Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Evolution of Memory-Keeping and a Giveaway

Our grandparents used to paste small photos with white boarders onto black pages with photo corners.

My parents filled magnetic albums, and, in the days of “Free Double Prints”, filled shoe boxes with envelopes of  photos.

This is the story of my memory-keeping evolution, but if you had your first child in the late 90s/early 2000s, it might look familiar.

I had always loved photos and journaling, but had never combined them. My mother-in-law first introduced me to scrapbooking in 1997. Brian and I had just returned from 2 and a half years in Russia as Peace Corps volunteers, and she had just been to a Creative Memories party. For Christmas that year, she set me up with a giant paper cutter and a travel-themed album.

1998 russia

I never finished that album. I remember feeling overwhelmed with wanting to accurately describe our experience in Russia. I wish I had done more back then, because those stories are less vivid now. That summer my friend Angie came to visit and I scratched my head at her passion for this hobby---she had all her supplies spread out on our living room floor and wanted to stay up all night “scrapping.”

And then I had a baby.

2002 aidan layout

Once Aidan was born, I couldn’t take enough photos, and I couldn’t capture enough stories. Those early stages move so quickly. I also escaped what were (at least in 2002) the narrow confines of Creative Memories and discovered Simple Scrapbooks (which continues on in a different form at Write Click Scrapbook). I fell in love with this hobby that combined two of my favorite things: words + photos.

webWatermelon page 2

Over time---and more pregnancies, my approach to memory-keeping changed. With three little boys, I no longer had the luxury of spreading out lots of supplies and that led me to discover digital scrapbooking (to learn more, check out the free guide from The Daily Digi).

boise layout copyboise page 2 delete flower before printing 2copy

My very first all digi layout. Templates by Katie Nelson.

As my photography skills grew, my interest in the embellishments of a layout decreased. At the same time, my appreciation of the stories increased. I could look back at pages from Aidan’s first year and see the value in the pages that captured some of his personality and told a story that at the time I was sure I would never forget but which would have been lost if I hadn’t written it down.

webJan2012layout

Template by Rebecca Cooper.

In 2010, I took a photo every day that year, and added them to an album designed to hold short journaling cards beside the images. It was the best thing I ever did for my photography, and my favorite thing I’ve ever done for memory-keeping. I still remember that year better than most---not just because I’ve looked at the pictures and re-read some of our stories but because just picking up the camera, just writing the words, seals memories in my mind more clearly. My boys still suggest shots to be our “photo of the day.”

2013 02 04_2010PL

(Sorry about the photo—my 1st time photographing with page protectors. I have new admiration for those who do it well!)

Becky Higgins created that photo project and then simplified it even more to create Project Life. Memory-keeping has evolved and branched out to include art journaling, as well as video and blogging. But Becky’s Project Life system is the development that has taken scrapbooking by storm and made me fall in love with photo+words all over again. She describes it best herself here.

It isn’t about taking a photo every day. Some use it to capture a week at a time, others a month. I’m using one for each of our sons--- to collect the little things they want to save and mixing it with larger digi layouts too. What’s magic about it? It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s fast and it can be whatever you want it to be (if you want to be blown away by people much more creative than me, check out some of my favorites here, here and here!). Looking at my layouts from different years, I see a pattern of using grids, straight lines and short journaling---all of which Project Life combines.

Here’s my confession: Aidan has a huge baby album. Sean has a half-completed one. Nolan has none. I took photos and I blogged to capture Nolan’s first year (still archived here as Baby#3), but I haven’t printed any of it. How I wish this system existed back then! To be able to add photos quickly to a page projector, with small journaling cards so you don’t feel like you have to write a novel. The Baby editions of Project Life even include short prompts to help you capture milestones and stories.

design editor

This is a great example of a Project Life Baby Edition by Catherine Davis of Design Editor.

I’m not affiliated with Project Life or Becky Higgins other than being a fan. I just believe this system of memory-keeping works, especially for a new parent who wants to remember the big and small moments from a child’s first year. As part of celebrating DOK Photography’s first anniversary, I’m thrilled to give away one Baby Edition Project Life Core Kit.

 

This doesn’t include the album/binder or the page protectors (there are lots of styles but I prefer the original Design A page protectors and We R Memory Keepers 3-Ring Binder). I will include the Month Dividers for whichever edition the winner choosers: Neutral, Boy, or Girl.

**UPDATE: Becky read this post and sent a message that she would like to provide the Core Kit + Monthly Dividers, AND a Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages! Woohoo! Now all the winner will need to create a complete Project Life Baby album is the binder----so I will also provide a $25 Amazon gift card for Project Life Binder - Seafoam Edition or the edition of your choice (lots more being released this May!). Thank You, Becky Higgins!

Project-Life-Core-Kit-Baby-Edition-for-Him-2741

Please follow the Rafflecopter prompts in the widget below to enter. Basically, you need to follow/like DOK Photography on Facebook and leave a comment below by February 28th.

You can also enter Monday’s giveaway of Kelly Rae Robert’s special edition of Brene Brown’s Parenting Manifesto, and if you were photographed by me in 2012, enter Wednesday’s giveaway of a 12x12 gallery-wrapped canvas from your session!

Be sure to check back on March 1st to see if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


65 comments:

  1. I started a photo album for my first boy, it's unfinished. The 2nd boy's stuff is scattered...the other day I ran across the envelope from his first haircut. I keep telling myself "someday...". ;-)

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    1. Project Life is perfect for herding all the scattered bits! I'd love to see your started one some time:)

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  2. Project life is AMAZING!! I am currently working on my 3rd year of Project Life. I love the glimpse into our life. It includes so much more than my traditional scrapbooking ever has. It is a great record of our families' life!! Try it!! I think you will LOVE it!

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  3. Are we supposed to the blog post here? My name is Maria, I live in Jacksonville and I would prefer the Girl edition. Thank you!

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  4. Hey! PL is awesome. Love it. I am currently working on my first album for my baby boy Aiden :)

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  5. I'm Ellie from NY If I would win I'd send this as a gift to my SIL who just had a sweet baby girl last week. I love Project Life & would love to share w/her the joy that it has brought me.

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  6. Love project life ... and I have been considering buying a baby kit and going back and doing a "new" baby album for my 10 year old1

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  7. I love Project life. I'm Kate in SLC, UT and I would love the neutral set.

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  8. I have boxes and boxes of photo's all by year! I always intended to go back and do albums for my 33, 30,24 yr old...............but now I have 3 grandchildren so maybe I will just do albums for them! Would love to win a girl album!

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  9. Love Project Life. I think the baby edition would be great for my baby sister, who is having her first baby soon. Nuetral edition.

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  10. I love Project life. I completed 2012 and just started 2013. I would love to project life my children's baby pictures. What a wonderful give away1!
    letellier1990@yahoo.com

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  11. With 3 new babies born into the family in the last 9 months winning a kit would be great !!!

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  12. I also started with CM. Now I am devoted Project Lifer. I was entertaining an idea of making PL-style baby book for my son who is 6. I never finished his original baby book.

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  13. My daughter who's now 12 has a baby album, then when she was 16 months old I had twin boys and my scrapbooking stopped. I am doing Project Life for the first time this year. Would love to do a baby album for one of my sons!

    Thanks!
    Anne - Clawson, MI

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  14. I so love Project Life and really want to get a baby book done for my 3 year old with the Baby edition!

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  15. I have a 2 year old and would love to do this for him! Would love the "For him" baby set! Hope I win!

    Becca in Cave Creek, AZ

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  16. I'm Julie in Indio, CA, and I'd love the neutral kit for the most options. :)

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  17. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old twins. Thanks for the chance!
    Jill

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  18. My kids are 9 and 11 and don't have baby books - but I am hopeful that I can go back in my memory banks and create them thanks to the baby editions - they are beautiful sets. Thanks for the chance to win one!

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  19. Your post really resonates with me. My three baby scrapbooks are in the exact sames stages as yours!

    I would choose the girl so I could finish my middle child's book and finally move on to the third.
    Thanks, Kristin in Richmond, VA

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  20. The boy set would be perfect. Still haven't finished his album. Thanks for the chance!

    Amanda, Palm Bay FL

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  21. I am a Project Life fan. I would love to win the nuetral baby edition.

    Holly F.
    Taylors, SC

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  22. I'm working on baby #1s album before baby #2 gets here this summer. Need Project Life!

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  23. Thank you for a chance at this giveaway! I love the netural kit!

    Jacqueline
    Tallahassee, FL

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  24. I'm not sure yet - my ultrasound is in 3 weeks!

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  25. Love your style! Very clean and easy to read. Love that!

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  26. Thanks for the chance to win a PL kit!!! I'd choose Neutral
    Camren
    Piedmont, SC

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  27. I love PL too! I am giving it a go this year! Melissa Boy (I have four boys and my sisters are all having boys this year!) Idaho FAlls Thanks!

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  28. oh creative memories... i bought alllll of it and never really loved it. I love my PL and can't wait to go back and do my 3 year olds baby album. I saved everything possible from that first year :)

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  29. Thank you so very much! I still need to work on my baby Keira's album as well! So many photos! I think I'm in love with the neutral baby edition as well. Yay for Project Life!

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  30. I'm Kimmy Davis from Cave Spring, GA, and I want the Boy baby kit. My son has no baby album, but I have a huge stack of photos and lots of misc memorabilia to put into an album.

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  31. I think I would prefer the Neutral edition. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Julie from Lees Summit, MO
    directorjewels at gmail dot com

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  32. Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!
    I would LOVE to win this to start my daughter's baby book, BTW, she turned a year January 30 & I haven't done a thing yet!
    Thanks!
    Tausha Rondeau
    tblonquist@yahoo.com

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  33. I think that I would prefer neutral, as I have both boys and girls and am not sure which child I would work on first. Thanks!

    Jennifer C. from Anchorage, AK
    moadibp2(at)aol(dot)com

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  34. Your evolution as a scrapbooker is so much like my own! I started my first in the year 2000, but struggled after 2003 with my first child--so many little things that were hard to keep out with a little person getting in to everything. As a result, my boy has a baby book but my daughter has nothing! So I'd love the pink edition. Thanks for the chance!

    Katherine
    Katherine at e-maddox dot com

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  35. Ditto, ditto, ditto, everything you said can do relate. Thanks for this awesome opportunity.

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  36. I am just starting my project life journey with an album for my baby boy born last August. I would love to incorporate the neutral edition into his album.

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  37. I am pregnant with my first baby - due late June/early July. I have not started an album yet, but I am getting excited and have so many ideas! :)

    Megan Susco

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  38. Erin, Metamora Michigan, and neutral! Love the baby editions of project life!

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  39. I know exactly what you mean. Pl baby editions are perfect for staying organized with all the pics and tid bits. The boy editions are perfect.

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  40. Cant wait to get started, and my babies are 22, 19, and 14. I am ready to redo their albums!

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  41. I love love love Project Life!!

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  42. love the evolution! i think many of us can relate. :)

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  43. I enjoyed reading your blog; very interesting! Motivates me to start NOW than NEVER! I've been to scrapbooking only since 2006, but haven't finished much albums. I would love to win a give-away and Project Life would help me much with my "backlogs"! Congratulations to you.

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  44. Hi! I'm Stephanne from Marysville, OH and I enjoyed reading your experiences with memory keeping as they very much resemble my own! I've been teetering on the fence of PL for a while and hearing your account has inspired me! I'd love to win the Baby GIRL edition as I've got a newborn at home it would be perfect for!!! Thanks so much!

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  45. Kelly

    Pickerington, Ohio

    Neutral

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  46. Renee, Cottage Grove, Neutral. With three children of my own, I totally relate to your completion of baby books (or lack thereof!).

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  47. I hope I can win this for my daughter, who is having a baby in August!

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  48. Suzann in Aloha, Oregon. Baby girl kit pretty please!

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  49. I LOVE the simplicity that Becky Higgins came up to document our lives!!! I have a 2yr old and a 3mo baby so for me, project life has been a life saver!

    Thelma R
    Arcadia, CA
    Girl Edition

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  50. Can't wait to get my hands on a baby edition!
    Jenny
    Kapolei, HI
    girl edition

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  51. Baby girl! I have two girls!
    Amanda
    Australia

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  52. Awesome post! My Grandparents and parents did the same thing. I remember once finding an album that we hadn't seen before. It was like opening up pure gold.

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  53. My daughter is expecting her baby and our first grandchild any day now. I would love this kit to help her record her new baby's first year! It's a boy!

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  54. I have been following PL since 2010. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  55. Hi ! I am Leigh, from Las Vegas, and would love the neutral baby kit for my SIL whom we thought could never have kids

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  56. I love Project Life, I'm in year #3 and I'm so thankful for the way it's allowing me to keep up with 'scrapbooking' without the cost and time it used to involve!

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  57. My name is Thia. I live in RSM, CA and I would be thrilled to win the girl edition as my baby girl has no baby book for her. (Her older brother has 3 of him.)

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  58. would love to have the boy baby edition for my seven-month old son!

    thea sheila
    manila, philippines (hope this is open to non-US residents!)

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  59. What an awesome giveaway!! Would love to win this!

    Stacey
    Utah

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  60. I would love to with the neutral version!!! Thanks for the chance!
    Dena G.

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  61. Crystal
    Simpsonville, SC
    Boy

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  62. Rachel, Colorado, and I would like the neutral addition. Thanks for sharing your story! :)

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  63. Thanks for the opportunity! Girl kit would be perfect!
    Andrea Spokane WA

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  64. For my first, I bought a scapbooked baby book from Etsy. For my second, I'm trying to make my own, a slow process . . . Girl!

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