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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

CHA2014 – My Minds Eye Takes a New Turn

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

You can still find your favorite scrapbooking lines from My Mind’s Eye, but in addition to those, they’re taking a new direction. Check it on in the video.

CHA 2014 – We R Memory Keepers Albums Made Easy

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Watch this video if: 1) You love Instram; 2) You love pocket pages 3) You love designer, Teresa Collins 4) You need a cute organizational piece to sort all your Project Life types of cards, photos, and pocket pages.

You’ll love every part of these Albums Made Easy supplies.

CHA2014 – Becky Higgins Shows the New Project Life Products

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

See what’s new at Project Life, from the new Core Editions, Mini Editions, to helpful supplies, like die cuts to punch papers and photos into the perfect sizes.

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!

Five Ways to Mix Pocket Pages with Standard Scrapbook Pages

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Fairy 1 (1)

Do you lament the day 2-page layouts disappeared from publication?

Not only do I still do 2-pagers, but I do 3-, 4-, and even 5-pagers sometimes. But I do them by mixing pocket pages with standard scrapbook pages.

I absolutely love the way they look, in addition to the ease of them!

Here are five different ways to put together a scrapbook story with a mix of standard and pocket pages.

Click to read more…

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?