project life | starting owen's baby album

For someone who never scrapbooked (like, ever), I'm pretty devoted to documenting my kids' first years with paper and printed photos. I discovered Project Life right before Ben was born in 2011 and I've been doing some version of it ever since.

Our second son, Owen, is six weeks old now, and I've got photos edited and printed for our time in the hospital, his birth and his first month. My plan is to document on a monthly (rather than weekly) basis. I don't have the time to select and edit photos each week, and I find I actually enjoy designing layouts for groups of photos and events. I'm trying to keep it loose.

We'll see how that goes.

I may add a 12x12 title page for the album when it's all done, but for now here's what I have: a simple 8.5x11 inch insert with a large photo and a caption of his name and birth details. The photo is just an 8x10 I trimmed to fit.

On the back of the insert, I included Owen's birth story which faces a page with photos from Owen's birthday, naturally :) You can read more about the journaling for this album HERE.

Here's the close-up of the right side. I love that the rows are basically chronological. The top row has photos from the actual labor, both at home and in the hospital. The middle row has a picture of Nick cutting the cord, and Owen having his height and weight checked. And the photos in the bottom row were taken in the hour after his birth.

The whole experience from that day is documented in this one layout in both photos and words. I love that about this project. I may someday do a big photobook with gazillion pictures, but for now I really like having a "snapshot" of the day.

I included a couple of journaling cards in this "birth" section which detail each day we spent in the hospital. The "Sunday" and "Monday" text (shown below) are both from words + letters no. 1.

Here's the next layout as you turn the page.

The left side documents our second day in the hospital. So much happened that day, but again, I kept it to just this page. I could have printed a million pictures, but I think sometimes the story can get lost in a sea of photos.

So I picked my favorite moments to document: Ben meeting Owen for the first time, Owen's first bath (at 2:00 in the morning - so random) and deciding on a name. One of us snapped a pic of my friend Courtney holding a hat full of names.

We were literally drawing baby names out of a baby hat. The "Monday" journaling card has a bunch things Owen did that day and the other card has the story of his name.

The right side of this layout is another 8.5x11 title page insert. This time it's the title page for the month of April. I included the name of the month and a little journaling.

On the flip side of the April title page is the first full April layout. This is where I've put the major journaling page with details about the month. The right side is a collage with a bunch of random photos from the month. I love this format as an overview and I'll continue to do some version of it for each month this year. Subsequent layouts for April will include more detail, more photos, etc., but I like how this is starting with a kind of big picture view of the month.

Here's a close-up of the right side. I put this 12x12 collage in Photoshop using press plate no. 37 from Paislee Press.

Well see how this format works for the album. I'm liking it so far, and now that I've made some basic font, design and layout choices, things should come together more quickly for the rest of the months. There are several additional layouts from the month of April, which I'll share in the next couple of weeks.

One thing I love about doing something like Project Life as opposed to one big photobook for the year is that we get to instantly begin reliving some of these memories. I adore these photos from the first few days and weeks with Owen.

So much happened then and he's already changed dramatically. As I showed the pages to my husband last night, we were already reminiscing about "how tiny he was" and the kid is only six weeks old! It feels good to get started and get these things documented while they're as fresh in my head as they'll ever be.

Products I used: Sunday and Monday text from words + letters no. 1 / journaling cards from the Project Life Midnight Edition and Baby Edition / handwritten text from Paislee Press month at a glance template and pictures + words no. 9 / 12x12 collage is Paislee Press pressplate no. 37 / pocket pages are Project Life Design A