Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 27, 2009

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!


  • 51.
    Ali Edwards said…

    It’s random :) .

  • 52.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I don’t think you do Noelle – I think you just need to register for Typepad Connect. Here’s a link to some Q&A:

  • 53.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Canon Digital Rebel.

  • 54.
    Ali Edwards said…

    “accept them as they are and let them tell their story” – yes :)

  • 55.
    Odetta Donners said…

    Simply gorgeous!

  • 56.
    Michelle B said…

    Lovely. Simple. Amazing.
    You always wow me Ali!
    Love the layout.

  • 57.
    Leauriy said…

    Sorry, i’m having one of “Those” moments ( I’m turning 45 Tuesday). It looks like your photo is a reflection of the mirror, but you must then have your camera on a shelf, right? cause i can’t figure how you can hold the rebel AND push the button…at least i’m not that nimble. :)

  • 58.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Nope, no shelf – just my hand. Maybe I have really long fingers :) . Just held in my right hand with my pointer finger on the button.

  • 59.
    Kathy F said…

    Ali- I just loved your layout! :) You radiate beauty as a mother! :)

  • 60.
    Deeleea said…

    You are totally welcome!

  • 61.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Thanks, Ali. =)

  • 62.
    Amber Filkins said…

    I also have had the link within for a few weeks and LOVE it! I’m loving this Typepad connection thing. Quite a few of the blogs I follow have it, but I am thrilled to find out that you don’t have to have a Typepad account to get it! LOVE that you can just respond directly to a comment. SO needed! :)
    Beautiful layout, as always!

  • 63.
    Amber Filkins said…

    And I LOVE that we don’t have to do the word verification now. I hate that!

  • 64.
    alison said…

    Hello Ali, thank you for sharing this beautiful photo, the lovely words and your technique. Would this work in Photoshop elements also? I have yet to do the Jessica Sprague basic photo editing course I have signed up for so I am still tinkering with Photoshop elements 7.0. I have never scrapped a page but have managed to sort all my photos as per Stacy Julian, buy a huge amount of basic white/black and kraft cardstock plus masses of patterned too, American Crafts albums, lots of punches, stamps and embellishments and a Cricut machine also some of your digital designs (as the idea of hybrid scrapbooking appeals)…. The trouble is that I can’t seem to get started! I have made cards and your valentines day love circles (which were a huge success – thank you) but that is all. I am not sure what is holding me back. Hopefully your inspiration will rub off on me and compell me to scrap and journal something. I have two daughters 6 and 10 so have a lot of stories to tell (but a huge backlog). Thank you for listening and for everything you do.

  • 65.
    Kari D said…

    I swear woman….you may have me scrapbooking yet! This is such a gorgeous layout and truly conveys the love between you and your daughter. SO Beautiful….thanks so much for sharing!

  • 66.
    Noell Hyman said…

    LOL–It took me some time to decide that the wood grain and graphics weren’t a part of the layout either. But I like it demonstrated that way. I love all the word graphics you (Ali) use now in the blog. It’s gorgeous and feels so Ali-ish.

  • 67.
    Expat said…

    Your commenter Robin P hit the nail on the head about your website…”It’s more than just about scrapbooking”.
    I think your new pink baby page is lovely…simple and perfect. And as we all know, simple is often the most difficult thing to get right.

  • 68.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Yes Alison – you can do things like this in Elements for sure :) . Sounds like you just need to begin…a big step but one that is totally worth it.

  • 69.

    I love this beautiful page.
    I feel the same way after having my little girl after Xavier. I was so much calmer and more relaxed the 2nd time around. And in turn, she was an easy, content little girl. I’m in the process of buying an SLR camera, would you recommend a Canon Rebel XTI? my husband is intent on the Nikon D90. I’ve yet to do my research but would really love your input.
    Thank so much! Love reading your blog.

  • 70.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I must say that I have loved having the Rebel. I have actually had two as I dropped one and bought another one because it seems just right for me. I have never used a Nikon but I think they are probably just as great :) . I know Karen Russell (who usually shoots with a Canon) was trying out a Nikon and plans to post her thoughts soon. You can check out her blog here:

  • 71.
    Manon said…

    That is so so beautiful Ali!!!

  • 72.
    Rachel Carlson said…

    thanks for all the tips ali. happy weekend!

  • 73.
    Janet said…

    I really like the new comment section.

  • 74.

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

  • 75.
    Libby said…

    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!

  • 76.
    Miranda said…

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

  • 77.
    Daniela Austen said…

    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!

  • 78.
    Aelyn said…

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

  • 79.
    Megan Thompson said…

    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.

  • 80.
    Lara said…

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

  • 81.
    Susan W said…

    Really beautiful!

  • 82.
    Jewelz said…

    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

  • 83.
    amber said…

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

  • 84.
    Naomi Chokr said…

    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!

  • 85.
    Ali Edwards said…

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

  • 86.
    JustMeAgain said…

    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!

  • 87.
    Paola Norman said…

    Beautiful layout Ali.

  • 88.

    that layout is beautiful Ali! I love it!

  • 89.
    Heather Woodbury said…

    Love Pioneer Woman. She has great recipes, too!

  • 90.
    Heather Woodbury said…

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

  • 91.
    Cherie said…

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips!!

  • 92.
    Nita said…

    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!

  • 93.
    Jeni said…

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

  • 94.
    Jeni said…

    Love the layout Ali.

  • 95.
    jeremyk123 said…

    *love* the new banner.

  • 96.
    Suezi Gurzi said…


Post a comment