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Thoughts on Project Life Design

March 26, 2011

I’ve spent a lot of time stalking Ali Edward’s Project Life Albums, and others I like (see new Project Life category links in the sidebar.)

I tried to look at the things about those pages that  make them stand out to me, in case I choose to aim for beautiful (sometimes just getting it done has to be enough!)

  1. Compelling Photos that draw the eye in, lots of color, or balanced color on the page
  2. Inserts of life “stuff” mixed in (wrappers, receipts), instead of all journaling cards/ and photos instead of cards at times.
  3. Only use colors and style pre-formatted cards that coordinate (do not use too many journaling cards on one page–boring/cluttered)
  4. Use Overlays/Partial pages to extend the story (also breaks up the linear format some)
  5. Do not use redundant photos, unless baby photos…can’t get enough of the baby faces in my albums!
  6. Not a lot of pastels (unless baby photos, the pages just seem to look washed out with too much pastel to me).
  7. Insert Long Journaling Inserts with typewriten stories/various authors for journaling
  8. Make the Photographed subjects shine…do a mix of full body and close up shots
  9. Use brightly processed photos…dull pages make, well, dull pages
  10. Use typewriter on tabs, cool effect (tabs also help indicate where to grab a short page to turn)
  11. Lines/grids around journaling (Ali Edward’s, Designer Digitals + PSE)
  12. Instax camera, still not sure how much I like this, but unique.  I’m matting my 3.5X5 pre-printed photos for this same effect.
  13. My observation, watching my guys look at an album.  Unless their is journaling ON the photos, they don’t like to dig for the information.  They will just ask me instead.  So…I’m using label stickers on top of the transparencies a lot.  I’ll insert a photo here soon to show this.

I recommend going to the Project Life Gallery (requires free membership) to see how others are approaching this style, and see what stands out to you and what you don’t care for as much visually.  I may just decide that the “style” isn’t as important as the story, or getting it done, which is fine.  But, it’s fun to see other’s work and get ideas.

I have bought both kits, and am not sure how I will use them , but felt the “Amber” edition would work great with my daughter and the “Turquise”, more graphic reminded me more of my sons.  I may mix and match the sets, using them both for family albums.  That is the current plan.  We’ll see how that idea materializes.  Anyway, I could not decide, kept going back and forth, and finally decided the page protectors and journaling inserts were worth the cost of the books and just ordered them both.  I may regret that, but that’s what I did.  I just really wanted to get started and can see this new approach propelling me forward in a much needed way with the family albums.


Last week, I used divided We R Memory Keepers page protectors to finish my “happy Mom book” of duplicates (pics of that to come).   I have a FULL (overflowing) album totally together in just a few days, ready for finishing touches with my Cricut or journaling or titles!  I’ll work on the finishing details as time allows.   But, for now, the photos clutter is GONE!  Yay!

Earlier this week, I took all my personal 38-year-old preschool pics out of the OLD acidic magnetic pages and put them in the 4X4 divided We R Memory keepers page protectors.  I made a journaling tasb to slide between the ones I wanted to journal about.  It’s simple, but the photos are somewhat organized and safe.  I may go back and work with it some more in years to come to make it beautiful, but as long asall this is taking even with this level of simplicity, I’m just glad for progress and a few notes on the photos for now.

This week, I have a shoe-box full of photos to decide how to archive of my children’s toddler photos (photos soon to come).  I hope to knock that out in some form, even if it’s just the beginnings of organization, grouping them in divided page protectors.  I have done some of these photos  in their own books, but need to go through and figure out what I’ve scrapped and what I still need to scrap.  Most of those are film photos, so I need to do some major organization/deciding making.   AFTER I get that done, I’ll consider some Project Life.

That’s the way I’m rolling.  Get organized, reward myself!  Go me!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 30, 2011 4:30 pm

    Hi there, thank you for your comments on my Project Life layouts in the Big Picture Classes gallery. The page protectors I am using are We R Memory Keepers. The cost of shipping Becky’s kit to the UK was astronomical so I am participating on a DIY basis. It’s very time consuming and requires quite a bit of planning….I don’t seem to be geting much else done. Sometimes I feel I could add more to embellish, but as you say, sometimes it’s just enough in getting it done.
    I love Ali Edwards stuff and feel very inspired every time I visit her blog – I also love Nichol Magouirk’s work, they are both so talented.

    I love how you added the tabs to the photos – they look great!


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