Having another year of Project Life wrapped up and completed (almost!) feels amazing.
I love love LOVE the concept behind Project Life, and how it easily allows me to organize my family's photos and memories in a way that will help me remember all of these little everyday moments, years from now. Because the everyday moments are really the extraordinary ones once they're no longer here everyday, right?!
For me - the focus of my Project Life album is (and always has been) THE PHOTOS. I cram as many into a week's spread as I can, unless I'm lacking for some reason - in which case I'll blow up a favorite shot that week to a 12x12 (like I did here!) to cover one side of the spread. I like to add lots of digital text and "stamp" brushes to my photos before printing. My PL style ends up being heavily digital --- BUT I still print everything out (at Costco), cut it up, and slide it into protectors. This lets me include the occasional paper PL filler card (since I'm a long-time pretty paper lover at heart!) and also allows me to include things like ticket stubs, artwork, or packaging labels.
My 2014 Cover Page is done and ready to start the new year off right... I used my favorite Design F page protector and I ended up keeping it very similar to my 2013 cover page. :) Family photo taken last fall, and the shots of the boys I snapped in early December.
I created the "Hello 2014" title card myself, and had it printed at Costco with the rest of my photos. The font used on the #s is "Archive Tilt".
The kraft camera print card was something I had been saving from a past Studio Calico kit. The other paper cards are part of these cute little "stack pads" of cards that I found at Target - made by We R Memory Keepers (I can't seem to find them online or I would link ya up) - they were super-inexpensive (hooray!) at like $1.99 for each "stack pad".
Lots of similarities to 2013's cover, I used the same "title/volume" card and just updated the year and one of the fonts. Same "four" cut (chunk five font used for that) with my Silhouette machine.
* My favorite weekly "spread" of page protectors - One Design A page protector and One Design F page protector. Over the past two years, I've found this is pretty much my "GO-TO" combo for a weekly spread. It REALLY well for my photography style, as I seem to shoot a lot of portrait oriented shots, and the Design F page protector lets me get MORE of those in!
* Design H insert - My favorite insert for when I have too many shots in a week and don't want to leave anything out! Leave it whole, or if you need less "extra" that week, simply cut off the top or bottom 4x6 pocket.
* 5x7 inserts - These are SO GREAT (both the vertical and horizontal versions) for including the "better" photos of my boys that I love - and really letting them shine. I also like to add update-style journaling text to the larger 5x7 photos, like I did here.
* 3x4 grid cards - I use these alot. In the past I've used them as my main card for weekly journaling in my spread (My "This Week" Card). For 2014, I'm not going to "require" myself to include a "this week" card each and every week. Even though I love the look of the added paper and printing, it's not always necessary with the amount of journaling that I add to my photos already. I've found that this is one of the BIGGEST time sucks for me, and sometimes quicker =s simpler. So one of my changes for 2014 will be that these pop up on an 'as needed' basis. ;)
That said, I still have a big stack of these grid cards out on my desk all the time -- they're SO great for capturing little artwork masterpieces from my boys - ready to be tucked into a 3x4 protector pocket as part of the "week"!
* Two We R Memory Keepers Aqua Albums - Also avail at Target.
* Ali's brushes for Photoshop. They are classic FAVES of mine. :)
* Nisa's Calendar Card - I'm going with the Monday start again this year, as it just seems to flow better for me when assembling my week. These are the colorful "calendar" cards that I include each week. I use the PHOTOSHOP brush included in the set to "stamp" my calendar in white onto a 3x4 @300dpi document that I've already color filled as the background color I want it to be that week. Then I create a "layer - new layer" and stamp the row of hearts (also a photoshop brush) across the week's dates and reduce the opacity of that new layer to about 50% (so the dates can then be seen underneath) before flattening it all and getting it ready to print.
* And a few other things that I've come to find to be Project Life "necessities": an anywhere stapler (I love the smaller size staple in my album and it's ease of reach). Staz On ink - I love the crisp look of this ink when stamped on my cards. Washi Tape - I have a BIG bag of what I've accumulated in my 'project life bin' - it's perfect for adding a touch of color to a grid card or attaching something easily. And my very FAVORITE Gold Ink.
You can see how I go about attacking Project Life each week HERE - what works for me, and some of the Q's (with answers!) that I frequently get asked via email and comments (at the end of the 2013 post). At the end of this 2014 post, I'm going to include a few more Q&A's that seem to pop up regularly.
** CHANGES I'm making to my process for 2014 - I'm going to drop the paper journal for recording details each week, and instead use the "Notes" app on my iPhone. I think that I'll end up recording MORE of the fun and cute little details this way - since I almost always have my phone with me (vs. searching out the journal to write something down).
A: COSTCO is still my local photo printer of choice! :) My Costco photo lab is fantastic - I know most of the lab techs there and when they see an order from me come through they know that I don't want it color corrected (which is an option you can chose with Costco but that sometimes gets overlooked when being processed). I have heard that quality differs between locations, so I'm counting myself as lucky!
And I print my prints as 4x6's. 3x4's are 2 up on a 4x6 - I prearrange in Photoshop (see 2013 Q&A). Even though I arrange everything on a 12x12 when I "plan & design" the week's spread, I still print as 4x6's because it's much more cost effective.
Q: How do you use all "those overlays"?
A: They are actually photoshop "BRUSHES" - so I just stamp them onto my photos in white or whatever color I like. Instead of stamping directly onto the photo layer itself - I always create a "layer - new layer" before stamping so that I can easily resize or move the "stamp" without having to back up and re-stamp. "Control-T" will allow you to transform the stamped image/word/design if you've stamped it in a new layer. I also really like to add the "stroke" fx (in the layers menu) around text/stamps/words to outline them and help them standout against busier backgrounds.
Q: What are your "GO TO" fonts for journaling on your photos?
A: "Bebas Neue" has been a long time favorite for basic text. I also really like the look of "Chunk Five" for titles and use it on my "week #" on my title card each week. "KG Always a Good Time" is a great cursive font. "Archive Tilt" is a new favorite. And "Orator" and "American Typewriter" always seem to find their way onto my pages from time to time.
I hope this helps someone out there get started on a 2014 Project Life album - taking on this "project" two years ago was one of the best things I've ever done. I can't wait to fill 2014's album up with lots of photos and memories...