Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project Life...a resurrection

So, I mentioned Project Life earlier this year. I was ridiculously excited about trying to capture a year's worth of memories in this simple way. The Project Life kit can be used in any way you choose, of course. But I planned to do the picture-a-day-with-lots-of-journaling thing. The kit is ideal for this sort of plan.

But it turned out to be harder than I thought. Despite this truly simplified set-up, I found that I still couldn't keep up. I'd attached too many rules to the thing, and I think that's what ultimately led to my failure.

Except! I've decided to *not* allow it to be another failed project. Is it tacky to admit that I'm proud of myself? Oh well, so be it. I am proud of myself--for loosening up, for not letting the unattainable idea of perfection stop me, for doing something that makes me happy even if takes time away from things I *should* be doing.

It's no secret that Ali Edwards is my creative crush. I swear, I adore everything she does. Ali Edwards = Inspiration. So, of course, it came as no surprise that I totally fell in love with the way she's approaching her Project Life this year. Each spread still contains a week of her family's life...but not in the picture-a-day way. And sometimes she has more to say, so she just adds extra page protectors within that week. It's so relaxed...and so very, very beautiful--a real look at the way her family lives.

And that's what I want. Oh, our book won't be as visually wowing as hers, of course. But it's the "idea" I want to capture. A relaxed, no rules, record of our daily lives. This obsessive "if it's not perfect then it's not good enough" attitude *must* go.

So, yep, this album starts out with several weeks of a picture-a-day-with-lots-of-journaling layouts. Then you come upon a few weeks worth of layouts where there are pictures missing (because I forgot to take any some days) and no journaling (because I was frustrated with myself for forgetting to take pictures, thus ruining the "perfection" of the whole thing). Then there are a few weeks that are just not recorded at all because I'd given up. And then you get to this:

The week I began anew. Nope, there's not a picture for each day. There's not even a ton of journaling (I suspect this will vary from week to week). But it does tell the story of our week.

I even mentioned my "epiphany" right there on the layout.

Max had saved up his money to buy a "real" skateboard. To him this was a pretty big deal, and I definitely felt it warranted three pictures. I'd even considered doing a whole layout and sticking it in between here, but ultimately decided that if/when I do make a full layout about Max and his new skateboard I'll add it to Max's album. And herein lies the joy of this new approach--I can go with whatever feels right.

And here's an instance where what felt right did include adding a page. Albeit a mini page. (And my first attempt at making a custom size page protector--I totally love how simple it is to do, not to mention totally loving how it turned out!) I really freakin' adore the divided page protectors that come with the kit. But there are no slots for vertical shots. You can purchase additional ones that do, but I'm really trying to work with what I have. And I have oodles of regular old 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protectors just waiting to be altered. So alter I did...because I really wanted to include a picture of Annie heading off to volunteer at the community party at the town library, and the only shots I had were vertical.

That also allowed me to include a picture of Baker (on the back side) that I probably wouldn't have included otherwise.

Another cool thing that Ali Edwards does is include all kinds of memorabilia. Obviously, saving memorabilia is nothing new in the keeping of scrapbooks, but there's something about the way she does it that just makes me smile. But I can't put my finger on why. Perhaps it's the way she doesn't feel the need to justify each piece she includes. After all, not everything needs an explanation to have the story told. But I included a couple pieces this week--part of netflix wrapper with the movies we'd watched that week written on it and part of the invoice from our trip to the garage.

So overall, is this perfection? No. Three pictures to show the soup I made for Rich--yeah, overkill. But for whatever reason I like the picture of the veggies...and I wanted to include a picture of Rich...and I didn't really have anything else that I thought should be included. So that's how it turned out. Not perfect, but I really do love it. And so does the rest of the gang. And that's all that really matters, right?


Jean said...

Yay for finding a way to make it work. The pages look great. I bet you will find someday in the far off future that the more spontaneous layout actually triggers more memories. Keep up the good fun (it's not work, after all). Hugs!

DesLily said...

you do so many things that I wish I had done when my kids were young. never stop!

Chris said...

I love this more than I can tell you, Debi!! I think my favorite pictures are Max and Gray with Bacon and the one of Annie reading :) You're such an incredible scrapbooker!! Love it :)

Melissa said...

This makes me want to participate! I am the worst at taking photos and creating keepsakes. THE WORST! And it's one of those things where I say to myself, "I really should do that . . ." and yet I never do. So, you are leaps and bounds beyond me.

Good job! (and I can't believe how BIG your kids are getting)

Debi said...

Thanks! The pages may not be terribly artistic, but I do hope they'll serve their purpose. :)

Why does it always feel like there's so much more I *should* be doing?!! Because that's the way life works, I suppose. :P

Those are my favorite shots, too! I absolutely LOVE the smiles on the boys' faces!!! And thank you!

I love recording our memories, but face it, the really important thing is creating the memories to start with. And you do plenty in that area!!!
And yeah--isn't it scary?!! Today's Annie's 14th birthday already! And I've no doubt I'd have the same reaction if I saw a current photo of your munchkins...wouldn't I?

kreed said...

I am glad you are making it work - it is so hard to let go of all of the "should bes" sometimes, but so fabulous when it can be done! And you have inspired me to check out the project...what a cool idea!

Jason Gignac said...

I always thought it would be fun to make a scrapbook with no photos in it, to see if it suggests enough to tell you who you're writing about - your netflix wrapper makes me think of that (and it's amazing that a netflix wrapper can be cute! :) ).