That Project Life craze

When I first heard about the Project Life style of scrapbooking, I thought it sounded like it would be a bit of a cop-out for me.  ‘A little too easy’.

Too easy?!  What was wrong with my thinking?!

Well, what has changed was that those were the halcyon, peaceful newborn days where my little baby slept almost as much as a cat, and I had lots of time to play in my craft studio and try to do artistic layouts.

Now, I have a very active toddler running around, getting into all the things, and sharing his opinions verbally.  And in those few months of newborn restfulness, I really never did end up with enough time/energy to get “good” at scrapbooking layouts so that it became easy.  Keep in mind that I didn’t start scrapbooking or paper-crafts until pregnant with my now 18-month old.  So no base skills in how-to-scrapbook.

I recently rediscovered the concept of Project Life, and the philosophy of “getting your photos out of the box and into a book”, and it sounded like heaven!

I loaded up on Project Life branded and knock-off supplies for pocket-page scrapbooking at my local Pat Catan’s (discount craft store), and plunged in, nearly creating a 2-page spread from start to finish in the two hours after my husband went to bed.  What a difference!  What a load off of my mind to think that there is a way to keep up with this memory-craft stuff without losing my marbles!  And I can still throw in an “artistic” 12×12 layout now and then when I have time or inspiration.

Then, reading some blogs about “getting started with Project Life”, I noticed that a lot of people were “quitting” Project Life.  Wondering if there was some quality critique I was missing, or if people were using it as a stepping-stone to more free-form memory-keeping experiments, I discovered the fact that a lot of Project Life scrapbookers out there have somehow gotten the idea that the “point” of Project Life is to do a layout or spread documenting EVERY WEEK of their life.  And then they feel the same burdened, guilty feeling of not keeping up that I had been feeling.

I wanted to laugh!  Or cry!  Or both!  Maybe it was a part of a previous marketing campaign that has since been dropped, because I can’t find the origin of the “weekly spread requirement”, but people sure made it sound like it was the point of the system.  Why do I find it so funny?  Of course, it’s cool if people want to document every week, or every day, that’s great!  I’m not sure my life is interesting enough that I want to recall every single week of it, but I’ve never been a good journaler for that reason.

But what I find funny is that I thought the system was made for people like me who didn’t have enough time to do put together more complex scrapbooks.  I thought the point was EASY.  And here someone figured out a way to make it hard!  It might have even been the company itself in an effort to push more product!  I’m not going to say the company was missing their niche, because I bet being able to crank out a fast spread really is a great idea for those who want to document every week of life.  And it sure would sell a lot of product if everyone challenged themselves to do 52 two-page spreads a year.  And hey, a weekly spread sounds like a neat challenge – I am a sucker for annual challenges (especially those just north of overambitious).

But I guess it says a lot about my life right now: documenting a few big things – one page per month, maybe – sounds like a huge achievement.  Maybe with the cute little pocket pages, I can actually manage to scrapbook our family life.


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