Category: Baby + Kids Books

AE Story Kit | Details (Part 1)

Every month as part of my year on Ali Edwards’ Creative Team, I get the opportunity to work with the physical (and digital) products released for that kit and create a story-related project. 

This month Ali inspired us to work through the details of our stories. It’s a theme that has been on my mind lately, as Adeline approaches her first birthday. Truly, my hope it to capture all the littlest details of the things I love most about her at this age, to remember it for always and cherish her tenderness.

It’s funny: usually I open the kits and revel in each and every little embellishment and card. I hold them, individually, in my hands (usually hiding off somewhere because it arrives in the middle of the day when both kids are scrambling at my legs) and think of all the ways I can use it. I smile and think happy scrapbooking thoughts.

I know you think I’m joking. I’m totally NOT and, honestly, I know it’s a little weird. It’s fine. Ali’s kits legitimately bring me joy. 🙂

This month was different. Maybe because it’s my 8th month receiving the story kit, maybe it was just the frame of mind that I was in at the time, maybe it’s because everyone was posting about how much they loved the details kit already, or maybe it was because I LOVED last month’s theme Lost and Found SO MUCH that I didn’t think it would be possible to match it.

Whatever the reason, I opened this month’s theme DETAILS and thought “meh”. I liked the colors and the elements, but didn’t feel particularly excited about any of them. So I stored it off to the side and began building my pages.

As I listened to Ali’s words (for those of you who don’t know, the story kit comes with a video to help inspire you on how to use the kit and what stories to tell), everything shifted. And I paused and jumped right into another project, as if the connection had been made.

I dove into beginning Adeline’s baby book. And the layout that resulted from that was absolutely PERFECT because it captured exactly where I am in motherhood right now: rested enough to notice the little things, joyful enough to LOVE THEM SO MUCH, and grateful to have the inspiration to put the two together.

You can see the first layout in that album here.

Then I started building the DETAILS traveler’s notebook and the results, these pages, are just SO so good.

First, Here’s How this Kit Change My Perspective on My Life, Right Now

But what’s more, and I think this is really important, friend, the practice of noticing and documenting the details of my life made me realize something SO profound and incredibly important, that I totally cried tears of happiness as I put the stories to paper. I realized that sometimes the details that I notice about our lives are the messes: the bathroom that is never clean, the dirt in our entryway, the toys that are never, ever in place. Those details lead me to feel sad, frustrated, and honestly, unappreciated, overworked … and the list goes on.

But in this album, in this practice, I took the time to notice, photograph, document, and write about the details of our lives, right now, that I absolutely love. Things like baby sandals, and dirty toes, things like the handmade sculptures Max made that I will cherish for my entire life, and the little details that I hide away until it’s time to add to my scrapbooks. These are the details that make life right now SO UNIQUE and SO WONDERFUL and SO JOYFUL that I am forever grateful to have the time to put them on paper and love them as much as I do.

As you read this post, notice the stories I chose. The felt random for me, at first, but when I look at the complete album, I can see that I chose to document things that are current and things that show we are on the precipice of change in our family (with the upcoming school year). I appreciate this practice so much because I see that it’s more than pretty photos or cute layouts. This story kit, for me, is about celebrating the messy, crazy, fun, and offbeat life that we are living right now. And it is perfect.

This Month’s Book: All About Details (Part I)

This month’s book was SO on theme, it requires two posts. Here’s the beginning of the book!

The cover is some favorite patterned paper, folded in half and sewed in with the printed pages I made from the digital portion of this month’s kit.

The detail on the front is one the awesome plastic words that come with the physical Story kit. I absolutely love that piece of the kit every. single. month.

The first layout is about Max. He turns five and starts full day Pre-Kindergarten in a few weeks and I’m feeling both absolute BLISS to get him into school, and a slight bit of nostalgia, knowing that change is coming and I love that boy.

I took this picture of his feet while I was watching Ali’s video. He was playing a game on his iPad and I stopped to sit next to him.

Noticing the DETAILS of this Moment

Sitting next to Max, I noticed several things about that moment. First, that his feet now hung comfortably over the edge of the big white chair that seemed so big when we first bought it 4 years ago.

Second, that the bites and bruises on his feet were clearly a sign of his lifestyle: fast, always moving, and completely fearless. Third, that his favorite shoes are a pair of sandals we purchased at the beginning of the summer (that he has since worn out). Two months later, the tan lines on his feet are easy to see.

Lastly, that his toes are covered in dirt. No matter how many baths and beach days he has, they are always – and forever – the feet of an adventurer.

The Details About the Things We Keep

One of the awesome things about the digital kit is how you can move and shift the cards to be whatever size/pattern/tone you want. This next layout includes one of Ali’s kit cards, resized to fit in this book, and patterned paper from another card on the left. Both were edited in Photoshop Elements to achieve the size and scale that I wanted.

This layout is about the time we made these popsicle stick airplanes that I will cherish forever. I remember vividly the day he painted them.

 

The Details about the Details in our Home

It was about this point in the process when I realized I could use those awesome cork letters from Dear Lizzy to number each layout/detail story. I love LOVE the simple addition and how it came through on the page.

The Details About the Details I Used in this Album

I just really love this purple patterned paper. Add the numbers – and done. This is when my minimalism scrapbooker tendencies really come through.

The full layout includes stickers that I have had from Studio Calico for YEARS. And even though all the alpha “s” were gone, I made the layout anyway. Because they match. And because no one is ever going to physically pick up this book and be like “OH WOW. No plural “s”? That’s strange.”

These are the things I remind myself when I start nit-picking my work.

Done is better than perfect, friend. Done is better.

The gold paper on the right has a great texture. I was initially concerned that this felt a little plain, but if you look at it in real life, you can see the sheen (and the texture of the paper) is a nice touch.

Three details. And, you know, as I’m writing this, I realize Ali has a coordinating stamp I could have used. At the very least, I can definitely add the numbers 1, 2, and 3 to point out the details of this story.

And THIS. THIS SO MUCH.

And YES, I’m totally leaving you with a teaser. I’ll share the rest of that page, along with my story, in my next post.

Stay tuned!

Supplies Used:

 

xoxo,

julie

Baby Girl’s First Year Scrapbook: Month 11

It’s both entirely hysterical and SO EXACTLY LIKE ME to start Adeline’s baby book at month 11.

You see, sometimes it takes a while for ideas to converge and take root. I tend to buy the supplies and wait days, weeks, even MONTHS for a project to fully form in my mind and come together. And this project, especially because of its meaning and how many different feelings I have about it, is exactly as it should be: months behind, informed by deep love and enough perspective to truly find joy in each part and piece that comes together.

Building a Baby Book

Friend, having babies is A LOT OF WORK. No joke. It’s enough to make them and have them grow inside your body. Towards the end, we build this anxiousness about giving birth. As if it will actually be easier once they come out. And maybe in some ways that is true. But for most of us, having the baby is when the work truly begins.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the lack of sleep, hours of feeding, and frenzy of constant care that you lose track of time. Of yourself. Of what you would like to do if you actually had the mind space to make it happen.

So when it comes to a baby book, it’s really easy to lose track of the days and months and find yourself, one or five years later, without anything to reference back to about that time when your kid was actually a baby.

That’s why I’m starting here, at month 11. It’s where I am. It’s where we are. I can always build backwards. But capturing this moment right here is SO SPECIAL. SO important. And SO exactly the point of a baby book to begin with.

I love every bit of this tiny human and I want her to know that.

So when Ali’s DETAILS story kit came out this month, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in her book, and I dropped everything I was doing to make it happen (this is literal – as in, I put Adeline on the floor, gave her something to play with, and let her tear apart my kitchen while I made this layout!) And it was totally worth it.

First, I picked the same Project Life 12×12 Faux Leather album by Becky Higgins that I used for Max, in a blush pink (I found this on clearance at Michael’s months ago). The page protectors are by Becky. The cards are almost entirely Ali Edwards. You can see a full supply list, with links, at the bottom of this page.

 

I added photos from this month – August – all of which happened to go really well together. Then I added small stars (part of Ali’s kit) that could be referenced in a larger writeup. Those stars also had matching circles + dots, so I used them as a reference to show which words went with which photo. This card is also from Ali’s kit.

Next, I added cards from Ali’s kit and the Project Life Fresh Edition, with its lovely floral prints and subtle patterns, it’s easily my favorite core kit. The “today’s details” is a sticker from Ali’s kit.

Then I started writing. I took to my computer and dropped in the “detail one”, “detail two”, and “detail three” stamps into Pages (the MS Word equivalent for Mac), and wrote descriptions of each of the pictures.

And this is the important part of this post.

How I wrote in My Words / Perspective

Writing to your kids can be HARD. I feel like sometimes I write with this undertone of “you’re driving me crazy” or “if only you cleaned up your toys” or something equally NOT super positive. To avoid that, I waited until I was in a super loving mood. I got myself into the emotional place where I felt so much love I thought I might burst, and then started writing.

The words FLOWED. It came together easily. I cried. And laughed. And couldn’t wait to put it all together.

I looked at the DETAILS of each picture. Her feet. Her hands. Her expression. Her outfit. Where she was. What she was doing. The moment at hand. And I brought it into each card. 

It is one of the most loving pieces of writing I have ever done. And I can’t wait to give it to her when she grows up.

Supplies Used

  • Project Life 12×12 Faux Leather album by Becky Higgins
  • page protectors are by Becky Higgins
  • Becky Higgins Fresh Edition
  • Ali Edwards DETAILS Story Kit

 

xoxo,

julie.