Hey there! So earlier this year, in THIS post, one of the things that I said I was going to focus on this year was keeping up with my Project Life albums. I talked a bit about what I did last year, and how I have yet to finish a single week in my 2016 albums. And I also mentioned that I was debating whether I wanted to do Project Life with physical products, or digitally, with the Project Life app.
I really went back and forth on what I wanted to do, and even tried creating a few spreads in the app for the first few weeks. I ended up ordering all of my January photos, still not knowing what my plan would be. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, that I finally made up my mind to go with the physical album.
Here's a look at my week one spread. I'm doing 9x12" again, as I just really love that size for doing Project Life. Last year, I cut down a 12x12" American Crafts album to 9x12" and also cut down a ton of my pocket pages to fit. I loved that I ended up with a mix of different size pages within the album - some were 4x12", some were 6x12", some were 7x12", some were 8x12", and then some were the full 9x12". For most weeks I had at least 2 spreads for the week, since I was using lots of smaller sized pocket pages within the album.
This time around, I'm using actual 9x12" albums from Seven Paper (by Studio Calico), along with true 9x12" pocket pages. There's a few styles of pocket pages, but so far, I've only used the two shown above. I love the protector that has all 3x3" pockets, but that will take a little more planning, since I can't order 3x3" photos right from my phone - and I'm still using the FreePrints app to order all of my photos.
I'm planning on sticking to just one spread per week, to keep it simple. Another thing I decided to do was to use these Weekly Edition Journaling Cards, from One Little Bird, for my weekly title cards. They're simple and easy, and I love them. When I go to do my photo order, I simply upload the cards for the month to Dropbox, and then I grab them from the Dropbox app on my phone and add them to my FreePrints order. I could also print them on cardstock, but having them printed right along with my photos is so easy.
I start out by adding in the title card, the calendar card (seen below), and then my photos. From there, I start working on my journaling cards. My plan as of right now, is to add just two additional filler cards per week. These will be more decorative cards, like the aqua "love this" card above. This particular card had a lot of empty space on the bottom, and since I wanted to incorporate a bit more yellow into the spread, I added a yellow chipboard star.
In my Project Life album for 2016, I spent a lot of time working in fun filler cards for all of the pockets without photos. A lot of them were journaling style cards, where I intend to add my journaling. The thing is, I know how long it would take me to actually add my journaling to those cards, should I want to print it from the computer. And truth be told, I would much rather NOT use my own handwriting. Mainly because I tend to write on the bigger side, and I'd never be able to fit all that much on those cards.
So I decided that I'm going to stick to using digital journaling cards. I've used these in several pocket page projects over the last few months, and they're super easy to do. I have quite a few journaling card kits, from both Ali Edwards and Cathy Zielske, and I will probably stick to those most of the time.
While working on these first few weekly spreads for 2017, I really tried not to over think things. Adding simple little embellishments, stickers, and alphas, is a great opportunity for me to really dig into my stash - whether it's newer products or products I've had for years and years.
These alpha stickers from Doodlebug are a perfect example. I've had them forever, and I have always loved them. But I can't remember the last time I've even used them. But they were perfect for adding to the empty space in this photo.
Most of the digital journaling cards that I'm using are pretty simple - and have lots of white to them. I mentioned earlier this year that I had taken Cathy Zieske's Scrapbook Your Year class, and one thing I really liked on her pages was that the majority (I want to say all, but I could be wrong on that) of her filler cards were all black and white. It simplifies that part of the process, as you're not spending time trying to find filler cards and journaling cards to match your photos.
That's not to say that I won't incorporate colors into those filler and journaling cards though. One of the digital journaling cards that I'm using a ton is the one shown above. It actually does have a little quote at the top of the card - but I simply removed that, so that the top of the card is blank, and I still have all of the lines to type my journaling on. This will allow to add something to the top of the card to tie in my photos. This could be a digital stamp or brush, a physical stamp, or a sticker - which is what I added to this card here.
The "this is awesome" card is from one of Ali's Story Kits, and the colors were perfect for this spread, so I kept it there. Turns out, the aqua and the yellow on this journaling card ended up dictating the colors I used on the rest of the spread. Since the Project Life spreads can end up with a wide variety of colors, depending on what photos you have, it's nice to just pick a few colors to focus on with the rest of your products.
The calendar card is something that I intend to add to each week's spread. Susan Weinroth used to work one into every weekly spread in her album, and I loved the idea. I decided to use the Project 52 Fresh Calendars from Becky Higgins - I'm linking to the digital kit thru her site, but I'm actually using the kit on the Project Life app. I use the app to put two 3x4" photos on a 4x6", for ordering. And you can also use the app to do the same thing with any of the cards in the app. So I can put two of these calendars on one 4x6", and print them right along with my photo order.
One thing that I do want to do is highlight the week somehow. Since these are printed on photo paper, I'm not sure what I could use to do that. I'm actually going to try doing something with these in Photoshop, before doing my next order. Use a digital brush or something to highlight the individual week that each spread is for. So I will be switching these cards out once I figure that out.
My goal is to keep these pages simple and easy. And I also would prefer to keep them fairly flat, so as to not bulk up my album too much. I did include several chipboard pieces on this week one spread. Here's a trick for you. A lot of chipboard pieces come with adhesive, but they don't actually stick that well. Or like these here, the adhesive literally dries up after a few months, and you have to peel that layer off anyways, before you can actually adhere it. I simply peel off a few layers of the chipboard, until I have a relatively flat chipboard piece to work with. Don't get me wrong, I love chipboard. But too much in an album will bulk things up, which is why I prefer to make my pieces thinner.
I can't even tell you how good it feels to get a few weeks totally done and finished in my album! I am still ordering my photos just once a month. I could print at home, but I love using the FreePrints app for ordering photos (and then I can save my ink and photo paper for layout printing and other projects). So in between ordering, since I order once a month, that gives me a month to work on the previous month's weekly spreads. I'll be back in a day or two to share week two with you :)