For the first time in four years, I have successfully finished my Week in the Life project, and I'd love to share it with you! Our life has significantly changed over the last year with my husband on a 28-day rotation, so it was very important to me to finish this project this year. I wanted to see things through my lens, most importantly, see the POSITIVE parts of our life, because to be honest, when my husband is gone, I sometimes feel sorry for myself. This week happened to fall during a week when he was away, so it documents the daily lives of my daughter, dog and I, and as I expected, it was eye-opening. When not in the daily grind, I can see just how blessed we are; to have each other, to have technology to speak and see each other, and to have the means to do fun things and eat great food. This week was also special because it fell on my 34th birthday, and on our March for Babies walk with the March of Dimes, a cause we greatly support raising a former micro-preemie.
I attribute my success in finishing this project to a few things:
- I mainly used products that I only had on hand: my working monthly pocket page album, pocket page protectors that I already had, and some supplies already in my stash. I find that when I order supplies and wait for them to arrive, I've lost interest in the project by the time it arrives.
- I didn't pressure myself to use my DSLR outside of the house. I feel completely uncomfortable with snapping photos with my BIG camera at Costco or Target on daily errands. So I told myself that photos taken with my iPhone were going to be just fine.
- Every night before bed, I used my Notes app to document an hour-by-hour breakdown of what happened during the day. When creating the project, I simply emailed those notes to myself and copied and pasted them into my Photoshop page, elaborating slightly from what I had written on the day.
- I kept to only one pocket page, front and back, per day.
- I kept my supplies simple. (Supplies with an * are affiliate links. You don't pay any extra, but I get a small percentage of your sale! Thanks for your support!)
- Ali Edwards' Week in the Life Digital Bundle
- Ali Edwards' Lens Story Kit and Stamp (sold out)
- Elle's Studio Everyday Labels Puffy Stickers - Gray *
- Elle's Studio Work Hard Wood Veneer *
- Elle's Studio NSD digital file (FREE!) *
- Elle's Studio Puffy Heart Stickers *
- Elle's Studio Dated Stamp *
- Elle's Studio Happy Birthday Stickers *
- Elle's Studio Happy Birthday Journaling Tags *
- A few small banners from leftover kits in my stash
To begin, I created a small cover page to delineate the beginning of WITL in my monthly pocket page spread album. I downloaded the PNG "my story matters" file from the Week in the Life Community page, adding it to the left column of an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet in Photoshop Elements. I then "cut" the multicolor stripe pattern from one of the tags in the Week in the Life Digital Bundle into 1/2" strips and placed them along the left margin. I printed the page, cut it in half and adhered the right side to the back to make it thicker before I punched the holes. For this alone, I'm glad that I purchased the digital bundle, especially since I didn't want a stand-alone album for this project.
Before each day's pocket page, I added another 4-1/4" x 11" cardstock page with the words of the week— an hour-by-hour breakdown of our day. I created these by using the "today's details" image from a 3" x 4" tag in the Week in the Life Digital Bundle to top the left column on my sheet, then I copied and pasted my words from what I documented in my Notes App. After I printed the page, I cut it in half and again adhered the right column to the back of the sheet. I wanted a space to add the date, but since I didn't have room at the top, I stamped the date repeatedly on the left margin in the same color as I had made the "today's details" image.
I continually mixed up my pocket page designs throughout the week's documentation, but each day had the same setup: I used one 4" x 6" pocket to add the vellum days of the week word from the Week in the Life Digital Bundle. All of my photos were printed with a white border, which makes the different sizes congruent. I also added one or two filler tags, to give myself a break and add a bit of pretty paper.
I wanted a few different textures for my embellishment, and I chose these Elle's Studio Work Hard Wood Veneer pieces. Although they have a "work" theme, the sayings were easy to incorporate throughout the pages.
I definitely don't often do this, but I stamped directly onto my photos. And yes, I screwed it up a few times, having to re-print the photo. But I love how I used the images in the photos to tie in the stamped words, like in this bath photo of my daughter using the Lens Story Stamp from Ali Edwards.
This might be one of my favorite parts of these pages. I had to take some marketing images for my Terrific Titles class at Big Picture Classes, and the light in my office was just perfect. The "I heart my job" wood veneer was perfect to add to the bottom of the page and the "this is my happy place" tag from the free Elle's Studio NSD digital file , re-colored to match the Week in the Life Digital Bundle was perfect to add next to it.
Even though I hate doing it, I added my own handwriting on a couple of journaling tags. Mainly because this was my LAST STEP of completion, and I was too lazy to scan in the tag and type my journaling up in Photoshop. Just being real.
It was pretty awesome to add photos of my daughter's Spanish performance at school in the album, as well as a complete temper-tantrum breakdown in the bottom right corner. Real life.
Cooking and eating are a BIG part of our daily lives, so of course photos of our meals appear throughout the album. I plan to keep these blue-rimmed plates forever, since I love the way they look against our white farmhouse breakfast table.
The "post midnight" photos from my 34th birthday celebration did not make an appearance in the album, for obvious reasons.
We are deeply involved in our local March for Babies, benefitting the March of Dimes, so it was pretty awesome to have this documented on the final day of WITL.
The final page includes a large image of the three of us, taken late Sunday afternoon. To take the photo, I used the timer on the Photos App, propped up against a stone. I love all of the negative space, and just had to add a stamped phrase using the Lens Story Stamp. I found the perfect 4" x 6" tag from the Project Life Everyday Edition, and simply added in the dates from the week using the Elle's Studio Dated Stamp
So, an epic project is complete. Thanks for getting through this epic blog post, too! Happy creating!