15 June, 2014

Crazy Crafters June Blog Hop - Project Life!

Welcome to another Crazy Crafters monthly Blog Hop.

If you have come in via Sue Wdowik at Nigh Nigh Birdie then you are on the right track!  
If you're lost or have just joined us, scroll down towards the bottom of the page for the full line-up (and your next stop).

As you may have guessed this month's theme is the brand new Project Life line of kits, embellishments, stamps and accessories.  The full line wont be available until the launch of the new catalogue but a selection of products is available for order. Right Now.

So what am I going to show you?  I thought about it for a long time and everything I want to say on the topic is waaay to lengthy to include in one post.  2014 is the second year I've done Project Life (as a supplement to my 12x12 layouts) and there is a lot I wish I knew BEFORE I started, which would definitely have influenced how I did Project Life.

I'm going to show you  my process from start to finish. This post will take you through the first half of the process and another post will follow in a few days focusing on different ways to embellish your cards and photos.

There really are no rules when it comes to PL.  In its' simplest form, PL involves using divided page protectors and filling some pockets with photos printed to size, other pockets with journalling cards and the remainder with "filler" cards which come in a kit so all you need in a pen.

This style doesn't appeal to me. AT ALL. I love embellishment so I lean towards the other end of the spectrum.

I want to stress that what I'm about to show you is not the only way to do PL and as you move through the Blog Hop, I'm fairly confident you will find many styles and approaches. So here is my approach:

Step 1.  Glance over the previous week's spread to which elements can be carried over to maintain continuity and flow throughout the album and what sort of page protector has been used on the right hand side (RHS).  This will influence how  big my photos need to be for the first half of the following week since that page will become the left hand side (LHS) when it's turned.
My previous week hasn't been finished but enough has been done to help me determine which elements I can carry over.  

As you can see, much of that week used Amy Tangerine's Cut an Paste Mini Kit along with elements from the paper line. I also used a mixture of all Maggie Holmes lines (both kits and paper).  The reason they work together is besides choosing colours that are common to both collections, they are also both printed on cream based paper rather than white.  This aspect is something I really don't want to carry over to the following week given I want to work with Stampin' Up!'s new PL cards.

Some of the colours are reasonably close to the ones in the SU kit so I'll probably bring in some embellishments in the relevant colours which don't have a very vintage or distressed feel and no cream.

Step 2.  Figure out which photos relate to the week I'm working on and what size they need to be.  Pick the RHS page protector that best suits them and the amount of journalling space or memorabilia needed.  Create any collages, and re size or crop photos before printing.  

I use a Canon Selphy to print PL photos.  Since most pics are on my phone, it took so much time to upload onto my laptop or PC, re size there and then take them somewhere for printing.  It's more cost effective than using a Selphy but since I only use it for PL, the convenience and speed at which I can do this makes it well worth it.

I love that I can edit on my phone. It's always with me and when I'm waiting at the doctor's for example, I can edit a few pics.  It's not an enormous task several times a year and this is where I struggled with last year's PL. 

I didn't have a Selphy last year so I had to rely on Hubz to print for me or take them somewhere else and so I'd get behind fast.  I don't scrap my 12x12 pages chronologically, but PL is a different story for me.  I don't mind being a little behind, but I don't want to be months and months behind.  This is another area that varies according to each PL-er.

Step 3. Sometimes I do this step before #2 but it's not critical.  It mixes things up a bit!  This step is all about SUPPLIES!  Pretty paper and embellishments and...stuff!  Lots of STUFF!  Here is where my personal approach may differ to yours.

I usually (but not always) start with a kit or paper collection.  Or colour combination or something else which inspired my selection of product.  I like to bring a few elements be it a couple of cards from the previous week's kit selection or some embellishments that will also co-ordinate with the current week.  This means it's not such a harsh jump if two consecutive weeks differ greatly in terms of supplies like the two weeks I'm going to be showing you.  We'll see how successful I am in marrying the two together!

Since I like to mat EVERY photo, I go through a lot more cards and paper than the basic version of PL.  This doesn't bother me but it's not to everyone's taste.

So this week I'm using the Everyday Adventure Kit from Stampin' Up! as my jumping off point.  These cards come in various shades of the following SU colours: Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Pear Pizzazz, Pumpkin Pie, Strawberry Slush, Whisper White.
I then went to my Project Life Core Kits which are mixed and sorted by colour.  This made it really quick to pull out close matches to the SU colours.  I mostly used cards from the Strawberry and Blush kits with a few from Honey as well.

I realised that some of the colours in Amy Tangerine's Plus One line matched really well too, so I pulled out the Mini Kit and a few cut apart sheets.  I didn't buy much of the pattern paper from that collection though.

Next stop are the SU paper pads in all the colours of the kit and any DSP that matches too.  Kaleidoscope was an excellent match in both style and colour.  lastly, my trusty box of scraps is always at my feet.

In terms of embellishments, I have the co-ordinating embellishment kit (which matches the everyday 
 adventure) and pulled out some sticker sheets and die cuts from Plus One, Doodlebug and Simple Stories. 

They all had elements that would match well in terms of colour and style.  I'll also pull die cuts, stickers, alphas, washi, stamps and dimensional embellies as I need them.  The only reason those first few were singled out was because they had arrived over the past few weeks and had not been put away,  Ahem.
Have a few supplies from last week's spread handy and make a mental note of which items will work.  We touched on this a little in Step 1.  You'll see more of what will and wont work when we go through the embellishment process in the next part of this post.

Step 4.  Trim the photos and place them roughly in chronological order.  I just place them on top of the page protectors (PP) for now since they are likely to be moved around.  Pick out some cards and allocate them, trying to balance colours across the spread.  

Make sure photos needing more writing have a slot for a journalling card nearby.  Photos are often matted on pattern paper but not always. If using pattern paper cut it to size. 

 At this stage I don't adhere anything until I'm sure I'm happy with the position of everything and until anything being layered under the pics is finalised.

Don't be afraid to chop up PL cards for layers, photo mats or embellishments.  I manage to find a use for virtually all the scraps somewhere or other.

That's where I'm stopping for today.  I've stuffed the photo along with the card into each pocket.  It often happens that if I "sleep on it" I'll change my mind about some cards when I next work on the spread.

Meanwhile, I have several Pinterest boards related to Project Life. Right now I'm still not fully functional in either mind or body so I do rely on sketches and ideas quite heavily until this occurs.  Links to the relevant boards are below:

Thanks for hanging in there and I hope I haven't exhausted you since there are a few more stops to go on the Hop.  I hope you check back in a few days for Part 2 which is all about embellishment!

Next stop is Teena Maher at Stamping With Teena

Here is the whole line-up:
1.Kylie Bertucci at Crafty Kylie
2.Tamie Holt at Tamie Luvs Craft 2
3.Carolina Evans at  Studio Evans
4.Deborah Raymer at Debzhouse
5.Laura Britten at  Stamping with Laura Jane
6.Sue Wdowik at Nigh Nigh Birdie
7.Alex Trofimov at Pink Crafty Mama  <----You Are Here!!
8.Teena Maher at Stamping with Teena
9.Angela Lorenz at Angs Crafty Cards


  1. Lovely Alex great job, I am super impressed with your printer too!

  2. Awesome! I want that printer now!!!!

  3. Very jealous of your supplies! :)

  4. Awesome job Alex - very informative post! thanks for sharing your tips and techniques.

  5. I love how all the colours just work together! Loving the bright layout! Well done. xx

  6. The printer makes it super easy to keep up doesn't it. Lovely layouts and tips.