Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tuesday Tip: Don't Give Up on {Project 365}

Pffftt!! Yep, that’s what’d I’m saying too. We are now into our 43rd week of the year, and the last {Project 365} layout I can remember creating was back in Week 27. So, ahh, yeah, that’s a bit of catching up to do.

But, that’s ok. I can do it. And so can you. So you may have fallen behind a little lately. I know I’ve got a great excuse for doing so. {You probably do too}. I’ve been designing up a storm! Trying to stockpile a heap of kits and digital scrapping goodies for when I launch into the digital design world come 2011. I’m gonna be famous baby! (well, I want to sell something at least!) And I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of layouts for my CT designers.

Try this for size: 56 layouts for Mscraps.com in the month of September. And that’s not the only Creative Team I’m on, you with me? But it’s just that there are sooooo many great products out there that beg me to download them and give them a try. Honestly, I lie awake at night thinking about all these page ideas and special techniques that I could try out on the next layout. And then, when it comes to 4:30am and I STILL can’t get to sleep, I get up, make myself a cuppa and get onto the computer pronto – I need to release these creative endorphins! PRONTO!

So I’ve taken to keeping a tiny notebook beside my bed, to at least write down these fantastic ideas. Because I forget them as soon as I start making the school lunches, and can’t for the life of me, get those ideas back. So now you see why I find recording our weekly happenings as a family is so important. Because I’d simply just forget it all, wouldn’t I?

Ok. So I’m missing a few weeks in April, when I had only a disposable film camera at my disposal. {Mwahahahaha!} And yes, it has been kicking around inside my insidiously large handbag since then – 6 months – awaiting the day when I walk into a photo processor to get it developed. It has great camel-riding pictures on it. So, understandably, I left those few weeks out of my 365 until I processed and scanned them in. Um, I actually didn’t record the journalling then though ... So I’m hoping these pictures will be enough to trigger some kind of memories to record.

And the big gap from July – September? Um.... I think the dog ate it?

At the start of the year, when I had a really great system working, I would schedule my {Project 365} in every Sunday night, so that I would actually have a visual reminder to DO IT. Every week. And it worked, because I had a little box that I could tick each time I completed a week. I never got more than 3 weeks behind. But somewhere along the way, I stopped writing myself those calendar reminders and so then I forgot to get onto the computer late on Sunday night, and instead had a drink and a movie and went to bed. Weeks went by and I actually forgot {Project 365} existed.


So. My plan of action is to start with this week. And then work backwards. I know there will be some weeks where I didn’t actually take any photos at all. ARRGGHHH!!! But all is not lost. I will look over my emails and see what was happening at that time. I will also take into consideration any birthdays during that time. And lastly, perhaps I should check my phone history and web browsing history to see what things we were researching/looking up during that time. These are all triggers that will help me fill in the blanks. And if I’m missing photos, there are other options.

I can fill the photo spaces with patterned paper. I can download a stock photo for something I am describing (like lots of rain, for example). I can scan in some of my children’s artwork for that period. If I am really desperate, I can substitute photos for thumbnails of my own layouts! I know I have been scrapping during that time. I could maybe even just cut and paste the journalling from some of those pages and include them in my 365. Because there are no rules saying you cannot plagiarise yourself!

{Project 365} is about memory keeping. Pure and simple. So I don’t really care about the kit or embellies I use to decorate it. I need to get down the photos and journalling. I will find triggers for that in some of the layouts I’ve created during that time. And it’s not like I’ll be repeating myself, for this is in a different format, and if experience is anything to go by – everyone in my family tends to read the {Project 365} album a hell of a lot more than they do their own individual scrapbook albums. Is that just because I have boys? I don’t know.

But now that my two eldest sons are starting to read, scrapbooking albums have taken on a whole new meaning for them. They can actually read them! They laugh and ask me if that really happened and they love to share their memories of it with me verbally. This gives me immense pleasure. And I’ve got to say, I greatly enjoy reading back through the {Project 365} albums too, marvelling at how quickly time passes me by. Wish my husband would look at them too, lol!!

So I think that’s a part of the problem here – I haven’t printed out any of my 2010 {Project 365} yet. I printed all of last years, every few months, in 8 inch x 8 inch format. But this year I was planning to print it out in a photobook – mainly because I think it is actually cheaper than to print each page individually – but also because the bound photobook just looks nicer, and I can print out multiple copies for the grandparents. (Not that I ever have, but the good intentions are there!)

I was spurred on throughout the year last year, because I’d read back through my albums and realised each time, what an amazing resource this project was. For families now, and for the future generations. Can you imagine your future daughter-in-law looking through your album and realising she is not the first woman to become a first time mum!!??? Priceless. She’d be able to read all about my own foray into motherhood and what challenges I faced at the time. How bloody interesting it would have been to have read the same thing about my own mother and grandmother!

So I’m telling you – keep at it. It’s just worth it. There are only 2.5 months to go. You can catch up on the missed weeks. Even if it means just publishing photos without a lot of journalling. I mean, anybody can write the who, what, where, when and why of a photo, right? Don’t worry about it being different to the method you have used in previous months. Don’t worry about having to include every single detail of what went on. Just summarise the best bits. Even just a few lines of journalling will be devoured by those who look through the album. In fact, graphic-design-ally speaking – less words are better – if you can manage to convey the message you intended in fewer words! Clearly, I cannot. The length of this post is testimony to that!

So. See-ya. And good luck with it.

** I have opened up my own {Project 365} album here, for you to gawk at.

*** I keep whispering {Project 365} because I’ve found out it’s actually a trademarked phrase now! So perhaps that is why this scrappy phenomenon is slowly being referred to as “Photo-A-Day” and “365 Challenge” and “Project 52”. Just so you know ...!


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