Project Life | February

I started off this year’s Project Life album feeling pretty good about documenting in closer to real time than ever before. I planned to print photos weekly or at least every other week, and to record the stories while the details were still fresh in my mind.

I did pretty well in January 2015, but heading into February, life was in full swing, and documenting it took a backseat to living it. I fell a bit behind. In the Project Life community of creators, you hear a lot about this ‘behind’. That’s because many Project Lifers use the weekly format for their albums; week 1 through 52, each week gets a spread and everything flows quite nicely.

But, since I don’t organize my album by the week, was I really behind? Hmmm…

In Early March, I sat down to organize my photos taken in February and plan out the pocket pages I would fill with them. I organized and planned in much the same way that I always do; I just had a month’s worth of photos to do that with, instead of just a week or two’s worth. (Maybe I will do a post sometime on my planning process. It’s pretty simple, but it took me over a year to find my way, so it may be something worth posting. May be helpful to some…) I do the planning before I print the photos, so I can know what sizes to print which photos.

Soon, I had February 2015’s photos in hand and I was ready to get right to creating! Hooray! So, I go I would work as I had time and felt inspired to. And I liked working from the perspective of overviewing the entire month, even as I told the stories about certain days. I also liked how once I got into a creative flow, I could run with it, since I still had at least a few week’s worth of photos to play with! 😉

Most of the stories were still somewhat fresh… but, I also did rely a lot on Instagram and Facebook captions, notes in my phone and even asking the boys and Erik to help recall some details for me.

Anyway… if Project Life is a new or even foreign concept to you, then a lot of this is just jibber jabber, right? You can read more about this amazing form of memory keeping created by Becky Higgins here. 🙂

And today I am sharing here my favorite Project Life spreads from the month of February. Enjoy! ❤

SumofMyLifeBlog-3    SumofMyLifeBlog-5

SumofMyLifeBlog-4   SumofMyLifeBlog-6

We had such a blast building that amazing Lego set together as a family. I knew I had to devote a full page to documenting that. It took me a bit to figure it out… When I finally did decide on which page protector to use, Design B , I thought that the cropped photos and being able to see through to the next spread might bother me. But, it didn’t at all and I actually kinda like it.

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SumofMyLifeBlog-10   SumofMyLifeBlog-15

SumofMyLifeBlog-14   SumofMyLifeBlog-13

SumofMyLifeBlog-15   SumofMyLifeBlog-17

This may be my favorite spread of the month. I loved how the blues, yellows, grey and even bits of red worked together. and of course, I love the super sweet memories.

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SumofMyLifeBlog-18   SumofMyLifeBlog-20

SumofMyLifeBlog-19   SumofMyLifeBlog-21

Really had fun going with the hearts and the lovey love stuff of February on this spread. 😉

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SumofMyLifeBlog-26   SumofMyLifeBlog-24

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Ohhhh, I changed my mind. This one is my favorite. ❤

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More February memories, in the books. ❤ Makes me so happy…

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And there ya have it! As I put these pages together little by little, I feel that somehow I came back to the reasons why I do this at all. I don’t have all the coolest tools, the latest kits, I don’t have all the embellishments, the bells and whistles. I am not the Project Lifer with all the best and most innovative ways for documenting life’s moments. I am not the Project Lifer with the prettiest, most Pinterest worthy pages. But, I am a woman whose family’s stories are being recorded. A mommy whose hundreds of iPhone photos are printed and admired by the ones who lived those stories. And I am a girl who loves paper, yes. And color. And creating.  And I do this because it is the best, most fulfilling way that I know to bring together these things that matter so much to me.

Project Life 2015 | January

This week I have been sharing my favorite spreads created in and documenting the  month of January 2015.

It was a full and happy month for my little family. Looking back, I feel so thankful.

I know it’s only February. I realize this was only last month I am talking about.

Or… it’s already February… and these happy times together are already memories. Depending on how you look at it.

I closed up the month of January in my 2015 album with a sort of month in review, or closing. I plan to do this for each month.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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Jan'15ProjectLife-5

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And here’s what worked:

  • Month in review. As I mentioned before, I like the idea of closing the month with a page something like this. I journaled a bit of a summary about what things were like for our family in January. But, I didn’t make it so much like a calendar type re-cap of events.
  • Using photo collages. I do this a lot, on many of my pages. But, I used these collages to show lots of photos that didn’t make it onto my other January pages for whatever reason. I use the PicFrame app currently to create these collages.
  • And selfies. Yes, selfies. Why should our family’s album not have pictures of my face? Even ones that I took myself. 😉
  • Using misc. paper and non PL material. I pulled out my old scrapbooking stash again, used some patterned paper by MyMindsEye and that pretty cloud sticker is by Sassafras. I seriously have been hoarding these for YEARS. It is time to make use of things or get them outta the house. For real. I also used snipped the word ‘ happiest’ from a magazine and probably most special of all is the January card. It came in a box that my Grandpa gave me. When sorting through his many office things, he gave Erik and I, as well as the boys, a couple of useful boxes each. The one he gave me now houses Project Life cards. And the filing cards will now be used for my month in review pages. ❤
  • Room to breathe.  It’s okay that not every space is utilized. I love busy pages that are filled with details and doodles and color. I see them and I pin them, sometimes I make them and I love them. When done right, those are some of the best looking pages I have seen. But, also, there is definitely nothing wrong with leaving space unused. I first looked at this page and wondered what I should add… more photos? Embellishment? More journaling? But, in the end, I decided it was beautiful as it is. ❤

So, that concludes my week of sharing my favorite January Project Life 2015 pages. I appreciate those of you who have been stopping by! See you next week for some non PL related posts! 😉

Project Life 2015 | Happy happy happy birthday

Whew. Today was pretty non-stop.

I didn’t have time to write up today’s post last night like I’d planned to and then today just didn’t wind down until late in the evening. And well, family dinner, conversation and playtime trumps Project Life blog posts (or any posts for that matter) any day.

So. Here I am. Another late night post. Those seem to work for me.  Boys are sleeping soundly. Erik is showering and I’m thinking I can get this post cranked out before he’s done.

Day 4 of sharing my January favorites. Project Life favorites, that is! Aaaaand go.

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Here’s what worked:

  • Photos repeated. In the first spread, you may  notice the top two photos are actually the same photo. One is horizontal and 4×6, one is vertical and 3×4— I just cropped them differently in the app I use to edit photos on my phone, Afterlight. Anyway, I had printed both because I wasn’t sure yet which one I wanted to use for this spread. But, I ended up liking the effect of using both. I liked the vertical because it shows more of the hill they were riding down, lending to the details of the story and memory I wanted to hold on to. But, I like the 4×6 because it shows their faces more closely. And those faces absolutely tell a story. ❤
  • Daddy details. Over the years, Erik has become more comfortable with me photographing him. Well… comfortable may  not be the word, actually. Really, he’s just become more of a good sport about it, because he knows it’s important to me. ❤ But, I also know how much being in front of the camera isn’t his fave. So, I  try not to be a bother about it. Which means we don’t have nearly as many photos of Daddy as I would like. But, I loved the moment on the first spread, the photo of his hands on the computer, his tattooed arm and the cup of tea that I had just made him. He was working on bills and budgeting. That’s important work and I’m so grateful to him for handling all of that. I’m glad I thought to jot down a note about that— it’s definitely noteworthy and something I’ll be glad to look back on and smile.
  • Not stressing about journaling EVERY detail. I used to dread scrapping birthdays, Christmas and the “big” events. Because I just felt they were soooo special and I would take a TON of pictures and never knew exactly how to journal about every little thing that happened as well as all the happy I felt on these warm, fuzzy types of days. And it just became more of a chore than anything. Well, not anymore. Seriously. I just got over it. That is a silly thing to stress about, so umm. I’m not doing that. The page on the right is about Erik’s birthday. Not the day from start to finish. Not every single thing we did,  not the itenerary (there wasn’t one, anyway). Not a photo of the gifts we got him. Not a photo of our food or birthday cake. Just the memory of how we surprised him at work for lunch that day. That was unanimously the highlight of the day for all of us. Not that the rest wasn’t fantastic— it was! But, I mean… I’ve gotta keep my obsessive documenting in check somehow. And if one way of doing that is to let myself off the I-HAVE-TO-NOTE-ALL-THE-BIRTHDAY-HAPPENINGS-AND-TAKE-PICTURES-OF-EV-ERY-THING-WE-DOOOOOO? Then, yeah. Consider me released!

So, hooray for another day of this fun stuff! I’ll be finishing out my week of sharing January’s Project Life (favorites only! 😉 ) tomorrow, so don’t miss it!

Project Life 2015 | Collect the moments one by one

Day 3 of sharing here. Are you on Project Life overload yet? 😉

Not likely… these posts get viewed much less than other posts here on my blog. Apparently, folks would rather read about me eating peach cobbler than hear about my creative efforts and adventures in scrapbooking. Hah! 😉

Here is another of my favorite spreads from the month of January (since I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat since yesterday. just waiting for my next Project Life post.) :

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Here’s what worked:

  • More detail shots. I most definitely copy draw inspiration from my favorite Project Lifers. One thing that always catches my eye is when layouts feature photos of objects, scenery or just something other than the face or faces of people. I love the faces of my people, y’all. Of course! I just also love a photo of a favorite book, the sun shining in our neighborhood, a box of cupcakes… I enjoy using these pretty things to help tell our story, too.
  • Mixing kits, collections and my own designs. This is new for me. In my 2014 album, my first PL album, I pretty much stuck with the Midnight Edition. It was perfect and met all my needs. But, the more I find my ‘voice’ in this project, the more inspired I become and the more my pages include whatever cards I can get my hands on. And cards I make myself, too, as I have mentioned before. My Instagram friend, Vanessa, even sent me some really pretty cards from the Dreamy Edition that she thought I might like — so sweet, I love her.
  • Including quotes. I realize that all of these things that are working for me aren’t new ideas to seasoned Project Lifers. haha. Nor are they incredibly original. But, these things, like including quotes along with my personal journaling, are new for me! I loved the Jen Hatmaker quote and it fit the moment perfectly, which is why it’s what I captioned under the photo when I posted it to Instagram. Or even song lyrics as filler cards or on journaling cards. “Collect the moments one by one” is from this Feist song, which I just heart so much. I woke up with this song on repeat in my head one day and since then, it has been a reoccurring theme in this 2015 album.

Anyway, I am enjoying this week… I hope you can handle two more days of Project Life posts. Haha. It’s my blog, guys. Gonna write what I want. You’ll just have to endure my crafty posts and maybe one day I’ll write about MS or peach cobbler once again. 😉

Project Life 2015 | Be happy for this moment

This week I’m sharing a few of my Project Life spreads from the month of January. One spread each day through Friday. But only my very favorites. 😉

If you missed my first Project Life related post, where I share my plans for my 2015 album and how I make the system work best for me, you can read that here. And if you’d like to see my first share of my favorite January pages, you can see that here.

And here is what I’d like to share today:

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Jan'15ProjectLife-2

Jan'15ProjectLife-3

Jan'15ProjectLife-4

Jan'15ProjectLife-5

Jan'15ProjectLife-6-2

Here’s what worked:

  • Printing two square photos in a 4×6 size using the PicFrame appI’ve printed collage photos before, but not like this. I liked using this option with all of the white space. To get two square photos on a 4×6, the way that I did in the layout pictured first, I just first selected the 2:3 ratio option, left swiped through all of the different frame options until the very last set of options (they will still look like the square 1:1 ratio until you actually select one, then you’ll see it change to a rectangular 2:3 ratio), then select the collage with the two square spaces, one below the other, the one with lots of white space around the square spaces. I then simply select my photos and adjust the width of the frame as needed. If none of this makes any sense to you, just download the free PicFrame app and you’ll see exactly what I mean. It’s simple, I promise. 😉 Feel free to comment or email me with any questions, though!
  • Creating more of my own cards. This time, though, I cleaned out my old stash of scrapbook papers, which I had very much needed to do. I found so many lovely patterns and pretty things that I had forgotten I had. Anyway, I found several that I knew would be just perfect in my Project Life album, so I trimmed them down to 3×4 cards. These would be the beige graph patterned cards you see on both sides of this spread. The heart card on the right side of the spread was created by me as well. I just used watercolor to paint the heart on 170 lb paper (good for watercolor) that I trimmed to 3×4. The white “HAPPY LIFE” card is just white card stock and glittery gold alpha stickers.  I also cut white card stock to mount several of the photos on. I do love me some crisp, clean white.
  • Bulleted journaling.  “These things make me smile”… I think it worked so well for the page on the left side of this spread and I can see this journaling style being fun to use through out my album.
  • Improvising with page protectors. The left page is Design D, but it was my last one. And I really wanted the same layout for the right side for this particular spread. So, I improvised. And Design B, (which I have plenty of, because it’s one of my least used page protector designs) worked wonderfully! It definitely opened my mind to the possibilities.

And that concludes day 2 of this five day sharing spree. 🙂

I’m still so thrilled that I have found my Project Life groove and am really digging into it this year, really making it my own and really enjoying it. ❤

Products used:

Becky Higgins Project Life Page Protectors

in Design D and Design B

blue, green, grey and white graph patterned cards

are Project Life Kit Sunshine Edition.

Gold alpha stickers are

Recollections Alpha stickers

Heart sticker is

from an old Sassafras set.

Project Life 2015 | Find a favorite little something…

I am so happy to say that January 2015 is in the books. The Project Life books, that is.

Err— book. January 2015 is in the book.

Okay, that sounded better before I typed it.

Point is — I am scrapping this year in as close to real time as I can get and I am loving it.

This week, I’m sharing my favorite Project Life pages from the month of January here on my blog. I’ll share one full spread each day and details about what worked and why it’s in my favorites.

Ready?

Ready. 🙂

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What worked for me:

  • The white space and the neutral colors. I started this album thinking it was time for lots more color in my spreads. While I have definitely used a much more colorful palette in most of this year’s album than last, I have found that when I let myself just create — not force myself to follow any one idea or stick to any one style, theme or goal— I tend to create using a minimalist approach with lots of white space and a more neutral color scheme. And it’s these pages that I’m usually happiest with.
  • The 6×8 sized photo. I just love the gorgeous spreads that I see other Project Lifers create using larger scale photos. I print through Walgreen’s mostly and Shutterfly occasionally. I am also a tight budget crafter (future post on this, maybe?). I know there are options out there for getting high quality enlargements, even in scrapbook friendly sizes, like 6×8 and 12×12. But, this doesn’t always fit into my simple, low cost routine. So, I was pretty pumped when I came across this blog post by Tracy. Now hers is my go-to method for printing vertical photos to use as 6×8. That photo of my boys and our dog, Jack, was one of my favorite moments in January. I knew it deserved an extra special place in the album. Which leads me to my next point.
  • The full page for just one memory.  Project Life is so perfect for documenting the everyday, allowing me to scrapbook in a way that makes it easy to include all of the little things. A whole week’s worth of photos and memories in one spread? Yes! Awesome!  But there are some times when I want to devote a whole page to one occasion, one day or even one memory. And who says I can’t? 😉
  • Creating my own cards. I have taken to creating my own journal and filler cards. I do love my kits, no doubt. But sometimes, I get an idea, I go with it and so far, I have been so pleased with the results. You may recognize the ‘find a favorite little something’ card from my 365 Crafting Time. And the ‘collect’ card is actually just a scrap that I trimmed from a watercolor practice round. I was scripting out ‘collect the moments one by one’ for another page. I have learned to keep my scraps… you never know how beautiful your ‘mistakes’ can be when given the chance.
  • The simple journaling. I have found myself so often just recording the facts. Lots of my journaling is just the who, where, when. And it’s missing the touchy feely, more emotional things that I would really like to remember. But when I try to make sure to include both the facts and the heartfelt stuff, it doesn’t seem to read as well. I’m trying something different on many of  my pages this year… more simple journaling. I want to tell our stories. I can’t let myself get so wrapped up in doing it just so. Thus far, I have found that the journaling that I keep more simple seems to somehow tell the story in a way that gives the most justice to the precious memories. And I can’t even explain that… haha… it may totally be just me. 😉

This January 2015 spread is definitely one of my absolute favorites. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to see another. ❤

Products used: Becky Higgins Page Protectors in Design A and Design C,

Heart card from Project Life Midnight Edition,

Polka dot patterned card and patterned card underneath the ‘collect’ card are by WRMK,

all other cards are my own designs. 

Project Life 2015 | Title Page

I so love this project.

I’ve been scrapbooking in some way, shape or form for 10 years now.

I’ve been documenting my life and taking pictures of anything and everything for long before that. I’ve always been the girl with the camera and I definitely have the (millions of) photos to show for it.

I love photos and pretty paper and above all, I love my life and taking notes of aalll the moments that I possibly can. I may be borderline obsessive about it. 😉

This is my second year with the Project Life system and it is working so well for me. You can read more about it here.

Here is a little bit about how I make PL work for me and my memory keeping style:

  • I use a monthly, mostly chronological flow, rather than weekly spreads.  I do love the idea of 52 weekly spreads, but I found early on that trying to keep it that way stressed me out a bit and stunted creativity. So, I started going monthly. I just begin each month with some type of title card and then fill the as many page protectors with as many pictures as I take that month. And their stories, of course, on journaling cards.  And sometimes I even use a full spread for an event like a birthday party or a vacation.
  • I use the 12×12 album size. This year I am going with the yellow and white striped Becky Higgins album, from the Kraft collection. I take a lot of pictures and even when I don’t, I like some negative space here and there, so this size fits me best.
  • I use a variety of page protectors. My faves are reoccurring, as you will see the more I share here. But, I even include some 12×12 no pocket, traditional scrapbooking pages.
  • I don’t stress. I enjoy the process. If I fall “behind” and am not keeping with documenting in real time, that is okay. Sometimes I’m too busy living life to document it. And that’s okay. I love when I am current and up to date with printing photos and I love when the stories are fresh in my mind, so that I can journal them in detail. But, I also kinda enjoy when I have catching up to do… because that can mean a long weekend, in my pajamas, craft supplies left out for days and just— you guessed it—- enjoying the process.

So, I haven’t shared any of my 2014 album here YET, but I will!

For, today, though, I am sharing my title page for my 2015 family album.

ProjectLife2015-5

I’m excited to begin working with more color and patterns and just a mix of products. Last year, I mostly used just one kit. It was an AMAZING kit (Midnight Edition. <3) that I will absolutely be using again. It was neutral and minimalistic which I do love. But, in the spirit of creativity and trying new, fun things, I am changing things up for this year’s album.

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This page makes me so happy. ❤

Here is a list of all the fun products that I used:

We R Memory Keepers’ Albums Made Easy line (gray polka card, patterned card on bottom left, “home is wherever I’m with you” card and coral and white striped card are from the Chalkboards journaling cards set and the top right watercolor print card is from the Dreamer journaling card set.)

Sunshine Core Kit (“i love” card, yellow floral print card)

me&myBig ideas Alpha chips in gold (2015)

Recollections Alpha stickers in gold (“this life”)

And the “hello” was painted by yours truly onto water color paper that I hand cut into the circle and adhered to the gray polka dot card. 🙂

I hope this was fun to look at…

I’m still figuring out what is worth sharing here on this little blog. I do so enjoy crafty things. So, these types of posts will likely continue. 🙂