I was going to save this until early next year, but I got a request to share before the start, so here we go! If you are about to embark on Project Life in 2013, WELCOME. I am wrapping up 2012 and so excited to dive into next year's album(s).
These are my thoughts moving forward on what I want to change and what will stay the same. Feel free to refer to this post from early 2012 about how I tackle Project Life on a weekly basis as well as ask questions in the comments.
What is going to change :
I am going to be working primarily from the Seafoam kit. This does not mean that I will not be adding extra embellishments. (I absolutely will.) It does not mean that I will not be adding extra paper scraps. (I will.) It does not mean that I will not use many 3x4 photos. (I will.) But it does mean that I will not really be adding too much additional paper from other manufacturers. I will be working cards from the gender neutral Baby Edition kit in once the little one joins the family. (Yep, sticking with gender neutral, even though we'll obviously know the gender. I love the yellow & gray.)
Out with the quote cards. Out with the "this week" arrow cards. I loved the quote cards! They were fun! But they are done! It was enjoyable to put them together for a year, but I want to use that extra pocket a week this year for photos and journaling. And no more "this week" cards because by about August, I was SO BORED of them and I plan on using more journaling cards throughout the weekly spreads to tell relevant stories. Remember, I am offering all the quote cards as a free download. They will be up on Christmas Eve.
I want more photos of people! Taking more "action" shots is a goal for 2013. It's going to be difficult this spring with Paul deploying again, but we'll make up for that in the fall when our little one is growing and grinning and being an animated extra member of our family. I also hope to have Paul take 1-2 photos a week while he is deployed and then email them to me to use in our album. This is a huge request - the man DOES NOT take photos. But his life there is so important to get documented and I really hope it works for his schedule to snap a few photos for me. :)
I'd love to include more of the email correspondence between Paul and I. Email is our main event while he's deployed and though some of our emails are basic and some are more detailed, all are love letters of a sort because we are so far apart and craving that connection. I will most likely not show the specifics, but I'll share how I include the text into our album.
I want it to be BETTER. More cohesive. More thought out. More awesome. This doesn't mean "perfect." I am still going to mess up handwriting, spell things wrong and run out of printer ink halfway through a photo but stick it in the album anyway. I can't even pretend to go for perfection on a project like this that I work on for a whole year. But "better" I can aim for. Clarifilying here because I got a comment about how difficult it will be to improve on my album with a newborn - I do NOT consider "better" to equal "more complicated." I'll be very happy if my album gets more simple, but feels more cohesive, if that makes sense. :)
What is going to stay the same :
I am going to use mostly Design A pocket pages again and add in other styles when necessary. I imagine that 2013 will take up three albums just like 2012 did. At this point, I will NOT be doing a seperate album for the baby. Someone brought up the excellent point that if I do it for the first baby, I have to do it for the second baby and that really makes my head spin. This is our family album and will include the whole family (and probably a few less photos of the garden and craft projects). Or maybe it will just include TONS more inserts.
I will continue to use Project Life as my main documentation source. I do not do any traditional scrapbooking and rarely tackle minibooks anymore. It's just a personal preference and style change that I have joyfully embraced. You can only do what works for you. And right now, Project Life, plus a few blurb books thrown in once a year (see one and two from 2012) is more than perfect for me.
I plan on working on this album throughout the week again this year. That worked for me in 2012 and we'll see if it works in 2013. Again, I know my life will flip with the baby, so all I can really do is try and stay on top of this project. I am not going to worry one bit if it doesn't work or or I am struggling to find a schedule. THIS PROJECT IS JUST PAPER & PHOTOS. THE BABY IS ... a BABY! Perspective is perhaps the most important ingredient in Project Life.
I plan on printing photos at home again. Yes, it's expensive to buy printer paper and ink. But it's SO EASY and makes so much sense for my schedule and current location. If I had a local photo printer that could knock it out of the park every time, I would switch. But I don't, so for now I print at home. For the record, I have an HP Photosmart 2575 and print on Office Depot semi-gloss paper.
I plan on continuing to add inserts (especially long blog posts) just like I did in 2012. Inserts made the process more fun and creative for me and I want to use them again to tell longer stories and share more photos.
I will continue to share here on the blog on Sundays. I have to be honest - this is my least favorite part of Project Life, by far. It's a hassle and half to take the photos, resize them for the blog, and come up with basic variations on the exact same text every week. But, I have appreciated the feedback that so many of you look forward to the posts and I think the accountability factor of sharing on the blog is the #1 reason I stayed up to date with my album all year.
Overall - I am excited.
I am so inspired to start again. My current album will hold two more weeks of 2012. I am going to do 12/16 - 12/22 and then 12/23 - 12/31. I will start 2013's album on Tuesday (1/1) and each week after will begin on Sunday just like last year. I'll be sharing my 2013 title page that first week of January.
EDIT : I got a few great comments about doing my weeks Monday - Sunday and after some thought decided to go with that. It will also be easier to share on the blog the Sunday of the next week, versus the Sunday immediately following a week which is what I was doing in 2012.