{Project Life: week 8}

The Mom Creative

{Project Life: week 8}

Week 8 , left side


Week 8, right side

week 8, right

Week 8 insert

week  8 insert, aweek 8 insert b


I am behind on my inserts for the year. Not that I have to have them but I want to. I intend to. Last year when I started to get behind I stayed there. This year I’m letting myself move forward with the day-to-day parts of the project even though  I’m not completely finished with the week.


Some journaling close-ups.

week 8 jnl2week 8 jnlweek  jnl 3


In other news, I’m getting all organized up in here:

I saw this new Martha Stewart home office collection at Staples a few weeks ago but didn’t to go crazy getting supplies I didn’t have a specific purpose for. (See, how I’ve changed!) 

I’ve been searching for my ideal blog/website planner and finally realized I was going to need to create it myself to match the idea in my head. And, with that, I had the perfect reason to get this sweet  mini binder. It also means I have a place to track my post ideas and for future planning. And, a place to tuck away your questions and ideas for future posts. I love hearing what you want to read more of, what  is helpful and/or interesting to you. That kind of feedback is awesome, please keep it coming!


To read all of my Project Life posts click here. 

{Project Life: week seven}

The Mom Creative


{Remember you can click on the photos to get a closer peek!}

Apologies to those who don’t dig them, but here’s my newest Project Life layout. Week seven already?!

Also, promises for some non-scrappy stuff to come. Lots in my draft folders including stuff for dudes who think chivalry ends at the wedding ceremony, my birth story and adoption FAQ’s – last call for any questions you’d like to see addressed in that post. And, oh yeah writerly stuff!

In week 5 I went off the path with my title card and decided to go crazy this week by creating my own out of these old office ledgers I picked up at a a garage sale last summer. (I {heart} office supplies!) Again, such a small thing with a big return = makes me smile every time I see it. It’s missing something in that blank spot so someday I’ll come back and add to it. Or not. Ideas?


Week 7: left side


Week 7: right side


Week 7: insert (front and back)

Last year I sewed all of Sam’s valentine’s together in my first scrapbook sewing adventure detailed here but he wanted to be able to pull them out and look at them so this year I took a page out of Ali’s book and used baseball card-style protectors. 



Week 7: Details and Data

Love this idea from Cathy Zielske to do a week in review card using one of her templates. The first time I used one of her templates this I didn’t love how it looked as a printed, glossy picture. I love it printed on textured cardstock. I don’t know if I could buy a digital version of Bazzill white cardstock? And then print it matte? Anyway .. this card is a cool way to record the little things that don’t make it into a picture or journaling card for the week. (Click on the one below to see what I mean).


Just some journaling close ups:


And these tiny details, the labels from veggies, where fun to pull out of my memorabilia file for the month and simply staple to the pictures … that post on memorabilia is still in the works as promised here.


If you’re interested, you should totally jump on the Project Life bandwagon! It is NOT too late and it is designed for everyone – no matter what kind of life you do – or don’t –have! Flash forward way into your future … wouldn’t it be fun to have something like this to read in the nursing home?! Even if you don’t remember it as YOUR story, you’d have a lovely record of life unfolding in your lap … just think about it. And if your heart says “yes” jump in!

My Process for {Project Life}, as promised

While most posts are for any and all regardless of theme, this one is pretty specifically geared for people participating in, or curious about, Project Life. Okay, perhaps there’s a tidbit or two on creativity in general … but you’ve been warned.

1 – Focus on the core


I took my journaling cards out of their (adorable boxes), matched them by type and organized them like this to make it easy to see them as I’m flipping through. Stickers in the back, title cards in the front, journaling filler cards in the left side. (I think it came this way?) The blank cards with the grids is in The Drawer which I forgot to snap a picture of before leaving. I’ll try to remember that next week!


My core kit stays together, and accessible. I keep it on a shelf to the right of my desk. Covered so as not to tempt little hands but again, easy to grab during those rare but lovely moments when the kids are content, dinner’s figured out and the house is picked up. Or, way more likely, after the kids are down for the night and before I get on the dishes. Why? Because if I do all my “chores” first, I’ll never get to play. I happen to have a personal rule that I will not go to bed until the sink is cleaned out and the kitchen is clean so I know I’ll stay up to make that happen and I don’t have to feel inspired to do dishes. However, if I wait until later to start my journaling cards or uploading pictures, etc., later won’t happen. Plus, once I’ve taken some time to do something I enjoy like working on my album, picking rice off of every flat surface isn’t such drudgery.

2 – Organized picture files.


Here’s a screen shot of my file for Project Life 2012. (Double click to make it bigger). I upload pictures from my camera card into a general “Pictures- 2012” file where I can sort them by date. First, though, I quickly go through them, delete the bad shots and pick the ones I’m using for this week. Easy to do because I upload every couple days or so to make it a 5-10 minute project (If I’m going to mess with Photo Shop at all). Last year one of my biggest obstacles was waiting too long to upload pictures and then it became overwhelming. I move the ordered pictures into the right folder and the ones just for my blog into the other folder. That way any pictures visible when I click on this folder are ready to upload and order next time I’m going to Fred Meyer. I love buying them a few at a time! (Thank you Amy for the idea!)

3 – Small, steady steps

To avoid project burnout, and to make this something that energizes rather than drains me, I’ve broken my process into bite-sized chunks I can do in moments instead of hours. I don’t have hours to spend on this. I do, however, have lots of minutes here and there. My little monthly Moleskine as memory triggers for when I have some time to fill out my journaling cards which I’m keeping simple by primarily handwriting them. My pictures are uploaded a couple days at a time, uploaded a few at a time and printed in super small batches I pick up at the grocery store. Easy.

The whole “putting it all together” process takes me about 20 minutes to half an hour if I haven’t stuck the day of the week stickers on in advance. I pick the week’s title card that seems to “go” with the week – totally arbitrary yet it makes sense to me. Then, I select coordinating cards if there are any left to add, fill in any missing details and add stickers as needed.

4 – Memorabilia

So this seems to be worthy of it’s own post. I’m working on it. Meanwhile, I’ll just say it’s part of my process to check my Memorabilia box, sorted by date – will post pictures and directions soon – to get all the bits and pieces I want included in my book.

5 – One week at a time

That sums it up nicely. Monday to Sunday captured in pictures and words, random memories, things overheard and the scraps of our life.

Next week: rinse and repeat.

{Project Life: week four}

The Mom Creative

I had fun putting this week together despite the snot, puke and packing. (See my “This week in Google” journaling card below). I knew I would be doing an individual spread of our trip to Florida to visit my parents so it was important to me to wrap up week four before leaving. An example of addressing my former paralysis by perfection: I went ahead and left the weekend out so I could finish. Gasp. Again, I knew the weekend would be plenty covered in our plane photos and memorabilia. Some of the best photos of meltdowns and the stares as my two-year-old yelled “OH DAMMIT” in a crowded plane I didn’t catch on camera, but I trust the memories will stick with me. Plus, I couldn’t take a picture of the very kid I was pretending not to know!

{Remember, you can click on the images to get a closer peek at the journaling, etc. Oh, and to learn more about Project Life and Becky Higgins’ awesomeness click here.}



Yeah, totally messed up that little “to” word. Whatever. Love that I finally have a way I like to note the week number.


Loved capturing the boys doing their thing this week.


Loved using the arrow stickers to highlight key details  like the “proof” that Sam was really sick. In addition to the pale face and puke bucket, he didn’t eat his Cliff bar.



My “this week in Google” feature is totally a favorite. This week highlights the underbelly of motherhood.


Loved using this “mental picture” in place of one not taken. There are some things you simply can’t capture on camera.


And this … well, it’s priceless. The arrows point to all places Jake scribbled on in a relatively short amount of time. I added the letters in the Photoshop program I’m still hacking my way through.


I promise I’ll post that organizing stuff soon. Happy to take questions to add to the post-in-progress either in the comments or by email, nathalie AT nathaliesnotes DOT com.

{Project Life: week three}

The Mom Creative

I am having an awful time getting good shots of these pages, even when I take them out of the protectors so … here’s the best of the bunch. Maybe by week 33 I’ll have something figured out!
This week I changed things a bit with smaller pictures and larger journaling cards. I usually do my standard 7 pictures, 7 journaling cards and dashes of ephemera.
(Click on any picture to make it larger.)
Week Three:
Week Three – side one:
Week Three – side two:
Fun stuff:
I used my Cathy Zielske journaling card from last year “a slice of life” to record the morning Matt woke me up before 6 a.m. to help him find his brush. You can click on the picture below to make it bigger and see the whole story.
And this one, also from Cathy. I bought them at Designer Digitals.
So my mind was on Cathy Zielske’s coolness when I saw a link to her awesome new templates. She made this with them:
cathy books
Which is funny because we must’ve been on the same page. Only mine looked more like this:
And it took a loooooooooong time to figure out how to do it. I love the idea of recording what we’re reading! So I did what I had to do. “Add to cart.” And now I have the most adorable templates to add to my list of things to learn how to use.
This image I got off my friend Barbara’s Facebook page – so perfect for Oregon where we need flippers while the rest of the country wears snow boots.
And this is my favorite:

I kept the packaging from the McQueen sunglasses, underwear and nightlight I bought on our most recent trip to the store. I made a quick cut and paste collage on the picture for Sunday, combined with journaling about us being the target demographic for CARS consumers.

Nothin’ much


What have I been up to? Oh, you know, not much … just applying for my dream job!

I had to let my writing here slip for a bit to put a couple other things at the top of my list, so sorry for  that! I’ve got my fingers crossed about the job and will share more when I know either way. Just the process of believing in the possibility of my dream coming true and working towards that end is exciting.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt (She had it going on, huh?)

I’ll be on deadline tomorrow but hope to check in with week 3 of Project Life. I’ll be back soon with some of the things that are helping me stay on top of the project.

Having a “deadline” even if I’m the only one who cares, is helpful. I would NOT have made time tonight to finish my week if I didn’t have that.

Probably the most helpful thing is recognizing when I’m being a perfectionist and overriding that urge. So, for example, tonight I opened my album and realized I was missing Saturday’s picture and didn’t have any of the journaling cards done. I almost quit before I started knowing there was no way I’d get that picture tomorrow and therefore, it wouldn’t be “complete” so why bother?!

And then I overruled She-Who-Holds-Me-Back with the whole perfectionism thing and just dove in. I had notes in my Moleskine for each day so that was easy. I had most of the pictures I’d picked up here and there on errands over the week. I have my basic approach* that I rarely deviate from because it works for me,  I had the packaging to make my CARS consumer journaling  … and just like that, done. For now. Love. This. Project.

This picture at the top is a funny pictorial of my life.

It’s my column about meditating through the mayhem of motherhood. It was on my desk waiting to be put in my clipbook. It got into my youngest Master of Mayhem’s hands … and that’s what happened.

A picture that says it all …


*Happy to share that basic approach if it’s helpful.

{Project Life–week two}

 The Mom Creative  
Two weeks down, 50 to go! Here’s my layout for my second week of Project Life. That sounds more casual than I feel. I feel excited to have found a way to keep up on the awesomeness that is Project Life. *
I love this picture I got of Matt shaving as Sam stared, mesmerized. I recorded part of the conversation on my journaling card.
This picture of the boys just before lights out on Kubko’s birthday is one of my favorites.
I hope Sam doesn’t realized I snuck some of his Cars stickers to use for one the cards.

I haven’t figured out how I’m going to add the week numbers to the title cards. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I figure if I find the right thing for me, I can go back and add them.




Just a reminder (Mami) that you can double click on the pictures to see them larger.

Note to Self: Make insert for Kuby’s birthday by printing pictures from Facebook timeline and use the numbers stickers. Ten pictures with list of ten lines about the day – use captions from Facebook. Maybe enlarge one or two favorites with a few facts about  him at this age to put in the baby book I might make someday.

Edited to add: Some of you have asked if I could include the journaling – I love to see that in other pages so I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it. Maybe because I handwrite most of them and don’t want to retype everything? Hopefully these close ups will work:



*I can post about what’s working to help me keep up … if enough of you are interested.

{What’s Working}

It might be a bit premature to say what’s working in regards to my Project Life. But these are the things I am doing differently in my process to help me achieve a more satisfying result than last year’s experience of loving the project but feeling constantly “behind.”

This year my goal is to embrace (My One Little Word) and enjoy the process of putting together this awesome record of our real life.

Here are the tweaks I’ve made to my process:

Handling Photos | Last year I waited until I had a big enough batch of photos to justify the shipping from Shutterfly. This created a constant catch-up cycle. Worse, for me though, is that for some reason I get overwhelmed by choosing, editing, uploading the right pictures so it was always a task I procrastinated on.

This year my friend Amy pointed out that the grocery store I shop at has a photo lab. Yes, the Fred Meyer I’ve gone to a minimum of once a week has a photo processing center. I guess I stay focused on keeping my kids safely in the cart and sticking to my list or something! Anyway I priced them at .13 cents a print which means a picture a day for a year would be $48.00. So worth it to stay on top of this project and enjoy it. This means I am uploading to the Fred Meyer photo center on line and picking up one or two pictures at a time when I run in to pick up the milk we’re always running out of! Bonus? I’m getting to know the people who work there and when my brand new camera stopped working on Tuesday, the manager was beyond awesome at helping me return and replace it!

Shifting Perspective | Project Life is like laundry, only way more fun! There is no such thing as totally caught up. There will always be something, to mend, throw in the wash, iron out wrinkles … whatever. You can lament those things or be grateful to have clothes! Project Life, like laundry, works better for me when I have a system in place and then tweak as needed. I do better keeping my family in clean socks and underwear when I do a load day – start to finish than waiting to climb Fly Lady's Mount Washmore. Same with Project Life.

Journaling |  As a long time lover of my Moleskine planners I am delighted to be using these monthly pocket planners:

Moleskine 2012 12 Month Color A Month Daily Planner: Set of 12 Monthly Planners

I just jot a few lines, an overheard conversation,   something I want to Google to go with the journaling, etc. Love it. Plus, they’ll tuck in nicely into the 4x6 pockets at the end of the year!

For a link to my past Wednesday “what’s working” posts click here.

What’s working for you guys, Project Life or  otherwise?!

p.s. Thank you again Erin Goodman for the inspiration to do What’s Working posts! To learn more about Erin click here.