterned paper or photo squares gathered together on the opposite side. The download for the instructions for the older paper version of the Today You album is available here: todayyouHOWTO-chipboard

I put together the digital version over the course of a couple hours. It includes 24 individual 12×12 pages (10 spreads with an opening and a closing page). I made some adjustments to the template as I went along (moving the journaling blocks around, coloring the flourish brushes, etc) so that it worked with the story I was telling and the photos I was using. The word accents and flourishes are included in the template. You can purchase this Today You photobook template here (download includes Shutterfly ready pages).

Edited to add: digital patterned papers used in this book include Katie Pertiet’s Mixed Up Playdate and Graphic Garden No. 2.

Words + Photos : Here’s a look at the opening page, the spreads, and the closing page:

A couple things to note: This photobook is not the same format as the Everyday Life photobook I created for Shutterfly. This book does not use
the “drag + drop” creative tools within the Shutterfly system. To make this digital photobook you will need Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, the layered template package from Designer Digitals, and a basic understanding of working with layered templates (check out my tutorial here). Once you have created the layered templates you want to use in your photobook (and saved them as .jpg files) you then upload those to Shutterfly to have the book printed.

This same format could be easily used to highlight each of the months throughout the year.

This design is also easily translatable to paper scrapbooking. Pick out one of your favorite minibooks and follow the same design formula: large photo on one side and a bunch of square punched photos on the opposite side. Here’s a photo of the Today You class that I used to teach:

Edited to add: If you wanted to create this album in a 12×12 paper format, the large photo is about 10.5 inches wide x 9 inches tall. The smaller photos are 3.25 inches wide x 3 inches tall (the main thing I wanted was for the height to be the same for the gathering of small photos and the enlarged photo).

This weekend take some time to reflect back on your summer, go through your photos, and create an overview album to celebrate the summer as we move into fall.

[ weekend creative is a semi-regular feature appearing on Fridays : past projects can be located in the archives. ]


  • 51.
    Naomi said…

    Love this idea, love the idea of the process to look at a whole season, love the outcome you have presented and please tell Simon love the rainbow umbrella, super cool.

  • 52.
    David Santos said…


  • 53.
    Heidi Sonboul said…

    oh Ali… you are so fun. The layout of those pages are beyond perfection! I love the small photos with the crazy over sized lo! so delightful!

  • 54.
    Jen said…

    Hey Ali…just wanted you to know I am NOT going to procrastinate on this…I commented yesterday and last night I went and got the template from designer digitals…started working on it last night. Posted the first page of the book on my blog this morning and wouldn’t you know it…shutterfly is running a sale on photo books this month…bonus. Anyway…thanks so much for this…again…you are brilliant!!!

  • 55.
    Heidi Sonboul said…

    LOL so… I mostly come here to JAM to your music… that and all the funny things you say…but the music is what does it for me ;) LOVE THIS LIST!

  • 56.

    What an incredible idea!!! You are as always sooo inspiring to all of us! Thank you for that Ali!!!! Hope you and baby are feeling beautiful!!

  • 57.
    lacy said…

    I absolutely love your Shutterfly creations, please keep them coming!

  • 58.
    Susanna said…

    I find so much inspiration from your work! Amazing!
    You were the Runner Up Mini-Book of the Week at Card of the You can see the original post here:
    I did use a picture from your post, with links back to the site and the original post. I hope that is OK. Please feel free to email me if you need me to change anything.
    I also have an “I was featured” on badge for you if you want it :D

  • 59.

    found you via flickr….and that book is awesome classic design!

  • 60.
    Linda said…

    This is great thanks Ali.

  • 61.
    Sus N. said…

    Hi Ali!
    Thank you so much for the layout inspiration (as always!)!! I have a question about the adhesive you use on chipboard when you are adhering photos onto them. I had my photo going out to the edge of the chipboard (same Maya chipboard book w/rounded edges) so I really wanted the edges of the photos to stay in place – I used Mono Multi Liquid Glue but I had a doozy of a time trying to keep the mess to a minimum! Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • 62.
    Patti said…

    I have been wanting a project to jump start my creativity and this may be it. I love how simple everything is. It reminds me so much of the week in the life album which I loved. This is really inspirational. I think I will go through my paper and grab a couple of stamps and start printing and go.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration -

  • 63.
    sev from france said…

    Hi Ali,
    thanks for this idea ! I’m due in early november and I haven’t document anything of my pregrancy yet. I think this template is a great solution for this !!!

  • 64.
    Laurie said…

    I made one – click here –
    to see it. Thanks for the great idea!

    • ….
      Dash said…

      You have the monopoly on useful inie-matfonraron’t monopolies illegal? ;)

  • 65.
    Patti said…

    Another question. The “stickers” you used are those in a kit or were they your own creation – either way are they available for purchase separately – I love them and would love to be able to use them in this album.
    Also thanks so much for including the basic dimensions for those of us using paper – I am trying to use up as much stash as possible and this will be great since you could use scraps so easily.

  • 66.
    alex said…

    thanks for the reminder to look over the summer…of course my little one page isn’t half as cool as your multiple page layout but it does give an idea of what summer held.

  • 67.
    Jac said…

    hey ali
    this is really awesome. love it love it love it. it’s so inspiring.
    definitely in one of my to-do list!
    Thanks for being such a inspiration to us!

  • 68.
    Henny said…

    Congrats for ‘the little bundle inside you’, Ali. I’m so happy for you! The Lord bless!

  • 69.
    Tamryn said…

    This post reminded me why I read your blog. You have a gift for creating simple, adaptable projects that make me say “why didn’t I think of that?” I stepped away from reading blogs this summer but I’ll be keeping up with your’s. Thank you.

  • 70.
    Blake said…

    I’ve used photo book software to create 5 books – it’s a great tool and easy to use… I think it would be worth your checking it out… the quality of the printing is amazing and I would fully recommend them for creating a coffee table book, wedding book, family photo book or whatever. Great stuff!

  • 71.
    Blake said…

    Your book is truly amazing – I’ve used photo book software to create 5 books – the quality of the printing is amazing and I would fully recommend them for creating a coffee table book, wedding book, family photo book or whatever. Great stuff!

  • 72.

    Great motivating ideas; I’m getting the kids into action to celebrate their last year

Post a comment