Introducing Project Life

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.

39 comments

Alexandra April 18, 2012 at 12:16 am

so beautiful.
I absolutely love your take on Project Life.
classic goodness – like a great magazine – but even better because it documents your story!! I adore the photos and use of text on them – so good.
looking forward to seeing your future PL posts.
xo

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Pink Ronnie April 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Alexandra for your kind words! I’m so pleased with the first spread, really looking forward to doing the other ones too. Are you doing PL too?
Ronnie xo

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Hails April 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

Wow, Ronnie – it looks beautiful!
I remember you blogging about scrapbooking a while ago and mentioning that you give up sleep to do it. It is a mammoth task to record memories like this, but the PL spread must make it easier!
Loved seeing the pictures of you all in the Aussie sunshine.
Hails
x

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Pink Ronnie April 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Good memory Hails! Yes, I’m really hoping PL will help to cut down the stress and the hours (hence more sleep), and I’m quite confident that it will!
Ronnie xo

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rooth April 18, 2012 at 1:38 am

This is so awesome! I know some moms that would love to scrapbook but don’t have the time / materials. This would be perfect for them!

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Pink Ronnie April 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Absolutely – spread the word!
Ronnie xo

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Cecilia April 18, 2012 at 2:06 am

love your spreads. they are so…YOU. i don’t have the guts to start project life yet, but i’m always in awe of the finished product when people showcase it on their blogs.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

Hey Cecilia,
t did feel a bit overwhelming at first, but I think once you’ve done one spread, it feels a lot less intimidating. But I do know what you mean. I also wanted to say thanks because it was through your blog that I found out about Elise’s!
Ronnie xo

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rachel! April 18, 2012 at 3:18 am

how AWESOME. so cool! i’ve never seen project life before, but it looks like such a good idea!

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Monica April 18, 2012 at 3:22 am

it is beautiful work Ronnie!

i tried digital scrapbooking a bit but man it’s time consuming, even with such products as this. but this IS a great solution for those that want to but don’t want to go whole hog so to speak :)
my blogs are my scrapbooks.

great memories preserved to look back on.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thanks Mon.
“don’t want to go the whole hog” – I think that’s a great sum up for me!
Ronnie xo

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Penny April 18, 2012 at 7:37 am

I love the Good Friday shot of the boys with the full moon behind them. Love your layouts too – easy and clean and you can follow how the week has unfolded.

Looks fab!

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

Thanks Penny – I really like the Good Friday shot too.
Ronnie xo

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Elise April 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Loge love love this. Beautiful photos.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

Thanks Elise! Seriously, your comment brought such a big smile to my face. Thanks for being such a great inspiration.
Ronnie xo

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Jodi April 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Ronnie, project life looks fabulous. And do does your blog – so happy I’ve found you! X

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

Hi Jodi,
Thanks for your kind words. I’m so stoked that you found my blog – was it through The Beetle Shack? Anyway, I really like your blog too. Your writing is beautiful, and your photos so poetic. Your children are gorgeous too.
Ronnie xo

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Jo April 19, 2012 at 1:59 am

holy fantastic Ronnie! I cannot believe how gorgeous and stunning an idea this is – what a truly beautiful way to remember everything and to have to look back on, and such a fresh take on traditional scrap booking. I’m with you on the disliking my own handwriting and so I agree about the digital scrap booking – much more my style too. Ah, I really genuinely love this :)

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thanks Jo, it must be a graphic designer thing. Probably too perfectionist for our own good. Thanks for your kind words though, so encouraging!
Ronnie xo

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Catherine at Design Editor April 19, 2012 at 2:52 am

So dreamy! Really love your simplified design style. The type looks really nice this week.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thanks Catherine. I like that other designers appreciate the type. :)
Ronnie xo

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

p.s. Your white title cards recently are gorgeous. Might have to ‘borrow’ that idea sometime…

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Linn Maria April 19, 2012 at 7:18 am

Wow, this looks so great. I’ve had to look at it over and over and over. With three young boys, I wonder how you find the time! Superwoman :)

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thanks Linn. Not Superwoman though. Just an Asian mum who still doesn’t know how to get to bed on time…. :)
Ronnie xo

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May April 19, 2012 at 8:28 am

Awesome Ronnie! Beautiful…

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thanks May!
Ronnie xo

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Johanna April 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

Love this – you did an amazing job. I agree with Linn, you are super woman.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Johanna.
Ronnie xo

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Fiona April 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Wow, your pages are amazing! I love how clean and fresh they are! It’s so nice to see pictures of Dee Why Beach too…I lived in the area about 15 (gasp!) years ago now. Miss that great beach. Lots of wonderful digital inspiration here!

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Fiona,
Thanks for stopping by. That’s so cool you used to live in the area – whereabouts are you now?
Ronnie xo

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Kristin April 20, 2012 at 4:06 am

You are beyond talented Ronnie. Your boys are so lucky to have this archive for life. My “scrapbook” is currently a box full of photos, notes and tidbits. I will have to look into project life.

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Hey Kristin,
Project Life would be the perfect way for you to put all the photos, notes and tidbits together, I reckon. Can be as simple as you want it to be!
Ronnie xo

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vitaminA April 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

this is absolutely gorgeous! i feel like i was right there with you guys for week 14! i love how each shot is such a detailed and special memory for you, even if it was taken in your everyday (like the one of jamie’s hair blowing in the wind. just you and him in that moment. i felt the mommy and baby love.) those are the moments that sometimes pass us by. and the hero shot is so precious and brings warmth to my heart. please share more! (i don’t know how you do all that you do with three small boys! i struggle to get things done even with one :) i admire you!)

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Oh Amy, you always leave the most beautiful of comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed looking at Week 14 with us! I’ll try and post more this week after I’ve done the last two weeks’ spreads.
Ronnie xo

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Avery April 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Hey Ronnie, thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate it, and it also gave me an excuse to check you out!. You have such lovely images and I love how you have laid everything out. Ill definitely be a regular now! Hope you have a great week…. cheer!

Avery

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Pink Ronnie April 27, 2012 at 12:09 am

Hi Avery,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to read and comment. That really means a lot to me. Hope your week is going well too!
Ronnie xo

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I love hearing from you!

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