29 December 2013

Project Life in review or what I would say to you if you are thinking of starting in 2014

Project Life. I have so many thoughts as I come to the end of this adventure and I want to share them here. I'm hoping that in doing so you can assess whether this project is for you or not or if you are thinking of starting, here are some nuggets of information that may be useful! 

A whole year complete. I am so so glad I took up this project. It made me reassess my photos, my memory keeping and let me have a crafty pursuit whilst at Uni.
Whilst at times it was hard to distill the week into 16 pockets I am thankful that I did it. It allowed me to take stock of what had happened, to pair photos with words and emotions and to do something different aside to academic study.

If you are thinking of starting this project I would tell you that above all ,this project is a whole lot of awesome. At times it will be a chore and at times you won't be able to stop making pages but at the end of the day, you are keeping memories and taking photos and both of those things are pure joy.

So, at the end of 52 weeks here is what I would say to you about Project life...

It's a marathon not a sprint.
This project is great in January but not so hot in March. You will lose inspiration and you will run dry. I think being aware of this is important. It would be crazy to expect a bucket of inspiration every week without you putting in some work to top that inspiration up.
Try keeping a journal where you scribble down ideas for photo layout or journalling cards.
Follow a few Project life boards on pinterest and update your stash every few months.


Project Life is a long term project. Have your eye on an end goal. For me it was the prospect of making a big book of my pages at the end of it.
As many sweet blog friends said to me over the year, our inspiration levels and our motivation go in peaks and troughs, just as life does. Just go with the flow, rejoice when the pages come easily and let it go when they don't.


Being realistic.
The premise of project life is that it is a simple memory keeping system. It is simple if you are realistic with what you can achieve. I set out knowing that I could achieve a double page spread every week. For some that just won't be realistic, try a spread a month or when you have special occasions or just when there are a lot of photos. Project Life could work beautifully in all these formats.

Unrealistic aims can really stall this project. If i'm honest I think my aim for a double page spread every week was too high. This year I am cutting myself some slack. If there aren't enough photos, one page is just fine!

It is your project.
Cathy Zielske has written a ton about this and I want to echo her words that Project Life "should be 1. Fun and 2. Suited to how you work best."
It's as simple as that. I found it overwhelming at first to see so many beautiful PL pages and try and get mine to the same standard, but that isn't the point.
This project can be what you want it to be. For example the lovely Amy makes stunningly beautiful, clean Project Life layouts.  If you know her and her blog you will realise that they totally echo her style.

Let Project Life be in your style and start off the year trying to deduce what you want project life to be. Do you want a blow by blow account of the week? Do you want a lot of photos and simply five highlights from that month? Do you want lots of stories? In other words, what sort of result are you looking for?

Free resources 
I'm a student and I love free resources! Project Life really doesn't have to be expensive. Just type in "project life printables" into pinterest and a whole host of sites will pop up.
One of my favourite sites that collates a lot of free project life resources is One Velvet Morning.
Whether you go down the digital route (which is a very cheap option) and use the resources as photoshop files or you go down the traditional route and print them out, Project Life doesn't need to cost that much.


I love this project, I am so excited to start again in 2014 and I'm so glad I completed a year. If you are thinking about starting just do it. I am so chuffed to have a years worth of memories and photos sitting on my shelf. This project can look daunting but take it a day, a week or a month at a time and it is very feasible.


8 comments:

Caylee Greyvenstein said...

Really great tips, thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

Interesting tips, thanks for sharing. I'm intending on doing something along these lines in 2014 but a mix of 12x12 & divided, & on a monthly basis with no pressure as to how much I actually do. A lot of weeks disappear in a blur of work eat sleep but excited to give it a go. Actually hoping it will encourage me to make the effort to get out & about more if i'm paying more attention to what i've been doing.. Look forward to seeing your pages in 2014

Heather said...

Interesting tips, thanks for sharing. I'm intending on doing something along these lines in 2014 but a mix of 12x12 & divided, & on a monthly basis with no pressure as to how much I actually do. A lot of weeks disappear in a blur of work eat sleep but excited to give it a go. Actually hoping it will encourage me to make the effort to get out & about more if i'm paying more attention to what i've been doing.. Look forward to seeing your pages in 2014

Louise said...

ahhh....good pointers Abi. I keep talking myself into it and then out of it. "just do it" is the way to go i'm thinking. I've loved seeing your PL pages, thanks for the inspiration xx

Sandra said...

Absolutely fabulous tips :) I adored doing project life this year and can't wait to do it again. I only did a page a week but with some weeks I did more. And yes I wrote every evening a couple of lines for a memory jog. What I didn't do was a sketch, which I might do this year. I'm also going to have a sort through of my PL cards and put them in colour order so as too get on with my pages quicker.

Karen said...

Although I didn't start until August of 2013, I'm committed to Project Life on a monthly basis. It fits my lifestyle perfectly. I only had time to start December's pages and won't have time to work on them again until mid-January, but I know I'll finish them. If I were relying on the 12X12 layouts, I'm not sure how much would ever get done. Great tips, and thanks for the link to One Velvet Morning.

Beverly said...

Very good review and tips, Abi! Project Life isn't a good fit for me but I do have her album and lots of different size page protectors. I am planning on using it for a scrapbook of the wedding...that should be finished for their first anniversary ;)

S said...

I like your advice - being realistic about the slow times is important. Thanks for sharing.