Even though my blog posts are few and far between these days, I was inspired to write out a description of my 2018 Project Life plan here. Most people do this kind of post in December or early January, but I wanted some time to live with my plan first so here we are in mid-February. Also unlike a lot of other scrappers, shaking up my plan for 2018 will have little effect on the appearance of the final album (Design A for life!) but is rather all about my process.
Huge shout out to Elise at Feed Your Craft for having me as a CT special guest in January—working with a kit and a deadline definitely helped me streamline my new process. All of the pages shown below were made with the FYC kit ‘In Review’ (elements are still available now, though the kit is sold out).
The 1st week each month
In 2018, I am still going to keep making a 12×12 weekly-ish album of my daily life. That will probably not change for a very long time. What I am changing is how I approach these pages. Over the past lots of years that I have been making Project Life albums (eight?), I have usually worked on my albums chronologically. That meant when (not if) I was behind, I tried to finish March before starting April, etc.
This year, I am shaking it up and abandoning the idea of ‘keeping up’. Instead, my only goal is to finish the first week of every month within that month. That might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. By only focusing on the first week of each month, I get to work on photos and stories that are fresh in my mind. I also get to use products in the season I am actually experiencing (ie. snowflakes in January rather than August, when I finally make the pages). Of course, I am hoping that I can finish the month relatively close to its completion but it is not my goal. Really, the shift in my process for 2018 is mostly mental. Maybe it is just me, but I think it will be much more incentive in the future to go back and fill the short gaps between the completed pages than tackling a daunting pile of unfinished months from the start.
Another 2018 goal is to finish one ‘sightseeing’ spread a month from my 2015 Egypt album, which covers March to August for that year. My choice of that album is fairly arbitrary—I have many many Egypt/travel albums I could work on—but it had three strong elements going for it. Firstly, it is the most recent Egypt album that I have (nearly) all the pictures printed and pages laid out (about 50 pages). Secondly, the album was my primary Project Life album for that year and I did probably half of the journaling in the moment. That is a huge amount of work already done and it wouldn’t take a lot to fill in the gaps. Finally, the majority of the album is NOT work related, which means I can share almost everything on social media without copyright issues.
In terms of memory keeping site pages are the easiest, usually only requiring the name, date and limited journaling. In terms of creativity, they are usually pretty neutral (blue/brown, lots of photos), which gives me the opportunity to test out a wide variety of products and techniques. Also, the finished spreads will be distributed throughout the album at intervals of 2–3 pages, creating a similar incentive to what I am testing with my 2018 album.
I totally reserve the right to just work on any page I want from any album. At the moment, I am motivated to fill in some of the overview pages of Ken’s photos from our 2017 album. The beauty of working on multiple albums at once is that I can use the same products on my desk over and over, but it won’t be obvious when flipping through the pages.
Good lord, I am going to Disney World for a week in July, the mecca of scrapbookers and photographers. 6 adults, ride photos, character photos, selfies, scenery…I can only imagine the insanity that this album is going to be. I am psyched to work on it. As I will probably be stateside for most of the summer I wont have access to a lot of my albums and supplies, so I am hoping to finish quite a lot of this as a focused theme project.
I’ve been ordering my photos from PhotoBox in the UK since I started Project Life and I have been really happy with the price and quality of the prints. I always print in matte and I particularly like the finish from PhotoBox, which lets me stamp and adhere to the photos really nicely. I also print all of my digital products through them with my normal photos. I try to place an order every 4–6 weeks and I plan to continue that this year.
In the states I try to be patient enough to order from Persnickety Prints. They are easily the best, but it takes a while for them to make it all the way to Wisconsin. Since I want to use them over the summer and for my Disney album I plan to stock up on credits during their next sale and learn to be a grown up about waiting.
Aside from the photos, I am fairly obsessive about keeping my tickets and other ephemera in the page for the week. This has worked amazingly for years and I am going to keep at it; I love having everything in one place when I sit down to finish a spread.
First week of the month
If I seriously want to keep on top of the first week of each month, I am going to need photos ASAP. Even though it means a serious sacrifice in quality, I am going to have these photos printed at a local one hour place.
Serious Stash Busting
For three full years (2015–2017) I bought the digital cards released by Studio Calico each month. The physical SC kits come with 25 3×4 and 5 4×6, which is a totally reasonable amount for a month of pages. However, when you print the digital cards you get 50 3×4 an 10 4×6 every.single.month. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my studio calico cards. But after 36 months I have A LOT of cards. Despite serious fear of missing out, I decided to only buy the monthly SC card kits this year if I really love it and work my way through the cards I have.
Aside from my SC cards, I have a lot of other products in my stash. Project Life core kits. Embellishments that I love. More AE digitals than anyone other than Ali should probably admit to. Tiny phrase stickers for a lifetime. This year I am going to make room to buy more stuff….I mean….I am going to use what I own! I am really looking forward to playing with my products more and getting the things I love onto pages where I can appreciate them. At the moment, I am still particularly loving the PL Fresh edition/add-on and basically anything that Liz from Paislee Press has ever designed.
One thing that made my decision to stop buying new Studio Calico cards every month was the timely introduction of the AE Stories by the Month kits. The card/stamp/chipboard combo is exactly perfect for my process right now and international shipping is $2. I set an alarm for 5am to sign up from the start and it was totally worth it. You should get on the waiting list for this one right now.
It is so hard to not buy all the Disney things and I know that I will break as the trip approaches. But for now I am trying to restrict myself to a couple of Project Mouse kits to mix in with my regular PL cards. I will definitely share more about my supplies and process when I am working on the album.
Ok….I just wanted another ‘P’ title
A few months ago, I wrote another long and wordy post about shifting my social media focus to Instagram. I’m still really happy with that decision and am trying to post at least twice a week, so come check me out @TravelScrapSleepRepeat.
Though I am in several FB groups related to PL/scrapbooking, I mostly post in the groups Scrapaholics Anonymous, Project Life Junkies and Craft the Story with Ali Edwards. All are great and very active groups, so if you are not a member yet you should definitely consider them. These days, I mostly only do posts referencing IG or this blog, but if FB is your platform of choice please keep an eye out for me!
Clearly, I like the sight of my own typing and I know there are still people who prefer the blog platform. Since I am feeling good about my totally achievable 2018 goals, I am going to try and check in here at the end of each month to share an overview of the pages, probably with links to IG for further details. Quick, easy, and low pressure…I can handle that.
So. If you made it this far, please do share how you are tackling a new year of memory keeping. Is it working so far? Do you love it? Links are always welcome!