Woohoo, I have done it!
My A Week In the Life 2011 album is officially finished. In about 3 short days I should have a nice and shiny Blurb photobook arriving on my doorstep.
And I could not be more excited.
Not only because I’m absolutely in LOVE with the finished album but because for the first.time.ever I have completed an Ali Edward’s inspired project.
Yes, that’s right, unlike my previous attempts at December Daily or A Week In the Life, this time around, my AWITL album will not be sitting on a shelf or in a folder on my harddrive mocking me in all it’s unfinished project glory.
Cue scrapbooking happy dance.
I’ll be the first to admit this project was a TON of work. Between spending a week documenting everything, selecting and editing photos, putting it all together, journaling, well…there’s a reason I just put the finishing touches on this album in September.
But I am head over heels in love with the end result, so all that hard work? Totally worth it.
As I mentioned in my pre-AWITL planning post back in July, my plan for my AWITL album was to create an 8×10 Portrait photobook through Blurb which I would design using Adobe InDesign. And I have to say, that plan worked out swimmingly.
When I started brainstorming for my album, I knew I wanted the album design to be focused on words + photos with a clean, magazine style design and I also knew that I wanted to break my day into chunks (like morning, afternoon, evening) in order to simplify the documentation process.
But I wasn’t entirely sure about the exact design for my album until I came across this spread from an old West Elm catalog I had saved…
Not only did I love the clean design, the large focal photo and the fantastic use of type, but the theme for this particular edition of the catalog was exactly what I was looking to do with my AWITL album. The catalog was broken up into daily sections, with each spread themed around the idea of what furniture and accesories would be perfect for that part of the day (above is Saturday afternoon).
So I chose to use that page as inspiration and run with it for my album.
So with that in mind, I bring you my 2011 A Week in the Album…
2011 Completed A Week In the Life Album
Below you’ll find the pages from my AWITL 2011 album. Each image represents a two-page spread made up of two side-by-side 8×10 pages. Since the spreads are rather small in order to fit on the blog, I’ve linked each image to a larger image on my Flickr account, in case you want to see the details or journaling.
Just a bit of warning, Adam and I are pretty awesome so try not to be too jealous of our super exciting life (and slankets), haha.
Cover + Intro
This may just be my favorite page from the album. Clean blocked design, yes please. It really brought everything all together.
I included our location, along with the date, on the intro page because, as a military family, where we live changes so often that it’s kind of necessary to document it, especially considering had I done this project in July 2010, we would have still been living in Colorado.
A couple of notes about the design:
- Some days have more spreads than others, with a max of three spreads per day (morning, afternoon, evening). I didn’t plan which days would have more spreads ahead of time, it really just came down to which photos I felt told the whole story over the course of the week.
- It’s hard to tell without the page break line but the large square photos spread across two pages.
- I used a consistent accent color, pink, to tie all the spreads together. I’m not usually a pink girl but for some reason here I liked it.
- All the journaling is themed around time. I didn’t document the time as I went – I just used the time stamps from the photos and rounded to a nice number.
At the end of the album, I included some highlight pages that document some of the broader themes from our week, like food, clothing, etc. I figure it’ll be fun to look back on these pages years from now and
remember laugh at all the things we use that no longer exist, haha.
Weekly Highlights: the journaling on this page came directly from a set of lists I kept in Evernote during the week. I loved the idea of capturing these items now knowing one day some of these items/brands will no longer be around.
AWITL Fashion: One of my goals for the week was to take a daily photo of myself in the mirror. I’m sure this page will be one of those that I cringe at years from now which is partly why I wanted to include it, haha. I mean, could you imagine if you had a page like this from high school? It’d be craziness.
AWITL Food: A simple list of the food we ate during the week. Again, I kept track of all this in Evernote so I just had to copy and paste it into InDesign.
AWITL Technology: A look at some of our most used tech stuff. I figure it will be funny to look back someday at what technology was considered “cool” in 2011. The future generation will probably be laughing at this page from their flying cars and in-brain computers, haha.
On the last page I included a little summary about who we are and what this album is about. It would have been a great intro page as well but since Blurb requires the first and last pages to be single pages, it worked better to include it here. I think it’s a nice little ending to the book.
And that’s my A Week In the Life 2011 album! In the end I ended up with 46 pages and I’m super thrilled with how it turned out.
This was my first attempt doing a photobook and I absolutely loved the simplicity and clean design of this format. Definitely something I’ll be doing again!
Lessons Learned from the Week In the Life 2011 Process
So what lessons can I take away from my first completed A Week In the Life album?
1) Having a plan is key
Having a clear design and plan before the week started made things SO much smoother.
Not only did I know what types of photos I needed (like the big focal photos) but it freed me up from feeling I had to capture every moment of every day.
2) Go with the best tools for the job
I’m sure I could have put together this album in Photoshop but using InDesign made it so much easier, especially when combined with the Blurb InDesign plug-in.
3) Take more detailed notes during the week
Next time I’d love to do more in-the-moment journaling rather than just keeping lists. Plus, trying to remember all the details a month later is tough.
4) Schedule time to complete the album
My biggest mistake this time around was underestimating just how much time and work it would take to put the album together. Next time I’d like to schedule time for working on each section of the album so I guarantee I can finished it in a reasonable amount of time.
5) Keep things simple
I know myself well enough to know if I tried to scrap all the pages for this album in my signature paper-lovin’ scrapbooking style, the album would never get done.
Which is exactly why I chose to keep things simple this time around. No fancy scrapbook products. Just words + photos. I LOVED it.
Having a clean, well-designed finished album definitely beats the pants off of an unfinished but super detailed scrapbook album any day.
A Week In the Life: Done and Done
And that’s it for my 2011 Week In the Life album!
By far my biggest take away from this project is I am actually capable of completing one of these major projects. That’s a pretty big exciting step for a girl who gets really excited about projects like this but then FAILS in the execution of them.
How about you? Did you learn any fun lessons from your finished (or unfinished) A Week In the Life album? Anything you would do differently? And is anyone else convinced like I am that Ali Edwards must have scrapbooking elves who come in the night to help her complete these projects? I love her projects but man are they a lot of work, haha.
If you have any questions about my album, please feel free to ask those in the comments section as well.