Halloween 2015 Hybrid Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer Story Kit

Hi friends, and welcome back! I’m showing you a layout today from our Halloween night. Here’s the video, and then stay tuned for the rest of the story!

So for this layout I am starting to wind down my Project Life, and typically that means I stop taking photos every day in the months of October and November, and I create a Halloween layout and a gratitude or Thanksgiving layout and then I call my Project Life done.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

Because we have four kids, this actually worked out great to allow me to highlight each child in their own layout, but it didn’t take an inordinate amount of time to create.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

Because there were four, I decided to use one of the layouts Ali Edwards created in the class as my springboard. My layouts are very much like hers – it’s important to know that not every layout has to be a unique creative statement on how well you can design with photos. What I did, however, was change up the elements a bit in each layout, and I used different embellishments and patterned papers so that each layout has its own unique presence.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

The truly important part about each of these layouts is the journaling. Well, the photos are pretty important (and cute!) too, but I really took some time to think about each of my children before I sat down with my papers and embellishments. I took some time to process and think about how I support them and how I cheer them on.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

You see, our kiddos each have unique stories and individual circumstances in their lives that have presented some challenges for them. Two of our children lost their dear mother when they were just toddlers. Two of our children live part of the time with us and the other part of the time in another home with their dad. None of these circumstances are insurmountable, but it does mean that our children deal with things other children might not. I realized through this process that my job is extra important for them to know that they are loved and supported.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

While I was working on these layouts, at one point I had them all four laid out on the floor so I could print out photos and select the patterned papers. The journaling was already printed on the pages, and when the children came home from school that day, they each saw the layouts and stopped to read what I had written.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

I think it meant something to each of them, to read the words I had written. My hope, in all of the layouts I create, is that they will see themselves as special and important, but also that they will know that I see them each as special and important.

Halloween 2015 Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

But something very unexpected happened, while the kids were reading the journaling and checking out their layouts. One of the children actually broke out in tears. Oh, they were happy tears, the sort of tears that let me know that something I wrote had hit on something for that child that they desperately needed. They all needed to know they are being cheered on, but this one especially needed that.

Halloween 2015 Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

And that is why I do this. That is why I take the photos, create the layouts, select the papers, agonize over design decisions and obsess over the embellishments. Because they need to know. 

To learn more about Ali Edwards’ Story subscription kits and to get to know Ali herself better, please visit her website here.

I am not affiliated with Ali Edwards, but I am a very happy customer who loves to use her products and has long been inspired by her creative endeavors. I am however, affiliated with Amazon.com, and here are links to other products I have used in this layout. Any purchases you make by clicking on these links will help support this site, so I thank you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a peak at my process for creating this hybrid layout! This will probably be my last non-holiday related post for the rest of the year. In the month of December I plan to post my daily layouts in my December Daily album, and also plan to post my process videos about every three days. I am so excited and I hope you will follow along with me!

Happy creating! See you soon!


Fall 2015 Mini Album

Hi there and welcome back! I mentioned before that I had actually created two December Dailies this year – and when I went to put everything in the first one, it didn’t fit so I started all over again for that album. Well, today I wanted to show what I have done with that first album.  Enjoy this little video and then I will share the still photos and my sources!

I cannot tell you how much I love how this album turned out, and it is a great example of how something that didn’t work out for its original purpose can be re-imagined to become something really cool. My Mom, who was my creative muse and my teacher of all things artistic, had a favorite motto, and it went something like, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents that we turn into something amazing.”


So I wanted to share a little of my process how I approached this project. I have to admit that I probably took 200 photos that afternoon, and so selecting which photos to include is always a challenge. I prioritized by asking myself the W questions: who (my husband, my children, and my self), what (afternoon at the farm in the fall), where (local farm), when (this fall), and why (spending time together having fun). So I decided to include a layout highlighting each of our children (four layouts already right there), me and my husband (another layout there), a couple showing the farm itself, and a few fall-themed photos (that became the acorn layout at the very end and also the pumpkin photo. I decided to limit the album to 10 or so layouts, and with that I went through and chose my photos.

photos %2B paper %3D album layout

This is an image of all my photos plus the papers I chose to use with each of them. Some of them got moved around a bit as I went along, but it helped me put the album together in an organized way. Notice that I also had cropped and printed the photos in a variety of sizes. I did not want to use page protectors in this album so I wanted to use smaller photos. The sizes ended up being 4×4, 4×3, 5×3 1/2, and also one full spread photo which ended up being printed at 11×5 and cut in half. 

fall mini album side angle

Once I had my photos printed, papers chosen, it was time to place them in the album and add embellishments. Pink Paislee had just released Cedar Lane and Maggie Holmes released Shine as I was working on this album, so they were the natural choice. They both work so very well together and I love how it turned out.

Fall Mini Album Front Page

Notice how I used the inside cover as a place for my journaling and the date. I wanted the photos to be the highlight so I limited the journaling inside the pages. But the inside covers provided the perfect spot to share where we were and when this went down.

Fall Mini Album Front Page Transparency

I used Pink Paislee’s transparency over the front page and the leaf you see there is just a silk leaf I took from a floral pick and spray painted it gold. Then I sewed it onto the transparency so it would stay in place. 

Fall Mini Album Page 2

Some of the photos stood by themselves so I did not pair it on the layout; this photo is great all by itself and it allowed me to do some fun embellishing on the opposite side of the layout. The background paper behind the owl is a watercolor paper by Cosmo Cricket (link at the end) that I watercolored and then layered embellishments on top of.

Fall Mini Album Page 3

I knew as soon as I took this photo that I would create a layout across the entire page with it, and I love how it turned out. Using one photo across the spread is a technique often used by Stephanie Bryan, so I credit her with inspiring me to do this here. This was a beautiful scene.

Fall Mini Album Page 4

This photo and spread are the parochial fall layout tradition – nothing says Fall more than a group of pumpkins. My husband is deathly allergic to pumpkins, so we do not keep them at our house, and sometimes I “borrow” opportunities to photograph them when he is not close by. Ha. 

Fall Mini Album Page 5

This is our oldest son, and while I limited my journaling on the actual layouts, I did want to notate what age they each were at this time. If it looks like something is on his face, it is – there was a tremendous sun flare right there and I worked a little bit to tone that down. I loved being able to use that gold horse shoe on this layout. Those ponies were so cute, but not exactly friendly. They nibbled one of the children, and then immediately after that happened one of the staff members came posting a sign not to pet them any more because they had had enough. Nice timing!

Fall Mini Album Page 6

This was just fun to create. The page with the circles came with the album, and so I decided to back it with the Maggie Holmes patterned paper and then layer some tiny embellishments on top. Happy and fun! The photo of the kids shows them standing in front of a food truck that served French crepes, and the owner’s name was Natalie (our youngest daughter’s name). So that photo had to be included. I also have a long tradition that goes back to her baby album – layouts about her frequently include a bird of some sort, and Maggie’s chipboard bird fit perfectly.

Fall Mini Album Page 7

This is my husband and me, and I love this photo. I try really hard to document us and our relationship in my albums and layouts. We have an amazing story and a dear relationship, he truly is my best friend. I believe the best gift we give our children is to show them our love and our connection, and I know they will look back on these photos with fondness too. I am lucky too, that Alan doesn’t mind taking photos or holding the shutter while I hold the camera!

Fall Mini Album Page 8

The girls were so excited to see and ride the “cow train” at this farm. Each “cow car” was given names like Bessie and Moo Moo. Off they went around the farm. 

Fall Mini Album Page 9

Now, just because I included a layout about each of the kids doesn’t mean the kids are in any sort of order. This is our youngest daughter. She doesn’t always pose for the photo, but this day she did and I love how it turned out. I also love that Maggie Holmes word layered over her photo. Perfect.

Fall Mini Album Page 10

Our oldest daughter was the one who wanted to pose for photos on this day. She came up with her own ideas of places to pose and quite a few of her photos turned out great. It was hard to narrow down to two. She surprises me when she wishes to cooperate with the camera, because frequently she does not cooperate easily with other requests! Ha! But she does love the camera and posing, and she is very photogenic.

Fall Mini Album Page 11

Nick was entirely our uncooperative one this day. He did not want to go into the farm at first, so I had him sit on a grumpy bench. Later on he decided that he would come play, but I still had to sneak some photos of him. One day I will tell them, because I typically do try to get individual pictures of them wherever I am taking photos, that on this day or that day they were uncooperative and that is why they do not have photos of them that are like the others. Even in this layout above, in the photo with all four of them, he is saying to me, “Moooom, you can stop forcing me to pose now.” I killed him with the shutter, I’m sure of it. Ha.

Fall Mini Album Page 12

Alright, this is the last spread and I just love the journaling on the inside cover and that gold sprinkled ampersand from Maggie Holmes. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through our afternoon at the farm! It has been a fun project and I hope you’ve been inspired.

Here are the great sources of product for this album:

Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper Shine Collection

Pink Paislee Cedar Lane Collection

Cosmo Cricket watercolor paper

Simple Stories Snap! album (that has been heavily altered and cut down!)

Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper After Dark collection

Gossamer Blue stamps and wooden/cork embellishments

Miscellaneous from my stash: ribbons, wooden star shapes, white organza

See you again soon!