Quick: what's your favorite album project of all time?
Got you thinking now, huh?
I will tell you what mine is, without hesitation: my volumes of Me: the Abridged Version.
For the past two years, I taught a workshop at Big Picture Classes called "Me: the Abridged Version" which a number of you joined in for. This year, I've retired the class and decided to release the project as part of my Designer Digitals collection.
The workshop was based on a CKU class of the same name, and that class was inspired by the wonderful memoir by the equally wonderful Amy Krouse Rosenthal called "Encylcopedia of an Ordinary Life." If you've never heard of this book, I would strongly suggest that any memory keeper check it out for a whole new take on documenting your life.
This approach is the basis for this album project. Write about your life in little, random chunks from A to Z, and sprinkle in a few photos for good measure. It is not an album that relies, however, on photos. It relies on you and your voice and the people, places and things you choose to include as you present an overall slice of your life right here, right now.
My first two volumes were hybrid creations, using papers, adhesives, Microsoft Word and Photoshop to build the final albums.
Here's a sample spread from my album in 2009:
In 2010, I decided to go all digital for my class sample album, recording my life in an 8 x 10 printed photo book from Blurb.
I want to share with you a PDF showing my entire album for 2010. Plus, it could serve as an inspiration to get some of your wheels turning:
I love this concept Why? It's simple and it's filled with random bits of my everyday life. For people who find journaling tedious, once you get going on a project like this, you'll be surprised by how many things start to pop up under each letter. And you'll be surprised how easy it can be to write about yourself, via all the people, places and things that make up your life.
This year, I decided to redesign my digital album and create another volume and that book is presently being printed at Inkubook. I chose Inkubook because they offer 8.5 x 11, which is the size of this project. Some of my students had great results with them last year, so I'm giving it a whirl. Here's a look at my newest volume:
I ordered a soft cover book this year. Each book has to be a minimum of 20-pages, so if you'll notice, I had to add some patterned paper and cardstock paper in strategic spots to fill out the book. (We call those fly sheets in the publishing biz.)
As you can see, photos are really just accents in this project. The focus in on what topics you choose to write about. You can write about as many things as you can fit into each space. I typically wrote about two things per letter. In some cases, just one thing. The project can be flexible.
I share all of this today because I'm really excited to announce three new products from Designer Digitals, all featuring the Me: the Abridged Version concept, with a few twists, namely, the ability to swap out the titles to create not just an album about you (though I'm a huge fan of that idea), but you can also create "Us: the Abridged Version" or "You: the Abridged Version." Both concepts have so many possibilities for scrapbooking about your family or your children.
Here's a look at the packages:
This is for scrapbookers who want to build a traditional album using the enclosed printable elements. This is essentially what most of my students did in both 2009 and 2010.
This package includes files for both Photoshop Elements and Non-Photoshop Elements users. It includes Microsoft Word templates and printable PDFs for non-PSE users. The printable elements come in 10 different color options so you can find elements to match your favorite papers and cardstocks. Non-PSE users will create their alphabet blocks using cardstock and stickers or chipboard alphas. Included is a 17-page How To PDF, a complete guide to the project showing the basic album structure, tips on how to get the most out of your patterned paper, with complete step-by-step instructions for creating the various pieces in Photoshop Elements. Layered PSD files will help you to create your journaling blocks, title page elements and alpha blocks, as well as allow you to customize the colors yourself. All fonts and font colors are also customizable in this project.
This package also contains the printable elements for creating "You: the Abridged Version" and "Us: the Abridged Version."
In short, this package is like a class in a box with every imaginable piece needed (minus cardstock and patterned paper of course!) to build a complete hybrid album project.
This is for digital scrapbookers who want to build a digital album using the enclosed layered PSD files. This is what I used for my 2010 album. There are just a few files in this package, and you will do a series of Save As commands to save all of your album letters. Typically, most digital scrapbookers in my workshop designed their A and B pages first, choosing their digital papers and cardstocks, then did a series of Save As commands so as not to re-invent the wheel each time.
This package also contains the layered logo files for creating "You: the Abridged Version" and "Us: the Abridged Version."
In short, this package is for digital scrapbookers who know their way around PSE.
This is for digital scrapbookers who want to build a digital album using the enclosed layered PSD files. This album, however, has custom letters created using my favorite font, Archer, which is also used in the title options as well. You choose your own font for the page entries and journaling blurbs. This package also has the A to Z pages already created for you as layered PSD files. No Saving As is needed. Just build and go, letter by letter.
This package also contains the PNG files for creating "You: the Abridged Version" and "Us: the Abridged Version." It also contains PNG dates covering the next 10 years, so you could make future volumes.
In short, this package is for digital scrapbookers who know their way around PSE, but also like the added convenience of having the pages already set up for them.
Each of the packages has different pricing because of the different number of files. Each of the packages, as new products at Designer Digitals, will be on sale through Tuesday at 6 a.m. EST.
Also, each of these packages has been designed in the 8.5 x 11 format. The main reason isn't just because that's my preferred size. The main reason behind this is that this design in 12 x 12 would create journaling blocks that are wider than I like to create. I have some personal rules of thumb when it comes to readability and journaling. I like my journaling colums to stay uner 5 inches wide. Plus, it makes for less required journaling, which can facilitate an easier completion process.
I really hope you'll consider creating an abridged version about yourself. This project always makes me reflct on my life, and my blessings, and focuses me on what really matters: family, life, love and all that goes along with it.
Whether you make an all digital album, or a cool hybrid project, this is a project that will truly serve as a time capsule of your life right here, right now.
I also think they'd make a fantastic gift for someone in your life. You could make an album about a child, or about your entire family for a wonderful and meaningful album gift for the holidays, and you've got plenty of time to create one!
If you have any questions about the packages or the projects, please don't hesitate to ask. Leave me a question in comments, and I'll be sure to get you an answer!
I also want to give you a free downloadble brainstorming PDF (included in the packages as well) where you can jot ideas for what you might want to write about in your album.
Here's to slices of life from A to Z. And, of course, scrapbooking them.
p.s. I know for some of you, the idea of doing an album all about yourself might seem a bit indulgent, but consider this: everything you choose to write about your life really is just a reflection of the people, the places and the things you love. I think every woman should explore this process. There is only one you. Document, save and enjoy the process of celebrating and recording your life.
People who love you will thank you.