AE : 365 : Project Life Updates


My 365 : Project Life by Becky Higgins album is coming right along.

You can read my more details about how I am approaching this project in my original post here.

So how do I feel about this project and my approach after almost two months? The biggest thing I love about this album is that it really shows the progression of time. I am excited to see what it looks like at the end of the year. I am excited to start at the beginning and have in my hands a snapshot of 365 days in our lives.

I like that it is very low-pressure. If I don't happen to take a photo on a particular day I am just grabbing a piece of paper collected from the mail, printed from online, etc., or substituting in a photo from the same time period (within two or three days is my limit).

Repeats? Some of the photos I used here will be used in other layouts to tell more complete stories (such as a photo from Anna's birthday). In the case of her birthday, because I know I will be doing a more detailed layout with a variety of photos, I just put a small handwritten "happy birthday" onto one of my journaling cards.

Process? I find that if I keep up with posting a daily photo and journaling on my Flickr page that it makes it a ton easier when I have time to print photos and assemble into the page protectors. There is nothing to try to remember and the photo has already been chosen. It works best when I am in my regular daily routine...but, as with many other things, it becomes more challenging when other activities/vacations/houseguests make life more interesting.

Yesterday I uploaded all my photos, printed my journal cards, rounded corners, and assembled everything from the last few weeks (again, being able to cut and paste the journaling from Flickr makes a big difference for me). The one-hour-photo I used yesterday (Walgreens) wasn't great so I ordered the same batch from For some reason I have grown too accustomed to instant gratification.


Here's a shot of a week in-progress. Post-it notes are working well as a general reminder of the date and the assigned photo. The "stuff" is tucked in over the course of the week or simply laid on top of the pages until I am ready to either crop to fit in the pockets or fold.

One of the things that has been keeping me motivated is that I have designated a spot for this album to sit open. It's current home is on a cabinet in my office (sharing space with my sewing machine). I have found if the album is out and open I am much more likely to grab some bits of paper and just stick them in the pockets. It also serves as a great reminder that this is something I am wanting to keep-up with in 2010.




If there is something larger I want to include, but it's not large enough to fill a full 12x12, I stitch and crop the page protector. I first did this for my Disney album that appeared in my Life Artist book to create page protectors for each of the park maps. I don't try to make these perfect and I often have to force the page protector through the machine. I trim off the excess page protector after stitching the pocket to size (I stitch with the paper inside the protector as a guide).


The back side of the penguin is blank for now. Most likely I will add something from Simon's school basket.



I cut a piece from the Lost DVD packaging and added a cough-drop wrapper. More backpack gems have been included here (see more on my post Scrapbooking Stuff That Comes Home In His Backpack).


On the back I slipped in something Simon had printed out from the computer (a fried rice recipe from Ni Hao Kai-Lan). Instead of just slipping it into the page protector I added a little bit of hand-journaling on a piece of cardstock to actually get more of the story told (it is attached with a mini paper clip).





Thanks again Becky for establishing such a fun project!

71 thoughts

  1. Kristia

    2010-02-26 10:58:21 -0500

    Do you have any tips for sewing page protectors? You inspired me to have a go at it awhile back but my protector just got munched by the sewing machine. Doesn't help I can't sew :-P

  2. Alison

    2010-02-26 11:07:09 -0500

    Any chance you would share your file for the little journaling cards? Thanks!

  3. wendy ramirez

    2010-02-26 12:34:15 -0500

    THanks ali..I am using becky's album to put together a 365 project too... I hope to get some pictures up soon. It would be fun to see what others are doing, perhaps you could do a thread for people to put there blogs or a flickr group for added inspiration.

  4. Mel Kirk

    2010-02-26 13:27:14 -0500

    Hi Ali. If you are having trouble stitching page protectors get a teflon coated foot for the machine. Some manufacturers use make generic ones. It really helps the plastic slip through but still allows the feed dogs to do their thing. Works a treat :O)

  5. Mel Kirk

    2010-02-26 13:33:21 -0500

    I have teflon coated foot for my sewing machine and they go through smoothly when I use that. Most sewing machine shops have them. :)

  6. Denise

    2010-02-26 14:27:10 -0500

    Please share your journaling cards!!!!!
    Or make some for Digital Designer.

  7. Michele H.

    2010-02-26 15:03:48 -0500

    Oh...I love how this is unfolding! Thanks for sharing:)

  8. Denise

    2010-02-26 15:49:32 -0500

    I meant Designer Digital

  9. mimi

    2010-02-26 17:50:49 -0500

    i just LOVE LOVE LOVE all the little "things" in your 365! it is like a time capsule that details your year. what a treasure it will be for your kids later on! thanks for sharing! :o)

  10. Loni

    2010-02-26 20:37:38 -0500

    Ali, this is super inspirational. Love the way you're putting it together. I need to get crackin' on my album.

  11. Dawn mc

    2010-02-27 01:37:01 -0500

    I love your 365. I have had some people laugh at me until the saw the album. now they want one. lol

  12. Jill

    2010-02-27 04:15:58 -0500

    What brand could I get photo divided page protection of 4 - 4x6 photos and 4 - 3x6 photos? I can't find those like your doing a project.

  13. Susi

    2010-02-27 04:42:23 -0500

    I love how you've set up your Project Life album. I have an empty nest, but I so wish I had Project Life albums during the years my sons were growing up. You are such an amazing family. Thank you for sharing your art, wisdom, lifestyle and great resources. Simon is growing from an adorable little boy to a beautiful little man and awesome big brother. Anna is such a petite little doll baby. Blessings to you all.

  14. Kathy W.

    2010-02-27 06:28:07 -0500

    I too, have become addicted to your blog; I read it almost everyday. So I have started my own version of Project 365 & put the album together w/out a kit. I went w/ an 8 1/2" by 11" 4 inch 3 ring binder and bought standard page protectors (got these at Office Depot) plus ordered baseball card protectors same size (8.5" by 11"). I don't usually take a picture everyday, but take pictures at least a couple of times a week and then on the weekend print pics and make my layout for the past week. Each week's layout is an 8.5" by 11" more traditional scrapbook page in which I summarize the past week & have one 4x6 photo featured; the facing page is a baseball card protector w/ anywhere from 5 to 9 pics in it (there are 9 slots that are 2.5" x 3.5"). I made a cover for the front (there is a clear plastic protector on the front to slip a page in); I used your idea & punched out butterflies in various patterned papers and die cut the title "Project 365 2010." I am loving it and feel like I'm capturing more of my life. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Kathy

  15. Jesa

    2010-02-27 06:42:06 -0500

    This is a great way to be introduced to companies unfamiliar to us.

  16. Harriett

    2010-02-27 08:55:41 -0500

    Your Project Life is going so well. I am so happy with how mine is going. I do my journaling every night for that days picture, then I print my photos once a week for the previous week and put in any little extras I want to include that week. I too have used some page protectors cut down and sewn to size for extras. So far that's been a 1st grade spelling test, takeout menu and party invitation.
    Keep showing us yours for inspiration!

  17. Natasha Smith

    2010-02-27 09:03:21 -0500

    I LOVE what you are doing with this! Inspiring me to pull mine out and work on it a little more. THANKS!

  18. Deb

    2010-02-27 09:31:40 -0500

    I am also doing the project album. For the week it snowed here in Texas which it never snows much here, I added photos to all the pockets. I have a stock pile of photos that I use when there isn't a photo of the day. Pets, view on the way to work, cell phone etc., my plan is to use them before the month is over.
    I like the idea of including tv shows, books and recipes from the week.
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Kristia

    2010-02-27 14:14:46 -0500

    Thanks for the tip Mel

  20. Shawn Wenrich

    2010-02-27 14:48:23 -0500

    I am loving Project Life. I feel fulfilled with my Scrapbooking like I never have before and I still have time to do projects in between. Thanks Ali for sharing yours with us. I really like the way you incorporate things from your lives not just pictures. I ordered some 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors so I can adopt this too.

  21. heidi m.

    2010-02-27 16:56:54 -0500

    Ali, I think the best part of your note is that you are not letting this project create huge stress in your life. There is such a fine line between loving to create and having it wreak havoc in your every day life. When I start to stress out about a project, it no longer is fun for me, so I end up just chucking it. I'm super glad to see that you're allowing yourself some leeway on getting each day done. Thanks!!

  22. Sandi M

    2010-02-28 02:08:02 -0500

    I LOVE the way this is coming along! This may have to be on my do it next year project list.

  23. Harriett

    2010-02-28 06:43:27 -0500

    Hey Deb. I'm in Texas too and I compiled and printed a collage of snow pictures from that week of massive snow and added it to my week in a sized down page protector. Still had my week's pictures but the extra collage and a little journaling about the snow on the photo was just an extra i threw in.

  24. Sally

    2010-07-21 05:29:00 -0400

    Just ordered Project Life for my POTD'10, and I've been tracking the package...should be waiting for me today when I get home. I'm so excited. Thanks for the update on how yours is coming. You always have such great ideas, Ali. I love the way you incorporate mail, and wrappers, etc -- little signs of the times. I can't wait to get started!!!

  25. nicole

    2010-07-21 06:57:07 -0400

    Oh I love to see your post its on your pages to have place holders. I could not scrapbook without post its.

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