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116 posts categorized "Project Life"

June 30, 2014

How to catch up on nearly three months of Project Life


There's been a lot going on of late that has taken precedence over my Project Life pages. A first child graduating from high school. A corresponding graduation party. A new website that is getting oh-so close to launching. Plus working to become a more responsible, less neurotic adult female planet member. (That alone makes it suprising I get anything else done, ever.) Combine this with the daily work I try to do to make life both clean, fed and profitable and you are left with the fact that as of last week, I was 11 weeks behind in Project Life.

I will be honest: there is zero stress about this. Zero. This project is my fun and relaxing way to add photos and words together for a document of our year. When it happens, it happens. And when it doesn't, that's what having weekly photo folders defined by the weekly dates in iPhoto is for: it's all there waiting for when I am ready. And this past weekend, I made time to be ready.

Here's how you catch up on 11 weeks of Project Life.

Step One: Refuse to accept that you are behind. Rather, look at it as the opportunity to spend a bit more time with your photos and stories.

Step Two: Tackle one week at a time, and if you have the mojo to do more, by all means, do.

Step Three: Have a glass of cheap red wine (won't apply to everyone, I understand this.)

Step Four: Complete album pages and high five yourself or anyone in the vicinity as you do.

That's it.  

I kept them simple. If one page was all that was needed then that was all that was offered up. Not a lot of funky journal cards added, or if they were, they were simply repeats from the prior week. While I love to have fun and play with my Project Life pages, I just wanted to get 'er done. I would say a lot more, but a lot more isn't warranted. Here are my pages for the past 11 weeks.












Click on any of the images to see them larger in a new window. Note: when my new site launches, the images will be much larger and easier to read!

And that is all she wrote.


April 17, 2014

Project Life, Week Fourteen + Fifteen


The last few weeks of Project Life are super stripped down.

It's amazing how much faster it goes when I just focus on getting the photos in and just a tiny bit of writing. Sometimes, that's all I'm in the mood for. Less fancy. More basic. Like this:



Other than a High of the Week journal card and a little bit of type, this is about as simple as it gets.


Seriously. I loved going on that road trip with Aidan. As much as I am going to miss her, I'm equally excited for this young woman's blazingly bright future. 

For Week 15, I had to keep it simple again. Why? Hello 2014 prom photos. 




Sometimes, you don't need a lot of stuff to tell the story.

p.s. my little bird is having her wisdom teeth out today. Here's to soft foods and modern pain meds. 



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.

April 10, 2014

Project Life, Week Thirteen, the end of the first quarter


Yes, I break my Project Life into quarters. Literally. This is what it looks like on my hard drive:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 11.14.51 AM

I can't help it. I've got a mind for business and a bod for sin. (If you can name that movie, you win special consideration! For what, I don't know, but you'll have the PRIDE of knowing that YOU know.)

Shall we dive into the end of the quarter spread? 


A little detail on one of the images: Aidan turned 18 in week 13 and one of her very clever girlfriends gave her the book you see here:


The best part? She cut out a bunch of pages (read: altered book arts, y'all!) and filled the hollowed out space with an assortment of pens. Too bad, I could've read a few of those chapters. Especially the ones that address when my body spontaneously sprouts owl feathers  and wings. And talons. And smaller, perkier breasts. Menopause, I tell ya. It's just ONE surprise after another.


It's hard to believe we welcome Spring with a snow fall, but that's how we roll in the Upper Midwest.

And that's all I wrote for Week Thirteen.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.

April 02, 2014

Project Life, Week Twelve


Ah, yes… where was I? Oh, right. SCRAPBOOKING.

May I present Project Life, Week Twelve: the return to a two-page spread.


Simple. Not fussy. White space. You get the idea.


This week's low was decidedly a candidate for teen privacy, ergo, I simply hid the text layer and added the privacy label. (Download the free label files here.)


I really love the weekly journaling recaps. It too is simple and not overly fussy. Just the facts will do. I'll save my more flowery writing for blog posts. Or something.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.

March 19, 2014

Project Life, Week Eleven


The ice is finally starting to recede on the tundra where I live. The shot above was one of 49 photos I took last week.

Do you know what's funny? In this digital era, you all know that 49 photos in a week is a small number, right? Can you imagine, back in the early 2000s if you took 49 photos every week? (Okay, yes, some scrapbookers absolutely did!) But that would be a couple rolls of film every week. Even I didn't do that with regularity. But 49 pics in this day and age? Pfffft! That's a paltry number.

So I only made one page for this week's Project Life contribution.


This page features very few extras. I kept trying to layer in some digital art, but it just looked forced and crowded. And yes, I made the week's high about me. Well, me and Margie.


I very much get into a pattern in my life. That pattern does not include a lot of socialization. True, I am an introvert and I am super grateful for my quiet office and my lack of social obligations, but man it is good to get out and hang with people you really love and appreciate. 




Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.

March 12, 2014

Project Life, Week Ten


Week Ten clocked in at 347 photos.

This is not my usual pace and there's a reason for it: Aidan performed in her school play and because she's the editor it meant that yours truly had to shoot the show. I decided to add a few image for Project Life and I'm working on a layout to showcase more of the shots, which I'll share next week.

Also, this week saw a few more Teen Privacy Labels show up. There are times when I don't have to ask. I just know. Some stories and images need to remain private. That's how we keep blissful family peace.

Or something like that.

Here's the week's pages:



The High of the Week was getting to see three peformances of Little Shop of Horrors. My child is an actor, people. She sings. She acts. She nails it. This is not a subjective opinion. This is fact.



Seriously, Aidan. Thanks for bringing something to our lives that is so incredibly cool.


Again, my journal recaps are simple and factual, not fancy at all. 

More and more in this process, I find I am craving simplicity. Photos + words. It's everything about scrapbooking that I truly adore.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.


March 05, 2014

Project Life, Week Nine, One Page, All Good


In Week 9 I took 53 combined photos (iPhone shots + DSLR shots).  Many of them were multiple shots of the same thing/scene. It took me about three minutes to say: one page for Project Life.

As soon as I release myself from the pressure to make a spread, I feel light and creative and happy. This, as you know, is a better alternative than feeling dark and blocked and stressed.

Granted, if I have a ton of shots to play with, it's no problem to do a typical two-page spread, but the key is to make the decision and lose the stress.

This project doesn't have to be stressful. 

Let's get to it:


No blurred out privacy images for this week. Sometimes, if there is an image in question, I'll ask. Other times, I make assumptions. This week: assumptions. (Did you miss the free Privacy Label download? If so, click here.)


Again, my weekly recaps will never be mistaken for Pulitzer Prize-winning prose. It's a very simple, journalistic recap. In fact, by recapping on one card each week, it does free me up to simply fill the rest of the slots with photos. 

I know that it's fun to collection cool Project Life cards and other journaling card files, but if you just feel like making one simple highlights card, you can fill in the rest with photos or filler cards that require no extra journaling.

And speaking of extra journaling… oh, honey. 


Definitely a big low of the week. I've never experienced stitches with either of my children, knock on wood. But I can now say I have with my husband.

He was super brave.

And that is all for Week Nine.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.


February 26, 2014

Project Life, Week Eight


I truly feel like this project is the highlight of my crafty week.

I've gotten into a new routine. On Monday mornings, after exercise and email—okay and maybe a little Facebook—I start gathering my images and make my pages.

And I'm just going to say it: I love them. I do! It's relaxing and it's fun and it's not overly complicated. 

Those are key words I want associated with my memory keeping.

I'm not a brain surgeon, people. I make scrapbook pages.

Here's a look at Week Eight.


Okay stop right there. 

One of the photos I took last week was of Cole and his friend, Diego. I asked if I could take it and they agreed. What you don't see are all the weird faces they pulled for most of them. 

Then I had an idea to see how far back I could go and find a shot of the two of them. Lo and behold, 2006 served up a good one. Oh for cute!

Why not include a Then and Now pairing in your Project Life album? There's no law that says every photo shalt come from the week wherein the memory keeping hath occurred, right?


I mean, get out, cuteness.


Such handsome young men.

Moving right along…


I didn't mean to seem all focused on the negative this week, but I decided to just include a Low card. That snow is pretty, true, but by the end of February, Minnesotans grow weary. Very weary.


Here's the journal card for the week. Again, you don't have to write with wit and cleverness to document a week on one card. I just report the facts.


And can I just say again how glad I am that the Olympics are over?

I'm like that dog in Up. The Olympics are my squirrel.

Thank you, Team USA. You rocked my world and now I can move away from the TV set.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.


If you missed this last week… I have a free privacy label set for online photo sharing. To see how I used them, watch this video clip.


Click on the link to download my Privacy Circles. ( Download CZ_PrivacyCircles )


February 19, 2014

Project Life, Week Seven + a free privacy label for kid, teens & families


Last week was the most amazing week in the life.

Some really great things happened. Some really awful things happened. 

As I was sitting down on Sunday night to make my Project Life pages, I was struck by this thought: I have no idea how I even deserve to be a part of this family experience. Truly.

My family is just so incredibly cool. That ain't no hype, people.

However, some of these really cool things included photos that my kids said, "No, I'd rather you not share that in public, Mom."

Of course this reply came because I'm working to be less self-absorbed in my life and remembered to actually ask them what I could share and what I needed to keep within the family.

This is something I'm doing more of lately. True, they are very generous in what they let me share. I do remind them that part of how I make a living is sharing my life online. While that may seem a bit manipulative, it's also partially true.

Still, I want to honor their need to keep some things private and sacred and because of that, I have a really cute little digital set to let you honor the same for your kids and any online sharing of Project Life pages or other memory projects that you might do that require a little discretion.


Say hello to my Privacy Circles

Download CZ_PrivacyCircles

Based off my Minimal Circles Sentiments No. 01, these little PNG files can be plopped down anywhere you need to preserve a little privacy. I created three styles for teens, kids and families, one that has the word "requested" on it, if you prefer that look. For me, it's all about honor the requests right now.

Let's look at how they worked in Week Seven's pages.


Okay, nothing on this page, but I am in love with my new High/Low Card set. That might seem a little arrogant or self-promoting (well, duh!) but sometimes I make stuff and I like it just fine. Then I make a set and I'm all, "YES! FUN! THIS!" Such is the case with the high/low card set. Note: this card set includes printable PDFs in the colors show on the package for traditional Project Life pocket pages.

In terms of the highs and lows, the lowest of last week was a fire at Dan's parents' farm house in Southern Minnesota. Luckily, no one was injured and it happened during the day while they were there and were able to get the fire department out in time, but the loss to part of the house was pretty devastating.


(Note: I appreciate many of your comments left on Facebook last week. Thank you for your positive thoughts.)

Here is page two.


Ahhh. Isn't that nice? I blurred out the images using a Gaussian Blur and placed the privacy labels over the top, changed their color to white, and voila: privacy preserved!

And if you've always wanted to know how to do this process, well I have just the video tutorial for you!

CZ Design Privacy Label Tutorial from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


I hope some of you will enjoy and use the privacy labels, because even if your kids aren't quite to that stage yet, believe me, sisters, it's coming.



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.


February 12, 2014

Project Life, Week Six: Hello single page!


Only the sixth week and it's my first Project Life entry featuring a single page.


Last year I realized that if there were weeks with too few photos to make a full page spread, then a single page would have to do. It was completely liberating for me. 

And what happens the following week? Do I try to make that week a single page, too? So they start lining up again the following week?

Nope. Each entry for this year-long album project will simply be determined on a week-by-week basis. If it ends up that I have a two-page spread next week, and that spread will start on the right-hand page, then so be it. 

Honestly. It's not a big deal if that happens. It's all sequential, right? Right.

This is how I'm approaching it.


One thing I did do was combine a bunch of photos from a single event onto one 6 x 4 canvas (tweaked a bit from the original template) and then I dropped that image into one of the slots. It was a perfect solution because my sports photos are not the greatest and typically look better at smaller sizes.

I started by creating a collage using a Mini Minimals template.


But when I dropped it in, I felt like the image didn't balance because of its built-in margin. So I tweaked it into this:


I did this simply by adjusting the sizes of each layer mask. I kept all of the "gutters" between the photos the same and simply dragged the center handles out from each mask's outer edges to meet the boundary of the 6 x 4 canvas. I deleted the line of journaling as well.


You can alter your digital templates in so many ways with a little simple tweaking. I recently recorded a video showing how to combine layer masks to create larger photos. Watch that video here.

I feel like it filled the space in a more pleasing way. If this had been a two-page spread, I probably would have left it in the original template design. But who can say for sure?

Next, I thought a list would add a bit of extra info to this single page entry. I love including what we're all digging on one single card.


You can add and customize any PNG card file to your Project Life albums. I recorded a short video tutorial showing you how I added the card above, as well as dropping in a custom text box to make a list.

Working with PNG card files from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


Thank you, single page, for making this project a stress free happy fun time. 



Project Life™ is a system created by Becky Higgins. To learn more about her core approach to saving your memories, click here.



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