Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year, New Album - Jen Naulls

Welcome to 2014 here on the Sarah's Cards blog! From all the team, we hope that you had a lovely festive season, and that the bump back to the reality of January hasn't been too harsh for you. In 2014 you can expect to see lots more wonderful projects and inspiring pages from the design team. The 11th of the month will see a new sketch challenge here on the blog, with a £20 voucher to the shop up for grabs each and every month if you complete the challenge before the end of the month. New products are just around the corner, with a huge selection of gorgeous new goodies being released at CHA in just a few days time. I can't wait to see them come into the shop.

Starting at the end of January I'll be hosting a new regular blog post featuring my Project Life pages. This way of documenting memories has become so popular over the last few years, and we've seen an increasingly large number of products from various companies that are geared towards this way of scrapbooking. I'll be focusing in on some of these products, as well as using some more general supplies.

You can find all of the Becky Higgins Project Life supplies here in the shop, but I also like to use products from many other manufacturers in my layouts.  All you really need in order to start is an album (I like American Crafts D-ring albums), some page protectors (I'm using Becky Higgins Design A), some project life cards or patterned paper/cardstock cut to size, a pen and your photos. I definitely think that a little planning and preparation goes a long way in making project life style scrapbooking work for you. I use a standard A4 ringbinder to house my planner pages, which I print back to back. In between the two pieces of paper I put an A4 plastic wallet in which I store any 'extras' like tickets, business cards, flyers etc and the photos once they are printed and cut down if I don't scrap them right away.

My planner is pretty self explanatory really. Each week I fill in the week number (this is mostly for me to locate the photos on my computer) and the dates. Then I add details of events, places we went, and things we did each day. I use an app called Momento on my iPhone which keeps track of my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds for me. I also record quotes and silly things I want to remember (mostly from my toddler) and milestones that the children have reached directly into my phone on the go, then transfer a quick note to the planner at the end of the week. I use the little boxes at the edge of each day to make a note if I have any memorabilia or ephemera to include for that day, if I want to include an insert for extra photos, and also if I have used my "proper" camera, since these days most of my snaps are from my phone.

At the end of the week I plan out my spread, making a note of where the photos are going. I tend to stick to a few easy photo sizes - 4x6 and 3x4 which fill the slots, then some 4x4 and 2x2. I print everything on standard 6x4 prints and use another app on my phone called Photo Collage to do this easily. I have also recently added a new size into my "repertoire" which is 3x2 (ie. 4 photos on a 6x4 print). The fact that I can do all of this on my phone, along with uploading and ordering from Photobox (which is where I tend to get mine printed) means I'm much more likely to keep up to date. I added a little tick box at the end of the week's planner because I like lists, and I like ticking things off!
(I'll show you an example of my completed planner sheet at the end of January)

Photos are stored on my computer in yearly and weekly folders, with sub folders for any big event like a wedding for which I have a lot of photos. I like to work Monday - Sunday, so week 1 for me is a part-week, since the year began on a Wednesday. A quick ten minutes spent at the start of the year creating and labelling folders means I'm set up for the next 53 weeks! I edit and sort my photos using Picasa, although I do use Photoshop for special photos or ones I want to print at a larger size.

I know a lot of people (myself included) who have started a year of documenting, only to give up half way through, or never complete it. Unless you stick to the way Becky Higgins originally intended Project Life - paper, pen and photos - it can be quite a labour intensive way of scrapbooking. Me personally, I like to add quite a few twiddly bits. I can't resist a bit of washi tape, or wood veneer, or cute stickers, or glitter. My inner self does sometimes wrestle with the "staying caught up" pressure that comes with this project - something I have never sought to achieve in my 12x12 scrapbooking. But I love my finished (and unfinished) albums so much, and I love that my family, my son especially, adore looking through them. So, grab your camera, grab a pen and some paper (or grab your phone, and a note-keeping app!) and join me throughout 2014 - let's see if we can keep each other motivated, because the end result is so worth it!
See you at the end of January!


Elizabeth said...

Happy New Year to you and yours. An interesting and informative post, Jen. I've started using the Project Life format but do not intend to record each day but more to get all hundreds of photos I have safely into albums together with journaling that will make some kind of sense to my great-grandchildren. So I'm very pleased to see that you carry the D-ring albums and the inserts - when I need to renew I know where to come :) Wishing you a successful 2014. Elizabeth

Lesley G said...

Happy 2014 to all you lovely ladies - keep that inspiration coming :) xx