Why Project Life is Such a Rewarding Hobby

I do best when I have a creative outlet. Dear understands this and has always been nothing but totally supportive of each of my creative “kicks,” many of which have formed the fodder for what “Mommy’s doing” and have found their way to this blog. My creative outlet isn’t always a crafty venture; many times it takes the form of home-making, cooking, cake-making, blogging (haha!). But if I’m not producing some kind of “art,” after a while my fingers start twitching. Hence, the embroidery, the sewing, the Project Life.

digital project life photo delivery

As you may know, I’ve been doing digital Project Life for the past year and a half, which has been ideal for me for many reasons. (Although, I have an update about that, which I’ll be posting soon.) I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a week’s layout, but oh boy, when I get a thick package of printed 12x12s in the mail it is thrilling.
digital project life photo delivery

(Look at how full of care Persnickety Prints is with their packaging and shipment. Best place to order 12×12 layouts. And if you do it right — pre-ordering large amounts when they are on sale —  the cheapest too.  Highly recommend.)

digital project life layouts printed

So in addition to the sense of accomplishment of keeping up with weekly layouts (if that’s your thing), you get another happy jolt when you see an accumulation of all your hard work, done incrementally in manageable chunks of time made possible through a streamlined Project Life process, but enjoyed cumulatively as you pore over your gorgeous stack of memories preserved.

digital project life

But this joy isn’t just mine and it’s not once and for all. One of the most rewarding aspects of Project Life as a hobby is that it’s enjoyed over and over again and it’s enjoyed by multiple people: my husband, whose gentle appreciation for my documenting of our family’s story is very touching; my children, whose confidence is visibly bolstered by seeing themselves in “Mommy’s album”; and my family who lives far away, notably my mother, who catches up with the daily life she’s missed by soaking in every picture, journaling card, and video when she visits.

digital project life in an album

I kind of like to not look over my albums too often. When I look through them, I like it to be with fresh, re-discovering, remembering eyes. They are bittersweet (the time does go so fast), but they do make time stand still just for a bit, and that’s a comfort to this mother’s heart.

digital project life in album

 

digital project life in albumCake gets eaten, handmade clothes get outgrown, homemade laundry detergent is not particularly beautiful, but these albums — they get more meaningful, more treasured, and enjoyed by increasing numbers of people. That’s pretty hard to beat.

To read more about Project Life, check out:

About Project Life
7 Ways to Streamline Digital Scrapbooking
Digi Scrapbooking with Project Life, A Foray

Memory Keeping Monday: Two Weeks of Digital Project Life

Project Life 2014: Week 21

I feel like it’s been working well for these digital project life spreads to use one main color (in this case the goldenrod color), and then sometimes an accent color (here, the light green) and/or an “interest” card (in this case the flowered card). I used Elora’s swimsuit as the jumping-off point in the main color selection and took it from there. The large heart on the right side is from a Photoshop brush I made myself (as are most of the scripted portions, like the week titles, and the “love is gentle” on this layout). They are super easy to make and I plan to write up a tutorial about how to make your own brushes in Photoshop. It’s a really nice way to get some of your own writing in there even though most of the journaling is typed.

digital project lifedigital project life

digital project life

Project Life 2013, Week 39

Here again, I have two main colors, the complementary red and green, with a little dash of yellow. Still practicing to include the key pictures that tell the story rather than all of them. I figure when we look through pictures on SmugMug app on the TV we’ll have something different than the Project Life albums because we’ll get to enjoy all the outtakes. =) digital project life digital project life digital project lifeProducts used:

To read more about digital Project Life, see:

Memory Keeping Monday: Digital Project Life

Project Life 2014, Week 19

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

Still doing my pages digitally, still enjoying it. I’ve been losing a bit of steam, but I think I’ve streamlined my process of digital Project Life to the point that even when I’m not super motivated, I can keep up — that is saying a lot for a scrapbooking method, I think.

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

Week 19 incorporates pictures from Mother’s Day, including a “Pinterest fail” photo (top right, first photo above)  that I think is a great metaphor for Mother’s Day itself. =) I used 6×12″ inserts to add the extra photos, which I’m doing my best to pare down. I print the inserts on a 12×12″ page and then cut them and put them in these 6 x 12 page protectors.

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

The following page features photos that I added one of my Lightroom presets to. I like the unified look this gives to the page and the feeling it enhances. Plus, can you believe this gorgeous path, just five minutes from our house??

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

Project Life 2014, Week 20

I think these pages are among my favorites. There isn’t a bunch of fancy stuff, they came together quickly, they showcase the photos, but I feel like they have some amount of “my style” maybe? (that doesn’t distract from the images). Elora’s recital warranted an insert for this week as well, this time in 8×10″ format.

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

digital project life | See Mommy Doing

digital project life | See Mommy Doing digital project life | See Mommy Doing

Memory Keeping Monday: Two Weeks of Project Life and Thoughts on Photo Selection

I pruned the Knock Outs today after their first flush and I realized again how true it is that so often beauty emerges from the elimination of everything that’s not beautiful.

digital project life

And this thought, of course, as with many gardening epiphanies, applies to so much more than just rose bushes. I got another urge to tear through the house and fill bags with things that aren’t “useful or beautiful.”

digital project life
digital project life

And I also thought of my Project Life albums, specifically in terms of photo selection. One of my goals is to get better at chipping away at everything that distracts from the photos that really tell the story, our story.

digital project life

digital project life

One photo can speak so much more than four that show nuances of expression, etc. Too much of a good thing dilutes the impact. (Actually, that’s one good reason to get those photos out of computer land and into real life: It forces you to cull and makes the mass consumable.)

digital project life

What are your tricks for selecting photos for your albums?