Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Project Life - my process

Hi again everyone :) In my last post I talked about how I discovered Project Life and why I love it so much. Today I thought I'd follow on from that a little and tell you how I put together my Project Life layouts using my latest layout as an example.

Many people dedicate one Project Life layout/spread to each week of the year. I decided to organize my album into months, and to scrap my layouts based around the major events that took place during that month. More on that in another post ;D The best thing about Project Life, in my opinion, is that you can make your layouts and album suit your own style and time constraints. There are no rules. How awesome is that?!

Anyway, sometimes in a month I'll have a bunch of significant things that happened and I may only have one photo for each event (or no photos), so in that instance I'll combine all of these things into the one Project Life layout. That's exactly what I did with my latest layout (pictured above). With the lack of photos for this layout, I focused instead on getting those stories down and making it all look cohesive. There is a lot of journaling, and that's totally okay - I was still able to document the important things in our life for us to reflect back on in the future, and that (for me) is what Project Life is all about.

I usually start my layouts by gathering my photos. I then look for colours in the photos that I can match to papers, 3x4" and 6x4" journaling and filler cards, and embellishments in my stash (I tend to not use products from the one product line or manufacturer on my layouts - I mix and match from many different ones). I will then go through my stash and pull out bits and pieces in the same colours to form my own kit, of sorts. Finally I start assembling my cards and adding the photos and journaling.

I must confess that this layout had me stumped for a while because I don't typically use pink and pale yellow on my layouts. My partner, David, had a tooth out in March. It was a big thing for us because he was in a lot of pain for the month. I didn't want to put a photo of David with a swollen face and looking miserable in our album, so instead I found a diagram on a medical website online that showed the problem he had. I studied biology and nursing at university, so I am naturally drawn to scientific diagrams. It turned out great because it's an easy way to explain to the kids what was wrong with David (he's all better now). As it turned out, the colours in the diagram actually formed the jumping off point for me to go ahead and choose the colours for the rest of the layout. Here's some close-ups of the details of the rest of the 6x4 and 3x4 cards on the layout...

The gold glitter Thickers from the Maggie Holmes line by Crate Paper were perfect to journal about us having to look after a cat named "Goldie" during March, especially because I didn't have a photo of Goldie. I echoed them on two of the other 6x4 cards so that the layout would flow nicely. Other than that I used the following on this layout - Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm papers and die-cuts, Simple Stories Urban Traveller red alphas, Becky Higgins Project Life grid journaling cards, a My Mind's Eye memo card from the Noteable collection, a journaling card and yellow typeset letter stickers from the Sn@p line by Simple Stories, some Studio Calico printable journaling cards and embellishments, Pebbles Seen & Noted dymo-style word stickers, Studio Calico stickers and chipboard arrows (from the Sundrifter, Here & There, Snippets, and Atlantic lines), Studio Calico Atlantic vellum anchor die-cut, Glitz Designs Unchartered Waters yellow anchor paper, Simple Stories Urban Traveller and 24/7 word stickers, an old Heidi Swap chipboard star that I painted white, an old KI Memories Love Elsie word sticker and label sticker, an old KI Memories chipboard word, and some old sequins and buttons from my stash.

You'll notice in the main picture of this layout that I have a smaller 8x8 layout beside the main 12x12. I had only 2 photos from our Easter weekend so I decided to make a smaller layout to sit beside the larger one. I was really stumped for ideas for it until I came across a beautiful layout by Elizabeth Kartchner that featured some red striped paper and navy paper from her Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm line. I borrowed her paper choices and idea for a collection of embellishments at the top of the page, added a title using the gold glitter Thickers, and sprinkled around some embellishments, stamping and journaling and called it DONE. It turned out to be more like a traditional scrapbooking layout, actually. Remember how I said in my last post that those things really used to stress me out? Well, this one did just the same so I am not in a hurry to do another. I'm quite happy to stick to my little 6x4 and 3x4 Project Life cards in future - they are WAY less stressful!

Well, that's a very basic run-down of how I construct my Project Life layouts. No doubt you can work out how I have layered bits and pieces to get the effect I wanted so I have left that info out. If you have any questions though, please don't hesitate to ask.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Project Life, my way

I first discovered the Project Life method of scrapbooking in December 2012 via Pinterest. A friend of mine shared a pin that mentioned it and I thought, "Huh? What's this Project Life thing? It sure looks like fun. Let's Google it." So I Googled it. And I found this. And then this. Instantly I was hooked!

Before I ordered a Project Life kit though, I decided to do some more research about it online. I quickly discovered a plethora of inspiring scrapbookers that did Project Life but they made theirs a little different - they used normal scrapbooking products on their pages. I really liked that idea so I decided not to order a kit. Instead, I bought some page protectors, some 3x4 and 4x6 grid journalling cards, and some normal scrapbooking supplies, printed some photos, and got to work.

Now, I used to scrapbook many eons ago and honestly, it used to really stress me out sometimes. I'd get so caught up in the process of taking the perfect photo for a page, narrowing it down to using just one or two ideas for the page, making the page, and trying to get it all "perfect" (I am very critical of the things I make) that I would feel seriously deflated by the end of it. Not a good way to feel about something that is meant to be fun, so I stopped scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking on my Project Life layouts is so much more fun! Unlinke with traditional scrapbooking, I am not stressing over making my layouts for my Project Life album because essentially I am creating 6-8 mini scrapbooking layouts on the one 12x12 inch page. I can make each of those little layouts different - one can be a photo, one can be journalling, one can be made up of letter stickers and pretty papers and other bits and pieces. I really love doing Project Life this way because it lets me play with many different scrapbooking products and techniques all on the one page, eliminating some major creative anxiety in the process.

Another big thing for me now is that when I do my Project Life layouts, I am using my normal, everyday photos from my iPhone or DSLR camera, be they perfect or flawed. No longer am I focused on taking that one great photo with the sole vision of using it on a scrapbooking layout. I am also writing the stories behind those normal, everyday things that make up our lives, like the kids going back to school and us all struggling to get back into that familiar daily routine, the flood in January, soccer games, a day trip to the beach, birthdays, sick days, etc. Previously, I never scrapbooked half of that stuff. Now I'm taking more photos and telling the important stories behind those photos much more than I ever did in the past which is a fantastic feeling!

I am planning to buy an official Project Life Core Kit designed by Becky Higgins to organize those many boxes of old photos that I have going on at home here (I'm sure I'm not the only one who has boxes of photos lol!). I think the system that Becky has designed is so wonderful for quick and easy memory-keeping and I can't wait to get a kit when the new ones come out in June. For current photos though, I'll continue do Project Life in my own fun and colourful "scrappy" way because it is a fantastic creative outlet for me. I am absolutely loving Project Life!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Thoughts on Blogging

image from http://featherfiles.aviary.com/2013-05-08/f77694d11/61acc40958154dcab1ce3e9f7c7aa5bf_hires.png

I first started blogging about 8 years ago now and in that time my personal life has seen many, many changes. Throughout those 8 years I have kept a blog (first with Blogger and most recently with Typepad), but over the last couple of years I have not been blogging so much. Online identity theft, cyber-bullying, and maintaining some online privacy in my personal life have become an increasing concern for me. I don't want my family or myself exposed to any unnessary hurt. I no longer felt comfortable in sharing my personal information written in my old posts in such a public format and, to be completely honest, I was feeling very unsure as to whether or not I should continue to blog at all. As a result, early in 2013 I decided to remove all of my posts from my old Typepad blog.

Just recently, however, I had an epiphany. I remembered why I used to blog and why I used to love it so much. My blog began as a place where I could share my creativity with like-minded souls, like you. I loved that I was able to connect with people the world over who were interested in the same things I was or who were inspired by something I had created, shared, or written here. I want that again now more than I ever have.

From today, I am starting over with my blog in this fresh new space. I will focus on sharing about my art and craft projects, my creative process, my studio, and the inspiration behind it all. I am so inspired and excited to start blogging again! I'm a firm believer in following your dreams and in taking time to enjoy those parts of life that make you most happy. Creating makes me happy, as does sharing it with others, so with that I would like to welcome you all to my blog. I hope you will follow along with me as I cultivate a creative life and maybe, just maybe, you will feel inspired to do the same.

(Art by Amy Tan for Design Editior)