This week's Project Life post is a little different. I receive such great feedback and questions from people about this project, and I wanted to address a lot of them all at once.
I also want to encourage everyone to try it: We all take pictures; we all make memories. You don't have to have insane amounts of time or special creativity genes to make this what you want it to be. Trust me when I say it is incredibly rewarding and your albums will become some of your most treasured possessions. (Yes, I have thought about how I'd grab them if a natural disaster hit!)
TIME | One of the most common questions I get is about time. My best advice is to set a routine for yourself. Each of my Project Life layouts cover one week, from Sundays to Saturdays. I document during the week, then work on putting the pages together on weekends when I get breaks during naptimes and at night. I try to post the final product on my blog on Tuesdays. I have a young family, a job, a blog and The Bachelorette to watch and sometimes it doesn't all come together when I want. That's ok!
I stay on top of it for two big reasons: 1) I know if I fall too far behind, I'll never catch up. 2) I've made this into a regular feature on my blog and it's important to me to keep it up. I also really enjoy the entire process–the design combined with the sharing of ideas. If you're really intimidated, start monthly instead of weekly and go from there. Or sit with a box of old photos and start putting them in the page protectors. You'll get hooked.
EDITING THE PHOTOS | I import all of my images into a program called Aperture on my Mac (Basically a professional version of iPhoto.) I have iCloud set up on my devices, so every photo I take with my iPhone automatically gets uploaded to Aperture. I LOVE THIS.
My rule of thumb with photography is to take a gazillion photos so there's more to pick from. With that said, good design means strict editing. Try not to repeat a bunch of similar images. Instead, choose one or two to illustrate specific moments. The example below is from a recent ice cream run. Jim and I took about twenty photos while we were there. Even though there were several cute images, I picked the two strongest for this week's pages. One of each of the girls.
PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER | I drag the photos I like from the week from Aperture into Photoshop and arrange them on the screen how I envision them in the album. This helps me see how the images play together before I decide to print or add digital design elements.
I add all of my text and other extras like borders and shapes in Photoshop. If you're completely new to Photoshop, I would suggest buying Photoshop Elements. You can do everything I do in this program, and it's just less complicated than Photoshop. Check out JessicaSprague.com for easy-to-follow online classes to get you started.
PRINTING | I size my images to either 3x4 or 4x6 inches (at 300 dpi resolution) to fit the page protector pockets and drag them onto a letter sized canvas to print. Saves on paper. Read more about my printing process here.
GETTIN' CRAFTY | After printing, there's trimming and rounding corners to be done. The rounded corners are a preference thing, I just like the photos to match the rounded corners of the Project Life products. I'm also a big fan of using a mini stapler to attach stuff.
SUPPLIES | At this stage, I start looking through my supplies for journaling cards, labels, patterned paper, etc. Pictured below is my trusty Clementine Edition of the Project Life Core Kit. If you want to get started with Project Life, head right over to BeckyHiggins.com to read all about it and shop for products. This is where you can get your album, page protectors, patterned paper and core kits with journaling cards, stickers and more. If you find something you want sold out, hang tight, they're working hard to keep up with the demand! Becky also has a ton of exciting new products coming soon: New designs, page protectors, envelope pages. Versions themed for baby and childhood too!
Many Project Lifers like myself supplement their Project Life products with additional scrapbooking supplies. A good place to start shopping around is Two Peas In A Bucket.
THE FINAL PRODUCT | Here is the finished version of Week Twenty-Seven. It's out of a binder because my first album is all full! I need to get a new one.
Red and orange popped out at me from this week's images, so I added design elements to draw them out. I made the number 4 card for some punch and played with bold, red days of the week on the 4x6 card of text. I grabbed the fireworks image online and added the dates in Photoshop.
Did this help? Are you ready to drink the Kool-Aid? Do you have any tips for me? If you have any additional questions, please let me know. You can also check out my FAQ page, you may find what you're looking for there. I also want to encourage you again to go to Becky Higgins' website–the home of Project Life!
P.S. I'm sharing this post on the Project Life link up at The Mom Creative.