Monday, December 31, 2012

Project Life 2013- Organized!

Hello out in Blogland!

Tonight's post is a super-quickie, as it's New Year's Eve and we've got some celebrating to do! 
(Ok, ok.  This year "celebrating" is loosely defined as "Parking my pregnant butt on the couch with some left-over Christmas cookies  & watching SVU re-runs with Steve until we both fall asleep, somewhere around 9:30", but hey-- a celebration is a celebration.)

I wanted to give you a quick rundown of how I organize my Project Life supplies, in case anyone is taking advantage of their day off tomorrow to get ready for the 2013 album.  
(Which I will totally not be doing.  I plan on "celebrating" until forced to move by threat of death & dismemberment, or worse, lack of food.)

I'm going to start with my computer desk.  
It sits at a right angle with my work desk,  making an upside down "L" shape.  


My work desk is at counter-height & move computer desk is at regular desk height, so they don't really meet in the middle, but you get my drift. 

That glass thing there in the bottom right corner is the corner of my work desk.
And yes, I had Downton Abbey streaming on Hulu when I took this picture.
I start here because I purchased a Canon Selphy CP800 photo printer last year & it has been the best thing EVER for keeping my PL up to date. 
I can choose, edit & print my photos in just a few minutes & get a day or two done at a time, rather than ordering a bunch from the printer & always feeling weeks behind. 

I also use the keyboard tray for the pages that I'm working on right now.  
(My keyboard is wireless, so I tend to toss it into un-used corners to free up flat surface working space.)

On this pull-out tray I keep:
  • 6x6 Paper Pads-- I only have a couple & I only use them for PL, so this works for me.
  • Recently printed digital journaling cards that I haven't cut apart & filed yet
  • Printed photos
  • Random crap ephemera that I saved to go onto my pages
  • Any particular stamps or stickers or supplies that I have pulled for that particular month's photos
I find it works well for me to have these things that I use often close to hand, but not cluttering up my desk.   This is also a nice, safe landing space for any pages-in-progress that I have to move off my work desk for whatever reason. 

This letter organizer sits directly on my desk. 
I keep my small trimmer, a medium size stamp-block, a few basic ink colors and my Smash & Amy Tangerine roller stamps here.  
These are tools I use on almost every layout, PL or not, so they are close by. 

If I swivel my awesome drafting chair around, directly behind my desk, you see this:

As you can see, there's all kinds of stuff on this shelf, but tonight we're just going to talk about PL goodies.  
Cuz, other than the ones on the keyboard tray, this is where my PL Stash lives.  
In easy reaching distance.

I have 2 of my home-made paper holders filled with paper scraps, stickers & whatnot that I've collected.

Underneath those are stamp binders. 
 I keep my Ali Edwards stamps in one (I use those ALLL the time! Totally love them!)

And I keep a second binder of stamps that I seem to use a lot in my PL.

They are just slipped into clear page protectors, but it works for me.  
They definitely get used more in this binder than they would if they were in a bin somewhere. 

In this little bucket, I keep odds & ends.
Labels & other small stuff that gets lost in a bigger bin.

But the bulk of my stash is in here:

You see, I started with a core kit.  
Then another & another & another & now there's a bunch of them. 
And printables-- all kinds of printables. 
And Baby stuff.  
It's craziness. 
So to make sure I actually use all of them, I had to organize them some how.

I had these little boxes that I bought at JoAnn's 4-5 years ago that were perfect.
(I don't know if these are available anywhere anymore, but Hobby Lobby carries small Art Bins that work in a similar fashion.  
They don't have lids, but are made to stack, so they would still work.  
If I can find a link, I will post it later.) 
I cut up file folders to make dividers for the inside & then just broke them up in a way that made sense to me. 

Becky Higgins Core Kits are in this one, separated by kit.

All of my 4x6 pieces are in this box.
Some are from Core Kits, some are We R Memory Keepers pads bought at Target, some are quotes I found online & printed on photo paper.

This one holds other journaling cards that I found-- Ali Edwards new ones, some Smash Pads, some Jenni Bowlin pads, some digital ones that I printed myself on cardstock and some ATC cards that I use as fillers.  

The last are for Baby's album.  
He's not due until late March, so I won't be really doing much with his album for a few more months, but I figured I should get it done while I was still motivated to organize. 

 That's my whole system.  

Simple, right?
Keep it organized & close by, but not underfoot.  

If you have nay questions about how I did something, please leave it in the comments section & I will get back to you ASAP.

Don't forget that tomorrow's post will be filled with lots & lots of photo-taking inspiration for January, so make sure you check back. 

Happy 2013!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Project Life: Me, Myself & I


We made it!  It's a whole new year, with new opportunities & new experiences & new challenges to keep us going.  It's not something I often think about, but this year, I've got a whole lot of "NEW" on the horizon & I want to make sure I don't miss a minute of it.  

Which is why I want to continue doing Project Life.  If you aren't familiar, you can read all about it HERE, on Becky Higgin's blog.  In a nutshell, the idea is to take a photo per day & make a few notes about why this is your POTD (picture of the day).  It can be anything, but I like to use it as a way to record the small, seemingly insignificant things that our everyday life is made of.    

Before you say "But my life is so boring." try to think about how fascinated you would be to have a similar account from your mother's life or your grandmother's, or your cousin in another state. You are not boring.  Your life has meaning, in all of the little tiny details, and your story deserves to be recorded.  

That's also where these posts come in.  I am hoping that each month I can provide you with some inspiration to keep you going on the days that seem to not have too much going on.

My process:

I've posted about this before, but every year it seems to change just a little, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to write it all up again. (The typing process also helps me kinda re-focus on it for the coming year.)  But if you've hear this all before, feel free to skip down a few paragraphs.

I do not use a "Week 1", "Week 2", "Week  3" format.  It just doesn't work for me.  I start my album on January 1 and keep going until the end of the month.  I use Becky's Tabbed Dividers to separate the months.  (This year I bought the dividers that coordinate with the Cobalt Kit, but last year, I used these plain ones & jazzed them up myself.)

I use this monthly format because I do not necessarily do a photo every single day. I try, but I don't beat myself up if I don't get one.  I also don't hesitate to use 3, or 6, or 18 pictures from 1 day if that's what I feel represents that day.  I keep my little P&S in my purse, I use my camera phone a LOT & I have a fan-frickin-tastic new DSLR that Steve got me for my birthday this year.  Some days I take tons & tons of pictures, but sometimes I just forget.  And that's ok, because that's life too.  

I  also don't hesitate to use fillers.  Sometimes I find a quote or screenshot or other thing that fits my day better than a photo.  I have a Pintrest board HERE filled with quotes that I like.  Some are inspiring, some funny, some downright smartass-ish, but they work for me.  I find that often times including a quote does even more to convey that day's mood than a photo would.  Screen shots snipped from your local weather forecast, news page, sports page or whatever also make great fillers on days that you don't have a photo.  

Speaking of Pintrest-- I have a board HERE that has links to lots & lots of PL inspiration.  Some are other PLers who blog their weekly layouts (I will note here that I do not do this, at Steve's request. I post some of my pages, but just a few), and some are links to printable fillers & journal cards, some free, some paid.  I use them all!   

My Supplies:
I use a little bit of everything.  

I started last year thinking I would just use the Cobalt Kit (You can find all things PL HERE on Amazon.), but I got bored with that pretty quickly.  So I bought the Turquoise Kit & started mixing that in.  Then I started finding printable journal cards & they started showing up on my pages.  Then I bought the Clementine Kit & later, the Cherry Kit.  I can't help it.  I love to mix & match the kits to what is going on in my photos.  I have also picked up some patterned paper that was pre-printed with quotes or journal spots.  Then I discovered Pintrest & it was all over.  

 I use a lot of Ali Edwards stamps in my projects.  I belong to her monthly stamp club through Technique Tuesday & find that they make great additions to my album.  (You can find all things AE HERE.  She even  has some cute journaling cards for sale that are new this year, as she is on BH's PL design team) If you have any Photoshop-type skills, I think you can purchase a lot of Ali's stamp designs in digital form HERE.  Having almost ZERO Photoshopping skills myself, that is not something I am able to give much insight on.  

I also use a lot of random stuff in my PL.  Cute 6x6 paper pads, random leftover stickers, rolling stamps, $1 stamps (remember those?  We all bought dozens and dozens of them & then discovered that they were too small to actually DO anything with! Well, small is a good thing in this format-- pull them out & see if you can finally make some use of them!)

I will try to post in the next few days how I organize all this stuff.

This year I am going to do our yearly PL as well as one for the new baby. I mean, come on.  Have you seen those Baby PL Kits?  How could I not make him one?  They are cute as cute can be!!!  He gets his own album for the first year, then everything goes in the family album.  

Other Projects:

This past year I also participated (I use this term loosely, as life got in the way of completing either project) in 2 other projects.  Ali Edwards' One Little Word and a 52 Lists in 52 Weeks album.  (I got about 20 lists completed, but only blogged a few.  You can see them HERE if you're interested in this project.)  I took Ali's OLW class over at Big Picture Classes and LOVED it. (If you are considering online classes this year, I highly recommend it!)   I didn't make it all the way through the album, but I have printed all of the prompts to re-use with this year's word.  

This year, I am planning to incorporate all 3 of these projects into 1 album. That way, I might actually finish them!  I'm all about finding ways to make it happen this year.  I will add some list & word inspiration to each month's PL post, for those of you also planning on participating in these projects. 

What you can expect:

 On the first of the month, I will publish a post with inspiration for all 3 projects.  

52 Lists in 52 Weeks:  I will post the 4-5 lists that I am planning on making for that month & maybe a couple of extras in case one doesn't appeal to you.

One Little Word:  I will NOT be posting anything resembling the class content that I received from my BPC class.  I will simply be posting my own thoughts on how I want to incorporate my word this month. 

Project Life:

I will post
  • Daily Ideas: most of these based on the seasonal goings on and little-known holidays.  (I tried to stay away from the big holidays.  Those are easy.  You don't need me to tell you that Feb 14 is Valentine's Day & to take a picture with your DH/SO/Valentine.)  I tried to find things that would appeal to a broad range of folks & maybe be something that you might not otherwise think of.   Some of them are more journaling prompts than photo ops, but there's nothing wrong with filling up a 4x6 spot with journaling instead of a photo if you want to.  Some of them are random things that popped into my head.  You'll just have to bear with me on those occasions. 
  • For those of us that have been doing this project for a while, I thought some of you might want to take a slightly different approach, just for a change of pace.  For those folks interested, I thought we might try themes.  The idea being that for that week/month, you can try to make all of your photos relate to your theme.  I will post 4 monthly themes to choose from, as well as 4-5 weekly themes.  You could choose 1 or 2 or a combination of however many you feel like tackling at the time.

Okie dokie, friends.  We're off!  It's a new year & you can do it!

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

52 Lists in 52 Weeks Week 8

Good morning Blogland!

It's a rainy, windy day here in Dallas.

I've been very bad about posting my Lists, though I have been working on them! 

Today I want to share Week 8

 Supplies: Journaling Spot: Fancy Pants, All Other: Basic Grey

I had a project to do. 

A big one.

So my List is copied straight off my phone's shopping list app.

Seemed appropriate.

Here is the results of my shopping trip

While I would love to say that I did it all myself, I did have to call Steve in to help me muscle the finished fence panel into position & hold it while I bolted it into place.

I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

Are you making lists?

If so, I would love to see them.

Leave your links in the comment section! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Project Life

 Good Morning!!!
And a huge WELCOME to all of my new followers!  

I'm so happy to see you!

Ok, so it's the end of February and most of us are well into our PROJECT LIFE journey-- OR, some of us are just now jumping on the bandwagon and I think that's totally cool too. 

I have been cruising Pintrest and Two Peas In a Bucket's General Scrapping Forum as well as tons of blogs, checking out how everybody approaches their album.  

Maybe it's the Mrs. Kravitz in me, but I love checking out other people's albums!  

I've also noticed that there definitely a variety of approaches to how you organize your album.  

Very cool.

I decided that I wanted to share my approach with you, since I didn't find anyone who works quite the way I do.

I'll start with supplies.

I started by buying the  Cobalt Album & Core kit, as well as the monthly dividers and lots of refill pages (I ordered in December, before they were all sold out, though I think I'm going to have to order more when they come back in over at Amazon.)

When they got here, I LOVED them.


I am very much NOT a purist, with anything really. 
And maybe it's my inner 3-yr-old, but I get bored kinda easy.

So then, I ordered the Turquoise  Core Kit.

Love it too!!

Then, thanks to my obsession with Pintrest, I found a bunch of places that offered printables-- both free and paid and I bought & printed some of those.

Then I discovered that my local Hobby Lobby carries some 7Gypsies ATC supplies, so I picked some of those up.

Then I found an old 12x12 post bound album kit with some papers & embellishments that matched the Cobalt kit really well, so those got added to the stash.

Then I put together my first few weeks of pages and  felt like there was starting to be a little too much repetition, so I ordered the Clementine kit.  

It just came a few days ago and it is FABULOUS!


I have enough product to make 5 albums.

But they'll be super-cute ones!!!

As of now, I have no organizational system for them. 
All of the core kits are in their boxes and everything else is in a plastic 12x12 sleeve.

Mostly, it works, but it's kind of a pain to find what I want, so I'm working on some sort of system.

Once I get it figured out I'll share it.

For today, I wanted to show how I approach the album itself.

I started by making myself a planner.

Well, actually, I made 2-- one for the daycare & one for us.

This is the daycare planner.

 Supplies: Chipboard, Punch: Fiskars, Patterened Paper: Debbie Mumm for JoAnn, Cardstock: DCWV, Cricut Font: Nate's ABC's, Bind It All & O-Wires:Zutter
 (Yeah, I know the O-Wires are in backwards. I fixed them, but had already taken the photos & decided to just go with it.)

I covered the front & back of the planners with PP, then added free printable calendar pages that I found online & free PL planner pages from Amy Jaz Designs that I printed & photo copied.

I use the calendar pages to track bills & which kids will be in attendance on which days, then use Amy's pages to make notes of things that happened on a particular day & what photo I intend to use for my POTD.

The third page is a basic layout sketch for each page.

Sometimes I use this one, sometimes I skip over it, since I don't always use the Design A page protectors.

My personal planner is exactly the same, except I didn't put the calendar pages in it. 

So I'm organized in some places, but not in others.

But I'm working on it.

The album that I'm sharing is my personal album.

Here is my Intro page

First, I wanted to note that, while I am sharing a few of my pages, I am not posting them all.

This is just a small sampling so you can get the idea of how I do it.

I know that most people seem to organize one week into a two page spread, but that just doesn't work for me.
I don't really separate them in any way.

I simply started on Jan 1 and kept going.

I use the Day of The Week stickers that come in the core kits on the photos themselves, so that my reader can keep straight the days straight.

I used the clear ones with the white lettering for my January pictures, so they are hard to see in these photos, but I switch to the colored ones from the Cobalt kit for Feb.

I think I'll keep switching them out each month, to help differentiate a little between the months.

I also date each journaling card.

I love these calendar pages that came with the Turquoise kit.  
I plan to use them at the beginning of every month with the important dates noted on them.
All of these pictures on these 2 pages are from Jan 1 & 2.  
We were home together for those two days, and I took a lot of photos that I wanted to include, so I did.

Some of my pics are a little dark, but they are what they are, and that's ok with me.

I also wanted to note that with some pictures (like the one on the top right) were taken vertically.

Obviously, vertical pics don't work in this particular page protector, so I trimmed it to 4x4 & added a chunk of coordinating pp (I did not buy the PP from BH, I used some that I already had that I think works with the Cobalt kit.) to make it 4x6. 

Or, you could just turn the photo on it's side.

Which I have done on several of my pages.

On this page, I had an "empty" spot, so I popped a filler into the 2x3 spot and used the 4x6  to make note of my One Little Word for 2012.
(I'll be posting some of my OLW pages in the near future.)

 This is an 81/2x11 page protector that holds my program & receipts & tickets for an event that I attended on this date, behind it are lots & lots of photos in a Design F page protector.
All of the photos are from the same day.



I am totally in LOVE with the Design F protectors.  
I hope to get some more of them when they come back in stock on Amazon in April.

I'm missing a photo here, on the top left.  
I took the one that goes there, but it came out super-blurry.
Thankfully, it's a photo of something in my home, so I can re-take it.
 I left a little note in that spot so I don't forget what goes there.

I also jazzed up that filler in the bottom right corner, but forgot to re-take this pic.

But you get the point. 

The is the right side of that LO.

 The pics on the top half are all from one day, with the long journaling on the right explaining them.

I trimmed & glued 2 of the basic grid journaling cards to a 4x6 to journal the other 2 days.
Then I added a picture of Ed Dog to the empty spot.

Because you just can't have too many pictures of Ed Dog.

 The dates that fall in this LO are when my parents came to visit.
I am still trying to catch-up from past years, so I don't think I want to do a bunch of 12x12 LOs this year.  
Instead I am going to include all of the photos I want in my PL, even if it means multiple albums.

 (baby faces blurred for obvious reasons)

I added a 6x12 sleeve here to hold the museum brochure & some receipts from our day. 
I trimmed it to the top of the brochure & added a couple of glue dots at the top to keep them from sliding out.
 All of the photos in the 2 layouts previous are from  1 day.

 I added some cute blocks cut from a Simple Stories Paper to this.

I know Becky created some digital jounraling cards in a horizontal format, but I haven't checked them out yet.

I'm happy to make use of what I've got.
(Can you hear that?
That's Steve cheering because I'm actually using my stash.)

This is where I switched over to the Month of February & added my tabbed divider.
I think I might stamp on them or something to give the dividers a little personality.
Hmm... Something to think about.

 These are all plain, grid jouranling cards with chunks of PP attached.

So that's it for now.

If you have any questions on how I did something, please feel free to contact me.

Or, if you want to share your album, please please leave me a link in the comments section!

Have a great week!