Last week after finishing up all the content for the Stories Of Travel workshop I took a couple days to tell some stories in my Project Life® album for this year. Over the course of two days I finished up 6 weekly spreads that I'll be sharing via blog posts over the next few days. I didn't record process videos for these spreads this time because I just wanted to be able to focus on getting the spreads done.
As I was working on the spreads I found myself using a specific + no-nonsense technique to move these spreads along.
Here's a look at my basic process:
- I print my photos first. I often have weeks of photos printed in advance of actually working on/completing a week. Over the years I've followed a variety of different processes (including filling pockets each day) but over the last two years this method has really worked for me. I also love breaking down the tasks for getting projects like this done - printing photos is simply one of the tasks. I generally fill all the 4x6 pockets with photos and then 1-3 of the 3x4 with photos (sometimes more and sometimes less depending on the week. For all my 4x6 photos I print at home using an Epson PictureMate PM400 printer (others in this community who have purchased this printer often call it a "game changer"). I generally print 7, 4x6 photos and then 1-3, 3x4 images for each week.
- Identify a simple design formula. One of the things I know to be true for myself is that I like repetition and I actually like having less choices when it comes time to telling my stories. Having access to all your products can be a hinderance because it just means we have to think more about which ones to use and sometimes this is where people get stuck because they think they must have the "perfect" product to tell this story (so they spend all their time looking through or organizing products vs. just making stuff). Knowing this about myself, what really helped me to fly through these spreads is limiting the number of supplies I have access to and establishing a simple design formula for each spread. My design formulas are super simple and generally consist of 1-4 products that then get repeated on all the 4x6 photos on my spread or in most of the 3x4 pockets. Each of the six spreads I put together include a different design formula for part of the spread. A design formula could be as simple as deciding you are going to add one style of chipboard to each of your photos or it might include 3-4 products that include a stamp set, a chipboard set, a die cut circle set, etc. Giving all your 4x6 photos or all your 3x4 pockets the same design treatment takes the guess work out of how to work with each pocket.
- Fill in the pockets. Add 3x4 cards with quotes, add written stories onto 3x4 journaling cards, and then add just a few more embellishments on top.
Remember that the real beauty in this project is all the weeks coming together vs. any individual week. That knowledge should help you to let go of any of the perfection that might be holding you back or fear that you aren't telling your stories "right." There is no right or wrong way to tell your stories. Remember that what's working for you right now is simply that - it's working right now. If you've been struggling with your storytelling recently maybe it's time to try something different - that might be going simpler or it might be going more complex. Listen to what you need and do that.
For me right now this idea of simplifying my process by establishing a design formula is totally working.
I put together a short video showing the spreads I completed and talking about this idea of using a design formula to get spreads completed. I'll be sharing each of these full spreads on my blog this week.
SUPPLIES FROM THE VIDEO
- Design A Project Life® Page Protectors
- 6x8 Page Protector
- Story Thoughts Pad (from the Story Planner Notepad Bundle)
- Week In The Life™ Loving The Story Stamp Set (upper case days of the week initials)
- One Little Word® The Time 4x6 Stamp Set (numbers)
- Months 4x6 Stamp Set (monthly abbreviations)
- Daily Phrases Stamp Set (half-circles)
- Week In The Life™ Story Card Bundle
- Summer/Everyday Life Notepad Bundle
- Past Story Kit™ products + Add Ons
- Past Stories By The Month™ products
BEHIND THE SCENES
Photographing projects in the summer is a little more challenging around here because all the awesome sunshine makes for a lot of "blue" cast. When I was photographing these spreads I ended up taking my white foam board downstairs to the kitchen because the light was less blue than it was in my office. I loved how Anna and her friend Colbie immediately wanted to take a look at all the photos.