Hello, everyone! When I first started thinking about my December Daily and what I wanted to include in my kit, I was a little stuck. I am a traditional colors girl through and through. Give me red, green, and white with a little bit of kraft or black thrown in, and maybe a little touch of silver and gold. My problem with only going with these colors is that I plan on documenting not just the holiday and the stories, but a little of our everyday life in December, as well. Our granddaughter will be in the majority of the photos and that means lots of pinks and turquoise, so when I came across the Holly Jolly collection from Bella Blvd in my stash I knew it would be perfect to satisfy my need to have things match! Since the Holly Jolly collection is more on the cutesy side, I also added in the papers from the Advent collection from Illustrated Faith for the days that I wanted something not-so-cutesy.
I will be using the die cut pieces from both collections, and I have pulled some wood pieces, metal embellishments, enamel dots, sequins, and gems, and some baker's twine in colors that match the papers. I'm sure more items will be added along the way.
Since I will be making a lot of the cards and embellishments that will be going into my album, I have included quite a few of the Christmas stamps that I have collected.
I'm pretty sure I know the direction that I want to go in with my album, but I know things can change and I am just going to roll with it!
Where do I even begin with this whole process...I knew that my cover would be the one thing in this whole adventure that would give me the most trouble! I have been planning it out for a few weeks now - sketching out different ideas, making notes, spending hours on Pinterest looking for ideas...I should have just stuck with my first instinct and saved myself a lot of frustration!
I'm using a 6x8 chipboard album that I have had in my stash for a while. I had a few different ideas on how I wanted to decorate it. Idea #1 - decorate the cover like I would a filler page:
Then I thought - maybe it would look better if I just added paint to the cover and used the doily piece for my cover, so I dug out a stencil with dots, grabbed my paint and went to work...
...and I got what I call sloppy dots. They weren't consistent - at all - but I'm not giving up hope - the doily piece is going to cover the majority of it anyway.
I still cannot get myself to like it and I think it's a good idea to just paint the whole cover white.
Yeah, not feeling that either, so now I am going back to my original plan - partly to cover up my mess, but mostly because that is what I liked best. Like I said, I should have just went with my first instinct!
I did sand the cover a bit to make it look a distressed, not that you can see it much. I traded out the die cut tree in my original photo for a couple of trees that I stamped and fussy cut and added the year to a label at the bottom of the cover.
In the end, I think it turned out all right. I'm happy with it and that is what matters!
Page prep...in the past I have tried to make pages ahead of time and it just hasn't ever worked for me. I am never happy with it once I add the photos to the page. Not only that, but I'm never quite sure what we're going to be doing on most days, so I have learned to make my actual pages as I go along. Now that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be done. Here is my idea of page prep:
One evening was spent stamping out some labels and images and fussy cutting them out.
I also took some time to write out some words and phrases that I knew I could add to my pocket cards and photos and printed them out.
I spent about an hour die cutting shapes to be used as is and also to make my own embellishments out of.
Since I am making my own pocket style cards to go into my album, I cut down several of the 12x12 papers into 6x8, 6x4, and 3x4 cards - all ready to be embellished.
This is always the part that takes me the longest when I am making a layout - the cutting down the papers and die cutting shapes to use. I am so glad to have this part of the process done.
Here are all of my die cut pieces just ready and waiting to be made into embellishments and added to my pages. Now all I have to do is grab this container and get to work!
I guess for me the hard part is done and I am looking forward to putting my pages together. December 1st is just a few days away.
Hello, everyone! I am so excited to get this month started! Today I have my cover page and my first few pages to share with you. I would say I have my Day 1 pages, but since we always put our tree up on the weekend of Thanksgiving, well, we will just call these my pre-December pages!
Here is my title page. Nothing fancy here. I just added the year and a little embellishment that I made.
On the back side of my title page, I will put my reasons why I am doing December Daily this year. I will either make a pocket page to slip my journaling into or maybe I'll do a list style page for my reasons why.
I've kept my pages pretty simple. I try not to add a lot of bulk to the cards/photos because I know this album will be very full by the end of the month!
I like the idea of having a few photos enlarged and outside of a page protector. I wanted to keep the photo of our fully decorated tree a full 4x6, so I matted it to a piece of patterned paper and added it directly to the album.
Day 1 and 2
Since I shared my pre-December pages last time, today I have my Day 1 and Day 2 pages for you. My album is going to be a mix of our daily lives and the stories I want to tell throughout the season. Day 1 is one of those stories.
It never fails - when the holidays roll around someone always catches a bug. The last couple of years it's been my granddaughter. Thankfully her "bug" didn't last long and she was feeling better in no time at all.
My numbers this year are pretty simple. I had a clear sticker book with these circle numbers in it, and I am just adding them to the scalloped circle die cuts that I cut out in November.
My granddaughter's birthday is November 30th so her birthday party is always the first weekend of December and that is what I am documenting for today.
The presents die cut is from the Holly Jolly collection and I thought it would work for this layout. I typed up and printed out some birthday phrases on my computer and added them to a couple of the photos.
After the birthday party, my daughter and her family wanted to come over for a while and play games - one of our favorite activities during the holidays. I love it when our kids want to come and spend time with us!
This is not exactly the photo that I am going to use on this layout...I have one that shows all of us that were playing games, BUT, I was adding a title directly to the photo and one of the letters went astray and there was no getting it off without destroying the photo! I wanted to go ahead and show you the rest of my Day 2 pages so I've substituted it with this one, but I will get that photo reprinted and you will be able to see this finished page in my next post.
Day 3 and 4
Day 3 and 4
With this being my first December Daily, I am discovering pretty quickly what is going to work for me, and what is not, in order to get this album completed in December. Making my own pocket style cards is a little time consuming, but I do enjoy the process, they just may have to be pretty simple!
Day 3 is all about my favorite ornaments. I was hoping to keep each day to a two-page layout, but since my Day 2 wound up being three pages, and I knew I needed more than just one page for Day 3, I decided to do a little something different for Day 3.
I like the idea of different shapes and sizes of pages in my album and not everything being inside a protector. Instead of making a full 6x8 layout, I cut a circle out of two different colors of cardstock, punched out some one-inch circles from all of the colors in my album and sandwiched the small circles between the two large circles to make a scalloped edge.
Here is the backside of the circle layout:
I carried the scalloped edge over onto my journaling card to help tie the pages together. Even though it's pretty easy to tell which ornament I'm talking about in my journaling, I went ahead and numbered each photo to correspond with the number on the journaling card.
Day 4 is about our typical Monday. I captured a beautiful sunrise for a great way to start the day, and the rest of the layout is about a shopping trip that I took with my son and granddaughter and the journaling centers around why that can sometimes be a challenge.
Day 5 and 6
Day 5 and 6
Day 5 - This was a pretty low-key day for us. My granddaughter received a couple more birthday presents to be opened - thanks to her aunts. I kept Day 5 pretty simple. I fussy cut the scalloped border from one of the papers in my kit and punched one of the presents from the same paper to use as an embellishment.
Day 6 was a story that I wanted to document. I couldn't believe it when I went to our local outlet mall and their Christmas trees were decorated with these "icicles". I hadn't even thought about this decoration from my childhood in years, and oh what memories it brought back!
When these two layouts were side by side in my album I wasn't too crazy about them. They just didn't go well together, so I obsessed over it for a couple of days, trying to figure out what I could do to make it more pleasing to me.
I finally decided to make a "filler" page and I like the results so much better.
I think adding in the filler page helped the layouts be more cohesive and a little more pleasing to the eye.
Day 7 and 8
Christmas is quickly approaching and I'm only on Day 7 and 8...good thing my Christmas break starts tomorrow, maybe I'll have a chance to get caught up a bit!
Since I am so far behind I've kept my next couple of page pretty quick and simple.
Day 7 is documenting how our holiday season is a little different this year than in years past. I had quite a bit to say and in order to get it in with the pocket pages that I had for this day, I created an insert for my journaling.
The back side of the insert talks about my granddaughter admiring our tree and a new tradition that we have started where she tells us which ornament on Nana and Pops' tree is her favorite.
I had two photos that I really wanted to "supersize" for my album, so I printed them at 5x7 and added them to a page that will be outside of a page protector. For the page, I punched a scalloped border twice so the front and the back would be the same, and then I sandwiched the border between the two pages.
Day 8 is documenting the crazy weather we have been having this December. I always wish for snow around the holidays and we rarely get it. This year has been no different. They had snow in the southern US...and all we got was a heavy frost here in the middle of the US! I snapped a photo of our deck railing covered in the frost. I think I will go back and stamp "frosty" or "feeling frosty" on the photo.
I'm still keeping with the quick and simple pages here to try to get caught up. I was able to get a couple more pages done this time around, but not as many as I would have liked.
Day 9 - for this page I used a journaling card and filler card that I had made in November that fit this day perfectly. It's not often that I come home from a shopping trip in a better mood than I when I left, but this day was an exception!
Day 10 is documenting mine and my husband's views on Christmas music being played on some radio stations all the time after Thanksgiving - he loves it, me, not so much! The one thing that we do agree on is the songs that we like. I have also included both of our Top 5 favorite Christmas songs.
Here are the two pages together in my album:
Day 11 is documenting me and my granddaughter making cookies - we're trying to get in a lot of practice for the big day! I wanted to include all of these cute photos of her mixing up the cookies and I kept the journaling card pretty simple. I think this is one of my favorites!
Day 12 was a rough day around our house and I debated on whether or not to include it, but this is what our life looks like right now, so we're keepin' it real! I have a lot of personal thoughts and feelings in the journaling, so I decided to use this bag that I had received and tuck my journaling in it. Since this was the only photo that I have from that day including the photo on the bag worked out perfectly.
Here is Day 11 and 12 in my album:
Day 13 - since Day 12 was on this cute little bag, and Day 13 didn't have a lot going on, I decided to put Day 13 on the back side of the bag. This was the day that we started receiving Christmas cards.
Day 14 - this is the day that we went and picked up my oldest son from college for Christmas break. As we were leaving, the sun was just starting to peek over the treeline, it was a bit cloudy, and it was breathtaking! The photo does not do it justice! I also remembered to take a photo of my son's dorm and him, too!
Here are the two pages together:
Day 15 - this page was kept very simple. The photos were pretty busy, and too be honest, I am running out of time here! I tried to add an embellishment or two to the 6x4 photo, but I didn't really want to cover up my granddaughter's work, either! She had spent the better part of the day making "gift cards" using my scrappy supplies. She took the majority of them home to her Mommy, but I do have one that I will add directly to my album when I can find what I did with it! I think it will be fun to look back at her artwork when she was 4!
Day 16 - is documenting all of the Christmas cards that I made this year. My goal was to have all of my cards made before the holiday season rolled around, so I started making them in January. By December I had 70+ made - more than enough! Sadly, I waited too long and didn't get the majority of them mailed out anyway so I will have a good head start for next year!
Here are Days 15 and 16 together:
Day 17 - I love this photo of our tree - it may be my favorite of the season! I love the early morning hours when everyone else is still asleep and the house is quiet. I was sitting by the tree, thinking about the upcoming week, when I looked over at the tree and was just mesmerized by it. The ornaments lit up by the twinkling lights...just so pretty and just what I needed for this last week before the big day!
The rest of Day 17 was pretty uneventful. We did get some much-needed rain - it had been over a month - so I snapped a photo of it dripping from the trees.
Here is a look at both sides of Day 17:
We are getting closer and closer to the end of the month, and my pages are becoming simpler each time - which is all right with me! When my family looks at this album in years to come, the stories are what will be the most important things! My album is very full and I still have at least 8 days to go! I'm hoping to keep it all in one, but we will see!
Day 18 is all about me finally finding one of the "hot" toys for the holiday season for my granddaughter. The stores had been sold out of them for weeks and on this day I finally found some when I went shopping. I wanted to be sure to include in my journaling why my granddaughter wanted them so badly, because in a few years that little detail may be forgotten!
I finally used one of the plastic clips from my kit on this layout, although it may be hard to see where! The "so excited" banner is the clip - the actual clip part was too big, so I cut it off to make it work for my layout.
Day 19 talks about our favorite movies and why. I wanted to include a photo of the movies, so I printed covers off of my computer and added them to the front of my card.
I also wanted to include why these movies are our favorites, but didn't have enough space on my card for what I wanted to say, so I created a flip up element. I added a piece of washi tape to the back side of the front piece of the card and attached it to the base card. The base card slips into the pocket and the photos of our favorite movies will stay on the outside for an easy flip up to read the journaling.
Here are both pages together in my album:
Not a lot happened on the 20th, so I decided to document a couple of our decorations that have special meaning to us.
Again, another day that not a lot was going on. I took a photo of our wrapping paper and talked about how it was just a few days before Christmas and I hadn't even started wrapping presents!
Here are both pages together in my album. I'm really hoping to only use one album for this project, but it is getting really full!
Day 22 was a pretty busy day for us. We had to finish up our shopping and I didn't even take any pictures of us while we were out and about. I did want to write down a few thoughts about our shopping experience - because it was such a good day, and to let our family (and anyone who looks at this album) know what we were feeling this holiday season.
Day 23 - Part 1
We finally woke up to a little bit of snow! I kept this page very simple to keep the focus on those pretty snow pictures.
Day 22 and 23 side by side:
Day 23 continued
Day 23 was a busy day for us. We have always had an ornament exchange with my side of the family on Christmas eve, but this year we changed that to the Saturday before Christmas eve - which just happened to be the day before Christmas eve! I had quite a bit to say about this new tradition and that warranted another insert.
Here are the pages without the insert:
I wanted to be sure and document which ornament each of us got this year, so I just added that to the photos. Since my husband and youngest son had to leave before the exchange started, I wanted to be sure and tell the story of why and get a photo of their ornaments, as well. That is what is included in the insert.
Once again, I had a lot to say, so I made another flip up journaling card.
Here is the back side of the insert:
The layout with the insert added:
Journaling card opened:
We have finally made it to Christmas Eve! This year was a little different for us since we actually got to stay home!
These last few pages have been interesting to make. I only have a few page protectors left and the majority of those are the 4 - 3x4's. Not only that but I haven't really had a chance to resize my photos, so I am working with all 4x6 photos and trying to fit them into a 3x4 pocket! It wasn't really that difficult since I was able to cut down the photos without losing anything important.
I realize the bottom photo on the right-hand side is not the best quality, but it is the only one that I took of one of our traditions of playing Wii games on Christmas Eve. In person, it is not nearly as dark as what it appears here.
Since I am working with only 4x6 photos, a few of those could not be cut down and I really wanted to include them, so I created an insert to fit those onto. I made a 5x7 card base, covered that different patterned papers and then added my photos to that.
On the inside is where I have journaled about all of the photos.
Here is what the insert looks like sandwiched between the two pages:
Christmas Day has arrived - and I woke up not feeling well at all. I didn't take a lot of the pictures that I try to be sure and take each year - like a photo of each one of the kids with all of their presents wrapped and then again when they are all opened. I just went with what I had and tried to pick out a variety of everyone opening their gifts.
I wanted to stay consistent with the journaling cards, so I made them all the same with each person's name at the top. I will go back and make a list of everything they received and a few fun little stories that go along with a couple of them.
We always go to my in-laws for Christmas dinner and a gift exchange, but since I wasn't feeling well I decided to stay home, so I have no pictures of that...there's always next year!
I had planned to make one more page showing the aftermath of opening presents, and I can not, for the life of me, find where I put the photo! I thought that would have been a good way to finish off the album.
There you have it - my very first December Daily complete!