05 January 2009

Project 365 heats up in 2009 - it's everywhere!

Caution - this is a bit long because there are so many ideas for getting started that will help you right now!

Last year, participating in Project 365 was popular, but this year it's everywhere you look - worldwide!! I've heard of at least five digi shops that are hosting, challenges, numerous Facebook groups you can join, a paper scrapping kit by Becky Higgins (that has sold out already!), and I'm sure there are many more folks out there who are participating in their own ways. Some participants on Facebook and are going to post their photos and layouts in their personal photo albums. Invite your family and friends to play along with you...it's fun to take photos together! Don't forget to have the kids play along - it would be amazing to see the year from child's point of view.

I just can't say enough about this project and highly encourage you to join in. By 'join in" I don't mean you have to JOIN a group if you don't want to. I did it all on my own last year and really enjoyed it. It sure was an easy way to create a comprehensive album about our everyday life that will be fun to look back on for my whole family - after all, they were mostly involved, too! I'll still make special albums about events or vacations but I think this will be the way I create my annual family album from now on.

Feel free to start your project 365 anytime - a few of you already have - and don't be afraid to start late. January 1 isn't the only good date to start...lots of other countries and nations have their new year starting on a different date. And, if you want to do a pregnancy theme, you'll definitely be starting on an alternate date!

Are you a teacher? Do a shortened version with your class and document the school year, a semester, or a quarter. At the end of the designated time period, choose a different weekly layout from each pupil and have an art show...so many possibilities.

Since I am such an advocate for documenting life this way, I decided to host Project 365 in the Plain Digital Wrapper challenge forum and give away the weekly templates, featuring 7 photos per page, that I created for my 2008 album...all totally FREE. I created all 52 of them (and a cover) to document my photos because I was too lazy to upload a photo to my blog every day - LOL! My 2008 photos are not all placed into the templates yet - I'm up to week 34.

I have also created a Project 365 with Plain Digital Wrapper (PDW) group on Facebook where anyone can join and post photos and comments.

If you're hesitant or aren't ready for such a commitment, why not start out doing a photo a week? Once you get in the habit of taking your camera everywhere you go (even to the grocery store) you'll find it's actually pretty easy. And with all the free templates out there - including mine - putting it all together is a snap!

My 2008 Project 365 was about our everyday life and interesting things I observed. One day I took a picture of an oil spot in a parking lot on a rainy day just because it had a cool rainbow effect! Since everyday life is pretty eclectic (mine is anyway), I decided to NOT have a particular theme except for making the background the same for facing pages. However, if you need to have a theme or a theme helps you get inspired, why not do a week for each family member and pet, a week or two for a vacation or trip, 365 days in the garden, 365 days of recipes (for all you foodies out there), add in a photo of you or a family member once a week (very fun to look back on at the end and in the years to come!), or if you have a DSLR camera, play with the settings and document what you used for your photo.

Secret tip: I actually had a few uninspired days last year where I just couldn't find anything to take a picture of or I just plain forgot. To fill in those days I took extra shots of the garden, scenery, indoor closeups, etc. It's not really cheating because I did take the photo - it's being 'creative' in finding an easy solution! ;-)

I'll be posting more tips and storage and printing ideas as the year goes along. I'll also be giving out extras (papers and elements) from time to time. But, with 7 photos on a page there isn't much room! Besides, I know you already have a bunch of digi stuff in your collection - here's a chance to use some of it!

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