I am so excited to be sharing my very first Project Life spread with you! First up, I have to thank Elise because it was through her amazing blog that I found out about Project Life. In a nutshell, Project Life is a scrapbooking system developed by Becky Higgins that allows you to focus on the memory-keeping rather than being caught up in the stress of the scrapbooking process. I’ve spent so many years fantasising about the ultimate scrapbooking method, and seriously, this is it my friends. This is it.
One of the underlying premises of Project Life is that you capture one week in one spread. This is rather revolutionary for me, because it allows me the freedom of choosing the best moments of the week to capture, rather than feeling like I need to scrapbook every single one. More importantly, the flexibility of the Project Life system is pure genius. Pure genius.
Anyway, I’ll jump right into my first spread, and hopefully as the weeks go by, it’ll become clear to you how amazing this system is! Also, let me encourage you to do a Google image search for Project Life and you’ll see what I mean by how ridiculously flexible it is. (You can click on any of these images to enlarge them.)
This is the entire left hand page for week 14. I’ll go through
each most of the sections separately to explain what I did. You need to decide before you begin whether your week begins on a Sunday or Monday. I chose Monday. Also, even though the idea is that there are NO RULES and you can do whatever you want for each week, I have to admit I spent a bit of time working out what I thought my ‘style’ would be, and how I was likely to scrapbook each week. A lot of this depends on what materials you have and how you like to capture memories. In doing my first spread, I learnt that I was more naturally a ‘digital’ scrapbooker rather than a traditional scrapbooker (mainly because I can’t stand my own handwriting). (Sad, but true.).
I decided to put my favourite shot of the week – aka the ‘hero shot’ – as the very first image. This happened to be a photo that I took of all three boys on the Thursday morning, while they were all standing at the front window watching the cars go by. No words needed to explain this shot. Just one of those everyday moments that capture in itself what life with the boys looks like right now. I added the photo’s date to the bottom left hand corner, and you will see that I’ve done this with every other photo as well.
You’ll notice if you look at photos of other people’s Project Life albums, this first photo of the spread is usually the one that intros the week, and almost always has the first and last dates of that particular week on it. I like the way Elise has a Kraft circle dot and the two dates stamped on two lines, but I didn’t think that it would tie in way with the rest of my digital design (I also had some inexplicable difficulty with working my stamp – most likely just lack of co-ordination of my part, but let’s not dwell on that for the purposes of this post.) So I settled on this beige arrow with white text on top – which is admittedly okay but not fantastic. For now, it’s fine, and the best thing about this system is that if I decide to change it down the track, I can always just re-print the photo and re-insert it! Awesome, right?
I took this photo at Dee Why beach on the Thursday evening, on my way back to the car from the cafe having picked up a couple of coffees for Rick and myself. It was just beautiful. I decided to just typeset the words ‘Dusk at Dee Why’ in Rockwell font over the photo. I foresee a lot of these ‘Dusk at Dee Why’ shots throughout the album.
Below the two landscape 4×6 pockets are four portrait 3×4 pockets. In this first pocket is a brief overview of the week, including special highlights (like Jamie starting to cruise!) and events. I designed the card in Adobe InDesign (which is also what I use to add text and arrows and other design elements to all the photos) and will be re-using the template for future weeks. The photo to the right is one of Pete and Jamie at lunchtime on Tuesday, eating cheese. We like our cheese here at Casa Mason.
I’ve only just realised that these two photos were in the wrong place when I took this shot. The photo on the right should be in the left pocket, as it’s a photo of the two younger boys with Nan on Wednesday, which is, as I like to call it – Nan’s Day. Rick’s wonderful mum comes over once a week to spend a day with the days, freeing me up to either catch up on paperwork, work, rest or blogging. She’s amazing like that. I took this photo on our driveway when the sun was streaming in, and I love how everybody’s just doing their thing. I added a small paragraph of white text in Courier font.
The Good Friday photo was again taken at Dee Why, after an early dinner at one of our favourite cafes Sandbar. The moon was full, and Angus was utterly excited about walking on the sand to get back to the car. Because I didn’t want to add anymore text to this photo, I hand wrote some of my memories from the evening on a 3×4 journalling card and slipped this into the pocket behind the photo. I’ll add a ‘marker’ later to indicate that there’s more to read behind the photo.
For the bottom two 6×4 landscape pockets, I decided to include two photos from the Sandbar dinner on Good Friday which, to me, captured the feel of the meal, which was more chaotic than calm, though fun all the same. For both these photos, I added just one line of text to keep it simple. I like simple.
Generally speaking, I think most people use the right hand page to capture the second half of the week but here I’ve dedicated the entire page to the weekend, namely Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. No photos of Easter eggs here, as I haven’t yet gotten into dying eggs (maybe next year) and we didn’t actually buy any eggs for the boys either, as I feel that they’re all still too young for chocolate.
I wanted to remember our trip to Manly on Easter Saturday, as it was the boys’ first time there and we had such a lovely, sunny time together. I chose a photo that I snapped on the beach, and I added a paragraph of text on top. Nothing poetic, just some straightforward recounting of the day. The idea is not to spend too much time in the writing, but just to get it down and into the memoirs.
Under the 6×4 pocket, I added two 3×4 photos of Rick and the boys coming back from their walk along the water’s edge. A simple line of white text appears on each of the two photos to tie them together.
I really liked this photo of a sidewalk cafe that I snapped at Manly as I was waiting for Rick at the car park, so decided to include it. I liked my Instagram version of it, so I tiled it to fill up the space on the left of the 6×4 canvas. I quite like this effect and will probably do this again in future weeks. Again, just a few words on top of the photo to remind the future me where the photo was taken.
In the bottom 6×4 landscape pocket, I wanted to include an Instagram shot of Jamie’s hair blowing in the wind at the car park, as it was a special moment for me. I wanted to add a small paragraph of text to go with this shot, so instead of the above tiled layout, I typed the text on a 6×4 canvas and printed that out on plain white cardstock (available with the Project Life core kits). I then stuck the square Instagram shot onto this with yellow washi tape that I already had. I deliberately stuck it on an angle to give it a more casual look.
Upon getting home after Manly that Saturday, I craved caffeine and diary and so whipped up a lovely little treat for myself and Rick. I had an Instagram shot of it and wanted to include in the album, so I created the same tiled layout as above except that I added a small paragraph of text. One design trick is to add small ascents of colour like this circle (with the words ‘Sweet Treat’) to help tie the whole spread (and potentially the album) together. It also helps to brighten and lighten up the look and feel of the whole spread.
I had to include this delicious meal that Rick made on the Saturday night, and I think I will do this every week: pick a favourite dish of the week and include it in the album. I added the name of the dish in big capitalised Rockwell font, with a yellow background which ties in with the colour of the ‘Tuesday Lunchtime. Cheese.’ circle from the left hand spread. I also included a couple of lines of text at the top.
And lastly, one of the most precious moments of the week: Angus, Pete and Jamie all lying down in a row of their own initiative on the Sunday morning before church. They were all so incredibly happy and amused, and it was a moment that simply melted my heart. No words needed.
Materials used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 3×4 journalling card; 6×4 plain white card stock from the Project Life Core Kit – Cobalt Edition; Kodak 170gsm glossy photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MP630 Pixma.