My layout today covers the week of August 25-31, 2013, and I pulled out lots of yummy fall-ish reds and yellows to make a warm-toned layout to go with my late summer photos.
Looking at the dates for this layout, you've probably noticed that I'm a fair bit "behind" in this album right now. Am I stressing over that, though? Not one bit! I have a very loose approach to Project Life that works well for me and keeps me from getting hung up on not having every week scrapped yet. It's a philosophy I shared here before a year or so ago, but since there are new people trying this project out (and signing up for Citrus Twist's kits!) all the time, I thought I'd recap in hopes of helping some of you not feel stressed, too!
My journey with Project Life started in 2009, when I took the "photo a day" approach to my album. After finishing that, I took 2010 off, only to miss it terribly and pick it right back up again in 2011. I continued with the photo a day approach until late May 2011, when I found that that particular format just didn't inspire me any longer, and I decided not to continue. It was in September of that same year that I discovered the more creative side of the project, where scrappers were using different sized photos, not strictly following a one-photo-per-day format, and were embellishing and using regular supplies, not just the ones branded for the project. I was hooked and in love again, and I picked my album back up and started in September of 2011 using a completely different approach.
I made the decision at that time that I wanted to go back and fill in the missing weeks between May and September as I had time, so I'm not just behind on Project Life now- I've been behind since late 2011! And I've learned that being behind is a good thing for me, for several reasons:
- I can order prints for several weeks/months at a time from a developer, making it more economical than printing at home on a weekly basis.
- I can skip around weeks and choose photos that best match the supplies that I want to work with. This alone makes having several weeks of layouts ready to be scrapped worth it, because it keeps me inspired by letting me work with what makes me most creatively excited at any given time.
- I can work on steps in batches- editing photos for several weeks, having them printed all at once (as mentioned above), and even scrapping several weeks all at once. Basically, I can pick up my album and work on any part of the scrapbooking process that I feel like playing with at any give time. It rocks!
My best piece of advice for those who are stressing out over their Project Life albums is to take a step back and evaluate a few things. Is your approach to the photo portion of the album the right one for you? Try some different sizes or differing the number of photos per week and see what works for you! Are you frustrated because you're behind, or because you're working through your weeks (or months) chronologically and are stuck on a set of photos that just doesn't inspire you? Try skipping around! Are weekly layouts not thrilling you because they seem to be piling up, or you don't have enough photos? Try a monthly approach, a quarterly approach, or whatever works for you! The bottom line is, define how you want your album to flow on your terms, define your own level of success (it doesn't have to be completed weeks- I'm personally happy as long as my photo editing is reasonably caught up), and then let the rest go and enjoy the process!