I have long been a fan of printing my digital scrapbook layouts and albums as photobooks (see here). They just save so much space on my (limited) shelves and are easier for the family to look through than the hefty 12x12 ring bound albums.
When I first started digital scrapbooking in 2010, I had all of my 12x12 and 8.5x11 pages printed at Persnickety Prints and then I would put them albums like regular pages. A couple of years ago I noticed how much sagging of pages was happening with those albums so I started going through my computer files to see if I could collect all of the digital pages and get them printed as photo books. Yes, it meant that I would be paying twice for printing but I felt like it would be worth it.
Then this week, my scrapbook friend Tracey Holdyk posted about her 'insane' idea of redoing her old physical Project Life albums as digital books. Her reasons were very familiar - limited space and issues with the albums holding up. This is something I have thought of doing for a long time and it seems like I just needed someone else to say it was OK. It's also something my husband has been encouraging me to do for ages - he loves the books.
(My 2015 12x12 Project Life photo book using Cathy Zielske's Life Basics template)
I am not someone who would generally advise people to go and remake old pages. I am all about moving forward, scrapbooking the current stuff and enjoying my old pages for what they were. Whenever the question of re-doing layouts was raised, my advice was always to leave it and do something new.
But I started going through some of my old, traditional pocket-page 12x12 Project Life albums yesterday and they were not in great shape. Lots of sagging and dodgy rings. My very first one (2010) had pages squished up inside. They are not very easy to look through and I don't think I have in years.
So, inspired by Tracey, I thought I would just try a page or two and see how easy (or difficult) it was to recreate and I ended up doing six week's worth of pages in digital format. It probably took me two hours but I needed to find my groove/system.
So here are some of my thoughts:
My Project Life albums are probably my most valuable from a family-documenting standpoint. All of our day-to-day stories and photos are in here and I think it is the most well-rounded way to see a year in our lives.
My photos from this period are not great. Some are quite dark and others have weird filters (ugh, edge blur). Editing photos in the re-do will probably be the thing that takes me the longest but I think it's worth it.
All of my photos are in Lightroom and very easy to find using date filters.
A few of the photos are missing from my Lightroom catalogue. Some I think I culled, others I'm not sure. There aren't too many so I'm not really worried about it, I've just switched in other photos from that week.
I've noticed that sometimes I've used a lesser photo in my Project Life because I used the better one in a scrapbook page on its own (I always scrapbooked individual pages on top of my yearly PL). This time I'm swapping some of those out.
In my original, I put a caption and date on every photo and while I've continued that in the digital version, I don't think it needs to be on every photo.
I've started with my oldest Project Life album - 2010. It's the bulkiest. I also have 2011 and 2012 in 12x12 size using traditional pocket pages that would be next on the list if this works out. I have a blog post about of all of my Project Life albums here.
I previously made a 12x12 printed Project Life book in 2015 using Cathy Zielske's Life Basics template (HERE) that is basically the Project Life Design A page protector in digital format so I'm using that as my base (all of my early PL albums use that design).
I have various digital Becky Higgins PL kits in my stash already so I'm using the Fresh kit for this 2010 re-do (this is different to the actual album which I think was the very first Project Life kit, after it changed from Project 365).
I'm basically producing the same layout in the new version with some editing to my journaling (which I handwrote as I went) for brevity. I don't have to spend any time organising what goes where except for choosing cards from the different kit. I have switched around some of the photo placement so I have a better balance between colour and black and white (something I didn't really worry about back then).
I have a lot of ephemera throughout my old album so, where I can, I am photographing it to use in the redo or just replacing it with a filler card (some of the things I saved are not that important to me now like clothes tags and things, I just saved them because I had the pockets available and they were cute).
I'm not planning to throw out the old album, I will store it away.
I just love looking through my photobooks way more than my big albums, especially 12x12 page protector ones.
So that's where I'm at. I will keep going and hope to make at least 2010 as a book. I have a feeling that I will be so happy to see that book that I'll be inspired to do the other two years I have in this format.
One other thing I should point out - I'm in Sydney and have been in a strict lockdown since 26 June. I've had a lot of time at home to scrapbook but I'm just not feeling very motivated. Having a side project like this where I can be crafty, oooh-and-ahhh over my kids being so little, hang out in my space but not have to be super creative is a gift. And to be honest, there's not much going on here by way of stories or photos right now. I'm a very 'current' scrapbooker and that's not easy when you've been at home for over a month. Here's to side-projects.
Thanks for reading! S