Getting Ready for Project Life 2014 | V2: Step 1

Like I said in my last Getting Ready post, I am going to expand on my steps and show you how I have done them personally. Hopefully it will help you or encourage you or motivate you to get ready!

**Note: If you are going digi I can totally help you with that too!! Right now I am sharing my paper style getting ready, but if you want some digi recs I can give those out too!**

1. Get the supplies you need/want.

I have been slowly working on this for the last couple of months. I am el cheapo so I am always watching for deals to get supplies. Some of the best daily deal sites I have found are:
Also, be sure to check your favorite stores for awesome deals. Subscribing to their newsletters is the best way to stay up to date with promotions. Sign up for email updates for the store's blogs as well so you don't miss anything.

Facebook groups are awesome too. I am a member of a PL swap and shop group and I have gotten a few really good deals, but more awesomely, I have just swapped goodies I wasn't using for new ones! How fun is that?! If you are interested in joining that group let me know and I can add you to it (I think we would have to be friends for that to work so you can find my personal profile HERE)

Check local stores for coupons too! Michaels and Hobby Lobby sell the Project Life brand and other awesome brands and they almost always have coupons for 30-50% off. So if you just slowly work on building up your stash you can get the essentials so much cheaper by watching sales. If you have a smart phone you can download the Michales and Hobby Lobby apps to get coupons straight there so no printing required!

Before I show you what I have gotten for such crazy steals (or just swapped for!!) I wanted to share some of the monthly kit clubs. These are a wee bit pricey...but I think considering that you get elements, stamps and cards, it's worth it. Sometimes you can find a new subscriber deal too! I was able to get a Studio Calico PL subscription and get a free stamp grab bag worth over 30 dollars for free! Here are some of the Project Life specific clubs I have found!
So many! I think kit clubs are tons of fun because they help you to mix and match but still coordinate. I chose Studio Calico because the price was nice and I got those free stamps. Plus I really love the mix of cards in their kits. They coordinate so well but are fun and colorful and things. I personally really love all of them. Scraptastic looks especially awesome (they had one card in the Dec kit I really really needed..but I am going to try make my own. I just couldn't afford it.)

Ok! Now that that is out of the way! Here is what I have so far:

The Cinnamon Binder. I really liked the typography on it but I also loved that it was still neutral black and white. I got it crazy cheap at Meijer along with the Midnight Core and some other little card sets and pockets! When I say crazy cheap I mean crazy cheap. I paid about 40 bucks for the whole lot which is a steal! My sister actually went back and got me the Holidays mini kit because I had wished I had gotten it when we were out since it was only like $6 dollars or so. YAY for awesome sisters! The Project Life stuff was the reason I went out on Black Friday. 

Some stamps.  (I still need some inks. I have been researching which inks would be best because I want to be able to stamp onto my photos). I got most of these stamps for free from the stamp grab bag. Score!! (I feel like I still need some more..I would like some that coordinate with 5th and Frolic, Cut and Paste and Polka Dot Party). I also got a the amazing big pebbles roller from an awesome person in the swap group.

Some of the basics I already had like a paper trimmer and  pens and some washi's so I didn't need those at the moment thankfully! I do recommend having a paper trimmer, and if money is tight get a cheap one and upgrade later. That is totally what I did..though I haven't upgraded yet. :) I also recommend a corner rounder. I personally like for my photos to have rounded corners like the BH cores. I originally got a $4 dollar one from walmart and I did not notice any difference in the corners. I have upgraded to the BH brand one that I got in the swap group for $5. Also..I have quite a few pens that I like in my binder so I didn't need new ones of those luckily, though I am eyeing Frixion markers and pens.

And I am so so so excited because I swapped some of my first love, Olive, to get some 5th an Frolic. I LOVE it! I think it's the core that is the most "me" so it is the one I am going to use the most I think.

(Pic taken from web)

I know there are some of you who are traditional paper scrappers who have so much in your stash for your PL albums. I don't have a lot...but this all feels like a lot to me!! I just have a few little tidbits..I don't even really have any embellishments, which is why I am excited about the SC kit club so much!

When I subbed I got Blue Note. There are some things I won't use, but all in all I love it! Here is a pic that I myself took of the contents.

(Pic taken from the Studio Calico site)

Whew! That's a lot of shopping info! I hope that it helped you out though or maybe you found a new place to snag some goodies! <3 <3 

How I am Using the Photo Organizer

I am going to take a full photo of my workspace here in a few days to go along with one of my Getting Ready for Project Life 2014 posts. However, I really wanted to show you some photos of the photo/ multi purpose organizers that we have. I had never gotten around to posting it on here and then once I realized it I had already changed how I was using it! So here we are!

I know I am biased, but it is an awesome product because you can use it for so many things. My original plan was to sort my photos for the coming year in it as I get them..because I am being real with myself and betting I will eventually be behind.'s not the coming year yet and I found I had a need for it right now!

 As a crafter I have little things like mists, adhesive, tiny attacher...etc. scattered about. Not tons, but quite a few different things in different places like everything else in my house. (It really is a problem around here). So I decided to put some of my odds and ends in it!

Here it is in the front. I mostly only have Becky Higgins Project Life supplies, but there are a couple sets of random goodies that I have. I was lucky enough to snag one of the Elle's Studio Black Friday Grab Bags for $3. I hadn't ever bought from there, but I had looked a couple of times and was really excited to try them for such a great price! I got cards and some cute little elements! Totally worth the $5 or so! Then I scored one of the WRMK discontinued cards sets from an online swap group. I love love love them! They are the Dreamy cards and they are fantastic! (I tried to find a link online so you could see them, but I had no luck. I really like the WRMK cards though. Lots of fun sets!) I like to organize my cards based on set or collection so I had those but needed somewhere for them to be! They got the first two slots in my organizer. :) 

Here is a top view. You can see I just left the first two removable dividers in for those cards. Then I took out a divider to make room for my glue dot roller and refills and some adhesive squares and one of my stamp pads. I debated taking out all the rest of the dividers, but there was just a smidgen of room left that made a few things not stand up, and I wanted them standing up all orderly like. The last space has my mists (I don't have a lot of supplies! I told you guys I was a digi scrapper..I am new to all this really!), an acrylic block (I need more of those too. *sigh*) and my tiny attacher

Voila! I love it so much and it's a great size. It fits on my little shelves but holds a lot of stuff! It worked perfect for these goodies and I am going to have to have another for my stamps (which then I will want to move the inks and mists to be with those..Eventually I will find the perfect system for me!)

So..I hope that that shows you a bit better what that organizer is good for. The original images I had just showed all the divider in and lots of cards and photos in it. This really could be used for oodles of things!

Getting ready for PL 2014 | V1

I cannot believe that it is nearly a new year already. I am so so grateful. Not to be super whiney or negative...but 2013 was a sucky year! I hope it was better for you all than it was for us around here!

With a new year comes a new Project Life (for me anyways!). I say this every year...but in 2014 I am totally finishing my album, and hopefully finishing up 2013 as well. I have decided that the best way for me to finish 2014 is by staying up to date on it. It really is important to me so I have scaled way back on my commitments so I can devote time and energy to this. It feels great...and also cut back in some areas and with things that are very dear to me. It has taken me too long to realize that I only have so much in me and that I only have so many hours in a day.

Anyways...I am getting usual! I decided to share the first bit of my getting ready for 2014 process. Then I will share my process for each of these steps myself, include the items I have actually purchased and/or used.

1. Get the supplies you need/want. For me this mostly means hoarding cores. We have touched on this already...but you totally know what I mean. (I just need two more to feel more complete...though there are four more that I would like...but I would settle for two of the four!) This also means getting some of the other bits you might want as well, like stamps or ink pads, paper trimmer...etc. There are lots of different monthly kit clubs you could do instead of cores as well. (I will do a separate post on all of these for you. I didn't realize there were so many!). Going that route gives you the option to mix things up in your spreads! If you have done Project Life before, you have an idea of what you might want or need for the coming year.

If you are new to Project Life, you don't need much!! Grab a core, a binder, pocket pages, pens and your own personal photos, and you are good to go!

2. Organize the supplies. I decided that this is something that needed to be done for my own personal sanity, and also to help me be more consistent in my Project Life process. I am not an organized person, so it doesn't come naturally to me, but I have found that if I just do the organizing to start with everything in every area of my life (the parts that are organized) go sooo much smoother and less stressful! I decided that that is my goal for 2014 (and my OLW...more on that to come as well) be more organized so that I can be more at peace. So, start organizing all those supplies you have been stocking up on. Put all the journal cards in one spot. Put your pens all together. Keep the stamps and inks together so you can find them easily. If, like me, you don't have a ton of space (or any for that matter!), just put everything as close together as you can even if every item set can't be completely all together. For instance...I have all my journal cards on my desk or the shelf/shelves above it. The stamps are on the bookshelf behind me. My 2014 binder is next to my desk leaning up against it. You get the idea. Keep every item together and as organized as you can in your own personal space! You absolutely do not need to have an amazing magazine worthy craft studio to make crafting, particularly Project Life, doable. That is part of why it is awesome.

3. Get your camera, editing software and photo inspiration ready to go. It dawned on me one day that I was definitely not utilizing my software to it's full capabilities, so I found some AMAZING Lightroom tutorials thanks to my friend Christine aka listgirl. Once she showed me these tutorials, I knew that my life and photo editing (specifically Project Life photo preparation) was going to be so so so much easier!!! Even if you are not a Lightroom user, and you will mostly use your cell phone, try to think about how you want to print and process your photos. Get your apps ready and accounts ready so you can upload and print easy peasy! Do you need help thinking of photo inspiration??? Find blogs with monthly challenges and idea lists like Katrina Kennedy, FatMumSlim, Project Life 365 and sign up for the emails so you don't miss the monthly lists. This is especially helpful if you are doing Project Life weekly. I am gonna shoot for monthly spreads to be easier on myself, but that might mean a spread every week one month..or just one spread for the entire month...don't know and I am not gonna pressure myself! Figure out what you would like to do and get your software and what not ready to go so you aren't cramming the day before you want to start your spreads.

Here are the super amazing and fantastic LR tutorials that will change your life. You are welcome.
The Scrappy Jedi: using lightroom to print multiple photos on a single 4x6 canvas
The Fabulous Adventures of Listgirl: Project Life | Page Planning Using Lightroom

4. Have notebooks or apps for journaling and for the kids. Sometimes, something will happen or someone will say something and you will want to remember it. A photo won't do because, though it is worth a thousand words in some instances, it won't actually record the exact conversation or words spoken that you want to remember. Have notebooks or post-its in your purse, on your desk, in your car...etc. Keep something with you to record some things so you don't forget. Also, I keep the 3x4 grid cards in my travel pouch with my planner goodies for the kids to doodle and write on when we are out and they are bored. I also have them out on the bookshelf with their art supplies so if they are feeling creative they can use them as inspired and I can slip them into my pocket pages. There are lots of apps for recording your daily moments too. Even just the notepad that comes on smartphones would be perfect! Let the other members of your family/house be a part of the memory keeping. This probably could have been put with supplies, but I had a lot to say about it apparently and didn't want to put all of that with my already incessant ramblings about supplies!

5. Work on your title page. This can be as hard or as easy as you would like. If you have a Core there are labeled title cards that even tell you where to put them! So awesome!! I like to include photos of my kiddos on the title page, because they are so darned cute. If you are going to do that, start searching for the best photo of them from the past year...I like for it to be pretty recent...and edit it and size it however you need or want and then add in filler/journal and title cards for the empty spaces. Jot down the year or any little snippet you might like to include. Voila! You could totally stop there. Or you could take it a smidge farther and add little embellishments to it as well. Completely up to you!

6. Look for inspiration, but please  please please do not compare!! I am not a paper scrapper. I am a digital scrapper at heart as that is where I started...and I am clustery. That is like the total opposite of Project Life. In 2012 when I first started trying to do Project Life I ended up feeling really down. My photos weren't professional. I wasn't good at all the extra beautiful embellishing. My handwriting isn't even good!! It ended up making me want to quit. I just got caught up in the craze and browsing for inspo so much that I was missing the whole point!! The point isn't to become the next Ali Edwards (who is just plain amazing at everything!!). The point is to record your own memories. Remember the moments in your life that pass all too quickly. They are special and worth documenting! When you look at past photos from your own childhood, do you critique your parents (or whoever was taking the photo) camera angle and lighting? Or do you smile and reminisce and remember those moments? I am betting for most of you it is the latter. We are just excited to be seeing our cute little baby self! We don't care that there is a glare here or a shadow there. Maybe some of you don't have albums and journals and diaries from your parents or grandparents. Wouldn't it be soooo nice if you did?! That's how your family will feel when you are old or gone. They will just be so grateful for the glimpse into your life or their life! It will be a true treasure for them no matter how amazing and perfect (in your eyes) that it is.

With all that being said...getting inspired is one of my most favorite things about our digital age!!! There is such a wealth of inspiration everywhere!! Becky Higgins has an amazing creative team and they almost all have blogs or websites with their beautiful spreads. Pinterest has a kabillion different boards with Project Life Inspiration..just type in Project Life and watch what happens! Most of the stores and shops have galleries. You can search Project Life in those to see beautiful pages. People are so creative and in our digital age we are blessed because they love to share it with the world! It is so fabulous!

Whew! I might have gone a wee bit overboard...but I really did have a lot of thoughts and wanted to share while it was on my mind. Stay tuned to see my own photos and more links from each of these steps!

In order to keep myself motivated I thought I would join in on Project Life Tuesdays at The Mom Creative!

Which Organizer Do I Need?

Right now we currently have two organizers for sale. One is a regular size and it was the first one the hubs made for me because it fit the amount of cards that I had at that moment. But....I have a card buying problem. I totally admit. I love the Project Life cores!!! Like a lot. I will have to post my stash for you soon to see...but I have a couple more on the way... *whistling* The original does fit a lot of cards and it was absolutely perfect for all of the loose cards I had scattered about. It holds about 660 cards...which is more than the full regular PL cores.

Here is a picture with the regular Desk and Scrapbook organizer loaded with my Midnight Core. It is just put in there.

There is still an available slot here. Honestly, if you put a divider into that last space you could space the 3x4's a little more so they are easier to be flipping through. Then it will hold one core pretty perfectly. These are tight..but not so tight I couldn't get them in there obviously. [Side Note: As you can see I painted that one and we will offer painted versions soon. We are working on finding the best paint and methods first so they are just right for you! This was a test one and though it is good enough for did have a few flaws so we aren't quite there yet. Soon I hope!]

Now...for someone like me....who has multiple full cores, quite a few mini kits and some lose split up cores, one organizer just wasn't enough if I wanted to have all the cards out. Or at least most of the cards out. So the Desk and Scrapbooking Organizer [Large] was invented. This one will hold about 2 full cores quite easily. Here it is holding Midnight and Honey .

It also has an available slot. I am going to be moving everything up a space and then putting some extras in the back. I like to organize by core and not by color like I have seen some people do. There wasn't a divider in the second row yet so I just put these all in there.

Also, one cool thing about my hubby, is that he can make pretty much anything you might personally need for your own goodies. Like this custom one we did for someone. She needed it longer and lots of space for 3x4 cards. So, if the above two organizers aren't quite right just shoot us a message and we can do something cool for you like this! This is holding four full cores and they fit beautifully and perfectly!! This is full of Olive, Midnight, Honey and Kraft. It also has a slight angle to it which makes it extra super awesome!

Pretty cool right?! We really can make it any size you need. This custom is long at 28 inches and the slots are a bit wider...but if you need one not as long but want more slots going back we can do that too! We are more than happy to work with you!

I hope that that helps a wee bit and shows you the sizes a bit more clearly. These would totally make awesome Christmas presents and right now we still should be able to get one done in time for the holidays!