Hello, and welcome to Day 3 of our Project Life Week here at write.click.scrapbook! Today I wanted to share a bit with you of my personal experience with Project Life. I decided to embark on the Project Life journey at the very last minute...literally sometime during the first week of the year. Luckily I have some friends who were willing to lend me some Becky Higgins page protectors, and I had an old, unused Project 365 kit that I could use until I got my "official" Project Life products. Before I began this project, I knew it would be a challenge. I have two young children, I work a full time job, and my husband has a job that includes a "busy season" which is finally wrapping up now. This means my scrapping time is very limited. When I made the decision to take on Project Life, I established a few rules for myself in order to be successful. Some I have followed...others I have not!
Rule #1: Stay caught up.
Alright. Let's be real. "Keeping up" has been an epic failure. The first few weeks I was "allowing" myself to have one full week to finish the previous pages. My weeks run Monday - Sunday, so if I didn't have my two page spread finished by the following Sunday, I considered myself behind. I was doing really well...but then life got in the way. I am currently about a month behind. The only consolation is that I am a teacher, and luckily I will be off of work in about five weeks (26 weekdays, but who's counting!?), and I will hopefully have time to get caught up. I think the biggest downfall of this project for most people is the idea of keeping up with it all. I will be honest. It's really tough to find the time. There are nights that I am barely "free" until after nine p.m. and there are a million things I would rather be doing, but I remind myself of how worthwhile the outcome is. I have tried very hard to resist frustration by keeping it simple and just getting it done, which brings me to my next rule.
Rule #2: No Do-Overs
My biggest time-eater in scrapbooking is that I'm terribly indecisive. I will start something. Then change it. Then change again. Once in awhile I will make an entire layout, find something I hate about it, and decide to change it all at the end. It's a problem! I told myself that if I was going to be successful with Project Life, I needed to work quickly and not worry so much about all the little details. I told myself that unless there was a major error, I was not allowed to change things. I have mostly stuck with this rule, though I admittedly have recreated a few journaling cards and added some embellishments after the fact, when I felt like the spread needed more. Sometimes it's so hard not to make changes, especially when I see all the other amazing Project Life pages out there. Which is why I came up with the next rule!
Rule #3: It's all for ME.
So, you should know that I'm breaking this rule right now by posting my Project Life pages here!! When I began Project Life, I knew how popular it had become in the scrapbooking world, and I knew that there always would be someone else's out there that was neater, better, cooler, and more fun than mine. I told myself that I was not going to give into the hype and put my Project Life out there for everyone to judge and compare, because ultimately it is a project for ME and me only. Yet, here I am posting it for you to see. ;) Honestly, with the exception of this post, I have not posted my pages anywhere else other than my personal blog. I am not letting myself worry about what others think, because I truly love this project...and it really is all about ME!
Rule #4: Use up the stash.
If you are like me, you have an embarrassingly large stash of unused scrapbooking product. I vowed when I began Project Life that I would not buy anything new solely for Project Life. I was going to use up all my old product. Again, I have done a pretty decent job of not breaking this rule. I have purchased some little things like label stickers and some more of my favorite alphabet stickers, but other than that, most of what I use is not new. It is actually pretty fun to include some really old things that I otherwise wouldn't use on a layout!!
Now that you've read my "rules" (which, in retrospect all seem to have been broken, but hey, that's what rules are for, right?!) I thought I'd share just a bit of my process. Everyone has their own way of completing Project Life, and I firmly believe that there is no one right way to do it. You just need to find what works for you. And this is what works for me!
Throughout my week, I keep track of events using a little notebook. I also have the Momento app for my iPhone which is great because it pulls information from various other places (Facebook, Instagram, etc) and keeps them all together in one place. I also have a basket of memorabilia sitting on my counter. It's probably not the best place for it, but that way I can just toss stuff in as I get it.
Every week I begin by looking through my photos and putting all the potential pictures into an album in iPhoto. Based on the number and orientation of the photos I decide which page protectors I will use for that week. Former w.c.s. team member Marcy Penner has created some super helpful printable templates for each of the designs. These are a huge lifesaver for me! I sketch out my plans, use my Selphy printer to print out the photos at home, and I get to work assembling it all! I do not create "chronological" layouts, but rather put everything where it fits. This means Monday might be on the right page and Saturday might be on the left page, but that's okay with me.
Once I have all the photos printed, I put them in their allotted spaces. I also temporarily stick in any memorabilia. This gives me a general idea of what each page will look like. I usually choose a simple color scheme for each week. For example, Valentine's week was pink, red, and yellow because it needed to match the brightly colored Valentine's for my kids that I had included.
After my color scheme is decided upon, I pull together all kinds of goodies from my stash to finish it off. Every week I am sure to include a "title card" indicating the week and the dates, as well as a "This Week" card with highlights of the week. I like to add little bits here and there to create a somewhat cohesive looking two page spread. I often will choose several pieces of scrap paper and use them in various places throughout the week. I use a lot of journaling stickers, alphabet stickers, and punches! I also include the occasional 3-D element on the outside of the page protector.
I have really come to love assembling my Project Life album. I find it very satisfying to accomplish little bits of it each night. I also love including the small things that I would never create an entire layout about. And finally, I love that my kids love looking at it with me! In my opinion, this is what scrapbooking is truly about!!
Would you like to see the final product? Here is one of my favorite weeks of Project Life!
Thanks for letting me share with you my Project Life thoughts and process. If you are currently working on Project Life, I'd love to hear what some of your challenges are and if you have any tips for success. Have a great Wednesday and Happy Scrapping!
ps. what would a day be without a little printable? Please enjoy!
You may download the grey version here.
You may download the pink version here.
You may download the teal version here.