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My Plans For Memory Keeping In 2015

I've been thinking a lot over the last few months about how I want to approach my memory keeping in 2015. 

I'm ready for a bit of an adjustment. I want something more loose and less structured (as in less emphasis on weekly) and from what I've been reading around the web that seems to be a bit of a trend. 

I'm ready for one album for my stories this year. 

One 12x12 album to hold pocket pages, traditional pages, and stuff of life (kids artwork, notes, etc). I don't literally mean that I'll force everything into ONE album because I might fill up one and need another, but I mean one home for all my stories this year. 

This one home will be a mix of pocket pages and traditional layouts in 12x12 and 8.5x11 and 6x8 and it will hold stories from 2015. Supplies will come from my Story and Stamp Kits™, from Studio Calico kits, and from other things I find here in my stash or from Scrapbook.com

This isn't new or revolutionary. People have been combining layouts and Project Life® style documentation since it's inception and I've been using divided page protectors mixed in with my traditional pages from time to time for many years. 

I think really what I'm ready for is something more organic and less structured and more focused on stories. I still love everyday life documentation - which has been my passion since I first started this adventure back in 2002. I still love capturing little and big things and I'm definitely not stopping any of it. But it's time for me to mix it up. 

This means I will not be committing to weekly Project Life® documentation in 2015. I'm up to date until June of 2014 and I plan to finish that as time permits (lots of photos already printed and "stuff" in pockets, but it needs some TLC). I anticipate that I will still do some specific weeks-at-a-glance like I've been doing the last few years, but it will be significantly looser than in the past (and include more of a mix of divided pockets when I do use them vs. always using Design A). I'm ready for that change. Just writing that out feels good. Does it mean I will never do weekly Project Life® again? Nope. My first Project Life® album was in 2010 and I've loved the process but I'm ready for the next evolution. 

And if none of this makes any sense, know that it's a work in progress and I'll be figuring it out as a go.  

Here's a look at how I'm starting my 2015 story album: 

The album begins with a divided 6x8 page protector from Becky Higgins (this is inside a black 12x12 We Are Memory Keepers album). 

"Hello Life 2015" is a new digital set now available in my shop. I cut it out with my Silhouette and vellum. I've got a tutorial here that shows you how to trace PNG files with the Silhouette software here.

The big ampersand was from a previous Studio Calico kit (can't remember which one). I embossed it with black opaque embossing powder on both sides.  

Along the edge of the page protector I added a 2-inch Avery index tab and stamped 2015 using this awesome Pebbles rolling stamp.

On the back side I added my favorite 2014 photo of the three of us. I'm just about done over-using it (taken during Week In The Life™ and used as my Christmas card). Note to self to take more group shots of the three of us. 

I like it so I'm going to use it. Again. 

The next pages is a 12x12 page protector from this variety pack that I cut to 6x12. 

"Give" in vellum was a left-over mistake from the end of my December Daily® album (the thread came out of the stitching). I decided to give it a home here as a nod to my One Little Word® for 2015 (I do have a separate album for documenting my experience with my word but I like having it included here as well). The "hello" label on top is actually on the outside of the page protector. 

The monthly paper and the floral 3x4 card are from the Park Avenue Studio Calico kits.  

The gold glitter remember card and the canvas 3x4 card are both from Heidi Swapp Project Life® kits (available via Michael's if I remember correctly). This was a 4x6 card that I cut down to 3x4.  

The letter stickers for "our" and the small word stickers are from my Firsts Story Kit™

It's a very simple beginning to what I hope will be an awesome mixture of long and short stories from 2015.

Here's to stories and documentation and flexibility and evolution and giving myself permission to loosen up the way I'm documenting, holding, and sharing my stories.  

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93 thoughts

  1. gluestickgirl says…
    01/05/2015

    i'm so in the same place as you - completely. and came to the same solution. i'm looking forward to the change.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Peppermint says…
    01/05/2015

    You just made sense of a huge dilemma for me. I've had 8.5x11" albums and 6x8" albums sitting in various online carts for a few weeks now because I don't necessarily want to keep 2 albums going in 2015, but I want to do some full page paper and digital layouts and get back to bigger stories. 12x12 still seems impossibly large to me, but it never really dawned on me that the 6x8" pocket pages would fit into an 8.5x11" album until I read this.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Llynx59 says…
      01/05/2015

      Peppermint: I felt I was limited by the holes in my pocket pages and page protectors! Thanks to Ali I now see that I can use my Crop A Dile to make them work for me. D'oh! Why didn't I think of this!?

    2. Peppermint says…
      01/05/2015

      Well then I guess I need to buy a Crop-a-Dile!

  3. abragg79 says…
    01/05/2015

    Funny. I've been battling for weeks trying to decide how to approach PL this year. It's my first year doing actual PL (with page protectors and the like). Weekly 12x12 kept intimidating me and 6x8 is hard to readily find. So, yesterday, I got quite the deal on some 12x12 albums and PP's and decided I'd just do that. But then, as I was organizing everything and trying to figure out what to do with my 6x8 PP's, I realized that they fit in the album! Had no clue. So I was so excited when I realized I could do BOTH! 12x12 for heavier weeks and 6x8 for smaller weeks and supplemental pages.

    And, then, I come out here and see you doing kind of the same thing and am so happy to be validated in my decision. Not that you are the be all end all of my scrapping decisions but it does feel nice to know other people have a similar thought process. Hope that makes sense!

    Can't wait to get started!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. alisondowns says…
    01/05/2015

    I am excited to see how your album takes shape!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Darcielyn12 says…
    01/05/2015

    Long story that I hope to make really short, I started scrapbooking in 1995 when my oldest child was 15 and my youngest was 2. I managed to keep up with their albums (7 children) (and even complete them before most of them moved out) until about 7 years ago then all of a sudden I lost my mojo. I still had family albums to do and albums for my husband and I when we were children! I have been struggling to find my mojo and that is one of the reasons I signed up to do December Daily this year. I wanted a reason to "HAVE" to be creative every day. It's worked for the most part and I am excited about the possibility of scrapbooking so much more this year. I am intrigued by this thought process of yours and feel like it might be what I need as well. I love Project Life because of it's ease, but I also love to be a little "messier", if that's the word I want. I'm anxious to see what you do with this process. Thanks, Ali, for being such an inspiration to me.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. torysmama14 says…
    01/05/2015

    Just spent a few mins exploring the new website. I love your random fact generator. I, too, was a competitive swimming thru college. IM and 200 Fly. I have 4 kids and none of them are swimmers. And we live in Italy :) My oldest son, who is 14 also has Autism. He was diagnosed at 2 and a half. Small world.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/05/2015

      Welcome :).

  7. BeckyCreates says…
    01/05/2015

    I am doing the same thing. Cutting down page protecrtorsa and using 6x8. Love it so far.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. torysmama14 says…
      01/05/2015

      Becky, I'm thinking of doing the same. Which protectors are you using with which album?

  8. jocelynk says…
    01/05/2015

    I love it! You are so inspiring! Thanks Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. evamscott05 says…
    01/05/2015

    I switched to monthly about mid year and oh my gosh, I love it so much more than weekly. It's definitely been working better for me. Do you use a traditional 12x12 album? I can't remember if you do. I've used that size for 3 years and the albums don't fit on any of my shelves and that's driving me crazy. I'm thinking of moving to a smaller one (even though I like 12x12) so I can fit them nicely on the shelf!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/05/2015

      I do use a traditional 12x12 album - I actually had shelves built in my house to hold them.

  10. shersley says…
    01/05/2015

    I'm very excited about this evolution. I've always liked PL, but I've never made the jump to taking it on. I love following your stories and seeing your pages.. but I think I'll be even more inspired to see a mix of work. I'm so sad (as I am every year) to see December Daily come to an end. I do follow you each year, creating my own DD (this year a bought the kit and loved it). I love following along in your daily life as well and seeing how you put a mix of memories together all in one little album for the month. This message seems a bit all over the place, but hope you understand where I'm coming from. Long and the short of it... already missing DD, but looking forward to being inspired by you in 2015. Keep up the great work!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. scrap_horse says…
    01/05/2015

    Love it!!! That's a trend I might just have to follow. I had been pondering it, but hadn't decided. Now I think I have!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. wemdu says…
    01/05/2015

    I love the concept of PL and for one year managed to do a 12 x 12 monthly double page but found it just to hard to keep up with. There are so many wonderfully creative instructors out there that I get so inspired but am learning to take each idea and go with it my own way. I love the idea of mixing it up in one album - perhaps that is where I will go. Thanks Ali you continue to inspire as always.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. pinepixie says…
    01/05/2015

    Hi Ali, I have been doing this since I started PL in 2012. It is so liberating to have everything in one place. I also love that I have the flexibility to expand my story telling onto a larger format than the PL inserts if I want to and yet keep the two together. Happy New Year from England. x

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. terriporter says…
    01/05/2015

    I have loved Project Life for many years but was feeling in the mood to change it up a bit and this is the perfect solution. Love the idea of keeping everything in one album and the different sized page protectors. I've been a Design A page protector fan since day 1 but now am excited about trying some different layouts. This is very freeing, as I don't have to worry about printing a photo EVERY day but can add to my album as needed. One question: the HELLO card. You didn't say where it was from. Thanks, Ali, for all the inspiration you always so freely give.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. aagirlz says…
      01/05/2015

      The hello card is from a studio calico kit - the december one perhaps

    2. terriporter says…
      01/06/2015

      Thanks so much, aagirlz!

  15. p7eggyc says…
    01/05/2015

    I think this will be great and I'm excited to think you'll share some more traditional pages this year. I will be interested to see how you manage the divided protectors. I always struggle with the fact that I want the 2 page spread of divided protectors but then the front and back of each of them stumps me. It always made sense to me that you would put your traditional layouts in the middle of that week's PL spread but when you are really mixing and matching, I'll be watching to see how you solve that. I know you'll find the right balance between not getting too hung up but actually finding a working solution. :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. ytophelia says…
      01/07/2015

      This is the problem I have. I have lots of various page types and I enjoy using them but I usually don't have enough photos or ideas to continue past one page (and while I use a flexible memory keeping system of all things in one album and not week by week, I don't always take the same type of photo, ie vertical vs horizontal, and sometimes you can't rotate the cards you want to use, and if things aren't grouped chronologically bugs me). I end up cutting pages down a lot, but I will be curious to see how others manage this, since it seems difficult to find pages outside of Design A

  16. petrac says…
    01/05/2015

    I have been wondering (and meaning to ask) how you have tackled it in the past as I know you have several 12x12 or other sized lyouts but also did Project Life. So you have answered it for me. In my quest to answer this questions I think I have decided to go in the opposite direction. I am REALLY inspired by your story kits & stamps (still eagerly waiting for my first kit to arrive) to delve deeper and write some more stories. I feel that with Project Life I am always focussed on capturing daily stuff and focus less on stories, feelings and reflections which is what I want do do more of. So After 4 years of solid PL I am going to step out into something less of a comfort zone and try some more story telling this year while still punching out the Project Life spreads. I feel it is achievable because your Lens of Joy, Week In the Life and December Daily have given me the confidence to do it. I don't know if I can do it but I will give it a try. Even if I get a few more deeper stories done that'll be a few more than I am doing now. Best to try and fail then never try at all right?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/05/2015

      Love that!

  17. J3SS1C4 says…
    01/05/2015

    This sounds like a great solution for memory keeping! I can't wait to see how it comes together for you. I think it will be a really fun and interactive album! I'm sticking with my digital PL with weekly pages, but using a huge amount of enlarged photos and more bits and pieces of everyday life.

    Also, I recieved the art print you sent for the December Daily kits yesterday. Thank you for the pleasant surprise in the post! It was a really lovely and completely unexpected surprise and I plan on using it in an art journal I am making for my partner this year :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. nicole2112 says…
    01/05/2015

    I see some "give" in your approach to the process this year. Well done, ma'am!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. KarenC says…
    01/05/2015

    In a way these are your scrapbooking resolutions for the new year! And dovetail nicely with your word since you are giving yourself the freedom to change things up. I like to see what you do and your blog offers inspiration that carries over way beyond scrapbooking. I'm looking forward to seeing what classes you offer next. I loved Lens of Joy. My plan for 2015 is to take more photos and continue to journal but not necessarily make scrapbooks. I have a love/hate relationship with pocket pages and big heavy 3-ring binder 12x12s. For me, they take up too much space and are heavy to pick up and look at but they make it easy to slip in a photo and a journaling card. I like 12x12 layouts but I don't like them behind plastic. I think I'm a dinosaur. I love the tactile aspect of scrapbooks. My old Creative Memories albums are favorites. The last few years I've done small travel journals, Christmas albums and printed books of photos. I haven't done a 12x12 page in a long time. You and your design team are very inspiring though, so maybe this is the year I start doing 12x12s again.
    Thanks for sharing. You obviously work very hard and you do it so well!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. PolkaDotCreative says…
    01/05/2015

    This approach has worked for me for a few years now. I have one home for all our memory keeping. It's a mix of pocket pages, weekly story telling, all my children's awards and their chosen artwork goes into this one home. My head would explode and pink mist of overwhelm would fill the room if I had to manage more than one album. Having 'one home' is really manageable. Consolidating and keeping it simple.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. gabbimia says…
    01/05/2015

    I gotta say I LOVE this, I "feel" the same way, YOU love all the project life stuff, you STILL love the idea of traditional pages, I do exspecially when I have amazing pictures and you just have to use them all. This is perfect Ali, just perfect, and is it just me OR does it always seem more "ok" if Ali is doing it:) A perfect Monday post!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. mpcapistran says…
    01/05/2015

    Awesome! I've been thinking to break out of the weekly aspect of Project Life for a little more than a year but my husband convinced me to not drop out (or change my way) because Project Life was my best album for him. That's what he said. But this year I decided to cut my scrapbooking time so something has to go and it will be the week by week Project life album! Like you I'm more interested in stories than in the time frameso I'll add my random and rather small stories as they arrive. Ill continue my separate albums for my two girls and the one for my husband and I for denser stories, but the everyday life kind of stories will go in the "Projct Life" album as they get documented and not by week or in a systematic way if that makes sense...

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Staki_Mama says…
    01/05/2015

    I've been doing Project Life this way since I started. I call it Freestyle Project Life. This will be my 5th year & while I still love it I am struggling with the journaling. I want to tell more stories & less of the 5 W's. That's my goal for 2015. Can't wait to see your 2015.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Carliep says…
    01/05/2015

    It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who finds the layout-per-week a little daunting. Still a lover of Project Life though!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Monique0977 says…
    01/05/2015

    Ha! I thought I was alone with the struggle of a weekly layout, but I also love the new approach. I'm still behind on my 2014 (up to date in may, but no more pics printed or stories after that...sad face) and previous years (2012 and 2013) don't have any journaling (in the computer) just pics. This year, I was thinking about using a smaller album like a 6x8, but I have another 12 x 12 again, and my new approach would be to document what really happens around my life, instead of trying to get every pic I could so I can get them in the album. This 2015 I want to emphasize more in the little details, instead of the big picture and maybe just with a monthly events approach instead of weekly. Hope to start soon and not get behind so I can catch up with old projects and start my new one.

    Reply 0 Replies

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