Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 6, 2009

Three Things : Back To Basics

As I was working on my Studio A column for the May issue of Creating Keepsakes I was thinking about my basic supplies – those things I turn to again and again and like to have in bulk. I have highlighted some of my usual favorites (pens, albums, & adhesives) in Three Things in the past.


1. Scrapbook Adhesives 3-D Foam Squares : I have found myself using these over and over the past few years. Great for adding dimension to photos and accents. I used them to pop-up the journaling blocks on the first layout below (as well as a couple of the half-circles in the third layout).
2. White Cardstock : most of the time I stick with Bazzill in both 12×12 and 8.5×11. Lily white is my favorite white but really anything with a bit of texture is what I work with most.
3. Circle Mini Brads : I tend towards silver most often with antique copper a close second.

I was also thinking a lot about the kind of layouts I want to create this year. SIMPLE + focused + creative more in their storytelling/concepts/documentation and photography rather than their craftiness.

And speaking of simple, here are three of my favorite creations from this past year:

From Creating Keepsakes Studio A in July:


Also from July Studio A (CK):


And from October Studio A (CK):


Also, a quick note of thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and well-wishes on my post yesterday. They were really appreciated.

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


  • 1.
    Jen said…

    Thanks for being such an inspiration! You’re in my thoughts and prayers. =)
    I really love that layout of Simon over the years…I may have to do something similar when my little guy is a bit older.

  • 2.
    Caryl Hope said…

    I loved your October layout. The picture, the fun circles + the white alphas on white cardstock. Striking! :-)

  • 3.
    Amy said…

    That half circle layout of Simon on the couch is one of my favorites of yours! So simple, but the photo is great, the colors of the circles, the story. I love it all. :)

  • 4.
    HeatherC said…

    I remember when these were in the magazine — actually I flagged the middle one of Simon through the years — love it and plan to lift it! :)

  • 5.
    sue said…

    Great layouts! I especially love the one of Simon every two years. He’s growing up so fast.
    Your basic supplies are some of my favorites also. It’d be interesting to see what 5 supplies scrappers would choose, wouldn’t it?

  • 6.
    Molly said…

    These layouts are so great. (love Simon on the banquette) I don’t find CC in stores so haven’t seen a recent issue. Thanks for sharing them.

  • 7.
    christen said…

    those are fantastic layouts! and some of my favorite things, too.

  • 8.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Simplify – my word for 2009 – these do it!! Thanks for sharing Ali

  • 9.
    janine said…

    I can’t believe with another baby on the way and your own life to be getting on with you continue to inspire us through this blog! I love simplicity in my layouts as well, and totally meant to do a chronological one for each of my boys like the one you have here for Simon. It’s going to be my CREATE for this week:)

  • 10.
    jen watkins said…

    You take the most beautiful pictures of Simon, you are so very talented in many ways. I see you using 12×12 or 8 1/2 x 11 “kraft” type paper alot. It looks like it has flecks of different colors or fibers in it. What kind is it and where do you purchase it?

  • 11.
    Angie said…

    learning lots about how to crop photos to show their faces like in the july layout. Can’t wait to try one of my own. Just startine in digital scraping and trying to figure out my “style” as well. I really want to be simple, simple, simple!

  • 12.
    melissa jensen said…

    i just love your blog and evrything you do!!! this is the 1st comment i have left but i do check in on you often!!!!
    i just wanted to tell you about one of my favorite things…it is Zip Dry Paper Glue..i love the stuff!!!! use it ALL the time!!!! it is made by Beacon Adhesives. is the info i found on the bottle. i am not trying to sell anything just wanted to share with all of you one thing that i found that works great!!!!!

  • 13.
    Linn said…

    I’m with you on doing simpler more graphic pages this year. They’re more timeless and take less time to tell the story, which is my goal.

  • 14.
    Angela Stewart said…

    Guessing you need those thoughts and prayers today as well. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm & creativity with all of us! Sending you healthful and positive thoughts!

  • 15.
    Samara said…

    Oh, Ali. This makes me want to start a new page immediately. You’re such an artistic inspiration. These are amazing pages. I can’t say I like one over the other — they’re all lovely. Thanks for another great psot!

  • 16.

    Oh I just love that last layout with the circles.

  • 17.
    Michelle said…

    That third one w/the half circles is one of my all-time favorite layouts EVER—I remember tagging that CK page a soon as I saw it. Fun to see it’s one of your favorites, and glad to see it again as a reminder to scraplift it! *smile*

  • 18.
    Heather said…

    wow love those they are so simple but so beautiful.

  • 19.
    Gina Sekelsky said…

    Just catching up on your blog today after the busy holiday season…you are certainly in the thoughts & prayers of many, including me.
    I am all for the simple pages–personally, I limit how many pages I do each year and cram as much meaning as I can into them (which results in simpler techniques in the end).
    Best of luck to you in the busy weeks ahead!

  • 20.
    Alison Behan said…

    I love those pages too. I wish I had your ability **sigh**. My favourite layout is the last one too. Love the colours. And my my, what can I say about the layout of Simon. So simple yet SO effective. Love that second pic of him, it makes me want to just pinch those cute cheeks, LOL. He is such a handsome boy.
    My thoughts are with you again today. Praying it’s all good.

  • 21.
    TracyBzz said…

    Love the 02 04 06 08 layout. I feel the exact same way “SIMPLE + focused + creative more in their storytelling/concepts/documentation and photography rather than their craftiness”
    I do love pretty pages and all the pretty embellishments. But the photos and the story are THE most important thing. And if I quickly throw down a few flowers or some bling, after the story is done, then it will just add to the pretty-ness. I’m really not into one photo + one word (like lovely, carefee etc) this tells NOTHING about the person, their personality or the event taking place.
    So I looke forward to more posts on photos + story from you :)

  • 22.
    TracyBzz said…

    I hear yo on the “take an hour to read a book” Last year my daughter was in grade 1 and would read and I would ask my 5 year old if she was listening and she would reply “I can’t understand what she is saying” All the sounding out is just alot of stuttering and muttering, doesn’t make for good story comprehesion. I would often read the story back to my grade 1-er just so she could hear it. And of course I would read it in 4 mintues and it took her 40! Now her younger sister will sit with her while she reads, she’s pretty smooth now.
    What a difference a year makes.
    Hey, I should copy my post onto a layout – in the spirit of more stories.

  • 23.
    Leslie said…

    So many people have grown to love you and your family. We feel like we know you! I have no doubt there are thousands of women whose lives you touch daily that are praying for you…me included!!:)

  • 24.
    Sarah Mullanix said…

    THINK is one of my favs too!
    Thanks for all the inspiration…
    creative and thought provoking.

  • 25.
    Jill said…

    Oh, I am so using that middle layout over and over and over again. I take mostly vertical photos and just returned from Ireland with much to document. Absolutely love it. Absolutely. Thanks Ali. Best hopes to you with the melanoma diagnosis. Peace.

  • 26.
    Nikki Love said…

    gorgeous LOs Ali!!!love them all :)

  • 27.
    Dana Nichols said…

    I’m so glad you posted about “back to basics”. This is exactly where I am right now, getting back to the basics and getting our stories documented. Thanks!
    Dana in TN

  • 28.
    Theresa said…

    I especially love the 2nd layout, but all three are fantastic. Just read your last post about your health and you are in my thoughts and I wish you a healthy 2009.

  • 29.
    Leanne said…

    Positive energy. Positive energy. Positive energy.

  • 30.
    Susan Hessler said…

    Your layouts are gorgeous! As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest a little before your wee one arrives.
    Peace. Susan

  • 31.
    Kimmie said…

    I’ve been meaning to leave a comment, but I’ve been too shy. But, I am stepping up to the plate. This year is definitely going to be different for me. I’m taking on many challenges. A couple of them, I’m getting help from you, which I am so thankful that you share so much with us. I’m looking forward to this new year, and being able to take on these creative challenges. Much love to you and your family, as always!

  • 32.
    Lora B said…

    Ali… I love you! I seriously love you!! I have been so “Craftiness” driven that I have lost my love for preserving memories.. I also resolved to get back to basics this year and focus more on the story and pictures than the “art” of it all. thank you for helping me resolve that is the right path.

  • 33.
    Johanna said…

    I reeeally want to get into the “swing of things” with scrapbooking looking at your layouts. They are just so very inspiring to me!

  • 34.
    Wendy Bretz said…

    I loved these layouts Ali :)

  • 35.
    sansku :) said…

    Love the “BACK THEN” layout!
    I hope all turns out ok with the mole situation. We all need reminders not to take life for granted.

  • 36.
    Kari said…

    Ali- it’s funny you picked those three b/c I have those tagged as my favorites of yours from last year. LOVED them.
    Thinking of you!

  • 37.
    Jamie said…

    Hi Ali, I just stumbled across your blog, beautiful! Good energies coming from here! Can I add the word nutmeg to your list? Is just so exotic and I’m still craving egg nog even though they’ve already removed it from the shelves!
    I’m currently working on a dancing cats childrens book and have just recently started a blog of my own, glad to have found you and will definitely continue to follow your inspiring posts!

  • 38.
    Candy M said…

    July Studio A – I scraplifted this design for my son, who was born in ’02. It’s one of my most favorite layouts, to see my little guy growing up across a 2 page spread! You are such an inspiration. Love your stuff.

  • 39.
    Gabi said…

    Thank you for all your inspiration and creativity you are showing us every day, Ali.
    You’ve totally changed my point of view on the whole scrapbook thing. NOW I’m able to document those everyday little moments. THANK YOU!!!
    I wanted to buy some of your books, but everything is sold out! I ordered your last mini album book, I can’t wait to get it. LOVE your Life artist so much!
    I think you and your art has changed a lot of us. :)
    I’m wishing you good luck with your baby, as a mom of 2 children I know how it changes your life. :)

  • 40.
    Barb Wong said…

    Ali, I love the three pages you chose, and yes, those are my favourite kinds of pages to create too. Not every page I create tells a great story like those, but I too aspire to do more like those, in 2009 and hopefully for many years to come.

  • 41.
    Susan M. said…

    Ali, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during these trying times. I can only imagine your stress. May all your prayers be answered!
    Susan M.

  • 42.
    Carolyn said…

    I’d also like to add that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have a strong feeling that you will be fine.

  • 43.
    Casey said…

    Love the idea of the through the years pictures, and I’m sorry, but I must scrap lift the last LO. It is brilliant.

  • 44.
    Jude said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog again. I have been reading through December and always love your December Daily stuff.
    Hope you will be okay with the skin thing. I have had lots of moles of too and am very conscious of time in the sun here in Australia.
    Thinking of you,

  • 45.
    Jude said…

    *off not of

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