Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 26, 2010

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 12×12, 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!


  • 1.
    Molly Irwin said…


  • 2.
    Elisa said…

    This is so amazing. I want to join in, but am fearful of the commitment. I think December Daily scared me off a bit, although the page protector format for this project might simplify the process for me. I really appreciate how you are just going with the flow whenever there is not photo for a particular day.This album will be priceless.

  • 3.
    Barb M. said…

    Thanks for sharing. I have been so intimidated by the huge box that Project Life comes in that it is still sitting in the corner of my scraproom. I will pull it out again this weekend and give it a whirl. I think that by having it put together, I am more likely to start it when the time comes. I am a teacher so my year for this project will probably not start until mid-June. Who says I have to start in January! Thanks.

  • 4.
    Jill D said…

    Thank you for showing some new ideas for this book. I have the kit and have been taking the pictures (for the most part) but I was feeling myself limited by the structure. By seeing your example, I see that I can do more than just put in a picture but also kid’s pictures, smaller photos, etc… I guess I just needed to see an example. Thanks!

  • 5.
    Robyn said…

    really like your approach to this project!

  • 6.
    stephanie said…

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration of including tidbits of daily life memorabilia. Especially the recipe. My daughter keeps printing these out and I keep throwing them away. :) Just curious as to how you are printing your journaling? Are you doing that on the computer or with a typewriter?

  • 7.
    Rachel Smith said…

    So, I know that you had sort of been considering doing a Week In The Life project early this year since you didn’t do a full one last year, only the weekend version. Since you’re doing this photo-a-day project that feels quite similar, are you holding off on the WITL this year?

  • 8.
    Sarah said…

    so cool, and so simple….as in uncomplicated….can I be you when I grow up? (LOL!!! I’m 33 and have 3 kids of my own!) I envy how you tell your stories, and it seems effortless. Is it really as effortless as it seems?

  • 9.
    Aprile said…

    Very nice! As a fellow 365 scrapbooker, I appreciate your style and just seeing how someone else is using this kit is a bonus. I didn’t use a kit last year, made up my own because I couldn’t get a kit. This year has been sooooo much easier, because all the elements are right there for me. I leave mine out, too! I didn’t know if I would be able to complete 365 pics, but now I am into the second year and this has been the best album I have ever done! I’d like fto say thanks to Becky for inspiring me, too.

  • 10.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Can it be effortless but take effort at the same time? That’s what it feels like. It feels natural for me to tell stories but it takes serious effort to actually get them on paper/computer/etc. It’s just something I choose to spend my time on ;) .

  • 11.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Good question. Originally I still planned to to do AWITL but now that I am into this one I am re-thinking it. One of the things I really love about AWITL is it shows many more photos for a single day – it’s “more” than a slice of life that I get here with Project Life.
    I think I just answered my question – I will be doing AWITL again this year. It is a more in-depth project…and I want to have that in my collection :) .

  • 12.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I am thinking April.

  • 13.
    Barb M. said…

    Way cool. I have no idea what a Week In the Life is but I like the title of it. I have only been checking out your blog since mid-DEC. I will look at some of your past postings on the topic. Thanks.

  • 14.
    ReNi said…

    That looks really great! Thanks for sharing your work!

  • 15.
    Peaceliving said…

    I started this project (not as a 365 but using my favorite 5 photos each week) but I’ve neglected it lately. Yours is looking wonderful. You are so good about collecting everyday papers and things to include, which I love. I don’t have a good system for collecting that sort of stuff yet, so most paper that doesn’t need to be kept goes straight into the recycle bin. I need to figure out a good way to keep some of them.

  • 16.
    TJ said…

    Thanks for taking the time to share so much of your book! I do the post-it thing in mine, too. It really keeps me on track. I totally agree that as it grows I get more and more excited to see it at the end of the year!
    My three oldest daughters live abroad and are only home for a few weeks out of the year. I am motivated to keep it up so they can get a daily glimpse of our family life and stay connected to us and their younger siblings.
    I won’t remember all the little stories but here many of them will be, just waiting to be shared!

  • 17.
    Tappin' Tamara said…

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve been up to in your album. I am loving this kit! I like that we all have the same basic supplies but we get to add what we like to each pocket, the things that make our lives unique. It’s really indicative of the human experience-because we all share the same physical components, but live in such different ways!

  • 18.
    Mary Ellen said…

    I have the same question someone else asked. I just got my kit and wasn’t sure how to use the cards except writing things out by hand. Is there a trick to running something so small through a printer? Or are you even using a printer to print on the cards?

  • 19.
    Sarah said…

    I really really love what you are doing with the project. So smart to use the smaller pockets for receipts and business cards and such. And then showcasing school work in between…so cool! I may be trying this next year..didn’t think I’d want to since I switched to digi but I think you may have changed my mind about it.

  • 20.
    Jessica Turner said…

    Really enjoyed looking at your album, Ali. I love all the little bits you are adding – like the cough drop wrapper. I posted a video of my album and linked a few other scrapbookers (including you) in this post:
    I am also loving Project Life Tuesdays as way to keep up with this project – and look at what others are doing.

  • 21.
    cindy b. said…

    Ali, this is so awesome and SO inspiring!! Lately I’ve been feeling deflated in the realm of scrapbooking and not inspired by anything. This REALLY inspires me to get back to the CORE of scrapbooking and what it’s all about. I’ve always thought that a project like this HAD to start in January. (crazy I know!) Thanks for always sharing your talent – so uplifting!!

  • 22.
    Teresa said…

    Definitely enjoyed seeing an update on your 365 project, Ali. I really love how you “made it your own”. I did a week in review album last year, and love having that whole snapshot of my year. This year I started out going the 365 route, but life has gotten in the way, and I just haven’t felt like taking photos this month. Only rarely am I inspired to do so. After feeling guilty about it for awhile, I thought, why push it? I’ll just work with what I have, format it a little differently, and have an album that more represents the type of year I’m having so far. Maybe next month will be different!

  • 23.
    Deb J said…

    I really like the way you are doing your album. I tired one last year and gave up about half way through the year. Being single, having my Mom living iwth me and both of us disabled it seems like we didn’t have enough going on in our lives to come up with enough to fill one. Now I’m seeing how I could have done it differently. Maybe next year I will do one again.

  • 24.
    Kendra said…

    I’ve been having fun with my Project Life album as well. I make sure to fill out the little “diary” card at the end of the day and put them all in a pile. I have a small photo primter so I print all the photos at the end of the week and update the pages. I am taking pictures of our “Daily life” when nothing out of the ordinary happens.

  • 25.
    Debby said…

    Thanks for the update. I collect all kinds of stuff but never know quite what to do with it. Now I know!

  • 26.
    Karen G said…

    I think I’ve always been intimidated by these year long, every day kind of projects, but I really like your approach! It would totally work for me to include things other than photos for several of the days and I like that you include larger bits as well. I think my plate is pretty full right at this moment, but this is definitely a way I would consider incorporating it into my family’s memory keeping! :>

  • 27.
    Stacy said…

    Do you think this is something you’ll do yearly? Also, the album looks so big. Where do you plan to tuck it away when it’s not on your office cabinet? It looks really neat BTW!

  • 28.
    Afusomax said…

    I LOVE the idea of designating a spot for the album to stay open. What a simple, obvious, but completely overlooked (by me) solution.

  • 29.
    con-tain-it said…

    This is wonderful Ali and it’s great that you are doing this for Anna’s young baby/toddler years…because it goes so darn fast! Also, it incorporates everyone in your family and not just the “baby” so that Simon doesn’t feel left out. Sometimes people go crazy doing a baby album and the other siblings feel left out and not special anymore. This is a great “journal” place where you can have a reference to look back on the details when you are working on the individual albums for each child. But as you mention, it is a “good” habit to get into and having the portrait sleeves and pocket pages makes this easy to collect the memoriabilia and photos without having to feel like you have to pull out all the papers/ephemera like you do for traditional albums. This is a great place for people who are tradtional “journalers” to start “scrapbooking” and not feel limited and/or overwhelmed. Just delightful to see this process…thanks for sharing and updating us all. Fondly, Roberta

  • 30.
    Marlene said…

    I noticed that all the photo pockets are for horizontal photos only. Are you feeling limited at all in not being able to include vertical shots more?

  • 31.
    ShellyJ said…

    Fabulous! thanks for sharing again. i love your approach!

  • 32.
    Tammy Circeo said…

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it, but I thought I would give you an idea of how to get the page protectors through your sewing machine more easily … Put a sheet of paper –like computer paper, or just notebook paper, or even newspaper or tissue paper– underneath your page protector and run it through the machine together. The paper creates more stability for stitching and after you’ve sewn, you can tear away the paper with no damage to the page protector. Save the scraps for the next stitching!

  • 33.
    peg risley said…

    Ali and everyone that has commented! Great ideas – especially the sewing technique! I have had a calendar posted in my daughters room since she was born (she is now 9!) and each day when I go in to say goodnight, I write a comment about something she did, or we did that day as a family. I intended to keep the calendar from her first year, but into her 2nd year she was doing the cutest things. Now I keep the calendars to help me document when I get behind in my scrappin’ and its helping me with Project 365. I love the idea of leaving the album open on a table or desk… hhhmmm. now where should I keep it??
    Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  • 34.
    Kary in Colorado said…

    I was just thinking this morning, I wonder if Ali will post more of her 365 pages? Thanks for reading my mind! I’m doing it again this year, the same process as you–photos and ephemera from daily life (Top Ramen wrapper this week as my kids are sick and that’s the only time they get ramen!). I love seeing your pages, and you are right–keeping the book out makes all the difference. I started doing that about March of last year and it was so much easier to keep it up. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • 35.
    Mary Kozak said…

    your album is looking great. i love the pic of anna with the pouty face, LOL.

  • 36.
    Ali said…

    Not me, mainly because I take almost 95% horizontal photos. I do have one in there so far and I just put it in sideways (whoever is looking at it can simply turn it to see).

  • 37.
    Ali said…

    It is huge – at least 3-inches at the spine. Not sure I will do this yearly – maybe every couple of years. I will know more how I am feeling about it towards the end of the year. I have a shelf-unit (metal kitchen shelves) that hold all my albums at this time. It will go there as well.

  • 38.
    Kris said…

    Ali, your album is looking crazy cool. Thanks for inspiring me add a few “extra” to the journaling card. My album is looking better already!

  • 39.
    amy tangerine said…

    I am so in love with this.
    and the ace hotel!

  • 40.
    Bree said…

    Beautiful — I love the way it’s coming together :-)
    A question:
    Ali, I was wondering if you felt limited at all by the horizontal-only option of the page protectors? Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I find I take a ton of vertical shots and this album idea seems like it wouldn’t work for me. Have you run into that yet?

  • 41.
    Cynthia said…

    Wow, this is great! I don’t follow blogs daily, but I have yours bookmarked in my “Scrappy Goodness” folder, and I was hoping you had an update for your Project Life album today! So happy! I think you are the main reason I decided to buy one myself. I’m recording my 42nd year of life (I turned 41 this week). Thank you for your comments about Flikr. I don’t have an account, and may try it to see how it works.
    I also made a journal to write in this year, and I started it in January. It is pictured in my blog. I am enjoying telling brief daily stories that way, and putting up pics of each week. I love how colorful the journal I made is, and I’m enjoying the format.
    Anyway, thanks again for sharing so much inspiration!

  • 42.
    Elisa Bohm said…

    Hi Ali,
    I love your approach. I did a digital project 365 last year and I loved how it worked as a picture of our daily lives. I used it as a reference point for my more artsy pages. I could pick and choose stories from my 365 that I wanted to expand on in my more traditional album.
    I adore Becky’s kit. I wasn’t in love with the patterns on the cards so I have copied your approach to printing on the blank side. Love it. I also find I love using the small pockets for little bits of scrapbook supplies I want to use up. It’s a great way to experiment and play without committing to an entire layout.
    I leave the album out on my scrap table in my home office and I find my kids (I have 3) love to come in and flip through it. They even add their own journaling cards! This kit and this approach just enable me to really capture all the little stories that sometimes get lost in the more traditional format. It makes it easy.

  • 43.
    Michelle said…

    Ali, thank you so much for the peek into your 365 album and for sharing a bit about your process. Right about now I am kicking myself for not jumping on the POTD bandwagon! I know it’s not to late to start, and maybe I can get my toes wet with a month instead of a whole year. You make it look so easy! Thanks for always inspiring me!

  • 44.
    Cherie said…

    Thanks for sharing. It’s fun to see how others are doing Project Life. My pages are here:

  • 45.
    Rhonda Zamora said…

    I am feeling very inspired! This is really awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • 46.
    Heather Hare said…

    Hi Ali! Love the layouts, as always! :) I wanted to let you know, I finally finished & posted my album from CKU-Houston 2008, Evolution. I had just finished another album about me, so I did mine about my dad, who passed away in 1996. Thank you so, so, so much for that class and project – it was a tremendous healing process that really did me a world of good. All those things I’ve had floating around in my head for the last 14 years… it was really awesome to finally get them all down on paper, and your eclectic style was the perfect setting for the memory book I wanted to create.
    (The rest of the journaling for the 2nd section I had to paste into a comment… too many words! lol)

  • 47.
    Kristia said…

    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

  • 48.
    Alison said…

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

  • 49.
    wendy ramirez said…

    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.

  • 50.
    Mel Kirk said…

    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)

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