Tag Archives: Crafty

The Deets on Project Life In One Place

I get asked a lot about what Project Life is, how I do it digitally, what programs I use, how I bind the books, etc. So I’m going to answer all of those questions here because this process is really important to me and what I want my girls to value as they grow up and have families of their own.

I was passionate about this project since the day I started and being on the creative team gave me the ability to infect others with the same passion. I thought I’d post a little intro and a recap of what I’m doing with Project Life in case you’re new to the LTM Blog!

What is Project Life?

Here’s a 1-minute easy as pie explanation:

Why do I think you should do it?

Because your story is your legacy and it’s important. Someday, your kids and your family is going to want to know this stuff about you and themselves. I promise. Kids have a way of wondering how you did it when they start families of their own. This is the way to show them. One thing I would love more than anything is to ask my mom, “what did you do when we were this age?” or “how did you handle this situation?” or “how much did you drink every night?” If she had done scrapbooking for us, I would have known even though she’s not around anymore for me to ask her. Someday my kids are going to want to know what our everyday looked like as an adult. They will. This will show them.

How am I doing it?

I am doing my pages digitally. It saves me the counter space (which is limited with 3 little ones) and the hassle of cleaning up. I just put everything together on my computer and then I print the book out at the end of the year. Also, the majority of project life users do the project weekly (2 pages to recap your week, every week). I, however, am taking a different approach this year. I’m just putting our major events into the book. There’s too much stuff going on in my life to have the pressure of keeping up and we just don’t do all that much stuff yet because my girls are so little. I’ll probably start the weekly layout format next year. You can read more about what I’m doing and the pages I’ve completed by CLICKING HERE.

What are the options for you?

There are two options for you if you want to give Project Life a try:
Traditional Paper Version
Digital Version

I LOVE traditional paper scrapbooking but I don’t like having the stuff all around my house. Digital is the right option for me but there is a learning curve to doing it since I am using photoshop. Without some desire to learn clipping masks and photoshop, it may be best for you to just go paper kits and keep it in a little caddy that you can move around to keep out of the way. If I was able to have the space and time for traditional, I would absolutely have those cards in my house.

With the traditional version you only need 4 things (there are FAR more than 4 things you can purchase, of course but you only require 4):

1. Core Kit

Core Kits are loaded with enough beautifully-designed cards to fill an entire album.

Becky Higgins Project Life Core kit

 

 

 

 

 

2. Album

The Project Life snazzy Albums, designed to coordinate with our Core Kits, will safely house your Pocket Pages filled with your photos and journaling.

Becky Higgins Project Life Album

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pocket Pages

Pick up a pack of Photo Pocket Pages to slip in your treasured photos and the cards from your Core Kit.

Becky Higgins Project Life Plastic Pages

 

 

 

 

 

4. Journaling Pens

My favorite pens in the world are the Zig Millennium Pens. They come in a pack with 5 sizes. Amazeballs.

Zig Pens

With the digital version you need 4 things (there are FAR more than 4 things you can purchase, of course but you only require 4):

1. Computer

I use my Mac Pro and my laptop for Project Life. Either will work as long as you have enough space to run photoshop and save your work.

imac

2. Photoshop

I use Photoshop Creative Cloud for mine but I know a lot of people that use Photoshop Elements and it works great for them (plus it’s less expensive and a bit easier).

photoshop cc

3. Digital Kits

Someone I know has a real problem with buying digital items for her Project Life album. I won’t say who, but she can’t stop. They’re so pretty!

Project Life Digital Kit

4. Printer to bind your book or Album with 12×12 Page Protectors

You can choose to bind your book and have it printed with a photo printer like i did at MPIX or you can have the pages printed individually and you can simply stick them into some 12×12 page protectors and a binder. Your call. I like the digital books because I can make copies of the book for the girls to take when they leave home.

Here’s a recent page I finished to give you an example of what your pages can look like:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

This was a super simple and fast layout. Used our pictures that Melissa Koehler took of our family and threw a couple of cards and brushes over them. Boom! Done.

I hope you’ll consider giving Project Life a try this year. There’s not commitment, there are no requirements. I know your people sure would love you for it one day.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Get Your Frame On: a DIY gallery wall project

I wrote this post a couple of years back but I still get a lot of questions about it so I decided to repost it here on my new blog for you DIY’ers.


 

I have been dreaming of this project for a very long time, but because M and I are renting a home here in Reno, I have put virtually $0 into home decor. It’s just not my house and I haven’t felt like putting too much effort into the house that we could potentially move out of at any moment. I love decorating, though, so I have really been wanting to frame some new photos. I think personal photos are the best way to make a house a unique home (outside of paint color). I love looking at other people’s photos in their homes when I visit. I want to make sure (especially as a photographer) that I have enough up of our lives to tell our story a bit.

So, I just decided that it was time to put together a gallery wall with some of our favorite family photos. I also decided I was going to go big. This is exactly what I had in mind when I set this project in motion:

DIY Gallery Wall

The wall leading up the stairs in this house is big, it’s high, and it’s bare. It’s also painted the grossest color of not-quite-white-and-not-quite-cream. The dude that owns this house was clearly not on the swiss coffee train when he picked out this color (he also doesn’t understand that different rooms require different sheens as evident by the touch-ups he did around the house, but that’s a different post). I decided that colored frames was where I was going to start. This foyer and staircase need some color in a bad way.

I love the look of scalloped frames. Going big on framing can equal big money, though, so I was sure I’d have to settle for only one shaped frame and just go square for the rest. I did a lot, i mean, a lot of hunting around. We’re talking months and months worth.

I started with Organic Bloom, Poppy Tree, and Zin Frames. All amazing frame companies. They make an amazing product. I would have snapped up the frames from these companies in a heart beat except one thing…it’s out of my budget for a home decor project right now. Like, way out. I wanted my center frame to be 20×30 (yea, big, see?). I’m looking at $100+ on that single frame alone and that’s not including prints.

So, it’s DIY time.

Enter Cut It Out Frames. $35.99 for the largest frame? Now that, I can handle.

STEP 1:

I ordered 8 frames from Cut It Out. All of them were unfinished so I knew I had some work ahead of me.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Instagram: This is what they looked like out of the shipping materials. They were in perfect condition. Well done, Cut It Out!

I got the following frames:

Balboa 20×30
Chandler 16×20
Brooklyn 11×14
Newport 8×10
Brooklyn 8×10
Newport 5×7
Grafton 5×7
Newport 4×6

The total cost? $128.92. Yea, that’s right, people. What I was going to buy 1 frame for, I got 8. I am so drinking the Cut It Out kool-aid.

Problem: I won’t lie, because this place is so rad, they’re busy and it took my frames a long time to arrive. Like, a month and a half. Worth. The. Wait.

STEP 2:

As soon as they came in, I took inventory of what I was working with and I took the quilt I made for the living room to Michael’s Craft Store to grab some paint colors. I am trying to keep these colors consistent throughout the entire downstairs. I ended up with these colors:

DIY Gallery Wall

I should have gotten 2 bottles of each color (especially the orange because that seemed to take 17 coats), but I like to make projects harder than they should be by getting only one and taking a second trip to the craft store. It’s just how I roll. At $1 a bottle (coupon) I spent $7 on paint and $2 on foam brushes.

Problem: There’s no glass in these frames (just a cardboard backing). So I had to go on a little hunt for glass.

STEP 3:

I started at the dollar store for glass. Here I got my 4×6, 2 5×7’s and 2 8×10’s for $5 total. I then went to Wal-Mart for the 11×14 piece of glass for $5. I just threw out all the cheap frames and kept the glass. For the larger pieces (16×20 and 20×30), I found THIS PLACE. If I had found it before running around looking for large glass pieces, I would have just ordered it all from Glass4PictureFrames.com to save myself the trip to Wal-Mart (I hate this store). The 16×20 is $7.28 and the 20×30 is $13.65.

STEP 4:

Next, I picked the photos that I wanted to add to the wall and edited them. I converted them all to black & white to make the frame colors pop. I also created a little sketch showing the frame size, the photo in the frame and the color of the frame for future reference.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Instagram: my photo order and gallery wall sketch

Let’s talk about photos. This is the place where I did not cut corners on cost. I ordered all of my prints through a professional lab, with the linen texture, mounted on board and coated with the non-glare coating. These pictures may well be in my house and on my walls when I’m old and grey. They will last this long. The board keeps them from warping in the frame, the coating keeps them looking beautiful. My mom had a mounted and textured photo of my brothers and I on her walls with no glass covering it for 25 years and it still looks as good as the day she hung it up.

DIY GALLERY WALL PROJECT

You can see the linen print texture in this photo. Also notice how it’s not reflecting too much light because of the coating.

Photo quality is not the place to skimp, in my opinion. If you had your photos taken by a professional photographer, order your wall prints through them. The professional labs make a HUGE difference (even in black and white photos). I promise you won’t be disappointed by the color and quality you get over non-pro labs. I would recommend Mpix to you guys if you’re not printing at a pro lab. Please, please, please don’t do Target, Wal-Mart, Costco or Walgreens. Please. The colors are just so different. Get your photos (at least the large ones) mounted. They’ll last forever. If you are interested in having your photos printed at a pro lab and are not a photographer, please let me know and I can give you my pricing list so you can have that option. I’ll even edit your photos a bit for you. It’s important.

DIY GALLERY WALL PROJECT

STEP 5:

Finally, I had a selection of my instagram photos printed in a collage from Paper Coterie. This print is the center 20×30 frame and the only one that is in color. It’s HUGE. I am in love with this part of the project. The collage is printed onto self-adhesive (and removable) fabric, so it matches the linen texture of all my other photos. It is amazing quality is very, very reasonably priced ($29.00 for 20×30). I simply peeled the backing off and stuck it down to the cardboard frame backing. Easy. Super cute.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Tip: I used the website www.instaport.me to download all of my instagram photos, pick the photos I wanted to use, and then upload to the Paper Coterie website.

STEP 6:

Then, I painted all the frames with at least 2 coats of paint (some more than others). Once the painting was done, I went over the edges of the frame with some dark brown ink from an ink pad to add some contrast. I put the photos in the frames and voila, done!

DIY Gallery Wall Project

I love how it came out. It really brightens up the foyer and brings some great memories to our walls.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

DIY Gallery Wall Project

What do you think? Are you going to do it too? I feel like I got more than enough “bang for my buck” with this project. It makes a big statement and the price was not as much as a piece of furniture…by far. I’m really happy.

DIY Gallery Wall Project
Lindsay Teague Moreno