WE'RE DOING DECEMBER! Whether you pre-plan your December Daily or create as you go along in the Christmas month; make your own covers or decorate ready-made ones, use Project Life style with plastic sleeves and pockets or create your own pages. Maybe you havent made one before and ask 'I cant think what I'd fill a page with everyday?' We'll help with that! Whatever your style we'd love to see it! Here you will find a seasonal blog open from 1st November to 31st January each year. We hope that this will become a wonderful resource of sharing, prompts and inspiration. What is a December Daily? Its a mini-album recording your daily memories capturing the spirit of December. Bring it out with your decorations each year and remember Christmases past. Scroll down on the right side bar and you will find past December Daily albums of each Designer. Check their 'journey' link too, this will give you some great tips and scroll a little further down and you will see the albums categorised into types for easier searching :) Now - 'Let's December Daily'!

Thursday 17 November 2016

Deb's 2016 December Daily.

The Kit and Ideas.

After making the decision to alter my Little Golden Book called "Christmas Carols", I knew I wanted to let the gorgeous illustrations in the book be the centre of it all.  So with that in mind, I have decided to keep any pages that I add fairly uncluttered so as not to distract from the original book pages.  The plan is to use mainly plain cardstock for the base of the added pages and I've found a few different patterned papers that I think will fit in well to embellish with.  I'm not planning on adding any Christmas themed patterned paper to the book at all although I did pop one piece I had in my stash into my supplies box.  (Just in case I change my mind).   

I'm still undecided as to whether I want to "age" anything that I add with inks etc or to keep it all bright and new looking.......having a mix of a "worn" with "fresh and new" appeals to me at the moment.  We'll see how I go..........clean and simple is not something I'm good at but I am going to try.  So at this stage, I have only gathered some basic supplies to start this year's December Daily.  I'm thinking the less I have in the supplies box the easier it might be to keep it simple.   The more I put into the box the more I will want to keep adding to the pages lol.   

This is what I have ready to go and as you can see here, the pages in the little book are just delightful so I really hope I can stick to the plan of letting them still shine.  

The Covers.

My Little Golden Book has now started it's "new life" as a memory of our December 2016.  I'm looking forward to bringing it out each year with my other December Dailys to be enjoyed by family and friends.

Being quite a FEW years old now,  it was obviously in need of some repair especially the front.   

The back is still OK.

I decided to try to remove the staples first and if this was going to be too difficult plan B was to completely cut off the spine - that gorgeous gold patterned spine that screams "Little Golden Book".
Crossing fingers and everything else seemed to work because the staples came out easily with no real noticeable damage to the book........YAY!  I then sealed the bindings front and back with some paper sealer to stop it from getting any worse.   

Then came the repair work........I wanted to keep it as close to it's original look as possible.  Using paint to repair it  seemed like the easiest way to go.  As part of the sail was missing I thought rather than just guess how it was supposed to look, I did some "googling" and found a picture of this same book, in a better condition than mine, to see what my little book used to look like.   Starting with some white gesso I painted in the shape of the sail.  The gesso gave it a better "base" over the raw cardboard and also covered what was left of the title "Christmas Carols".  

Next came the missing blue parts which I thought was going to be very difficult matching a paint to the original colour.  I found an "Ocean Green" colour in my paint supplies thinking this would be a good place to start and then with a teeny bit of cobalt blue mixed in, it looked close enough for me. 
and as well as the little bit of blue at the bottom I also added a touch of English Mustard colour to the bottom of the boat.

When the blue was dry it was time for 2 coats of JoSonja's Warm White over the gessoed sail and I was feeling pretty happy with how things were looking.

Time to add in the smaller details using permanent pens.....Gold pen was used to reconstruct the pole that holds the sail and brown pen to go over all the rings and add the missing ones.  Black pen to outline the pole and sail and a touch of white to add some highlights. 

A few more details.......Printed in the missing "L" and "D" from "GOLDEN" ...... 
and painted in the missing green ribbon at the top and the glow from the lantern which had been partly lost when I covered the sail.

The blank sail was the obvious space for my December Daily's title.  To keep it all a bit more personal, I decided to try some embroidery on calico.  I did a lot of "fancy work" in my younger days so I wanted to add this to my cover.  I even tried to remember how to do the older style writing from my younger days.......not sure I got it right but still happy with how it turned out.

And after cutting out the embroidery, craft glue was used to attach it to the sail.  I then punched 2 holes in the binding edge to hold the rings and then added some red braid to the edge...........I was DONE, HAPPY and READY  to go..............

The Page Preparations.

Firstly I'm going to take the opportunity to share with you a couple of the gorgeous pages in the book........Some are black and white which gives me endless ideas.....hmmmm will I colour these???

 And this one is one of my favourites (well I love them all really)...........

and also SOMEONE (not me) must have done a little bit of scribbling on the pages as well but that is going to stay........

Anyways, after removing the staples from my book I realized the pages were in three signatures (and this is how I intended to leave them, popping in the new pages here and there)

BUT after some thought I decided to separate them........unfortunately they are way more fragile than I had first thought.  So I decided the binding edge of the page would have to be strengthened.  Something I hadn't planned on.  I cut some bindings (as small as I could manage) from the vanilla cardstock and INKED them.......yes you read that right.........I've already pulled out the inks and that wasn't in Plan A lol.  (It is just a soft colour though - sand beige).

and I've attached a binding to each of the book pages and punched the holes.  The edges feel much stronger now and I don't think I've taken away too much from the page itself.  

I still need to cut out the pages I will be adding from the vanilla cardstock and probably INK the edges of these as well now (so much for keeping things "clean").   I don't really want to go too far with this (just cut a few) because my plans could very well change again.

DAY 1.
My inside cover was in need of some repair.....

A little bit of glue did the trick.  I haven't yet decided what I'm doing here......treading very carefully in this book, so that I don't cover anything unnecessarily and lose the "look" of the "little golden book".  I think I'm going to be "backtracking" quite a bit as I look back and see that maybe I can add a little bit more when it feels right.

So with that out of the way, I wanted to add a little explanation, on the first page, about the book belonging to me as a child and my reason for upcycling.  I thought typing this would tie in better rather than handwriting.  The bottom of the page seemed the best place for it.

The only other thing I have added to this page is a very simple frame, cut to fit around the title and bells.

Turning the page and still not wanting to add too much to cover anything that might be relevant to the 
book, I've simply made a little banner for under the picture and added December 2016. You can see a little tear down on the bottom corner.....this was fixed by glueing my typed piece to the bottom of the previous page.  It's strengthened it up perfectly.

AND AT LAST..........Day 1 of this year's December Daily.  A page cut from vanilla cardstock and inked around the edges.   I've decided to add in some more Christmas carols/songs that aren't in the book and especially ones that I love.  You know the ones that you can't get out of your head at this time of year.  It may not be the whole song, just as much of it that will fit in with the happenings of the day.  

Day 1.

This year I wanted to add the day to the date.  There has been quite a few times when I've been looking through my previous December Dailys and I think to myself "What day was that?".  I've typed up a list of dates on some spare cardstock ready to add to the page.

So as I open my little book, this is how the first page is looking.......

Day 2.  

The Prima packaging I used for the corner of the page provided a spot to include a small tag with some more journalling.

Day 3.
Using a page from the book and not wanting to cover it permanently.  (I don't think this is going to be possible all the way through the book......but baby steps as I upcycle my little book.)

Cutting out a section of paper from the Kaisercraft story book collection (Books) and a small strip of scrap paper the same width............

I've just folded it in half and added the strip of folded scrap paper to the fold side.  Then glued the 2 longer sides together to form a pocket.  Some stitching was added across the top of the gingham paper before it was attached to the book page.

And it made a little flap that I could glue to the edge of the page so as not to cover any of the words of the carol.  I've made a little banner in scraps of red, grey and gold - the colours on my tree and tied one end to the tag that fits inside the pocket. A little paper clip holds it in place.

and a photo of my previous December Dailys on the inside of the flap.  Journalling on the back of the tag.

NEXT PAGE.....an in-between'er.
I wanted to keep this page as is so just added a border (from that one piece of Christmas themed patterned paper I had in my supplies) and some stamping......using black ink on the border and beige over the page.  I'm not a stamper and don't think I ever will be but one thing I've learned is if the stamping doesn't come out well then just leave it......it is what it is. lol

Day 4.
Is a double page.....once again keeping the lovely pictures in the book.  

I've added a  couple of frames to the pages........ both were cut from the one original frame. 
This was an inside border of the frame.  Added some journalling to this one (I thought this page worked in very well with me finishing off the Christmas decorating).

and this was the outside edge of the original frame so I put paper cut from the Kaisercraft Story Book collection behind it......sat my two pages together, glued down the frame and then cut through the middle of the pages with a craft knife to separate them. 

Day 5.

I had made an extension on the cardstock I used for the previous day which I then folded underneath.  The banner used on day 4  "Life is" was then continued with "beautiful" to the next page.....

which is my Day 5.

Day 6.

Is then underneath this flap.  I've included another Christmas carol as well as the day's happenings.

Day 7.

I've added a cardstock matt behind two sections cut from the Kaisercraft Story Book collection paper
and this forms a  type of a pocket to hold the tag.  I'm not sure how well it is going to sit in there but for the moment it's ok.  It may need a paper clip to hold it down. 

This is what the tag originally looked like...

and after adding some stamping, watercolouring the stars, and adding some other little bits as well as journalling it was ready to 

slip in behind here.  The "pocket" is only glued at the bottom so most of the book page can still be seen when the tag is out.  The tag also provides room for a photo and more journalling on the back. 

Day 8.

The photos were way too bright for this page so to tone down the blue bits a little I dabbed on some white gesso and then when dry rubbed over it with the sand beige ink pad.  The page is a little warped because of the "pocket" and tag at the back but hopefully will settle once the book is put together. 

Day 9.

An extra page of vanilla cardstock added to the book.  

  Day 10.

Using the Acme Lablemaker that Mandy used HERE as part of the journalling.  I've also coloured in the birdie tag that was gifted to me through the year with water colour pencils.  

I decided to add an extra page in between Days 10 and 11 to include more Christmas Carols and to also separate the photos on each of the days so that they don't stick together over time. 

The back of the in between page with another Christmas song printed onto cardstock and attached to the randomly stamped background. 

and then Day 11.
Using black and white photos (both printed on the one 4 x 6 photo paper) I've used patterned paper and vanilla cardstock to matt them.
The nice little edge on the side there was actually the cut off strip on the bottom of some scrap patterned paper that I had and I thought that might make an edge for a flip over page.  I've used water colour pencils to colour parts of the pattern on the border of this page and added some little paper corners to all four corners to give the page some strength.

and it flips up so that I was able to add another photo and journalling underneath.

Day 12.
I've used a double page here........colouring the picture (or parts of the picture) with water colour pencils again.  AND I wondered how long it would take before I pulled out the gesso and painted/covered some of my little book.  The gesso was applied under the photos to make them and the journalling stand out a little better.  Some stamped leaves and red berries (made with a hole punch) were added to the pages as well as ric rac top and bottom.  Also a strip of patterned paper was added to the side edges for strength.  These little pages are way more fragile than I first thought. 

I found these Project Life cards lying on my desk amongst the mess lol and thought they might work for both Days 13 and 14.

Day 13. 

Using both sides of the cards, I made a little pocket and tag for journalling.  Also adding a "corner" to the page for strength. (they are really helping)

The ric rac used on the tag was attached to the underneath of the bird so that when the tag is pulled out it won't fall out of the book and get lost.  The word "this" is attached to the tag and "day" on the pocket.

and when the tag is back in its pocket it matches up. 

Day 14.

I decided again to water colour the books sweet pictures or parts of them.  I've also added some little pearls to the dresses but didn't really like them after it was done.  Too late.....best not to pull them off on the fragile pages. They're there to stay and I'll get used to them.

so Days 13 and 14 look like this side by side.

Day 15.

Is a double page.  I only added a part border to the second page and left the rest as is......scribbles and all.

Up until now I had been using water colour pencils to colour but decided to try Neo Colour water soluble crayons on this page.  I wanted a coloured background for my flower garden and the water colour still allows the words to show through.  BUT my little book didn't like all this water coverage at all.  

It bled through to the previous page and my little angels ended up getting splotches of red around and on them.

A tag was used for the journalling again (I'm using lots of tags) and photos. It's hinged with washi tape underneath and on top to allow for more journalling on the underside.

Day 16.

Is spread over the two pages as well.  Glued a scrap piece of a ruled Project Life card under the frame which gave room for a list for a no photo day.

and as I knew I would cover some of the words to this carol which is one I was never familiar with, I decided to type up what was being covered onto some cardstock and cut it into strips to continue under the first page of the carol.

Day 17.

I've added a smaller page in for this day as an extra.   Something I wasn't going to do this year but plans change. It's the same height as the book's pages but less than half the width.

I've added a photo of some of the wrapped presents to the bottom corner and then used a couple of left over gift tags for the stars, the words and the snowman.   

and the smaller page was basically made just to fit the cut down photo of the wrapped presents under the tree.  Some grey stitching around the cardstock matt which I rubbed over with a sanding block to "age" it.

and then on the back of this smaller page I've added another Christmas carol.  The same red braid that I used on the cover of my December daily was used top and bottom and a little picture cut from some patterned paper. 

and then after this I have added in another page with the grandchildren's Christmas drawings glued onto cardstock front and back.  These actually relate to Day 18 but were fitted in here. 

and over on the back...(this one was drawn in landscape orientation)

Opened out......day 17 going into 18.

Day 18.

This time I've added in a page from patterned paper rather than the plain cardstock.  Hmmm wasn't going to do this either.  I went with Black and White photos on here as it would have been way to busy with the coloured ones.

and here opened out with the 2nd drawing.......

Day 19.

A collage printed on 4x6 photo paper with a white border.  

Day 20.

I had a few photos for this day so decided to make a pocket to hold them.   Using red cardstock, a manilla tag and a scrap of green for the pocket, I then stamped stars and water coloured some of them.  Using 4x6 Project Life style cards for the front and back covers, I've made a little book with the photos, punching a hole in the top to tie the ribbon through.   

There are 3 colour photos on 4x6 photo paper, some with 2 and 4 photos on each piece.  A black and white photo was used on the front cover.  The ribbon is then tied to the manilla tag on the pocket so if they fall out they won't get lost.

Day 21.

A double page.  I've put strips of patterned paper along the sides and added a couple of corners.

and because I had quite a few photos again for this day, I cut some cardstock, folded it up and glued the base to the book page.  Added a few embellishments ready for my photos and journalling about the day. 

and underneath. 

Day 22.

I've used water colour pencils again to colour parts of the angels on the border.  AND tried the water soluble Neo Colours again for the sky and grass.  I was a little more careful with the amount of water this time so it didn't bleed through to the previous page.   A strip of paper was added to the side again and used for journalling and because the side of the book page was stronger I've moved the paper clip from the previous page to the side instead of the top.

 Added in a page after Day 22 with another Christmas carol printed on the cardstock.  I've included a  photo of two paper mache reindeers that I had painted and decorated back in November but thought this might be a good page to show them off.  The reindeers didn't have red noses like Rudolph though. Some more stamped holly added to the corner and red berries cut from a hole punch.

Day 23.

Was done on the back of the added page.  I've covered the cardstock with some patterned paper and some embellishments.  It was "one of those days".

Day 24.

In each of my December Dailys I like to include a copy of a grocery docket and this year I almost forgot.   So with some last minute Christmas goodies to get as well as a few of the usual groceries, I copied the docket, folded it up and popped it into a pocket made from 2 (1 1/2 actually) Project Life type cards.   Santa was cut from my one piece of Christmas patterned paper that I had in my supplies - the one I didn't think I would be using at all and all that is left is a few scraps. 

The copy of the docket fits quite snuggly into the pocket so it should be safe enough not to attach it to any twine etc.  

Day 25.

and this year it was a VERY quiet Christmas Day for us.   

On this page I've added another Christmas Carol.  The red patterned paper lifts up to reveal journalling about the day and I've cut the "happy Christmas" picture from that one piece of paper I had.

and opposite on one of the book's pages, I've swiped on some white gesso as the background for my photos and added a scalloped border down the side made from the same patterned paper used opposite.

Day 26.

and this is where my December Daily ends.  I usually make Boxing Day the final day and it worked out well in my little book.  I found this old piece of Prima packaging still with the green sticky dots (not sticky anymore) and some maroon blobs on it but it worked well to use for my little bit of journalling that I had for this day. Watercolour pencils used to colour the angel picture and added ric rac to the side.

This was how the last page in the book originally looked.  The plan for this page was to print in the names of all the extra carols I had added to my December Daily.  So off I went (no photo sorry) and started printing them in order as they appeared amongst the ones already in the book.  It came to a sudden halt after a couple when I realized the carols already listed in the back of the book weren't in page order but in alphabetical order.  Hmmmm.......so that plan was out the window and the index then got covered up.  Still happy with how it has turned out though. 

We'd love you to share all your process and December Daily journey with us
We'd love to see them!


  1. Magic! How clever you are! Your little golden book looks beautiful and well ready for the next chapter of its life.

  2. This looks great, wonderful repair to the cover.. you are ready!!!

  3. Oh my... all I can say is DELIGHTFUL!! I want to do a little golden book now!! Love your embroidery and so clever matching up your paintwork! Just gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Mandy. Don't look too closely at the embroidery lol not as neat as it was years ago......BUT I'm super happy with it.

  4. Nice job with restoring this book cover!

  5. Such at transformation! Totally brilliant- my fave part is how you did that title... soooo in keeping with your special book:):)!!!!

    1. Thanks, Lizzy. Like I said to Mandy, don't look too close at the embroidery lol......I can't even remember what stitch it is now.....maybe back stitch.

  6. Brilliant make-over for your sweet little golden book. Everything matches up beautifully! Looks amazing!

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I'm really looking forward to giving it a new life.

  7. Fabulous, i do I've love your ideas. So very creative.

  8. Just so perfect! I am not using a Golden book, but this has given me a lot of ideas...I am 63 years old and my children are long grown...no grandchildren so I decided for my first year I am doing a "December Remembered"....I hope to start it this year, with a few pages when I want to work on it...I have so many images and ideas in my head! I will be trying to capture the feeling I had as a child in the late 50's and early 60's and what Christmas meant to me...thanks for all of the ideas, and you do amazing work! Sandy

    1. Hi! Sandy. A "December Remembered" album is such a fabulous idea. I'm sure you have some great memories of Christmas as a child and how wonderful it will be to record these. Such a wonderful keepsake. And thank you for your lovely comments.

  9. Ooohhh your idea to use a Golden Book was so clever and I love the way it turned out...just the right balance of the original book mixing w/ your December add-ins!


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