On Tuesday I spent some time assessing the words portion of my Week In The Life album.
In reading comments and talking to people over the years of doing this project, it seems that people tend to either have a ton (as in pages & pages) of journaling or very little.
This year I found myself being less obsessed with the words. Don't get me wrong - they did not lose their place of importance in the album one little bit. I simply adjusted my expectations and let myself go with the flow a bit more. Each day I did something a little different. Some days I wrote directly on the journaling cards. One day I jotted down almost everything I did on the front and back of an 8.5x11 sheet of printer paper. Another day I opened up a Word file and typed in stuff as I walked by the computer on the kitchen counter. Other days I just included the photo captions I included with the photos I shared here each day.
As I looked back over what I have in terms of words for this year I kept being drawn to the simple words I added to the photos when I posted them here on my blog. I haven't decided how exactly I will incorporate those words just yet - I think I will wait until I get my photos back and try a couple things at that point (maybe creating text strips to add onto the photos).
If you are one of those people who really ran with your written documentation you will never be sorry you took the time and effort that went into collecting all that data. You may decide to type it up or simply place it in a page protector like I did above for Tuesday. I purchased an extra package of page protectors to be able to play around and include some additional pages (see more about that below).
Even if you include a full page such as this you might want to consider highlighting some of the key pieces or comments on the journaling cards. I liked having the option to use the cards for one sentence or thought or observation.
DON'T FORGET THE BASICS
"Did I capture what I wanted to with my words?" was the question I asked myself as I reviewed my collected journaling. It was helpful in making me think about some of the really basic things about my life right now. I included two cards that simply listed how old we are all and what time each of us goes to bed.
It is perfectly ok to add thoughts and reflections after the fact (meaning you didn't write it down during your week) or to use your photos as inspiration for adding more stories. I find that including some of these after-thoughts adds another layer of richness to my album.
As I go through the "stuff" I collected last week I do things like fold receipts, crop random mail pieces (like a Netflix envelope) and other papers, etc. I didn't end up gathering very much extra stuff this year - a few things per day. If you have more consider creating an additional 8.5x11 page and collage a bunch of your "stuff" together, add more baseball card page protectors, or use a page protector at the end of your album to hold some of the larger pieces.
CREATING CUSTOM-SIZED PAGE PROTECTORS
One of things I love to do in albums such as this is to trim and stitch page protectors to custom sizes. I did this back in 2006 with my Disneyworld album and it was a great solution for working with a bunch of papers that were different sizes.
So far in this album I created one for the campaign piece above and two for smaller sheets. It's really a nice way to include random sizes that aren't full 8.5x11 sheets. For papers that are shorter than 11 inches tall I simply trim off the top (cut to size with the paper inside as a guide). I find that this works best with papers that are tall enough to keep at least two of the holes on the page protector for the binder.
To create these custom sized page protector pockets I start with a 8.5x11 (or 12x12 if that's the album size I'm working with) and I slip my paper inside. Next I trim off the top (if it is shorter) using my trimmer - yep - just lay it right on there and slide the blade back and forth.
Next I take it over to my sewing machine (with the paper still inside) and do a straight stitch down the side using the paper as my guide. I usually stitch about 1/4 inch away from the side of the paper. After stitching I bring it back to my trimmer and trim off the excess page protector (again about 1/4 inch from the stitch).
Want to see how I run a page protector through my machine? I recorded a short video here:
I hope that many of you will be taking some time this weekend to get your album creation process in motion. Remember, there is no right or wrong way! I am getting excited to see your albums coming together and I would love to feature some of them next week. Feel free to send me some samples of your work at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Week In The Life Example in the subject line.
Were you a winner of the REALLY BIG GIVEAWAY last week? Make sure to check this post to see if you won something from the very generous sponsors. I have responded to everyone who has contacted me so far as a winner. If you have not heard from me yet please email me again.
Did you know that one of my all-time favorite products is now available again from 7gypsies? I actually still have some of these on rolls that I purchased for some class kits a few years ago. These are going to be perfect for adding the date to each day of this album.