Sunday, November 28, 2010

Using Ephemera

What is Ephemera? Any miscellaneous item, including:

  • A newspaper clipping
  • Comic strip
  • Gift card
  • Movie ticket stubs
  • Theater ticket stubs
  • Baseball tickets
  • Clothing tags
  • Ski tags
  • Receipts
  • Market lists

Using the Project Life kit, there is an extra 'journalling' space on the page protectors. This space is a great place for ephemera. But, it can also be used for an extra picture you would like to include or a favorite quote.

But, don't feel boxed in to placing ephemera in just that 'extra' space. The date card has plenty of space for extras.

You can also place those tidbits in the 4x6 sections. I've used a coffee cup sleeve from my favorite coffee shop in place of a photo.

When I completed my first 'Hard' Sudoku puzzle, it was used in place of a picture.

If it tells a story, it is worth including in your album.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


  • Gadgets--iPod, laptop, cool new running watch
  • Sports participated in
  • 5K, 10K, Half-Marathons & Marathons
  • Collections
  • Morning routine
  • Hobbies
  • Childhood Memory objects
  • Crafts/creations
  • Instruments/Musical talent
  • Playing Mr. Fix-it
  • Music you enjoy
  • Log miles walked/ran in any given week
  • Where you exercise
  • Your purse
  • Leisure activities
  • Riding Bikes--mileage
  • New Hair Style
  • Goals
  • New Driver's License
  • Medicines you take
  • New manicure/pedicure

Life isn't always fun

  • Passing of a loved one
  • Passing of a pet
  • Anniversary of a death/Missing you

It's fine to use an old picture! Remember, you make the rules.



  • A lovey
  • Lost teeth
  • Children's creations & artwork
  • Lego creations
  • Child's bedroom
  • At play
  • Lessons learned
  • Obsessions--rocks, insects, Legos, Star Wars action figures
  • A new haircut/style
  • Milestones
  • First time at sleep away camp
  • Gadgets--iPod, Nintendo DS
  • Braces & the progress
  • Collections
  • With their friends
  • With their cousins
  • With siblings
  • Reading
  • New Shoes
  • New Clothes
  • Clothes hanging in their closet
  • Sports they participate in
  • A favorite or silly shirt
  • Riding bikes
  • A new bike or helmet

School Happens
  • Band/Instruments
  • School projects
  • Pack or eat lunch at school
  • Performances
  • Doing Homework
  • First Day of School
  • New Back Pack
  • Report Card results
  • After school traditions
  • Back to school shopping
  • Weight of backpack
  • Teachers
  • Favorite subject

Completely serious about the backpack weight! Jared's backpack weighed 22 pounds once. At the beginning of this school year, his backpack weighed 18 pounds. On top of that, he still had extra books and notebooks in his arms. It was crazy!

Also, you can easily include children's artwork using 8 1/2" x 11" regular page protectors. This idea was shared by Scrapper100. Fabulous idea that proves the obvious isn't always that obvious to everyone. :) Thanks, Scrapper!

Favorites & Miscellaneous Ideas

Favorite Things

  • Meal
  • Drink
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Magazine
  • Movie
  • Eatery
  • Book or series
  • Place in your house
  • Music
The favorites can be done for each member of your family. If you have 3 members in your family, with just these ideas, 30 days of ideas are done.


  • Cost of gas
  • What's in the CD changer in your car?
  • Haul from a trip to the grocery store, WM or Target with cost
  • The price of any item/s for later comparison

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Take a picture of the time on the alarm clock & document that.

Family Time & the Places We Go

Family Time

  • Games you play
  • Puzzles in progress & completed
  • Visitors
  • Homecomings
  • Interaction between family members
  • With relatives
  • Movies you watch at home
  • Traditions

The Places We Go

  • Movies out--Signage, Movie posters, Theater
  • Restaurants
  • Doctors & Dentists
  • Libraries
  • County Fair
  • Day trips
  • Vacation destinations
  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • National & State Parks

The Seasons & Around the House


  • Everything greening up
  • Flowers
  • Outdoor furniture/grill is brought up


  • Garden--planting & it's progress through the season
  • Produce from garden
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Strawberry patch
  • At the pool
  • At the beach
  • High temps
  • Miniature Golfing
  • Swimming lessons


  • Apple Orchard
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Corn Maze
  • Firewood for fireplace
  • Fall foliage
  • Children playing in raked leaves


  • Accumulation of snow
  • Shovelling snow
  • Snowball Fight
  • Snowmen
  • Icicles
  • Winter Sports
  • Sledding
  • Cutting down a real tree for Christmas
  • Decorating the tree
  • Outside decorations
  • Day the tree is taken down

Around the House

  • Your house during each season
  • New acquisitions
  • Planning stage of home projects--paint swatches, sketches
  • Before, during & after of those projects
  • The mess & disruption from home projects
  • Favorite things around the house

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pet Photo Ideas

  • Pets doing silly things
  • Pets getting a bath
  • Pets interacting with their people
  • Pets interacting with other pets
  • Pet food & treats--Cost, how long it lasts, why you feed that particular brand?
  • Veterinarian office & vet
  • Unexpected illnesses & resulting medicines, etc...
  • Pet with their favorite toy
  • Doing tricks
  • Pet's birthday
  • Adding a new pet to the family
  • Naming a pet
  • Pet dressed up
  • On a walk
  • Pet being naughty


Any critters you see out and about. What can I say? I love animals.

  • A bird's nest from eggs to newly hatched to flying the coop.
  • Ducks with ducklings
  • Turtles
  • Squirrels
  • Deer

I even have some pictures of snakes, because there is an interesting story.

**Note: The picture of my pup is one example of why having a camera at all times is a good idea. She had found a chipmunk hole. Silly girl!

Photo Ideas #1

My Favorite Ideas

  • Recording Children's Height & Weight on any given day (once a season, twice a year)

  • Outside of Home for every season

  • List of Books Read for the month (Figured this one out a month ago.)

Because the Obvious Isn't Always

  • Birthdays

  • Holidays

  • Anniversaries

  • Places of Employment

  • First Day of School

  • Last Day of School

  • Vacations

  • Vehicles & Odometer milestones

  • Portraits (Wallets)

A Project in a Project

I had intended to do this within Project 365. But, didn't complete it beyond January. I still think it's a great idea. Remembering was my problem.

The idea is to keep track of one chore through out the month with a tally at the end of that month, along with a corresponding picture.

  • # of loads of laundry
  • # of times diswasher is run
  • # of times dishes are handwashed
  • # of meals prepared
  • # of sets of sheets changed
  • # of beds made
  • # of times you vacuum
  • # of trips to the supermarket or Walmart or Target
  • # of times of dusting

Other chores could include:

  • Bill paying day
  • Defrosting the freezer (Because it's 2 degrees out & the freezables can be stored outside.)
  • Washing & cleaning out your car

The Basics

Carry your Camera...I've taken numerous photos that I would otherwise have missed because I had my camera with me. One of my favorite pictures of Jared would not be in existence right now. There would have been absolutely no way it could have been reproduced either. Double rainbow? Would have missed that one, too.

Get the Family Involved...Hand off the camera to other family members. First, you want yourself included in the album. But, the kiddos have a completely different perspective. You will be surprised at what they capture. The same applies to spouses. After all, we aren't alway together.

Also, if they are willing, have other family members get involved with the journalling. How cool would it be to have numerous family members' writing immortalized?

Include Pictures taken by Others...The pictures do not have to come from your camera. Did your child spend the day with a relative? Were school pictures taken, today? Save a place in your album to include it.

Keep a List...Include date, description of picture & an short explanation to jog your memory for journalling. Especially helpful if you get a bit behind in the journalling, because sometimes life just gets busy. The list also helps when getting the photos developed.

Don't Stress...There is no wrong way to do this project. Make of it what you will.

Be Flexible...If you choose to take a picture every day and miss one, it's OK. Make up for it the next day. Who's gonna know?

If you choose a different format, say 7 pictures a week, and you don't have enough pictures. It's OK. There's nothing wrong with a 3 picture week. In fact, it gives the album interest. (This is exactly what happened to me during Project Life.)

Also, if you have a bunch of pictures one week, there's nothing wrong expanding that week to more than 2 single pages.

Make a List... of extra pictures, stories and ideas. Some pictures are time sensitive. Some are not. Make a list of things you don't want to forget to include in the album, but a picture can be taken at any time. Like a favorite something/place around the house.

Items You Need...a camera & a pen--preferably archival. Archival pens are easily found. The new fine tip Sharpies fit the bill & come in a pack with 4 colors.

Extra, but not adhesive & photo corners.

Anything else is just icing!

Pre-assemble Album...if you want. I like to spread the journalling cards throughout the album. And, let's face it, I didn't like every journalling card that came in the kit. Pre-assembly enabled me to eliminate those cards I didn't care for.

Let your imagination run wild! Most importantly...enjoy the process!

An Introduction to Project Life

At the end of 2008, Becky Higgins promoted a new (to the scrapbooking world) idea in a kit called Project 365. The idea was to take one picture a day in 2009. The kit provided a place for storage and journalling.

For 2010, she followed up with another kit & idea dubbed Project Life. This kit offered more flexibility. It certainly worked for the picture a day format. But, this kit offered a medium that was only limited to the user's imagination.

For more information, check out Becky's blog.

After 2 years, I am preparing for a third year long project. They are a treasure. A look at all the changes that have taken place over the year. Some silly stories that have been documented to pass along to future generations. They include a glimpse into our life and the surroundings where we dwell and so much more.

I believe their is a tangible value in this type of project, even the mundane. Can you imagine having an album that was assembled by your grandmother's or mother's hands? What was her morning routine? Where was her favorite place in the house? Why was that crazy picture that hung over the sofa so important to her? What was her favorite activity? What were the silly things she did with her children that has become lost?

You do not need to be a traditional scrapbooker to leave these stories for your children. With a Project Life kit, all you need is a camera and a pen. Life takes care of the rest.

Ultimately, it won't just be your children who look at this project with amazement years later. Personally, I was completely convinced six months into Project 365. From time to time, each of my family members have pulled them out to browse through them.