Project #bunchesinoz {My first Project Life Mini Album}

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{Warning… ridunkulously long post ahead!}

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted… WOW how time flies sometimes. Things have been busy though – life with 3 kids, then a husband who had a car accident (nothing too serious – he already has chronic back pain from a previous accident, so this one didn’t make the injury worse, but it did make the pain temporarily worse), then a major reshuffle of rooms in our house, followed by in-laws visiting from overseas for a week. Yes, life has been hectic lately. The blog has NOT been forgotten, and I certainly haven’t stopped scrapbooking, but I just haven’t had the chance to share. It’s all settled down, so I’m back baby!

Now those in-laws I mentioned, they live on the east coast of the States… we live on the east coast of Australia… so visits are few and far between unfortunately. It’s been 4 years since we’ve seen them in person. And with the recent launch of Project Life here in Australia, it seemed fitting to make them a mini album! I was absolutely hoping to have it ready for them by the time they arrived, but with hubby and the house taking up more time than ever anticipated, the mini was also put on the back-burner. However, knowing how simple the Project Life was, I tried not to stress and just used the evenings of our beach holiday with them to work on it. Unfortunately this meant a couple of trips to the photo lab whilst on holidays, but luckily they wanted to get some shopping done, which gave me the chance to escape long enough to get some instant prints pumped out! And I’m so very grateful to have received some acceptable quality prints from Kmart (I usually print at home).


The Supplies

When the time came to select the supplies to take with me on the beach trip, I decided I would pack ‘light’ and only take 1 (medium-sized) scrap bag. I purchased the Wellington Childhood kit primarily for this album, with the thought that most of the photos would be of the kids and their little {big} personalities. I packed my Midnight mini album, Wellington Childhood Kit, and my kids’ Bridgeport & Mayfield Childhood Kits (just in case I needed some brighter pages). I then packed my journaling pens, scissors, trimmer and some Project Life Grid Cards for a fun project that you’ll see later. Now in case you hadn’t noticed by now, I’m not typically one to over-embellish my Project Life pages. But I never know where the creative energy will take me at any time {or more truthfully, I would probably feel lost without having some cute embellishments just in case}, so I packed some washi (ok, a lot of washi), and some flat embellishments. When I say flat embellishments, I mean relatively flat stuff that fits in a zip lock bag (ok, a big zip lock bag) – enamel dots ok… Prima flowers not ok.

The Photos / Page Planning

Let me firstly say… there are 20 double-sided sleeves in those mini albums! That’s 80 4×6 photos! Not to mention the additional 80 3×4 photos if I chose to use them (and I used a lot of them). And if this little project taught me anything, it was that I do not have enough “nice” photos of my family. {While I am happy with everyday photos, I figured in-laws would want more of a brag-book with nice photos.} I had to trawl back years to find 4 decent photos just of my husband and I 🙁 And to be honest, even that didn’t help, so I had to get my daughter to take a photo of us down at the beach one morning. And apparently my son doesn’t like to smile in photos either (that’s IF he stays still long enough to snap something!) 🙂

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The Pages

Again, there are 19 double page spreads (plus first + last pages)… and I wanted each page to have a “theme” of sorts. Here’s what I came up with (after playing around for hours…. and hours):

  1. Front page – A quick intro
  2. My husband and I
  3. A professional family photo shoot from 2011
  4. The 2 kids together before bubba came along
  5. My daughter, to reflect her personality
  6. My daughter at school
  7. My daughter’s handwriting, drawing and handprint
  8. My eldest son, to reflect his personality
  9. My son at school
  10. My son’s handwriting, drawing and handprint
  11. My baby boy’s birth
  12. My baby boy up to the present
  13. Family shots
  14. All 3 kids together
  15. My husband and the kids
  16. My eldest 2 kids’ relationship with each other
  17. My eldest 2 kids’ relationship with their baby brother (especially the boys, who are very close)
  18. Fun with extended family
  19. Their trip & holiday with us
  20. More of their trip
  21. Last page – a sweet letter with a photo of the kids waving goodbye

We decided at the last minute to have my son Christened while they were here. That happened on their last day here, and I didn’t have a chance to get the photos from my photographer, so as you’ll see, I popped in some Grid Cards as ‘fillers’ – they will just have to print those out and slot them in themselves. Gotta love Project Life albums for that reason alone!

Putting it together

The holiday was fabulous, but between having to spend my nights scouring through old photos trying to find “nice” ones and the last minute Christening, I ran out of time and had to excuse myself from the festivities to finish it off the night before they left. Remember I said I wouldn’t stress above? Yeah… well that changed! Minimal journaling was used (all hand-written), zero embellishments, and just a few rub-on letters as titles here and there. Certainly far from my best work, but as the saying goes “it’s not perfect, but it’s done”, and of course, they loved it – they are totally the kind of folk who will show it to everyone they know… 5 times. As I’m writing this, I realised I didn’t get a photo of the kids giving their grandparents the album, but this is how it went (their idea, not mine): Both kids held either side of the album and walked it over to them, with my daughter saying “this is something we’ve been working on for a long time for you”. I didn’t bother to correct her 😉

The Finished Album

I thought about it, but decided not to bore you with every page in the album. Instead I’ll just highlight a few pages. And please bear in mind that I did rush to finish this on their last night, so the photos were taken at night (i.e. not the best quality) but of course that album now lives on the other side of the world so I can’t re-take them… and that’s totally cool, right?

The first page – it’s always useful to introduce your album. In my case it was a collection of photos from several years of our family TO our extended family, so a quick, sweet little note to set the tone and show some love. And here’s one of the spots I mentioned where I will email a group shot of all of us together (us and them). Again, not the ideal scenario, but luckily it’s family and I know they understand the time constraints 😉

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On several pages, I made notes of the kids’ personalities and what they like to do with other people inside and outside our family. Given that we see them so infrequently, I hope that this makes them feel closer to us. It will also be fabulous to look back at these lists in years to come and see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same!


While we were at the beach house on day, I had the kids draw a picture and include some of their own handwriting on some Project Life Grid Cards. I also painted their hands to add their handprint. The colours they chose were symbolic enough of their personalities. For these pages I had to dig into the Mayfield and Bridgeport kits for some other colours to match the drawings.

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Given that the kids spend most of their days there, school has become a prominent part of their life and many of the photos I have are in their school uniforms. It was only fitting they each got a ‘school’ page of their own. This also gave me the opportunity to mention their favourite subjects and what they want to be when they grow up! I conducted a little interview with them both – I love some of their answers 🙂

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The last couple of pages were about the holiday, so I had to print some ‘quick and nasty’ photos on a relative’s computer at the last minute (hence the orange face!). It was the perfect place to add the kids’ favourite memories from their short holiday with their grandparents. Having such current photos included really helped them see how much thought went into the album.

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The final page includes a photo of the kids waving goodbye and really symbolises how much they enjoyed seeing them and can’t wait to see them again. In the sand, I wrote the hashtag #bunchesinoz that I used on all the Instagram photos from the trip. Hashtags are so “right now” and I’m looking forward to finding this photo again in many years to come, and comparing it to whatever trend is happening then. I also wrote a short letter to finish off.

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All done. And too easy. 🙂

A quick review of the Project Life mini-albums and kits…

{ Just my own personal opinions. You’re completely entitled to yours too, and I look forward to hearing it 🙂 }

The quality feels fantastic, a really smooth cover with soft suede on the inside.

The front pocket of the album fits a 3×4 card perfectly. However unfortunately there aren’t many horizontal 3×4 cards in the mini kits.

It’s slightly annoying that you are stuck with 20 pages, and that you can’t rearrange easily (I totally needed to with this).

I needed more ‘filler’ cards (pretty designs to fill the pockets with no photos) in the Childhood mini kits. I think there were 2 each of 4 designs in each kit – so I used most of them up from all 3 kits in just this 1 album. I realise that I wasn’t using these kits for their intended purpose, and if I was then the journaling cards would have filled it better. BUT, I would have still loved more filler cards.


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