This week’s Project Life had a lot going on since we visited the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. I decided on using page protector G, A and an 8 1/2×11 to get everything in. I used some papers, stickers, washi tape, and ephemra that I had in my stash. I also used some stamps for decorations. It took me about 2 hours to get this whole week completed. I really like how it turned out. I can definitely tell that I am getting better at this type of scrapbooking. My style has evolved from my first layout the first week of January.
Tonight I am just uploaded and mildly editing photographs. We did a ton of great thins this week and so now I have to back through those photos and purge the ones that aren’t the best and then I decide to pull them through an editing program. (BTW, Did you see that they are closing Picnik in the next weeks? I am super bummed because I really liked their program!
Anyway, that is what I am doing tonight. Photos, photos, and more photos. I might even put the photos into the album tonight. That would be nice to get that part down. I hope to show you my full PL layouts tomorrow!
I to apologize ahead of time for the poor quality of photos for this post. I should have known better and taken these photos during the afternoon hours instead of when the sun is setting and the lighting in my art room is poor. I had to use the flash and so that is why you will see the flash spot on some of the photos.
It was an exciting weekend last weekend for those of us participating in Project Life. Amazon (the only place that sells PL) finally received the new shipment of all of the PL goodies that have been sold out over the last few months. I don’t think that Becky Higgins could have predicted how popular her line would be but everyone and anyone was clamoring to buy this stuff once it was released. Unfortunately, most of the core elements of the PL kit were sold out until this past weekend, and so those of us who started the project on January 1 had to make due with what we already had on hand or until those items were restocked. Within a matter of hours after the PL kit pieces were listed on Amazon, they were sold out. I couldn’t believe it, but I am glad I went ahead and picked up a few of her things because I would have been left high and dry had I waited. I wasn’t completely sold about her page protectors but everyone raved about them so much, I decided to get a set. I also bought two of the core kits. One of those kits I will be sharing with my sister who is also doing PL.
I just got caught up with my album last night. So far I am keeping things pretty simple. I am okay with that but I am feeling the need to up my style. I don’t want it to look like any run of the mill photo album but I don’t want it to be complicated either. The layout below is from the last week in February. I realized after I uploaded all of my photos for this post that I actually don’t have a picture of the complete layout. I was feeling so special about the little sub-page with the Chinese lions in it, that I completely forgot to take a photo of the layout. Anyway, that was the week of Chinese New Year. I had a newspaper from a Chinese restaurant in Houston, so I cut out one of my favorite ads, sprayed it to keep the newspaper from yellowing, and put it in a 6×12 page protector that I cut down.
The next week was when we went to California. I didn’t want to have to worry about trying to figure out how I was going to shove a bunch of pictures into a layout, so I printed out 6 of some of my favorite photos to put in a page protector and then I used My Publisher to print out to 12×12 scrapbook pages. I embellished the photos very simply only including a receipt, writing on a photograph, and adding a button to the last photo.
We took advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass program and purchased several photos of us taken at the character meals. These were about the only times we could get shots of us as a family. I included two of these photos. I left them in their paper frames and they fit perfectly into an 8 1/2x 11 page protector.
My Publisher offers a digital scrapbooking and printing service and I took full advantage of it for these next two pages. They are super pricey but I am happy with the quality of the prints. They offer pre-designed layouts and I thought the one below was perfect since I wanted to showcase a lot of photographs. All I had to do was drop and drag the photos into the spots, add some journaling, and order the page. I like the results, although I am kicking myself because I misspelled a word and now I am totally distracted by it every time I look at the page.
One of the products that I bought from the Becky Higgins line is the pocket envelope pages. I love, love, love to collect memorabilia (just ask John and he will roll his eyes at you. He usually has to figure out a way to haul all of my stuff back from trips.) and so I knew that these were a must for me. I added maps, receipts, extra photos, and some other goodies from our trip into the pocket page below.
I knew the week of Valentine’s Day would be short on photos, since I was in Ft. Lauderdale for a conference. I ended up with a lot less photos than I thought because I didn’t get the opportunity to take as many photos on my trip as I would have hoped. In this layout I used the new core kit, Amber, along with some various items that I had in my stash. I also included a little valentine that Catherine made.
This last week I decided to be very simple with the layout. I am not sure I like it this simple but I’m happy that it’s done. I’m sure that if I keep up with this album there will be a mix of more elaborate layouts and more simple layouts depending on what’s happening at the time. I didn’t add any extra embellishments to the photos except for the little one in the very middle where I added text to the photo itself. I used the core kit, Clementine, as well as a list paper that I had in my stash.
Right now I am only doing one page protector worth of photos and journaling a week. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with having to fill two of these page protectors up, especially when I have had a week like this past week where I took so few photographs. Again, I am sure there will be times where I have multiple page layouts. That is the beauty of this project. It is what it is, take it or leave it. I already have two months worth of our year chronicled and that makes me very happy. Catherine loves to look at photos, so I know this will be something that she enjoys over and over. So far I am happy I jumped on the PL bandwagon!
Last week’s post on Project Life did not contain a photo of a finished second page, so I wanted to show you that. This is a page protector that has nine 4×4 squares. I could not for the life of me get my printer to print the correct size for that week or for this week, so this particular page protector was a real pain to work with. And, because I used it for the second part of my two page spread from last week, I would also have to use it for this week as well. I don’t like all of the white space because it just seems so bland but it will have to do.
I also inserted an 8 1/2×11 page protector to put her progress report from gymnastics and her preschool newsletter into the weekly layout.
This past week John and I were fighting a cold, so we didn’t have too many opportunities to shoot photos. I did include a cookie bag from La Madeleine’s bakery. I was able to size the pictures a bit better on the printer this week but they are still shy of the 4 inches needed to completely fill the squares so the pictures slide around. I have found that I am not a fan of this 4×4 size, so I’m not sure I will be using it again during this project. Again this is a minimalist week of photos with just some simple embellishments, writing directly on photos, and just using the pictures to tell the stories. My journal block uses a stamped tag which I think turned out pretty well.
I can already feel the need to fancify my pages. That old feeling that I had back when I scrapbooked is rearing its ugly head. This is supposed to be a simple and easy project so I am fighting with myself internally about this. I have to keep looking at other blogs that have those simple pages as well instead of getting wrapped up in trying to keep up with those that tend to create heavily embellished layouts.
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!