Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



don’t get mad. get the camera!

Several years ago Claire was “helping” me with a little project where we were putting little fuzzy craft ball things in a glass jar for something. I turned around for a second and *CRASH* … which was immediately followed by a gasp from both of us. Claire had bumped the glass jar off the table and … that was that.

A natural tendency of course would be to get upset or frustrated. But I’m an everyday life photo journalist, right? So I instructed Claire to stay put so I could grab a broom and start cleaning up. Within seconds I pulled my camera out and snapped the scene. I got down to the floor level and documented the remnants of glass and fuzz balls all over the floor with Claire still sitting there, still in a state of “Uh-oh,” and very much a part of the picture – and the story. (And then I carefully cleaned up the mess.)

I came across this photo recently and a flood of feelings and memories came rushing through. Photographs are magic, aren’t they? What else is magical is the fact that when we have this constant mindset of “cultivating a good life and recording it,” we are somehow able to feel more patient in frustrating situations and “uh-oh” moments. I have found that instead of reacting negatively in times like this, I am better able to recognize the situation for what it is (an imperfect but beautiful life, a learning experience, whatever you want to call it) … and I am more likely to reach for my camera.

Why would I reach for my camera?

Because this. is. life. This stuff? It’s our story. It is just as much a part of who we are and this journey that we’re on, as the sports competitions, the big dance, and baby’s first steps. Capturing glimpses of the less-than-glamourous times are such a part of what Project Life® is all about. It’s all about documenting the everyday bits + pieces of life … good and bad. Having these types of photos reminds us of the ups and downs and how laughter really can be the best medicine in so many cases.

A couple months ago we were in Flagstaff, Arizona, with some friends – another family + our family. I won’t go into the series of events and how or why our friend’s vehicle got stuck in the mud, in the middle of the forest … but it happened. And we were frustrated. It ended up being a good 10 hours or so that we were out there trying to dig our way out. It got dark. And very cold. And we tried everything without success.

Well … I had a great excuse to really utilize my Hunter boots … and the iPhone in my pocket got some great use, too. I rolled up my sleeves and literally got to digging with my husband and our friend. And I absolutely was documenting the experience along the way. I captured the information, the scene, the details, the textures, the bits and pieces of the story. It was a memorable day. I learned what a winch is. And how to get a truck un-stuck. And how to just call the tow company sooner! And I’m really, really glad we have these pictures.








a fun contest to share

We’re excited to tell you about a contest that we are helping to sponsor with Seeing the Everyday. I’ve shared my love for this publication in the past and was honored to be a part of their Summer 2013 issue. As part of the everyday around us, there are plenty of moments that end up being less than perfect – a little one taking permanent marker to walls, Rainbow Loom bands spilled all over the ground just as you finish organizing them, or bread that doesn’t rise or that burns in the oven. While instances like this often make us want to scream, they are also great to look back on a week later or years down the road. What if, instead of getting mad, you grabbed your camera to document the “ugh” in the moment? Chances are it will make you smile and even laugh once the moment has passed.

That’s where this contest comes in. Our friends at Seeing the Everyday are looking for people to share their “don’t-get-mad-get-the-camera” moments. You can read more about the idea and the details on how + where to enter HERE. Of course there’s some Project Life goodies up for grabs along with chances to win a one-year subscription to Seeing the Everyday. Looking for a bit of inspiration? A couple of our creative team members jumped in to create pages using their own “don’t get mad” photos!


Digital page by Krista Noorman featuring the Slate Edition and Boy Themed Cards. Right page is Design D.

1500JJONESMUD6Pages by Juli Jones featuring the Midnight Edition. Tan Alpha Stickers also shown.


1500JJONESMUD3Pages by Juli Jones featuring the Childhood Mini Kit (Wellington). Top layout shows Design H on left side and Design F on right side. Second layout shows addition of an 8×12 insert on the left side using a 12×12 Page Protector cut down.

1500JJONESSHAVECREAM1Pages by Juli Jones featuring Teen Boy Themed Cards and Childhood Mini Kit (Wellington). Right page is Design G.

1500JJONESSHAVECREAM2Pages by Juli Jones featuring Teen Boy Themed Cards. Left page is Design G and right side shows addition of an 8×12 insert using a 12×12 Page Protector cut down on top of Design N (part of Small Variety Pack 3).

1500JJONESSHAVECREAM4Page by Juli Jones featuring the Kraft Edition. Page is Design N (part of Small Variety Pack 3).


4 Responses

  1. dawn says:

    I remember this Claire story! I love pulling out random pictures at times and remembering those moments. Awesome job getting the pictures of being stuck in the mud, fun to look back on now that your home and safe again. Thanks for this reminder to stay calm and grab the camera!!

  2. Luanna R says:

    I have subscribed to Seeing the Everyday for years now. It is such a beautiful magazine!!! I am going to try to remember to grab the camera in those Uh Oh moments. Sometimes I just stand there and laugh because if I don’t, I will cry. LOL

  3. Looking at all of the photos made me wish that my children were little again. Back when they were I did not own a camera and I had no clue about photo journaling our memories, good bad or indifferent. Good for those of you who are capturing every moment of your lives. I can’t go back but I have been taking photos for the past 10 years and love that I am putting them in my Project Life memory books for my adult children. :) Thanks so much for sharing this post. I loved looking at all of the photos.

    Mary from NH

  4. Vicki M. says:

    Reminds me of a layout I made after my then pre-school daughter wrote on her door–with a sharpie! I was laying down in my room and she kept asking “mommy, how do you spell–ballerina?”. I thought she was writing it down on paper, of course, until I got up a few minutes later and saw her handiwork! Instead of yelling, I grabbed the camera, made her pose like taking a mug shot and later made pages about the “crime”. Still cracks me up. She is 16 now and just shakes her head whenever she sees those pages.

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