A while back I posted a picture of my finished Project Life 2013 album that I completed in about 5 hours. Later, Becky Higgins reposted the picture to her Facebook, twitter and Instagram and there were many comments that followed. Some didn’t believe that I did it in 5 hours. Some asked how I did it. Others said they could never do it. So, I’m here to give a few tips and tricks on how I did it, so that maybe you feel like you could too.

project life bahamas I’ve done Project Life for 4 years now. I used to do traditional scrapbooking with papers and embellishments, but it got to be too time consuming for me as a wife, mother and business owner. So I started doing Project Life and was instantly hooked. I love how easy and convenient it is, having everything right there in the core kit (minus the album and plastics, which you can choose according to preference).

Project Life cruise project life cruise 2
FAQ about how I did 400+ pictures in 5 hours:

Does your 5 hours include your photo editing time?
No, truthfully I don’t do much editing to my photos because I’m lazy in that way. I usually take the photos as they’re shot in the camera. I organize my photos on my computer according to year and then month (in folders) so I can easily go through the year month by month and put what I want to print into a “print” folder for when I’m ready to upload. This doesn’t take very long, because I’m not editing every picture.

project life warm winter project life snap conferenceWhat prep work do you do to get ready to scrapbook?
I first take my pictures out and organize them by event on my kitchen table. I’m not one to put them in the book in exact chronological order, I do it more by season so that it’s less pressure to get the dates exactly right. I put each event in a pile and then organize the piles by season – once they’re organized by event & season, I stagger them on top of each other so that they’re ready to put in the book. After that I surround myself with chairs from my kitchen table and put all of my different designs of plastics around me. That way I can easily take out what I want.

project life spring project life summerExplain your process:
I take my first pile of pictures for an event (or if it’s just one picture of an event, I’ll put events together to make one spread). Once I see if my pictures are portrait or landscape, I plan out which plastics will work best for those pictures. I cut down any pictures that need to be cut to fit into the smaller spaces and simply slide them in. I used to round the corners of my pictures, but don’t do that any more. Time saver! Once the pictures are in, I do any journaling to explain them. I do very little journaling, most of the time the pictures speak for themselves. And who am I kidding? My kids like to look at the pictures, not read what I write. If there’s something that needs explained or a location noted, I’ll do that. Otherwise I don’t do much journaling, which also saves time.

project life summer 2 project life summer 3Any tips for us?
Sure!
1. give yourself some time to work so that you’re not dragging out your pictures and supplies over and over. I knew that I had time between lunch and dinner so I cranked my book out!

2. try not to focus on enjoying your pictures right then…I told my son who was very eager to look at the pictures that we’d enjoy them together when I got all done. It’s hard to do, because you want to cherish the memories, but you just really have to focus if you want to complete your book quickly. If you don’t care how long it takes you – then sit with a cup of coffee and cherish your pictures as you put them in your album. I was all about efficiency, so ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re rushing to get a book done before the next thing (laundry, cooking, etc) needs to be done.

3. don’t put pressure on yourself…get done what you can. I have a few pages from previous years that I know still need journaled. I’m just not that worried about it. Those holes will get filled eventually. Right now I’m happy knowing that my years are memorialized in a book that we can all enjoy whenever we want to. We can smile and laugh at the pictures from the past few years instead of dragging out my computer or a box full of unorganized pictures. No pressure. Do what you can do.

4. have fun. The process of memory keeping is supposed to bring a smile to your face. Enjoy what you’re doing, whatever the process or program that you’re using.

project life car show project life swimmingAny other scrapbooking or Project Life questions for me? Leave me a comment and I’ll respond here so everyone can see them! If you’re a PL user I’d love to know that too.

(by the way, this is not a paid ad for Project Life, Becky doesn’t know I’m posting it…
I simply love this product and want to share it with everyone because it’s saves me
tons of time and money!)

Today I want to introduce all of my local friends to a personal and talented friend here in central Indiana – Nikki of 4 Men & A Lady Photography. She did my head shots a while back and also shot the new Fall Collection. She is incredibly talented, as you’ll see if you keep scrolling.2299161_orig susan1 7642023_orig susan33712159_origI truly feel that her work speaks for itself (look at those squishy cheeks above)! She’s super sweet and funny and I’d love if you’d head over to her Facebook Page and give her some love. If you’re local, now is the perfect time to get your fall pictures!

Happy Friday everyone! Every once in a while I like to do a peek at my week for my non-instagram friends so here you go! Just a few highlights from our week around here.

brookschool This past week while we were waiting for hubby to finish up a flight lesson we headed to our favorite park. It has huge towers and lots of slides – a kids park paradise. We love it there!

youvegotmail One late night while hubby was working I popped in You’ve Got Mail and decided to get some studio work done too. I used to watch this movie nearly every Saturday night with my best friend Chrissy as we worked on her wedding prep. Those were the good old days. I loved watching it and posting quotes back and forth with Chrissy on Instagram that night. “I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, if I knew your name and address…”

photo 2 My brother in law Scott is in the army and headed to Afghanistan this week. We went down to Ft. Knox to see him off. I don’t recall ever being on base before so it was a new experience for me. Please pray for he and his family for the next 9 months (as well as the rest of the troops)

photo 3 My neice Megan and I took the kids to the pool – 1, 2, 3 GO! They are like little fishes and were really tired when we got home (holla!)

photo 4 I’m working on a 4th of July project to be revealed soon…I love glitter!

photo 5 It’s been a few weeks since I got to sit down with my bestie Leslie for our accountability time. I’ve missed her so. She got to be our first friend to ride hubby’s new ATV and we sipped coffee, checked out my garden and swang on the porch swing for hours. I love her and am so thankful for her.

That’s a peek at my week…what have you all been up to? Have a wonderful weekend!

life rearranged