A Day in the Life, February edition

So I took part in Ali Edward’s Day in the Life project for the first time last month. The perfectionist in me would’ve loved to have done it in January to make a complete set, but I just have to let that one go. January was crazy. I didn’t think of it in January. January has passed. Why let something like that hold me back? If I think a project is worth doing, I need to just do it. Right?

I love the idea of capturing a Day in the Life once a month. The rhythm of each day is so special, so worth recording. Whilst I am all for documenting the big picture, there’s a lot to be said for the smaller details. After all, it’s the little moments that make up a day, and the days that make up a month. A detailed daily snapshot like this every month means that as the seasons change, as the year progresses, as the boys grow older, as new children arrive (yes, I’m looking at you, Edward bear), I can look back and see how the big life changes precipitated changes in the smaller details of our everyday life.

More importantly, doing this once a month is manageable. I can work it into my monthly routine. And if it’s part of my routine, then it’s totally doable. Yes, I can do this.

Before I started, I played with the idea of taking a photograph every hour. But I quickly dismissed this as I knew this wouldn’t be feasible for me. I would almost certainly miss an hour or two, and then that would just drive me a little crazy. So I decided instead that I would take a photo whenever I was in a position to capture a particular moment before me. With this in mind, I ended up with almost exactly twenty-four frames that I wanted to include in the final product.

This made it easy to decide on the design of my layout. I already had an 8×8 template which I knew could hold twelve photos. So all I had to do was drop in my twenty-four photos in chronological order. I didn’t bother including a time reference for each photo as I didn’t think this would add much value when I’m looking back on the collage in five or ten years time. The flow (and content) of the photos themselves would be sufficient to communicate what time of the day the photo was taken. Plus, the journalling would shed additional light.

In terms of editing, I processed all the photos using VSCO Film in Aperture before adding them to the collage. While the photos themselves aren’t the most brilliant ones that I’ve taken in terms of composition and lighting, together, they definitely suffice to tell a story. And that, I think, is the point of this project at the end of the day.

After all the photos were inserted, I simply added a circle in the middle with the words ‘a day in the life’ along with the date. The font is Rockwell Light and I used all upper caps for extra emphasis.

The journalling part of it was fun. For those of you who follow my Project Life endeavours, you probably already know that I don’t usually include much journalling in our weekly family layouts. The reason behind this is two-fold: I believe that photos have the capacity to tell a story (if not to others, at least to the future me), and also, I don’t want to be burdened by the guilt of not journalling on a weekly basis.

However, for the purposes of this project, I felt that it would be rather pointless if I didn’t actually record the details of the day in words. And so for every hour, I wrote at least a paragraph. Some hours I missed and so I simply caught up whenever I had the chance to throughout the day. I didn’t dare give myself the option of leaving it to the next day, as I wanted to write in the present as much as possible for the sake of authenticity and to capture emotions in real-time.

I used Simplenote to do my journalling, as it meant that I could do it on either my iPhone or my laptop throughout the day since the program synchronises across both. (Seriously, so much of my life relies on Simplenote, as you might already know from these posts.)

To match the photo collages, I knew I would be using an 8×8 layout for the journalling as well. I very quickly settled on a two-column format, with space at the top for a heading and space on the right for a pull-out caption. (Clearly, the magazine designer in me is still going strong.) I also added a circle like the one on the collages in the top-right corner, tilted at a 45 degree angle, and with the complete date including the day of the week (in this case, Thursday) and the year. The font used for the heading, the pull-out caption and the time stamps are all Rockwell Light. The font used for the text is Courier New.

The journalling filled two pages perfectly. After printing out the two collages and the two pages of journalling, I trimmed them all down and slipped them into two 8×8 page protectors by American Craft. I then included them as inserts in Week 9 of our Project Life album, since that was the week of the 28th of February.

Easy peasy! I will definitely be doing this again next month, and hopefully every month for the rest of the year. If you want to find out more, make sure you visit Ali Edward’s blog. She has lots of resources (such as templates) that you can download to help make doing the project that much easier.

How many of you are already doing ‘A Day in the Life’ with Ali Edwards?

18 comments

eek! March 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

As always, your photos and simple style inspire me. I tried to do DITL in Jan but forgot about it in the middle of the day (work, you know). But it did remind be to take out the camera and take more photos of little moments, which I have been trying to do.

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Rachel March 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

you really inspire me to capture my children. i’m hoping that maybe next fall i won’t be working full time so i can embark on some of these projects. for now, i’m just trying to learn my camera and capture what i can, when i can. anyhow,as always, very inspiring. your family truly is so beautiful and your presence(at least online) so calm, warm, and peaceful. i think your boys are very lucky to have you.

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Fiona March 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

I love your take on this project, Ronnie. Beautiful, as always. I like the extended journaling you put together. Maybe I’ll give that a go next time! Hugs xoxo

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Kaylan March 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Love this! I’m switching from PL to digital seasonal albums for our fan so this would be a great project for me to include to add those special touches that PL has and keep some journaling going. Thanks for sharing.

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Sally March 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

oh this is so lovely, you are so amazing at finding the time to document life in such a wonderful way! i was looking through old family albums just the other day, with my sisters, and it is so lovely recalling memories together. your family will cherish these for years to come, i’m sure :)

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SusanC March 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I couldn’t be more in love with your aesthetic….My one wish is that you had included a shot of the pictures + the journaling, as I’m having a hard time seeing how they weave together for the total layout. Thank you for ALL the detail about how you did everything, the fonts, etc…. And, would love to know more about the camera/lenses you use regularly, as I’m such a relative newbie in the photography thing with my Nikon D80 and 18-200mm. :)

Cheers and hugs…As a fellow preggo (30 weeks), I am getting so excited to see your upcoming Project Life spreads over the next few weeks as your life changes because I know they will inspire me a few weeks later when I’m in the same boat. :)

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Pink Ronnie March 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Hi Susan,

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! The square layouts you see above are actually the final layouts. Basically I just have two 8×8 pages with the photo collages and two 8×8 pages with the journalling. I decided not to ‘weave’ the photos and the journalling together to keep it simple. In my album, you see the photos first and then you read the journalling on the next page. Does that make sense?

My iPhone camera is actually the camera that I use regularly. I also have a Canon EOS 40D with a 50mm 1.4 prime lens but I only take it out a few times a month to document portraits and special occasions. Hope that helps!

Thanks for reading along.

Ronnie xo

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SusanC March 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

That is AMAZINGLY helpful! I am so impressed that most of your photos are from your iPhone. And now I totally understand (and love) the way you did the photos and journaling separately. I have such paralysis when it comes to Project Life layouts, mostly because of the journaling and my inability to fit words into just the right space. I’m going to take my cues from your gorgeous pages and see if I can come up with something half as beautiful.

Last, I somehow stumbled upon your blog the same week that I was diagnosed with GD about a month ago and it’s been very helpful for my mindset to feel like I “know” someone else going through it with me. Thank you for sharing this experience.

Cheers!!
Susan :)

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rachel del grosso March 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

oh i love this. nothing like what my sad effort in february would have resulted in. here’s hoping i can do one this month :)

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Pink Ronnie March 14, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Yes, yes, do! We can do it together. :)
Ronnie xo

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Donna M March 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Love this so much! I’ve missed both months so far. Being a day ahead gets me and then I think I’ll do it the following month… Then this month is Easter and I’m away, so may try for a different time of the month.

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Pink Ronnie March 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

That makes it tricky, I totally understand because it’s the same here in Sydney. I simply put it in my calendar on the 28th and do it then. Otherwise, I reckon middle of the month could work too!
Ronnie xo

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Chantel March 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I love how you documented this Ronnie! I love your minimalism and all the white space!

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Susan March 15, 2013 at 12:44 am

gorgeous. nuff said. xx

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J3SS1C4 March 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

This looks amazing! The 8×8 format works amazing for this project! I love that u included so much text, that’s my favourite part of this project!

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Ritz March 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

As always your posts make me go awwww at every picture and word :) I love love this project of yours!

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I love hearing from you!

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