Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New 52 | Week 17: Project Life

I love using Evernote for keeping track of all sorts of stuff. One of my goals that I wrote down this year in Evernote in January was to get more photos printed out and into a photo album. That way they could be enjoyed on the coffee table by us and by friends when visiting. For 3.5 months I did nothing about it. Until one day in mid-April when I saw how some people are using Becky Higgin's Project Life kit. That day, it all clicked for me. So I ordered my Project Life - Amber Edition and waited for it to arrive. It finally arrived last Wednesday 4/20!

I ripped it open and proceed to be totally engrossed with setting up my album.

Here are the contents of Project Life. Not pictured is a date stamp.

Why do I want to start doing Project Life? Oh let me count the ways.  :)
  1. It's a way to save physical mementos. I had too many ticket stubs and programs scattered all over the place on my desk, with no home.
  2. Have a physical album to look at and enjoy my photos.
  3. Todd can contribute to the journaling. He's been doing "OhLife" journaling already.
  4. Can use additional 8.5x11 page protectors I already have for physical memorabilia.
  5. Vertical photos can be printed smaller and fit into the vertical slots.
  6. I can use my Silhouette machine to cut out cute tags and shapes to stick into the slots for journaling.
  7. I have a place now to stick my Fuji Instax photos!
  8. Easy workflow of Lightroom upload directly to Flickr, then organize and print from Flickr to Snapfish or local pickup. Or print at Costco or at home.
  9. Print non-4x6 or vertical photos at home.
  10. Just starting from now and work backwards if I get a chance. No rules, no worries.
  11. Print photos from home on Canon MP620 and 4x6 photo paper. (Can put overlays & journaling on digitally first.)
  12. Can design journaling in Photoshop first and print out on cardstock.
I had found a small packet of sample Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II that came with my Canon Pixma printer, so I did a few test prints to see how they'd look.  I really like the idea of the instant gratification of having my photos printed at home.

My first print is the one on top. I just pulled up my processed photo from within Windows Explorer and clicked on "print". It automatically sharpened for print.

You can't tell in this photo, but I thought the print on top was a little too sharp, so I printed the same photo again without the sharpening and I think I like it better. It's softer. For people photos I don't like to over-sharpen.

I like it that I can also use the 4x6 size as a canvas in Photoshop and print a collage or two photos on the same sheet and trim them, like this.

Cute smaller photos with room to write the date or small amount of journaling.

To my horror, there was only 5 sheets in the sample packet and I had used them all. So I ordered more from Amazon, because I definitely like how this Canon paper prints and looks. While waiting, I sent a batch of photos to Snapfish to print and mail back to me. I also sent a batch to Costco on Saturday and picked it up two hours later. I have some comparisons.

The top one was printed at home. The bottom was Snapfish.

The Snapfish one was a little bit sharper and darker, but I think the home print is just fine. Plus, home print = instant. Well, 40 seconds anyways. :)

Top one is Snapfish and bottom is Costco.

In this instance, I like the Costco print slightly better because Noodle's face and fur wasn't as blown out. On a side note, Costco's online photo processing has an option to turn off processing adjustments, which I really like. I already spend time adjusting my photos in Lightroom, so I don't want them to make further adjustments different than mine.

One last comparison. When I ran out of the Canon photo paper, I found a stack of 100 Strathmore photo papers that I got for free somewhere, somehow. So I printed the top photo using my Canon printer with the Strathmore paper. I hated it. The finish was really dull, as were the colors. The bottom one was Costco.

You can't really tell the texture and finish difference between them in this photo. The Strathmore paper was not a good choice for my Canon printer.

So yesterday my glorious Canon paper came. I'm excited to start using it!

Now that you've sat through my long dissertation, here are a few of my pages that I've completed so far.

I inserted a 8.5x11 page protector for Mike and Jen's wedding invite.

I had a lot of photos from the wedding, so I added an extra 12x12 6-up We R Memory Keepers page protector for the extra photos.

Close-up of my 4x6 journaling I created in Photoshop. I printed it out on some Bazzill Basics 8.5x11 white orange-peel texture cardstock and trimmed it.

A couple of pages where I still need to write the journaling.

Oh, I also bought some extra 100 Journaling Cards - 3" x 4" with Grid Design so I have extra journaling cards in case I mess up. I like to be prepared!

I'm really excited to keep going with this Project Life album. I love pulling it out and looking at the photos, and I think friends and family will also. I'll end this post with a couple of inspirational videos of Project Life.

Becky Higgins

Cherish Everyday blog

About This Project

New52 is a project started by Peppermint and I to encourage each other and others around us to try something new every week in 2011. The "new" each week doesn't have to be something big. It could be something as simple as ordering a new dish instead of old standbys at your favorite restaurant. It's simply opening your heart up to NEW possibilities.

Don't worry if you're late getting started on joining in. It's totally OK if you miss a week here or there. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about trying something new. This is a life project, and a photography/blog and even scrap challenge if you wish. If you participate this week, please leave a link to your blog post in the link list below. You can also post images to our New 52 Flickr Group! We would love to see what you were inspired to do.


  1. Love this! Such a cool project! :)


  2. Congratulations on starting Project Life! This is my third year doing it, and I am also using the Amber kit this year. In the past, I have done a combination of printing large orders of prints at Kodak Photo Gallery or Snapfish...and printing at home on my Epson PictureMate. This year is the first year that I have printed all pictures at home, and I have to say that it has been the best way I have found to keep up to date on Project Life. I have added some extra pages, too, in varying sizes, and more memorabilia. I love, love, love this concept and the albums are my favorite to look through. It has revolutionized the way I preserve my memories. You will be so glad you started this. (I really like what you have done so far.) Lisa

  3. Oooh yay! You just gave me the extra nudge I needed to checkout my cart...Project Life Amber edition has been sitting in it for about 4 weeks now.

    Loooved seeing yours so far! And thank you for the comparative peek at the photos!

    p.s. ummmm how awesome is it that Todd is using OhLife?!

  4. Yeah.. I love this post. I have project life too. I love looking back at it and I double love how much people love looking at it too.. You will be so happy you did it.. I also love instant gratification.. Home printing works for me too.. Then costco.. I am happy for you. Scrapbooking is my best crafting love ever..G

  5. Very cool! I was thinking of doing this next year so I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes for you this year.

    Yep I'm still behind. I think it's 5 weeks now. Maybe I'll get caught up next week. LOL

  6. Love this kit. Think I'm too far behind for this year... maybe this will be new #1 for 2012!

  7. Wow! Congrats on getting your Project Life kit ... I've eyed up those white boxes for some time now, but really can't justify the expense + DH would probably go bonkers if I add to the stash of un-used scrap supplies in my craft room (since going digi 2.5yrs ago, my paper stash has sat there unused & unloved :-( for most of the time!). I love, love, LOVE the pages you've completed so far, they look AMAZING!!!!

  8. First, I have to tell you that I love Becky Higgins. She is what made me into a scrapping monster (paper first then digital). I'm just like Sue and my DH would go insane with me adding more to my paper stash. Second, I love what you have done with your Project Life. Please keep us updated throughout your journey. And finally, sorry, with so many comments this evening, just trying to catch up. When you are closer to your Hawaii trip, email me and I can give you a better list of restaurants that you and Todd may like.


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