Today's project to get you thinking about your own 52 Projects challenge (my 36th if you're counting along!) stems from my irritation about my bad memory. I've always wanted to create a "best of" awards-style mini-album at the end of the year—you know, the award for best picture seen by the Dillow family goes to—that kind of thing. But when I sat down to think about what I would include, I couldn't really remember a lot of 2010: not all the movies we saw, or every excellent meal we had in a restaurant (really, for a family who doesn't eat out all that often it shouldn't be that difficult!) or the funniest things the girls said... those things really are fleeting. If I don't keep a list, it's virtually impossible to recconstruct.
Though I will say, the award for most fun/interesting thing we saw on TV all year was HBO's series The Neistat Brothers. Hands down. But I digress.
This year I'm determined to keep a little better track of our good things, our even better things, and the very best things of all that we see, eat, say, listen to with the help of Project 36/52: Build a 2011 Highlights Mini-Album.
I got the idea when I was in Office Depot on my futile search for plain bulldog clips:
Now isn't that a cool foundation for a teeny-tiny mini-album? My idea started developing into a plan to keep just a line or two about 12 different categories of things (Office Depot wields a lot of power with me, clearly, because if they packaged their badge holders into packs of 10 I would probably just have two fewer categories on this list):
1. Screen (movies, TV shows)
2. Meals in (we have a tendency to occasionally find a new recipe, try it, and fall in love with it only to realize two months later we have no idea where that recipe came from, and can never be made again)
3. Meals out (on the occasion that we dine in a restaurant finer than Culver's)
4. Adventures (places we go out of our ordinary routine)
5. Quotations (funny things said)
6. Music (music acquired through iTunes—this one's easy, as you can sort by date added!)
7. Books (books we fall in love with, either from the library or by purchase)
8. Visitors (lunch, dinner, or a week's stay)
9. Days (might be nice to document our really good days with a line or two about why)
10. News (new extended family members, remarkable school or job achievements, etc.)
11. Ideas (because a good idea probably ought to be jotted down for posterity)
12. And, the cover.
The badge holders are small (2.5 x 4) so I made some cards to go with each category that have only a small amount of space to document. Here are a few examples:
Instead of keeping this all together for the year, I thought it would be fun to divide it up and store it where the action is: i.e. the screen cards in the attic where we watch movies, the adventure cards in the glove compartment of the van, the meals out one in my purse... I'm going to cut a bunch of blank cards to give to the girls so they can draw pictures, practice writing their name (or writing their name in cursive), etc. We'll keep some of them in the bookshelf above the computer and the rest will probably go in the sideboard in our dining room for easy access. When the year is up, we'll collect them from throughout the house, hole-punch the cards and connect them all with two binder rings (the badge holders have two holes to hold everything together).
I used Crystal Wilkerson's fun Sweet Summertime digital papers filled with polka-dots for my section dividers (these are the ones that will slip into the plastic badge holders—the cards themselves will be just be hole-punched, without a plastic protector).
I have plans to turn this into a PDF download to share with anyone who'd like to make one too. Watch for that coming soon! I'll be back on Friday with a project to brighten up a lonely wall. Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for giveaway day!