Since the beginning of the year, I've wanted to create a new system for saving my memories.
I'm a huge fan of Project Life and the whole 365-photo movement, but I wanted to do something that was a little bit digital and little bit hybrid, and worked the way I work, in 8.5 x 11 and not relying on me remembering to take photos every day. I know my propensity to start out with a bang, and then slowly but surely lose steam.
I'm also a huge fan of Week in the Life, and wanted to find a way to do a slightly less intense but yet still comprehensive monthly recap.
I've been working on this idea for a while now, the idea being a way to combine the best of a photo album, with a little bit of scrapbooking and story saving thrown in for good measure. I was getting tired of watching my iPhoto library get progressively fuller, and all of those photos were either not getting printed, or if they were, they weren't even making their way into a simple photo album.
That, and the little stories here and there were getting left in the dust of time and memory.
Enter The Monthly.
The Monthly (available both in 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12) is my new system for saving one month at a time in as many (or as few) pages as I need to adequately document 28, 30 or 31 days in my life. (There is also an 8.5 x 11 hybrid set to let you combine the best of digital and traditional scrapbooking.)
It includes an album title page, monthly photo/collage title pages, multiple photo collage templates, one large journal page template, journal card and photo combo templates, and all are designed to mix and match to suit your needs as a story-telling scrapbooker. Here's a look at some of the components:
ALBUM TITLE PAGE
This is the first page of the album. The title page is where you make some of your decisions (colors, papers, embellishments, if any). Then, you simply repeat them in the successive months.
My goal with this album is to strip it down to the basics: the photos I want to save, and a handful of words to go along with it. I'm keeping it clean and simple people.
MONTHLY OPENER PAGES
Each month has a very simple opener page, the page to kick off the photos (and stories) for the month. Notice, I've just repeated a strip of digital patterned paper to go with my yellow and gray color scheme, and that's it.
Here are a few of my photo collage pages, using the mix and match templates. All hold some of my favorite shots from April.
I love the simple, flexible designs, with a nice framing margin of white space on each page. Of course, this space doesn't have to be white, it can be any color you like. I just like the simplicity and cleanliness of white to frame a grouping of photos with a wide range of colors.
Here is where I am mixing in part of The Monthly Hybrid Set for 8.5 x 11. Why? Because I'm using 8.5 x 11 divided page protectors for this album. There are digital pages included in each template set to achieve the same effect.. But I chose to go the hybrid route, using the photo and journaling card templates, which all were printed on my printer at home, and trimmed out.
There are a handful of journaling card designs that you can either type on (in the fully digital set) or you can type or hand journal as well (in the hybrid 8.5 x 11 set.) I printed everything out on my HP Photosmart, using some of the same digital papers from the Title Page and Opener Page.
I used a single divided page protector from We R Memory Keepers (my new favorite page protectors) to hold all of the 2.5 x 3.5 cards and photos. The hybrid set comes with templates to print your 2.5 x 3.5 photos either on a 5 x 7, or on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of photo paper.
Last but not least is a page designed to let you journal your month in greater detail. You can make this type smaller to fit more words, or, if needed, simply add another journaling page to the album.
I printed all of my digital pages on my office photo printer, however, for the month of May, I'm planning to upload my digital pages and my photos for my divided pages directly to scrapbookpictures.com, to save a bit of ink and hopefully some money as well.
All in all, I'm feeling really good about having one month documented in 7 pages. It feels more designed than a straight photo album, and it pulls in facts and details that I want our family to remember.
Here are a few questions and answers about these kits:
1. Are the photo printing templates are part of the digital kit? They are not. If you use Photoshop, you can use the journaling card pages and photo pages to drop in photos/words, and you can print them out and trim to size accordingly to use in a divided page protectors.
2. Do the hybrid kits contain Microsoft Word-friendly journaling files? They do not.
3. Do the kits have the same contents? Essentially, yes, but the hybrid kit has more digital pieces. because the hybrid kit contains all of the individual alpha blocks/journaling files etc in PDF format as well, but only in the color grey. However, you CAN change the color of the layered PSD file elements, if you have Photoshop.
These sets are all 30% off beginning today as part of the Designer Digitals quarterly sale. Everything in the store is 30% throughout the weekend. It's a great time to stock up and save for some digital and hybrid play time.
Album: American Crafts 8.5 x 11 in brown courdory