Fall is in the air

It’s a cold and rainy day, school starts on Tuesday – it’s definitely fall.  My thoughts turn to scrapbooking every year at this time – once fall and winter descend on the Great White North, I have far more time and inclination to scrapbook (whether my grand plans of getting caught up for the year actually come true are another story entirely).

I haven’t checked in on my goals since posting about them in January.  This will probably be depressing since I know I haven’t accomplished much of anything scrap-wise this year.

Pictures – I’ve definitely been better about taking more day-to-day pictures.  I love the camera on my iPhone 6 Plus, and I’ve also got my husband in the habit of taking more with his phone.  Our DSLR has come out twice or three times this year, so I haven’t really been learning much about it.   Becky Higgins recommended a photo editing app called Pic Tap Go which I’ve been using a lot to edit pictures I’ve taken on my phone.  I’ve been pretty impressed with the results and it’s super simple to use.

Catching up – ahhahahahahaha.  Ha.  Not anywhere remotely close.  I’ve completed the grand total of two pages since my scrapbooking weekend in April.  Between our multiple-stage move, a very busy summer with lots of camping, and not having a decent place to work in our short-term rental, there hasn’t been the time or space.

I’ve set a deadline for myself to complete my parents’ cruise album before they go on their next cruise at the end of October.  Ambitious, since we’re in our rental till the end of September, then back with them for two weeks prior to taking possession of our new house.  I’m going to take advantage of the late night crops my LSS offers next Friday and spend 6 solid hours working, with none of the distractions of home.  I may book another one in early October too.  Once we move back with my parents, I’ll have a better space to work at, so I’m going to fill my evenings by getting their book done.

I’m going to set that as one of only three goals for the rest of the year.  We move into our new house October 15, and setting up my scrap space won’t be the priority.  I’m hoping to get to it by mid-November, but then Christmas will be upon us, and I don’t know how much I’ll get completed.  If I do have the time, I’ll work on a few small pages I have to finish, then start to tackle 2014.

Week/day in the life – 2016.  Not going to add the pressure to myself.

Memorabilia – yeah, so I said it WILL be dealt with in the decluttering of my house.   Survey says – BZZZZZT.  The bin got packed away full.  Fortunately, the stream of stuff coming home from daycare has slowed down, so I won’t be adding to the pile too much.  I think I need to be realistic and just go through a year at a time – add what I can to Miss A’s 2013 book, then as I work through 2014 do the same thing.

Stash management –  well, there was some progress.  I cleared a bunch of stuff out as I decluttered the house.  But…I’ve purchased a few new kits over the summer.  I’ve tried to be really realistic about what I’m buying and not getting caught up in the “I must have all the kits” fever.  For example, Bloom and Inspire both caught my eye, but I know they’re really not my style and won’t get used.  I was on the fence about Fine & Dandy, but from past experience, those “I’m unsure” kits don’t get used either.  Once I get my scrap room unpacked and organized, I’m going to do a huge purge and start with a stash where I truly LOVE every kit.

The second goal I’m setting for myself is getting my new scrap area set up and organized, so I can start 2016 with an organized space ready to go.  I’ve been doing a bit of planning as to what I want and how I’m going to set the room up, which I’ll post about later.

My last goal is blog-related.  I want to reorganize the PL Kit Checklist page and download into something more manageable.  I’m going to do two versions – alphabetically and by release date.  I’m hoping to have that done by the end of the week, so if all goes well, that’ll be an easy one to cross off the list.

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Project Life Goals for 2015

This year is going to be a busy one.  We’re going to spend most of our free time in the next few months decluttering our house, doing a few minor repairs and the last things that need to be done in our finished basement, in preparation to list our house in the spring.  Once the house is listed, it’ll be lots of work keeping it clean and organized for showings.  The new house will hopefully be finished in mid-summer and then it’ll be time to move!

With all that we have to do in the rest of our lives, I’m keeping my goals for this year very modest.  I had thought to try a weekly PL album, but with everything going on, this isn’t the year to do it.  So my Project 52 kit will be tucked away for next year.

Pictures – we’ll continue to take more everyday shots, and I’d like to get my husband to teach me more about taking good pictures with our DSLR.  I’m going to try and start editing some shots on a more regular basis.  I’ll continue with my regular backing up of photos, and also being more selective of which ones I send to print.

Catching up – I need to finish my parents’ cruise album as a first priority.  Once that’s done, I plan to cross off some of the little projects that are hanging around – our engagement story, my month-by-month pregnancy layout, and besties page.  I want to get Miss A’s childhood album done up to 2014, then I can work on my own 2014 album and her 2014 pages concurrently.  Ideally, before we list the house in the spring, I’d like to have 2014 completed, but we’ll see how that goes.

Week/day in the life – I still like the idea of doing it a few times during the year, but I think I’ll scale back to a day in the life rather than a week.

Memorabilia – this WILL be dealt with as part of my house decluttering!  It will be sorted, and anything I’m not keeping originals of will be photographed or scanned and then tossed.

Stash management – without a lot of scrapbooking going on, but still shopping, I’ve managed to accumulate a somewhat ridiculous stash.  It’s time to start using things up rather than bringing more into the house.  I’ve already decided to part with a few of my partial kits which I know just aren’t my style.  I keep thinking I’ll use pastels or vintage-looking cards, and I just don’t. Since the summer, I’ve been working to curtailing my impulse to run out and purchase everything that gets announced and it’s been going pretty well.

I’m also getting closer and closer to taking the plunge and organizing my cards by colour.  That’s such a big step and the thought of it makes me a little twitchy, so we’ll see what the next few months bring!

2014 Goals Revisited

The summer is done as of this weekend – the leaves are turning yellow, my husband is back to work (he’s a teacher) and the nights are getting awfully cool.  Seems like a good time to check in on where I’m at with my 2014 goals.

Taking more pictures – again, it’s been hit and miss.  I’m definitely taking more photos, partially because of the time of year – we had several camping trips this summer, as well as Miss A’s birthday.  I’m also getting lots of stuff with having the really great camera on my new iPhone and the little point-and-shoot that we bought.  There have been more pictures where I’m not the photographer this summer.  My husband took a photography course for school in early July and he’s enjoyed practicing.  He took some amazing pictures when we were in the mountains.  I’m making a conscious effort to take more pictures that aren’t of the kidlet, but it’s a slow process.

Photo organization – I’m still doing well with the monthly backing up and have been much better the last few times I’ve ordered prints about selecting the best ones to be printed.  It’s quite satisfying to see 500 pictures in a folder end up being 200 prints ordered.  That’s a lot of money that’s not being chucked into the garbage.   So I will definitely continue to invest the time and effort into that.

Memorabilia – hasn’t been touched.  I’ve filed things away as best I can but I haven’t sorted through anything.  That’s a good project for a colder winter evening, so I’ll tackle it in a couple of months.

Week in the life – hahahaha.  Not even close.  I did a day in the life in the late winter and then it’s totally fallen off my radar.  I plan to do something in September/October.

Catching up – I’m completely done 2013.  All of my 2014 pictures are printed up to date but I haven’t done anything with them.  i had intended to put them straight into pocket pages, but they’re still in envelopes.  I have a scrapbooking girls’ weekend planned in October, so I’m saving 2014 for then.  I still need to do my pregnancy page, besties page, and our engagement story – I plan on working on them on my weekend away too.  I also started two new projects – my parents’ cruise album and Abby’s childhood album.  I’m focusing on the cruise right now; all the pictures are in pages and I’ve started to put in the cards.  Once that’s done, it’ll be up to my mom to do the journaling.  Abby’s childhood album needs a couple of months’ more pictures and then I need to journal, but it’s close to being caught up.

Our summer was very busy, so I didn’t scrapbook on a regular basis, but now that it’s winding down, I’m sure I’ll make more time in the next couple of months.

Words I’ve never uttered

I’m almost caught up.

Whaaaa?

Everything is done for 2012 except for a couple of pages which need journaling.

All my 2013 pictures are in photo pocket pages.  I have to add cards, embellish and journal, which I plan to work on over the next while.  I’m going to clean up the last of my to-do list – engagement story, pregnancy month-by-month and a couple of pictures to reorganize in Miss A’s first year album.  I have a 12×12 layout I want to do of a picture with some of my best girlfriends.  I might go back and embellish some of my 2011 and 2012 pages since I’m going to have the time.

My spring cleaning is halfway done – I’ve sorted my pocket pages and stored designs I’m less likely to use.  Stickers and embellishments have been purged, and most of my paints went into the garbage.  I’m holding off on going through my kits until after I’m done my 2013 pages to see if I’m still using the same few kits.

I’ll print out  my 2014 to date pictures soon – I feel like there should be a Costco print sale coming up.  They’re going to go straight into pocket pages but I won’t do much with them.  If I get too ahead of the game, I won’t have anything to work on at my scrapbooking weekend in the fall!

So what will I work on?  This is a very strange feeling!

I’ve taken a few online classes – well, I’ve printed everything out anyway.  This will be a great time to continue working on those.  I’ve got Project Real Life, Project Life Lessons, a Silhouette and two Photoshop classes, so that will keep me busy!

My parents did a Mediterranean cruise a couple of years ago and my mom really wants to get her pictures off her computer.  I promised her I’d help her either design an online photobook or go through and select pictures to print and make her a scrapbook.   They’re going to be living with us for the next couple of months so that’ll be a good way to spend some of our evenings.

Once my parents move and get their stuff out of storage, I know my mom has boxes upon boxes of photos that aren’t in any order.  I also promised I’d help her sort those and get them into photo albums.  I’m sure they also have heritage photos from both my grandmas, so I’d love to do something with those.

Scrapbooking goals – where I’m at

The first quarter of the year is over and I thought it would be a good time to evaluate where I’m at with the goals I set in January.

Taking more pictures – it’s been hit and miss, but I’ve been trying to get more everyday shots.  I haven’t gotten as many with myself in as I’d like and most of my pictures have been still kidlet-related.  Part of my problem is the fact that we have a big DSLR camera which isn’t easy to port around.  Now that I have my new iPhone which seems to take amazing pictures, I’m planning on using it more for day to day photos.

Photo organization – uploading, organizing and backing everything monthly has worked extremely well.  Editing them and uploading selected ones to be printed, not so much.  I’m really torn about paring down my pictures.  I find it very difficult to look at two or three pictures on a computer and pick the best one, where it’s much easier to do when I have them printed out.   I’m going to attack February and March next week and see how it goes, then I’ll decide if it’s worth the time and effort compared to the money I’ll spend.

Memorabilia – it’s sorted into folders and I’ve included some in my 2012 album.  I think going through it and deciding what to keep, scan or photograph will be something I do on a quarterly basis or when I get to that month in my albums.  Life’s been pretty busy to try and find the time to do it on a regular basis.

Week in the Life – yeah, not so great about that.  I managed to get pictures one day but didn’t write down any notes as the day went on.  I think I can go back and document some of it, and whatever I don’t remember, I won’t include.  Next time, I want to have my husband take some pictures of his day, and also get a few at daycare for Miss A.

Catching up – I completed our cat layouts, journaling my pregnancy pages, putting Miss A’s professional photos into her first year book, and all my pictures and cards are in my album up to December 2012.   I still need to do our engagement story, my month-by-month pregnancy page, journaling up to December 2012, then do photos, cards, embellishments and journaling for 2013 and 2014.

It’s coming along, and I’ve definitely been trying to find more time to scrapbook on a regular basis.

My scrapbooking goals for 2014

In November I watched Scrapbooking With Project Life on Creative Live – a three day class that Becky Higgins hosted which was all about Project Life.  A lot of the concepts she talked about would be just as applicable to a traditional scrapbooker, including journaling prompts, documenting the everyday, theme albums, etc.

One of the things she suggested on the first day was doing an assessment of where your scrapbooks, supplies and photos were in your house and then trying to get things into a central area.

After the assessment, she suggested you create a list of your goals and priorities for scrapbooking.  Whether it was only one album, a few over time, focusing on the future or doing everything, it would help to get it down on paper and then spend some time prioritizing your goals.  I enjoy writing lists so much, it’s really ridiculous, so this was totally up my alley.

My assessment surprised me, because I really thought all my stuff was in two places – completed scrapbooks in the bookcase in our office and my supplies, work in progress and pictures in my scrap area in the spare room.  One of the things I realized was how many of my pictures were scattered over my house, either stored on CDs, still on our cell phones, on the camera’s memory card, or only on my computer.   This changed a lot of what I thought my goals would be – they ended up not just being about completing Layout X or finishing Year Y.

Some of the other concepts she discussed also ended up influencing my list of goals.  These were ideas like ensuring you are backing up photos, how to edit using Photoshop, and the big “ah-ha” idea for me – batch processing – which I’ll talk about in another post.   The general idea is that there’s 4 steps – going through photos, printing them, inserting pictures and cards into pocket pages, and then journaling.   You work on one of these steps in one sitting.

So here’s the goals I’ve established for myself for 2014:

Taking pictures

  • Take more pictures of our everyday lives, not just the big events.
  • Make sure I’m in more of our pictures, not always the photographer.
  • Get more photos of the three of us.
  • Take pictures of non-kid related things in our life.

Photo Organization

Right now, I organize things when the urge strikes me.  Whenever Costco has a print sale, I upload hundreds of pictures at a time, with no attempt to go through and delete the really crappy ones because it’s too overwhelming with that number of pictures.  I print them all out, and then I get mad when I throw out hundreds of prints because they were fuzzy, or not a good picture of someone, or I printed 30 of essentially the same thing and only needed one or two.  It’s the downside of digital photography!

My new goal is to schedule time monthly  to organize the pictures I’ve taken in the past month.  I’m tired of uploading hundreds of pictures, waiting for a Costco print sale, then only using a small amount.  The plan is:

  • Ingest: download all pictures from both our phones and the camera.
  • Organize: rename my files using my batch renamer program, save into the month’s folder, and decide which pictures I’m going to actually use.
  • Edit: use Photoshop Elements to edit any pictures that need touching up.
  • Print: upload to Costco to print later or order prints at that time.
  • Archive: back up pictures to Google Drive and our external hard drive.

In addition, I need to go back and find all the CDs of pictures I have lying around, get them on the computer and backed up to Google Drive.

Memorabilia

My daughter is only 2.5 years old and already I’ve got a file box with art projects from daycare that’s getting out of control.  I don’t need to keep every single scribble drawing or piece of paper that she’s put stickers on because my house will be overflowing by the time she’s done school.  I want to get a system in place to control the memorabilia now.

  • Go through the files I already have and categorize the items:
    • put the originals into my albums
    • scan the originals to put into my albums
    • photograph the originals to put into my albums
    • determine if I want to keep the original in my file box
  • Schedule time to do this monthly as well to stay on top of it.

Layouts

I’ll touch on this in a different post, but there’s all sorts of ways to “do Project Life”.  A lot of people do the picture a day or weekly approach, but that’s not for me.  What I plan to do for my 2014 album is work on monthly spreads.  Some months might only need 2 pages, some might need 20, and I’m totally OK with that.  I don’t want to stress myself out by attempting to fit my style into what Project Life “should” be.  That defeats the purpose of me moving to this style of scrapbooking.

Ali Edwards has done a neat project the past few years called  A Week in the Life.  You take pictures of your everyday life every day for a week.  You document things like what you ate, what you wore, the weather, or anything you want to remember about that week in your life.  I’ve decided to take this one step further and do this four times a year – once per season – February (winter), May (spring), July (summer), October (fall).  Our lives are very different in each season and I thought it would be fun to capture the differences.

Of course, I’m also still behind on scrapbooking my daughter’s pictures, and I have a couple of loose ends I’d like to tie up in my (mostly) completed albums:

  • our wedding – finish typing out our engagement story, print it and put it in our album
  • my pregnancy pages – finish journaling on them and do the month-by-month layout I’ve planned
  • our cats – create the layouts and insert them into my 2012 album
  • catch up from July 2012 to December 2013
  • put the newborn  and 4 month professional pictures we had done of Miss A into her first year album

Whew, seems like a lot when I get it all down but I actually feel like it’s very manageable.