Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 7, 2009

Monday Mini Book: 3+1=4


It's been awhile since I last put a minibook together. I figured with the addition of Anna to our family it was about time to make a little 3+1=4 book to celebrate our family of 4.

Most supplies for this minibook came from Cocoa Daisy's kits (the main kit + the add-ons) this month that included many of my favorite number and alphabet products. Additional supplies include Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Paint in Sable Brown and Hambly's Little Circles Metallic Silver Overlay

Here's a look into my process:

After letting the brown paint dry on the inside and outside of the Maya Road mini album I attached the K&Company fabric number brads to the cover and rubbed-on the ruler lines from Maya Road.

This Maya Road mini album used here comes with four tabbed chipboard pages and four envelope pages. 


I covered the four chipboard pages with a patterned paper on one side and photos on the other.


I looked for photos that had at least three or all four of us together. It ended up working out just right to have two with all of us and one each of me and Chris with the kids. For covering these pages with pattern paper and photos I use a glue stick and a xacto knife to cut off the excess around the chipboard.


For a little something different I cut each of the envelopes and stuck
a piece of Hambly transparency inside to create a new page.


In addition to the transparency I slipped one of the journaling cards that came with the kit into the pocket.


On the back I cut a domino from the Graphic 45 pattern paper (each one had 4 dots) and adhered it to the seam.

As a finishing touch, before adding a quote by hand on the back, I did a zig zag stitch with my machine in red across the seam. For more simple stitching ideas check out my article with ten layout examples in the October issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.


I did the same thing for the vertical envelopes using the journaling cards and dominoes. After getting all those base pages set up I was ready to add some more 4's to the album as accents.

To each of the patterned paper chipboard pages I added a circle and a number 4.


Here's a look at the completed book with hand-written quotes about life and family:


Each of the tabbed pages ended up with a word on the tab: Mother, Father, child, and baby.







I also added a bit of paint around each of the chipboard pages to finish them off.


Simplify 101 has two workshops starting in September. Organizing 101 begins September 8th and Organize Your Closet begins on Sept. 22nd. This is a brand new workshop and just $20 – a great price point for people who want to give an online organizing workshop a try. 


Today Renee Pearson is kicking off her official "Super Colossal Back to School Digital Event Thingie!" at This week long event begins today at 9am Pacific and includes a new goodie bag each day with digital freebies and live chats with Cathy Zielske, Tiffany Tillman, Ali Edwards (Thursday at 5pm Pacific) and ot
hers. Visit the site to register to win one of the Prize Packs, a daily Grand Prize and the Super Colossal grand prize: a brand spanking new Epson Style Photo R1900 printer. Daily grand prizes from Wacom, Corel, Scrapper's Guide, PerAnnum, Big Picture Scrapbooking (a spot in Ali's Yesterday & Today class) and Unibind. Find out more at


  • 1.
    Robyn said…

    Very cool, what a lucky family to have a mom that puts all this work into keeping such awesome records.

  • 2.
    stephanie said…

    great to see another mini from you :)

  • 3.
    Elise Blaha said…

    love this ali. such a fun kit.

  • 4.
    Stephanie said…

    Wow ! Just beautiful, and yet so simple… Love your work, it’s so inspiring !

  • 5.
    Linda G. said…

    Hi Ali,
    I LOVE this mini album. Keep posting – you inspire me every single day!

  • 6.
    Cel C. said…

    This is really pretty. I should really make a mini again.

  • 7.
    Katya said…

    How beautiful. I would like to have it! Fell in love with your work. Your writings and thoughts inspire me!

  • 8.
    Monica said…

    I alway love your mini albums. Thanks for share your creativity and family with us! ;)

  • 9.
    CindyS said…

    Wish I had your visions, just keep yours coming ok!
    I have those mini albums and was wondering what to do with the envelope pages. Cool idea. I don’t want to get out my machine so I’ll just cut with pinking shears and use a maker to highlight the edges or maybe distress ink them.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  • 10.
    Rachel said…

    This looks fabulous Ali. I’ve never been much of a mini book maker, but you always inspire me!

  • 11.

    I love this idea Ali. Thanks for sharing. I especially loved how you tied the number 4 into it and the transparency pages idea.

  • 12.
    Sue said…

    As always, AWESOME WORK ALI! Thanks for sharing.

  • 13.

    Loving this mini-book! You got me started with my Mini-book frenzy (a good thing!) from a class I took with you a few years ago! Glad to see more :) ~Heidi Y

  • 14.
    Lindsay Bateman said…

    Awesome mini album! SO SO fun! Truly inspiring! :)
    Thank you for sharing such a great look into one of your latest creations!

  • 15.
    Meghann said…

    Fab mini book, Ali. Looking forward to doing a 2+1=3 someday!

  • 16.
    Andi Sexton said…

    Super Mini! Love the glue stick tip for the photos…
    OK.. A question.. Am I ‘seeing this right’ that the stitching actually goes through the journal cards that are in the envies, so, the journal cards are for ‘looks’ rather than journaling on???? Just checking!!!

  • 17.
    Kelly in Canada said…

    Hi Ali,
    I love this little book; you make it all look so simple and I totally love that. Anyway, I”ll second the person who wrote “keep posting” because you are a wonderful inspiration for all of the memory keepers and family girls among us.

  • 18.
    Gina said…

    Loving that little mini book. So helpful to see each page and how it was put together. I am always waiting for that big chunk of time to work on a project and never get it! I know it’s better to do a little here, a little there, but then I get distracted and the project never gets done! This one looks quick and easy, but can you figure out how much time you think it took you total? As always, thanks for the inspiration!

  • 19.
    Amy said…

    That is just darling! Thanks for sharing.

  • 20.
    The Paper Life said…

    Wow Ali!!! such a great piece of your life right now! You will cherish this one for sure!
    Amy Coon

  • 21.
    Jessica Stoops said…

    Your mini books rock. What did you use for the circles that you put the fours on? Where did you find your quotes? Did you do a lot of journaling,too ? Thanks for sharing.It also be a could used summer album as well.
    Congratulations on your family of 4!

  • 22.
    C@rol said…

    I love the simplistic style you have. Always just enough design elements for interest, and they never distract from the photos.
    I’d love to own some of those awesome envelopes. I like the interesting curve of the flap closure. Neat, neat, neat!

  • 23.
    Joy Buss said…

    ohhhh! I am feeling the itch to do another mini book! Thanks for the wonderful ideas and inspiration. So cool!

  • 24.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Yes :) . I stitched all the way through making it for decoration instead of something to pull out.

  • 25.
    Deb said…

    So fun to see a minibook, Ali-style. I love it. I’m inspired by your envelope pockets with the transparencies! Thanks for sharing this. :o )

  • 26.
    Loretta Artful Yogi said…

    This mini book is so fabulous, Ali. Great job. Love the same 3+1=4 theme on your 12 x 12 layout in the new CK as well. Thanks, too for the sewing tips in the new CK. So many god tips in there. Love the depth of the article.
    Thanks for staying so productive with all your responsibilities and interests. So inspiring.

  • 27.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I did do it over the course of a few days, adhereing the papers first, then printing the photos, then painting (and letting dry), and then finally doing the rest of the construction and adding the words. Maybe six hours total? Hard to tell – I am definitely a fan of breaking it up (pretty much have to be these days).

  • 28.
    RachelM said…

    I really love this mini book. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • 29.
    Ali Edwards said…

    The circles are stickers from a package from Tim Holtz called Salvage Stickers (part of this add-on to the main kit: The quotes came from my own collection that have come from various sources over time. You can see a bunch of my favorites here: /collected-quotes.html
    I didn’t do a lot of journaling in this more. It’s more of a little celebratory album :) .

  • 30.
    Kim Hacking said…

    Perfectly perfect Ali!

  • 31.
    Bluebelle said…

    This is so lovely, what a cute little book!

  • 32.
    Helen said…

    beautiful book, ali, love seeing new mini books of yours :)

  • 33.
    MAMay said…

    This book is perfect for a project I had in mind. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 34.

    Very cool. I have all boys and to think of adding them up…that is really fun.
    Great job on the tricky sewing as well, my favorite tool in my workspace is my pfaff. I am sure my grandma would freak about how I use it, it is so cool and expensive, but I do use it a LOT!
    You are such a fun girl to visit in blog-land. Thank you for all you share, your transparency and realness is infectious!!!

  • 35.
    Sara R. said…

    Love this little album!

  • 36.
    Kate said…

    Very cute book … loved all the creative ideas and the concept! Thanks for sharing.

  • 37.
    Liz Ness said…

    Okay. Besides being a photo junkie (Paolo’s term for me, LOL), I’m a total number geek! LOVE this mini. Love how you’ve used the numbers/elements. I’m just always so drawn to your style. Plus, what a great way to capture this awesome evolution in your family!
    =) Liz

  • 38.
    Linda Carter said…

    Where did you get the envelopes? I really like using envelopes, but have never found any quite like those.

  • 39.
    Ali said…

    They are a part of the Maya Road minibook (came in the package).

  • 40.

    now i NEED that maya road book!!! you RAWKED it!!!!

  • 41.
    Amy said…

    You are such an inspiration Alie. Love your ideas and your design style. I plan to try this one myself. Need to look at my list of upcoming birthdays and celebration to see who might get one made in their honor! Thank you so much!

  • 42.
    Helen Tilbury said…

    What a lovely book. The way you have put it together is very appealing. I am getting the kit but not that add-on but will improvise as I have a few mini-albums just waiting for a project! It’s hard to imagine you without Anna now – she is such a sweetie ;-D

  • 43.
    Sasha said…

    cutest thing ever.

  • 44.
    Amy said…

    Love this album! TFS.

  • 45.
    Ingrid said…

    Classic Ali – clean, cool and fun. Thank YOU!

  • 46.
    ToneF said…

    I totally love this mini!!!
    Thanks for sharing :o )

  • 47.
    Joanne said…

    Hi Ali! Great mini album….I just purchased the kit from Cocoa Daisy last week and very excited to start working with all the products. This mini album has definitely inspired me to try one myself with the kit as we just had our 4th baby after many years of trying…my first son is now 6, and I’ve been trying to find a way to celebrate our new family of 4….thanks so much for all your fabulous ideas!!!

  • 48.
    Kim T. said…

    oh wow, this is amaaaaaaaaaziiiiiiiiiiing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 49.
    Kristl Fleed said…

    Oh, thank you for a great idea!! Just came home from my vacation in Karelia, have lots of photos and can’t wait to create mini books like this one for us and our friend :)
    and I really like this your mini book!

  • 50.
    Cheri said…

    Great album Ali! I’m looking forward to giving it a try! I was wondering what size photos you printed?
    Thanks for your never ending inspiration!

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