Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

July 13, 2010

On My Desk


On my desk right now is this little minibook.

It's one of those projects-in-progress. It's actually been sitting on my table for at least a month and has already lived a variety of lives. When I first started it I thought it would be a minibook about siblings.
It's current incarnation is as a minibook celebrating "love" in general, and more specifically a bit about the love I'm feeling for my family right now.

The pattern papers are adhered. All but one of the photos have been placed. The accent word-art tags have been printed and adhered. A few other embellishments are in place.

What's missing are the words.

More and more these days I don't want to make something unless I feel like it's meaningful. We each have our own definition of what's meaningful in our scrapbooks and paper crafting projects. I want the words I add to be of substance, to say something beyond "I love you." I'm finding myself waiting for the "right" words rather than just getting some simple words of love written down and adhered. 

The less I scrapbook, the more I feel this way. 

I think for this book I am going to write sentences for each person that begin with the phrase "I love you today because…" I want to capture the current things I love about each one of them: the quirks, the silly phrases, the inside jokes, the way they are approaching challenges, the foods they can't get enough of, their most immediate joys.

I want to say "I love you" in a more specific way; in a way that captures a bit of what I am loving about them right now.

I love having a path forward. Back to work.


The album I'm using for this project is a Pink Paislee 4×8 Natural Artisan Canvas Album and is available at both Two Peas and
Butterfly rub on is from Jenni Bowlin. Word art designed by me can be purchased through Designer Digitals.


  • 1.
    Jennifer Henson said…

    I like the way you scrapbook or tell stories with a purpose/direction instead of just taking photos to take them or making a book without the story in mind. You remind me to think about my purpose with my scrapbooks. Thank you. Also-love the yellows! :)

  • 2.
    Leanne said…

    Oh, Ali, what a lovely lovely book. The whole idea of “I love you today because . . . ” warms my heart, it’s something I might have to do.
    I have been feeling the need to only do meaningful projects this year – and while it’s what motivates me, it also leaves me a bit overwhelmed at the list of “to-scrapbook” items I have hanging over me. Ah, well…thanks for the inspiration you continue to provide!

  • 3.
    dawn said…

    This idea is wonderful and thoughtful. I love how you wait to do a project and think it thru so it’s just right for what your feeling. I love this idea and it would make your kids and family feel so special after reading it. Thank you again for your inspirations. Mini albums are a favorite of mine.

  • 4.
    susan said…

    I love this idea! I too feel the need to make my journaling meaningful and sometimes I struggle with just the right words!

  • 5.
    TatumW said…

    I so hear you…I have just been sitting at my desk pondering a similar thing about the whole pushing paper part being pointless without adding the meaningful stories behind it…thankyou so much for sharing your perspectve and meaning with us always! Tatum xx

  • 6.
    Elizabeth Carls said…

    I really love the idea of mini books for capturing our stories, they’re so tangible and easily shared.

  • 7.
    Teresa said…

    So cute! Love the simplicity as always!

  • 8.
    Allyson Meyer said…

    This is so beautiful! I can’t wait to see the inside! :) What a great concept – I love this.

  • 9.
    Katie Pegher said…

    Ali – I LOVE the look of this!! Can’t wait to see the inside as well… How about that adorable button on top… Who makes that?

  • 10.
    Molly Irwin said…

    I feel that way too. I thought it had to do with my age. I sense the importance of passing time more now than ever.

  • 11.
    ale said…

    ali, reading your blog (and being your student at “yesterday & today”) is making me see scrapbooking in a different way. i was always worried about not having the perfect embellishments to make my scrapbooks. but not anymore. thank you soooo much!!!
    =^ . ^=

  • 12.
    Sarah said…

    That sounds lovely. One of these days… I hope to make a meaningful scrapbook like that, too.

  • 13.
    Susan Bowers said…

    ohh lovely, I can’t wait to see it. my own stories of summer album is coming along…keeping it up dated on my blog. thanks for sharing all that you do.

  • 14.
    tara pakosta said…

    Ali, I seem to be having that same thought lately. I have barely scrapbooked anything in the past 9 months! In fact, I haven’t even printed ONE SINGLE photo from 2010, and usually I have printed at least 1,000 or more by now! I find I just don’t want to scrapbook anything unless it’s telling a story or saying something, rather than what I used to do , which was make a pretty page.I think I have definately switched to making Life Journals rather than big pages too….but I will see where it goes once all my big pages are organized into albums, which could take years!
    thanks for inspiring! tara

  • 15.
    TracyBzz said…

    Ali ~ I love each thing you do more than the last. I am right there with you on the journaling. I have gotten into ‘story’ mode more and more instead of ‘caption’ mode.

  • 16.
    Karen G said…

    I can always tell which pages I journaled with intent and which ones I journaled to get done. And of course, my heart resides in the ones with intent. I like your idea of havnig a jumping off point for each page, particularly in a mini book.
    My own scrapping is changing and I’m just not sure where I’m going with it. So, in terms of docummenting my family & our journey, I suppose I am still looking for that path to move forward on. I can handle life’s deviations, twists & turns, but its nice to have ground to place a foot on to start down the road with.

  • 17.
    Debbie N said…

    You are becoming a writer more than a scrapbooker…I like the term Life Journals that Tara used.
    I think a lot of us are moving to writers who embellish the story with pictures and pretty things…and it is so much more rewarding than cranking out a 2 page spread with a title and bunch of cute meaningless pictures.
    I have noticed that I am moving to quality over quantity…and that is a good thing.

  • 18.
    Danielle said…

    Beautiful! I love the “I love you today because…” what a beautiful sentiment

  • 19.
    dawn said…

    I forgot to ask earlier Ali, how many pictures did you take on vacation? I’m thinking it was a lot because of the beautiful places you saw. Thanks

  • 20.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Over a thousand :) .

  • 21.
    keri said…

    this is such a great project. and one i can hopefully do for myself. right now, we’re going through a challenging time with my son. just the usual definance, testing his limits, seeing how much he can get away with, but day after day, week after week it’s been getting very tiring and our patience is starting to wear thin. this project would be great to help me keep things in perspective. thank you for such a wonderful idea.

  • 22.
    LisaZ said…

    Adorable mini-book! I’ll have to put that one on my wish list!
    Thanks, Ali!!

  • 23.
    Michele H. said…

    Beautiful cover! I can’t wait to see the rest.
    I’ve been feeling this way too. I’m finding that i’m loving my photos more and more on their own with a few accents that compliment them.

  • 24.
    Dori said…

    My 9-year-old granddaughter stayed with us for a week last month (between the end of the school year and the start of her summer camp) and I have a ton of photos that I want to turn into a special gift album for her mom. I’ve been really stumped about how to describe each photo to let her mom know just how precious our time together was – until I read your post today. All of the photos are sorted by date and I will begin each sentence with “I love you today because”. How perfect for my album! Ali, it’s times like these I feel like I should be sending you a tuition check, ha! Thank you so much for always providing the loving inspiration I need. And welcome home!

  • 25.
    Lisa said…

    I couldn’t agree more, Ali. Time is so precious. The more I appreciate this, the more selective I have become in choosing what to document, which stories to tell, and which projects to undertake. Thanks for sharing!

  • 26.
    Miriam said…

    I’m so with you there Ali about making journalling more meaningful, its what I want to aim for too.

  • 27.
    Amy said…

    LOVE the look of this. Makes me want to create one right now but with three small children I can’t seem to find the time. I will have to store the idea for later. Thanks so much for the creative ideas you share. Love your work so much.

  • 28.
    dawn said…

    That’s great I know you may not use them all but I can’t wait to see what you do with the ones you keep.

  • 29.
    dawn said…

    Hi Keri,
    Couldn’t help but notice your comment about your son. We are going thru the same here with our son. It’s hard being on summer break and home with his older sisters. The fun of summer is already getting bored for them and now their is daily bickering going on and they all want to do different things at different times. I need this book to help remind me of the rare but special times they are getting along. Good luck with your son and have a happy summer.

  • 30.
    cat123 said…

    I love this idea and this so lovely, lovely book !!!! so sweet !!!

  • 31.
    June W said…

    I have lots of pages done with photos and embellishments but no words. I sometimes get stuck trying to tell the story. I like the idea of it being more a life journal more than just journaling to get the pages done. Thank you for your blog…I so enjoy stopping by each day.

  • 32.
    Be(e) said…

    Oh my, Ali!!! This looks wonderful! This appeals to me in it’s simplicity, it’s colors and it’s theme! Can’t wait to see more of it! :)

  • 33.
    Amanda said…

    What a great project, thank you, as always, for sharing! The free download is great, I am going to print it out and use it this week and make a project from that.

  • 34.
    Wendy T said…

    This is just a beautiful project. Thank you for sharing your completed project and the free templates!

  • 35.
    Wendy T said…

    This is just a beautiful project. Thank you for sharing your completed project and the free templates!

  • 36.
    Wendy T said…

    This is just a beautiful project. Thank you for sharing your completed project and the free templates!

  • 37.
    Wendy T said…

    This is just a beautiful project. Thank you for sharing your completed project and the free templates!

  • 38.
    Lacey said…

    Hi Ali- :)
    Just wondering about how you printed out your photo sizes? Did you create a new canvas (8×10?) and moved (2) 4×8′s cropped sizes onto the canvas, printing the 2 images at the same time? I’m doing an album featuring all of our trips to our college football games, and using the WRMK’s photo sleeves…making special sizes are def. costly! LOL but, I try to make a few images fit onto one size.
    ps-meeting you and taking your class at Bliss has definately changed the way I want to scrapbook. I am still into the latest and greatest, and designing but there are alot of stories I want to tell, and your simple style of photos and words, have really inspired me…and taken the pressure off of me (that I put onto myself) to make my layouts trendy and cool. :) :) :)

  • 39.
    patsy said…

    I went back over my old scrapbooks to attach stories to the pictures. My son who is 15 now loves to go through it and remember. he actually wants to bring his scrapbooks and show his classmates! Patsy from

  • 40.
    Christina said…

    Wonderful book of love!!! You have changed the way I scrap. I am so glad I found you!!! My goal was to make more meaningful albums and then you came into my life!! sound corny I know but so true!!
    I have a question. Yesterday I tried using one of your handrawn story journal blocks on a photo. Just like you did on a 3 photos of Anna that you share with us. You added “today you” directly on the photo and then did your journalling. But I don’t know how to get a white background. I have the png file on the photo but the background it transparent. How do I change it to white so I can write on it and it will be legiable.
    thanks again.

  • 41.
    Lori said…

    the yellow is so cheery. what a great mini album. as always – love it!

  • 42.
    Lisa said…

    Oh my that is gorgous…I have always had a heart for mini books. They are simple and just quick and you can use little cute embellishments to decorate. AND of course your work is always my inspiration Ali…you do have a beautiful talent for this thing we call scrapbooking. Today I need to take some time to actually do some scrapbooking.

  • 43.
    Julie said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’ve been trying to find a contact form somewhere on your site, but with no luck.
    Anyway, I downloaded CK Alis Hand Official and when I use it in my Word program (I’m on a Mac), The tops and bottoms of many of the letters are cut off. Any suggestions or help you might be able to offer?
    Thanks very much,
    julierallen at me dot com

  • 44.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Lacey – I just cropped the photo to 8×4 and then printed it on an 8.5×11. I could have fit two on one sheet but I didn’t work on it all at the same time. Loved seeing you Lacey :) .

  • 45.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Christina. Use the “rectangle tool” to draw a white block behind the overlay.

  • 46.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hmmm, not sure why that would be happening. It’s possible that your text box is too small vs. the size you are wanting to have the text (so the text box is cutting off the tops + bottoms of the letters). Have you tried using the font in another program?

  • 47.
    cheap jersey said…

    This minibook is quite suitable for the office lady or some artists. The texture of the cover make me feel comfortable. Anyway, I love it.

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