Layout Process : Bringing It All Together


I finally got a chance to put a little something together.

The image and the words came directly from this recent post.


The supplies for this layout are simple. My favorite Bazzill cardstock. A chipboard butterfly from K&Company adhered with a couple foam dots. An acrylic heart from Heidi Swapp paired with some pink trim and a trinket pin from Tim Holtz. A pink felt flower from American Crafts' My House collection holding a great little Cut 'N Paste bauble from K&Company (I have a feeling these could be appearing on a bunch of things in the near future). A scalloped edged patterned paper from American Crafts (Amplified New Wave). A new digital word-art accent from a new collection that will be in the Designer Digitals shop on Saturday night ("You" Word Art).

The journaling began with one little thing I wanted to document: the way in which she holds her thumb in her fist between her pointer and middle finger. I opened a word document, jotted that thought down, and over the course of the next couple of days I added a few other things about her as they came to mind.

Those words were then organized in a document (you can do it in Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc) - set down near the bottom of the page - and then printed on to cardstock which become the foundation for my layout.

Next came the photo.

Most of the time when I am dealing with my photos I like to leave them as-is which most often is pretty imperfect. The photo I used in the layout above was manipulated in Photoshop. Here's the original, un-edited version that was taken by me in our bathroom:


From there I did a few things in Photoshop and ended up with this:


First I cropped the image (I actually did that in iPhoto because it is really simple to constrain the proportions) to remove the bath mat that is hanging over the shower curtain and the bit of my camera strap in the bottom right corner and the stripes on the burp cloth. I wanted to get to the essence & the heart of this photo which for me is the connection between mother and child.

After cropping in iPhoto I brought the image into Photoshop. I am by no means a Photoshop expert. There are a few things I know how to do and I try to use those to my advantage. The "help" menu and google searches are my friends when I need to learn something new.

There are tons of different things to do with your photos in Photoshop and many photographers offer "actions" that you can purchase that will manipulate your photo in one click (check out Maggie Holmes or the famous Itty Bitty actions to see what those are all about).

For this photo really all I did was remove the color (Image/Adjustments/Black & White or Image/Mode/Grayscale) and then adjust the contrast and the curves and the levels (under Image/Adjustment). For me "adjusting" really means "messing around" with the controls until I like the look of the image. I wanted to see some very white "whites" and some very black "blacks." I also didn't care if I washed out some of the shower curtain in the process. 

I definitely don't adjust or manipulate all my photos. I like to see the real life things in the background and the colors of stuff in our home. A bit of blur has never bothered me or colors that aren't "just right." But in this case, changing up the photo helped me tell the story I was wanting to communicate.

I loved putting this one in her album. Feels like the beginning of something really nice.


You may have noticed a couple new things I am trying out around here. First is the Link Within images that are appearing at the bottom of my posts. I first saw this on Benita's blog and thought it was a great idea to give new life to older posts. This blog has been around since November 2004 - that's a lot of posts about our lives and scrapbooking (1,338 to be exact).

The other new feature is a change to the comment section. I am jumping in to the Typepad Connect system to see how that works for comments. One of the things you should know is that you now have the option to reply to other commenters (see the "reply" option at the bottom of each comment) and have a bit more of a conversation within the comments if you would like. This will also enable me to answer questions within the comments in a way that will be more relevant and easier to read. As a commenter you don't have to do anything different but you do have the option to add a photo/avatar if you would like through Typepad Connect.

Have a great weekend!

96 thoughts

  1. Rachel Carlson

    2009-03-27 13:42:10 -0400

    thanks for all the tips ali. happy weekend!

  2. Janet

    2009-03-27 14:47:20 -0400

    I really like the new comment section.

  3. Memories for Life Scrapbooks

    2009-03-27 14:52:10 -0400

    I love all the little details you added to the embellishments :) Very cute page!

  4. Libby

    2009-03-27 14:58:36 -0400

    This is such a gorgeous page. I still haven't started my baby girl's book and she just turned one! This is really inspiring me to GET GOING!! (not to mention, getting the dust off of my nice Epson printer that sits here doing nothing since I haven't been scrapping!) Thanks as always for the wonderful inspiration!

  5. Miranda

    2009-03-27 17:56:54 -0400

    So heartbreakingly beautiful and simple. I love pages that reflect a mother's love for a child so honestly.

  6. Daniela Austen

    2009-03-27 18:35:51 -0400

    Your layout is just so precious! Love the softness of the page. Thanks for the inspiration - I love to come to your site and always get inspired and find something new!

  7. Aelyn

    2009-03-27 19:58:49 -0400

    It's gorgeous. I love the soft, gentle tones.

  8. Megan Thompson

    2009-03-27 21:48:52 -0400

    So excited to see a newborn layout from you. I have been waiting anxiously to see what perfection you would come up with. My second little girl is due in July so am eager for your inspiration. Thanks Ali.

  9. Lara

    2009-03-28 00:41:49 -0400

    It came out absolutely beautiful, simple and clean and perfect!!!

  10. Susan W

    2009-03-28 01:55:54 -0400

    Really beautiful!

  11. Jewelz

    2009-03-28 03:23:57 -0400

    I love the simple beauty.
    Sometimes less is SO much more.
    Loving the new tweeks to the comment capabilities.
    ❁ The reply tool is V cool❁
    Have a great weekend

  12. amber

    2009-03-28 03:54:01 -0400

    Ali: I adore the new blog header and the link w/in pics at the bottom of the post. So fun!

  13. Naomi Chokr

    2009-03-28 04:16:24 -0400

    Wow I would have never thought of that? I once saw a picture of you and Simon...he was sitting right next to you while you were working on the computer. Sorry to ask another question but did you use a mirror there too? I was trying too look for the picture again in your blog but i can't find it. I just love your technique because my husband and I always end up with just a picture of each other. It's pretty sad. :)
    Thank you again!

  14. Ali Edwards

    2009-03-28 04:18:32 -0400

    Most likely that one was taken by Chris (no mirrors by the computers around here).

  15. JustMeAgain

    2009-03-28 06:57:04 -0400

    Ali, I love this post. Thanks for sharing your process. I loved your photoshoped result, too. I think you b&w truly captures the sense of motherhood and love. I adore your page, too. And thanks for the heads-up on the new typepad features!

  16. Paola Norman

    2009-03-28 07:04:06 -0400

    Beautiful layout Ali.


    2009-03-28 08:49:56 -0400

    that layout is beautiful Ali! I love it!

  18. Heather Woodbury

    2009-03-28 09:27:31 -0400

    Love Pioneer Woman. She has great recipes, too!

  19. Heather Woodbury

    2009-03-28 09:29:24 -0400

    The sweetest most beautiful page. I wish I scrapbooked when my kids were babies.

  20. Cherie

    2009-03-28 09:42:56 -0400

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips!!

  21. Nita

    2009-03-28 10:50:04 -0400

    I really love the photo & layout. So simple and so beautiful too. You have been such an inspiration. I have to try taking the pic in the mirror like that.
    Thanks for the photoshop tips!

  22. Jeni

    2009-03-28 19:15:59 -0400

    I was going to ask this question too. Thanks for the answer.

  23. Jeni

    2009-03-28 19:24:11 -0400

    Love the layout Ali.

  24. jeremyk123

    2009-03-29 13:27:43 -0400

    *love* the new banner.

  25. Suezi Gurzi

    2009-03-30 08:03:22 -0400


Login or Register to comment.