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Finished! – My 52 Week Project

No matter how much I’ve tried, I have abandoned every 365, 52 week, Project Life I’ve started. I could never make it beyond week 6!  Until NOW!

I am so proud to share with you a very special project that I started about this time last year. I was inspired by Jodi at Practicing Simplicity. I failed miserably at posting to the Linky every week but I stayed at it and caught up when I could. This project was intensely personal. “The days are long but the years are short.” My oldest is now 5 and every time I look at her I am lost in her beauty and wishing that she could stay just as she is. I’ve learned that the moments that I remember are those which I’ve captured on camera. This project is my way of keeping all these memories of both my children vivid in my mind.

This project is also meaningful to me because it helps me in letting go of perfection. The disappointment of a blurry picture, realizing that I’ve missed a week, inability of narrowing down to just one picture, finding just the right layout, committing to start building the book, consistency in processing the photos, picking the right printer, and I could go on and on. I committed. I did it. It’s printed and here it is…

Notes about the project
  1. Most of the pictures were shot with my dSLR but part of embracing the perfectly imperfect involved learning to rely on my iPhone camera and building a workflow for iphone pictures.
  2. I took 99.999% of the photos and am grateful to all the family members who contributed to a shared PhotoStream which allowed me to fill in some weeks when I was traveling.
  3. Lightroom is at the core of my workflow process. Knowing that I would struggle with staying committed to a year long project, I tried to keep it as simple as possible by laying out a Blurb book directly within Lightroom. I used the built in templates and set some design principles to allow me to stay consistent all year long. I kept it to one photo per page, captions that  simply included the week number, and unless it totally took away from the picture -square cropping.
  4. I prioritized making sure that I had each week covered first then did batch layout. That helped me stay consistent and allowed for a more efficient workflow. I created a Lightroom collection for the project and simply tagged pictures as I went along.
  5. The hardest part of this project was figuring out what week I was in. I had to write out week ranges for each week to help me figure out where  pictures fell. This year I’m using a cheap calendar to keep track of the week numbers and whether I got the shot.
  6. I really did try to keep up on this website on join the Linky party on Jodi’s website. In the end, I decided that I was doing this for my kids and what really mattered was getting through the picture capture. In the end, I printed two copies of a Blurb 7×7 book and created an iBook version for family and to have on my iPad.

All in all, it wasn’t that hard and looking back I am so glad that I did it. And I’ve already begun 2014.

A New Twist for Calendar-Making Season

I wanted to share with you my favorite holiday project this season. It’s a new twist on calendar making that’s simple, really inexpensive, and will knock the socks off anyone you gift it to.  (Even my husband was impressed!)

I discovered this outstanding new new iPhone app called Waterlogue. Waterlogue converts any photo into a water painting. Let me rephrase – a stunning water painting! For $20, I bought the app on the iTunes App Store, bought and downloaded the PhotoShop template from Paislee Press 2014 4×6 calendar template, and printed 6 sets at Costco. I can’t wait to share this with my family and see their reactions.

Here’s the original iPhone photo

Here’s the Waterlogue conversion

The photo in the 4 x 6 calendar template

All of the photos I used for this project

 

 

Tips

  • Waterlogue has different filters you can use for different effects. I stuck to the Natural and Bold filters for the more natural looks.
  • Like traditional water color paintings, images with fine details like faces won’t work as well as landscapes. I found pictures where the kids were not staring directly at the camera worked the best.
  • Don’t be afraid to repurpose those blurred pictures! As you can see from my sample picture, Waterlogue captures emotions not details.
  • You can also use Waterlogue with some of your traditional images taken with cameras other than your iPhone. Here was the workflow I used:
    • From Lightroom, resize (5×7) and export to JPG image
    • Email image to myself
    • On iPhone download the image to Photostream
    • Import into Waterlogue from Photostream
  • To create the calendar images I used the Paislee Press 4×6 calendar template in Photoshop, imported my Waterlogue images from my Photostream into Lightroom, and brought the images into Photoshop. The whole project took me about 2 hours.
  • Ideally I wanted to print the calendar files onto watercolor paper but I haven’t found 4×6 precut stock (I’m not very good with a paper trimmer). I ended up printed the photos on Lustre paper at Costco to try to capture the same look. If anyone knows where I can find watercolor paper that I can put through the inkjet printer please let me know.

 

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