Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Life: Organization, Planning and My Title Page

Well, I finally jumped headfirst into the world of Project Life - a scrapbook system and concept designed by Becky Higgins. Most of you have probably already heard of Project Life by now, but if not, you can read about it on Becky's site here.  I would have liked to have started it last year, but with our unforeseen circumstances with Liam's premature birth, I knew there was no way I'd be able to catch up or keep up with the project and would have caused myself more stress than good. So this year was the year to start!

First thing first though...GET ORGANIZED. Yes, I am anal-retentive and I have to be organized before starting any sort of big project like this. So I spent the first half of January getting organized and I thought I would share my process. Buckle your seat belts!

Step 1: Get the supplies.

Now, you can definitely do Project Life from what you have in your stash. That is not a problem. Also, there are a ton of free printables for Project Life out there on the Internet. Just hop on Pinterest and run a search for Project Life. It could take you days to go through it all. I was lucky enough to receive all my Project Life materials as Christmas gifts. Now, many companies are making Project Life type supplies - Echo Park, Simple Stories, Studio Calico, etc. - but I decided to stick to the original and purchase Becky Higgins Project Life products. I debated back and forth between the new Seafoam Edition and the older Turquoise Edition and finally decided on the Turquoise Edition figuring it will be discontinued first and I can always get the Seafoam for another year. I got the Core Kit, the coordinating 3x4 cardstock pack and 4x6 cardstock pack as well as the 3x4 and 4x6 packs of standard grid cards. I also downloaded the digital embellishment pack from AC Digitals that coordinates with the Turquoise Edition so I could use them on photos before printing.

Now the one supply that I feel is necessary that may not be in your stash is divided page protectors. Again, many companies are making these type of page protectors, but again I decided on Becky's products. I got several packs of five different configurations of 12x12 protectors, a pack of 6x12 protectors, a pack of the 12x12 big envelopes for storing memorabilia and a pack of the small variety pack of protectors.

Albums are also an important part of this project. Again, any album will do but I got two of the Becky Higgin's black albums and also received the monthly dividers that coordinate with the Turquoise collection. You can find free binder label printables for Becky's albums all over the Internet, including on her own web site, but the ones I used can be downloaded here from A Vegas Girl At Heart.

Something else I decided to do was dedicate a 12x12 Crop Hopper pocket of supplies from my stash to Project Life. I have no problem diving into this pocket for my traditional scrapbook pages as well, but I thought having these supplies in one spot was beneficial considering I'd be working on this project every week.

Step 2: Corral all your supplies in one spot.

For me, the solution to storing all my Project Life-specific supplies was simple. I purchased a simple white milk crate from Fred Meyer. Cheap, portable and durable - perfect.

Step 3: Put together a planning binder.

Again, I purchased the cheapest, simplest option - a standard 1" 3-ring plastic binder (but green of course!)

Then I filled the binder with copies of these weekly planning pages that can be downloaded here from All Things Alicia. I checked out several different ladies' planning pages (again, run a search on Pinterest) but decided that Alicia's made the most sense to me and my organization methods.

And I also included these awesome insert planning pages from Marcy Penner. She made them for all the different Becky Higgins Project Life inserts and I downloaded the ones for the inserts I had. If you are interested, download them from Marcy's web site here. (Note: From this point forward, I will be using pencil to plan this out to help make it easier when I decide to switch something around).

In addition to my planning binder, I also have a place in my Evernote App on my iPhone for Project Life. This is where I can jot down notes in case I am out and about and then I add them to my binder later.

Step 4: Organize your digital files (if you have them).

I have a Project Life folder on my computer and in that folder are subfolders for planning, journaling cards, labels and spots, overlays, brushes, etc. All the digital files and printables I have, except for the Turquoise Edition digital files, were all downloaded for free from various places. Some of my favorites are A Vegas Girl At Heart, Persnickety Prints, Smiling Colors, September Blue, Creativity Prompt and Becky Higgins own freebie site! Also, you can find links to more freebies on my Project Life Pinterest board.

Step 5: Create a Planning folder on your computer.

In my planning folder, I have the weekly planning and insert planning PDF files for easy access in case I need to print off more. I also have a folder where I have saved articles with tips about completing Project Life. Then, I also have a folder for each week where I keep the photos I plan to use, that week's title word art, word documents with journaling and any other digital files I plan to use or include.

Step 6: Think through what other supplies from your stash you will use weekly for Project Life.

These are the supplies in my stash that I see myself pulling out each week for Project Life. But, I still want these in my regular stash for use. So I made a sort of sub-stash of these supplies where they are kept in my room. Meaning, I separated out these cards of twine, these rolls of washi, etc from the rest of that supply.
I also created a list that I keep in my binder of supplies to consider pulling out. Here's that list if you're interested...
  • Green corner rounder
  • Library card date stamp
  • White cardstock
  • StazOn ink
  • Stamps
  • Wood veneers
  • Sequins & bling
  • Die-cuts
  • Stickers
  • Rub-ons
  • Punches
  • Washi tape
  • Twine
  • Stickles
  • Paper clips
  • Bingo cards
  • Ghost embellies
So there you have it! How I got organized and how I plan for Project Life. I hope you found this information useful.

And now, to present to you my title page for my 2013 Project Life album!

I really used Emily Merritt's title page as inspiration. The large 2013, the black and white photos, the state outline, a quote and a pennant flag with our last name on it all were inspired from Emily's amazing page. I almost used her 2013 title card (which you can download for free if you like her Facebook page) but decided at last minute to use Smitha Katti's 2013 title art freebie which you can download yourself. I recolored Smitha's art to match the Turquoise Edition. I created the I {heart} Oregon card myself by finding a JPEG of this image online (it's a sticker you see all over the place), recoloring the heart (the original is a darker forest green) and adding the turquoise frame around it. The quote is a printable I found somewhere online and cannot remember where now. But I thought it was perfect for my title page. The original file's background was gray so I recolored it to match the Turquoise Edition. The little pennant flag printable on the focal photo was another freebie from somewhere I cannot recall. Sorry!

Stay tuned for my weeks one and two spread tomorrow!


antenucci said...

Wow, good luck Megan! Can't wait to see how u progress.

janet said...

Great tips, Megan!!! You are so organized. I need some of that. LOL!