Project Life® 2013 | Week Forty (Studio Calico Project Life® Kit)


Welcome to Project Life® 2013 | Week Forty (September 30th through October 6th).

Each month during 2013 one of my Project Life® weeks will be using the Studio Calico Project Life® kit.

You can check out all the new kits for December (called Copper Mountain) over at Studio Calico here: Scrapbook Kit | Project Life® Kit | Card Kit

Here's a look at Week 40:


This is life my friends.

It's not all simple and fun and one of the questions I receive over and over is how do you deal with the not-so-awesome parts of life in memory keeping.

Week 40 was one of those weeks that was particularly challenging emotionally. It was also particularly enlightening.

The details aren't important. But my perspective of the experience is.

I didn't journal these thoughts when I was living this - I was simply living it and talking to my support system and processing. I did jot down a couple thoughts on post-it notes to simply remind myself of the "big picture" ideas and lessons that were running through my head during this week for when I eventually got around to documenting it.

Here's a look at the week in my album:


As many of you know, I'm not up-to-date with this project. It's in progress.

I included an 8.5x11 insert this week that has two sheets of paper inside: Simon's wish list for the book fair at his school and a blog post from Danielle LaPorte about opening up which was particularly relevant to me during this week.


I went super simple with the photos and didn't add any embellishments this time.


The "remember" photo is from my Week In The Life project.




I like the idea of taking photos of hand-written notes and even photos of passages from books that are meaningful.

I used the Martha Stewart Glue Pen for adhering the wood veneer letters

For 2014 my plans are to keep this project status quo. For a while I was thinking I would mix it up - maybe use a different set of page protectors as the base. After some thinking I'm going to stick with the Design A. That said I still want to make some adjustments and maybe that's just in terms of getting back to simplifying it once again, or bringing it back downstairs to my kitchen, or simply just not making it so black and white that it needs to be done in any particular way.

2014 is going to be the Year of Unfinished Projects for me. I'll be sharing more about that soon. I will start Project Life 2014 before 2013 is finished. I'm carving out time to make that happen sooner rather than later.


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.

42 thoughts

  1. Kary in Colorado

    2013-12-28 11:10:13 -0500

    Having survived several difficult weeks this year, I applaud your way of processing and documenting. I think it is not only a help to you now as you think it through, but also to your kids in the future--as an example to them of how to deal with hard things and move on. My father died last month, unexpectedly, and I was at first at a loss how to document those last few days he spent in the ICU. As I thought about what photos to take (not of him, obviously), and how to tell the story, it was very cathartic. My mom just saw those pages when she came for Christmas and she loved them.

    Thanks for the inspiration you share.

  2. Stacy

    2013-12-28 12:23:29 -0500

    I have also vowed to tackle my unfinished projects in 2014 (in particular, my 8 yr old's baby album). I would love to see a post on how you're planning to do this. I tried this past year but was unsuccessful, and I think it was due to lack of planning. I did keep up with PL, tho!

  3. Kimberly James

    2013-12-28 12:37:01 -0500

    2014 is going to be my year of completing unfinished projects. It is one of the things I want to "focus" on (my OLW).

  4. Martha Thomas

    2013-12-28 13:35:47 -0500

    Go Ali go!!

  5. [email protected]

    2013-12-28 15:28:15 -0500

    :) you're reading breaking open by Elizabth Lesser.
    I purchased that book earlier this year after seeing it featured on your blog and am SO glad l did. Earlier this year my Mum passed away and for her final few months this book was a huge support. I would go so far as to say I don't think l would have got through that period as intact as l did without that book.
    I hope it is as valuable for you - hugs xx

  6. Megan

    2013-12-28 16:28:44 -0500

    I like the way you documented the hard times. I have had a few of those myself. For the layout I still focused on the good and tucked the bad into a folded journaling card behind a picture. This allows me to write about it (not in too much detail) and I'll know its there. If no one else ever finds it - I'm ok with that too :)

  7. Kris

    2013-12-28 18:17:33 -0500

    What core kit do you plan on using in 2014 (and album)?

  8. Lynn Wigren

    2013-12-28 18:26:07 -0500

    So glad to hear you say that 2014 is the year of unfinished projects! Its exactly what I've put on my list of intentions for 2014.

  9. Genevieve Joy

    2013-12-28 21:09:47 -0500

    Hi Ali,

    Long time reader - first time commenter.

    I just wanted to thank you. My biggest hurdle with documenting my everyday is knowing how to document the not great days, the bad days, and the downright diabolical days. It has stopped me from completing projects authentically, or completing at all at times.

    Thank you so much for being open and sharing this with us.

  10. Ames

    2013-12-28 21:41:23 -0500

    I appreciate your honesty and courage to document the struggle along with the joy. The scrapbook world is filled with so many "BEST DAY EVER!!" embellishments .. but how many "best days" does one actually have?

    I think you have a digital project or two about the hard days .. could you provide a link to that?

  11. Sheila

    2013-12-29 07:39:15 -0500

    I wish you peace, Ali. And'Yes'to the year of finishing unfinished projects!

  12. Sheila

    2013-12-29 07:47:41 -0500

    P.s. The year of unfinished projects sounds like a serious bestseller to me. I will see you at the signing end 2015.

  13. Sara

    2013-12-29 10:30:43 -0500

    After the worst year on record, I also committed to finishing unfinished projects. Two knitting projects done and more to come. Even starting project life is on my list. I have the supplies but haven't dug in yet. There's something cathartic about clearing space of the old so there's room for the new.

  14. laura g.

    2013-12-29 10:48:31 -0500

    i too have gotten behind on my 2013...I was off work for 6 months battling breast cancer and there were days I just didn't feel well...and I had hoped to keep up with it... I did take lots of pics, and had my kids and grandkids around as much as the germs would returned to work in June and that took all my energy to keep up with that...but I was determined to take back my life...still getting treatments every 3 weeks until March 2014...I will start my 2014 and work on my 2013 maybe one day a month?? i want to document 2014 and my recovery!!!!

  15. alexandra

    2013-12-29 17:16:31 -0500

    Thanks for posting this Ali. And thanks for being so real and approachable.
    I fall off the creativity wagon over and over. Trying to be more realistic and stream-lined this year.
    The one thing I am struggling with is my printer. Do you think that the Picture Mate Show makes things a lot more do-able? Currently I use an old HP Photosmart D7360 but my photos aren't looking so hot lately. Would the Picture Mate be an improvement? Is it easy to use?
    Would love your thoughts on this.

  16. Ali

    2013-12-29 17:35:17 -0500

    You're an amazing inspiration, Ali.

  17. Lisa Barton

    2013-12-29 18:34:34 -0500

    I too slip back and forth between years and having 4 daughters means I always have something to document and plenty of photo opportunities. In previous years I focused on the big picture of what we achieved in the year, now it's all about the small things that keep our world turning and hinged ;) a lost tooth, a funny hairdo, eating crisps in bed those types of cherished moments that all add up to a life lived.

  18. Patti L

    2013-12-30 11:30:50 -0500

    Embrace the imperfection. One of the most important lessons of my life and I truly feel like if everyone would just keep this in mind the world would prolly be a better place!

    I enjoy documenting the regular, not-so-pretty parts of life. I had a week in June that was tough, I ended up taking some almost sad or perplexed selfies that I converted to black & white and just added journaling which didn't really tell the story of what happened but just how I was feeling.

    I agree that I think things like this will be more appreciated by those that look at these stories in the future. I find I just want to know what actually happened, not the buttoned-up, polished off stories relatives will pass down.

    I'm taking this approach with an ancestry project...instead of just documenting the little bit i know, i'm going to add some ideas regarding what may have happened due to the times my various ancestors lived through.

  19. lee

    2013-12-30 16:05:53 -0500

    I had to laugh when I saw that you had titled 2014 as the year of unfinished projects. As of last week, that is what I've deemed the month of January - we'll see how productive I can be in those 31 days before I decide whether to continue the efforts into the month(s) after that. =)

  20. Kristy

    2013-12-30 16:41:44 -0500

    My goal for 2014 in relation to Project Life is to finish my 2012 and 2013 albums.

    I have 2 months left to go in 2012 and 6 months to go in 2013. I am going to finish them at my own pace and enjoy the process with the knowledge that it will be TOTALLY WORTH IT to push through and complete them. I can say that from experience having completed 2010 and 2011.

    I will be starting a new album with the New Year but it will not be daily, weekly or even monthly. I will add to it only when I feel like it and be more deliberate about what I include. After 4 years I've had enough of the chronology and the obligation that comes with that. The new album I start may include 2 or even 3 years. Only time will tell...

  21. Debbie

    2013-12-30 23:37:46 -0500


    Will you be using the 12 x 12 format with Project Life this year or a smaller version. Thank you.

  22. Testing for Project Life 2014 - Scraps of My Geek Life

    2013-12-31 14:59:15 -0500

    […] Project Life 2013 | Week Forty (Studio Calico Project Life Kit) […]

  23. Megan

    2014-01-01 00:57:15 -0500

    You are awesome. Thank you.

  24. Peggy

    2014-01-02 08:06:05 -0500

    Hi Ali! I am sure you have a TON going on right now with the new year upon us, but could you please share the news print with the big red heart on it?? The 3x4 card? Where is it from? THANKS SO MUCH!!! Can't wait to see your title page for 2014!! Love your style!! Take care and good luck with your OLW!!

  25. Peggy

    2014-01-05 14:06:42 -0500

    Hi Again Ali!! Ok....I figured it out on the news print 3x4 card. I guess all I need to do is read a little closer. SORRY for the entry!!! Hope you are well. Missing your posts....check back each and every day, but just knowing myself, a little down time is OH SO NICE!!! bye!

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