January 1January 2

After a crazy December and Christmas, January was thankfully a little quieter. so I only needed one spread for this month. Deciding to do monthly spreads last year was the best plan I could have had, it’s a lot more do-able and means I only need to work on my albums once a month instead of every week. I still hate my handwriting but I think I’ll be glad I included it in years to come because it’s a more personal touch. As usual my spread is mostly photograph based.

Project Life Kit: Dreamy (core kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

  • The grey ones used for ‘memories’ and ‘bath time’ are Project Life stickers.
  • I’m not sure what the multi-coloured ‘bed head’ stickers are. I have them a long time and there’s no label.
  • The bluey-green stickers are Jillibean Soup.

Embellishment: The wooden arrow embellishment is from the Project Life ‘Note to Self’ value kit.

Pocket Pages: I used Design A for the left and Design F for the right.

 

Project Life dividers and pocket protectors

Last week’s post focused on how I take my photographs and organise them as the month goes along, you can see that here if you missed it. This week I’m focusing on choosing photographs, choosing pocket pages and editing and sizing the photographs for printing.

I use a variety of pocket pages including design A, D, F, G and K. You can check them out on Becky’s site here. I find that I mostly use A and D and I almost always run out of design D most regularly.

I look through the folders I’ve already created on my phone for photographs and check how many portraits and landscapes I have. This gives me an idea of which pocket pages I want to use. I then start deleting any photographs I don’t want to include. I almost always have a lot more portraits because I take most photographs on my phone and portraits come more natural. It’s rare my spreads would have back to back of the same pocket pages, I typically use one A and one D. 

I mostly use a free app called InstaEditor to edit my photographs. You can do lots of different things with the app but I use it to Enhance the photos (Hi-Def and Portrait are my favourites) Sharpen them, Adjust the brightness and contrast, Crop them and Blur out any distractions or unwanted backgrounds.

InstaEditor

InstaEditor

I use another free app called Pic Collage for sizing my photographs to print. When I’ve edited my photographs, I decide which ones I want to print 6×4, 4×3 and 4×4. The 6×4 photographs are ready to go and don’t need any more work. Pic Collage allows me to ‘stitch’ two photographs together in order to print them as 6×4. If I want to print 4×4 then I can change the template in the app to add a 4×4 photograph to a 6×4 and 2×4 template. I leave the 2×4 section blank. Pic Collage adds a watermark to the bottom of your template but for €1.99 you can permanently remove it.

4x4 photograph on Pic Collage Two 3x4 photographs on Pic Collage

Now my photographs are ready to print. It’s easy and can all be done on my phone.

How do you edit your photographs before printing?

I take 99% of my Project Life photographs using my phone. I have an iPhone 6 Plus and have had an iPhone for my last three phones too. I’m an Apple fan when it comes to phones and part of the reason for that is because I think the camera is really good and it seems to improve with each new model. The other 1% of my photographs are taken using my Canon EOS 600D. I go through periods of using the camera more but I find organising, editing and printing from my phone easier so I tend to use that a lot more.

At any given time I have way too many photographs on my phone so it’s important for me to organise them weekly if I can. The iPhone displays photos in two different ways. The first is in albums and when you take a picture it automatically goes into your ‘Camera Roll’ album at the top. The second is just individual photos which are date stamped (Today, Yesterday, Monday, 22nd March etc.) and also location stamped.

Photos

Photo layout including date (‘Today’) stamp.

Albums

Album layout

 

I create an album for the current month (e.g. April Photos) and every week, I go back through the date stamps and add every photo from that week to the album for that month. At the end of the month, I separate the photos into three more albums (April Portraits, April Landscapes and April Square).

How do you take, organise and store your Project Life photos?

Check back in next week for information on choosing and editing my photos.

 

2016 Cover

So it’s April and I’m only just sharing my cover page for my 2016 Project Life album now. I know, must try harder. I try to mix it up when it comes to my cover pages but yellow has made an appearance on my cover page two years in a row because I love it. I rarely include pictures on this spread. I like to include the year and it’s the second year in a row I’ve added my One Little Word to the cover spread. 

Stay tuned for some posts on my Project Life method.

My Bedroom

Reading… Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). Book number 3 for Galbraith. I’m only about 60 pages in and it’s a little slow but I’m hoping it turns out as good as the first 2.

Watching… Rookie Blue. I’m almost finished the final season and I’m getting a bit emotional. My favourite characters are Nick and Oliver.

Listening to… Adele’s latest album. It’s not living up to 21 but it’s growing on me.

Pinning…hair pics and gender equality quotes. See, you can be girly and a feminist.

Trying… soaked porridge oats with natural yogurt and fruit for breakfast. It’s making a nice change and tastes quite nice.

Drinking… less alcohol than this time last year. Trying to cut down a bit on all things bad for me. Don’t ask about the diet coke!! Please.

Considering…a trip to Amsterdam in the summer.

Scrapping… I still have catching up to do with my Project Life album from 2015 (ahem, and 2014) but I created my cover page for 2016 last week and now I’m working on my January spread. Keeping on top of it this year, I swear…kinda…hopefully!

Enjoying… spending time in my bedroom. I’ve had trouble getting to sleep lately so I’ve been going up to my room earlier than normal and trying to relax for a while before it’s time to sleep. I love the brightness of my bedroom even at this time of year. Also, it’s kind of pathetic how much new cushions make me happy. (see the middle cushion above from Penneys)

Cooking…lots of turkey dishes. Burgers, meatballs, tacos.

Planning…blog posts for the next couple of months.

Hating… The really cold, miserable weather but I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking….the Ali Edwards’ One Little Word 2016 workshop.

Looking forward to…a great year ahead.

New PL kit

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with project life. I love the concept, absolutely love the albums, colours, cards and all the great options. I hate when I fall behind far enough that it actually stresses me out. I spend way too much time in the ‘fallen behind beyond belief’ stage.

I go weeks without getting a chance to do anything at all, so when I get a chance I spend hours choosing, organising and printing photographs. That part is exhausting so I almost never get to the fun part with the beautifully designed kits and albums. Then weeks later I get another chance to look at it and the whole photograph process needs to happen again. Luckily I have weeks upon weeks off during the summer and I plan to dedicate a couple of weeks to catching up and hopefully staying up to date before I go back to work in the middle of September. I’ve already been off for 8 weeks but they’ve been pretty busy (sometimes they were just busy not living by a schedule) but I plan to have a couple of weeks at the start of September. So this is what I have to catch up on:

November & December 2014: complete spreads including photo printing which is quite time consuming because I was doing weekly spreads last year. Plus it’s the Christmas period which means much more to take photos of.

March – mid July 2015: photos are printed and in their places so I just need to add PL cards as well as stickers and embellishments etc. I decided to do monthly spreads this year and not to put too much pressure on it. Some months will have multiple spreads, depending on how much the month was, some will only have one spread. I feel much more relaxed about monthly spreads and it take a lot of the pressure off keeping the photos and dates in order.

Mid July – End of August: complete spreads including photo printing.

I’m really not sure how I’m going to go about it but one thing I know for sure, I have to go in chronological order. It’s the only thing that works for me. So does anyone have any tips for how to fit that into a couple of weeks? How do you catch up on Project Life?

image

imageReading… The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). It’s taking me an absolute lifetime to get through it because I seem to keep falling asleep after 3 pages.

Watching… 90210. I wanted something that was easy watching for a couple of weeks & now I’m kind of hooked.

Listening to… Some 90s cheese, The Beatles & The Riptide Movement.

Trying… Meditation. I went to a class for the first time last week and loved it. I’ll be signing up for more in September.

Drinking… Diet Coke as usual but I’ve been trying infused water lately. Next up…berry.

Scrapping… Catching up with my Project Life album. I was WAY behind. I’m getting there though.

Enjoying… Having the summer off work, bright warm days & and peony season.

Hating… The dog hair. My dogs are shedding like crazy with the warmer weather.

Going to… See Ed Sheeran in concert on Friday.

Looking forward to… New York in December.

Craft room

The box room of our house has been my office/walk-in wardrobe/craft room for years now but I really wasn’t using it the way I could have been. The room wasn’t the way I wanted it and wasn’t at all organised. If I’m completely honest, it was a waste of a room. Last October I tidied it up a bit and freshened up the paint (who am I kidding? Scratch that, my Mam kindly offered to freshen up the paint). The room was fine and you can see some pictures from that update here but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

Towards the end of this summer the room got a big overhaul  and now I love spending time in there. It was painted again (guess who by? She’s a diamond, that mother of mine). We went with white this time. Its in the front of the house and doesn’t have the best natural light so white was the best we option. I also added a high wattage bulb and got rid of the light shade. I added a narrow vanity unit I already had as a type of desk which I plan to replace with a white Ikea desk at some point. The other big edition to the room was an Alex unit from Ikea. I am not lying when I tell you I’m obsessed with them. You can check them out here. I use it to store my 12×12 paper, stamps, inks, pens and scissors. I’ve arranged the new (to this room) vanity unit so that when I’m facing it in my chair I have my bureau open behind me with more desk space and some of stickers and other materials for working on my Project Life album. I still use my Ikea Raskog cart to store my Project Life kits. I also replaced the coloured storage boxes in the wooden unit with black and white ones. There was no reason for this other than I think they’re prettier. I’m also happy that I’ve made the best use of space, I have my Canon Selphy, my tripod and all of my wrapping paper (in an Ikea platic bag storage container) hanging on a coat rack on the back of the door. 

I mostly use my craft room for blogging, Project Life, some other little projects and now I intend to use it for sewing projects too. Do you have any tips for maximising the use of your craft space?

Becky Higgins Post

Um….this post is pretty self explanatory but I was really excited to find out that Project Life creator Becky Higgins used my photograph to promote the Project Life App and online store. 

Empty cart

Full cart

sharpies & paper clips

washi tape & scissors

washi & scissorsProject Life cardsPL cardsStamps etc.Stamps and embellishmentsextraspaper punches etc.Stickers

1) Empty Raskog Cart,   2) Full Raskog cart,   3&4)  Bygel containers,   5) Washi tape and my Eiffel tower scissors,   6&7) Project Life kits,   8&9) Stamps, embellishments and Canon Selphy,   10&11) Paper punches, ink pads, stickers and project Life envelopes and page protectors,   12) Sticker collection.

I think it’s nearly a rule these days that if you have any interest in scrapbooking, and project life in particular, you have to buy a Raskog trolley for storage. Obviously it’s so popular because it works so well and I love it. I can move from room to room depending on where I want to work on my Project Life and just bring the trolley with me. I only wish I had one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

I have a lot of stuff so the trolley is pretty packed. At the minute I have enough room to keep my Canon Selphy on it too but I don’t think that will last much longer. Soon a new Project Life kit will convince me to buy it and I’ll have to find a way of hanging the Selphy off the trolley.

I use the Bygel containers for paper clips, sharpie markers, washi tape, scissors and glue. The top shelf is for Project Life cards and I’ve used washi tape and white card to make tabs to separate the kits. At the minute there’s some pink and yellow card separating some kits because I’m in the middle of making the rest of the tabbed laels. I like the idea of handwriting but a label maker would do the same job. I found the plastic containers for storing the cards quite cheap in Tesco and they fit perfectly.

I keep all of my stamps, some ink pads, embellishments and the Selphy on the second shelf.

On the third shelf I have a container for paper punches, some spare journaling cards and the rest of my ink collection. I have a small Project Life box from a Studio Calico monthly kit that I use to keep any tickets or memorabilia I want to add to my spreads. I also keep Project Life storage envelopes and page protectors on this shelf. Finally I have A4 project binders to store my stickers. One is used just for letters and numbers and the other is for all other stickers.

I don’t doubt that as my collect grows I will need more storage for Project Life than just this one trolley but until then it works perfectly and I enjoy moving and changing things around to make the most of the space. What way do you store your scrapbooking or Project Life material?