Project Life, Week Forty + a video tutorial

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Tutorials48 Comments

OBSERVATIONS: My math skills might not be the sharpest, but as of last week, there are just 12 weeks left in the year. In the year, people! Seriously. Time flies. And what makes me both happy and surprised is how I’ve kept up with this project. Granted, last week, I had very few photos to choose from. I took hardly any and you can kind of see where the so-called filler lies. What can I say? Not every week is going to be rich and full of photo-worthy times. (Or at the very least, some weeks find this mama too busy to pull out the camera—high tech or otherwise—to document life.)

Let’s review how I cobbled this all together.



Ah yes. When you take your daughter’s name tag and a close up shot of a knob on your grill, you know you’re reaching.


I supposed I could have used each of the holiday shots separately, but they work so much more nicely as a small collage.


And I have Aidan to thank for the fabulous photo of Dan and Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis. I love that she snaps away without even being told or asked. Imagine that!

Here is the weekly recap.


And last but not least, another filler image but one that makes me insanely happy and comforted. Because Aidan has an iPhone, I can locate her phone’s exact whereabouts using the awesome Find My Friends app. Now in my day, that might have seen a bit Big Brother-ish. Heck, it still does today, but when my girl is out on her Behind The Wheel driving class, I find immense comfort knowing exactly where she is practicing her parallel parking.


A quick side note: did you know it’s really easy to make your own Project Life 3 x 4 cards using some digital paper and word art? Here’s a short video showing you how I took a digital patterned paper and some word art to make the “Love My Life” card. I also made my own card on the first spread that says “Love October.” The possibilities are endless for creating and customizing your own cards.

Make a 3 x 4 card using digital papers and brushes from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

Note: create your card file in PSE to be 2.875 wide x 3.9375 tall for the perfectly sized Project Life card. 



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 clicking here.

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Week Forty + a video tutorial

48 Comments on “Project Life, Week Forty + a video tutorial”

  1. #2

    Seeing your PL album makes me want to do it again. I did it for 2 years then decided to take a break this year. I guess that was all I needed. Off to Amazon to prepare for 2013! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. #4

    As always, your PL posts and tutorials are awesome. Love them! How do you take such great photographs of your completed pages? The clarity, the color, always spot on and always fantastic. Any tips you could pass on? Thanks!

  3. #5

    Thanks, Annette. I try to take clear shots. I have a pretty heavy duty camera and lens. My camera is a Canon 5D Mark II, and my lens is the super sweet 24-70 L Series by Canon, 2.8. I sunk a ton of money into those two pieces and feel like they were very worth it. I still am shakier than Id like to be. A tripod would help. : )

  4. #6

    I should add: a tip… shoot in a room with lots of light coming in through the window. Not direct sunlight mind you, but I always shoot next to a huge window. Lots of natural light aids the process.

  5. #7

    So… MOST importantly: did you or Aidan read the new JK Rowling? And how was it? Must have a non-spoiler review, please!

  6. #8
    Chris H

    haha!!! Big Brother-esqe practices don’t exist when the iPhone is being paid for by me!! Just UNWRAPPED my daughter’s iPhone (bday gift) and installed the app. In exchange I also installed it on mine and hubby is too…she’ll know where we are too, unless I switch it off!

    The backup feature is “Find my iPhone”
    Very handy.

  7. #9

    Aidan has it on her nightstand. Not sure how far into it she is. I think she secretly wishes it was another HP novel, truth be told.

  8. #11

    Thanks Cathy! I love that you go the little extra and show us how to make several of these and take to a new work space to print out more than one…what a gal!

  9. #12

    Cathy, Thank you! I have that same lens and camera. I’ve been shooting my pages with my 50 mm fixed lens but will now try the bigger one. And I’ve even got out the stinkin’ tri-pod! I think the clarity is better but not great. I’m shooting outside, in the shade but the color seems off. I hate to bother with you with more, but… any other nitty gritty details? What are your camera settings on? Are you doing any adjustments to them through post processing? Thanks again!

  10. #14

    I generally shoot around 400 ISO, and usually at around 3.2-3.5 with my 24-70. I always shoot on Aperature Priority too. I still dont have the hang of manual, though I have been playing around with Exposure Compensation more, you know that dial where you move the bar to the right on the little readout? It just lets more light into my shots.

    When I post process, I use Rad Lab all the time. I love that plug in above all. Seriously. You should check it out if you havent already. So fun to use!

  11. #16

    Loved the tutorial, I enjoy seeing different ways people use ps or pse to make personalised cards etc. I really appreciate that I can use your blog/tute to refer what sizes I need to make mine for PL. Thank you.

  12. #17

    Thank you, again! You rock. I’ve just recently been playing around with that dial as well! I will absolutely check out Rad Lab. Thank you!

  13. #20

    Lovely video! I learn so much from you. One question. If you make your 3×4 cards with dimensions slightly under 3×4, do you make your 4×6 cards also slightly under 4×6? If so, what are the exact dimensions that you use for 4×6 cards? Thanks!

  14. #22

    Cathy where can I find the lovely weather/comment app you use? I’m assuming it’s an app? Every time I see it on your great pages I think “I want!!!”
    Thanks for the tutorial. Just plucking up the courage to start Project Life and I need all the help I can get!

  15. #23

    Hey Vi, no. The 4 x 6s pockets in the PL page protectors are true 4 x 6. In fact, the 3 x 4s will fit, but I have found it a very tight fit in those particular page protector pockets. : )

  16. #27

    Can you mention how to do a screen shot to get the weather updates?
    I think you told us before but I can find it.

  17. #28

    Absolutely love everything you do! You are my scrap idol/crush 🙂 I am new to PSE and do not know how to do anything at all besides pull it up. I would love to purchase so many of your templates from Designer Digitals but do not know how to use them. Can you point me in the right direction of how to do the most basic of things (open photos, resize, use your templates)? Thanks Cathy!

  18. #29

    Sure! You hold down the Home button key on the iPhone at the same time as the On/Off button on top of the phone. Press together and release. Youll hear a shutter release sound.

  19. #30

    Hey Mindy, awww. Thanks! Okay, a few resources for you:

    That covers many basics and questions. Plus, you can look through some of my basics videos. This is a good one that walks you through how to use a digital template.

    This is an older post that gives you a free template download and a video step by step:

    Hope that helps!

  20. #35

    Hi Cathy, thank you for your ‘share’. I have a question regarding printing that I hope you can help with. When I print 3×4 cards they always end up slightly bigger; it’s very annoying when you put cool borders and things around cards and they get chopped off. I’m assuming it’s something to do in the printer set-up. Any ideas?

  21. #36

    Thanks so much for the instructional video. Looks like even I will be able to make my own cards! (Also the “me talk like robot” makes me giggle.)

  22. #38

    Cathy, I thought making my own PL cards would be hard but you made it so easy. Thank you. With some papers that matched the clementine edition and your Sentiments1 stamps (TrulyMadlyDeeply works perfectly), I whipped up a couple of cards in minutes. Awesome!

  23. #40

    Only 12 weeks left?!?!? EEK! I’d better get caught up to finish out the year strong! AND make sure that a new album gets onto my Christmas Wish List!

    Hard to believe your baby girl is driving. I’m glad someone else asked about the book. Maybe you’ll update on your blog later if she liked it.

  24. #41
    Sindee Schmit

    Cathy, do you plan on using the same color scheme for next year, or do you change it up?

  25. #47
    Jenny B.

    12 weeks?! And this post is already over a week old! I’m suddenly experiencing shortness of breath and rapid heart rate! In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Oh my… I need my kids and husband to take a week-long vacation so I can sit an home and scrap and scrap and scrap! 🙂

  26. #48
    non geographic numbers

    Technology has really move into next level that even tracking your friends location would absolutely possible. Be a responsible mobile user and know your limits. By the way, you did a great job on the design and the arrangement of photos.

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