April 27, 2017

Week in the Life / The Completed Album and Final Thoughts

Today I'd like to share a few of the pages from my 2017 Week in the Life album, along with my thoughts on completing this project.

The key for me this year was immediacy.  It took me over nine months to complete my 2016 WITL album and the journaling was a bit of a struggle because I'd let so much time lapse and had taken very few notes.  This year, I wanted to capitalize on my enthusiasm for the project and get the album finished right away.  I was able to review and edit photos, select photos for printing, and write the journaling while everything was still fresh in my mind.

This project is for me and reflects my perspective and so I made a conscious effort to take more photos of myself.  The self-timer on my iPhone became my best friend and I'm happy to say that I have at least one photo of myself for each day of the week. 

I tried to vary the way I took photos as well, remembering to switch between portrait and landscape often.  This paid off in helping me fill the smaller pockets: the portrait-oriented photos would fit into the 3x4 pockets and the landscape-oriented photos would fit into the 4x6 pockets.  When it came time to print, I had one less decision to make.

As I took my daily photos, I also kept in mind that I'd want at least one large photo for each day for the 6x8 pocket.  I intentionally framed a daily shot or two to include a lot of white space, thinking that I'd fill that space with journaling.  In the end though, I found that I was able to record enough of the details on 3x4 pocket cards so I let that plan go.  And truthfully, I didn't really want to spend any extra time adding text to photos.  I ended up filling that white space with a perforated word strip (for the opening and closing pages of the album) or the plastic day-of-the-week abbreviations and the die-cut pennant pieces (for the daily 6x8 photos).

I don't have a final count but trust me, I took a lot of photos during the week. When it came time to select photos to print, in most cases it was pretty easy to know which to include and which to exclude.  Sometimes though, it was just a snap (excuse the pun) decision.  My goal with this project was to capture a representative look at my week.  I didn't intend to cover every moment of every day; I just wanted to include the highlights (and in some cases the low points).  My guidelines for choosing which photos to print: when I think of that week, is this something that stands out? Is this really something I'll care about in a year or two? 

I kept the embellishments to a minimum, both to save time and to keep the focus on the words and photos.  The batch-tasking I mentioned in my previous post definitely kept me on track too.

So there you have it - another WITL album completed.  This is one of my favorite memory-keeping projects and I think these albums will become more of a treasure over the years.  They're definitely worth the effort!

April 25, 2017

Week in the Life / The Plan for the Album

I just finished taking photos for my Week in the Life project on Sunday and I was determined not to take as long as last year to get those photos into an album.  I came up with a plan to help me put everything together quickly and would like to share that with you today.

First, the photos.  I'd reviewed the day's photos each evening and deleted any extras.  While I still had more than I needed, I wasn't overwhelmed by the number.  Before Sunday was over, I decided on the sizes and number of photos I would use for each day.  The album I'm using, which is part of the kit I ordered from Ali Edwards, came with a set of page protectors and in an effort to keep things easy for myself, I decided to use the same configuration of pages for each day's spread: a 6x8 photo on the left to start the day, 4 3x4 photos on the right and, using the back of that protector, another 4 3x4 photos on the left, 2 4x6 photos on the right and, using the back of that protector, another 2 4x6 photos on the left, and a 6x8 photo on the right to end the day. I was confident that I could make this work with the photos I'd taken.

I chose the photos I wanted to use for the large prints and added them to a separate album on my phone to stay better organized.  I edited them on my phone, used the Print to Size app to add them in 6x8 size on an 8x10 canvas, then uploaded them to my local Walgreens for processing.  I had a coupon and store credit to use to make this option more affordable.  

I then looked at each day's photos to decide what I'd need for smaller prints.  I made another album on my photo to keep track of my selections and printed these photos on my Canon selphy printer, doing one day at a time to keep myself from getting confused.  I again used the Print to Size app to add two 3x4 prints on one 4x6 paper.

I next made a little assembly-line packet for each day: I pulled the page protectors and stacked the photos on top, along with the embellishments I knew I wanted to use for each day: the plastic die-cut day of the week abbreviation, a 3x4 card sectioned by morning, afternoon and evening (there were 7 of these in the kit), another 3x4 card to record more details, the patterned acetate day of the week dividers that were a bonus for early kit ordering, and then either a pair of rubber icon circles or a pair of chipboard squares. I also added one wood veneer day of the week piece to each pile.

Assembling was next.  I slipped the photos in the pockets and adhered the embellishments.  I used Scotch quick-dry adhesive (which I believe is now called quick drying tacky glue) to attach the large plastic abbreviations to the outside of the page protectors.

I used red line tape to attach the rubber pieces and the chipboard squares to the page dividers.

And now it was time to add the words.  I wrote what I wanted to remember about each day - I'd jotted a few notes during the week but I added most of the journaling on the spot as I was assembling the pages.

The last step was to add the wood veneer pieces, some word/phrase stickers and perforated word strips to each day's spread.  I also made sure to stamp the date on each spread using the time roller stamp from Ali Edwards.  I put the year on the inside cover of the album (with the plastic numbers from the kit), along with another perforated word strip.  I also added one 6x8 photo to the front and back pages.

This batch-tasking technique really sped up the assembly process.  I like that each day's spread uses the same design and includes the same type of embellishments.  It adds a nice, cohesive look to the album.  I'll share my completed album in my next post.

April 23, 2017

CKC March Kit

My post title is not a typo - I still have a few layouts to share with the CKC kit I put together for March.  You can see that kit here.

Usually by the time a new month rolls around, I am more than ready to move on to a new kit.  I started to go through my March kit leftovers, intending to put the usable items back into my regular supplies, and I realized that I still liked and wanted to work with the kit.  And so I did!

I had a large piece of butterfly paper left and used it as the base for this first page.  We were starting to see the first signs of spring around here and you know what that means - I'll be making lots of layouts featuring flowers.  So this is the first of many:

I used the Color Pop app on my photo to highlight just the yellow of the daffodils and I used the Letterglow app to add some word art from the March digital release from Ali Edwards.

I then printed one of the 4x6 cards in that release and used a circle punch on it to make my title.  I wrote my journaling on a white tag and tucked it behind the photo.

My second page was inspired by a fun prompt on the Whimsical Musings blog: be inspired by the International Day of Happiness.  Can you guess what makes me happy (other than scrapbooking, of course!)?  Yes, more flowers!  I'd been in Trader Joe's a few hours before I read the prompt and took a photo of their display of tulips, and that photo was just what I needed for my page.

I tilted the photo on an angle and added minimal embellishments to keep the attention on those lovely flowers. 

I'd like to get back into the habit of making "currently" pages which document the little details such as what I'm reading, eating, loving at the current time.  Here is the one I put together for April:

I raided my supply of wood veneer to add an embellishment to each category of journaling.

I arranged my photos in a loose garland across the top of the page and slipped some little pennants in along with them to add a bit more color.

Even after these three pages and the four pages I'd made earlier in the month (you can see them here and here), I still thought I could get a little more out of the kit.  I decided to make some cards to use in my Project Life.  Here's what I made:

It was fun sifting through my scraps and embellishments to add little details to the cards.

And now I feel ready to move on to April!  

April 20, 2017

Week in the Life, so far...

I am once again participating in Ali Edwards' "Week in the Life" project.  (You can read more about the concept on Ali's website here.)  I'm almost at the halfway point and wanted to share my thoughts on how it's going so far.

I admit that I was less than enthused when I woke up on Monday morning and remembered that this would be the first day of photo and note takingSince I completed the physical documenting of my 2016 WITL just over two months ago (you can read about that here), my appreciation for this project was fresh in my mind, which helped me get started.  And when I scrolled through my camera roll on Monday evening, I was very happy that I'd gotten over my initial lack of enthusiasm.

I will be taking all my photos with my iPhone.  I don't have a fancy camera but even if I did, I'm not sure that I would drag it around with me all week.  In contrast, I almost always have my phone with me and I'm satisfied with the quality of photos it produces.

There are routines and activities that occur multiple times during the project, and since I've done WITL several times before, I have very similar photos of those repetitive events.  I am trying to capture different perspectives of those activities this time around.  For example, I pick up groceries at least once a week and I usually document this by taking a photo of the grocery cart.  On Monday, I took this photo instead:

It's not the world's most riveting photo, but I like that it shows my reusable bag, a bit of the parking lot and the outside of the store.  I probably will take my traditional shopping cart photo later in the week too since it captures the food we eat, but I like seeing another view of my trip.

I am also trying to get more of me in this project, either by taking selfies or by using the timer on my phone.  I'm not very comfortable with the former and the latter certainly involves a lot of trial and error but I'm learning.  I've already taken more photos of myself in the first three days than I did in all seven last year - they won't appear on my social media but they will appear in my WITL album.

I documented my previous WITL projects in 8.5 x 11" page protectors but there's no more room in the album I used.  I ordered Ali's gray striped album along with her kit and will be documenting in 6x8 this time around.  I've seen that some people set up pages in advance which I considered but never got around to doing.  I will probably start and end each day's spread with a 6x8 photo and I'm trying to keep that in mind as I take photos each day.  Right now my intention is that those photos be of something significant that happened on those days or be what I think of first when I remember each day but I'll see what I have when the week is over and it's time to print.

I'm also considering adding journaling directly onto many of the photos before printing and so I'm trying to frame the photos to include more "white space" to hold that journaling.  I may add the words in photoshop or by writing right on the photo - again, I'm waiting to see what I have when the week is over.

I noticed last year that some of my WITL photos essentially do double-duty.  They're included in this project but they also give my ideas for telling more detailed stories on layouts.  I want to keep better track of these ideas and get those richer stories told.  The photo below documents a weekly chore but it also inspires me to tell the story of how much I love the scent of clothes dried outside on the clothesline:

And finally, I don't intend for this project to be a moment by moment recap, but rather a representative picture of my week.  I will miss things, and it's ok.  I will not document every meal I eat, every cup of coffee I drink, every television show I watch, or every errand I run. I don't want to be so caught up in capturing details that I get overwhelmed and don't enjoy the project or give up before the week is over.  I'm pleased with what I've got so far - and now on to the rest of the week!

Thanks for stopping in today!  If you're participating in WITL, how are you doing so far?

April 15, 2017

Feed Your Craft / Make It Matter

It's release day in the Feed Your Craft shop and I have a couple of creative team projects to show you today.  The latest kit is called "Make It Matter" and it is delightful - it's designed by Brandi Kincaid and is perfectly themed for any kind of crafter or maker.

My first page is about my grandmother's button and thread boxes.  As soon as I saw the needle and thread in the stamp set, I knew that this would be the first story I'd tell.

I used some of Nana's stamps and thread to embellish the page.  And how gorgeous is that scissor stamp?!

Did you know that when you order the kit, you receive a sheet of printables along with a digital file of the 3x4 and 4x6 cards that come in the kit?  I printed the sheet on vellum and on cardstock, then combined my two favorite cards for my second layout.

I stood on a chair to capture this photo of the dining room table, covered in scrapbooking supplies.  I get very messy when I'm working but when it reaches the point where I can't find something in the mess, I'll stop and clean up, but then the cycle just repeats itself. 

I was very inspired by this kit - I've got a long list of layout ideas and I may even use it to put together a mini-album.  I'll be back to share my other projects with you soon.  Thanks for visiting!

April 9, 2017

Layouts Lately / Feed Your Craft

I'm happy to say that I'll be back on the Feed Your Craft Creative Team for another six month term and I'll continue to work with the kits designed by Brandi Kincaid.  The next kit will be released on April 15th and it's another great one! I can't share any of it yet but I do have three layouts that I made with products currently in shop and I'd like to share them here today.

My first page was inspired by the At Home Stamp. The "this is home" phrase got me thinking about all the places I think of as "home": my childhood home, my grandparents' and great-grandparents' homes, my parents' current home and where I now live. 

I was able to find a photo of each house, except for my grandparents' home.  I did have a photo of myself in their kitchen so I used that one instead.  I added the phrase and little house stamps next to each photo and wrote a couple of lines about each place.  I scattered a few embellishments around the page and then added a strip of black & white house paper at the bottom.

My next two pages feature Flat Packs, which are a new shop offering.  I started with the Read More Flat Pack, intending to make a page about books and my love of reading but I ended up with a page about our local library.  I love when products take me down unexpected paths!

My last page was inspired by one of the 3x4 cards in the Tough Stuff Flat Pack.  Life isn't always sunshine and flowers right?  My best friend and I meet up every month (we live over an hour away from each other) and talk over all our ups and downs.

So that's a little of what I've been up to lately.  I'll be back later in the month to share a couple of projects from the April 15th release, Make it Matter.  Thanks for stopping by!