Some thoughts on changing my Project Life style

Monday, January 25, 2016


Hello! I haven't been here to share anything for a while. We had a fantastic week's summer holiday at the beach and I've been trying to preserve the relaxed feeling since we returned home.

I haven't shared any Project Life pages for a while. I'm still tidying up the last of 2015 and I made a start on this year's pages with the intention of simplifying everything even more. Something has been niggling away at me again... as it has done before, so I've stalled on progress while I figure out what I want to do.

Then I saw Becky Higgins posts on Instagram yesterday. If you've been following her you'll know she's working through how she wants to memory keep from here on, as she has amassed ...138, yes, 138 albums already! I have absolutely nowhere near that amount and I'm already concerned about storage and more importantly, what I leave behind for my children. Yes, history is important, but as they are in their teens, I've observed that they want to downsize their belongings.

With house prices and rents so high where we live, space is probably going to be a premium when they move out of home and they won't want to be storing multiple albums. My daughter has been working on some of her own memory keeping and I've even noticed some changes in that over the year. Less is more.

As I sat here yesterday, it dawned on me that I need to seriously look at a more intentional way of recording our lives. Some things and little moments will always be important to me but endless repeat photos and just making pretty pages for the sake of making something seems meaningless to me too.

I probably sound like a worn out record on this. I had these same internal struggles and gave up traditional scrapbooking years ago because it was just creating too much stuff. I know not everyone will agree with me and of course, memory keeping is very personal and each to their own. I do respect this.

So yesterday, I thought, why haven't I swapped to photo books as I've talked about in the past? I've always liked to look at the finished physical pages as I go, but I think I'm ready to make the change now. Slim books printed at the end of the year and which will sit side by side on a shelf. It just seems so obvious now.

And then there's the how. Which size? Which company?  Use the Project Life App? Or mix it up?

So many choices but it's all exciting to me. And there's my answer in the word exciting. I need to be excited about any project to keep invested in it.

I do know this. From here, I'm focused on photography and memories. I think I have my plan sorted. Stay tuned for more news! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too.




Project Life 16 | Cover page

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Boom. Just like that my cover page is completed. I've made similar cover pages each year in this very minimal design.

I must admit I woke up this morning semi dreaming that I should be using the Project Life App this year! Where did that come from? I think it would be a nice simple idea and I could make pages on the run, but I have product and album space to use up and so this year, I'll be continuing the regular way but in 9x12 size. I'll be mainly using Design F trimmed down but I've collected a variety of other pages I can adapt or use as inserts.

I've used a similar format for all my cover pages so far. Here's 2015 and 2014.

Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Page F (trimmed)
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition  (including sticker embellishments)

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins.

Thanks for stopping by.

One Little Word 2016 | Getting started

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


This is the most exciting part of the year for me. The beginning, a fresh page and always so inspired. For me the New Year is always a holiday period and the weather outside is usually too darn hot, or raining, so perfect to get all my projects kicked off for the year.

The biggie for me for the last 4 years has been getting my One Little Word sorted out because I try to let the work on this first month's prompt guide me for my other projects.

This year the inspiration has been charging at me! My word is voice and already it's had some surprising impact.

Here's a look at how I've set up my album. I've gone with a monthly divider idea as Ali has in the official album but I'm using Project Life Design I cut down (removing the top pocket makes it 4x8 or 2 4x4 pockets. My intention is to use one of my self-portraits each month, since photography is there among my word and intentions.  Each month I'll use one of the many quotes I've already gathered. I love finding words that really speak to me and this one from the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is no exception. I'm planning to put this one on my wall.

Because the tabs Ali used are not available in NZ and others are expensive and not my taste, I'm making my own. I posted a tutorial on how I do this here.

I'm also using the packaging sticker and cards which came with my Get To Work book in my album because they are great little inspirational fillers.

Lastly, I made a divider for the back of the album to keep any relevant inspiration I come across. There's already pages torn from a magazine and highlighted and words from a book which are meaningful. I love that it will all be housed in one place - a complete working manual.

Album is a 6x8 Becky Higgins Project Life album.

I hope you're making progress and a fresh start to the year!

Donna xx

Steps to a Fresh Start

Sunday, January 3, 2016


2016 has arrived and I'll be honest, it didn't start on the happy, positive note I'd imagined. While we were out having dinner on New Year's Eve, after seeing the film Joy (which by the way was great), we got a message from home advising the downstairs loo was blocked. Argh... not good news at any time but especially not late on NY Eve! On arriving home, we realised it was a major and not an easy fix. The mood completely changed. Meanwhile the weather had packed in. We woke to rain and wind on New Year's Day. It's summer here folks. We love spending our blue sky, sunny New Year's Days outside.

I sat there and wondered how I could turn my negative start into a positive. It all starts with a shift in attitude. Finding the magic in my everyday. Super-hubby fixed the blocked toilet and I knew that eventually the weather would clear. My garden would be well watered AND there would be an opportunity to satisfy my obsession for photographing the magic after the rain, the results are these photos. Meanwhile, it was an opportunity to work on my intentions for 2016.

I read this post and some of it resonated with me immediately. I sat down and mapped out a clearer direction. I've been working hard on myself and my direction over the last couple of years. Last year I feel I neglected my blog somewhat. As part of my fresh start and more focused direction, I intend to share my journey more here this year. By nature, I tend to keep a lot to myself, but part of my OLW work with my word voice means this is the perfect place to keep my thoughts, inspiration and progress, and I might just inspire some of you out there too. That would be cool.

There are some quite simple steps I took to clarifying my direction. If you're struggling to find what it is you want to be doing, you're not alone.

I've always loved this quote:
"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it". Julia Child

1. CLARIFY
What is it you really love and want to do? What excites you and makes your heart race thinking about it? What are you happy to work on regardless of the day? What will bring joy to your life?

For me this means photography and finding my style and direction within that. Part of that means pursuing finding the magic in my everyday. I have lots of exciting ideas to share in time. Of course, I'm still going to be creating projects from those photos to share as well.

2. FOCUS
Narrow down what it is you need to do. Consider what, why and how. What's essential to carry on with your vision.

For me this meant working through many brainstorming sessions to work out the why and the how. I needed to narrow a few things down and put in a simple format for clarity of my mind. It helped, it really did.

3. BE OPEN
...to learning, to experimenting, to exploring ideas, to accepting new ideas, to realising it's not all going to be a piece of cake. To accepting that nothing beats darn hard work and commitment.

4. JUST START
There's no time like today. Go on, you can do it!

or you might identify more with the short version I wrote in my journal...

MAKE IT HAPPEN
KEEP IT SIMPLE
MAINTAIN FOCUS AND CLARITY
ENJOY THE JOURNEY

What's your focus for 2016?

Thanks for stopping by. Donna xx




 
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