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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.