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


  • 51.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly they grow!

  • 52.
    Kristen said…

    Hi Ali, Can you let us know what albums you are using for Anna after this one and what albums you are using for Simon? As I recall, you are continuing with separate albums for them. Thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sure – I’m not using 12×12 We Are Memory Keepers like this one: (I’m thinking about getting the purple or pink one for Anna’s first year – the rest are all black).

  • 53.
    Lauren said…

    Thanks for sharing this Ali! It’s neat to see how it all comes together and I found some new page designs of yours I’d like to try out – they inspire me to scrap right now! :)

  • 54.
    Sue TR said…

    Great post Ali…I cracked up at the point in the video where you were “unearthing” things…We’re packing to move after 15 years and I’ve found a number of boxes of “treasures”!!

    Thanks for the post, has reinforced that I want to go back and tell more stories above and beyond what went in the scrapbooks at first…I have twins (now almost 10) and I”m amazed that I was able to do anything at all!!

    See you in Gearhart!

  • 55.
    Jackie Pocock said…

    This is wonderful to look at. I’m having my second child in September and this is definately something I would like to do. I have a baby book for my daughter and completed lots of layouts about her but I love the mix of your album. This has really inspired me to complete something different for my second child, a boy this time.

    Thank you Ali.

  • 56.
    Liz said…

    wow is that lovely!!

  • 57.
    Becky said…

    Hi Ali. I have been a fan of yours for a very long time. Thank you for all of your inspiration! Would you ever consider designing for a die-cut company such as the Silhouette? I thought your designs would be so great on that machine. I think you have such great style — I especially love your journaling ideas and your templates on designer digitals. Just wondering! Thanks! Becky J.

  • 58.

    Ohh Ali!
    Looks like Anna has great keepsake ….Your post so fits into my plan….I am getting ready to do my great neice Mia’s book….I have one problem…very few infant photo’s All I have asked the family for some help in locating photos( was not in her hometown at her birth)see I am the geek with the neice’s and nephew snaping pixs…..But I thought to journal some of the memories they told me without photos just so that I can add later photos she is 19 months now and want have for her2yr birthday. Luckily Ihave photos and journaling of her first birthday because I moved back near the the idea of onesie in the book! thanks Ali you are awesome and so inspiring…I would love to meet you at Creative Escape and have you sign my books!

  • 59.
    Amanda said…

    What a great album. Thanks so much for the video walk thru. I love the envelope u used for the ultrasound pictures and cd. Any idea where I could find that or something like it. Also any ideas on how to keep a lock of hair from a baby first hair cut? Thanks:)

  • 60.
    Melanie L. said…

    I have to tell you that you inspire me! I love your pages. I love how they’re a fairly simple graphic style but you incorporate a lot of cool elements. Your patterned paper accents the page and doesn’t compete with it. Your digital elements add that extra oomph. Your stories are the best part! I wish my baby books were half this amazing!

  • 61.
    Brenda in Sunny SoCal said…

    Ali, tHankyou so much for this long awaited post I have lacked the inspiration to make Alan’s album mainly because fir 3 years U scrapped nothing but baby no.1 album. I now feel full of ideas to get this album started!

  • 62.
    Marsaille said…

    This was wonderful. I would love to see more video tours of your albums. I am sure it is a bit of work to do a video, but it makes for a great post!

  • 63.
    Jocelyne said…

    Loving this! I am in the final days of my pregnancy and look forward to documenting year 1 :) Seeing this makes me even more excited!!! And that photos of Simon with her make me look forward to seeing Parker’s reaction to his new brother (I too will have a 7-year spread between my kiddos!).

  • 64.
    Marie-Pierre said…

    Oh my God, so grateful for this post, Ali! I was waiting for this since a long time!! :) Thanks so much for sharing.

  • 65.
    Kristi said…

    It’s so sweet to see Anna’s newborn pictures again and watch her growing up in to the girl she is now <3

  • 66.
    Lindsey said…

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been desperately struggling getting my daughter (who is almost the exact same age as Anna)baby album started. It is such and important album to me I have been too afraid to start in fear of it not being perfect. Your album has inspired me to just do it! Can you tell me if you will continue to create a seperate album for Anna or do you make one “family” album? Thank you!

  • 67.
    Kristen said…

    Just beautiful! I’m new to your blog and am working on 2 baby books. I am using Heritage Makers post-bound albums and doing some digital pages as well as “traditional.” I’m very inspired by your work! Thank you.

  • 68.
    Megan said…

    I’m grateful for this post it has given me a little more motivation and definitely some inspiration to start my little boys book. He’s is now eight months old and I just can’t seem to figure out how I want to go about it. I bought Becky’s baby kit a long time ago, but I am loving PL so much I considered switching gears and going that route. But I also have so much I want to use, hopefully I can get it together soon and get his pics into a book. I’m sure it will be fine however I go about it but for some reason I’m stressing about this one.

    Anyway thanks for sharing so sweet!

  • 69.
    Sue said…

    WOW, this is amazing! As you probably know, here in the UK were are light years behind the USA when it comes to scrapbooking. It has only just come to the UK and still in its most basic form. I get so much inspiration from your blog and your videos.
    My babies are now 22 and 18 – is it too late to make such a book? Well, I don’t have all the little bits and bobs but I do have some photos and my memories and I’m certainly going to give it a go! Thanks Ali for sharing,

  • 70.
    Ann said…

    Hi Ali!

    I was just wondering where you got the page protectors for the long journalers. Maybe you noted it somewhere here on your blog but I just can’t find it.
    I love Anna’s baby book! So beautiful!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I make them from 8.5×11. I slip in the long journaler, use the sewing machine to make a long line right next to the long journaler and then I cut off the excess.

    • ….
      Ann said…

      Ok, that’s what I thought I was seeing in your pictures. Thanks for confirming that!

  • 71.
    Tania said…

    I am so grateful I follow your blogging. This post is awsome – I love the way you complete a whole cycle in your thought process and are able to share unconditionally. Thanks Ali.

  • 72.
    Michelle said…

    Thank you (again!) for the reminder that it’s really all about the stories and preserving the memories. That simple insight saves me from guilt that my daughter is growing and the book I have made for her is not “perfect” and allows me to simply celebrate the stories that are recorded.
    So thankful that you are willing to share your work and your stories with so many. You are the best!

  • 73.
    Brooke said…

    This is the most beautiful and special baby book I have ever seen. I only wish I would have seen this a year ago :) Thanks for sharing.

  • 74.
    hannahk said…

    ali this is beautiful. So happy that you’ve shared the whole album :) Thank you

    I’ve a couple of pregnancy LOs and already a collection of little bits and bobs to put into an album. having fun finding stuff for the nursery and getting ready .. 2 1/2 months to go and I’m trying to make the most of it. I’m going to try making some pockets like Becki Higgins baby ones… maybe by using transfers on plastic wallets from the stationers shop, and add thickers for words…

    It was wonderful to see the background and other project pieces too. I loved the reflections notebook when you made it and has it on my big list… I’ve just made one for a friend who is also expecting. Am hoping she uses it now or during the first year… look forward to hearing how you end up using yours.

    thanks again Hx

  • 75.
    Rebecca said…

    thank you so much for your babybook video. It is very beautiful without being too structured and I love how you used different sizes of pages to suit your needs. That’s what a real scrapbook is all about! I’ve taken lots of notes and I am now eager to get started on mine!

  • 76.
    Jessica said…

    Thanks so much for sharing. I am working on my son’s album now and this gave me a lot of ideas.

  • 77.

    How i wish my mom made me a scrapbook/baby album like this! It’s a keeper! And I love it when the baby overall is clipped in a page! This is sooo nice! Thanks for sharing!

  • 78.
    NatalieSpring said…

    Thanks for this post. I come back to this often for inspiration for my daughter’s book.

  • 79.
    Mallory said…

    Absolutely precious Ali! I have about 3 different albums in the works for my baby boy, and I never thought of putting different size pages in one album. Now I think I’ll combine everything into one. And the pockets are a great way to keep all the little things from the hospital without adhering them. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • 80.
    Ashley said…

    So very precious! <3

  • 81.
    jamie hansen said…

    I loved your album for Anna. Very sweet. I love the movement through it (smaller pages, with larger, the divide pages and so on…)

    Question: So do you keep a traditional baby album as well or is this it? I was just thinking about how the tradition ones have things like family trees, list of gifts from shower, charting of teeth… Do you bother to record this?

    I ask because my son is 8 and i lost some of those details due to a tragedy. I feel guilty, but want to give him a nice baby album. We also adopted a baby girl and I find that the LO of a traditional album does not fit our story, even the adoption baby albums don’t. I love that there is hope, after seeing Anna’s album that our adoptive baby can have something as nice as that.

  • 82.
    Michelle said…

    Hey Ali,

    Just wanted to let you know that you totally inspired my own creation for my daughter. I was totally not happy with how a traditional ‘baby book’ was going, and after finding this post I knew exactly what I needed to do. I’m super excited about my first scrapbooking project and know it will be so much more special because of everything that has and will go into it. Thanks for posting this and for all the great creative inspiration you post here!

  • 83.
    Priya said…

    Hi Ali ,

    This is a lovely baby album …..I like each and every layout in this album and have watched the Video so many time :) . I am expecting my 2nd baby and i am creating a album for my 4 yr old ( quite behind on that :) . good thing is i have atleast recorded most of the memories in my laptop. ). In the video you talk about adding new stuff to the album and putting them back in new album . Just wanted to know if there are anymore new ideas that you could share . I would also like to use the Project life album and kit for the baby book , do you have any ideas on how to incorporate that into a baby album.
    Thanks Priya !

  • 84.
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  • 85.
    Sarah said…

    Wow! I am here from pinterest and I’m so inspired! When I have babies, I want to make their baby books just like this! thanks for breaking it down! It’s beautiful!

  • 86.
    julia said…

    very nice ! so sweet…

  • 87.

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