here comes a crazy long post about project life. it’s called “do it because you love it” day here on the blog.
in 2013, i took on the most long-winded project i’ve ever considered: project life. created by becky higgins, it’s a “memory-keeping system.” so basically, i’ve turned into a scrapbooker. except, i really don’t like to scrapbook. i tried it a few times when i was younger, and i ended up with layouts i can’t stand, and a lot of chopped up photos that were ruined with too many scalloped scissors.
project life, to me, is completely different. it really is more about memory keeping than getting crafty (unless i feel up to it during a particular week). from becky’s website, “it can be whatever you want.” but really, the first idea i heard was my favorite, and the one i will stick with. i choose to document life weekly.
i love that all my everyday photos and stories are getting recorded. i love that these albums are more than just vacations and birthdays, even if those still give me the best photos. i thought i would keep printing those big events to fill regular albums. but those things worked their way into my project life book, since it was the only photo project that’s found any consistency in my life.
i first learned about this project by elise blaha. i think hers might be my favorite blog, and i am constantly inspired and encouraged by her posts and projects and writing. i still find myself going through her 2012 project life archives if i need to get excited about working on my album again. i also get inspired by cathy zielske, ali edwards, and the project life creative team.
i am so excited to continue the project in 2014. i will keep documenting week by week. last year, i used the clementine album and core kit. this year, i’m using the jade core kit.
for inserts, i have:
- 8.5×11″ and 6×12″ sheet protectors,
- baseball card protectors (that hold 9 small verticals),
- 2×2 coin protectors, and
- 4×6 photo protectors that i trim down.
i like my inserts smaller than 12×12, so they are clearly in the middle of a week. i leave the corners straight on these, and include some sort of page tab to offset it (i have smash tabs that i staple, and colorful sticky tabs from semikolon).
at the end of 2013, i bought myself a completely unnecessary printer: the canon pixma pro-100 printer. it retails for around $500, but i found a rebate where i would get the printer for $109, with a free pack of awesome 13″x19″ photo paper. i was so excited and was having so much fun, i got myself completely caught up on the project in no time.
i’ve always shopped around for the best prices when i wanted to print photos, and this is the opposite end of that spectrum (at least, that’s what everyone says). it is not the economical choice. but it was my indulgent, incredibly fun choice. the quality of these photos impresses me so much, and i absolutely love printing at home. i am smitten over seeing my images in my hand any time i want.
i started out with a fiskars paper trimmer, because it was cheap, and it could give me straight lines with a little effort. but like the printer, i eventually upgraded to one of the best, because, well, paper crafts called. i’m using a 15″ rotatrim paper cutter, and it is amazing.
favorite tools + supplies:
i love black pens, and my current favorite for the album is the uni-ball signo 0.5 mm pen. i also just got a pentel 0.8 mm white gel pen that i’m loving. i also have an american crafts slick writer if i ever want to write on photos, but it doesn’t seem to be archival (it completely yellowed).
i like martha stewart + avery labels, washi tape, and flair buttons. (i think it would be pretty great if i ended up with 37 pieces this year.) i bought some from ormolu, who doesn’t seem to have a shop any longer, and evalicious. but i want to try making my own buttons with my 1″ circle punch and epoxy stickers.
and shockingly, i finally organized myself. last year, it was a mess to find journaling cards and see what i had to use. and eventually, i felt like a crazy crafter with scraps and supplies thrown around my room half the time, even though i don’t have that much, and would rather stay sort of minimalist with it. it is too easy to get carried away. so i organized all the pieces from the core kit with the few supplies i’d like to use every week, and stashed that all in a little photo box. done and done.
what i’m doing differently:
last year, i stopped posting weekly updates, and worked on my album in large chunks every few months. i tried not to feel like i was “falling behind.” and i enjoyed working on it in long bursts, where i would sprawl out in my living room for a whole weekend and get weeks’ worth of photos organized.
but i definitely didn’t include the little things that were happening in the moment. in 2014, i think i want to try working more “in the moment.” this probably won’t mean every week. but it might mean more little things in there. it could definitely happen, based on how smitten i am with my printer.
i’d like to include more scraps and pieces of paper from daily life. receipts and lists, cards and ticket stubs. it was hard to give up a space for a photo to a list. but it might be easier if i work on the project more often.
and here is my 2014 title page:
it’s so rad that i’m just as interested in this project now as i was a year ago. after 52 weeks. there’s just something about having this thick binder full of photos and words and pieces of everyday life from 2013.
for my 2014 title page, i printed out a favorite self-portrait i snapped down the shore just before jumping in the car for a beach day with my parents. and, naturally, a coffee. it was the perfect latte i had while christmas shopping at the mall, and they spelled my name right! i also included 1/37 piece of flair once i got them to work.
i’m already digging the jade core kit so bad.