Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



in the spotlight – annette spaniel


We just love introducing you to each member of our creative team so you can learn more about them, their process, and their story! Today we’re sharing more from Annette Spaniel!

Annette, how long have you been using Project Life® to document? 

I started using Project Life in January of 2012. This year, 2014, is my third year of using this system and these products to document our days.

How do you use Project Life?

I usually document one week per two-page spread. On occasion it will be two weeks. Most weeks are everyday happenings, though some may be focused on one specific event. Our album is definitely a family album. Naturally a lot of it is from my perspective; however, Randy takes photos when he and Lance are out and about or away for a weekend. He takes photos at work to share what he’s involved in with Lance. They both save things to go into the albums. We include school work from Lance, and Lance will occasionally add in his thoughts on an event or topic.

How often and where do you print your photos?

I print my photos weekly at the neighborhood Walgreens. They’ve gotten to know us after over two years! I’m picky about my photographs looking just like they do on my computer screen. At our Walgreens, they “lighten” them one time for me and they come out perfectly.

How do you organize your photos and supplies? 

At the end of each week I upload photos from my phone and camera onto the computer. My photos are organized in folders by year. Within the year are month folders and within the month they are organized by week. Since I like to work from one kit generally, I’ve kept all my kits in their original boxes. I keep my page protectors in a 12×12 album, separated by type with Project Life dividers. It works out great.

What are some of your tried and true tips for Project Life success?  

  • I think one of the best things I do is keep our current album out and open. It is something we see and pass by every day. It’s there to remind us of the goodness in the little things. It’s us and our days reflected back to us in such a beautiful way.
  • I jot down notes and thoughts during the week, either directly on a Project Life card or on a piece of scratch paper. I’ll transfer the thoughts from scratch paper at the end of the week onto Project Life cards. It helps me to write things down during the week because by next week, I’ll surely forget it — even those things I thought I’d never forget!
  • For me, I usually work with one kit. Since the designers have done such an amazing job, I don’t have to think about it and the end result looks great.
  • I’ve learned not to over think it. Some weeks are naturally going to look better, flow more beautifully or tell more of your story than others. It’s all good. It’s not an individual week that will matter; it’s the sum of your parts. And it will be amazing. It will be treasured.

Inspiration from Annette


Layout from Annette’s 2012 album featuring the Cobalt Edition … still one of her favorites!


Layout featuring the Cobalt Edition. Both pages are Design A with hand stitching on a few of the 4×6 pockets.


Layout from Annette’s 2013 album featuring the Seafoam Edition. Right page is Design F. Both pages also include 3×4 Grid Cards.


Another page from her 2013 album featuring the Sunshine Edition and 3×4 Grid Cards.


Her son Lance made Rainbow Loom bracelets for Valentine’s Day this year and wrapped them around Project Life cards for sharing. Cards shown are from the Kraft, Honey, Jade, Midnight, and Sunshine Editions.


These pages are also from Annette’s 2013 album featuring a 2-page spread using Design A and two Design H inserts. She lost her mom in February of last year and didn’t pick up her camera once during the difficult days in the hospital and week following her passing. As they prepared for her mother’s funeral, she and her brother scanned hundreds of photos from over her mother’s lifetime to create a video to share with those who attended. In Annette’s words:

I found it healing looking through those old photographs, seeing her happy. So I printed 30+ of my favorite of those photographs, slipped them into Project Life pages along with part of her favorite scripture verse (that I read at her funeral) and the cover of the funeral program. I adore these pages.


Can we talk about how fantastic these lunchbox notes are? Annette wins mother of the year for the darling notes she puts in Lance’s lunchbox everyday. Cards shown are from the HoneyJadeMidnight, Sunshine, Cobalt, and Seafoam Editions.


11 Responses

  1. Maureen says:

    Ok… Only two more weeks of school left!! But two BIG ones for my beautiful, busy 8 th grader with demanding finals and projects and fun 8 th grade celebrations all mixed in each of the last 10 days so will send these notes of encouragement in her snack!!!

  2. I LOVE the lunch note idea! <3 Wonderful pages :)

  3. Jenny B. says:

    Love it all! I started following Annette’s blog this year, and I really enjoy seeing her Project Life pages and fun uses for the journaling cards! :)

  4. Natasha says:

    To me, this is one of your most inspiring blog posts (and I think they are all AWESOME) ever! This is a true reminder of what it important to capture in life and how your products can help us maintain those wonderful memories of our relationships with others. Annette obviously has a HUGE heart because her albums and the thoughtful actions of her son (Valentine Bracelets for Everyone) reflect that. Wow! Love this post and found it so inspiring! Yay for the people who use one kit!!

  5. Shannon P. says:

    I love this post! So many good ideas. I’m so sorry for Annette’s loss. She has inspired me to take more photos of/with my mom.

  6. Nichole says:

    Love the lunch box notes! What a fantastic little idea. Anyone who says that they have no use for project life cards is just not thinking outside the box!