Oh man… that title sounds Martha Stewart-y, doesn’t it? I’m certainly not a scrapbooker in the traditional sense, but taking photos and documenting my everyday life is something that I really enjoy having to look back on. (I don’t really love the process as it’s happening, but it’s worth it for the future.)
After I had Josiah in 2010, the number of photos I took increased about a thousand-fold. What is a sleep-deprived new mom supposed to do with all this? Mostly, I did nothing. When the new year rolled around (8 months later), I decided I should attempt to make a photo book of the previous year’s events. I used a really simple template on Snapfish and waited until a 40% off sale to order my book. (I used Snapfish because I’d already uploaded all my photos there to print them. I’ve since discovered that the photo book templates on Shutterfly are much more aesthetically pleasing, but it takes a lot longer to make the book because there are so many page layouts to choose, embellishments to add, etc. I’ve made books from both sites and I’m happy with the quality of both.)
Putting together these books is very easy. You upload your photos to the site, then just drag and drop photos into premade templates.
The next year (2011), I attempted to keep up with the book as the year went along, but it didn’t really happen. Still, putting the book together at the end of the year was much easier because I followed the same basic format – chronological through the year, highlighting birthday, Easter, Cardinals games (we have season tickets), summer vacation, Mizzou games, Christmas, and ending with New Year’s Eve pictures. I also interspersed photo collages of Josiah with Matt and I, his “friends,” his cousins, and his grandparents.
I am almost finished making my book for 2012, following the same basic format, but I’ve had fun adding in a few new pages that highlight my son’s budding personality – I have one page that is a collage of him wearing all kinds of different hats! (He loves hats. We’ve got a photo of him wearing an enormous wool stocking hat in the bathtub. Priceless.)
For 2013, I plan to make another photo book like this, but I also wanted something that I could work on through the year that would give me a little more room to capture memories of our everyday life. Inspired by Kapachino‘s posts that made it look really simple, I purchased a big pack of Project Life photo pages (Template A) and the Project Life core kit in Olive, which should be more than enough to make a book for an entire year. All I have to do is pop pictures into the slots and use the precut card stock from the Core Kit to write down memories from the week.
(There are some really high-profile bloggers who do Project Life and their books look so amazing, with tons of extra embellishments and details, but what I really love about it is the emphasis on simplicity – all you really need is the pages, a core kit, and your own photos and memories. I did buy a few extra things to spice up my book here and there, but mostly I’m trying to keep it simple. I know if I make it too complicated, I won’t do it at all.)
Here’s my cover page so far – the core kit comes with special cards for the front and back of the book, and I replaced a few cards to reflect my Word for the Year. (I guess I owe you post on that as some point, eh?) I’m planning to make one page per week, so I’ll have a full layout every 2 weeks, and I’ll share it as I get them done. I am still trying to fill out the last few photo slots from my first two weeks (since I decided to do this project after the fact) but as soon as that’s done, I’ll post it!