Project Life® 2014 | Week Seventeen & The Long Haul Memory Keeping Attitude

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

Happy Thursday!

Today I'm sharing a look at Project Life® 2014 | Week Seventeen.

Here's what was on my mind as I was working on this spread: I'm in this for the long haul.

That's my memory keeping attitude.

Not because it's my job, but because it's what I love.

A long haul attitude helps keep things in perspective. Here's what it means to me:

  • For Project Life® it means that some weeks have a lot of content and some have less. There's an ebb and a flow. I think sometimes I've "felt bad" (it's all relative people) that I used "filler cards" (cards with designs on them and no room for journaling/adding more than a few words) vs. a story or antidote or something personal. That's just silly (and evidence of another time I set up rules for myself). I'm over it now because I'm focusing on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that it's not any single week or spread that means the most to me - to me it's being able to flip through and watch the progression of time and celebrate the whole of it.
  • For photography it means that sometimes I'm obsessed with capturing life through a lens and other times I just let it go. The common denominator though, is a general consistency in photo taking as a lifestyle. Taking pictures has really simply become a part of my life and I'm okay with the ebb and the flow. It's habit and routine. Sometimes I get out of the habit for a week or so and that's totally cool too because I'm in it for the long haul. This became super apparent to me the other day when I was looking for photos for the If This Table Could Talk post. Even when I had a whole lot less photos in one month or another, there was still something there. Those photos are memory triggers, story threads and I'm so thankful I have anything at all.
  • It's not about keeping up, it's about recording the stories that matter most. A long haul attitude means that those stories that matter most often bubble up to the surface. I've noticed as I work through Project Life® it actually helps me identify the longer stories I want to tell (either in those albums or in my traditional albums). From there I usually start a post on my blog, get that long story recorded and then make a layout from it when I have a chance.
  • As mentioned above, I'm on the lookout for stories - a single event, a conversation, a pattern, an experience, a perspective. I'm on the lookout for the things that make my life mine - some of those stories are common life experiences and some of them are very unique to my own life experience.

A long haul attitude helps me let go of the pressure to "keep up" and allows me to enjoy telling the stories, enjoy taking the photographs and then enjoy the process of bringing them all together.

I'm excited for the stories I still have to share from the past and for the stories I'll experience in the time still to come and for the stories that bring the two together.


Here's a look at Week Seventeen:

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

This spread includes product from the main Studio Calico Penny Arcade Project Life® kit, the High Striker kit and the July 4th Card Set (gold heart - love this one particularly).

As you'll notice I used a few more "filler cards" (these things need a new name - I think it's the word "filler" that makes me feel like it's "less than" or "fluff" vs. actually contributing to the overall story) this week which is part of what spurred my thoughts about the long haul above.

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

Okay so, Copic Markers. There's lots of people out there who do really fancy things with them but I am really enjoying them for just writing out words. The set I'm currently using is a Ciao 12-pack with basic colors.

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

I created a layered journal card with a black and white printed background + white cardstock stitched on top with pink thread.

I don't always change my thread. Pink worked here.

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

I'm letting it go that there aren't more words here.

Those so much I could say. At the very least for me is adding a bit of writing on the photos. I wrote more about that in my post for Week Ten.

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17

Those gold embellishments are puffy stickers and they are so cool. I used them on almost every card/photo this week.

Ali Edwards Project Life® 2014 Week 17


  • Be in it for the long haul. There is so much good that comes from documenting our lives whether you are writing out a long story or playing with paper and pretty embellishments as you jot down a note or two about your day.
  • Let it go. What memory keeping hang up can you let go of this week that will help you move forward and tell a more complete story?
  • Include different visual perspectives. Don't forget to take photos from both a close up and a far away point of view. I love seeing the combination of the two in this spread.


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.

33 thoughts shared

  1. michelle t

    2014-07-03 05:43:08 -0700

    "I'm in this for the long haul." Thanks for the perspective. Michelle t

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  2. Laura

    2014-07-03 06:36:00 -0700

    Thanks for this post today. I am finally reconnecting with Project Life after unintentionally taking a bit of a break from it. I've got pictures printed through the middle of March, but haven't done the journaling. Last night I started editing the backlog of pictures while watching scrapbooking videos on the screen at the same time (keeps me from getting too bored!) I'm totally excited about getting back to this project -- because I'm in it for the long haul, too. :-) Happy Thursday and happy 4th, Ali! :-)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  3. Carolyn HP

    2014-07-03 06:47:38 -0700

    Ali is awesome, as usual :) This post was one I needed to hear.

    I love seeing your completed layouts, they inspire me to just get started when sometimes I find the whole project overwhelming.

    I printed some photos yesterday as I'm a bit behind but I'm excited to do some scrapping later tonight.

    You've inspired me for so many years, so with all the scrapbook stores closing or having difficulty; it's refreshing to hear this attitude from someone so immersed in the industry. Thank you for sharing your passions!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  4. kelly

    2014-07-03 07:24:10 -0700

    i have been in a place of discouragement (brought on by various things but i think the main factor is excessive busy-ness for me because my husband and i are building a new farm) in terms of memory keeping. i love and needed to read this post. i have been slowly gathering momentum in recording our building project and our outlook as we start fresh in our new home. long haul. just keep plugging away…
    thank you, ali.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  5. Lee Currie

    2014-07-03 08:20:14 -0700

    I too am in it - memory keeping, photo taking, story telling - for the long haul and share many of your perspectives. Thanks for articulating it all so well for me!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  6. Patti L

    2014-07-03 08:30:11 -0700

    I love this. I get in funks from time to time and need to remember the big picture, and why i love this hobby. Sometimes family kinda does the "another picture?!" attitude, have to remember its what I need to do. I need to tell stories and do so with photography. I have def been in a photo funk, I'm sure summer will get me out. Thanks!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  7. Jackie Bienemann

    2014-07-03 08:52:13 -0700

    I very much agree with the name filler, yes embellishments or pretty cards. So glad to hear you say for the long haul and I love that you give me new ideas. I have not thought to use copic markers for just writing. Thank you for making me feel it is ok not to have a ton of pictures!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  8. Emily Inman

    2014-07-03 09:08:49 -0700

    That salad looks super yummy, but your boyfriend looks super yummier. There, I said it! ;)

    (because we're trying not to be so serious, right?)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  9. Susan

    2014-07-03 09:44:13 -0700

    Where did you eat in Florence? The salad looks really good :)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  10. Paula O

    2014-07-03 10:03:43 -0700

    Love your thoughts! So true! Some of my weeks are light some are in depth, but the completed flipping through after a period of time is a great walk down memory lane and a reminder of the simple things that make this life great! How about accent cards instead of fillers?

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  11. Erin M.

    2014-07-03 10:23:41 -0700

    Instead of "filler" how about accent cards! I love ALL you do! You rock Ali!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  12. Sandra B.

    2014-07-03 11:08:35 -0700

    Word cards? Because yours, especially, will always have words.
    Thanks for the essay. Happy 4th!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  13. Kelli W

    2014-07-03 12:22:24 -0700

    I love how you can articulate the same things that I feel. I used to feel "guilty" the week(s) that I just didn't take a lot of photos or "meaningful" photos, but then realized that not every day is going to be like that. And finally I told myself that those weeks are okay because it gives me a chance to use those pretty filler cards that otherwise I would never use :)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  14. Cheryl SD

    2014-07-03 12:44:40 -0700

    Great spread and great words as usual Ali! Long-haul - long-haul - keep repeating to myself - long-haul! Not sure where you ate in Florence, but that salad looks wonderful! I do have a suggestion for a great restaurant when you go through Florence again. Please try Homegrown Public House. It was recommended to us and was fantastic! The food was fresh and local and unique and OH SO YUMMY!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  15. Sandy MacDonald

    2014-07-03 15:53:18 -0700

    Thanks for expanding on your long-haul perspective. I love it! I'm in it for the long-haul too!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  16. Janet Kemper

    2014-07-03 17:41:06 -0700

    Love this post!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  17. glee

    2014-07-03 18:50:42 -0700

    Simon is as tall as you?!! Whaaaa.....
    time flies. Keep capturing it!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  18. Debora Prass

    2014-07-03 19:20:05 -0700

    I'm so in this for the long haul! Scrapbooking does matters. :)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  19. Jennifer

    2014-07-03 23:05:10 -0700

    Thank you for saying this! I am doing Project Life, and one month might be a whole spread, then the next month is half of a spread. I have some gaps for years that I have not "caught up" with yet, but I have albums on a shelf in my living room (year gaps and all!) and they are awesome to look at. Long haul = yes!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  20. J3SS1C4

    2014-07-04 05:25:48 -0700

    I seriously love this post! In it for the long haul is a super inspiring way to look at scrapbooking! I often feel bad when I miss out on a smaller story because I run out of room on a spread or it just doesn't fit in, so this is an awesome reminder for me! I've recently started working on my PL planning again this week, and I'm embracing larger photos and more stories rather than fillers as well :)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  21. hannahk

    2014-07-04 07:37:34 -0700

    Ali I had a double take at 'filler cards' and a little giggle ~ your PL is one where I NEVER feel like you are filling space ~ everywhere the cards compliment the story and create the design. They are mindful contributions. They are story cards.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  22. Rebecca

    2014-07-06 18:31:48 -0700

    What about 'design' cards or 'style' cards, instead of filler? We choose cards to reflect/support the feeling of the photos and stories we tell.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  23. Ann

    2014-07-08 10:33:09 -0700

    I really love this reminder. It's a great attitude to not think that all of this is just a one-time shot. It doesn't have to be everything every day. But just whatever we want it to be always.

    I think that's one reason why people who have completed a PL album say it's about the whole album.

    Also - I like the idea of calling them designer cards.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  24. Pilbara Pink

    2014-07-08 17:35:27 -0700

    I think of them as graphic or art cards, not fillers. I am behind on my PL for the first time in three years due to significant changes in our lives this year. Love the long haul concept so will just quietly work away on catching up this week. If it is for the long haul then the fact I still have plenty of room in one album this year compared to being on to my second by now every other year just reflects life as it is this year. Thanks for the perspective check!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
  25. Kris Beauregard

    2014-07-09 08:35:05 -0700

    Thank you so much for this post....I Have really been struggling this year with Project Life...and I have really missed the routine of it, and the therapy of it. Time to get back to it. :)

    * edited 08/08/14 02:57PM
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