Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Gift of 2013, Documented

I love documenting life through photos. Freezing those fleeting moments with my camera for my Project Life album and transforming a few that stand out into traditional layouts . Keeping memories alive in vivid color to make the memory so much stronger when it comes to mind while you take a trip down Memory Lane. A lot of times, I find myself wishing EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends and family did the same. In a perfect world, right?  

First, let me brief you on my dearest friend. She is a SUPER busy, amazing mom who works, three out of four of her children play sports (soon to be four out of four), and she would tell you she isn't the crafty type and wants to start Project Life, but never gets the chance. She doesn't take tons of photos or post a lot, but it's enough for me to get some memorable moments and important events in an album for her. For her January birthday in 2012, I gave her a 12x12 three ring album containing a few layouts (I made one for each child.) and some Project Life pages with photos and filler cards already in them, along with journaling cards for her thoughts (although I'm almost sure she never wrote on them!) It was only the few photos that I took with my phone or camera, when our families spent time together. It wasn't that many pages; surely not enough to fill even half of her album. I did have a plan in mind though. Since her birthday is in January, I thought this would be the perfect time to give her the gift of 2013, DOCUMENTED. 

I set my plan in action:
  • I took almost every photo from my iPhoto and all of her social media 
  • Saved them to my computer/iPhone
  • Cropped them to the sizes I needed
  • Printed them out
  • Dated them on the back for easy organization when putting them in pages, in order by date (Instgram was a challenge! The date isn't there; only how many weeks ago the photo was posted.)
  • For all the photos I got off of her social media, I journaled the caption that she posted with that photo on the 3x4 journaling cards. For others, I wrote in the basic who, what, when, where, and why. So in a way, most of her journaling is done. 
  • She can now add 2013 to the album I gave her in 2012.
SHE LOVED IT. That made the whole process of putting it together worthwhile. My super favorite thing? When she said, "Awww, I get the best presents." I would hate to see my friend cry for anything other reason, but these happy tears = success! 

*On another note, (and photo of course) This pizza place, Graziano's, has always been our spot to chat and let the kids have fun on their own. Our daughters play the games and collect tickets, but they NEVER redeem them for the prizes. They wanted to save them to get the "coolest" prizes. 2 years and 6,108 tickets later, they finally got them. Not too shabby, I must say. Look at those "ORB" Balls. One of the girls said, "It's this thing, that when you shake it, it tells you the truth." Well in that case, let me ask it a few million questions! Oh, how the girls make us laugh. Have we never showed them an 8 Ball? Shame on us! 

2014 Memories in the making!

Monday, January 13, 2014

HAPPY 2014!

Happy New Year! To kick off the new year, we had a little Project Life party. It was great to see these ladies start albums for 2014 (my daughter included!) My favorite thing to see was how different everyone was doing it.

Cynthia: She was actually starting her 2013 album. She chose to acknowldege and label the months, but not weeks and she would date each photo.

Kathy: Had a huge stack of photos and was inserting those (along with her journaling cards and filler cards of course!) with no rhyme or reason; no choronologial order at all. I mean she had photos from years ago, current photos, and even old, black and white photos of family members. I could never compose my own Project Life like that, but she was rockin' it!

My daughter: She chose to use one of the new 6x8 albums from Becky Higgins collection along with a mini kit (I'm sure she'll be picking from some of my kits too, which is just fine with me.) and is dating her photos, but isn't labeling months or weeks. She is choosing to put in just her favorite photos. I think that's great for a young one, who is just starting out.

This made me think of how I really wanted to document in 2014. In 2013, these are some of the things I found myself doing: 
  • Taking photos of things that everyone else photographing because they were cute ideas and they looked great (food, nails/nail color, keeping every single movie ticket, etc.), but they didn't really hold any special meaning for me, personally. It wasn't something I really cared to remember. 
  • Making sure I had a photo for EVERY SINGLE DAY. For me, that isn't necessary, but that doesn't mean I'm leaving out anything important to us.
  • Leaving out photos because it wouldn't fit evenly into my layout for the week, even with adding an insert. 

Does it really matter to me what week number we are in currently? No. Does it matter if I document what my daughter eats for breakfast before school? Well, maybe ONCE. If it's her favorite thing in the world to eat, or if she did something silly with it, that she never usually does. So what DOES matter to me? How to do I want to document in 2014?
  • I will only label the months, not the weeks using the monthly tab dividers AND making a 4x6 Title card each month and for events/occassions.
  • I will still date every photo.
  • I won't leave out photos just to make one week fit into one layout. 
  • With that being said, I won't be such a stickler about the one week = one 2 page layout formula.  I'll just make sure the photos or journaling cards are dated, and slip them in as I go.
  • I can take all the photos I want, but I will only document the ones that mean something to ME. 
Everyone had their own way of documenting those big moments, small moments and all the other moments in between. All ways are awesome. You just have to find a way that works for YOU. 

On that note, See you later, 2013. 

Nice to meet you, 2014. I can't wait to get better acquainted with you.