Monday, March 05, 2012

Project Life March Blog Hop

Hi and welcome to the March Project Life Blog Hop! I'm still very much loving this project. I'm in a very happy routine of taking photos, emailing them to myself from my iphone (if taken from there) and printing on a regular basis.

If you have found your way here randomly, then please feel free to jump to the start of the hop at Jill's site. If you found your way here from Alissa's site, then you are most definitely in the right spot!

Last month, I mentioned that I was planning on showing you how I put a spread together, but the photos never got taken with all the wet rainy days we had. Instead, my plan is to just walk you through the layouts I completed this month and just share a bit of each. I do have one or two photos to share first of my desk workspace and how my PL stuff is organized in my studio. It's nothing special, but maybe just a little something to show you that it doesn't have to be a perfect setup!

Here is my desk area, with my Project Life album sitting on it. The turquoise basket is where I collect memorabilia that I may want to add throughout the week. If I end up really low on photos and not enough memorabilia, then I just go scour my  house. The Project Life core kit is sitting there along with my leftovers from the turquoise kit. I print some of the printable cards out (the free downloads and the ones I've paid for) and cut them apart and stick them inside the Core Kit package.

This is a drawer that sits to my left on the floor. It contains the journaling tags and labels that I've collected over the years. It's not organized in the slightest other than that they're things to write on and add to a page/pocket.

The one other thing I have that I use (with no picture of it) is a plastic 12x12 Iris case that holds my most recent purchases of paper. I LOVE having that right here at my table so I can just pull it open and browse through it to decide which pieces to add to my journaling cards.

On Mondays I pull my album back to my scrapbook table and pull images from my library, resize and edit, and then send to Walgreens for one hour developing. I then start pulling papers and journaling cards and filling in the cards that won't have photos added to them. It's a pretty simple process when I take good notes in my calendar/planner . . . Here's the layouts from February :-)


A "typical" end table photo; Mc Donald's Egg McMuffin; popcorn for snack; working on homework; a treasure found on our hall table; an image of our local elementary school; my daughter at district soccer games and doing chores on a Saturday morning. I LOVE journaling in this album. I am not one to fill everything with pictures. To me, Project Life is a place to record little glimpses into our life that may otherwise be forgotten since I don't usually deem the story (or one photo) big enough to require an entire layout.


Week 6 included breakfast for dinner; BOTH of my boys eating breakfast; an extremely good week in the classroom; my daughter curling her hair (and the photo she posted to facebook); participating in "A Day in the Life" via Ali Edwards; a good hair day; frozen pizza, snack time on the sofa; and laundry . . .


Week 7 included crazy weather, Valentine's day, a trip to Tampa for my daughter's high school State Finals - and a WIN; a trip by an old family constant and fun times with friends . . . I am SO grateful for this week - and for project life to hold the little pieces of our life . . .


Week 8 was REALLY lacking on the photos, but that's okay. I LOVE that I got to include memorabilia from our everyday life more than usual. My daughter found a prom dress - quickly. The story that goes with it is inside the first 3x4 insert card. A postcard from the optamalogist; a picture of ideas she liked; a piece of the fabric from the dress she chose; a dinner card from the restaraunt we ate at Saturday night; a tag from hubby's "drink of choice" these days . .  and thank goodness for my daughter taking photos with her iphone too or I wouldn't have ended up with half the pictures I did get! (PS the dress image insert is not what she bought, it's just what she went with the mind to try on).

I'm enjoying using Washi tape and printing some free printable cards to journal on - especially of the 4x6 size since I don't want to use all the foldable cards. I did buy the label and 4x6 ones from Marcy Penner. Also, I couldn't live without my Instagram app!

Thanks again for stopping by!! You're now off to visit Noelia's site. I hope to see you stop by again next month! If you get lost or there's a broken link somewhere along the way, feel free to come back here and click on the list of participants below!

Jill <-- Start Here if you'd like to see what you've missed so far! :-)
April <--- YOU ARE HERE
Noelia <--- Go here next to continue on the Blog Hop!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

February 5 Project Life Blog Hop

Welcome to the Project Life February Blog Hop! If you have just come to visit my blog but would like to view all the other participants, feel free to start at Jill's blog ( and follow along. We're a small group this month so it shouldn't take too long to visit everyone and say hi!

(otherwise known as How I Am Able to Appreciate the Everyday While Still Having Time to Live It!)

That's right, instead of spending every waking hour living it, I'm now in a daily habit of pausing and realizing just how good life is all around me. I also don't get so hung up on recording and "appreciating" life that I forget to live it! How do I find that balance? It's all thanks to Becky Higgins' Project Life creations! For years (since 2000), I scrapbooked traditional layouts, and I still do. I did not take the plunge into Becky's products for a good while, or lightly when I did. After all, how could ALL of our stories get told with just a spread a week? And that's when I realized that this captures the every day but it doesn't mean this is ALL I have to do! Project Life is not very time consuming, and it's helping me tell the stories that otherwise get pushed off into "some other day." These aren't the big stories, but rather the little moments that I would forget about from one week to the next. Project Life is also helping me remember to collect and USE everyday memorabilia. Things like drawings or napkins from restaurants; or a photo of the mess of toys on the end table. Signs that we are living a chaotic and full life, of images that would otherwise not be put onto a layout right away and instead, likely get put into my category drawers for waiting for connections to be made some time down the road.

Some of you may be asking, "Well, April, if you're using this, are you still following Stacy's Library of Memories system too?" My answer is absolutely, 100% YES! There is most definitely a place in my library for Project Life. They work together beautifully.

What I'm Using:
  • Cobalt Core Kit and Album
  • Clementine cardstock
  • Design A Big Pack Page Protectors
  • Design B, D, F (and soon to be G) alternative options for Page Protectors
  • various 4x3 journaling blocks found around the web (many for free)
  • journaling spots from October Afternoon, Jillibean Soup, Studio Calico to name a few.

How I'm Organized:
  • I have my album and journaling cards on a hall table near our kitchen (pictured below, though journaling cards are under table on a shelf)
  • Also with my album are Post-it Notes and a pen (I jot down photos I take throughout the week and quotes that are said)
  • I have all other supplies in my studio
Next month, I'll delve into how I work on each weekly spread of my Project Life pages so I hope you'll join us for the March Blog Hop. For now, feel free to enjoy this slideshow of my 2012 Project Life so far. You can click on the tab above to see my 2011 Project Life as well, or click on any slideshow images to be taken to my Flickr gallery.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away! I love to reply personally to each comment but you have to be sure you have your email turned on in your profile (or leave it in the comments section).

Your next stop is Brooke's blog. If you come across a broken link or get lost, feel free to come right back here and browse the other participants below!





April   <----- You Are Here!

Brooke  <----- Go Here Next!



Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sustaining Creativity . . .

I'm working on sustaining creativity this year in regards to my scrapbooking hobby. I would often particiapte in Layout A Day Challenges with Lain Ehmann, but I've come to realize that after each of those months, I was burnt-out. I had no juice left to create the other 9-10 months of the year. It was sad, and when those LOAD months were falling during already hectic times and I wasn't completing half of the days, it really put a damper on my creative flow. This year, I'm participating in Twelve  at Big Picture Classes and having a ball so far. The goal is 12 layouts a month for the entire year . . . I accomplished a total of 7 in January. We are including Project Life layouts since it's creative, time consuming and scrapbooking . . . so that was 4 spreads that I've already shared, plus the following.

My daughter and many of her core group of friends. I LOVE that she took her camera and took pictures!! This layout was created using a Basic Grey kit of the month kit from a few years back. I followed the directions pretty closely.


I loved this series of photos. This boy is now 9 1/2 and every bit of energetic as he always was. He still has yet to ever fall asleep anywhere but in his bed (or car on a long drive) and he is able to stay up WAY later than most of us. In fact, he was left with his big sister babysitting overnight and he NEVER went to sleep. She fell asleep at 2:30 and woke back up at 7 and he was STILL up. He later took a nap for a few hours that day. What is it with kids?? They love to sleep in on school days, and stay up all night on weekends . . . and they seeem to be almost afraid that they're going to miss something good. Then we grow up and we LOVE to sleep in!

I think you can read the journaling pretty well. This was part of my childhood room in the house I lived in from the time I was 2-17 years old. And yes, it's a Poison poster on the wall and a Great White poster on the door. I'm VERY glad that THIS memory is now recorded, from the dreadful lavendar walls to the piles of clothes.

How do you work on sustaining creativity in your world - whether you're a scrapbooker or not? Have you ever experienced that burn out after a big push like I did in LOAD or do you find a way to just keep going?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project Life | Week Four

I can't believe it's already Tuesday again!

The Mom Creative

I'm trying something new by uploading images to Flickr first. I'm really hoping this helps speed up the time it takes to publish a post for me.

I have noticed that I still love Instagrams, but I want a good mix in my album, so I tend to slack off on using it later in the week in an effort to pull out my DSLR more (especially since my iphone is still a 3GS with the crappy camera). I am going to make an effort to change this during future weeks. I figure the more choices I have, the better, right?

This week, I've added in some extras besides scraps I just had laying around my table. I found several freebies on the web (mainly here and here), as well as made a purchase from Marcy Penner and Amazon (the cardstock collection for Clementine).

Here is the full spread for Week Four. The second 4x3 insert from the left opens up and has another picture inside with some hidden journaling. I have daily morning coffee from my Keuring. While I've taken a picture like this before, I've not given the details of how I like my coffee.


Close up of Left Side


Close up of Right Side (sorry for the glare. My usual spot for better light is currently unavailable.)

I'm still loving this project. I LOVE that I'm capturing my middle child and his dislike for having his picture taken right now. I'm glad I captured mine and my husband's 24 hours away, the crazy temperatures we're having this winter (what winter??), and the way I pass my time with music and the Paperclipping Roundtable, as well as the lack of existence of my daughter for any pictures at all. It isn't because I love her any less, it's just that well, she's rarely around us. That's to be expected at 17, but I still want what she's doing included in our album as well. I need to be sure I have her grab some photos to include soon.

Hope everyone's having a fantastic January!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project Life | Week Three

I know, I know . . . I never got last weeks (and the previous week's post) up. I did complete the Project Life pages for those weeks (and even finished 2011's album) last week, but by the time I finished, it was Wednesday and when I tried to upload images from my hard drive, my security settings shut down my internet browser and I never made it back in to finish. Does anyone else have these issues with blogger and pulling images off your hard drive? Maybe I should be uploading to flickr first and then pull the images to my blog from there. All I know is part of my issue with blogging is stemming from the fact that uploading pictures to my blogger account has become a pain in the you-know-what!

Without further delay, here is my Week 3. It was very simple and I've started using a lot of instagram images which I love including in my album.

Warm weather, quick dinner, daughter dressed up for a class debate, and my youngest at the computer and eating lunch on their holiday from school (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Another thing I'm doing this year is leaving the 4x6 images and inserts as 90 degree angles. No corner punching for me hopefully will make this process a little quicker. PLUS, I was liking the way it looked when I viewed other layouts from other people completing the project.
Love the shots I'm able to include from my daughter and texts in my Project Life. I have never taken a photo of my camera until now, so I HAD to include that. Friday night was seeing Wicked. The tangled parachute guys were what I worked on for an hour after my kids had gone to bed. On top of my Project Life album that sits open on the hall table near my kitchen and laundry room and boys' bedrooms. Love that I captured that type of "event" this week.

I printed my instagram images at 2.25 inches square this week. Last week I had gone with 2.75 but that was almost to wide to fit in the smaller journaling pockets, let alone mount them on journaling cards/scrap paper. I do still use full images in the journal pockets sometimes, but I didn't this week. I took two of the smaller 2.75x3.75 images and put them together in a 4x6 pocket from our Girls Night Out to see Wicked. Paislee Press has a few 4x6 photo templates so that you can quickly drag and drop images into PSE (or Photoshop) and resize and crop them. I used these for the images that were NOT instagram photos.

There ya have it: Week Three in review! (and I got it done on Tuesday too!!)

The Mom Creative

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Hi again! I've missed you. I'm here, again. I went through many months of turmoil in my home over the past year. We planned a kitchen remodel, and about halfway through, the contractor stopped doing what he promised and we had to fire him . . . leaving me to finish the project. It was fun, but it would have been more fun if I just did it myself from the beginning. Ah, lessons learned, right? Anyhow, we now have a beautiful kitchen to show for the 5 months of chaos that enveloped our home.

We had a few friends over for New Year's Eve - and Kristen had quite a few friends over for New Year's Eve. We made good use of our new space and I REALLY do enjoy it!

Ed's Dad has taken a steady decline in his health. It's hard, and it's sad to see him like this . . . he's been helping his mom get all kinds of financial issues taken care of and her Will drawn up as well as her Power of Attorney, etc. in case anything were to happen to her.

I've not scrapbooked in well over 6 months except for Project Life. This year, I'm recommitting to participating in Project Life Tuesdays. I really should have last week done already, but I will complete it today and post again once it's done. I'm holding myself accountable. I've signed up to take Stacy's TWELVE. class - it's AMAZING! As well as Round Up Your Memories, Move More Eat Well, and One Little Word (though I still don't have my word yet . . .  it just hasn't spoken to me. There are a few I'm contemplating though. Hopefully a decision can be made in my heart before mid-month!)

Oh yes, and through the process of it all . . . we bought my daughter a brand new 2012 Civic for her first car, and because of the subcontractors using our driveway, my daughter had to park in the road one night. The next morning just before 8 am, her car is hit.

This was in early October . . . and yes, while I'm thankful no one was hurt, I was FURIOUS at the irresponsibility of this young driver (she's 18 and lives at home) and her parents (because daddy owns the car even though she's on seperate insurance). It doesn't look too bad until you realize that my daughter's car was not parked in front of our driveway. It was in fact, about 15 feet further back and the VW bug pushed it over it's car length. The driver didn't have enough insurance to cover repair or replacement, so we went through our insurance policy, which totaled our car that was less than four months old . . . and we had to find a new one for our innocent daughter. At any rate, by the end of October, we had purchased her a second car within a six month period. sigh . . .

So, again, I have missed YOU. I will be back TODAY! I need to do a December 2011 Monthly Roundup as well as share my Week 1 Project Life 2012 with you!!