Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 11, 2012

Project Life 2012 | Week One + Video Tutorial For Working With The 6×12 Layered Templates

Welcome to Project Life 2012 | Week One.

In the comments of another post yesterday someone asked if I was using planning sheets for Project Life. I don’t use any planning sheets but it did remind me of the Daily Sheets I made for Week In The Life last year and wanted to include that as a link today as something fun to add to Project Life from time to time. You can download those for free here.

HUGE NOTE | I don’t treat Project Life the same as Week In The Life. Week In The Life is super detailed and intense in terms of documenting our life with photos and words for seven days in a row. I have no intention of bringing that sort of intensity to Project Life (and I didn’t last year) – it’s just not sustainable. SMALLER NOTE | I’m working on setting a date for Week In The Life 2012 (thinking late spring).

For me Project Life is an overview and a week-at-a-glance and a long-haul project (meaning it’s necessary to pace myself). It’s not a place for all the photos I take each week or for me to record every single detail of our lives. It is a place for me to jot down little bits of life, stick things in pockets, and tell stories. Some weeks those stories are super, super short and other weeks I’ll add longer stories like you’ll see included today.

Check out Monica’s post about her perspective on Project Life. It’s real and beautiful and encouraging.

Here’s a look at our Week One:

I have to say that I love that the journaling cards are just a bit bigger in this collection vs. the ones I used last year. Super happy with the Clementine design.

This week I’ve included both a 6×12 and an 8.5×11 page protector as inserts.

Word art on the first page of the 6×12 comes from my Twenty Twelve and Your Love digital packages. The 6×12 Words And Photos Layered Template package is available here. I designed this set because last year I really liked including longer stories from time to time in my album. Most often those stories originated in posts from my blog. By creating a template I’m simplifying the process for myself and can simply copy and paste the text into the template and add a photo.

Here’s a how-to video that will walk you through the steps of working with the 6×12 Words And Photos Layered Templates in Photoshop Elements:

6×12 Layered Template Tutorial from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

The tutorial is about 27-mins long. It goes through all the steps and I spend a bit of time at the end talking about how I set up the files for printing.

The paper you see running through my printer is Epson 13×19 Ultra Premium Photo Paper. I put the two 6×12 pages onto one 12×12 canvas before printing (I show how to do this in the video tutorial above).

You can also set this up as a 12×12 JPG file and upload to a printer such as Persnickety Prints or Color Inc if you don’t have an oversized printer at home.

Another great tip if you don’t have an over-sized printer – you can run larger sizes through your regular-sized photo printer. You could get 11×14 photo paper and cut it down to 8.5×14 and run it through your printer (select Legal Size paper). I used to do that when printing larger sizes of journaling to put on 12×12 layouts before I got an over-sized printer.

Here you can see both 6×12′s on the one page:

I trimmed them down to size and stuck them in the page protector. Loved including that longer story.

Digital word art on the back is from my Thank You Friend package.

The second insert this week is something I tweeted about right before New Year’s. It’s a great little interview sheet from and can be downloaded here.

I stuck this one in and the more I look at it the more I think Katie probably painted it and not Anna.

I’m using the monthly tab dividers (should be available in February). Love their simplicity.

Word art used on the photo above is from my Outline Love digital set.

SUPPLIES | 2012 | WEEK 1

Click on the images to link to the products.

Project Life is a product and a system created by Becky Higgins. It can be anything you want it to be. The pieces used in my album are available here. If you live outside the US check Becky’s site for more information on sources. View all my posts about Project Life (including all the spreads from my completed 2011 album) here.


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    Happy first week of Project Life 2012, so love this first week. Love that it has stories of the kids and YOU!! Excited to see another year of your family and all the goodness that will happen.

  • 2.
    Thea Monks said…

    Thank you for the tip on how to print the Long Journaller on a normal home printer. I have been wanting to include them in my album, but didn’t know how to print them.

  • 3.
    Lee Currie said…

    You’re off to a great start. Thanks again – I look forward to your journey and inspiration through 2012 :)

  • 4.
    dnobles said…

    is the reversed Hello 2012 the backside of the card from the week before? Cool idea…is that just using the reverse option in text?

    (you might want to get a cat pawprint from George for your book…I have prints from all my pets and they mean so much more as time moves on….I like to include my animal family as much as possible since they are a big part of my life)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi – it’s actually just the backside of the die cut (I cut that word art using the Silhouette). The black you are seeing is the inside cover of the album. Love the idea of the paw-print.

  • 5.
    dawn said…

    I forgot to mention the Daily Sheets you made up and that I have already printed them and have them ready with my PL stuff, going to be neat to use these. I think the new PL readers will like those.

    I also like the idea above about a cat paw stamp or punch for your album.

  • 6.
    Krystyn said…

    Ali – your PL looks awesome (as always)….I love your little card on getting back to school after the break…totally need to do that in mine’s such an adjustment.

    Is there a way to add your digital text files on pics if I don’t have PS…like in Word maybe?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes – you can do it in Word – here’s the steps:

      1. Open Word.

      2. Go to Insert/Picture/From File and find your photo.

      3. In the Formatting Palette under “Wrapping/Style” select “Through.” This will make it so you can move it around on the page and allow you to place the PNG file on top.

      4. Click off the image.

      5. Go to Insert/Picture/From File and find the PNG file you downloaded from the classroom.

      6. In the Formatting Palette under “Wrapping/Style” select “Through.”

      You should then be able to move the overlay on top of your photo.

      I’ve got information on how to re-color the word art or an overlay in Word here:

    • ….
      Krystyn said…

      Thank You Thank You Thank You!!

    • ….
      Krystyn said…

      Hey Ali – so sorry to bother you w/this again…I followed the recoloring directions exactly and tried a couple different PNG files, but they are not changing color…any thoughts?

  • 7.
    Michelle L said…

    I was wondering what you were going to do with the ‘Hello 2012″ from your title page! I like that you left it blank on the week one side!
    I am still working on putting my week one together and it’s so much fun!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I like having it be see-through!

  • 8.
    Bethany said…

    Loving, loving, loving the tutorials and tips on the Epson printer – thank you!

  • 9.
    Shelley said…

    Thank you for these templates! I bought them right away and have already used them for my first week of Project Life to tell a great story from Christmas break. Now I’ll watch your tutorial and learn the right way to use them : )

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Shelley – there’s always lots of different ways to get the same end result :) .

  • 10.
    Traci said…

    You inspire me!! I am wondering when the page protector Style A may be available again. I am having a hard time getting started because I don’t have any page protectors to put my work in. Do you know anything about that? Amazon has been out for ever…

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think I read on Becky’s blog that the estimated date is February.

    • ….
      Emma said…

      I’m waiting for them too, but in the meantime I’m using 4×6 divided page protectors I have and just stuffing the 3×4 content into the bigger pockets. When I get the A style protectors it will be easy to transfer the to glue right spots.

    • ….
      Johanna said…

      That’s what I am doing over here in Germany, too – no idea how much the type A protectors might cost with shipping once they’re available from Amazon UK, so I might just continue this way (and stich down the middle?). We’ll see!

    • ….
      laura g. said…

      you could set up your page like the page protector on a 12×12 paper then your pages would all be the same when you get them…i am running low too..sigh…

    • ….
      TracyJ said…

      I just put all of the weeks stuff (pictures, ephemra, journaling)
      in a gallon ziploc plastic bag with the week # labeled on the outside. Easy to pop my “stuff” in when I have time.
      Just a suggestion. :)

  • 11.
    Sandi said…

    I just went on to and saw they had closed.
    How depressing. I found about about them years ago through one of your posts. They had great prices. I bought a number of 12X12 prints last month for about $1.25 apiece. Do you or any of your readers know of any other printer like them that has the various sizes for a reasonable price?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Totally sad – great company with great service. My next recommendations are either Persnickety Prints (they are a company that understands scrapbookers and scrapbooking) and Color Pro Inc. (I love them specifically for their canvases).

    • ….
      Amy L said…

      I don’t know if you have a Costco near you, but they print 12x12s as well as 8x8s. I don’t remember the price, but definitely reasonable!

    • ….
      Julie said…

      Their closing is sad. I too use Persnickety Prints but Scrapping Simply is also very good with great prices. One savings tip is to sign up for a print companies newsletter and stockpile your completed pages or prints until they announce a sale. Totally worth the wait!

  • 12.
    Katie said…

    Anna helped me pick the colors for the painting –Fabulous isn’t it? :)

  • 13.
    Tina J. said…

    Duh! I had our boys fill out those interview sheets when you mentioned them a couple weeks ago. And the sheets have just been hanging out on my desk, waiting for me to decide where to put them… Duh! hehehe

  • 14.

    jennifer olson said

    were do you getting the stuff project life do you go to scrapbook store

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I get most of my supplies from either or – all supplies used above are linked to those stores by clicking on the product images above.

  • 15.
    Suzanne said…

    Love your Project Life posts! Started Project Life this year because of you. Thanks for the tip on printing the 6×12 templates onto legal paper in a regular printer. Never thought of that!

  • 16.
    Susie Leggett said…

    Love how this first week looks Ali. Especially that Hello 2012 from the back side. Just awesome. You are making the Cameo look so irresistable. Loved what you did with it in your DD album as well. Thanks so much for the continued inspiration.

  • 17.
    Deb J said…

    SO excited to see your first week of this years Project Life. I love keeping up with you and the family. Your sharing of your Project Life last year is what convinced me to try again to do one myself this year. I have week one done and week two is coming along well. It’s exciting. Thanks.

  • 18.
    elise said…

    you are an inspiration, Ali! love this.

  • 19.
    Christina said…

    The pages are awesome Ali, as usual. The best part? The Newmans package “94% Fat Free Butt” – my kids would love that! :D

  • 20.
    megan said…

    looking forward to another weekly installment; you are so inspiring!

  • 21.
    jennifer hamilton said…

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on what project life is for you. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed with all the wonderful ideas out there and really needed confirmation that it is ok for it not to be all encompassing. Thank you also for the tutorial :)

  • 22.
    mary said…

    ali – i’ve been looking forward to following along again this year – it’s so fun to see your first week:) also – i’m wondering if your mom would ever share any of her pages?! i’d love to see them, but don’t want to put any pressure on, since this is her first experience with PL…just a thought.


  • 23.
    Tiffany said…

    Ali, I’ve been following you on and off for years. Last year was my first DD and this year is my first PL! Thanks for much for doing what you do! So admire and appreciate your design and style vibe. :)
    Do you just use an old-fashioned date stamper for the weekly dates? I didn’t see one listed in your supplies list.
    So excited to do PL this year!

  • 24.
    Christine said…

    Did you mean for the Newmans label to be folded to say Fat Free Butt? It’s a secret new year wish, isn’t it? I’d love my butt to be fat free! Sorry, it made me chuckle and I just couldn’t resist!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      OMG that is hilarious. No I didn’t mean that LOL -

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      YES! I was hoping someone else noticed and asked! I love the serendipity of the label text spacing relative to the pocket size!

  • 25.
    Wendy T. said…

    I love your PL posts, Ali. You were one of the big reasons for my deciding to do it this year (and my OLW is DECIDE, btw). Thank you for highlighting this project throughout 2011 :)

  • 26.
    linda said…

    Fantastic tutorial!!
    Thanks Ali :)

  • 27.
    Mindy said…

    Thanks for sharing! Was wondering what your favorite journaling pens are- brand and size. LOVE your handwriting and the way you pair fine/thicker tips together.

  • 28.
    betsy said…

    Ali-Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. You may not feel comfortable with sharing this but if you do (and maybe not this week) I couldn’t quite tell how you did the instax photos with Anna and George-could you either explain or blow up that part of the page? I love my instax and am trying to find ways to use it in PL.


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sure – I actually just layered them. Two behind + one on top and then I layered the piece of ribbon along the bottom.

    • ….
      Betsy said…

      Thanks-love that little camera and the instagram app on my phone-those two things got me back into picture taking again!

  • 29.
    Cynthia said…

    Love love love your pages! Such a great start to this new year. I have the clementine set as well and it rocks! Thank you for the tutorial; I have an oversized printer and wouldn’t have thought of using it so this is great (you keep moving me out of my comfort zone…lol!).

  • 30.
    Heather said…

    Ali – what program are you using to create your videos? I’d like to do something similar & have no clue where to start – I googled a bit & there seem to be about 15 different Mac OS options out there.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I use Screenflow. Totally happy with it.

  • 31.
    Karidan Chapman said…

    ali… I went with the Design D protectors and I am having such problems with it since the cards arent designed for those protectors…. Do have any many I can get any inspiration from you? I just dont know what to do and with the others being out it is hard! :(

  • 32.
    susan townley said…

    is there a way to see the video full screen?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Susan – click through to view it on Vimeo ( and there’s a full-screen option there.

  • 33.
    Stephanie L. said…

    Love this. i want to do a very simple monthy overlook to Project life this year but want design a page protectors. Any idea when they might be back in stock at amazon? I did order a core kit though so I’m super excited to get that. I can save up stuff for a while till i can get pages.

  • 34.
    Michelle said…

    Your kitty is beautiful! What a stately name!

  • 35.
    Becky P. said…

    Love your first week! After looking through the information on yours and Becky H.’s blogs I decided to go for it and buy my first PL supplies a couple weeks ago. I finished my first week and I love how it gives me a place to journal about the day-to-day. I feel like I have found a way to “keep a journal” which frees me up to do other mixed-media projects and more “crafty” scrapbook projects without that awful dread of “not being caught up.” Thanks for always being willing to share…it is much appreciated!

  • 36.
    Liv said…

    How does the ‘hello life 2012′ look from the front now with pages behind it? Love it, but wondering if it’s maybe a bit distracting now?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I actually love it because it gives a “peek” into the album – I’ll try to remember to include a photo of that next week.

  • 37.
    Alida said…

    Hello Week one! Beautiful page, love the inserts and all the pink! I have two boys, and I’m wondering how I could still make the Clementine kit work one year (just a rethorical question).

    • ….
      Mallory said…

      That’s why I went with the turquoise this year for my first PL. I’m the only girl around here (well, and one of my dogs is a girl). But next year I def want to try the Cobalt kit. :)

  • 38.
    Elizabeth said…

    Thanks so much for posting your project life layouts! Continues to be such a wonderful inspiration to me. I am just starting out with Photoshop and am LOVING all your products on Designer Digitals. The how-to video was very much appreciated. Thank You!

  • 39.

    I love the pages. And big thanks for the tutorial. I am working on a mini album right now and this is very helpful.

  • 40.
    Kim B said…

    Have loved these 6×12 journal pages since taking your Yesterday and Today class Ali. I am not a huge fan of 12 by 12 albums though but love 8.5 x 11 albums. So far i have not found company who makes 4 x 11 pockets (how sad). Thanks to your advise once way back, I am happy to say my 8.5 x 11 albums contain many lovely 4x 11 pages and 8×8. I just trim the 8.5 x 11 page protectors and sew them up… They look awesome (+:

  • 41.
    Ginger said…

    I recall seeing a post from you showing which 2012 Project Life products you bought to complete your album this year but cannot locate it now. Could you please direct me?


  • 42.
    Carol at Kal said…

    Hi Ali,

    When I print 6 x 12 pages on my Epson R1900 wide format print using the 13 x 19 paper I place the 3 pages the other direction on the paper and am able to get 3 pages (rather than 2) on a sheet: all 3 are 12 inches long, and 3 across (3 x 6 inches) = 18 inches, so my combined printing area is 12 x 18 (on a 13 x 19 sheet).

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That makes so much sense!

  • 43.
    TracyJ said…

    Ali, you are so inspiring. Love your approach. Please tell me what tab you used on your bottom right pic of your printer on rt-hand page.
    Thanks :)

  • 44.
    Birgit said…

    Hello Ali,

    great inspiration to start the new year. Loved your title page! I am wondering if you put in all the “title” cards with stamped dates in advance in your album again and if you have a certain order or just randomly put them in? Thank you and happy painting. Birgit

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I did – randomly. Love having them in there in advance – one less decision to make each week.

    • ….
      Birgit said…

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. Looking forward to see what your “new’ office will look like. Birgit

  • 45.
    Annette said…

    I’m in love with the 6×12 template. I got them this weekend and am excited to try them out. Thanks Ali!

  • 46.
    Bria said…

    Is the command for masking the same on Photoshop CS5? I am using a pc and whenever I press contol G to mask, it just groups the layers. Any help would be much appreciated!!!

  • 47.
    Amy said…

    Hey! Sorry if this has already been addressed but today I purchased several word sets from designer digitals to use on my pictures for Project Life. And I’m not sure how to change their color in PS CS5? They are in black now. The one I was trying out today was hello life 2012. I’m learning photoshop as I go, so any info would b so much appreciated! Thanks!

  • 48.
    Heather Voi said…

    Starting project life this year for the first time….so excited!

  • 49.
    Radish said…

    Here is my problem. I take a lot of 6×4 shots and very few vertical. Do most people just decide they are going to shoot one way for the PL?
    I also like 1×1 shots a lot. How do people work with some flexibility when the photos do not fit the slots? I must be missing some very obvious thing here. Please anyone let me know.

  • 50.
    Linda said…

    what size of pen did you use to write in red and the “bolder” words?

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