Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 22, 2013

Project Life 2013 | Week Thirty


Welcome to Project Life 2013 | Week Thirty (July 22 – July 28).


Over the last couple months as I’ve been working on layouts for Hello Story (over 30 new layouts) I’ve been thinking a lot about how and what I want to be documenting. I’ve been considering things like: What processes do I love? What stresses me out? What tells the most complete story? What do I feel passionate about right now? How can I change things up to keep it fun?

TRUTH | I’ve loved doing actual layouts again. Different stories come out in those pages. Different pieces of my brain are used to bring all the elements together.

TRUTH | I want to create space for making those sorts of traditional layouts again. Maybe a goal of one per week?

TRUTH | I still love Project Life but I feel like I want to mix it up in some way. Mix up my process or my focus or my approach or something along those lines. Maybe next year I’ll try a different base of page protectors or ???

Lots of things to think about for next year.

How’s it going for you? Thinking about mixing things up? Do you like to have a plan?


This is the week before we left for Paris. Lots of getting ready to go.


This week I tried some new stamping ink that I loved: Memento Luxe.

I used it with my Incredible stamp set (“so totally”) and with the red hearts below (from one of my new sets called Thumbs Up).


Our local fair happened a bit earlier this year. Aaron and I took all of the kids in the afternoon. Rides. Cotton candy. Corn dogs. Good times.


I used a couple of the chipboard speech bubbles from Pebbles + white letter stickers from Kelly Purkey.


Click on the images to link to the products.

Project Life is a product and a system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. It can be anything you want it to be. The core 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 here.


  • 1.
    Katrina said…

    I’ve been stressed about 1)being so far behind on PL 2)not feeling like I want to document all of the hard stuff that’s going on (I want to be true, but don’t want to wallow). I realized that I was holding myself to rules about how many stories need to be told per week. I’ve decided that IT’S OKAY to hit the highlights – and that might be one story per week. It might be a smaller page protector. It might even be a single 8.5×11 layout. For May, I went so far as doing a 12×12 collage of photos – and called the month done.

    • ….
      P.j. said…

      I understand your difficulty including the lows in your PL. In 2011,(the first year I did PL), we dealt with the stress of a wedding, elderly parents, a 5 month flood and being out of our home, and a death in the family. A true rollar coaster of emotions. I felt I needed to include some photos and some of the story behind those things because that was part of our lives. I didn’t dwell on the “bad” things alot, but they are in there.

      I did use a 2″ 8.5×11 notebook to record the flood and it’s effects on our lives, our environment, and our city. The flood scrapbook has ALOT of the uglies in it. It enabled me to get those feelings out and record what can happen when a flood lasts 5 1/2 months.
      Hope this helps.

  • 2.
    Stacy said…

    I’m far behind on project life and my new method is sure to help me catch up and stay up to date…I will be do a monthly approach. Ephemera will go at the end of each month on a 12 x 12 page instead of in the pockets. This should streamline things for me.

  • 3.
    Samantha said…

    Hi Ali, I know you have a base already set up, but you could just remove the pages from your album for that week and add in a 12×12 size PL plastic and do a layout for the week on that page instead. Maybe that’s completely obvious, LOL, but you don’t HAVE to stick to what you have in there right now and wait until next year! Best wishes, I love following your work! Thank you!

  • 4.
    Jill Kane said…

    I really enjoy the Handbooks for my PL this year. I’ll have 4 by the end of Dec. Good size for my life, esp living in a condo.

    I’ve decided PL has made me live a more interesting life. Sometimes when I’m in a rut or funk, I’ll think – what can I do now or this week that would be good to document for PL? It always works for me.

  • 5.
    Angie Kyle said…

    I think you should think about mixing it up. It’s ok to have non-PL pages, traditional and digital pages, whatever in the same album as PL. Do what you are itching to do….what makes you happy.

    Loving your Hello Story class, btw

  • 6.

    I know what you mean about traditional layouts encouraging you to think differently and record different stories. I think this is so true.

    I’ve also been pondering how to record those stories.

    Maybe some 8.5×11 layouts added to Project Life? Or a separate album called Thoughts and Stories that would contain more reflective content than what I generally include in Project Life? I don’t know yet, but I am right there with you.

  • 7.
    Megan Anderson said…

    I incorporate traditional pages in my Project Life by going insert crazy (I’ve been doing a lot of 8.5 x 11s lately) or by making half of a spread a 12×12. I’ve been loving incorporating Hello Story stuff in!

  • 8.
    Nirupama Kumar said…

    Super interested to find out what you decide works for you next year. I’ve missed doing layouts too, especially when I find myself spending a lot of time catching up on PL. I’ve loved summer but I know I will have more free time once the kids are in school and I will have a little more balance back.

  • 9.
    audra said…

    I’m looking to go for a handbook or 8.5X11 size! I think this will work best. I’m mostly a 8.5X11 layout person as well!

  • 10.
    Terri Torrez said…

    Last year I barely had time to scrap so I was thrilled that Project Life got done. This year I wanted to do more layouts but I’ve struggled to try to do both. Still trying to make that worked.

  • 11.
    Jess said…

    I’ve been keeping the PL pages really simple but mixing it up with several different page protectors and digital 12 x 12 pages

  • 12.
    pam said…

    This year I decided to make an album, the family yearbook, in which i mix up PL and traditional LO’s together. I have just finished the first half of the year (the LO’s, inserts, ephemera and other fun stuff I put in, take more space than one album can handle!).It works for me! Now I feel like i can be creative in the way i feel like at that moment and still have it all in one place.
    I,m looking forward to see what your approach will be like. I really enjoy reading your blog for inspiration!

  • 13.
    Donna M said…

    I’m doing PL weekly and your Hello Story class, as well as OLW. I’m loving getting some stories done in Hello Class and it’s definitely made me start thinking how I want to carry on with my memory keeping. So many ideas and it’s all thanks to you and the inspiration you give.

  • 14.
    Michelle L said…

    I’ve been doing the larger Design A project life for 3 years now and this year has been difficult to keep up with so I think I’m going to try a smaller format next year. Maybe a Handbook or a sn@p album?

    I’ve really been loving your class and your layouts so I’m excited to hear you want to do more of them!

  • 15.
    Deiga said…

    Hi, Ali. I’m taking your Hello Story class and I am loving the ‘traditional’ layouts again, and definitely want to create more of them. They really feed my need/love of being creative more than Project Life – even though I still really like PL, too. I’m re-thinking how I’ll do PL next year – maybe less weekly and more monthly overview, and then telling the stories on more traditional layouts. I think I’ve let PL stress me out because I started it when it was a “picture-a-day” project and I still tend to think along those lines. So everything is evolving and I still feel behind – even with PL, and LOM. I’m just behind.

  • 16.
    Susan A said…

    I love PL but have been having a harder time with it this year. Thinking about changing things up next year. Have been doing more layouts this year which I’ve enjoyed.

  • 17.
    Sue P, said…

    This is my first year for PL and I love it! I tend to include a lot of pictures and have given myself permission to do this :) . I also mix up all the page protector types ( keeping this in mind as I try to take pictures both horizontally and vertically) and it seems to be working. I do need to get back to my traditional layouts but no pressure!! I just love all of yours Ali!!

  • 18.
    SuzCD said…

    I do PL whenever I have something I want to record. It usually amounts to three page protectors (both sides) a month. Sometimes for special occasions I add in an insert just for that. I am loving Hello Story since it is pushing me to think in different ways. I am single, retired and no kids so I feel great that I am doing as much as I have. Sometimes really looking for something to record brings to the forefront things I take for granted. I am really enjoying this year’s PL. It’s more complete that last year and that was more complete than the year before. They all bring a smile to my face.

  • 19.
    Janet Kemper said…

    I toyed with the idea of doing an 8 1/2 x 11 PL album for this year, because it has always been the size I prefer. I went with the 12×12 and kinda wished I didn’t. I’m pretty sure 2014, I will be changing the size up…

  • 20.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    Another great layout! I’ve caught up 4 weeks of PL over the last few days, and I’ve noticed that I’ve started changing things up a lot more than I was at the start. I’ve recently started using a week in review card and I find it helps my process a lot more. I’m still trying to balance extra journalling though, because I do enjoy writing a lot. I’m always interested in reading these sort of thoughts from others :)

  • 21.
    young c said…

    I agree with wanting to change up PL. Since I have two young kids, I decided to only do one side of Design A insert for a week. This has relieved the pressure to collect things, take enough photos, etc. I love that the pressure is off and I’m capturing more of the highlight moments.

  • 22.
    Tanya said…

    Grab some 12 x 12 page protectors and add some traditional LO’s and mix it up in there! I do PL by the month, because I typically don’t have a ton of things going on during the week so much as I might have 2-4 events a month that I put in there…those 2-4 could be in a 2 week time span. Sometimes I have a couple pages for the month, sometimes 5-6.
    I also had been thinking of LO’s in there…I think I’ll change it up!!!

  • 23.
    laura g. said…

    I am far behind…I think I need to set up a time every week to catch up…make an appt. with myself…I do regular layouts and just put them in my PL..
    There’s really no ‘wrong way’ to do PL!

  • 24.
    Jackie Hughes said…

    What has helped me feel less stressed is the goal to do one 2-page layout each month, highlighting what we did and my favorite pictures. It’s kind of “project-life” style without the page protectors. I just use card stock for my base, add pictures and go from there keeping it simple and telling the story. Of course, for Bday months, holidays, or anything special I can add extra layouts easily. Sometimes they are just 8 1/2 x 11 layouts tucked in with the 12×12. Doing weekly layouts or even project life on a weekly basis (vs. monthly) would be too much for me.

  • 25.
    Valerie said…

    I did Project Life until the end of April when I realized it was stressing me out more than being enjoyable. I now work on Project Life when I want to without any requirement to do layouts every week. I’m no longer feeling the guilt.

  • 26.
    Teresa L. said…

    I try to make PL as stress less as possible. I do week spreads, but I order pictures every month. I have a little box in my purse with PL journaling cards when something pops in my head I want to capture while at work. I have been doing traditional scrapbook LO since I didn’t what to loose those. I have a nice mix of PL and traditional layouts.
    My plans for next year?
    -skip the corner rounding
    -take more pictures
    -experiment more with mixed media with the journaling cards
    -use my stash more

  • 27.
    Louise said…

    Hi Ali,
    Incredibly, wildly off topic, but my son was cuddling beside me as I read through your PL post. He was very taken with Simon’s T-shirt (he is a huge fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books). Would you mind telling me where you got it from? We are in New Zealand, so you don’t have to worry about the two of them bumping into each other! Thanks so much (I’m hoping we can get one online – his birthday next month). Louise

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I’m pretty sure that came from Old Navy.

  • 28.
    Emma said…

    I’m into my third year of PL and I don’t think I could ever go back to traditional. I am not super creative so I feel like PL is made just for me!! Am loving using your products and my silhouette which has mixed up my albums nicely. Will look forward to whatever you come up with :)

  • 29.
    Alida said…

    Hi Ali, so great to see another PL page from you. Just want to say do what works for you, but please don’t stop PL-ing! hehe. I’m a SAHM so keeping up with PL has been very do-able. For me traditional lay-outs are not really affordable, especially since I’m in South Africa and overseas products are relatively expensive and hard to find. But I am looking for new solutions for the page inserts I’m doing for additional photo’s. I know whatever you do will be amazing. Ps love Simon’s t-shirt.

  • 30.
    Jo-Anne from ZA said…

    Hey Ali!

    Totally RAD pages!! Love the idea of mixing up PL pages a bit in the new year. I have to laugh at myself because I am 5 weeks behind on this year and already I am thinking about next years PL:-) How is that for POSITIVE thinking?:-)

    On another note. I am leaving for the States this Saturday and will be in Fort Lauderdale for 2 weeks. I have been dreaming about those PRECISION PENS that you write on your photographs with as we don’t get them in ZA. Any idea about a contact in FLL where I can buy them? I am SUPER SUPER EXCITED to be coming to the States again and have charged my camera battery already because I plan on taking hundreds of photographs for my PL pages while I am there:-)

    Happy scrapping!

  • 31.
    Cindy Wallach said…

    I found an app called CollectPhoto that gives me a calendar to add daily photos to (or not–can be less often if I want…) with any notes I want to add. It’s given me the ability to easily journal every picture I take. I’ll either have Persnickety Prints print up each photo on 3×4 cards or just use the notes in the future when I want to scrapbook in either PL style or traditionally. I’m all for mixing it up more.

  • 32.
    Debora Prass said…

    This is my third year doing PL and I still love it. It actually makes me feel more free to do traditional layouts, as the main stuff is documented. I fell the pressure to have everything in a scrapbook, and PL takes that preassure away, I think I enjoy even more doing traditional layouts after PL, because I don’t feel I have to do it, you know? So I have a scrapbook álbum for my layouts each year, and PL. You are so right that it feels like we use a diferent part of our brain to make layouts, LOL!

  • 33.
    monet BD said…

    i’m looking at your “kids home” card and see that youve double stacked the letters. doesnt that make the pocket extra bulky? are you adhering the cards to the outside of the pockets?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi – I didn’t alter the pocket. It’s really not too bulky.

  • 34.
    Suz said…

    I have been doing PL since it was called Project 365, so, since it’s inception. It has been fun and interesting to look back on the evolution of my albums as well as the evolution of how PL has been transformed over the years. I can honestly say, that this year is the first year, that I have really done a good job of keeping up with it. While each album is nearly full, there are gaps. I just look at the gaps as those times in my life as times that were so busy just living life. And I am ok with that. I have totally embraced your philosophy that “it is ok.” I am not sure why this year has been easier to keep up, if it’s the abundance of PL choices out there, pages protectors, journaling cards, etc OR if it’s just me making a conscious choice to prioritize my life such that I make it something I do each day. A little bit of creative reward at the end of a productive day of living perhaps?

    I have found it fun to try mixing up different page protectors and different sizes of photos. PL kit clubs have really helped a bunch too. Having some coordinated items to reach for during those busy weeks helped me to be more efficient. One year, I used primarily items from my scrapbook stash. That year was challenging on one hand but also rewarding to use items I already had on hand. Looking forward to seeing how your PL pages evolve over time as well!
    Take care you.

  • 35.
    Patti L said…

    I love the light, airy look of this.

    I did weekly project life thru the end of May. I decided summer is too busy to do weekly, and I have everything from summer, recorded and ready to do event scrapping but in the divided page protector format. I too tho find I miss those nice one page layouts that focus on something different, not necessarily events.

    PL is cool, but sometimes bcz of my lifestyle I feel like its monotonous, so I’m thinking of going back to regular one page layouts, then sometimes just fill in with divided pp, which is what I’ve basically always done anyway.

    I also like combing thru all my photos to find a few great shots to edit and make enlargements for layouts. That’s like my favorite thing right now.

  • 36.
    Beth said…

    I was wondering where the geo tag embellishment came from? It looks like a stamp. I’ve been looking for a geo tag stamp for a while now. Great layout as always!

  • 37.
    Myriam said…

    Love your project Ali! Project Life got boring fast for me. My scrapbooks are a mix of it and full page layouts. I use all kinds of page protectors and LOVE the mix. Sometimes it’s a challenge to fill out the other side when doing a protector with many pockets, but it keeps it exciting!!! The very fact that it change things up is what keeps the juices flowing. Looking through the last four years of my albums always brings on happiness, because everyone of them is so different! But it’s done! Documented!
    As always, thanks for sharing your stories.

  • 38.
    P.j. said…

    I include quite a few 12×12 layout pages in my PL. I do a 2 page layout so it will fit in well with my other pages. The reverse side of the 12×12 I set up and adhere as I would a PL page protector. No one has every noticed that the page isn’t in a PL one.

    I also include 6×12, 8.5×11 and baseball protectors. I usually just include one page with extra photos or memorabilia.

  • 39.
    Neeka said…

    I definitely recommend using different page protectors each week. It definitely keeps you on your creative toes with the different sizes & layout. :) I’m not sure why “Design A” became the standard week after week after week…

  • 40.
    Jennfer said…

    Yes to mixing up the different PL page Designs! PL can grow and change with you, through weeks and months and travels and seasons. I am working on PL in the present, as well as making pages for past years. I see those pockets, especially 4 x 6 and 6 x 6 and 4 x 4, as blank canvases to make a “look” that I have not tried before.

  • 41.
    Joan said…

    I am doing school albums for the kids based on the school days kit. It’s 12X12, so it helps scratch that itch for me. It’s not “daily”, but I find that when I let the photos sit for a while, I can pick out what is truly important. With three kids, if I documented every day, we would have no space left to live in…the books would take up the whole house! Then, I have albums for each child with just little “special” things in them…early years, interests, hobbies, photo shoot days that turned out really well, special play days.

  • 42.
    Joan said…

    PS: I did buy a lot of different styles of pages so that I could tell stories in different ways…I like your Christmas album approach and have incorporated that same train of thought in laying out my Project Life book…except I don’t do my PL by week, it’s by month, or season, depending on how much time and grace I have to scrap.

  • 43.
    Peggy said…

    Hi Ali!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your KIDS HOME entry!! Could you please tell me if that is a red heart polka dot BRAD?? Just wondered. THANKS!!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That’s actually a chipboard heart from a Simply Stories chipboard package.

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