I've very excited to share a guest post from the awesome Michelle Bostinelos! Today she's sharing her Project Life process with us. I love the way Michelle writes and she has such a great way of explaining her thoughts!
I am in love with Project Life. It's true. Since I started Project Life in 2011, I haven't turned back. With every passing week it just keeps getting better and better for me. I have documented and printed more pictures this year than I have in a long time because of Project Life. Yup... I just love it.
I love to read about how others approach their Project Life Albums. Kristin's approach is a little bit more planned out and organized compared to mine. But, that is what I love about this project, every one approaches it a different way, and everyone's albums looks different. I love the versatility of Project Life. It truly can be anything you want it to be. Today I am going to share my weekly process I use to put my weekly Project Life layouts together.
This is my week 43 - October 22 to October 28.
Step 1: Choosing my photos. I like pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. And since I do print so many pictures I keep it simple. I print all 4x6 photos and send them to Walgreens to print. My pictures are a combination of photos from my iPhone and my DSLR. I've noticed that I use my iPhone more during the week and my DSLR on the weekends. Once I pick-up my photos, I sort them by date and activity. I then determine how many page protectors I am going to need. I like to have my first and last page to be Design A page protector and use Design B and lately, Design H for the middle pages. My weeks can be just one or two pages, or they can be several pages long depending on what we are up to that week. Week 43 is several pages because we attended three parties over the weekend and we carved pumpkins for Halloween. I ended up having a page or two (or three) for each of those special activities.
Step 2: Adding words. After I place all the pictures in the pockets I go back through and add journaling. Sometimes I give myself a full pocket for a journaling card and other times I use file labels to add journaling right to the picture. Because I am normally a week or two behind. I reference my blog to help me remember what was going on that week. I also reference my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to help me remember little things that happened or funny things my kids say. It's amazing how fast those little details seems to slip-by, I am thankful for social media that helps my memory keeping.
Step 3: The extras. I then go back through my pages and add any extra embellishments. This includes word stickers, alpha stickers, and/or numbers. I always add a "3" to all the pictures that capture all three of my kids. This doesn't usually happen very often, but this week I was lucky to get all three of them together several times. I have a very large scrapbook stash that I use to find little goodies to add to my pages. I try not to stress out about this part too much, or take too much time. Especially when I have a large spread for the week. I like to keep it simple and get it done.
Step 4: Inserts. I keep a pile of papers on my scrapbook desk that I collect throughout the week to use in my Project Life album. This usually includes little pieces of evidence from our lives. It might include receipts, awards, invitations, and my kid's artwork/school work. When I sort through my kid's backpacks I pick out my favorites and then note the date that they came home, so that way if I am a little behind on my Project Life, I know which week to include it in. My favorite inserts are of my kid's artwork. My oldest son is really into drawing Nintendo guys and creepy monsters, and I am loving it.
Time: The time I spend on each week varies - based on the number of pictures I have. I would say I spent 3-4 hours putting this week's spread together. But other weeks I will have less pictures and it might only take me an hour.
Staying Caught-Up: My goal is to have a week completed by Tuesday of each week. I have been fairly good at keeping the deadline. I might have missed it here and there. But no stress, I just pick up and keep moving on. If I fall behind, I know at some point I will catch up. I don't let it stress me out.
So Many Pictures!: Because I do like pictures ( a lot of pictures) I am on binder #4 for 2012. I know that it seems like a lot, but again, I am not stressing about it. I don't over think it. I just go with it. What is most important to me, is getting it done.
The Reward: My kids love to flip through my albums and see their pictures and their art/school work. They feel very special when they see something they made in the album. They often times tell me what I should include in my album. I love that!
My Legacy: Yes, Project Life has changed the way I scrapbook - possibly forever. My main goal is telling my story and the story of my family. For my kids to have physical book of our family life. I hope someday my grandkids will flip through these albums and read the stories and look at all the pictures and they will get a glimpse of what life was like in 2012. For me, it is not about having the most creative album, or using the newest technique. It's about the stories and the pictures of my life right now.
This wonderful, crazy, full, blessed life.
Michelle Bostinelos is a transportation planner, a photographer, blogger, wife, and mother of three. She has been scrapbooking for over ten years and started working with Project Life in 2011. As a busy professional, mother and wife her life can get a little crazy, but she believes that there is always time to document life stories. She hopes that sharing her photographs, scrapbooks, and stories will inspire other to capture their stories as well. You can find Michelle on her family blog, her photography blog, on Facebook, instagram, twitter and pinterest.