Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Project Life® 2016 │ the beginning

Admittedly I did a horrible job sharing and completing my 2015 albums and I have a lot to catch up on for sure, especially the last part of the year. That being said there was never really a minute when I thought about not doing it this year. Working on my class for Big Picture this past November really got me super excited and it revved up all of the creative enthusiasm that I have for this project. I love it and I don't want to stop. Its as simple as that. There are a few things I plan to do differently this year though so I wanted to share them.

The first big change for me is to switch up the size. I just could not do another year of full 12 x 12 spreads. I think that's what burned me out last year. It was just too much and just too hard to fill week after week because I'm just not snapping as many day to day photos as I have in the past. I think that's due to a few things; 1. my daughter is at school for 6 hours each day, 2. I'm busier doing design team work and other creative projects so I'm working more and playing less and 3. I just needed a break from my camera/phone. I mean lets be honest it gets a bit old sometimes, for myself and for my family and friends. So that brings me to 9x12. I bought two of these albums from A Beautiful Mess last year on sale and I really loved them. That inside yellow give has me at all kinds the heart eye emoji's. I played around with a few spreads last year using the 3 x 3 page protectors and I really, really loved them. My plan this year is to use an all 3x4 protector and a 3x4 and 4x6 protector each week. I'll mix in full page 9x12 layouts and some 3x3 pages when I want, probably as inserts. I purchased some additional page protectors at Studio Calico because the protectors from A Beautiful Mess were sold out. Studio Calico just released new albums that have the same ring configuration so I'm glad of that, more options for supplies is always a plus.

That brings me to my title page shown above and below. I used the one I had created for my Big Picture Class project as a jumping off point. I pretty much left everything the same except I switched out the photos to more current ones and changed up one filler card. I loved the way colors worked with the inside cover of the album, I think it really pops. The family photos were the most current ones that we took this past November. They were shot by my friend DeAnna, if you are local and need a good photographer I totally recommend her. She's done our photos the past two years and I love them. I added in some vellum hearts and a rubber banner from Studio Calico and the filler card at the bottom will be released by Kelly Purkey at the end of this month.

My first spread of the album took a turn that I have never done before. For the past six years I have always started January 1st. This year though I decided to start on December 31st. I made this decision for two reasons; 1. the spread would have been super short, only three days which meant I wouldn't have had enough photos and 2. I wasn't sure if I would ever get around to adding these photos to my 2015 album and I really wanted to share them. So there you go, I now had enough photos to fill a spread and I'm sharing photos from a super fun party that I wanted documented.

I used a lot of cards from the December Lollipop Guiled Studio Calico kit, I especially loved the 2015 and 2016 cards and they worked great on this spread. Some of the accent pieces like the black chipboard came from the Tin Man Embellishment Kit. The rubber banner I used on my title card is also from this kit. The celebrate acrylic piece and stars are from Color Cast Designs.

One thing you might have noticed that I doing different this year is I am making the borders on my photos thicker. I love it and I'm pretty sure I will keep it up all year. Its a small change but one that keeps things fresh and different and fresh and different is always a good idea. If you are wondering the borders are now half inch so the photos are cropped to 2.5" x 3.5" this year.

My second week was kind of all over the place. I was super sick so I had hardly any photos so when I sat down to work on them I was pretty worried. When things like this happen and I feel like I don't have a good mix of photos or a good jumping of place to start with colors or things like that I tend to simply and unify the photos as much as possible. You can do that many ways but my two favorite ways are to edit the photos to black and white and add in pops of color or you can create a template and crop the photos all the same size so they are all cohesive. I opted to create a template for this spread and I think it definitely helps give it an interesting focus when the photos themselves might not seem super interesting. Adding in a few filler cards to help tell the story also helps fill the gaps you might have photo wise.

Here is what the photo template looks like and if you are interested in using it on a spread this year, you can download the template right here.

I added in quite a few embellishments from Color Cast Designs that will be released tomorrow during her shop update. You can find a link to Jessica's store right here. I love adding her pieces to my spreads and they always help bring in pops of color and help tell my story even more. She has such a wit about her and so many of the phrases she uses have me cracking up.

My plan is to continue on a weekly path as the year progresses and I'm so looking forward to documenting this year. Like I said above, I  might switch up the protectors from time to time and I might get loose with my date ranges based on the number of photos I have so don't expect rigid consistency as far as dates and spreads go. That being said, I look forward to sharing the year with you and I'll see you soon.

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  1. Love your work here. That yellow in the album is super happy. I thought I'd try the month by month approach, as the weekly spreads are starting to kill me. Especially at the end of the year.

  2. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing the resources.