Category Archives: project life/pocket scrapping

Changing My Mind

Changing My Mind

This may come as a surprise to you, but I couldn’t resist starting a new Project Life album.

I know I said I was overwhelmed and tired of it. I know I said I felt trapped and uninspired while doing it. But I think that was the exhausting job talking.

I’ve finally gotten an answer re: the job, and I will not be teaching next year. Most of me is really happy about that. But I will miss having to talk and think about science on a regular basis. I’m so glad to have done it, simply because it reminded me of just how much I love science.

So, since I will not have to create the curricula for any science courses this year, I’m feeling amazingly light-hearted. Free even! And that makes me want to do Project Life again.

This year should look much different than last year, with no exchange student, a different job (what, I don’t know yet), and one kid in middle school and one in high school.

I bought an album over the weekend, and used the cards I had on hand to create an opening page. I’ll be going through July photos and getting those printed up this week. I’ll update this on a monthly basis. When I do something that seems interesting, I’ll share it with you.

I’m feeling really good about changing my mind.

opening page 2016||

All ready to go. Should I round all the corners?

Project Life Round Up

Project Life Round Up

Believe it or not, I did not abandon my Project Life album for the year. That’s not to say I’m not behind, though.

July through December is completely done, with photos, journaling, and a tiny bit of embellishing, as well as a few bits of memorabilia thrown in.

How about the rest of the year? Let’s see:

PL end of year round up 1 ||

Sunday I got the photos I had on hand arranged and in the album, along with the cards and papers chosen to fill in the rest of the spaces. That takes me up to the middle of April.

Monday I worked on journaling and adding memorabilia.

PL year end round up 2 ||

Tuesday was all about adding finishing touches, and choosing the photos for the rest of the year.

Wednesday and Thursday I began again, arranging photos, and adding papers to the blank spots.

PL year end round up 3 ||

Friday was back to journaling. Sometimes this is the longest and hardest part of doing Project Life.

Saturday was for finishing touches.

Sunday, I showed it to the boys, and asked them if I should do another album for next year. Since I got lots of “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” and no really big interest in looking at it, I don’t feel the need to do this again next year.

I’m glad I have this, and I will be doing PL again, but I’m taking a break from this style of scrapbooking for awhile. It’s entirely too time consuming for me, and it doesn’t feel like playtime at all.

Who’s still doing Project Life? What’s your favorite part about it?

Who’s given up? Don’t feel guilty, it’s totally okay if you have. Goodness knows the only reason I didn’t quit this year was because I’m too stubborn for my own good.



Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holiday season was filled with laughter and joy. We were quite busy here; hence the complete lack of posts for December.

Ack! Does that make me a terrible person?

Let me answer that for you: no. Was there really any question?

Any hoo….

I’ve been working on updating my Project Life album. It’s been hard to find the time to do it around the school lesson planning and kid carting and house cleaning and holiday preparations. This past week, once everyone had left, and all the presents were unwrapped, I was able to finally make some progress towards getting this fall’s photos in the album. I’ve got photos in pages, and blank cards in the empty spots, and even managed to add a few bits of memorabilia. I’ll be working on journaling and embellishing next.

Which brings me to my next thought about Project Life, and why it took so long for me to find a way for the project to work for me.

A friend who’s finalizing her Project Life album for 2015 posed a question in a private group: What should she do about a single week where she had no photos, no social media information, nothing to fill in for one week, half a year ago.

Before we get to the real meat of the matter, there are a few quick fixes:

  • Use a general full page photo as a place holder. Things like a seasonal photo or a family photo would be a great thing to fill in that space. You could even add seasonal photos throughout the book to make it seem more intentional, and less random.
  • Look up what was happening in the news that week, and do an overview of that week in history. That could be super interesting to come across when you or your family read your book in the future.
  • Do a year so far summary page. A few photos of things that have changed since the beginning of the year would be fun. I keep thinking it would be interesting to keep a running tab of how many loads of laundry I’ve done, and how many times I’ve turned on the dishwasher, but I always manage to forget after the first week of the year. (Maybe I’ll put up a tally sheet next to each appliance. That could work!)
  • Fudge it. Adjust the previous and following weeks’ photos to fill in the space.
  • Create a piece of art to fill the space. An illustrated quote, photos that have been put through an app like Waterlogue (so much fun!), or a collage of patterned papers could all work as space fillers.

However, that’s not really what I’d recommend doing.

One of the things that initially gave me problems about Project Life was the daily or weekly nature of it. Each two page spread was supposed to cover a specific amount of time. That kind of consistency really doesn’t work for me. I’m more of a batch type of person. When I get involved in something, I like to immerse myself in it completely for awhile, and then take a break and do something else.

This is how I do everything in my life. I’m a serial binger.

Having to take a photo every day is simply not flexible enough for me. Having to sort my stories into specific lengths of time seemed artificial and forced.

It wasn’t until I decided to simply document whatever I managed to photograph or take notes about that Project Life clicked for me.

Project Life, and scrapbooking in general, should reflect your life as it is. Did you not manage to take photos for three weeks? Do you have 215 photos from a single event? It happens. Just don’t let the gap stop you from telling your stories. Don’t let chronology or self-imposed rules or other’s expectations limit how you tell your story.

Your scrapbooks should reflect your life. All of it. Even the parts when you were so busy living you forgot to document them. It’s okay to miss a few moments here and there. That’s what life is like.


I Have a Desk! And I’m Not Afraid to Use It!

I Have a Desk! And I’m Not Afraid to Use It!

Hey everyone, look!


That’s my desk! I knew it was under there somewhere!

First things first, how about some playtime with a few stamps my German son brought with him:


That will make a really cute card background, don’t you think?

Next up, let’s get caught up with Project Life. I’ve got pictures printed from mid-July through the first weekend of September, so let’s start that.

First, the photos get sorted chronologically, along with any journaling cards I’ve already completed. Then I choose what style pocket pages to use based on photo orientation.

Then it’s time to choose cards and papers to fill in the empty spots.


Finally, and this step can take the longest, for each set of pages, photo, and possibly paper, corners are rounded, journaling cards are filled out, and any embellishments I want to use are placed in the pockets.


Look, at that! July is done, and August is begun!

This is what is currently working for me. With the new job, I haven’t had a lot of time, energy or desk space to do other scrapbooking, but this is helping me keep my hand in, and keeping me from suffering from a creativity withdrawal.

What kind of scrapbooking do you do when life keeps you busy both mentally and physically?

PS You can find most of these photos on my Facebook Page. While writing a complete post is getting a bit difficult, I’m still keeping active over there. Come visit me! You could even like my page if you’re so inclined! 😉

A Full Year!

A Full Year!

This may be cause for celebration. I finished a full year of Project Life. In a timely manner. As in Finished. Finite. Finito. Fin.


last page PL album ||

Things I have learned:

Having a plan for printing photos on a regular basis has helped me do this project in a way that I call successful. (What you call successful may be entirely different. That’s the cool thing about scrapbooking. You get to decide what your successful memory keeping consists of, no one else can define that for you.)

PL album june ||

I suck at remembering to take daily photos, or writing daily journaling. I work best in spurts. I can do Layout a Day easily now. But I no longer feel like I have something I need to prove. I know what I am good at, I know what my style is, and I can whip up a decent page in next to no time. I don’t have to take a picture every day or write every day to capture the essence of our lives.

Plus I really don’t like having to figure out how to squeeze in vertical journaling cards with vertical photos.

PL June 2 || noexcusescrapbooking.comSpeaking of which, the part that takes me the longest? Deciding which photos to use in which pocket page. Have I mentioned that I take a lot of vertical photos?

I need to work on improving my handwriting. My family keeps complaining about how difficult it is to read what I have written. That’s partly a result of the kids not getting a lot of cursive instruction in school, and partly a result of me not taking the time to write neatly. I can’t tell you how often my Ys look like bumpy Js.

PL June 3 ||

Getting my boys involved in adding their own thoughts is hard. But every time I run across a card they’ve written, I’m glad. Now if only I didn’t have to nag them to do it.

Remembering to use memorabilia is hard. Deciding where to put it in my albums is hard. Too bad memorabilia is so cool.

You know what’s even cooler?

Knowing the album is done, having a plan for the next one, and being able to start right on the next year’s book.


PL album 2 ||

I’m a month into the next album already. Now that’s what I call successful.