Monday, September 9, 2013

Project Life: Summer Stories and Week in the Life

It's not uncommon for people to believe their life is too boring for Project Life. The easiest way to dispel that myth is to try a challenge. Today marks the start of  A Week in the Life with Ali Edwards. I think September is a great time for me to try this project. We are back to school, but otherwise, life seems to be the same old thing day in and day out. A project like this has the potential to reveal small things we can be grateful for in our everyday lives.

I have thought about participating before, but I always lacked follow through. This time, I decided to prepare a little ahead of time. I set aside parts of my JBS Mercantile August Historian kit. I really liked the days of the week cards from Echo Park. My intent is to adhere the cards along with one favorite photo every day this week.  I filled out a few cards ahead of time, but left most blank so I can adjust as needed. Filling out some of the cards and making a title block makes me feel more committed to participating this year.

Over the past few weekends, I have spent some time working on my Summer Stories Project Life Pages. I finished the opening title block and managed to complete the June spreads. July is a work in progress. I have been mixing my JBS Mercantile Historian kits with PL supplies I have on hand. I am also working in scraps from previous JBS Mercantile kits. I now find it handy to cut down scraps to 4x6 cards sizes. I can then easily grab them and place them in my PL layouts.

I participated in Jennifer Wilson's free Summer Stories class. The class featured a series of prompts which helped me decided which photos to take. She also offered an additional packet of goodies. I printed off some transparencies from that packet and used some of them here and there on my pages.

I have decided to really keep an eye on whether or not kits have specific dates in them. I used some tags from Elle's Studio, Chic Tags and from the Simon Says Stamp Kelly Purkey Project kits. I noticed that I ended up with several cards which were dated. I made it a point to immediately place them with supplies for each month so that I don't forget to use them. I could alter them later, but it might not be an easy feat. I think I prefer to make my own dated cards. Having the preprinted cards makes me feel compelled to use them on the pages. Sometimes, that made it difficult to work them into spreads.

I also decided that I do not like these side loading pockets from Doodlebug Designs. Larger cards tend to fall out. I got creative with tape after the photos of the PL spreads were taken. The 4x6 cards seem to stay in place most of the time. I had the best luck with the horizontal cards. Vertical 4x6 cards sometimes fell out.

I continued to document the monthly weather. I simply open my weather app and take a screen shot. I try to remember to do this  at the beginning of the month, in the middle and at the end. I enjoyed using 6x6 pads to supplement my kit. It's easy to cut them down to size and I can easily find paper to coordinate. In some cases, I had a nice coordinating pattern on the back. I could then easily decorate the back side of the card and stretch my supplies farther.

This month, I began printing more of my photos in the 4x6 size. I liked decorating the photos and just slipping them into a slot. I did notice that I bored of the process toward the end. Can you tell I made those bridge cards last? While I like Project Life, I get to a point in which I am just ready to move onto regular layouts.

I do feel as though my pages are improving. I enjoy the overall process but still feel like I need work mastering the art of simple, yet cool PL embellishing. I won a seat in Big Picture's Project Life Lessons Class. I am really hoping it will help me in the areas I am feeling less confident about. Meanwhile, I have broken up my July pages into smaller chunks. I don't want to get bored at the end and have plain cards if I can help it.

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