Saturday, December 31, 2011

random project life tips

I know a lot of you are just about to embark on the Project Life journey. (If you don't know what Project Life is... It's just the easiest scrapbooking system ever and a lot of fun too.) Project Life was created by Becky Higgins and is available on Amazon if you're in the U.S. If you're outside the U.S. check out this link to find out where Project Life is available for you.

I am as excited to begin 2012 as I was two years ago when I was about to start my first album. I thought a few random tips might be helpful for those of you who are newbies... there's no right or wrong way, but hopefully I can help you figure out what works for you...

1. Keep notes. For most of last year I made a note in my planner on each day describing the photo I would use and sometimes a short description if something happened that I thought I might forget. More recently I've been using the notes app on my iphone. It's working our great. I just keep adding the most recent day on top. You can see my notes are very short and to the point.

2. Printing photos. I recently purchased an Epson Artisan 837 and started printing my photos at home. I like that when I work on my layouts I can choose the photos, print and keep going rather than having to wait a few days to get the pics back. Before I had the printer, I would order prints every two or three weeks. Once I knew which pics I was using I would write out my journaling so that by the time the prints arrived, I was done except for sliding in the photos.

3. Extra photos. Since I got my new iphone, I've been taking a lot more photos of everyday happenings. I really like adding in a variety of instagram pics or just regular iphone pics in either the journal card slots or sometimes doubled up in the photo slot. It's great for when I have a photo that doesn't require a lot of writing. If my journaling on one card covers two or more of the main pics, it frees up a spot for another photo in a journal card spot. Here's an example from November.

4. Journaling pens. My favorite pen is the signo 207 gel pen so I was thrilled when I learned they are acid free and archival quality. They come in medium and micro point and a variety of colors. They are available just about anywhere you can buy pens.

5. Get your kids involved. I haven't done this too often, but I'm hoping I'll talk my boys into participating a little more in 2012. So far, they've both written out a list  of what they are thankful for for the thanksgiving week layout. They agreed to write a card about our summer vacation last year, but it hasn't happened yet. :)

6. Use a template. If you find it helpful, right click on the template I made and save it to your computer. I sometimes print it out and jot down notes about which photo will go where so I'll know how many to print, where they're going and what size I need. The boxes aren't to scale because I made it to fit on a letter size sheet of paper.

7. Filling up your album. The first two years, I added my title cards and journaling cards to the whole album in advance. It took quite a while to get them all in, making sure I didn't repeat the same card too close together. This year, I've decided just to grab them from their lovely box as I use them. I'm not going to worry so much about repeats. I really don't think anyone's going to be analyzing my album to see if I used two striped title cards in a row!

8. Date stamp. I love using a date stamp to mark journal cards with the date. I don't do it for every single card, but it's a nice touch. I'm sure they can be purchased in a variety of places and there are a few to choose from on amazon too.

I hope that helps you to get started! It's going to be a fun and rewarding journey and you will be so happy with the beautiful album you will have at the end of 2012. If there's anything you have questions about, let me know. Have a happy new year and don't forget to take a pic of the day!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

this or that thursday: gingerbread house

Our Christmas Eve included a new activity this year. I purchased a gingerbread kit for the first time ever. I wasn't sure if the boys would be interested in putting it together, but they agreed to do it.

It looks like they're having lots of fun, but that's mainly due to them picking on each other about their decorating skills which weren't too good I must say...

They succeeded in getting it put together with a little help from me.

And then I discovered their ulterior motive. About two seconds after it was done they were ready to eat it up...

I had to move fast to get a photo because before too long the little gingerbread house looked like this...

As it turns out they don't taste quite as good as they look so there was a bit left over when they were done with it.

Now I'm excited to see what everyone is linking up this week! If you are new to this or that thursday, you can check out the rules here.

Okay, let's get going! Just link up your post below.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

project life recap

Each Saturday in 2011, I've shared a collage of my weekly photos. I've also told you all about project life here and here, but until now I've only shared a handful of my layouts. I'm going to be sharing my 2012 layouts with you on a regular basis, but until then, I thought you would like to see some of my pages from 2010 and 2011.

I noticed some differences when comparing my photos in the 2010 project life album to 2011. Not only did my photography improve... that will happen when you take a pic every day... but, the images I chose to capture have changed over time as well.

These two layouts are from 2010.

The main difference is that I took a lot more people shots back then. Almost every photo in the album is of my family. In 2011 I started getting more interested in the 'stuff' around me. It's fun to add bits of our surroundings in the album. I've been documenting the food we eat, nature all around us, things in our house, places we visit, etc. I still take lots of photos of my family, but they appreciate the break from my camera when I decide to capture a flower instead!

Here are a few from the beginning of 2011.

My layouts toward the end of 2011 are also looking a little different thanks to my iphone 4s. I'm loving adding little bits and pieces that I capture in places where I wouldn't have bothered to bring my big dslr. I'll be sharing more of those layouts soon.

So who's doing project life in 2012? Have I convinced you? My 2011 album is almost complete and I sure am excited to be starting another year!  
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Monday, December 26, 2011

our christmas

I sure can't sleep late on Christmas so I was up early and waiting.

By 8:00 they were checking out the gifts under the tree... 
Who wouldn't want a dancing, singing sock monkey?

A pez dispenser in the stocking...

And a few more presents to open...

Cinnamon rolls to eat for breakfast...

And a new football to try out, too.

It was a beautiful day spent with family. I don't remember ever having a happier, more peaceful Christmas. I hope yours was lovely, too.

Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas

Here's a little peek of some festiveness I've enjoyed this holiday season.

All textures used are courtesy of Kim Klassen. Thanks so much, Kim. I really appreciate you sharing your beautiful textures with us over the last twelve days and all year, too :)




wonderful magic stars
*above photo inspired by barb at keeping up with the times


more magic

wonderful magic








Thursday, December 22, 2011

this or that thursday: family portrait

Merry Christmas to everyone! It's so close! I am really on the ball this year... we actually took a family photo for our Christmas card in time for the cards to be mailed before Christmas.

We went to the park near our home with the tripod and remote clicker. It's so much easier than pressing the shutter and running to get in place. I used my 50mm at f/2.5.  I clicked the remote lots of times and this was my favorite. And yes, I am the shortest member of my family which feels kind of strange!

I chose this design for the front of the card.

And I used a photo of the boys for the back of the card.

Becky Higgins has several free card templates to choose from on her site. It was quick and easy to drop in a photo and add some text.

And while you're there check out her project life system if you haven't already. Now is a great time to figure out what you're going to do with all the photos you take in 2012. I'll be sharing my project life pages throughout the year. I hope you will join me. You won't regret it! If you missed my post about it last month you can find it here. Let me know if you decide to do it!

It's time to link up again! There are just a few rules.
  • submit the url of your blog post, not your home page
  • link up a photo that was taken by you
  • include a link back to my blog in your post (you can use the button or a text link if you prefer)
  • visit a few other blogs and leave some comment love 
Okay, now let's see what you've been shooting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

goudchaux's santa pics

If you were a kid in Baton Rouge in the 50s or 60s, you probably had your picture made with Santa at the local department store, Goudchaux's.

Here is my mom at 15 with her baby sister, Linda in 1957.

Here I am at age three in 1969. You can see that I was very happy to be sitting on Santa's lap!

I discovered that Gary had a very similar Santa photo. I think his was in 1968 when he was four.

And here is my favorite Santa pic of Alec and Mason at age three and one in 1998. By then, Goudchaux's was no more.

Sweet Shot Day