P365 Idea: On This Day in History

I recently subscribed to a free daily e-mail from History.com called “This Day in History” that sends me a list of things that happened on each particular day. It’s a really great tool for folks doing things like Project 365 or even heritage and birthday pages. Use one of the things that ‘happened’ to add to your journaling, for an inspiration for your photos, and even to do a comparison of ‘then’ and ‘now.’

For instance, on the e-mail for today, May 5, 2001, was a note about the first American in space. I took that info and then went to NASA’s website and Wikipedia to get current info on the space program today. Here’s the ‘then’ and ‘now’ comparison. (Can you believe how far we’ve come in just 50 years?)

THEN: May 5 1961, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. became the first American in space. The flight lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles.

NOW: May 5, 2011, the Space Shuttle Endeavor is preparing for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station later this month. The International Space Station orbits between 278 km (173 mi) and 460 km (286 mi) altitude above the Earth. The crew members are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel, and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

This is just one example of what you can do with the information you get in the daily e-mails. Leave a comment if you have a great idea on how you can use “On This day in History” in your scrapbooking, cardmaking, or art journaling.

It’s a New Year…how about starting a new photo/memory project?

Don’t roll your eyes at me…it’s easier than you think! Why do a year-long or month-long or week-long project like this? Have you ever wondered what daily life was like for your ancestors in the early 1900s or the 1800s or even farther back? I would LOVE to be able to read a daily journal with or without pictures from back then. This is your opportunity to give that gift to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren…and so on.

What? No kids and not planning on having any? No problem. Do it for yourself! I did a ‘Year in Review’ project in 2007 and ‘Project 365’ in 2008 and love looking back at the photos even though is was just a few years ago.

Newly married or planning on getting married this year? What a great way to remember your first year (with all it’s ups and downs) together. I wish I had done that…it’s all a blur now after 20+ years.

Ok, still not convinced? Use one of these projects to work on your photography skills! When you commit to taking a photo every day, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment and learn more about what your camera can do.

Here are some of the projects you can choose from:

Project 365 – take a photo every day
Project 52 – take a photo every week
A Year in Review – take a few photos every month
A Week in Our Life – take a few photos every day for a typical week
A Month in Our Life – take a few photos every day for a typical month
A Year of Weekends – take a few photos every weekend
Monday Me – take a photo of yourself every Monday (you can easily combine this one with Project 365)

There is lots of free information online about any of these projects…just do a search on any of the terms. Big Picture Classes is one of the scrapbooking education web sites that has a few classes that may work for you. it’s always more fun to do a project like this in a group…it makes you both more accountable and more inspired. One of the classes I am taking is “One Little Word” (the Celtic version could be “One Wee Word” – LOL!) with Ali Edwards on Big Picture Classes. And, because I got a new DSLR camera I need to learn how to use better, I’m also going to do Project 365 again.

What do you do with all your photos after you’ve taken them? First, back up the files…seriously! Then, you can post them on a blog, Facebook, ShutterCal.com, Flikr, etc. Print them and put them in an album or create scrapbook pages with them. Create digital scrapbook pages either using a template or creating your own and then have them all printed as a photobook (I like this option best).

In the next post, I’ll go more in depth about the projects and what to do with them. Meanwhile, go take some pictures!

By the way, if you are reading this after January 1st, don’t worry about getting behind. Choose one of the projects that doesn’t require a daily photo. You can do this!

Project 365 (2009) – Week Three Complete

15. too tired to take anything but a picture of my pillow.
16. lynn joins the ranks of the beaver sisters
17. a rustic christmas angel that will stay up all year long
18. jessi’s son merlyn’s 1st birthday cake
19. monday me: left hand
20. the capitol building looks like a fancy cake on inauguration day
21. attack cats

I’m using my Full Moon Crazy kit for all of this month’s layouts.

To see more of my 2009 Project 365 layouts, visit my (sadly neglected) Project 365 Lifestyle blog.

Living the Project 365 Lifestyle

Introducing a special dedicated blog just for my Project 365 layouts, photo ideas, and motivating tips: The Project 365 Lifestyle. Join me on a continuing year long journey. Visit often!

Project 365 heats up in 2009 – it’s everywhere!

Caution – this is a bit long because there are so many ideas for getting started that will help you right now!

Last year, participating in Project 365 was popular, but this year it’s everywhere you look – worldwide!! I’ve heard of at least five digi shops that are hosting, challenges, numerous Facebook groups you can join, a paper scrapping kit by Becky Higgins (that has sold out already!), and I’m sure there are many more folks out there who are participating in their own ways. Some participants on Facebook and are going to post their photos and layouts in their personal photo albums. Invite your family and friends to play along with you…it’s fun to take photos together! Don’t forget to have the kids play along – it would be amazing to see the year from child’s point of view.

I just can’t say enough about this project and highly encourage you to join in. By ‘join in” I don’t mean you have to JOIN a group if you don’t want to. I did it all on my own last year and really enjoyed it. It sure was an easy way to create a comprehensive album about our everyday life that will be fun to look back on for my whole family – after all, they were mostly involved, too! I’ll still make special albums about events or vacations but I think this will be the way I create my annual family album from now on.

Feel free to start your project 365 anytime – a few of you already have – and don’t be afraid to start late. January 1 isn’t the only good date to start…lots of other countries and nations have their new year starting on a different date. And, if you want to do a pregnancy theme, you’ll definitely be starting on an alternate date!

Are you a teacher? Do a shortened version with your class and document the school year, a semester, or a quarter. At the end of the designated time period, choose a different weekly layout from each pupil and have an art show…so many possibilities.

Since I am such an advocate for documenting life this way, I decided to host Project 365 in the Plain Digital Wrapper challenge forum and give away the weekly templates, featuring 7 photos per page, that I created for my 2008 album…all totally FREE. I created all 52 of them (and a cover) to document my photos because I was too lazy to upload a photo to my blog every day – LOL! My 2008 photos are not all placed into the templates yet – I’m up to week 34.

I have also created a Project 365 with Plain Digital Wrapper (PDW) group on Facebook where anyone can join and post photos and comments.

If you’re hesitant or aren’t ready for such a commitment, why not start out doing a photo a week? Once you get in the habit of taking your camera everywhere you go (even to the grocery store) you’ll find it’s actually pretty easy. And with all the free templates out there – including mine – putting it all together is a snap!

My 2008 Project 365 was about our everyday life and interesting things I observed. One day I took a picture of an oil spot in a parking lot on a rainy day just because it had a cool rainbow effect! Since everyday life is pretty eclectic (mine is anyway), I decided to NOT have a particular theme except for making the background the same for facing pages. However, if you need to have a theme or a theme helps you get inspired, why not do a week for each family member and pet, a week or two for a vacation or trip, 365 days in the garden, 365 days of recipes (for all you foodies out there), add in a photo of you or a family member once a week (very fun to look back on at the end and in the years to come!), or if you have a DSLR camera, play with the settings and document what you used for your photo.

Secret tip: I actually had a few uninspired days last year where I just couldn’t find anything to take a picture of or I just plain forgot. To fill in those days I took extra shots of the garden, scenery, indoor closeups, etc. It’s not really cheating because I did take the photo – it’s being ‘creative’ in finding an easy solution! 😉

I’ll be posting more tips and storage and printing ideas as the year goes along. I’ll also be giving out extras (papers and elements) from time to time. But, with 7 photos on a page there isn’t much room! Besides, I know you already have a bunch of digi stuff in your collection – here’s a chance to use some of it!

Giving Thanks, a Photo Challenge, and a Freebie!

In these stressful times there are still things that make us thankful. I am thankful for the big things like my family, friends, and job of course, but I’m also thankful for the little things like audiobooks, Earl Grey tea, e-mail, and fizzy bath bombs.

Photo Challenge: Take some pictures of the things that make you thankful. Here are some additional ideas:

  • your creativity
  • warm socks on a cold night
  • the first cup of coffee or tea in the morning
  • that album or song that always makes you feel better
  • spellcheck
  • your snuggly bed pillow
  • leftover turkey and pumpkin pie (yum!)

Here’s a special 12×12 quickpage made from one of the 52 weekly templates in my upcoming “Project 365” set to help you scrap your “thankful” photos. Click here or on the image to download it. [link disabled]

Leave me a message in the comments area with a link to your finished page. I’d love to see it!

Please remember to send your friends to this blog to get their own quickpage, too.

Oh yeah, before I forget…THANKS! for visiting my wee blog!

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