Project Life 2016

I love this time of year when it comes to scrapbooking. A fresh album, fresh approach and a fresh start. This year I've decided to go and do something radical: I've quit my monthly subscriptions. Sounds crazy and scary, right? I'm used to a kit (or three) arriving on my door step each month and nothing brings me more join than delving into new supplies - so why am I quitting? Let me explain.  

This year I'm planning to make some big changes to my lifestyle. In order to manage these big changes, I'm going to need big funds. So I've decided to cut my spending back to the bones and live frugally for a while - which I'm actually really excited about! Frugal living (and minimalist living, too) has interested me for a long time and whilst I usually try to live sensibly, and well within my means, I do have the occasional splurge (or four) every once in a while. Do these splurges bring me happiness? Sometimes. Would a big change in lifestyle bring me a great deal more happiness? Definitely! So I'm jumping on the frugal bandwagon and challenging myself to live on minimal funds. I do enjoy a challenge and finding creative ways to spend and live on less will be just that. 

So how will I be documenting 2016 with no new products? I'll be shopping my stash, of course! I'm a terrible hoarder and I can safely say I stash about 50% of my favourite scrapbooking items for 'best.' I don't know exactly when I intend to use these 'best' items - who knows! All I know is that I have a terrible habit of stashing away a number of my favourite items, only occasionally removing them from the drawer to swoon over them, then tuck them neatly back inside. Sound familiar? I know I'm not alone! So the other day I decided to do the unthinkable: I emptied my drawer (and a couple of baskets). I got everything out and sorted it into four boxes: album 1 (Jan-March), album 2 (April - June), things to give away and everything else. Boy did it feel good to sort everything out! I put all of my cutesy, pastel cards and embellishments into my April-June box and most of my bolder colours in the 'everything else' box (for use later in the year). Items I know I will never use, those which aren't my style, I put into a spare box (which I'll give away). It's amazing how many supplies a person can accumulate over a year! With new scrapping goodies arriving at my doorstep (and via digital download) every month, there was no way I would ever get around to using all of my older (but still gorgeous, shiny, new and on trend) items. I just don't have enough to document! So using what I already have makes sense for 2016 and I get to enjoy putting together my own 'kits' (for free!).

For the start of the year, I've stuck to mostly cards from the last few Studio Calico Project Life/Documenter kits which I've hardly touched and embellishments from SC and a few other places (see below). I already had my album sorted: I invested in (read: impulse bought) an Ashley Goldberg 'Goldie' 6x8 album a while back from Studio Calico which is all ready to go on my shelf. I've chosen 6x8 this time as my theory is: smaller pages = less time scrapping. I struggled keeping up with my weekly 9x12 pages when I started my new job, so hopefully 6x8 and a more relaxed approach will help me keep up to date. I also have 2015 to finish (it's patchy towards the end of the year), December Daily (lost my mojo for this), my 12x12 wedding album and my 6x8 New York album (part of which I'll be sharing over the weekend) among other projects. 

So here is my drawer all set up for the new year! As you can see, I've divided it using some old patterned gift boxes and separated all of the different items so that I can see everything. Generally, if I can't see it, I won't think to use it. 

As I said already, most of my cards are from the Studio Calico Project Life/Documenter kits from Oct-Dec. I'll also have January's Studio Calico cards to add to this, as It's too late to cancel January's kit now. I'll just have to let that one go. On top of those, I also purchased (impulse-bought) the Goldie pocket cards when I bought the album. The bright colours all mash together pretty nicely with the SC colours. I realise this is way too many cards for three months but I like options. The leftovers will just get fed back into a 'kit' later on in the year. 

Stickers! I'm changing it up a little bit this year as I'm going to try to include some planner stickers (the tiny coffee cups and shopping bags pictured are from Obsessed with Cute) as embellishments. I want my layouts to be a bit more fun and a little less sensible. I'm also hoping to include more bits and pieces this year: receipts, tickets, doodles, that sort of thing. 'Real life' stuff. 

I'll still be a fair few wood and cork pieces in 2016, they're always a favourite as they add texture and a natural element. That emoji tape - I can't wait to use it! I snagged it in the Black Friday sales from Studio Calico - win! As per usual, I'll be pairing small embellishments with tiny stamps. I've not included them in my drawer as I'm giving myself free rein with stamps at the moment, though I've got a few prioritised in a box on top of my desk. Stamping is still my no.1 way to embellish pocket cards. 

New to this year: I'm going to be using a planner to help with my memory keeping. The idea is that I jot down in it things that happen in the day so I can include them in my Project Life (and not forget them!). So I won't be using it to plan but more as a diary. This one is from Hema UK and has lots of pockets in it, too, for storing bits and pieces. Hopefully, should I fall behind with my PL, I can use my notes to catch up and not have any awkward spaces in my album where I'm trying to figure out exactly what I did with that week ("I must have done more than take selfies with my dog and photograph my lunch, surely?"). Also, writing before bed time might be relaxing. I'll let you know. 

Photographs... I'll still be printing at home so the Truprint packet is a little misleading. I recently got a deal from Truprint, however, for 50 4x6 prints for £10 including postage, so if you do get your photos printed it's worth being on the mailing list for Amazon Local or Groupon and keeping an eye out. I usually get mine printed if I'm doing a mini album as I like the quality and I always worry that my home printed pictures will fade over time (those in the packet above are my wedding pictures). Perhaps someone can alleviate my fear of this? I like to document my weekly layouts straight away (that's when I'm most excited to scrap them!) so I have to print at home. I use an ordinary printer and moderately priced photo paper. I do my resizing in Serif Craft Artist, an old program but a goodie. 

That's everything for now. The only thing I haven't decided on is journalling. I'll be typing again (my handwriting is blah!) but I'm not sure what I'll be typing on to or what font I'll be using. Your guess is as good as mine. Well, anyway, have a happy New Year! See you all in 2016.