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Project Life | Week One

I'm excited to be underway with Project Life again.

Here's a look at where I've got it placed in our house. For me, out and available is the key.

Last year Project Life lived in my office. It sat on the ledge of a chalkboard and that worked great.

This year, because I'm wanting to get my family more involved in the process - and make it even more visible - I've set up a place for it at the far end of our kitchen counter. I'm also hoping this will help me keep more up-t0-date than in 2010.

Here's the wide view of our kitchen. Project Life is in that back far corner near the door that goes to our laundry room.

And here's an up-close look:

This station consists of the album and page protectors (I'm just using a black We Are Memory Keepers album - the only reason for this is that I like plain albums), a vase that holds the journaling cards + pen + corner rounder + scissors, my Fujifilm Instax camera, and a new little 4x6 Canon Selphy printer.

I'm still in the testing out mode with the Selphy printer. I love the idea of it I'm just not sure that I love it. Giving myself a bit more time with it. I'm also used to printing upstairs so I'm working myself out of that habit and into this one (at least attempting it). I want the whole process to be simple and d0-able.

Here's what my first week looks like:


And the spread:

I've pre-stamped the date for each week onto the rounded corner cards so those are all in the album and ready to go.

Some of the things you may or may not notice:


  • I'm not journaling everyday.

  • I'm journaling when I encounter a story I want to tell or something specific comes to mind. Most of these are little moments type stories or conversations.

  • I'm using a pen to write directly onto the cards.

  • I'm definitely including lots of little bits of life: receipts, grocery lists, wrappers, packaging, things the kids draw, etc.

  • I'm not worrying about taking a photo a day.


Here's a look at the start of this week:

For things I want to include that are larger (like the program above) I'm just sewing and trimming the page protectors to fit. It's very easy. You can see a short video I did about sewing on page protectors here.

If you don't have the counter or table space available to leave it out, consider pulling out the page protectors for the week and putting them up on a bulletin board. You could use binder clips like I do with my calendar (shown above) to hold it up without punching holes through the page protectors.

If you're looking for more support, ideas and encouragement don't forget to sign up for the free Project Life community at Big Picture Classes.

NOTE : It looks like Project Life is currently sold out at Amazon. According to Becky they should be getting more in stock very soon!

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158 thoughts

  1. Katya says…
    01/12/2011

    Beautiful and inspiring! I want this done, but the lens should be a good buy with the camera canon

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Sally says…
    01/12/2011

    Lookin' good Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Kris says…
    01/12/2011

    Thank you for posting your project life. I hope you will continue to post it weekly, its very inspiring and I love to see what you have done. It also reminds me to keep it simple. I also am not taking a photo everyday...keeping it simple so I enjoy it.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      I'm going to aim for a weekly posting :).

  4. amy tangerine says…
    01/12/2011

    love this Ali!
    the reason i love the selphy is for the different sized photos that can be printed on it. i rarely print full bleed 4X6. I much prefer the smaller sizes (like wallets) and collages.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Angie H says…
      01/12/2011

      I agree. I like that I can do the smaller pictures too.

      @Kendra,
      I have the CP780. Should be similar.
      You can print more than 1 photo to 1 page.
      Go Menu>Print Settings>Page Layout>Select the number you want with the arrows. Then go Back twice until you are back to your pics on your memory card. Select 1 copy for each picture until you get to the number that you selected back on your layout. Then, print. If you look to the top right as you are picking them, it will show the different squares filling up. So, if you decide to do 4 - it will shade them until you get to 4. You can do more than 1 4X6 too. So if you want to do a bunch of wallets. It will tell you over to the right what you are using.

      WORD OF CAUTION from experience - Go back and change to 4 x 6 after you are done. It stays on the Page Layout the next time you print. The first time I did it, I printed 1 pic on a layout for 8. Just a waste of the paper.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Kendra says…
      01/12/2011

      Amy- I have a Selphy too (CP760). Are you able to print more than photo (wallet size) per page? I can't quite figure it out.....

    3. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      I need to try that!

  5. megan P says…
    01/12/2011

    Looks great, i love seeing what you do with project life, and i look forward too more updates through the year!

    I'm wondering did you Purchase the kit from becky and just switch the binders? or did you just get the page protectors? Where are the journaling cards from??

    Thanks
    Megan

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      Yep - purchased the full kit and just put it all into a different binder. The journaling cards are part of the full kit. They are GREAT!

  6. kelly says…
    01/12/2011

    i need to go check out this selphy printer. i have never heard of that! good toknow.

    and yes, it needs to be within eye sight for me to remember to do it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Mrs. b says…
    01/12/2011

    Looking good! Thanks for the reminder of keeping it simple! Escpecially, that journaling doesn't have to be included for each day.

    I am still waiting for my kit to arrive (it takes a while with international shipping), and am so much looking forward to begin my first Project Life ever!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Amy Albert says…
    01/12/2011

    I love what you are doing! Although we are in the middle of a major snow storm right now UPS just delivered my projecy life kit! Very excited to get started and inspired by seeing yours! Question what do you mean you prestamped the date on the corner cards already? I guess I'm not sure where they'd go? Thanks, Amy

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Kelly says…
      01/29/2011

      @Amy- I know this was posted a while ago, ad you probablyhave this figured all out now... but... Be sure to hit up Becky Higgins' site for videos on setting up the album. :) And the Project Life "course" at BigPicture. very helpful!!!

      @Ali- what kind of things do you write down?? This is my veryfirst ever scrapbook of any sorts... so I have no idea what to write?

    2. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      The kit comes with 4x6 rounder corner cards with a white area on them to add the date for each week. I stamp mine ;).

  9. Nicky from Canada says…
    01/12/2011

    Thanks Ali - love the inspiration and I do love your new kitchen!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Tweets that mention Project Life | Week One | Ali Edwards -- Topsy.com says…
    01/12/2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ali Edwards and kelly mc willette, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: Project Life | Week One: I’m excited to be underway with Project Life again. Here’s a look at… http://goo.gl/fb/T4IZU [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Jen D says…
    01/12/2011

    Awesome, thanks for showing us! I am so interested in hearing how the Selphy ends up working out for you, so please update us!
    I'm trying to take a picture a day, but am happy to see your idea of not worrying about it, and not worrying about journaling every day- I like that. Makes it feel like less work. I'm pre-cutting my own little cards and 4x6 papers to add to the album too - I like that I can be creative with it still.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jennifer Camplin says…
    01/12/2011

    First of all.. beautiful kitchen! Love it extra sink!

    Feel welcoming...

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Aimee in Oregon says…
    01/12/2011

    uh oh...

    I just got my Selphy yesterday. You aren't sure about it? Should I just send it back? What is it that you aren't liking?

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Lana says…
      01/13/2011

      Hi Ali and Aimee,

      I have had my Selphy ES1 for about 2 years now and I absolutely love the convenience and speed of being able to print high quality photos at home!
      BUT
      It does seem to print out photos too dark. This seems to be a known issue with these little printers.

      To get round this, I always brighten the photos first using the Easy-PhotoPrint software that came in the box with it. If you click on the Correct/Enhance button in the toolbar, select the Manual tab, then click on Face Brightener, and draw a box over the area of the photo that you want to lighten.
      I generally do this for all photos regardless of whether they look dark or not to just to compensate for this "bug".
      However that means that you would need to have your Selphy attached to your computer, so that might not work for your kitchen counter top, Ali. :(

      Unless there is some way to do this from the Selphy's own control panel? There isn't on my model but I think my model is a basic one.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      I think it's more my own issue with taking photos that are too dark. The ones coming out of there so far have felt dark...that's why I need to play a bit more.

  14. Stephanie George says…
    01/12/2011

    I know it's a lot to keep up with, but I too would really enjoy seeing your spread each week. I'm having withdrawals from checking in every day to see your dd pages!! I love the concept of this project life album. But I'm so behind on other projects that I'm thinking I better save this for another year! I started a similar album for my daughter's baby album, but she's 16 months old now, and I've barely even started it. I thought the page protectors would be simple, but I think maybe I have too many different styles of protectors, so I'm reinventing the wheel every time I do a page. I like the sizes (slots) of the Project Life protectors. And the consistency makes it easy to do the same thing every week! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      This is my hope Stephanie - to be able to post once a week. I can do it!

    2. Stephanie George says…
      01/17/2011

      Ali, You're right, you CAN do it! And as motivation, know that your layout posts always motivate us to keep up with ours. I read through a lot of the replies on your last DD post (the recap and thoughts for DD 2011), and I was noticing how many people said they kept up with their DD album for the first time this year. I can't help but think that is a reflection of you posting your pages daily. I think it was a big encouragement to everyone, a reminder to keep it simple and to do a little work each day... I know that's what motivated me!

  15. arlene says…
    01/12/2011

    I just started my binder/kit (although I bought it a year ago!), and silly question, is it set up for 2 page protector sides per week? I guess I could just go count the page protectors. I have all the other stuff put in, but not the weekly cards.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      Hi Arlene - yes - it's set up to do a full spread (a right + a left side) for the entire year. You can do it however you want but there are enough to have two pages per week.

    2. arlene says…
      01/12/2011

      Wow, you're fast! Thanks! I'm on the way to go stuff them in right now! :)

  16. Michelle Wooderson says…
    01/12/2011

    Ali, that is my only issue with my Selphy printer too...I can't brighten up the photos through my computer editing...which is why I'm looking into hooking my Selphy up to my Mac. Just a little brightening is about all that's needed. I do LOVE being able to print the 4 x 6 right at home with this nifty little printer though.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      I think that's what I will try. My laptop is usually in the kitchen. Here's a link to the cable that Amy Tangerine sent me: http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-PC-Cable-Canon-SELPHY-CP770-ES40-Photo-Printer-/270582946877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f00001c3d#ht_2871wt_1205

  17. bstory says…
    01/12/2011

    i just got a Selphy that is smaller than yours and I love it. If you use the shuffle feature you can put up to 8 images on one 4x6 photo sheet - great when you can't decide on just one shot! It also has 2up which will print to portrait shots on one 4x6 and when cut in half they fit perfectly in the little card slots!!!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. bstory says…
      01/21/2011

      Audra... i believe my Selphy is the 800. I love it! The ink/photo paper refill is a bit pricey so i will only use it to print "special" photos. I was a bit disappointed when i went out to find the refills. I went to Office Max and the guy there told me that that was an old printer and they don't carry the ink anymore... what???? i just got it! i did find it at best buy though. Otherwise... i love it!

    2. audra says…
      01/21/2011

      Hi, I'm wondering if you could share which model of the Selphy you bought. I'm looking to get one & LOVE the idea of the multi photos on a 4x6... Also, if you could let me know if you are happy with the QUALITY of the pics I'd appreciate it. THANKS! audra

  18. Melissa says…
    01/12/2011

    I was just wondering - did you switch binders because you prefer the Memory Keepers, or is that just temporary to keep the Project Life binder clean? In MY kitchen that thing wouldn't stand a chance...Thank you for showing this, I have my kit and I just haven't dived in yet!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      It's mainly because I just like plain binders :).

  19. Kristie H says…
    01/12/2011

    I love this! and I love the colors of that kit! I got the old kit this year to try and I am already behind and frustrated at myself. I just don't really think that I have enough "stories" to fill it up! I'm just a mom at home raising kids...I'd love to see your spreads too! They are very inspiring.

    Reply 5 Replies
    1. Kristie H says…
      01/13/2011

      I'm so grateful for the support, I hardly know what to say! Time does fly by and I never really had a strong desire to capture it until like a year ago, so its kinda overwhelming! When I was in HS I looooved looking through my baby book. As I was going through Ali's Y/T class last night I realized that I have nothing around me from my childhood. I moved across country in my car and left all the "non-essential" items back home--including all my photos. So, I don't know the stories that I loved from my childhood, nevermind the ones my kids would love. I'm going to call my mom and have them shipped and get to remembering what stories are important to me from then so that I can more easily recognize the loved stories of today.

    2. Stacy Milford says…
      01/13/2011

      Kristie-

      From a mom with two teenage sons...they grow up in the blink of an eye. We have a senior in the house this year & he turns 18 on Saturday. This year is crazy & hectic beyond imagination, but we are doing this project as a family! Trust me...just tell the little daily stories...or jot down the goofy jokes your kids tell...it will all come together into a wonderful scrapbook! You can do it :)

      Stacy

    3. Kristie H says…
      01/13/2011

      Thanks for your responses ladies! My kids are 3.5 and 9months and I think the "my baby got three teeth in two weeks and I'm up all night" exhustion is hitting hard today. I started thinking about what you said while doing laundry...how one day my boy would be all grown up and doing his own, or bringing it home from college...whatever. And started to see the stories...then I took him to tumbling class and to introduce himself, he turned to another girl and said "Hi! My name is B...wanna see my teeth?" (and she did and loved them!) That's when I thought...maybe I do have some stories. Ordered "Life Artist" yesterday and think that will help me develop the ability to recognize them! (well, that and sleep!) Thank you so much for your encouragement and inspiration. =)

    4. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      Hi Kristie - with this project (as with so many others) there really never has to be any being "behind." You can make it whatever you want it to be.

      I absolutely know that you have enough stories to fill an album like this - ABSOLUTELY.

      My favorite stories are the little ones. The tiny moments and bits that really make up our lives. Little conversations, what you had for breakfast, things you notice, things you celebrate (so many more things in our lives to celebrate than holidays and birthdays).

      I always try to keep in mind that these days are not going to happen again. What will I want to remember in the future about this time in our lives - what will my kids want to remember? Also - what do I wish I knew about my Mom and about my own childhood - I'd love to see photos of what we ate for breakfast or lunch or dinner. I'd love to see photos of a tree in our backyard through the seasons. I'd love to see photos of quiet moments where I was reading a book, etc.

      My guess is there are thousands of stories you could tell on any given day.

    5. Paula King says…
      01/12/2011

      Hi Kristie,
      I give myself permission to be flexible - altho my goal is a photo a day, I know that sometimes I won't have one but other times there will be more than one photo per day. It all evens out and in a year's time, your family will only appreciate that you cared enough to document the Everyday/Typical as well as the special.
      I don't know how old your children are (mine are 16, 10, 7 & 17 months) but they all take shots and journal at times. I just let their stuff take precidence when it happens. Bran has journalled twice and I'm only in week 2 of this year!
      Best wishes for you - I hope you find this as absolutely rewarding as I do!

  20. dawn says…
    01/12/2011

    Hi Ali, so glad you posted this today. First of all your kitchen is so bright and open, love love it and that extra sink what mom doesn't want that!!! Now about the PL, some people asked why did you switch binders, you had to guess we'd ask, because I bought the same one as you and I love the colors and what are you going to do with the orginal binder then?? I love your first week and how it's not all pictures, that's my idea this year also. Going on year 3 for this album and really wanted to change it a bit and add the kids thoughts/journaling to it. That's a great place to keep it in your kitchen, ours is on a table in the family room, only place I could think of. I like that little mailbox thing on your counter too.

    Here's my questions where you can read them better, what are you doing with the original binder? How does that printer work if not hooked up to a computer, do you put your camera card in it, if so how do you see the picture you want? Sorry it may seem dumb but I've never seen one like this. Thanks for sharing and helping and I would love to see one weeks page a month if you had time. Like Stephanie said I'm going thru a little withdraw too from your DD album.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      Original binder's currently just hanging out in my office. I'm just a fan of plain binders :).

      This printer prints with the memory cards - just slide it in and choose what to print. You see the picture via the screen on the front of the printer.

  21. Cheri says…
    01/12/2011

    Yay Ali! Thanks for sharing this... I hope that you do continue to share your PL weekly. This is my first year of doing one, so far I am loving it! I am leaving mine out and accessible in my scrap room, but have journaling cards all over my house so that it's easy to grab one. I like how you are putting the "stuff of life" in yours, definitely want to do more of that! Can't wait to see more Ali! :) My first week is on my blog if you are interested in checking it out!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Lucy says…
    01/12/2011

    Gurl.....you do some good work. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Carolyn E says…
    01/12/2011

    Thanks for sharing Ali! For 2010's Project Life, I didn't take a photo a day or journaled each day. I added in bits and pieces of mail, my son's papers or part of his planner, packages and the like. It took a lot of pressure off of having to get a picture everyday. And I plan on doing that again this year. I haven't set my album up yet...getting there, but I too love keeping it out in my office, our kitchen would be a danger zone!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Amy B says…
    01/12/2011

    Ali, do you know if Amazon will be restocking Project Life? I was a little late in deciding to do this project, and now its all sold out! Am I out of luck?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/12/2011

      Absolutely - it's supposed to be sometime mid-month.

  25. madeline St onge says…
    01/12/2011

    I love how you are doing this Ali.
    Great first week

    Reply 0 Replies

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