How to catch up on nearly three months of Project Life

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Scrapbooking41 Comments


There’s been a lot going on of late that has taken precedence over my Project Life pages. A first child graduating from high school. A corresponding graduation party. A new website that is getting oh-so close to launching. Plus working to become a more responsible, less neurotic adult female planet member. (That alone makes it surprising I get anything else done, ever.) Combine this with the daily work I try to do to make life both clean, fed and profitable and you are left with the fact that as of last week, I was 11 weeks behind in Project Life.

I will be honest: there is zero stress about this. Zero. This project is my fun and relaxing way to add photos and words together for a document of our year. When it happens, it happens. And when it doesn’t, that’s what having weekly photo folders defined by the weekly dates in iPhoto is for: it’s all there waiting for when I am ready. And this past weekend, I made time to be ready.

Here’s how you catch up on 11 weeks of Project Life.

Step One: Refuse to accept that you are behind. Rather, look at it as the opportunity to spend a bit more time with your photos and stories.

Step Two: Tackle one week at a time, and if you have the mojo to do more, by all means, do.

Step Three: Have a glass of cheap red wine (won’t apply to everyone, I understand this.)

Step Four: Complete album pages and high five yourself or anyone in the vicinity as you do.

That’s it.

I kept them simple. If one page was all that was needed then that was all that was offered up. Not a lot of funky journal cards added, or if they were, they were simply repeats from the prior week. While I love to have fun and play with my Project Life pages, I just wanted to get ‘er done. I would say a lot more, but a lot more isn’t warranted. Here are my pages for the past 11 weeks.












Click on any of the images to see them larger in a new window. Note: when my new site launches, the images will be much larger and easier to read!

And that is all she wrote.


Cathy ZielskeHow to catch up on nearly three months of Project Life

41 Comments on “How to catch up on nearly three months of Project Life”

  1. #1

    They look great, Cathy!!!
    I’m officially 26 weeks behind in my project life :O) Thanks for the inspiration and reminder not to make it difficult !

  2. #2
    Shawna Zervos

    Thank you for the thought that being behind allows you to enjoy the pictures and sink into the writing. I am officially the entire year behind, save for the pictures which are printed and ordered. I may further investigate your digital sources. Fortunately, I have summer to catch up! Many thanks!

  3. #3
    mary e.

    Such great recaps, Cathy!

    (Editorial note: your last layout has a typo – it says you through a joing party, but I’m fairly confident that’s not a new type of party, and that you meant ‘joint’?)

    Can’t wait to see the website!

  4. #4

    Looove how simply you caught up!

    Just wanted to point out so you could fix before printing, but you have two week 25s. 🙂

  5. #6

    I love that you embrace being behind as an opportunity to spend more time with your photos and stories. I am doing the same. I printed the 2nd week of Feb through the first week of June, two weekends ago. Still have from the 2nd week of June through yesterday to print. And still have journaling to do from 2nd week of Feb to present but I’m not stressing about it. I use OhLife to do my journaling nightly and when I am ready, it’s a simple cut and paste. I am intentionally not caught up on this years PL because I am also working my way through putting together our 2009 book PL style at the same time. Thank you for always keeping it real!

  6. #7

    My son has one question re the Saints move – will the new ballpark be by passing trains? He loved the “Hello Train” comment from the in-house announcer. Seriously was the highlight of his one-game watching experience.

  7. #8

    Also week 19 has a typo. It was a super chilly night BE a good time to be in the park.
    These pages are amazing and inspiring since I have not started PL for 2014 yet, but had planned to do it all digitally using your templates and print it in to a book. I have been thinking to skip this year as last year all of that printing of photos and putting them in to pages…….burnt me out.

  8. #10

    LOL. I was doing so well since October last year, then mid-Feb… my mojo fell into a hole and I fell behind. I’m in the process of digging myself out of the hole right now too. I deal with my weeks a little differently –I alternate between “event” weeks and “topic” weeks. Sometimes it’s just hard to find the “right” thing[s] to finish a page. [I have weird topics sometimes.] But if you can get out of the hole, I suppose I can as well! This is definitely the blog where I come to get my kick in the butt.

  9. #11
    Sherry Carr-Smith

    I have four weeks printed and three more to edit plus three months of the baby’s book to do this week. Before PL this would have stressed me the hell out. Now I’m excited to do such a big batch at once!

  10. #12
    Leslie B

    I am also 26 weeks behind & am not stressing for the same reason you didn’t. The pictures and stories will be there…in the meantime, I will keep on keepin’ on and filing my pics in folders to prep for when I can get my shit together and sit down to put it all together. 🙂

    I’ve also talked my kids about doing Artifact Uprising books for various things…my son’s first year of college, my daughter’s various musicals, high school dances…the options are unlimited!

  11. #14

    A couple of years ago, I started doing monthly layouts instead of weekly (or daily-I actually did daily the first year). Anyway, I found that doing monthly layouts is less stressful. I just do what I have for the month. Sometimes I have lots of photos and stories and more stories get told. Other months, I have fewer photos/stories so fewer layouts are made. It was nice to relieve myself of the pressure of having a layout for every week. It also released my obsession with chronological order. Having layouts about things that happened during the month means that I no longer obsess about “Did this happen the first week or the second week?” Who cares? It happened in June. That is good enough. 🙂

  12. #15

    I do love the monthly idea. Heck, I did an album back in 2010 called The Monthly. I may be switching over to that approach in 2015!

  13. #16
    Heather H

    Can I just say thank you one more time for the instructions for setting up the weekly photos in iPhoto. I am also MANY weeks behind (though I have pictures “chosen” for all but the last three weeks), and those folders are saving my (project) life. I seriously would have given up and quit by now, like I did for the last three years, but those folders make it so easy to catch up that I just keep working little by little and I know I’ll get there. I’m so happy with the finished product that I’m glad I don’t give up. And I’d never have managed it without the “magic” folders. I even have them set up now for previous years so I can some day get caught up on those too. Thank you too for the reminder that it’s okay. That everyone gets behind. Because life actually is more important.

  14. #18

    I just came across your blog, and I love it! The tutorials I managed to watch are great, clear and inspiring. I will definitely watch them all in due course. Digital Project Life: here I come – wish me luck. Love your upbeat style and great sense of humor. Thank you!

  15. #21

    You know, we dont know for sure. It IS being built right near the Union Depot station in Downtown St. Paul. Our fingers are crossed!

  16. #23
    Jacquie Desilets

    I am in the same boat as so many others…behind in PL. But thanks to your iPhoto and DayOne app suggestions, I will be able to catch up in a flash! I previously managed PL (sort of) on a monthly basis, and I am considering going back. Life is just so damn busy! But I do think that the moment that you stress about it, you do yourself in. Thank you for sharing the last three months of Pl…as always, inspiring!

  17. #24

    Hooray for monthly layouts! I also have been doing monthly layouts and agree with all your reasons .

  18. #25
    Shawna Zervos

    How do you print these? If memory serves me correctly, you do a book at the end? I am so behind, that I’m looking for other ideas and this may work perfectly.

  19. #26

    Shawna, Im planning to either do a book OR just send all the pages to Persnickety Prints and get 12 x 12 prints and put them all into an album. : )

  20. #27

    Yay for you – I just did the same thing. I love that I never feel “behind” on PL because my photos are in weekly folders. For some reason that works for me too.

  21. #30

    You know what? I changed to monthly last year and it was the best choice ever. Instead of being two albums it condensed into one. (I really don’t have that much space to store two albums every year) Now I have gone digital and it’s a breeze – saves space too. I have young kids so I scan in any art/notes etc. Same with tickets. They get the originals to scrap and they’re happy too. Love it!

  22. #31
    Kim Smith

    Cathy, you consistently remain an inspiration to me. Love your layouts, don’t care if you’re caught up or behind (and glad you don’t care either) and love that you put it out there for us! Thank you!

  23. #33

    These are awesome catch up pages Cathy! I love the sewer cover photo that you used as the backdrop for your week title card – so cool!

    1. #33.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Carolyn! I am behind again, so it’s time to knock some more of these pages out!

  24. #34
    laura g.

    i am 3 1/2 months behind…I got into a rut when I was frustrated with printing up my pics at home…it was getting way to expensive…I felt like the ink was draining out of my printer…so I balked at printing photos…I recently sent my pics to Walgreens and to Walmart to be printed to see which I liked best…the Matte ones I had printed at Walmart sucked! plus they come back a bit smaller than 4×6…so can that idea! Liked the ones I got back at Walgreens …but I still prefer the ones I print up on my HP printer…
    I mainly use PL to just get my pics in an album…no weekly theme…just in order by date…
    Thank you for the encouragement! You rock!

    1. #34.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Laura, have you ever tried Persnickety Prints? I have no affiliate relationship with them, but I use them for printing my digital pages and they do a great job at a good price. 🙂

  25. #35

    Hi Cathy. I’m sorry I haven’t read all the comments and you probably already know this, but week 24 says ‘hello week 25’ The year is going too fast as it is lol and I’m still on week 10! 🙂

  26. #36
    kelly polizzi

    hi cathy, i love your work, after having discovered you a couple hours ago i have added several items from your shop to my wish list and can’t wait to get stuck into my digital PL after being so inspired. I was wondering about sharing my digital pages on sites such as fb. I would love to be able to do in the way you have but I’m not sure how to go about doing that? I guess I will be making my pages in PSE, do I just save each page as a jpeg once done? Or is there another way I’m missing? Everyone seems to be posting theres as they do them and I’m baffled lol.

    1. #36.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Kelly!

      PSE has a great feature that let’s you create a version of your page for the web! It works like this.

      With your finished page open, go to File > Save For Web… You will get a new screen and there is a drop down menu called Preset. There are many choices. I would say try JPEG High to start. I tend to use PNG 24, because I find it gives me the best clarity.

      Go down to New Size and enter a size here. For my website, all of my images are saved at 717 px wide, but you can try a number like 800 px. In that way, when people see it on Facebook it will be a nice size and easy to see. The Height will automatically change proportionately.

      When you hit Save, it will ask you to save this as a new file with either a .jpg or .png extension. And there you have it, an image ready to share online that is a 72 dpi image.

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