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!