Monday, December 16, 2013

on my mind : Project Life 2014

Over the past few weeks, I've been catching up on my Project Life album, filling in a few unfinished weeks on my own, using kit contents that I hadn't gotten a chance to use in previous spreads, and just going at my own pace + doing it for me.

As I was working on them, I really started to think (and list) a few of the things I wanted to change in 2014. Next year I will be starting my third year with Project Life and I've really learned a lot about my process and what I want to get out of this endeavor. Other than the occasional mini book, this is my main form of memory keeping for my family + every week I aim to fit in as much as I can while still getting creative + experimenting with new products + techniques.
What's going to change :

1. ditch the 4x6 date card + replace it with a photo. That space has turned out to be valuable real estate in my album, so I'm going to try not having a date card on my weekly spreads next year and do a lot better with dating my photos + journaling cards. I'll continue to use the monthly dividers so I can quickly flip to a particular month if I need to.

2. add more journaling to my photos prior to printing. I've done this on and off this year, depending on how much time I had to sit and edit my photos, and I've really liked the weeks that I did. It's been especially helpful when telling longer stories. The more I can jam into each pocket, the more I can...

3. use up the fun + unique filler cards. This year's Studio Calico Project Life kits were full of one-of-a-kind cards, and I really tried to use them + not hoard them. Which also meant making room in my layouts for them. I don't want to have to leave out an important memory to do so, but I want to think outside the box a little more so I can have both. They look so much nicer in my album than in my storage box.

4. condense the year into 2 albums. This one might be pushing it. I've filled 3 albums the last two years and I really can't say why I feel like I want to fit 2014 in two albums. Shelf space? Maybe. I don't want to spend less time on Project Life, but I also, somehow someway, want to get the longer stories told in traditional layouts, in their own album. We'll see about that.

5. work current. In 2012 I worked on the previous week every Monday/Tuesday and was fairly consistent about sharing my spreads here on the blog shortly after. It kept me accountable + caught up for the most part. When I joined the Studio Calico Creative Team in 2013, I used those kits solely to create my albums and shared those on a monthly basis. I was basically working on 3-4 weeks at a time, which wasn't always ideal for my daily routine. I need to figure out the details on this, but I want to go back to weekly sharing again. Whether that means sharing my monthly kit work after reveal, or sharing spreads I've done on my own, I want to incorporate more regular Project Life posts here again in 2014.

What will stay the same :

1. weekly planning. I use a combination of a small weekly planner from Target along with Marcy Penner's Project Life planning pages to figure out what I'm going to document each week.

2. document my weeks Monday through Sunday. I like to keep my weekends together and I consider those to be the end of my week. I'm going to stick with that next year as well.

3. use a week number checklist. If you like to keep track of which week is which, I loved using this list of week numbers this year. Here is the one for 2014 if you like to know when week 23 falls. :)

4. stay organized. I can't tell you how many boxes I've gone through this year, trying to keep my card stash contained. I felt 'organized' for about 2 months and then I'd go on a manhunt again for a better system. Finally I found an unfinished wood photo box at Michaels (for 4x6 photos - duh - perfect) and added a piece of chipboard for a divider between the 3x4 cards. I love that every Project Life card I have is in this single box.
5. The Studio Calico Project Life Creative Team. I'm excited to write that I will be a part of this amazing + inspiring group of ladies again in 2014. So much awesome stuff is ahead + I'm thrilled to be a part of it. The January sneaks went live a few days ago + I am geeked that Studio Calico has added a second Project Life add-on kit to the mix. I cannot wait to get my box this afternoon!

The first Studio Calico class of 2014 is another round of this year's popular Project Life-focused class, Day by Day. The entire team is contributing with a month full of tips + tricks, details on how each one of us work on our spreads, along with videos + tutorials. I'll also be sharing ideas for those often tricky title, or album opening pages. This was mine for my first 2013 album :
Last weekend I started doing a little brainstorming, as well as gathering supplies + preparing my printables and Silhouette cuts to get started!
While supplies last, students will receive an exclusive 4x6 clear stamp set by Life.Love.Paper. I just adore Tina's stuff! This stamp set will ship free no matter where you are. And everyone who signs up will have access to a bunch of digital files - printables, cut files and digital templates. Whether you are a Project Life veteran or a newbie, this class will have something to offer to everyone. I know for me, even though I have my routine pretty down pat, I'm completely obsessed with reading about everyone's process. And with several new ladies on the Project Life team this year, I can't wait to see how they work. And what continues to work (or not work) for the rest of us. There's so much to learn + the price is a steal! You can read more about Day by Day + enroll in the class here. Registration ends on December 31st + class starts January 1st.

While I'm in the planning stages, I've also picked up my big supplies for 2014 :

a couple albums : We R Memory Keepers Faux Leather 12x12 Album in Greige. Such a nice beigey-gray. Becky Higgins Project Life albums are also really nice. I'm using those for Morgan + Parker's childhood albums.

a big pack of page protectors : I'm sticking with Design A throughout, but will be adding in other styles as inserts, as needed. You can pick these up for 50% off through the end of December if you purchase them at the same time as you enroll in the Day by Day classUse code STOCKUP50 at checkout. (Note : the page protectors + Day by Day class must both be in your cart for the code to work.) This is an amazing deal!

big envelope pages : I've been adding one of these to the back of each album, to hold loose papers that I've saved, but don't necessarily have a home within one particular week. I love being able to slip in Morgan's artwork, Parker's reward charts, newspaper clippings, birthday cards, and more.

So what about you? Are you Project Life-ing in 2014? How are you changing it up? Any newbies out there looking for tips + ideas? You can find another big round-up post I wrote this time last year here.


  1. 2014 will also be my third year doing PL and I'm so excited! It's really changed the way I document. I still do traditional 12x12 layouts, but the bulk of our daily lives is PL. I'm considering ditching the 4x6 title cards as well and doing a 3x4 title card instead with the week labeled "WK1, WK2, etc." I saw Amy Tan do this and thought it was a great way to use up some Thickers in those two letters that don't get too much use around here. This may also force me to take more pictures and get them in the album, or just use some the awesome 4x6 cards I have. Can't wait to see you in class!

  2. I"m a Project Life newbie and plan on working on an album for 2014 but also want to use the sample scrapping style to go back and scrap a few of my recent vacations. I put the Day One app on my phone to remind me to document a little something every day.

  3. LOVE that PL card organizer. We're moving in about a month or so, but once I figure out where my new craft spot will be, I'm definitely going to be organizing my cards in a similar way.

    So excited to start my third year of Project Life!

  4. I'm a PL newbie for 2014 and I've already changed card organization methods 3 times. I'm having fun so far and just enjoying the process of scrapping as life happens. Thanks for your tips.

    1. Yeah - welcome! I think organizing my supplies is one of my favorite parts. ;)

  5. I just started PL but really wanted to incorporate it with my 12x12 layouts. I'm trying I do this with my 2012 WDW vacation but have run I to difficulty blending both styles in an album. Do you keep your PL album separate from your regular albums?

    1. Hi Kathy! Yes, for the most part I keep my regular layouts separate from my PL album. Sometimes I'll do an insert, like for this week - I like that the insert is smaller than 12x12 so you can see the next page beyond it. Maybe that would help you feel like your WDW album flows more? Just a thought. :)

  6. I'm a PL newbie...several sets and mini kits...nothing put in plastic pages yet! I found a great CTMH medium storage box to put all my PL cards into...and group them by color as I saw on a great video but can't quite make myself take them out of their nice PL boxes yet...I have been working on organizing my craft room and it's doing well...also trying to figure out the best way to print smaller photos for PL ...overwhelmed but excited!!

  7. I love the I'm bringing cozy back" printable...but it's no longer on that site. Any idea where I can still find it? Thanks!!

    1. It's a LifeLovePaper design. Perhaps you can contact Tina about it.