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. 🙂

Charlotte

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.

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

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

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and stamping her paper

Here’s her finished artwork…
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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?

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

Malea

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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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.