Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 2, 2009

Bloom & Grow : World Autism Awareness Day


Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

As you may have read in the giveaway post yesterday, I teamed up with the designers at Songbird Ave to create a digital kit in honor of Autism Awareness month. All proceeds from the sale of this kit benefit Autism Speaks.

My son was diagnosed with autism right around the time he turned three. It has been quite a journey; many stories have been documented here along the way. We celebrate his successes both small & big, and diligently work through the challenges. We embrace him for the awesome, tender, hilarious, sweet kid that he is. 

You can read past posts about our journey here.

To learn more, including the signs of autism, go here. There is also  a pretty good FAQ here.

Below are two more examples using elements and templates from the Songbird Ave Bloom & Grow kit:


How about a layout where the entire background is a photo? I have done a few of these in the past with enlargements and am planning to do some more for Anna's book. I love working off one big image background – it poses a whole new set of design challenges.


Loving scalloped edges right now. Either digitally, or with the Threading Water punch, I have been wanting a scalloped edge on just about everything I have put together recently. 

For information on working with digital layered templates check out my Hybrid/Digital Scrapbooking series of posts.



I also wanted to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday the Hero Arts blog. They do such a great job of showcasing stamping tips and providing inspiration for all levels of crafters. You may also be interested in their contests and videos. Happy Birthday!


  • 1.
    Asta said…

    Dear Ali, such a wonderful layouts. Thank you for sharing.

  • 2.
    akilia said…

    I got to know this day, seeing your report last year.
    My daughter who is 6 years old has autism.
    Your courageous report was read and I was encouraged very much.
    I am holding the event by the blog, in order to spread this day to friends living in Japan.
    It is thanks to you that I was able to take such action.
    Thank you:)

  • 3.
    Karin Canazzi said…

    The scallops you are loving…embracing the baby girl in your life…
    enjoy because there really is nothing like having a daughter!

  • 4.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Love the post Ali, thanks for getting the word out there on Autism – Brody, our youngest is 7 and has autism – we do a lot of stuff for awareness thru his programs and fundraising. But I must truly thank you for helping me to document more and it has helped me immensely now when I look back and can be even more thankful for the growth because the documents help us to remember where we started, where we are now and where we are going.
    Have an amazing day.

  • 5.
    Jill said…

    Oh how I love the layout using the photo as the background!

  • 6.
    Jennifer said…

    Love those layouts! I have enjoyed reading about Simon and your entire family’s journey along the way.

  • 7.
    scrapmommaof3 said…

    just wanted to let you know that has a charity digital kit supporting autism available to buy in the month of April. It is an amazing kit and it says 100% of the proceeds help autism. thought you might want to know.
    love your blog and products.

  • 8.
    mary rogers said…

    today I am thankful for having you as a friend!
    thanks for sharing a part of you with us each day…

  • 9.
    Kristin Rutten said…

    Thanks for pointing us to Songbird Ave. and your beautiful new collab kit. I checked it out yesterday after reading your first post about it. What a great company and an easy & effective way to let people like me support worthy causes while doing what we love, especially when such high quality products are offered. Definitely gets my support…

  • 10.
    Chris Turnbull said…

    Hi Ali thankyou so much for sharing. Having a child with autism is indeed a journey into an amazing world…I have 2 autistic children…both my boys and both whom do not function very well in life at all without loads of help but whom are loved dearly in every way possible. Our own journey has been one of incredible courage, years of torture, years of incredible odds and I usually blog about so much of our own families journey….yes with all the bumps and hurdles along the way. Thanks for sharing….hugs xo

  • 11.
    Sarah said…

    What beautiful pages to document those precious lives!

  • 12.
    Suz said…

    I just wanted to thank you so much for continuing to share your family. It’s such an encouragement.
    Your digi kit is really great & helps create such wonderful layouts
    You’re one awesome woman. Blessings to you & your wonderful family

  • 13.
    Linn Woodard said…

    I love the page of Chris and Anna with the full photo. By the way, have you seen that Stampin’ Up! has a scallop edge punch?! It’s on its way to my house right now!

  • 14.
    Inga said…

    Thank you for letting all of us share your family’s journey through the maze of autism. Thank you for giving it a voice (and Simon’s adorable face). I appreciate how you you synthesize your amazing skills in sharing your story.

  • 15.
    Leslie said…

    Thanks for this post, Ali. While I don’t have children with Autism I do have a friend with a son that has it. He is in my daughter’s class. She just LOVES helping him out at school. I have watched that family…they are amazing with Tony.
    God Bless you this day!!!

  • 16.
    Angela W said…

    Thank you for sharing. I am not sure I knew that Simon had been diagnosed with Autism, but I am still fairly new to reading your blog. I know it has to be challenging at times, but it seems like you and Chris are doing the best you can for Simon that’s all you really can do. He is so cute! Those are great layouts!

  • 17.
    Joy Buss said…

    Hey Ali! Love the photo page of Chris and Anna! And, I agree, the scallops are a great subtle but elegant accent. Lots of inspiration! Thanks!
    We are counting down to our Autism Fundraiser Crop on April 25th. Can’t wait! Happy Autism Awareness Day!

  • 18.
    Jessica said…

    I did not realize that your son has autism. I just read a great fictional book entitled ” The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon. The author has spent years working with autistic children and the book is from the viewpoint of an autistic boy. It was very insightful into how an autistic child processes information and what their world is like. I highly recommend it.

  • 19.
    zigszoo said…

    Amazing pages Ali. I love the full picture background!
    Blessings to you and your family!

  • 20.
    sarbear said…

    Ali, thanks so much for the inspiring pages, and for the digital kit to benefit Autism Speaks. You have inspired me to journal about my own expereince as a mom with a little boy with autism on my blog. Thanks.

  • 21.
    s a n s k u :) said…

    What font did you use in the happy birthday hero blog thingy? I love it.

  • 22.
    ~KellyAnn~ said…

    Such gorgeous pages highlighting your precious family.
    Thanks for sharing your trials and triumphs with autism.

  • 23.
    Elena said…

    I didn’t realize it was today, so thanks for letting us all know! As a grad student in speech-language pathology it was really nice to read through some of your previous related entries. I love working with kids with Autism and their parents, but reading someone’s personal story is a whole other, really useful and enlightening thing. I’ve been reading for awhile and enjoy your blog! :) Thanks.

  • 24.
    Monica said…

    Hi Ali~
    I dedicated my Facebook page today to World Autism Awareness. Having been touched by Aspergers Syndrome with my five year old daughter, I plan to go back and read many of your journal entries about Simons process. Oh, and you are tempting me to start doing digital layouts, I love the look!

  • 25.
    Kathy F said…

    I loved your LOs! :) The one of Chris and Anna is beautiful..the pic is wonderful! :) I also love the 1st LO on your page of Simon. He is so sweet! :)

  • 26.
    pink sky said…

    beautiful pages. it is a journey, isn’t it. i too have a son with differences and i am reading a great parent focused book that helps celebrate the small triumphs and give a voice to the days you feel the defeats… it’s called The Elephant in the Playroom. xo

  • 27.
    Alicia King said…

    beautiful layouts Ali!

  • 28.

    On your scrapbook page where the you fill the page with the photo, how do you make the border white? I bought your monthly hand drawn borders like that and it’s black. Can I change the color?

  • 29.
    Rachel Pearson said…

    Love Simon’s beautiful smile! My son has Asperger traits – it’s rare when I get a smile on photos…you should be proud!

  • 30.
    Lusi :) said…

    Thanks for sharing all you do about autism Ali; it has helped us immensely with understanding our beautiful and often challenging 5yr old with HF Autism. I have spent many a night going through your ‘autism’ labelled posts and i can imagine i’m not the only person who has done that and been given much hope through your shares.
    Love your layouts :)
    Lusi x

  • 31.
    Debbie L. said…

    I knew you would have something special on your blog today. You are one of the best advocates for Autism research and funding! However, my home state of Missouri is embarrassed today. Here is a link to a local newspaper update about an Autism bill that was returned to its originating committee.

  • 32.
    Krissy said…

    Let me start by saying, what an absolutely beautiful black and white layout. I have never even attempted to scrap digitally, but yesterday I purchased the Songbird package and am going to give it a try. As an educator of young students with autism, I realize and I know you do to that these are magnificent little people and my life would be less blessed without them. Thanks for always sharing your insight and devotion.

  • 33.
    Maggie said…

    Every thought about some journaling spots your husband fills in…about you, the baby? His voice seems missing from your family layouts…reminds me I need to do the same!
    LOVE the new touch to your header!

  • 34.
    Cassie said…

    Ali, the Executive Order creating the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)can be found here:

  • 35.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Good stuff isn’t it Cassie? Both Chris and Simon were there for the signing. Chris chaired the work-group that made the recommendations to the Gov.

  • 36.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I was actually just thinking about this today Maggie. I agree, his voice is missing. Need to rectify that.

  • 37.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Alicia – you can definitely change the color. In Photoshop make sure you have the layer selected and then go to Edit and click Fill. It will change the border/overlay to whatever color you have chosen in the color palette.

  • 38.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi – that came from the Hero site. I am sure they would be happy to tell you what it is over there :) .

  • 39.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Read it and definitely enjoyed it.

  • 40.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Wish I could be there again!

  • 41.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Thanks for letting me know :) .

  • 42.
    telisj said…

    Love your new digi-kit. I went to the site and am I reading it correctly? Only $8 for all of it? Can you only use the digi kit once? I’m new to digi-scrapping (bought just your product so far b/c I love it!)so the $8 for all those digi elements and templates seem like such a deal!
    Love your stuff! Can’t wait to take your BPS class this fall!

  • 43.
    TracyM said…

    Hi Ali,
    Your kit is so beautiful!
    Just ordered a couple of ToysRUs giftcards for Easter and they are also accepting donations to Autism Speaks.

  • 44.
    Evelyn said…

    Love the songbird ave kit I just purchased. Thank you; it’s lovely.

  • 45.
    Giorgi said…

    Hi Ali Could you please tell me what the blue paper is you have used and also where you got the scallops from (are they digita?)

  • 46.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Yep – $8 for everything and you can use it as many times as you want for personal scrapbooking.

  • 47.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Giorgi – today’s layouts are all digital and the elements all come with the special Bloom + Grow kit available at

  • 48.
    Giorgi said…

    Thanks Ali,
    I just purchased it. Hope you raise a lot for Autism.

  • 49.
    kris said…

    The layouts are really beautiful. Love the use of the scallops and especially the full sized pic of your baby girl. Adorable.

  • 50.
    hennyLee said…

    The Lord bless you, Simon.
    Thanks, Ali, for sharing about him with us all these years.

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