Week in the Life is an annual project started by Ali Edwards to document one week of your life in detail each year. It’s a great opportunity to tell stories about your everyday life with words and pictures.
I’ve never tried this project before. Project Life is a broader view, but WITL digs deeper. I opted to trade one weekly spread of PL for 4.5 spreads to cover the week of WITL.
I kept detailed logs of what I did each day of the week. I set up a text file on my desktop and every time I sat down to do something on the computer I updated the file. I’m in the habit of recording my days in a fair bit of detail in my diary, so this wasn’t too much trouble for me. And I spend way too much time on my computer! When it came time to put the project together, I was able to cut and paste the words right into a text box to print out. I had to do some editing – adding a few extra thoughts and details on the days that were thin, and cutting out some unimportant stuff on the days that were too long.
Photos were a challenge. I started out the week earlier than everyone else – I wanted to avoid overlap with my November gratitude project so I started on Saturday 25th, and I initially took the same kind of photos I usually do for PL. I just took a few more than normal. Actually on Saturday I hardly took any at all – 3 made it onto the page. Sunday I took a lot of photos – enough to make a fun 12 photo collage page in a 2×2″ page protector.
That meant I needed to make a similar collage for Monday – I played around with mixing little square photos with 4×2″ pictures spread across 2 pockets. I added in some pretty paper scraps and some of Ali’s Story Stamps from the first month.
Around this point in the week I was starting to read Ali’s blog posts with her photos and words about the project. She was using her camera timer to capture really neat images of herself doing things at home. I was bummed that I don’t have a wide lens to get the kind of images she was getting – wide lenses capture a lot of the environment around you even when held at arm’s length away from the subject, and they’re easy to use to get selfies, such as an image of you and your family in a car. My camera has a longer lens on it (which is good too, for certain things) so I wasn’t going to get the same kind of pictures, but I decided to try to get some anyway. I set the camera in different spots across from wherever I was and used the remote to take pictures. It took a few tries to get the angle right each time, but I ended up with some pictures of myself doing what I do – sitting on the couch with the pug!
One day of the week was very much not typical – Halloween was the last day of the week. I took a lot of selfies with my dressed-up friends at the library and I ended up needing both sides of my 3×8″ log to describe the day, which led to using the full spread for photos of that day. I took a little space at the end of the daily log to summarize the project, and the extra space on the back side of the page became a spot for our grocery shopping receipt and a record of what I was reading and listening to during the week.
I continued taking plenty of pictures with my iPhone – selfies and the kinds of pictures I’m always taking – views, food shots, snapshots of things that make me laugh. Funnily enough I never thought to use my Olympus point & shoot to get wide angle time shots – I completely forgot that I could. Maybe I even forgot that I owned it. It only occurred to me after the project was done when I grabbed that camera for some other project. Duh!
I set up a smart album in iPhoto so that every photo I took in the days I had designated for WITL would be collected in one place. I ended up taking 264 photos that week – a lot less than some people doing WITL, but I knew that I would only need between 3 and 12 photos per day, depending on which page protector I was using. In the end I had to set up smart albums for each day because I was having trouble organizing my pictures for editing and printing. I didn’t actually edit most of my photos. The dSLR ones come out lovely and bright straight from the camera. And some of the photos I took were intentionally dark – it was a wet week for the most part.
I did my editing with my album next to me so I could see if I was going to need a specific page protector. I ended up only using the small square protector for Sun/Mon. Everything else went in my standard four 3×4″ pages. I made new templates to fit more wide photos onto each card. I don’t really love some of the layouts – having more real estate would have been nice at times. I might have done better to make 6×8″ digital pages rather than using the divided pockets. I felt limited by the pressure to keep this project fairly short so I don’t run out of space in my album for the rest of the year.
But it’s OK – I captured more of my life than usual. And although I don’t really feel like I explored the “why is this important?” aspect that Ali was trying to get at, I did capture a lot of things that are important to me.
(For some reason I am obsessed with the details of what I did each day, however little I did, however routine. My personal diary is a timeline of who/what/where/when rather than thoughts about the day. Even in a one sentence diary I find it difficult to summarize a day without saying in detail what happened.)
I enjoyed doing the project and I think I will look back on these pages with some satisfaction and interest. It fits in well with the rest of the PL album, but gives me the level of detail I crave. When I have some time and distance from the project I might add more to it – maybe some more stories and thoughts. The nice thing about pocket page scrapbooking is that it’s easy to slip in another insert if you need to add more.
I’m glad I did this project partly because I was spurred to take photos I would not have taken otherwise. Pictures that capture our perfectly imperfect life. Like these:
Now I’m on to my 30 Days of Thankful!
I hope this was interesting and/or helpful.
Details on how I altered my page protectors to fit the 3×8″ daily logs are in my previous post. I use Studio Calico’s Handbook and page protectors (they are changing their designs right now so any links I provide will not be useful). The 2×2″ page was an October Afternoon Daily Flash page. I used a Paislee Press month at a glance template to make the page (turning off some of the boxes to make it 6×8″ sized as shown here)
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