I am now on year three of Project Life and I can’t tell you how much I love it.
I have not always been a scrapbooker. In fact, my husband still calls it “crap booking”. But seven years ago, I decided to open a paper store in our cute little town. I envisioned walls of letterpress notecards. Beautiful paper with whimsical sayings. I would throw in some craft items – solid cardstock, beautiful wrapping paper, rubber stamps, tags, every color of ribbon. Things changed dramatically as I painted the store and installed the shelves. People peaked in every day to ask if I was opening a scrapbooking store. I knew absolutely nothing about scrapbooking. But if the people were going to shop, I was going to make it available.
I learned to scrapbook from a woman who walked into my store one day in search of a complete set of matching paper. Matching was the exact opposite of my philosophy of crafting. We talked. We played. We experimented with color. We became amazing friends. And though this process, she taught me everything she knew about scrapbooking.
I didn’t think I would continue to scrapbook once I closed the store. But then the twins were born and I realized when I came out from the fog that I didn't remember most of the entire first year of their lives for lack of sleep. I found that I wanted to document things. But in a simpler form than traditional scrapbooking. I discovered Project Life.
I have always kept photo albums for the older kids and always enjoyed watching them look through the albums. Project Life was the perfect solution. I could make my albums as simple or as complex as the time that I had available. I might even remember things. Of course, I refused to use the kits because I still was not interested in matchy-match. This meant that simple was not really possible that first year. At my worst, I was probably 12 weeks behind. But then in year two I managed to stay up-to-date all the way through November. Now on year three, I am caught up for the current year, with all photos printed for the prior year. I still need to go back to decorate a few weeks of 2013. Like anything else, keeping up with Project Life takes practice. I find that I really don’t like my layouts for the weeks immediately following a long break. But the creativity is fluid if I keep up.
My kids – even the teens – love to look through these albums. We still keep photo-only albums. But these yearly books include the funny things the kids say, special information from their birthdays, tickets from special events, clips from the paper, grades, our heart attacks, and more. They also provide a forced creative break during the week. This is perhaps my favorite part. Stepping out into my shed, blasting music, and making a mess. I highly recommend it. You can even start with a kit. Just start. You can thank me later.
Oh, and I finally sucked it up and ordered myself a kit. Yep. It's pretty cute. Please don't judge.