Project Life 2015 | Aug 1

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I've really been wanting to get back to adding longer stories to my pages. Last year I often did this as a monthly round up of where we were all at.

This story is about one day, which happened to be my birthday. I got a new 50mm lens which I was playing around with. My photos were pretty hit and miss, especially using the timer, but at least I had enough salvageable to make a page.

It was a pretty good day up until dinner... and I thought that was worth recording. As a Coeliac I am extremely allergic to gluten, so when my takeaway burger was not on the ordered GF bun and I didn't realise until 4 bites in, you can imagine that the rest wasn't pretty! After a few years of no incidents with gluten, I've had 3 this year! I wonder if it's that food places are getting complacent because lots of people order GF because they choose not to eat gluten, not because of an allergy. Either way, they need to know that GF must be GF. I can't even describe how bad it is. Imagine somewhere between food poisoning and the early stages of labour.

So it didn't end well, but I still want to remember a lovely day with my family anyway.
As I had a mis-mash of colours in my photos, I decided to make all but one black and white and then use the Moments Like These cards in b & w and red. This time I added a couple of printed digital elements with my Tiny Attacher. Simple and done.

Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages Designs F (trimmed) and 6x12
Becky Higgins x Stampin Up Moments Like This in digital format and digital stamp for journaling heading.

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Project Life 2015 | Weekend Escape

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Back in July we booked a mid winter escape, hiring a beach house we've stayed at before in summer. We knew it had a fireplace and we knew it would be cold overnight. We just hoped for relatively decent days. Well, we were blessed with the most perfect of sunny, winter days. It was crisp in the mornings and evenings and in the wind but I loved sitting in the sun soaking up every ray of warmth!

It was just the perfect relaxing time to read, play Cluedo. We walked/rode along the beach each morning and took heaps of photos, of course. We ate pizza and even ice cream. In the evenings, we stoked up the fire, and watched movies under blankets.

It was just a great long weekend. Good times, great memories.

Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages Designs A 
Becky Higgins x Stampin Up Moments Like This in digital format and digital element (heart) from HS Overlay kit.
Ali Edwards digital stamp (magic happens)
Wood Veneer - source unknown sorry.

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Week in the Life | Thoughts and a few Sunday selfies

Monday, August 24, 2015


Well, that was a crazy long title for this post! For me it's Monday and my WITL is over. I spent quite a bit of yesterday relaxing and thinking over how to work this from here. It wouldn't be me if I wasn't re-thinking my original plan. (insert the rolling eyes emoji). I think I did say, I've learned to go into something like WITL with intentions and a bit of a plan, but enough flexibility to change things if I want.

Yesterday my daughter said "Mum, can you not do this project next year, because we just want to live our lives without a camera in our faces!". I was so disappointed hearing this from her, of all people. The one who should 'get it', I mean, she's doing her own Project Life album. But after a while I kind of understand where she's coming from. I've said before, living with teens means there's 4 adults doing our own thing in this house. I'm usually very considerate of when I take photos of them and what I share, but for WITL, my aim was to capture the everyday and the essence of 'us'. This, in my opinion, means candid, impromptu photos. I didn't capture everything I wanted, but I'm very happy with what I have. Super happy!

As the week went by, I took more and more photos and thought of many more things to write. I'm now at the place where I'm just not sure the 6x8 album is how I want to do this.

And so, as I carry on with other work and projects the next few days, I'm going to think things over and I'm already pretty sure I'm going down the photo/story book path.

And also, I didn't answer my daughter. I know I will definitely be back to capture a week in our lives next year! There were far too many precious memories recorded. I'm pretty sure she'll thank me for it one day. And just quietly, I bet she'll do this project herself in years to come...

Here's a bit of my Sunday. It was a gorgeous end of winter day and we spent lots of it outside. These are the self-portraits I took to capture myself on this day. A bit of an odd mix on their own but as part of the whole day and among other photos, I'm so pleased I've accepted and learned to include more of myself.
I was up at 6.45am (!) to drop my daughter off at a fundraising venture. Anna and I tend to leave our shoes on the stairs to the garage.
Relaxing after my walk and taking lots of beach photos of hubby and the 4 legged child. Reading my new H&G magazine. On the plate is my new fav snack made from cashews, dates and cacao...so yum.
Not quite brave enough for a shower selfie...
The photo at the top of the post was at the garden section of the DIY store Anna was working at. Scheming up spring garden ideas. Then came having a red wine and cheese and crackers out in the sun, followed by hubby cooking us a roast lamb dinner while I caught up on the ironing... Anna's uniform and his work shirts mostly. Not a fav chore but I'm happy to do that in lieu of cooking dinner! I watched Masterchef NZ after dinner. I love that show, not because I love cooking but because I love people with a passion stepping out of their comfort zone to achieve their dreams:)

You can read more about Week in the Life here and see my other posts relating to this year here.

Thanks for stopping by. Donna xx

WITL | Saturday Photos + I want to remember

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Inspired by Ali Edwards, I've recorded Saturday's story so far in photos and "I want to remember".
I want to remember the kindness of this guy who makes me breakfast if I'm sidetracked on something else:) Also I want to remember that our kitchen/dining area is the hub of the house and unfortunately the island bench is the dumping ground for all sundry items, which really annoys me.
 I want to remember that although we live in a suburb of NZ's largest city, there are so many pockets of bush and trees around. Love it here.
 I want to remember that I'm thankful to live by a beautiful beach, even when it's spitting with rain like it was this morning.

 I want to remember that Shelby has her own set of medical issues and I'm thankful she's still with us. Here she is having her medication.
I want to remember my routine of the main grocery shopping on Saturday mornings.
 I want to remember how hard he works for us. He has a big dream.
 I want to remember how I've been trying to amend our eating to 'real' food. We're probably about 80/20.
 I want to remember how much I love looking for shadow and reflection photo ops!
 I want to remember the love we all have for Shelby and when he's feeling ill like he was today (horrible head cold), he spends more time with her:)
 I also want to remember how both of my kids like to wear PJ pants at home...

I want to remember her beautiful hair and the care she takes of it. It's pretty much a mission to even brush it all.

 And of course the love she has for Shelby too. Here it's goodbye as she goes off to a babysitting job.
And lastly, I want to remember our date night. We went to see The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I really enjoyed the movie and an evening out.

You can read more about Week in the Life here and see my other posts relating to this year here.
Thanks for stopping by. Donna xx

Week in the Life | Thursday Photos and Words

Friday, August 21, 2015

As I write this, it is Friday morning. I can't believe the week is vanishing before my eyes. I had a moment of panic while in the shower, about the work I have to get completed by the end of the month. My WITL album may have to go on hold. I was probably way too ambitious thinking I'd get it completed next week.

At least I have photos to prove there was a life in the days that seem like a fleeting moment now.

Here are the photos and words for yesterday. I tried to choose different things to record, or ways to record them, than the previous 3 days.
My deal with Anna is that on weekdays I cook her breakfast so she has enough time to get ready. Also, I know she's eating properly and starting her day well. 


 If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen me post this yesterday. This is more like an after school thing but this morning he wanted to show me things on You Tube. I'll be writing a lot about this. This photo is so valuable to me because it tells a story of so much time spent this way with Nicholas and seeing some things which have inspired me in my own work and vision.

A quiet moment before school. I know to leave him alone. 
She had a guitar lesson at school today. I'm so pleased she's kept these up.


This was the only photo I took on my morning walk today. I feel I've covered that enough other days, but the chaos of vehicles/rubbish day in my street was worth recording. There's building going on next door, behind us and over the road. Am pretty much over the noise and being blocked in my driveway! 

My daffodils are out! Very welcome signs of spring. I have 3 pots of them this year. Love, love love these.
A quick trip to pick up some food and choose one lot of flowers to add to my vase.

Every school day I spend time planning, thinking, writing notes, browsing social media on my phone or reading while I wait for the kids after school.
 She knows when it's her meal time and I'd better not keep her waiting!
 I spent a bit of time wandering around the house in the evening. Hubby was away for the night working. This photo represents N's room behind the closed door.
 Although we have a sea view by day, I always love coming upstairs to our bedroom and seeing the twinkling lights.
 These two. Having a play wrestle and cuddle. Everyday event!
Then later back to where she spends most of her time at the moment. Bogged down in homework and exam study.

And that was Thursday. A mix of iPhone and DSLR. There's a lot of grainy photos for Thursday but I'm good with that. I concentrated on early morning and evening.

Thanks for stopping by:)

You can read more about Week in the Life here and see my other posts relating to this year here.

Week in the Life | Process 2

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I feel so excited by this project. Excited to get up and take photos each day. Excited to think about how to record my stories. Excited about the design process. Not so excited about other work that I have to do that's stopping me spending all my time on this... And excited to be sharing here each day. It's keeping me on some sort of track. I'm not sure if I'm inspiring or helping any of you? I'd love to know if you have any questions. Recording things on my blog is a great way for me to keep a record of my process and somewhere to place my thoughts.

Well, today's plan is to show you the design of some pages for my album. People have asked me about my process. Do you really want to know what goes on inside my head? There's a lot of noise in there at times! I plan by thinking first. Sometimes too much thinking but that's me.

I upload all my photos from my DSLR and phone to our main computer at least once a day during WITL and I've saved them in a special folder for now so I don't have to wade through other August photos. My album is in some sort of order so I have a rough idea how many photos I want to use and I single out the good ones.

Next consideration is - what stories do I want to tell? What was worthy of recording on the day? For Monday, I want to talk briefly about the project and cover a little about our day. Kids at school, my routine, and because it turned out to be not such a regular day for my husband, to include why. We also had a specialist appointment in the evening for my son and I want to reserve space to get down my thoughts about that right now.

I realised that some of the journaling was going to need to be written on photos and that I needed to bring in 1 extra page to fit things in. I usually sketch out roughly where I'll place things.

Next step is to edit the photos.  I tweak lighting a bit in PSE and size the photos. Next is where I decide about adding digital elements. This can all take some time as I add and subtract until I feel it will be visually clean and balanced. Then it's off to get my photos printed. I don't print photos at home.

At the start of this project I was going to add some other embellishments and elements. As I've worked away at Mon and Tue photos, I'm not 100% sure but will probably add some little elements and some of my own handwriting.
Here's the first few pages. I haven't completed my journaling yet and still trying to get the first 2 days right, but I feel I have made progress.

Products used:
Becky Higgins Project Life 6x8 album, Page Protectors and cards
Digital Stamps from Ali EdwardsLove Day Seed

Thanks for stopping by, Donna xx

Week in the Life | Day 1 Photo Process

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

If I'm honest, I'll admit I was a little disappointed with some days of photos in my WITL last year. I felt it took me until nearly the weekend to get into gear.

One of the problems is that I felt it was a blah week for me overall. The other was teens who were busy with exams or study and very uninterested in having their photos taken.

This was probably the catalyst for me to start thinking up other creative ways to fill my pages, take better self photos and record them without photos.

After writing a class for BPC on Self-Portraits, I also resolved to take a better selection of photos this year. But planning and doing are two different things.

The other consideration is how I want to actually record WITL this year. I feel I've covered the mundane everyday details in other WITL and DITL and Project Life pages. When I read Ali's blog post about capturing the essence of each family member, this reinforced the direction I wanted to take. Of course, I also want to record everyday life, but I think having intentions up front helps to direct the photos to take and the stories to write. That was the plan anyway...

DAY 1- MONDAY
I remembered to capture the morning pre-sunrise when I got up. Stoked at that! Actually during my morning especially, I took quite a few photos that I'm happy with and  in the afternoon I managed to get a couple with my son! He hopped in the car and started telling me about his day, then seeing I had my phone out said :NO photos", but when I said I needed one for WITL he said "Okay"!! I'm going to write some thoughts about him in my journaling using these photos.

These are just a few of what I took in the morning. (a mix of iPhone and DSLR). Some not perfectly composed or in focus but this is a week for reality photos and a bit of cropping will fix some of that.
I'll be back with some thoughts on my design process next and how I'll pull my first pages together quickly but with the end in mind.

Thanks for stopping by:)
 
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