I ♥ photography, but my photos are largely an unorganized mess. I rarely print them; they live on random computers, random external hard drives, and random websites. So I thought I would give printing my photographs and memory keeping/journaling with them a try.
But this isn’t the first time I’ve tried making something of my pictures. I’ve had photo books created through sites like AdoramaPix. Such books are lovely but creating them wasn’t that much fun and they were difficult to customize with captions. I also briefly dabbled with typical photo albums, but mine tended to stay empty because organizing them seemed both slightly overwhelming and not particularly enjoyable.
Given all of that, I decided to give Becky Higgins’ Project Life a try. It’s a system of memory keeping that’s a pleasant blend of scrapbooking and simply dumping photos in an album. It generally requires an album, photos, pocket pages to slip the photos in, and journaling cards/paper memorabilia—for a detailed explanation watch this five minute “Welcome to Project Life” video.
Deciding to do Project Life was a risky move for me because sometimes I start projects only to immediately abandon them and this one required a significant financial investment (due to my location). The company is in the United States. I’m in Asia. Project Life has a flat rate international shipping fee of $100! It’s fair, but expensive. I thought of alternatives and considered my options for a while, but in the end I decided to just go big to make the shipping costs worth it and because I really wanted to try Project Life. (If you’re in the US, wanting to give it a go, there’s no need for you to make nearly so much of a financial investment.)
Normally, I like small things, but since I decided to go big, I went big~ and bought one of their standard 12 x 12 albums that’s too large to fit on most bookshelves, including mine. It’s pictured above. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but luckily I really do. The size is surprisingly nice since it allows for several pictures and journaling cards to be included in each page.
My first completed pages are pictured below. They represent Week 39 (September 21 to 27). I’m not sure if I’m going to make the album a Jan-Dec 2015 album or from June/July 2015 until it’s full, but I’m hoping to have at least one page per week from now until the end of year.
For Week 39, I organized my photos in Adobe’s Lightroom (♥), printed them with my Canon Selphy, and typed short notes on a few journaling cards. I also embellished things slightly with some stamps, a tad bit of “washi” tape, and a handful of die cuts.
The page for the first half of the week is simple. Going from top to bottom and left to right, the first slot is filled by a card with the date stamped on it and a star stapled to it. The next is a photograph of local children laughing and running to get home (or perhaps to their next class). It’s a happy photo of everyday life. Following that are pictures of the escalator in a subway, me studying in a cafe, and my planner.
Everything on this second page, save one picture, is from a single day. Tara was kind enough to come down to my part of the country and we explored a new area and its brand new department store. We grabbed a meal at a very health-conscience restaurant (none of its dishes include salt, MSG, or sugar), went to a nice cafe (where I ate sugar and unleashed my DSLR), and briefly braved the crowds at the massive department store with its 10 above ground floors and two underneath. In it, I saw a toddler entranced by a giant bear, digital displays everywhere (like even on the ceiling), and Samsung enticing visitors to try its new virtual reality equipment.
I made mistakes while putting together both pages. Some of the stamping is wonky and the alignment of text on two of the journaling cards is off. I hardly care, though, because everything is legible ♥ and putting the pages together was fun. Attempting this project has encouraged me to capture my everyday life and organizing the pictures/cards helped me appreciate it.
I’ve started putting my pages together for July, but I haven’t finished any of them yet.
Do you do Project Life or record memories in another way? I plan to do another entry on this in the future. I hope you’ll enjoy it and not mind. ^^ If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out my Pinterest and/or these videos (2015 Project Life Process Video: Week Twenty-Nine, Stephanie Bryan March Project Life Album and Project Life Process: Studio Calico Brimfield Kit).