Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Project Life Childhood Album : Morgan : Preschool Part 1

Over the last few weeks I've been organizing Morgan's preschool photos and stuff so I could get her childhood / school album started. I'm excited to have it caught up to current and finally share it here!
Some items to note before I start on this photo heavy post.
  1. I'm keeping this album very simple and for the 2012-13 school year I'm using the Mayfield Childhood Mini Kit and almost nothing else. I'm embracing this super cute kit and using it as it was meant to be. I can't tell you how wonderfully stress-free and enjoyable it's been! You know I really enjoy being creative with the Studio Calico Project Life kits, but this has been a rather refreshing twist on putting together an album quickly (and it still looks great). In these pages I did use a little washi, a small paper clip to keep a few cards/photos together, as well as a veneer heart.
  2. The majority of the pages are Design A format but I'm also using a variety of other styles which I'll note as I go along.
  3. The 8 1/2 x 11 pages will eventually be replaced with the Becky Higgins page protectors for uniformity. Right now I'm in 'use what I have' mode and slipped a few things in some letter size page protectors from the office supply store.
  4. I don't have these pages in an album yet but plan to purchase a few of the Classic Blush (pink) albums when they are available this spring.
  5. I normally don't print when I hand journal but I'm trying to do that in this album and stay consistent so that it's easy for Morgan to read, when she's able to.
  6. I filled in the pages chronologically but some have several topics/events in one layout.
  7. Not every photo has a matching journaling card and vice versa.
  8. This album could be a lot more heavy on preschool projects and artwork (I have included some) but her teachers have been keeping 90% of what the kids make for a book that they make and give the parents at the end of the year.
Opening page : includes photos from her first day of school and her 'meet the teacher' event the week before. I stitched the name tag she wore the first couple weeks of school to a 4x6 journaling card.
Getting into the school routine, including eating lunch at school. The 'Mommy loves Morgan' card is one of the notes I put in her lunch at the beginning of the year. Conveniently, on a 3x4 grid journaling card. :) This spread also holds her official school photo inside a 5x7 page protector and a bit about their first fundraiser.
Closeup of the left side :
On the back of her school picture is a trimmed down drawing from last fall. The opposite side is a copy of their daily schedule the teachers gave us at the beginning of the year.
One of the first big events this year was the Fall, Friends and Family Pumpkin Hunt. The entire right side below is dedicated to that. The yellow page was the kids scavenger hunt sheet that I cut down to fit in the pockets.
Closeup of the right side :
The next spread is about Halloween, their class party and a magic show at school last fall. The letter sized page was from Morgan's conferences :
Closeup of left side :
November + Thanksgiving here. I needed photos to fill in the pages and chose to use ones taken here at home. The only school event was her first field trip and the backside of the letter sized insert was a handprint turkey she made. LOVE her description of how to cook a turkey. :)
Closeup of right side :
December + all things Christmas. Includes their winter concert and gingerbread decorating event.
Closeup of left side. I needed an extra 3x4 card here and asked Morgan to draw something on a grid journaling card to go with this spread. She made music notes - perfect, yes?
The inserts here include the invitation to their concert, a gingerbread book they made in class and program from the concert. The small booklets on the left (below) are actually slipped into a 6x12 page protector and I trimmed off a few inches from the top :
The lyrics to Frosty the Snowman were included with the concert program so I slipped them in the backside here. She was the star of the show (and quite proud of it) with that song. :)
Closeup of the right side. This is a Design A page protector cut in half vertically (although I know they make this style to purchase, Design H - again, just using what I have) and is all about the gingerbread cookie decorating party in her classroom after the concert. Morgan drew a cookie for me on a 4x6 grid card for this insert :
And the back :
Here it is in context :
Next page - more drawings and photos. She loves to write her name on everything and I'm so happy to have a lot of that throughout. This spread is about her love of dancing and dressing up, and the "Beach Day" they had at school in January :  
Closeup of right side. Aren't the prompt journaling cards perfect?
Next spread is pretty general about her daily school routine, a couple drawings and some photos. This was also around Inauguration Day when they learned about the President, American flag and talked about patterns. I included her flag painting as an insert :
Closeup of the left side :
The back of the flag painting is a black + white copy of her letter to President Obama. Each child was asked to fill in a question to ask him (with the help of the teacher) and draw a picture to match.
On the right is the first envelope (a tall envelope page) I've included for this year. It holds the Valentine's Morgan received from her teachers and classmates. I asked her to fill in the blank journaling card (with a little spelling help from Mommy) :
This last page takes us just about up to present time, Valentines Day and winter activities. She's been all about reading and learning new words so I used the appropriate prompt cards from the kit here as well.
Closeup of the right side. Curious about her costume in the top right photo? She's wearing her Snow White dress with a black skirt on her head (as black hair) and a headband "like the real Snow White." Fancy, right?
That's it for now. I'll do another update after school is out in June with the rest of the year. You can read part two here. I haven't counted the cards that are remaining but just by looking at the box, I've put a big dent in the mini kit, using close to half of the cards. It's been a simply perfect way to document Morgan's year in preschool.

As I continue through the rest of the year, my plan is to print photos and fill out journaling cards "as it happens." I print my photos for my family Project Life album every week, so if I see that I've taken a picture that will also fit well in Morgan's school album, I will just print it with that batch rather than going back several months like I did here to start her album. Although it didn't take that long to get these spreads done, just a few hours total, I think this will be a simpler process for me since I print so often anyways. It will also make it easier for me to see where I need to find "filler" material, like drawings and artwork, where appropriate, and match the photos with the journaling or prompt cards if I want.

Thanks so much for looking and feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below!


  1. Love this. Great job. Your blog is one of my favorites. Love all the projects you do. Thanks.

  2. Wow, it looks great , she'll treasure this I am sure. Well done !

  3. Love the Snow White "wig". Your snowman family is adorable!

  4. This is fantastic. I may have to go back and actually make my older kids a pre-school album. Out of three only two have any kind of preschool album and that is only for one year.

  5. This is so awesome Nicole! I love how much stuff you've kept, I need to remember to do this and get busy in S's book.

  6. great album!! feel inspired to get started on my little guys preschool album.

    Thanks for sharing! Love it!

  7. love!! i have all my son's stuff in a pile ready to go...thank you for the inspiration! one question...if you did have more artwork/schoolwork to include would you include all of it? i have SO much and am finding it difficult to pick :)

    1. Thank you Mindy! If I had more artwork or schoolwork to include, I definitely wouldn't add it all - only my absolute favorites that I knew I'd want to keep the original. I totally understand about it being hard to choose what to keep. :) My daughter draws a lot and I've been photographing everything for the last several months - in hopes of making a photobook, or scaling them down to fit into PL pockets.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing - I am really needing some inspiration to get started on my kids albums - I have a box of drawings and school things (each child - 3 in school so far!) that I need to start putting into albums!! IT looks wonderful!