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.
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.
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 :
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 class. Use 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.