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! ❤

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

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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.

Currently Creating | April

Oh, hey, remember that time I got all inspired and thought I could do a 365 day crafting time challenge? Haha. Yeah. That was funny.

I could tell you about how it didn’t work out like I thought it would and why.

Buuuut… instead I am just gonna go ahead and move on, okay? Okay. 😉

Trying something new now. Onto the next one. Let’s see how I do with staying a bit more consistent here…

Pretty simple. I am going to just share with you what I’m currently creating; what hobbies or crafts or projects I am currently feeling most creative in. That’s all. Pretty simple.

So here’s what I have been up to in the last few weeks…

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Lots of Project Life-ing. (Yes, that is definitely a verb.) I’m happy to have found my rhythm for this year’s documenting. I found it by accident when I got “behind”. More on that when I share my most recent pages later this week.

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I joined in a super fun month-long challenge on Instagram hosted by the lovely @myfriendcourt. I knew I would enjoy it, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised just how much I actually have. So fun to try new and different things! Things that I most likely would never have tried on my own. I mean… woodgrain? Yeah, I had never given a single thought to doodling woodgrain ever before this arty party! Haha!

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See?! I mean, how fun does that look? Today, it’s now April 21st and I’ve done all but 3 days’ prompts. I’d say that I’m well on my way to actually completing this thing! Hooray!

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I’ve also enjoyed creating a few cards for friends. Above is one that I actually remembered to take a picture of!

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And it’s been a good season for photography around here. Spring is radiant and irresistible, as you can see in my post full of photos like this one of the gorgeous redbud trees, that bloomed in my yard in early March. I’ve also enjoyed taking more photos of my boys with my Canon and not just my iPhone. The Portrait Project has been great for me; I’m loving how it’s stretching me to try much different light than I would typically shoot in. I’m grabbing the camera more often in everyday moments, rather than only those special planned times with the boys, in my favorite light of the day and in a choice location.

And that, friends, is my first Currently Creating post. I think I like it. 🙂 I think I’ll do it again soon! ❤

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365 Crafting Time | Weeks 8 & 9

Here’s what I have been up to in the eighth and ninth weeks of my 365 Crafting Time:

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Lots of Project Life. Just been working on documenting February 2015. I truly enjoy this project and am not at all stressed about having fallen behind.

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Here is one complete page. The others are coming along… I’m sure I will share them soon.

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A couple of pages in my current art journal… but, I have to say… I haven’t been thrilled about creating pages in this. I feel limited and creativity stunted by the journal itself. I need to invest in a journal that is suitable for multi-media. This one can serve well for just writing, but as for adding more color, layers and depth, it’s just not going to happen.

So… not much, huh? I know.

My goal for the next two weeks is to create something EVERYDAY. Something. Everyday. Something. Anything. I miss it and I need it. That is why I began this challenge. And though I have realized that yes, life gets busy and yes, it is okay to push crafting time to the back burner in those busy times… I have also realized that I don’t like it to stay on the back burner.

I am hereby moving crafting time forward once more.

High five. I’m so ready.

365 Crafting Time | Weeks 6 & 7

I’m totally bombing this 365 Crafting time Challenge.
Sad, but true.
I’m not quitting, though!
I mean, sure… I’ve already failed… technically. The 365 Crafting Time challenge is to create everyday for 365 days.  😁 And I have not done that.
BUT. I’m still going to see this through, I am not quitting! I see it as my best shot at crafting and creating A LOT in 2015.
I mean, it’s March, right? It’s early in this year. I began this challenge on January 12.
I can still create something most of the days between now and January 12, 2015.
Yeah. That’s what I’m going with.
And  this shift in my goals kiiiiinda relaxes me and let’s me off the hook a little…

When things get busy, I won’t feel quite as slacker-like if I miss a day.

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Here’s what I created in weeks 6 and 7:

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in my sketchbook, my doodle-book, my lettering-book, that was once even an art journal for a month or so back in my official Get Messy Days. This was just a note to self… sometimes in a time when I feel out of sorts, when I begin to question what I’m doing and where I am,  I begin to worry… but, then, I take a deep breath and I look around. I step outside, if I need to. It only takes but a moment to realize: This is a good life.

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I began, but did not finish, another hand lettered piece. I’ve read again and again to do it in pencil it first. That’s a good plan.I thought I would follow that sound advice. And I still want to finish this… maybe this week.

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Late night scribbles in my scrap-journal. This album is photos from 2014 that are more “me” centered, not family centered. I’m also working on an album for 2015. I plan to share more of these pages and about this concept soon, in another post.

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Watercolored script. Made the most of 10 free minutes I had between homeschool lessons and my part time job to put this quote onto paper. I saw it on Pinterest and it definitely stood out.

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Are you tired of my handwriting yet? I promise there is a bit more variety coming oh so soon…

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Well… I was officially in a funk. Not feeling energized or particularly creative. I wanted to create. I did. But, I just didn’t seem to have any juices flowing at all. So I started with what I had— a willingness and a desire. And I went about getting myself inspired again. I started by making a  list of crafty and creative things I would like to make. Lists always make me feel better. You can be on the lookout for a post on my re-inpspiration period, coming soon.

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Started a new journal. I don’t feel that I can quite qualify this as a true art journal… but, it’s not a traditional journal either, as it will contain multi-media and color and words… okay, well, yeah, that’s pretty much an art journal that I just described. It’s just a plain jane art journal, I suppose.

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But, it can be whatever I want it to be. So… <3. This weekend, I watched Box Trolls with Micah. I loved it. That movie is where the words, “You make you” came from.

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Simple, yes, but I am creating again, nonetheless.

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More plain jane art journaling.

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Stamped onto a couple of cards in my 2014 Project Life album. I hope to have it completed soon!

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This will be added to as the  month of March goes by. I have been wanting to document my current music of choice somehow. I think I will make a page like this every so often for my scrap-journal.

And this last piece, I feel is a good indicator that my creative flow is officially flowing again. Color is a good sign. Layers and a bit  more attention to detail is a good sign. My messy desk (not pictured) is a good sign.

I hope to find make lots of time for creating and crafting, amidst the busyness that is the month of March for my family. It should be interesting… creativity has been sparked, but we do have a busy month ahead. Stay tuned for my next 365 post…

365 Crafting Time | Weeks 4 and 5

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So… this funny little thing called ‘LIFE’ keeps happening and it doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned with how little or how much time I get to create things. Still, I keep on keeping on, yes I do.

Weeks 4 and 5 of my #365craftingtime challenge were hit and miss. And I am still only creating simple things, at best.

But, you know what — this isn’t about checking off a list, this isn’t even about completing a challenge (though I have every intention of doing just that). No… this is about being. This is about being who I am. About making time for the things that make me feel like me. For me, bringing my hands and my heart together to create something each day is as important as reading to my children, as engaging in conversations with my husband— daily.

Call that silly — I don’t care who this does or doesn’t make sense to. Call it self-centered — it is. It is all about me, okay? Okay. 😉

I am willing to bet that if YOU did something everyday that made your heart feel light like a child’s… well… I’m pretty sure that would be a good thing for you, for most everyone. 😉

So here are the little bits and pieces that came out of the last two weeks of creating:

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I love journaling in this way.

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Worked on finishing up the journaling on January’s PL pages.

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More journaling. Just need to add an ampersand between ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’…

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Watercolor play while I watched the Grammy’s.

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Another with watercolor. For Erik, an early Valentine’s Day card. I couldn’t wait.

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A late night doodle.

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Finished up and blogged January’s pages, officially.

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Except for that last ‘month in review’ page…

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Done.

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The card I made Erik for Valentine’s Day and the sweet mug he painted for me. Yes, sometimes, my husband gets crafty, too. So sweet. ❤️

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Sharpie mug DIY… gave it another try… it’s harder than it looks. I made a mess. Nail polish remover will erase the not yet dry marker from the mug. But not with out a mess…

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And then this morning, I added another coat of marker to the mug. Well, first I baked it, let it cool and then I added the second coat. Now, I will let it dry again and then bake it once more. I’m still not 100% satisfied with it. It is harder than I thought it might be to write nicely on a mug. I guess I will be creating several more practice mugs before I finally get some that I deem nice enough to give as gifts… Oh well. It’s fun and inexpensive and it supports my coffee habit. 😉

And that was week 4 and week 5. Not quite 14 crafts, eh? No, not quite. Let’s see how I do next time around.

Can I do it? Can I really craft for 365 days? I’m a month into this and am already struggling to make it happen each day. Well, one thing I  have decided — how ever many days I actually make it happen, however many handmade creations actually come of this year, it will be a higher number, many more than if I had not set before me this goal, had I not joined in the #365craftingtime challenge! So, thank you, Sabine!

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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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!