Category Archives: Project Life

19 for 2019 update: week 8

Week of 18 February
I’m enjoying doing these posts. It’s a nice way to end the week: to look back over what I’ve achieved (or haven’t), what I’ve learned and what I’ve done. And, of course, what progress I have made with my 19 for 2019 list.

It ties in nicely with my Sunday afternoon (sort of) ritual where I write up my week’s notes in my photojournal. This is connected to Thing 11 (complete my 2018 photojournal).

I want to explain this a bit more . . . What the weekly photojournal involves is a Travelers Notebook (formerly Midori Travelers Notebook) weekly dated diary, which I use to record a couple of important or interesting things that happen each day on the dated page and then I create a 4” x 8” photo collage of the week’s photos to stick onto the other page so I can see my whole week on two pages and my whole year in two small notebooks.20190223 Weekly photojournal

It’s a big move away from Project Life, which I did from 2010 to 2016, and scrapbooking, which I haven’t done for several years. Most of my Project Life albums are incomplete, with a lot of photos waiting to be sorted, printed and slotted into the page protectors, and I may never get to them. This way is simple, and so much less bulky than the massive 12″ x 12” albums that I have for scrapbooking and Project Life.

There are also blank pages in these books that I could make additional collages for, to better cover events that have lots of photos (holidays, school sports days and that sort of thing) or that I could stick little pieces of memorabilia onto. I haven’t done that for any of them yet so there are a lot of photos that are sitting round unsorted, mainly from major holidays. I’m also thinking printed phonebooks might be a better way to store these photos and memories. They’re on a master list of projects I haven’t started.

So the idea with the collages is that at the end of each week, I’d look through the week’s photos, choose the ones I want to go in the journal, save them to a separate album and sit down during the week and make the collages for that week in the Pic Stitch app.

2018-41-01

2018 week 41

2018-45-02

2018 week 45

Because of the odd size, I find what works best is to make two square collages with anywhere from three to seven or eight photos in each and then put them together, slightly smaller than 4” x 4” on a 6” x 8” canvas in Photoshop and print them at that size, trim the edges and stick them in the book.

2018-44

2018 week 44 combined

Last year I never quite got the routine mastered and ended the year with about nine months of missing photos—hence the thing on the 19 for 2019 list. (I also didn’t keep up with the writing and ended up having a marathon session on a very long and boring plane trip to catch up. As I said earlier, I now try to make time Sunday afternoons to do each week’s notes so I never get that far behind again. It’s not a big job, five, ten minutes at the most.

I initially thought I’d try and fit making the collages into spare 10-minute blocks that I had during the day but I’ve found it easier to just sit down and power through them in a batch. There’s a bit too much friction associated with sitting down and doing it in five spare minutes because I need to be in front of the computer and actually see the collection of the week’s photos so I can work out which template to put them into and how to best lay them out. That’s easier than trying to flip between apps on my phone.

This week I printed weeks 20 to week 29. I made weeks 46, 47 and 48 collages and got weeks 30-48 ready for printing. I still have last week’s printed photos to trim and stick in the journal, but the editing stage is almost over. Trimming and sticking is something I actually can do in 10-minute blocks, like when I’m waiting for water to boil or I have a few minutes before I have to leave to catch the bus.

Some good progress there.

Other things I did this week were:

  • Entered book 4 of the 33 Beers journals into the spreadsheet (Thing 12)
  • Currently reading book 9 (non fiction) and 10 (fiction) (Thing 5)
  • Learned how to make a still frame from a video in Lightroom (Thing 19)
  • I added avocado into my breakfast smoothie. Yum! And I bought some ingredients for one of the other breakfasts I want to try. (Thing 6)
  • Defrosted my freezer. (Not a Thing but I just wanted to make this known. It was so much fun.)
20190223 Hinsby Beach 07 edit

Saturday afternoon walk

Status for week 8
Things completed this week: 0
Things I progressed: 5 (5, 6, 11, 12, 19)
Things in progress I didn’t progress: 3 (1, 2, 16)
Things not started: 7 (3, 4, 10, 13, 14, 17, 18)
Things completed: 4

  • Thing 9 (9 January)
  • Thing 8 (21 January)
  • Thing 15 (1 February)
  • Thing 7 (12 February)

Project Life – Looking Back (Part 2)

I wrote about at the first two releases of Project Life in my previous post – the original (“Cherry”) edition from 2010 and the Turquoise edition from 2011. (Someone on Facebook reminded me that there had been a previous release of a similar product that Becky Higgins had done when she was at Creating Keepsakes magazine, which was a kit for people following Becky’s Project 365 (photo a day) program. From memory this was only released in the USA, so it hadn’t been easy to get in Australia.)

Towards the end of 2011, two new kits, Cobalt and Clementine, were released for 2012. This time I really couldn’t decide. I loved them both, so I bought both of them.

This time the system had changed a bit and different products had started to be added to the range.

Instead of a kit containing an album, pocket protectors, 12 x 12 papers and the cards and stickers, you got the cards alone in a bigger box and you could buy the albums, pocket protectors and papers separately.

Clementine Kit - released late 2011

Clementine Kit – released late 2011

Clementine Kit - released late 2011

Clementine Kit – released late 2011

There were more designs of pocket protectors, which were available in mixed design packs of 60 or single design packs of 12 (or 60 packs of Design A, the most common design). The 3×4 journal cards had ruled lines on the back rather than being blank, so you could use the reverse side as well if you wanted a plainer looking card (or you could embellish it yourself).

The digital products began to become available too, and while there were no specific horizontal journal cards in the kits, Becky made some horizontally designed cards available for free digitally for the two new kits, so you could print your own.

She also released packs of blank grid cards so you could design your own cards if you wanted to, and the backs of the journal cards were also printed with the grid design.

In 2012 I worked with the Cobalt kit. I bought the digital kit as well as the physical kit, which, along with the different designs of pocket protectors, gave me a lot more flexibility, while still retaining the simplicity of the original system. I started to move into the hybrid arena, putting my own photos and journaling onto the digital cards instead of writing on them or sticking smaller photos on.

Hybrid cards using digital Cobalt kit

Hybrid cards using digital Cobalt kit

Cobalt Kit

Cobalt Kit

Cobalt Kit

Cobalt Kit

Cobalt Kit

Cobalt Kit

After that release, the new kits started to be released more often, and the products became a lot more easily available throughout the year rather than being a (mostly) once-a-year thing.

The format of the kits changed again, with the cards being presented in the flat tray we get today. All the cards were printed double sided. The 6×4 title cards had the vertical version of the horizontal design on the reverse, and the filler card designs were printed on the reverse of the 3×4 journal cards instead of being separate cards.

Current format of the Project Life Kits (this is the Sunshine Kit)

Current format of the Project Life Kits (this is the Sunshine Kit)

There were new mini kits with 100 cards and other accessories like 6×4 and 3×4 cardstock packs that coordinated with the colours in the kits.

Since then the range has exploded and there’s so much to choose from, with new kit designs and products being released all the time. There’s now something like 26 pocket protector designs, mini kits, themed cards, value packs, photo overlays, dies, washi tape, smaller (6×8) albums and pocket protectors, and I’ve lost count of the number of kits that are available.

From buying one kit a year and using it for the whole year, people are now mixing and matching multiple kits, creating their own cards, embellishing their layouts similar to traditional scrapbooking, and other companies are also producing their own versions of the system. There are monthly subscription packs and many many types of kits. Project Life has become huge!

I can imagine if someone was starting out now, rather than in 2010 or 2011 when there were very few options, it all might look rather intimidating.

Project Life was never supposed to be overwhelming, but the quantity of products available now (which is all fabulous and allows people to make albums exactly the way they want to) means that starting to work with the system, if you don’t know much about it, can get confusing. It can also mean that you can spend a lot of time on designing your layouts, rather than just getting it all done quickly and simply.

I know there are people who love doing this, and love making more complicated pages with embellishments, which works for them just fine. This isn’t how I choose do it. I know that even as an experienced Project Lifer, I can get stuck deciding what to do for a layout because I have too many choices (and too many photos). Which cards to use, which pocket protector to use, what size photos to print, what else to add, whether to do it digital or physical. I’ve been trying to catch up on last year’s album and it’s been a very slow process.

The original intent of Project Life was to make keeping your memories a quick and easy process, which is what drew me to it in the first place. I don’t mind that there’s a huge range of stuff out there that suits all the different styles out there, but I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t need it all!

Every year I start off with the idea of keeping it simple, and every year I get behind in my photos and end up having a backlog of several weeks because I’ve got stuck. I know there will always be some lag, and I’m not always going to be completely up to date with the album, but I’m still sorting though photos from November (not to mention my trip photos from last year), and I want to get my 2014 album finished!

I want to make this a process that is easy and fun and doesn’t need too much thought, so this year is yet another attempt at keeping it simple.

To start with, I’m not going to buy any more kits. I have plenty of them, and many more part kits that I’ve got from other people. I’ve decided to go old school and use my unopened Clementine kit from 2012 as my go-to kit this year. The challenge with this kit is that the cards are ever so slightly smaller than the new format kits, so this might annoy my perfectionist mind.

2015 title page using the Clementine Kit

2015 title page using the Clementine Kit

I’m going to try and stick with the basic Design A for most of my spreads. I’ll also try and limit the number of photos I use – I love collage photos and I use them a lot, but too many of them on page after page can start to look cluttered.

This probably means taking fewer photos.

Hahahahahahaha.

No seriously, I want my 2015 Project Life motto to be “Get it done”, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.

What’s your Project Life method?

If you like to keep it simple and would like to share your layouts, let me know and I’ll add your blog to my list https://thesleepydwarf.wordpress.com/project-life-2014-a-simple-approach/

Project Life – Looking Back (Part 1)

2014 was the 5th year I’d used the Project Life system to document my year in words and pictures. I thought I’d do a review of how the system has changed over this time and how I’m using it.

The system has changed a lot since I started back in 2010, but its aim has remained the same: to help people document their lives simply and quickly. To get it done.

Most years I’ve chosen one kit that will form the basis of my album, and I always have trouble deciding what that will be. This has become a more difficult decision in the last couple of years because of the huge range of kits and accessories that are available now.

It hasn’t always been like this.

In 2010, the first year of Project Life, there was one kit, one album and one design of photo pages. The only way you could get it from in Australia was to order from Craft House in New Zealand. Mary and David Roberts from Craft House put in a huge effort to make sure that Project Life was available to customers in Australia and New Zealand in its first years, and I really appreciate the work they did in getting me hooked on this product and helping me spend all my money!

I can remember pre-ordering my kit in 2009. Craft House had been hopeful the kits would arrive in early January, but international shipping and two lots of customs made sure this didn’t happen, and I was hanging out most of January waiting for my kit to arrive.

When it finally arrived, I was so excited to see what this system was all about. It was a thing back then to take a photo of yourself holding up the box when it arrived and I was no exception to this. The unboxing and setting up the album was fun and also documented in great detail so you could do a layout about your Project Life album.

20100129 Project Life 1Ahem.

(I didn’t document the Great Unboxing in 2010, because I was too excited about setting the album up.)

The basic design of the kits was the same as it is now, but it’s interesting to look back on that first kit and see how it has developed since 2010.

All the cards came in a little box. P1020834

When Becky Higgins came to Hobart last year I took this box in and got her to sign it for me. It was cool seeing her reaction to me handing her one of her very first products, and she seemed genuinely quite chuffed that I’d brought it in.

20140328 Becky 5But back to the kit  . . . The 3×4 journal and filler cards came in little boxes like sets of playing cards. 2010 - PL 3x4 cardsThere were day stickers and arrow stickers so you could identify your photos. There was also a date stamp (American format of course!) to date your journal cards.

2010 - PL stickersThe kits included a matching 12×12 paper pack.

2010 - PL Pattern PaperThe cards were one-sided, and the 6×4 title cards were all landscape format.

2010 - PL 6x4 cardsThe 3×4 journal and filler cards were portrait oriented. This was fine, because the pocket pages were all what we know now as Design A , with slots for 4 6×4 photos or title cards and 4 3×4 journal or filler cards.

While there was no definitive way to use the album, a popular thing was to use a weekly approach, with a double spread for each week, a title card and a filler card on the left hand page and then the remaining 7 6×4 slots filled with photos and the corresponding 3×4 pocket used for a journal card to describe the photo. It was ideal for the ‘photo a day’ concept, and there were enough cards and photo pocket pages to do 52 weeks like this.

I’ve never been a weekly layout Project Lifer, so I did mine my way, and ended up with quite a few cards left over. Here’s an example spread (left and right).

PL 2010 - Example page 1PL 2010 - Example page 2

(This one is actually a weekly spread, which is not how I did most of the year.)

The original kit was re-released a couple of years ago as the ‘Cherry’ Edition. I think it’s been discontinued now, but the digital version is still available, for free, on the Digital Project Life store.

Towards the end of 2010 Becky announced the 2011 release. This time there were 2 designs available for 2011 (Turquoise and Amber) and a second pocket page design (Design B), which had space for vertical 6×4 photos and horizontal journaling cards or photos. Some of the 3×4 cards were designed so they could be used either horizontally or vertically. I have a love-hate relationship with Design B. 3 photos and 6 card slots always seemed awkward to me and I have often struggled to fill the second 3×4 slot underneath a photo. Sometimes though, it works beautifully.

201201 PL Page 10 L 20120103 2011 Wreck this journal pageMy problems with it has now been addressed by Design D, which is Design A oriented the other way, so has one 3×4 card slot per photo.

Ordering for the 2011 kit worked the same as before: you pre-ordered and hoped it arrived before January. I spent a lot of time deciding which kit to buy. (You can imagine if it was this difficult for me to decide between 2 kits, how hard it is now with more than 20 kits available. Maybe more than 30. I’ve lost count!) There were only limited opportunities to get kits outside the pre-order system.

I finally chose Turquoise. The format of the 2011 kits was the same as in 2010, and this time I documented the unboxing.

20110104 PL 2 Unpacking box 1 20110104 PL 5 Unpacking box 4 20110104 PL 7 Me and kit 1 20110104 PL 14 Opening The Box 4 20110104 PL 17 Box contents 2And did a layout about it. As you do.

2011 PL page 1(L)So that’s my first two years of Project Life. Next post I’ll look at how the kits started to change in the 2012 release.

Do you use Project Life? How long have you been using it for? Do you remember the very early kits?

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.

20140506-153119.jpg

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.
1

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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crafty fails – the end of the story

Someone asked me today whether I’d finished my scrapbooking organiser. You remember, the one that ended up covered in white paint . . .

Well yes. I’m pleased to say that the salvage operations were successful and I have a functional (not white) crafty organiser.

Here’s the finished product.

ImageAs you can see, it has lots of card-sized compartments. The outside ones hold 3×4 cards and the inner ones hold the 6×4 cards.

Like this:

ImageI was surprised that the entire contents of my Project Life Sunshine kit fitted in a 3×4 compartment and a 6×4 compartment with still heaps of space to spare.

ImageI’ve also put in the packs of Project Life theme cards that I recently got.

ImageWhat I did was cut down the cover sheet of the packs to 6×4, cut off the title of the pack to use as a tab, and make the cover sheet into a divider to keep the theme kits together in one place and organised. Pretty neat hey.

Image

project life – 2013 album

I’ve started getting my supplies together for my 2014 Project Life album at the same time as I’m finishing off my 2013 album.

Last year my approach was digital/hybrid. This year I’m going back to a more paper-based album, but I’ll be sticking with the monthly approach that I’ve used over recent years, as well as (maybe) keeping photos on the same theme together. It’s a vague plan for now, so I’ll see how it goes.

I’ve never really tried a chronological weekly approach. I don’t think it would work for me.

Now that I’m putting the finishing touches to my 2013 album (I finished the cover layout last night) I wanted to post some photos of what it looks like.

First up, the cover. I’ve been working on this over the whole year and changed it as I went along. The idea was to fill the pages with quotes and things that spoke to me during the year.

It has a front

Imageand a back.

ImageEach month has its own title page, followed by a few pages of random photos and journalling from the month, as well as layouts that cover a specific event or theme (somewhere we’ve visited, Juniordwarf’s school stuff, a major event, whatever needs more than one or two photos).

I’ve mainly been using Design A for the month title pages.

ImageBut I also like this design from We R Memory Keepers.

ImageThe main design I’ve been using has been Design A. This layout is from our trip to Dunalley in March.

ImageSometimes I’ll use different designs, depending on how many photos I have, and what the orientation of most of them is. Design D.

ImageDesign E.

ImageI love Design C, which is six 6×4 landscape photos.

Image

This is part of a double spread that also uses another page by We R Memory Keepers that has three 6×4 landscape photo slots and a 6×12 slot. Perfect for adding in over-sized visitor guides. And I can fit in even more photos in by using a photo collage app like PicFrame.

ImageAnd on the other side, the opportunity to make s 6×12 scrapbook layout to go with three 6×4 photos.

ImageOne of the other new designs I’ve been using quite a bit of is this half page design by American Crafts. It’s perfect for times when I don’t need a full page, but want to keep the photos separate instead of combining them with unrelated photos on a 12×12 layout.

ImageI’ve been incorporating my 12 of 12 photos and journalling into my album as well. I’ve been using PicFrame to create the collages. Design A, Design C and the We R Memory Keepers square design all work well. The one I choose will depend on what’s going on the other side of the layout.

ImageImageThe other thing I’ve been doing – well I only recently discovered it – is to use the Collect app to create 3×4 cards that can slot into the 3×4 vertical slots with no extra work required.

ImageFor November I ran these cards throughout almost every page.

ImageI think these would work well on a page with lots of 3×4 pockets, like Design F (which I used in 2012 and you can see in this post) or Design U, which is entirely 3×4 pockets.

So that was 2013. All I have left is the remaining photos from December and some from September, and a few scrapbook layouts, which I will just include in the relevant month. Then I can really get stuck into 2014.

crafty fails

Today I was going to post a photo of my super new scrapbooking organiser that I was going to use for my Project Life supplies this year. I was going to have it all set up today, with all the cards neatly organised and it was going to look brilliant.

I decided to use the “Magic Happens” collection from Kaisercraft on this project, because it’s cute and has fairies and stars, and I don’t get much opportunity to use it on scrapbooking layouts.

This is the product, from Kaisercraft.

There are a couple of examples of what it could look like on that page.

Mine currently looks like this:

ImageI’ve only ever done one similar project, a desk caddy, and I remember it took me a long time to finish. There were a few little tricks and tips that I probably picked up during that project, but had totally forgotten about when it came time to do this one.

So for my own future reference, here are some things to keep in mind when putting together one of these “beyond the page” products.

All of these are extremely obvious to anyone except me.

  1. If you’re covering any of the panels in paper, only do the inside walls and panels before you put the thing together. If you want the paper to cover the join between the panels and the base, don’t cover the outside panels until you’ve put the thing together.
  2. If you do cover the outside panels first, only cut out the slots on the inside. Don’t cut out the slots on the outside or you’ll be able to see the bottom of the tabs when it’s assembled. (Yes, I really did this. Luckily I had another sheet of the paper so I could cover it over again.)
  3. Paint getting into the slots where the tabs of the panels goes makes the slot thicker and makes it harder to slide the tabs together. Don’t get paint in there, or the whole thing will not go together very easily. (Hammer anyone?)
  4. The chipboard drawers are horrible. If anyone knows how to get them to hold together, I’d love to know.
  5. The recommendation in the instructions that you cover the entire front panel, including the front of the drawer, with a single piece of paper results in a lovely unbroken look, but it is a pain in the arse to get lined up exactly.

Anyway having learned all this the hard way, by lunch time today (I’ve been working on this on and off over the last few days, sticking, painting, waiting for stuff to dry) everything was finished and all I needed to do was seal it with a coat of Gesso.

Sorry, you said Gesso?

Yeah. That’s the stuff that seals everything so the paper will be a bit more durable. I used it on the desk caddy I did a couple of years ago. It gives it a nice finish. Goes on white, dries clear.

Um, are you sure you mean Gesso?

Yeah, Gesso. Look – it “creates a smooth, sealed white painting surface . . .” ohhhhhh

Yep.

It doesn’t dry clear does it?

Nope.

I was supposed to used Mod Podge wasn’t I?

Yep.

Ohhhhhhhh . . .

And what was the damage after that little painting frenzy? Let’s see . . . the base, the back, the side that I’d already re-covered once because point 2 above, the front that I had painstakingly managed to keep as an unbroken piece to line up with the drawer (point 5), and of course, the drawer itself.

All white.

Oh yeah.

Ohhhhh shit.

Salvage operations are currently underway.

project life 2014

So around about this time every year I have these grand plans about how I’m going to keep my photos, memorabilia and memories for the year. This generally involves some kind of Project Life album.

I start off with all guns blazing, I get very excited about new products, I blog about it regularly  and then by about February, I’ve found I’ve had too much to do, the blog posts stop and I start to get behind on my album.

I did pretty well in 2013. I didn’t blog a lot, but I kept fairly well up to date (and by that I mean no more than three months behind at a time) and, as of today, I really only have to sort, edit and print photos from December and from Juniordwarf’s birthday in September.

In 2013 I tried a digital approach, where I didn’t use an official Project Life kit. Instead I used my own digital supplies for titles, backgrounds and journalling and I did a lot of journalling directly onto the photos. It meant a lot of time on the computer, but then once the photos and journalling was done, there was no writing and everything slotted neatly into the album.

For 2014 I’ve decided to go back to a paper kit. It took me months to decide which one to get. I thought I was going to get the Rain edition, which is lovely tones of olive, purple and blue, but I kept thinking it might be a bit monochromatic for a whole year.

Having said that, the approach many people seem to take is to mix up different kits throughout the year rather than stick to one kit.  Also the mini packs of themed cards that were released earlier this year mean that you can slot in layouts about various themes (such as school, summer, dad, soccer etc) and use cards that specifically relate to that theme rather than using the more generic core kits.

But I wanted one main kit to use during the year as I have done in previous years. In a last minute flash of enthusiasm I ended up deciding on the Sunshine edition, which I now have in my hot little hands, ready to go for the year.

This edition is designed by Elsie & Emma of the A Beautiful Mess blog, which is a lovely crafty/lifestyle blog.

Here’s a quick peek at what it looks like (I ended up getting the matching album, patterned paper and the 6×4 coloured cardstock as well as some blank journal cards):

ImageAnd inside the box:

Image

The title page of the album (for now – these are the recommended title cards for the first page, but I usually change my first page layout during the year, add photos and try to make it a more consistent-looking spread).

Image

And I love the matching dividers. I like how they don’t come pre-printed with the months on them now. They have labels so you can divide your album up in any way you want – which is going to be very useful for the approach I’m planning.

ImageSo that’s it for now. I’m trying to find people who will be using the Sunshine edition this year, so if that’s you, please let me know. If this year is anything like previous years, I expect I’ll be needing inspiration and a support group as the year goes on.

the cult of scrapbooking

I had a conversation with some Twitter friends last night, who mentioned that they thought scrapbooking was scary and that they couldn’t understand the “cult” of scrapbooking.

This got me thinking about what scrapbooking really is, and why I do it. If you’d told me ten years ago that I would have a house with a craft room* full of scrapbooking supplies, I’d have laughed and said there’d be no way I’d ever be involved with the cult of scrapbooking.

I wrote this post a while back, which explains how (and why) I started out.

It occurred to me that it’s really something I’ve been doing in one form or another, on and off, for a lot of my life, before I took it up as an actual hobby. As a child I used to make scrapbooks of things I collected, like pressed leaves and flowers. I used to stick photos in albums and write about them. And I made a 3-volume set about our one and only family overseas holiday.

As I grew older I used to keep journals that I’d stick things that I picked up during the day into, and I suppose the closest thing to my scrapbooks would be the book I made about Slabs’ and my wedding and honeymoon.

I also like to put my favourite photos in albums and would often stick a note in there about whetever or whoever the photo was of.

I’d class all of that as scrapbooking in the sense that I was recording events in my life and presenting them in a visual way that I liked to look at.

I’m not sure how I got into scrapbooking the cult hobby. I remember getting interested when my sister-in-law visited and I took her to a couple of the local shops – the first time I had ever set foot into such places (the post I linked to tells that story). I eventually bought some materials, did a couple of pages, took a class and it developed a life of its own after that.

I guess I thought it would be something that would make my photos a bit more interesting, rather than just keeping them in a shoe box putting them in a plain album. It also allowed me to be creative without having to actually draw/paint/be in any way artistic. (It also revealed a very pedantic side of me, that insisted things be lined up millimetre-perfect and that the colours be perfectly matched – this is not good for me.)

I never went much for fancy pages with lots of embellishments. A lot of my layouts are simple, usually with lots of photos and often with a grid layout and minimal other stuff. The focus for me is the photos – and, much as I dislike doing it – the journalling on the layout that tells the story of the photos.

I think that’s why Project Life in its original form was so appealing to me. Because I’ve been using Project Life as a way to display most of my photos over the past four years, I haven’t been doing a lot of paper scrapbooking. So I’m not sure if I’m a proper cult member or just a hanger-on.

I have two three “work in progress” files that I put partially finished layouts into, usually either because I can’t work out how to finish them or because I’m missing a product that either I don’t have at home and/or the shop doesn’t have. They tend to stay in there a long time.

Last night I decided I was going to finish some of them. In the end I completed three unfinished layouts and did two new ones from scratch. I think this is some kind of record for me.

So here they are:

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One from the unfinished pile. I ended up just drawing a border around the photos to give it a more defined look. Then I  punched the right hand side border to make that page a bit more interesting. I resisted the urge to fill in the white space.

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This is one I started ages ago, and hadn’t got around to printing out the text. It’s supposed to be about all the mistakes I made when trying to take baby photos.

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This one has been in and out of the “in progress file” many times.

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I started and finished this one last night. After I’d done it I realised I had already done a layout with similar photos from a few weeks earlier. And used exactly the same title.

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This is a 6×12 layout, which will fit into one side of a divided page/photo protector in my Project Life album.

*AKA my office, my study and the bunker, depending on what I’m doing at the time.