How do you keep up with your weekly projects?

I'm often asked this question, so I thought that before I get into the workflow tutorials, I'd share my weekly routine with you. This will give you an idea of what to expect to see on Wednesdays and why I have a routine in the first place.

It all started a couple years ago at a homeschool convention. I had just been diagnosed with ADHD and was attending a class on homeschooling when a parent has ADHD. I was really encouraged by what they had to say. My main takeaway was to develop a routine. You see, having a routine is the only thing that gets things done. It doesn't have to be on a schedule, it just has to done in a certain order. Basically, I thrive on routine and so do my kids, so we try to stick with it as much as possible. Now, not all of our weeks can follow our routine, and I have ways of getting myself back on focus and back on routine and that will be another post another day. For the most part though, we stick to our routine and our week goes smoothly, not just for my weekly project pages, but also for homeschooling and ballet and church activities, etc... I'm hoping that by sharing my routine, it will help to inspire you to "keep up" with your weekly project and not feel like it's too much of a task to "catch up".

Sunday night:
I go through my photos from the week, making sure that everything is downloaded or uploaded to my desktop. This includes photos from my dSLR, my iPhone and Mark's Android. We use the Dropbox app on our phones to get them all in one place which makes it super easy for me to just open that folder and transfer them to my photos folder on my desktop. I also go through my Moleskine weekly calendar/art journal (pictured above) to make sure I have everything filled out for what we did over the week and any quotes I want to add to one of my pockets.

Monday morning:
I open up Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos and then use the print module to prepare my photos to send to Costco for printing. Using Lightroom as shaved off hours of prep time for me and I'll be sharing a tutorial in the future, as well as sharing the templates I use in Lightroom every week. I will also be sharing with you my editing process. I like my photos to be clean and bright and intentionally slightly overexposed for printing purposes. I will share more about doing that and my reasons for doing that in a future tutorial. After, my photos have been saved to file, I upload them to Costco and Mark picks them up that evening.

Tuesday morning:
I cut and trim my photos and put them in their pockets. I then keep my page out on my desk to remind me to finish it so I can put it back in my album.

Tuesday - Thursday:
Between homeschooling, church events, ballet and other activities, I spend the rest of the week filling the pockets with cards or paper.

I use my hybrid print templates freebie to put them all together on one or two sheets to print out. This is where the magic starts for me. I like to blend cards together, add digital paint or use fx styles in Photoshop CS5 to alter the cards and add my own mixed media flare to them. After filling a template I print them out and use my Fiskars paper trimmer to trim them and add them to the pockets. I continue to add them to the pockets until they are filled.

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After I've filled them all with cards, I adhere my photos to them and then walk away for a bit to see what they need. At this time I add paper embellishments or stickers and labels. I go through my stash to see what I have or go I pull out the Silhouette Portrait to do a print and cut of some labels and embellishments.

I then pull out my Becky Higgins Project Life Journaling Pens and start writing and doodling. I usually have a lot to say. Lately I've been bringing my pages as well as my journaling pens with me to ballet and working on them at that time. I find it so very relaxing and fun to doodle on my pages. I generally just write journaling lines and outline flowers and arrows and words I want to highlight on the page. I rarely leave the cards "as-is". It's not that I don't like them "as-is", it's just part of my creative joy.

Lastly, I add dates and titles wherever I feel like it's needed or to fill some empty space. I then go through my 3-D embellishments like enamel dots, wood veneer, flair, etc... and add the finishing touches. I take one last look over it to see if anything else needs to by outlined or scribbled. Once I'm happy, I grab my dSLR, white posterboard and page(s) and head over to the sliding glass door to take my photos. I edit them in Lightroom and then "save for web" in Photoshop and upload to the galleries. This will all be part of my future workflow tutorials too! If I have done my spread for a creative team, then I'll upload to a private photo-sharing site and wait until release day to upload to the galleries.

Additional Notes:
One of the things that helps to speed up the process for me is to have Project Life cards on hand. I have an assortment of some of Becky Higgins' core kits (Jade, Midnight, Sunshine), her mini kits (Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste), Studio Calico Project Life kits, some handmade cards from swaps or gifted to me, assorted brand journal cards, and 12x12 papers I've cut to 4"x6" or 3"x4" sizes. I also like to have 6"x6" paper pads for cutting down to 4"x6" and I save the 2"x6" piece for layering or other projects. I have my cards sorted by color so that it's easier to find a card that matches the digital kits I'm using. I have one bin for 4"x6" cards or patterned paper and one bin for 3"x4" cards. I have a third bin for just black and white cards and and patterned paper that is set aside for use in my wedding album. I love having them separated and find myself using that bin for more than just my wedding album.

I also like to browse Pinterest and the galleries for inspiration or sketches. This helps to get my creative juices flowing too and I have a board for Project Life Inspiration if you want to follow it. I have a Pinterest board just for Project Life inspiration, if you're looking for more inspiration. It's probably my biggest board since there is just so much inspiration out there in the galleries.

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