project life

Project Life, Week 29

Gosh, I’ve just realised how long it’s been since my last Project Life post! On a whim, I’ve decided to share Week 29 seeing as it’s the most recent week that I’ve worked on, and I’m still feeling all happy about it since it documented our week in Gerroa. As you can see, I used a lot of the photos from this post. Also, for those of you who read about my boys’ albums a while ago and have been patiently waiting for the next instalment, I just wanted to reassure you that I definitely haven’t forgotten about it, and that it’s on my never-ending to do list.

What happened in Week 29?
We went away for four nights, staying at a gorgeous house right next to the ocean. It was the same place we stayed the last time. I was pretty much sick the entire time we were there, waking up with the sorest throat every single morning, but I did my best to still have a good time with the family. We stayed in most days, drank endless cups of Milo, ate Crunchy Nuts cornflakes (our holiday cereal), warmed ourselves by the fireplace, read books, admired the headland and played lots of hide-and-seek with the boys. It was a truly refreshing time away.

How were the photos taken and processed?
All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera and all were processed with the new VSCO Cam app. I mainly used the F2 preset, and if I felt that any of the faces were too washed out, I would decrease the exposure by one or two stops, which would always help to put some colour back into the skin. I have to say that the new VSCO Cam is amazing the way it handles exposure – it maintains the most brilliant detail. I am honestly even more in love with the app than I was before.

Favourite photo(s) from Week 29?
I adore the one of Angus kissing Edward’s head on the third page (see above). It was the most tender moment. The photo of the three big boys drinking milk at the same time at the bottom of the first page is also a favourite. It was pretty funny at the time – I love how in sync they are sometimes with each other.

Number of pages and inserts?
I decided to allow myself two spreads for Week 29, since there were so many lovely photos to choose from. What made it easy to choose only 31 photos was that I knew I would be making a holiday story book, in which I would be able to include heaps more photos.

Overall thoughts?
I really like the ‘colour blocking’ on the second page with the photo of the cereal and the photo of the grass. I also really like the look of the last page, especially how the first thing you see is Edward Bear’s big, chubby face and then from there you gradually notice all the colours and funny details in the other photos. Overall, the pages feel the same way as the holiday felt – calm and peaceful with pockets of fun and colour popping up here and there.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

If you’ve recently shared a Project Life post on your blog, feel free to leave a link below.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

(Sharing this post with The Mom Creative.)

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

Project Life, Week 23

What happened in Week 23?
Week 23 was all about the launch of the Life:Captured workshop. I remember working furiously at the cafe on Tuesday while Rick’s mum was with the boys to rush a postcard off to print. I remember endless emails going back and forth between Trish and myself as we finalised all the important details. I remember staying up late on Thursday night writing up my blog post, and making sure all the links worked properly. I remember the butterflies in my tummy when the announcement went live. I remember the nervous excitement that lasted the entire day. I remember the sense of wonder and amazement when we sold out the next day. I remember feeling full of gratitude at everybody’s support.

Yet at the same time, family life continued at our home that week as it always does: morning rituals, breakfast, parents visiting, cuddles with baby Edward, the boys inventing their own imaginative play, and brunch at our favourite cafe down by the beach on our day off.

How were the photos taken and processed?
All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera. Half were processed with the old VSCO Cam app. Half were processed with the new VSCO Cam app that also went live that week. (It took me a while to get used to the new filters in the new VSCO Cam app but I think I’ve worked out which ones are my favourites.)

Favourite photo(s) from Week 22?
I adore the one of Angus and Jamie on the first page (top left) looking out their bedroom window early in the morning when I went in to change them and bring them downstairs for breakfast. Normally, I’m all grouchy and task-focused in the mornings, but on that particular day, I took the time to just slow down and watch the boys do their thing. My other favourite is the one of my dad on the second page (top left), sitting on our green couch in his beanie and slippers, surfing his iPad. (I’ve always suspected my attachment to technology was partly inherited from my father).

Overall thoughts?
I really like the grey tones of the first page, along with the wintry feel of the second page. The new VSCO Cam filters add a certain richness to the photos, and the small splashes of blue and red are nice too.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

Project Life, Week 22

Thanks so much for all your encouraging comments in response to my question about whether or not you like to see every single one of my Project Life spreads. You guys are so sweet – and it really is so nice to know that some of you like to sit down with a cup of tea to read these posts of mine. That just makes me smile big time! Anyway, I think I’ll continue to post most weeks, unless it doesn’t feel right to for a particular week. I have, however, decided to stop posting the larger images of my pages. Seeing as I’m journalling more now, I think it’s right for me to keep that private for the boys’ sake. I have no doubt whatsoever that you’ll all understand.

What happened in Week 22?
It was the week I launched my memory keeping giveaway, the week that Edward had his six-week checkup, the week that we went over to my parents’ place for Edward’s ‘full month’ dinner (a Chinese tradition), the week that the last autumn leaves fell, and the week that I started to document our daily rituals (more about that in another post).

Number of pages and inserts?
Just the usual two page layout for Week 22 (using Design A photo pages), along with two 8×10 vertical inserts. For one of the inserts, I did a layout of some photos from our trip to the playground down by the lake, which didn’t fit in the main spread. For the other insert, I included family photos (which I’d converted to black and white) from the dinner at my parents’ place.

How were the photos taken and processed?
All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera. All the photos, except for one, were processed using VSCO Cam on my iPhone. The other one was processed in Aperture on my Mac using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset.

Favourite photo(s) from Week 22?
I have two favourites from this week. The first is the one of Angus on the second page (top left). He was sitting in the doorway to the boys’ room that morning looking very sad because I’d asked him to wear a puffy jacket. The light happened to be gorgeous so I caught the moment on my iPhone. The second is of Pete on the second page (bottom left) waking up from his nap in the afternoon all happy and cheerful. Again, the light was beautiful and I couldn’t resist photographing his infectious smile.

Overall thoughts?
I adore the colour palette that resulted from this spread – the warm hues of orange and gold seem to balance out the cooler hues of purple and grey. Somehow, it all works. I also love all the shots of the boys I managed to include, and I’m stoked that I kept up the journalling.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 8×10 vertical page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative.)

Project Life, Week 21

I’ve decided to jump straight to blogging about Week 21 as I got a little tired of trying to play catch-up with my Project Life posts (plus I didn’t think there was anything spectacular or particularly noteworthy about my layouts for Weeks 17 to 20). I’m also toying with the idea of not sharing every single weekly Project Life spread that I do, but we’ll see (let me know what you guys think about this – do you actually like seeing every weekly spread of mine, or will it be okay to only share the ones that I’m particularly excited about?). Anyway, a big welcome to you if you’re reading my blog for the very first time! It’s lovely to have you here. If you have some spare time, feel free to browse some of my Project Life posts that I’ve listed over in the left sidebar and definitely check out the huge memory keeping giveaway that I’m currently hosting (the first prize is worth over $625). Otherwise, you can click on any of the images in this post for a larger version.

What happened in Week 21?
I went back to the coffee house at Illie two days in a row, which was a real treat for me. Angus spent a bit of time on my Macbook Air playing with online preschooler games, and on our day off, we ventured out to the beautiful Bella Vista cafe at North Head which has the most spectacular view of the entrance to Sydney harbour. Rick also made scrambled eggs on the Saturday. That was a lovely treat too!

Was there anything special about Week 21?
Yes! I went back to journalling a lot more this week. Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic about our boys (and life in general) recently and in response to this, I’ve been documenting more and journalling more. I still believe that a powerful photo can speak a thousand words, but there was something really nice about being able to include more words in my spread for this week.

Number of pages and inserts?
Just the usual two page layout for Week 21, along with one 8×10 vertical inserts. I used one side of the insert to include an adorable photo of Pete which I snapped outside the Bella Vista cafe, and I used the other side to frame a sequence of shots that I took of Edward while I was holding him. He looks so cute in those photos, that I simply couldn’t leave them out.

How were the photos taken and processed?
All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera. About 80% the photos were processed using VSCO Cam on my iPhone. The rest were processed in Aperture on my Mac using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset.

Favourite photo(s) from Week 21?
My two favourites from this week are actually both of still life: the one of the fern and the succulents at the bottom right of the first page, and the one of the morning lighting in our corridor at the bottom right of the second page. I can’t really explain why, but I’m very drawn to both those two photos.

Overall thoughts?
There’s a certain richness and depth about this week’s spread that really speaks to me. I think it’s a combination of the colours and lighting in some of the photos and the journalling that I’ve actually included. I know I’ve definitely been through a phase of having very few words in our Project Life album, so I’m excited to see where this new stage will take me. I’m also quite proud of the fact that all six of us are included in different places throughout this spread.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 8×10 vertical page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

Project Life, Week 15

What happened in Week 15?
This was the week before my induction date with Edward. I was thrown a ‘surprise’ baby shower by ladies from my church (‘surprise’ being in air quotes because Rick actually had to tell me about it, in order to convince me to leave the house that night), and both his mum and my mum came over that day to spend time with the boys. I made the most of my last one-on-day day with Jamie by taking him out to Dee Why for a lunch date at our favourite cafe. I distinctly remember ordering gyozas (for me), banana bread (for him), a banana smoothie (for me) and a babycino (for him) – clearly, we went all out. We also shared some extra special family cuddles that week, including a Monday morning with all of us cocooned under the doona together. There was also our last visit to see my obstetrician, an fun family dinner at Kam Fook Chinese Restaurant and a pre-baby date night for Rick and myself the night before the induction. It was such a wonderful week and just looking at the Project Life spread now makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Number of pages and inserts?
Just the usual two page layout for Week 15, along with three 8×10 vertical inserts. I used the inserts to include the head shots of Rick and myself from my maternity series that week, a ‘selfie’ of the five of us in bed together and photos that I took on our date night.

How were the photos taken and processed?
All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera. About half the photos were processed using VSCO Cam on my iPhone. The rest were processed in Aperture on my Mac using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset.

Favourite photo(s) from Week 15?
My favourites definitely include the photos of us in bed together – both the one in the title card and and the black and white one shown in the second insert (see image below). I also love the second and fourth 3×4 photos on the second page (see image above). The second image is one that I captured as we were leaving the hospital for the final time, and the fourth photo was taken as Rick and I sat at our table during our date, looking out the window onto the beach at night. The lights in the chandelier behind us were reflected in the glass of the window, making for a rather abstract photo. Both these 3×4 photos take me back to those two separate moments.

Overall thoughts?
I love the gorgeous blue tones of the various photos against the lovely neutral palette. The two-page spread feels rather calm and serene to me, and that is exactly what that week before Edward’s arrival was like.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 8×10 vertical page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

Did you know that last Saturday was National/International Scrapbooking Day? To celebrate, the 2013 Project Life Creative Team shared their favourite tips and layouts in this video which you can see on Becky’s blog. I can’t bear to watch my bit (seriously do not like seeing myself on camera), but I loved seeing the other lovely ladies! Apparently I have an Australian accent, but I’ll let you be the judge. Anyway, as the video clip was due just a week after I came out of the hospital with Edward, I had neither time nor headspace to actually share a useful tip. So to make up for it, I thought I’d share ten (actually, eleven) tips in this post about how to keep Project Life stress-free, easy and, therefore, fun!

1) Just do it. Try not to over-think the process, or the final result. Remember that if you really don’t like a spread, you can always re-do it later on. Chances are, a few weeks down the track, you’ll probably forget about whatever qualms you had about a certain page or layout and instead, you’ll simply be thankful for the fact that you actually documented your precious memories.

2) Keep it simple. You don’t have to use a multitude of embellishments to make your pages special. The whole point of Becky’s core kits (and mini kits) is to take the work out of it for you. Choose your favourite photos from the week, choose the cards from the kit(s) you have that work best with the colours in your photos, do some journalling (by hand or digitally), print your photos (and cards if you’re working digitally), and slip them into the pockets! At the end of the day, all you really need are images and words. Isn’t that what memory keeping is all about?

3) Allocate time each week to work on the previous week’s layout. This is one of the best ways to turn your Project Life efforts into a weekly habit! Work out how much time you take approximately to complete one week’s layout from beginning to end. Then try to schedule in that amount of time during the week. Maybe it’s when you have a day off from university, or maybe it’s during the evening when the kids are asleep, or maybe it’s over the weekend sometime when your partner is at home to help with the children. If you don’t have one big block of time, then you could try scheduling two smaller blocks of time. For me, I use Monday evenings to select photos, edit them where necessary and add my journalling/text directly onto the photos. I also layout any inserts I plan to include during that time. On Wednesday evenings, I print out the photos and slip them into the page protectors. This way, I only have to focus on one part of the entire process at a time, and therefore more inclined to dive into it.

4) Don’t stress about nailing your ‘style.’ Rest assured it will evolve over time. In fact, I don’t think it’s realistic to develop a ‘perfect’ style and expect it to always remain the same. Your style will change as you change, as you learn different techniques and as your photography style changes. I’ve only been doing Project Life for over a year, and I’ve noticed that my pages now look and feel quite different to when I first started. But I’m okay with that, because I know that my style a year ago was a true reflection of me at the time. In fact, I like the fact that my pages looked different back then – it makes me feel all the more nostalgic for that period in my life and our family’s life. I’m sure that in a year’s time, my style will be different to what it looks like now, and that’s good too.

5) Don’t compare your layouts to other people’s layouts. Sometimes there can be a fine line between being inspired by other people’s work and having it negatively impact on your confidence in your own memory keeping efforts. Be inspired, for sure, but don’t let it leave you feeling bad about what you’re doing. Remember, your style is your own, and should be a reflection of who you are.

6) Don’t worry too much about taking ‘perfect’ photos. A photo doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ in a technical sense for it to be a powerful photo. Some of my favourite photos are blurry and out of focus. Focus instead on capture the moment. After all, it’s those moments that will tell the story in years to come.

7) Use your phone camera and don’t feel bad about it. I know I say this a lot, but my iPhone camera is my favourite camera, over and above my DSLR. It’s the one I have with me all the time, which means it’s the one that allows me to capture moments as they happen. Plus, the quality is great, and all the wonderful apps available mean you can have your favourite photos processed/edited even before they hit your computer. I’m not saying don’t use your DLSR, but what I am saying is that you shouldn’t feel like your layouts are somehow inferior if most of your photos are taken with your phone camera.

[click to continue…]

Project Life, Week 10

Life at home with Edward Bear has just been gorgeous. We’ve settled into a nice routine, and even though we are not getting as much sleep as before, I am absolutely loving every moment of it. Part of me still can’t believe that this sweet little guy is ours! I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting baby updates on the blog, but if you’re interested in seeing more photos, feel free to follow along on Instagram.

Onto Project Life. Would you believe that I actually completed Week 15 whilst in hospital? Because most of my weekly process is done on the laptop, it was pretty much a no-brainer since I had my Macbook Pro with me the whole time (yes, I am that woman). It was actually really lovely spending some of my quiet time in the evenings looking through photos of the boys and Rick, as it reminded me of how truly blessed I am. But anyway, this post is about Week 10, and as always, you can click on the images for a larger version.

What happened in Week 10?
I was 34 weeks pregnant and doing my best to get into a disciplined diet to control my gestational diabetes (hence the ham on toast, and the salmon with soba). Jamie and I enjoyed a lovely one-on-one date on Wednesday, when both Angus and Pete were at preschool (even if it was only a coffee date at our local carwash cafe). We transformed the older boys’ room with the new bunk bed, which the boys were simply giddy about. And to celebrate, Rick and I drank our first homemade iced coffee of the season.

Anything special about the photos?
Half the photos were processed using the VSCO Cam app on my iPhone. The rest were processed in Aperture on my Mac using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset. All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S.

Favourite photo(s) from the week?
Again, I have a number of favourites: the shot of my bare belly in the title card; the photo of Jamie with his babycino at the car wash cafe (I just adore his blissful expression; and definitely the black and white one of me and the boys trying to take a ‘selfie.’

Overall thoughts?
I love the small pops of colour throughout this spread – for example, the stripy rug, my bangles, and the boys’ blue t-shirts.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

* * *

Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative.)

What happened in Weeks 8 and 9?
Pete turned three in Week 8, and went to preschool for the first time on the same day! Thankfully, because it was a Wednesday, it meant that Angus could be there with him. It brought me such joy to see them go into school together and to watch Angus lead Pete around and show him where everything was, and what he needed to do. After dropping the older boys off, Jamie and I had our first proper one-on-date cafe date with each other, and we both had the loveliest time. He also had fun moving brightly coloured stools around at the library afterwards. We had a birthday party for Pete that weekend. Week 9 was Rick’s birthday, and we celebrated as a family by treating ourselves to a delicious lunch at a local cafe.

Number of pages and inserts?
Week 8 had about seven 8×10 vertical inserts. Three of these held photos from Pete’s first day of preschool (the below image shows one of these inserts), and our small at-home birthday celebration later that afternoon, and four of these contained photos from his birthday party. No inserts for Week 9.

Anything special about the photos?
About a third of the photos were processed using VSCO Cam on my iPhone. The rest were processed in Aperture on my Mac using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset. Only two photos in the main spreads were taken with my DSLR – the one of the vanilla birthday cupcakes and the photo of Pete with the chocolate cupcake. The rest were iPhone photos.

Favourite photo(s) from Weeks 8 and 9?
I have a number of favourites from these two weeks: the black and white photo of Angus and Pete’s silhouettes in the garage as they prepare to leave for preschool (Week 8, page 1), the snapshot of Jamie with the babycino (Week 8, page 2) is precious to me because it’s rare that we have such quality time together; the one of Pete with the chocolate moustache is a total classic (also Week 8, page 2), and the portrait of the three boys on Rick’s birthday (Week 9, page 2).

Overall thoughts?
I like how the black and white photos balance out the orange and brown hues across the pages. I’m also really happy I made sure I documented Pete’s first day of preschool, as I think I would’ve been quite sad had I not taken any photos to remember the occasion.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 8×10 vertical page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

* * *

Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

As I explained in this post about my memory-keeping framework for the boys, before I discovered Project Life, I kept more of a standard ‘scrapbook’ for Angus and Pete after their first year. (You can read about Pete’s 2nd year scrapbook here, as well as the process I followed for updating it.) After I discovered Project Life, I weighed up the pros and cons of switching, and in the end decided it would be the way to go. A year or so later, I’m still perfectly happy with my decision.

I switched Angus over to the Project Life album at the beginning of his fourth year, and I switched Pete at the beginning of his third year. Because I hadn’t yet started a scrapbook for Jamie, I simply started a Project Life album for him after I finished his first year journal, namely at the beginning of his second year. (If you are considering ‘switching’ yourself, I think it helps to a definitive ‘cut-off’ date, as it just helps to make the process simpler and more straightforward.)

Which brings me to the present day. Each of the three boys have their own Project Life album. This is where I document their everyday lives, store my favourite photos of them, record their funny quotes and sayings and document important milestones in their life such as their birthdays and their first day(s) at preschool. Our family PL album is about our journey and our life as a family, as told through my eyes. The boys’ PL albums are about them specifically – something which they can take away with them when they move out (if they wish). In their company, I refer to these albums “their books.” It is my hope that over the years, I will take the time with each boy to look through ‘his book’ and to reminisce, laugh and remember together.

(You can click on each of the images below for a larger version.)

As i’ve mentioned before, I update these albums on a monthly basis. Because there are three (and soon-to-be four) of them, I allocate one week each month to each of the boys’ albums. And by ‘one week,’ I really only mean a couple of hours on a Thursday morning when my parents are around at our place to play with the boys. I’ve learnt that if I have a time limit that I have to work within, I tend to work a lot faster and not waste time.

The images you see here are from Pete’s Project Life album. It begins with the layouts I put together to document his 2nd birthday. Similarly, Angus’ album begins with his 3rd birthday, and Jamie’s begins with his 1st birthday (since he never had a 2nd year scrapbook like the others). I figure their birthday parties are a great way to ‘kick off’ the albums, and it also means that I don’t need a title page. So for the first 12×12 page (shown immediately above), I simply dive straight into the photos from the rest of the birthday month.

The Becky Higgins 8×10 vertical page protectors are simply perfect for the birthday party layouts, in my opinion. Not only do they sit really well at the front of the album, they don’t droop and they are a great size – big enough to allow for lots of flexibility in design but small enough to be clearly distinguishable from the main page layouts. I’ll write more about my process and thinking behind their birthday party layouts in a further post.

Each month begins with a title card, much like the weekly title cards in our family album. The rest of the pockets in the layout are then filled with my favourite photos of that boy for the month. These are a combination of everyday moments, portraits, funny captures, events and special occasions. I’m quite flexible in terms of how many pages each month takes up – it doesn’t even need to be an even or odd number, since I can easily just start the next month on a new page, whether or not it is a left hand page or a right hand page.

As a general rule though, I try not to go over 8 pages (ie. 4 spreads) per month, and I’ve found that for most months, I’ve been able to cover a whole month in about 4-6 pages. This of course comes down to being very brutal with my photo selection. Like our family albums, I’ve only really used the Becky Higgins Design A page protectors so far for the boys’ albums. If I really want to include extra photos, I can easily add inserts.

Apart from photos, I also print out the journaling that Rick and I have done for that boy for that month. My system for journaling is very simple. In Simplenote, I have a separate note for each child named Jamie’s journal, Angus’ journal, etc. Throughout the month, we add to these notes using either my laptop or my iPhone with funny things the boys have said or things that they’ve done that we feel are worth writing down. Usually we do this at the end of the day on my MacBook Air as part of getting ready for bed, but sometimes, I will also record things during the day when it happens.

By sticking to this system, we’ve managed to document a decent amount of things in writing for all the boys so far. Of course, there are definitely months when we’ve been extra busy and journaling has fallen by the wayside, but the important thing is not to stress about what we fail to record, and be thankful for what we do manage to document. I also love the fact that both Rick and I contribute to the journalling. His writing voice is quite different to mine, and it’s awesome to have his perspective as their dad recorded in this way. I think the boys will really appreciate reading their dad’s words when they’re older. For all the journaling inserts, I use the Becky Higgins 6×12 vertical page protectors.

To mark the end of the year 2012, I added a special 6×4 journaling card to each of the boys’ albums (shown in the bottom left pocket above) in which I wrote a special message to each of them, mentioning highlights and how I’ve enjoyed and cherished watching them grow up and change that year. I also filled up the rest of the page with photos taken specifically on New Year’s Eve (and a couple the day before). This served somewhat as an ‘end page’ for the year, and I think this is a tradition I’ll continue for future years.

In terms of the actual binder itself, I’ve been using this Modern 12×12 binder from American Craft because I like it’s simplicity and the fact that I can choose to customise the cover down the track if I wanted to. (I’m also a big fan of the Kraft design.) The wonderful thing about the workflow and structure that I’ve adopted is that I don’t actually have to start a new binder for each year. My intention is to keep filling up each binder with the boys’ birthday parties layouts and all the subsequent months of that year and to keep doing this on repeat. When a binder runs out of space, I will buy a new one. By using this flexible approach, it means I can potentially document two years (or more) of, say, Pete’s life in the one binder.

I hope this was a helpful overview of my boys’ Project Life albums. I know it’s been a long time coming. Further down the track, I’ll write about my monthly process in a greater detail, and I’ll try to also zoom in on some of the smaller details of the layouts. From then on, I plan to share some of my favourite layouts from their albums each month.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
How I manage my time
How I manage my projects
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

Project Life, Week 7

Thank you all for your kind words in response to my post yesterday. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, right now. I know that the next three weeks will go by quickly, and even if they’re uncomfortable and painful, it will be worth it.

What happened in Week 7?
We took the boys out to a good friend’s birthday party at Bondi and stayed out till 9.30pm. It was probably one of the latest nights they’d ever been out, and they had an absolute blast (Jamie, as usual, had made himself the centre of attention by the end of the night.) Both Rick and I kicked off our bible study groups for the year; we bought new dinosaur and train underpants for the older boys; and we finished off our family day on Friday with nuggets and rissoles down at Dee Why beach.

Number of pages and inserts?
Week 7 was again a simple 2 page layout using Becky Higgins Design A page protectors.

Anything special about the photos?
Just the same as usual. All the photos were taken on my iPhone 4S. After I imported them in Aperture, I processed them all using the VSCO Film 01 Kodak Portra 800+ preset. One thing I did do was to duplicate the photo of Pete walking along the sand (the third 3×4 photo below) and crop it to a 6×4 photo that emphasised the light from the sunset and I placed this photo in the top 6×4 pocket. You almost can’t tell it’s the same photo, unless you look really closely.

Favourite photos from this week?
I love the photo of my tummy, the one of the three boys rumbling on the couch (though it looks more like they’ve all crashed asleep in the same spot) and the photo of Rick and Jamie on the floor. So cute.

Overall thoughts?
I like the pops of yellow throughout the two pages, which I feel helps to tie the spread together. Also, I’m really glad I made the effort to document our picnic dinner down at the beach, as it turned out to be our last beach dinner for the summer.

Supplies used?
Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MG6360 Pixma using genuine Canon ink.

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.