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.

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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.

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!

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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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.