Login | Manage Account | Join

Paperclipping Home

Archive for the ‘Project Life’ Category

A Process for Project Life – Paperclipping 234

Friday, January 31st, 2014

paperclipping 234

Do you ever feel like you’re battling with Project Life?

I know Project Life is designed to make scrapbooking simple, fast, and easy. And I believe it does that for people who have not been scrapbooking a whole lot like you and I have.

When I look back on the years I’ve tried on and off to do PL, I realize I’ve been battling with it —

  • battling with its colored cards to keep everything from looking chaotic and disjointed
  • battling with the pocket orientations
  • battling with the time it takes to get it done

But the battle is over.

Over the past year I’ve figured out solutions to all these problems and I want to share them with you. These tips are not rules and they’re not the only way to make your Project Life pages look awesome. These are the tactics I’ve come to love as the way that I make the pages attractive, while letting my photos shine, and still keeping it simple and manageable.

Three Tips for Minimizing Chaos with Project Life

(For the scrapbooker like you and me, who may be a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to memory-keeping).

1. Limit Color

Here are options for how to use color that have consistently given me Project Life pages I love…

  1. Use one color per 2-page spread.
  2. Use two colors in small amounts as accents, with black and white being dominant.

I’m not referring to the photos here. I’m talking about the cards, papers, and accents. In the image above from my video tutorial, you can see that I did the two-color accent option, with black and white being dominant. It’s fresh and energetic, but doesn’t distract from the photos.

2. Use the same 3×4 card across your spread.

I got this idea from my favorite pages in Izzy’s Project Life album and I shared an idea for doing it with washi tape from my December Project Life pages as a way to reduce chaos.

If you have more than two or three journal cards across a spread, you’ll want to break up the repetition with one contrasting card for variation to make it look interesting. Here’s why this looks so good (in addition to keeping it simple and easy!)…

  • It unifies the page.
  • It leads the eye across the page.
  • It won’t compete with your photos.

When you vary each card, especially if they’re all a different color or design, you’re adding contrast. Everything that contrasts is trying to get your attention.

What happens when you have lots of different kids all trying to get your attention? Overwhelming? Yeah — that’s how those pages can feel, too.

3. Use embellishments as a solution, not a problem.

Don’t add embellishments only for the sake of adding embellishments. That leads to all kinds of problems and frustration. Think of embellishments as a way to solve design problems. You’ll still have pretty pages and embellishing, but you won’t overdo it and make your pages chaotic.

Need help with some of these Project Life problems?

You can see it all in action on video! I made a tutorial this week where I go through a month of pages (3.5 spreads), and show you how to do all three of these tips, plus additional ones!

It is because of these tips that my most challenging page ended up being my favorite.

I also share my process for completing a month in a quick, simple way that still leads to attractive pages.

You must be a Paperclipping Member to watch the video.

CLICK HERE for info on a membership!

Members can watch the video in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Project Life Tip to Reduce Chaos

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Jan 2014 6554

Do you ever have Project Life pages that become too chaotic when you add the cute journaling cards?

This happens to me all the time. I also find that some of the cutest cards look the most chaotic with my writing. But I stumbled on a solution that I expect to use a lot. I found it while I was putting together my December pages (I work Project Life monthly instead of weekly).

Here’s what happened, and the solution I found…

Jan 2014 6555

(click on the images to see a larger version)

I love Christmas red as the dominant color for the Christmas season, but I don’t own any Project Life (PL) journal cards with red. I did have a roll of red polka dot washi tape sitting on my counter, though, and I was using it to tape my smaller photos into 4×6 spaces to keep the photos from looking like they’re floating in that larger space (above).

Since I very often use the PL grid cards for my journaling to keep my page from getting chaotic, it occurred to me that I could dress up the gridded cards with my red washi tape.

The page above was my first solution. See the journaling card at the bottom of the page?

Add a strip of tape just below the curved corner. Then add a little wood veneer snow flake. Cute, right?

Jan 2014 6557

Then all of the next pages had more side-by-side pockets for multiple journaling cards.

At this point I decided to line the tape up with the top of the card instead, wrap the tape all the way around, front to back so I could use the same card on the opposite side, and then trim away the excess corners so they would be rounded like the card.

Look how well that washi tape unifies the page!

I love how it also unifies the entire month. I won’t do this all the time for every month, but I think I will once in a while. Especially for a month like December when the entire 31 days is a period of celebration, and most of the photos go well with one specific color.

Jan 2014 6560

The spread above needed a starting point for the eye. I don’t need every single one of these cards to journal on, so I added the red rectangle piece with the Santa mustache. Because it’s red like the washi, the page feels unified.

The two lines of red lead your eye across the spread.

To give the pages some interest, and to keep it from being too flat and boring, I added a handful of wood veneer Christmas trees to intersect with the bottom edge of the washi.

PL-Dec2013pg5

All of the items in this last spread for December are different from each other. There are Christmas cards with very different colors and looks, there is a part of a Starbucks gift back, there is a screen capture from Facebook, and then an everyday photo.

Notice how the same red washi tape unifies the page, so the parts and pieces don’t look so random.

It also gives the eye a place to go, while the white cards give the eye a place to rest. Together the cards become the grounding focal point amid what would otherwise be chaos, since no single photo is dominant.

December brought me the solution to one the biggest problem I run into while doing Project Life — the often chaotic look of many of the pages. Is that a problem you have, too? This is all you need:

I love how simple this is. Once you’ve chosen your tape, you hardly have to think about another thing. I’ll use my regular printed 3×4 cards, too, but I’m excited to combine the washi tape + journaling grid cards again with different color and pattern soon! How about you?

Here’s Where I Do Project Life

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Project_Life_Station 2

Do you have a designated spot where your Project Life is always open and ready for you?

I’ve been testing this spot as a potential PL “station” since we moved into our new house in July. It’s possible that once my scraproom is finished I could end up moving it in there, but I have serious doubts. I’m officially in love with this spot. So I thought I’d share it with you.

Maybe it will generate a few ideas for yourself.

We have this counter/cupboard space that is just off the main living areas of our home, and at the entrance to what I think of as my own almost private part of the house. Let me give you a visual of where it is. Here’s what you see when you step into the front door of our home…

Project_Life_Station 5

Please excuse the bare walls. It’ll take at least another year before it’s close to being finished.

To the left, where you see my dogs, is the living room/library. Straight ahead is the family/tv room. Left of that is our kitchen, and right of it is the master bedroom.

From the front door, if you make an immediate right, there is a hallway. That is the section of the house that I think of as my own space, with the exception of the guest bathroom that is back there. See that door in the hallway? That’s the laundry room. A little farther down the hall is my scraproom.

Project_Life_Station 3

You can almost get a glimpse of my scraproom through that hallway from this view. And there is my beloved Project Life station.

It is directly across from the laundry room. And since I’m the one that does the laundry, you can see why I feel like this is my area of the house. I can go back and forth between PL and laundry, and I can easily dash into my scraproom to grab or put away any extra supplies I want to use while doing Project Life.

Here is a view of the counter/cupboard space from the laundry room doorway…

Project_Life_Station 4

Just an FYI, those cupboards are for household items like extra candles, cake/cookie decorating supplies, medical supplies, etc. I might use one cupboard space below for pocket pages, but right now I’m only using two of the drawers to hold PL supplies.

Project_Life_Station 8

In the front of the middle drawer I have two mini kits, and behind that is a tray of mixed cards from a few core kits plus whatever I’ve cut down from regular paper lines. To the side and behind are additional supplies.

Project_Life_Station 10

The right drawer is where I throw any memorabilia for all kinds of scrapbooking until I have a chance to sort it for standard scrapbooking, or put it into one of my Project Life albums. Since taking this picture I’ve added file folders in there to sort any PL memorabilia by month.

I’ve got an extremely simple system that makes it easy to keep up with Project Life, so there’s not a whole lot.

Project_Life_Station 7

These days I keep two current Project Life albums going at once — one for our everyday life, the other to document our everyday dance life (You can see how the Project Dance Life album was born on video in Paperclipping 229. Click here to learn about about a Paperclipping Membership and access to our videos!).

I mainly keep the general everyday album open at the current spread, and the dance album is standing behind it. When I want to work on the dance album, I switch their positions. If I have loose items and don’t want to stand an album up, I think I can lay it on a shelf that is in the cabinet below (I haven’t had to do this yet, so I’m not positive it fits).

What you’re looking at on the counter right now in the picture above is my stash of supplies while I’m in hard-core PL mode. Because I’m finishing up December, I’ve got Christmas supplies out. Most of the time I don’t have an extra stash of themed supplies out like that. You also see my adhesive and scissors buckets. Those are only there when I’m working on a month of assembly. Most of the time they’re either in my scraproom or upstairs in the recording studio.

Theoretically, this is what it should look like most of the time, as long as I’m not piling up household to-do items on the counter…

Project_Life_Station 9

That is, as long as I’m staying on top of my regular-life to-do items. This is what I use for my household action items and my post-it notes, which are essential for both PL and getting regular stuff organized and done…

Project_Life_Station 6

This sorting unit is great because it’s portable. I used to keep it at my desk in my scraproom, but I found I like to do a lot of my work at the table where I homeschool Trinity, instead of at my desk. So it’s perfect right here — near the front door and easy to grab to take into our table in the library.

In fact, here’s one last view of my Project Life station, through the library, from that very spot where Trinity and I work…

Project_Life_Station_end

What Makes a Great Spot for a Project Life Station

Here’s what I love about this spot for my Project Life:

  • I can immediately drop off the memorabilia when I come home.
  • It’s a central spot between the two places I do a lot of my work (laundry/scraproom + library).
  • The kids often walk by it to use the bathroom downstairs, so they can take a peek.
  • It’s an easy place for the current spread to be viewable for anyone, without cluttering up the main areas where we live and entertain.
  • I can choose and edit photos from the table in the library, and wirelessly send them to print on my Selphy (small black 4×6 printer on the counter) where the prints will sit and wait next to my album.
  • When I’m working on my PL I’m kind of in my own space, but not totally separate from the rest of the family. It’s the perfect middle-ground, both literally and figuratively.

Want to see some current pages? I just need to add a final detail or two to my December pages and post them in the next day or so. Please come back to check them out!

Do you have a space that’s working for you? Did my space give you any ideas for how you can improve your own? Please leave a comment and share!

Project Life vs. Standard Pages – Paperclipping 229

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

paperclipping 229

You’ve got photos and stories to document.

You do a regular Project Life album. But you also scrapbook standard pages.

How do you decide what goes in each format?

If you haven’t chosen clear parameters, you probably feel overwhelmed and are less likely to commit to as many pages (of either type) because of the lack of sureness.

Clarify Your Intentions

Here’s the key to doing both:

Make a clear distinction between your different types of albums. Choose a specific purpose for Project Life that is different from your standard albums.

You also need to know what your specific purpose is for your standard albums.

I tried doing Project Life for three years alongside standard pages, with a general yet slightly vague idea of why I was doing Project Life and what it’s purpose is for me. As a result, I’ve been on again – off again. I’ve had brief moments of enthusiasm and weeks of inaction and the question of whether to keep it up.

Once I had a clear intention for my Project Life, distinct from my other standard scrapbooking albums — one that I could put into words as a simple phrase — it all fell in place.

Not only do I feel more excited and motivated now, but I’ve also found that it’s easy to know which photos and stories to put in it, and which ones to hold off for my standard albums. In most cases I know in an instant which photos to include, and which not to.

If you’ve been struggling with the same confusion or less than stellar commitment, maybe a clear intention for what you’re trying to say with your Project Life album.

There’s no right or wrong intention. It’s your choice. Decide what would excite you with a Project Life format!

See It In Action: Project Life vs. Standard Scrapbook Pages

Want to know what my own intentions are for Project Life, vs. my standard scrapbook albums?

Maybe it would give you some ideas for how you want to clarify things for yourself.

This week I tackled a month’s worth of photos, ephemera, and stories from October. On video I share what I chose for Project Life, as opposed to leaving it for viewing on my computer or putting in a standard album, and why. I put the month together in my Project Life and you can see it all come together.

While your desires and purposes might be different from mine, it should give you some relevant questions to ask yourself and some ideas to explore.

The video is available now in the Paperclipping Member’s Area and on iTunes. You must be a member to view it.

CLICK HERE to learn about a membership!

A Vacation Scrapbook with Project Life – Papercipping 218

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

paperclipping 218

Every scrapbooker needs a good exit strategy.

And an entrance strategy.

What for? For those big overwhelming projects — such as vacation and travel scrapbooks — which most of us tend to procrastinate or never finish. Or both.

Click to read more…

Five Reasons This Approach to Project Life is Easier On You and Your Budget

Friday, April 26th, 2013

PL Feb 2013 4
What if you could cut your Project Life time by three-fourths?

Click to read more…

How Izzy’s 4 Easy Tweaks Make Project Life a Truly Simple Approach to Scrapbooking

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Izzy's Project Life 2013 5

Is your experience with Project Life as simple and easy as you thought?

Becky Higgins created Project Life as a simple solution to scrapbooking, but many of us online have complicated it with daily and weekly approaches and a focus on lots of additions and embellishments. For some, those approaches are perfect, but for others of us (me! me!) these daily/weekly/highly embellished pages are more demanding than our original scrapbooking process.

We’ve talked on the Roundtable about how we, as women, often place unnecessary expectations on ourselves. Now that Izzy is doing Project Life, that idea has become more real to me. He blew me away with his simple approach, and let me tell you, I LOVE looking through his Project Life scrapbook!

So if you’re someone who need to simplify your approach to Project Life, (or if you just want to see a male version of the project!) take a look at Izzy’s process…

4 Ways to Have Super Easy Scrapbooking with Project Life

1. Use Project Life Like a Journal.

Izzy sees PL as a way to journal, but it’s more awesome because it includes photos!

Journaling Approaches:

  • journal about a topic
  • record what you did
  • record what you’re learning

He doesn’t make it harder than necessary by forcing each spread into a week, or forcing each week into a spread.

2. Design a Spread Around a Topic.

So far, Izzy mostly picks a topic, usually related to what’s going on in his life. He prints related photos and creates a spread on that topic, regardless of whether it filled a week, a day, or a few hours.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 1

For this spread he wanted to talk about working on the editing of his short film so he added in some pictures during the film shoot last year.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 4

Izzy has left the right side of this spread blank because he wants to fill it in with photos from another, future, bike trip. See how you don’t have to tie yourself down with time constraints?

Only once has he done random photos from a specific week.

He also does pages about some things he’s learning.

3. Share A Sampling of Your Photos.
Izzy's Project Life 2013 (1)

Izzy is really good at just picking the 3 or 7 photos that fit into a 4×6 pocket. He knows that our other photos are easily viewable for us on the computer, on Facebook, and streaming on our television screen. We don’t even need all of the good photos in an album because they’re viewable these other places.

So his picks a few favorites and they represent.

Click here for help on how to choose fewer photos.

4. Use Repetition for Easy — But Good — Design.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 3

We love using embellishments to make our pages more visually pleasing but Izzy did something I’ve never seen before! He repeats the same decorative card across the spread. This repetition…

  • creates bold contrast between the cards and the photos
  • leads the eye across the page
  • gives a sense of unity to the spread

It’s a simple way to get good design without having to break out lots of products, tape, etc. And it has great impact, don’t you think?

There’s no right or wrong, and there are other simple approaches you can take for Project Life or scrapbooking. But if you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your current method, these are a few possibilities you might consider if you want to make it easier on yourself.

And by the way, isn’t it cool to see how a male might go about it?

Problem with This Week’s PRT Recording

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The recording of the Paperclipping Roundtable was scheduled for today but for the first time our internet is down in our local area and we were not able to record. This week’s show will now be next week’s show.

We apologize to all of you who have been hitting the refresh button for a while now, patiently waiting! We love that our loyal audience has a healthy addiction to the show and our fabulous guests! It is only our desire to satiate said addiction.

While you wait, here’s something fun to enjoy…

Izzy is in full Project Life mode!
Project Life for Izzy
Project Life for Izzy
Project Life for Izzy

As a side note: Yes, it is Jan 31st and we still have our Christmas tree up. That’s how busy we get after CHA. Haven’t even had time to think about putting Christmas away. That’s okay, we love having a tree up. We’re dorky that way. :)

Love,-Noell

How to Mix Patterns – Paperclipping 209

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

paperclipping 209
Do you end up with many leftovers from your scrapbook kits or from manufactured paper lines?

One of the more valuable skills that comes from having a good design eye is to be able to mix and match patterns from different lines. You can take your products so much further if you create new “lines” or “kits” by mixing and matching what you have.

When you identify which of your different products look great together, it’s possible to actually use up entire lines and kits! ;)

Lisa Noell

And check out what a different look I was able to get for the two scrapbook pages in the pictures for this post. Two very different looks for two very different stories, even though both layouts began from the same scrapbook line.

Try it today, or this weekend!

Pick a line you love, and then find some leftovers that have lost their luster but that will match some of your new exciting line. Then tell me if you don’t feel renewed excitement in the older products as well!

If you need to expand your skills for mixing patterns, you’ll love the newest video I just put out for Paperclipping Members. Members can find this video in the Member’s Area or on iTunes.

Not a member? Join us now to get immediate access to 209 video tutorials, including today’s video on how to mix patterns!

Click here for info.

Becky Higgins Shows New Project Life Products at CHA 2013

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Becky Higgins shows her new Project Life products at CHA 2013 and we get a look at all of the new lines.