Friday, November 9, 2012

Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kit

Last year I started an album for my daughter using the Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kit from years ago. (I am not sure if you can still buy them. They are not from her current range but from when she used to work for one of the scrapbooking mags.) I purchased numerous kits at the time so I was able to make a first year album for each of my kids. Kevin is now 10 weeks old and I have already create 2 pages for him and have done the third but I have to cut out the title on my robo (Silhouette for those of you outside of Oz). I am pretty impressed with that because Lisa, who turns 2 in December has only a handful of pages completed in her baby album. I uploaded a video here showing how I'd put together the album and what is included in the album.

What I like about this kit is all the journaling prompts which come with it. With some of the prompts I didn't write much, for example where it said, " Books read..." I wrote, "You are the 5th baby. I think we know what we're doing."

The only items not from the kit are the twin and the 2 photos over the stickers.  I am making an effort to use my stash.

I quite like how the notch in the journaling holder fits nicely around my belly. I didn't take many photos this time which in hindsight wasn't a good idea considering it will be my last baby. 

The scalloped edge is a sticker from the kit and I added ink to the edge of the journaling pocket which comes pre-made with the kit.

This sketch is from Shimelle's Hitch Hiker's Guide to Scrapbooking and is one of her go to sketches. So in this layout I've combined two of my favs; Becky and Shimelle.  

The cream letters come with the kit. I added the stamped 'baby' which is an old Heidi Swapp stamp which I've hardly used. Need to start using all these supplies in my room. 

The love diecut is a class cut from Cut It Out from Studio Calico. I'm still working my way through that class but I have thoroughly enjoyed it and got so much out of it so far.
I am using a different system this time as I found the system I had last time was a little to restrictive. It was meant to make it easier and quicker by having all the pages following the same design but I ended up printing too many photos and couldn't work out which ones to cull so I just gave up. This time I'm going to be doing a cross between a project life album with divided page protectors and a baby month by month album. I'll let you know how it goes. I have to buy some albums for Kevin so I can start to assemble everything. I don't really want to get behind. He'll be the much loved and spoilt son who has a completed baby album. Him and the first born. Sorry the rest of you girls. I'll get around to you soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Project Life 2012

In quite a few forums I frequent there has been discussions on Project Life. More so now than before. I think this is because of all the recent announcements from Becky Higgins. For those of you who don't know I'm a little Project Life obsessed. I think it is such a fantastic way to document your day to day life or get a little bit creative with a fairly simple scrapbook or a let's say a more extravagant photo album. I was always the person whose photo albums didn't need any explanations. They always had notations next to or below the photos so for me scrapbooking and Project Life are just an extension of that.

The kids just adore looking at the photos. I also include a lot of photos the kids have taken.  While the photos aren't always good it is also part of our life story. I try to include a note in the journaling when the kids have taken a photo so we know for future reference. I also like that the photo taking involves them in the Project Life experience.
I found this blog last year and was inspired to create my kids albums using the project life kits. I wanted somewhere to put all those extra photos you take, and are good, and have meaning but you don't have time to scrap. I found the answer. Well I think I've found the answer. The answer is a Project Life kit. One of the problems I have with traditional scrapbooking is that you create all these wonderful pages with very few photos on them and where do you put the other photos of your life or the life of your kids? A few years ago I started putting these excess photos into a traditional photo album but when I got around to wanting to scrapbook them I ended up printing another set OR I left a blank spot in the album where I pulled them out. Now I combine my fancy photo album (Project Life) with my scrapbooking albums and I don't have photos sitting around in boxes, except the photos in boxes from previous years.

This is from Hannah's album She likes to scrapbook too so I include her pages in the album too. This one is about her love of puzzles next to one of my pages for her about her Godfather, Josh.

I have used the patterned paper which matches the Project Life kit to add a background to this sheep Hannah  made at Playgroup.

Often I don't add any embellishments. Here I have added some twine to a journaling card and some doodling to a filler card. 

More artwork with a journaling card attached with washi tape. 

This year I am completing 5 Project Life albums! Yes, that's right 5! I am doing one for each of the kids, except Kevin because I want to work out what I want to do with regards to a baby album for him, and a family album. Call me crazy or call me super smart but either way I've found a system which works for me. I am still able to scrapbook traditionally. These are included directly into the Project Life album and I have somewhere to store all the other photos and stories until I can scrapbook them or I have a perfectly recorded story and the photos and stories won't be lost.

I've added photos from my phone as well as my DSLR. Sometimes I cut the photos down. Sometimes if I have time I will re-size them to print but I'm all about no fuss so I don't want a system which requires me to edit and resize. I don't really have a problem with having to slot a portrait photo into a landscape slot sometimes, or like here often.

I have since converted my sister-in-law who hasn't scrapped in years and was wondering where to start and how she was possibly ever able to catch up. Well I tell you what. I'm caught up. She is now up to date in her daughter's album for her 3rd year and is starting to go back and get photos documented from further back. It is a win-win situation. I love the fact that I don't feel behind. It doesn't take long to write out the cards for the months' photos. I often just grab a card and write a funny little story of the kids which doesn't have a photo to go with it but it was worth documenting. I don't like my handwriting but I use it all the time. I haven't printed any journaling yet. I only hand write which to me saves a lot of time as I can do it on the go. I don't require a computer or a printer. I just love Project Life. I can't praise this system enough.

This is another page in Hannah's album. I added some journaling to explain why I chose this picture to include in her album. This was the first time she had drawn a picture of people with their mouths instead of just an arch for their mouths. She has also distinguished various members of the family by their size and different colours and styles of their hair. These are the Bomber members of the family. (For those of you outside Australia the Bombers are a football team which all other members of the family, except Hannah and I, follow. We are Lions in case you were wondering.) You can see this is where the album ends for the time being. You can see some journaling cards sticking out from the picture. They have already been journaled on and are waiting for photos to be printed.

With my traditional Project Life I have adopted a no-stress approach. I am not caught up on it being a photo a day. I am using the weekly method. Often I have more than 7 photos for the week but sometimes I don't. Sometimes life is too busy and I don't get around to taking out my camera. Sometimes not much happens. On those weeks I just make a shorter spread or print numerous photos from the same event. Of course more often than not I am unable to pick just one photo for the event so it ends up being a larger spread with extra inserts. I have attempted to use a variety of the page protectors but have found it adds to the stress. I don't like having to think about the configuration on the back side so I tend to just stick to design A. I frequently add 6x12 page protectors though, both divided and undivided, as they allow me to add extra photos easily or a school project or an invitation or any other memorabilia.

This is the day my son was born so naturally it required a lot of photos. This is a double page spread of 4x6 slots to  fit in lots of extra photos.

This post lists my top 10 tips for using Project Life and staying up-to-date. Pretty much Project Life can be what ever you want it to be. I don't think you should get bogged down by what the rules are. You make the rules. This is a simple, easy and quick way to scrapbook. Enjoy it.