Project Life

I remember sitting on the floor with an enormous scrapbook - as wide as my cross-legged lap.  I slowly opened the cover, the thin protective tissue page crackling as I did.  Turning those stiff pages, I was greeted with aged newspaper clippings, half torn dance tickets, sepia-toned pictures of children I couldn't recognize, and flattened ribbons.

This was my mother's life before me.

I was absolutely fascinated by the idea.

Here was a article she had cut from the local newspaper about a win by the college baseball team.  Near the bottom, she had highlighted a single name - my dad's.  I would try to picture her in her bedroom with the pair of scissors, carefully cutting around the words while she pined after my father.  And here was a photo of them when her hair was long and he was wearing bell bottoms.

There was that old scrapbook and some picture albums and a box filled to the brim without any order with keepsakes from my mom's childhood.  I sifted through it like a gold prospector, rippling with excitement when I uncovered something exciting - a note with my mom's childish handwriting or a photo of her in a fringy dance costume with her hair set in curls.

I realized recently that it has been with an eye toward my own future children that I have documented much of my life.  I have imagined them cracking open a page of the journal I got for my 8th birthday and reading about my elementary school tribulations.  I have smiled at the thought of tiny little hands pouring through photographs and trying to see the people in the pictures in the women (so mom-like and unexciting) who feed them dinner.

Narcissistic perhaps, but it's born out of remembrance of my own childish joy.

Of course now with digital cameras, I don't have pictures around much.  Perhaps my child would be happy to simply scroll through them on the computer, but what if they want to sit on the floor with a scrapbook as big as their whole lap?

So these are the memories and the thoughts that have me hovering my cursor over the Add to Cart button on the Project Life website.  I've actually never been as scrapbooker myself.  I've kept a thousand journals and put together some photo albums, but once scrapbooking really became I think I was overwhelmed by all the work it took to create one single page.  My little perfectionist soul could never complete one.

But when I began reading Elise Blaha Cripe's website and watching her joyful documentation of her own life through Project Life, I started feeling the tug.  

From Elise Blaha Cripe

This was not just putting together a scrapbook of special occasions and life events - this was scrapbooking perfect for a child looking back on their mother's life - this was documenting the every day, the week.  A child could look back through this book and say this is what my parents looked like.  This is what they wore.  This is what they ate for dinner. 

And of course, I could look back later and say the same thing about the earlier versions of us.  Remember that year?  Look at what we were wearing then!  Remember how we used to eat that all the time?  Remember when we started planning that?

The set up with a binder with removable photo pocket pages looks to me like it would be easy to fill - just print out your photos, cut your memorabilia down to size, journal on a little piece of paper and Bam.  You've got a week.

Of course, that requires having lots of supplies around, which I'm a little wary of since I've got boxes and boxes of supplies for projects that I've never completed.  Some I haven't even started!

So I keep holding off because I don't want to set myself up with another project when I have so many waiting in the wings.  And I'm worried about adding something to my plate that will take away time from my writing. 

But still there's the tug.

Of course, after all this fantasizing about wee little handles on my photos, I'll probably have a couple kids who care diddly about old stuff and just want their dinner.

What projects are tugging at your heart?