Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Project Life Album Making

I already talked about the wonderful first year baby book that I've started (and almost finished!) for EG.  The giveaway is still open through Thursday, so feel free to enter that still.

However, even with all those wonderful pages, there are still plenty of things that I didn't get to include in that book.  Not all the holidays were represented (no 4th of july!) and anyways it only goes through year one with holidays or stories. 

I've been a scrapbooker for quite some time.  I did my first book when I was in high school, and have even made gifts of books for my parents and my sister.  However, since having EG it's been really hard to continue to scrapbook.  It tends to take a lot of time, a lot of space and a lot of materials to get things done.  We have a tiny house, and though I had the guest bedroom as my office/crafting space I was never in it.  Once EG goes to bed there is laundry and dishes, not to mention a few minutes/hours with Working Dad before hitting the hay. 

Enter Project Life by Becky Higgins.   It's a scrapbooking/journaling/album system that works without you cutting photos, and is super easy to use.  So far, I've found it to be incredible, and I wanted to share with you a few of the pages that I've worked on.

The books are bit larger than the typical 12x12 size, but they fit 12x12 pages as well.
I only bought all the items two weeks ago, and have only spent 1-2 hours a night for about 5 nights on everything you see here.  That tells you how quickly you can work on a Project Life album.  I was initially really hesitant to use the system, because I didn't think that I would be able to add all the personality and the items that are special to me (in scrapbooking I keep everything from ticket stubs to maps and use those in my books) but I've found myself able to include lots of the things I used to in my regular books.

I started with my baby showers.  Even though these are in EG's first year book, there were tons more photos, and momentos that didn't fit.  I had them slipped inbetween the pages of the Pearhead book, but anytime that she or anyone else wanted to look through it was worried these items would get lost.  This whole page took me about 5 minutes.

The system is simple. It's a big binder, a few page protectors (she has like 12 different styles) a 'core kit' of little note cards and your photos:
 There are other companies that produce items that fit inside the pockets as well, and I've really enjoyed some of the products by WeR Memory keepers. They sell the little cards and a lot of them are really, really neat. 

As you can see below it's still easy to include items that you've collected.   I cut up some of my cards, included whole cards in a 5x7 little sleeve, and the list of who gave me what in an 8x11 sleeve. 

I used a regular scrapbooking page to add some of the cards we received.  You can pull out the page and open each of the cards, so we can always see what people said about the coming baby. 

Journaling is a big thing in Project Life.  I love that they make the cards nice and easy to write on, but I don't love my handwriting.  I'm going to have to get better at my penmanship, but I know that when EG is older, she won't care what my handwriting looked like- she'll just care that I wrote so much down!
The larger 4x6 cards some with cute sayings on them, or are more like title pages like on the top left.  They make it really easy to add cute and meaningful sentiments and just round out the images. 

When I was making this album I had bought myself the baby girl package by both We R Memory and by Becky Higgins (she calls them project packs I think), and it's so nice and easy to add the details.  They have little cards that say everything from "1 month" to "I Heart Tummy Time" and everything in between. 

I was able to add in my birth plan, and EG's hospital bracelet to the mix as well.  I've kept all these items, I might as well use them!  I also have her first hat and her baby blanket that she was wrapped up in.  I might make a box for her items, but I could also cut a scrap of the blanket and put it in one of the pocket folders they have. 

I hope seeing how easy this is has inspired you to take the jump.  It's versatile, easy, and a nice compromise between scrapbooking and traditional albums.  I also love that none of the pictures have been touched or hurt, they aren't stuck to anything, so you don't have to worry about not being able to remove them.  It would be so easy to take out any photos that get damaged, or to take them out to make copies of them.

Now that I've started, I'm hoping to finish and get 'current' before the baby comes.  I've got at least 5-6 other albums that I want to work on (here's to getting all our wedding into a scrapbook!) but at least I'll feel good about moving forward.  That's one of the things that Project Life is so great about- less guilt!  Just put them in the sleeves, add a few cards, jot a quick note and you are done.

Once I get current I plan to print once a month and work forwards. 

Do any of you use Project Life?  Do you do more traditional scrapbooking?  The only thing I haven't figured out is what to do once B2 gets here.  Do I make two books, one for each kiddo?  Hmmmm...

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