January 4, 2011

Project Life 2011...assembling my album

Edited for ?'s and comments:
Allison wrote: I am getting married this year and have been planning to do a "project life" type scrap book for our first year of marriage beginning on our wedding date. Is the Project Life kit flexible enough to start on any day of the year? My answer: YES. Start your album on your wedding date and then you will end on your first anniversary. It will be the BEST gift you give to yourselves.

Kristyn wrote: Thanks a lot Mish (sarcasm here). You got me hooked on ANOTHER love. When I saw your initial post last week...I knew I just had to have it. So, I ordered immediately and recv'd mine yesterday as well. I am soooooo excited to do this...thanks for the great post...keep them coming. Thanks for keeping it simple and real. Love your blog. Love you. My answer: Hee Hee Hee....if I've ever enabled you guys to do/purchase anything, this will be the BEST thing yet. Do it. Get it now so you can keep up. We'll do it together. Seriously. You will thank yourself. It does take effort though so you need to commit to it. So easy though.


EDIT: I'm loving that so many of you trying out Project Life. We can do it!! Together. :)

Are you ready for some Project Life 2011? Let's get started!!

As a preface to my post today, let me tell you about Project Life. Becky Higgins created this fabulous tool for us to simplify the way we scrapbook. I have admired Becky from the very first time I saw her hand drawn lettering in Creating Keepsakes magazine. I have followed Becky throughout the years and have peeked into her life through her amazing scrapbook layouts. I've used her sketches, I've seen all her hair styles, I've watched her little kiddos grow up.....lots of good stuff from Becky. She is amazing and always willing to share and that's why I love Project Life so much. I should do infomercials.

The basic idea behind Project Life is that you get an all inclusive album kit that helps you document and preserve memories. You pair your photos with pre-designed components from the kit, including journaling blocks....and you end up with an entire, completed album at the end of the year. I intend to use my kit as a 365 album where I take a photo a day and journal that photo for each day. I know many of you purchased the kit after reading my posts.....you're brand new to the concept. I would love to share with you how I set up my album. Let's go..
I use Project Life by Becky Higgins
Becky encourages us to take a photo with our new kit. This can be one of the first pages in your album for 2011. :)
I'm blogging to you from the comfort of my living room. Specifically the big, green, comfy chair. This is where you can picture me every time I do a Project Life post. I keep all the components of my album here so that it's easily accessible and I can work on it when I have a few minutes here and there. This is key for me. If my album were in my actual studio, it would get cluttered up and pushed aside. I'll share in another post soon about how I store my Project Life, my Selphy printer, and all my supplies so that it's neat and tidy. I have to say that my family loves looking at these albums in progress. Keep it out, let them see it. It's fun. It's what life is about.....creating memories.
Here we go with the assembly of my Project Life album. I chose the Amber Edition because I love the cheerful colors. The basic guts of Project Life are the album, the unique, divided page protectors and the journaling inserts. Look at those cute boxes. Yummy, aren't they?
To start off, you'll want to find the inserts for the front and back page of the album. Up in the top right corner you can see the printed sheet that comes with the kit. I put together my front and back just like it showed. Easy peasy. No thinking involved. :)
Next up you'll want to insert all of the blank pages into the album. There are enough pages, and I believe a few extras, to complete an entire year's worth of photos. The great thing about the album is that it has 3 rings that pop open and shut. It's the only kind of album I use now. Those screwy things are nuts, I tell ya. I'll be adding in more pages of my own throughout the year so this is perfect for rearranging and adding pages. I'll be showing more of those pages throughout the year. All of my 2011 scrapbook pages will go into this album. One album. This includes vacations, birthdays, etc. Okay, I lied. I do have some ongoing albums for the girls for their sports pages and grade school photos, etc.
Next, you'll want to insert the monthly dividers in the front of the album. Please note: You can set your album up however you like. I always talk/write like I'm teaching a class so bear with me...if you wanna change it up, feel free to do so. The monthly dividers have a protective coating on them. Peel that stuff off. Next year I'm paying the reds to do this part. Not hard, just sticky little stuff. :) I keep all the monthly dividers in the front of my album. When I get past January photos and move into February, then I'll insert the February divider...and so on. Very cool for a quick monthly reference when the album is all complete.
Next, we've got the small card inserts. These are what come in the cute, small boxes. Loads of them. Such cute colors and designs. Way to go Becky.
The small card inserts with lines are your journaling cards. This is what you write on that tells about each photo. So each time I take a photo, I'm going to write about it on a lined journaling card.
These are the blanks as I call them. Patterned insert cards. For each 2 page spread you'll have 7 photos....one for each day of the week. You'll also have 7 journaling cards with one space leftover. This is where a blank insert card goes. Just a decorative filler card. This front card is my favorite design.
There's also a stack of lined journaling cards that can be folded. These are for those days when you feel a little extra windy and have more of a story to tell. You just write your story, fold it up and insert it just as you would the other journaling cards. You could even add some extra, small photos on these if you want.
Next up we have the larger insert cards. Since I'm doing a photo a day, I use these as weekly marker card inserts. (More in just a bit on these). For each two spread layout, one of these goes in the upper left hand corner of the page protector. Again, change it up however you wish...this is just what I do.
Okay, now we're ready to start our album for the year. I like to start my week on a Sunday because that's how all my other calendars work. So this year my album is starting on Sunday, January 2nd. January 1st will go in last year's Project Life album. I insert my Sunday photo for the week on the top left, just to the right of the weekly, dated insert card. Then I insert my photos like I'm reading a book. The next two photos (which will be Monday and Tuesday, will go in the bottom two slots on the left hand page. Then Wednesday and Thursday will go in the top two slots on the right hand page, etc. The journaling cards all go in the smaller slots. Last year I did more color coordinating. This year the colors of this Amber kit are more rainbow-y so I'm just picking cards as I go. No particular order. You can insert a blank wherever you like. I like to mix it up for each week. I'm wild that way.
The larger, weekly marker card goes in the upper left hand corner for me. This goes in the same place for all my weeks. I love to get all office supply-ee and use the date stamp and a black ink pad to mark each week of the album. This is something I will do in advance for maybe a month or more. Just use your calendar to keep track of what you need to stamp. I'll go in later with my journaling marker and add a little dash (-) in between the dates...and I'll circle the month too. I might use a small circle stamp for that part too.
Here's a close up of the journaling cards. Like I said, I'm gonna get all mixy matchy with these because they're just like Skittles.....taste the rainbow. Get funky with it. Don't think about it too much. My girls like to pick these out for me too. Fun stuff.

With the kit, you also get a stack of stickers. The colored days of the week stickers, I use directly on the journaling cards. You can do this in advance for several weeks, months....or the entire year if you are some kind of organizing wonder person. That would not be me. I use the tan arrow stickers to point to the corresponding photo for the day. So Sunday's journaling card will point to my Sunday photo slot. There are also clear days of the week stickers. Those will be stuck right on the page protector, over the photo for that day. Becky says don't stick the stickers directly on your photos. Listen to the Beckster. She knows her stuff. It's all in the name of being archivally safe. :)
Okay, now we are ready to roll with it people. Take those photos daily if you're going the 365 route. I'll be back soon to show you my first week of my album.....and how I print my photos....and where I store my supplies. Lots of good stuff here. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Don't you love this photo below? I do. I often have this little scene going on in my living room. Right on the ottoman. Maybe I should invent an ottoman for scrapbookers...with pockets and a hinged lid for storing our albums. Becky, could these ship with our Project Life kits? We'll talk later. ;)

In the meantime, I'd love to thank Becky for her amazing product. It has truly changed the way I scrapbook. I can do this. I can get it all done. You can too. No freaking out or feeling overwhelmed. This is it. Simple. Easy. LOVE. Thanks Becky!!

39 comments:

Casie said...

Thanks for the up close look at Project Life!!

Now... could you give us a photo tour of your studio again too?

Pretty Please?!

bosenberries said...

Oh no... I really want one! That looks brilliant and since my New Years Resolution was to scrap more and make less cards this totally suits!! Cheers, Robin

Basement Stamper said...

Thanks for sharing, have one in my bin to order now!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing.. I always read/see so much about Project Life, but never understood what it was all about until this post!

Diana said...

Thank you so much for sharing how you set up your book and how to create a scrapbook space. I ordered my Project Life kit this weekend and can't wait for it to come. I figured that since you were going to show us glimpses of your journal throughout the year, that would keep me inspired to be consistent with it. Thank you so much!

Alia said...

Ok, I had this sitting in a "Cart" and I've been debating whether I should order it or not. You talked me into it! :)

Allison said...

Hi Mish! I am getting married this year and have been planning to do a "project life" type scrap book for our first year of marriage beginning on our wedding date. Is the Project Life kit flexible enough to start on any day of the year? It seems like it would be, but just wanted to check with someone who had the kit. Thanks for any help.

Kristyn said...

Thanks a lot Mish (sarcasm here). You got me hooked on ANOTHER love. When I saw your initial post last week...I knew I just had to have it. So, I ordered immediately and recv'd mine yesterday as well. I am soooooo excited to do this...thanks for the great post...keep them coming. Thanks for keeping it simple and real. Love your blog. Love you.

Geny (Mommy Geny) said...

Wonderful post Mish and you look so pretty too:)! I love your pretty hair! I would love to do this but I feel like I won't be able to finish it and then be disappointed in myself. Maybe...I am thinking about it for sure! Hugs!

Kristy Vernon said...

Thank you so much for your post! Now, I'm even more anxious for mine to arrive. I ordered the turquoise kit but after seeing yours I am also ordering the amber kit. I can't wait for them to arrive and get started! I think I'll be able to manage this, even with a new baby in the house. Thanks for your post!!!

~Army Wife Molly~ said...

I already posted on your FB, but I just read your edit in regards to your response to Allison. I am sooo in love with the idea of PL and I think it is so amazing that it is so flexible! I have been married for a year already, but I plan on going back and putting together our first year together in my first kit. I'll have to order a second one to start 2011. Better order fast before it sells out! Why didn't I order two?? ugh! lol

Kelli Lind said...

Hi Mish, thank you for the wonderful post. You talked me into it and i am so excited. Was wondering if you could give a little review about your printer. I have heard about that little printer and was wondering what you thought.

Thanks
Kelli

Anonymous said...

Amazing, Mish. I HATE scrapbooking, yet I think I want Project Life. I'll let you know if I take the plunge!

Priscilla

Grace said...

Just got my Project Life today! I put it together earlier this evening and then came to read your blog. Glad to see we are very similiar in our organization. I'm going to use the 2 page layouts for a week as opposed to a picture a day. Thanks for introducing this fantastic product. I'm curious about how someone incorprated OLW into this albumn. I just printed it out and put in on a separate page with other "year long" goals. Thanks for a great blog!

Angy said...

Another enablee here - ordered my PL kit and am expecting it any day. I haven't scrapbooked much in years so I am super excited to get started again. This is so much easier than what I was doing before. I was doing each page artsy and embellished up and it took hours so I just stopped scrapping and starting making cards only. This, THIS I am going to love! Can't wait. Thanks so much for reminding me about this awesome kit.

Kathleen said...

I was inspired to purchase the Project Life kit by Ali Edwards. I was SOOOO glad to see that another favorite blogger (YOU!)uses it, too. Since I've started card making, I've really let my scrapbooking go---it just became SOOOO overwhelming! I'm SO excited to start again with EVERYTHING in front of me---no worries about having the "right" paper or product---I can get my family memories DONE!!! My kit hasn't arrived yet and I'm DYING to get started! Hopefully it will be here today. I'm SO glad to have yet another blogger to help me get it done--thanks for the great post, Mish!

Shirlann said...

My Project Life kit arrived yesterday too, just in time for your post on how to start it! So looking forward to going on this journey with you and others that have chosen to change or start a new way of scrap booking. Your reply to Allison was brilliant....a wonderful keepsake for her first year of marriage! Darn it, do I have to get two more for my daughter-in-laws-to-be?
Thank you beautiful lady!

Stacy Simpson said...

Thanks for all the info. I want mine... right now! It should arrive this week.

Rosie Lilya said...

Hi Mish-
My kit should be here tomorrow! Can't wait- I love the idea of putting this album together from a big comfy chair. I am looking forward to the journey of this album! Thanks for all your sharing

Michelle said...

Oh Mish, you make me laugh! I love the last picture of you kissing your kit. That's what I'm gonna do when I get mine, too! Ha!! BTW, your hair looks beautiful.....

Beth Marchitello said...

Mish - I love your post and your album. You totally inspired me to do it and I bought the kit today!! I hope you keep these posts going with pictures of your book so it keeps me inspired to do mine! :)

Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us!!

Irina said...

Yes, could you please show us your Scrapbooking studio? Pleeeeeease...

Amy Fink said...

I LOVE this idea! I'm going to order it and start it on my birthday--a year in the life of me as I start a new year. (Plus, then I have till July to get in to it!) Thanks for all of your inspiration!

Amy

Andrea said...

I hope you're getting a cut on these kits because there is NO WAY I can not buy this now!!!!

Chrissy said...

I got my kit in the mail yesterday too!! Yipee!! I have it all set up and ready to go. . . now here's to hoping I can keep it going. It will help to have your posts too-- both as a reminder to keep going and to feel like I have a cropping partner!! :o)

Valerie K said...

Hi Mish,

I'm a first time commenter on your blog but I've been following for a couple years now. Just wanted to leave you a note of thanks. I am also starting Project Life this year. I have the turquoise edition. But I absolutely loved seeing you set up your PL album. I LOVE the colors of the Amber edition. I was curious what the elements of the Amber edition looked like and thanks to your post, now I know. Looking forward to seeing more of how you use PL. :)

Pam S said...

Oh. My. Goodness!!!! Thank you so much for showcasing this awesome product! I'm completely blown away, having never heard of either Project Life or Becky Higgins before (yes, I live under a rock). I'm a carmaker who hasn't taken the plunge into scrapbooking because I find it difficult, although I've always wanted to try it. This kit makes it so easy to preserve memories and I've just ordered mine!! Can't wait to get it!!

Renee said...

Great! Now I really want this...
Went to check it out with your first post on this, but I'm not much of a scrapper. Tried it when my girls were babes...it didn't go so well. Was impressed but was like
"No! Renee you are NOT a scrapper...
Do NOT start a new obsession...
You will be in divorce court by the end of the year and you are just TOO dang old to be a trophy for that hoped for rich, second husband (although does 4 kids cancel that category automatically, regardless of age?)"!
But now...you post again.
And I think I'm going to have to try this.
I AM going to try and resist...
but I think I should just go ahead and admit defeat.
I have addictive tendencies.

Note* I actually don't hope to get rid of #1 Hubby, but I have compiled a list of future's (just in case)...and #1 is aware of said list. :)

Note*#2 You are just too dang cute for words! Love your happy photo!

Note*#3 I have another little issue that I do not want to address on this post, it doesn't pertain to this at all, but is there a way to contact you? Maybe through Facebook? And it's all good, promise, nothing bad. But I will say one word, Best Bites.
Ok, that's actually two words...but you get the idea.:)

Jenny @ Embellishing Life said...

First off, love your blog and your shop! Actually I just ordered something from your shop the other day :)
...You have convinced me that I NEED this kit. I have two little ones that leave me little time for scrapbooking. With everything pre-made and coordinated this is perfect! I just ordered it!

Melody said...

I just got mine today! Thanks for sharing your method. I am not going to try for a picture a day, but more events through the month and I will probably add in some full scrapbook pages. I may try to blog about it too if I can get organized between my other blog posts. I will watching how you do yours!

Andrea said...

boo hooo :( they're all sold out. You don't have any connections, do you? alscoville at gmail dot com

Rachelle said...

thanks for taking the time to show us how you set yours up. I am still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my kit. I want to keep mine in the living room too, but I need to figure out a way to store it without the daycare kids getting into. Like you, mine would get lost in my studio with all the chaos.

Diana said...

Even though I am not doing Project Life this year, I am loving this post. You are so wonderful to take the time and walk through things step by step and take great pictures. You are always so inspiring and so much fun. Thank you for liking us so much that you put all this time and effort into your blog.

Mary Jo said...

Thanks for the Project Life post. I started putting mine together today.....my first time. Your tips were a lot of help!

Crystal said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I bought my 'Project Life' Amber edition last week and it arrived in Tuesday. Your post made it really easy to put together this morning. I had been journaling the days and taking pictures but was waiting until this weekend to try to actually set the scrapbook up. So your timing was perfect.

Jessica Woodford said...

LOOOOVE it! Great job...I look forward to seeing your PL throughout the year!

Colleen said...

This is my first PL year and I'm doing 365, but not worrying about it either! I posted my first week on my blog and Facebook and have had friends and family interested now and a few have already ordered since! Lovin' this project and thanks for sharing yours!

Keshet said...

Oh, your photos are too adorable! Love!

Christi said...

@Allison the original question poster: I used the first CK version of Project 365 to document our first year of marriage. LOVE that we have this "time capsule" of our life - all the mundane, ordinary and fun things we did through out that year.

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