Hi! Welcome back to day two of Scrapbook Your Year. This week we're looking at scrapbooking projects that span an entire year. Yesterday we explored two year-long projects, Project 12 and Project 365, and today we're going to look at two more. Again, I've asked a few of my favorite scrapbookers who participate in these projects to give me their perspective on this type of scrapbooking. I asked them what motivated them to start these projects, what keeps them going, and I asked them to share their tips for these projects so that we can all learn from their experiences.
I realize that yesterday's post was rather lengthy, and today's will be no different! I do hope you'll stick with me. In truth, I find the "how" of scrapbooking so fascinating. I wanted to leave the answers of my guests as in-tact as possible. I hope you will find their answers and insights as interesting as I do!
The first project I want to explore today is Project Life. I mentioned yesterday that project 365 originally started as a project aimed at photographers. It slowly gained popularity with scrapbookers and then made an even bigger impact through Becky Higgins' introduction of the project as a new way to scrapbook your everyday moments, the ones that often don't make it into our scrapbooks. Some scrapbookers do still treat this project as a daily challenge to take a photo every day, but most scrapbookers I know do this project weekly. It can also be worked on monthly basis if that's what you want to do. The best part about Project Life is the flexibility, you can make it anything you want it to be.
Project Life kits can be purchased through Amazon.com. They consist of 12x12 albums, journaling cards and custom page protectors which hold various combinations of 4x6 photos and 3x4 journaling cards. This year there are even more products available and it is now easier to customize your project to suit your needs and tastes. You can find the links to these products on Becky Higgins' blog, here.
A lot of scrapbookers find that it is easier to keep up with a project of this magnitude when they are a part of a group that lends inspiration and support. Big Picture Classes hosts the Project Life Community where participants can share their pages and experiences as well as keep each other motivated (registration in the Project Life Community is free!)
Now that we've looked at what Project Life is all about, I want to share with you how this project comes to life for two scrapbookers.
I asked Lisa Truesdell about what inspired her to take on Project Life and she said:
"I had never really paid attention to Project Life posts in the past, but early this year, Ali Edwards posted about her plans for her 2011 album. She mentioned keeping her album in her kitchen so that her entire family could contribute to it. Once I read that, I couldn't get the project out of my mind. I knew I wanted it to be an album for my family, by my family. So many of the stories in my scrapbooks are told from my point of view - I love having more voices in our Project Life".
Those different voices are part of what keeps her motivated to continue. She told me that, "I absolutely love what it captures. I scrap a lot of little moments, but my Project Life album is a home to phone pics, silly quotes and everyday routines, as well as receipts, mail, schoolwork, packaging - the scope of what it covers is amazing. On top of that, my husband and boys LOVE it. And that's the best motivation there is!"
I think it is such a wonderful idea to get your family involved in this project. Certainly as scrapbookers a lot of the stories we tell are about our families, but they are almost always told from our perspective. I love how Lisa has actively involved her family in this project and how her family has embraced it so openly.
As for organization, Lisa says that she keeps her Project Life Pages in a separate album and in chronological order. She adds, "I have absolutely no qualms about re-using pics or stories for standard scrapbook pages - sometimes you just need to record more detail!"
I mentioned yesterday that I would probably have difficulty keeping up with a project like Project 365. I think I could handle a weekly or monthly project, but a daily challenge would mostly likely overwhelm me and I don't think I could keep up. With that in mind I really wanted to hear Lisa's perspective on how she approaches that aspect of Project Life. I also asked her if she ever gets behind and what she does when that happens. Here is what she had to say:
"I work on my album weekly rather than daily. I keep notes on what we do, and at the end of the week I sort through my photos, memorabilia and notes and start organizing them into the little pockets of the page protectors. Watching it come together is always so gratifying!!
I DO get behind - I AM behind. My book is missing more week's than I'd like - but I said when I started that even if it ended up being a "Project EveryOtherWeek" album, I was still recording more than if I didn't do it at all! It works best for me to pick up with the most recent week, and to fill in missing weeks when I have extra time."
Finally, I asked her whether she purchased a Project Life kit or whether she is working solely from her own stash, she answered, "I did buy a kit, and will likely buy a new one for 2012. While I do add a LOT of my own stash, it's nice to have those basics to fall back on when life gets crazy. I think the kits are an amazing value for what you get, and well worth it even if you don't think you'll use all the cards."
Lisa added one last comment about how her view of this project has evolved since she first started it, "My biggest block at the beginning was coming around to the idea that this is a project that you just need to let happen. Some weeks will have a lot of photos, some will be mostly words, and others you'll be using junk mail and gum wrappers to fill in. It's all good, and it will all work together to tell your story."
Here are a few examples from Lisa's Project Life 2011
Lisa Truesdell shares her Project Life pages as well as the details of her process on her blog. Lisa is planning to do an extensive post on her approach to Project Life on her blog early next week, don't miss it!
Next, I invited scrapbooker Jenni Hufford to share her point of view on Project Life. I wanted to get her perspective because Jenni started this project later in the year. Here is what Jenni said about her approach:
"For the last year I have admired many different Project Life albums on some of my favorite blogs. The concept completely resonated with me, as I sometimes feel as I miss many "everyday" moments in our regular scrapbooks. Additionally I had many ticket stubs, papers, kids artwork--- every day "mementos" that somehow didn't make it into our scrapbooks. I then began to realize that Project Life was the perfect solution for collecting and displaying these items and memories. This realization came about this past summer before the start of the new school year. I decided I wasn't going to wait until January 1 to begin the album-- I wanted to start with the new school year (which seems like a second New Year to me anyways). I really think there is no right or wrong time to start this project."
I asked Jenni what keeps her motivated to continue and if she had any tips or tricks to share for keeping up with the project. She said:
"I think it has to do with commitment before you begin. I knew it was something new to take on, but I also knew it would only take me a few hours a week to complete.
I feel very blessed to be blogging my Project Life album on the Elle's Studio Blog every Tuesday, which helps keep me up to date with my album. I have my stash of Project Life items close to my desk, and I keep my album out always. I also keep an envelope of "found" items (everyday stuff) handy to store papers that I would like to include in Project Life. I think the best solution if you get behind, is to just skip to the current week instead of always playing catch up. It's SO much easier to document fresh memories!"
As for supplies, Jenni told me that she is currently working on the project using materials from her own stash (although she did buy the Project Life page protectors). Here are some example pages from Jenni's Project Life
The Document Project
The second project I want to explore today is the Document Project. This project actually started in 2010 as a free year-long project hosted at UKScrappers with scrapbooker Shimelle Laine. The idea behind the project is to make four pages each month. One page has an envelope and holds a collection of items from every day life, basically ephemera. Two of the pages are made from divided page protectors where you can put photos or journaling, anything that will fit into a 4×6 block. And the final page is a layout that focuses on one event or memory that you want to record in more detail.
I first learned about this project when I noticed the Document 2010 pages of scrapbooker, Alissa Fast, in the Studio Calico member's gallery. I loved how this project combined traditional scrapbooking with the use of divided page protectors and envelopes to help tell a more complete story. I asked Alissa to share her views on this project with us, starting with how she learned about the project and what inspired her to start her own Document 2010 album.
Alissa told me that she learned about Document 2010 through Shimelle's blog. She had been following Shimelle since 2005 when she first heard about Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas through Ali Edwards. Alissa said, "I had previously done a Project 365 and the daily photo is amazing to look back on, but the upkeep was quite overwhelming. I loved the idea of saving the "stuff" of life and wrapping up each month with a review. Perfect!"
What kept Alissa motivated to continue was, "The outcome of the project and all the "stuff" I was saving in my envelopes."
As for her organization she said, "I have a 12x12 American Crafts ring album with my entire project for 2010. I tried to do a similar project in 2011 in 8.5x11 and I am not finding it to be nearly as inspiring. I have some plans to mix it up a bit next year."
Finally, I asked Alissa what she did to keep up with the project, she said, "I did all of my envelopes at the beginning of the year to keep my life stuff in throughout the month. That kept me organized and ready to go, once the new month had started. It also helped to have a plan about how I was doing each set of layouts. All of the "same" pages have a similar design (except for the actual 12x12 layout) and I found that really helps with getting it done and in the book each month."
And when she got behind, "I set aside a day, or afternoon, of crafting to get it done. Because each month's spread has a similar design, it was easy to get a couple months done in one sitting."
Here are Alissa's Document 2010 pages from the month February
See more of Alissa's Document 2010 album, here.
Although this project was only officially hosted in the year of 2010 I know several scrapbookers who have since embraced the concept and who have continued the project through 2011 and will continue to do so in 2012. Like Project Life, there is no reason why you can't adapt this project to suit your own personal needs and goals.
Phew! Well, that was a lot to cover - thanks for sticking with me! As always, I'd love to hear from you. Have you participated in Project Life? Do you have any plans to do so next year? Is this your first time to hear about the Document Project? Tell me what's on your mind!
Tomorrow is give.away.day, but I'll be back on Friday to cover two more projects (on a much smaller scale) and to do a review of tips from all of our contributors this week. I'll see you then!