Monday, June 16, 2014

Project Life meets Summer 2014

I'm changing things up with my Project Life this summer. Don't get me wrong. I still adore this hobby oh so much. I just want to take a slightly different approach to it the next few months.

Why? Three reasons :

1. I want to try Project Life in a Handbook. I love this size. I have a few on hand, including the new South of Market one that I love so much. I have a ton of page protectors in a variety of sizes. I think it will be fun to document our summer - the moments and the events - in this format and not stress about week numbers.

2. I'm giving myself permission to do less - in many aspects of life - this summer. I can't imagine a time when I won't be doing Project Life, but I do think it's okay to spend less time on it right now and still include the important stuff. I was super inspired by this blog post (the entire blog, really) and finding the sweet spot between having a relaxing summer and staying inspired with my scrapbooking projects. It's very likely I will print my photos, grab my Handbook and my Studio Calico kit, and scrap where my family is - on the deck, in the family room, at the kitchen table. This is one of the big reasons I love working with a kit. Other than some basic supplies, everything I need to create several fun + unique spreads is in that little box.

3. I'm unsure how my Project Life will change in the fall (if at all?) when Morgan will be back to school and Parker will be in preschool two full days a week. I imagine what I'm documenting is going to change again when it's just me, myself and I most of the time. I'm already doing school albums for the kids so I'm not looking to duplicate my work. Downsizing my Project Life and giving the Handbook a shot might help me decide which size I work best with. This is going to be an experiment for me in many ways.

So I've thought of a summer scrappy manifesto (of sorts) for myself :
Tell a story and keep it simple.

My Project Life has evolved so much in the last couple years. Once I found a rhythm in early 2012, I felt comfortable getting more creative. I experimented with techniques and products. I layered more. I added more digital elements. I learned what I like and what I don't like. These days I'm all for simple. I like adding journaling to my photos prior to printing and then adding a small embellishment to finish it off. And that's it. I like layering vellum and papers and tucking things into envelopes. I like cutting up or altering my journaling cards, or mixing pen weights when writing out a story. Done. You can be simple + creative. Yes you can.

My thought right now (before I've really even started), is that this will be a moment + event based album. Not a "this is what we did this week" album. I may even group like topics together - like people, places, things, etc. Now that I'm in a "smaller" frame of mind, I've collected some summer essentials. Here's what I'll keep on hand :
1. South of Market Handbook with a variety of page protectors.

2. Studio Calico Project Life kits of course.

3. a moleskine journal : I bought these small moleskines a couple weeks ago and decorated the front with some South of Market products - the Thickers, the plastic stars and the white alpha stickersI love how the kraft Thickers blend in with the kraft moleskine. I'm going to use it as a daily journal to note things I want to remember and include in my album, in lieu of the planning pages I usually use for my full size album. What we ate, where we went, who we saw. Depending on how much room I have left at the end of the summer, I would love to include the entire journal in the back of my Handbook. Perhaps in a page protector, an envelope or a vellum bag.

4. a memorabilia box : I spray-painted an old kit box with Valspar Color Radiance spray paint + primer from Lowe's. I love how Julie did this in her tutorial here and thought it would be a great way to hold the loose items I tend to collect each week. After three thin coats, it had covered the pattern on the box nicely. It's the perfect size but it's also big enough to hold the moleskine. I'm keeping both on my kitchen counter where I won't forget about them.

5. basic supplies : depending on what kit I'm working with, I'll gather some basics like coordinating ink padspensacrylic blocksadhesive, my date stamp, corner rounder and tiny attacher. I will also use the matching 4x6 paper pads to cut some attachers from this die to hold bags and memorabilia that don't fit in a page protector.

So that's the plan right now. At the time of this posting, it's the beginning of Week 25 and the beginning of our summer. This will be the first week in my Handbook and I'm so ready to give this a shot. Soon I'd like to share my album spine, opening page, and how I'm including our summer bucket list.


  1. Love your decision, Nicole! I'm excited to see what your summer handbook will look like :)

    1. Thank you Olya! I'm excited to get started. :)

  2. I really love this idea. I'm so looking forward to what you'll do in your handbook. After I saw your kit box in yellow, I really want to do this right now :) And I love that small moleskine. Such a good idea.

    1. Thank you Andrea! That box was so easy to spray paint. I have about 6 more empty ones on hand and am itching to get more paint colors. :)

  3. Love your idea of including the little journal.It can hold a lot of info.

    1. Yes, it will be perfect for holding just a few months! :)

  4. Can't wait to see your projects!