And I produced Week 2 of Project Life. And we won't talk about how I started the layout at 12:30 AM! Sorry for the early-morning-sun-glare on the left side, but you get the gist. I played with it longer than I should have, but it's done. I used a kit from January '12. I think it was 2012, might be 2011. Either way it was a kit. I have the scraps laying on my table and will be making a card or two, and using stamps - hello, Use Every Stamp FREE class (she's also set up a blog for the project) and probably a sketch from my 28 Cards in 28 Days class from Big Picture last year.
While shuffling my photos around last night, I was mulling over both my approach and several things I had read about Project Life. If you are undertaking the project this year, I'd love to follow along with your progress - leave a link in the comments. If you are thinking, but still haven't taken the leap, here are some thoughts (these thoughts are not entirely my own and come from blog posts I read last week: Lessons from a Year on Document Life Workshop and How Failing Last Year):
- Don't do more than necessary. It's supposed to be an easy way of documenting the everyday. Get a kit - there are plenty geared toward the project. Having done the pocket pages, they are a total no brainer! And after last night's longer-than-I-wanted-to spend layout, I'm rethinking the pocket pages a little more. I'll still be using Apron Strings kits to make it go that much faster, but I need to see what options Doodlebug has for their pages.
- Don't get intimidated by others. Scrapbookers seem to have this issue as it is. Everyone does what works for them. I'm not spending time on these pages. Simple, clean and done is the goal. This is definitely a project that needs to work for you in order for you to be successful. If you start feeling inadequate looking at other examples, then for heaven's sake stop looking!
- "Life got in the way" excuse for dropping the project. I used it myself in 2009 - "summer break broke my routine." One of the bloggers above mentioned LIFE is what this project is about, she should have be documenting it.
- Document first, decorate later. If you're doing pocket pages, get those photos and any notes or memorabilia in the pockets FIRST. If you have blank pockets, slip in some patterned paper and call it done. You always have the option to go back and add numbers, letters, glitter, buttons . . . whatever to decorate the pages. If you're doing traditional layouts - again, get the photos and words down - add the goodies after that. If you get mired in the "it's got to be decorated" details go re-read #3!
- This is not a lesson in perfection. This project is down and dirty. Documenting the everyday - the things we may take a photo or two of, but don't do the layouts because we only have a photo or two. Grammar, spelling, empty spaces, dark photos, blurry photos, an entire week skipped because you were sick - don't sweat it. Who cares! Just move forward. I'd have loved to see a book (or 10) like this produced by my mother, or heck, my grandmothers. Seeing snippets of their everyday lives would be amazing! I wouldn't give a crap if the photos had heads chopped off and misspellings - it'd be amazing!
- This is not a project that needs cohesiveness. Am I worrying about having two traditional layouts and the possibility of adding in pocket pages? No. Am I thinking about making sure all my papers and cards and whatever are coordinating. NO! This project, for me, is about using my stash and getting photos up on the coffee table we can enjoy THIS YEAR! However, there is something to be said for repetition. The same layout, the same size photos, the same routine in producing the pages, shoot even taking some of the same photos throughout the year. If it's been working, nobody's telling you to stop. BUT, if you've lost the loving feeling for the way your producing your project (and it's affecting your completion of the projects) DO NOT be afraid to switch it up. . .re-read the first sentence of #6 if you are in doubt.
- Don't Give Up! You will get bored. You will feel like not doing it. You will find excuse after excuse to stop. You will look ahead at 50 more weeks and get overwhelmed. DON'T. Some weeks you'll be energized. Some not so much. And some, you'd just rather not. DON'T STOP. Change up your page style. Challenge yourself to do something different. Find your groove again. BUT DON'T STOP (have I said this enough?) Because when you overcome the "I want to stop" and you come to the end of the 52nd week, you are going to feel awesome. And you'll have your family's year in your hands - misspellings and all!