Sunday, January 6, 2008

REVIEW: Life Artist by Ali Edwards

I've never purchased an Ali Edwards book before (she has two previous to this one). Basically, I didn't feel that her 'style' fit my 'style', so how could I be inspired by her, right?

I would describe her style as artsier than my own with elements of collaging, mis-matched letters, random paint swooshes. I tend to be more linear and I like my letters to match. I never even used paint because it was too unpredictable.

Well, after reading more and more of her columns in CK, I discovered that although my style may be different for her own, her ideas and her drive for scrapbooking were inspiring to me.

So, I purchased her book, Life Artist, and will let you know what I thought.

Within minutes of sitting down, I knew that I was going to LOVE this book! I almost instantly felt a connection with her in terms of what started it all.

"I began scrapbooking in 2002...I had been hunting for a baby book-a cool, modern baby book in which to tell his story-and had been unsuccessful in that search."
~Ali Edwards
I, too, began scrapping in 2002 - shortly before the birth of my daughter - and couldn't find a baby book I liked. I thought, "Oh well, I'll just make one." Little did I know what I was getting myself into!

Then, I read this on page 11:

"Scrapbooking became my outlet. My way of dealing with all the changes in my life. My way of dealing with my emotions. Through the photos I took, I was able to see (literally see) how really amazing and lucky and blessed I was. Scrapbooking helped me take a look at the life I was living. It helped me make changes that would positively affect my life experience."
~ Ali Edwards
This is exactly how I feel about this hobby (turned obsession) of mine!

It also so happens that my current FAVORITE journaling font is Susie's Hand, a font fashioned after Ali's own handwriting.

She divided that book into 8 chapters, the first seven of which are basically her scrapbooking 'mantras':

*It is okay
*Go with the flow
*Celebrate the everyday
*Take a risk...& play
*Embrace imperfection
*Find your own voice & tell your story

Within each of these chapters, she give numerous examples of how she lives these practices through her scrapbooking!

Her final chapter, Life Art Workshop, includes assignments to help her readers embrace these mantras in their own scrapping.

The work included in this edition are all Ali's - 63 layouts and over a dozen very detailed and inspiring mini books.

One that I found especially inspiring was a mini book created by connecting a pack of 4x6 alpha-tabbed index cards with jump rings. She titled it 'little things'.

I have already purchased the cards, rings and have assembled the book. My plan is to add pictures from 2008 as they come along to match the letter. For example, 'E' might end up with a picture of my daughter finding Easter eggs, 'P' might tell the story of our visit to the pumpkin patch in the fall, etc.

I've never really gotten into mini books before, but this one has me's just so simple and quick, yet what a wonderful way to look back on a year! Thanks, Ali!

She also talked about the ebb and flow of the creative cycle which really resonated with me. This past year, I had a couple 2-3 month periods where I scrapped NOTHING...and felt so bad about it. This helped me to see that I'm not the only scrapbooker that experiences this and that it's a natural part of being creative.

Ali also fed the inspiration junkie in me. At the back of her book, she has a list of over 50 different recommended books, magazines, websites, blogs and online challenges for finding further inspiration. Some I had heard of, but most not, and I had a great time exploring these new gems.

In case you haven't already guessed my rating on this book....


I am always curious and open to hearing the opinions of others. If you own or have read this book, please feel free to share your opinion of it in the comments below.

Visit the Life Artist page on to read other reviewers opinions and find out more about the book. You can also read more of my reviews or visit my aStore for other recommendations.

Upcoming Review:
The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley & Aby Garvey
REVIEW: Life Artist by Ali EdwardsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend