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Archive for the ‘Project 365 2014-2015’ Category

In the background this summer, behind and amongst all the other projects I’ve been working on, whether shared on the blog or not, I’ve been attempting to finish up my son’s photo-a-day baby album.  The last time I posted on my blog about this was when he was about seven months old!  You can see all the posts related to this album by clicking HERE.

I have to say, I’m proud of myself for how well I kept up with the daily documentation in this album.  By the time he turned one year old, I had a card written for almost every single day, and I had photos chosen, if not printed, for each of those days.  However, I wanted to do more with the album than that.  There were a lot of huge, big, and smaller events, celebrations, and moments that I wanted to highlight with extra inserts, and that’s what I’ve been working on this summer.

I thought that after the thrill of success with my China album in Finish-it-February, I would be able to hit the deadline of my son’s third birthday in late June, but this project is quite a bit bigger…

in progress: B's photo-a-day baby album

Throughout June and July, the two binders that compose this album project have been out on my craft island, surrounded by extra cards, embellishments, and notes.  I had some of my extra photos printed already, but the vast majority of these extra inserts needed to have photos chosen and their configurations planned.

I’ve been going through the album page by page, methodically noting where I need additional “stuff”.  You can see in the photo above that I’m making notes on tiny scraps of paper and slotting them into page protector spots, or even sketching out whole inserts and attaching them to one of the rings as a placeholder until I have the photos printed…and I even need to get my hands on some more page protectors.

I am about 3/4 of the way through the album with this process, and I have prepared over 100 4″x6″ prints so far– and many of them are a collage of more than one photo!  Once I’ve gone through the entire album, I will place my order with Persnickety Prints, and then I’ll go back through the album again to finish all of the pages.

The other bit thing I need to do to finish the album is to add title cards for each week (with the date) and in the case of most weeks, I also need to add a filler 3″x4″ card.

Maybe I’ll have it finished by my son’s fourth birthday!  Let’s hope!!

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At the time I am writing this blog post, it is just over seven months into the Project 365 album for my son. I thought I would post a little update.

To make a long story short: I’m keeping up! Hurray! I have a photo for every day, and I have written a 3×4 card for almost every single day since June 1, 2014.

The longer story:

There are a few blanks. Like the card about our first trip with B: I have a detailed journal of the trip, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to read through it and condense it. I might just end up writing “It was hard.” Haha. Attempting a 12 hour (not counting the stops) car trip with a 6-week-old was a bit crazy. We still haven’t quite gotten to the “it’s a good story now” stage.

Or like the first few days after B was born. I have journaling written down (mostly in the metadata of my photos, as well as in a notebook I kept throughout my pregnancy), but I haven’t figured out how to put it all into the album yet. But I’m not concerned, because I know that it will get filled in — the words are there, and so are the photos, they just need to be combined.

Otherwise, I am up-to-date on the daily, everyday-type entries in the album, and that feels so good!

At any given time, I’m not always completely caught up–I don’t always have the time free to work on my projects and I don’t always choose to prioritize this one when I do. So there have been times when there are several weeks’-worth of blanks in the album. It is then that I am extremely grateful for the captions I insist on writing to the metadata. Even still, when I have that many blanks, it starts to weigh on me.

Every time I play the catch up game, I try to set a goal to not let it happen again. Ideally, I will pick up a 3×4 card the next day (or even the same day, sometimes) and write a little story on it, fresh and in-the-moment. Because that is what this album is about. I want it to become a habit!

It worked really well to have the album in my dining room on the side dresser. Things have changed a bit in the past week as we rearrange some of our furniture. Right now I have it on the dining room table. It isn’t the loveliest setup, but it works. It is in sight and I can easily access it when I have a few spare moments. I will move it downstairs to my new craft room once I have the room set up, which is going to be sooner rather than later!

I intend to keep this album through B’s first birthday, possibly until the end of June 2015. I don’t love the pocket-page process, but I absolutely love the outcome. I get glimpses of how priceless this album is to me when I print batches of photos and slip them into the pockets. Life has already changed so much, and I treasure the moments that I’ve captured in the album!

In addition to the daily stuff, I have been making some notes about special inserts I’d like to include for some bigger events. I also need to finish up the “baby book” style sections: B’s brief family history and current events at the time of his birth, etc. Finally, each month, I have been typing up a summary of “B at ___months” and emailing it to myself. I want to figure out a way to put the summaries into the album.

I’m excited about how far this project has come, and I am so excited about continuing it to the end!

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I think I’ve mentioned before that pocket-style scrapbooking is just not for me as a go-to scrapbooking choice, BUT that the exception would be for another baby album like I made for my daughter.  So here I am again, setting up a pocket-style, photo-a-day album project!  I decided to write this (incredibly wordy and detailed) post so that I can document my plan of attack…even though I most likely will not post many (if any) actual layouts from the project.

Right now I’m calling it “Project 365 2014-2015,” which is quite unwieldy!  I think I need to come up with a better name for this album project…especially since it will definitely be longer than 365 days!

The idea is that I will capture everyday life via a photo-a-day projects starting June 1, 2014 and continue through at least my son’s first birthday.  By starting on June 1, I will be including just a few weeks (hopefully at the most!) of our lives before his birth, which I think will be a cool addition to the album.

With this in mind, I decided to purchase two Project Life Core Kits** and combine them for the album project.  I bought the Baby Edition online as well as the Jade Edition, which is available at most major craft chain stores.  I wanted the album to mostly have an everyday feel to it (hence the Jade edition), but I loved the idea of including the extra information using the prompt cards that are unique to the Baby editions.  I’ll use these prompt cards in special inserts within the weekly spreads–especially for the details right after he is born.  This way my son’s album will be even more “baby-bookish” than my daughter’s Project 366— and I’m not going to make him a special “first month” album like I’m doing for her (it is seriously a HUGE undertaking).  All will be contained within this album project (which I expect to fill two physical albums; hopefully not more than that).

For the rest of my basic supplies, I’m using two 12″x12″ three-ring navy binders by Die Cuts with A View.  The vast majority of my pages will use Design A page protectors.  Inserts will probably use different pocket configurations, but that’ll be on a case-by-case basis (note: I typically prefer my inserts to be smaller than 12″x12″ so that it’s obvious that they are different from my normal weekly spreads).  I’d like to use the same pen throughout the year, but I haven’t found one I love yet.

Over the weekend, my friend J came over and we started setting up our albums together.  (Sidenote: this is her first project of this sort, and I cannot even express how super-excited I am to have another real-life friend who “gets” this whole memory-keeping thing!)

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Here’s how I got things going.

 

I started by sorting out all the different types of cards...

First, I got out all of the cards from both kits and started separating them by “type”: the first/last page cards, the weekly title cards, the journaling cards, and in the case of the Baby Edition, the prompt cards.

There are a LOT of cards.  I kept saying to J, “This is so overwhelming!!”

In years past, I discovered that it works best for me to have all of the journaling cards pre-placed in the page protectors.  This gives me the greatest chance of success for writing a card every day– the extra decision of which card to use has been removed on an ordinary basis.  Of course, I always have the freedom to switch out a card for a different one or for a special card if I so choose.    So I decided to focus on the journaling cards first.

I separated all the different journaling card designs into their own little stacks (about 10 cards for each design, I think) and arranged them first in a loose color gradient to see what distribution I had.  I am completely combining the Baby and Jade Editions here (not including the special prompt cards for the Baby Edition).

Did I mention that there are a LOT of cards??

I arranged the journaling cards by color...

 

But I don’t want my album to go in rainbow order, so once I saw what I had to work with, I mixed up the stacks for a random distribution.  I also took out  a few of the designs that weren’t quite my style or didn’t seem as easily useable for an “everyday” card.    At this point I started feeling a bit less overwhelmed, because I had a better idea of what I was going to do.  But seriously, look at the number of cards!!  I was working with 90 designs!! ***

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(J was so kind to let me take up the majority of the table!  You can see her stuff along the left edge of the table in the photo above– she is setting up her album using the Baby Edition and a few mini card kits).

Once I had the cards sufficiently “mixed,” I populated my page protector slots by taking cards from each stack starting in the left top corner and continuing left to right along each row.  When I got to the bottom right hand corner, I started over again at the top left.  It took me 4 full rounds plus 76 cards to fill the slots for about 60 page protectors (7 cards for each week).

In the Jade edition and in many of the cards in the Baby edition, the 3″x4″ journaling cards have designs on the back to be used as “filler” cards (for the 8th slot in a weekly spread if you’re doing it like me).  Before I filled up my album, I took one of each of the cards and set them aside.  There are more than enough that each week can be completely different from every other week in the album, so I’ll choose one to slip in as we go along throughout the year+.  I haven’t decided yet whether the weekly title cards will be the same for each month or if I’ll mix them up, too.

So what about the extra cards?  Because remember, there are a LOT!

I got out a photo box that had been empty and used it to organize everything that was left over:

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There are some monthly prompt cards in the Baby Edition, plus milestone cards that I want to remember to use at the appropriate times, so I have those in their own category.  The 3″x4″ journal cards are separated by color.  I put all of the 4″x6″ journaling cards (the ones that can be folded) in another category, and in the back are my leftovers from previous projects (I used the Clementine edition for my daughter’s album and what is now known as the Cherry edition for my 2010 album– before there were “editions”!)

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My album will sit out on the dresser we use as a sideboard/buffet in our dining room.  It has shelves just under the top surface, and the box of cards above will sit on one of those shelves.  I have another identical photo box that will hold my pen as well as my roller date stamps and a black ink pad.  If I decide to use any other basic embellishments, I’ll add those to the box, too.  This way, all of my supplies will be within extremely easy reach so that I have the best chance of success (keeping up) with the album!

Finally, there is the issue of the special prompt cards from the Baby Edition.  These cards cover all kinds of information from family history to current events, as well as special details about preparing for baby, the birth, etc.  I plan to make a series of inserts with these cards, but I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that quite yet.  Hopefully soon!  I want to be ready 😉

 

** Did you know that there are .pdf reference sheets that show every single card in every core kit??  I found them extremely useful when I was considering which kit(s) to purchase.  You can find them on Becky Higgins’ Digital Project Life site.

*** Side note: have the newer editions been coming out with more card designs than in the past?  I am amazed that from two kits I had 90+ different journaling card designs to choose from.

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