Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 2, 2011

Anna’s Baby Book | Thoughts, Images, & A Video Walk-Through

Peeking In

PLEASE NOTE: Most of my Memory Keeping Q&A posts are being presented on my main blog. I decided to put this post here on the Projects blog as it feels more at home here with the images and the video.

ANDI | I know Anna is 2 now but I was wondering if you ever did a baby book for her, you talked about it. I know that she will have her own set of books like Simon but I remember you saying that you didn’t like the “pre-made” ones that you find at the store. I didn’t buy one of those either and I was wondering what you scrapped and how you did it.

AE | I’m so glad you asked about this as it spurred me to pull out her album and see exactly what I had done with it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve looked through this album – I’ve added layouts here and there but have not actually taken the time to see what I have and what I don’t have.

Here’s the original post from April 2009 where I talked about my approach to this album. I mention that there is no master plan and there really wasn’t – which resulted in what I have here – a collection of stories from her first year of life along with some other bits and pieces I saved along the way.

Here’s some things that came to mind as I looked at what’s in the album right now:

  1. I know if I go back to my 2009 and 2010 photo folders I’ll find more stories I’d like to tell about Anna’s first year.
  2. I’m seriously thankful that I have stories told. I’m not upset that I don’t have every little thing documented. Many of the most detailed stories came from posts I did on my blog that document all the little things that were happening with her from month to month (not on a specific schedule necessarily, but enough to get a good picture of specific points during her first year).
  3. I like that I kept the well-baby visit handouts that include her weight and height.
  4. The pages are going to be re-organized in chronological order. For this post and video I just took pictures and did the walk-through “as-is” so you could see it just how it is off the shelf without being fixed up.
  5. I actually kinda like that I haven’t looked at it in awhile. Looking at it again over the last couple of days I have a new sense of excitement about getting some more pages done specifically for this book to round out the project. It’s a nice reminder that things can sit for awhile and all is not lost (and part of the reason it’s not totally lost is that I’ve got content to pull from in the form of stories I’ve posted on my blog).


After looking at what I have, here’s a list of layouts/elements I’d still like to add:

  1. A layout (or more than one) about our childcare and the relationship both my kids have with the people who make a big difference in our lives.
  2. Maybe a month-at-a-glance. Using a multi-photo layered template (like this one or this one or this one) I could easily go back into my monthly photo archives and grab photos from each month of her first year. I’ll share these as I do them.
  3. Title page/album intro.
  4. Gather up additional journaling I did on my blog and either create layouts or simply print out journaling pages similar to what I’ve done in Project Life using the Long Journalers.  This shouldn’t take too long as the posts about her are tagged as Anna (oh how I love that simple little organizational tool).
  5. I also found, as I was looking through my Designer Digitals gallery and putting this post together, that I have quite a few other pages completed that belong in this album (both paper and digital). I need to see if I printed the digital pages already (which I think I did) and either get them printed or move them from the 2009 or 2010 family albums. Pages like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.

Here’s a video where I walk you through what’s currently inside the album:

Ali Edwards | Anna Baby Book Walk-Through from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.


Here’s a look at the inside of this album via the lens of my camera with links to more information about specific layouts when available.


A divided page protector opens the album and includes the notice of her birth from the local paper, our bracelets, the hospital photos, her newborn hat, etc.

Birth Story

BIRTH STORY. A few of these pages were featured in my Studio A column in Creating Keepsakes magazine in November 2009 (and other Studio A columns throughout the second half of 2009). The theme of the article was using your own past pages as inspiration for new pages. I used a bunch of page designs I had created that told stories about Simon’s first few months as jumping off points for these pages about Anna.

Birth Story

The photo opens up to reveal her birth story.

Dad And Daughter

DAD AND DAUGHTER. Details about this digital layout can be found here. First featured in Creating Keepsakes Studio A column July 2009.

First Seven Days

FIRST SEVEN DAYS | THE JOURNEY BEGINS. I love this one. One of my favorites.



You = Love.

YOU = LOVE. Details about this layout can be found here. Words came from a blog post here.

Coming Home


Newborn Papers

HOSPITAL PAPERS. There’s a bunch of these sprinkled throughout the book.

Waiting For Baby

WAITING FOR BABY. This one will be moved forward in the album.

First Photo Print + Baby Music

DOCUMENTING THE TUNES. Details on the layout can be found here. The opposite image was the photo my Mom printed out for Simon to take to school to share the story of his new baby sister. Story blogged here.

From A Blog Post


The Story Of Cloth

THE STORY OF CLOTH. Content taken from this blog post.


GENERATIONS. One of my favorite kind of layouts that shows photos from now and then. A photo of me and a photo of her and then one of us. I shared the Me & Her image on my blog here.

Saving A Onsie

THE ONESIE. The binder clip is working just right at keeping it in place.


SWEET BABY. Details on this layout can be found here.

And The Greatest Of These

AND THE GREATEST OF THESE. From a Studio A column in 2009.



Well Baby Visits




Hello You

HELLO YOU. Photos of Grandparents first meeting Anna and Simon being so excited to have a sister.

Remember This

REMEMBER THIS. More details on this layout available here.

Planning. Dreaming.

PLANNING. DREAMING. Another page about getting ready for her arrival.

Ready To Go








3 Months


Journaling From A Blog Post

ANNA AT 11 MONTHS. Details on this layout can be found here.

Thanking God

THANKING GOD. More details on this layout available here.

At the back of the album right now I’ve got some additional notes and things I’d like to include either on layouts or simply just included in the album inside a page protector.

Wow. This has been quite a little journey for me and I’m feeling really thankful for the question that spurred me to take a closer look at this album. I also really have to emphasize how thankful I feel tonight that I’ve captured so many stories on my blog in the moment. Those are the stories I love so much – the ones that talk about what she’s doing, what I love about her at a certain stage, etc. Those are the kind of memories that are just that much more difficult to recollect as times passes.

This post is part of a 2011 Memory Keeping Q&A series. Additional posts in this series will be listed below as they are posted. Past Q&A posts are available via the Category Archives here.

Products | Photos | Inspiration | Motivation & Time | Anna’s Baby Album


  • 1.
    Anja said…

    Wow Ali, i LOVE it! Thanks so much for answering so very detailed to my question! I´m still working on my daughters first-year-album and i´m soooo very inspired now! Thank you so, so much!
    I´m really blown away… :)
    Take care!

  • 2.
    ELISA said…

    oh my gosh!!!! i love this album! so beautiful. my fav or yours so far!

  • 3.
    MelB said…

    Wow! What a beautiful album. I really need to get working on my twin girls albums, they are almost 20 months. I am currently sorting thru photos so this gives me some great ideas. :)

  • 4.
    Susie Leggett said…

    Awesome post Ali. Thanks for sharing.

  • 5.
    Cynthia said…

    Ali. It is so beautiful, so special and so artistic. What a document of love. I love your creativity….there is such a lightness about it, a sense of femininity and a telescopic look at such a wonderful moment. THANK YOU for sharing.

  • 6.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    oh ali, this is beautiful. thanks so much for sharing this!

  • 7.
    Tammy Davis said…

    Beautiful! One lucky little girl (and I am sure, one luckly little boy also!) Thanks so much for this inspiration! I will be having my first grandchild (a boy) next month (OH MY GOSH) Just next month! He will have a baby book similar to this. Thanks so much for the ideas. Maybe I need to start a blog!

  • 8.
    Andi R said…

    This this is awesome! Gave me some new ideas on what else to put in my son’s album. I have a onesie from my son’s birth as well, I like the idea with the clip. Thank you for sharing, it means alot! I’ve learned a lot from you over the years and I have learned to let it be, even if it isn’t perfect. Thank you, I read you everyday and you are ver inspiring! Thanks for answering my question.

  • 9.
    Michelle said…

    OH WOW! This is beautiful! I really wish I had kept up with my baby journaling- the days went by and now I don’t really remember much except that we had (and keep having) a lot of fun together. This is very inspirational- thank you.

  • 10.
    heidig said…

    Beautiful book! I love the addition of the onesie! It makes me a little sad that I didn’t scrapbook when my girls were young (they are now 18 and 21). And I love the picture of Anna at 11 mths wearing the one piece pink blanket sleeper. She looks just like her Mama! My girls wore those and I loved cuddling them when they wore them. Great memories!

  • 11.
    Mandy said…

    Okay, I’ll just say I love you! LOL. At first I was a little sad that I didn’t have this freedom when my babies were babies and I was feverishly working on their first years albums to do them perfectly. I giggled out loud when you, at the beginning of your video, just said flatly, “Really, I just don’t care.” I know what you mean, but that you do care so much about what matters. After that twinge of sadness, I got excited. You and Becky Higgins (with Project Life) have liberated me to just tell my stories. Use my pictures that I love – for no other reason that I love them. Make them huge or make them baseball card size and slip them in. To take pictures not just to document, but to capture an emotion and convey that emotion to someone else. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your life to inspire someone else to let go and just do it!

  • 12.
    Sara said…

    What a lovely baby book! A wonderful gift for Anna. Thanks for sharing and for going through it on video. Definitely a different experience to see it flipped through and to hear your thoughts.

  • 13.
    amy isley said…

    I absolutely love this album.

  • 14.
    SusanC said…

    Awesome! I just love all of the embellishments you use!

  • 15.
    andrea g said…

    seriously the most beautiful baby album ever.

  • 16.
    Karen said…

    What a wonderful book Ali!

  • 17.
    Peg said…

    So lovely Ali! What a great gift for your beautiful girlie! You know what I think will be cool about having the paperwork from the well-visits is not so much the stats about Anna, which are always nice, but think about her as a new mom looking at how we cared for babies in her childhood and imagine how different things might be! There might be some fun little tidbits in there even though everything seems perfectly reasonable in the today’s light. I watch Mad Men and I think about how they all drink and smoke and generally do a lot of stuff that we would NEVER do in this day and age. I’m sure there will be some tidbit like that for her!

  • 18.
    Jeni B. said…

    Really love that you took the time to page through Anna’s baby album on video for us! My baby is 8 months old now and I’m adding pages to his as I go. So helpful and such a beautiful album. Thanks!

  • 19.
    dawn said…

    Ali, this is so beautiful and sweet. I loved seeing her as a baby again and can’t believe she’s 2 already. How fast they grow. She will love looking at this when she’s older and be so happy you did this for her. Thanks for sharing.

  • 20.
    Krystyn said…

    Oh Ali…I wish I could send you all of my son’s stuff so you could put together an amazing album for him just like this one. Wow – I love it and only wish I had the time & resources to do this…I’ll have to try at least. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It’s really more about the words…focus on the words and the images. What do you want to say to him? What do you want him to know about who he is right now and how you feel about him…don’t worry about all the other stuff. Get to the heart of it.

  • 21.

    Oh I love this album! I took much the same approach for scrapping Kieran’s stories, but now I have ideas for even more things I can add. Like the tiny onesie, and the hospital papers. Thanks so much for sharing, I am officially inspired!

  • 22.
    Noelle said…

    Thank you for sharing! That is so beautiful! My baby is 10 months, and I’ve been working on her album as I go. I’ve decided now that in future I think I’ll use 3-ring albums instead of post-bound, but I’ll finish out her post-bound first album. I’ve not been keeping too much memoribilia. It’s not really my style. But I’ve got the photos and the stories. Maybe I’ll put her well-baby pamphlet that the dr. writes in each visit, into this when it’s all done. Now I have lots more ideas for pages in her book!

  • 23.
    elise said…

    so stunning Ali. Wow. Thanks for sharing all this.

  • 24.
    Leah Larson said…

    Amazing. It is just so beautiful. I love how simply artistic your pages are. I love how you tell stories. You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

  • 25.
    liz said…

    Seriously Ali? You are beyond amazing. This album is GORGEOUS! I love that you treat it like a working document that is constantly evolving.

    Thanks for pointing out that you draw content from blog posts tagged “Anna”. I have a “the world according to audrey” tag that I was considering deleting because that’s not a category that would interest readers. But you made me realize just now that it’s ok if the tags are there so I can pull them up easily. Thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thank you Liz – you should have seen just how happy I was last night when I clicked on “Anna” and was taken on a journey back through posts I’d written and not necessarily made into layouts. I was so, so happy for that tag :) .

  • 26.
    Tere said…

    Amazing. You are amazing Ali. I have 4 kids and no baby books (and probably limited memory) to show. It makes me sad that I didn’t take the time to do something for them then. Thank you for sharing your talents, you are inspiring and push me to do a better job now to document life.

  • 27.
    Debra said…

    This was one of the most inspiration posts I have ever seen for a baby album!!! It is gorgeous, and I love your easy-going attitude about it. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • 28.
    Stephanie Reid said…

    Aw, I love Anna’s album! I really like that your pages are all different sizes and that the album includes ephemera . Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 29.
    Debbie S. said…

    Gorgeous! Thanks for doing a video…really inspiring.

  • 30.
    Vicky said…

    Love this book – my daughter was adopted at 15 months and although she is well blessed with many scrapbook memories since then it still hurts that we don’t have those first 15 months to share with her.

  • 31.
    tetcy said…

    So cool! I’ve been reading your blog for all of Anna’s life and remember most of those layouts popping up. It makes me realize how much life has happened in our house this year too. Good times…

  • 32.
    {vicki} said…

    I absolutely loved this video! Thanks so much for sharing such detailed info…

    I especially LOVE how you share your journaling!

    I like the onsie page–I think that would look good with a clothes pin holding it in–as foar as the yellowing goes—I think baby clothes tend to do that over time. I had saved some of my son’s clothes that were not yellow when I stored them but they have yellowed some.

    I also save his check up papers from the doctor every year for the same reason as you—height and weight

    Thanks again for sharing with us!

  • 33.
    Susan said…

    Awesome memory book. You always amaze me with your creativity. On a side note: Something you said reminded me that I need to finish my Stories of Summer book 2010 – ‘and all is not lost’. Thanks for the reminder because I was just thinking that ooh here it is summer 2011 and I never really finished my summer 2010 album.

  • 34.
    sarah said…

    such a gorgeous book ali! i love that it’s not a “typical” book but that you add in someone typical stats in other ways (well baby check sheets, etc.).

    (also, i suspect the yellowing of the onsie might be a spit-up stain? it looks perfectly clean + stain free when first washed, but that spot yellows over time (spit-up =’s acid).)

  • 35.
    Kathy said…

    I love absolutely, everything about this album and am working on 2 similar ones for my grandsons! Just an FYI from someone who has seen memorabilia ruined by metal over the last 40+ years or so. Metal clips will leave rust marks on paper and fabric over time. Especially if you live in a humid area. (I’m in Fla.) I don’t know if plastic binder clips are available, but I have seen plastic paper clips and clothes pins that may work. Or possibly, enamel coated metal binder clips.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks for that FYI Kathy – appreciate that.

  • 36.

    I’ve always wondered how Anna’s book came together/ended up. My daughter is 21 months now, and I’m only about an 1/8 of the way through her album. Every time I read your posts or hear your videos about not sweating the small stuff, it really helps me! I tend to spend so much time resizing pictures, deciding what will go where, how pages will back up together. And then I see your album, love it, and realize, who cares what order it all happened in?! The point is getting the story told. THANK YOU for sharing!! Loved the video.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      yes – yes – yes!

  • 37.
    Sabrina said…

    Thanks Ali for sharing this. I’m expecting baby boy #2 in August and I’m totally lacking inspiration/creativity. This totally has me excited to get going on an album.

  • 38.
    Jo said…

    Oh Ali, what a lovely album filled with beautiful layouts and memories. Thanks for sharing it.

  • 39.
    Melissa said…

    The more photos on the blog, the better! (hint hint) Each photo of YOUR photos & stories is that much more inspiration for me to use with MY family. I don’t “copy” layouts (FWIW), but I like to see what others scrap ABOUT and pick up little nuggets of creativity here and there. Thanks so much :)

  • 40.
    Delanie said…

    Between CK and here, I think I have seen most, if not all, those layouts previously. But I’m amazed the different sense and impression I have of them from these photos – both within the context of the album and photographed through page protectors. They seem to have a different emphasis somehow and my favourites have actually changed. :) Definitely a reminder not to get hung up on any single layout but consider the collective memories recorded. Thank you.

  • 41.
    Tracey Caudle said…

    Ali, I love the way you keep your memories. I have been scrapbooking since ’93, or at least trying to. I am so behind, my daughter will be 6 this December and I have a drawer full of stuff for her, cards, bands, hat, etc. Seeing this really inspired me. So much that I went out to the scrapbook store and bought two 3 ring albums – one pink and one blue, my little boy just hit 3 months, so I can catch up with him pretty fast. I also purchased a bunch of the We-R-Memory Keepers page protectors. I wish I could find one of the smaller inserts that you had in the very beginning of your book. I want to put a DVD of all the videos that were taken in to the albums.

    I have to add I really like your style, it’s a little bit of everything and a great way to hold on to those mementos, like the hat, bands, etc. I am excited to get working on the albums!!

  • 42.
    Angie Blom said…

    This makes me want to grab my kids albums to see what I have done and maybe add some things! Love it Ali . Anna is going to cherish this!

  • 43.
    Julie said…

    Waking up to a video with Ali? Fantastic! I’ve been keeping my future layout ephemera in file folders but I have such a hard time with things falling out. I’m going to try the cropper hopper. Thanks so much for this idea.

  • 44.
    Debbie said…

    Thanks so much for sharing the album Ali. I’d also wondered about Anna’s album and would like to do the same for my two year old. It’s never too late, is it! Debbie

  • 45.
    Emily H said…

    Ali, you are always such an inspiration to me! I love your work, and it always makes me want to get scrappin’!

  • 46.
    lindsey said…

    By far my favorite post. Thank you for sharing your rediscovered project, leftovers, and items to add. Always showing that you are human and it’s a process yet everything looks fabulous! Listening to your commentary about the album was facinating as well. So humble. I’m inspired here everyday.

  • 47.
    Brenda said…

    I love that you don’t have the same size pages. Are the rings on a 12 x 12 album able to hold 8.5 x 11 pages? And are 8.5 x 11 albums able to hold 8 x 8 pages? Or do you punch the holes yourself?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Brenda – yes, the 12×12 album holds the 8.5×11 pages – no hole punching needed. I think there are a few brands of 8×8 that might fit – not totally sure on that one.

  • 48.
    kybarb said…

    Thanks for posting this! I’m just getting started on making a little book for a friend who is about to have her 2nd baby girl and I got some great ideas from you here!

  • 49.
    Donna B said…

    Absolutely beautiful and so very inspirational! LOVE.

  • 50.
    Amanda said…

    What an amazing post! Thank you so much, Ali. I am finally expecting my first after a three year IVF journey and am completely overwhelmed as to how to document this whole process. This is so incredibly inspiring and helpful to me. I hope my finished album looks half as gorgeous as yours. Just beautiful!

    • ….
      hannahk said…

      hey Amanda, I’m in a similar position expecting our first early September. I love that there is a whole lot more to the journey and I intend to use it. I made one or two very personal LOs during my IVF which I think I shall put in this album. they captured my hopes and fears at the time, and I think give a solid backdrop to how loved and wanted this little one is already even though we have yet to meet face to face :) Now I’ve added one about the scans and I have a couple of ideas for the pregnancy part of the story. I hope that by starting the story now I’ll be a step ahead and ready to keep going once the little one arrives.
      Wishing you a restful wonderful time for the duration and good luck :)

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