Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 28, 2010

Stories Of Summer : The Elements of Summer MiniBook By Molly Irwin

AE_StoriesOfSummerBlueLogo_Small<br />

Book at beach

When it comes to summer I don’t want to spend time indoors on the computer, or make detailed layouts. My goal is to pay homage to the season in a meaningful way with less screen; more sun.

Part journal, part sketchbook, part photo essay, this 4”x 6” ring book came together quickly and effortlessly; possibly one of the most optimistic projects I’ve crafted in some time. It isn’t intended to be a comprehensive story, but an emotive, sensory piece designed to incorporate current interests and influences. All in good fun.


I was going for a certain texture and matt finish for the materials. There’s a simple, but not entirely inexpensive, bunch of supplies:

Book cover

Insdie front

Book sprinklers

Book plants

Book water

Journaling card

Book sun

My content is structured viewing summer primarily through three elements: sun, water and plants, with an introduction section for each. I’ll insert favorite photos and notes behind each section however they feel right to me. It won’t be chronological.

If you’d like to print the simple journaling cards, here is a link to a PDF file :
Download MollyIrwin_SummerSensesCards. You can print 3 cards per 8.5” x 11”sheet and cut them apart.

Tucked in my bag, with a sharpie and a set of watercolors, I can make notes and sketches along the way wherever this summer finds me.

I hope summer leads you somewhere exceptional, even if your own backyard.

If you’re interested, there’s a companion piece on my blog today on specific inspirations and how they influenced this project.



  • 1.
    Lee Currie said…

    As always, Molly provides such wonderful and thoughtful inspiration. I am looking forward to incorporating some of these creative ideas in my album this summer! Thanks to you both :)

  • 2.
    Jane Toft said…

    So beautiful, so Molly! I just love the colour combinations on the cover of the album, which are then repeated individually for each of the section dividers. I’m reaching for those watercolours now… :)

  • 3.
    Monika Wright said…

    You knocked it out of the park, Molly. I first found your work through browsing Ali’s December Daily Flickr page and visit your blog often for your thought-provoking posts and amazing projects. I love that you combine your talent for art with the graphics of the computer kind. Whatever you do is always amazing!

  • 4.
    ale said…

    i love this!!! simply beautiful.
    but i’m curious about the font – is it avenir?
    thank you, ali and molly!!!
    =^ . ^=

  • 5.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Thank you, Ale. The font is Avenir.

  • 6.
    melanie said…

    I’m so happy to see this wonderful little book featured here Molly- it’s beautiful. I love how you keep it simple but at the same time fresh and interesting. Love it!!

  • 7.
    dawn said…

    This is truly wonderful. I visit your blog often too when I found you during Ali’s recent week in the life project. I love your blog and you are talented and have great ideas. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • 8.
    Theresa said…

    I love this! I have never used watercolors before and I just might have to try….

  • 9.
    gastoryteller said…

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I wonder if I could use my chalks and a watercolor pen/brush to create the same thing…….

  • 10.
    sharna said…

    Molly-this is a beautiful project-thanks so much for sharing it!

  • 11.
    Grace said…

    Molly, this is gorgeous!

  • 12.

    printing these out and doing this now!

  • 13.
    Icecat62 said…

    This is a really cool idea! I love to paint, so this would be a good excuse to break out my old supplies. :)

  • 14.
    LIz N. said…

    A quick tip: I’ve done a couple of 4×6 mini albums like this – I purchased a 2 hole punch from Office Depot to make the holes. It punches right through the thickest of papers + photos and all your punches will stay in register because of the pull out alignment bar. $9.99 totally worth it. Note: your hole punches would be closer together than how she did it (with I’m guessing a hand punch).

  • 15.

    This is just beautiful. Love the new take on a scrapbook. And the thought that goes into it.

  • 16.
    Joyce said…

    I just LOOOOOVE it! What an inspiration, and I have everything on hand already. Thank you Molly. Thank you Ali!

  • 17.
    Tona said…

    I love this project! Fantastic job!

  • 18.
    Scrapycandy said…

    This is the best mini-album I’ve ever seen. I am so into paint these days…and I am sooo inspired! Thank you.

  • 19.
    Jamie said…

    So Inspiring Molly! (as always!) I need to break out my watercolors for my summer journal. Working on watercolor paper is always so lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  • 20.
    Jana said…

    What a great little book! I’m wanting to make a blank watercolor sketch book from papers I already have – think this might be what I try. I like the idea of having the papers together, but loose enough they can be folded back on themselves & the book can be opened all the way. Thank you for your clear & lovely design!

  • 21.
    Molly Irwin said…

    good idea! I actually used a heavy-duty 3-hole punch that went through the chipboard cover. This only reached/needed 2-holes.

  • 22.
    lori said…

    yes, i too found molly’s blog thru the ali’s inspired daily december album. i love, love, love the summer watercolor album. you are really too creative molly :)

  • 23.
    Yolanda said…

    Gorgeous, thoughtful project, Molly. Such a big fan of the artful way you tell your stories.

  • 24.
    iHanna said…

    What a beautiful book you’ve created. Love your watercolour drawings and words. :-)

  • 25.
    Melissa Deakin said…

    you are just amazing, molly.
    what a wonderful tribute to summer in your beautiful, graphic style.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  • 26.
    Melissa Deakin said…

    you are just amazing, molly.
    what a wonderful tribute to summer in your beautiful, graphic style.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  • 27.
    Melissa Deakin said…

    you are just amazing, molly.
    what a wonderful tribute to summer in your beautiful, graphic style.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  • 28.
    Melissa Deakin said…

    you are just amazing, molly.
    what a wonderful tribute to summer in your beautiful, graphic style.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  • 29.
    EmmaJ said…

    This is beautiful! I love it!

  • 30.
    Juanita said…

    As always, Molly, you inspire. Thanks for sharing.

  • 31.
    kathy said…

    Molly I think you’ve outdone yourself yet again. I love the simplicity of it all and less screen more sun as sometimes we get caught up trying to document life we end up away from life at the computer screen. I love the book and your inspiration. Thanks for sharing. Australia

  • 32.
    kareen said…

    Love the use of watercolors!

  • 33.
    Bev said…

    Molly….what a great idea and love the “don’t blame yourself” and enjoy summer! We all need to be reminded. Thank you

  • 34.
    Jennifer said…

    I love the idea of making a mini album with watercolors, it screams summer!

  • 35.
    Amy said…

    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing it.

  • 36.
    Arlyna said…

    This is so very inspiring! I love the simplicity and the concept. We’ll hopefully I can also do something like this for our summer here though I’m still wondering what I can do with memory keeping as I only have weekends with our twins… :-/

  • 37.
    Arlyna said…

    Sorry for the follow-up but forgot to ask: Do you have a page a week or a page per event?

  • 38.
    Immi said…

    Love this! So doable.

  • 39.
    Carla said…

    Love, love, love, love this book! Thank you for sharing it. I’m doing my own this weekend!

  • 40.

    Such a great project! I wish I had the artistic ability to use watercolor. My 3 year old does it better than me, hey there’s an idea, have him do it…

  • 41.
    baby hair bows said…

    I just don’t seem to have that level of crafty DNA in me. But, you really inspired me, and now I want to add this to my list of things I want to make. Indeed, it is a piece of art in itself!

  • 42.
    Carrie Woosley said…

    This is a great mini album! I especially love how easy and fast it is to do! I have tons of pictures of summer that all seem to blend together in larger albums. This would be a fabulous idea to keep the events seperate and special!

  • 43.
    Ellie said…

    Oh I love this. My youngest son has to make a Scrapbook about his summer and the journal pages would be perfect for him to fill out (he’s going into 2nd) LOVE IT can’t wait to get started :)

  • 44.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Brenda, you would love it with his art work. My 4YO son does them regularly and I’m collecting quite the volume. Totally fun.

  • 45.
    Molly Irwin said…

    nothing structured whatsoever. If I like a photo it goes in. This is really a place to collect my favorite photos, with no set quota or time frame to meet.

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