Friday, June 6, 2014

catching up with Project Life

Ah, Project Life, how I love you. For two+ years I've enjoyed fitting this project into my weekly schedule and I've had a pretty good track record for maintaining a "caught up" status.* Until now. As I write this post, I have six weeks of Project Life waiting to be documented in my album.

*As a side note, I like to be current. I thrive when I make time to work on my spread each week. It's become a part of my routine and I'm not debating that this works for everyone. I personally feel like I am more creative with my layouts (and I just plain enjoy it more) when I'm up to date. This is just me. Life happens and no to-do list or amount of planning can keep us from getting knocked on our butts sometimes.

Over the next few days I plan to get 3 of those 6 weeks done, fast, using the Studio Calico June Hello, Hello Project Life kit. In the past I haven't been terribly helpful with the question, "how can I get caught up?" I could only give "this is what I would do" advice and now it's time for me to follow it. Here's my plan :

1. Each Sunday (whether I plan to work on the previous week right away or not), I plan what I want to include from that week on Marcy's planning sheets. These have been a lifesaver for me and I'm so glad I have these done right now. They have been especially helpful this year because I've been using a lot of different page protector designs. When I was using just Design A, I knew I needed 7-8 4x6 photos every week (plus maybe a few 3x4). Now that I've changed it up, I need different quantities of 3x4 and 4x6. And it changes weekly. It can be time consuming planning out the whole spread ahead of time but I would much rather do it this way than shuffle photos and journaling cards around when it's time to work. Or worry after the fact that I don't have enough photos. Or waste photo paper and ink on photos I didn't use or needed to reprint because of size constraints.

2. Print the photos for each week. I do not print my photos weekly because I usually don't know what Studio Calico kit I'm going to be using. I like to add coordinating digital elements and typed journaling to my photos, so I usually wait until I'm ready to start working on the spread to print. Then I review my planning sheet and print the photos I planned on using. For this catch-up session, I printed photos for Weeks 18 through 20, plus two inserts.

3. Bust open my kits. I'll be mostly using the Hello Hello Project Life kit, but I've also picked out favorites from the Guten Tag and G'Day add-ons to supplement my spreads. I organized my cards and removed the embellishments from their packaging. You can see more about how I do that here. Narrowing down my supplies and using select cards and products will speed up the process because I won't be shuffling through my entire stash.
4. Do a mock layout. Earlier this week I cleared my kitchen table and spread out my photos. While I made a mental note of what page protector designs I was going to use each week (and knowing that what was on the right side would be the left side of the following week), I created a sample layout design for each week to make sure my photos and colors were fairly balanced. In the blank spaces I filled in with filler cards and memorabilia, as well as (again) referencing my planner page for the things I wanted to journal about. I flipped through the cards in the Hello Hello kit, looking for prompts that matched my journaling, and laid them in place. Before I picked everything up and head back to my scrap room, I took a picture of each spread with my phone so I can refer to it when I laying everything back out there.

5. Get to work. I started with Week 18 and having all of this pre-work done really helped it go together quickly. Before calling it a night, I turned the page and set-up Week 19 for my next round. My goal is to have everything complete by the end of this weekend.
6. Keep it simple. I tend to lean toward the simple side of the spectrum when it comes to Project Life, but these 3 weeks will be about as simple as it gets. Very little machine stitching (hello tiny attacher) and no added Silhouette die-cuts (I did print and cut a set of labels though). No experimenting with techniques or layering unless it's easy. Just get it done because simple is good, and so is done.

I'm saving Weeks 21-24 for my July kits and then it will be summer, when I plan to completely switch things up. More on that in a week or two.

If you have any catch-up tips, feel free to leave a comment about what has worked for you. And mojo, welcome back. Have a wonderful weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I don't have any advice, since I do PL on a monthly basis and I'm never really "behind". But I think planning and keeping it simple is key. Excited to see you catch up!