June is here and I feel like I have made a heck of an achievement sticking with my Project Life book this year. This is the longest I have stayed with it- and enjoyed it! I attribute this scrap happy feeling to several things:
I approach Project Life like a monthly round up as opposed to a weekly process. I just couldn’t carve out time consistently each week- but I know after I wrap up my BYOC work for the month- I can decompress and work on my album.
I pretty much only use my phone photos for the project. My “better big girl camera” photos are used for my traditional layouts.
During the month, I save photos I know I’ll want to use to a folder on my phone called “Project Life” . This cuts down on hunting when i get to work on my album. I will often tinker with these photos and edit them a little during the month while waiting for the little guy to get out of school. It’s really terrific having photos waiting for me- and it gives me an idea what size protectors I want to use for my layout. I know if I have a lot of great 4×6 shots- Ill find pages that will highlight them. If I have a ton of photos that tell a great story- I may choose lots of little pockets instead. The less technical decision making I have when I sit down to my project- the less chance of paralysis analysis.
I work with a 9×12 album. Not too small- not too big. I’m kind of in love.
I also took an afternoon and color coded all my Project Life cards and papers. I can’t tell you how much easier it makes pulling a cohesive layout together. Once I have my photos on a page- I look to see what color I can pull from all of them- and my decision making, once again is happily narrowed down- which leaves me more time to have fun with the layout!
Here are a few other lesson I learned this moth and wanted to share with you:
I use the edge of my paper trimmer to keep my stickers straight- and to make light pencil lines for my journaling. I have decided I really need to invest in another typewriter. I have a vintage one- which I adore- but it’s slow because thew letters stick- I’d like to get a basic manual one because truly, I really prefer the typed look on my pages.
I do however love the look of a white pen on my photos for quick journaling and this Uniball Signo is the very best I have ever found- and goodness knows I’ve dated more than my share of white pens!
I saw a terrific layout on the Studio Calico blog that used all circle punched photos- and decided to try it out with 2 pages I had that had a lot of photos- that weren’t terrific- but told a good story. It’s was so quick- and I loved the result- especially that it left peek through spaces on my layout. I’ll definitely be using this technique again!
I had a few photos of us going to the movies- and downloaded the movie poster to include in my layout- I love how it came out and think it will be fun to look back on images like this. Movie posters, book covers, packaging- they all change over time- and including them in the album is like making a mini time capsule! I also like including screen shots of texts and emails- it’s an easy way to add another dimension to the story of the month.
I also like including the QR scans. They are super simple to make- and the boys love watching the photos come to life with the accompanying videos. I have a private YouTube account i use just for these little movies. After I take a video with my phone- I upload it to the YouTube account. Because they are usually no longer than 2 minutes- it only takes a few seconds to upload. Then, once it’s uploaded, I copy the URL and past it in a site called QR Stuff. A QR Code is generated, and I download it to my photos. Then I print it out and include it on my page next to the photo I that goes along with the movie. It’s a great way to save those tiny clips you accumulate on your phone!
I also learned a few things about my process this month. When things get clunky- or don’t flow easily- I try and step back and ask “why”? Taking a step back is what helped me take the big dive into separating my Kit supplies and color coding the (you can read that post here).
This month- I was having a hard time finding the little pretties I wanted to use on my page. They were in baskets- but as you can see below- it was just too messy to make sense out of.
So I pulled out a few spare jewelry boxes and separated my stash into categories. Hearts went together- sequins, veneers, blank labels, stars, circle punch shapes, spare cut files I had made- and then the bags of elements were lined up behind them. I didn’t color code these because I find I look for elements more based on the item itself than the color. I made sure they all fit into two boxes – and the way they are set up now- it’s easy to see everything all at once.
I think there are two main reasons why I have stuck with this album for so long:
The first and most important is that I try not to loose focus on the fact that it is, in fact, a project. It’s the first word in the title after all! It’s not called “stick the photos in a sleeve” album! A little though needs to go into it- some planning and prep work- but I have really tried to keep it down to a minimum. because most importantly, this should be fun.
The second reason is that I truly love how the album is coming together. Never before have I been able to collect so many little memories over the course of a year- and now, five months in, the pages are adding up and I feel a very real sense of accomplishment. That great feeling is what keeps me motivated to keep at it.
PS: I would love to hear any tricks, tips or lessons you learned in doing your Project Life- just leave a comment below.