Saturday, January 8, 2011

Project Life, Fail.

I had decided to give it a chance. I wasn't going to do a photo every day, but I thought I'd at least try a layout or two per month as I loved how all the pieces coordinated and were ready to assemble, all I needed were pictures.

However, my kit was a mess. The binder was broken and the page protectors don't fit. I know I could have asked for a replacement, but having seen that the binders are broken for several people makes me think these are really cheaply made and won't last long, even if intact on arrival. I'm also super irritated that the page protector holes weren't punched properly. Rather than the nice wide oval that you get on the We R Memory Keepers protectors (and most others for that matter) which give you some "give" when turning, these were standard holes, exactly sized for the rings. Which means they turn really tight. But unfortunately, they don't even fit the book. One of the holes is too far to the left, so only two holes actually line up with the enclosed binder. I tried in one of my American Crafts albums and the protectors fit a little better, which makes me thinks the Becky Higgins binders are defective in design and manufacturing.

Maybe I'm bitter because I was already on the fence to begin with, but I really really hate crappy products. At least Amazon will refund it. I still think it's a great idea, and having seen it in person now I love the colors and design. But what a bummer that it is so poorly constructed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project Life Fizzle

see update at the end

I really should have titled this post, "Why My Project Life Project Died Before It Began," but that was just too long and awkward. For a couple years now I've been thinking about doing Project Life, but every year something happened that got in the way, either the kits sold out early or I ran out of money when they were actually in stock. (If you are not familiar with Project Life, it's a scrapbook project that requires you to take one picture and journal that picture every day, sometimes known as Project 365) Plus, I was seriously OCDing about starting on January 1st. So, after debating about which kit I wanted for a while, I went ahead and ordered the Amber edition last week. Mind you, it still hasn't arrived yet - but I'm planning to return it asap.

As I started to think about how I was going to accomplish this, I got a little anxious. First off, I'd need a point & shoot camera to keep with me. There goes another $109. I love my Nikon D50 DSLR but it's too heavy to keep in my purse on a regular basis. I also started to look at some message board topics for ideas and inspiration, and I saw the word "burnout" popping up over and over. Hmmm...not good. I started thinking back to my Week In The Life project and I remembered how burnt-out I felt doing that. Although the end product of Project Lifed doesn't require the same level of detail and photography as A Week In The Life, in the end I felt like I'd still have to be attentive throughout the day just to be sure I didn't miss that "one" special moment I wanted to remember.

It's a matter of having a camera with me at all times in order to capture just the right moment. Because, lets face it, who knows when during the day that might appear? And really, our lives are super boring. I honestly think I could document the thrilling excitement of my office life in just one picture. Yea sure, we do a lot of fun things - but the daily mundaness of life is just that, mundane. And frankly, I could care less if I forget what my office looks like in ten years.

I've decided to do a monthly review using digital scrapbooking tools and techniques. I'm going to incorporate my memorabilia and extra pictures using sewing to make custom page protector sizes to add to my album. I think this will be a lot less stressful and maybe I can get actually get something done this year!

I've recently discovered Cathy Zielske's The Monthly templates on Designer Digitals and that concept really speaks to me. I love the simplicity of the layout and how it really focuses on the pictures and story. Maybe traditional scrapbooking just never was for me?

To all those carrying on with Project Life this year - I wish you best of luck and please share your albums. Maybe I'll think about it again next year. Or not.
EDITED: I received the box yesterday. I opened it and took a quick peek. I'm reconsidering! More later. :)

2ND EDIT: Uh oh. Make sure you read the post above. After going through the contents I found some serious flaws with my kit. Buyer beware.