Art Journal Every Day: Playing with PanPastels
Custom Page Protectors

My Experiences with Project Life

Project Life is insanely popular.  And after doing it for two months, I can see why.  I have actually gone back to look at my pages several times.  I love them!  They don't look special, they're not fancy, but I just adore them!  Each week is made up of tons of tiny little collages and I have really been enjoying that aspect of them!  But before I lose my train of thought, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on this year-long project:



What nobody told me about Project Life is that... takes a surprisingly long time to get each week done.  I've read so many blogs where people claim that it takes no more than an hour a week.  Really?!  I am definitely doing something wrong then.  Choosing photos, editing them, and printing them takes at least an hour and often longer.  Then the putting together takes another hour or two.  I am getting faster.  But it still takes me a while.  But that leads me to my next point.



The best part of Project Life is...

...that I'm using tons of supplies that have just been sitting around.  Oh, and the memory keeping ain't too shabby.  But really, I'm so thrilled to see the little pockets of goodies I've been hoarding going into an album!  I no longer scrapbook with lots of patterned paper and embellishments, but my Project Life album is full of labels, rub-ons, stickers, and all that fun stuff!



One of the most difficult things about Project Life for me... determining whether or not it's public.  My scrapbooks are very public, but my art journals are very private.  I feel like this project sits somewhere in the middle.  I want it to be an accurate representation of who I am and what my life is like, but I'm accutely aware that someone might actually read it.  I don't like hidden journaling because I always forget it's there and it doesn't actually make it private, anyway.  I'm not sure what to do. 



Project Life would definitely be easier if...

...I had a dedicated space for Project Life.  Having to haul everything out and put it away means that I really only spend one day a week doing it and that makes it become a massive undertaking.  Plus having to take everything out and put it away is a big pain in the you-know-what.  In many ways this is like Art Journal Every Day.  And the only way that project works is if you don't have to haul supplies around, but that they're right there at your fingertips. I'm trying to find a way to do a little bit each day, but it's difficult with the whole no-dedicated-space thing.



The thing that makes Project Life faster for me... having lots and lots of journaling cards at the ready.  I did not buy any Project Life supplies other than the page protectors.  I did design some decorative cards and I've been using those.  I've also started cutting any paper scraps I have left over into either 4x6 or 3x4 (to fit in the page protectors).  The cards make it easy -- you don't have to think much about design while you're working.  I love that!



In order to do Project Life you need... have an iPhone.  Seriously.  I don't know how I would do it without all of those cell phone photos.  In fact, most of my photos are tending to be Instagram photos.  That's pretty much how I'm documenting my week so I don't forget it.  I know that lots of people do all sorts of documenting, but that seems like a lot of extra work.



What I didn't expect from Project Life is that... has completely derailed my art journaling.  Completely.  For two years I've kept a daily art journal.  I've found it very hard to do both Project Life and my daily diary-style art journal because they both serve the same purpose.  I'm still doing a bit of art journaling, but it's not that diary-style.  It makes me a bit sad, but life is cyclical, so I'm sure that I'll get back to it.  I hope.



My best Project Life innovation is...

...the washi-tape-hole-reinforcer page protector.  I cut a 12x12 page protector in half and sealed one edge with washi tape.  Perfect for my needs.  But then I was left with a page protector half with no holes to allow it to be placed into my binder.  I didn't want to lose any of the "real estate" of the page protector, so I built a new edge with tape and then punched holes in it and reinforced the holes.  I love, love, love how it turned out!



When I'm working on Project Life I always...

...try to represent every single day in some way.  I know that you don't "have" to, but I like to have each day of the week represented by a photo or a thought or something.  Thus far I haven't run into the issue of not having enough stuff to fill the pages.  When each day is represented, you're most of the way to a two-page spread in no time at all!



When I'm working on Project Life I never...

...try to color coordinate anything.  Or just coordinate in general.  That is way beyond my brain's capabilities.  I work on each pocket as a totally unique and individual collage and I figure that it will all work together because it's all me.  And anyway I don't think the point of Project Life is how it looks.  It's much more about the stories and all the little bits and pieces of life.  That's why I make a big effort to include as much journaling as possible.  Words matter.



I'm glad I'm doing Project Life because...

...I love, love, love the pages I've made.  I'm not really an event scrapper and this project has allowed me to scrapbook lots of different events.  Love that!  And Project Life also gives me permission to include photos that I wouldn't normally scrapbook because there isn't enough of a story for a whole page, but I can easily stick a photo with a few notes into my Project Life binder!  They say that life is lived in the inbetween moments.  I feel like Project Life captures so many of those inbetween moments.


I have a feeling that Project Life...

...might completely replace scrapbooking for me.  Gasp!  It's true, I cannot lie.  Lately I just don't feel the need to scrapbook.  I'm very happily recording my memories and my photos.  I'm getting my artistic needs met through art journaling and painting.  We'll see what happens as the year advances, but right now all of my memory keeping needs are being satisfied.  In fact, I think I'm actually a better and more complete memory keeper with Project Life.  All sorts of life ephemera ends up in my album and so many photos of the little nothings of daily life. 


If you're doing Project Life I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject!

Thanks for stopping by!