December 30, 2017

My 2018 Memory-Keeping Intentions

It's that resolution-making, goal-setting time of the year so I thought I'd devote a short post to what I hope to accomplish with my memory-keeping in 2018.  Here are my plans, in no particular order...

Continue recording everyday life stories with photos in Project Life.

Organize and reduce my supplies.

Be more intentional about the supplies I purchase.  (I've got a post planned about my "mindful" shopping experiment.)

Develop a good way to keep track of the stories I want to tell.

Back up my photos on a more regular basis.

Continue making layouts and mini-albums.

How about you? Do you have any scrapbooking or crafty goals for 2018?  Please share them in the comments below.  And I wish you a very happy New Year!

December 28, 2017

Thoughts on Project Life

At the beginning of last year I decided that I would get back to making Project Life pages.  I thought that I'd share how that all worked out, along with some of the things I learned along the way.

What worked:
Being flexible about the timeline. I don't make weekly or even monthly spreads - I just fill the pockets and tell stories, and if a two page spread covers three weeks or just one event, I'm happy.  My idea is that an entire Project Life album should be an overall representation of my life - I don't need to document something every day or cover every single thing that happens to me in the course of a year.  I'll be honest - sometimes it takes a little finagling to get the photos to "end" in the right pocket configuration.  But again, I'm flexible - it doesn't bother me to add in or take out a photo to make things work.  For example, if I have a photo of my garden in summer, I don't care whether it appears right next to the photo that I took right before it chronologically.  As long as it ends up in with my summer stories, it's all good to me.

Using photo flips.  They are the perfect solution when I have more photos than pockets or when I need just a little extra space for journaling.

Working in batches.  It ended up being easier for me to print photos and work on several spreads in one sitting.  Devoting an afternoon or maybe two to putting the spreads together gets me in a rhythm that helps me finish pages quickly.

Using digital stamps.  This was something new for me and I enjoy using the Letterglow app to add digital stamps and even journaling onto photos.  While I still love stamping and adding other physical embellishments to my photos, it's nice to change things up every now and then.  When I use the digital stamps, I'll use them on an entire spread to get a consistent look.

What sort of worked:
Working with the past year.  My initial plan was to make a 2016 Project Life album so that I could have an entire year of photos at my disposal.  I did a couple of months' worth of 2016 but in the end, I was more inspired working with current photos.  And I actually completed almost all of 2017, so that's why I'm filing this in the "sort of worked" category. 

Starting with a kit.  I pulled a variety of supplies together before I started and expected to use up what I pulled and then replenish what I needed.  I still think this is a good approach because having too many options really slows me down, but I found there were times when I either got a little tired of what I had set aside or I had something specific that I wanted to use that wasn't in my little kit.  I had better luck making up smaller kits to use with specific groups of photos.  I still have a good portion of that original kit and I'm not sure whether I want to break it up and start over or keep trying to use it.  

Photo organization and printing.  I had the best of intentions to edit, delete and print photos on a regular basis and that worked for about the first month or so.  Then it became less of a priority to me and I would just prepare photos in batches right before I knew I would be working on my spreads.  I did eventually find a routine that worked for me when I wanted to order photos: I set up a specific Project Life folder on my phone and added the photos I thought I would use.  I'd then edit them and add journaling and digital stamps to some.  Next I'd use the Print to Size app to get them into the sizes that I wanted and upload the photos that were "ready" to Walgreen's for printing.  I know that some people don't care for the quality of photos from Walgreen's but I am very happy with the results I get from one of my local stores.  I'll occasionally print photos on my Selphy but I get the majority of my photos printed at Walgreen's.

What didn't work:
While I hoped to have a dedicated spot to leave the album out to be able to work on it regularly, that just didn't happen. It's still something I am working for though so maybe I'll have better luck with it this year.

What I've learned:
I have gotten much more selective about photos.  I've learned to think about the composition and the framing, intentionally setting them up with white space for journaling, digital stamps or embellishments.  I also remember to take more horizontal photos for those 4x6 pockets.

I've added smaller inserts because I like the way they break up the run of 12x12 pages.  For example, this year I have 9x9 baseball card holder-like inserts for a day trip to New York City, a special birthday celebration,  a day-in-the-life documentation and for a couple of regular spreads.  

I take far more photos than I document but for me, it's better to have them and not use them than to be looking for a photo that I didn't take.  In keeping with what I mentioned above, as long as my project gives a nice overall view of my life, I'm happy.  

What's next:
I plan to continue with Project Life in 2018, hopefully refining my process even further.  Traditional layouts will always be my first love but there's also plenty of room in my heart for capturing everyday details in little pockets.

December 20, 2017

December Daily - A Few More Pages

Just popping in today to share a few more pages from this year's December Daily project.  The month is really flying by and while I've been working on my album, it's been a little harder to find the time to post about it here.

This spread picks up where I left off on my last post here.  I seem to always pick up a new ornament or two (or more) each year and I like to add a page with details about those new additions.

Next up, I've devoted a few pockets to the food and beverage items I indulge in at this time of year.

I'd like to mention that the adorable hot chocolate card was made by my talented friend, Rosie.  You can find her blog here.

This is the reverse of the hot chocolate page.

And finally, I've got a multiple pocket spread.  Our Christmas card, which I'm not sharing here, is to the left of the page below.  Then I've got a page that I cut in half vertically to talk about how we came up with the card photo this year.  The bottom pocket is a free download from Cathy Zielske (see her blog here).

The 4x6 pocket has an envelope that I folded out of a page in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  It holds a letter written to myself about this year, which is something I've done in every December Daily album I've made.

I also made a little shaker pocket with tiny gold stars because a little extra sparkle is always a good idea, isn't it?

And that brings us up-to-date with my album so far.  I hope to work on a page or two before the weekend, and then will finish the album after we celebrate Christmas.  Thanks for stopping by today!

December 13, 2017

December Daily - A Little Catching Up

I'm back today with a catch-up post to share some a few more pages from my December Daily album.  

The first spread follows the Grinch page I previously shared.  I found a star transparency that I've had for a while and thought it would make a nice divider page in the album.  I cut a 6x8 piece of it, added a tabbed sticker to the side, punched a couple of holes and put it right into the album.

The page underneath is a full 6x8 photo.  I added a digital stamp and journaling using the Letterglow app and I really like how it turned out.

I've also been using some of the pages I pre-made back in November and that has been helping me stay on top of this project.  The next spread is about our Christmas Tree. 

I used one of the pre-made pages on the left, a full-size 6x8 photo on the right and a 3x8 insert between them.

The 3x8 inserts are digital journaling cards from In a Creative Bubble here.  I added some tiny gold stars to the trees on the first card and then wrote the story about this year's tree on the second card.

The next spread is composed of two 6x8 pages.  The left side is a holiday bucket list and the right side has a flip-up pocket with a photo beneath it.

In past years, my December Daily albums have included "to do" lists of chores but this time I've included a "to do" list of fun activities.  This bucket list is available as a free download from Mandy and can be found on her blog "Turquoise Avenue" here.  I matted it on a piece of gray plaid patterned paper and added a couple of puffy asterisks from Felicity Jane.

The opposite page is not in a page protector so that the flip-up piece is easily accessible.  I used a stamp from the Stamp Market on the top of the flip-up and then added a little label under the photo to hold the journaling.

The next spread continues on the back of the one above.  I used a pre-made page on the left - a 6x8 wreath page that I embellished with small gold stars.  The right side has 4 3x4 pockets.

I embellished some of the pockets with chipboard banners and a red puffy heart, all from Elle's Studio.

My final page for today is on the back of the previous page, so there are 4 3x4 pockets on the left.  I paired them with a large tag that was a bonus gift from Ali Edwards during the early ordering period of her December Daily products.  What you see below is actually the back of the tag - I covered it with a pretty woodgrain paper from Elle's Studio.

I added some digital stamps to the photos before I printed them.  I'm again using a couple of the pre-made cards.

I turned another of my pre-made cards into a flip-up, attaching it to the tag with some washi tape.  I first adhered another card to the back so there would be something there when the card was flipped and then placed another card at the bottom to hold my journaling.

So that's what I've put together so far.  Are you making a December Daily this year?  How is it coming along?