getting started on Project Life

Sorry I haven’t checked in for a while. I’ve been trying to get some things done in the real world so I could share them with you here.

We gave in and bought a Canon Pixma 5320 printer. I just couldn’t seem to get anything done on Project Life without it. I almost bought a portable photo printer but hubby seemed to be enthusiastic about getting a good all-in-one and the prices were the same. Now I can print my own journaling cards and pictures for all kinds of projects, and we have duplex document printing for all the boring things like paperwork and taxes.

I also got my Handbook albums in the mail. It was great to finally see them in person and find out what page protectors come with them. Studio Calico is very short on details about their products online, so I didn’t know how many assorted page protectors were going to come with the albums. It turns out there are 3 of each of the style with 3×4″ and 4×6″ divided pocket pages (3 styles, 3 of each) and 4 of the plain 6×8″ pages. I put them all together into one album and set the other album aside for the future, which is good because it looks like they have changed the designs and the specific albums I bought are no longer available. So at least I have 2 that match. I haven’t decorated them yet because I don’t have any paint and I don’t know what I want to do with them. No hurry.

Here’s what they look like. The material is thick chipboard.

Handbook cover

And here’s what I have done…

December cover

This is a cover page for what I’m thinking of as my December pages, a December Daily-esque project that is not at all daily. I made some digital pages to highlight some fun things I did in December. I plan to make some more. I have my glowing lights pictures to add, and a lot of other random pictures that highlight what I did last month. Like my outings with Lizzie:

Lizzie pages

the hobbitI added the dates to the pages with opaque red numbers. I got the red from the soprano’s dress on the Messiah page!

Xmas EveI printed the pages on matte paper. I’m not sure if that’s contributing to the muddy/dull look of some of the photos, or if it’s just that I need to edit them brighter for printing. My macbook screen is so bright and contrasty everything looks a bit sadder when it’s printed. I’m not that concerned for these pages, and I could always redo them if it bothers me.

Xmas dayBoth of the in-law’s houses where we celebrated Xmas are rather dark and cluttered, so it’s no surprise that the photos are too! Do you like how I used the Yule Log instagram as a backdrop for the 25 date? Yeah, I took a photo of the TV and shared it on Xmas morning. It was very merry.

That next page is the opening of my 2013 Project Life. I’m not sure if I will complete some of those random December pages as PL divided pages or if I’ll continue with the digital 6×8 pages. So I haven’t decided whether I will create a title card/page or not. So for now I just have a self portrait I took using the new flickr app – did you know that flickr is trying to compete with instagram by including a camera function in their app with filters and borders that uploads straight to flickr? I think it’s pretty clever, but I’ve only used it once.

week1This is week 1, although I don’t know that I will do PL as a weekly thing. I’m experimenting with using text on photos straight from photoshop (needs to be bigger and bolder I think) and just handwriting captions. As soon as I started writing I wished I had loopy flourish-y handwriting like some of my fav PLers. And I made some annoying mistakes. I threw one card away. Another couple I corrected or decided not to worry about. I haven’t decided whether I like the patterned background or the plain grid cards better. So I’m just going to mix them up until I decide. I don’t think I’ll ever use a journaling card without having a photo on it. I don’t have the space! But maybe if something important happens that I don’t have an image for (that I can’t fudge an image for!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis New Years card was kind of fun. I made the last sunset picture in the Camera+ app using an instagram picture I took as we went out for New Years Eve. It was surprising to see the sun at all (if you lived in the Pacific NW you would understand what I mean) and then to realize that it was the last sunset of the year… But the thing I wanted to point out is the way I slit the banner to tuck the photo underneath. The card is one of the bifold cards from the digital Seafoam collection. The slit card idea is from Geralyn Sy. It’s so simple – print the card out, slice through it and tuck the photo in place! I was trying to think of how to do it in Photoshop (which I’m sure an expert could have managed in a jiffy) when I remembered this much simpler solution.

week2It turns out I have a lot of photos from week 2. Far more than I can fit in this little spread. So the 2 cards about Mimi Pug might have to move into the next spread. One is generic and undated anyway. Actually… the more I look at this page the more I wonder if this is actually week 2 of the year or not. I think I have my dates mixed up a bit, so I’m sure that some of these cards are going to move. I need to put my diary next to me when I’m working on this. I’m glad that things are going to get moved around – I don’t like the way the top two cards are so dark and the bottom ones are bright. It’s not balanced.

I haven’t printed out all of my pictures from this month yet. I’m trying to do a little at a time. The empty 4×6 slot there is for a card I’m making about sewing boob beanies with Amanda. I haven’t printed that out yet. It might deserve it’s own updated picture on the blog when it’s done. The boob beanies, which are for a snowshoe event fundraising for breast cancer, were quite the hit on Facebook. (btw that white paper is actually the back of a photo collage I made of my very, very pregnant friend L, who is currently “breathing her baby down” in the hospital – I made the “she’s still pregnant!” card just at the right time. Hopefully I will be able to add a picture of her with her little lad very soon.)

I’m leaving what I’ve done fairly simple for now. I might go back in and add some details when/if I ever get a studio calico kit. I don’t have any stickers or patterned papers or anything anymore. I gave my stash away, not that it was appropriate to this project anyway. I will pull out some alphabet stamps that I have tucked away and see if they might add some dimension to my little layouts. I didn’t use much washi tape, but I think when I get my pack of grid cards I will decorate a bunch of them with washi down one side or across the top. I just got the 2 tapes I was waiting for (birds on a wire and arrows from Freckled Fawn – be careful over there… just now getting the link I saw another tape I want!)

I’m amazed that I found enough light to take these pictures today. The dry spell (12 or 13 days) is broken, the high pressure has moved away and the rotten inversion is gone, so we’re back to mild rain, but glad to breathe clean air again. The back porch has a lot more light than the inside of the house and I was able to use my white foam core “reflector” as a background to take some photos. Another great idea learned from people on the internet!

I will be back fairly soon with some pictures of my Japan blurb books.

Jo:)

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