Documenting 30

I’ve been a scrapbooker for as long as I can remember. As I was approaching turning 30, I decided that I wanted to document the year…as it was happening. Right now, I’m still knee deep in scrapbooking my summer 2010 adventure out West. Since I have a lot of work left on that project, I turned to a more non-traditional way of documenting my year of 30. Project Life. Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. It’s designed to be simple. All you need is a Project Life Core kit that consists of 4×6 & 3×4 cards used for journaling and filler, an album, pocket pages, and photos & anything else you want to include. I had been following Elise’s first year of using Project Life and decided that it would be the perfect thing to try for this “Documenting 30” project I wanted to do.

During the winter, I ordered the Seafoam Core Kit off of Amazon (at that point, Project Life was only sold on Amazon) and started incorporating the cards into my summer 2010 project. I was hooked, and I hadn’t even started my true PL project yet. I officially started the week of my birthday and have been loving the project ever since. It has helped me take notice of all the big and little things that happen throughout a week. As I was putting together my layout for the week of July 1st, I documented along the way so that I could share my process.

Throughout each week, I make notes about the happenings of the week in a cute little notebook I picked up at Anthropologie. When I sit down to start working on the layout for the week, I go through my notes and then gather any bits I’ve collected throughout the week. “Bits” can range from ticket stubs to maps to appointment reminders to whatever else I’ve collected. Not everything makes it into the book, but it’s nice to have some stuff to work with during the planning process. This particular week that I was working on, I had a bunch of fun stuff from my day trip around the Bayfield Peninsula in WI.

PL items

Next up, I plan everything out. I have white 4×6 & 3×4 placeholders to put into the pockets while I’m planning everything out. This was really handy for the first couple weeks when I couldn’t print photos at home. Having the white paper in place blocks out what might be peeking through from the week before. During this stage, I have my computer out and am looking through & deciding on photos to use for the week. I use post-it notes to jot down what photo or item will go in each pocket. The post-it notes are a life-saver, especially when I’m working on the week’s layout in more than one sitting.

PL Planning

Print all the photos. 🙂 I recently invested in a new printer (an HP Photosmart 5520), and I love it! When I got my new Mac this spring, I discovered that my 5 year old Dell printer wasn’t compatible. I went with a Photosmart printer since I knew most of what I would be printing would be photos. Like any printer, it kind of sucks the ink. Oh well. I’m really happy with the quality of the photos. I’ve been using Office Max Matte photo paper and really like it. The ink doesn’t smear and it’s easy to cut with my paper cutter.

PL Photos

Next up, the photos get trimmed. I round the corners for all the photos to match the rounded corner look of the Project Life cards. All that is left to do is put everything into its respective pocket. For this particular week, I had the normal two page spread and added an insert page. I had so many photos from all of our adventuring that I wanted to add to the album.

PL Cut photos

Below is the front of the insert page. Almost all the photos were from Amnicon Falls State Park. 3×4 card is from the Seafoam Core Kit. Label is Paper Source. The page is a Design G pocket page.

PL Insert Front

Back of the insert page. In addition to the photos of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, I included a map of the islands, a copy of the NPS cancellations I collected, and also the back of the card from the keychain my sister bought. It included a brief history of the Apostles Islands. 3×4 card is from the Seafoam Core Kit and the washi tape is from Freckled Fawn.

PL Insert Back

Left page: 4×6 cards from the Honey Core Kit & Seasons mini kit. 3×4 card from Honey Core Kit. Flair from Sarah Hurley via Freckled Fawn. Page is a Design D pocket page.

PL Left

Right page: Label is JilliBean Soup. Page is Design A pocket page.

PL Right

Other product details:

  • Pens: American Crafts Slick Writer, Gelly Roll Metallic, & Bic
  • Corner Round: no clue as I bought it years ago, probably from Michaels
  • Paper: Office Max Matte Photo Paper
  • Printer: HP Photosmart 5520
  • Photos taken on: iPhone 4S & Canon Rebel T2i

I’m becoming a very big fan of Project Life. It’s as simple or as involved as you want it to be. I highly recommend checking it out! What’s awesome is that now Project Life can be found at major retailers such as Michaels, Archivers, and Hobby Lobby, as well as Amazon.

Note: My friend Laura made a Facebook fan page to go along with her blog (First Class Great Outdoors), so I suggest you wander on over there and “like” the page. Then, you too, can tag along on all her fun travel/outdoor adventures.


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