Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week in the Life

Good Day Everyone
Hope everyone is having a good week.  Here in the Midwest we are the enjoying the signs of Fall, and although Spring is my very favorite season, Fall is most certainly the runner up - love watching all the leaves  change their color + the cooler weather is usually a very welcome relief.  So for today I am going to share with you my Week in the Life project that Ali Edwards started many years ago here.  It is going to sound really bad of me but I must admit this isn't one of my favorites, only because it takes a lot of time & effort, but the reason I do it anyways is because I believe that it is important to document our here & now (not only for my girl's sake but for future reference).  So to spare all of you the very long & drawn out week that I documented the last week of July, I am just going to give you the overview.  

This is my opening page, I have done most of my picture layouts in Photoshop Elements.  I am by no means a digital scrapper but for this project along with the December Daily project just the sheer number of photos that I take and expect to use makes the hybrid pages so much easier (for the most part anyhow-unfortunately I am very slow when it comes to using PSE probably because I don't use it enough, I oughta practice a bit more then I could say that & it'd really be true, but you get the idea).  Anyhow, on here I used a photo strip to get a few more pictures added to the overall project and then eventually I will use one of my slick writers to put journaling on the little recipe card (because I print @ home with the photos, I use photo paper - it's not a shiny paper but it still requires a special pen to write on which is what a slick writer is (here).
The way I set up my days goes as follows: the first page is two photos in opposite corners along with two pattern papers in the remaining opposite corners.  There really is no reason for the pattern paper except to keep an overall continued theme within the book, in fact I use the same two patterns all the way throughout. Then the last element I gave to this page was the date circled, with the day of the week circling that.  I liked this because it seems like I have a title page for the beginning of each day, which ultimately I needed because I have several pages per day and some days have more pages than others, so this is good.  I apologize in advance for the 'bird' my wonderful husband gave me when I told him that I'd be doing this project & that it would require me taking lots & lots of photos of us - including him...... I guess he didn't like that idea very much but oh well.  It's my hobby and I'll annoy him if I want to (heehee).  
                                                                                               

So here is what the second page looks like, I used the free PDF download that Ali had offered on her site for this project specifically and I'll tell it seemed to make all the difference this year.  She actually offered two different types of charts: the first being an hour by hour list, so that you could fill in what you did that hour, on the hour or within that hour; the second was for specific things - i.e. observations, overheard, gratitude, favorite moment, as well as what you ate for all 3 meals.  As you can see from this photo and the next page's photo, these were huge to me because what I did was print them all out (14 pages in all-both charts for all 7 days) put them in a 3-ring binder so that I was able to go to the same spot all week and know exactly where to write down all the happenings  for each one of our days, for the entire week!  That was huge in helping me to succeed with this project so "Thanks Ali".

So here is my third page using that second chart that Ali was so kind to release to the general public, and boy did I use it.  I think I have every single spot filled in, in almost all of my chart pages, just because it was so easy to do this year with the help of these two simple little tools.  I'll tell ya, just like a Chef will, the right tools makes all the difference......it's the same for crafting, or building, or scrapbooking.  









                                                                                                 
So here is my fourth page and not everyday has this page, this is just something extra I threw in.  For some reason I was in a mood to write, the week of this project and so if I found that I had something on my mind that went along with the whole idea of this book then I rewrote it on the right size of notebook paper and just added it in.  Speaking of which, not sure if I mentioned that the binder I used this year is from Target, I picked it up almost a year ago and was waiting for just the right thing to add to it.  I love it and thought that it'd make a great home for this project.  Not only is it a 3-ring binder with page protectors available, it is also only 6x9 in size...roughly and it happens to have a cool black graphic pattern on the hard plastic covers that I actually like.  I have since looked for more of this same binder @ my local Target stores but to no avail.  Oh well all the more happy with my choice to use it for this project. 


On this next page, what are we on... #5, I added lots of ephemera pieces.  Anything & everything - just whatever I could get my hands on, if it even remotely helped me tell a broader story then in it went.  These pieces here are actually the tags from a new suit that my husband finally got out of the bag.  Also on here I added this library card with a quick recap of a conversation that my daughter & her friend had about my husband.  Things like that, what other people say &/or do, especially coming from my own daughter(s), is just priceless and so worth documenting to me.  I even thought about going through some of the ephemera and adding a bit more of the story that way - like why I chose the corn husk I put in, most people would just assume that we really like corn (which we do) but unless I add to that piece that my father-in-law grew it - you would never know it and that's a shame because that's a fairly significant piece of our story.

Alright so here we are on page six, and it's more ephemera; more tags from yet another suit, also a prescription label that was for my husband.  Here also is another way I could go back in and tell an even more complete story...why did he need this prescription?, what had happened prior to getting this filled?, will there be more to the story afterwards?, these are all the questions I could go back in and ask myself if I wanted to tell a more fulfilling story.  Another thought I just had is what if I created a separate layout for some of these extra stories, and just added them to our family yearly album, that'd be a great way to document the details without having all the extra work added to this already big project.  I really like the second idea better, I'm always @ a struggle when it comes to doing just regular everyday layouts, I never know what to include, now I have a whole book of possibilities. 


So here we are on the last page for Monday in my week in the life album, yep still Monday.  This also happens to be something else I did for each day, a 5x7 photo.  I did this on purpose, for one - I just really like the large photos mixed in with the smaller ones, and two - it acts like a closing page for that particular day, which as you probably can guess....... I like.  Also, now that I'm seeing this again after having put this away for awhile, I really like being able to 'see' the subject.  In this photo for example, I happened to get lucky enough to get this shot of my daughter with her laughing, an absolutely adorable laugh that we only see when the neighbor's dog comes over for a visit and starts kissing her like crazy.  Because of this picture you're able to see a side of her that we rarely see and I love that.  Don't get me wrong, she is always happy and laughs a lot, but usually the camera is nowhere in sight and we're the ones making her laugh and therefore too tied up in the moment to get a picture in.....so......yea!

Okay so here we are again with the two photos in opposite corners and then the two pattern papers in the remaining opposite corners, this is the start of the next day in my week in the life album.  As the two circles in the middle of the page states, this is Tuesday the 26th.  As I mentioned earlier I think, all of my days are set up the same, so Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - so on and so forth, are all going to look just like this except with different photos and  the correct date & day.  Then the follow page is going to be the first chart that goes by the hour, followed by the next page having the second chart that tracks meals and special moments, etc. - all ending with the 5x7 photo from that day.




However, as anything & everything, I do have some exceptions.  Some days have extra journal entries because I felt the need to write.  One of them happens to be about selling our previous home, which still effects us even today, the fact is well....we haven't sold it yet.  This particular entry is about how we almost had it sold & then the guy backed out and now we're back to square one.  Is it worth putting in here, maybe - maybe not, it isn't all that much fun to read because I'm a little pissy about the whole thing but then again, it is apart of our story and how we got to where we are today.  The second journal entry is about my affection for Deadliest Catch which is a document series on Discovery Channel (here).  In the last season Captain Phil Harris passed away, so this was the first season since the beginning of the series that he hasn't been apart of it and I admit I had a hard time watching it, even as much as I like it, it was hard.  Seems crazy, but these guys are like family now after 5+ years on TV.


Here was another exception that I added to the very back of my album.  It turns out that we had a birthday party to go to that Saturday so this was the little treat bag from that and inside of it I included some artwork from my oldest daughter, the fact that we also happen to like Tangled very much was just a fluke.... so in it went.  As for the artwork I included, I think one of the pieces was a coloring page from the doctor's office that my 5 year old did.









Finally here is the last thing that I included in my book.  This is the Archiver's journal (here), the front page of it is missing because that's the page with all the coupons on it, but the rest of it I just punched holes in and added it right into my binder.













Whew that was a lot of information.......but I think we finally got through it all.  So what do you all think of my Week in the Life album?  I'm happy with it, like I said earlier, there are lots of ways I could have made it even more in depth but being that this book is already a really big project, that just wasn't possible for me this time around.  But the good news is that if I need some more layouts to do of our year this year what a great place for me to go to get those extra stories, because there's quite a few to choose from in there that I wish I had the time to document even now, but oh well maybe soon.
Thanks to all of you who came along for this journey, I hope that you enjoyed your time with me and maybe even been a little inspired to document your own stories.  Stop by again, anytime!
just B.............


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