At the end of last year I debated back and forth a bit about tackling Project Life® again this year. In December I took some time to go through my 2013 album and tried to fill in all the gaps I had left throughout the year – pockets with post-it notes stuck to them, pockets with a random piece of memorabilia, etc. On my first pass through the unfinished pockets my goal was to simply print the photos out for any of the pockets I knew I had the photos for – and for the most part I printed them out and popped them into place unadorned. Second pass was to attach any memorabilia to 3×4 pieces of patterned paper. And on the third pass, I pulled out any remaining post-it notes and condensed the whole album down by moving everything forward to fill in the gaps.
The first couple of months of the year attempted to encompass all of three of us, and for the rest of the year the pockets that tended to be filled were the ones that contained a quote I liked, a mantra I wanted to remember, or a photo of some little piece of our day-to-day lives. The empty pockets tended to be the ones that were for someone else – usually Nicholas. And when I asked myself why they were still empty, the answer was usually because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about them yet, or I felt as though I wanted more space for them, or I wasn’t sure how to fit them in among all these other, more random moments that I had documented.
I love the last half of that completed, condensed album. Flipping through it is like a journal of who I was in 2013 – and I decided that I would focus my efforts (focus being my One Little Word this year) and embrace this format wholeheartedly for 2014 and simply create an album of me – my 6×8 life.
I’m using the 6×8 Snap album from Simple Stories again this year – they’re readily available to me locally and I already had a spare one (and a lot of pocket pages) left over from last year. Pictured above is my January “title page” of sorts. Last year I tried using the monthly dividers from Simple Stories but wound out pulling them all out after I condensed the album because there were no longer clean monthly breaks. But also they were a bit too busy for me, in general. I like this approach better.
The next two pages begin by making my One Little Word for 2014 visible. I plan on mixing the exercises from Ali’s workshop into this album throughout the year, so they’ll show up in future spreads if all goes as planned. The little note is from my Julep subscription box in January, they always drop a little quote or phrase into the box each month and that one seemed to perfectly embrace the optimism of a new year.
The facing page is a collection of things that were making me particularly happy at the beginning of the new year. Tom finally entered the modern age with a new smartphone – he’d been using the same Motorola Razr for the past 7 years, which is a real testament to the durability of those old Razr phones. Also a glamour shot of my new planner – I’m always excited to greet a fresh planner each year – and an homage to the Tobacco Flower scented oil from The Body Shop. Tobacco Flower is the new Pineapple Orchid, which was the predominant scent in my office last year.
The next two begin our trip to Las Vegas early last month – heavy focus on the food, of course. The crispy duck at Lotus of Siam (recommended by Liz) is easily one of the Top 10 meals of my life. I also really fell in love with the giant bathroom in our room at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, which was bigger than both of our bathrooms at home (probably combined?) I asked Tom several times if we could just live there forever.
The right side is a 6×8 page that I made using a photo of Tom and me from that trip.
Which brings me to a new goal for 2014. Liz and I were talking one evening and the conversation turned towards our lack of memory keeping last year. 2013 was a busy year – both of us fresh off our moves to The Lilypad, both of us expanding our businesses in different directions. Last year was my most prolific year, design-wise, to date – something I’m extremely grateful for. Over the past couple of years it has become my primary form of creative expression, and for the most part I don’t like to assign any more importance to one form of creativity than I do another. But I do know that I miss the playfulness of creating purely on a personal level, and it’s a nice counterbalance to what can sometimes (most of the time) be the raw vulnerability of creating to pay the bills.
So when she suggested that we challenge one another to scrap one page per quarter, the pathological overachiever in me countered with “More like once a month”. And now the game is on – as Sherlock would say. This 6×8 page is the result of our January effort. Hopefully being accountable to one another will motivate us to fulfill our monthly goals – history has already proven that we’re quite good at nagging one another about deadlines. As much as I enjoy playing with paper, I hope to make quite a few digital pages this year, as well. Possibly more hybrid? Ultimately I’m willing to go wherever the mood takes me.
You can see Liz’s page for January on her blog today, as well.