Sunday, April 24, 2016

Project Life Marathon

Happy Sunday!

Sunday again?  When did THAT happen?  This week has FLOWN by … and I couldn't be happier!  Today is the day - a BIG one for me!  I'll fill you in on all the details very soon - suffice it to say I have been waiting for today for almost 2 month and is every mom's dream - to put a smile the size of Canada on her child's face …. stay tuned for all the deets!

I suppose what made the week fly was that I was VERY focused on accomplishing a task.  My pictures.  Yes.  Here they are, in all their glory.  968 of them.  Ugh.

I have always prided myself in the fact… wait … is that a phrase?  I thought it was but now that I type it, it sounds weird … how about "I've always taken pride in the the fact" instead … right …. I've always taken pride in the fact that a) I take pictures b) I PRINT pictures c) I write dates, places, people and their ages in the BACK of the pictures and d) I put them in albums.  Then, about 4 years ago, I got a phone.  It wasn't a fancy iPhone but I started taking a few more pictures than "the old days".  Two years ago I got an iPhone … then all hell broke loose.  Yes - I turned into "one of them".  One of those people who takes pictures of food … or their feet … or a leaf … or anything else that seems funny, cute or capture-able.  I still printed them, logged them and put them in albums.  Then last year happened.  In early July I printed a swack of pictures and was on a mission to get them into albums before our August trip to Hawaii.  Always being one who works well with deadlines and pressure I got it done.  Yay me!  That was July 2015.  7 months passed …. I had taken over 800 pictures in those 7 months.  Hawaii, first day of school, Alicia's 10th birthday, Halloween, Christmas, Trixie (our Elf on the Shelf).  Yes.  7 months and I hadn't printed a single picture.  Oh I had TRIED … I even upload a bunch … but then I got confused.  I had pictures on my phone, Craig's phone, Rebecca's phone and a camera.  When I uploaded them to my computer they all come through in different feeds / sequences … and many of the pictures were very similar … I got confused as to which ones I had uploaded to the Costco photo site and which ones I hadn't … and it all fell apart.  I aborted the mission and buried my head in the sand for another 3 months … and another 200 pictures were taken.  Ugh.  I started losing sleep *lol* - you think I'm joking!  Anyone watch Big Bang Theory?  I'm a lot like Sheldon Cooper in that I need closure on things … and this was a BIG thing that needed to be finished.  It was a very overwhelming task … but it had to be done so one one weekend I just set out to get the bloomin' things printed!  In order to make it easier I wasn't very selective in which ones I printed - I pretty much uploaded them ALL.  It took forever … and 3 trips to Costco before I had them completely done (once they were printed I realized I had missed some … and then I realized I needed duplicates of some … hence 3 trips).

Months passed and although I had written the DATES on the back of each picture they were no closer to being "logged and filed".  Again - VERY overwhelming.  Why wasn't I getting them in albums?  I bought 8 packages of Project Life photo pages.  I had 4 photo albums waiting and ready.  I realized why.  I hadn't written names and ages on each picture yet.  I had tried to lie to myself … I told myself I didn't HAVE to do that anymore - I could just write names and ages ONCE … on one of the journaling cards … that would be good enough!  Ya, no.  I'm a creature of habit and once I start doing something a certain way I have a VERY hard time changing it … so last week I spent 2 hours tackling the names and ages.  Having said that I decided to work SMARTER, not HARDER.  Rather than spending 7 hours writing everything out I grabbed my stash of labels and PRINTED them .. then slapped them on the back of the pictures.  The task was done in 2 hours.

NOW things were really moving!  I had a goal and a deadline.  The pictures would all be in albums by Monday, May 2nd come hell or high water!  Well.  Im here to say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  

4 days, 7 hours, 6 packages of Project Life pocket pages, 2 photo albums, 968 pictures and 1 sore back later and they are all in my albums! … AND a week ahead of schedule!  Now I'm not gunna lie - they are only in the sleeves - the journalling cards and journalling aren't done but I'm totally FINE with that. That may take another 2 years to "get around to".  The mission was photos in sleeves.  Check!  The best part was it really wasn't "that bad"!  I posted my awesomeness on Facebook and had a few friends comments and ask how I did it so fast (as well as "will you do mine?" lol).  The ONLY way to answer the questions is/was PROJECT LIFE.  So many of my friends still don't "get" Project Life.  They don't understand how it works.  Well … if you are one of those people, read on!

Project Life really is just a ramped up photo album.  Seriously!  In my old photo album I would slide 3 4" x 6" photos in horizontal sleeves, per page.  Project Life is the same … except, if you want, you can get a LOT more pictures on a page!  Here's what the pages look like ...
See the top one?  There are spots for (3) 4" x 6" horizontal pictures.  There are also (6) spots for 3" x 4" "somethings".  Those "somethings" can be pictures that are cut down to size, or journalling cards.  They can either be pretty patterned paper or blank cards that you write on - jotting down a memory about the picture or who/what/where/when/why.  A ramped up photo album!

Everyone has a different way of attacking getting their photos in the sleeves.  Here is how I attacked my pile.

I started by opening my Project Life pocket page packages.  Each packages has (12) 12" x 12" pages … and there are (2) of six different sleeve layouts.  For ease I made piles of each of the different layouts and clipped each layout together with binder clips (as shown above).  Some sleeves have horizontal 4" x 6" openings, others are vertical, some are 4" x 4" and so on.  It's easy to figure out which layout goes in which pile quickly … the bottom corner of each sleeve has a number on it - each number is a certain layout … see below ...

Once my sleeves were organized I was ready to roll … now the question was "which page layout for my pictures".  This part took a while to wrap my head around.  Most of my pictures were taken on my phone and as such were vertical shots.  Most of my sleeves were horizontal.  Ack!  I figured it out.  I grabbed my stack of pictures and picked all the pictures from one day and layed them out on the counter ...

In this instance the large majority were vertical shots.  I flipped through my sleeves and found a layout with 4 vertical spots and (4) 3" x 4" spots and one with 4 vertical spots and (3) 4" x 4" spots.  I then simply slid my pictures in accordingly.  Lots of my pictures were very similar … and I realized I didn't have to have the entire 4" x 6" picture filed … I CAN trim them … in fact I also quickly realized I could trim MOST of them!  There were times I had trouble figuring which pictures to NOT trim … there is always a lot of "dead space" in my pictures *lol*

I chipped away and chipped away … one day at a time.  I thought the 400 Hawaii pictures would be the worst but they actually went quite quickly.  For those pictures I usually only left one pocket blank for journalling - there is only so much you can say about 50 beach shots on the same day.  For those days/pictures I would get 7-10 pictures PER PAGE done.  This system really does save a lot of space in albums as you can trim so many pictures and fit more in per page.

Here is what I ended up with ...
 … and here is what was left … a little bucket of trimmed picture garbage and about 60 pictures that were on the cutting room floor - I took a LOT of pictures of the same tree … same sunset … same beach.  Didn't need them all.  I knew when I printed them that I would waste a lot of them but it's the only way I could get past the "get them printed phase" … and it was only about $6 in wasted pictures.  All good!
So there we have it!  ALMOST all caught up.  I DID upload another 60 pictures yesterday that need to be picked up from Costco and put into pages.  That will be done Monday or Tuesday.  Most of those are just pictures of food, the pets … the odd one of the kids (yes, I now take more pictures of the pets than the kids *lol*) … but that should take about 10 minutes to slap into the album.  I'm so pleased with myself!  Sure, the journalling will take some time, but the most important part is done.  I can now move on with my day :)

I HIGHLY encourage everyone I know to PRINT those pictures and get them into albums.  Documenting our lives is so very important.  The kids LOVE flipping through them … as do I.  We relive the good - and not-so-good - times in our lives.  It brings us together and we share in our memories.  In the words of Martha Stewart - "It's a good thing."

Right!  I have a BIG, BUSY day ahead (more memories to be made and logged!!!) so off I go!  Whatever you get up to today I hope you have a stampy one xoxo


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