Monday, January 27, 2014

How I'm Going to Document 2014

As you all know from this post, I have decided not to do Project Life in 2014.  I do still want to document those everyday moments throughout the year.  So, I happened to see a post on the Two Peas General Scrappin' Message Board highlighting a month-in-review scrapbook album.  The original blog post can be found here.  I thought this was a genius idea!  This woman broke down her complete process in how she prepares her album.  And this was all free!  I've taken classes I've paid for that provided just as much detail, photos, advice, and lists as this blog post.  It definitely motivated me to document 2014 in this way; a way I've never scrapbooked before.

There were two goals I had when taking on this project:  1) I wanted to use my stash and not buy anything specifically for this album and 2) I wanted to make all my layouts and embellishments for the year to make this process as easy as possible.  Well, I did buy the actual 12"x12" album and page protectors, but that's it!  I'm very proud of myself.  I used Recollections The Sweetest Thing paper stack found at Michael's.  I think this paper stack is the Michael's brand of My Mind's Eye's Sweetest Thing collection lines. I bought this huge paper stack 6 or so months ago and have barely used any papers.  I was happy to finally use this paper stack.  

So, here's where I started.
Sketch from Creating Keepsakes
  I knew I wanted a 2-page layout.  (Which is unusual for me because I've never done a 2-page layout!)  And I wanted to use landscape and portrait 4"x6" photos, as well as some square photos.  I spent so much time looking for a sketch.  I needed something simple with lots of photos and a journaling block. 

My next step was to make a mock layout.  I needed to make sure what I had envisioned in my head looked good on paper; I needed to see where I could add extra embellishments; and I needed to see how big my journaling block could be.  

Mock Month-in-Review Layout
Left side of mock layout
Right side of mock layout
The white paper represents photos.  I made notes on this layout and figured out where my embellishment clusters were going.  The sketch only showed 2 embellishment clusters, but I wanted three, for design purposes.  I literally made this layout as it would be for all 12 months in my album.  And I fell in love with this!  I don't usually scrapbook like this, like, at all.  But I still wanted to display photos from each month with some written highlights.  I realized I would need some more room for journaling, so I left one side of the journaling mat un-adhered to stick a journaling tag underneath.  

After my mock layout was constructed, I picked 5 patterned papers from The Sweetest Thing paper stack for each month.  I set aside all the ledger/graph/lined paper in this stack as well to be used for my journaling blocks, embellishment clusters, and scalloped borders.

A finished layout for one of the 12 months
Here is one of the completed layouts.  Everything has already been glued down, except for the circle embellishments (as they will be layered over photos) and the journaling block (I may type on the papers for maximum use).

Large embellishment cluster
This is the large cluster for the left side of the layout.  It looks like it's adhered, but it's just hanging out in the page protector.  

Small embellishment cluster
Here is the small circle embellishment cluster.  This will be layered over a photo and the journaling block on the right side of the layout.  

Banner embellishment cluster
This embellishment cluster is already adhered to the top right of each layout.  Each layout cluster uses a button threaded with twine, a wood veneer heart, and patterned paper the coordinated with each layout.

It took me what seemed like forever to finish all 12 layouts, but I did it!  I spend 2 days getting these layouts done.  Luckily, when I decided to work on this project, it was the Sunday of the crazy polar vortex, so I ended up having Monday off from work.  Which I took advantage of the time to complete the layouts.

All the layouts in their album!
The only thing I have to do at the end of each month is to print photos, journal each month's highlights/stories, and cut the title (month name) with my Cameo.

I am so excited to have a system to document 2014 already prepared in advance.  This will be really helpful in staying on top of the other projects and goals I have for the year.

I will show each month on my blog, so make sure to come back!  

How are you documenting your year for 2014?  Are you participating in Project Life?  Or did you come up with some other system?  Let me know in the comments section!

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