Stories Of Summer : Collection Of Inspiring MiniBooks + Layouts From Readers

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Today I want to share a collection of layouts and minibooks that were submitted that inspired me for one reason or another. Read below each example for some comments from me about why I chose to showcase the project.




COMMENTS FROM ALI : Autumn is one of those people that leaves an impression. I've had the pleasure of meeting her a few times at different scrapbooking events over the years and every time I see her she makes me happy. She's one of those naturally happy people with a definite joie de vivre. She's also a really great example of someone who scrapbooks without having any kids (at least not yet). Her Week In The Life album is one I send people to who don't have kids and wonder what they are going to capture and document over the seven days. I loved this layout as an example of getting your story told...of not being limited by the space in front of you. Tell your story and make it fit


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Summer 2009
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COMMENTS FROM ALI : These layouts from Susan really make me want to scrapbook. I like the way she adds simple details to these two-page spreads. They have a really nice balance of photos, words, and embellished details - with an overall focus on the photos. I'm especially drawn to the first and the last layouts.



FROM ASTA : I live in Lithuania. Here we found out about scrapbooking probably 4 or 5 years ago - the market is just taking it's first steps. I made these travel albums 2 years ago, so I had very few scrapbooking supplies. While making my albums, I cropped big sheets of cardstock and adhered colored paper I bought in stationery shop. I used a lot of memorabilia - tickets, brochures, etc. Some of embellishments I did myself, for example - the tube sign in London album. We did a lot of pictures during these trips, so I wanted to use as many as possible of them.






COMMENT FROM ALI : What I loved about both of Asta's minibooks is the emphasis on using pieces from her journey as the decoration (rather than a lot of product). So much color and life comes from ticket stubs and other ephemera gathered along the adventure.


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FROM JEREMY : This mini album (Maya Road) documents my family's summer vacation to the cottage in the Muskoka's in the Summer of 2009. With each of our increasingly busy schedules it was the first summer in a few years we had all gotten together for a vacation.
I really wanted to focus on the words + photos of this trips. I had been really inspired by full page photos in magazines and decided to go that route. By allowing each photo to have a full page, the focus was right where I wanted it. I then added journalling tags throughout the album to share the stories from our summer vacation. I kept the embellishments very minimal once again to keep the focus on words + photos.

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SUPPLIES: Mini-Album: Maya Road;
Patterned Paper, Chipboard letters: Scenic Route;
Endless Summer Tape: Heidi Swapp; Cardstock: Bazzill;
Letter Stamps: Image Tree;
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink;
White Pen: Uniball Signo;
Overlays: Ali Edwards for Designer Digitals;
Other: Ribbon/Fibers

COMMENT FROM ALI : What I loved about Jeremy's minibook was the full-photo pages with the simple addition of journaling overlays printed directly onto manila tags. It's a great example of how you can use digital supplies for traditional projects. I also thought it was a great reminder of how lovely a simple approach to memory keeping can be with a strong focus on the images and words. 

It's not about the latest and greatest. It's about documenting and capturing what's important to you and your family and the life you are living. 




Journaling card & tags available as a
free download from Denise here.

COMMENT FROM ALI : One of the things I loved most about this layout from Denise was the comparison of different years vacationing in the same place. Stories that showcase the evolution of time are some of my favorites. I also like the rounded corner squares. I also like the basic design foundation of the smaller squares on both pages - this would make a great repeatable page design for an album.


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JOURNALING :  I ask them, “Can I take your
picture?” This is what I get. So many things turn out differently than
my expectations. Take this summer for example... I admitted it to
everyone: for the first time, I was dreading having Emma and Peter home
with me all day. Evening and weekend playtime during the past school
year had been five minutes of peace followed by escalating complaints
about the other one, intervention, then peace again for five minutes. I
anticipated that the summer would be hours on end of this exasperating
behavior. After three weeks, I realized my expectations had not been
realized at all. Maybe it was the longer, uninterrupted time they had,
but playtime was much more harmonious than ever before. They entered
each other's imaginative worlds. Emma created Barbie scenarios and Peter
played along with his action figure “John.” Peter talked about his
imaginary friends, Good Leo and Bad Leo, and soon Leo had a big sister
who was friends with Emma. When they got together with Sabrina and
Johnny, all four could spend hours acting out Star Wars/Clone Wars
battles. Certainly after ten weeks of summer vacation, everybody's
tempers frayed a bit, but in the end, what I got was this: not what I

COMMENT FROM ALI : What I loved about Cathy's layout was the story. I loved her honesty. I love how she began her journaling talking about expectations and finished it with the simple repetition of that same idea. I love how the photos and the words work well together. It's a great slice of their life at a moment in time.




COMMENT FROM ALI : I love the enlarged photo as the background for the layout - such a great way to take advantage of digital technology and would look awesome in a hybrid 12x12 scrapbook mixed in with other paper pages. This is on my to-do list. 



FROM KIMBER-LEIGH : This picture was
the result of taking lots of digital pictures. It seemed insignificant
at first, and it almost got deleted (slightly blurry in the bottom right
corner) but then I realized how perfectly it captured our Saturday
mornings, especially given the blur! I'm so glad I saved it. It's
one of my favorites...and as soon as I realized the slice of life it
captured, the title of the layout immediately came to mind.

COMMENT FROM ALI : I love the photo here. I love the "normal-ness" of it
and how it captures an entire scene rather than a close-up of any one family member. I am continually reminding myself to step back a bit and see more of what is happening rather than always capturing a close-up emotion. Seeing summer in this way has really been a nice gift. 

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27 thoughts

  1. dawn says…

    WOW this has been quite a week of summer memories. These are just wonderful and inspiring. I love how we all have the same idea but capture it in a different way. I have to say my favorite is the last picture " any given Saturday" that is a perfect title for some pictures I have like that, also it doesnt' have to be a summer photo it could be a fall/spring outdoor photo too. Thank you so much for sharing all these ideas with us Ali.

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  2. Kate says…

    I love all of these. The Lithuanian-made mini books are gorgeous, I love how they co-ordinate by size and style but are so very different. I'm usually a mini book hater, yet here, I'm really drawn to the simplicity of these!

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  3. Theresa W says…

    Wow! Thanks for sharing Ali - I am inspired by all of these and ready to scrap my "Any Given Saturday" right now :) What a sweet picture and emotion behind the words!

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  4. Peaceliving says…

    I agree with you about the last page...stepping back to capture the whole overview. And I love the photo as background idea!!

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  5. Jill says…

    Thank you for these albums. They are all just beautiful work with great inspiration.

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  6. alicia says…

    Great inspiration as usual!

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  7. Susan Bowers says…

    Thanks Ali,
    Great inspiration. Because my stories of summer album is a mini I was interested in Jeremy's journaling touches. Great way to add more photos yet still keep my theme of stories + photos. All of you lovelies are - lovely.

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  8. Crissie says…

    Being relatively new to all things scrapbooking, I don't have a lot of goodies to choose from & I always felt that I needed all that to create. Thanks for showing how the story is the most important part of the creation and thanks for so many wonderful ideas to get me inspired.

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  9. Rosa says…

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful works, Ali, I am inspired :)

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  10. cinback says…

    I absolutely love the full page photo used as a background for the rest of the scrapped page. I love how it piggybacks on the concept you used a few weeks ago of using a whole page photo and putting the journaling on top in the negative space. I will definitely be trying this one out! Thanks!

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  11. Tina S. says…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for featuring designs that are not product driven! I'm growing weary of all the stuff slapped on the page that has nothing to do with the photo in the name of art or good design. The purpose of scrapping is to tell the stories of our lives, not to see who can use the latest product or the most lavish embellishments. These memory keepers are sharing themselves with all who view their stories and that's what makes our hobby worthwhile. Thanks!

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  12. glee says…

    beautiful wonderful albums. love the through the years pages and esp the joy of capturing those real everyday nothing special but priceless days. that is summer in a nutshell!

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  13. Emily says…

    QUESTION: Can you share the dimensions of Asta's books? Are they 8x8?

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  14. {vicki} says…

    Great inspiration from today's post!

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  15. Tiffani says…

    I love this comment: "It's not about the latest and greatest. It's about documenting and capturing what's important to you and your family and the life you are living."

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  16. Tiffani says…


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  17. Immi says…

    Thank you for sharing these. It is so encouraging to see what others are doing and draw inspiration from that.

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  18. Shauna MIller says…

    Love, Love some of these layouts! I just had my third child, so I love these layouts , simple, yet tell the story! thanks for sharing!

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  19. nina says…

    Thanks for showcasing these great layouts! I really like the styles you've shown, and have discovered a few new blogs to follow - thanks!

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  20. Lowly says…

    Great layouts, this week, Ali. Totally inspiring. I agree, they make ME want to scrap too! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  21. Shelly K says…

    Awesome inspiration!! Thanks!

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  22. Kristin says…

    these are gorgeous, thanks for sharing them Ali, to inspire us!
    Would you consider providing a tutorial on how Jean did her layout with the photo as a background, and then photos and journaling as a transparent overlay?

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  23. Eniko DeLisle says…

    Cathy's journaling and photos reminded me to allow my honest impressions of my life to come through in my scrapbooking. Life is not always ideal or perfect and it is silly and quite "real" to record the fantasy of what we think our lives should be rather than what it really is.

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  24. Eniko DeLisle says…

    OOPS! What I meant to say in the last line above, is that: " is silly and not quite 'real' or honest to record the fantasy of what we think our lives should be rather than what it really is."

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  25. Kelli says…

    I absolutely LOVE Autumn!! So glad to see her mentioned here because her talent is beyond belief ... but also, she is crazy fantastic, and you just love her instantly. She does have kids though ... all her students who she treats as if they were her own with as much pride as any mother! I find her amazing and an inspiration in so many ways!

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