Before the beginning of the year, we were given some details about what to prepare, printables to download, there were also kits to be purchased.
If I wanted, I could get most of the recommended (or similar) stuff here in my country, but I ran into trouble with the binders. We have either two- or four-ring binders here and I really wanted the recommended three-ring binder because they are more convenient for this style of journalling. In the end, I ordered the only one I was able to find from Paperchase in the UK. It's A5 size and it doesn't have kraft covers but that can be fixed as I plan to decorate the covers later.
I saw people in the Facebook group preparing the inserts, even decorating them ahead. I only cut my monthly dividers from thicker cardstock according to the size of my binder. And then waited patiently for the project's kick-off.
In the introductory video, we were reminded to READ the texts and the instructions and use it as a springboard, an outline, a starting point. We were introduced to the suggested monthly schedule and assured that all of the features would be explained...
MONTHLY SCHEDULE:At this point, I really felt frustrated - I wanted to start, but I didn't know what the monthly things meant, so I waited.
Week 1: Pocket Art Card (PAC), Monthly divider, Month view calendar, Monthly Theme Challenge, Week View pages
Week 2: PAC, Dare2B™ Card/List/Word
Week 3: PAC, ListTen™ card
Week 4: PAC, Monthly Pocket Picks: unPlanned Favorites™
Week 5: PAC, Community Focus, Featured Artist
How was I to print all the inserts if I didn't know what they'd be used for? I didn't want to end with a bunch of inserts I won't be using. I also wasn't comfortable with the planning aspect of the project... It was all so confusing - even though I READ and re-read all the posts, even made notes. I felt some things were not explained, some things were lost in translation and I found myself improvising most of the time. I'm not saying it's a bad thing but I felt pressured.
During the month, I made some modifications to the project to suit me:
1 - I abandoned the "planner" aspect of the project
I have a daily journal (a Hobonichi Cousin this year) where I do my basic planning and which I use as a daily diary. I don't do art in my diary, it is to vent my thoughts, and it's not for sharing. It's private. It's my own. My precioussss. Having another planner/diary just for the sake of this project seemed a bit redundant. It took me about a week to decide how to deal with it - and came up with a monthly calendar where I plan to mark my weekly/monthly art challenges and perhaps some other thoughts.2 - The weekly prompts
I will use the weekly prompts to create some art. Any art... a journal page, a tag, a PAC... Or nothing at all if I don't like the theme.3 - I adjusted the PAC card and Monthly Pocket Picks concept a bit
I like the concept of creating something small every week - but I'll be combining them with the Monthly Pocket Picks. Because my binder is a bit smaller than regular 6x8 Project Life inserts, I decided to use ATC-sized pocket page protectors. They hold nine cards, so I had to cut them to fit my binder and now they hold four.4 - I redesigned some of the printables and created some of my own
I used to do computer graphic for living once. And still do it as a hobby. So I made my own lists with the layouts I was comfortable with and that suited my own style a bit better.5 - I abandoned the Dare2B™ thing altogether
I don't get it... this concept is not working for me. It was lost in translation for me. What was I supposed to write about? What was the point of it? Why was it introduced in the 2nd week when it's supposed to be a monthly thing? I tried and I gave up. In the end, I decided to pick a "BE something" word of the month and do a journal page or a tag about it.
I'm not saying I will stick to this concept for the whole year. My mind is open...
Going Out on a Limb: Trying Something New
I will be decorating the monthly dividers with the monthly theme:
Prompt: Incorporate 16 into your art
I had this spare "Merry Christmas" card so I decided to use it and create a "Happy New Year" piece on the back.
(it says "Merry Christmas" in Czech)
I chose to use the same technique for it, only a different colour scheme. It is one of my favourite go-to techniques of creating washi-tape backgrounds.
I cut holes to the tag to be able to add it to my binder.
Prompt: Choose a Quote and Cover All but One Word
I painted this on the back of the January divider.
I glued down a quote printed on a piece of deli paper and added some colour and stencilled some clouds.
Prompt: Use Text from a Flyer or Magazine
list TEN™ Card: List 10 Books that Changed Your Life
I have a box full of quotes and phrases from magazines. So the most difficult task was to find some suitable ones.
I made my own List 10 layout and changed the prompt a bit. I can't think of a book that "changed" my life - I do have favourite books but none life-changing. I'm a book-worm and I usually read book series - some have over 10 books - so I chose to list 10 of my favourite series. And I feel bad I had to leave some out (I can't believe I forgot to list the Dune novels).
Prompt: Add a piece of a receipt from your week
Monthly Pocket Picks: unPlanned Favorites
I didn't have a receipt I could use. Most are printed on the thermo-paper and the print fades with time. So I collaged some prints from my stash that had numbers on them.
Then I covered it with paint and added some stamping and doodling.
Monthly Pocket Picks are supposed to be memorabilia collected during the month - photos, words, tags, tickets, receipts... I modified this concept a bit and made a small project-life-like layout to add to my binder.
Prompt: Ask someone to draw or mark on your card then finish
I didn't have anyone to mark my card, so I gave up on this week's prompt and focused on finishing the pocket cards I had in my binder.
There is a short flip-through video on my Instagram.
The first month was a bit confusing. I was constantly trying to find a balance between what (I thought) this project was supposed to be about and what I was comfortable with.