I am a huge fan of Becky Higgins’ Project Life products. I have been
scrapbooking memory keeping her way since 2009. (You’ll notice that I don’t say “scrapbooking” because it doesn’t seem to fit with what this is. Her system is less complicated than traditional scrapbooking but more interesting and memorable than just putting pictures into photo albums).
A LITTLE BACKGROUND: In 2009 Becky released a product called Project 365 (shown above). It sold out within hours, from what I understand. I found out about Becky’s Project 365 kit a day too late to order but was still intrigued by the idea. The Project 365 concept is to take a picture a day for year. With Becky’s kit, you could easily put your year in an album. I didn’t have Becky’s kit, so I did my own thing (example of one of my layouts below; more here). I successfully blogged about every day (almost) of 2009. I also printed about 90 percent of the pictures from 2009. However, only January and February are in the album and finished. Despite that, there is no guilt here since all of the data (pictures + words) is recorded. It is just not in the finished format.
In 2010, Becky tweaked her product, now called Project Life, and I was able to get a kit. Hooray! I knew I wanted to continue taking pictures of our growing family but knew the picture-a-day format was too much for me. Instead, I opted to go the route of documenting each week with about seven pictures. I would end up with an album roughly the same size as the Project 365 format, but without the pressure of taking a picture every single day. I called my project, “52 Weeks in 2010.” I used this blog to document our family week by week. I kept up with the weekly blogging through about the end of summer. And then I burned out. I still took the occasional picture, but I didn’t keep up with the seven a week thing. My album for 2010 is incomplete too. (You can see pages from my album below). I have printed pictures for more than half of the year. Journaling in the album stopped after Tessa was born. I am glad that I kept up with the blogging as long as I did so I do have several months worth of memories documented on the blog that I can easily transfer to the album. <– This will happen by the end of 2012.
When 2011 rolled around I made no commitments to do anything with my pictures. It was freeing to not have to take a certain number of pictures each day or week. That didn’t mean I didn’t take pictures. I kept taking pictures and by the middle of the year I was itching to do something with them. Soon enough, Becky was showing previews of her 2012 Project Life kits (Cobalt and Clementine) and I knew I had to do the project again.
I have learned from my past experiences and I think I have figured out how to make “Project Life” work for me and how to be successful with it. That means doing it my way. I am using Becky’s Project Life components and my way means documenting each month in some way. Pretty loose rules, huh?
Aside: something exciting has happened in the last few months with Project Life. It has taken the scrapbooking industry by storm. Many of the “big names” in scrapbooking are doing Project Life (not that I really know who the big names are. I stopped traditional scrapbooking in 2003-ish and didn’t know the who’s who even then). This means there are a lot of people playing with and using Project Life which results in a lot of Project Life inspiration out there. Many people are doing their own thing with Project Life. I started my Project Life journey using just the core kit elements. I now enjoy doing my “own thing” with Project Life and mix & match many elements to put my pages together. My albums, and many others’ albums, end up being somewhat of a hybrid of what Project Life was intended to be (an easier way to document your life by slipping photos and pre-made journaling cards into unique page protectors) and traditional scrapbooking. And I like that. The best part is that I can go simple if I want to and use just the core kit elements, or I can play and make very unique pages that might take a little longer than the simple way but take less time than traditional scrapbooking.
So far this system completely works for me. In the last month and a half I have gone back to document 2011 and am more than half way done with it (you can see two pages from it below; I’ll post more about my January 2011 pages later, because we had a busy month and there are many more!).
I am also current with 2012, but that’s not too hard since we are only in month two of 2012. What I am really proud of is the fact that I am CATCHING UP. To me, that’s a real accomplishment. I am a huge procrastinator and catching up on something that I never intended to do in the first place seems like the opposite of procrastination, somehow?!
This is all to say that I am going to start posting my Project Life pages here, I think. I have been debating this for awhile and as long as I can keep it simple, then I will do it.