This is my second year of Project Life. I love my 2012 album, for it's stories, it's capture of the details, for the documentation of the everyday stuff that makes our family unique.
I'm excited about continuing the project in 2013, and have some plans to approach it a bit differently this time around, which I describe in more detail below in this post. But first, without further ado, here are my first 3 weeks of 2013.
I learned a lot last year. I learned some really big things, like what want for myself and my family at this stage of our lives. I also learned a bit about more tactical things, like photography, Photoshop Elements, printing photos, and my personal style. As I start the 2013 album, I'd like these learnings to come together for a slightly different take on the project.
Here are 3 key learnings from 2012 and implications for my 2013 album.
Learning #1) This album is for me. While my family does appreciate my Project Life efforts, and occasionally flips through my binder, I am realizing that I am really the primary beneficiary of this album. I do it for the me-of-the-future, so that I have a record of our lives (and to help compensate for my terrible memory.) And more importantly, I do it for the me-of-RIGHT-NOW. I find that working on the spreads gives me a chance to focus on the positive in my life, focus on what I'm grateful for, and also practice my writing, design, and photography skills. It also gives me a reason to write down what I'm thinking about, and writing helps me develop my thinking and learn. Even if nobody but me ever looked at these books, they would still be worth it. WAY WORTH IT.
Implication #1) I'm going to embrace the fact that I am the primary audience for this album, and make it more centered around my personal growth journey. I find that writing and journaling and photos and creative challenges are really helping me to grow and explore in the ways that I want to this year, and the flexibility of the PL system gives me an opportunity to document and express this journey in physical form, which I find very satisfying. I feel slightly guilty at the thought that I might not focus as much on my family in this album.... but that leads to Learning #2:
Learning #2: This album doesn't have to be the only documentation of our family. There are lots of fun things you can do with photos these days to share and preserve the family story.
Implication #2: I'm not going to feel pressure to include every event, or every cute picture, in my Project Life album. I'm going to trust that I will find other ways to enjoy and share and preserve our family photos, and I'm going to allow the Project Life album to be a highly curated and highly personal expression of my own experience of this year. Sometimes just one or two really great photos is better than a whole page of okay photos. (Or, at least that's what I'm telling myself right now. Time will tell whether I can resist the urge to put them all in.)
Learning #3: I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty page. When it all comes together, perhaps with a common color theme, or a repeated design element, the pages can look great. Most of the time in 2012, I didn't have the time or the talent/skills to pull it off, though I got better with practice.
Implication #3: I'm going to challenge myself to create more cohesive pages that I enjoy looking at, and that help me advance my graphics, color, layout, font, photography and overall design skills. That said, I'm also fully prepared to forgive myself when I am rushed or not in the mood. I will err on the side of getting it done, over making it beautiful. But I am hoping to increase my percentage of "pretty" over 2012. (The Seafoam kit is going to help a lot.)
So, in practical terms, here's an overview of how I plan to use the divided pockets in my 2013 album:
Date Card: I adore the large week circles September Blue offered as a free download, so I'm going to start off with these, on top of the Seafoam kit date cards.
Goals: I'm going to dedicate one of the 4x6 slots to my weekly goals. I really enjoyed writing goals each week on the blog last fall. But going forward, I don't think the world needs to see them every week (not because they're secret, but just because they're just not very interesting to anybody but me.) So, I won't be publishing them every Monday on the blog but I will write them, and I'm going to use my Project Life album as my "publishing platform." Writing and publishing the goals helped me to hold myself accountable in 2012, and I want to continue this practice, but in this new format. I created my own goals template, using the Seafoam Kit digital papers.
like Cathy Zilske does. I created my own version of her template, using the Seafoam kit digital papers.
Photos: I'll chose just a few of the best photos of the week to include, sometimes with some text overlay headlines or journaling. The "shine on" in the example above is from Ali Edwards.
Journaling: In addition to using the journaling cards to explain or complement the photos, I'm going to use these slots to include lists and writing based on journaling prompts I explore on my own or on my blog. I will use a combination of hand written cards, using the Seafoam 3x4 cards, and some of my own that I will make up in Photoshop, like the one above.
Here is another look at the album as it stands so far, all together.
And I've got Week Four started. I wrote up the goals for this week while I was finishing up my Week Three page last night, and slipped it into it's spot.
A week awaits....
I'm linking up with The Mom Creative today.