Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Project Life: on getting behind and catching up (part 2)

Last week I wrote about how I was several weeks behind on Project Life (you can read that post here) and the reasons why I wasn't about to let myself give up and how I was committed to catching up.  I have slowly but surely been doing just that.  Today I wanted to touch briefly on that process and share some of my caught up pages.  In a way I am a bit happy that I fell behind and needed to catch up as it got me into a great groove and helped me form a process by which I can get my pages done weekly in no time at all.

My week:
My week runs Saturday to Friday.  I started the year going Monday - Sunday because I really wanted to keep my weekends together.  Halfway through the process I realized that if I had any chance of keeping up with this project for the long term (and after this epic catch up I love PL even more so that answer was yes) I had to change my week to accomodate when I scrap.  Truth be told, I scrap mostly on the weekends and sometimes manage to sneak a few hours in during the week.  I decided to end my week on a Friday so that I could upload the pics Friday night or Saturday morning and send them to print locally to have for Saturday afternoon/Sunday.  That way I can get them in the pockets, start to work on them over the weekend and finish it during the week.  This still allowed me to keep my weekends together which was my original goal.  I plan on keeping this format for 2013 as well.

My process:
I created a folder for each of my weeks on my computer.  This way when I upload my pics from my camera or phone I can just scan through those pics by date and pop the ones I want to use in PL into the correct weekly photo.

Note:  Because I was doing an epic catch up I also created folders for 4x6 prints, instagram pics by size and photoshop prints.  I use photoshop for putting my smaller pictures on a 4x6 canvas so I can print them locally instead of at home.  This way as I was going through a weekly folder I just copied the pics and dropped them into the correct folder.  Once I did all my manipulations in photoshop, I moved all the pics to the 4x6 folder and uploaded them all to Shutterfly to print.

Once I got the pictures into the folder it was time to plan the pages.  I used planning pages very similar to those used by Marcy Penner.  Below each template I listed the type of each photo that I had (4x6, Instagram or 3x4) and then penciled in what was going into each pocket and the size instagram photo I wanted to use.  (this was the point that I moved my photos into the appropriate folder for printing or photoshop...I wouldn't really need to do this if I was caught up and just working one week at a time). 

All along I had also been collecting bits and pieces of everyday life in 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors labeled with the week right in my album.  I was able to pull each of these out and see if I had anything that I wanted to include with that week at that time.  If I did, I just slipped it into the appropriate pocket at this point. 

By planning my pages this way I could tell if I needed to combine more than one week to fill up the pockets.  I do have some weeks that stand alone but I have a few weeks where I just didn't have enough photos so I combined several weeks to tell my story.  I am so glad that I got over my need for perfection and convinced myself that it was ok to combine weeks.  It has made this process so much easier.

Week 10 & 11 (left):

Weeks 10 & 11 Right:
Weeks 10 & 11 were about St. Patrick's Day and the festivities around here, deployment preparation ad everyday life.  Here I used lots of Clementine Core Kit, October Afternoon Woodland Park label stickers, Basic Grey Picadilly Chipboard Sheet (SC County Fair Kit), a homemade quote card and lots of goodies I received in a happy mail package from Jenny G.  And yes, I just realized that my journaling cards in the first photo are switched...just made the change in my album...oops!

One pocket at a time:
Once the photos arrived I took my planning pages and just inserted the photos into the appropriate pockets.  After the photos were in, I went through my weeks one pocket at a time adding journaling cards, mounting pictures to cardstock or 3x4 cards and adding bits and pieces here and there.  I kept it simple using my Clemetine Core Kit and one Studio Calico kit at a time.  This limited my choices which is good as I tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of supplies that I have.  Once the spread was done, I either put the kit away or continued to use it for the next spread. 

I did save my title cards for last.  I found it eaiser to take the stack of title cards from my Clementine Core kit and go through each week to find the card that complemented the colors of that spread the best.  I then lined them all up and added the weeks and any embellishments.  The title cards for weeks 8 through 15 took my about 45 minutes to complete.

Weeks 12 & 13 Left:
 Weeks 12 & 13 Right:
Weeks 12 & 13 saw lots (and lots) of baking, everyday life, the first pedicures of the season, Blue and Gold banquet and a band concert.  I also included the program (not shown) from Kelsey's concert.  I simply put it into a 8 1/2 x 11 page protector, trimmed to size and sealed with washi. Here I used the Clemetine Core kit, more of my SC County Fair Kit (Basic Grey Picadilly Chipboard, SC Wood Veneer Alpha, October Afternoon Mini Market Stickers - Gray), washi tape and the coveted chevron paper from Echo Park (SC Elmwood Park Kit).

Where am I now:
When I started my catch up process the last full completed spread I had was a combined week 6 & 7.  By the end of this week I should be completed up through week 33.  I am waiting for weeks 24 - 44 (up through November 2) to come back from Shutterfly.  I plan on working on those while working on the current week.

This week and next I will share some more of my completed pages and touch on some of my lessons learned in this whole process and my plans for 2013.

If you have any questions about my process...let me know. 

I would love to know...are you behind?  Do you plan on catching up?  Any tips for catching up, keeping up, and not falling behind?  Let me know.

Project Life is a scrapbooking system created by Becky Higgins.  There are no rules and it can be anything you want it to be.  For me, PL made me fall back in love with scrapbooking.  For more information, go to Becky's blog here.

I am linking up with the Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Project Life: on getting behind and catching up (part 1)

I am sitting here in the corner raising my hand with the other Project Lifers that have fallen behind.  At the onset of this project I told myself I wouldn't get behind, I wouldn't stress about it, and I would effortlessly document my family's life for 2012.  Then reality set in.  Sure I love to scrapbook but honestly, I can't say when the last time was that I have actually sat down and created more than one page in well...a month.  So who was I kidding that I would be able to pull off a spread a week?  Well actually I did quite well up until week 5...WHAT?  and we are now entering week 43...yikes!

But all is not lost...

Even though I wasn't finishing a spread a week, I was still taking pictures, still collecting bits and pieces of our daily life, still recording the little moments, I just wasn't getting those pictures off the computer or those bits and pieces in the pockets.  I was thinking like a Project Lifer I just wasn't acting like one.  But then my son asked me where the rest of our weeks were.  And my daughter came home and handed me a movie stub from her first movie alone with friends and told me it was great for Project Life, if I was still doing it. 

and that got me thinking....

All 5 weeks of our lives that I have recorded and documented and finished were the most favorite part of any album that I have ever done.  All 5 weeks of my Project Life album are the only album pages that anyone in my family has ever taken upon themselves to look at, marvel at, comment on, laugh about, reminisce about.  This was something that I loved.  This was something that they loved.  This was scrapbooking in its simplest form.  This was documenting and recording our lives as we lived it.  This was capturing those moments that I would otherwise not create a layout about.  This was getting out into view those pictures that would otherwise take a back seat to my typical scrapbook and live forever in their chronological place in my photo boxes.

So what on earth was holding me back....

I could make so many excuses for what was holding me back...I didn't take enough photos that week, I didn't have time to edit my photos, my pictures looked boring, my kids wouldn't cooperate with the camera, my pages don't look like so and so, I don't have time to make my pages the way I want, I had too many options...  In reality?  The only thing holding me back was me..so what if I don't have enough photos for the week to fill 2 pages?  Who says I can't combine 2 (or 3) weeks?  Why do my photos have to be perfectly edited...life isn't perfectly edited...a quick tweaking session each week is just fine.  My pictures are boring to whose standard?  Who was I trying to please?  When I look back on it and how much I love what I did and my family loves what I did...obviously I am pleasing the right people...so, the answer is ME! I am the only one holding myself back from moving on and documenting our lives.  My need for perfection and my self doubt about my work are the only real reasons that up until 2 weeks ago my family only lived through February 5, 2012...at least according to Project Life.

so I jumped back on the bandwagon....

Although I guess I never was fully off the bandwagon.  My workspace was filled with receipts, ticket stubs, labels, post it notes, etc. etc. My PL album sat open waiting to be filled.  I still visited my favorite inspirational blogs, I still wrote "catch up on PL" on my to do list.  But a few weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to do just that.  Today I am finishing up week 14, I have photos in the pockets up through week 32 and I am getting ready to place an order for weeks 33 - 43 which will make me current in photos.  The weeks that I have already completed have gone by quickly because I stuck to the premise of project life...photos & words, easy and simple.  I have relied heavily on working the Clementine Core Kit and one Studio Calico Kit at a time; and while I have added a few personal touches here and there I haven't gotten caught up on fussing over every single detail and I have to say I LOVE the result.

If you are still with me...thank you!  I plan to share some full pages and my process on how I got caught up in the next few days.  My hope is that it will help someone else out there that is as far behind as I am/was to document your life and not give up.   The more I work on my pages, the more I love this system, the more I love my album and the more I am so happy that I wouldn't let myself quit.


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