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  • shannanmanton

Ali Edwards' Week In The Life Project

I'm really looking forward to playing along with Ali Edwards' Week in the Life project next week (starts 20 June but you can do any week). I don't participate every year but I've done five albums since 2010 and they are such a treasure.

The true value in these albums is showing the real rhythm of our lives at different times. In the first one (2010) I worked three days per week in the office and was home with the kids (Eli was a baby!) Thursdays and Fridays. My husband worked the afternoon shift so we had our days free for shopping, the park, lunch etc before he left for work at 3.30pm. So different and something I barely even remember without this album.

Here is a quick look at the different ways I have documented my week.

2010 - 8.5x11 album with full page photos as well as pocket pages with photos and journal cards. I used Ali's digital products (cards and templates).

2012 - 8.5x11 album with full page photos, photo collages and journal cards (all digital using Ali's overlays and journal cards).

2015 - 8.5x11 album with full page photos, collages and two pages of journaling each day (these pages are all digital using some of Ali's word art and templates).

2018 - 3x8 album using pockets and mixing up full-page photos and photos and journaling in pockets (using Ali's 3x8 Week In The Life templates). For this one, I told a morning, afternoon and evening story then used the prompts Embracing and Loving each day.

2019 - 5x8 Tradebook photobook from Blurb. I created a simple formula for this one doing three photos and stories per day (morning, afternoon and evening) along with a currently list. I made a very simple design that included a black page with the day and simple embellishments like a time stamp and top and bottom border. This one was so easy and happened during a week when I knew I just couldn't do anymore than three photos/stories a day.

This year I am coming out of a month of not scrapbooking as much as usual due to travel and lots of colds and flu in our house, so I am really looking forward to this project. I need it.

This time I plan to go with another photobook (either 5x8 or 6x9). It just makes sense for an all digital project. I also want to concentrate on photos this year. I want to fill the book with them - small and large, colour and black & white - and take the time to photograph things in a different way to my regular scrapbooking (close ups, buildings, architecture, our home, plants). I'm going to do very simple embellishments and and use up some of the digital supplies I already have. I think my journaling will be brief this time too. My intention is to try for one of those 'we followed someone famous or cool around for a day to see how they live their life' magazine spreads (no, I am not famous or cool, but you get the idea).

Here are a few of my tips for getting this project done:

  • Take notes, even quick ones, because you won't remember as much as you think when you sit down to make the album. If you keep a diary or planner, fill those pages with as much detail every day. Write emails to yourself at different parts of the day if you are working on your computer. Even a sentence or two. Or start a notebook or computer document you can just add to throughout the week.

  • Take some sneaky photos before the week starts. It's not cheating, it's just being well organised. I might take some photos of things in the house if it's particularly clean or if the light is great, some of my plants outside, my office when it's quiet and some city building shots. These will be great as filler photos and won't be any different if I saved them for next week when I might end up really busy and unable to get out and about. There are so many routine things in our life that look the same every day.

  • Use a formula for your design or a kit so there are less decisions. A whole album of pages is a lot.

  • Expect to have more photos some days than others. It's OK if you end up with less pages some days in your album.

  • It's also OK if you give up half way through because life happened - at least you will still have a bunch of new, cool photos to scrapbook with.

  • Spread your filler photos out over the album. If you took a photo of coffee or the kid's school backpacks on Monday but you have barely any photos for Thursday, use them there instead. I wouldn't put a Tuesday office photo on the weekend, but generic photos are fair game.

  • Your photos don't have to look like anyone else's. It's your life.

  • Know that this hard work is worth it. Life changes so subtly.

  • Listen to the latest episodes of the Crafty Ass Female podcast for lots of Week In The Life talk, including a fantastic interview with Ali Edwards.

I'm so excited about this project this year.

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