Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Family Yearbook 2016: Title Page and Plan

I'm still here!  The holidays got the best of me and I'll keep working to catch up with my posting.

So, it's that time again!  Time for a new project life plan.  I didn't make any real significant changes in past years, but this year I'm shaking things up a bit more.

I think my title page speaks to a bit of it...

So here are my changes for 2016:

  1. I am no longer calling my project "project life", it's now our family yearbook (more on that in a bit).
  2. I'm no longer limiting myself to one template set per year (crazy, I know!). 
  3. I'm going back towards the original PL plan with my weekly spreads.  No extra pages, just a two page spread summary of our week.  My weeks got too complicated and too big in 2015, I didn't like the flow of them and I lost all motivation to work on them when all of my weeks were turning into obnoxiously long 8-10 page spreads.
  4. So, the point above might make one think that I'm going against my "scrap all the photos" philosophy of last year, but that's not the case.  This is why this is now a yearbook vs. a project life book.  Each week will have a project life spread, but behind that spread will be scrapped pages of any photos/events that need more space.  My project life page will serve as an index, so to speak.  Why do this?  Well... this year my weeks got out of control and when they got out of control, they got really weird.  For example, in December I had a week (which I haven't posted yet or finished for that matter) where Clara had a dance performance on Friday night where I took lots of photos and then we had a one photo event on Saturday.  The flow ended up being a two page spread of dance photos with a random single event photo tacked onto the end.  I don't like that. It bugs me.  So now, a photo representing the dance performance and the one other event photo will go on the PL page and a spread with the rest of the dance photos will go behind.  These extra pages will probably still be pocket pages, but I'll have more freedom with my template choices and I'll get the chance to play with more fun, themed kits.  The one thing I need to watch though is keeping these extra pages an even number.  If this ends up being a problem, I may split the projects into two... with a PL book and a book of the other pages.
Things that are staying the same:

  1. I am still printing these as 12x12 photo books from Shutterfly.  I will print multiple times a year again.  Three times worked well last year, but I might up it to quarterly depending on how many extra pages I'm adding.
  2. Ideally I would like to pick one template set for the year for the PL spreads in my book (I know I said above that I wasn't going to limit myself, but that was for the book in general, this is for my PL spreads specifically).  This was my plan, I even bought a whole new set of templates when they were on sale.  I see people using these templates all of the time and I LOVE the look.  However, I sat down to use them on my title page and I just. couldn't. do. it.  Sigh.  It was another case of a style that I admire and love to look at, just not working with the way I scrap.  I was having huge internal battles with myself just trying to make a title page... I couldn't do that to myself for a whole year.  So, now I'm on the hunt for a new set to use all year (suggestions welcome!).  The template I ended up using is one I bought for my extra pages, but it worked well here and buys me some time to find a new year long set.
  3. I would like to have a set journaling font like I did last year.  That worked out really well for me.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think I'm going to be using The Sidekick by Heather Joyce. (I tried it out on my title page here)
Hmm... I think that's it!  I'm excited to get started and see how this new plan works!

And as before, I have new pinterest boards set up this year.  One for pages and one for supplies.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: Advent Calendars

One tradition that the teens aren't ready to give up yet is the Lego Advent Calendar.  I wasn't sure, so I asked before I bought it.  They made it very clear that it will be quite a while before they outgrow it :-)  And since I was at Trader Joe's and they were only $.99, they also each have their own chocolate advent calendar as well.

Supplies - Storyteller 2015 3x4 Month Calendar Cards and Storyteller Riley by Just Jaimee.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: The Chicago Tree

I'm still here, still chugging right along with my Capturing Christmas project.  Last week just got away from me.  Last week was crunch week.  It was the week I needed to get all of my photo gift projects done so I could send them to print and get them back in time.  After the photo gifts were done, it was time to figure out what gifts were left to buy so I could place orders if needed.  I think everything is pretty much under control now (except being weeks behind on PL, but I have bigger issues with that than just time), so I'm back to posting!

Here are my pages from when we put up our tree at home...

Made with Photo Overlays:  Christmas No. 1 by Sahlin StudioStoryteller Riley by Just Jaimee and The Sidekick Font by Heather Joyce.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: The Tree and a Movie

Finishing up the last of the pages for our weekend at Bearski.  So far I'm liking my approach to December Daily this year.  It was a little overwhelming at first because I had so many "events" that happened and I was feeling behind.  But once we were back home, the Christmas activities slowed down.  I'm almost caught up and I'm looking for things to document :-)  I think that's what is next... more of the "things", like maybe walking the neighborhood and taking pictures of the decorations or getting down the stories of some of our decorations here at the house.  The beauty of documenting things is that they don't really have to be done, if I get crunched for time, it's okay.

So here are my last pages for Thanksgiving weekend...

Made with Storyteller Riley and December Papers and Accents by Just Jaimee.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Project Life 2015: The last of week 44

Finally coming to the end of my week 44 pages.  I started working on my Halloween photos and then realized that 1) I had only enough for one page and 2) I had forgotten my monthly sibling photo for October when I did my first pages for this week.  So, I did a single page for Halloween and then stepped way out of my current comfort zone and did a more traditional page using the sibling photo (I did use a template, so I didn't get too crazy - but it did get me thinking about my plans for next year).

Made with Thirty-One and Thirty-One Pocket Cards by Amber LaBau Designs and Sara Gleason.

And here is October's sibling photo...

Made with Storyteller Luka by Just Jaimee.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: Garland

This page is super simple.  I wanted to document the new garland we got for Bearski.  The photo on the "deck the halls" card was a total accident.  I was trying to take a quick pic of the kids putting ornaments on the tree, but didn't realize that my lens had gotten switched to manual focus.  That was the resulting photo.  I thought it was cool and would make a neat title card.

On this card I used Photo Overlays:  Christmas No. 1 by Sahlin Studio and a card from Shelf Elf by Just Jaimee and Mommyish.

Project Life 2015: Week 44, Part 4

 So... what do you do to entertain 15 8th grade girls during a birthday party at your house?  First off, you feed them Chipotle... I can't believe how excited the girls were when they came upstairs and found a Chipotle catering set up.  It was perfect!  Second... you set up a photo booth.  By the end of the party, the girls had taken 1,008 photos.  I did buy some props, but since they were all still in the costumes from the Halloween party at school, they didn't use many of them.

I'll give you a brief run down of how I did this and if you want more details, let me know.

1.  Backdrop - this I owned already.  Back in the day (like 10 years ago) I briefly played with the notion of being a portrait photographer and bought a few basic supplies.  I dug this backdrop stand and black backdrop out of some boxes in the garage.

2.  Lights - last time I tried this, I used my external flash.  The results were really dark, but fixable in PS.  I didn't want to have to edit photos this time, so I decided to buy a cheap set of studio lights off of Amazon.  They were definitely worth it.  The color cast is a little off, but I probably could have adjusted for it if I had wanted to mess with it.

3.  Camera set up - I used my Canon 5d, with my wide angle lens (20mm, 2.8).  I set the exposure manually and left it alone.  With my lights purchase, I also added a cheap tripod and a wireless shutter remote.  I did spend money on the equipment for this set up (~$100), BUT it was still way under what we would have spent to host a party for 15 girls at some outside venue.

4.  Photo delivery - thankfully every girl at the party had an iPhone.  Clara set up a shared iCloud album for the photos (free).  I had two memory cards, which I went down and switched out periodically.  I have a Mac, so the next part went really smoothly.  I would download the photos to my computer and then batch processed them with a saved for the web action that I wrote.  Once they were resized, I uploaded everything to the iCloud album.  The girls were all instantly able to see all of the photos and download the ones they wanted.

5.  Props - since it was around Halloween, we went with that as a general theme.  The girls used very few of the props I bought but what I bought, I was able to get at the dollar store by shopping early in the month.

That's basically it!  Please let me know if you have any questions about anything!

Oh... and the scattering of scrapping supplies came from Storyteller Kenner by Just Jaimee.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: Elf & Photo Shoot

I got a start on my Capturing Christmas album!!  Partially because I had several events to scrap and partially because I'm avoiding a project I'm supposed to be working on (a gift album that I have GOT to get ordered by the end of the week).

Our Christmas activities start on Thanksgiving night each year.  We watch the movie Elf and this year we broke out the egg nog as well.  Egg nog is one of Alex's favorite parts of holidays.

On Friday, we took a walk in the woods to try to get our Christmas card photo.  We got a good one!  I included one of the runner up photos on this page and will save the actual photo for when I put our printed card in the album.
Made with the Storyteller Riley collection by Just Jaimee.

Project Life 2015: Week 44, Part 3

October 30th was a busy day... Halloween Parade at Clara's school and her birthday party at our house after school.  This day alone ended up being four pages.  Again, if I wouldn't have messed up with forgetting Thriller, I might have been able to pare this down by two pages.  BUT, I'll never regret having the extra photos scrapped and in my book!

Week 44...

Made with Simply cards, elements and papers by Amber LaBau Designs and Acceptance elements and papers by Just Jaimee.