Tag Archives: project life

project life: march

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Click any of the pictures to view a larger version.

I mentioned before that I went easy with my March spread. It was kind of a crazy month, mostly because it seemed to be the most intense month for my NTP coursework. I also had two study groups and the annual NTA conference that I attended for the first time, all on weekends. The month felt very unbalanced with how much time I spent studying. I was fully expecting that when I signed up and I love everything about becoming an NTP, it just meant we didn’t do a whole lot in March that was picture worthy.

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Alfred turned two on March 30th, which was really the only big event of the month. I made him a paper crown that he shockingly wasn’t interested in wearing. To celebrate, he got a new bone from the farmer’s market. Greg and I brought him home Memorial Day weekend 2012, so we haven’t had him quite two years yet but it feels like the three of us have always been a little family. IMG_8003_edited-1I had so few photos from the month I used the “top ten” idea from Elise’s February project life. Actually, a few of the top ten events I didn’t even have a picture of, so I just made do with what I had. You know you are stretching for big doin’s in a month when you include making airline status.

Supplies: The majority of this spread is from the Studio Calico Office Hours PL kit. I also include a few cards from the Sunshine PL Core kit. I used Design C and Design F pocket pages (for the Design F I sew the 4×6 opening to create a full page of 4×3 pockets).

project life: february

February was my first month not putting together weekly spreads and I LOVE it. I ended up with quite a few pages, even though my only real goal is to get one spread. What I liked was being able to look at my pictures towards the end of the month and make stories of them. I also enjoyed scoping out what others are doing (via blogs) and having ideas in the back of mind for taking specific pictures throughout the month. I’ve accepted that I’m just not creative and “borrowing” ideas from others is by far the easiest way for me to make pages I love.

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(You can click on any of the pictures to open them larger in a new window.)

To start, I needed to fill the front side of a 12 picture grid. January ended on the left hand side of the book which gave me a page in no-man’s land. In looking through my pictures I had quite a few of the beautiful skies we’ve been having during the abnormally cold and dry winter. I picked my favorites and in they went.

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Next up is a summary of the month. I got this grid idea from Elise and it’s great. 24 pockets – fill 12 with pictures and 12 with black and white journal cards, alternating the photos and cards. I added a little red for Valentine’s Day. It’s the prefect way to do a month in review and a great way to use all the black & white I had been saving for this year.

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I’m spending a lot of my free time working on the house so I used the back of my month in review spread for a few pictures of what got done this month.

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We had a decent amount of snow one Sunday (about 2.5″) and Alfred was SO happy. The idea for the quilted layout was also from Elise’s January pages.

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I finished the month with our second annual winter getaway to Phoenix. Going into the trip, I knew I needed to fill the back of my “quilted” snow day page. I decided I was going to change it up by using pictures up top and documenting the best of from the trip in the rectangles below. I kept this in mind as I snapped scenery pictures (iPhone only).

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I wanted a big picture of Greg and I on our trip to end the month (which technically was in March but who cares). I saw Ali’s post with a fun 6×12″ portrait and loved it. Yes, Greg is such a good sport and almost always willing to do what I ask for sake of the remembrance album, as he calls it. It’s not a picture of us together per say, but I love.

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This is nothing like what I thought I’d be doing this year. But it’s working and I am having a lot of fun with it.

I really think Project Life is such a great way to document your everyday life. I went a little big in February, but I’ll share my March spread soon. It’s just two pages and took me about ninety minutes on a Sunday evening. In 18 hours over the course of the year you can have a little book of 2014 memories. And while I have gone a little big on supplies, you could easily do small album for the year for $50 total.

Supplies Used: Project Life kits Seafoam Edition, Midnight Edition, Sunshine Edition; various past Studio Calico Project Life kits.

project life 2014

I’m really excited to be taking on PL in 2014 again. Greg and I looked through the 2013 album on NYE and there were so many little events that I had forgotten about. Totally worth the effort of keeping up with the project throughout the year.

I repeated the same process 52 times in 2013, give or take, and definitely have some improvements for this year. First off, I went WAY overboard last year. I have no desire to add up how much I spent (which is not very like me) because I’m terrified of the number. I signed up for two monthly kits as well as the Project Life basics I bought to start. I ended up with more supplies than I could manage and by the end of the year I was out of physical space and working on any given week was overwhelming.

Aside from collecting too much, the other take away I had from 2013 is that it’s okay not to tell every story. When I first started I felt like I had to get every piece of our family’s data into the album, or it didn’t happen. Dinner with a friend? Must fit in a picture. Greg traveling? Add it to a journaling card. Dog did something funny? This calls for a picture and some journaling. This added to the feeling of being overwhelmed when I went to start a new week.IMG_7730_edited-1

For 2014, my goal is to simplify. I reorganized my craft cart so that everything I use weekly is on top and the supplies I use occasionally are on the middle shelf. The bottom shelf is still a mess of non-project life gear.

I pulled the gray, black, white, and tan/kraft cards from the Midnight and Sunshine editions. I also added what left I had of the Seafoam edition in those few colors. I’m going for a very simple, stream-lined look this year. It might sound boring, and maybe a few months down the road I’ll adjust to bring in more color. Right now though I’m really looking forward to not having a ton of choose from every week. I’ve been very inspired by Trisha Harrison and Jess Forster.

I made my title page for 2014. I included a picture of Greg and I, a picture of our family (feet only) and a picture of a maple leaf from the park across the street. Last year I included the welcome to Maple Leaf sign and thought it would be fun to continue to include a little something from where we live (or at least start the year living). I used wood veneers from one of my many kits mentioned above for the 2014 and the *M. I also included a quote that sums up my feelings for how we are going into 2014.
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Last but not least, I finally used my sewing machine for PL. I’m entirely too excited about this. This is totally inspired by Elise Cripe, who is very creative when it comes to sewing machines and PL. This black and white text card looked a little boring but I really wanted to use it on my title page. I found woodgrain sequence from yet another box, so added them and stitched across the top of the pocket to keep them in place.IMG_7720_edited-1

I have no idea if anyone who reads my blog also does Project Life. If you do, let me know. I have a large pile of supplies I cleaned out that I want to put to good use rather than in the trash. I was thinking of doing a giveaway, but I don’t know if there would be anyone to give to.

NYEE and a meatball bar

Last night was the tenth anniversary of New Years Eve Eve. It was also my fourth one to attend/host, which seems crazy. Perhaps it’s a sign you married the right person when it seems like there’s no way possible you’ve been together for four years already? We had a small crowd this year, just eight of us, but it was nice and low key for a Monday night when half the crowd had to work on Tuesday. For the first time ever, a baby attended NYEE. We also added a white elephant exchange this year and it was pretty hilarious. It was definitely a different party than previous years and I’m sure it will continue to evolve as the years go on.

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This is a terribly fuzzy and dark photo, but the only proof I have that humans attended our party.IMG_7671_edited-1

I had a fun idea to make a meatball bar. Seemed perfect since they are bite-sized snack foods that are easy to make ahead of time and reheat for the party. I made then on Sunday then followed the reheating directions before the party; they tasted fine room temp as well. I picked four of the fifteen meatball recipes from Well Fed 2 (bringing my total to six so far); I did switch up some of the meat suggestions to ensure we had a good mix for people’s preferences.

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I made beef Thai Curry balls with curry sauce; beef Cuban balls with Lizard Sauce; pork Japanese gyoza balls with an Asian dipping sauce; and turkey Greek balls with a kebab sauce. Just realized it’s kind of funny I make Greek balls with Turkey, not always known as a loving combination. Perhaps the way to world peace is through balls? Everything was tasty (minus the Cuban balls but that is because they had olives and we all know I think olives are the devil’s food).

The meatball recipes are all in the cookbook only as far as I can tell, but try out a few of Mel’s other meatball recipes that are available on her site.

I clearly went way overboard for just eight guests who mostly had already eaten dinner, but now we have a stash of meatballs in the freezer for next week. I also made sweet potato with bacon soup and have a ton leftover so my breakfasts will be something to look forward to the first week of January.

IMG_7666_edited-2Champagne corks + Project Life cards made for cute and free food labels.

Our hosting is done for 2013! Tonight it’s a quiet night on the couch with our yearly take-out of homemade chow mien noodles from Snappy Dragon with a fancy bottle of champagne my parents sent for our first anniversary. I’m sure it will involve (almost finishing) The West Wing, knitting, a sleepy doodle, and probably some coding. What more could you want from NYE? (answer: absolutely nothing)

Happy New Year’s Eve, friends!

project life : caught up!

I’m convinced Project Life is a sustainable way to document life because I went from being nearly two months behind to caught up in just a few hours over two weekends.

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Trying out a new format for 2014 with last week’s spread. One full page and one half page. I like it a lot – didn’t feel like I was picking from crappy pictures to fill the full spread. IMG_7350_edited-1

Love my bokeh picture of the Christmas tree. I just printed three 6×4 pictures and cut one in half to fit in the pockets. You can buy 6 x 12 pages, but I just cut the second half off of a regular full page one because I have tons.
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I had one last week from November to catch up. It’s the week after we got back from Maui as well as the week I threw a wedding shower for Becky. IMG_7358_edited-1 IMG_7361_edited-1 IMG_7360_edited-1I can’t believe there are only three more spreads to make for 2013.

playing catch-up with project life

Over the last two months I got very behind on my Project Life album. I was feeling overwhelmed on how to catch up. Once I decided to go really simple I actually knocked out several weeks in just a few hours. Currently I’m caught up with the exception of one week in November. Not bad since I was behind starting in mid-October.
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I combined the last half of October into one spread. We both worked like crazy these 2+ weeks and there were so few pictures. Aside from work, we traveled to SF for a wedding, celebrated Halloween, and enjoyed the newly opened Maple Leaf park.
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The long work hours paid off when we spent the first week of November in Hawaii, relaxing and not working.
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Again, I fudged the dates a little. We were on Maui from Friday to Friday but it made no sense to divide the trip into multiple spreads to fit my usual Monday to Sunday work. I’m convinced Project Life is most enjoyable if you break your rules frequently. IMG_7313_edited-1

Because I made a Blurb book for this trip, I kept the documenting here very simple. Just two 12×12 pictures and a very succinct trip overview in some white space. IMG_7312_edited-1

We had some good times with friends and family recently, especially on Thanksgiving. We also experienced some challenges and while I wish we had not, I’m glad I had a place to document. IMG_7316_edited-1 IMG_7318_edited-1 IMG_7319_edited-1I’m so glad to be mostly caught up. I love this project but am looking forward to starting fresh in 2014 with a few new ideas to streamline and simplify the process. It’s hard to believe I am editing photos right now for week 49 of the year. It’s gone oh-so-fast, but looking back through two binders full of weekly stories and pictures reminds me of how much we’ve been lucky to do this year.

Project Life: Weeks 40 & 41

Week 40 (Sept 30 – Oct 6) + Week 41 (Oct 7 – Oct 13)

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So far October has been a whole lot of work during the week and a whole lot of nothing on the weekends. It’s a pretty big change from how we spent the summer, but we are really welcoming the down time. Downtime means fewer pictures though, so I decided to cut my weekly spreads down to just one sheet each. It worked really well and I’m contemplating doing this for my 2014 album. We’ll see, I still have ten weeks to figure that out!

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The most exciting event of week forty is that we got our dryer back up and running and it cost us $16, not $500+ as we were quoted. I have never been so happy to do laundry as I have been lately.

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For week forty-one, I tried a new design of the pages. I really like it and I’m thinking I might do these next year. This week my love affair with fall continued and I also started my sewing class! My head is spinning with ideas for what I can make when I get my own machine. Greg is watching my desk in the office slowly turn into a giant pile of crafts. I’d say at the moment he is amused but I probably need to get it under control before he’s less amused by it.

Supplies used: Seafoam project life kit; Kelly Purkey October + November Project kit.

The Mom Creative