Project Life | Reflections, Ideas & 2012 Title Page

Welcome to Project Life 2012.

Today I want to share my 2012 Title Page and a few thoughts, reflections and things I learned from my process in 2011. My final spread of 2011, Week 52, will be posted later this week.

To say that I'm excited that I've almost completed all 52 weeks of 2011 is an understatement.

To say that I'm ready to move on to 2012 would also be an understatement.

I'm so ready and I'm so excited to be doing Project Life again.

Here's a look at my 2012 Title Page:

Here's a close up look at each of the cards:

As I was cutting this piece of paper I was thinking to myself that I really need to cut my pattern paper more.

Here I took one of the Clementine core kit cards (includes the sentiment "living life one day at a time") and cut it following along the lines of the pattern. These little scissors from Fiskars were great at that task. That piece of paper was adhered to a piece of vintage handwriting paper and a bit of Hambly Wings overlay transparency. On top of the three pieces I added an October Afternoon Farmhouse Little Flyers.

That awesome heart paper is from Fancy Pants (I think I'm going to get a few more sheets of that one). I used a sheet from the 6x6 paper pack but it's also available as a full size 12x12. The tag is a Superfine Soft White Hang Tag from Paper Source. On top of the tag I embossed the words "our story" using these jumbo stamps and white Zing embossing powder. The little "memories" tag is October Afternoon and was stitched onto the tag. Our last name was hand-drawn in Illustrator and then cut with the Silhouette.

A piece of vintage wallpaper from Papier Valise with a piece of chipboard from My Minds Eye Memories Layered Chipboard Stickers on top.

Background pattern paper with the yellow three is from Sassafras and a Hambly Wings overlay was placed on top. The piece of dark grey felt is from My Mind's Eye Everyday Fun Borders. I took the Everyday Life patterned card from the Clementine core kit and cut it - leaving one of the "everyday life" pieces sticking up.

And this piece, cut with my Silhouette, is available here. It's part of a package called Hello Life Boxes and also includes days of the week. They work great as PNG files (just print and add your journaling - or add your journaling before you print) or can be cut with the Silhouette (just open the PNG file inside the Studio Software and trace - video tutorial available here).

For more title page ideas you can take a look at my 2011 title page.

SUPPLIES | 2012 TITLE PAGE


Click on the images to link to the products.





2011 REFLECTIONS & IDEAS


Here's a few thoughts I wrote down as I finish up 2011 and move on to 2012:

WEEK AT A GLANCE | This approach absolutely worked for me in 2011 and it's how I intend to continue in 2012. I don't look at this project as one-photo-per-day or one-story-per-day. There's nothing rigid beyond intending to contain each week between a spread (two-pages). Some weeks I did end up with a photo-a-day and other weeks I had photos from all one event. Approaching it a week at a time felt free and flexible and there was no guilt about missing something on a particular day (who needs that).

PROCESS | Most of the time I work on my album throughout the week - tiny bits of time here and there. When I write "work on" what I really mean is that I stick stuff in the pockets, quickly jot down stories on the journal cards, and print photos. Some weeks I printed photos during the week and other weeks I printed them all on Monday. One big thing that worked for me was posting each week on my blog on Tuesdays (most of the time) - what that meant for me is that I needed to complete my week on Mondays. Completing my week means I print photos, add journaling if I need to, cut papers down to size that I might have just left sitting on the spread (fill pockets), photographing, uploading to my blog, and writing my post. I'd say most weeks I spend 2 hours (maybe 3) total. It really doesn't take a lot of time. I really did keep it pretty simple overall. Simple for me = finished.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE BASIC "STYLE A" PAGE PROTECTORS | My Mom and I were talking about Project Life last week (it's what she wanted for Christmas) and at first she was talking about all the cool extra page protectors that she wanted to get. My advice to her was to start with the basic Style A (looks like it's currently sold out). I love Style A. I love it as my basic foundation and from there I can include additional page protector inserts as I need them based on the amount of content I want to include on any particular week. Most of the time when I added a page protector as an insert it was a smaller size: 6x12, 6x12 with pockets for 4x6, 8.5x11 (sometimes cut and stitched to fit an unusual size), etc. I like that the additional content was sandwiched between the two main pages for the week.

INCLUDING REAL LIFE | As many of you know by now, 2011 was a year that included some really big life changes for us. I didn't include a lot of that in 2011 - partly because it was something I wasn't ready to make public and partly because this project is not my personal venting journal. My focus in Project Life is more on celebrating all the things that are good. That said, I did include a few things later in 2011 - short references to challenges, etc. so as to not completely ignore what's very real in my/our life right now. Going forward it's likely that I'll continue to include pieces of the more challenging stories but most likely it will be in a way that's reflective, looking for the good in the situation, lessons learned, etc.

PHOTOS | To capture images I use my Canon 5D (also known as my "big camera"), my iphone, and occasionally my Instax 50. I'm absolutely loving Apple's new Photo Stream feature which is giving me immediate access to my iphone photos in Aperture (the program I use for photo management) wirelessly. I can also see and access photos I've uploaded to my computer from my big camera on my iphone. It's just one little thing that has simplified my access to all my photos.

PRINTING PHOTOS | My photo process is now pretty set. I'm using an Epson Stylus Photo R2000 to print all my 4x6 photos using Epson photo paper. This is a wide-format printer that can also fit a variety of different sizes, including 4x6. When I set up my system at the beginning of last year I tried out a small 4x6 printer but it ended up not being truly 4x6 in size (it was a Selphy - and it sounds from what I've read from others that the prints are now true 4x6 - not sure - all I know is that they weren't on the machine I had last year). That bugged me. I wanted the picture sizes to be the same size as the cards in the kit and any other 4x6 pieces I was going to include so I ended up sharing that printer with a friend and using my regular printer in my office. I'm so used to it now and am totally happy with the photos.

PENS | I use a combination of pens in Project Life. My favorite everyday pen (and the one that is often most available) is a Uniball Vision Elite. I also love to use Sharpies for a nice contrast and when I'm working in my office I often grab an American Crafts Precision Pen in .03. The vast majority of my journaling in this album is by hand - it's the quickest and easiest. There were some weeks where I included longer journaling (often using some of my printable Long Journlaers) - those words often came directly from blog posts (where I'm used to typing out longer stories) but most of the time I just used those small cards and made it fit. Those small little bits of recorded life is a big reason I love this project.

BASIC TOOLS | Tiny Attacher for stapling, my printer, photo paper, pens, etc. I kept it pretty basic and am super happy with how it turned out. For me it was never really about any "decoration" and more about just getting stuff documented and keeping it simple enough to keep up with it for the whole year.

CORNER ROUNDING | I rounded all my corners this year and plan to do that again in 2012. It's one extra step but I love the look. I've been using the Corner Chomper (the 1/4 corner) for rounding my corners.

KEEP IT OUT AND AVAILABLE | Throughout most of the week my album sits on a counter in my kitchen. Having the album out and available to stick things in the pockets or jot down comments and things I overheard was huge for me. A big thing I love about this album is the immediacy of the journaling. It's not looking back last month, or last year, or longer. For the most part it's not reflective journaling - it's stuff that's happening right now; it's the little stuff that's really the big stuff of life. Seeing it everyday - on the way in and out of the house - helped me keep up to date. On the weeks when for whatever reason it ended up in my office my journaling was less in the moment because I was trying to go back and remember stuff from the week vs. the more in-the-moment daily stuff that I find I really treasure.

THE FAMILY EFFORT | When I started back in January 2011 I wrote about how I wanted to make this project a family-effort adventure (you can read about that here). Even though it didn't really work out how I initially envisioned it, I still really like that initial vision of including all our voices whenever possible. I'll definitely be keeping that in mind again this year even as our family situation evolves. It's really pretty easy to just hand family members a card and say "write something about today." If they do it, awesome. If they don't it means I'll find something else to include.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE | No over-thinking. No making it more complicated than it needs to be. The beauty in this project is in the whole vs. any one particular week. Some weeks will have less and some will have more. Some will be full of fun stuff and others super boring. Fill up the pockets and move on to the next week vs. worrying that you missed the "perfect" story or photo or anything else. Make it work for you.


Project Life is a product 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 here.

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152 thoughts

  1. borcherding says…
    01/03/2012

    AWESOME title page! Absolutely love it!! :-) Your blog is always such a source of inspiration...

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Francesca Di Leo says…
    01/03/2012

    wow ali! i so admire your committment to your projects. what a beautiful legacy to leave behind for your children and grandchildren.

    i tried project life in Jan and feb 2011 but then lost it... i bought way too many 'funky' page protectors of varying size squares, rectangles etc, which made it difficult cutting everything down to size and i soon lost interest.

    so tell your mom, and i would MOST DEFINITELY agree that the style A is a must have, and then jazz it up with different sizes when the mood strikes. simplify is the key to this project.

    xoxx

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Trary Ubarri says…
    01/03/2012

    I loved the idea of wrapping Christmas stories and opening up one every night. You mentioned you might include the list at the end of Christmas. I'm wondering if you and your followers might share some favorite stories. I'm guessing most holiday books are on sale now, and I thought I might pick up a few more for next year. Thanks so much. Now back to finishing my DD. : )

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/03/2012

      Hi - yes - planning to post that soon - working on the list.

  4. Jane says…
    01/03/2012

    Ali,
    Lovely opening page - colours so fresh yet relaxing and as usual some interesting ideas to try.
    The link to the 2011 project life opening page seems to have a broken link at least it did not work for me.
    I am not clear on how the creative team for project life will work. Should I sign up for something on Becky's site to receive those ideas? Is there something 'more' going on somewhere else that I may be missing on your site?

    Thanks for the inspiration in capturing the moments of life
    Jane

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/03/2012

      Here's the corrected link to my title page last year: http://aliedwards.com/2011/01/ae-approach-project-life-2011.html

      Becky will be including ideas from the Creative Team from time to time on her blog (http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/). You can subscribe to her blog here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/beckyhiggins

      You can also join the free community at Big Picture Classes for more inspiration and idea sharing: http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/projectlife.php

      On my own site here I just try to post my spread each week. You can sign up to receive my posts in your email (or via a reader) here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/aliedwards

  5. Jenni Hufford says…
    01/03/2012

    gorgeous opening page! that photo of simon is just wonderful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Project Life: Getting started in 2012 « Becky's Blog says…
    01/03/2012

    [...] Ali: Reflections, Ideas & 2012 Title Page [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Pat H. says…
    01/03/2012

    Ali, I was interested in your comment that your mom wanted to do PL. I am the mother of 4 grown children, and I wish I had done this when they were little. My empty nest life with just my husband and me seems too boring to document. Any tips on what to document every week if your life is pretty mundane?
    Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Ashley says…
    01/03/2012

    Love your title page! Thank you for your inspiration. This will be my first year with Project Life & I am very excited!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. tiffany h. says…
    01/03/2012

    once again, thanks for sharing. love all your reflections and ideas on project life. i haven't particpated yet but am thinking about it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Karne says…
    01/03/2012

    Thank you for your notes and examples. I am excited to try to tackle this, this year!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Mallory says…
    01/04/2012

    Are those awesome dividers that you used in last year's PL still available? I love the colors and big numbers.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. mel says…
    01/04/2012

    Love it Ali. Just with the kits were here in the UK. Apparently it will be Feb before they arrive. I'll just watch you're progress instead. : )

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Monica L. says…
    01/04/2012

    Hi Ali,
    I would love to start PL 2012, but I have a question and I'm not sure if this was answered before (pardon me if I'm repeating the question)...ok, when you document or create the first week on the sheet protectors, how do you document that: you use one sheet for that week or how does that work? Thanks for the inspiration, I LOVE how you document things so simple and make them look so beautiful!!

    Monica

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/04/2012

      I do it as a spread (what you are seeing here is just the title page) - which means the back of one sheet and the front of another. When you open the album on a table both the sheets you see would be part of one week.

  14. Here We Go | Lissables Creations says…
    01/05/2012

    [...] Here we go: I’m going to do it this year. I am going to do project life. I have watched Ali Edwards create an amazing document of their life this last year and I want it too. I ordered it last night, [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Project Life 2011 | Week Fifty-Two | Ali Edwards says…
    01/05/2012

    [...] case you missed it, I posted my 2012 Title Page and some general reflections and thoughts on my process the other day – you can check it out [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. diana says…
    01/05/2012

    Love all your inspiration. I am going to try this project this year. I think it will be really fun to look back on when it is done at the end of the year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Mali Duboyski says…
    01/05/2012

    Ali, can you please let me know what lens you use? I am trying to take better pictures overall, especially for my scrapbooking, and would love to start project life.

    Thanks,

    Mila

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/05/2012

      Hi - I use a 24-70 canon lens.

  18. Christin says…
    01/05/2012

    I'm still waiting for my page inserts, but I'm excited to get started for 2012. You really do make it look easy, so I hope I can stick with it. I told my friends about it and let them take a look at my supplies, mainly the binder, journaling cards, and my markers, and they all jumped to filling out cards. I'm excited to have multiple perspective already. I feel like your posts have been little words of encouragement for me to get started so thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Shayne says…
    01/06/2012

    Hi Ali, I am SO going to try this this year. I have struggled to get the full kit as I'm in SA and what a pain it is to get hold of, but I have the journal cards and the album and some dividers. I have bought some Smash Items, and AM GOING TO DO IT. Plan to involve my family too.

    Thank you for the inspiration, and yes, i'm going to Keep it simple!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. The Typical “New Year, New Me” Spiel « Cockrelldoodledoo says…
    01/06/2012

    [...] to have a hard copy of my memories and the things we are doing throughout the year. Her post on 2011 Reflections and Ideas really boils it down to what worked and what didn’t for her. It’s just SO inspiring to read her [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Donna says…
    01/07/2012

    Hi Ali so love your title page. I'm excited to start again for 2012 although I'm doing the monthly approach verses the weekly, tried the weekly but I just couldn't keep up! (I feel so much better now I've made that decision to change) but I have a question for you, you mentioned that your Mom was also doing PL this year and you advised her to go with the standard page protectors - I was wondering if you'd considered using the portrait ones too mixing up the album a little maybe? Thanks Donna x

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Simona says…
    01/07/2012

    Hi Ali, I am looking on your pictures of this project. I will also participate this year because you finally make me so happy. Thank you!
    Love from Simona from German

    Sorry for my english <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Shannon says…
    01/08/2012

    Hi Ali! Someone else may have already asked this question and I missed it! But, is there a flickr group where everyone is sharing this also? This is my first year doing project life and it's a last minute decision! Like I decided today, the 8th, after having a full 7 days without one single photo! Oh well! That's "life" right?!?! Anyway, I'm now excited to start the journey!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Project Life: Inspiration | I Scrap, U Scrap says…
    01/10/2012
    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Andrea Mette says…
    01/10/2012

    Hi Ali!

    Trying to cut out the "Hello Life 2012" on the Cameo. I was able to cut out without a problem but there are two small sections that are getting cut that I am not liking. Plus I don't see these two spots cut out on your page you showed us. The sections I am referring to are: a small sliver next to the zero and the one. The second is in the letter "f" where it intersects in the middle. Is there a way to avoid these spots being cut by using a tool or something??? It really just doesn't look right and it's frustrating me.

    Thanks - look forward to hearing from you :)
    Andrea

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/10/2012

      Yes Andrea - select the image, go to Object/Release Compound Path. This allows you to select and to delete a the extra shapes that appeared after the trace. When you are done deleting those two little areas, select the word again and go to Object/Make Compound Path to connect it all together again.

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