Project Life: I Caught the Fever!

It’s happened.  It’s no surprise, really.  The funny thing is that it has taken me this long to get started on some sort of album/scrapbook/memory book.  Or maybe it’s not funny at all, considering I’ve been running around after these cunning girls for the past four-and-a-half years.  In any case, I finally caught the fever and it’s the Project Life (or “ProLi” as I like to call it because it amuses me) variety.  It’s marketed as the fast and easy version of scrapbooking but I’ve managed to complicate things already.  You buy a book, filler pages, and a kit of cards and if you’re not me, throw a week’s worth of pictures together in mere minutes.  If you are me, you buy a partial set of cards and then use them as a template and cut pages out of magazines to use as backgrounds and gather materials from all your old projects and spend hours on each week’s layout.

Two of my favorite bloggers have ProLi projects they post about regularly.  Elise Blaha creates very beautiful, modern pages filled with her gorgeous photography.  Her pages feel like meditations.  She has also designed a line of journaling cards for ProLi… No surprise.

And Cameron’s blog Krug the Thinker, proves that ProLi can be done without throwing down a bunch of cash for a kit and its many accessories.  I LOVE that kind of creativity and resourcefulness!

So, based on those two models of excellence, I bought myself an old-school album at my favorite thrift store.

I love these old albums.

$3.99 and I got an extra 30% off because I bought it before noon on a Saturday.  Thanks ACTS!

It came with these photo pages which I’d originally planned on using but have since ditched in favor of the ProLi official pages.  At first I’d thought I could use them both together but my measuring skills were on vacation the day I calculated the pages to be the same size.  Boo.

Old school album pages.  Remember when 3x5 was standard?

Old school album pages. Remember when 3×5 was standard? Neither do I.

So here’s my first attempt at a layout.  I had some great input from my friend Bee, who encouraged me to let myself be scrappy rather than minimalist with this.  Despite loving Elise’s design, I tend to be more of a collector and this layout felt much more me once I’d started cutting and punching and layering.

ProLi.  Week 1.

ProLi. Week 1.

Another piece of it that makes this project time-consuming is the way I work.  This is what happens whenever I try to do a page:

Craft love.

Craft love.  It gets messy.

I even brought out the hair spray!!!

Reader beware! ProLi is highly contagious as is evidenced by M and R’s recent projects:

R's page

R’s page

M's page

M’s page

Before you know it, you may be dreaming about sliding photos and journaling cards into cute little slots in album pages!

Are you journaling or scrap booking? How do you keep up with it? I’m afraid I’ll lose steam with this and abandon it around week 20, which would be ok too.  19 weeks of organized photos is better than what I’ve got now.


Mr. Cartigan Assures Me That This Is Cute

The Clip Collection

The Clip Collection

Mr. Cartigan called me over to the bathroom with that something-very-cute-has-happened-and-as-a-parent-you-need-to-see-it tone of voice.  When I peeked, I saw the vignette pictured above.

“Oh.” I said flatly. “Is that cute?” I’d seen it earlier and all I could think was ‘Thanks a lot girls, for another random mess for me to sort out.  As if I didn’t have anything else to do.  Or five other piles of little things you’ve collected from other parts of the house and then left.  I can’t wait to re-sort your clip collection.’

“It’s totally cute!” he assured me.

“Huh…  Really?”  I’d seen the girls hovering over this collection earlier, working on it together very congenially.


“…Okay.”   I walked slump-shouldered to grab my phone and take a picture.

I had to take his word for it.

A day later, when I was feeling less overwhelmed, I asked the girls about it.

“We had to take all our clips down to count them!” They said cheerfully.

“Oh?” Said I.

They have 23 clips, according to R.  I’m not sure what the lip gloss counts towards.

Now I can sort of see it.  It was a little easier to see after Mr. Cartigan graciously put all the clips away for me. (Really we should have had the girls do that but give me a break people, this stuff is exhausting.)

And so I leave it to you, dear readers, to determine for yourselves if barrette collecting on the commode is indeed the stuff cuteness is made of.

I Admit…

I like to talk the talk (“Oh my God! She lets her kids eat ______???!!!! Does she know how much _______ is in that???!!!”).  And I know how to walk the walk (“Yes, you can have that juice-sweetened carob-chip cookie after you finish your lima beans and quinoa.”)

But sometimes, I hand my kids Lunchables.  And they are so happy.


Lunchables! M is high on Pasteurized Prepared American Cheese Product.


Chemical-laden products in flashy environment crippling packaging.  On sale!

Chemical laden products in flashy environment crippling packaging. On sale!

Oh You Chicky Chicky Bang Bang!!!

Our little flock.

Our little flock.

The rumors were true!  We did get little chick chicks (and yes, as I am typing this, my internal voice is two octaves higher than normal.  They’re so cute!!!)  We brought home four chickens from a nearby feed store.  Two are Buff Orpingons (“Diamond” and “Christmas Day”), one is a Welsummer (“Runaway Chicken”), and one is a Light Brahma (“Mama Brahma White Pajama”).  Though the guides I read recommend keeping chicks of different ages separate, we eded up with a flock of chicks ranging from one week to three weeks and it’s working out.

Christmas Day.

Christmas Day.

Maggie and Christmas Day.

M and Christmas Day.

True to her name, Mama is the oldest, biggest, and bossiest.  Christmas Day and Diamond, the babies, like to follow her around (in fact, they were all housed together in the feed store).  And don’t tell my kids, ’cause she’s M’s chick: Runaway Chicken is my favorite.  She spends a good amount of time looking around and checking things out.  She’s also the best forager and when we let the chicks play on our lawn, Runaway Chicken finds the best wild treats.  While the Orpingtons follow Mama around, Runaway Chicken blazes her own trail.  I like that in a chicken.

R and Diamond.

R and Diamond.

Maggie is a chicken lady, just like her mama.

Maggie is a chicken lady, just like her mama.

Dead Poppies Aren’t Much Fun…


I hesitated to share an update about our four poppy plants. Though my aim is to keep it real here on Humble Pie, I just couldn’t bring myself to show you the four little sun-baked poppy plant skeletons after espousing my great love for them. Watch out for Hillary, her love kills!!
I kind of expected Mr. Cartigan to transplant them because he’s the gardener and I’m guessing he thought I’d do it, since I’m the poppy-crazed one. See how good our communication is? I promise we do feed and water the kids regularly.
Mr. Cartigan kept those little poppy skeletons around, though I couldn’t figure out why and yesterday I was watering plants and noticed this:

and this:


Hurrah! The poppies are making a comeback!!!
So now that two are revived I am heartened enough to say, my love only half-kills and it is possible to survive it.