Full disclosure: I had two dilemmas for my 2014 Project Life.
First, I was nervous from the moment the entire LDM team agreed to share PL pages this year on the blog. I didn’t share most of my pages in 2013 and now I actually have to share not just to a small group of friends, but to the world (wide web)?! Oh my. This meant at least ten other people would see my work and thoughts like “what will they think of my pages?” crept in my mind. What did I get myself into?! Wait a minute, I thought. I make these pages for myself, so why worry?
I can’t stress this enough: the minute you start worrying about how your pages will look in comparison to others, and worry about the pages not being good enough, it’s going to take the fun out of this whole memory-keeping project. Don’t be like me and think, “oh my PL album is not great; it’s messy…blah, blah blah.”
Second, I wasn’t sure if I was going to use a 12×12 album again this year, or I would scale down and use a 6×8 album. The 6×8 album is what we use in our starter kits for our beginners workshop and it’s not as daunting as a big 12×12 album. I ended up with 12×12 because I had a spare album and plastic pocket page protectors that I wanted to use up. I’m open to the possibility of using a 6×8 album mid-year, depending on how many pages I end up with in my current album.
I’m also still unsure which format I’ll use to document my life this year: weekly (again), monthly, highlights only… there are many possibilities. What I’m committed to doing is an annual documentation of my life, so I’ll see how my weeks go in terms of content and personal feelings. Remember: there are no rules when it comes to Project Life.
My 2014 album
I chose to document January 1st onwards in this album. The first spread was 90% finished by the second week of January. I managed to get some photos printed right away, and I just slipped those in the pockets. There were hardly any empty pockets or space left for journal or filler cards, because I chose to highlight photos taken between the 1st-5th of the month.
Week 1 : Left side + insert (front page)
I had my photos printed at Fuji/YKL Fuji at the nearest SM mall, and went with the white border option (for my 4×6 prints) just to see if I would like it. The borders are just a tad too wide for my liking, so I may go back to printing without a white border – just look at that beautiful 6×8 print in my spread!
I’m mostly a creature of habit, and this shows in my pages.
PL Tip #1: Include yourself in your pages + print a photo of yourself that you like
If you search on Instagram or on Google about Project Life, you’ll encounter a lot of women who do it to document their lives as mothers (of one, two, three or even more kids), as newlyweds, as grandmas, even empty-nesters. One of their common tips is to never forget to include yourself in your project.
As a single woman, most of my PL pages have my photos with friends. I grew up used to having my photos taken by my parents or other family members, so I’m not one to shy away from a camera, but when I learned how to use one, I often found myself behind the lens. So, when family or friends take a photo of me that I like, I’ll be sure to include it in my album!
If you frequently change your hair color, or you’re fond of taking OOTD (Outfit of the Day) photos, why not print those and include in your PL album?
1. Inspired by many other “Project Lifers” who made use of transparent pockets, I adhered the wood veneer numbers on a piece of transparency cut down to 3×4 size, and slipped it in the pocket. Philippine-based PLers, you can buy transparency sheets/OHP film at National BookStore.
2. Love this shot taken by my dad! I look at least five pounds lighter.
3. This quote from Neil Gaiman never gets old. Christine did the hand-lettering and shared it on Facebook. I wanted to print it so I resized it to 3×4 and printed on white cardstock.
PL Tip #2: Use envelopes in your pages.
I wrote a letter to myself that I didn’t really want exposed in my album, nor did I want to hide the letter in my shelves or drawers, so looked for an envelope that would fit in the pocket page protector.
You may also use envelopes to store other things like receipts, hang tags on clothing, notes from friends or lovers, doodles, Post-Its, etc.
I used a brown craft envelope from Muji. It’s Php85 for a pack of 20, and the size is 94x140mm. Check the size because they also have smaller envelopes available.
PL Tip #3: Make your own journal cards
I cut down larger sheets of card stock (plain white board paper from National BookStore works, too! I’ll post a tutorial about this next time) to 4×6 and 3×4, and to decorate: used the “some kind of wonderful” stamp, and drew some uneven lines using a colored marker.
You can do the same if you have a current stash of 12×12 or 6×6 patterned paper sheets that you’ve purchased from scrapbook supply stores or resellers.
PL Tip #4: Adhere photos or other ephemera using washi tape
I love using washi tape to stick photos on filler cards or patterned paper. It’s a good way to use up my growing collection of washi. My favorite tapes are from the Japanese brand mt (masking tape).
PL Tip #5: Print a 6×8 photo
I really should have started doing this sooner because I LOVE IT. There’s just something about printing a photo larger than my usual 4×6. I thought about writing on the photo, but even after a couple of weeks it’s still bare. This makes me want to switch to a 6×8 album, stat!
I have my 6×8 photos printed at Fuji/YKL Fuji. It’s around Php40 per 6×8 print.
Week 1 : Insert (back page) + right side
PL Tip #6: Write on your photos. Yes, you may write on photos!
I didn’t take detailed shots of the right side of my spread since I blurred most of the writing on the photos, but I also featured the same tip in my Travel album post. It’s a good way to make use of more photos in PL spreads, then instead of inserting journal cards, just maximize the white space on photos. White space in photos isn’t necessarily white, but rather a clear, open space in the photo were your writing can stand out and be easily read.
PL Tip #7: Write on the Project Life filler cards!
Please don’t go, “DUH, Yam,” now. You might think that filler cards are just there to fill in empty pockets. No, no, no! The open space on this filler card was begging to be written on. I could have left it as is, but I had minimal journalling throughout this spread.
PL Tip #8: Cut a 4×6 photo
A usual dilemma I would have with my 2013 Project Life was printing a photo in a different size that it wouldn’t fit in a pocket. Now, I loved this shot of my nephew, and I wanted to put it in the middle of the page. I knew it wouldn’t look good if scaled down to 3×4, so I just cut the 4×6 photo in the middle. I love it.
Both cards on the right side of my spread are from the Project Life – Seafoam edition. It’s a beautiful kit designed by the talented Elise Blaha Cripe. We still have this edition in stock, so order now or join our beginner’s workshop this Saturday so you can get your hands on this edition right away.