4 July 2014

five ways i have made project life work for me. Half way review

We are half way through the year and didn't it just fly by! 
During my first year of Project Life I wrote my thoughts at the halfway stage. This year I want to share a few ways I feel I have found my groove in this project.
If you are a project lifer perhaps these will help, if you are not, I think most of these apply to all types of memory keeping so feel free to meander through! 

1. Dropping the guilt. 
This project feels far less pressured, far easier and a far gentler craft than it did last year. Last year I was intent on making perfect pages, filling a double spread and carving out my style. 
I've let that go this year. Being behind is ok, only making one page is just perfect and my style? I'm not forcing it. It happens. 

2. Looking at the bigger picture. 
I have always created. I have always journalled or taken photos, or written stories or made things from paper and glue. I have come to realise that just because I don't feel motivated for several weeks with project life does not mean this project is going down the drain. I am naturally a memory keeper. I will always come back to it. 
Similarly, this is one creative outlet. I think there is a danger with PL that it becomes the idealised memory keeping system of the moment. It isn't. It works for me, it works for many people but it doesn't for others. It may not work for me next year, who knows! I'm soaking the system in while I can. 

3. Buying digital papers rather than specific PL cards. 
When I was finding my feet with PL last year I relied on specific PL cards. This year, I am more a fan of buying papers and suiting them to my needs in photoshop. I think it has given me more scope and it is certainly the cheaper option. 

4. Using two different templates. 
I use the template designs Q and D. I like that they can be used together, that they give the pages different feels. I like that I haven't got bored of a page template yet. I would highly recommend switching the templates up. It was one of the best decisions I made with the project this year. 

5. Being 'me'. 
I am not a big name scrapper. My pages won't look like theirs because I am not them. I want my pages to look like Abi. 
This has taken 18 months to really grasp. For me there is a fine line between looking at others work for inspiration and feeling downcast that my pages aren't as 'good' as theirs. 
Comparison is rubbish. Project life is working for me this year because I am creating to record memories, not to create a page that is magazine/blog worthy. 

As Ali Edwards has said in a recent post, "I am memory keeping for the long haul." 
I want to enjoy telling the stories, recording the memories and sharing the past. That's the bigger picture and that is what holds all of project life together. 

Ali wrote a fab post on a similar topic here and the lovely Amy followed it up in a blog post here. They are both worth a read whether you are a project lifer or not. 


Nathalie said...

All your points are well thought out and very inspiring! I love your style and your pages are most definitely blog worthy!!!

scrappyjacky said...

Excellent points,Abi....particularly about comparing your work to other people's....I have to make a real effort not to do that.

Karen said...

I just came from Amy's blog (and have read Ali's as well). I'm just about to finish my first year of PL: the monthly version, and it's taken me almost that long to find a rhythm that works for me. Most of my pages are filled with photos, because that's what matters most to me. I used to worry that I wasn't using all the PL cards I have in my collection, but I just don't worry about it any more, and find I'm creating more of my own anyway. Your pages are always an inspiration!

alexa said...

I always enjoy coming here to enjoy your work, Abi, because it is beautiful - and eminently magazine-worthy too. It's been very interesting reading your thoughts about memory keeping; there is something about the half-way point in the year which seems to have stimulated a few of us :).

Lea Lacoste said...

definitely agree with you. at the end of the day all that matters is that you recorded your memories, in the way that works for you!

Ellen said...

Hey! It's Ellen from King's. I've just stumbled across your blog somehow (I'm not a stalker I swear). I'm in love with the blog already. I've made a few quilts and clothes myself. If you fancy a craft sesh next year then do let me know. We seem to have many crafts in common! Xx

Becky said...

I agree with you that the important thing is to record in the way that makes you happy.

Sandra said...

I couldn't agree more ... I've really enjoyed this post, all good things.

Cheri said...

You are such an old soul Abi! (that is a compliment in case you are wondering). I love that at your young age you have already figured out that comparison is pointless. I think Ali's blog post is what prompted me to write mine about documenting the everyday. And I guess the point is that everyone has their own style, their own sweet spot. I LOVE what you are doing - and that you are doing it without pressure or guilt - and just allowing your own rhythm to dictate how much or how little gets done. Your finished work is beautiful, clean and contemporary. I also love what I'm doing in a very different way. And I'm so happy that we are all finding our own way to document the everyday!

Barbara Eads said...

I like the concept of PL, but doing it on a weekly basis is just too much for me. I've found that doing it monthly worked last year and is working for me this year. You are so right about developing our won individual style!

Beverly said...

" I want my pages to look like Abi." When we reached this point in our creative journeys it all becomes much more soul satisfying and sweet :)

Unknown said...

Hi Abi, I recently found your blog and I love your style of digital PL. Do you have a post about the specific templates and digital paper you have used?