Stories Of Summer : Welcome + Introduction

I'm inspired. 

When I posted a call for Stories of Summer projects I was blown away by the emails I received. So many stories. Lovely projects. Super cool layouts. My hope for this series is to bring together a collection of ideas about documenting summer to inspire you to get out there

Over the next two and a half weeks you'll find posts full of summer inspiration: from writing to photography to painting to travel to special things to do with your family.

The series begins this week with posts that will inspire your thoughts and actions. Next week will be focused on minibooks and layouts - great ideas to help you simply, artfully and thoughtfully document your summer.

Thanks to all of you who submitted stories, layouts, photos and projects for these posts. You are appreciated.

Welcome to Stories of Summer.

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you had to choose one photo that expresses summer
which one of yours would you select?

To kick off this series I wanted to begin with some words + photos
from some very dear friends.

For the
last two summers, and coming up again this year, I have gathered
together with a group of 13 amazing women on the Oregon coast for a few
days of pure joy/camaraderie/inspiration/rejuvenation.

The first year we met most of us had never met in person. There was
risk involved in that initial meeting...the result has been nothing but
reward all around.
I invited each of them to share an image and a few words with you about summer


ANDREA JENKINS : With summer comes a
freedom so sweet you can practically taste it. Better even than the
first cherry snow cone of the season and as magic as the flickr of the
first lightning bug. Summer, she's my kind of girl.



BRENE BROWN : For our family summer is always
about unscheduling. We say "no" a lot. We let the kids stay up a little
longer and sleep late. We hang out with family. We go to the coast. We
live at the pool.
Our best days start like this: "What do you feel like doing today?"
Summer is our sabbath.



KAREN WALROND : There's a hike and bike trail
near my house that I try to take full advantage of. As it starts to get
warmer, I love noticing that the people who walk or race past me on
their bikes begin to smell like sunscreen. Since I grew up near the
ocean, the smell of sunscreen takes me right back to my childhood
summers in my Caribbean homeland, playing in the sand and in the waves,
making sandcastles on the beach, and generally having a great time all
day long without worrying about school or homework or any
responsibilities whatsoever.

It almost makes it worth the exercise.



At the beach-1

JEN LEMEN : From the time I was small, my best
summer memories were of sand and sun, showing up early and staying late
until the shadows grew long and we trudged home exhausted, sun-kissed
and oh so happy. Now that I'm all grownup, my best summers are the ones
that include trips to beach towns, the older the better. Load me up with
the towels, the boards, the stuff--I'll carry it all, just to see my
kids happy in the sun, then taking their rightful place on the
boardwalk, waiting for fresh lemonade and fries.

JEN : 


Lazy summer naps, visiting my family
in Maine, watching my husband Hugh relax... falling asleep on the couch
with piled up good books, fresh lemonade, lobster, sea air and lush
green all around.



Yellow slide

I love the way the city turns from gray
buildings and skies and black garb like a New York uniform into a canvas
of color. Flowers blooming on stoops, soft green leaves overhead,
sundresses and toe nail polish--it's a grand celebration of light and



Every summer we travel from Texas to New
York state to visit family. While we're there, every day is like this:
verdant, pastoral, and dreamy. I watch my kids fish and run wild and
feel honored to witness the moments that will someday comprise their
memories of summer.



KELLY RAE ROBERTS : What I love about
summer is the wide open road. Road trips, daydreams, camping in our VW
bus by the ocean, and soaking in the sunshine before it gets scooped up
again by the Oregon rains. There's nothing more defining for me about absolute favorite time of year.


Sand castle_400

Low tide, drip castles, beachcombing and soft
afternoon light that lasts well into evening are among my favorite
summer stories.




JEN GRAY : One of my biggest summer
loves is the time I get to spend digging through
the gardens...I am so madly curious about every single little thing
and the wonder of it all, that I often go hours without coming
up for air...And to finish a day of gardening with a violet mint
salad, a glass of wine, the man I love, and our nightly quest to spot
first fireflies of the year ~ well, I just can't imagine anything



I was born in Brazil where summer is a huge part of
our lives. Summer is heat, ocean, palm trees, white sand, tanned bodies,
time spent on a small fishing village, fresh oysters, caipirinhas,
coconut water, carnaval, capoeira, surfing, dancing the night away under
the stars... Even after living in the US for more than 15 years, I
still long for summer as I know it. The good thing though, is that on a
good year I can catch summer in San Francisco in July (actually more
like September!) and summer in Rio in December. But no matter where I
am, summer energy is always dynamic, uplifting and contagious.
Definitely one of my favorite times of the year!


LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENT : Join Cocoa Daisy for their first ever Warehouse Sale the weekend of June 26th and 27th from 9am-4pm. You’ll find amazing deals on Cocoa Daisy kits and other scrapbook supplies. You can find additional information here.

18 thoughts

  1. dawn

    2010-06-21 01:38:20 -0400

    I love all the photos so much inspiration. Tonight when kids are in bed it will be nice to read all these blogs. Now I'm off to make summer memories with my kids. This is going to be a great two weeks Ali, thanks for inspiring us.

  2. {vicki}

    2010-06-21 02:01:58 -0400

    To me summer means.........NO SCHOOL

  3. yolanda

    2010-06-21 02:44:07 -0400

    What lovely photos and stories, thank you ladies for sharing them with us! I love the sleepy, non-scheduled days of summer - each morning is a brand new adventure just waiting to happen. :)

  4. Cheryl

    2010-06-21 02:44:13 -0400

    This is amazing. Beautiful. Thank you.

  5. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams

    2010-06-21 02:57:48 -0400

    Love these photos + phrases...I'll be thinking about my own stories of summer.

  6. Vicky

    2010-06-21 03:03:17 -0400

    Ali: I'm looking so forward to the next two weeks with you! I love the unscheduled days of summer with my kids. I also love seeing summer through their eyes. It helps me to discover the world all over again. Now, off to the pool for swim lessons!

  7. Rani

    2010-06-21 03:53:40 -0400

    Gorgeous photos! ANd I appreciate all the links! Going to get my summer on!

  8. Maria Ontiveros

    2010-06-21 04:06:24 -0400

    As a kid, to me, summer meant taking the bus to the beach and hanging out at the shack at the park. I love watching my daughter go to Jr. Guards at the beach each day - experiencing a fantastic recreation program and coming home sandy, wet and happy.

  9. Lindsay

    2010-06-21 04:22:24 -0400

    Such perfect timing as today is our first day of summer vacation. Defin. inspiring me and ideas are already running thru my head for the summer. I am already remembering things I used to do as a childhood and am going to run straight upstairs to get my notebook to record them for future pages. Thank you for starting the summer off right!!

  10. Deana Birks

    2010-06-21 04:50:16 -0400

    This is all so beautiful. It definitely has me thinking about what I love about summer (so much! and I'm not really a summer person) and reminded me of things I hadn't thought of in years (bicycles with baskets, the way I used to watch my grandparents garden...)

  11. tania smith

    2010-06-21 05:05:34 -0400

    Totally inspiring! I made a toasted bagel with cream cheese and fresh sliced strawberries on it for breakfast this morning. It made me think that it won't be long until I can do that with our own strawberry planters harvest. It was such a good start to my summer to munch breakfast and enjoy your summer kick off post today. Happy summer Ali.

  12. Kelly Dowler

    2010-06-21 05:32:41 -0400

    Happy first "official" day of summer!! Enjoy.. keep those cameras clckin' ! Beautiful pics!!

  13. Jana

    2010-06-21 07:20:52 -0400

    Great photos & stories about summer! We returned last week from our first backpacking trip in about 30 years, touring Oregon, discovering SNOW everywhere we went, but loving the lack of agenda - when we had to turn around 'cause of snow, we just pulled out the map & picked a new destination! Fun to see places we hadn't discovered yet in our own state (we're Oregon natives). I was also very thrilled I was able to keep up with our 21 yr. old daughter... Fabulous way to start summer after her finals and before she had to start her summer job :).

  14. iHanna

    2010-06-21 09:29:39 -0400

    Beautiful photos and words! I need to define what summer is about for me, and let it start!

  15. dawn

    2010-06-21 10:22:35 -0400

    THIS IS FANTASTIC and I'm SO SUPER excited!!!!
    Thank you!

  16. Liz Ness

    2010-06-21 12:53:24 -0400

    With all of our grey weather, I haven't been feeling very Summery. So, it was a great treat to see your beautiful blog, full of wonderful, sunny, happy Summer! Thanks so much to you and your contributors for reminding me what Summer is all about!
    HUGS! =)

  17. ~M~

    2010-06-21 21:56:32 -0400

    This is really great Ali, I have always thought of myself as a person who really dislikes summer. But reading these has brought back memories of my childhood when summer was a happy time.

  18. Johanna Hörrmann

    2010-06-23 02:16:04 -0400

    These beautiful photos inspired me to group together some of my own summer love snaps:
    I already love your story of summer feature, this truly is my favorite season. Ah, the heat!

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