Project Life 2014: Week 51

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Christmas anyone? 

You may have noticed that I took a bit of a scrapbooking break in December. Dudes – it was exactly what I needed to recharge the ol’ creative batteries. A new year and I have a new drive to record my memories. See sometimes being on a break is a  good thing – sorry had to include that old Friends throwback! Haha! Enter in one of a few final remaining pages of 2014 and my take on December daily.

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This page was all about Christmas morning spent in our new home and Rowan in her Christmas Pjs. It was a relaxed morning with gift opening and homemade Cinnabons – yum! There are lots of stories I want to include from December and these are just a few of them. This is one example of how I scrapbook big events (versus the everyday) using Project Life / pocket page protectors.

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As always, I wanted my photos to be the focal point for the page. They also informed my colour scheme. I loved to look of Rowan’s red and white pj’s and our dark hardwood floors. I choose my supplies based on those two things. And of course, it wouldn’t be a layout from me unless there were some Studio Calico wood veneers….an alternative title to this post: Project Life Week 51: the wood veneer obsession continues…Ha! Supplies: Design D & 6×12 page protectors; journaling cards from the holidays and DIY value kit; wood stars, Studio Calico. Photos edited using the Pic Tap Go App.

Have you scrapbooked Christmas?

One Little Word 2015: Communicate

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Totally inspired by Katniss Everdeen and Catching Fire, Twenty Fourteen will forever be synonymous with AIM, my one little word. In so many ways, AIM served me well especially in my creative side business. Yes, last January I challenged myself to teach at a second scrapbook store. I had been teaching at one but by the end of 2014, I surpassed that original goal, teaching at 4 stores and I am set to teach my first online class at Big Picture Classes – yeah! PS – have you signed up? 🙂

I would be lying if I said, I am not going to miss the word AIM as my guiding word. Can’t I use it for another year? When a word serves you well, its hard to move on. Enter in 2015. I have struggled to find a word. I had to block out the noise in my head. I had to stop and listen. Thankfully, one word came in the silence.

Communicate.

In terms of professional / work life, I want to be mindful of the words that I use with families. Having had to access some healthcare services in late 2014, I am fully aware of the experience on the other side. Those experiences being both positive and negative have been enlightening.

In terms of my family, I want to focus my time on connecting verbally & non verbally with Rowan, Aaron and Charlie. I have so much more to talk about with this and I will elaborate / save it for a different blog post. Just know that I want to crave out more quality time with my little family unit.

In terms of this blog / creative side business / brand, I want to communicate with you on a consistent basis. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday – I am looking to focus my writing efforts to a more manageable schedule. I want to discuss so many aspects of pocket page scrapbooking and I am inspired to rely my thoughts on this in a variety of formats. Look for some different modes of communication from me soon! Seriously, mark your calendars – January 16th, something new is coming! 

What is your OLW for 2015? 

2015 Project Life Plans

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Spoiler Alert: This post could also be called “staying the course”. 

If you are Project Lifer / scrapbooker / memory keeper extraordinaire, you have probably seen lots of posts popping up this time of year from others in our community talking about their plans for Project Life in 2015. I devour these types of posts because I love reading about other people’s process. I am a huge fan on reflecting what worked and what didn’t work – so I thought I would, step back and critically look at my creative process:

What worked for me: 

1. Batch Page Making 

Huh? Ok, so maybe I’ve lost you already. This year, I found that I made most of my pages for the month in one weekend – usually the weekend before a deadline. So glamourous, right? Actually, it really worked for me. Once I was in the zone, I was able to create lots of pages all at once. I printed most of my photos first and then I could easily choose my page protectors second. I don’t know if I could have done this in my first year completing Project Life, but it worked for me this year.

2. Theme based story telling vs. week by week

After stressing about what photos to include each week, I finally realized that the easiest way for me was to only scrapbook photos that I love. I roughy create 4 pages per month where photos reflect one theme/event per page. I include a variety of stories through journaling. It’s like traditional scrapbooking, only using page protectors done in a chronological order.

3. Enlargements

You can see enlargements, here, here and here. Yes, I think I may be addicted. Which I am totally find with because I love to elevate small moments into something meaningful. It doesn’t have to be a momentous occasion – just simply, one story I want to record. Added bonus: it fills up pages very quickly!

What didn’t work

Rigid expectations

I ran into road blocks when I had specific ideas of how my pictures should look. Although it’s great to begin with the end in mind, it was limiting when I couldn’t look past and adapt my design plan. Next year, more breathing and letting things flow. Serious, Jess, how many times do I have to remind you to get out of your own way and out of your head! Ha

2015 Project Life Plans

1.  More Day In the Lifes. You can sees how I have documented  DITL in the past here.  I have always enjoyed this type of intense documentation and would like to include more in my 2015 album. Love Megan’s idea of choosing one day each month and just doing it.

2. More different sized page protectors. I want to push myself using different style page protectors like I have this year. I love challenging myself and pushing myself creatively.

3. More “no stress, worries or guilt”. Weekly layouts, monthly spreads….whatever! I am open to documenting my life that isn’t rooted in guilt period. Bottom line: I want to stay the course and continue to do what I have been doing. I love my 2014 album and all the goodness represented in it. Done is better than none!

Want to know more about my Project Life Process as well as how to sustain making pages over the next year, take BPC Project Life Kickoff Class, that I am lucky to be teaching with Juli Jones and Rachel Del Grosso.

How will you be documenting 2015?

Please note affiliate links used through out. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Thanks for your support! 

December 2014: Story#3

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I saw girlie kissing grandpa

We celebrated our first Christmas this weekend. Old traditions like eating turtles to playing scatergories were combined with new ones like dressing Rowan up in her Christmas outfit. I want to remember how fun it was to connect with family. I want to remember how excited I got when my mom and I were working in the kitchen together. I want to remember that we didn’t need a lot of gifts to have a good time.

Week In The Life 2013

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THE BASICS

That face! Back in September 2013, I was attempting to find balance as a working mama while also learning how to parent a toddler.  We still lived on Lee Avenue and Aaron continued to work for the same company. Charlie E Boy – who had learned how to share our attention,  continued to be our adorable fur pup.

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THE DESIGN PLAN

Having just downloaded a new app called PicTapGo, I was eager to edit all my photos using my iPhone 4. I was particular fond of a filter called fade to Autumn and I was intentionally going for a blueish / purple hue on my photos. Little did I know that this colour would be selected as Patone’s colour of the year!  Some of my pictures are blurry but it helps give a bit of context to time period. I had the iPhone  4 and was eager for my contract to be up in January. To document this week, I used an 8.5 x 11 format with Bondini and Helevetica Neuve fonts. I really wanted to create another magazine style WITL project. This album has 30 pages, with 4 dedicated to each day. Apparently I was really loving linear lines!

MONDAY

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TUESDAY

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WEDNESDAY

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THURSDAY

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FRIDAY

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SATURDAY

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SUNDAY

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 REFLECTIONS

Although I recorded this information 14 months ago,  is so interesting to see how our lives have changed in that short period of time. With the overwhelming appeal of my 2012 album, I definitely felt the pressure to make this album as nice as the previous one. Fun fact: this was the third design I created, but the only one I spend time printing out the photos. I was definietely psyching myself out.  Overall, I love the result and I am happy to have another year in the books! Thanks for looking!

Week In The Life 2013: Sneak Peek

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Hello! Hello! I am recovering from a busy weekend celebrating Rowan’s 3rd birthday. Yes, hard to believe that girlie is 3!  I know some of you are anxious to see my completed 2013 Week In The Life album. I promise to have the full version up tomorrow – so until then here is a quick picture to hold you over. This page is one of my favourites – I couldn’t help sharing it. As you may have guessed, 2013 is somewhat 2012 version. (Yes it’s magazine-eque and there are lots of photo enlargements). In the meantime, pass the Advil and get me to bed!

Project Life 2014: Week 38

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 Ever experienced Project Life Deja Vu? I just did…

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You may remember our adventures apple picking from a few weeks ago. Well, it’s was time to put Week 38 it in the books. And after I did, I realized – it looked very familiar.

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Yup, not only did I place the photos from Week 37 in similar positions as Week 12; I also included photos of Rowan wearing the exact same sweater. So interesting to see how she has grown in the past 6 months. Fun fact: that red sweater is too small!

When I first started Project Life, I felt that I had to constantly change the designs my pages. For some reason, I felt like I had to be “original”. However, I quickly realized that that philosophy was unsustainable. I recognized that I could indeed “copy” previous layouts and get a totally different look just by using a different page protector or journaling cards. This is true even if the people in the photos are wearing the exact same clothes! LOL!

Week 37 supplies include: Design A and a 12 x 12 page protectors and cards from the DIY value kit. Geo tag wood veneer from Studio calico. Week 12 supplies include: Design A + Design H insert and cards from the Happy Core Kit.

Do you repeat design templates in your Project Life album?

WITL 2014: Sunday Photos & Words

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The Photo 

Yeppers – just one photo to finish off this week. I snapped more but this memory keeper is tired and needs to go to bed soon!

The Words

6:37 AM Having stayed up late for 6th straight night, I am up early to do a private photo editing session and to teach an introduction to Project Life class. Realize that the clocks switched last night and that girlie, for all intensive purposes, is sleeping in for a second straight day. Wishing I could sleep in a little, I know that I couldn’t because I am excited for this creative day. Let’s do this!

8:12 AM Today is brought to you by an overpriced, but so necessary Starbucks venti non fat latte. At this point in my life, I am totally dependent on coffee. Can’t imagine what life would be like with out it.

11:03 AM In Waterloo, editing 30 photos while chatting with my friend, Joanne. I ask and listen intently about her life as a mama and scrapbook store owner. I am so impressed by her lovely family and how she makes it all work. I love her passion and that on her day off she scrapbooks.

1:02 PM After racing from Waterloo to Mount Forest I am ready for class. Giddy that 11 woman came out to learn more about Project Life. I go on and on about my favourite subject.

5:02 PM Blink. Realized I have not ate any lunch and right now I am starving. Stop in at the Bookshelf in Guelph for a quick bite to eat and to browse the aisles. It’s like I am in undergrad all over again…sorta. Its a small luxury to go out for dinner but I am all by myself and wondering what girlie is up to.

7:23 PM Arrive home. Girlie is asleep in our bed and Aaron is reading. He recounts the day as I snuggle a snoring Rowan. I am looking forward to family time next weekend. I head downstairs to blog, blog blog.

Observations

I am burning the candles at both ends, juggling family, work and my creative life. I am looking forward to taking some time off in the next week and catching up on sleep.

Gratitudes

I am thankful for blog readers who want to learn / take a class from me.

I am thankful for a supportive husband who respects my creative work.

I am thankful for memory keeping, my iPhone and this blog for allowing me to record a piece of our family history.

I am thankful for friends in real life and online who have encouraged me to continue on!  I hit a couple walls with Week in the Life: one on Wednesday and other on Saturday and was able to push through due to your kind words. Many thanks for support over this past week!!

Favourite Moment of the Day

Coming home and seeing my girlie peacefully asleep in my bed and hearing that she peed in her potty! Success!

WITL 2014: Friday Photos + Words

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The Photos

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The Words

9:12 AM Happy Halloween! We walk to the grocery store to buy our pumpkin. I am a bit panicked as we haven’t craved our jack-o-lantern or decorated the house. It’s been a busy time and I feel guilty that I am not as organized as I think I should be. Key words here: “think I should be”.  Take deep breaths,  remember I have the day with Rowan to get things done and that my expectations are always way too high.

11:45 AM After making cookies, we head down to Kew Gardens. We don’t take the stroller, instead Rowan walks down the street holding my hand. Laugh nervously because when we get to Kew Gardens, its a bit like herding sheep. So proud of Rowan + how she follows my directions.

2:01 PM Thank goodness for nap time! As Rowan sleeps I decorate the outside of the house and crave the pumpkin. I listen to podcasts including the new episode of Serial and the Amy Poehler interview on Fresh Air. Totally appreciate the “me time” today.

2:33 PM I will not eat all the Halloween candy! I will not eat all the Halloween candy! I will not eat all the Halloween candy! Okay maybe just one more! My favourite this year: Reece peanut butter cups! Yum.

3:45 PM Spider pup, spider pup, spider pup – here comes the spider pup. Playing dress up with Charlie as Rowan continues to naps. The look of disdain in his eye tells me I’m having way more fun than him. Clearly I am getting into the Halloween spirit and I am excited for tonights festivities!

4:23 PM Wake up Rowan from a super long nap. Girlie is gonna need it as Auntie Rachel + Jordan and his parents are coming over for dinner before we head out to trick or treat. We head downstairs and have a snack. I change girlie into her witch costume and let her watch the Halloween episode of Dora. Afterwards, I take Rowan outside to take her picture. The light is great and soon it will be dark. Feel a bit stressed as I am not sure I got a good shot of her.

5:02 PM After Rowan and I both have a meltdown, Daddy arrives home. I open up a can of Apple Cider and take a few minutes to myself before our guest arrive.

6:32 PM After visiting and eating pizza, our first treat or treaters arrive. Charlie goes crazy. The pup has never liked Halloween and his nerves are shot. Everytime the door bell rings he goes into to full guard dog mode. Blergh. We dress the kids and make a plan to start at our house and head to Joe and Monika’s.

7:14 PM Rowan follows Jordan closely. After a few house they get the hang of it. Rowan is confident, as she walk up to each door without hesitation. She says “Happy Halloween & Trick or Treat”. She waits until the candy is placed in her bucket and says “Thank you”. It is wet and cold and raining but as soon as she get the candy she heads eagerly to the next house. She is small compared to older kids but she is mighty. In the midst of our adventure, Auntie runs home to get Rowan’s rain boots. Thank goodness because her cute shoes just aren’t cutting it. We tell Aaron that we will only go to a few houses but in the end we are out for 45 minutes and visit 25 plus houses. Clearly, girlie gets the hang of this “Halloween Thing”.

8:00 PM Once we arrive home, I changed Rowan out of her wet shirt. She plays with her broom and looks at the candy in her bucket. She eats a few packages of Smarties and when the door bell rings, she helps Aaron give our the candy to the older kids. Auntie Rachel read Rowan a story and we call Grandma and Grandpa to wish them a Happy Halloween. I sit down for the first time today – seriously this day has been a marathon.  All good things must come to an end. We take Rowan up for a bath and night time:  everyone is exhausted.

Observations

I need to relax, get out of my head and enjoy the moment – seriously get on that Jess.

Gratitudes

1. I am thankful for Fridays off to spend with my girlie.

2. I am thankful for my sister who is a loving and loyal Auntie and who is willing to schlep out to see us after a long day at work.

3. I am thankful that Halloween is over. I love to decorate but this year, it’s also just another one more thing on my already busy to do list.

Favourite Moment of the Day:

Watching Rowan enjoy trick or treating so much. From her confidence to the way she said “Happy Halloween”  “Trick or treat” and “Thank you”- the stress was so worth it.

WITL 2014: Wednesday Photo + Words

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The Photos 

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The Words

6::25 AM My body is ready to get up but my mind isn’t. Aaron is up too as he has Spanish class this morning. After we talk about the practicality of who is going to get into the shower first, I  think to myself, this is what I love about him the most. I admire his desire to learn and try something new. Its been almost three years since he first started taking classes and although he would never brag, he is fluent and I am so proud that he has stuck with it.

8:05 AM  Since I am on my own this morning, I break out the iPad for one episode of Dora so I can put my makeup on. We have been reducing the amount of screen time for Rowan, instead encouraging her to play or read. There has been a noticeable difference in how she behaves, especially in the morning. Today, we easily transition from home to the car. After driving and parking outside of daycare, Rowan comes across something to climb on.I think to myself, Rowan has never met a ledge she has never liked.

2:30 PM And another busy clinic is over. Today’s theme was all about teens transitioning to adult care. We give out the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the places you’ll go” along with signed cards. Its a thoughtful touch and I happy we have this tradition. After I finish charting, I clean up my desk. I stumble across pictures of Rowan as a baby. Hard to believe that she will be 3 in a two weeks. Make a mental note that we need to book our hotel room for our birthday weekend adventure.

4:23 PM Home early and I am excited that I don’t have to work late this evening and I can spend time with Rowan. I take the pup out for a pee and start on dinner. I wash grapes and make a marinade for the turkey breasts. I so appreciate the quiet time to prep dinner. I listen to podcasts and snap lots of pictures. I try not to let my perfectionism take over. Since I have had the wonderful opportunity to be on the 2014 Project Life Creative Team, I am very critical of myself and constantly question whether my work is “good enough”. Quickly turn on Beck’s “new” album to distract my from these thoughts. Deep breaths and a small pep talk. I can do this.

5:50 PM   After picking up Rowan from daycare we head home for dinner time routine. As the turkey cooks, Rowan and I play. She wants to climb, so I let her climb. She wants to sing so we sing. Aaron doesn’t make it home in time for dinner so it’s just me, girlie and the pup.

Observations

All of Rowan’s ages and stages have been fun and challenging. Last year, Rowan was active but not very verbal; this year, she is so interactive, and very talkative. Currently Rowan loves singing and jumping….all while wearing other people’s shoes.

Gratitudes

I am thankful to have the incredible privilege of watching youth with Type 1 Diabetes grow and mature.

I am thankful for a beautiful kitchen to cook in.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Ali Edwards commenting on one of my photos on Instagram. Yes, I am a total dork –