Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 11, 2011

Week In The Life 2011 | Bringing It All Together (with Video Overview)

week in the life 2011 | completed album

Hello completed Week In The Life album. I’m so happy to put you away on my shelf.

This year I decided to put together a short (13 min) video that walks you through all the pages of my 2011 album. I talk about some of the decisions I ended up making this year, general observations, etc. I’m hoping this will make it a bit more “real” for those of you that like to see a bit more beyond the photos and written words.

Week In The Life 2011 | Completed Album Overview from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

Over the last few days I’ve been working on the 9-pocket divided page protectors that go between the spreads for each day of my week. That means I’ve been trimming photos, creating small cards, cutting up some pattern paper, etc.

week in the life 2011 | completed album

I cut up the Hambly Little Circles Overlay and added the Ormolu 2-Day Hooray Days of the Week Button Embellishments. On the back I added small circle numbers from BananaFish Studio.

week in the life 2011 | completed album

I also ended up adding in some cards using stamps from my different Technique Tuesday sets. If you’ve watched the video above already you probably heard me talking about those. You’ll also see them in the photos below.


  • One of the things I kept asking myself as I was bringing all the components together is how can I simplify this process? What I realized is that I’d really done most of the work already – the words were documented, the photos were taken and printed – and I really just felt like leaving it at that. You might notice as you watch the video or view the photos below that I decided to just add the Daily Sheets right into the album. For me it was the decision that seemed to make the most sense. I simply added a few more page protectors to the album to accommodate those sheets.
  • I’m pretty sure that next year this will be a completely digital project for me and will be printed in book format. It felt a little bit crazy to me to be cutting out all those smaller photos just to add them to the divided page protector. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll feel different next year. It’s important to me to allow myself to evolve, to allow projects to evolve over time, etc. And like I’ve said all along, there’s no right or wrong way to bring this all together.
  • I collected way less stuff this year than I have in past years. I think that might have something to do with Project Life and how much I already add there each week.
  • I’m glad I did it in the summer, but I think I like it better at other times of the year. Not sure why that is exactly – maybe it’s because I long for a different pace in the summer and this just felt like a lot of work. Maybe a summer Week In The Life needs to be modified for the pace of the season…
  • I’m still planning to put together a little video from the times I took it during the week. I’ll post that when it’s completed.




week in the life 2011 | completed album




week in the life 2011 | completed album
week in the life 2011 | completed album


IMG_week in the life 2011 | completed album


week in the life 2011 | completed album




week in the life 2011 | completed album
week in the life 2011 | completed album


And here’s a list of all the posts for 2011.




If you’d like to see links from past year’s go here.

A really big thank you again for joining me on this journey. Whether this was your first year or fifth, I so appreciate your participation and interest in this project and I hope you enjoyed the process (or are enjoying the process as you continue bringing it all together).

Don’t forget about the free Week In The Life Community at Big Picture Classes which will remain open indefinitely. I’ll be checking in there on and off and am happy to answer questions over there or here on my blog. There’s also a Flickr Group if you’d like to share your work there.


In addition you’re invited to share a link to your completed album below. Please remember to link to a specific post on your blog (vs. a general link to your blog) that shares your completed project.


  • 1.
    elise said…

    dude. killer wrap up and post. and that last page is perfect for the end. love it.

  • 2.

    Fab. You are the queen! Love the camera overlays and the stapled elements. Thanks for the inspiration to do this for the first time. Just love it. Hoping to have my finished album posted over the weekend!

  • 3.
    debbi g. said…

    Another winner, Ali! Just awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  • 4.
    Gaye said…

    This looks fantastic, love all the little embellishments

  • 5.
    Sheri Twing said…

    Wow! I’m still completing my album. I can only hope it turns out 1/2 as nice as yours!

    I’d love to see more on your stamp organization! That little peek in the picture looks so interesting! Are they in binders? What are the stuck to? Would love to know more.

  • 6.
    Jill S. said…

    Your album looks amazing, as always! I’m so glad I decided to play along this year for the first time. Even though I’m not finished putting everything together, I love my WITL album already.

    Thanks for sharing the video. It was great to hear your commentary along with seeing all the pages. You mentioned that you’re not sure when you’ll do this next. I’d love to see it in the fall of 2012. Waiting until spring 2013 seems like forever away!

  • 7.
    Megan said…

    amazing. always such an inspiration. Thank you for putting this post together!

  • 8.
    Michele H. said…

    seriously…you are a true inspiration! love this post and your thoughts!

    and i so agree with you on the whole daily sheets. i started to re-type some of the stuff and then I thought “this is silly…you have photos and handwritten documentation. there is nothing better!”

    thanks for this awesome journey and letting us play along:)

  • 9.
    Dawn Ritchie said…

    I did a sorta hybrid approach like you, but have also been wondering why I didn’t go all digital with this massive project. I love the feel of “real” paper, but that can be added later as you’ve displayed a billion times. It’s a learning experience and I’m glad it’s something you can easily adapt to your “now” and change it another time.

    I’m still really excited for the December Daily, that was my favorite project last year and I still pull it out to flip through it on a monthly basis.

    Thanks so much for all of this! I really enjoyed it.

  • 10.
    Katie said…

    Love your album and thanks so much for sharing the video. Great to hear you’re thinking behind how you put it all together. I’m almost finished with my album and hopefully this will give me the push to get it done this weekend :-)

  • 11.
    Melissa Mann said…

    Fantastic stuff here.

  • 12.
    Megan Willis said…

    I loved your album this year! Often these week albums seem like so much work with taking photos, journaling, and then doing something crafty with all that STUFF but this seems like the perfect solution. I may have to try this next week actually.

    Just curious, how many “Week in the Life” projects have you completed?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think this is my 6th one – need to count them to make sure. The first couple of years I taught it as a class and I can’t remember if I did that for two or three years. Then again in 2008, 2010, and this one.

  • 13.
    Kelly said…

    It looks terrific, Ali! I had the same thought last year about doing it digital this year, but in the end, I’m going to do the divided protector in the middle too. (I’m actually documenting this week.) I do think I may cram the small photos together (no border between) on their canvas for fewer cuts.

    Regarding photo books, I am curious if anyone else has the same experience/feeling I have: I think they tend to be made from thinner paper, so the pages crinkle when you thumb through them and don’t hold up as nicely as scrapbooks. I generally would rather have a digital layout in a protector. Am I missing something on this or are some better quality than others?

    Ali, thank you for all your inspiration! I love my 2010 Week in the Life album and am looking forward to this one.

    • ….
      Sarah B R said…

      Check out and pick their premium paper. It jolds up great. I have softcover as well as hardcover books that are a few years old and no creases in paper :-)
      great pricing
      lots of options
      easy free software
      and no I don’t work for them :-)
      hope this helps

  • 14.
    Susie Leggett said…

    Ali, you are awesome. I love your album and how this all came together. Can’t wait to get my hands on those little camera overlays – love em. I do have to agree with you and some of the others, this is a huge project and it takes a lot of time to assemble. At times I felt like I captured a week and lost the next two putting it all together. Still totally worth it. More than anything else, doing WITL made me realize that I am so very thankful for this life. Thank you, thank you.

  • 15.
    Peg said…

    It came out just delicious! Congratulations on adding yet another family treasure to your home. The kids and their kids are going to appreciate this so, so much.

  • 16.
    Catie said…

    Ali, I have loved watching your Week in the Life album come together these past few weeks. You have such amazing foresight when you embark on these projects, and it’s always fun to watch them come together and see what you were talking about all along! I have never done a WITL album, but thanks to your inspiration, I did start a Project (Married) Life album a couple of months ago (starting on my wedding day, June 12th!) It has been such a blast so far.

    My question is this: I love the look of the left side of your digital template, the tall bracket-ish-shaped photo space. I thought that would make a great page insert for the PL album, for a photo that deserved extra showcasing. But I didn’t feel that it would be practical for me to purchase the entire set on Designer Digitals just to get that photo shape. Any suggestions? Would you ever consider making a set of photo templates like that, which would make great 8 1/2 x 11 inserts for PL, perhaps with more generalized text, or customizable text layers?

    Love your work; thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think that’s a cool idea Catie – let me see what I can come up with.

  • 17.
    Megan Renfree said…

    Its fabulous! I’ve been dying to see your finished product so that I could see what you did before I finished mine, and its awesome!! I love that you kept it simple!! I’m going to have a go at finishing mine this weekend. Thanks so much for this project. I can’t wait for mine to be completed too.

  • 18.
    Lisa said…

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I really look forward to seeing your creations. The video along with the photos and post. . .a total bonus! Your album is awesome…very inspiring…I still need to finish putting mine together and this is definitely the little push I think I needed. :)

  • 19.
    Debbie S. said…

    Awesome Ali! Been wondering since I saw it before…did you do that foam heart yourself? I wouldn’t put that past you. :)

  • 20.
    dawn said…

    Thank you so much for the video and all the pages, it was nice to hear your thoughts on your album. It looks great and simple and light which is just right for summertime. Love the color and design of the number papers you included in the pockets.

    I have some pictures printed and thinking of doing some in collages. With the kids home still on break it’s been too hard finding the time to finish it. Going to wait till they go back and sit and really enjoy putting it together.

    Thank you also for the daily sheets, loved them and going to print out extras to include in my Project Life album from time to time.

    By the way I noticed in the video it looks as though your wearing a thin sweater, how cold is it there? Also not to be weird but you have pretty hands. Thanks again for another amazing journey and precious album for my family.

  • 21.
    Christine said…

    As always, I love your style! I like this project better when it is not in the summer too, and I think I did a laid back version this year because of it. I combined styles from last year’s album and this year’s and my own thing, and while it is not as extensive as yours, I am satisfied because it was summer, and I am also doing Project Life. Maybe I will try more digital with next year’s version. Thank you!

  • 22.
    tetcy said…

    I think your hands are pretty too!
    I am also including the daily sheets in my binder the way they are. I’ve cut my photos to fit the divider page and it feels like it is finished. I may or may not type out essays I’ve written…or they may become blog posts somewhere down the line.

    Next step: photographing and linking :)

  • 23.
    Sarah M. said…

    Thank you for showing your complete project. This is my first time doing WITL and I’ve held off on doing my layouts to look at yours for inspiration. Plus I’m doing mine digitally with a few inserts here and there and I knew it would take a while for me to get things together since this is my first digital project. YIKES!! Loving it so far though. It will be so fun to look back at this years from now to see our crazy life with a 5 year old and a 5 month old!

  • 24.
    Christine said…

    Love that you did a video in addition to your photos of the project. I was waiting to see how yours came together before finishing mine. I love learnig new design techniques. Yesterday I bought your new stamp set from Technique Tuesday and I think these stamps will be great to use in this project. This is my first time doing WITL.I really enjoyed doing this project in the summer and my whole family (not at first) got involved in this project :) .
    I, like you, am looking forward to the December Daily. I’m organizing my Christmas stash and plan on using what I already have (enough to open a small store, lol.) Thanks for all you do for us :)

  • 25.
    Erica said…

    Ali, In one of the first photos, it looks like you store your rubber stamps in a binder. Have you show us before how you store your rubber stamps? If not, could you tell me how.

  • 26.
    Leah Burgett said…

    Awesome!! I love it! I started mine this past week. My son starts Kindergarten Monday so my week was his last week before school. I hope mine turns out half as good as yours!! Thanks!

  • 27.
    Lori said…

    awesome, awesome, awesome! mine is gradually coming together – about ready to order pics thru !

  • 28.
    Gen said…

    Hi Ali, your Week in the Life album looks great.

    I have a question…I am planning to do my Week in the Life in a 12×12 album and add my daily notes in a 8.5x 11 page protector. Before I order some 8.5×11 protectors, could you tell me if they will fit in a 12×12 We R Memory Keepers album. Just wanted to check that the page protector holes are the same distance apart.

    Thanks, Gen

    • ….
      Debbie in AZ said…

      I often mix album types and page protector types and manufacturers. I just take a small scissors and slit the punched hole vertically a little bit so it can slide easily over the binder rings. Hope this tip helps,

  • 29.
    Joanne said…

    Ali – I just had a breakthrough listening to your video commentary about your WITL concept. I’m going to be honest….I have the Project Life kit and tried to work with it on a daily basis but I just found it too overwhelming for 365 days straight — so I stopped. After watching your video, it just dawned on me to just focus on one week at a time….maybe seasonally….and use the PL kit as a collection of A Week in the Life projects!! 4 weeks out of the year is certainly doable as opposed to 52 weeks! And since the kit is so large I can fit several years worth of WITL projects in it! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • ….
      Debbie in AZ said…

      Love your idea!

  • 30.
    Sompa said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’m sure you’ve answered this question a thousand times:) in your blog but could you tell me what kind of pen and markers you use for your journaling cards?

  • 31.
    Shannon said…

    First of all, it KILLS me that you’re wearing long sleeves in August! I’m so jealous!

    How interested is Chris in this project specifically and your scrapbooking in general?

  • 32.
    Angie said…

    this is awesome…..I don’t have my completed album uploaded to a blog but you can see the whole thing here :),14640854,cid,,9,,149374

  • 33.
    Teresa said…

    Love this! Is the “Week in the Life” “Edwards Family” a sticker that you placed on the photo or something you did in Photoshop? I can’t seem to find this in your list. Sorry if I missed it somewhere.

    • ….
      Terri Porter said…

      That is part of the Week In The Life Layered Template Set No. 3 available at Designer Digitals. In Ali’s list above (The fourth one down) with all the links. It’s an awesome set of templates. Hope this helps!

  • 34.
    Sandy said…

    …please don’t forget that it’s not summer for everybody! it’s winter down under :)
    this was my first time participating and I questioned whether the particular week would work for me but I did it anyway and am so glad.
    I do like that you pick a different week each year. I look forward to doing one in “my” summer.

  • 35.
    Leora Henkin said…

    Ali, I loved seeing your finished album. I have learned so much by following along this year…about myself, my family and also about scrapbooking techniques, flow, etc. One funny thing I learned is that my younger son chooses whatever clothes are on top. I guess We do laundry often enough that he is often wearing the same thing in the pictures. I promise though, he does shower and change his clothes.

    I also learned that next time, I will do more writing. I used the daily sheets more like notes for myself and now wishing I had fleshed them out a bit more.

    Thanks for sharing yourself and the journey.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer,

  • 36.
    DaniW said…

    Hi Ali, your work is just fabulous. I didn’t do WITL this year as Project Life and a 5 week overseas trip album are taking up all my time (with 4 & 2 year old boys, lol, what time?!!), but I loved seeing all your posts about it and hope to do it next year.

    I have a question about Chris as well – I noticed he isn’t in too many photos, obviously because he’s out of the house working all week. I am concerned that this is happening in my Project Life album – lots of pics of the boys but only sporadic ones of my husband. I’m worried the boys will think he was never around when they are older! I try to make the weekend photos more about him, whether on his own or with the boys, but it doesn’t always work out, especially if we are visiting family, the pics are then of them.
    Anyway sorry to ramble on a bit but I was wondering if this is something that concerns you and what you do about it? Thanks, and again, love your style!!

  • 37.
    Rebecca said…


    I admire your attitude on scrapping and love that you keep your focus where it belongs: getting things done and enjoying them, rather than letting yourself get mired in the details. That is an amazing gift, and I am inspired by your blog to do the same, though it is not an easy feat for me. I can easily see that I would be likely to want to keep all my albums “the same” over the years, so that they looked pretty on the shelf, but I would get bored with the same style. By freeing yourself from that, you free yourself to evolve and grow and continue to experiment. It’s awesome! :)

    Often, I have to fight my tendency to organize, because it can overcome my desire to create, and then things only get half-done. You manage to blend organizational skills with an acceptance that things don’t have to be “perfect” to be “good enough.” I want to be like that when I grow up!! ;) In reality, though, your posts have encouraged me to create projects I would never have considered…and I LOVE the results. Your posts have made my scrapping experience more fun for me and helped me to embrace the perfect imperfection of them. Thank you.

    • ….
      tracey said…


      I feel the SAME WAY. Thank you for putting it inot words!!


    • ….
      Christine said…

      I really like your insight. This describes me very well :) .

  • 38.
    Dawn F. said…

    Thank you for the inspiration and the guidance through this project. I’m almost done mine. As I’ve been working on it, I keep saying “wow, this is so much work” then my oldest child turned 12 this week and my youngest turned 4 last week. Last night I realized that yes, it’s alot of work but wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding a baby in my arms. I’ll never have this time again and I want to remember what it was like to have a pre-teen and a pre-schooler at the same time. Thanks for the revelation.

  • 39.
    Kylie said…

    Ali, I love what you’ve done with WITL – it looks absolutely fantastic!!!

    You’ve inspired me to try this myself, and I started last Monday. So far all is going well EXCEPT I have a question I’m hoping you can help me with about one of your products. I bought “The Story of Today 8.5×11 Overlays” and want to know whether I’m able to change the size of the journaling box, ie make it bigger with a smaller space for the photo at the top? Also, is there some way I can use just the outside border for my right-hand page? I want it like you did your 2008 album, but can’t work it out myself …

    I’m using PSE and have looked at several of your digital scrapbooking posts, plus those on Designer Digitals, but still can’t figure it out – and this is my first time trying any digi scrapping. Please help me!
    Thanks so much, Kylie

  • 40.
    Jenny L. said…

    Hey Ali! I absolutely love what you have done with your Week in the Life album! I haven’t done it yet, but I am planning on doing it soon! I was going to do it this year with you, but I just got back from a mission trip to Africa and I was super jet lagged and so I was not organized at all for that week. I think I might start in a couple weeks once school gets started. I’m a college student and I just changed majors to nursing so I think it would be interesting in the future to look back and see what my life was like during my first month of nursing school.
    I did have a few questions for you. 1) I’m just curious what the purpose of the black plastic thing in the WeR album you used. I have always wondered what this is for. 2) Do you think that the daily journaling sheets would work for travel as well? When traveling, I always have a problem with getting overwhelmed with keeping a journal. I was thinking that this might be a great way to capture what we did each day in addition to my feelings about the day. 3) How is Lily doing. I have been thinking about her and your family lately. I have a 15 year old dog who scared us like Lily did several times in the last 6 months. I know how you’re feeling and I’m praying for you, your family, and Lily.
    Thank you for answering my questions and for inspiring me to create!

    • ….
      Jeraldine said…

      Hi, I just wanted to respond to your question about the black thing in the front of the We R album. They come in a lot of regular binders as well and it helps keep papers down flat (and sometimes from tearing) when the binder gets really thick.I have put some of those in some of my thicker albums to keep the front pages from getting folded or messed up. Hope that helps.

  • 41.
    Nina said…

    Thanks so much for this, Ali. Beautiful work, as always, and so inspiring! =)

  • 42.
    Kirsten J said…

    Ali, your practical approach, with just the right amount of creativity always brings me back to earth. I started this and had a stutter in the middle of the week where I felt overwhelmed, but kept plodding through. Now I’m thinking about a do-over, putting less pressure on myself (should have listened to you in the first place!!!). This did get me back into picture taking mode, as I’d slipped a bit in Project Life….at the very least I have a plethora of pictures I can use there – they can be sprinkled in around the last few months since they’re just snapshots of our life right now. One way or the other, I’ll still have a good story about a week in our life.

  • 43.
    heidig said…

    Wow! That came out really nice and it looks so easy. Great job!

  • 44.
    Lana said…

    Love this!
    I have a question about the left side pages…the one with the large photo. Do you print that photo at home on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet or is there somewhere that will print this size for you? Or is the photo matted on white cardstock? I like the clean lines of the white border.

  • 45.
    Kate Ware said…

    Hi, Ali!

    Thanks so much for sharing your WITL album. I have a couple of questions about your completed album:

    1. On your left-hand pages, with the large photos — did you scan in your daily sheets & use those as a background? I can see the times to the left of the photo, just not sure what you did here.

    2. On your right hand pages, where you put your pictures . . . I noticed you “journaled” on your photos, along with the time. Are these just from the daily sheets, as well, or just a description of the photo in your own words?

    Thanks, again!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Kate – (1) Yes, I scanned them in and used them as the background. (2) The text on the photos are a combination of words from the Daily Sheets and just thoughts that came up when I looked at them.

  • 46.
    Emily said…

    Thanks for sharing your album and the video about your thoughts and your process! I decided to use your templates from last year and had a great time putting the album together! Like you mentioned in the video, seeing the week play out definitely brought to mind things that I’d love to change or improve on in my life! Thanks again for allowing us to join you in this project!

  • 47.
    Desiree said…

    I have done the ‘week in the life of’ book for a few years now and am wanting to do it again this year… although I’m doing the daily Becky Higgin’s too so I’m wanting to simplify the process… is there any way you could email me the daily sheets that you have used? I tried to look on your blog but I couldnt’ find the actual downloadable documents that you used. Please help me :) By the way.. LOVE how your books always turn out! GREAT job!

  • 48.
    amy tangerine said…

    absolutely amazing and so inspiring. i will put less pressure on myself and just get it done in the next couple weeks. thanks for using the smile tag!

    • ….
      Erica Hettwer said…

      I’ll be doing mine in a week or so, too. I’ve decided to use your Amy Tangerine line from American Crafts because I won it on the AC blog. Super excited about that! :)

  • 49.
    yin said…

    Thank you Ali for the inspiration to capture life. Just so wonderful to participate and have my week captured and pages done. Your pages are awesome and so life-ful! I am a digital scrapbooker and do miss the part about adding bits and pieces of notes, receipts, etc to my pages. I know we can scan them in, but would love to see how you might do it beautifully if you do it digitally next year. Thank you!!

  • 50.
    Siska said…

    Hi Ali,
    thank you so much for the inspirations! I was browsing on your website to learn more about making albums/memory books. I am a card-maker & currently doing a project of making at least 1 card/papercraft product for 365 days. I would like to start making (long, overdue) albums for my 2 boys. Again, thank you for sharing the techniques & inspirations; especially for advising us to make it easy & not to make the projects taken over our lives! :)

Post a comment