My Plans for Project Life in 2014 :: Sugarplum Paperie

I am embarking on my third year of Project Life in 2014, and the question I’m hearing most often from my friends is “What are you thinking of changing up this year?”

Honestly, I am in such a state of limbo right now, it’s hard to think about it…

First, I’m still working on wrapping up my project for 2013. I’m happy that I am already into November (especially since I anticipate that November was really light on the pictures. I think there might only be 2 pages for the whole month!).

Here are my pages from Halloween, Week 44—woo-hoo! (Just click to enlarge):

And with the December Daily album that I’ve been working on, the pages for December in my Project Life album will only be about 2 pages as well! So, I’m like 4 to 5 pages away from the finish line here. And boy, does that feel good!

But I’m still lugging behind me a paper album from 2012 that is in need of three months worth of embellishing…

Pages from 2012 that are still waiting for me : Sugarplum Paperie

And while I’m so happy that going digital in 2013 helped me stay on top of my scrapping, I really miss working with paper!

So, What am I Doing in 2014?

Here’s a few things I do know:

  • I need to keep it simple.
  • I want it to be beautiful without taking me hours at a time.
  • I want to focus on the photos.
  • I still want to tell everyday stories.

And here are the questions I’m pondering:

1. Paper? Digi? Hybrid?

I went digital in 2013 in order to stay on top of the game. I knew it would be faster and I thought it would be fun to try a year of translating my paper style INto digi! I still enjoy the super fast and easy aspect of scrapping digitally. But man, do I miss touching my creations as I work! I like glue and scissors. And oh—the stitches!

Project Life : Stitching on Cards : Sugarplum Paperie

Sigh…

But I feel like paper is going to take me longer to complete! And with designing, homeschooling and life in general, you can imagine my free time is very limited.

So what’s the solution? Maybe something that’s more hybrid?

But that sets me to wondering…

2. Should I Print at Home?

I’m thinking this one over, big time! Mainly because what I think I want most is an expensive photo printer (I like the Epson PictureMate Charm). I’m torn between positive reviews from friends and negative reviews from Amazon.

There are a number of upsides to printing at home: It’s very motivating to scrap, print and stick then something in an album five minutes later—total instant gratification. Some printers I’m looking at will cost roughly the same amount to print at home as they would to send out and print. And I would really enjoy sharing the whole process of what I’m doing right here on my blog, as I’m actually doing it!

There are two things that are currently holding me back from just going for it. First, it would be an initial investment of about $300.00… and it ain’t my birthday right now. The second is that I’m not making a $300.00 investment in anything that has people up in arms about it in reviews on Amazon. Basically, these small format printers typically come with a set of photo paper and an ink cartridge in each pack. Sounds convenient!

The problem people are running in to is that their machine will malfunction and tell them that they’re out of ink when they aren’t. And you can’t override that—at all. You also lose prints when you prime the printer with each new cartridge. So it could potentially add up, really fast! The problem with ALL printers these days is the same: they know they are making their money on the ink. But I would be so irate if I were to switch up the painless process I have now for something that makes me want to throw expensive machinery against the wall.

3. Should I Change up my Page Protectors?

In 2012, I used Becky’s Design A and Design D (with a handful of 6 x 12 inserts, too).

In 2013, I used all Design F.

I’ve looked over all the designs, from A to Z (I had no clue that they actually went all the way up to Z now!) and I can’t say that I feel compelled to move away from Design F. I really love it! I think it’s “me.” I also think that it’s the easiest design to fill up with things.

I did do one page in paper last year…

Project Life : Working with Design F : Sugarplum Paperie

Project Life : Working with Design F : Sugarplum Paperie

It did seem to take me a little longer to match up all those papers than it tends to when I’m scrapping digitally (mainly because it’s so easy to use one or two coordinating digital kits for each page!).

4. Should I Change up my Format?

For the past two years I’ve stuck to the same format—make a “This Week” card that quickly sums up the whole week, often including little tidbits that might otherwise be lost, and adding a card full of journaling for any important stories from the week. As you can see from the pictures I’ve shared so far from 2012, I didn’t change that up at all in 2013:

Project Life : Week 26  : Sugarplum Paperie

5. What About the Photos?

I’ve used Instagram as my main source for my pictures for the last two years… for a number of reasons. The biggest reason being that my iPhone takes better quality pictures in low light than my DSLR ever will! Then Instagram makes them look cool with a quick tap-tap-tap. And if Instagram doesn’t have a filter I like, I always have the option of using the photo “straight-out-of-the-phone” and running a filter on it, like I did below.

For my December Daily album this year I told myself, “You’re going to pull out that darn DSLR and use it for this project, dagnabbit! You never use the thing. You can’t always be using your phone! It’s ‘not real photography.'”

But I couldn’t get past December 1st without getting exasperated and pulling my phone back out of my pocket.

I was having a hard time getting any good snapshots of important moments when we were decorating the tree—like when we put the star on top! It couldn’t even handle four kids, sitting reasonably still:

My DLSR can't handle the indoors right now...

It would take a couple hundred dollars in equipment for me to get my DLSR to take pictures in the lighting conditions my phone has no problem with. The DSLR is great for shots taken in natural light. But not in the house. Why not just stick to what works?!

Except for the fact that I also love the super clean look of just one photograph in a card…

Project Life : Close-up from Week 42 : Sugarplum Paperie

…with a nice, white border. So simple! And more room for pictures!

But I guess if I want more of that in 2014, I just won’t make as much use of Instagram! That could work…

In Conclusion

So, these are all my thoughts for now. The whole “paper vs. digi” debate is raging in my head as I work to wrap up my pages for last year.

But I think that the format is pretty much set in stone. I love it—why mess with something that works when you love it, right?

How about you? What are your plans? What are you doing differently this year? Let me know! I’d love to hear it.

4 thoughts on “My Plans for Project Life in 2014

  • January 12, 2014 at 1:14 am
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    Try the Pic Tap Go app! Lots of fun filters – any size you want. :-). I also love my picturemate but its only been two months, so maybe too soon to tell. I had a Selphy for years which also worked well, but the slightly smaller than 4×6 photo size bothered me – the pictures would wiggle around in the pockets too much…

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  • January 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm
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    Thank you for this post. I find myself in a similar dilemma. I am trawling the web at the moment to see if anyone has any new solutions I am not aware of. I bought the whole project life kit two years ago and then moved into a very confined space with my family so no longer had the luxury of getting the kit out. I delved into digi last year and loved it but found the time commitment to be too much and came to a halt about summer time. As I am thinking back over the year I realize I captured a lot of memories that I would not have wanted to miss. So I am entering 2014 with the will to continue but not sure I have the means!

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