I’m happy to start sharing my approach to Project Life for 2014 with you! Just like last year, I’m ordering photos in batches from Persnickety Prints at the end of each month, which means that I’m now finished with all of my January pages but am working on a big photo order for February. I actually printed all of the photos for the two spreads I’m sharing at home, but I’m planning on replacing a few with prints from Persnickety in my next order because a few of my home versions just don’t do the photos justice.
That said, I’m happy that these spreads are in the books: I started with documenting the end of the month because editing my million photos from my Denver trip at the beginning of January started to hold me back. Because of that trip, I’m going to be sharing January a little out of order in batches of several weeks at a time. (So grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage.)
First, a short intro on how I’m tackling 2014. I’m still taking a weekly approach, but after going insert crazy in my 2013 Project Life and including one or more inserts almost every week, I’m going to drastically reduce the amount of inserts I’m using. This is simply because I like the way non-insert layouts look a little better, for the most part, and they add a lot of bulk to my albums. Instead, am leaving space in between each month for extra pocketed pages and traditional layouts. I took a similar approach in 2012, but used cover pages to break up each month. I still haven’t finished about half of those 2012 cover pages, because they’re decorative rather than story focused and that just really doesn’t get me excited. This time around I’m going back to monthly breaks for extra documentation, but skipping the whole month cover page thing. If I’m being confusing, check back on Thursday to see my in-between pages to get a better idea of where I’m going with this whole thing.
Here are what the spreads for the end of January look like:
Click photos for a larger view.
In this spread I used the sunset photo as a jumping off point for the color scheme, combining cards from Studio Calico kits, Amy Tangerine’s Plus One Project Life mini kit (which I hear is sold out everywhere until summer!!!), Kelly Purkey’s shop (also sold out), and a few 12×12 patterned papers I’ve purchased lately. Using supplies from so many sources might seem complicated, but sometimes that’s the only thing that will work if you’re going for a color scheme that’s not really represented in a single kit.
Going on here: A pretty sunset (one of the things I’m savoring lately), Jake beating Grand Theft Auto 5 (which consumed him for a minute there), and an Instagram collage of everyday stuff like the kids playing, me after going to my first book club meeting, snuggling Jonas and Ava (a friends’ baby), Jonas showing off a clay masterpiece to Poppy (my grandpa), the old spoon on the nose trick, and a trip to Science City.
Going on here: Jonas napping in my bed, maternity pictures Jake took for our friends, Eliza way up high in a tree, and a bit about the plant takeover.
Here are a few tips you can draw from this spread:
To record a lot of details about a week, grab some journaling cards, place them near a photo they’re related to, and start listing things out with a simple // in between each line of journaling. Don’t feel like all of your journaling has to be related to the photos: use your calendar, social media, or take notes to remember to document a few things that happened that didn’t get photographed.
Take goofy photos to capture joy.
Don’t have much to say in a blank 4×6 space? Cut down and layer a few scraps from 12×12 paper and include a card with a small journaling spot on the top. You can also layer 4×6 filler or title cards with 3×4 journaling cards.
Write directly on photos using the white space in a photo to squeeze in extra words. I used Project Life journaling pens and they worked great!
Don’t feel like you have to crop a square photo to fit it into a rectangle pocket. just print it as a square and adhere it to patterned paper or a card! Bonus: you’ll have room to add journaling next to the photo.
Don’t let the theme of a card hold you back! I only had one item in my whole stash that matched the deep blue / purple of my friend’s dress, and it was from a holiday kit. I just covered up the holiday sentiment with a trimmed down card, so I was able to get in that pop of a cool, lesser found, color!
I also suppose that I could have just printed out a card with a similar color on it (which would have been really easy to do using the color picker tool in Photoshop), but I was having an ink shortage at the time.
Because I’m adding breaks in between the months, I stopped this spread on the 31st, even though I’m ending my weeks on Saturday. I’ll combine in that extra February day into the first February spread (sometimes I might make a whole extra spread if there are a lot of photos to work with).
I took color cues from throughout the spread and combined the Jade Project Life Kit, with more Amy Tangerine and Studio Calico to get the shades of red, orange, green, and blue I was going for.
Going on here: Jonas’s tomato soup sipping lessons, Jake and I making brunch, Eliza rocking the cool jammies for Pajama Day at school, a story about going for a walk in 55 degrees only to find ourselves having to walk home while it was snowing, and Eliza’s cool challenge for herself to grab things off her desk in ten seconds and come up with a project out of those supplies.
Going on here: Going through a tough week with baby Ava, who did NOT want to be put down at all, the pillow covers I made, getting included in the February / March edition of Scrap 365, and a trip to buy books and coffee.
Here are a few tips you can draw from this spread:
When you don’t have much room for journaling cards, add the journaling directly on the photo. I love using label stickers like these for the job.
When you add journaling to a photo, try to add it in a place that doesn’t cover up anything important and kind of (or actually) “points” to the focal point of the photo.
For stories, dedicate a whole block of pockets to go together.
Document words in the moment so you’ll remember what photos are about later. I would have forgotten about the story behind this little bird Eliza made if I hadn’t written it to go with the photo on Instagram.
Another way to add journaling right on the photo is by adhering part of a journaling card to the photo!
Tie journaling cards to photos by using a journaling card with a predominant color from the photo.
Take pictures of things, even if you don’t think you’ll include them in your spreads, just to jog your memory. I totally didn’t think I’d include the picture of the magazine, but ended up throwing it in and I’m so happy I did.
Use word stamps, like these everyday story stamps from Rukristin to jump start your journaling.
You can also stamp two colors directly over each other to achieve an ink color you don’t have! I stamped blue then purple to achieve this color.
I hope you liked getting a peek into how I’m tackling 2014! I’d love to hear how you’re tackling this year and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Project Life is a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins. It can be anything you want it to be.
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I’m so excited that Project Life Lessons is back for its second run at Big Picture Classes. I’m teaching with two of my favorite Project Lifers, Elise Blaha Cripe and Annette Harring, all about our tried-and-true tips in the areas of photo management, storytelling, organization, assembly, and more! The class starts April 17, but a plethora of bonus materials–including videos, photos, worksheets, a quiz, printables, and a manifesto–already awaits you in the pre-classroom. Head over now to take advantage of the special introductory price, which ends March 13. If you have any questions about the class, I’d be happy to answer them!
* For you Project Life Lessons veterans: the content is the same, except for a video from each of us updating you on our process for 2014 and refreshed message boards and chats.