Hello everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween. We certainly did, and today will be spent coming down from the excitement that is trick-or-treating. As I mentioned yesterday, I want to spend this week looking at various projects that challenge you to scrapbook your year. Whether the goal is to take a photo everyday, make one layout per month, or to scrapbook your everyday moments in a new way, there are various challenges and projects aimed at helping scrapbookers record their memories. We are going to explore some of those projects in detail this week, look at how scrapbookers take on these challenges, and see how in a lot of instances, it gives them a fresh perspective on their memory keeping. Let's get started!
The first project I want to talk about this week is Project 12. It is monthly challenge that is hosted on the blog of Scrapbook & Cards Today in conjunction with the creator of the project, Davinie Fiero, and sketch artist, Becky Fleck. The project was started by Davinie as a way to document those little moments that often get left out of our scrapbooks. The idea is that over the course of one year, by creating just one layout per month, you'll complete an entire year-in-review album.
As for the challenge aspect of this project, Scrapbook & Cards Today provides a sketch for its readers to use each month of the project. If you want to be eligible for their monthly prize you can then submit your layout the following month (so for example, the layout for October would be due in November).
I asked two scrapbookers who participate in Project 12 to give us their input on the project.
First up is scrapbooker, Jennifer Larson. When I asked Jennifer what inspired her to participate in Project 12 Jennifer said, "I tend to scrap events and people, so I have a bunch of random pages in my albums. I'm OK with that, but I was drawn to the idea of taking a different perspective on my life, looking at the months as a whole instead."
She says is is easy to stay motivated from month-to-month because, "The sketches give me ideas for the pages, and when I use a kit for the layouts, the pages come together quite easily. You don't have to use the sketches, but I find them easier to use. I am motivated by the contest element to it, though I guess I could care less if I win a prize or not! In reality, I suppose I like the deadline the contest imposes. It keeps me going and I don't fall behind."
I also wanted to know whether she keeps her Project 12 layouts separate from her other layouts or whether she mixes them in with her current albums. She said, "As the year progresses, I keep them together in a pile (insert embarrassed face!). Once the year is done, I put the layouts in one album."
Jennifer added some further insight on the project adding that, "I am starting Project 12 with my life right now, but I've heard people say they are using Project 12 as a means to scrap old photos that they want to get into albums but they are otherwise to overwhelmed to start. Project 12 makes it easier to group photos in albums with fewer layouts. That's another way to to use this project to fit your needs."
I think the idea of using Project 12 to scrapbook older photos is a fantastic one. I know a lot of scrapbookers who do indeed feel overwhelmed, because as an example they started scrapbooking later in their children's lives, but they still want to go back and record those older memories. Committing to creating just one layout per month for those years past would certainly make the task more manageable.
Most of the layouts created in this project are two-page spreads. This is because the sketches provided for the challenge are two pages. It is not necessary to do two-page layouts in order to participate in this project. The concept is certainly adaptable to any size layout or album. Jennifer told me that she does like to use the sketches provided because they help save time. She sent along two of her favorite Project 12 layouts from this year. The first is from August of this year
This month's layout was very typical for her since she adapted the sketch to add more photos, something she does almost every month.
Her second layout is from May
Jennifer's mother-in-law passed away that month and so she took the opportunity to pair her May photos with thoughts about her passing.
Jennifer shares all of her Project 12 layouts as well as the details of her scrapbooking process on her blog. You can see more of Jennifer Larson's Project 12 layouts, here.
I asked another Project 12 participant, Shelly Jaquet, to share her perspective on the project as well. Again, I asked what inspired her to start this project. Here is what Shelly had to say:
"What really drew me into this project was the ability to record an entire month’s memories in one page. In 2009, I was doing Project 365. I loved it, and totally enjoyed being able to record life’s everyday moments with one simple picture a day. I realized how much I missed recording family memories. Since the birth of my daughter in 2006, I had only scrapbooked her memories for her own book; and then with the birth of my son in 2008, his memories for his book. After seeing Davinie’s Project 12 layouts each month at Scrapbook and Cards Today Blog, I decided it was time to go back and record those missed memories for myself, as a family album. I dabbled around, recording a month at a glance for 2006 and 2007. It was so easy to just pull a few pictures from the month together. Perfect for those memories, that weren’t strong in my mind anymore, but was able to record what I could all in one page.
In 2010, I still wanted to continue my Project 365, but I was really enjoying playing catch up with my past memories with Project 12. So, I decided to follow along month by month documenting my 2008 memories. It was just what I needed. At the end of the year, I had captured an entire year of lost memories. Perfect.
Come 2011, I still adored my Project 365. A picture a day just became second nature for me. I found that my photography skills were continuously being developed in a fresh new way. I was taking pictures that I never thought to take. My problem was that I still wanted to continue Project 12. I loved having that creative outlet of recording my monthly memories, but I was pretty much caught up on past years. So, I decided I would simple do both for the year. I still take a picture (or two or thirty) a day, but I chose to document the “extra” pictures on my Project 12 layouts. I belong to Studio Calico and each month my first page with my new kit is almost always my Project 12 layout. It is the perfect creative push I need to break into my new supplies."
Notice what Shelly said in her second paragraph, that initially she used Project 12 as a way to document older memories and photos. Shelly told me that she keeps her Project 12 layouts separate albums organized by year. Even once she had "caught up" on past years she decided to continue the project because, "These are pretty much the only layouts I do for my family albums. I may have a couple extra “event” layouts per album. Those layouts are slid in after the Project 12 layout for that particular month. I may go back at a later date, and do more event specific layouts for some months, but for now, I am happy to have a summary of most events. It feels good to not have the pressure of feeling like I didn’t record a certain event."
Here are three of Shelly's favorite Project 12 layouts, from September of 2008
I absolutely love Shelly's two-page spreads and I think she does an amazing job with the sketches provided each month. For more inspiration, you can find all of Shelly Jaquet's Project 12 layouts, here.
The next project I want to explore is Project 365. The idea behind this project is simple, take one photo everyday for a year. Project 365 started off as a project aimed at photographers, but obviously has a large appeal to scrapbookers as well, since photography is a huge component of the memory-keeping process. This project is a great way to sharpen your skills and perspective as a photographer since the challenge forces you to get daily practice.
Paula Gilarde has taken part in Project 365, and as a scrapbooker she took those photos and turned them into a digital scrapbook. I asked her what inspired her to tackle the challenge of taking a photo everyday for a year and she said, "I'm a victim of peer pressure. There's been a lot of buzz around the internet for the past few years on project 365 so I wanted to try it."
Speaking for myself, I can imagine that keeping up this type of project can be difficult at times. When asked what kept her motivated to continue Paula answered, "I'm a started so I'll finish kind of gal."
Paula first did the project in 2008, then again in 2010. She finds that she gets burned out from doing the project so she only does it every other year. This year she is taking break from the challenge, but wants to tackle the project again next year. Her suggestion for keeping up with the challenge is to keep your camera with you at all times. She added that if she does in fact do the project next year she might try doing it using her iPhone therefore making it easier to have a camera with her without having to lug around a big SLR.
From the very beginning Paula planned to scrapbook her daily photos. Although she started the project with the intention to improve her photography skills, she still felt the need to do something with her photos. She added, "A layout per week gave me purpose with the project."
She used two different templates throughout the book, making one layout for each week.
I hope you've enjoyed this look at our first two projects that challenge you to scrapbook your year. Tomorrow we'll explore two more year-long scrapbooking projects. Before I leave though, I want to ask if you participate in either of the projects we've talked about today. What have you taken away from your experience? Do you have any tips of your own to share?