Monday, 28 January 2013

Some Thoughts on 2012 Project Life

I first started Project Life in August 2012. I kept a list of what worked for me - and what didn't - to inform my 2013 process.

1.  I should have ordered an alternate album when the one I wanted wasn't in stock.  There is nothing worse than being all gung-ho about a project and not having anything to store your layouts in.  I had planned to buy a temporary album but decided that would be a waste of money when I fully intended to buy a 'real' album at some point.  I was only two weeks in when I hit the web and found an album I wanted.  Good albums are expensive in Australia - it doubled my initial outlay to get started - but I wish I'd made the purchase at the start.

2.  I bought the 6x4 and 3x4 journalling cards in both plain and grid form, and have yet to use any of them.  Instead I downloaded some of Cathy Zielske's journalling cards from Designer Digitals for two main reasons: I can fit much more in the space when I can use text, and I loathe my handwriting.  I suspect I'll use them when we head overseas in a few months but in the immediate term, I could have gotten away with one design of each size to have a play with and determine how I'd use them.

3.  Once I start writing, I find that I have a lot to say.  Week One had two additional journalling cards (one 6 x 4, one 6 x 12) and Week Two was headed the same way when I realised this would quickly add up to both album bulk and overall cost.  I have always been a diary keeper; Project LIfe will not replace that, it will supplement it.  

4.  I keep a running sheet on a draft email so that it's available on multiple laptops/PCs/iPads etc.  There are probably better ways to do this (I may make up a template in Word and keep it in Dropbox) but for now, I find this works.  On the running sheet I keep lists of what I want to put in the large slots, the small slots, and photo ideas.  I start my Week in Review Card and add a sentence about each day when I think about it (at the end of the week, I copy all this text onto the card in PSE).

5.  I struggle to take enough photos - in most part because I've always focused more on words than images.  It's been a challenge to remind myself to use the camera - a challenge I am embracing.  I see this as a real opportunity to teach myself how to use the DLSR.

6.  My iPhone is a god-send.  Seriously.  All the photos for my first two weeks - every single one of them - were taken with the iPhone.  

7.  My boyfriend is 100% behind the project.  Generally my craft is something he sees as encroaching on his space in the house (hey, I needed to use the kitchen bench; it had the best light in the house!), though he's certainly appreciative of the effort that goes in and the outcome that goes out.  But during Week One, when I was having a melt-down because my brand new printer wasn't working properly, cursing the technology in the house and generally rueing my decision to embark on the project, he drew me into a hug and reminded me that it is an important project and I should continue to work to make it happen (I am the techie in our house).  Then he asked if we could take the album with us to the UK to show his Mum.  Bless him.

8.  You don't need kids to make this project work.  Granted, Week Two has a separate insert based solely on an afternoon I spent with my nieceling.  I have, however, been pleasantly surprised to find that there's more than enough happening in our day to day lives to record and document.  It also adds a new dimension to my own life - to live it, experience it so that I can record it - for want of a better term.

9.  A good printer is worth its wait in gold - for me, at least.  I print all my inserts and photos at home and it gives me the flexibility (and creativity) to work whenever I feel the urge.  

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