Something New

I said at the beginning of the year that I wasn’t going to take on anything new, but I lied. Around mid-January, I stumbled upon something called Project Life, decided it was perfect for me, and jumped in whole-hog. (I have no idea what that means, and I have hogs.)

Evie discovers her toys!  They amused her for quite some time.
Evie discovers her toys! They amused her for quite some time.

Although the frailties of digital media has always bothered me, it really came to the forefront when I lost my whole blog last year. All those memories are gone for me. And computers die on a regular basis, too. So far, Davey has been able to save most of my photos, but it’s an unstable situation, and I don’t like instability.

Penny and Meg are very close.  I love the interactions between the older and younger children, something we would have missed out on if we hadn't had so many!
Penny and Meg are very close. I love the interactions between the older and younger children, something we would have missed out on if we hadn’t had so many!

So Project Life! It’s sort of a hybrid of a photo album, a scrapbook, and a diary, consisting of a big binder, photo sleeves in various configurations, a stack of journaling and filler cards, and photos! They recommend weekly layouts, but I do mine by month. I find it very easy to keep up with, since I only have to slip photos or journal cards into pockets. No cutting or gluing or styling or over thinking of the whole thing. I just print my photos, write my little stories, and go. I said in January that if I make it to June, I’ll start working on another year (and I’ve been printing out my old photos each month, too) but I enjoy this so much, I think I’ll start much sooner.

Five sisters, so blessed to have each other.
Five sisters, so blessed to have each other.

Another issue with digital media: My three younger children have been wondering for years why there are no photos of them in the albums! They are loving this project, too. I keep my binder on my desk so i can work on it, and all seven of them spend a lot of time looking through the two months of pages I’ve put together so far. Lots of pictures of all family members, and my stories, at least, to go with them. (They also collect and trade any unused photos I place at the corner of my desk, but that’s another story. 🙂 )

Do you have a system of preserving and archiving your digital photos and stories? How do you do it?

12 Comment

  1. Elizabeth says:

    We do project life through shutterfly – I never have time to make real prints of my photos, so I just use their photobook makers once a month and write stories. Upload all digital pictures and boom! At the end of the year I get photos from the grandmothers and finish off the year’s book. There are usually a couple 50% off or better sales between January and Mother’s Day, and I print three – one for each of us! 🙂

    You can use project life’s official digital stuff, or you can just use whatever other one you like. It works for me! 🙂 I know a lot of people who use Project Life in physical form, though, and their books look fabulous. 🙂

    Your girls are beautiful!

    1. I like the physical, because I never print the digital! The rest of the family is so happy, too, seeing it all come together. They spend a lot of time hovering while I work!

  2. I really like this idea. My younger kids have asked the same thing about photo albums. I have printed out my favorite pictures of each of the kids and made them their own little album, but I would like to do more.

    1. I’m finding it to just so easy, this “pocket scrapbooking”. Much easier than traditional scrapbooking, but a little more in-depth than a regular photo album. It takes me three or four hours (divided up over the course of the month) to file away about 150 photos and relevant notes. And it looks really nice!

  3. Beckie R. says:

    That is really wonderful of you! I don’t do it, but I have often had the same thoughts as you…all those things on CD or hard disk are just waiting to disappear. At least with the hard copy, there’s a chance to save it! Good job!

  4. I was doing the digital scrapbooking thing for a while, but then I got busy and fell behind and my computer died. The trifecta of project stopping-ness. Lately, I’ve been looking into those companies that print your blog into book form. Since I put most of my best pictures, along with my thoughts about them in my posts. As for picture storage, I’ve found Flickr to be the most economical (I have over 31,000+ pictures saved there). This way, I have a hard copy, a copy in the “cloud”, and a copy on my hard drive.

    1. The blog-to-book thing is a good idea I looked into way back when but never followed up on, disappointingly. 😉

  5. KristyB says:

    We upload monthly all videos and photos to Flickr. We used to use Fotki, but they kind of went south and so we migrated everything (my husband really, did an amazing job). We also have everything backed up (synced with the PC every couple months) on an external hard drive. In the beginnings of digital photos, my husband used to mail an extra set of CDs to his dad a few states away, and we’d do the same with him, to each have a back up set in case something happened. Now it’s all online. Sometimes I print some, but we often like to set a slideshow on our TV (which is hooked up to a computer) and I enjoy making captions so it’s fun to just watch pictures from as far back as the mid 80s (far back in my world :)) come up that were scanned, mixed in with pictures from last month. If anything were to happen, we’d only lose the current month of pics or videos. Even my phone is set to automatically upload to DropBox so they aren’t lost entirely either.

    I enjoy the physicality of pictures, but we also function so much digitally that it’s become habit. This year, we didn’t send a Christmas card but I made a 2 minute video of the “happenings” from 2013 which was, for me, much more meaningful/emotional.

    1. KristyB says:

      Just for fun 🙂 Our end of year video (3 minutes)

  6. Christine says:

    I love pictures. I print mine out every 2 weeks. and get them in the book asap…with notes on the back AND dates. I often blow up some special pictures to 8×10. YES your beautiful girls and boys will appreciate this hard work.

    1. I was starting to think I was in a very small minority of photo lovers! I used to get them all printed, dated, noted and tucked into albums in my film days. Up until somewhere around 2003, at least!

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