First thing's first...I know everyone who blogs about Project Life seems to start off every post by saying that they love Project Life. There's a reason for that. This is an AMAZING project and I really do honestly love it so much. I love that I can capture my everyday life in a way that I have never been able to before. It's such a blessing to be able to do that.
Having said that, I am very much aware that, for me anyway, this project is a huge learning curve. I haven't been doing it for very long at all, so I am still getting to grips with it, taking quite a while on each spread and still finding things out about how I want to approach my album and what I want to include. So here's a few of my initial thoughts...
I need to put my week together at the end of the week. Because I've been so so excited about PL since starting my album on 1st January, I've tended to spend time uploading some photos as I go and start making some sketches of where I'll want them to go in the week's spread, editing them and typing up some journaling to go on the cards. But by the time I get to the end of the week, I might need to re-jig some stuff to make everything that I want to include fit on to the spread. This might also mean that I need to re-crop photos, re-write journaling, etc. which means I wasted the time spent on it earlier in the week. Not the best use of my time at all! So I'm going to have to curb my enthusiasm just a tad and leave the photos well alone until the end of the week and I can see everything I've got for the week in one go. I will start that with this coming week's spread and see how it goes. I suspect it will be a lot easier and quicker!
It's taking me a while to find my groove. As well as me wasting time as stated above, I do also think it's taking me longer than it should to put spreads together because I'm new at it. I think I spend too long deciding over which journaling cards or fonts to use, which pockets photos should go in, etc. I'm hoping that as the weeks go by, it'll get quicker...firstly, because I'll have settled more into a routine with it and secondly because I'll be properly embracing the simplicity that is Project Life. Which brings me nicely to my next point...
I need to accept that it's not going to look perfect. With all the incredible inspiration out there from other people's albums, I think it's very easy to fall into the trap of comparing your album with other people's and start wishing that yours looked like theirs and all that other stuff that comes out of comparing yourself to others. Of course it's absolutely great to be inspired by other people but it's important to remember that this is your album. Your life. Your stories. And your way of putting your album together is going to be just as good as the next person's because you're making the effort to document your life. But it is not going to be perfect. Nothing in life ever is. So we just need to embrace the imperfection, as Ali Edwards would say. Haha...look how good I am at giving that advice. Taking my own advice? Not so good at that.
I still have decisions to make. There are things about my album that I keep going back and forth on. Embellishment vs no embellishment. Handwritten journaling vs typed journaling. Lots of journaling on photos and less journaling cards vs less journaling on photos and more journaling cards. Lots of stuff that I actually consider to be fundamental to my album. I just can't decide. And while in an ideal world I'd have had all that stuff figured out before I started so that my album would look completely consistent, the reality is that I am still finding my feet and learning about what I like and what I don't in my album. Which, again, brings me to my next point...
I want to try different things in my album to discover what I love. There are lots of different fonts, digital stamps and brushes, journaling cards, different mixes of photo pocket pages and other things I want to try out in my album to see what I like the best and what works for me. So I think I will just have to resign myself to the fact that each week might look a little different. But again, that's ok because my memories will be documented! I'm actually really inspired right now by how Catherine Davis uses a different main font each week. I think that's a really great way to incorporate lots of different fonts that you love without each weekly spread being overloaded with different ones (which can end up looking like a big old mess). I might give this a try in my own album because there are LOADS, and I mean LOADS, of different fonts I am loving on right now!
You can't include everything. I'm finding it difficult coming to terms with the fact that not every photo or story will make it into my weekly spread. I don't want to have an insert every week, so I need to find a way to be ok with culling some of the photos from my week. As weird as this will sound, I actually think this comes from the fact that I'm not taking enough photos during the week. If I was taking say around 30 photos each week, I think I would find it easier to leave some out than if I took 10 but only had room for 7 or 8. I think ditching three photos is actually harder because I feel obligated to include them all if there are only a few to choose from. Does that make any sense to anyone other than me?! But basically, I think I need to take more photos so that I have more choice so that I can just choose the photos I absolutely love and tell the story of my week the most, rather than feel obligated to include every one of the few photos I took. I also think I need to get better at choosing what to put on my weekly review card, as I seem to always run out of space on there. Maybe I should exclude the things that will get there own journaling card from there, so that I've got a place to talk about the things that don't have a photo or journaling card to go along with it. I might try that this week.
I need to take more landscape photos. Or actually, I need to remember to take photos of stuff in both orientations. It just seems that I'm always lacking in landscape photos and I actually think I might prefer them in way (even though I love Design F of the Photo Pocket Pages with all its little vertical 3x4 pockets). I find that I'm always saying to myself, "If only I had that photo in the other orientation." So maybe I just need to remember to take an extra snap of each thing.
Even though I hate photos of me because I'm so unphotogenic, I love it when I include a photo of me in my album. I will admit that I hate being in front of the camera. Good photos of me are a rare occurrence. But I am so aware of the importance of having photos of me in my album. The album is about me, for goodness' sake! So it seems ludicrous to not have photos of me in there! I have a couple of ones that I'm happy with in the first few spreads and I love the fact that I've included them. I'm thinking of challenging myself to include at least one photo of me every week. Any tips for capturing selfies?
Although I want to try different pocket pages, I think the one I love the most is actually Design A. When I first started PL, I decided I didn't want to pigeon-hole myself into using the same photo pocket pages all the time so I got the big variety pack that has all the different styles in. And while it's great to change things up once in a while, I am finding that I love Design A the most. And I'm ok with that.
I hope this has been interesting/useful and not just a case of me rambling on endlessly! It's actually good for me to put these thoughts I've been having down into words...I think it clarifies things a bit more for me, which is good.
And because I hate to write a post with zero photos, here's a sneak of one of my Project Life spreads that will be going up over at Studio Calico on 28th for their February reveal...
I've seen some absolutely wonderful spreads in Project Life land just recently...I'm currently preparing a post showcasing a few of my favourite pnes, so be sure to pop back for that...lots of amazing inspiration, for sure!