Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let's Do This Thing :: Project Life!

For local friends: the garage sale is ON for this week-end.  We'll be here Friday and Saturday from 8-4.  If you know where we live, stop on over.  If you don't know, send me a private message on FB or via email (click "contact" tab at top of blog), and I will be glad to share our address.  We will have lots of miscellaneous home decor items, Christmas items, a washer and dryer, a wedding gown, a student desk and chair, lots of computer gadgetry, a gaming chair, LOTS of homeschool books (ABeka -- and others), a SPODE "Christmas Tree" coffee pot, sugar, creamer, and bowl set, lots of mugs, table lamps, a floor lamp, a vintage 1946 Singer sewing machine in cabinet, and another more recent model w/o cabinet, and SO MUCH MORE!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled post! 

So I'm off and running on my Project Life.  I've ordered a few more items -- some specific themed items that will fit nicely into my album.  I'm ordering pictures like crazy -- all the way back to January of this year.  I've cleared out my photo files, and printed everything family-oriented from my 2014 files [meaning: not the kazillion photos of flowers, or the other pictures I use here on the blog.]

Just do it.
I dragged my feet for a long time, promising myself that I would catch up, and it just didn't happen.  When I decided to commit to Project Life full time, I saw myself moving forward, leaving the past in the dust, with the thought of eventually catching up on it all.  You've got to start somewhere, right?

Well here's what happened.  My supplies were delivered, and I went online and ordered my "so far" photos from this month: JULY 2014.  I was done in an instant.  No joke.  So, I thought, while I am waiting to make some more memories and take some more pictures, why don't I work backwards?  It seemed silly to just sit here all excited about the process with nothing to do.  So, you guessed it.  I ordered all of my JUNE 2014 pictures, and then MAY and APRIL.  The next thing I knew, I had gone through and ordered pictures all the way back to JANUARY!  Boom.

Embrace the individuality of the project/process.
So, you may be wondering about the best way to start.

I purchased an album, some pocket pages, a core kit, and two themed card kits.

Regarding the pocket pages... there are several styles.  I TRY (though sometimes unsuccessfully) to take horizontal photos, as it seems most efficient to me to stick with one style of pocket page.  I buy STYLE A [pictured above].  You may see other page-styles pictured in my posts, but they were purchased early on when I did my Disney and POTD projects.  I'm basically just using those up at this point.

So what happens when I end up with a vertical picture, and I have all horizontal pocket pages?  Well, I've discovered two things that work -- and you can see examples of them both on the page below.

I crop the height of the photo, allowing it to fit in a horizontal pocket.  Of course, that leaves some room leftover at the side of the photo, right?  I just pick out some coordinating scrapbook paper or one of the Project Life cards, sizing it to fill in the remaining space of the pocket.  I DO use adhesive to keep this in place. [see arrow pointing at bottom photo]

If the scene in the picture is small enough, I also have been known to crop it down to the card size which fits into the strip in the center of the pocket page. [see arrow pointing to photo in middle row]

What is a core kit?  This is the fun part.  A core kit is a great collection of large (photo-sized) cards and small cards that fill in all of the blank spots in your album.  They are styled by various designers, printed on both sides, and the color schemes vary.  The larger cards can be used as a title card on a page, or just to fill an empty spot when you don't have enough photos to fill a page.  The smaller cards fill in that center strip, as I mentioned above, and can be used in a strictly decorative way [think of them as the embellishments on your pages] -- or for journaling!  [JUST AS A SIDE NOTE :: let me say... Don't forget the journaling!  It's easy to stall out on that, but it'll be worth it when people look at your album, and know just what they are looking at! You'll also realize how much time you are saving by not cutting paper, and not unsticking adhesive squares.  Use the time to journal.]

I am loving the elements in the Americana theme kit,
and have used them for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and the Soap-Box Derby pages!

So then... what are themed kits, you ask?  Themed kits are a more specific collection of large and small cards that follow a theme, like the Americana Kit, above.  Other themes include (but are not limited to Family, Graduation, Celebrations, Christian, Fall, and etc.  They are a great way to further tailor your album to the events in your family's life.  [FYI - I buy most of my supplies HERE.]

I'll bet you're wondering how you know where to put all of these cards, aren't you?  Well, that's the beauty of this system.  It is totally individual.  Initially, there are cues inside the cover of the core kit box to give you ideas for the first and last pages -- and then it's up to you!  Have fun with it.  Follow a color scheme taking a cue from your photos, or just be random!  It's easy to make changes along the way since there are no adhesives involved!  I'll admit that I had some pages all finished, and when I found the sweet themed "family" kit, I changed out some of the cards!  I just couldn't resist.

Still feel overwhelmed about starting?
Don't!  There's no wrong way to start or to proceed!  That said -- in the interest of having a PLAN, I'll share what I typically do.  Remember, sometimes I am working backwards and sometimes forwards.  I have to take my path into consideration as I position my photos so that I don't have any empty page-gaps. Typically, my photos fit on a two-page spread or less.  I have had a few occasions lately that have been photo-heavy, and I'll just say that in those cases, I have been glad to have some leftover Design C pages on-hand.  Without those, I would consider cropping many more of my photos into the vertical "small card" positions at the center of the page.

I lay my photos out on top of the page protectors, and move them around so that are arranged in a way that best tells the story.  Usually, I work from left to right and top to bottom of each page.  When I like the arrangement, I slip the photos in the pockets.  If there aren't enough photos for a page, I add a large card to a photo pocket.  Use this as an opportunity to have a title card on your page if you like.  Then, what's left are the 4-8 vertical card pockets across the middle of the page.  Sometimes, I have a random small photo to fill one of those spots.  Otherwise, I use the small Project Life cards [either from the core kit, or a themed kit] to fill in the blanks, trying to balance decorative cards and journaling cards across the page.

I started off being really random, but now that I have sort of... found my stride, I find myself moving things around to make the page a little more cohesive.  There is no wrong design.  No wrong moves.  It's super flexible.

Hmmmm, a lot of information in this post, right?  I think I'll stop for now.  I'm going to have to start taking notes about the things I want to share with you.  Hopefully, the photos in this post have been good examples to explain my points.

Happy Scrappin'!


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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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