The other day Charlie woke up at 5:30 in the morning. This isn’t all that unusual, and honestly, it’s not that much of a bother. I can usually go in, pat his back, give him a drink of water, and count on him to fall back asleep for at least another couple of hours (and I can get a bit more precious sleep myself). No problem.
But on this particular day I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was thinking about pictures. And journals. And memory keeping. And my complete and utter lack of any physical documentation of Charlie’s first years of life. I started to panic. I couldn’t remember Charlie’s first word. (It was “car”, my husband reminded me later. Of course it was.) I wasn’t entirely sure when he started crawling, or walking, or when he got his first teeth. I was starting to picture a future when my children wanted to know interesting details about their early life and they would be dismayed to find that their mother had NO IDEA. I might have been going a little crazy. I’ll blame it on the hormones.
So at 6:00 that morning I decided I needed to get on this. I had read about Project Life from a few different bloggers I follow, so I decided that seemed like the most realistic way to go about catching up on the past two years of missing documentation. Project Life is a system that is meant to be a simpler version of scrapbooking. You get photos printed out and slip them in pocket sleeves like a traditional photo album, but you mix in pretty journaling cards to tell the story behind the pictures. Official Project Life products have pocket sleeve pages in a variety of layouts so you can mix things up and keep it interesting. They also make several kits of cute coordinating cards and journaling prompts. The bloggers I follow get really creative with their layouts and some even design their own cards, so it’s a system that can be as simple or elaborate as you choose to make it.
This layout by Elise Joy makes good use of journal cards and shows a creative way to crop images to make use of different layouts.
This is a layout featured on A Beautiful Mess. I love how the images follow the same color scheme.
Rather than the typical 12×12 inch album, I went with a smaller 6×8 inch size. I figured 12×12 would get too overwhelming – not something I need right now. I also like the fact that the albums are really just binders, so I can fill it with as much as I can get done, but if I don’t get all the way through two years I’ll at least have something and it won’t look sadly incomplete. I can also work out of order and rearrange pages as needed, so I can make a page for things I want to document now, while still catching up on the past.
I’m still waiting on my supplies and photo prints to come in so I can get started on my album, but I’m excited to get going. After I get a few spreads done and have a better idea of how realistic this plan is, I’ll share an update.
Here are a few other photo/life documentation ideas:
Artifact Uprising has really nice looking softcover books specifically designed for instagram photos. I think this could be really nice to make someday, it just doesn’t have the journalling aspect that I wanted for this project.
My friend Tina made a simple and cute pregnancy journal that she shared on her blog. I like that it was small enough to easily update on a regular basis. I could see this kind of photo journal working for a lot of special events in life.