I bet you thought I’d forgotten all about my 30 Creative Adventures goal, right? I mean, it has been awhile since I last shared an update – all the way back to this one from September. But, I haven’t, not exactly anyway.
Around my half-birthday in November, I made the decision that rather than rush through trying to complete all 30 Creative Adventures before my 31st birthday on May 24 (which would have meant at least 1 a week and then some), I’d rather give myself until the end of this year to finish all 30. That gives me a nice 2-a-month pace which is a lot more reasonable given all I have on my plate already.
Really, my goal with this project was never about the timeline – it was about pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things creatively. Whether I do that within a year or a year and half, it doesn’t really matter to me.
I’d actually been doing pretty well with this project (I have more adventures completed/in-progress than I’ve shared here so far), up until the point my grandma passed away in August and I spent a month back home in California. It killed my mojo. So I’m giving myself a break on this one. It’s how life goes sometimes and well, it’s my goal after all, so I can change the rules if I want, haha.
The good thing about extending my 30 Creative Adventures to the end of this year is that it allows me to take on one much larger year-long adventure this year: Project Life.
Creative Adventure #4: Project Life
For those of you who haven’t heard of Project Life before, Project Life is a memory-keeping system created by Becky Higgins which I’d describe as a photo album on steroids. You start with pre-designed 12×12-inch pocket page protectors and then you slip printed photos and/or journaling cards in it to create your album.
What I love about the Project Life format is that it’s super adaptable to your own life. Most people do Project Life in a weekly format – one two-page spread per week – but because everything is movable, you can easily skip a week or do a single page per month if you like.
From a creative perspective, I love that you can really dress it up or down as much as you want – you don’t have to create an entire scrapbooking layout just to capture that story. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s become SO popular within the scrapbooking community: because it can really be anything you want.
Those of you who’ve followed my blog for awhile might remember that I started a Project Life album once before, back in May of 2011, when I turned 29, as a way to document the final year of my twenties. I even created and shared this two-page spread:
And the truth is I LOVED it. But I had just started Nettio Designs a few months earlier and I felt that as a weekly project, it was just more than I wanted to commit to at that point. My focus needed to be elsewhere.
So I put it on the back burner all the while occasionally pulling the album off the shelf to admire that lonely little two-page spread. There’s something about it that just kept calling to me. I don’t know if it’s the larger photos or the the everyday-ness of it but I can’t help but smile every time I look at it. I connect with it in a way I don’t always feel with my digital pages.
When 2013 started drawing near I started thinking again about Project Life. I’d really enjoyed watching Elise’s album take shape this year and the fact that she’s a child-free scrapper as well gave me a bit more confidence that this format could be doable for those of us who don’t have a bunch of kids or pets roaming around.
But what really sold me this year was, back in December, I was looking back through all my photos from this past year and I realized there are so many awesome photos and stories that I’d love to capture, but I have no desire to scrap them digitally.
Which is maybe a strange thing for a digital scrapbooker to admit, haha.
But I’ve always looked at my digital scrapbooking albums more as journals than strict memory keeping. And I’m not sure if it’s partly because I scrap 8×8 which doesn’t leave a ton of room for photos but event scrapbooking has never been my jam.
Plus there’s also the problem of memorabilia. I LOVE collecting bits of paper from the places we go but as a digital scrapbooker, I’m never really sure what to do with them. It’s one of the reasons I love my Holiday Faves album so much – because it gives me a home for all those bits & pieces of life I want to save.
So after thinking and debating and thinking some more I took the plunge and ordered the Seafoam core kit when it finally was released earlier this month. I figured since I already owned an album and a bunch of page protectors, I might as well give Project Life another shot. A fully committed and ready shot this time around.
And what better way to do that than as one of my Creative Adventures for the year, right?
Because I am really really excited about the creative aspect of Project Life. I’m excited for the chance to dabble in hybrid/paper scrapbooking more than just once a year and umm hello, grid-based page design where you give “homes” to all your elements? SO totally my thing.
My Plan for Project Life 2013
Since I don’t have my first two weeks of Project Life ready to share just yet, I thought I’d share a little bit about my plans and how I went about setting up my album.
As I mentioned, I already owned this American Crafts leather album and the Design A and the Photo Pocket Pages Variety Pack 1. I knew going into this that I wanted to mix up the designs, as opposed to using all of one style for the entire year, but I also knew I wanted there to be a pre-planned method to the madness because I know if I have to decide which page protectors to use each week, this album will never get done.
So I started by laying out ALL of the page protector designs in stacks and then mixing and matching them until I got a flow that I liked. And since the page protectors are clear and I was having a hard time visualizing the mix of cards, I temporarily filled a bunch of pages in with the Seafoam cards like so:
Isn’t this Seafoam kit pretty? I feel like it’s going to mix in really nicely with other products since it’s fairly neutral.
Once I had a flow to the album I liked, I drew a quick sketch of the order of the pages so I could visualize them on paper. Try not to be too in awe of my mad drawing skillz…
The pattern I liked best ended up including a Design A page protector in each spread with one of 3 different designs for the second page: Designs B, D & F (which I think might only come in the variety pack).
Because of the way the pages work front to back, each two-week period will basically have the same design, just flipped. Which I think will be good since it’ll add consistency to the album but still keep it interesting for me to do it this way. I know from my Project 365 album that if I tried to do only all Design A pages, I’d get bored really fast.
A few other things I’m planning to do for this album:
- Weekly two-page spreads: I debated a lot about this, whether I wanted to commit to a weekly format or whether it would be too much. But I tend to be a creature of habit and so I thought my best chance for making it through the entire year would be to make it a routine. So I’m currently planning to do weekly spreads but share my pages bi-weekly here on the blog.
- A mix of hybrid/paper: Much like my Holiday Faves mini album, I’ll be using a mix of printed digital elements and pre-made paper elements. I’m sure I’ll end up designing some of my own stuff as well, which should make you fellow Project Lifers happy.
- A few repeating cards: I’m currently planning to have a consistent title card for each week as well as one or two other items that’ll repeat every week/month. I think it’ll add some consistency to the design while also allowing plenty of room for creativity.
That’s what I’m thinking so far anyway – how it’ll pan out over 12 months, who knows! But I’m super super excited about this adventure and I have to say, seeing Adam’s reaction when looking at the week I have completed spread, assures me think I’m on the right track. He’s always been supportive of my digital scrapbooking but I just think this format is easier for a non-scrapbooker to “get” than a printed digital page.
And since Adam already got a sneak peek, here’s a little sneak peek of my Week 2 spread for you as well…
I’ll be doing a full Project Life update next week so stay tuned for that.
Anyone else doing Project Life this year? Have any good tips or tricks to share with me? I’d love to hear them so please share them in the comments below! I’m pretty sure I’m going to need all the help I can get to make it through the entire year, haha.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
In honor of my 30th birthday, I’m challenging myself to go on 30 creative adventures before the end of 2013. This is Creative Adventure 4 of 30. You can read all the details behind this project here and find links to all my completed adventures here.