Tuesday, 7 January 2014

project life | my process and approach

 photo ITM_PLApproach.jpg

I have had a couple of questions lately on my process for Project Life, seeing as my pages are a little different from most PL pages. I have written a bit about my process before, which you can read about here, here, and here, but I thought I would show and talk a little more in depth about how I go about it (get yourself a drink, because this will be a long one).

Just a note: In this post I assume you have a basic knowledge of digital scrapbooking, like clipping masks, brushes, and workiing with layers, to fully understand everything I am talking about.

What I knew from the start was that I wanted something simple and sleek, with lots of white space, but still layered to look more like regular scrapbook pages than PL pages. That was what I had in mind when I started. So I made a couple of templates for myself right from the getgo that I use every week and only moderately change. These templates makes it easier for me to keep up, and to not have to spend more hours than I need to every week. Some of you have asked, no I don't have these templates for sale. If that changes in the future, I will let you guys know!

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Here is what one of the templates look like (as it happens it was the one I used for the page above); as you can see they are very simple and basic.

With the templates ready it is easy for me to add, photos, cards and papers by just clipping them to the layers, or hiding the coloured shape layer and exchanging it with a card. The small circles and rectangles act as placeholders for the few elements I want to add. I hide those once I add my elements. Since I have aldready put in the text layer, all I have to do when I make my weekly page is highlight it and write my journaling. There's one way of making it easy on myself!

Photos and journaling
It is important to me to have the photographs as the main focal point, so I always have at least three or four photos on each page. With each week getting a spread (two pages) I have plenty of room for photographs - sometimes I feel too many!

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This was one week where I felt less was more!

I also make sure to have one spot for journaling on each page. I use PL cards for these spots but change the size up a bit from time to time. One spot on each page is enough for me as of right now. Maybe further down this year I will need more. If I do, it will be easy for me to use one of the spaces that I originally intended for filler cards.

I use different cards and papers to fill the rest of the 8x8 area of my 12x12 pages that I am using. I have a white stroke on all photos as a frame to make them stand out from the papers and cards. I mix rounded corner cards with square edge shapes to have some movement in the pages, and I try to include a banner on each spread to keep it consistent.

Cards, papers, and elements
I use only Becky Higgins Digital Project Life cards and papers, but then also add small elements like buttons and tags to make it more "real". Those are usually from Pixels and Co. The reason for this is that I CT for both of these sites. It makes it easier on me to use stuff that I already have. Also, I really love the stuff I use, which of course is super important.

 photo ITM_bhpl_130826_spread.jpg
This week I embellished a little more than usual with ribbons and tags that matched the cards and papers.

I use the same tan background paper on all layouts (from the Midnight Collection), and I use black and white on all layouts as the basis of my design. Then I change the colour scheme each month to separate them from eachother. So following this idea I used teal for August, yellow for September, pink for October, Green for November, and red for December. I am aiming to use tan/cream for January. I love this idea, but I usually hate every particular colour at the end of each month. I know this makes it harder on myself but what can I say, I am an organisational nerd!

I tend to gravitate to graphic patterns as I think they are universal and go with pretty much everything. I find this particularly true for the black and white patterns. That is one way of making it more easy on myself and again, to keep the pages consistent throughout the album.

You may have noticed that I use brushes on the background every week to add some depth to the pages. These are mostly cut from cards, but also some that I have created myself as well as found as freebies on the internet at some point in time. I think they are important to the overall look of the page.

 photo ITM_bhpl_131209_spread.jpg
On these pages I have used both black and white brushes to add depth.

So that is my approach to creating my Project Life pages. If you want to read some more about my process I have a few more posts on different topics:
My approach to photographs
My approach to using multiple kits
My first two pages, and talking about my ideas for the project


  1. Awesome! Really love your templates!

  2. I love your Project Life pages ... they motivate me to jump on the PL boat!

  3. You are awesome ... love your PL style and your approach works so well!

  4. These are just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process.

  5. Beautiful layouts - you have a lovely style!

  6. I am trully in love with yor style and the templates. I hope you dont mind if I copy your approach? Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    1. Not at all, feel free and be creative! :) Thank you!

  7. Having done PL in paper form for two years now, 2014 will be my first year to go digital. I'm still in the process of gathering information to decide about the digital format as my focus is also on the writing. I'd say half pictures, half stories.

    I really appreciate this blog series. However, the "here" links in the introduction don't seem to work.

    Best regards from Berlin/Germany,

    1. Thank you Heike! Good luck on your digital venture!

      I will check on those links, thanks!

  8. Åhh jag älskar bilden från Navigli. Den är så himla fin! Saknar Milano när jag ser den.

    1. Det är en av mina favoritbilder! Navigli är supermysigt när det inte är miljontals myggor där! :)


  9. I really love your pages! I just discovered your blog today through the Digital Project Life blog post about the newly released Azure Edition. Your layout stood out not only because it is different than "typical" PL pages, but also because I have been feeling a need to get back to "real" digital scrapbooking, and not always do my pages in PL grid style. So, your page was very inspiring to me! Thank you! :)

    1. Thank you very much Jenny, for your comments and for taking the time to come over here. I am really happy that you liked my pages, and that I was able to inspire you.

      I really do feel that life documenting has to feel right. Pocket pages don't give me that feeling while "regular" scrapbooking does. So this was my way. :)

  10. I love these clean elegant pages. I would really be interested in purchasing your templates. Are you planning on making these available?

    1. I am sorry, not at this moment. I might change my mind in the future, but for now I am holding off selling.

      Thank you very much for your kind comments! :)