Readers: This is the second post in a series of two that began yesterday. To read the first post, click here. Be warned...today's post is a long one. Sorry. I just have a lot to say and I didn't want to carry it over into a third day. It includes two emails from friends who are in the same boat as I was. They ask a lot of good questions that you may have yourself. Just stick with me. Grab a drink, heck, grab lunch and read. There is a lot of good stuff here that I truly feel can help you if related to my post yesterday (well, at least I think it's good!). Thank you so much for reading. It means a lot.
So we left off yesterday with our lovely scrapbooking maiden (that's me) seated at her desk while living in Europe, pondering one of life's biggest questions: Should she or shouldn't she continue on with her journey in memory-keeping?
Obviously she wouldn't be blogging right now if she decided to not to carry on.
So what changed? How did I get out of my rut and find the joy in scrapbooking again? Well, there were a few things:
1. I found Project Life.
Now before you say "Well, she's on the Creative Team, so she has to plug it." Ummm...nooooo, that's not it at all. You couldn't be more wrong. I seriously needed a different way of documenting my photos. I was so damn tired of shuffling through all of my supplies to create a page. What once used to make me so happy over the years as I purchased them, those same supplies were now making me miserable–preventing me from getting things done! I needed a simpler, quicker way of doing it. So when I found PL in January of 2012, I thought I would give it a shot.
2. I didn't care to compare anymore.
Sometimes you can get so caught up in how others are documenting their photos that it makes you feel as though you are doing yours all wrong. So I stopped visiting various message boards, forums and galleries. And let me tell you, that was liberating! It felt good to create pages that reflected me and my family and not have them influenced by what others were doing. I started to get my creative mojo back. Don't get me wrong, message boards, forums and galleries are awesome places to get a dose of creative inspiration and I have since gone back to visiting them. But I needed to cut myself off completely for a while as they were filling me with self-doubt instead of inspiration. Not to mention they are a time suck! By the time I got done looking a various sites, it was time to go to bed. No pages got done!
3. I stopped over-thinking things.
Oh, how I used to stress over whether to write in cursive or regular print (not on the computer) or what shade of blue cardstock to use on that beach page. Seriously, do you think that when you are 6 feet under your great grandchildren are going to question why you used a sticker of a pink tulip when clearly the tulips in the photo are red? Quit over-thinking it people! Stuff like that does not matter. My boys periodically look at our family albums when they are around. And you know what? They aren't looking at the damn sticker! They are looking at the photos and reading the words. And that is what this is all about, right?
4. More events on one page
I credit this to Project Life. Before PL, I would use a 12x12 double page spread to document one single story or event. I stopped doing this and started looking at my photos as a whole. I let go of the need to keep every single photo of every single event. I choose one or two pictures, slip them into pockets and add a journal card. That way I have several photos of various events on a double-page spread. Sure there are times when an event, say a weekend roadtrip, may justify an double-page spread, but I am not getting my knickers in a knot if I am placing a photo of Chris relaxing in his hammock chair next to one of the Zoe with a ball in her mouth.
5. Going digital.
Although I am creating my 2015 PL album digitally, I wouldn't say I am completely digital. I would consider myself a hybrid scrapper (what physical product I have, I will use in smaller projects). With going digital there's no mess. Nothing to dig out from bins and totes. No scraps of paper laying around. It's more portable. It has a lot of advantages. But be careful. It's extremely easy to sucked into downloading a lot of freebies, buying digital kits and other digi goodies. Before you know it, you can be in the same mess you were in when you were scrapping the traditional way, only this time it is all on your computer. Which leads me to my next point:
6. I'm very selective in my purchasing.
It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to have the latest and greatest products out there. I still get super excited when CHA comes around (OMG...have you seen all the new stuff unveiled at CHA a few weeks ago? WRMK Fuse? Heidi Swapp's Minc? I think I need those.) But I refuse to end up in the position I was before. So when I do purchase, I make sure I am buying things that are generic–products that are not geared towards one specific event or time of year (with the exception of Christmas–I do like Ali's December Daily Kit). Many digital downloads from Ali Edwards and Cathy Zielske are geared towards the everyday. You can use them over and over again for various events in your life. I feel like I get more bang for my buck that way. Project Life Core Kits, are generic in their topics, too! If you do feel the need to buy, consider a kit club. Kit clubs are great because they package a nice selection of products from a variety of manufacturers in a nice coordinating kit.
I know I am not the only 40/50-something out there that have come to this point in their memory-keeping journey. Remember I mentioned my friend Patti yesterday? She and I met back in 2003 or 2004 at a local scrapbook store. Our kids are about the same age (she has two in college and one in high school). We worked at the scrapbook stores together, taught classes together, had a business together and collected scrapbook stuff like there was no tomorrow. I asked her if it was okay if I shared an email she wrote to me recently. Patti's words are in black, my responses to her questions are in green (and gosh darn her, I had to go and delete all the double-spaces after a period when I copied and pasted this. Patti, I know you are reading this, haven't I taught you anything :P ???):
I know you are BUSY cleaning...so when you get time to reply, that is good.
As you know...over the years...I have collected a CRAP load of paper and embellishments. As life has become busier (full time job and Fresh Crops)…I just don’t have time to get organized to scrapbook effectively. If I go to a crop, I grab either 1. All of my paper and embellishments and will add pix later, or 2. My photos and some paper, but not the best paper and Oh...I forgot those embellishments and I don’t have the right cardstock either.
So...I am SERIOUSLY considering jumping over to Project life.
First off, YAY! I am really glad you are considering this! I LOVE this system and to be honest, I tried to make a page the traditional way several months ago and couldn't do it! PL is so much faster for me.
Can you tell me the Pros and Cons of doing it digitally vs. physically?
So digi vs physical: I like both. And like you, I enjoy the touchy-feely. That being said, I'm tired of having to drag all of it out and flip through the cards. Right now my PL kits are still in their original boxes. Most Project Lifers take them out of those boxes and use one of those Cropper Hopper Photo storage containers to store them in. That way it is easy to carry to a crop. Some people organize by kit and others by color. What some people don't like about Becky's Core Kits is that while there may be 600+ 4x6 and 3x4 cards in a kit, many of them are duplicates. This is done on purpose. It frustrates me sometimes when people get upset over this. The concept behind this way of documenting your photos and stories is to SIMPLIFY the scrapbooking process and not getting all worked up over things being perfectly coordinated or too having too much repetition in their albums. It's about getting your photos and stories in an album in the most quick and efficient way.
I LOVE the digital stuff. Why? Because it is sooo versatile. Doing this digitally, I don't have to worry about having duplicates of the physical cards (not that that concerns me in the first place). But the digital version allows me to use the cards of the kit that I really like without having all the extras laying around like the physical version would. Plus, I change colors of the cards all of the time. If I'm using the Coral Edition, but there is a card in the Midnight Edition that I like, I just change the color of that card to one of those in the Coral Edition. More bang for your buck. And I print the digital cards all the time, giving me my touch-feely fix! I know when Cathy Zielske was printing her own designs of cards at home, she used the white Bazzill Card Stock in Orange Peel texture. So, so pretty! A drawback with the digi stuff would be one that you are familiar with in the physical world–you can accumulate a lot of sh*t. But this time it is on your computer. The more you have, the more you'll need to organize it. I don't have my digital stuff organized yet. Right now I am so familiar with the kits I have that I know exactly where everything is, but I think I am going to be learning Lightroom!
I do love the physical aspect of touching feeling the photos, etc. But am concerned I will be in the same boat with needing the right cards and still having a lot of stuff to tote.
Just like I mentioned above, The Cropper Hopper Photo holder is perfect. Now that I think about it, for some reason I thought Becky had an organizer on the market or there was talk of one but I'm not sure. I just saw that others use an organizer from Close To My Heart. Remember, depending on how fancy-schmancy you get you don't need a trimmer or adhesive. Just your protectors, pics, cards and a pen!
So.. here are my questions.
1. If I go 100% digitally, What is the best way to print my page?
If you had the means to, print at home. But others use Persnickety Prints, Costco, Sams. I am not sure if Shutterfly prints 12x12.
2. Is Becky Higgins Project Life the ONLY one that creates cards for the little spots? I guess I could still use a regular digit kit and size it right.
When you say "little spots" do you mean the 3x4 pockets or the 2" square pockets? BH isn't the only company out there that makes product for pocket scrapbooking. Becky does have a line of templates called "Squared Away" that is perfect for those square Instagram photos. Easy to shrink a 4x4 down to a 2x2! Do a search for "pocket scrapbooking kits" and you will find more than you bargained for. Some of my favorite designers are (and these are digital kits) Ali Edwards (love her "Story Kits" subscription line), Karla Dudley and Scotty Girl Design, Gina Cabrera of Digital Design Essentials and Paislee Press. I am not buying full kits from them (with the exception of Ali's), just some embellishments here and there. Very, very picky!
3. Do you do digi or actual with pix?
This year will be my first year of going totally digi. BUT, I will be printing my pages at home and slipping them into protectors. Not sure if I am ready to go to the hard-bound printed book yet. I will probably add a flair button or wood veneer to the page whenever I feel like it. Again, just to get that touchy-feely fix! I do have several digital pages mixed in with the physical pages in my albums.
4. What is the best printer out there right now? I have an OLD Canon 12 “ format. Not sure if it even prints anymore. Ha ha.. haven’t used in years..
I am an Epson girl all the way! I have an Epson R2000 and I love it. I've had the 1800, the 1900 and I just keep upgrading. There are new models, but I didn't need that many bells and whistles. It is a large format printer and will print 12x12 pics. I have a very good relationship with my Epson and know it's settings very well! If you get one, I can help you out. Atlex.com or BandHPhoto always have the best deals. You may want to check out this article from Red River about the cost of inkjet printing at home: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-inkjet-printing.html. People get so worked up about the cost of printing at home. And really it's not that bad!
Ok.. so there are the questions… Let me know your thoughts. Are you so much happier you switched?
OH MY GOD YES!!!!
If you really want to try PL, start small. Choose one kit and stick with it for a while just to get your feet wet. I would recommend the "Just Add Color" kit as well. It's kind of like an embellishment kit. It pretty much goes with everything! Read my latest blog post from today. I gave some tips on my PL process. Super simple stuff.
Hope this helps!"
I believe it did help her. Patti–leave a comment on how the switch is going!
Not even a week later I got another message from a friend in North Carolina. Donna and I met through our kid's school–our boys were in the same class. Up until then, all of my girlfriends were military spouses. Donna was the first "civilian" friend I made outside of my husband's job. Her two kids are grown now and she is expecting her first grandchild soon.
Hi Kelly–can I be as creative as you in my next life ? Pretty please?? Seriously I love the way you are getting your daily pages done, but would like to learn from the beginning of your process. I still have enough scrapbooking stuff to start a small boutique but am way, way behind - like before the turn off the century !! And with my first grandson on the way I need to really get my act together - how do you suggest I start and is it too late for me since I've not kept up with alot of methods, etc.(but like I said I have a gazillion trillion supplies). Thanks so much if you can lead me in the right direction.
Hi Donna! You are so sweet! I wish I could say that I am caught up with my albums, but like so many others, I still have a long way to go!
I think what has helped me the most in getting pages done in recent years years was really paring down on my supplies. I had so much stuff that it was overwhelming. I got so caught up in figuring out which color paper to use or which embellishment should go where that it took away from the whole point of scrapbooking which is to get your photos in a book and write your stories. Pulling all of that stuff out overtime I wanted to scrapbook and then putting it all away again took up way too much time! The less you have the less decisions you have to make! ...
...I got rid of A LOT of stuff before moving to Latvia. Shortly after moving there is when I found out about Becky Higgins' new adventure with Project Life. I bought one of the Project Life Core Kits and did my 2012 album using it. I was hooked and never looked back.
PL is a very simple way of getting your stories and photos into an album. All you need is a core kit, pocket page protectors and a pen to journal with. You can read more about it here: http://beckyhiggins.com/project-life/
Instead of starting with a family album, maybe do an album for an event, like Caroline's wedding (there is a wedding PL kit...actually a Southern Weddings kit, coming out in February)–just to get a feel for what PL is all about.
I know you have a ton of stuff and I still use small embellishments on a page like a piece of flair or sticker letters. But I don't base my layouts around the products anymore. I let go of my emotional attachment to the products that I had and just got rid of it. As far as what you have, if you do choose to switch to PL, you can always cut down your papers to the 3x4 or 4x6 sizes and use them in the pocket page protectors. I sold a lot of my stuff and am planning on giving a lot more away over the coming months through my blog.
I hope this helps a bit! Feel free to ask me more questions! It's my favorite subject!
Whew! That's all she wrote. God, it feels good to have that out of my head. I know it was long, but I really hope these words helped someone out there who may be struggling like I was. Feel free to comment! I enjoy reading them. And if you have a scrapbook friend that may need an intervention, don't hesitate to share this post with them!
Thank you so much for reading.