Project Life – multiphoto page

I’ve often though about doing a full page photo in the divided page protectors because they can look stunning. Also it’s cheaper to print 6 4×6 photos than a 12×12 enlargement. (Welcome to Tightarse Tuesday, a new regular feature on this blog.)

I finally decided to give it a go after seeing Annette’s post (which I’ve reblogged here).

It’s a photo of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse from our trip to Bruny Island earlier this year. I used a Becky Higgins Design B page protector.

The main reason I did it was that none of the photos I wanted to use on this spread worked with Design B, so I basically had an empty page in my album.

Problem solved.



enlarging and cropping a photo for project life

I did this for the first time last night. Looks fantastic!

annette spaniel

12x12 sneak

The first time I enlarged a photo to fill one full page protector for my Project Life album was in 2012 and I was hooked!
2012 12x12

This is what I’ve found works best for me. I know there are many great tutorials online about how to go about breaking up an enlarged photo for Project Life. After trying several different ways, I’ve found this to be the easiest and the most cost effective for me.

Step 1: Open your photo in your photo editing program. I’m using (a very old version of) Photoshop Elements. If you don’t have something similar you can download a free 30-day trial of the latest version of PSE here.

Step 2. Crop your photo to 12 inch x 12 inch with a resolution of 300 ppi. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a full 12 x 12, you can enlarge a photo to span…

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where has the week gone?

A week has gone by without me posting a single post. So much for blogging three times a week.

I started a post about how Week 2 without sugar went, but then it got long-winded and started to get into arguments with myself about what I was doing. So all I’ll say is the experiment is continuing and if I get through today, I’ll have been three weeks without sugary treats or (as far as I can control) added sugar in anything.

Juniordwarf returned to school. It wasn’t the big emotional event it was for me in 2011 and last year. In fact the holidays flew by so quickly, the return to school almost caught me by surprise. I didn’t really have time to think about it, or even do anything to mark it. I took a couple of photos of Juniordwarf in his classroom and that was about it.

I did some work on my Project Life album. 

As a temporary fix, I moved my November and December 2012 pages that were overflowing from last year’s album into a new album, where I’ve also set up my 2013 pages.

I’m still debating whether to keep doing Project Life in the hybrid way I did it last year, putting the physical photos into an album as I do them, or whether to load everything into a digital photo book and print it once. The main obstacle to doing that is deciding what to do with all the chunky memorabilia that’s difficult to scan. It would also mean that I didn’t have a physical book until next year some time.

So what are this year’s pages looking like? 

I’m glad you asked. 

This year I’m not using any of the core kits. I’m using various digital papers to create background cards for the photos, journal cards and title cards. 

I’m sticking to two fonts – one for titles and the other for journalling – and will mainly be journalling in black or white text. I’m also going to try journalling directly onto my photos, so that I can free up the journal card slots for more photos.

I did that a bit last year, but I plan to do it a lot more this year as I think it looks great. I was inspired by some of the lovely pages from Windy Willow, who is creating some gorgeous spreads. 

So this is what one of my pages might look like when I print out the photos and slot them into the page protectors. It’s basically six 6×4 pictures, with the middle row able to be cut into the 2.9×4 size that slots into the smaller pockets. (Yes, I forgot about the slightly smaller width for those “cards” when I was putting this together, so the gaps aren’t very even. But this is just a mock-up to show the general idea.)

Because I’m doing a monthly approach, rather than weekly spreads, I don’t have title cards for pages where the photos are just random things that happened. Only the spreads where all the photos are of the same subject will have their own title card.

As you can see, some of the 6×4 “cards” have journalling and photos, and some are just photos. I have a 3×4 picture on one 3×4 “card” and the rest of them are devoted to journalling. (I had quite a lot of journalling on this page.)

So that’s how it’s looking at the moment. I’ll be able to see what I think of it when I’ve printed the photos and put them in the album. 

I’ve kept it simple, with no embellishments at this stage because I know if I started looking for the “perfect” embellishments I’d take forever, and never get these photos done. And getting them done is my main objective. So the “added extras” aren’t being added. I might look into this a bit later in the year if I get time.

This year I’ll be linking up with Nightwolf’s Den for my Project Life posts, so I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of inspiration over there.

Now it’s on to February.

project life 2012 – the home stretch

I really wanted to get the rest of the 2012 photos edited and printed for my Project Life album by the end of January, so I kept going with it this week. Since my last post I have:

Finished the October 3×4 journal cards.

Printed some more title and ‘month in review’ cards.

Edited and printed all the remaining 2012 photos.

Started thinking about my 2013 album.

And realised that this album is not going to be big enough to hold the whole year’s photos.

(This is up to August.)

So I’ve got too much for one album, but not enough for two.

While I’m dealing with that problem, I also have piles of photos from the last four months and a whole week off work to gradually sort them out and put them into page protectors.

And then I can get started on the journalling. And the January 2013 photos.

I wonder if Photo-free February could become a thing?

sorting photos

After an epic photo editing weekend, I had over 150 photos to print on Monday morning for my August and September Project Life layouts. (I might add here that September was a huge photo month, with Juniordwarf’s birthday, his party and our holiday to the East Coast, so there were a lot of photos to go through. I think I did well to cut them back as much as I did!)

I’m really not good at culling photos or picking one or two to capture an event. So where other people might be doing weekly layouts and choosing the best photo (or two) to put in their album, I end up with an entire page.

Case in point:

I love these Design C page protectors because I can just slot in six 6×4 pictures (or in this case, five and a title card), no cutting or resizing required. Not even any journalling, although I could have replaced one of the pictures with a 6×4 journal card. What I might do is tack a card to the back of one of the pictures, do the journalling and put a tab on the top so that it can easily be pulled out.

(I hear some of my scrapbooking friends laughing hysterically as I mention journalling.)

I also find it very difficult to reduce the number of photos I take (thereby increasing the sorting task) because, even though I already have heaps of photos of a particular thing (Juniordwarf asleep comes to mind), there is always a slightly different angle, a new expression, something that catches my eye that I just have to have a photo of . . . and so I do.

I’m trying to cut back, but I’ve always been a prolific taker of photos, and once I got a digital camera, there really were no limits. The challenge for me is to try and take fewer photos, but better photos, and to let go of the ones that don’t contribute to the story.

I suspect this will take a while to achieve.

organising project life

In my last post I said that I was several months behind in my Project Life album for 2012. I tried to keep up, but once I got a little bit behind it became easier and easier not to do anything, and the photos built up and up.

If I was less of a perfectionist, I’d probably say something like, “stuff it, I’m just going to grab a few of the most memorable photos from each month and make a couple of spreads for each month and be done with it in a day or two”.

Alas, I am not that person. I feel like my album is half full with the style I went with at the start of the year (note I never got around to posting Part 2 of that post . . .) so it would look weird to suddenly do a truncated version for the rest of the year.

So I’ve made a start at sorting, organising and editing the rest of my photos from July to December.

It’s become a four-stage process.

I met a fellow Aussie Project Lifer, @Kelmscott_Girl, on Twitter a few days ago, and her post on catching up had some great ideas about keeping your photos under control.  I also recently discovered that I can create folders in iPhoto (on my Mac), which has made the sorting process a lot easier. (Yeah, I know, I’ve been using Macs most of my life and I didn’t know about folders . . . )

So, on to what I’ve been doing.

Stage 1 is simply sorting out which photos I might want to use. I create a smart album in iPhoto for all the photos I took in the month. Then I made a copy of that album as a normal album, so I can delete the photos as I transfer them into their subject album (this is probably not necessary, but you can’t delete photos out of a smart album and I like to be able to see which photos I’ve allocated and which ones I haven’t used).

I create standard albums for each month:

  • Little photos (for the Design F summary page – like the card below)
  • Random photos (with one or two photos per event)
  • Photos of the boy doing random stuff (same)

Then I create individual albums for events or things that will have one or two pages devoted to them.

I make a folder for the month and put all these albums in it to keep the side bar tidy and so I don’t get lost.

Stage 2 is to decide which photos I will actually use, and which page protector design will work with them. Here is where I’ll work out the structure of the month, because the design I choose for one set of photos will, to some degree, determine which photos I can use on the next page. For example, I can’t follow a right hand Design A page (the 6×4 landscapes) with a page of portrait-oriented photos on the left on the next spread.

I write this all down with basic page designs so I know where to put the photos when I get them printed. Then I export the photos into equivalent folders into my Project Life folder ready to edit.

Stage 3 is editing in Photoshop Elements. This could be simply tweaking the levels or cropping and resizing, or it could be creating photo montages, or making hybrid journal cards like this one (from the Little Photos album).

A word about the hybrid journal cards. They seemed like a great idea when I started doing them, but they take more time than I thought they would. I’m not totally sure whether it’s any easier than cutting out the photo and hand writing the card. But I kind of committed to the style this year, so I want to stick with it to the end. It also means I have A LOT of my Project Life kit left because I’ve done so much work with the digital kit.

The final stage is to print the photos and put them into the physical album, filling in any journalling cards that I haven’t already done on the computer. This is where I tend to procrastinate, as I’m not good at journalling. I use a date stamper for the dates, as this came with the original Project Life kit in 2010, but I’ve decided to stop using it after this year. It’s easier to hand write the dates.

After all that, as of today, I’ve got July ready for printing, I’ve sorted and organised August and September and I’ve culled October, November and half of December.

My approach isn’t as simple as I’d like it to be, so I’m hoping to streamline it in 2013. Also I don’t intend to get six months behind again, so I won’t need to be doing six months at once!

healthy heart challenge – week 6

This was the last day of the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Challenge, which I started six weeks ago.

You can see my results here.

I’m pleased with what I’ve done over the last six weeks. Apart from two days last weekend when I was feeling extremely miserable and stressed (which is probably the time I needed to exercise the most), and one day when I fell five minutes short of my target, I met the goals that I’d set. That’s 39.83 out of 42 days. I think that’s a pass.

I’ve also lost close to 7 kg since February.

I didn’t set any huge life-changing exercise goals. The point for me was to try and establish some habits that I can carry forward. I think I’ve done that, and I intend to keep going on the path I’m on. I’m comfortable with it, it’s something I know I can do within my current commitments, and it’s working for me.

This makes me happy.