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I love this project.  I love how it turned out.

I just got my last set of prints in the mail yesterday, and the album is complete.

Sure, maybe I’ll add a few 12×12 layouts eventually, but the project is DONE.

I’m definitely considering doing this again… but not in 2011.  It was a challenge for me to remember to take photos every day…  and I don’t know that I need to have every day of several years documented.  I’ll wait a few years and then maybe I’ll do one again.  And when I do, I will try to remember this list of things I learned:

  • It is okay to just do the project “straight out of the box”.  At the beginning of the year, there’s lots of hype about these kits, and people go all-out making their title pages fancy and adding all kinds of extra pages, etc. to their albums.  They look awesome, and I would love to have done that.  BUT, there’s a reason the kit came pre-made.  So I decided to funnel my efforts into just writing the cards and use the creative stuff on my OTHER projects 🙂

  • Take photos throughout the day, even if you think that something in the evening will be what you’ll use…  A few times, those evening “things” didn’t happen, and I was left scrambling!

  • Take photos of everyday stuff.  Seriously.  Eating breakfast, reading on the couch, cooking dinner, ironing, you and/or your spouse at work, watching TV, checking your email, putting on your makeup or styling your hair…  It’s amazing how much “normal” can change and shift in a year.

  • Put the journaling cards into the album RIGHT AWAY.  First of all, it really helped me to get them written right away (or within the week).  It reduced the “load” to just deciding what to write, eliminating the whole card choice issue.  And my Type A nature regretted not planning this at the beginning– if I had put all the cards in at once, I wouldn’t have had to break my “rules”.

  • Keep up on the editing of the photos.  I made albums in PSE7 for each month and made sure everything was cropped to 4×6 as soon as I could after the photos were downloaded from my camera.  Then when the big free print deals came along from Shutterfly or Snapfish, I could just upload my photos and have them printed. (Side note: I wish I’d kept notes about how much I spent on photo printing so that I could calculate how much I spent on the project, total)

  • Write down journaling as soon as possible.  It’s amazing how much you can forget.  Write it on scrap paper, if you’re on a trip or vacation, bring a notebook or just bring the cards themselves.

  • Have your camera at all times.  Use a cell phone camera if necessary– capturing the photo is more important than the quality.

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One of my goals, always, but specifically for 2011, is to be better at journaling.

I want my pages to be more meaningful than just pretty pictures on pretty paper.  I would like to really capture the stories behind the pictures, and be intentional about including my faith as an integral part of my scrapbooking.  This goal is taking several forms for me this year.

  • Something I resolved to do (with varying levels of success) after participating in the Elle’s Studio online journaling class last year was to write my journaling for a scrapbook layout FIRST.  This is just a general goal, as I work through my normal list-of-stuff-to-scrapbook (the list is currently for events/topics 2006-2009).  When I actually make myself write the journaling first, I have the opportunity to make it star on my layouts, rather than just squeezing it in at the end.
  • I am making a point of sitting down and actually writing out some stories from my wedding day (and our honeymoon).  We were married about 4 1/2 years ago, and I don’t think I’ve actually written down anything about the actual day (A while ago, I sat down and wrote journaling for the week before our wedding as well as our rehearsal and dinner).  As time passes, I forget little details… even though I never thought I’d forget my wedding day!  So this week, “write some wedding journaling” is on my to-do list each day!  It’s funny how knowing that I’m forgetting things has made me so sad, and then I put off writing down what I do remember… and then I forget more.  A vicious cycle.  I’m going to try and end it!
  • Last year, as I’ve definitely described on my blog, I did a Project 365 project using Becky Higgins’ Project Life kit.  This was SO COOL!!  I have a blog post coming wrapping up my project (I’m still waiting for my last 100 pictures or so to arrive in the mail).  The project got me thinking about capturing everyday life in my journaling (as well as allowing me a “break” in the pressure I put on myself to scrapbook things– so there won’t be many 2010 scrapbook pages unless they’re Really Big Things that I choose to scrapbook).  This year, I am going back to my regular scrapbooking, but I’m coming in with a plan.  As events happen, I’m going to try and write down some journaling right away.  Whether it’s a few sentences or a few pages, I want to have the memories captured right away.  I have done this only a few times in the past, and it has made a world of difference in the way I feel about creating my pages (see my first point).  One of the ways I’m doing this is by using a Memory Logbook by Log Your Memory.  It’s what I’m using as a planner… but it has lots of room for me to journal as well.  I’d love to make myself journal every day… but that might be too much to ask 😉  But now I have space, and I can journal as often as I please… and at the end of each week there is a whole page available for journaling!  Jackpot!  Every day life and special occasions documented in one spot.  Now I have a reference for when I scrapbook stuff later (sometimes years later, haha!).

Capture your real everyday life with the 2011 Memory Logbook!

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Now that the dust is (kind of) settling from our move, I’m getting back into “normal life” stuff (but really, is there a such thing?) and decided that it was time to start making some monthly goals again.  This way I can organize and keep track of all those ideas that I have spinning in my brain!  So, without further ado, here are my crafty/garden-y goals for August:

  • make some layouts!!  I have some design team assignments to work on (wooo hoooo!), and I’ve also been itching to get back to full-size 12″x12″ crafting after reading all the wonderful scrappy blogs in my Reader while we’ve been in transit.
  • participate in the Elle’s Studio FREE online journaling class.

    I’ve never done a scrapbooking class, let alone an online one, so I’m interested to see how it works. Plus, my scrapbook journaling is usually pretty perfunctory, and I’d like to improve it.  AND I love the stuff Elle’s Studio makes.

  • sew some curtains (or at least plan some)!  We have blinds on most of the critical windows at home, and we got some sheers (really good sale) for the rest, but I want some cute window treatments for our house.  I have an idea for one window, and I’ll be checking to see whether I can make curtains more inexpensively than buying them for the other windows.
  • if there’s time, sew up an upholstery swatch purse that I have all cut out and waiting (since weeks before our move!).
  • make some cards.  I’d like to have a stash of handmade cards available for myself, and I want to keep making cards for Operation Write Home.
  • maybe try to visit the scrapbooking store in our new town?  As nice as scrapbookers are, I do find this a bit intimidating… (yes, I am a scaredy-cat)
  • get rid of some of the weeds in our landscaping 🙂  Hopefully this will be one of the first things I get to!  Those weeds are taking over!  (does this count as gardening?)
  • keep going on Project 365!!  I have all my cards written for July, but not all of my photos are chosen and ready for printing.  I want to catch up on them and keep it up through August 🙂

What are your goals for August?

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Yes, I am Type A

The other day, I was reminded again of how Type A I am.  And since it had to do with the way I go about my Project 365, I thought I’d share.

I was baking cookies** while I was organizing my cards for Project 365.

cookies

 

Project 365 cards

Do you see a pattern?

As I spatula-ed the cookies from the cookie sheet onto the cooling rack, I noticed how I was putting them into precise rows.  And then I went back into the office, where my Project 365 stuff was spread out all over the floor.  In rows.

So I’ve found that I’m better at keeping up on the journaling cards for Project 365 when I have them already stuck into the page protectors for each week.  It took me a while to figure out that this was the best system, so I have started trying to get them into the album at least a month at a time.  Except I have all kinds of “rules” for myself, because I am Type A.

  • no repeat cards within a week spread
  • no repeat cards from the weeks adjacent
  • preferably, no repeat cards from the weeks adjacent to those (though this is not always possible, because…see next item)
  • [some cards have “decorative” numbers.]  cards with numbers should be used only if the date appears within that string of numbers.

This means that I need to do some planning to get all the conditions satisfied.  And my poor Type A soul suffers on those rare occasions where a rule must be broken.  But, I suppose it builds character, right? 😉  I wonder what will happen toward the end of the year when I’ve run out of some varieties of the cards?! Maybe I’ll get all crazy and random!

**this is just the recipe off the Jif jar.  It makes fabulous peanut butter cookies.  The trick is not to flatten them with a fork!

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Oh my.  It’s practically the middle of May, and I haven’t made any goals.  Well.  This month, it’s all about getting through it all.  There is a TON on my plate, and I want to fit in some crafty time for myself (it’s my stress-relief, after all).  So, I don’t really have any goals.  Just to do crafts, when I can.  Plain and simple.

And finish that crochet shawl!  (I worked on it more last weekend, and I’ve started the last row!  Maybe I’ll finish it this week!!)

These were my goals for April:

  • Make some more scrapbook layouts.  At least one.  Check.
  • Stay on track all 30 days with Project 365.  Not just with the cards, but with the photos, too!! This means promptly uploading photos from the camera to the computer and getting them edited and ready for printing.  I kept up with the cards, and I got a little behind with the photo editing, but yesterday I got all caught up.  So: check.
  • Work on the crochet shawl, and hopefully finish it.  I want to wear it!  And pretty soon it will be too warm for shawls, even lacy ones.  I definitely worked on my shawl.  Nevermind that it was May 1 when I got the most finished.  And see above– it is THISCLOSE to being completely done!
  • Keep my craft space (and our whole place) very clean and organized for future (hopefully!) showings.  Yeah, kinda. More like, I made messes, then cleaned them up.  But this month, it’s for real.
  • and keep flossing!  Did you see this post? 😉

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Wow, can you believe that it’s April already?!  I certainly can’t.  But it’s about time for me to set some goals (we all know how much I love me some lists).  Making lists makes me happy– it doesn’t stress me out to see a whole bunch of things I want to do.  It helps me remember to finish stuff I’ve started.

So this month:

  • Make some more scrapbook layouts.  At least one.  But hopefully there will be more (it’s very likely).  It just depends on how much time I have…
  • Stay on track all 30 days with Project 365.  Not just with the cards, but with the photos, too!! This means promptly uploading photos from the camera to the computer and getting them edited and ready for printing.  (see below)
  • Work on the crochet shawl, and hopefully finish it.  I want to wear it!  And pretty soon it will be too warm for shawls, even lacy ones.
  • Keep my craft space (and our whole place) very clean and organized for future (hopefully!) showings.
  • and keep flossing!

And from last month:

March 2010 crafty goals analysis:

  • make/finish some scrapbook layouts. more than one.    Yep!  I finished 5 layouts this month, including some projects for Sharing Memories that will be posted once they are featured on the Sharing Memories blog.
  • stay on track all 31 days with Project 365: I’m on track with all my cards…But a number of photos are still on my camera ::insert embarrassed face::.  I only forgot to take a photo on one day– so at least I *have* photos.  Hopefully I’ll get those pictures organized this weekend.  The longer I wait, the less I want to do it, and I want to have photos ready and waiting whenever good print sales come up.
  • get some help and hopefully finish my crochet shawl project.  Like I mentioned in my update post, my officemate helped me find my mistake, but I have not yet had a chance to make progress on the shawl since then.
  • finish organizing the office/craft space.  Done 🙂
  • finish some sewing projects that are languishing.  I finished some of my projects, but of course, there are always more…  😉
  • I flossed every night!  😉

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A midmonth update on my March crafty goals

  • make/finish some scrapbook layouts. more than one.     I started out the month by finishing up a layout that was ::thisclose:: at the end of February.  And since that layout, I’ve made three more, plus a card.  And I will be doing even more layouts and cards, especially since I have new goodies to work with from Sharing Memories. Now if only my color ink cartridge would get shipped…
  • stay on track all 31 days with Project 365: I’m pretty much caught up so far!  And I ordered some photos the other day!
  • get some help and hopefully finish my crochet shawl project.  My super-cool-crocheter officemate and I sat down for a bit the other day and looked at the pattern, and she helped me spot a mistake I’d made– on the ends of the rows. ::sigh::  So, perfectionist that I am, I will be taking out that row and redoing it.  But now I know how to keep going to finish the shawl!  Yay!
  • finish organizing the office/craft space.  Done! 🙂  It looks great, if I do say so myself.  Now I just have to make sure to clean up after myself whenever I work on a project, in case we might have to show it.
  • finish some sewing projects that are languishing.  I made four fabric covered headbands for myself at the very beginning of the month, and I made the pillow discussed in my previous post!  Just a couple other small projects floating in my mind right now 🙂

Oh yeah, and I have been flossing every night 😉

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Here’s my promised Project 365 update.  I’m right on track for March so far (haha, only 1 week in, but still!)

Here’s a photo of the binder that came with the Project Life kit:

the pretty 3-ring binder

I’m really happy with the color choices for the whole thing.  They’re kind of funky, but classic at the same time.  I like the graphic botanical motif used throughout all of the products, too.  You can see professional photos of a lot of the contents of the kit on the website I’ve linked above, but if you want to see more, leave a comment, and I’ll post about it.

I have only gotten pictures printed through nearly the end of January.  I’m getting them all edited and then waiting for good deals on Shutterfly or Snapfish.  Here’s what one of my almost-completed weeks looks like:

a week way back in January

I still might play around with the card at the front of the week (far left of middle row of 3″x4″ card spaces), as well as the big card that is the “title” for the week (top left corner in the 4″x6″ space).  Who knows, maybe I’ll also play around with where that title card goes from week-to-week.  For now, everything’s going into the binder all neat and orderly-like.  Which is very Type-A of me (no surprise, right??).  I’m also being very Type-A about not repeating a journaling card style in the immediately adjacent weeks, and if possible, not for two weeks.  But that is getting a bit complicated.  I might have to relax 😉  But being Type-A, that might be hard for me!

Until I get photos printed, I’m just filling out a journaling card each day.  Here’s what last week looks like:

waiting for photos

I’m trying to keep a bit of ephemera in the album, too.  Those are symphony tickets sticking out of the journal card pocket, and I kept a page from the program that listed the pieces that were played at the concert.  I’ve got some Snapfish deals in my inbox, so these pages are going to get filled in with photos soon, yay!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the project is turning out so far!  It’s also fun to have every-day stuff documented.  I’m feeling free to “catch up” on scrapbooking previous years’ events without feeling like I’m missing out on this year’s.  And here and there, I think I’m going to stick in a 12″x12″ layout in its own page protector** for certain things.   But even without the 12x12s, this album is so fun.  I love all of the color.  It’s going to be fun to look back in the future.

**::gasp:: I know, right?  I never use page protectors.*** (I like my 3-d lovelies to stand out and not get squished! and I hate the glare) But in the interest of consistency with the rest of the album, plus the fact that I don’t want to 3-hole punch my layouts, I will suck it up and add some 12×12 page protectors to this album.

***along those lines, just for the record, I still use strap-hinge albums for my regular scrapbooking.  They seem to be becoming discontinued everywhere, which makes me super-sad.  I have acquired a very small stash (1 for my wedding stuff plus 4 for the years since we got married).  I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to find them in the future, especially after we move–  I don’t want to be moving a caseload of empty straphinge albums.  If you know of a good source, let me know!

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Here are my March 2010 crafty goals:

  • make/finish some scrapbook layouts. more than one.     It’s going to be a Crazy month here– Husband has some big stuff coming up, including his dissertation defense, plus our place is going on the market soon.  So I’m not going to stress myself out by setting a Number.  I want to enjoy my scrapbooking, however many layouts I do 🙂
  • stay on track all 31 days with Project 365: I will Not Get Behind this month.  I Will Finish This Year! (see below).  I will also write a blog post with photos of my album so far.  Really.  I know I’ve said it before, but it’s now on my master to-do list that I’m carrying around in my planner. 🙂  And what’s on that to-do list gets done 😉
  • get some help and hopefully finish my crochet shawl projectI started a shawl back in the fall (*heee* that rhymes) and got stuck because I’m confused by the pattern.  My officemate, who is a super cool crocheter, said she’d try and help me.  So I’m hoping to finish this baby up.
  • finish organizing the office/craft space.  See below.  It’s almost done!
  • finish some sewing projects that are languishing.  I have a number of sewing projects lying around that need to get finished (for instance, see my February assessment below).   Plus I have a couple of small projects in mind that should get done this month.

Do you notice a theme in my goals?  This month is about finishing stuff I’ve started.  Hopefully I can do some of that.  And another one of my goals is completely unrelated to crafting, but I totally need some accountability on this, haha– I will floss my teeth every night in March.  I hate flossing, but I also hate getting remarks about it from my dentist.  I am thankful for my good teeth, and I’d like to keep them that way.  So I will floss.  😛

February goal assessment:

  • make at least 6 new scrapbook layouts: By the end of February, I’d finished 5 new scrapbook layouts.  There are a couple in various stages of incompleteness, but I almost made my goal.
  • make at least 1 crochet snowflake: Nope.  Maybe I should set this aside for a while….
  • stay on track all 28 days with Project 365: I got *really* behind for a couple of weeks, which meant that I was increasingly intimidated by the thought of editing my photos.  But on Sunday night (yeah, the 28th), I made myself sit down and catch up.  I will be really angry with myself if I poop out on this project!  I am Caught Up.
  • keep reorganizing/cleaning up the craft area: Oh baby, did I clean this thing up.  We spent all of last weekend completely overhauling this room.  There will be a blog post about this.  It was an Endeavor.
  • complete one sewing project: done!  I made a purse and two headbands.  I also went through a pile of scrap fabric and cut out 4 more headbands and a whole bunch of fabric yoyos.  I will be finishing the headbands and the rest of the yoyos this month.
  • figure out whether we will grow any (small) plants (herbs, probably) in our balcony garden:  Sadly, we have decided that this is not a priority.  We probably won’t have a balcony garden at all this year, unless we magically find time.  I’d love to have some herbs out there, but they will almost certainly not come from seeds this year 😦

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Just a little update on my February progress:

  • make at least 6 new scrapbook layouts: Like I said in my original post, I’d already finished two layouts at that time.  I have four more laid out from the crop, but they’re not quite finished yet.  Hopefully I’ll get to them this weekend.
  • make at least 1 crochet snowflake: still hasn’t happened…  I tried to crochet for a bit during the Superbowl, but it was making me grumpy.  So for the sake of those around me, I stopped and just chatted 🙂  I’m still holding onto a bit of hope that I will actually make one this month, though.
  • stay on track all 28 days with Project 365: I got behind for a few days, but I’m caught up with the cards.  I have photos on my camera for each day, but they’re not all in Photoshop yet.
  • keep reorganizing/cleaning up the craft area: I’m finishing up some projects that have been languishing, so I think that counts a little bit.  I also divided up my mounds of upholstery swatches and stored a subset of them in the plastic bins we acquired in January.  The rest have been put away in my more accessible fabric storage thingy (Sterilite plastic drawers)
  • complete one sewing project: done!  I made a purse and two headbands so far.  There may be almost certainly will be more to come.
  • figure out whether we will grow any (small) plants (herbs, probably) in our balcony garden:   haven’t done much with this yet.

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