Friday, March 17, 2017

Catching up with Project Life

Okay, get ready. Grab a snack and your favorite drink, settle in. This is a long post. :-)

I have been scrapbooking since 2000 when my first little baby boy was born. I didn't really scrapbook before then, but I had always kept a diary. Putting words to paper was a way of dealing with so many emotions and thoughts I obviously did not want to share with the world. From my first crush, to my first heartache. I may not have been scrapbooking, but I have always been a memory keeper. My love for memory-keeping, scrapbooking, telling stories, has only gotten stronger through the years with the birth of my kids. I have a strong urge to want to share our family history, our stories, the funny ones, the sad ones, the stories behind the pictures, the stories no one would ever know if they weren't recorded.

My very first scrapbook was a baby calendar scrapbook that was given to me, from my obstetricians wife, after my first son was born.

It was simple. It was easy. I put no expectations on myself that it needed to be "perfect". It was fun, there was no stress, no pressure and I loved it.

Since then I have collected what is sure to be thousands of dollars worth of paper, stickers, adhesives, albums, tools, etc trying to  keep up with printing photos and scrapbooking them. The more stuff I collected the less room I had to store all of this stuff, and the more stuff I had, the more difficult I found it to find what I needed for a scrapbook page. The more I collected, the more I felt bogged down, I was feeling like I  was unable to find the creativity to make a page. I would end up spending my precious time organizing over and over and over again, instead of actually memory keeping.  I was becoming a scrapbooking hoarder rather than a memory keeper. Raise your hand if that sounds familiar.

Back in 2009, I started "Project 365" when Becky Higgins released her first kit.

I started slipping my photos into pockets and journaling on preprinted cards. Before I knew it, my first ever, yearly family scrapbook was done! I had never actually finished an entire scrapbook before.

I tried making a digital book as well when she had her project 365 kits on I ended up making 4 copies. One for each of my kids and one for us. I tried making another one, but never did end up finishing it. 

I was finding that the slip in method was working for me. I continued with what then became a Project 52 kit. I loved the ease of photos, pockets, cards, and pen.

Over the years, my scrapbooking started sliding back again. We were in the process of a HUGE move from one state to another and taking on an enormous project (taking down and rebuilding our post-n-beam home - that will be for another post... or many more posts). ;-)

In the process, I started packing up 17 years worth of stuff we had accumulated. Not until I started going through my creative space did I realize just how much I had collected over the years. It was overwhelming. It was outdated. Yet, I couldn't seem to let any of it go. I had spent money on it. I came to the realization that if I hadn't used most of the products, it was unlikely that I would. It was weighing me down.

I had sold, given away, and packed up what was left of my scrapbook products. It would be three years before I unpacked the same products I ended up keeping.

During this busy time, Becky came out with the Project Life App.  I had been stalking her social media accounts waiting to hear about the release date! (September 17, 2014)

It. Was. A. Match. Made. In. Heaven. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. What a game changer this was for me! I had my iPhone, I had my photos, I had the project life app. THIS IS ALL THAT I NEEDED TO KEEP UP WITH MY MEMORY KEEPING.  I was adding photos in on a daily basis and journaling. I was memory keeping while making our drive across the state. At the airport. IN my car. While waiting at the doctor's office, in bed, etc. I could do this anywhere. Did I mention it was Life-changing?

The Project Life App was only available for apple phones, in the beginning, but is now available for android phones as well! The app has evolved quite a bit. You can edit your photos in the app either directly or with 'PicTapGo'.  Awesome.  You can now also print photos, pages (4x6, 6x8, 8x8, or 12x12) from the app! Awesome-sauce.

I have not given up all of my traditional products (my kids could use it for homework assignments/school projects, etc.) I still have papers, some stickers, glue, pens, and punches, but I see myself letting go of a lot of that as soon as I get settled into our "new" old home.

I am now in the process of getting back to scrapbooking my kids albums. I'll share that process with you as I go along.  Bottom line is: I am able to EASILY keep up with our yearly family album, which leaves me time to "catch-up" on my kids school albums! I'm feeling pretty excited and motivated to start on that. I'll be sharing that with you as I go along.

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