One of The Greatest Things I’ve Ever Done

This past fall, my husband and I drove cross country from Boston to LA. We had an amazing trip – it’s something that we will never forget. I remember looking at him in the car and saying “Hands down this is one of the coolest things we will ever do!” and I’m pretty sure I’m right. It was unbelievable.

Fast forward to 4 months after pulling in to our parking spot here in sunny SoCal. I am just now starting to pull those pictures together and get them in to an album. Granted, this is warp speed considering I haven’t gotten our wedding album, or honeymoon album done yet (almost 2.5 years later…)

I’ve decided to share my progress on our Cross Country album here on the blog as it is happening, rather than when it is all finished. Many of the blogs I follow show gorgeous albums (that I unabashedly swoon over) all perfectly finished, but rarely do you see the trial and error and time that went in to making it look so lovely.

I started working on it last night, and because my neighbors upstairs were having an absurdly loud dinner party at 11:45pm on a Tuesday night I couldn’t sleep, I spent a LOT of time on Pinterest finding quotes and filler cards. Chris had already mentioned that the spreads are a bit of a visual assault (he put it much nicer, promise!), so I think I’m going to be adding in more filler cards and spreading out the layouts more.

Ok, time to get my thoughts in order.
Supplies:
-Project Life 12×12 camera album
-Design A  pocket protectors
-Project Life Midnight Core Kit
-Project Life Seafoam Core Kit
-Pictures (LOTS of them!)
-Lightroom
-Photoshop Elements 10

Here is the first round of layouts.

Project Life Cross country album, Boston spread

Project Life Cross country album, Boston spread

Project Life Cross country album, NY spread

Project Life Cross country album, NY spread

Project Life Cross country album, OH spread

Project Life Cross country album, IN spread

Project Life Cross country album, IL spread

Project Life Cross country album, MO spread

Project Life Cross country album, Last page

 

Funny story: Chris and I were looking at my first Boston page last night, and both knew something was wrong, but couldn’t quite figure out what. Then all of the sudden (as we both have our heads sideways) he goes “There’s water in the middle of the buildings!”. Ooooopsss.. Guess who measured and cut wrong.. I’ll be fixing that thankyouverymuch!

I have MA – MO printed and in the book, as well as the final page (the lifeguard stand on the beach). I like having the license plates from each state in the book, it helps to set up which state we’re looking at, and reminds me of playing the license plate game on the trip (the only one we didn’t get was Hawaii).

I definitely want to add in more filler cards to attempt to make each state at least a 2 page spread. I also have to add in the coasters I grabbed from some of the places we stopped to eat (cross country pub crawl for the win!) and I think I have hotel keycards from some of the places we stayed. I need to go digging!

In the meantime, I created a board on pinterest full of quotes and things I want to add to the pages. I also decided that I want to learn hand lettering, so I’m going to use this book as an excuse to practice. I’m thinking I might re-write all of the quotes by hand that I want to use as filler cards.. This might be a long project! 🙂

Wooo! Alright, round one, done and done.

Have a great day!

Advertisements

A Bookcase Full of Memories

One night a few summers ago, my husband and I were down visiting his parents in New York. We were all enjoying a relaxing evening sitting around in the living room talking and sharing stories. His parents started re-telling a story about a botched attempt to bring a couch to the basement – which ended up with the couch going through the basement wall at the bottom of the stairs, of course – and she had a picture of it that she wanted to show me (because everyone should take a picture of a couch stuck in a wall. True story). She took me over to a bookcase, and I would be lying if I said that no one in the room heard my jaw hit the floor.

On the shelves of that bookcase were over 25 YEARS worth of photo albums. We spent the rest of the evening thumbing through page after page of memories, everything from when my in-laws starting dating, to my sister-in-law as an infant, all the way up to my husband and my wedding.  Every major life event was carefully, and lovingly, curated in these albums. It was then that I decided that I wanted to have my own bookcase full of memories some day.

The only teeeeenny tiny little problem? I’m pretty notorious for deciding to start a project, and then never, ever, ever finishing it.

Like last year, for example. I decided I was going to start Project Life on January 1st – I was finally going to stop being lazy, and get all those pictures off of my computer (where they tend to go to die – seriously, once I upload them, that’s usually the end of the road), and into a Project Life binder. I wanted to use the Seafoam Edition from Elise Blaha Cripe. It was gorgeous, and I was super obsessed, so, clearly, that meant it was out of stock on Amazon. And everywhere else for that matter. I had gotten a few gift cards from Amazon that Christmas and was determined to use them for Project Life, and Project Life only. I started to stalk Amazon. At least twice a day I would log on to the Becky Higgins website and see if it was available yet. When it FINALLY came back in stock, I immediately bought the core kit, and the binder and warp speed. It arrived on my doorstep and I opened every single package, and sat looking through all of the cards in the core kit for hours – imagining how I was going to create this amazing work of art.

Fast forward a week, and then a month, and now a YEAR later, and that binder has been sitting empty.

Like ghost town empty, complete with tumbleweeds.

I re-committed this year to starting – and finishing – Project Life. I broke out my Seafoam edition binder and Core Kit, and I can assure you – they are still as perfect as when I sat stalking Amazon for all those hours last winter!

PL set up-1

PL set up-3

PL set up a-1

I set the title page up the way the kit suggested – for now. I wanted to have a starting page to make me excited enough to want to continue, but I’m not forcing myself to keep it. Chris and I decided (he’s actually being really helpful about this – more on that in a bit) that I should wait and see which pictures really describe our year, and then use those for the title page. No need to tattoo it on my rear-end yet, I’m open to change!

PL set up-4

I took the bottom right corner card and added “2014” in the white stripes. Just wanted to jaazzzz it up a little!

PL set up-5

I also decided to add an insert that covered our first Christmas here in California. We stayed here, and were alone on Christmas day. I felt like it should have been sad because our family was all back on the East Coast, but we had an amazing day, and started some fun traditions that we want to keep going for years to come (cough-cookiesforbreakfast-cough)

Here’s the front of our Holiday Insert page:

PL set up-6

I included our Christmas card, a picture of Chris taking Zoe out for her morning walk in his Christmas PJ pants, our “family photo” Christmas morning, and a picture of our Christmas dinner. I also used this printable, and this one.

And the back side.

PL set up-12

I added a picture of a flower I took while we were out walking on Christmas Eve, our “Christmas breakfast” a few days later, a really pretty Christmas card, and a picture of Zoe and her new Zombie toy. I also used 2 of the cards from these printables to make a 4×6, and used one half of it as a journaling card to write down everything.

My plan for Project Life 2014 (because it’s always great to have a  plan – failing to plan is planning to fail!) is to keep it as simple as humanly possible. Knowing my track record, I feel like it’s best if this lazy bones over here doesn’t get overwhelmed.
I’m aiming for weekly spreads, mainly since I feel like too much happens in a month to only have monthly spreads.
I’m planning on VERY simple layouts – I refuse to go crazy with embellishments, both for cost factor and my sanity.
I’m going to maintain my journaling of daily and weekly happenings in my planner – picture to come later
And last but not least, I’m having Chris take 1 picture a week. I want to see things from his point of view as well – if for no other reason than he’s taller than me 🙂

My only supplies for this project so far is my Project Life Seafoam Core Kit and binder, the Design A pocket pages, a small variety pack of pocket pages, and my Pinterest board of free Project Life printables.

I’ve also been checking out the Creative Team’s blogs for inspiration – meet the team here.

Anyone else do Project Life and have any tips for a beginner? Leave some love in the comments section, and if you having a blog, leave the link, I’d love to see how you tackled your Project Life!