Fellow creative team member Donna said it best in her video clip last week–we digital Project Lifers can have insert envy! It was the driving factor behind my change this year from Shutterfly photobook to individual 12×12 printing with Persnickety Prints, and I must say I am loving what I have been able to do this year and it’s amazing how it adds so much more to my album. I haven’t been able to share much of these inserts yet–so sit back and enjoy as I share what I have been up to these first seventeen weeks or so…..
My first insert, week two. (I noticed the typo in my first black box after I uploaded this, sorry, too tired to correct it!) The Design H page protector works great when you have just a little bit extra to add in a week:
The following week I had an insert detailing our visit to the Children’s Museum here in Saint Paul. I did a few things worth noting on this insert–I used some digital embellishments to “jazz” up the photos (to date I think this might be the most complicated insert I have done in that regard) and I also used some of Cathy Z’s templates to journal with that I just printed as photo prints. Sure…they are glossy…but I don’t care. Saves time to put them all in with the Walgreens order–and truthfully I am all about saving time. Printing out photos, at least for me, adds more time than I have each week. (And I live less than a mile from the Walgreens I use to print!) I do use Persnickety prints to print my bigger items, like 6x12s and 12x12s, but the rest? All Walgreens. My Walgreens is pretty spot-on with my monitor as far as color and brightness goes. The left side in the photo below is the front of the insert, the right side the back.
Design G page protectors might be my favorite for inserts–love the combo of horizontal and vertical photos you can get when you use it. Here is a close up of the journaling card and the Avery Index Tabs I use for labeling:
On Week Four I tried a 6×12 insert. I have a new favorite!
As you can read in my little text boxes, this insert was really all Holly’s doing. I thought it was a great way for her to contribute to the family book, and she just loved doing it. (And loves to point out this insert when she shows the album to someone else!) She can operate a point and shoot camera with no problem–seriously, give one to the kids and see what they come up with. It’s amazing! If you like the Design Editor template I used you can find it on etsy.
Week Five brought THREE inserts. I seriously get giddy when I look at all of the layers. I am really getting in the groove now! The top insert you see is a Design I page protector that can showcase six 4×4 photos. (My photos are all instagrams.) Behind that is a 6×12 page protector that I used to detail out my Day in the Life for January. And behind that? Another Design G page protector about our visit to the American Girl Doll store at the Mall of America.
Here is a bit more detail. If you like the products I mentioned, you can find Ali Edwards 6×12 templates at Designer Digitals and Rebecca Cooper’s FREE templates on her blog. The circle date tag is a template set from Cindy Schneider. Cindy Schneider’s templates are the coolest things EVER, I love all of her products. Everything is customizable–seriously check her out.
The backside of my 6×12 insert is, of course, another photo enlargement. Is that not an adorable father and daughter moment? You also get a glimpse of the Design G of our lunch date with friends.
I have used the brush and text technique you see in this insert at least three times now. (I am pretty sure I will be doing a video of it soon.) It was first used in week fourteen last year, and again in week fifty-one. I find it much easier to journal (particularly when I am trying to say something really meaningful) when I can repeat the same prompt over and over again. Ali Edwards is an expert at this, in fact that’s her brush I use to prompt me.
On Week Seven I had two inserts, one for our anniversary dinner (which happens to also be Valentine’s Day), and one containing a cute card Holly made for me in school. I had only my iphone with me at dinner so instagrams were my main way of recording. Instead of using a Design I page protector, I opted for some of Nettio Designs 4×6 Journalers so that I could include a bit of the story. My favorite is the bottom photo–I detailed out what each of us ordered at dinner. I guarantee you on our next date night to this restaurant we will order the EXACT same thing! Holly’s card is in a 12×12 page protector I trimmed down with a rotary cutter and ruler (from my sewing supplies) and then sewed a seam up the side. I had NO IDEA that was so easy. I now look for anything odd shaped so I can make my own size page protector–embracing the sewing machine really gives you freedom! I didn’t change needles, or stitch size, or anything. Just put the page protector under the pressure foot and away I went! Try it!
On Week Eleven I used a 5×7 page protector to enlarge a photo I thought was just too precious to get lost in the mix of the weekly two-page layout. To embellish I just used a brush and a text box:
For Week Twelve I again had more than one insert. I used the Design J protector for the first time to display some instagrams, and a Design G protector to tell the story of our first non-kiddo getaway since Marie was born. Here is a look at how it all looks in the album:
A look at the back of Design J (all three journaling cards are from the Studio Calico Project Life Kit) and a peek at the “getaway” insert:
One of my favorite things in this insert was a screenshot of my iphone’s GPS route as we drove away from the house. I consciously did that, knowing it would make a cute 3×4 addition to the page:
I had a lot of additional photos Week Thirteen because of Easter. Here is what I did to include them:
Can you see the other insert peeking out above the 8×8? FAVORITE ONE OF THE YEAR SO FAR! It was Marie’s first haircut, and I knew the moment Kid’s Hair handed me the little clear envelope with her lock of hair in it that it was going in a 3×4 slot.
I hope this shows some of you, that maybe have thought about going digital, how easy it is to have a hybrid approach to the project. The weekly spreads (if you choose to record that way) come together very quickly when they are done in Photoshop and if I have the urge to play around with physical products–well the inserts are giving me just enough of that to make me happy. Using Marie’s locks from her first haircut in a 3×4 slot–I so wouldn’t be able to do that in a Shutterfly photo book–has totally sold me on doing my albums this way even though I really don’t have the space for them in my house. (I am telling myself I am going to have custom shelves made someday!) My inserts aren’t too complicated (yet) but I am sure as my confidence grows I will be doing some fun things in them. Right now, though, it’s mainly journaling cards, my writing, and photos. I am finally off of the waiting list for Studio Calico’s Project Life kits, and received my first full kit just the other day, so it will be interesting to see if I even know what to do with the little do-dads that come in the kit. If I can’t figure it out, look for a giveaway here as I unload them!
Let me know if there is something you are wondering about that I missed linking up. Would love to hear what you think about the inserts.
Have a great weekend!