Welcome to the forum.
In PrE, the best workflow is to edit those separate smaller Projects, then Export/Share as an intermediate file, to be Imported into a "master" Project.
There is some disagreement on the best format/CODEC for those intermediate files, but I outline my workflow in this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4556586#4556586
Is there a way to Just edit a clip and save it to be imported into my project
The answer to your last question is Yes. But if you want more than a generalized yes...
The answers are in the details of the workflow.
What version of Premiere Elements are you using and on what computer operating system is it running?
What are the properties of your source media?
What have you or the program set as the project preset for your project's workflow?
What is your final export goal?
Like ATR points out, the answer is "yes," but as he goes on to ask, what you have, and exactly what you want to do, might dictate the details to "yes."
On most Projects, I am editing "scenes," or "chapters," and use Premiere Pro's Sequences to do that. However, since PrE does not offer Sequences (have done Feature Requests for those for many versions), I might adopt a workflow like this, in PrE:
Edit the first segment, or scene. Then leave that on the Timeline, and do one of several things. If I have done a Dip-to-Black (common for me between scenes), I would add maybe a 02 sec. piece of Black Video. If I did not have a Dip-to-Black, I would probably handle that "transition" another way. If I will want to marry up that first segment with the second, but want to edit it by itself, I would add about 02 sec. of a Color Matte in bright red, or bright green, so that I could easily find that juncture easily, later on. Then, edit the elements for the second segment, and repeat. When done, I would start at the end of the fully-edited Timeline, work back to that Color Matte, Select it, and choose Delete and Close Gap. Repeat, until one has Deleted all of those. At that point, I would address any Transitions between segments, and finally add my soundtrack. Remember, that is but one possible workflow. Generally, I will use the intermediate files, mentioned above.
Others might well have other workflows, that you will be more comfortable with.
Good luck, and let us know a bit more about your Assets and Project, per ATR's request.
I have Elements 11 and Windows 7. I have 35 videos ( 1-2 min or less) and am trying to piece them altogether in a theme for a vidoe (with pix and music) for a video of 30 min - not more. I have nervous people who had me retake etc and I need to edit but need/or want to edit separately and then put altogether. So far, once I edit a piece, I can't sav e an bring it into my larger ppj (like I used to be able to do in Premiere CS3. Is there a way???
OK - basically, I edit, show a transition space and bring in new clip and edit ont he major ppj. OK I will resort to that -- lost all my editing on separate clips? Too bad, so sad - Adobe is going beyond us less than professional editors. I do appreciate your feedback.
Thanks for the follow up.
Given you have Premiere Elements 11 on Windows 7 (assumed 64 bit) and 35 videos (1 to 2 minutes or less), the key piece of information is what are the properties of those 35 videos. That is the important starting point.
What we are looking for is video and audio compression, frame size, frame rate, aspect ratio, file extension. If you do not know, is it possible for you to download and install the free MediaInfo program which will provide a properties read out for your videos?.
You need to get the correct editing space in the Premiere Elements monitor from which to edit. And, that space is determined by what you or the project set for the project preset. And, we need to know the source media properties to set the project preset. Once we have the project settings OK, then we can go on to editing. If you want to edit and export sections of your Timeline to file saved to hard drive, we can tell you how to do that with the gray tabs of the Work Area Bar of the Premiere Elements workspace plus the "Share Work Area Bar Only" option in the Export area. But, we need to know what you are starting with so these "segments" are exported in a format/sizing consistent with your project.
There is no reason why you cannot accomplish your video editing in Premiere Elements 11 Windows either from one Timeline or with your plan of mini exports with combination of the mini exports into one final grand project. Typically one looks for working larger projects in smaller segments. Your project does not appear to be of that large a size. But, if you plan to pursue your plan as stated, we are here to help.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you need clarification on anything that I have written.