This is such a late post but the beginning part of this year has been extremely busy which is why I’m so glad I made the changes that I did for this year. When it comes to memory keeping I’ve finally found my groove and at this point I have a really good idea of what works for me.
While most things will be staying the same this year, I have 2 big changes that I’m making.
Documenting My Age
Instead of doing a yearly album, I am going to be documenting my age. I started my album in October of 2016 when I turned 32 so I’ve got a bit of overlap in my 2016 album and this current one. Not too big of an issue, I just printed doubles of things and reorganized the layouts. It didn’t feel right to leave my 2016 album “incomplete”. My goal is to get the entire year into 1 album.
Moving to 6×8 Album
After 2 years of 6×12 albums that are about 85% full (and done) combined with a serious lack of space, I think this smaller size will suit me fine. Since I plan on doing this type of album moving forward, I purchased 2 purple 6×8 Handbooks from Studio Calico in addition to a December Daily (Kelly Purkey) album I currently have. Luckily I was able to find a 6 hole punch from Michaels which fits the Studio Calico handbook albums perfectly.
Other than those 2 things, everything else is staying the same for me. Here is what I will continue to do throughout 2017
Shopping my stash
Subscribing to 1 kit — Kelly Purkey
Being a creative team member for Sahin Designs
Completing my vacation albums
Using digital cards, elements, and stamps
As I move into my third year of memory keeping I’m still just as excited as I was the first. With each year comes new experiences, techniques, frustrations, inspiration, etc. and I am ready for it all.
December Daily is a memory keeping project which documents your day to day experiences leading up to Christmas. Last year was my first year participating in December Daily and I was ready, or so I thought.
I had heard of many not finishing their albums until January or February, and even later. To avoid this, I had everything setup prior to December 1st and plans to document all the things I wanted to do. And then I got to about day 12 before I couldn’t keep up. Between my job and the unexpected death of my best friend, I couldn’t do it. From that point on, I just took photos for the rest of the month with hopes I could finish later.
Later turned into January, then February and now here we are in October. Now that I have some time, I decided to finish what I started. Most of my album is digital with few embellishments since I wanted to focus more on the story and the photos.
You know the Holiday season has officially started when Starbucks begins to roll out their Holiday Red Cups.
The photo for day 14 is probably one of my favorites, it reads “Dear Santa, I’m writing you to tell you I’ve been naughty and it was worth it. You fat judgmental bastard.” I also spent a lot of December photographing my cat… mostly to keep an eye on her because cats and christmas trees do not go well.
Some people love pumpkin spice lattes… not me, I think they are disgusting. I love the Salted Caramel Mocha and wait all.year.long for it.
I made it to Leavenworth, Washington for the annual christmas lighting and it was worth it. *Makes mental note to book tickets now for December*
Welp, there we have it. I did leave off a few days from this post because they were of family and private moments. But overall, I am really happy with my album. I’m not sure if I will do it again this year because Halloween is my Christmas (i’m doing my October Daily album right now. A 4×4 or 4×6 mini album would best suit my needs if I decide to partake again this year.
Items Used: Ali Edwards Main Kit, Ali Edwards Mini Kits (Kelly Purkey, Ashley G, and Jasmine Jones), Pink Fresh Studio Christmas Wishes, Kelly Purkey Clearly Kelly Stamps, Becky Higgins Album
I have to say I am quite pleased with myself this year with how on top I am with my pocket scrapbooking album. I think it is because I am now blogging more and have an instagram page dedicated to showcasing my work, it helps to keep me focused on making progress. There would be no point in paying for a website host if I wasn’t using it right?
What is working and what I’m loving:
Typing up my journaling cards is making my layouts come together much easier. Trying to find the right type of card with enough writing space wasn’t working anymore. I use the 3×4 minimalist templates from Paislee Press and simply get rid of the photo background. This allows me to keep my layout clean and consistent, plus I can write them up during down time at work so when its time to sit and create, everything is ready to go.
Each month I’ve decided to create a layout that focuses on me. I use a couple of selfies along with a card displaying the month name, a calendar card from One Little Bird, and some filler cards. The filler cards are the best part for me because they are centered around self-improvement, goals, strength, and serve as a theme for the month.
Monthly currents layout. At the beginning of the year I wanted to do this every month and I have! I try to have a lot of fun with it, not focusing too much on any embellishments or color coordination. Again, I am using the 3×4 or trading card sized minimalist templates from Paislee Press.
Experimenting with 8.5 x 11 pocket page sizes has been quite the challenge, but a fun one. Due to the difficulty of getting 9×12 albums and pocket pages, I wanted to have an alternative just in case it becomes too much trouble to locate. I purchased some of the 8.5 x 11 pages from We R Memory Keepers and digital trading card sized templates from Paislee Press. So far I am in love with the instagram square sized pockets and maybe next year I might move to this size.
What is not working and what I am not loving:
While I enjoy using the 9 x 12 size, I do not enjoy how difficult it is to obtain the pocket pages for it. I liked when Seven Paper had this size with pages that had 3 holes in it. Yes I know I can order the 9 x 12 protectors from Studio Calico but I dislike their business practices and the protectors are rarely in stock. I’ve been using the Becky Higgins page protectors but the quality is extremely poor, they’ve all ripped within a few months.
My 6×8 personal album is a fail. I’ve tried to use some of my smaller more random bits into it and its just not working out for me. I always end up deciding not to document it or I’ve been working it into my larger album.
So far I think I’m on a great path to actually complete my album this year and I’m excited to see my progress. This year is much easier now that I have a good grasp on what it is that I’m doing and how I want things to look.
I’ve included a gallery (see top of post) of most of my layouts so far this year (I will figure out a way to put the gallery below the writing one of these days).
I love music, any kind of music I love music, just as long as it’s groovin’
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about music. After receiving Kelly Purkey’s Playlist Kit back in March I have been really into documenting the music that I listen to. As different as we all are, I think that the love of music, as well as food, is the one thing that unites people. Have you ever asked someone what kind of music they like and then watched their facial expression afterwards? It is as if a surge of happiness came over them; they smile big, posture straightens, voice gets louder, and then the conversation flows. People love music.
I have to say I am enjoying the themed kits lately from Kelly Purkey, which is a bit unusual for me because there is no real theme to my life, aside from my cat and my job. Receiving themed kits usually means it either never gets used at all or it sits around until it fits what I’m working on. But fortunately the Good Morning kit, speaks to the early risers and the “I hit the snooze button for 2 hours straight” person (thats me).
This year I gave up all of my old kit subscriptions and decided to shop my stash but treat myself to some “happy mail” once a month. I tried a lot of kits last year and was never satisfied with what I got, so when Kelly Purkey announced she was doing monthly kits, I jumped on it. I enjoy her design style and I really wanted to get better with stamping, so it made sense for me to commit to a monthly kit.
Details + Perks:
– Subscriptions are 3 ($24.50), 6($22.50), or 12($20.50) months long
– There is a penalty for cancelling but its only $5 per each remaining month left
– You receive 1 4×6 stamp, 16 double sided 3×4 cards, 4 double sided 4×6 cards, 1 4×6 sheet of labels, 1 set of alphas, and 2 badges
– 15% off in the store
– Shop the store early on kit reveal day
– NEW FOR MAY –> subscribers will receive digital copies of their cards
I signed up for the 12 month subscription so the kit + shipping costs me about $25 total and I usually receive my items within 2-4 days. When the kits were being shipped from Portland, it would arrived in Seattle in 2 days. But now that they seem to be shipping from Michigan, it takes 3-4 days. That is not bad at all.
The cards are printed on good quality but not thick paper. The colors are vibrant and pop off the paper. Kelly Purkey’s use of color is really what drew me in, even though my default colors tend to be black, white, and grey, I love bold colors and the contrast they provide against my usual black and white.
The alphas that come with the kit have only been in 3 colors, black, white, and grey. They remind me of a smaller version of the alpha sheets from Simple Stories, but with a glossy finish. You are also sent a 4×6 sheet of labels which also come with a design on the backside if you choose not to use them 🙂
Now the stamps… the 4×6 stamp is probably 75% of why I love the kits. Since I don’t usually add embellishments, stamps are one of the ways I add a little something to my layouts. The color possibilities are endless, you can emboss your stamps, create backgrounds and patterns, and most importantly, they can be used over and over again. I’ve had no major issues with any of the stamps I’ve received from her shop. I did have the line of books on the bookworm stamp rip when I first received it, annoying but not a total deal breaker. Plus, most of the designs are fun yet simple and are applicable to anyone.
Kelly Purkey’s customer service is top notch. Seriously. If I’ve emailed them, I get a response within the day, even if its just a general random question. I’ve heard from others that if they had issues, they were quickly resolved. Last month, she sent a survey out and this week she actually emailed everyone the results. It was awesome to be able to see what others said and what they prefered. Not only did she post the good commentary, but also some of the more critical comments. To me that says that her and her team are fully engaged with their customers and want to provide them with products and service they want. Being open the feedback and taking action on it is crucial the success of a business and its nice to see that my voice was being heard as a consumer.
Even if something is great, there is always room for improvement or change. Since I’ve been receiving her kits for sometime now (even prior to the memberships) I’ve noticed the same patterns and colors are used. I have a pile of cards with stripes, dots, and graph patterns on them. While I don’t totally mind the graph pattern because it works well for journaling, stripes and dots get old fast. Because the stripe width tends to be wider on the cards, it can be difficult to work with, especially if you prefer the photos to stand out.
The only kit that I wasn’t a fan of was the one from Christine Herrin. While the colors were great, the kit was simply too theme based for me and there weren’t enough cards that didn’t have any writing on them. Vacations are few and far between for me and summer doesn’t really exist in Seattle. Plus, not a fan of loopy cursive in my layouts so that kit was kind of a dud. The kit is still useable, but it can only really be used for a small portion of the year. I think it would be have been better as an optional add-on kit.
Overall I have been happy with my choice to subscribe because I am receiving products that actually fit my lifestyle. With other companies or kits I was getting frustrated because I found the childish designs and constant use of “we” and “you” on cards and stamps didn’t fit me at all. Most of my layouts and stories tend to be more about me and what I do on a daily basis. So as a working woman with no kids, I love the fact that Kelly’s items tend to be more about the individual. If this sounds like you, definitely check her site out and also head over to instagram to see the fun projects her design team comes up with.
After a while, you will realize that you have “favs” whether it be brands, items, styles, or even colors, you will have your favorites. That isn’t a bad thing, because when you are able to grab your favorite anything, it can give you a sudden boost of inspiration and excitement. It makes you happy to begin your project and that feeling when you finish your layout, I admit is pretty good.
The list below is simply that, a list, my list to be exact. There is no such thing as a right or wrong one, only the one that works best for you. While there are some items below that are no-brainers like tape and scissors, other items are more specific and might prompt you to explore that item more and possibly incorporate it into your crafting.
Tim Holtz tiny stapler
My new favorite crafting item, I never knew how helpful it would be. Using staples on layouts always turned me off because it seemed to take away from the “clean” look but once I started using it, I liked it. A lot. Plus if I make a mistake or change my mind, its a lot easier to remove a tiny staple then permanent tape from paper.
Tonic 6 inch guillotine
Because I rarely do an actual layout bigger than 6×6, this tiny guillotine is perfect for cutting up photos or smaller pieces of paper. It travels well, built sturdy, and gives me a clean cut every time.
I love to journal and these pens glide so nicely across the paper. I actually bought them to use with my travelers notebook and after seeing how nice these pens were, I started journaling with them.
Any type of adhesive tape will work fine, I personally prefer the Tombow Permanent Adhesive but if I’m unable to get it, Elmers makes a good one too.
Small sized scissors
Again, small layouts mean smaller tools. I have a small pair from Tonic (that match my guillotine) which allow me to carefully cut out or around things. They also come with a little cover for safety.
Versafine and Staz-On black ink
I always have one these handy and they get use depending on the project. The Versafine is great for showing clear detail so I use this when stamping on paper. The Staz-On is what I use when I need to stamp directly on photos.
Friskars Clear Stamp Blocks
Any kind of stamp block is a necessity for those of us who want to use clear stamps. I prefer these ones because of the variety of sizes and the thickness of the blocks.
Epson Ultra-Premium Presentation Matte paper
For those of you who choose to print at home, I highly recommend this paper. It’s thick which makes it ideal for printing project life cards and my photos come out vibrant and clear. It can be a bit expensive and difficult to find, but I buy mine in bulk from Fry’s Electronics and they price match Amazon’s site 🙂
Hands down the best photo editing tool on a mobile device. It is simple, straight forward with none of the fluff that you might see in other editing apps. While the app is free, a lot of filter pre-sets need to be purchased but they usually have a sale once a month where you’ll be able to get the packs for 50%.
Tsukineko Memento Dew Drops
Ink can get expensive and if you’re just getting started these mini inks are perfect. They come in packs of either 4 or 12 and usually can be found for great prices with a coupon. I purchased the 12 packs using some 40% coupons and paid about $15 per. They come in a huge variety of colors, they’re small and portable for those of us who do projects on the go, and they also come in dye, pigment and chalk ink.
FujiFilm Instax Printer
Total gimmick item but its actually a lot of fun to use. I do have one of the instax Camera’s as well but its large and photos are hit or miss, mostly miss. So I use the smartphone printer instead so if I print 10 photos, they will all develop and be useable. I can use photos from my phone and digital camera, add filters, dates, and other little add-ons I rarely use. The only downside is that you will need to connect via wifi print.
When people find out that I scrapbook, I either get asked why or they just make this really funny confused looking face. I understand, its not very common that you see a young woman with no children taking on a hobby traditionally done by older women with families. But when I explain it to them, they get it… sometimes.
As a child, I was always writing and taking photographs. I also hoard everything. Ticket stubs, receipts, brochures, and any other little knick knacks that reminded me of where I’d been, what I’ve eaten, or who I was with. I never did anything with them and all they did was sit in a box until last year when I discovered pocket scrapbooking (or project life as some call it). The concept of it immediately appealed to me because I could actually take all of those photos I had, put them in an album, and write about it.
The photo above is the real reason why I scrapbook. I remember that day vividly; I had the chance to see one of my favorite bands, No Doubt, in concert with my best friend Chartchai. We danced, sang, and had an awesome time out on the lawn in the sun with friends. In December 2015, Chartchai passed away unexpectedly and in an instant, my best friend of over a decade was gone. It was really difficult for me and I kept looking around for something physical that reminded me of him. I was actually almost frantic about it because I realized we never really bought a lot of things for one another. But then I realized, I had a lot of photos and items from our times together, including this ticket stub. So while I didn’t have one special item, I had years of memories.
My generation tends to allow their memories to live online, and while that isn’t a bad thing at all (I pulled this photo from my facebook page) sometimes things never make it offline. Being able to print off my photos and place them into books means I can take a walk down memory lane any time. I can read about everything that happened and look at old items I kept. Think about how we ooh and ahh over items that were kept from previous generations. Letters, posters, photos, etc., those are things that we tend to cherish. If I choose to have children, I’d like to leave something behind that they might choose to cherish and it would be great for them to realize that once upon a time, mom/grandma/great-grandma was cool and did cool things 🙂
Every person scrapbooks and documents for their own personal reasons, whether it was a family tradition, a new child being born, or just happened to come across it at a craft store, we do it because it means something important to us. What was your reason? Let me know below!
This will be my second year doing pocket scrapbooking/project life and I learned A LOT during my first year on what works and what does not work for me. The first year is always difficult as you try to figure out how much time, money, and energy you want to spend along with your personal preferences when it comes to style and type of scrapbooking you want to do. Between the various kit clubs, forums, Instagram, and Pinterest pages, its easy to become overwhelmed. No need to worry, you will figure it out!
Album Size: Last year I did a 6×12 album and loved it. I initially started off doing 9×12 but by September, I had 3 pages complete. So I gave up on that size, switched to 6×12 and finished January through September in 3 days. The problem was, the 6×12 album was full by the end of October and that forced me to cram November into my December Daily album.
This year, now that I have a better grasp on the process, I am moving back to 9×12. I take a lot of pictures and love to add journaling cards so I need the extra space. Yes it takes a little more time to put together a layout but I’m happier with the result. To supplement this, I have a small 6×8 album that I am doing for more personal things and little tid bits that might not fit in my larger album. The album I am using is the American Crafts 12×12 chipboard album that I’ve cut down to 9×12.
Supplies: 2016 is a “Shop My Stash” year. I have quite a bit of stuff from the kit clubs I was trying out and since I’ve moved to more hybrid scrapbooking, there is no need for me to buy things. I am currently subscribed to Kelly Purkey’s project life kit club and so far I like what I’ve received. Because I don’t use a lot of embellishments, her stamps allow me to add something extra to my layouts without the bulk.
Frequency: I will continue to do my layouts on a monthly basis. Weekly is far too much work and honestly, I don’t really do a lot during the week that would require me to be on top of it. I add all photos for the month into a drop box folder and then process everything at the end of the month.
What I’m doing new this year:
Using more digital elements on my layouts. Going digital is much easier for me, I can easily type up my journaling on a digital card when I have some downtime at work, then print once I get home. I can also stay on track and not fall behind
Doing traditional scrapbooking layouts. Sometimes all I have is 1 awesome photo but I don’t want to try and fit it into a pocket sleeve.
Including more “currently” layouts. I really enjoy doing these because it allows me to look back and see all of the things that were interesting to me, whether it be food, music, books, clothing… its all part of the documentation process for me.
Becky Higgin’s Project Life app is now on Android! This is a game changer because there are numerous templates within the app that I can use. Once I’ve placed my photos within the template, I save to my phone, and then either print at home or send off to Costco.
Even though its almost May (yikes) I’ve actually stayed on track with everything. Using more digital elements has really helped me make sure I’m not falling too far behind and has saved me quite a bit of money this year, especially since I print at home most of the time.
What has been your project life plans for 2016? Have you stayed on track? Let me know!