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Project Life - Oh how I love thee.... - by Sian Barnard

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Project Life has allowed me to get the images into an album together with the stories

Hi!! It is Sian here and I have the pleasure of working with Mye this year as a member of her hybrid pocket scrapbooking Creative Team - AKA Project Life... This is my first creative team position and as such my first ever guest blogging spot and I have to say that I am a little nervous!?!? But I am going to be writing about something very close to my heart so you will have to excuse my passion if I get a little carried away.

Photos have always been important to me but never more than from when my daughter was born, and I decided to dabble in world of scrapbooking so as to preserve and record her life for all involved.  Fast forward 7 years and her album is very much incomplete with a scattering of pages recording different moments over the years.  I have also experienced a yearning over the years to record more of my own story.  But I simply found both projects totally overwhelming...  Photos are still very much a part of my daily life and for me are the keepers of our lives, our memories and our treasured moments - big, little, good and/or bad.  One image can spark a world of memories and emotions - they are the lid to the Pandora's Box that is our life.  But I stumbled on a new idea and system for recording our lives - Project Life and pocket scrapbooking.  I umm'd and ahh'd for about 6 months as the products were not readily available, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give it a go.

My Project Life journey started last year, and I am proud to say that my first year of this amazing project was a massive success!! It was a year of firsts, with the obvious one being my first year of doing Project Life and entering the world of pocket scrapbooking.  It was also my first time working digitally and learning to use Photoshop.  But perhaps the most awesome first was that it was the first time ever that I have managed to complete a project of this type and do so for the entire year!!! Having tried and failed in such projects as Project365, I still look at my 2013 album with amazement and am so proud that I did it...

So it is with this sense of achievement and success that I embarked on 2014.  I have never stopped enjoying this journey, and continue to enjoy it more and more with each week completed and each memory captured.  This year I have decided to work a little differently, and have gone hybrid!! Doing so has allowed me to enjoy some of the more tactile elements of traditional scrapbooking, while continuing to work digitally and embracing everything I learned last year.  Not to mention that I have both a physical and digital collection of papers, elements, embellishments, and other delicious goodies demanding to be used.  Hybrid let's me at least attempt such an undertaking...  This year also saw me accepted onto Mye's Creative Team after using and admiring her products for the past 12 months.  This was and continues to be a huge honour!!

So why do I love this journey called Project Life????

First and foremost, I love capturing the memories, moments and stories of my life - big and small!! I have always loved photography - studying it both at school and through various other classes but the photos have always remained stuck on the computer or in little paper envelopes back in the pre-digital days (yes I am that old!?!?!?).  Project Life has allowed me to get the images into an album together with the stories!! It has improved my photography skills as I have been challenged to think outside the square and view the everyday from new and different perspectives.

And this is perhaps one of the main reasons I love it - it is a celebration of the EVERYDAY!! No longer are just the big celebrations, moments and/or the perfect images the only things that make it onto the page!! Anything and everything is in the running for recording moments that should be remembered - be it a grocery docket, a delicious dessert, my daughter's missing teeth or hairstyle for school, or a pair of chooks won at the local club in the meat raffle - forever known as the 'naked ladies' who starred in my pages for Week 17!!! With our world changing at an ever rapid rate, I think it is important that we record the small moments and stories of our lives for ourselves, our children and future generations yet to come.  I know I wish that my grandmother and mother had completed such a journey, as imagine the stories that would have been recorded and told, and the changes we would be able to witness, enjoy and appreciate....

Furthermore, there is a sense of gratitude that comes with seeing the 'everydayness' of our lives as art and worthy of preserving.  The camera is not shelved until the family gathering, party or outing, but is at the ready all the time. Life is celebrated in all of its glory!!  This sense of glory and gratitude fostered by Project Life was encapsulated by my daughter just the other night as we were looking back through my 2013 album when out of the blue she commented: 'You know Mummy I have a really good life! So do you!!'.

What more do I need to say????

You can learn more about my Project Life journey and views my pages at http://sianbarnard.weebly.com/