Friday, September 27, 2013

Goodbye Class... Hello Story!

This week wraps up the past three months of Hello Story with Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes. I must admit, it was the second teaser video that completely sucked me into taking this class. I love journaling on my layouts and was intrigued by the idea of taking this further... exploring new ideas, and digging deeper. Having never taken a class from Ali before, but realizing full well that my style is REALLY different than her's, I wasn't completely sure what to expect.

Well, it is a major understatement to say that I was BLOWN AWAY. Like, out of the water, completely awe-struck. Every. Single. Week.

Each Monday, we were presented with a new "story structure." 
A premise on which to build a layout. 
A perspective from which to approach the page.

Not to mention, several process videos, inspiration boards, and free downloads and printables! Also, Ali presented all of her ideas in such an adaptable way that I never felt like they wouldn't work for my style. 

The ideas presented were always thought provoking. As in... I am going to have to ponder this for a few days before even beginning a layout.

At first, this was way out of my comfort zone as I am usually a dive in with my eyes closed, start throwing paint around, and see what happens kinda gal. However, I forced myself to succumb to the slower more thought-based process. Once I was a few weeks in, it was becoming more and more comfortable to approach a page this way.

The idea of really focusing on what matters, what stories really should be in my albums, and what stories really are worth telling... well, it was priceless for me.

I am indeed a story-based kinda scrapper. I want my albums to make sense as a whole. I scrap out of order, but file all of my albums in chronological order, mostly following Shimelle's system.

Approaching layouts with an intended story structure really fine-tuned this for me. I now feel that I have a stack of layouts that are rich with story... not only on their own accord, but that add to the story of their albums as well.

I completed 20 layouts during the 12 weeks of this class and I can honestly say that I LOVE each and every one of them.
Let's take a look at some of those, shall we?

First up, a layout about my wedding dress. This dress was worn by 3 generations and 3 women in my family. It is currently in my closet awaiting the next lucky lady :)
This one below, lists every job my dad has ever had. He retired just recently and it was more fun to get this down on a page! He loved it so much, he asked if he could have it. Of course! It now hangs in his den and a digital copy is printed and in my album.
This next one is a fun side-by-side timeline of my husband's life and my life from birth to present day:
As I mentioned previously, Ali provided many printables and such. This layout features a fun fill-in-the-blank form that captures some personality quirks:
I also did one for my oldest daughter where she filled out the form herself:

And I helped my middle daughter with her's:

Here is another fun fill-in-the-blank style page that captures the important details of a birthday celebration:
Many of the layouts involved deeper thoughts and more personal journaling.... this is one of those:
Here is one that contains envelopes full of business cards from my prior jobs. Such a fun way to document the path I took to get where I am today:
Many of the prompts allowed for stream-of-conscious style journaling, which I love doing. This page was first built and then completely covered by a full-size sheet of vellum containing my journaling... to symbolize the passage of time and how fleeting it can be:
For this next layout, a simple math equation allowed me to document a fun and unexpected moment in my life... being a guest on the Paperclipping Roundtable!
And the same simple equation provided a great starting point for one of my favorite photos:
I didn't realize just how timely some of the prompts would be and this next one allowed me to document a very monumental and emotional moment in our lives this past summer. This layout is so very special to me...
I was also able to use one of the story structures to scrap a reference page for my 12x12 album about our summer that points the viewer to my project-life style summer mini album that I just finished:
Thankfully, for this next layout, Ali was kind enough to provide a printable pie-chart template. I am pretty sure I would have NEVER been able to measure and cut all of those shapes otherwise! What I love most about this is that it allowed me to scrap some really bad photos in a very pleasing way and to get an important story told.
Maps were the focus of this next one and since we rarely travel, I wasn't sure what to do, but I ended up (upon Ali's suggestion) scrapping why we live where we live. I seriously would have never thought to do that otherwise. And, what a fun ting to have in my album!
This next layout, in a numbered list format, gave me a great start to documenting some of the many reasons we love homeschooling...
I was even inspired to do a double page spread for one of the class prompts! If you are a regular reader here, you probably know how rare those are for me. But, I just love how this one turned out. I was also really inspired to incorporate some techniques from one of Celine's videos found here on Two Peas:
This next one is also a great example of something I would never have thought to scrap without the prompts from this class. Just look at those contrasting pictures! HA! Yes, that 18 year old on the left there, would have never thought she would end up where that 35 year old is on the right. Oh, how glad I am that I have ended up here!
And finally, another stream-of-conscious style layout with my "rules" to live by. Some of them are serious and some of them are silly.
And that's exactly what this class was... the perfect mix of serious, deep-thinking... mixed with lighthearted scrappy fun!

I am sad that it is coming to an end, but thrilled beyond belief that I have all of the layouts above to file away in my albums. 

Thanks Ali!


  1. This is an amazing and outstanding post Ashli! All your LOs are out of this world - way to get so much scrapped but even more so way to get so many stories told!! I'm truly wishing I would've gotten in on this class - here's to hoping its offered up again. I love the variety you have in your pages and how thoughtful each one of them is. Tremendous work my friend!

  2. oooo what an amazing succession of pages-I love the one of the dresses. pages like that just make me swoon. I took a class with Ali long time ago and totally enjoyed it, learning so much.

  3. Your pages are GORGEOUS! I completely loved Hello Story too, but I did not get as many pages out of it as you did - way to go! I need a weekend to just sit and watch all the videos and make stuff...thanks for inspiring me! :)

  4. CONGRATS ASHLI!! Ali featured you on her blog about your review of hello story. That is soooo cool!!

  5. Beautiful! Yes I love classes by Ali too, I did not take this one but I love her take on telling the stories of life! Wonderful layouts!

  6. Yep, I loved the class too, and I always watched out for your pages in the gallery, after I egged you on to do the wedding dress page which turned out so amazing. Great to see all of your pages together.

  7. Amazing work Ashli!! I love how artistic your pages are and that you thoughtfully work in the stories from your photos!!

  8. Sounds like a really great class!
    And you made some really great pages!
    I am pinning a few :)
    I am taking a class at Big Picture right now with Elizabeth Dillow and am hoping to get some good inspiration there, too!

    1. Oh and I am the same way with my scrapbooking. I am completely out of order with what I scrap, but I store the pages chronologically. Or as close as I can :)

  9. Love what you did with the inspiration from the class! I also took the class, also first Ali class for me, and I feel exactly the same. It was amazing.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for sharing, love all your layouts. Have often thought of doing a class at Big Pictures, maybe I should as I am feeling a bit stuck at the moment. Always enjoy looking at your creations

  11. Wow! Your layouts are amazing! I loved Ali's class....I fell behind and still have several of the story prompts to catch up on, but I can't wait!

  12. Your layouts are fabulous! I really enjoyed the class too and still have to work through the last two weeks. It was an amazing experience. :)

  13. Wow, what awesome pages! Very inspiring! :) I love the amount of texture and layering you create on your pages... and that they are so story-based, too. Thanks for sharing!!


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