Sunday, March 9, 2014

documenting the school years

In no way have I figured out the best system for organizing and documenting my girl's artwork. For one, there is A LOT of it! They both love to draw and create masterpieces on a daily basis!

I will be honest, a lot of it gets recycled!! I just can't keep every single thing they make!! What I can do is take a picture of it before I recycle it!  I either take a picture using my Canon camera or now I use my iPhone and an app called ARTKIVE. This app is great because I can easily indicate whose artwork it is and what age or grade they were in when they created it! I have been taking a lot more pictures of their artwork  these days because of how convenient and easy this app is! Now if they happen to find a piece of artwork in the recycle bin, I can show them I took a picture first! Although, I will be honest, I don't make it a known fact that I recycled it, as they usually get quite upset and want to keep it! Then I have no hope of ever getting rid of it!

I have a spot in the kitchen where their artwork gets piled. I go through it on a weekly/monthly basis and keep what I want, take pictures of what I am not keeping and then discard. I find I still keep quite a bit, but that's because I do plan on either scanning or cutting it down to include in their albums.I currently have a large tote where their artwork goes. It's not perfect, but at least it's organized by child and school year.

Last year, I scanned a bunch of my oldest daughter's artwork from junior kindergarten. Her teacher was amazing!!! She dated everything...what a huge relief that was!! She also took a lot of pictures and then at the end of the year, along with a year-end video, she gave each child a DVD with all their pictures on it!!! I was able to pull a monthly photo (sometimes more) for each month. She also had the kids create a monthly book that included a picture of the tree, that was then to be coloured to relate to the month they were in the fall, leaves on the ground, in the winter, no leaves, etc. And then they would include a story and a picture. The great thing about this book was it gave you a real sense for how much they learned based on how well their drawings and writing had improved. 

I took the scanned artwork and photos and put together these digital layouts using Project Life Template A, the Project Life Personal Mini kit and the Project Life Mayfield kit. I will print these layouts as 12x12 and put in her existing 3-ring album, along with her other layouts documenting her at this age.


I just finished these layouts this weekend. I was inspired by my Mom! Recently while visiting my parents, my Mom brought out a folder full of artwork that me and my three brothers had created.

It was fun going through all of it. I had no idea she had kept half of it! Some of it I remember creating! My oldest, whose artwork is pictured above was right there looking at all of it! She thought it was so cool that Mommy use to write and draw like her!


  1. Sheri, I really like your idea of a 3-ring album for school pictures and artwork. My daughter is just starting pre-school, and I am anticipating lots of both! I am a digital PL'er, so I can see doing exactly what you did. In fact, I totally copied your family album idea this year too! I love your pages, so I'm using the same approach and the same fonts and uploading to Blurb/Booksmart. So far, I love it! Thank you for the detailed info on your process. It was easy to follow and I am up and running with this approach.

    Thanks again for the inspiration,
    Amy Strouse

    1. Thanks for commenting and continuing to enjoy what I am sharing here on the blog! :)


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