Saturday, January 17, 2015

Project Life-Figuring out my way

Wow! It's been a whole year since I blogged! I can't say that it's surprising though. Blogging, I've found is something you really have to be serious about to get it done. Last year it was one of my "resolutions" and I think we all see how those usually turn in, they don't. So this year, instead of making resolutions I am making intentions. And one of my intentions is just to blog more often. Not once a week, or once a month. Just more often than I have in the past. If I exceed that I will be doing better than I was. 2014 wasn't a kind year for me, but despite that I am keeping my heart and mind in a good space as much as I can, planning for the future and trying not to worry about the past.

Today I want to talk about something I have wanted to do for about three years. Project Life! Most of us know what it is. Some don't. If you are in the minority and don't go Here to find out about this awesome and easy memory keeping plan created by the amazing Becky Higgins.

I've had the supplies to do Project Life for about 3 years, sitting in my art room mocking me for not picking them up and starting some sort of memory keeping. It's ironic in a way, because I got my start  doing mixed media art by discovering traditional scrapbooking and paper crafting. When I find something that really interests me I usually jump in with both feet, so I began to scrapbook, bought many supplies that I never used, and quickly became bored doing 12x12 layouts and mini albums. However, finding scrapbooking guided me towards discovering how much I really love mixed media art. So despite all the paper hoarding, embellishments sitting around doing nothing and me feeling frustrated for awhile, everything worked out for the best. I now use those 12x12 papers, embellishments, etc in a variety of mixed media art and art journals. But then along came Project Life. A whole new use for those supplies was born.

2015 Title Page
I was very intrigued by this new system that the amazing Becky Higgins introduced to the memory keeping world. I thought to myself, now that should be doable. So I started ordering core kits, albums, grid cards, even digital kits. And the core kits were a little hard to come by in those first couple of years and the variety was limited. But mine just sat there, the same as my traditional scrapbooking supplies. And they sat there unorganized to boot.

Towards the end of December of last year I started thinking about Project Life again (among many other things) and why I hadn't made it a priority in the last three years, lamenting at the albums of memories I could have completed in that time. Then, the thought that I could make these albums for my grandsons came to mind. I had been wanting to start writing in a book for Tucker, the oldest, for a long time but just writing isn't really what I wanted to do for him. I did start a journal just for the boys this year, but I wanted something that could hold tangible pieces of my life and my written words. It dawned on me that PL would give me the freedom to be creative and also allow me to tell the stories that I want them to know about me, about how I lived my daily life, and what was important to me. It will tell them who their Grannye Kellye is, what she did, what she stood for,  and what she  dreamed about. I really wish I knew all of those things and more about my grandmothers but I really know very little about their daily lives. That gave me all of the motivation I needed to make doing Project Life a priority this year and in the years to come.

I started doing research on other people's approach to their Project Life process. I wanted to see what was working for other people and what wasn't working. I looked on Pinterest, did lots of web searches and reading websites, watched YouTube videos, and I followed conversations in some of the Facebook groups I am in. There is a ton of information out there! I noticed a lot of people were converting from doing 12x12 albums to smaller sizes, like 6x8. Others were switching from doing weekly spreads to monthly spreads. Others were switching to doing only digital using the Project Life App that was introduced recently. I took all of this info into account when deciding how I would approach my Project Life for the first year and my takeaway from it was that I'm not really going to have a lot of rules.

The upper right 4x6 will be filled in with "one little thing" for each day of January
  • Above all, I want to feel free to use whatever page protector design that my photos, mood, or theme, etc. calls for. I don't want to be tied down to using only Design A all year. To me, that would just be extremely boring. I need some variety. 
  • My plan is to make one weekly spread this year of at least 2 pages, but if I want to add more I will.
  •  I will also be including one of the 6x12 envelopes and keeping all of my receipts for the month in it. This serves two purposes. I have my receipts and my ancestors can see what I spent my money on!
  • If possible I will be using rounded corners on my cards and pictures. In some instances I have found that I could not round them. For example, the calendar cards I chose to use have type that is so close to the edges of the corners I would chomp it off if I rounded them.
  • I will use my own handwriting as much as I can tolerate. I know I will be typing on journaling cards too but I want to practice my handwriting more so that it will get better, which will then make me happier to look at it and want to use it even more

I'm using a lot of tools to help me construct my pages such as apps, my printer, an HP Envy 7640 (I am printing at home; to me it's just more convenient-more on my ink strategy in another post), my planner for PL, corner rounder, lots of different pens, stamps, ink pads, spray ink, cards organized by color in plastic containers, page protectors stored in an album, my Smash labeler, Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, and also some tools that some wouldn't call "traditional" PL supplies such as white sage and a conch shell and my feather fan. I usually smudge myself just to help clear my energy and put myself in the right frame of mind. I also diffuse essential oils into the air. Which oil(s) I use depend on my mood. I like to feel at peace while creating but it can't always be that way so the times that I can't feel peaceful are usually the times that I just paint or do something in my art journal, not Project Life.

I'm looking forward at the end of 2015, to look at my album(s) and reflect on a year full of many good things that will make my heart swell with bliss and also the not so great things, so that I will remember what I have been through and how strong I am and so that my grandson will know that too. Project Life is really for them, Tucker and Gavin. I love those boys and I hope they love my albums. When we make these albums for other people, as well as ourselves, they become that much more special.

Here's a few photos of some of the details of my first pages. I hope all of you are having an amazing weekend! xoxo

January 6x12 Envelope for Receipts

Signing Off!