Friday, April 12, 2013

Project Life Celebratory Blog Hop + GIVEAWAY!!

Welcome to Project Life Celebratory Blog Hop hosted by Margie from Nihao, Cupcake!! We are celebrating personal Project Life milestones, some of us for getting through 25% of 2013! Hurray! One quarter down!

We will be sharing Project Life layouts, tips and tricks, ideas and encouragement, plans for the next quarter -- basically anything Project Life related!  Sounds like fun, doesn't it!  I'm so excited to see everyone's blog hop posts (going live at 4 AM PST). Blog Hop participants are listed at the end of this post.

I'm also hosting a GIVEAWAY! Keep reading for the details.
***TIME'S UP!***
The winner of the Project Life journaling/filler cards is Emily A! I've sent you an email.

First, here's a little background about me and Project Life... 
When I think back, I really have been scrapbooking all my life in that I've always loved to take pictures and keep memorabilia and have kept them organized in some type of book.

From high school to college and traveling for work, photo albums were always a part of my life. When my husband and I started dating, that's when I really got into scrapbooking and making full page layouts and keeping them in 3 ring binders. When our daughter was born, I kept up with my scrapbooks until she was about 2, but that's when it all went downhill.  I was no longer able to keep up. I got frustrated and would scrapbook here and there, but there was actually a year that went by where I didn't do a single layout. She's now 8 years old!

I always kept taking pictures and eventually started printing them out and putting them in regular photo albums until that also got to be too much too. I finally thought I would never get it done. UNTIL I heard about Project Life by Becky Higgins. I was instantly intrigued and started following blogs and looking at other people's layouts for months. I was trying to figure out how I was going to go forward with Project Life in my albums. I LOVED everyone's weekly layouts, but I knew that was definitely not going to work for me because I wanted a place for ALL my pictures.

So, I decided I would do Project Life the way I scrapbooked, which is to chronologically record every event and every picture. So, in February of 2012 I started my Project Life albums. I started my first album from January 1, 2013.

I print every picture I love, good or bad, and it has it's place in my albums. Yes, that means I have about 4-5 albums per year. But I love it!  My favorite part of PL is that I can add inserts of school work, event programs, cards - any memorabilia I want! My current love is adding 5x7 and 8x8 inserts of my favorite pictures. And I'm totally obsessed with panoramic pictures that I take with my iPhone. I also starting adding text using Photoshop directly on my pictures. Love.Love.Love! 

I try to do one whole page or two pages of the same theme/occasion but many times my pages have random pictures too.

I am also putting all my pictures from the last 10 years in project life albums and I'm working backwards.  I am caught up with 2013 and I have all of 2011 and 2012 done. I am currently also working on 2010 at the same time as keeping up with 2013. I'm up to about September of 2010.  I actually started my blog to post my project life pages.

Here are some examples of my favorite Project Life techniques and why I love the Project Life system for memory making:

I LOVE Project Life to document school memories. (My mom kept a book for me from Kindergarten through the end of Junior High and I still look at it and reference it when my daughter asks me questions about myself when I was young that I don't remember.) I use one of Becky Higgins Dividers at the start of each grade.

I also print out a 4x6 card for each grade that says "First Day of...". You can get this FREE printable here for all grades

When I do my albums, there are a few things that I will put with the first day of school pictures even though they happen all through the school year. The reason I do this is because when you go back and look at the albums years later, all the school items will be in one place rather than scattered throughout my 4 or 5 albums for that year. The things I always put at the beginning of the school year are fall and spring school pictures, class pictures and report cards. In fact, I just got our class pictures TODAY and I will put that in my 2012 album right before the fall school picture you see here on the right.

All report cards are put in the same place in the album at the beginning of the school year.

I also love that I can print directly on my pictures using Photoshop. Here I took a picture of the ceiling at Chuy's where we went for my birthday with the in-laws. I also always look for things that are bright and colorful to take pictures of to add to my layouts, i.e. these birds.

THIS, THIS is what I do all the time! I make my own page protectors to put different types of memorabilia in, no matter the size. I buy 8 1/2 x 11 and 12 x 12 page protectors to do this. In the picture below, my husband got a card from my daughter's school thanking him for doing a safety speech for all of 2nd grade. For cards and programs and things like that, I sew a pocket and cut the top or left side so the front of the card or program can be opened so you don't have to totally pull it out of the page protector (see picture below). I do this with all programs and cards I want to include in my albums.

Here is a tutorial that shows how to make your own "any sized" page protectors You should take a look at the Cherish Everyday Blog - amazing Project Life layouts!

I also love love love adding 5x7 and 8x8 inserts of my favorite pictures. Here is a 5x7 insert of Kendyl at her first dance class of the year. 

Here is another layout with 5x7 inserts. On the right side, I inserted the 5x7 invitation and a 5x7 picture of the beautiful cake and diaper cake.

Here's another example of a layout with text directly on the picture using Photoshop. I also added a flair button from Ormolu. I love using these all throughout my albums. One of the few embellishments I use.

I also like to stamp directly on the Becky Higgins Dividers. Fun little touch. I use Staz-On ink.

I mentioned my obsession with panoramic pictures taken with the iPhone. On this layout, I added pictures I took of our house at Thanksgiving. It was the first time I hosted Thanksgiving at our house. The panoramic pictures are peeking out on the right side (I added orange arrows so you can see them.) I just used 12x12 page protectors that I sewed to fit the panoramic pictures. I also love subway art filler cards - I add one to almost every holiday layout.

Close up of subway art filler cards.

Close up of panoramic shots.

More panoramic shots of all of us watching football.

Right after Thanksgiving, I always have my "Deck the Halls" page. I decorate the day after Thanksgiving. I love to add our yearly ornament as my first item. We have a tradition where we get a new ornament every year.  Love this!

Close up of 2012 ornament. If you want to do this in your albums too for past years, just leave a space for it and when Christmas comes this year, take a picture of your ornaments you've collected throughout the years. Or start your tradition this year!

 Well, I hope I've inspired you to use some new techniques in your own Project Life albums.

Click HERE to see my Project Life 2013 Post #1

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!
Winner will be selected on Monday, April 15th

***TIME'S UP!***
The winner of the Project Life journaling/filler cards is Emily A! I've sent you an email.

51 3x4 Project Life cards, 28 4x6 cards, 4 wood heart veneers, 1 page of tan sticker arrows, 3 pages of sticker numbers and 1 sheet of 7 gypsies Primitive apothecary labels.

Just leave me a comment, including your email address, and you're entered to win!! If you choose not to leave your email address in the comments then check back here on Monday, April 15, 2013 to see if you are the winner. Otherwise, I will email the winner!

If you follow my blog, leave another comment saying you did for an extra chance to win.

I'm also doing another giveaway on Tuesday, April 16th, for Project Life Tuesday hosted by The Mom Creative. So come back Tuesday for another chance to win.

Now on to the other inspiring blogs!! But before you go, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the giveaway!!

Now on with the blog hop to Kelli.  Return here if you get lost along the way to make sure you visit all of the blogs on the hop today listed below.


Michelle R
Michelle B


  1. Nice pages! It makes me feel like it's definitely possible for me to "catch up" on years past. I'd like to do a catch-up album of 2009-2012 (the years that I've known my now-husband). Thanks for the chance to win a fun giveaway. byrder at gmail dot com

  2. Oh, and I'm a new follower too :)

  3. Love your albums! They are so full of life and joy!

  4. I may have missed this somewhere, but are you doing a single book for your daughter? And then separate family books? That's my goal to get started on this year. When did you start hers? My oldest is 8 and I'm having a hard time getting started.

    1. No, I don't do a separate one for my daughter. I just do one for the whole family. I started my first album last year in 2012 but I am going back and putting past years in albums too. I've done 2011 and I'm working on 2010 at the same time as 2013. Because I'm working backwards, I do go back and find myself adding things to past albums because I come across pictures, certificates, etc. from past years in different drawers, bins, etc. Hope that made sense!

  5. Wow, your pages are absolutely delightful! That's what I love most about PL, all the extra stuff that finally has a home!! Awesome! rbkhandcoatgmaildotcom

  6. This is really amazing, I love what you have done with your albums and I love that you shared so much with us! Thank you for such an amazing giveaway! I just love project life!
    Katina Martinez

  7. I love hearing about how you use Project life. Great ideas! Very inspiring. Thanks for joining the blog hop! (PS no need to enter me in your give away - I have both of those kits.)

  8. Wow your pages are so cool, love what you did with the thanks card that was a fantastic idea. Love the first day layouts, what cherish moments. I agree with you on going back previous years, we have photos that just sit in boxes need to get them out and in the albums thanks for that thought.

  9. Great pages! They look like mine.....lots of photos!

  10. I started following your blog :)

  11. Wow, you're incredible! I so admire how much stuff you've been able to record and document. Those panoramic pics look really cool. I'll have to check that out.

  12. Hi,
    These ideas are brill:)

    I also have quite a few 5 x 7 pictures in my albums.

    I do my memory books/project life albums a bit different to most people as I'm in the Uk & use A4 sized ring binders etc.

    That's a brilliant idea about the pockets for cards. If possible please could you do a step by step tutorial on how to make them? I've been quite stressed lately about how I can display my cards in page protectors.

    I also like that, like myself, you print loads of pictures.

    Happy Easter from the uk, hope you get to eat loads of lovely chocolate - especially Cadbury's - thee best:)

  13. Hi,
    Me again:)

    I still can't work out how to sew page protectors to include greeting cards.

    Please could you give me some tips on how to do this?

    Thank you:)