Studio Saturdays- Project Life


So because I need one more thing to add to my ‘to-do’ list, I have decided to take a stab at the wildly popular Project Life introduced by scrapbooking guru Becky Higgins and made famous by my favorite artist Ali Edwards.  Project Life is supposed to be the simpler, easier, more stress-free way of recording memories and after watching Ali build her Project Life album over the year 2011, I thought I would give it a try.  I have to say that I’m not sure how well I will do at keeping up with this, especially in light of my December Daily disaster but I think it’s worth a try.  I still love art journaling but I don’t think it’s an efficient way of consistently recording memories.  I figured if I keep up with my blog on a weekly basis, then keeping up with Project Life should be somewhat manageable.  Of course I haven’t started back into my crazy work/travel schedule just yet, so I will tell you how I am doing in February after I get back from an almost 3 week travel stint (and yes, my family will be traveling with me on a majority of that trip).

I have also decided to organize and archive my New York trip in this fashion.  With all of the really neat pocket pages out there, I figured that this would be the best method.  I think that I should be able to figure out how to get most of my little paper keepsakes into this system.

For my 2012 keepsake album I have chosen the Project Life album, amber edition.  I have decided that my favorite color is yellow as my eye is always drawn to that color and this album does just that.

For my New York trip I purchased the We R Memory Keepers 12×12 black and grey album.  It’s a beautifully crafted album and I love the frame on the front.

I’m not really a fan of the page protectors that are offered through the Project Life system but I do like the ones that are made through We R Memory Keepers.  There seems to be more of a choice and the variety pack is perfect.  They were sold out for nearly 3 months and when they came back up for sale on Amazon at the low rate of $3.00 for a pack of 10, I bought 4 sets of them.  I hope they stick around for a while longer because I know I am going to need more of them, especially with the NY album.

I plan to try and keep the album simple.  One of the things that overwhelmed me with scrapbooking was all of the products that were out on the market.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE browsing through a packed out scrapbook store but those supplies add up quick.  I also felt pretty inadequate with my design style.  I know my style is more like a black sweater from Gap even though I always wished to be more like the shimmering evening gown from Saks.  I ended up feeling more frustrated with the process because of my low scrapbooking esteem and eventually I just fell away from it.  With this, it seems like I don’t have to be super fancy.  From my scrapbooking days I have plenty of product on hand, so hopefully I will be able to just use what I have.  However, there are few little things here and there that I have picked up including these goodies from the popular Smash product line of K&Company.  The tabs are too cute for labeling photos and the journaling cards are perfect for those small pockets in the photo protector pages.  Of course a date stamp is a must, also used for my art journaling and a photo marker to write directly on pictures.

Most important for the ease of the project is the photo printer itself.  Because the pocket pages come in odd sizes, and because it can be overwhelming to always be developing photos, it’s recommended that you print your own photos at home sometimes.  I probably will end up mostly working with 4×6 photos because I have already found it cumbersome to measure and then cut out many 4×4 sized photos in order to fit into one page (as you will see below).  It took me years to finally find a photo printer that I am happy with.  I had to get a nice ink jet printer for my organization and so I chose one that had highly rated photo printing capabilities.  It seemed like an arduous and difficult task but I finally chose the Epson Artisan.  I have been thrilled with the results.

And last is the photo editing program.  I know there are many individuals out there who don’t post -process there photos for project life, however, I can’t not do it for my photos, especially the ones taken indoors.  My camera tends to take very yellow pictures indoors, even after I have manually adjusted the camera, so I have to process my photos.  I have a somewhat higher end photo processing program but my go-to program is the free Picasa and Picnic programs that can be downloaded from the internet.  Picasa does an awesome job at quick fixes for everyday photos and Picnic will take it a step further.  I love that both of these programs are free and easy to use (although Picnic does have a paid subscription that allows for more advanced editing).  What I have discovered is that Picasa will allow you to crop at 3×3 or 4×4 sizes (or other custom sizes) that will make it a bit easier to crop the photos down.

Here are just a few layouts from my first two weeks.  I imagine that I will rotate between one and two page spreads throughout the year.  So far I am pretty happy with the results.  I just hope that I can keep up with it!

Not much to see for my NY album.  This is just the 12×12 cover page.

Wish me luck on this new adventure!  And let me know if you are also doing Project Life!

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