Last week found me trying to decide what to do with all of the pictures of my baby boo that I finally got printed. In my Pinterest quest for ideas I got swept up into this Project Life craze, which felt at once really appealing and really intimidating. If you haven’t heard of Project Life before, it’s kind of like a cross between photo albums, scrapbooking, and journaling. It aims to make memory keeping simple and personal. Which is great. And people do some A-MA-ZING things with it. But I know myself. I can’t handle pressure. And all of those beautiful cards and accessories are just a whole lot of pressure.
Of the photos I shared last week, I was most inspired by the Pink Ronnie album, but I had a really hard time finding a book that I liked enough to permanently attach photos to. So I decided to get simple. Really, really simple. My photos, my words, the end. In the end I used a 4 x 6 dollar store photo album, some card stock, paper punches, and washi tape, and that was it. I love the results. I love that I felt no pressure, just enjoyment at looking at the pictures and putting words to them. What’s great about the size of the album is that it’s small enough for my little guy to flip through and enjoy whenever he likes. Big albums are great, but also they feel imposing to me and are a little bit too awkward for little hands to maneuver themselves. And because my album is only 48 pages of photos, I was able to concentrate on one moment- our camping trip last summer.
I really let the photos be the focus of this journal. I removed the insert that came with the photo album and typed up a title for the album, then printed it onto card stock. I used one of my favorite pictures from the trip for the cover page. I printed up a few lined journal pages and cut them to size, some vertical and some horizontal, and I inserted them where it felt appropriate. I have since learned however, that you can buy pre-printed journal pages on the Project Life website! I stocked up immediately. You can also buy blank, precut card stock in many awesome colors, if you tend more towards color. There are tons of great accessories on the website that I may explore at a later time, like photo overlays and little envelopes. So cute.
One of the things that I do really love about Project Life is that it allows you to personalize photos and capture stories and sentiments that go along with the pictures. What I don’t love so much are the pre-printed quotes. I feel a little bit weird about someone else picking my words for me. I stamped out a few card stock shapes and in the spots that I really had words to share, I shared them. In my own funky handwriting.
I love when things come out Pinterest worthy, but really, this album is for me, and not for Pinterest (although, if you want to share this, by all means, do!) So perfect type and immaculate handwriting were really not super important. I did my best, but in the end real life is not Pinterest and photo albums are not a competition.
I found a series of pictures where it looked like we were each earning brownie points for doing things for the first time. So I made little awards for each photo. Gaspar stoked a fire, Eric put up a tent, and Jojo the dog . . . well I’m not sure what he did exactly to deserve brownie points but he looked like he wanted some so I gave him the “Ummm” award.
And I just loved this picture of me and our littlest camper. There’s nothing more fun than a dog on the beach.
I had tons of fun with my humble materials. On the day that we went to the beach there were tons of kites in the sky and Gaspar was really loving them. I took tons of pictures, but none of the kites came out very well in the photos. So I added them in later with bits of wash tape and embroidery floss. I love, love, love the effect.
Over all I am just so in love with this simple photo album. I can’t wait to make more of them. I think that for the sake of consistency I will just stick to cream colored card stock, rounded corners, simple journal pages, and black text. So if anyone else out there is crushing on Project Life, or has started and album but felt overwhelmed, I’d definitely suggest testing out your own simple dollar store version!