Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Project Life 2012: The Beginning

Happy 2012!! I hope you have had a wonderful start to the New Year. We've been hanging out at home and I have been nesting in a big way. We started to put things up on the playroom walls and I'm falling in love with my new space with the boys. I've also been putting together my Project Life 2012 album.

There has been a ton of inspiration floating around the last few days. In fact, Becky has a great post up today, here, that should point you to much of it. I also suggest following #projectlife on Twitter.

I've been working through how I'm going to share my Project Life 2012 with you (both layouts & general posts) and I'm coming close to settling on a post or two a week on scheduled days. I'm trying to find a good rhythm for me and my life. I'm also trying to be very eyes open that in 3 1/2 months Travis will be joining our family and the precious little free time I have right now will become even more precious and much diminished in capacity. So, I'm still thinking but hope to settle and share soon.

Today though I want to share with you what I'm doing to set myself up for success this year. There are four known things that I'm trying to plan for: 1) my work schedule come February is going to be wild 2)Travis joins our family mid April 3)I will have all three boys home with me this summer 4)I know going back to work with three little ones is going to be really difficult. With all of that in mind I want my Project Life 2012 to be much simpler than last year and more timely. To help me accomplish both I've done the following.

Choosing My Elements

I am lucky enough to have be working with both Cobalt & Clementine this year. But that means double the choices. In order to take out that part of the process while I'm putting together my weeks I picked my favorites from both kits.

Here are my introduction cards, they rotate through the weeks in this order expect for Week 1, because I goofed, and Week 7 which is Valentines & I mixed it up a little bit.

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Here are the Cobalt journaling cards and filler cards I picked.

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Here are the Clementine journaling and filler cards I picked.

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Here they are all playing together so nicely.

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Making my Opening Page

You might be wondering about my Title page, here it is, not done. I really want to live with my album a little bit before I set the tone in the beginning.

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Filling the Album

The first thing I did was slip in my introduction cards in rotating order. Then, I took the grid journaling cards that come in each kit and placed four in each week. I love these as a base and plan to use them more this year.

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After that I laid out all my journaling & filler cards and just started filling in the remaining four slots with whatever suited me. I added the dividers, using the month stickers. My next step was to get out some old 12x12 page protectors and add them to the first 2 months to keep all the little bits of life collected during the week.

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Remember the goof I mentioned? Well, I decided to start stamping my dates on my introduction cards and got it wrong :)

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So, in order to keep my weeks straight when stamping the dates I sat down with my calendar & post its and wrote the week and the dates. I added those to the each spread.

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The date stamp I'm using came from last year's kit but you can find something similiar at your office supply store.

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A couple of things. I'm not worried about whether or not the cards I've choosen will match my week. I made it work last year (with the introduction cards) so I'm going to go with that this year. Also, some of my stamps are off. In the big picture it won't even be noticeable so I'm moving on.

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And here is what I ended up with for Week 1.

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So you have an idea of what it looks like all mixed together here is a little overview.

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I've heard that some of you are loving your kits but are not sure where to start. I hope this helps to show you that it is OK to jump right in & start putting in your elements.

What I've Done Differently From Last Year

1. Added in journaling cards and filler cards ahead of time. Why? I want to cut down the choices during the process.

2. Added in 12x12 page protectors for 2 months. Why? The amount of memorabilia I collected was a ton. I still have piles to sort through to make sure I didn't miss something. I want to cut this time out.

3. Prestamped my dates. Why? I use these as guides for printing my pictures especially when I am a few weeks behind. And I was always looking up the date ranges. I want to cut out this step.

4. Predated post it notes. Why? I'm not quite ready to put the Week XX on my cards since I do try to get get a little crafty with this part but I don't want to be figuring out which week I'm on. I goofed on that last year when I was a few weeks behind and had to redo all those cards.

If you were wondering why some of the extra steps, well at this point I really am trying to streamline my process a bit. It is so important for me to keep timely this year knowing that my extra time to go back will be next to nothing and I really want to capture this very exciting year.

If you have any questions I'm happy to answer them. Also, Becky has this great getting started video, here. Welcome to Project Life 2012!!!



Linda said...

I found a great way to cut out the "which journal long card shall I choose" game (serious time waster!) is to tip all the cards out of their boxed, stir tem around, shuffle, re-shuffle and then I just stuck them back into the 4 boxes and after that I had to just puse whichever card I pulled out. If it really didn't work with the photos etc, I swapped it. But rarely.

Thanks for te excellent post!!

April said...

Ahh, beautiful choices in combining the two kits! I personally am sticking it out with just cobalt, though I'm considering taking a plunge in Amber to do my high school/college years as my daughter will be a senior next year (contemplating something like 180 days ala Stacy J too). I'll likely mix in leftover turquoise - love that there's enough leftover by the time you add in extra fun scrap product from our own stash.

My one question for you is . . . are you planning on mixing in different styles of page protectors or are you planning on keeping the two "ends" of the week the same, and take a look at adding in the variety in between those pages?

Happy 2012!!

kristy said...

Wow! What a great plan... and if you can do with three kidOS and a full time job... surely I can. I am really looking forward to watching you build your book!!

Kyla Hunziger said...

Love how you already have everything planned out and laid out in the album. As soon as the page protectors are back in stock (Santa ran out of page protectors, but I got my Clementine album!), I'm getting my first PROJECT LIFE album together and getting back to the memory keeping! Can't wait!

Basement Stamper said...

Great post, I did mine where I added in the pictures and the journaled around them last year. I'm trying a few different things this year so appreciate the tips!

Anonymous said...

I spent so much time trying to figure things out and SHOULD HAVE KNOWN to just start with you, Monica! I'm just sitting down to put it all together even though the kit (the older turquoise version) has been sitting here for a month! I'm already started with the photos - taken and developed - and the stories, I'm realizing with my four I have too many stories each week, and this was a very s.l.o.w. week! I'm anxious to see how this process goes this year. Looking forward to watching your year progress :)

Annette said...

Monica this is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this. I really like how you are simplifying your choices. That is my goal this year too. I am keeping my Clementine in the box right on my table. I emptied all the cards out of the boxes though. They fit in nicely. I like the first commenters suggestion to just grab one and go with it! Will keep that in mind too. Thanks again and I hope you haver a wonderful year!

vintage modern quilts | Lisa said...

Monica, I love seeing your process. I'm definitely going to follow your cue on the post-it pre-dating and pre-filling the journaling cards because I'm already feeling overwhelmed by choice.

I absolutely love all of the blue you combined. It will be so sweet for an album filled with THREE (!) darling boys. xoxoxo