Getting My Documentation Mojo Back – Part Two: Mini-books, Project Life and 2012

So when we left off I had lost my mojo. After a wild night of putting our Hawaii photos into an album though, I finally felt like I was back and ready to tackle more creative documentation of all the fun stuff going on in our lives. I think Laura over at Hollywood Housewife is really on to something with the philosophy of Starting Where You Are when it comes to documenting your life. If you let yourself get too overwhelmed by all the documentation projects you HAVEN’T finished, it really takes away from the joy that comes from documenting what’s happening right now!

So I was ready to get back to documenting, but what to do?

Coincidentally, I was reading one of Amy’s Friday link posts (always full of gems, by the way – check them out) and she mentioned Elise’s blog. One of the first posts I read when I clicked on over was about her minibooks. They were fun, small and easy for on the go documenting, so I picked one up from her shop just to see if I would keep up with it.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would. Elise posts some awesome tutorials about how she approaches her book and honestly it is WELL ABOVE my skill level. I mentioned in my last post that I’m not super crafty, and find the detail work of embellishing sort of overwhelming so there was part of me that thought I might hate the end result. But I wanted to try something different. Something more “In the moment” and something that would exercise that part of my creative brain that sometimes gets a little stifled between working full time, CrossFit and getting dinner on the table. And you know what?


It was just perfect in the end because it fully captured all of the fall fun that I had in a cute little hand-held album. And it was totally therapeutic and fun to put together piece by piece.

Here are some snapshots of a couple pages:

Autumn MinibookAutumn MinibookAutumn MinibookAutumn MinibookAutumn MinibookP1040426P1040427Autumn MinibookAutumn MinibookAutumn Mini Book

It’s my first one — obviously I could critique it from head to toe and worry about my lack of craftiness, but the thing about it is no matter how UN-crafty it appears, it captures the highlights of the season PERFECTLY! I showed it to Garrett and even he loved it. For me it wasn’t about making my life look glossy and fabulous, it was about keeping track of the little things in the moment and documenting the places and things that told our story.

Obviously I had so much fun doing this one that I can’t wait to do some more documenting projects in the coming year. 2012 will be our last baby-free year (by choice! fingers crossed!) so I want to make sure we really capture this special time in our life when our family is just two. Plus we will be planning a wedding, getting married, getting a dog — I MEAN THE LIST GOES ON AND ON! 2012 will be a big year. Here is how I plan to document it.

Documentation Goals For 2012
Documentation Goals

1. Project Life — So as I mentioned, I’m really a non-scrapbooker — but Project Life seems to be a great way to keep track of life events and happenings, all with relative ease. I’m not trying to stress out over keeping a scrapbook, so all of the readymade-ness of Project Life appeals to me, yet it allows you to customize as you see fit. Run with your creativity, or just keep it simple. I like it! I ordered it on a whim and I wasn’t sure I would be into it, but when it showed up the other day I thought to myself– THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! Win.

2. More Minibooks! — I think this year I will approach minibooks as a fun way to document vacations or specific events rather than seasons. I think the Project Life umbrella will help me organize the big things so the minibooks will be more of a creative outlet for me along with being a way to document some of our trips. Plus I always come back from vacations with silly mementos, scraps of paper, coasters, matchbooks, tchotchkes — and minibooks are a perfect way to keep all of that stuff.

3. Week In The Life Album — Oh you guys, I am so doing this!!! How fun to look back on what a week in your life was like before you had kids — full of words, pictures and emotions. You can find great inspiration all over the place for this project ( How about here, here, here and here.) General consensus seems to be that Blurb is the way to go, so I’m going to try that. I’ll let you know how it works!

4. Personal (Individual) Albums for Me and Garrett — This is last on the list because it will be the first to go if I feel overwhelmed, but I’d like to complete albums about just us. Growing up I remember thinking it was so crazy that my parents had lives before me (I know, I KNOW!) so I think it would be fun to have a little something to show them down the road. These were your parents! Here’s what they were all about in their 30s! Just for fun. We’ll see how that goes.


And that’s it! Are you all starting any documentation projects next year? Do you have experience with any of the projects above? I’m always interested in inspiration!

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