Project Life: April

It has been a while since I posted here, and I never know how to start again when that happens. It has also been a really long time since I posted any of my Project Life pages, and I am still loving this project so much that it seems like such a shame to leave them hiding away unseen by anyone but me. I thought it would be neater to just start with April’s pages, which are all pretty simple, for the most part.

Project Life: week 14
Week 14 was a week in which I had very, very few photos. I was obsessed at the time with my brand new gold boat shoes, especially when combined with brightly colored pants. I really love how this page turned out.

14.2
I really enjoyed the two books I flew through this week, so it was a great way to get to include them, as well as a quote I particularly loved from The Fault in our Stars (which you should REALLY read. I know I’m late to the party on this, and yes, it will make you cry like a fool, but it’s so worth it). We also went on our first house hunting trip this week, which was huge news.

15.1
Week 15 showed signs of spring (finally), and I had to include the photos I took of those signs. We also had some crazy and turbulent weather, and Dan and I fell into some pretty serious Candy Crush Saga obsession that is still going strong two months later.

15.2
I’m enjoying the Monday starts this year especially because it means that I often get to leave the entire right page just for weekend activities (which is great, as there are often more interesting photos of that stuff). We had a great time on Friday night with my sister and her husband and my brother and his girlfriend. We saw some more houses, and then hung out with one of Dan’s friends in NYC.

Project Life: week 16
Week 16 was SPRING, finally. And the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I never know whether to include much about current events, but this is a good example of one that we couldn’t stop thinking about, watching news, and the fact that it spanned so many days in what felt like some sort of awful action movie come to life, it wouldn’t have been right to exclude it. The 3×4 card is a folded card that tells the story of that house, which I fell in love with, HARD, and which we seriously considered bidding on, until we went back and admitted what buying it would really mean. I was brokenhearted, and really wanted to tell the story (even if it makes me feel awkward thinking about it and that house now).

16.2
Our 3 month anniversary! Hanging out with family and one of the happiest babies on the block, and our first in-person baseball game of the season.

17.1
This week gave me a great place to save the card that came with the flowers my colleagues sent me for Administrative Professionals Day – flowers which completely took me by surprise and really meant a lot, especially during such a busy time of year.

17.2
Lots of photos of food and Dan, which I love. Another book cover, as I became obsessed with The Passage all over again as I re-read it to prepare to read the sequel.

Many of these pages were super simple because I got so behind and was putting these together using my notes, but sometimes I find that the simplest pages are the best. Seeing all of the Project Life kits and blog posts and photos everywhere, and design team inspiration… it can all get really overwhelming. People are doing some amazingly creative, beautiful things with Project Life. Sometimes I feel like I should have more supplies, or subscribe to a kit, or embellish more… but then again, then it wouldn’t be me. And isn’t that the whole idea anyway?

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Project Life: Weeks 9 and 10

I’m still behind on Project Life, but working hard to catch up, both in blogging it and in actually creating the pages. I’ve created pages through the end of March, but then again… April is over in only a few more hours. Baby steps… right? I do still really love this project; sometimes I wonder if planning the pages is one of the best parts. (At least they’re all planned!)

But anyway. Week 9 was all the way back in February, and that means we’re going back in time to the era of my name change. The best part, though, of Week 9 was definitely the fact that I got Dan to participate in Day in the Life. This is exactly the kind of thing that I’m going to be SO glad he did in ten years. Hell, even two months later it’s fun to look back on. (And how cool is it that he was willing?) Looking back, I’m so happy to see so much Dan in this week’s pages; that was definitely one of my goals for this year’s album.

Project Life: Week 9
Yes. I totally saved my old credit card in one of the pockets. That thing was in my wallet for years! I also can’t seem to stop saving the cardboard sleeves from coffee cups.

Project Life: Week 9

Project Life: Week 9

Project Life: Week 9

Week 10 involved some regular (and more stressful than usual) days, but the big exciting, documentable thing was for sure our weekend getaway slash mini honeymoon to Washington, DC. The trip was made possible thanks to an awesome wedding gift from my sister, brother-in-law, brother, and brother’s girlfriend, and even though we may have wanted to travel sooner, it was exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it most. It was great to get away, and I took a million photos of our adventures. Full page photos, two inserts on top of the regular pages… just awesome. (Also fun: collecting every single bit of paper we could through the four days; I had so much to work with!)

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Week 10

Project Life: Weeks 7 and 8

The middle of February seems so long ago, but I do love how the pages for Project Life came together rather simply, yet full of color. (I’m also trying to let go of needing to document something from every day, in favor of things that are more fun, like all of the Valentine’s Day stuff this year.)

Project Life week 7
Valentine’s week! I’m sure other things happened, but our first married Valentine’s Day, featuring flowers, pink pants, a heart painted on my nails, and Jodi’s Valentine’s postcard was much more fun to document. I wanted to include things from the other days, but couldn’t eliminate any of these and decided that was totally okay.

Project Life week 7
This page is all weekend. I totally swiped that placemat menu from the bar where we had dinner with my sister and her husband and my brother and his girlfriend on Friday night. (I kinda love that my loved ones are now 100% used to me swiping any and all available papergoods whenever we’re out. Sometimes they even spot them; I’m fairly sure my brother asked why I wasn’t going to take this menu home.) We also got to visit some of my college friends and their adorable daughters on Sunday afternoon, which was such a great treat.

Project Life week 8
Week eight didn’t include too many photos, but I made up for it with some cute paper, washi tape, and the envelope that included some mail at work. (Mail from Europe looks so much more fun than US mail.) It was also our one month anniversary, which seems crazy.

Project Life week 8
But this page is my favorite. Dan spent the weekend at Dreamation, which is a gaming convention in northern NJ. He loves it, and did a pretty fantastic job of saving me his badge and taking a few pictures for the album. The top two slots are a photo from my Saturday afternoon at work to catch up, and a napkin and business card from my Saturday night out with friends while Dan was in the midst of a 12 hour gaming session.

Project Life: Weeks Four, Five and Six

The end of January and beginning of February was full of big events and yet almost nothing compared to the first few weeks of 2013. It took me a while to put these pages together, but my method of keeping a notebook with each week’s spread planned, as well as getting the photos printed at home (or at least organized into my week by week folders on my laptop) relatively soon after the week itself, seems to be making it pretty easy to catch up quickly.

Week Four was our first week as a married couple, and it has lots of journaling, which I know I’ll be glad for one day.
Project Life week 4
I took that picture of Dan in the lobby of the hotel while we were waiting for my family to help us load the car, and it will forever be one of my favorites. His face conveys the blissed-out but completely exhausted feeling of the Day After SO perfectly. I also had to get a shot of our first married dinner of burritos.

Project Life week 4
The right side featured lots more journaling, of Dan’s sister’s 30th birthday party (an 80s party), dinner with my parents, and more. It was crazy how cold it got, and the frosty windshield picture feels that cold. The quote is a lyric from our first dance song, “Just You & Me”.

Week Five felt a little more normal, a little more routine, even as we still had to get used to living normal lives so soon after such a big day.
Project Life week 5
I included a few photos I took for my 52 weeks of no color project, and I really like how the black and white balances out the pops of color. Otherwise, a story of Dan’s wedding ring and a busy week at work.

Project Life week 5 insert
I really loved Ali Edwards’s plan for a Day in the Life once each month in 2013, and jumped on the chance to follow along on the last day of January. I used her 6×12 template to fill in the details of the day. (I think 6×12 inserts might be my favorite ones.)

Project Life week 5 insert
On the back of the insert, I collaged the photos I took that day with both my phone and my real camera. Notable ones include lunch at the dining hall, the crazy self portrait I took to document how windy it was, and the totally bundled up on the couch shot that Dan took. I set the whole insert up as a 12×12 page in Photoshop Elements, and ordered it from Persnickety Prints. I was so amazed at how quickly the print arrived.

Project Life week 5
The right side has lots of brightly colored fun bits from a really fun weekend. On Friday night, we went to two back to back laser light shows at the local planetarium, which was AWESOME. Sunday was the Super Bowl, which we watched with Dan’s brother and his girlfriend. And Bluecat and Penny. Who cooperated quite nicely for photos for my book.

Most of what I remember from Week Six was trying to take more photos during the day (hence the top to photos on the left page), and the hullabaloo about this snowstorm that hit our area.
Project Life week 6
The biggest thing was that some forecasts predicted 20 inches of snow, and others predicted 3-6, and people were going nuts. I was going equally nuts, because we had big events at work during the storm. I’m glad I got the screenshot of the dueling forecasts, for sure. The other big thing was the start of the Name Change Process. It was a big day, and one that had to be documented for posterity. I saved my old license, and love how it looks against the striped paper. (I also have loved that license photo since it was taken when I turned 25, and have been recycling it each time my license renewed since then. I wasn’t allowed to this time, and my new photo is HORRENDOUS.) (See again: why Project Life is so great: a logical and perfectly perfect place to keep my old driver’s license. Because I was keeping it whether I had this scrapbook or not, and I adore the fact that it now has a home.)

Project Life week 6
Saturday of this week was one of the first lazy, totally free Saturdays we’ve had since last summer. The combination of wedding plans, family stuff, and holidays meant that Dan and I didn’t have one single weekend day that was just for us for months straight. So thanks to the snow (which, okay, we got six inches and it was mostly blown away by the time we were up and about) we stayed in most of the day. Dan played his game (and let me take a photo of him doing so), we got Sonic for dinner, we spotted my dad on TV, I crocheted until I realized how badly I’d messed up… and it was pretty spectacular.

I just adore this project.

Project Life: Documenting the Wedding

I wasn’t sure how to approach documenting our wedding in Project Life. I tend to think of Project Life as our whole lives, and there are so many events (like vacations, or ahem, a wedding) that could be (and probably should be) documented more thoroughly with another method. So I guess I’d say that my arbitrary rule about Project Life is to try to avoid overloading it with too much of any one thing. The wedding wasn’t just a weekend away or a fun party (although it was both of those things, really), it’s a Huge Life Event and obviously needed to be treated as such. However, because we had mostly “normal” days before and after, I really like how things came together in the album as a whole – because yes, there’s a lot of wedding, but you turn the page and it’s back to work. And that’s what our actual LIVES were like, so it makes a lot of sense to me.

There were SO MANY things I could have included in Project Life related to the wedding. SO VERY MANY. And they’re all important and noteworthy and worth saving…. but I had to draw the line somewhere. Could I have included other things, like the sign that the brewery put on the door saying that they were closed for a private event (because of course my parents swiped that on his way out!), or the inserts from our gift bags at the hotel, or a picture of those, or pictures of our families…. yes, of course. So many things. But I sort of wanted this to feature the highlights. (The things that didn’t make the cut are happily stored in our wedding box, a big hat box that my mom gave me when we got engaged. So the bundle of cards and rsvp cards and my veil and the official Event Planning Sheet from the brewery and our candles are all stored safely for posterity, don’t worry.)

The other executive decision I made was to include photos taken by our friends and family, rather than the professional photos. For one, we only have about ten preview photos from the professional photographers, and I really didn’t want to wait a few months to get the wedding documented in the album. Two, several friends posted some fantastic photos on facebook and flickr, and my dad took a ton of really great photos (as well as a bunch taken by my uncle using my dad’s camera) – and since these were the first photos that we saw, we’re really sentimental about them. (I’m thinking to make a big, thick bound photo book from shutterfly or blurb or snapfish or somewhere using the professional photos down the line.)

So here we go! (Click through to flickr to see bigger versions of these photos for more detail.)

Project Life: The wedding
The first batch of photos – our first look, walking down the aisle, sheer joy just after the ceremony ended, the bridal party, entering the reception (photo stole from Jodi), and me and my amazing Grandmother (I look all weird because I’d just cried like a fool while dancing with my father to Wildflowers by Tom Petty.)

Project Life: The wedding
I then used an 8.5×11 insert. The front side included our invitation and reception card, as well as the beloved black and white striped ribbon that was on my bouquet, the boutonnieres, and the centerpieces. We had a very small bit left over and it was such an integral part of the wedding look that I had to include it. The back of this insert included our save the date, a blank rsvp card and stamped rsvp envelope, the outer envelope that the calligrapher (Rachel Carl, who was amazing) addressed to us (yes, we actually mailed an invitation to ourselves. So I could put it in the album, duh.)

Project Life: The wedding
Next, I cut down a 6×12 insert (and sealed it with washi tape, because I still don’t have a sewing machine) and slid our wedding ceremony program in. I made these in Photoshop and printed them on cardstock, and was so proud of how they turned out.

Project Life: The wedding
This insert is probably my favorite ever. Dan and I wrote our own vows, and it was one of the most meaningful parts of the entire wedding. I was a little skeptical about writing our own vows – would we be able to convey the true importance in our own words? Would I be able to talk at ALL in order to say them? – but Dan was really set on writing our own, and I felt a little bit like (a) I had to see what he would say, since he’s not the kind of guy who gushes about his feelings super often and (b) it forced me just a bit outside my comfort zone, and that’s part of why I love Dan in the first place. We saved our real life wedding day copies of our vows (mine printed on a Project Life 4×6 grid card, his written on a torn out piece of paper from my wedding notebook the night before the wedding). I very carefully taped them together with washi tape and slid them into a landscape 8.5×11 insert, so you could see both sides of each set of vows.

Project Life: The wedding
This insert is so simple but probably a tie for my favorite, more because of how glad I’m going to be that I made myself do it in five, ten, fifteen years. In the week or so after the wedding, whenever I had down time, I worked on typing out the story of our wedding day in a Word document. As many details as I could remember. I wanted to write it all out as quickly as I could, before details that were so clear faded into fuzzy glowy happiness. I wanted to do this even more because so many people told us how much of a blur the wedding day was… I know that it won’t always be this clear in my head. I started with when I woke up, and ended with the end of the reception, just after the last song. It was 7 pages, almost 5,400 words total. I shrunk it to 9 point font so it fit onto four pages, and used two 8.5×11 inserts to hold those pages. I know I’m already missing details, and I don’t know what else I’ll do with that massive story other than have it here to read again whenever I need a jolt of happy, but I’m already glad that I wrote it all out.

Project Life: The wedding
And finally, the second page of photos from the reception. Featuring a photo of our first dance (stolen from Eleanor & Liz), a photo of the flickr people (using Cynthia’s fisheye, stolen from Summer), a photo of us cheesin’ about our wedding converse, our best man and matron of honor giving their speeches, views of us and the crowd from the balcony (I really, really love that one on the bottom right), and a screenshot after we made our marriage “facebook official”, mostly because of that insanely cheesetastic photo of me in pink plaid making my idiotic face, that seems to haunt me on facebook no matter what I do.

Five inserts is probably a record for any given spread for me so far, especially considering the spread is only for one day, rather than a week but… I am pretty freaking jazzed about it. And this is exactly the kind of thing that will make Project Life that much more worth it later.

Project Life 2013: the beginning

I got to a bit of a delayed start with Project Life in 2013, although not for a lack of inspiration. I took Studio Calico’s Day by Day class to keep the ideas flowing while I waited impatiently to be able to order the Seafoam core kit and binders. There was also that whole wedding thing that sort of demanded my free time up until the 20th, too. But this past week, I was finally able to start creating the pages for this year so far, and I still love it so much.

A few differences this year: I’m trying to include more photos that weren’t taken with my phone, and for the first part of the year, I’m using Photoshop Elements to add text to create a title card for each week. I stuck with the 3×4 Week in Review cards, despite them being sort of tedious at times, because I like the completeness of being able to add a bullet point about something that may not be documented otherwise. I am also using 3×4 calendar cards each week from Splendid Fiins, which I really love so far. (Although I better keep loving them, because printing the year’s worth on card stock was one of the projects I did before I had the rest of my supplies!) I also decided to start my weeks on Mondays rather than Sundays, to keep the weekends together. I’m aiming to stay as caught up as possible now that the bustle of the wedding is behind us, but we’ll see how that goes as the year progresses.

Project Life 2013: cover page
I kept the cover page simple and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I bought the glittery paper, striped paper, and polka dot paper at Hobby Lobby before I got the seafoam kit, and the badges are all from Ormolu.

Project Life week one
The left side of week one. I took a pretty decent number of photos that week, but diving into the Seafoam kit was great, too.

Project Life week one
The right side of week one. We did a lot of wedding-related things that week, including a final visit to the brewery to set up table arrangements.

Project Life week two
Week two, left side. This side ended up being a lot of almost black and white photos, as well as simple journaling and the text from this blog post.

Project Life week two
Week two, right side. The top left slot is an awkwardly-cut down envelope containing the photos from my hair and makeup trial… which by the time I made this page, didn’t need to be kept secret. Oh well. I also included some progress photos from the wedding plans, and the front of one of the cards my sister got customized as thank you notes for my shower.

Project Life week three
Week three, left side. This was the week of the wedding, but as you can imagine, there was a LOT to document from Monday through Saturday. I made the decision to keep this spread just for those days, with a new spread and a ton of inserts for the wedding itself. I think it worked out very well. I again included the text from that last pre-wedding blog post, since it really captured how I was feeling that week.

Project Life week three
Week three, right side. Would you believe that I don’t have a single photo from our rehearsal dinner? I have no idea how that happened… so I journaled and cut the invitation down for the bottom two 4×6 slots instead.

So that’s the start! Next up: a post to show you all of the wedding inserts I made that I’m so jazzed about, and hopefully getting into a new routine now that life seems to be settling into a new (married!) normal 🙂

Project Life: the end of 2012

Guys, deciding to just start Project Life way back in June was the best decision ever. I’m so glad that I stuck with it, and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look back at the year, to show the album to friends and family, and to finally have an easy way to save all this stuff I’d be saving anyway. I’ve printed more photos this year (at home!) than ever before, and it’s just great. Here are my last two weeks of the year, using more of the pieces from Kelly Purkey‘s December kit:

Week 31 was actually only four days, but I knew I’d want to document them pretty fully.

Project Life 2012: The End

Project Life 2012: The End
(don’t mind the hearts; working on a craft project that is meant to be a gift and don’t want to spoil it yet).

Project Life 2012: The End
I used the vellum envelope in Kelly’s kit to include some gift tags, wrapping paper scraps, and ribbon. It probably contributes to this binder overflowing, but I don’t care.

Project Life 2012: The End

And finally, week 32, which had more Christmas celebrations, New Years, and our bachelor and bachelorette parties:
Project Life 2012: The End

Project Life 2012: The End

Project Life 2012: The End

Here’s a look at the end page:
Project Life 2012: The End
I had the D&E and bokeh photo printed from months ago, and just never used them, and they fit pretty perfectly here. The & is cut from a Crate & Barrel bag I’ve been saving. I printed up the other two cards using Photoshop, just as a quick and easy summary of the year (even though the album starts in June).

I never actually posted a photo of my title page:
Project Life 2012: The End
because the top “Summer 2012” was the only thing there until this week. The Love this Life card was a freebie from Becky Higgins’s blog, and the badges are from Ormolu.

I may have squeezed just a tad more into one binder than was necessary, but I love love LOVE this project and I really can’t wait for 2013!
Project Life 2012: The End