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Week In The Life™ 2023 | Special Guest Jamiee Howard

Hi there! I have been participating in Week in the Life since 2012 and it has always been one of my favorite projects of the year. I have also always been a “project finisher”, until 2022. It was the first year I didn’t finish this project. And while that is absolutely OK, I started to think about how I could participate this year and still finish my album. Like we always say in this community, there are no rules and it is the sum of all the parts that means the most; so not finishing is still OK. But I like to finish.

My photo taking and documenting has taken a hit since the pandemic started. I take far fewer pictures and started putting more and more albums on the shelf unfinished. To take the pressure off a larger album, I decided to build a traveler’s notebook for this year’s Week in the Life. If I use larger photos, I built my album for only 4-5 photos a day.

I like to utilize Ali’s digital files to print and use in different ways. The base of my album has a cardstock cover. I printed the album art from this year’s release on cardstock for the cover to my 5 ½” x 8 ½” album. The inside base is 11 pages of inkjet paper, folded in half. I printed the daily acetate sheets from this year on inkjet vellum to layer into my album. The vellum is more lightweight than adding the plastic sheets into the album.

I used the We R Memory Keepers book binding tool to punch holes in my spine and used a saddle stitch to sew the center of my album.

The 11 pages of inkjet paper allowed for one 5 ½” x 8 ½” opening and closing page in the album. Then each day has 3 two-page spreads available to fill.

On my last page above, you can see 1 ½” of the vellum showing. I cut the vellum sheets a little wider than the pages, so they would cross the center stitching, and then be bound into the book. I plan to cover all these ‘base’ pages with photos or patterned paper, so that little extra piece will be covered.

I wanted to use the Kraft pockets from the main kit in my album, but wanted to make the pockets less bulky before taping into my album. I ripped open the back of the pockets and cut some of the excess Kraft off the back, while still making the pockets functional once attached into my album.

I prepared two additional things to use during the week when I build my final album. First, I purchased the digital version of one of the 2023 WITL stamp sets and created cut files from the –ing words. I cut them all in white and kraft cardstock on my Silhouette Cameo in two different sizes to potentially use in my album.

Lastly, I prepped a couple worksheets to carry with me during our week of documenting. One is to make notes on the photos I want to print. I plan to send out a print order at the end of the week to a print company. Then my photos will be on a lighter-weight higher quality photo paper than what I have at home, again helping with bulk in my album. 

Here’s a tip: when you adhere a photo or patterned paper into a traveler’s notebook base, cut 1/8” off the width of the piece you intend to tape down. This helps cuts down bulk along the spine and pages will turn easier once your album is full.

My second worksheet is to record what I spend money on each day. This could include going into a store to buy something, placing an online order for pick-up, sending a business or a business money through Apple pay etc. All these instances will show snippets of our story throughout the week.

Thanks for checking out my album set up. I plan to share progress and finished pages on my Instagram (@howardfam_storyteller), so check me out there.

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3 thoughts

  1. mjacchina says…

    Binding your own book is super cool. Do you have a video so we could see your technique?

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. blurooferika says…

    Great tips for translating the supplies to fit your TN and your bandwidth, Jamie. I want to do as much as possible beforehand but all of the options are leaving me overwhelmed.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Birgitreizer says…

    Thanks for the tip to send out prints to get thinner photos - I’m using the journal this year so that’s helpful!

    Reply 0 Replies