project life | 2012 is here!

I had a really nice final day of the year yesterday. My husband pulled a 24 hour shift at work so it was just the little Millers and me. I had promised them a showing of Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked which of course, they thought was hilarious. Then we stopped by my parents for a bit and were sent home with sparkling cider and a platter of candy. =D Around 5pm, we did sandwiches for dinner and started our movie marathon. Each kid got to pick a flick, some choosing more than one. We watched Tangled, Gnomeo and Juliet, Curious George 2, Princess Protection Program and some Dr. Seuss stuff. Thanks Netflix streaming!

While the kids were watching movies, I finished my book that I had just started (a quick, breezy read) and worked on my cover page for Project Life. I am pretty excited about this new memory-keeping adventure and I plan to share occasional progress here. I’ve never done Project Life before but I’ve been scrapbooking for over a decade and completed two successful Project 365 years (I took a photo a day for a year + journaled on each one in both 2009 and 2010! 2011 was my year to take a breather).

Before I continue on about Project Life, I thought I would share my New Year’s goals which are basically minimal. My husband asked me the night before what my “resolutions” are for 2012. Silly man. I don’t make resolutions. They are goals we put into place and how often are they broken? Very often. Instead, I choose to keep a low-expectation goal or two and I don’t even care to start them on January 1st. Why can’t we start them whenever we want?! Anyway, I plan to keep going with my running, although I don’t mind taking it easy in our colder Winter months, stay on top of bill-paying and hopefully saving and maybe getting back on track with some healthy eating / point-counting. All things I would do normally, whether it’s the 1st or not. And then there’s Project Life.

My printer has been acting funky lately so I decided to order a few prints for a Target pick-up today, just to get the ball rolling. I designed them in Photoshop, dropped them on a 4×6 canvas and ordered! It was super-easy and even easy enough to arrange the two smaller pocket pictures on one 4×6 canvas. Here’s one of my larger images with our family stamp on it (swiped from my Christmas card envelope template that I designed last year. Love this thing!)

(That’s one of my family pictures from my session with M4H this Fall. <3 I did crop it a bit myself.)

Here are two of the smaller 3×4 cards that I dropped onto a 4×6 canvas, printed and cut apart.

Of course, I am willing to accept the fact that I may need to re-print the yellow card as the year progresses. Maybe album one will be too full by the end of April. Who knows. I just put May 31st there as a loose guideline for now.

Here is my cover page. This is one reason I love digital scrapbooking: I can’t stand taking a picture of a finished paper page. The plastic glare on my oldest daughter’s face is killing me but here it is anyway.

I fully admit to swiping this adorable idea on the bottom-left card.

Rounded corners. I’m now obsessed!

I compiled a list of handy links last night that I wanted to share here in this entry. Like I said, I’ve never done Project Life per say, but I’m an avid photographer (duh!), scrapbooker and all around memory keeper so I have a pretty good idea of where this thing is going. Here are just a few notes from my desk:

– First, lets start with an intro to Project Life in case you have no idea what I am talking about: CLICK ME! For everyone thinking that this seems like a lot of work, or more work than P365, I really don’t think it is. It’s scrapbooking in it’s most basic form. No fancy layouts (I still plan on creating those by the way!), just photos and journaling. The smaller pockets on some of the page protectors leave room for tags, receipts, smaller pictures, etc. The main photos are all 4×6 so you can really have those printed anywhere (or print at home). There are fun-sized page protectors that allow you to include different items that I am pretty excited to have a place for now. Maybe a paper the kids wrote for school, art project, report card…

– I’ve had my binder and page protectors sitting here forever. I originally bought them last year because I planned to go back and scrap photos from 2003 forward. Hasn’t happened yet. I went ahead and ordered the Amber cards from Amazon and am waiting on those to arrive. I don’t plan on using *just* the Amber kit however. I’ve always been more of a bold, brightly colored, mish mash sort of scrapper. I am going to just include whatever colors I want and let the photos dictate where I am going because well, rules in art are boring. :)

– I also went ahead and downloaded some digital goodies last night. I created my cover page using the Cobalt cards from Jessica Sprague. You can find all of the Project Life pieces in digital format right HERE.

– Of course, inspiration from Ali Edwards in a must!

– GlueStickGirl has a TON of info in this post here. Check it out!

– I had a great time using Cathy Zielske’s clean and simple templates when I created my Disney album this past Summer. I plan on pulling from her designs and hopefully incorporating some layouts in with my binder. I really love these fun 6×12 sheets and I happen to already have 6×12 page protectors sitting unused. No clue why I bought that size last year. I think the scrap gods were sending me subliminal messages regarding participating in Project Life in 2012. Or not. But maybe they were…

– My friend Jenn, who is an awesome source of Project Life inspiration by the way, linked me to this free printable. Journaling Card Print Guide by Paislee Press You can arrange your text in Photoshop and print right on your cards!

– If you are on Pinterest, you’ll see that I created a pinboard for Project Life inspiration. I love visual stimulation. :)

– The girls at The LilyPad have a forum going with all Project Life chit chat. Pop in!

– As for scrap supplies, I am really keeping it minimal which will be key to sticking with this. I will order my prints either from my lab, Persnickety Prints or Shutterfly with one hour pick-up at Target or CVS if I am wanting them in a pinch. I’ll try to keep up with ordering prints and journaling weekly but I won’t know how that will pan out until the project gets going. I will print cards at home using the template linked to above, having designed and arranged the text in in Photoshop. I’ll print using the digital versions of the journaling cards I have bought and downloaded or my “real paper” Amber cards. I will try to incorporate my own handwriting as well as have the kids do a bit of journaling here and there (less pressure on me plus a great keepsake of their childhood handwriting for them!) I don’t plan to go too hybrid by adding scrap embellishments on top of everything post-printing. I just don’t have the hybrid scrapper gene and I don’t want my albums to get too bulky.

I found the above list on Becky Higgins’ site and I wanted to pass it along. I am so excited to start!

Check-in if you are planning to tackle Project Life this year! Lets all keep inspiring one another so we make it to the last day of December with fun albums to show-off. :)

Random facts about this entry:

The terms Project Life was used 13 times in this entry, including the title but not including the Becky Higgins’ text piece.

The word excited was used 3 times although it felt like more which is why I decided to count it in the first place.

I added in 4 smiley faces along the way, one being a big open-mouthed smiley because I was really excited about the candy.

Excited was now used 4 times.

Lastly, I decided to scrap last night to get the ball rolling for the new year. And a fellow digital designer released an awesome slip-in pocket-style template that’s free (seriously, go grab it!). So I created my first layout for 2012 with a Project Life twist, even though I am doing my Project Life books the paper, non-digital way. This is not going in my Life album. This is one for the scrapbooks. Confused as I am? I am nothing if not confusing to myself, scatterbrained, eclectic and completely all over the place when it comes to my art. =P

Photoshoot In Mystic

credits can be found right HERE






10 responses to “project life | 2012 is here!”

  1. Claire Avatar

    Looks like a brilliant start! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  2. Tamara S (tsmspt) Avatar
    Tamara S (tsmspt)

    Great post Gina–and I have to say Thank you to your kids for going along with everything too, because I always enjoy reading about your family and the great pictures that you take of them! (though in this case-this was a great birthday present to yourself). Project Life: Ready or not: Her we come!

  3. Emily M. Avatar
    Emily M.

    Love your title page Gina!! Can’t wait to see your pages as the year progresses!!

  4. Ang Avatar

    Are you going with mostly one type of page protector? (Like style A) or going full out variety? I cant decide if I should just pick one style just to make it easier, more routine so therefore a better chance of sticking with it.

  5. Sari Avatar

    Gina!! I’m so happy to see this post! I think we’ve been on the same wavelength…LOL. I have visited every single link you posted above in the last few days while I was looking for info and inspiration on Project Life. I have really slacked off on my scrapbooking and think this is the perfect way to get back into it. So simple and easy. I ordered the Amber kit and hope to keep up with this. Gonna go check out your Pinterest board (I have been collecting stuff on mine as well).

  6. […]  and also she’s taking on Project Life for the first time as well! She blogged about it here on her blog, as well as some links to some great websites and […]

  7. Cara Palermo Avatar

    Gina, thank you for your inspiration! I’m sooooooo excited to start my Project Life project. So, I’m trying to order the page protectors, but Amazon has very limited availability. Is there anywhere else to order the Becky Higgins materials from? I can’t wait to get started :)

    1. Gina Avatar

      Hi Cara! As far as I know, Amazon is it BUT they are supposed to be back in stock this month! I’ll post here when I hear they are.

      As fo the rounded corners, I bought a lime-green colored transparent plastic punch at AC Moore by EK Success. There’s not much info on it but it was the only option and $10.99. Hope that helps!

  8. Cara Palermo Avatar

    Also, what tool do you recommend for cropping rounded corners? It Looks GREAT! Love it!!

  9. Tanisha Avatar

    I’m so thrilled to see this post! I just learned about Project Life yesterday and ordered my supplies, then when I came home from work I saw that you had posted this. Perfect timing! I love the resources you posted and am so excited to get my supplies and start on Project Life. thanks, Gina!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *