I had such a great time with this weeks spread, trying out new templates that I made, and even designing my own striped cards!
I’ve mentioned before how 2013 was very much for experimenting and seeing what techniques and styles I would love or lose. As such, I’ve got a much clearer picture of what products I will be – or hope to – use in my 2014 album. Here are just a few:
1. Self-adhesive avery tabs – to label my inserts.
2. Midnight edition core kit and digital kit – it’s still my favorite set.
3. Staz on ink pad – when I first started using stamps I ran to hobby lobby and bought a fairly inexpensive pad, but i’ve had a lot of problems with it not stamping well on my photos. i have read good things about this ink pad so I’m giving it a try.
4. A paper trimmer – because cutting my printouts with scissors makes for some horribly messy lines!
5. Elise joy stamps – I want them all, but selected this one and this one.
6. Paislee Press digital papers – I recently went a little purchase crazy at the paislee press store. The minimalistic look has become more and more appealing to me.
7. Targus Stylus pen for iPad – I mentioned that I want to incorporate more of my own handwriting as brushes next year. This will help me to do just that along with the Bamboo Paper app on our iPad.
8. Project Life pens – I put off buying these because I didn’t think I had a need for them, but I gave in and I have to say they are great and write easily on everything!
9. Vellum labels – for journalling, inspired by Manda.
What are some of your go-to products?
Your bottom two teeth came through at five and a half months, we are surprised that after much horribly teething these past couple months, that no more have come through yet.
You smile the biggest, brightest smile every time someone familiar walks into the room, especially your daddy after he’s been working all day.
You no longer coo, instead you are working on words like mama (which you said before dadda!), dadda, and ow wow wow.
You love watching videos of yourself on my iPhone, so much so that you often laugh out loud.
You are crawling, crawling, crawling, and pulling yourself up to stand in front of everything: your play and learn table, the bookshelves, the couches – you name it. You are a busy little boy.
You mimic us at every opportunity. We cough, you cough. We smile, you smile. We laugh, you laugh. It’s completely adorable.
You’ve always been wearing clothes at least three months older than you are, but DJ, we can’t seem to keep up with your growing! It seems like every week I’m going through your closet and drawers and pulling out clothes to add to the giveaway pile.
When you’re upset you reach out for mama, often accompanying it with saying “mama”
You love when daddy lies down on the floor so you can crawl all over him.
You sleep just like I did when I was a baby: on your stomach with your butt up in the air. It makes me smile every time, DJ.
Here’s the reality: life isn’t always sunshine and roses, and if you have kids you know this to be especially true.
If I documented my life through project life without talking about the rough moments along with the happy memories, I wouldn’t really be painting an accurate portrait, would I?
I believe that making it through the rough times helps to make us stronger, better people, so I say why not! I want to look back and see a note about how tough the week was and how exasperated and exhausted we were because of DJ’s teething and know that hey! we got through it and came out on the other side!
We had a particularly rough go a couple weeks ago. I was sick and DJ was going through a tough phase, and as a result I didn’t take many photos or do much that was worthwhile, so I cut up a 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper, filled the right side of my spread, and wrote myself a short note that said: “somehow we made it through the week: my awful cold, DJ’s sleep regression + fussiness… it was the hardest week yet.”
What do you think? Do you document real life, ups and downs and all?
First of all let me just say that I’m happy to be back. It turns out that while a break was very much in need of, I missed this little space that I have built. Now that that’s out of the way…
As 2013 creeps closer to an end I have found myself thinking more and more about how I am going to approach my 2014 album. If you didn’t already know, 2013 was my first year doing the project and it involved a lot of experimentation. Some spreads I loved, and some I was terribly disappointed in. I definitely learned what I like and don’t like, and that will help greatly with my 2014 album.
Here are my plans for project life 2014:
- To start, I’m hoping that Santa brings me the black 12×12 album I added to my wish list.
- I’m using only Design A pages, as I decided that I like the uniform look.
- Since I use paper elements as well as digital ones, I will likely round my corners in order to keep everything uniform and consistent.
- I will be doing more of my journalling on the computer. If I had nicer writing then maybe I would handwrite like I did this year, but I’m just not happy with how it looks.
- More white space!
- I will be using Midnight Edition dividers again.
- I want to use some kind of weekly review card where I can write out all the things that happened and perhaps weren’t covered in photographs or journalling. I will probably create a design myself that I will use each week to keep things looking consistent.
- More digital cards and papers. I absolutely love Paislee Press items and plan to use a lot more of them next year.
- Include more of my own handwriting. Thanks to a great app on our iPad called Bamboo Paper I can write away, email the photo to myself, and use it as an overlay on my top of my photos in photoshop. So easy and quick!
- In my 2013 album, my title cards are always different. I think that next year I will aim for a more uniform look, possibly using the same style card and simply changing up photos, designing something of my own, or using Caylee’s weekly title cards. I’m still undecided on this one.
- Each week will get its own full spread. This year if I had a slow week or didn’t take many photos, I would only use half a spread for the week, and in the end would dislike how it looks. If I don’t have much going on that week I will use a big photo or something along those lines to fill up space. I keep using the word ‘uniform’, but that’s what I’m aiming for in 2014.
I have, for many many years, had issues with constantly comparing myself to others: what they are wearing in comparison to me, what they do with their children, how they look, and how and where they live. When DJ was born I suddenly had these ideas of how we should be living, and what type of mother and woman I was going to be. I had set the expectations far too high, and what has happened is that I have exhausted myself, emotionally, mentally and physically.
I followed people on instagram with great style, or great careers, with beautiful families and homes, telling myself that I could enjoy them for what they are, but the truth is that I can’t. I can’t look at women who look amazing every single day. I can’t stand to watch even my favorite photographers do what they do best. I can’t simply enjoy a beautiful kitchen without thinking that mine is somehow inferior. I can’t adore a beautiful photograph without wishing that I could take one like it, or that I had whatever silly objects were in the photo, whether it be a coffee mug, a placemat, a carpet or chair. It isn’t about jealousy – it’s not that at all – it’s about my innate compulsion to compare myself to them, to compare my lives to theirs. And it’s not healthy.
So as a start, I unfollowed 65 people on instagram, namely fashion bloggers, photographers and even some mothers. I deleted 30 blogs from my reading list. I cleared out blog posts from my drafts folder that talked about fashion, or home decor, or other bloggers and photographers. I have put many of these peoples lives up on a pedestal for so long, that maybe not subjecting myself to the images and stories will help me to gain some perspective. I’m aware that there are some more underlying issues at hand here, but this is a start.
I’m ready to take a big step back and re-evalutate, because I have not been living in the moment. I have been living up in my rats nest of a head for too long, and missing out on everything in front of me.
So, I’m taking a break, reeling in my online presence a little, and just being for a while.
See you soon.
Here is the full spread with my monthly insert (details below)
Simple Design A with photos and card stock and a large photo of me enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of hot coffee.
Design D page, journaling on card stock and photos. Simple, clean, cohesive!
As I do each month, when DJ turns another month older I do a mini shoot with him and include (4) 4×6 photos in an insert.