Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 29, 2007

Finishing up December Daily

Day 22 (a little card inside the envelope talks about the tulips):

Day 23:

Day 24 (includes my blog post from the 27th that talks about everything that happened over the last few days leading up to Christmas):

And Day 25:

And the back, which features this cool idea from Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas :

So, wow. I did it.

I will definitely be going this route again next year: setting up an album before December to record daily things + photographs over the course of the month leading up to Christmas day. I love that I now have something I can hold in my hands that shows the progression, that documents the moments (mainly in photos), that has a beginning and an end. My structural format may be different next year (part of the fun of coming up with a foundation), but the overall daily process will be the same.

Thanks for cheering me on along the way.

Making the Squares
A couple questions in the comments yesterday regarding the collage (or mosaic) of inspiring photos. If you use Flickr you can easily create these mosaics using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker. You specify the number of photos across and down and where they come from (mine usually come from my favorites).

I also often make photo gatherings in Photoshop to use in my projects. Or sometimes I just use a square punch. You can read how I go about creating these groupings in Photoshop in a past issue of my newsletter here (scroll down to “Creating Photo Gatherings in Photoshop“).


  • 1.
    rani Shah said…

    such a beautiful and vivid journey-the album is gorgeous!!! looking forward to creating in the new year! Best wishes to you and yours!

  • 2.
    Haylee said…

    Congratulations your album looks awesome! Thankyou for posting the pages throughout the month, I’ve loved following the month with you. I am definitely going to try that next year- it is such a great idea. Happy New Year Ali!

  • 3.
    Leonie -Australia said…

    Ali this album is so amazing & inspiring, it is one my most favorite albums I have seen I just love that it is so many different sizes, textures etc, & that it all works together so beautifully, Well done & Happy happy new year to you all.

  • 4.
    Candi Tardio said…

    i agree with the other posts…i have really enjoyed looking every day for your next day completed in this mini album!!!
    great job!!!
    happy new year!!

  • 5.
    Anne Alley said…

    Thank you Ali for the inspiration! Where did you find the poinsetta flower? I’m definitely doing an album like this next year!
    Happy New Year (and Go Beavers!).
    Anne Alley

  • 6.
    T-Wan said…

    Your album turned out great and I think I’ll attempt to do one next year…may actually have a sepcial event as the reason for doing it.
    Great job.

  • 7.
    Erin Glee said…

    Yes, you did it, Ali! And you did a beautiful job of it…the December Daily Album turned out SO COOL! I wish I had started my own along with you-next year for sure…thanks for all your inspiration!

  • 8.
    Jill in Eugene said…

    Thanks for your inspiration my friend. And some encouragement for those of you who are thinking about it for next year, I am currently doing mine now – as I type – and I love it. I looked through all of my photos today from Christmas – chose the ones for each day in the album (although some days don’t have photos and Ali says ‘that’s okay’ :) and sent them to 1 hour at Walmart. I hit a great after Christmas sale at Ben Franklin crafts (in Springfield, all Christmas s/b products are on sale for 70% off(including a huge supply of Christmas stamps) and the rest of the s/b supplies are on sale for 20% off) I didn’t have an album to use, so I found an old hard back music book at the thrift store for $1.50 and I’m adhearing straight to the pages. Just so happens that this book has 25 pages ! How perfect is that. So, be encouraged. Even if you don’t start one this year – the supplies are on sale ! You can’t beat that and you’re hubby can’t complain. Ali – I can’t wait to show you. Now to come up with an idea for next year ! Happy New Year.

  • 9.
    nessa said…

    this album is absolutely fabulous!!!

  • 10.
    ELLIE said…

    It truly was wonderful to see you documenting your month – the whole process – the ideas you used (and materials)…very inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing it all Truly beautiful!!!

  • 11.
    Debby Schuh said…

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us! What a great feeling to have it all done…t is fabulous!
    Have a happy new year and looking forward to lots of fun memories we’ll create in 2008!

  • 12.
    Lisa said…

    Fabulous Ali— I am so doing that next year! Thanks, also, for the link to making photo collages. With all the Christmas pics, I think 2X2 is the way to go!

  • 13.
    Kristine said…

    Love love love it! What a gorgeous project. I have to say that I totally admire your flickr photo galleries. Happy 2008! Can’t wait to see more eye candy from you coming our way.

  • 14.
    amanda said…

    It’s such a wonderful record of such a busy time of year. What at treasure it will be look at once again NEXT December. So beautiful and very inspiring – well done, Ali! And Happy New Year to you!!!

  • 15.
    Deb Wisker said…

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing! I looked forward to each new entry!

  • 16.
    Julie Howard said…

    Beautiful album, Ali! This has been one of my favorite holiday projects. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2008!

  • 17.
    Laura Reaux said…

    The album is so lovely! I definitely want to make one next year. You inspire me, girl. Congrats on completing it!

  • 18.
    tracy said…

    I used big huge labs to make a mosaic for my christmas card this year-25 photos in all. it turned out great!

  • 19.
    Penny said…

    Ali, the book is outstanding. Just love it. Such a family treasure.
    I have been interested in creating the Flickr mosaic since the first time I saw it on your blog a long time ago. I had extra time on my hands yesterday (unusual) and finally used Big Huge Labs to make one off Flickr favs. It was so easy, and fun.
    Happy New Year.

  • 20.
    Sharon F said…

    This is awesome! What a terrific memory and process. You make it all look so easy and when you put it together ahead of time and then fill in it really is.
    Thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to your fresh and fun ideas this
    next year.
    By the way, I bought your calendar last year and have enjoyed looking at it at my office. Loved all the inspiration, its especially helpful to be reminded to embrace imperfection and its all ok while I am struggling with something at work. It puts things in perspective and reminds me to let my creative side out there too. Please considering doing another one perhaps for 2009.
    happy new year!
    sharon f.
    oakland, ca

  • 21.
    Sandra Marek said…

    OMG! What a beautiful album and a wonderful idea! I love it! I’m gonna have to try it. TFS Have a happy New Year!

  • 22.
    Lisa Dickinson said…

    I’ve so enjoyed your posts this month Ali! Every day, I sit down with my coffee and just admire this incredible album you’ve created. It inspired me to take lots of photos over the holiday season and now I am working on putting my album together – my first mini album! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent with us! All the best in 2008!

  • 23.
    Jessica said…

    what a treasure that you will have FOREVER.
    i love it and hope to see it in person soon.

  • 24.
    noell said…

    Ali, it was so fascinating watching your process and progress with this book. Thank you so much for sharing step-by-step. I’d love to know if it was difficult to keep up with all the other demands happening in December or just a nice break.
    But my big question is this: Did you fit everything you wanted to document for Christmas in that book, or are there still pictures that you’ll use for a Christmas layout as well? I know we’re all different and we would all have our own answers. I’m just curious what you’ll do.
    Thanks so much and Happy New Year!!!

  • 25.
    jenn said…

    AWESOME! I loved coming here to check out the album progress! You are sooo creative! thanks for being an inspiration!!! happy new years Ali! May god bless you even more this year!

  • 26.
    Shirley said…

    What a gourgeous and inspiring project!! I love those tulips. I have a thing for tulips….my mom says that my grandfather used to grow them in his front yard…I was too little to remember that…but there must be a bit of good memory in tulips for me!!
    Have a great 2008!!! :D Shirley in Florida

  • 27.
    Joan Fowler said…

    A phenomenal album and another to add to my “Ali” collection of projects to complete someday. This one, however, is sitting on my desk waiting to be played with. Unlike you, I am not as ambitious as documenting 25 days. I am going for the shorter 12 days of Christmas – Christmas Day to Epiphany.
    I have a question however. I made the star out of plastic packaging (didn’t think that I would ever use three stars at $4 a piece)but am now wondering how you attached it without glue showing. I don’t want to try and end up messing up the cover because I know acrylic scratches easily. Also, I am having an isuue with fingerprints and “stuff” clinging to the acrylic. Any secrets or is that just part of the magic?
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • 28.
    Stacey said…

    Hi! I have been lurking here for all of December and gleaning heavily from all your fabulous ideas! I am wondering though, I made my mosaic, and it is fabulous, but when I go to put the html code on my blog, it makes it as a tiny thumbnail. What am I doing wrong??

  • 29.
    suetreiber said…

    thanks for the flickr info…it’s been on my mind!
    Love the entire album. It’s just so cool.

  • 30.
    Angi Smith said…

    I don’t see how you have the time that you do, but I am so glad that you make the time to leave a living history for Simon and sharing it with us, so that we may take what suits us and help us leave our history with OUR family. You are truly remarkable, Ali, and THE Queen of Scrapbooking!

  • 31.
    MariaM said…

    Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful 2008! Everything you shared this month alone is just fabulous, whenever someone asks “where did you get that idea?” I have to share your blog….thank you so much for doing what you do :) have a great one!

  • 32.
    Tammy said…

    Hi Ali,
    Loved the album! I’m going to try it next year. I was reading the blog about how you use Photoshop. I understand that there is a huge main program and also Photoshop Elements. I have also heard that there is a very large learning curve with this program. I do not know a thing about graphic design, and if I purchase the program, I would only use it for photos. Would you recommend the whole program or would the Elements be enough for a total novice? If you have time, as I realize you are very busy, could you please email me and let me know? Thanks.

  • 33.
    Holly T said…

    Very cute. Santa wrote a computer generated letter this year…as he can now read. Our youngest can read his name so Santa just left his name. Love the penguin idea.

  • 34.
    pamelajane said…

    Your December Daily album is such a beautiful way to capture moments of the heart and senses, without losing their freshness. May the New Year bring you many more moments to savor and cherish!

  • 35.
    ChristineS said…

    What a cool album! It is fun to see how somebody elses life is somewhat similar to your own! Thanks for the link to the photo mosaic site! I was wondering how you did that! Way cool! Happy New Year to you!

  • 36.
    Ashley Schultz said…

    It has been so fun to see the pages you’ve created for this album. I love the concept and I love how it turned out. It’s gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  • 37.
    Maggie said…

    Ali answered my question, and I think I had it first, which makes us friends, because we’ve had a meaningful give and take conversation, to which I am delighted.
    I’m going to have to go drink out of my Ali “Capture Life…Create Art” coffee mug and read my new “Eye for Design” book I got for Christmas.
    Dang. I’ve never been a groupie before. I voewed not to do that. But, life is short…why not have a hero!
    Off to make some SQUARES! Squares rock. (I’m cheering for squares, too. I’m starting to scare myself. Somebody rescue me.)

  • 38.
    Cherie said…

    I’ve so enjoyed your album and I working one something similar for 2008. I’m setting up an 8×8 album with a layout for each month, special holidays we celebrate, plus birthdays. My plan is at the end of each month or event go back through my photos and pick 2 and journal. Thanks for the great idea and explanations!

  • 39.
    Olga said…

    Thank you so much for such wonderful project. I truly enjoyed the process and I am very happy with the results. This was a beautiful gift and for that I am very greatful! Wishing you a Happy New Year and please receive my warmest regards for you and all of your loved ones!
    xoxo Olga, Miami, Florida

  • 40.
    Melina said…

    Beyond beautiful. You inspire me in so many ways. My blog is even named for your inspiration:
    I am a simple person that hopes to meet you some day. Someday.
    Have a Happy New Year.

  • 41.
    Amy said…

    Love it!! Thanks so much for sharing, you’ve inspired me to do a little dabbling in scrapbooking even though I put everything away/donated most of my stuff.
    Question: when do you take down your tree & Christmas decorations? Just curious!

  • 42.
    Kelly Butler said…

    Thanks for the inspiration. I did one too & am loving looking back at the the wonderful “every day” stuff that I documented this year. -Kelly

  • 43.
    Karen Geckler said…

    great project!
    Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Karen Geckler

  • 44.
    Kristy said…

    Ali, I don’t think I’ve ever commented here, but I have been a regular reader for awhile now (linked through Aby Garvey). I couldn’t pass the opportunity to thank you for allowing (me) your readers to follow along on your December journey. I love the way this book was created at the present so as not to miss any important moments. At times I think I was more excited about your next adventure than some of my own! :) You are such an inspiring person! Keep up the great spirit! Happy 2008 to you and your lovely family.

  • 45.
    Malin Tvedt said…

    I’m glad to hear that you had a wonderful Christmas.
    Congratulations on finishing your beautiful December album! I have followed it every day along the way and it surely has inspired me to think outside the box. Thanks, Ali!
    Thanks also for the info on how to create the mosaic. I couldn’t get it to work at first, but when I tried it in Firefox rather than Safari it was a breeze.

  • 46.
    Tammy said…

    I love your blog and have been reading it for probably more than a year now but I just about never post a comment. Totally inspired by what you’ve done capturing your Christmas memories. I am looking to buy a digital SLR and wondering what camera you use. I am pretty sure you have mentioned it before but I can’t find it. Really like the quality of your photos and am hoping to get some good quality ones of my family too.
    Enjoy the New Year.

  • 47.
    Amy said…

    Ali, I have reading your blog for sometime now and love the idea of your album. Happy New Year!

  • 48.
    Kim said…

    Beautiful… absolutely beautiful! ~ kim

  • 49.
    Ashley said…

    Also, thanks for the how-to for the flickr mosaics. I had never been to flickr before today. I checked it out and I LOVE it. I made a mosaic and put it on my blog. I even included some of your pictures that I love. Thanks!

  • 50.
    Denise said…

    I just love your work.great job

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