Project Life: How I Jumped in Feet First

Here's an overview of what I've been up to with Project Life recently.

I'm using a plain faux leather black 12 X 12 3-ring scrapbook album from Hobby Lobby and divided page protectors from Becky Higgins (Design A) for the core of my album. I decided to use elements from both the Turquoise and Amber Core kits throughout the album (not together on the same layout--though you could).

Since I decided to take the Project Life plunge late last year, I was conflicted about making an album for 2011 (backtracking) or starting fresh for 2012. Well, I just couldn't wait and I knew I would regret not having much of our life in 2011 documented in a tangible way. I love my blog and the memories it holds, I love photo books (like Shutterfly) for events and my blog books from Blurb, but I miss actual photos and stories in albums. Enter Project Life.
I've always been more of an event (special occasion, travel, milestone) type of scrapbooker instead of a daily life type (though my blog covers most of that). As I was getting started I realized I am a photo-a-holic and it almost physically hurts to cut certain photos out of a layout, but I'm slowly adapting to choosing fewer (and hopefully the better) photos to tell the story.

Since I was backtracking for 2011, this album is definitely event driven and less daily life. It also has gaps in it, but I think I managed to create at least one layout for every month, so that makes me happy.

The bulk of this album covers our trip to New York in February. It's very photo heavy, but there's plenty of space for journaling details and storing keepsakes. I tried to keep each day in NYC as one layout spread, but soon found myself spilling over. I started each day with a 4x6 printed date card from the turquoise core kit (though not shown in the photo below, that day spilled over) and tucked in 3x4 journaling cards.
Some photos I trimmed to fit in the 3x4 card slots because I just couldn't cut them out. I also love having places to keep ticket stubs, cards, programs, etc.

On the right side of this layout I used a 6x12 page protector to hold extra photos. It's great to have this option when I need extra space!
And you may have noticed the blank journaling cards. Yes. This is a work in progress.

I think the NYC section ended up close to 10 pages (front and back, yikes!), so yes, I went a little nutso.

The rest of the album contains regular 2 page layouts (whew!). I tried to cover our spring (our Florida trips), summer, the start of school, Annelise's birthday, fall and Christmas. The layout below from June/July is a little overview of our summer (and a whole lot of Annelise). And yes, it's still fairly photo heavy (I think).
I'm using mostly 4x6 photos, some are trimmed to fit in the 3x4 slots, along with some InstaGram photos printed through Postal Pix. They are 4x4, so I used a journaling card to fill the rest of the 4x6 slot. I'm still figuring out the best way to use 4x6 vertical (portrait) photos, having just been slipping them in the Design A slots and turning my head when needed. I have another page protector set (Design B) but haven't used them yet (I haven't had enough vertical photos in one layout yet--and for the flip side, which would be the next layout).

Here's a look at the layout from my birthday trip in November:
And here's the right side. I also used a 6x12 dived page protector (not shown) for extra photos (are y'all surprised?).
This is one from December that covers a variety of little things, so it's a switch from my *event only* mindset. I also experimented with 2x2 size photos for the journaling slots. The Jesse Tree photo on the bottom should actually be vertical, but I just slipped it in sideways to fill the space.
And here's the right side of the layout.
I used a few adhesive flip pockets to show more photos from our walk through Bethlehem. I like having different options to include extra pictures when needed. And I need to glue that little 2x2 photo in place.

And here's one more layout from the week before Christmas.
I love the variety of little daily tidbits documented and having a place to keep a note Annelise wrote to me thanking me for letting her stay up late over the holidays. And I need to remember to glue those little photos down.
I also love that Project Life is perfect for getting the whole family involved in the memory keeping. Annelise filled out a card to document her favorite memories from our Florida trips last spring and for her class field trip in October. Scott is going to write a few cards too (soon he says), so our album will have little bits from all of us. Heart swells.

I can't tell you how happy having our 2011 recorded in this way, even hit or miss, has made me. I love looking through it! Annelise has been spotted leafing through, and even Scott has commented on how nice it is to see and touch our memories.

For 2012 I plan to follow a weekly overview type approach with Project Life, instead of only events. I want to record the big, the small, the everyday life stuff. If I can stick to this plan, by the end of the year I will have a layout (2 page spread) for every week, so 52 weeks of our lives will be documented and tangible. I'm sooooo excited!

I've ordered a new 12 x 12 black 3-ring album, I plan to mainly use the new Clementine core kit and Design A page protectors. I'll also use 6x12 page protectors and the photo flips when needed. I'm not planning on adding much, if any, scrappy embellishments (though you certainly can). I want to keep this project simple. My only other tools will be my new Crop-a-Dile Corner Chomper (you don't have to round your photo corners, I just like that look, and the kit cards come that way) and pens. If I'm feeling particularly crafty I might stamp something, we'll see. 

I hope I don't drive any of y'all cray-cray with all my Project Life talk, but I'm so excited about this because it's a project I can actually see myself finishing. It's totally doable, one week at a time. I also plan to post about my progress, maybe weekly, maybe every two weeks. We'll see.

The great thing about Project Life is you can totally adapt it to what works for you, maybe it's a monthly overview or a Project 365 or a child's school year(s), etc.

If y'all have any questions about my approach, such as it is so far, to Project Life, feel free to ask away. You can find ideas and inspiration on Becky Higgins' blog and by checking out the Project Life Creative Team for 2012.

Happy memory keeping (in whatever form!), y'all!


  1. this is serioulsy awesome... WOW

    I just can't believe how easy this looks too!!? I really should do this huh?

    I LOVE how A. is writing in the book too- very cool.

  2. I too am a Project Life user, love it. I leave mine out on the counter in the dining room, and love how my family and extended family stop to take a look at it every time they are near by. Yours looks great, and I love that your whole family got involved.

  3. Wow, I love everything about this! I think maybe I'll commit to printing photos every month, and then perhaps I can jump into something like this...what a treasure.

  4. Oh I love this! It seems so much more doable than the scrapbooking where you need all the special scissors to make fancy edging. Great job!

  5. This is AWESOME! BRing on Thursday - I need to touch it! :)

  6. Looks so cool! I have never scrapbooked in my life, but this is impressive. And I think photos are always what most people want to look at, so you can't have too many. :)

  7. I've never been much into scrapbooking but this looks very doable. love the idea, the simplicity. and how good it looks too. I might be able to do something like this.now w/ my son gone I wish I'd done something like this. although it does hurt to look at photos sometimes, they are something I think I will always treasure. thanks for sharing!


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