Soooo…. I’ve been going through all of my old photos and I realized I have quite a few projects that I’ve made, and photographed but that never got to the blog. So in the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing these forgotten projects with all of you!
The first thing I want to share with you is my 2014 Project Life album. The thing I love about Project Life, is that it can be used in a myriad of different ways, and you have the freedom to choose what works best for you!
The traditional way to use PL is to do a layout a week, and fill it with photos and documents from that past week. That would mean by the end of the year you would have 52, 12×12 spreads… and I don’t know about you but with my three little ones running around, this sounds like a lot of work. I mean lets be honest, I barely have time to do my laundry!
So what I’ve done is taken that traditional version and turned it into something that was a lot more simplified. I’m a mother and none of my kids are school aged, so I have to really think about how I spend my time. I’ve used this system for a while now and through the years I’ve learned some useful tips and tricks and now I want to share them with you! So here they are!!!
- I use a 6×8 album instead of 12×12. If you know anything about me, you know that I have a
slightmajor obsession with mini albums. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a mini album, it’s definitely mini compared to the bigger 12×12’s! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good 12×12, but for me personally, it just too big my my project life needs.
- I take photos only using my iPhone. I simply don’t want/need the stress of carrying around my dslr to capture photos of my everyday life. Using only my phone makes it about a thousand times easier because I always have my phone on me! My camera comes with me wherever I go and if anything thing comes along that I want to photograph I just snap a quick picture.
- I edit my photos only on my phone. Again, I’m trying to make this process super simple! Use your favorite photo editing app to clean up or brighten photos and then save to camera roll. p.s. I use afterlight for editing all of my iPhone photos.
- I put two photos on one 4×6 (optional). This step is probably the most difficult part of this whole process (but it’s still super easy! ) , so feel free to skip over it, if you’d like! Depending on the layout of my 6×8 page protector, I’ll have some horizontal 4×6 photos, and some 2×3 vertical photos. So I go through all of the photos I’ve selected to be in my project life album and every single one of the vertical photos I’ll pull up in photoshop. I’ll then open a new blank document and resize it to 4×6. Then I drag my first photo into my new blank document. I’ll grab the corner and resize until it’s a 2×3. You can either turn on your ruler and grid, or just eye it until it looks like it takes up about half of the page. Then I’ll pull in my next photo and repeat the same process until my 4×6 has two 2×3 photos on it. Then I save it to the same folder it came from and give it a new name. I usually just use numbers, 1,2,3 etc. Next I’ll push command+z over and over again until I’m back to my blank document. I’ll start this process over again with two new photos until all of my vertical photos are placed on a 4×6.
- I print my photos at Costco. I go to Costco more times a month that I’m willing to admit, so it makes it the perfect place for all of my photo needs. I also love the fact that I can upload my photos from home and they will be ready in an hour! Not to mention that their prices are extremely reasonable. After they are printed, I trim everything down to size.
- I don’t sort my pictures by week. Having to remember what week each picture was taken in was making my brain want to explode so I decided to make it easier on myself and only sort my pictures by the month they were taken in.
- I organize my photos in chronological order. I don’t use any other organizational system other than chronological order. To do this, I open my iPhoto software and look in my photo stream. This keeps a chronological order of my photos and I can use this to make sure my printed photos are also in chronological order.
- I put my photos into my page protectors. I start at the beginning of the month and see how many vertical and horizontal photos I have. That decides what page protectors I use. If there’s a lot of verticals, I may use the layout with four 2×3’s, if there’s none, I’ll use the layout with two 4×6’s and so on. Remember to leave space for project life cards and embellishments!
- I decorate my pages. Finally!!! We’ve gotten to the very best part!! I take my favorite embellishments, and of course my Project Life cards, and I get to work making those pages look oh so pretty!
- I give myself a whole month to finish the previous months photos. Remember I’m trying to make this as easy as possible, so I’m giving myself a good cushion! The whole point of this system, for me, was to give myself an actual shot of completing a Project Life album! I know that if I even attempted the larger version, I would have made a page or two and then completely stopped or I would have begun pulling my hair out! I know some of you are thinking … Well, you know you don’t have to decorate them and make them all pretty riiiiiight?? Yes, yes, I know I could hold back when it comes to the embellishment, but it’s my very favorite part, and it wouldn’t be “me” if there weren’t any embellishments. After all, this blog is all about pretty paper!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this post and I hope that some of these tips will help take the stress out of Project Life!
Check out my finished 2014 Project Life album!