Project Life, Week Five + a video tutorial

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Tutorials63 Comments

OBSERVATIONS: Five weeks in and I’m still on a roll. Want to know a secret? This is as far as I got last year. Somehow, this year feels different. It’s different because I’m comitted to having this project be the main story telling vehicle for my entire year.

It’s true that my scrapbooking is more sporadic in terms of making traditional (or digital) pages. I tend to bounce from story to story with lots of time and space in between. The thing I love about Project Life is that I’m honing in on the minutiae of my life and it’s really bringing me joy.

That’s it! I’m feeling joy about story telling again. Even during a week where it seemed like not much happened, I found little things all over the place to save and record. From a piece of packaging from a new gadget I bought, to sharing a 5-second exchange about something funny Cole said, life is just sitting there, waiting to be noticed.

I think Project Life is making me more aware and far more grateful than I have been of late. And that is a pretty cool thing. Here are my pages from last week.


Here is the Weekly Wrap Up (and I am loving this process of typing out what happened during our week.)


And here’s a close up of the Boy Who Missed a Week of School:


Here’s the second page:


This week, I decided to add a little packaging from my favorite spice shop, Penzey’s, onto a Project Life grid card. I’m trying to add a bit more of the ephemera from our lives into this album, but you know me: this requires baby steps. I am just now getting used to staples!

Here is a close up of of my journal card with a great, short story about Cole:


Yes. My boy has seen and memorized much television. We are so proud.

Today I have a video tutorial to show you how to take a PNG file as you see above and customize the color for use in your own Project Life albums, or other hybrid projects. If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

Working with PNG Files from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.



Project Life, created by Becky Higgins, is a flexible, easy-to-use, highly customizable way to save your memories in a fun, stress-free way. Learn more about getting started with Project Life by clickingΒ here.
To visit Designer Digitals, click here.


Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Week Five + a video tutorial

63 Comments on “Project Life, Week Five + a video tutorial”

  1. #5

    lol at the comment re: thickers. I just looked and thought “wow look at the polka dotty paper, who are you and what have you done with Cathy Zielske” πŸ˜€

    Love this, I need more ephemera in my version of project life thanks for the reminder x

  2. #6

    ROFL!! Cole is a riot. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

    Love the “ROFL” journal card.

  3. #7

    I totally think this project stops and makes me more thankful and take notice of my story around me. I love too that so many fun people are tackling this year and I can take weekly challenges new people. This week my challenge was keep it simple, because I hadn’t been doing that with all the little things and photos I’d been collecting all week….

    hope your family is on the mend and no one catches what Cole had…

  4. #8

    So far, no one has! And this week so far, Ive taken SO few pics. Interesting to see how that translates on Sunday when I put my pages together!

  5. #9

    So wish my life was interesting enough for PL. If I did it I could just copy week one and use it for almost every week of the year–yep my life is REALLY exciting.
    i do like Penzey’s. there is one in Seattle but I still like to order online cuz rarely get there.
    Have a wonderful week. Thanks for making my day!

  6. #11

    Robyn, I take a screen capture of the Weather App on my iPhone by holding down the Home button and the On/Off button on the top of the phone at the same time until I hear a shutter snap. Then I open the file in PS and build out the black a little bit. Ill post a tutorial on this next week. : )
    A lot of people ask how to do this!

  7. #12

    I LOVE everything you do!! So cute…and I am enrolled in a Photoshop class right now and am so excited to combine that with your WONDERFUL videos and templates!! Was wondering if you have an suggestions for a printer that can print 12x12s and also be compatible with the little things…I am ready to invest…I see you have the one you use…would you totally recommend it? <3 you! πŸ˜‰ And like the lady below said, not in a creepy kind of way but in a inspirational kind of way! πŸ˜‰ Thanks!!

  8. #13

    I am a fan of HP Photosmart printers (as that is what I use). Epson is also a great bet for scrapbookers. Those are the two brands I would look into!

  9. #14
    Jane S

    Cathy really great video thanks for posting. looking forward to seeing the one on printing the from the weather app too.

  10. #15
    Design Editor

    Yay! Love this ROFL card. One of my two year olds has been slaying us with what she’s saying lately. (Apologies to my other daughter who I’m SURE will be hilarious one day.)

    Loving your album.

  11. #16

    Thanks!! And by the by, I just gave it and bought an iPhone today because of all the cute instagram photos people have been doing and your little weather slots πŸ˜‰

  12. #18
    Jenny B.

    I was just going to post a comment to ask about this very thing. πŸ™‚ I have a sneaking suspicion that my husband is getting me an iPhone for my birthday this weekend (woo-hoo!!!), so I’m excited about the tutorial! Is the app just called “Weather App” or is there a more specific name for it?

    I am loving doing Project Life, and I feel the same way about committing to it and not doing a lot of other layouts. I so look forward to seeing your pages each week! Thanks!

  13. #19

    I’m glad you are going to post a tutorial on how to build out the black a little bit. My iPhone screen captures don’t look as good as yours. Thanks!

  14. #22

    Loved the tutorial, and it gave me an idea. I have to have 85-100 Advice cards made up for DIL baby shower. Do you have any templates that would work for that? They need to be lined, as they will be handwritten. I saw the Thankful cards,I could change the text right? Or do you maybe have a better/ different product?

  15. #24

    You know, I really dont. I just looked through everything. The text on that Thankful card series cant be changed per se. Youd have to delete the word which has been converted to artwork and then create a new title. Maybe you could do Advice? Do you know how to reset type in PSE?

  16. #25

    No, Im sorry but the words on the cards have all been rasterized so that they font will read on any computer. In essence, I create the type, then I have to turn it into artwork, which makes it uneditable. So sorry.

  17. #26

    Thank you very much for all your tutorials Cathy! Between you and many hours in front of my computer, I have finally learned how to use PSE (a little bit!…) I love it! Thanks for your help and your digital designs!

  18. #28
    Laura A. in Oregon

    Oh my gosh, Cathy,. Once again your observations and the way that you write them down have brought a smile to my face! Great way to start my day and a nice reminder to “keep it real”. Your PL will be another priceless gift one day!

  19. #29

    Thanks to Heather Crawford for asking about flattening – I wondered…
    Already tweeted you a couple of weeks ago to say thanks for your tutorials – I’m sort of “getting” PSE8, finally! And I LOVE this one! Just bought a few png files today and can’t wait to try to customize them this weekend!!!

  20. #30
    Angela NJ

    So two years ago, I thought to myself look at that Cathy moving more and eating less – maybe I can do it too, and I did, mostly. Now I’m thinking look at that Cathy using Project Life, but I can barely figure out a pdf file, much less a png. I’ve avoided digital files much like I’ve avoided Facebook, Pinterest and the IPhone, but I really really like all those cute cards you’re including in your album. Any suggestions for a rookie?

  21. #31

    I think I can re set type, would it work with your wedding cards? Or maybe I just gave you an idea for some new templates?LOL

  22. #32

    I’ve said it before but what the heck, I’ll say it again – your tutorials are so very helpful! Thank you for taking the time to explain every step along the way. Explaining what you are doing and why helps me “get it”. You rock!

  23. #35

    Angela, yes! You dont need ANY of that extra digital stuff to do PL! Just get the kit and go! : )
    But, you could always take a class with say, to learn the basics of photoshop elements. Plus, Ive got many video tutorials as well. : )

  24. #38
    Karen Freeman

    Hey Cathy, Thank you so much for the tutorial. Even though you work in PSE I have learnt so much from your videos for CS5 that I am learning in. I just take what you say then try it or try to find the equivalent – some things are probably done a lot easier in CS5 but hey I’m learning and its fun. Loving your type class too again learning heaps. Cheers, Karen aka Mudgie

  25. #39

    Mudgie, you know I wish I could just do all my videos in CS5 too! : ) Especially now that I just upgraded. But, of course, most people work in PSE in the digi scrap world. : )

  26. #42

    Dear Cathy Z, Thank you for doing Project Life. I am rockin it this week with your tiny templates. I just never got in the groove last year, but am loving what you and Ali are doing. It’s actually working!! AAAHHHH!!!

  27. #45

    Thank so so much Cathy! Great tutorial and my pro-list for buying PSE is getting longer! I just downloaded the 30 day trial version and will work with that (I think I’m not going to wait until it is expired to buy the full version πŸ™‚ )

  28. #46
    britiney @ consider the lilies

    Okay, CZ. I have what may be the dumbest question of all time. If not all time, definitely this week. While I was watching this video I was working on trimming some of the elements for my MMEW album (finally got my album that’s been on backorder!!) Apparently I’m too dense to know how to use the trim guides. Once I trim one side, the marks for the next side are trimmed off and I don’t know where to trim it. I really do feel like a giant doofus for asking, but how do you use those marks? I liked that you showed us how to add them in the video for the weather app cards, but now I just need to know how to use them the right way to trim my cards. Thanks for your patience with us newbies.

  29. #47

    Brit, you have to not trim all the way through. You have to stop before you go to the edge of the paper, make sense? lift the paper trimmer and turn, cut, lift, trim, turn. But not all the way through. Does that help?

  30. #48

    πŸ˜‰ so happy I’m not the only one who did that wrong! britiney, just don’t cut the paper completely, only cut from mark to mark on all 4 sides. (I learned it by reading Cathys instructions for her class Design your life – thanks Cathy for teaching us :-))

  31. #52
    Pam S

    Cathy, I looooooooove all the digital templates etc you’ve made that go so well with Project Life!! I bought a whole lot of stuff from Designer Digitals and I was wondering if you could share/would mind sharing with us the font used in the Story Savers and Check Cards. I’d like to type some journalling in the same font, but I can’t quite figure out what font it is. Thanks for all the tutorials!!

  32. #54

    Pam, on the check cards, I used Helvetica Neue Condensed for the titles, and just regular Helvetica Neue for the other stuff. I think the story cards are all Avenir!
    : )

  33. #56

    I finally got around to checking out the video, since I had ordered your 3×4 cards from designer digital. It was very well done. I have PS9, but just haven’t used it much and I feel like I’ve learned a lot with this video and the 2 weeks of your BPC type class. Thanks! You have a gift for this.

  34. #58
    Kathy A.

    I can’t believe the coinkidink that I stumbled upon your video today! Last night, I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to recolor a PNG file and I was near tears as I was getting so frustrated. Your video tutorial was just what I needed and was so easy to understand. Thank you. Thank you!


  35. #60

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I purchased the Story Saver cards from Designer Digitals. I am having a problem using my marquee tool. It stops short of the full selection. It’s driving me nuts! Any ideas?

  36. #62
    Jen w.

    hi cathy,
    I have to tell you i’ve recently “found” you (no you werent lost, well maybe to me, lol) but I adore you. You have my personality type and just enjoy life! Thanks for being you!
    Now, I just ordered my project life and cannot wait to get started and use your digitals too!
    I used to be a web/blog designer and am now pursing more of my scrapbook/design passion/career so I appreciate your blog and videos and tips!!
    I adore my photoshop and indesign and couldnt imagine life without them (as you can well relate) so thanks for the videos, sometimes we learn new ways of using CS and I love that.

    Thanks for DROPBOX!! Omg that ingenious and I jumped on that! Now I’m getting my whole family involved. boy i would have loved that when i did blog design and graphic design.
    Sorry it was so long but just wanted to share how totally awesome you are! *giggling*

  37. #63

    Jen, DropBox is such a help in my work with freelance clients. SO easy to get the job files transferred! : ) Glad you have found me. Glad I wasnt lost. ; )

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