You’ve read about my on-again, off-again love affair with Project Life, so now I wanted to outline my plans for this year. I’m doing this for two reasons:
- I need external accountability to stay on track, and if I’m posting my album pages even semi-regularly then I have to, you know, make the pages.
- I’ll forget my own guidelines if I don’t write them down.
This is my title page for 2015 and I think it’s a pretty solid example of what I want the rest of my album to look like (some info blurred for privacy). It’s simple, but not too plain. I used a few different embellishments but I didn’t spend HOURS picking things out. The photo was printed here at home. I hand-wrote my journaling and didn’t worry about stuff not being exactly centered. There’s a bit of sparkle but not an overwhelming amount. It also follows an IDENTICAL format to last year’s title page. Why reinvent the wheel?
I’ve been looking over previously completed pages and making notes about which ones were my favorites and why. I’ve also been thinking about where my pain points are with scrapbooking (basically, which part of the process is super annoying and makes it difficult to stay current) and how do I streamline those things, or maybe even cut them out completely?
With those things in mind, this is what’s up for 2015:
No buying scrapbook supplies.
My current stash is small by many standards, but I could probably complete a dozen (or more!) albums with the number of journaling cards I have. I DON’T NEED MORE STUFF. One thing I learned in 2014 is that the more stuff I have, the slower I scrapbook. I spend roughly 6,000% more time looking through all my options instead of just picking a damn card, writing on it, and moving on. I’m looking to simplify my life, not make things more complicated. And more stuff ALWAYS equals more complicated for me.
Print pictures at home with white borders using a template.
That might seem oddly specific, but bear with me. I LOVE the look of photos printed with white borders. I just think it looks nice and clean and especially helps if your photos tend to be on the darker side, which mine can be (since most of mine are taken indoors). Depending on what printer you have, that might be really easy or more complicated. I run into trouble when I’m printing two 3×4 photos on one sheet of 4×6 photo paper, since I never save my settings and my borders are always completely wonky and uneven. So this week I’ll be making a template which I will save in a very visible spot on my desktop, with a note included about what printer settings to use. It will probably take a bit of trial and error to get it right but once I have it, I HAVE IT. And that will save me a ton of time in the future.
No corner rounding.
I was a fanatic about this in 2012 and half of 2013. You see, photo paper has square corners whereas all Project Life cards have rounded corners. Most of you are probably thinking, “…and your point would be?” but I think there’s a few of you who are already developing a nervous tic thinking about mixing square and rounded corners on the same page. THE HORROR. So my process would go like this: print photos, spend 12 hours using a corner punch to round each and every corner of every blessed photograph, then scrapbook.
I know. I know. I KNOW. I’ve seen the light and embraced corners of all kinds in my scrapbook. Let’s face it, I just don’t have time for that nonsense.
Stick to one style of page protector (mostly).
One of the many, many ways to rapidly expand your scrapbook stash and exponentially multiply the time it takes to complete a page is to give yourself 40 different configurations of page protectors to choose from. Here are all your choices. Overwhelmed yet? I own like half of them and I certainly am. The problem (for me – many people do this beautifully and probably without nearly as much effort as it takes me) is that mixing page protectors means I have to spend sooooo much time planning my pages to make sure I print all my photos at the correct size. Should this be 4×6? Or 3×4? What about square? Maybe print it even bigger? Do I have 7 horizontal 3×4 pictures to go on the next page? AHHH.
MADNESS, I TELL YOU.
I understand that a lot of scrapbookers like using the different types of page protectors because it visually mixes up your album, and that’s a cool look. It can also be a fun, creative challenge. But for me it’s mostly just a headache. SIMPLIFY, HELMRATH.
So except in rare circumstances, I will be going back to that old standby, Design A (affiliate link). Is it glamorous? No, but a completed scrapbook using only Design A is a million times better than a stack of different, exciting page protectors with nothing in them.
Get motivated by taking a class.
My one scrapbook purchase for the year is Megan Anderson’s Pocket Your Year e-course. I’ve been following Megan’s blog for some time now and I really like her style. It’s very similar to my own, only better, so that makes her a very good person to be inspired by. I’m really excited about this course, especially since it runs for the whole year. I’ve taken scrapbooking classes before and been super motivated for the duration of the class, and then…nothing. Motivation gone. So I’m hoping that weekly videos and prompts will inspire me to sit down and scrapbook more often. Plus there’s a hopping Facebook group, which you can join even if you’re not participating in the course. If you’re even remotely interested in pocket scrapbooking (that’s the generic term for Project Life), you should definitely join the group – just click “join” in the top right corner and Megan will approve you.
Schedule scrapbooking time.
This is CRITICAL for me. You’d think that I wouldn’t have to schedule time for my own hobbies, since I chose them myself and they’re obviously things I love to do, but so often it’s just too easy to sink into the couch after Natalie goes to bed and not get up until it’s time for me to go to bed. I’ve put a “Project Life” category in my planner and every week I’m scheduling time to go through my photos and print the best ones. Then they’re all ready for me to sit down and make my pages!
That’s the plan, guys. Capiche?
Are you a scrapbooker/Project Lifer? Leave a link to where we can find your pages in the comments. I love finding new people to be inspired by!