Project Life

Project Life is a beautiful and incredibly simple memory-keeping system developed by Becky Higgins. For more information on her product line click here.

I personally started a Project Life album on Mother’s Day 2012 and have found the experience to be  amazing, inspiring and extremely rewarding, not only for myself but for for my whole family. I find that working on it each week is something I really look forward to doing.

In this section of my blog I share a snapshot of what my Project Life album looks like on any given week and describe some of the ways that I personalize it to make it my own. This album concept is something I would recommend to anyone who is looking to capture memories from every day life.

My personal approach to Project Life has evolved over time… My initial approach was to shoot photos of our life through out the week and then on Friday night I’d typically go through my shots, do some light editing and print the photos I’d be using to tell the week’s story on my little Canon Selphy photo printer. The amount of time I have to work on it fluctuates season to season, so lately I’ve been taking photos and on Sunday afternoons I download, edit and sometimes pop them into Photoshop so I can put them in one of the great templates offered by Tracy Larsen. I find her crisp, clean, lots-of-white space approach to be very refreshing and she really inspires me—in her photography and her story-telling as well as her templates. I sometimes add journaling right to my photos now, in PhotoShop Elements before sending a large batch to Walgreens for processing. When I get them home, I sort them out and if I have enough I will create a weekly spread, otherwise I sometimes combine photos and create more of a monthly or a two-week spread. I’m thinking that whoever ends up with these albums in the future isn’t going to care what week it was but I bet the’ll really love to see this peek into our everyday life and I think that’s all that will matter, so I try not to get too hung up on the dates. I then slip the photos into the pockets and then work on the journaling cards which I also create in PSE. Because I actually designate time on my calendar to work on this project, I rarely fall behind and if I do, it’s not more than a month or so, which makes it very easy to catch up.

Because I consult for A Muse Studio, you will start to see more and more ways that I’m using their fabulous products in my Project Life album. A Muse Studio offers coordinating card stock, ink, ribbon and buttons that make it fun to create cohesive layouts with a personal touch.

Enjoy these sneak-peeks into my Project Life story… I hope you find a little inspiration while you’re here!

_____________________________________________________________

February, 2014

a muse studio project life

This was one of those months where there wasn’t a lot going on…lots of snow and snuggling at our house! The dogs were our main source of entertainment :). I added some color and interest to my spread using only supplies from A Muse Studio and I love the results!!

a muse studio project life title card

This is the main title card for the layout. I stuck with a kraft/sky/mermaid/sugar color scheme for this layout. Here I used the scalloped circle die, a little snowflake from the (retired) Snowflake Trio die set and the letters to spell FEBRUARY with the Even Taller Alpha die set. I also stamped a chevron border using the Chevrons stamp set and mermaid ink…

a muse studio project life i was here stamp set

This is the main journal card for the month of February that I created in PSE. I then printed it out on light-weight card stock and used a stamp from I Was Here to add some stamping to the card.

a muse studio project life i was here stamp set

This is a 4×6 filler card that I created by cutting a piece of sky card stock to 4×6″ and then I added a photo with a paper clip and a little tie of sky polka dot organdy ribbon plus a repeat of that snowflake and scalloped circle die as coordinating embellishments to tie this to my layout.

March 17 to March 23, 2013

Project Life Inspiration

Our year got off to a rough start with a couple of relatives passing within weeks of each other, and although tried to keep up with my picture-taking, I have to admit that on many layouts from January & February 2013, I haven’t been able to get to the journaling part just yet. I know it will come in time so I’m not worried, I just decided by mid February that I’d better start putting something together or I’d never get back into this wonderful project. This layout above is one I did actually complete with journaling and everything! I love the new Project Life kit I’m using— Seafoam, designed by Elise Blaha Cripe who is also a member of this year’s Project Life design team. You can check out her blog for tons of great inspiration. Another person from the PL design team that I’m following this year is Tracy Larsen. I love her clean and simple style to Project Life. She takes great photos and keeps the focus of her project on the photos. I love all the white space in her page layouts. You will probably notice her influence in some of my future layouts as well. She really inspires me.

This particular week’s layout documents…

Prepping for my first craft fair as Checkerberry Lane Studio | a beautiful orchid that bloomed again | my sweet Maggie-Moo | Auntie’s pretty kitties – George and Sylvia | Sisters having a moment together making the salad for a family birthday celebration |… it was a good, normal week. xo

—————————————————————————

December 9 to December 13, 2012

DSC_0304

This was a busy week… I celebrated with my friend, Tracy –both Christmas and her recent birthday,  we did lots of Christmas shopping this week including a new coat for Mr. Caleb (which he picked out himself and he loves so I’m hoping we won’t have a fight every morning about wearing it!). I also attended a work holiday party at a local bowling alley and that was fun… here is a closer look:

DSC_0305

This week I experimented with a new font on my journaling cards as well as with new journaling cards that I purchased through The Lily Pad designed by One Little Bird.

DSC_0306

On this layout I added a tag from Caleb’s new coat, as well as some handwritten journaling. I also included a larger journaling card in place of a photo on the bottom right corner that describes the horror felt after hearing of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Like so many others, I was so affected by that at a heartfelt level… I wanted to write about it and include it here.

December 2 to December 8, 2012

DSC_0301

This week I made up some pecan praline sauce, got a new haircut, we put up our little 4 ft, fake Christmas tree, took Caleb to basketball practice, tried to get organized for Christmas, helped nurse Joe back to health after a horrible cold had him down and out and we were invited to be present when a dear friend picked up a new puppy from a Pets.com rescue group… here is a closer look at each side of the layout:

DSC_0302

This week I used the journal cards from the Clementine edition of Project Life and only added some silver sparkle stickers from the Recollection collection at Michael’s craft store.

DSC_0303

Here, I didn’t embellish much at all, just cut a shaped journal tag using the A|S Labels 8 die cuts to write a little bit of journaling by hand and then stuck with the Clementine Edition of Project Life  for the rest of my cards and journaling.

November 25 to December 1, 2012

DSC_0298

This week I finished the handmade Christmas cards that I send out in early December, I also sent a box of handmade cards to Operation Write Home and I spent some time cleaning up my creative studio. I slipped some plain pink card stock into the 4×6 pockets that I didn’t have photos for to help fill up the page. I don’t sweat it when I am lacking for photos in any given week… I try to go with the flow and tell the stories where I was able to capture a photo.

Here is a closer look at the left page…

DSC_0299

On this page I used all journal cards and blank insert cards from the Clementine edition of Project Life. I used the smallest snowflake die to cut out a cute snowflake from the beautiful glitter paper from Stampin’ Up! This paper is so glittery and gorgeous and adds just the right amount of sparkle to my page welcoming December.

And here is a closer look at the left page of the layout…

DSC_0300

On this page I used a couple of journaling cards from Ali Edwards. The “Life” card came from her journal card collection at Technique Tuesday. The “Bring on the Twinkle” card came from her digital line at Designer Digitals. I used red glitter stickers to spell out “Hello December” from the Reflections collection at Michael’s craft store.

My Week 26 {November 4-10, 2012}

Caleb’s football team won their play-off game so he and Joe celebrated with homemade hot wings and more football…the weather man forecasted a Nor’easter for our state but downplayed it  all week until it hit! We were all expecting mostly rain with a few wet flakes and we ended up with 4-5″ of wet snow covering everything. It was pretty but didn’t make for an easy drive home on Tuesday night.

I worked on some poinsettia pins for my Etsy shop this week and Caleb had a football pizza party the night before the final practice of the season in preparation for the Championship Game this Sunday. Strange weather for this time of year but a good week. This week I spiffed up my layouts with stamps from Ali Edwards/Technique Tuesday, some foam alphabet stickers from American Crafts and a little shaped label that I cut using some die cuts I have on hand from A Muse|Studio. I also used some word strip stickers from Cosmo Cricket.

My Week 25 {October 28-November 3}

This week we were bracing for Hurricane Sandy. We live in the SE quadrant of CT but luckily we aren’t close enough to the shoreline (or the CT River) to worry about flooding. The wind gusts were crazy but thankfully some downed branches and a couple of days without power was all we had to deal with, unlike our shoreline friends who lost their entire homes. So sad to see that on the news—NYC and NJ as well.

The governor closed the state and all state highways on Tuesday so we were all home together–no work, no school. We spent the day putting together halloween treats, carving Caleb’s pumpkin and playing Monopoly…many hours of Monopoly… before it got dark and we all went to bed.

I think everyone in our town got their power back by Halloween morning so we got to trick-or-treat this year. The kids loved it and we had lots of trick-or-treaters. This week, I used journaling cards from the Becky Higgins/Project Life Clementine edition, as well as one story card and some stamps from Ali Edwards/Technique Tuesday. I used some small, black, all-caps stickers from Reminisce. Because I had extra photos this week, due to Halloween, I added a 3-pocket, 6×12″ insert from American Crafts.

My Week 24  {October 21-27, 2012}

For our family, the autumn months are the quickest to fly by. With very busy school, work and football practice schedules, like most families we are always on the go. One of the things I’ve noticed from working on this project the last few months, I take my camera with me everywhere! I don’t have an iPhone so if I’m going to get photos of the things happening in any given week, I’ve found that I need to have my camera with me or I miss out on a lot of photos…

This is my layout from last week which was a pretty normal week for us. I find that during this busy football season I am saving my Sunday photo/journaling slots for a re-cap and photo from that particular week’s game…

Although I really enjoy the clean look of the typed journal cards, I also try to include bits of handwriting on each layout…

On this side of the layout, I included a print-off of the weather forecast for this coming week, mostly because last Thursday, Friday & Saturday we were bracing ourselves for the impending Hurricane Sandy here in the Northeast. I also included a journaling card from Cathy Zielske’s digital journal templates from Designer Digitals. All other journaling cards and the title card for this page is from the Project Life Clementine kit from Becky Higgins.

_____________________________________________________________________________

My Week 14

The summer months are flying by and the only thing that makes them go even faster for our family is football season! Our son, Caleb, has been playing football since he was 8 years old in the town program which is part of the Connecticut Youth Football League. He is now 11 and this is his 4th season. The teams are determined by age & weight. Caleb has always been off the doctor charts for growth in both height and weight. He has literally been in the 99th percentile or higher his whole life. This makes football in a youth program a bit of a challenge for him—he has never started a season meeting the weight requirements, he’s always over. This means extra reps, extra running, extra conditioning, lots of extra weigh-ins and this season it also means a low-carb diet. He’s doing really well with it and what I should have mentioned up front is that CALEB LOVES FOOTBALL. He’s pretty good at it, too. So there is LOTS of motivation to get him to the proper weight so he can play this season… he has about 3 more full weeks to drop about 10 pounds.  I think he can do it. I’ve seen him do it before and between his coaches, his own motivation, help from his grandparents and our support at home I do think we can get him there.

That said, this week I focused my layouts for Project Life on his football practices. They take up a lot of our life during the month of August (which is why it seems to fly by double-time). They practice from 5:30-8 every night, M thru F for the entire month. It’s a huge commitment on everyone’s part, but so worth the effort.

If you click on my photos you’ll see that I’m still using sticky notes to indicate the dates for each week… Becky Higgins had her Clementine Core Kit back in stock at the end of July, but it honestly sold out in like 5 hours and I missed the window! (I was SO DISAPPOINTED) She has more kits coming in early September so I really have my fingers crossed that I don’t miss out on one this time.

click on image to enlarge detail

Caleb wandered into my studio while I was working on this week’s layout on Friday night and he noticed that a few of the photos had some blur, in fact one (the top right) was VERY blurry and he asked me why I was using the blurry ones. I explained that I wanted to show motion, to show how much they move around and shove each other, that its not all about the crystal clear huddle shots.

click on image to enlarge detail

I found a couple of new templates for this week’s journaling, both from Designer Digitals and both designed by Cathy Zielske (if you scrapbook, you may remember her beautiful page designs from Simple Scrapbooks magazine many years ago.) She’s a great designer and has some very nice digital templates for this project. On the left side page, I used her jounaling block titled “we are so proud of you” to describe the challenges Caleb faced this week. I also used her LIST template to list out “things we are working on this week” and listed them all about Caleb. In this photo just above, I also used a journaling card as a base for typing out a football quote by Vince Lombardi. I thought it was especially appropriate for this particular time in Caleb’s football experience. I stapled a little photo of the football on there, too.

This was a fun week to put together. Some weeks come together so beautifully and some not so much… just like real life. I know that’s why I love this project. I feel like I’m capturing so many real moments that make up our life.  Thanks for taking a look!  If you ever have questions you can always leave them in the comments or email me privately at 27checkerberry@gmail.com.