My Week in the Life Project: the Results

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking85 Comments


Today I want to share with you my final results from doing the Week in the Life project, inspired by the one and only Ali Edwards.

I decided to do my project almost entirely digitally, with the exception of my individual photos and journal cards (all of which were still created digitally but then printed onto photo paper and trimmed) to store in We R Memory Keepers 8.5 x 11 divided page protectors.

Aside from running out of printer ink mid-project, and realizing that sending this stuff out to would have been cheaper in the end, I am officially in love with the final results, which I share with you now.


Whew! Are we out of ink yet?

As you can see, from spread to spread, a certain rhythm emerges. Things can feel very much the same from day to day, and yet having this little slice of life is going to be such a cool thing to look back on in years to come. 

For each day, I found a new and clever way to photograph myself using various set ups, tripods, point & shoot camerasβ€”you name itβ€”to get interesting shots of me doing stuff that is really just very ordinary.

I included screen grabs from Twitter, Facebook and Nike+ to document some of my online life as well.

I found it to be both challenging and inspiring to document something every day. Challenging, because it forced me to look at my everyday life with fresh eyes, and let's be honest: sometimes in the daily grind, your eyes feel anything but fresh and new. Inspiring, because when I stopped to take the time to document everyday life, I realized that my life is the only place I want to be at any given moment. I wouldn't trade any of it for all the tea in China.

If you've never done this project, I urge you to consider doing it. Everything you need to know is available on Ali's blog. I say, pick and week and go.

And then, go you.

It's just such a tremendous way to get down to the core of what scrapbooking affords us: the chance to tell stories and share photos.



Cathy ZielskeMy Week in the Life Project: the Results

85 Comments on “My Week in the Life Project: the Results”

  1. #2
    Jane Toft

    *sigh* I’m alternating between being inspired and dispirited as this looks so good! On the whole I’m inspired to stop procrastinating and just do it! Thanks Cathy.

  2. #3

    This is amazing, Cathy! Thanks for sharing your finished album with us. I just bought some of Katie’s photo frame clusters and singles from DD, and I think I’m going to put it all together digitally. Seeing your project might serve as the kickstart I need to get going already. πŸ™‚

  3. #5

    I like this VERY MUCH!

    (Wish I could have participated this year, but my father-in-law’s heart attack, quadruple bypass and our live-in care put the kabosh on the thought of it… we were MUCH TOO BUSY making sure the baby wasn’t getting into anything in a non-baby-proofed house as well as taking care of my FIL.) *SIGH… maybe next year… or a different week this year.*

  4. #8

    I always do a page/week of my year, sometimes more than one, but I always try to capture what was not ordinary, instead of my everyday life that fills most of my day. I am definitely going to try this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. #11

    I love your album. The way you kept it the same but changed just a little each day really makes it look good and reads more smoothly. I am almost done with mine but it has now rhyme or reason, each day I treated it as it’s own day which is making more work for me now. Next time I will keep it more streamline like yours. I like all the photos of yourself, I finally got in front of the camera more and learned how to set the timer ( I’m still jumping up and down aobut this part) so I’m in there as much as my kids and husband are. We loved doing this project even on some days when we were tired of the camera. I’m so happy that Ali does this project and shared it with us while doing hers, made it that more fun. I do have a question, where did you keep notes at, paper or computer, just notes or what? How many pictures on a daily basis and all together would you say you took? Just curious is all. Thanks for sharing the end result, it looks fabulous!!

  6. #12

    Just wanted to pop in & let you know how much I really *like* your completed album!! It looks fabulous πŸ™‚
    I am all about appreciating the everyday simple things right now & am quite content with it too!

  7. #13

    Cathy…this looks amazing! Love seeing all of the pictures of you (that’s something that’s lacking in my album).

    And Lee…you CAN do this! Ali & Cathy have kept the project so simple and basic that you really can do it πŸ™‚ Just give it a try (it’s so worth it)!

  8. #15

    That’s what a lot of readers seemed to have done. Thanks for answering. Did you have a hard time selecting which ones to use? I did for about 2 days then just said get a move on Dawn or it will be next year before your Your photos are as amazing as ali’s.

  9. #19
    Cynthia Friese-Hassanein

    It’s a week in the life beauty! I love how you switched up the everyday shots! I will be honest. I gave up after three days, falling to the inner critical voice of” why are you doing this? There is only so many coffee mug shots.” But, you showed me through a different camera view the most mundane doesn’t look so mundane. I will try again soon now:)

  10. #20
    Cathy S

    I just started my week today. It’ll be our first time doing this, but husband and both kids are receptive, if not enthusiastic, about the project. Your completed album will inspire me to know where I’m going and keep on moving towards completion.

    Could you share a few of your favorite journal cards? (I can’t read the words in these photos). I think separating the journaling into topics and smaller areas of space makes the project very readable and will try to do the same.

  11. #21

    I so love this! I am going to work on one very soon – you and Ali both are SUCH inspiration and thank you.

  12. #22
    Kathleen S.

    Great idea from Ali, and wonderful execution on your part! You’re an inspiration to “pick a week, any week” and get started. Might make this a hybrid project to jump start that process. Where do you get your photo paper?

  13. #23
    Kayla Lamoreaux

    I so wish your post would have come one day earlier during the NSD sale. πŸ™‚ Awesome job and thanks for the enabling on the papers. Your blog always inspires me to scrap. Hope you have a great week!

  14. #24

    Love the album Cathy! Although I am primarily a digital scrapbooker, I decided to go hybrid for this project. Looking through your pages, makes me wish I had done the same. It really does have a great flow. Cheers!

  15. #25
    sharon trumble

    Oh my goodness, I love your finished week in the life… You did such a great job on it. And, as usual, I love your realness and humor! You are the best!
    :)sharon trumble

  16. #26
    Elizabeth Lombardi

    Cathy – looks great! thanks for continuing to push me to complete my album, I’ve got two days done. Can you talk a little about how you included twitter/facebook posts? Thanks again!

  17. #27

    Beautiful! I find scrapbooking to be so daunting…the writing, the creative layouts.

    I love Avenir. My designer used it in my logo.

  18. #29
    Kristin Call

    I love seeing that you did most of this digitally! I’ve been so nervous to try it because I’m not a paper scrapper. You’ve inspired me. πŸ™‚ I’m gonna get this on the calendar!

  19. #30
    Kara @Simple Kids

    Oh, this looks great! My picture aren’t here yet, but I’ve been so inspired looking at everyone’s albums around the web – I’m anxious for them to get here so I can start putting my week album together πŸ™‚

    And, I agree with you: if anyone is thinking about this, please just pick a week and GO! if you want to do this. You’ll be so glad that you did it! I’m already so glad that I took the time to do this … I imagine I’ll be doubly grateful years down the road to have taken the time to document these “ordinary” days.

    Best wishes!

  20. #34

    LOVE it! And I am going to add it to my list of projects to do, one of them being the ME album from your class last fall….behind much?

  21. #35

    That’s a good looking album Cathy. I too realized it was easier and cheaper to go with outside printing. I can’t wait til they arrive!

  22. #36

    These “day in the life” and project 365 journals are gorgeous and so amazing. Thanks for including links for the page protectors.

  23. #37
    Jill Kane

    Love it Cathy! Clean, simple, fantastic. I’m a fellow St. Paulite, so I recognize some of your shots. In fact, I saw you at Restoration Hardware a few years ago, day after Thanksgiving shopping, and I SO didn’t want to appear stalker-esque and, like, a complete nut, so I just carried on with my shopping. Oh, and telling my sister, “see that woman over there, she’s a total scrapbooking celebrity. . .” She raised her eyebrow at me. So I confined waving my nuttiness flag to family only that day πŸ˜‰

  24. #41
    Pat Baker

    This was my first time to participate in Ali’s WITL project and I am so glad I did! Exhausting,considering I completed my album by Thursday, April 29th, but well worth the effort. My family (and co-workers!) love it. And I love your album, too, Cathy.

  25. #42
    Cathy S

    Some more journaling questions for you:
    Did you record the same things every day, like what you ate and what the weather was or did you have different topics for each day? Or a mix of both?
    Did you write daily entries as you went through the week or all the journaling as you assembled the album.
    I like journaling — I’m afraid I’m going to have too much at the end of the week. And I want it to be interesting, not just a list of facts. Any tips appreciated. Thanks.

  26. #43
    Cindy Phillips

    WONDERFUL execution of Ali’s project! The simplicity of your finished project should inspire everyone to try it. If you say your just too busy all the more reason you should do it. Capture this time period of your life. Any chance we can get you to teach us some PSE tricks? (For beginners that is. lol)

  27. #45
    Jennie D

    I SO loved seeng the same project from two perspectives! Both at such differetn times in their lives. I loved doing this and will hope continue to so I can see all of lifes simple changes thank for sharing the process and the project!

  28. #46
    Alana in Canada

    Hi Cathy! You are looking fabulous these days, woman! Thanks so much for letting us see your album. Kudos to you for getting it done so quickly, too. (scraplolly)

  29. #47
    Sara Spencer

    Thank you for sharing your finished book. Love the simplicity of it. I am new to Digi Scrapping, so new in fact that I am still working my way through Jessica Sprague’s “up and running with photoshop” class. I found it recommended here on your blog and I absolutely love it so far. I have two little boys (2 years and 6 months old) and all of a sudden I have a TON of pictures just sitting in my computer. They’re begging me to use them and I think seeing your posts on digital and hybrid scrapbooking has helped me find the way I would like to document the story and put these photos in albums. Thank you for that!!

    I am intrigued by the use of templates. It seems like a simple and less time consuming way to get started. (something that is of importance at this point in my life). My one question is:(and you kind of answered it at the end of your post) is it possible to alter words and texts that appear in a template. I like the layouts in the “week in the life” templates, but I may not always want it to say “monday” or “week in the life”. I would like to use it for just any story I want to document. An answer to that would be much appreciated.
    Again, thank you for inspiring me to begin to scrapbook my photos and figure out a way to tell the story of our everyday life.

  30. #48
    Carol W

    While I haven’t done this project myself yet (short on free time), what is so amazing about this is that it shows a slice of American life, right NOW, in this year. What a wonderful gift that would have been to me if one of my grandparents did this. While pictures speak volumes, they don’t always give us the day to day feel of life. Once I start my week in the life project, I hope that long after I’m gone, it becomes a treasured jewel to one of my descendants. Awesome idea, Ali! Excellent work Cathy!!

  31. #49

    Love it Cathy – I have got to do this. One of my favorite little albums is from one 4th of July…I took at least 100 pictures that day, all about my girl’s day, from breakfast to fireworks, and just slammed it into a cute mini. I so wish I had something like that from 1969, you know? I am officially inspired πŸ™‚

  32. #50

    Your album looks fantastic. Just one problem – it’s too small for me to read your journaling! (I’m so nosy). I see a photo of Glee in there, I included one in mine too, it’s very popular over here in Britain. I’ve added in all my photos from the week but I’m finding it hard to do the journaling. Did you write lots of notes throughout the week? Or were you pretty clear about what you wanted to include? Thanks for sharing and thanks for advising on Ali’s blog to get the photos printed elsewhere – I took your advise!

  33. #52

    Cathy, i decided to keep some of the journaling private, only because it involves things going on in our family, and a 14-year-old girl who said, “Mom, you can’t post this on your blog!”

    So, i honor my daughter by keeping it more private!Hope you can understand!

  34. #54

    I just did screen captures of my Twitter/Facebook windows. I use a little program for the mac called “Grab”. It allows me to open a window, and take a snapshot of whatever screen is up!

  35. #57

    Jill, i’m sure she thought the idea of scrap celebrity was weird, not you! LOL! I was shopping with my SILs. We do it every year on the Grand Meander day!

  36. #59

    Cathy, yes. I did do clothing every day. And food. And gratitude. But i mixed up some based on what ali had in her templates!

  37. #63

    Hello Sara, it IS possible to alter templates, although certain things (like the words “Monday” for example) are considered artwork on their own layer, in the type face designed to look a certain way. That art is rasterized to be a graphic. You cannot highlight it and type over it. You CAN delete it, and simply add NEW type in to customize, or just have it deleted altogether!

    Jessica is a great place to get in and learn PSE! Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask questions here on my blog!

  38. #64

    Hey Jo, i decided to keep journaling a bit private, which is NOT usually my way of doing it, but my 14 year old saw i was writing about her and asked if i would mind keeping it private.

    I have always known if there is someone in my family who doesn’t want info out there, i will respect their wishes! : )

    I wrote my cards every night, and basically used Ali’s cards as my prompts!

  39. #65

    TypePad HTML Email

    Oh totally understand! Right Im off to make a dent in my journaling, wont get done with all this procrastinating! Thanks Cathy.

  40. #66
    Jane Toft

    Interesting to hear that Aiden is of an age when she doesn’t want parts of her life to be made public. My 12 year old son is feeling that way too. He isn’t even keen on having his photo taken these days and I have to do ‘stealth’ shots as I call them! It is hard to balance his wishes and my desire to scrap a record of our life together (I’m a single Mum). I wonder how other people approach this as their children grow up?

  41. #67

    Thanks for sharing your album. It is absolutely fantastic. I’m inspired. I love the size of your album and those divided page protectors. I think this would be perfect for a vacation themed album. Hmmm…. I feel a new project coming on.

  42. #69

    Love this, Cathy! I caught a glimpse of these Week In The Life projects in progress, but I was in AFRICA visiting my sister and knew it wasn’t going to capture my “everyday life” to do a project like this while on such an exotic vacation.

    So I want to do it now that I’m back home again (took a week longer than we’d planned due to a certain volcano – ahem). But am giving myself a few weeks to get back in the groove here first. I can’t wait to do it, though! I already do a Project Life P365 (going on a second year :D) but WITL is really different, very focused on all the daily happenings. I’m looking forward to capturing that! Thanks for sharing yours with us. πŸ™‚

  43. #70

    Wow, this is awesome. Love how it all looks. Think I really need to do this. About to so 4 weeks full-time teaching so think I’ll give this a go once I’m done.

  44. #71

    I went on a two-week vacation just as this was starting. I was so inspired to get a trip album done! I loved that you were just a few days ahead of Ali. That really kept me motivated. I ordered my pics (never done that) and was thrilled! Then I sat down and in one afternoon just banged out an entire “2WITL” album. Love that scrapbookers (like you and Ali) work together … makes the world a better place. πŸ™‚

  45. #73

    aaaaaaand while stalking..I mean BROWSING the photo’s of your AWintL layouts….I LOVE THE PHOTO SHOWING WHERE YOU AND ALI ARE ON WEB CAM WITH EACH OTHER! how cool is that!

  46. #74

    I’ve read your blog for over a year…..enjoyed it immensely…..but never commented. I’m surprised that you didn’t take your family to the Owl City concert in Minneapolis this weekend!

  47. #75
    sarah s.

    Simply AWESOME! I think I will use that kind of album for my 2010 project. I am taking 12 pictures on the 12th of each month as a way of capturing our everyday has been something I look forward to each month and I hope my results are as beautiful and full of energy as yours, Cathy. You truly do inspire~!

  48. #77

    Cathy you inspired me to do this! You might be turning me into a scrapbooker! πŸ™‚ Just ordered from and shutterfly to see how they compare.

  49. #78

    Wonderful!!! I wish I would have done this years ago when both my kids were at home. It’s always the little things about being together you miss the most.

  50. #80
    supra shoes

    It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives

  51. #84
    Milk Allergy Mom

    Awesome! I forgot, you are the one who told me it was ok to not scrap in 12×12. πŸ™‚ I am doing Project Life style for 2013 and can’t wait to get more inspiration from you!

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