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Week in the Life : Formula + Supplies

DESIGN BASICS (and how that relates to supplies)

One of my biggest tips for putting together an album is to develop a formula and stick with it for each day. Formulas are key to making this a manageable project. By formula I mean setting up a basic design and repeating it for each day of the album. Don't reinvent the wheel from one spread to the next. Keep it simple. One of the goals of this project, along with celebrating everyday life, is to actually finish an album.

So what are you going to use to hold all this stuff together? First decide what size you want to do: 12x12, 8.5x11, mixed up sizes, 8x8, etc. Will it be paper or digital or a combination? Album or photobook?

There are tons of different ways this can come together.

Ov369388

1. Use a photo album. Maybe something like this. This is a great option if you are sticking with just words + photos. Slide the photos in, add a couple journaling cards (4x6) and call it good. You could print out these Days + Months journaling cards to use in this project. You can take this idea one step further and add in a bit more craftiness by embellishing/decorating those printed journaling cards. Consider paint, patterned paper, etc.

2. The square-punch/collage route. This is one of my go-to techniques when I am working with large quantities of photos. You could choose to simply create a collage of square punched photos for each day. This is a great way to showcase an overall sense of pieces of the whole. One side of your two-page spread could have a favorite shot (or two) and the other page could have a bunch of square-punched photos. The end result of this project does not need to be complicated.

Weekinthelifelayout

3. The mixed-up, 3-ring album. I am going to go with an 8.5x11 Amercian Crafts Courdory album and potentially use a variety of different page sizes (depending on the amount of content). For page protectors I will be using a combination of Avery Trading Card pocket pages sandwiched between the page protectors that come with the American Crafts album (I will have one of the trading card pocket pages for each day as well as the 2-page spread). I may add in some others as well.

I am considering doing an enlargement of my favorite photo from the day for the second page of the spread. I think it would be cool to contrast that with the smaller photos. That first page of the spread will likely include a collage of photos - some square punched and others cropped.

One of the reasons I like going with a 3-ring album is that if you end up with tons of content (words + photos + stuff) you can always add in more page protectors or pages in different sizes. So much of this will depend on how much you have to work with at the end of the week. Additional divided page protector resources: Fancy Pants, We Are Memory Keepers (2-up, 4x6, 8.5x11), We Are Memory Keepers (6-up, 4x6, 12x12), see other We Are Memory Keeper options here, or you could go with an album + page protector system from Scrapworks (this is the album I used in the beginning when teaching this project).

PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER

Ov581568 Ov871754

Story of Today Overlays: these can be used digitally (created to work with these layered templates - you can buy them together here) or printed out and worked on/added to with other traditional embellishments. This is going to be the first page of each of my spreads. I released a new set of these in 8.5x11 format at Designer Digitals this past weekend (much easier to print if you don't have an oversized printer). The layered templates would be great for use in a photobook.

Days + Months Title + Journal Photo Overlays (see image above under #1): one of the cool things about these overlays is that they can be used on top of photos or as journaling blocks. You could download these and use them for your journaling for each day of the week (a cool way to use a digital product in a traditional album).

For this sort of project, and for much of my work, I look for products that are universal which can be used on more than just this creative adventure. The ones below all have to do with "everyday" themes, three of which are stamps that can be used again and again.

Threethingsdates

Technique Tuesday A Day To Remember Clear Stamps

Heidi Swapp Days of the Week Journaling Spots (adhesive backed weekday labels)

Rhonna Farrer Messy Date Stamps

Threethingsdates2

7gypsies Life Creme Patterned Paper (could be my favorite paper)

Heidi Swapp Today Stamp

Scenic Route Days of the Week Stamps

Dottedline_2_2

Hoping the above ideas will give you a jumping off point for creating with photos + words + stuff. Remember, this is a project that has many, many different solutions. Trust your own instincts and allow your content to guide you as you begin thinking about how you want to put this together.

Keep it simple. Let the content be the star.

Dottedline

A complete list of posts related to the week in the life project can be found here.

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64 thoughts

  1. jennyg says…
    09/30/2008

    Wonderful ideas and resources!! Thanks. Jenny

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Nicky Anderson says…
    09/30/2008

    Love the overlays Ali and just purchased the 12 x 12 set on the weekend. Still a little frustrated with photoshop but working hard at learning it. Just having problems with layers and man, work gets in the way - hee hee!!! Thanks again for the project having fun with this!!
    Have a great day.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Danielle says…
    09/30/2008

    Thank you for all the ideas. I thought at first that I would be going with a smaller album either 6x6 or 8x8 but after just one day I see I will have way too much to work with so I think I'm going with a larger book.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jessica Stoops says…
    09/30/2008

    Thanks for the ideas. I am still debating if it would be easier to use photo album or try the today overlays. I haven't ventured in to digital yet, get close but still intimidated.
    I did buy the square punch, so I will have try it our for this project.
    I just have to remember to keep it simple. Thanks for the ideas and advice:) Can't wait to see what you create.
    Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Karin says…
    09/30/2008

    So many cool products you have available in English ;-).

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. kerry says…
    09/30/2008

    Ah Ali, I am going to make you one rich, rich woman with the digital stuff. Haha! You have helped simplify my scrapping, and I'm enjoying it so much more now. Too many other things in life to worry about, scrapping should remain fun.
    I'm going to do this project again next week. I did one at CKU, and another last year. It is so fun! Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Hannah says…
    09/30/2008

    thank you for this, ali.
    i've been following your blog, and planning on doing this for some time. friday, my husband found out that his plant is closing, so we will again be moving (fifth time in three years) and we have no idea where..or what is going to happen in the next couple weeks. this is going to be hard, and emotional, but what a perfect time to record our life. it won't be "everyday activities" but it will really remind us what this adventure is, and help us grow together and stay strong. I'm already excited to look at this a year from now to reflect back on our lives. so much is going to change.
    thank you for your inspiration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. HeatherC says…
    09/30/2008

    QUESTION - Do you plan to include the entire word document that you created yesterday, or are these your notes that you will then journal from. I am struggling a bit as to how much room to leave for words vs pictures.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Nancy Mackey says…
    09/30/2008

    great tips! keep it simple- why is it that is so easy to forget?

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Tanya Gilmartin says…
    09/30/2008

    Hi Ali,
    I have to say- your blog is ALWAYS so inspiring! I have other scrap/craft/art blogs saved in my favorites, and they change every few weeks. Except for your blog. It is top in my list and has not moved in years! You seem to know when I am in a creative slump, and BOOM- there is a new project. I am going to do this "week in the life" project, but I am going to wait till your week is done, then decide how to structure mine. How cool would it be if our mom's did this when we were young? I may do one every couple of years, just to see how things change.
    Ali, you have changed the way I look at scrapbooking, and you keep me focused and inspired- so thank you!
    Tanya- Ontario, Canada

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Peggy says…
    09/30/2008

    I’m trying to do this week in the life album. I think it’s a great idea, until I started it. Wow that’s a lot of pictures to take. And I work outside of the home. I don’t know that my co-workers would be thrilled for me to take pictures of them everyday all week. Lol
    I’m an insurance examiner so while I change files daily at my desk. I just don’t see the pictures being that different every day. But I’m going to try again tomorrow. I’ll just have to try and make sure I leave the flash off and hope no one thinks I’ve lost my mind. Lol. But I’m going to think this one out and try to get creative.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Andria says…
    09/30/2008

    Question:
    When you print your templates + overlays do you print on photo paper or cardstock? I love this idea and would love to incorporate it into my book, but I get stuck... Using photo paper makes the photos look great but hard to journal on...cardstock is the opposite ~ great for journaling but photo quality it poor...help!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Ali says…
    09/30/2008

    Andria - I am printing the large overlays on white cardstock. You can include your journaling on there before you print it out or do strip journaling on cardstock that is easier to hand-write on as well.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Ali says…
    09/30/2008

    Heather - I am not sure yet. I have been thinking about it both ways. I may do a portion of it in list format and then use the rest as labels for photos that go with the words. I will know more once I have more content for the week as a whole.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Ali says…
    09/30/2008

    Peggy - I totally understand. I find that myself when I work here at home and it all seems the same. My suggestion is to really keep an eye open for things that jump out at you as "so much a part of your day that you miss them all the time."
    You don't have to capture every moment of the day. Just having your camera there is an opportunity to have some photos of events, moments, places that you may not otherwise have.
    Also, think in terms of the story of your life. What things do you want to remember at this point in time/at this place in your life? Or what things would you like to forget that would be fun to laugh at in the years to come?
    I guarantee you there are other things even in that same environment you see everyday that are worth your story.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Cheryl says…
    09/30/2008

    This has nothing to do with this post, but as a designer, I thought you might enjoy this little comedy about fonts - a little glimpse at some of the standard fonts "personalities": http://www.alreadybeenchewed.net/?p=82

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Hillary Chybinski says…
    09/30/2008

    so far so good. . .but i am struggling with the quality of my photos. . .i want them to look more "artistic". . .say, more tara whitney than me. . .LOL. . .it's an interesting project. . .thanks for the inspiration.
    Hillary

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. christen says…
    09/30/2008

    i love the idea of the 4x6 journaling blocks and think i am planning on using the divided sheet protectors...but i don't think all the journaling will fit in one block. your daily blocks are so cute! but i don't think having a bunch of them on one pg. would look good. are you envisioning one per page and then other blocks open for journaling, too? i guess i'm wondering what other ideas you have for them. thanks.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Ali says…
    09/30/2008

    Hillary - I know what you mean :). Tara is awesome. Maybe your challenge this week is to really break out of the usual way you take photos - try some different angles, different light, etc. Play with your camera more than you have let yourself in the past. I have found the more I play the more interesting the shots and the more comfortable I become with my camera.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ali says…
    09/30/2008

    Christen - I am not sure yet. Some of those things I just won't know until I start putting things into the album. I imagine I will use more than one journal block - or use more of the space on my 8.5x11 piece of cardstock for the journaling.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Jayne Hickey (The View From My Shoes) says…
    09/30/2008

    Okay...once again you have set my mind at ease. Like someone else said, why is SIMPLE so hard to keep straight?! I love the thought of actually holding a finished album in my hands in the not so distant future...can't say I've gotten there yet in all honesty but I'm a damn good collector of photos and supplies!
    I love the idea of the trading card pockets and the square punch.
    Ali - you amaze me...how do you balance life, a home, a family, AND have time to get this done? I seem to have trouble dedicating "x" amount of time to work on this in between doing all the bazillion other things that have to be done around here.
    Balancing my "wants" with my "have-to's" compounded by three kids and a side of autism - balance seems to be a word that's not in my thesaurus!
    Maybe I can develop some of your balance strictly by osmosis through the computer!
    Can hardly wait to see how this ends up...FINISHED I hope!
    Thanks Ali-
    Jayne

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Amy says…
    09/30/2008

    Ali, thanks for all the ideas for the album! Thanks to my enormous stash, I have a lot of those items already. :)
    I have was having the same problem as Peggy taking pictures in my cubicle all week would prove to get very boring. But shockingly, my co-workers were very interested in the project. They thought it was a neat idea (And these are civil engineers, so certainly not artsy types at all!) And not only have I been finding plenty of things to take pictures of, but I have been noticing a lot more of my surroundings at work. Details that I see everyday but don't really SEE. That is the gift of this project for me. Thanks Ali!

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  23. scrapwordsgirl says…
    09/30/2008

    This is just fun! This morning I grabbed my camera first thing and took a photo of my hubby watching the Markets and enjoying his breakfast. Wouldn't have done that before. This has me thinking differently and it's just Day 2. Thanks for this, Ali. Just what I needed. Also love your ideas on the layout of the album. I am so going to make this simple and cool.
    Les

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  24. Jenell Stock says…
    09/30/2008

    Ali - this is such a great project. I'm working on day 2 and the thing that I'm learning or realizing the most is the fact that I am now very aware of my surroundings, what I'm doing and the little things - like the clouds yesterday in a very stormy St. Louis or the clear sky today after the storm - the rain hitting the puddles yesterday. I am really enjoying the picture-taking part of this - the rest will be more difficult for me, but I'm determined to try to do an entire book for me for a change.
    Thanks, as always, for your inspiration.
    Jenell

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Alison says…
    09/30/2008

    I'm going to set up my book like your mixed-up mini to start and work from there. My week is usually pretty messy, so I figured my book should be too. Thanks for the tips on consistency today -- that should help tie the whole mixed-up mess together!

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