It’s funny how Mother’s day changes as the kids get older.
This year it was all about marmite toast in bed.
A box of jelly beans.
A quick afternoon nana nap.
And some new photos of us.
… well maybe not ever … there was a pretty good one a few thousand years back … but this one has worked out pretty well for me in other ways.
I decided to spend Easter in Dunedin visiting family, with the added bonus of getting to watch this master artist at work. It was pretty fun watching her play with paints, sprays and tea bags …
And then getting to play myself …
Some serious concentrating took place … and a bit of meeting some nice people who up until now have only lived inside my computer.
Here’s the final layout from the ‘Tea for Two’ class.
Named cos we used real life teabags to colour/age it a bit.
There was a serious amount of product in the kit … so much that I really only used leftovers from the first class to complete this layout … I did add a few bits I’d brought from my own collection … but more because they were ‘meaningful’ extras.
The other class we did was the journal covers. I need to wait till I get home to re-punch the holes and put it together … a little bit more complicated because I managed to make my back cover upside down … duh!
I’ve used a few bits from my own collection again … just to make it more meaningful to me.
Not so happy with the way the colours turned out but I enjoyed the process … a lot!
And here’s a couple of group shots I’ve pinched from Finnabair.
Today has been all hot cross buns and easter eggs and a Church service to keep it all in perspective!
Hope your weekend is going equally as well.
So it’s about time I shared more about this Project Life thing I’ve been playing with.
Since I mentioned it back in January I’ve managed to do a page each week … sadly this has been exactly all the ‘scrapbooking’ I have done … which actually was one of the main reasons I resisted for so long. I enjoy regular scrapbooking and if I only have a limited amount of creative time each week I didn’t want it to be all used up on Project Life. But when I think about how little time a page like this actually takes to put together I don’t think I can blame Project Life for my lack of regular layout output … it’s really just entirely the LIFE part all on it’s own which has me too busy (or tired) to create as much as I’d like to right now.
So I diligently stick with it for now … allowing the ‘obligation’ to complete a week at a time to motivate me to record life as it is now … knowing that if I wasn’t doing this I wouldn’t be taking as many photos, I wouldn’t be printing ANY photos and I certainly wouldn’t be recording those little memories of life as they happen.
I’m letting the album just ‘happen’ in some respects. Each week I try something different and create a different look. There’s some writing printed straight onto photos, some printed onto journalling cards, lots handwritten and even some old fashioned typewriter in there.Maybe something will actually settle eventually as my ‘style’ but for now I’m trying it all depending on how much time I have and what I feel like doing at the time.
It might look like I’ve added lots of extra stuff but I’ve tried to keep it as simple as I can, while still letting it be ‘me’. I’m trying to keep it as ‘flat’ as possible using things like stamps, stickers and washi tape … I tell myself the other lumpy bumpy stuff can be saved for my ‘regular’ layouts …
I’m loving my mini album with it’s limited spaces to be filled each week. I like that it makes me limit my photo choices, not every photo I take needs to be printed and included … it gives me a snapshot of our week which is just perfect really. And if I really want to fill all the spaces with photos I can always slide the journalling card in behind with a pull tab to help get it out for reading.
I’m becoming comfortable with using portrait and landscape photos and fitting them in however works best … it helps that it’s so easy to print to the size I want on my little photo printer. It does print ever so slightly smaller than 6×4, generally it’s not a problem but you’ll see that sometimes I’ve trimmed it even smaller and put it on a 6×4 card … more because I liked the look … with the added bonus of making them more of a ‘snug’ fit.
I didn’t have enough exciting photos last week to make a whole spread so I’ve saved them to join with this week … no point in adding lots of ‘fillers’ just so I can have a week done … although it does make me realise I need to get the camera out more and there’s nothing wrong with that kind of gentle prompt to cultivate a good life and record it!
So far I’m happy with how this is working out, the time it takes and the results I’m getting … but today I read this blog post about Project Life … there are some good points made … it’s supposed to be a simple system … it doesn’t have to be complicated and take a lot of time … there shouldn’t be the pressure of ‘falling behind’ or ‘keeping up’ … many pages I’ve seen out there in scrappy land are WAY more detailed and complicated than mine and I just know, if I tried to do that I’d be setting myself up to fail BUT like I said before, I kinda need the encouragement to actually do ‘something’ … maybe as the year goes on I’ll have to simplify even more but for now this works for me.
Oh and just so you know … you can get a perfectly sized mini album with a perfectly velvety inside, just like mine for 20% off if you buy it with a perfectly matching mini kit … for a limited time only … right here.
Jessi is officially 9 as of yesterday.
I made a polka dot cake which I happened to see on pinterest a few weeks ago … lucky I was able to talk Jessi out of the pretty pink poodle cake she had spotted in a magazine … that just wouldn’t fit with the ‘rainbow’ colourful theme that was forming in my head.
So first I had to make colourful cake pop ball thingys using a borrowed cake pop tin which was actually silicon and didn’t work quite as well as I imagine a tin one would … being flexible is not such a good thing in this case. Anyway it worked well enough for what I needed. Once the balls were formed I then placed them in a round cake tin and added more white cake mix and baked again like a regular cake.
I made 3 cakes the same and layered them together … that top one went a bit hill shaped on top so I had to slice some off … but at least I could see the polka dot effect was there.
Then all I had to do was slap on some white icing and cover it in lollies … easy.
And inside it looked something like this …
Impressive enough for 9 year olds anyway.
Look what came to play at my house today …
So it seems I’ve officially joined the Project Life club. Couldn’t see that happening EVER when it first came out … in fact, I was almost offended by the divided page protectors and what they represented. For a 12×12 scrapper who loves dimension and detail and scissors and glue and ink … the idea of spending some of my precious scrapping time rounding corners and slotting cards into perfect little pockets was just not something I seriously wanted to do. We made peace with each other and came to a bit of a compromise when I did a few travel photos ‘Project Life’ style and saw the potential of being able to add in those dimensional 12 x 12 pages whenever I pleased. With so many amazing photos and experiences of France it made sense to get them off the computer, printed and arranged so I could share my trip with others … and of course all the tickets, brochures and bits that I’d collected could all go in there too using an envelope page. But still … I watched others document their daily life Project Life style and just didn’t think I could do it … until now.
I must explain … a few things have come together, fallen into place, which has taken this Project Life thing from something I admired other people doing to something I really think I can do myself.
The first is this little thing …
… which was wrapped up under my Christmas tree this year. (Yes I have the best bosses ever!) There is no way I would consider documenting daily life in this way if I didn’t have this little printer right here at home. I can print quickly and easily straight from my phone without even needing a cord if I so desire. But the best bit is that I don’t have to work out in advance what size photo I want and whether I want it portrait or landscape … and then remember that information once I get to Harvey Normans … and then there’s the matter of actually going out of my way to drive there which would definitely not happen every week so then I’d have to ‘catch up’ with photos and journalling … and all that just seems too HARD! This way I can pick the photos for the week, print them to the size I want and have it done … EASY!
The next thing that made this idea work for me was this new little album. I LOVE this little album … it’s so perfectly greeny/blue and it’s got this gorgeous velvety black stuff on the inside.
This is our cover page … on the other side of this will be the first full week spread. Each open page will fit 4 4×6 ‘things’ (photos or cards) and 4 3×4 things. That gives me 8 slots for a weeks worth of photos and journalling … that’s achievable … I think. I already know (from doing the occasional photo a day challenges) that I don’t take photos every single day … some days are just not photo suitable and I don’t want to get to the end of a day and feel obligated to take a photo of my meal just to feel like I’ve ‘kept up’ or something. This way I’m hoping those boring … or busy … weeks will still have enough photos to work with … and I still get the encouragement to record every day life but not the pressure of filling a big album which I know would have me giving up before I’d done till the end of January. Oh and also … this little album is much easier to work with in a confined space (ie. my scrapping area). Of course … being little … it will only hold 19 weeks of daily life … assuming I manage to do one week per opening. Maybe I’ll just do 19 weeks and have a break … maybe I’ll start on volume two … maybe I’ll need 3 of these albums for the whole year … maybe each album will be a different colour … maybe they’ll all be the same perfectly greeny/blue … I don’t know that yet … I reckon I’ll work that one out 19 weeks from now.
The third thing that made this seem like a good idea was the whole Heather Bailey designed kit. I’ve been a Heather Bailey fabric collector for ages … there’s just something about her style that I really like … and I saw enough tealy greeny/blue colours in this kit to make it the perfect choice for me. I’m not so sure about the pink cards … would suit me better if they were red … but then there are way more cards in the kit than I’ll need anyway so maybe I’ll just use the pink cards for something else. I’ve also managed to get over the idea of having everything perfectly matchy … I plan to get the kids involved in this album, using photos from their cameras and having them write their stories too … so there’s no way I can get overly protective of making everything match.
And that is that … the start of my official Project Life journey. If you’d like to know more about Project Life you can find everything there is to know here. And if you live in NZ or Australia you can order Project Life supplies (and a super convenient photo printer) from Craft House. Meanwhile I’ll work on recording life …
So a new year brings with it a chance for a new word. I wasn’t going to pick a word for this year, thinking my 40 before 40 list was enough of a focus, however it appears a new word was there waiting so it seems like the right thing to do is to acknowledge it. Actually it was more a symbol than a word at first … a bird … birds have been around for a while but for some reason over the last few weeks birds seemed to be popping up in a more insistent manner. As I began to reflect on what they represent two words became clear ‘fly’ and ‘free’ … I like fly, but free was the one that settled in and made itself at home in my imagination.
I’m not exactly sure how this word will reveal itself over the year but I guess some of the trains of thought I’ve gone down include … free to be truly me, to freely forgive, to break free of my comfort zone, debt free, freely love, free to succeed, free from all the stuff that holds me back … the good thing is that I don’t have to have all the answers just yet, the word will just be there with me whatever happens this year and the sight of a little bird will be a great reminder of it.
And of course not to forget …
So another year ends … to be honest this one has not been fabulous … so I’m happy to say goodbye to it and move on to a new one.
Some good stuff happened in amongst the hard things. Alexander was in year 6 at school … that meant the traditional end of year camp and other celebrations that leaving primary school means. This was how he dressed to go to the formal dinner/dance thing. He’s looking forward to Intermediate next year.
Rebekah finished her two years at Intermediate on a happy note. She was runner up for the English trophy … who knows what she could achieve if she actually put some effort in! I think the concept of doing homework at home will be a bit hard for her to adjust to next year.
She exhibits some typically weird and often moody teenage behaviour but there’s also glimpses of the beautiful, responsible young woman she is becoming.
And Jessi … well, Jessi’s personality has really grown this year … since playing the fox in her school play this year, she’s decided that maybe she’s quite the drama queen. Definitely always trying to be the centre of attention, yet still sweet … mostly. She has another two years at primary school … she’s looking forward to being there with no older siblings around.
My one little word for the year has been really hard to stick with. It’s seriously hard to ‘rejoice’ when life is more sad than happy. But then, I think perhaps some of those less joyful situations would have been far worse had I not been wanting to rejoice.
I came across this verse recently which I think explains how my word actually turned out for me …
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
When things don’t go well the best place to be is close to God and with his protection it is possible to rejoice no matter what’s going on around you. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been able to feel joyful all year but I have been able to rejoice in God because he’s bigger than all of life’s problems even if they do seem big at the time.
Till next year …