I'm back to share another random project that I've been working on this year. Way back in 2009, there was this thing called "Project 365" that came out as a kit thru Creating Keepsakes magazine. I purchased the kit and did pretty well at keeping up with the photo-a-day concept for a full year. This concept then turned into Project Life the following year, and while I love to see what others do with it and I follow Becky Higgins and watch everything she comes out with, I never got into it after that one year.
The biggest reason that I used to give for NOT doing Project Life again, was that over the last 4-5 years, I was taking less and less photos. With the girls being older, I just didn't take out my camera much, knowing that they wouldn't want me pointing it at them. I pretty much stopped using my camera for anything other than taking photos of projects to be honest. And since I work from home, while I certainly can take photos, they all end up looking pretty much the same at some point. Nothing too exciting going on here.
But about a week or two into this year, I started thinking about it more and more, and I decided that I was going to work on a Project Life album this year. I realized how many photos I take with my phone, and I wanted to be able to do something more with them, since they don't often make it onto layouts. I wanted this album to give a fairly decent look at our lives. When I did that first Project 365 album, I went into it knowing that I didn't want to include the daycare kids at all. This time, it was different. They are a huge part of my life, and since I take care of these kids in our home, it made sense to include glimpses of them here and there.
I also take lots of photos of scrap related stuff, and I wanted to include glimpses into that part of my life. I try and capture little pieces of life here and there on my phone, and I wanted to include those as well. And as for getting my girls into the album? Well, I decided that I would include them in this project, by asking them to send me a handful of photos each month. While they may not let me near them with my camera that often (I do sneak photos when I can), they take plenty of photos on their phones, and it adds their perspective into the album, which is nice.
So what is my process so far? Well, I came up with a plan to order my photos at the end of each month. I've mentioned before that I've been using the FreePrints app on my phone to order photos (you can read more HERE). At the end of each month, I go thru the photos on my phone, and edit any that didn't get edited. I ask both of the girls to send me photos, and one of them is super prompt at sending them right over, while the other usually needs 3-17 reminders ;)
I know that when it comes to the pocket pages, I'm working with mostly 3x4" photos, 4x4" photos, and a handful of 4x6" photos. Since I'm not great at knowing exactly what size I'll want each photo in, I tend to go a little crazy, and I'll actually order most of the photos in 2-3 sizes. Options are good, right? Extras are good, right? I use the Project Life app on my phone to combine two 3x4" pics on a 4x6" print. Super easy to do.
Once my photos arrive, I trim up any that need trimming. The prints that have two 3x4" pics get trimmed into two photos. The prints that have a 4x4" pic get the excess trimmed away. You can sort of see in the photo on the left where one photo might be printed 2-3 ways. I might print a photo as a 3x4", a 4x4", and a 4x6", now knowing exactly what size I'll want to use. I thought I would get better at figuring it out after a few months, but I haven't. So I just order away, and save the extras for other projects.
I sort out the photos, keeping the duplicate photos together. Then I use my phone to help me sort them out into the different weeks of the month. I love that the phone tells me the date the photos were taken. So convenient. I have five envelopes that I keep handy, since each month has 4-5 weeks, depending on how the dates fell. I sort them into the right week, and then I'm ready to work them into the album.
So, the album. I decided that I wanted to do a 9x12" album for my Project Life album. But rather than purchase an actual 9x12 album, I am using a 12x12" American Crafts Modern album that I had my mom cut down to 9x12" on her table saw. I have gobs and gobs of divided page protectors in the 12x12" size, and there are so many that can be easily trimmed down to work into a 9x12" album. They're not all 9" wide. I have some protectors that are 6x12", some that are 8x12", and some that are 7x12". I like having the pages staggered in widths, and I love using up protectors that I've had around for years.
I work an entire month of photos into the album at one time. I take out my album, and bunches of page protectors. I have already trimmed down a lot of the protectors that I know I'll use a lot. So I have a stack in the album all ready to go. I pick one pocket that I'll add the week number into, and I slip a sticky note with the week so I don't lose track. Then I simply take out my photos for the week, pick out the pocket pages that will best fit them, and slip my photos in. I leave empty pockets that I will then add cards and journaling into.
Usually a week later (I do most of this on the weekends), I'll do the cards. This part takes me a while, and I have to really spread out. I pull out all of my Project Life cards that I've accumulated (more about those in my next blog post), and I go at it one week at a time. While some weeks come together easily, there are always those weeks that take forever and a day to put together. I know that I could pull from my patterned papers and such for these pockets as well, but I have stuck to just using Project Life cards so far. My head can't wrap itself around too many choices for this project right now. Lol.
I aim to get a good card for the week number. A "title" card of sorts for the week. I look to add a more decorative card to each page, meaning a card that is good as-is, and doesn't need anything added to it. I add lots of cards that will work for adding my journaling, knowing that I'll also most likely add some text of some sort directly to some photos that don't need a lot of journaling. I'm going about this album in my true style. Simple and easy. I don't want a lot of fluff in this album, as much as I love to see others do it. I don't want it to be too involved, where it just takes too much time and I give up. Photos and cards. Simple and easy.
Soooooo. That's my process so far. Order photos once a month, work them into the album once a month, and add in the cards once a month. I've kept this up for six months so far. Ok, truth be told, I just got my June photos in the mail this evening, so those will be worked into the album by this coming weekend.
That is where I've left off though. I don't have a single week totally finished. I still need to add the weeks. I still need to add journaling and details. I haven't done that for any given week yet. But I'm not that worried about it. The majority of these photos came from my Instagram, and even the photos from the girls are easy to get info for. I feel super accomplished just looking at what I've put together so far this year, and I know I will get around to finishing up the rest of the details. And I'll share when I do have completed weeks to share.