Amy Beth

April 13, 2015

Documenting the Snow

We got so much snow this year! It was crazy. And it definitely needs to be remembered. Enter my Project Life album.

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Since switching to a 12×12 album I was able to fit the story of our snow days into one spread.

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Left side – design A

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Right side – design B

I’m happy with the way these turned out. I really like the look of spreads that all come from one day or event. It makes the whole page look a lot more cohesive. I’d like to try to do more of these types of spreads in the future.


12×12 American Crafts Album

Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Big Variety Pack

Amy Tangerine Mini Kit

April 6, 2015

A few adjustments

When I first decided to make a photo album using the Project Life system, I thought the traditional 12×12 size sound like way too much. It’s so big! I just want to keep things simple! Less is more!

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But I quickly found that the 6×8 size that I started with couldn’t hold many 4×6 photos on a page. I was needing to do a lot of cutting and cropping of my photos, and a single event or theme had to take up several pages in my book. So after playing with the smaller size for several months, I decided that was just not the way I wanted this book to go and I took the plunge and bought a bigger album.


The thing’s a mammoth. But it’s also much easier to work with. I can use several 4×6 photos on a page still have plenty of space to include fun backgrounds and journalling.

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The nice thing about the large album is I can still fit my smaller sheets inside. I just included all the pages I’ve already made and plan to use the remainder of my small pocket sheets to make little “mini albums” of special events throughout the book.

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I also purchased a few kits of journaling cards to make my life easier. I love the idea of creating my own backgrounds and journaling cards, but the reality is that I will never get this album done if I try to do that for everything. The Becky Higgins site has a ton of great card designs to choose from. I went with the Amy Tangerine Mini Kit, the My Story Themed Cards, and the Inspiration Themed Cards. They are all full of bright, bold colors that I think will make this album feel really happy.

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Inspiration themed cards

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My Story themed cards

I’m really glad I started this little project. I feel like it gets easier each time I sit down to work on a spread and I know I’ll be glad to have this album in several years when we’re all older.

Complete list of Project Life products I used:

12×12 American Crafts Album

Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Big Variety Pack

Amy Tangerine Mini Kit

Inspiration Themed Cards

My Story Themed Cards

December 2, 2014

Project Life: A Day at the Zoo

Projectlife zoo

I’ve been wanting to take Charlie to the zoo for at least a year. Somehow it never happened. But as we started to near the due date for baby number two I realized that if we didn’t do it soon it could be another couple of years before we’d be able to try again.

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So we made it a priority. Chris and I picked out a couple of possible weekends and watched the weather and finally landed on our day.

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It was perfect. It was early November so it was a little chilly in the morning, but the sky was clear, the wind was calm, and it warmed up by the afternoon. It turned out to be one of the last warmish days of fall before the temperatures plunged and it turned to winter.

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Charlie had a great time. We didn’t take a ton of pictures – we spent our time just enjoying our day together. But we got a few cute ones and I was so excited about our fun day that I really wanted to make sure I captured it before I forgot some of the little details. So I went ahead and printed some pictures for my ProjectLife album and wrote down a few of my favorite moments. I’m so glad I’ve started this album and have a nice way to remember such days.

Free Printable!

Perfect day cards

I made a few of my own 3×4 inch journaling cards for this project and thought I’d make them available to others. They are pretty multi-purpose and use some fun bright colors. If you’d like to use them for your own projects just download the pdf and print them out!

Download the cards here

September 1, 2014

Project Life: First Spreads

So a few weeks ago I told you about my fear of forgetting my children’s early years and what I was going to do about, namely, start a physical album of photos and journalling based on the ProjectLife method of scrapbooking. I’ve completed my first few spreads so I wanted to report back and share what I think about this method and lessons I’ve learned thus far.

1. It’s easier than scrapbooking, but harder than just sticking pictures in an album.

I like that I don’t have to embellish anything If I don’t want to, but I’ve found that it takes some time and creativity to make use of the different layouts and pocket sizes to create a cohesive spread in the book. It’s fun, but definitely not effortless.

2. It makes just as big of a mess as scrapbooking.

At least, I make just as big of a mess working on a layout for my ProjectLife album as I would on any scrapbook. I’m making my own journal pages, rather than purchasing any kits for now, so that involves lots of paper cutting and various markers and pens. Many of the pocket sizes have required trimming down my photos as well. All these paper scraps make it a little more difficult for me to find the time to work on it because I have to get out all the materials to start work and put them all away when I’m done. I’m working on creating a better project space for myself so I can leave things out and come back to them as I get the chance.

3. I’ve developed some opinions on photo printing.

I used SnapFish to print my photos. It was by far the most affordable option I could find, and they were running a special on free shipping during the time I was printing these. I got 400 photos printed (remember, I’m catching up on 2 years!) for just around $35.00. Even though I probably won’t end up using all 400 photos in the book, the price was good enough that it was worth it for the ease of editing down the photos as I went along rather than trying to make all those decisions on the front end. Making decisions is not a strength for me.

There are a few things I wish I had done differently though. First, during checkout I was giving the option to have everything printed as a 4×6 or to have those pictures that were taken with my phone printed at a slightly smaller size that wouldn’t require the photos to be cropped to fit the 4×6 ratio. I thought that it would be better to avoid cropping, but once I got the photos I realized that it would have been more useful to have them all be a full 4×6 inches. The slightly smaller sized photos can leave some gaps on the edges of the pockets that I’m not a huge fan of.

I also realized that square instagram photos don’t translate well into rectangles. Several of my favorite instragrams had major portions of the photo cut off. I’m looking into some other options to get photos taken with instragram printed.

4. I learned that 6×8 photo books and pocket pages can come with different specifications.

The binder I ordered has 4 rings in it. While the pocket pages I ordered only come with two hole punches. I didn’t even think to look at this while I was ordering supplies. It’s not a huge deal to add some extra hole punches to the pocket pages, but it’s an inconvenient extra step that I wish I would have avoided.

5. I probably could have done the bigger album.

Before I started I thought a 12×12 album sounded too big and overwhelming. Now that I have 400 pictures to put in an album, I think I probably could have filled out the bigger pages just fine. I’m finding the smaller page sizes to be not quite as impressive looking as the 12×12 album examples I’ve seen online. Then again, maybe it just takes practice to get things really looking good.

6. It does make for a nice way to document important moments in life.

I’m happy with how my album is coming along so far, even though I’m just a few spreads in. I imagine as I do more and get into a better rhythm that I’ll start to put things together a bit faster and develop a particular style that I like. I feel like I’m definitely in the experimental stage right now.


I started the album out with a few images from my pregnancy with a couple of journalling cards to take note of the little details. I didn’t do a lot of documenting during pregnancy, so one spread pretty much covered all I had to say about it.


The next couple of pages are of our first moments in the hospital after he was born. I used a long skinny pocket on one page to write out a brief birth story and some of the vital stats (date, time, weight, and height – blurred out in this photo).


The other side of that spread continues the birth story along with some pictures of Charlie’s first moments with various family members who were there.

I’ve only gotten through the first few hours of Charlie’s life so far, so I have a long way to go. I’ll keep you updated!