Archive for the ‘day-in-the-life’ Category

Lemme just say, I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing yet another photo book!  When I knew I had ankle surgery coming up, I started planning projects for myself to work on while I was recuperating.  I knew that I’d be off my feet for a while, and so I compiled a list of specific things I wanted to try to finish while I was confined to a chair or couch for most of the day.  One of those things was photo books.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE the end result of photo books, but I really dislike making them.  My kids love looking at them– and I love seeing them enjoying the books, too, so I grit my teeth and get them done.

In the time since my surgery, I’ve completed three photo books: Hersheypark 2015, Day in the Life 2019, and this book: Day in the Life 2018.  With the completion of this book, my DITL book set is completely caught up– I’ve been doing this project since 2013!  I am glad that I’ve made good use of this sitting-down time (and proud of myself for staying motivated) to accomplish these goals.

Here’s the cover of my 2018 DITL book:


For this book, I used the beautiful digital papers from Karen Funk’s “A Fresh Start” paper kit.  It’s a smaller set of papers, but I had a lot of photos for this book (there are 106 included), so there were fewer spaces to fill.


There’s not much new to say about my process that hasn’t already been said…but that basic formula that I use made this book a quick finish, even with so many photos!

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I surprised myself and managed to finish another digital scrapbook photo book– this one in less than a week!

This is my Day in the Life book for this year (2019! finished already! …but I still do need to complete the book for 2018…).  Since it was an unusual day (off my feet due to ankle surgery, plus I was leaving for an out-of-town trip that afternoon), I didn’t take as many photos as usual.  (In fact, I almost didn’t document at all, but in the end, I’m glad that I decided to take photos and write my journaling!) Husband was so kind to help me take many of the photos I try to capture annually.

Aside from the smaller number of photos, this project is a bit more straightforward than my other digital scrapbooks, because I have a fairly tried-and-true formula by now.  The backgrounds of all my pages are white, and I make flat (no shadows) collages of photos and patterned paper blocks on each page.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve made a lot of basic templates, which I use for these pages!


I used patterned papers from The Lilypad collaboration kit “All About Me” — it was a freebie blog hop kit that I collected in September 2019.

The title page and front cover are the same each year, too.  The title page is always a photo of the front of my house taken that day, with a title banner and typed credits.  In the past few books I’ve made, I’ve made a point to add the day of the week with the date.


The very first year I did this project, (back in 2013!!) I made the cover collage by tiling four Scrapbook Lady “Sixteens” templates together, and I add photos and patterned papers that I used throughout the book.  This cover comes together more easily if I add photos as I work on each page rather than waiting til the end!

The scripty titles are from Ali Edwards– back in 2012, she created this freebie, and I’ve been using them every year!

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Every year, on October 4, I document our day, from waking to sleeping.  I document as many little details as I can, and then I put them all into an 8″x8″ photo book.  I started in 2013, and as of last week, I have the books done through 2017 (yay!)

It has helped that I have a particular format that I follow for each year’s book, although it’s not a quick project to complete!

Day in the Life - 2017 photo book

I actually finished 2017’s book last spring: even while I took the photos for the project, I had a very specific vision of how I wanted to display the photos on each page: in general, one large one with small ones supporting it.  It was an easier project to complete, because I had around 79 photos earmarked for inclusion, plus a plan in mind as I got going on the pages.


I really love how this one came out, and for future days-in-the-life projects, I plan to have a similar intent in mind as I take photos.  In fact, I have 2018’s photos and words waiting for me…

It was really bothering me, though, that I still had the gap in my book collection from 2016.  For some reason, I had an extra large number of photos for this book– I have 117 earmarked my Lightroom collection for that day!  However, I was a woman on a mission last fall with a couple photo book projects, and I powered through most of the 2016 book… until I got to page 18 (out of 20).  I hit a creative wall, and I just couldn’t get further.  Plus, I had Christmas crafting to do!  So it got put on hold, even though it was so close to being completed.

Recently, Shutterfly had a weekend sale for a free photo book, and as is typical of me, that deadline got me moving again.  I was determined to get this book finished, and I did!  I gritted my teeth and made page 18 work, and then it was smooth sailing after that, thanks to all that I’d completed (including a lion’s share of the work on the cover!) back in the fall.


This 2016 book was the most photo-intensive book I’ve done so far, and I think it’s my limit (at least for a 20-page book!).  I hope in the future to streamline the number of photos I use… but in this book, there were a few series of photos that told the story better than just a single picture.


It makes me so happy to see my little photo book shelf filling out.  It is such a satisfying feeling to have these projects all lined up.

2019-03-16 16.44.18


Even better is the fact that my 7-year-old loves to read these books.  It makes my heart happy to see that she also appreciates this documentation… and it motivates me to keep going.

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Yet again this year, a looming expiration date of a free-photobook offer gave me the push I needed to complete my 2015 Day-in-the-Life photobook/mini album back in July.  An upcoming trip helped me, as well– I wanted to get it finished before we left (it was also one of my July 2016 goals)!  Now that we are just a few days from this year’s day-in-the-life date (October 4), I thought I’d post about my 2015 book.

I kept my design the same as the previous two years’ (2014, 2013), which made it much easier to complete!  The basic layout is white backgrounds with grid-like arrangements of photos and blocks of text.  I add digital papers into the mix of photos to make it a bit fancier.  😉  For the digital papers this year, I pulled out a collaboration kit called “This Moment is Your Life” that I downloaded as a freebie from Sweet Shoppe Designs a while (read: years) ago.

I had almost twice the photos as last year’s book, which meant that more photos ended up on each page. I was also pleased that I finally remembered to get a posed family photo!


As per tradition (does doing it for two years make it a tradition?), I made a photo-and-digital-paper collage cover design.  I plan to use this template every year.  Since I had over 100 photos in the book this year, I picked the best half(ish) to add to the cover rather than use them all as in previous years.



Every time I finish one of these photo books, I am so glad to have the day documented.  Each year it gets easier, too, now that I have a plan of attack– as long as I make sure to write good notes during the day!  Let’s see if I can finish my 2016 book sooner! 😉


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A free photo book offer earlier this year was the motivating factor for me finally completing this book!


Remember last year, I did something similar and declared my intention to document “A Day in the Life” annually, each October 4.

It is absolutely amazing to see how different our lives are after just a year!!  And also to see how much daily life has changed in the time between October 4 and when I made it, and now, when I’m finally posting about it.

I followed the same basic premise for assembling the book: I used the same templates (of course, adjusting them slightly if necessary), and I included spots for digital papers.  The digital supplies are from a blog hop sponsored by The Lilypad; the resulting collaboration kit is called “Currently.”  I filled in the text with words that I wrote that day (or maybe the day afterward).  I tried to be really honest in my account about how things went, but at the same time trying to focus on the positive.  We were still very much in the adjustment stages to having a new baby, who was nursing for hours every couple of hours, so it was not an easy day.





Since I really loved the “photo summary” style of last year’s cover, I did the same thing again, but I changed the colors and papers to coordinate with the rest of the book (which is probably pretty obvious, haha!).



I again made an 8″x8″ book through Shutterfly, and it turned out beautifully.  The first one that I got had some ink blotching from the printing process, and unfortunately it was right on my daughter’s face on one of the pages.  I contacted Shutterfly’s customer service, and they immediately replaced the book.  Thanks, Shutterfly!







Oh my, I can hardly believe that it’s just over a month until my next annual day-in-the-life is to documented!  How time flies…

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Last fall, a bunch of influences came together to compel me to document a “day in my life.”

I think I do a pretty good job of documenting my “everyday” life, if the number of photos in my Lightroom catalog has anything to say about it.  However, I’ve never formally participated in Day/Week-in-the-Life or other scrapbooking “events” like that.  In 2012, when I was doing my Project 366, I did take an enormous number of photos one day in February and add them as an insert in a coin-pocket page, along with a sheet of detailed hand-written notes on one of Ali’s worksheets.  I love the result, even if it didn’t turn into any larger type of project.  It’s amazing to see how I spent a day back then, when my daughter was only a few months old!

Sometime at the end of September or beginning of October 2013, I listened to a Paperclipping Roundtable podcast episode while running (just thinking about it makes me see my route in my mind… it’s actually quite nice!), and even though the basic topic was outside my personal experience, there was a part of the discussion at the end of the episode that focused on taking note of your current life circumstances/situations and documenting them.  Shortly after I listened to the episode, I saw Christine’s awesome layout documenting a day in her life.  It was another reminder that documenting my everyday routine at a more in-depth level didn’t have to be a huge project (although of course I turned it into one, because, you know, that’s the way I roll ;-))  In 2013, Ali Edwards was doing a monthly day-in-the-life insert in her albums, and so I was seeing those pop up in my blog reader, too.  Somewhere in there, I heard an offhand mention by (I think) Katrina Kennedy in her Capture Your 365 podcast (I wish I could remember which episode, sorry) about a day-in-the-life photobook she made.  Suddenly, I knew that if I was to do this day-in-the-life thing, I was going to do it in photobook/digital scrapbook form.

After so many things inspired me, I finally decided I should just DO it! In the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast, Marie-Pierre suggested doing a day-in-the-life documentation once a year, so I thought that I should pick a date and start a tradition!  What was I waiting for?  I picked a date (a day or two later: October 4), set hourly alarms on my phone to take photos (thanks for the idea, Christine!), and made the commitment.

I took a LOT of photos that day.  I also ended up taking a lot of video clips, which don’t figure into this project, but they make me happy, so that’s why I mention them. 🙂  It took me longer to get to it than I wanted (about a month), but I sat down eventually and typed up some journaling to accompany the photos and “narrate” the day.  I narrowed my photos down to 56 images.  In December, I made a big push on the project and digitally scrapbooked a 20-page photobook, plus a collage front cover.  I was waiting on the “perfect” digital papers until now, and I finally realized I had the perfect set in the Sweet Shoppe Designs collaboration kit, “Enjoy the Little Things”– it’s like the color scheme was made for my photos!!

For most of the pages of the photobook, I modified templates that I’d made for my (epic) Corsica photobook project.  Even though I intended to make an 8″x8″ book at the end, I started out with the canvases at 12″x12,” and after getting all the photo placement and placeholder spots ready for the patterned paper, I resized the canvases within the 8″x8″ photobook templates provided by Shutterfly, added the text, and finally clipped pattern paper into the placeholder spots.


I am especially proud of the title page.  Because I didn’t have any one image that I felt was a good summary of the day (and somehow I didn’t take ANY family photos the whole day!!  I’ll have to remember to do that in the future…), I thought it might be fun to do a collage! I started with one of Katie the Scrapbook Lady’s “Sixteens” templates, and rotated it three times to make a 2-by-2 grid of 16 spots.  I filled my pictures into most of the spots, and clipped patterned paper into the remaining spots.  Finally, I added a banner title (the text is made from Ali Edwards’ .png image; I used the 4×6 aspect ratio .png on the title page inside the book).  I LOVE how it turned out!


This project is a treasure to me.  It is my intention to continue the “tradition” (is it a tradition if it’s happened only once so far?  probably not, haha) each year on October 4.  In a few years, I’ll have a stack of day-in-the-life photobooks– how cool will that be?!

A few days after I uploaded all of my pages to Shutterfly (NOTE: you must de-select the option for Shutterfly to auto-correct your photos or else the colors might come out funkily super-bright or weird.  I wish so much that there was a quick way to do this, but you actually have to do it for each photo individually.  Bleh.), I received my book in the mail!  It’s gorgeous! (if I do say so myself!) 🙂  Here are some “beauty shots:”








I am already looking forward to documenting October 4, 2014! 🙂

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