Project Life: What I learned

Last year I started off the year very excited about my Project Life album and my plans to keep it up through the whole year.  I mean, everything that I read about the Project Life system sounded way too easy, so of course it shouldn’t be a problem… right?

Well, the problem with something so simple is that it often gets over thought.  Especially if I am involved.  I mean, sure the original system of one Core kit plus an album, some page protectors and a pen can be very simple.  It’s basic… they really don’t lie to you.  It CAN be that simple.  However, like many of us who see all the beautiful albums that people put together and share online, it can be very overwhelming.  It’s nearly impossible for me to decide on a single Core kit that I’ll be happy with all year.  There are just too many kits available, and now with the mini kits and all sorts of other compatible products from other companies that I get sucked in to buying a bunch of supplies that I may eventually use.

My main challenge last year was with my photos.  I took tons!  Besides trying to decide which to use, there was figuring out how to print them (not just where, but what size, orientation, etc.)  I had overwhelmed myself with getting way too many styles of the page protectors and so I never really knew what to print or how.

Here is a list of lessons that I have learned and need to remember when working on my album this year…

  1. Stick to one layout of page protectors.  This year I will use the Design A pages, with the exception being adding some Design C or L when I have lots of additional photos I wish to include (this keeps my printing to horizontal 4×6 photos – unless I have a reason to have a bunch of vertical ones)
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed with the kit.  Yes, it would be easiest to use a single Core kit.  I get bored though.  Also, I have a decent stash of cards and such in different styles that need to be used.  I’m not going to be super worried about the entire album having a cohesive style, colors, etc.  The photos are really the star of the show – the inserts are for fun, filler and to have a place to write my journaling.
  3. Don’t try to embellish everything.  Sure, I’d love to be able to sit down and be super creative and make every page a work of art.  The simple truth is that I do not have the time, space, energy, etc. to be able to do that.  At this point in my life it’s about getting the story documented.  Later on in life – when the kids are older and I have more space to spread out, I can put the effort into being an artist.  Sure, I’ll have additional embellishments in my album – but only when I somehow find the time to.

I have finally gotten my 2013 album semi- caught up.  I printed a bunch of photos from Persnickety Prints in 3×4 and just finished sticking them in the page protectors.  I simply downloaded all the photos from my phone and picked out the ones to get printed, uploaded them, then pressed order.  A big problem with doing it this way is that some are horizontal, some are vertical, they are now somewhat out of order because of this or I have photos that go different directions on the same page.  I figure that there is something creative I could do to remedy this – but again, I just don’t have time for that right now.  Maybe it can be fixed later.

I plan on getting out my original Core kit (Amber, I think) and filling in some of the blanks with my journaling cards then adding some notes here and there.  Then, I will call the 2013 album complete.  I’m hoping to have this all done before I go back to work in early February so that I can begin to focus on getting my 2014 album worked on regularly.  We’ll see how that works out.



Happy New Year!

So yeah, I’m feeling like trying the whole blogging thing again for a bit.  Let’s see how this goes.

A lot has happened in the past 8 months since I posted anything.  The biggest thing, is that in November we welcomed our newest member to the family.  Charlotte Rose arrived the week before Thanksgiving.  She’s been such a wonderful baby, we love her so much.  Her big sisters are doing great with her.  They just wish she would grow up a bit so that they can play with her. 🙂


All is well in our household and we are looking forward to see what 2014 has in store for us.

I have a few projects that I’m going to attempt again this year.  Hopefully, I can finish at least one of them.  My big thing is to continue my Project Life album.  I’m currently working on going back and filling in the blanks from my 2013 album and coming up with my plan for how I can stay on track this year.  Today, I came across a post/video about an app that might help me keep things organized and on track.  It’s called Capture, and you can use it to organize your photos, take notes, set reminders, etc.  Learn about it here, where I did, in this blog post at This and That.  I downloaded it (and upgraded to the full version for only $1.99) and got myself caught up for this year.  I’m planning on keeping my photos organized on here then placing a monthly order at Persnickety Prints for my photos (they print 3×4!).  I’m currently uploading about 250 photos to print from last year.  Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Other than my Project Life album, I’m also hoping to get the girls’ albums caught up and maintained.  This is a big project!  At least I’m getting my photos taken – even if I have been slow (bad) about printing and recording them.

Anyway, more to come soon!

My Little Crafter

The other day, my oldest daughter, NK, (she’s 4) came to me and asked if she could help me work on my book.  My book being my Project Life album.  “Well, of course!” I told her.  We didn’t get around to working on it that night (it was already almost bedtime) but we did finally get around to it today.

She likes to help with the corner punch on the photos and to put everything in the page protectors.

This morning when I was getting my photos printed out, I handed the girls each one of the blank 3×4 cards that I had and told them to draw something and it could go in my book this week.  Sadly, they did not take this opportunity to do one of their really creative drawings (maybe next time), but they did both want to add some glitter to their drawings, so I finally let them get out the messy glitter and sparkle up their drawings.  (Look for close ups of this when I finally get my project life layouts posted in the next day or so)

Of course, after we got a little bit done on my book, NK wanted to be creative and make something new for her walls.  I’ve got some stickers that I don’t mind her using, as well as lots of stamps so I let her have at it.  She’s surprisingly good with the stamps, and even tries to clean the ink off when she’s done (I’m teaching her well).

Me being me, couldn’t pass up this opportunity to snap a few photos of her working.

my little crafter
choosing her stamp, I believe she went with the crown shape

my little crafter
inking the stamp, a beautiful “lellow” of course – it is a crown

my little crafter
and stamping her paper

Here’s her finished artwork…
my little crafter
some random letters, chosen simply because she liked the colors, and she wanted some sparkle 🙂 LOVE it!

I absolutely LOVE how she’s enjoying getting crafty with me.  And as long as I can get her to understand how to take care of my supplies then I’ll happily share with her.  So far, so good.

Wonder what little sis was up to while all of this was going on?

IMG_9511 🙂

I plan to be back tomorrow with an update of my Project Life pages.


And Project Life Begins… my first few pages

I’ve done it!  I got my title page and first week’s spread completed – well, nearly… it’s waiting on a photo or two that is being picked up tomorrow.

Wanna see?  Of course you do…



Cover page above needs a quote or something on that dark block on the edge, just not sure what yet…


That top 4×6 block will be home to a group photo from NYE and the blank pink spot on the other page will have a small photo as well.


The little “This Week” journaling card is one of the folded cards where inside I wrote all about the week.  Not everything I document will be public knowledge, so I like having these little folded cards for the “secret” stuff I want to remember.




Nice huh?  I started realizing that I was printing too many photos and didn’t have a lot of space left over for writing.  I’ll probably NOT quit taking so many photos to include, but instead just not necessarily do only a week on a two page spread.  Or  I might add smaller pages (5×7, 8.5×11) in between the larger spread.  Either way, there is no way I will cut out all the photos – I will make room for them somehow.  They are what really makes the book for me.

I just want to be sure I make the space for the little notes as well, that is the part of the story that is often missing for me because I just don’t feel like writing – or wait too long and can’t remember.

Anyway, I’m totally loving this album so far (yeah, I know I only started).  I think it will be a lot of fun to keep up with, and my girls are already wanting to get involved, and they love looking at the photos and helping slide them into the pockets.  I really enjoy that they are enjoying it.  Now, It’s just up to me to keep it up.

And so Project Life Begins…

I’m getting really excited about my Project Life album for this next year.  I really love the idea, and the concept of how to be able to incorporate a little bit of memory keeping in a little bit of time, in order to have a beautiful album without a ton of work.  Time and space has really been what has kept me from doing much scrapping over the past 4 years (since my oldest was born) and so this system seems to be something that will work for me.

Some people I have seen do a strict week by week approach.  And while that is awesome, I just can’t quite make that kind of commitment just yet.  For me, I will use the Project Life system to easily be able to get all those photos that I take printed and into an album and write at least a little bit of something to help tell the story.

One thing you should know about me and any kind of scrapbooking, I have been notoriously BAD at journaling.  I never feel like I really have much to say, and so most of my older layouts (older, because I haven’t done any in so long) just have a date and event on it… possibly names of people in the photos.  For me, it was more of a pretty way to showcase a photo.

Lately though, I seem to have come out of my rut with journaling, even if it’s only a little bit.  I’m happy to say that I have been better about getting a real story down on paper and telling what actually happened.  I’m not going to feel bad though if I don’t have a huge story for EVERY photo though.  It’s just not going to happen.

So, I bet you really want to see all the goodies I have been working with/on though… huh?

Well, for Christmas the hubby’s Aunt got me the Project Life Amber Kit.  I originally was going to wait for Seafoam, but this one was on my Amazon wish list so this is what I will use.

Project Life Amber KitWhen I first added it to my wish list, it was just “so, so” but now that I have it in my hands, it’s freakin’ Awesome!  So much better in real life rather than on the screen!  I’m really happy with using this kit now.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t purchase a few other items to go with this kit.  I got the blank white cards, as well as the blank grid cards (both in 3×4).  Also, I ordered the 4×6 colored cardstock that coordinates with the kit.  I figure I can use these full size or even cut them in half if I want to use the solids in the 3×4 slots.

I’ve also picked up a few new stamp sets, including Ready Set Go – Clear Acrylic Stamps – Hey There, from the Amy Tangerine collection from American Crafts.

American Crafts - Amy Tangerine Collection - Ready Set Go - Clear Acrylic Stamps - Hey ThereLOVE THEM!

So today, I worked on a few embellishments for some of the 3×4 cards.  I figure I’ll want a little something added on them – so I might as well make up some as I have time.  That way I can just write what I want or add a photo and insert – adding to the ease of assembling this album.  What do you think?

A few PL cards I made...

Cute huh?

  • I’m liking the Charlie Brown effect of the yellow card – I cut it from some double sided cardstock, then cut the chevron from the kraft cardstock, and used my pen to draw in the other chevron lines.  Although, as I look at it now, it’s more of an actual zig-zag rather than a chevron.  Oh well.
  • The “Hello 2013” card is from the kit – I just stuck on some Thickers and stamped my Hello (using the stamp set from above).
  • The “Today” card is also from the kit.  I simply added a little cork ATC card to the front and stamped “TODAY” on a scrap and stapled it together.
  • The red glitter is probably the easiest as well as my favorite!  I have a 6×6 pad of brightly colored glitter paper which I cut to 3×4 and rounded the edges.  I took craft paper and cut the heart and simply stapled it together in the middle.

I plan to start putting my intro/cover page together this weekend so I can be ready to start filling with photos next week.  Since we have a New Years party for work on Monday night, I will likely start there.


DecDaily12: Days 6-15

I’ve been home sick the past two days, which has given me some time to continue the progress on my December Daily album.  Here are my new pages.  Some still need photos, but they have been ordered so that’s at least something.  Plus, I’ve added photos that I did receive to my previous pages.  When it’s all said and done I will do a re-cap with all new photos of the completed pages.  I just didn’t see much of the point in taking 3 photos of each page.

December Daily 2012: 6 & 7

December Daily 2012: 8
December Daily 2012: 8

December Daily 2012: 9

December Daily 2012: 11

December Daily 2012: 12

December Daily 2012: 13 & 14

December Daily 2012: 15

As you can see, there was a day I didn’t really have anything, so I skipped it – no big deal.  There are other days were a lot was happening, so I’ve left plenty of space to add lots of photos.  Day 15 has a LOT of photos, it was great to be able to document all of this.

More later, So far I just have 3 days to catch up with – and honestly, there hasn’t been much to say for those either.  We’re getting closer to the end of the month though and time to wrap up this whole project.  I’m loving that this year I am actually completing this whole album.

I’m thinking Project Life

I’ve watched various bloggers/crafters work on their Project Life albums this year and I’m seriously thinking about it for this next year. Actually, I’ve already bought my album and it was delivered today. I’m to the point where I’m trying to decide which kit to buy – the two new ones that I really like are yet to be released so I’ve still got time to decide.

I haven’t really done much in the way of scrapbooking for awhile now and so of course, I’m pretty far behind. I want to make this something that I can actually keep up with and document all those little moments. I’ve got photos for most everything over the past years, but they are all still on the computer. I really need to go back and do something with them.

But if I can keep up with the future memories then I think I’ll be doing better. 🙂

The thing about Project Life is that it’s supposed to make keeping up with the memories really easy and less time consuming. Just print a photo and stick it in the slot, pull out an awesome journaling card and write a few notes about what happened. That’s it!

Others have done a full week spread for each week of the year. I’m not entirely sure I’ll do that. I may be more meaningful if I just fill it as real things happen rather than trying to force myself to come up with something on even the most routine weeks -especially the things we do over and over. Not that routine things aren’t important, but it can get to be too much if I try to document them over and over with not much new to say.

There are two new kits this year and they are equally as awesome.  I’m currently undecided which one I’d like to go with. There’s Seafoam,

Seafoam Project Life Core Kit

or there is Olive.

Olive Edition Project Life Core Kit

You can see now why it’s a hard decision to make, right?

Anyway, I have a bit of a plan so as soon as the new kits are released then I will order and get started. I really just need to figure out the best plan for printing photos, we’ll see how that goes.

DecDaily12: Days 1-5

I’m back with an update… these pages are still in-progress since they have no photos yet, but you still get the idea AND it kinda keeps me on track.

Day 1:

The beginning of all of this – I spent the first half of the day in airports and airplanes.  Waiting to add a few photos on a grid from my traveling for the day.

Day 2:

Jeremy’s birthday!  Journaling was typed and talks about how we picked up Dunkin’ Donuts while Daddy slept in.  And how we went out for a dinner with the family that evening.  Plan to add a large photo of the birthday boy on the left side.  Possibly a few small ones added to the right page.

Day 3:

A kind of random Monday.  Just a few interesting notes about what happened.  Plan to fill the spaces with 2×2 photos that go with each statement.

Day 4:

A day I had been waiting for – and one that has made these more frequent updates possible.  My new iMac was delivered!  The old laptop was on it’s death bed so I couldn’t use it much, now there are definitely no problems!

Day 5:

Nora’s Birthday!  Even though she couldn’t quite believe it at first.  We love birthdays in our house, the girls have pretend birthdays all the time.  When it actually was real, Nora just couldn’t quite believe it.  Of course, she went all around town telling people it was her birthday the rest of the day! 🙂  Plan is to fill that box with a photo grid of a few photos from the day.

So that’s what I’ve got so far.  I’ve got lots of photos that I want to try to incorporate for day 8, so right now I’m trying to figure out exactly what needs to happen there.  Stay tuned for more to come!

I Love Photo Books!

I love making photo books, I rarely actually do them but I do love them. They are a great way to quickly save some memories for future generations. I especially like how I can print multiple copies so that my children can each have their own copy when they get older.

Here’s the most recent photo book I created on Shutterfly with our family photos from this fall. Photos were taken by my sister Whitney at Caught You on Camera.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

DecDaily12: Intro

OK, now that I’m back in business with a real computer (Yeah, my new iMac came in today!!) I can try to keep up with posting my December Daily pages as they get finished.  I can’t promise a daily update post, but I’ll try to keep up every few days or so.

You can see the original post about this year’s album and all the supplies I bought here.

Anyway, here are my cover and first few intro pages…

December Daily '12

This is the cover for my album.  I cut regular cardboard pieces to the size I wanted (approximately 5″ tall and 8′ wide).  Then covered the cardboard with some canvas fabric and embellished it with a few supplies I had lying around.

December Daily '12

We start our Christmas traditions before December ever gets here.  Our tree and decorations usually go up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This was good enough reason to get a head start in my album.  My favorite part about this page is the photos – I took them with my FujiFilm Instax Mini camera.  My husband and children bought it for my birthday this year and I haven’t used it much… but this is the perfect reason to have one!

The thing that usually keeps me from getting my pages done is the lack of photos – because I just simply cannot keep enough ink in my printer to print good quality photos, and I cannot go running to the local Walgreens every day just to print a photo or two.  I’m trying this year though.

December Daily '12

And this next page is where we introduce our newest holiday tradition – the Elf on the Shelf.  My girls came up with some interesting names for her, before we finally all agreed on “Daisy.”  The girls are really enjoying waking up each morning and trying to find where Daisy has landed each night after her visit to the North Pole.  She hasn’t gotten in to anything crazy just yet.

So that’s it so far.  I’ve got a few things started from the first few days of December that I need to get photos printed and then I’ll update again.  I know from experience that there is no way I’ll get a page done for each and every single day – sometimes we just really aren’t that interesting.  But other days might have quite a few things going on – so I’ll add a few extra pages for those.  So far I’m off to a good start on this year’s album… hoping to keep it up!

P.S. You can check out all my December Daily pages in my Flickr photostream here. They will be updated as completed in that location, it might just take me a day or so to get a post written.