2012 Projects – The Savor Project – The Original Plan

Edited to ADD: I changed this project around a bit since this post. You can see my actual 2012 plan here.

During the month of December, I tend to focus on choosing projects for the next year. I’ve been doing this for a few years and it’s been helpful in keeping me focused and centered throughout the year. Throughout the next few weeks, I will share those projects with you and once 2012 starts, I will be tracking them on the blog regularly.

I’m not tied to these projects and over the years, I’ve wandered away from some of them and finished others. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t end up doing them for the full year. They are meant to be guides. Last year, I gave up on the six portraits a week project after a few weeks but then picked up two new projects which were the weeklong art journals and the daily sketching. So all in all, I ended up doing a lot more art than the one project I dropped.

As you will see, many of my projects this year are ones I’ve had last year or even the year before. If something is working (and working well) I like to keep doing it until I’ve either mastered it or I’m bored of it. I do, however, have a few new projects this year. One of them is what I am calling The Savor Project (in honor of my one little word for 2012.)

One of the things I like to do is to test out my projects before I commit to them for a whole year. My first hope was to do a Remains of the Day journal for the full year. After doing one for December, I decided it was too painful. I also originally meant for this project to be collage-related. But, as I started working on it, it morphed into something else and I am very happy with it. I might end up doing a completely separate collage project, too, but The Savor Project is not that.

So here’s what it is. I bought a Moleskine Sketchbook and altered the cover.

I want to take the time for a side-note here. I actually did this a few weeks after I started using the book. It’s always a challenge for me to cover these for some reason and what I ended up with was after quite a few other layers. I got frustrated and dismayed quite a few times. Then I reminded myself that this would likely end up being one of four (or even more) books I would have for this project in 2012 and this particular one’s cover wasn’t nearly as big a deal as I was making it. To be honest, none of the covers matter. Sure, it’s nice to have a pretty cover but, as with most things, it’s what’s inside that counts. So I just gave up fighting with it and let it go.

With that, here’s what I ended up creating:

I used the image of a clock because savoring is all about savoring my time. Reminding me that time is precious and should be spent on what’s most valuable for me. On the side, I dangled a few crystals and a word from Tim Holtz. Reminding myself to Breathe. I could use that reminder more often.

And here’s the back:

Not my favorite, but we’re letting that go.

So let’s talk about what goes inside. The idea is to create something that’s sort of an amalgamation of Project Life and December Daily. I did Project Life a few years ago and really struggled to keep up with it. Because I already process and post photos here weekly, it felt uneventful and like a chore to have to print them all out and do it again each week for my book. However, I liked the idea of keeping the odds and ends of ephemera that come into our life. I wanted something more creative and the setup I use for December Daily seemed ideal to me. My plan is to create a minimum of four pages a week with photos, stories, ephemera from that week. If I do more, great. But there’s no pressure. For now I am using my Polaroid Printer for all the photos. It’s crappy but quick and convenient. And quality is not my number one concern for this book.

Here are a few sample pages I made in November to illustrate:

Here’s a simple spread from November four. The goal is to tell stories:

That page of journaling comes out and you can read more:

Here’s one from November 7:

And here’s one from November 8:

This one is quite involved as the left page flaps down to tell one more story:

And the right side has a top flap and a tag that comes out from the side and the heart is a journaling tag that also comes out:

this is an extreme example and most of my pages are simpler but it does show how far a spread can be taken:

and here’s an example with ephemera. My jury duty papers:

and our safeway (grocery) receipt from that week:

Those are just some of the pages I’ve done in November. I am guessing that I will take a break during December since I will be doing the December Daily and then resume again in January. So I will share the rest of my November pages with you then and continue to share throughout the year.

This project looks a lot more involved than it is. What I do is sit and prep a bunch of empty pages once a week. Usually takes me about an hour or so. And then I print photos throughout the week when I know I want to tell the stories behind them. Here are some sample prep pages I made and photos I printed:

Then, once a week or so, I sit and match the photos with the pages and write down the stories. I generally add the date and maybe a title. That’s it. If I am really inspired I might add an embellishment. But I don’t mind if it’s super-simple. I then tape the finished page to the Moleskine and I am done! Doing a week’s worth of photos takes me about an hour. (Sometimes two if I get carried away and have too much fun.)

One side note, I generally pick the smaller moments to put in this book. If it’s a big moment or some trend, I save those for my scrap pages. I imagine there will be a few occasions where a story goes here and in a layout but I don’t envision a huge overlap.

The reason this is called The Savor Project is because I choose to write longer stories about little moments in my day where I am filled with gratitude. I think savoring life is all about paying attention to those moments more and more. The greatest thing about this project is that I appreciate my daily life, my simple moments, the “ordinariness” of my life that much more. I cherish these moments more. I am more thankful and aware of everything I have. I get to appreciate my kids, our life, right now. It’s like getting to look back up on the “good old days” while they are still happening. It increases awareness, gratitude, and joy.

Since I process my photos daily, I get to savor the moments as they happen, once again as I process the photos and then a third time when I am putting them in my book. That’s a lot of gratitude!

23 comments to 2012 Projects – The Savor Project – The Original Plan

  • Karen, this is a wonderful idea and I LOVE what you’ve created so far! Thanks for sharing this!

  • This is a great idea. The Nov 8 page is very inspiring in all of the flaps you’ve used. Love that idea for in my scrapbooking, actually. 🙂 Here’s hoping for much success on this project for you!

  • Beautiful project and book… more and more, I’m seeing scrappers “do their thing” in an art journaly kind of form… I feel like it’s one in the same… and wanting to jump in myself, but not sure if it’s asking for too me. Obviously, I have issues with order and defining/compartmentalizing things. Even though no one would notice, I feel odd scrapping in a journal daily, but then scrapping regular pages in an album. I dunno…hmm! Sorry for the babble – I love your scrap art journal – it’s a beautiful mix and I think it reflects the whole of what many of us like to do – in terms of pretty paper, journaling, a bit of art mixed in, etc!

  • I love, it’s a beautiful project

  • Emie

    Wonderful project and I love the fact that you’ve taken several ideas and melded them into something that fits your style. Wondering about the POGO printer your using… have you found it easy to use? I’m after something quick and easy…..
    Thanks for sharing, Emie

  • This is absolutely amazing!! I want to try one now too! I love all the flaps & inserts. I really want to do something like this now. I currently have a few projects going, but I think I’m going to try to create a page inspired by your project 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

  • Just recently stumbled onto your blog and love it.

  • dawn

    WOW WOW Karen, you did a great job on these. I love this idea and it does resemble a collage art journal to me. You amaze me that you had time for this and added another project to your already full schedule. Seriously loving it!!

  • Bec Kilgore

    I am looking forward to following your progress. I am always amazed at all you accomplish. I am taking your Time course again at BPCs.

  • Two questions today: why did you say the Remains of the Day Journal was too painful, and what punch did you use for the edge of the blue paper in the first layout (kind of scallopy)? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Angie Menegay

    LOVE LOVE the book. I might have to steal this idea from you :). And it only takes you an hour or so to put together the empty pages???? You’re a creative assembly machine!!! Thanks for sharing the fact that you didn’t do the cover until a few pages in. It helps make your project a lot more “real” and we, mortals, can relate :).

  • Nikki

    I love this idea…but I have a question, do you think because you work from home and your kids are around you sooooo much of the time that helps with content? I go to the office do the humdrum by the time I get home the kids are tired, its dark, they dont really want to do much ‘playing’. Its all a bit monotonous (which dont get me wrong I am glad we dont have major traumas or major highs to contend with) and seems a bit dull to fill everyday with. The december daily feels different as there is so much EXTRA to cram into the month….

    • karenika

      I’ve been thinking about this sine you asked Nikki and I don’t know the answer for sure but I can tell you that I don’t take many pictures during the “work day”. I take most of the kids photos in the afternoon or on the weekends. And our lives are really ordinary. But with little ones there seem to be stories to tell all the time. I’ve never done this before so maybe I will run out, but i hope not!!

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