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Creating A December Daily Album: Part One

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[ Album: D Reeves Mini White Style File; Patterned Paper: Making Memories Skinny Stripe Fa La La; Santa Sticker: Art Warehouse Noel Sticker Sheet; Black Metal Number Brads: Around the Block Lucky Number Big Metal Brads; Hanging Charm & Word Sticker: Making Memories St. Nicholas Collection 2007 ]

Hello December Daily 2008.

December Daily is an album that documents the month of December leading up to Christmas day (and sometimes beyond - that's completely up to you). It is a chance to reflect, to share, to celebrate the season in a manageable, in-the-moment way. The entire key to this album is to put it together BEFORE December. This is the first of a few posts on the process of putting together this album. In December I will share my finished pages each day.

The Basics: gather up a bunch of holiday supplies, create an album with 25 pages (one for each day), and then when December rolls around you will have a foundation upon which to document you and your family's story. The idea is to take the time now to set it all up so that on December 1 you are ready to experience + to capture the memories for the day and add them into your album as you go.

Some of the topics that appeared in my album last year included visiting Santa:

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going sledding:

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and decorations:

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You can see last year's entire completed December Daily album here.

One of the main reasons I love this project is that it allows me to both document + enjoy the season. I like to be in the moment most days of the year, but especially during December when there just seems to be a bit more magic in the universe. Taking photos of our house and our activities only added to my joy last year.

I love to have activities planned out over the course of the month; not obligations, but carefully chosen activities that our family is interested in doing. Some of the things I am looking forward to this year include a Polar Express train ride in mid-December (thanks for reminding me to sign up Jen), watching traditional holiday movies, driving around to look at lights, picking a couple kid's names from a giving tree and having Simon select gifts for those kids, visiting Santa, lots of hot cocoa, lots of white twinkle lights, reading some favorite holiday books, etc. These are the stories I want to include in this album.

I hope you will consider joining me and create your own December Daily album for 2008.

MY 2008 PROCESS

Here's how I began my process this year:

1. Turn on some holiday tunes. I did this and it seriously put me in the mood. And yes, it is a bit early when Halloween has not even happened yet (4-5 days before is not too bad). I am actually one of those people that really likes to savor the season and starting off with some of my favorite holiday music is a fairly decent idea. Decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving.

2. Read this story.

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3. Choose an album size. Last year I went with an 8x8 acrylic cover from D. Reeves Design. This is actually one of the hardest parts of the process. At first I thought I wanted to do something along the lines of Janet's project using an old book as the foundation. Then as I was looking through last year's December Daily one of the things I remembered is that I ended up needing really big binder rings by the end of the month. I ended up going with the white D Reeves Mini Style File that measures 6.75 inches x 9 inches (this is just a front + back cover).

***Just an update: I received an email from Diane at D Reeves and she is making some changes in her life to focus on family and is stopping production of the albums. I completely understand and respect this decision and wish you all the best Diane.

Keep in mind that your album will get bigger over the course of 25 days as you add photos and ephemera.

4. Dive into your stash + corral your goods. This is a great project in that you really may not have to buy too much (or anything) to have a super fun, very full December album. I have a project box that holds my holiday supplies and a basket with some new products that I have recently picked up.

Here's a list of the things I like to work with when I begin this process: 

  • patterned papers
  • chipboard pages (especially pieces from minibooks you may have left over)
  • envelopes
  • transparencies
  • numbers for each day of December (I did 1 through 25 last year...some people go farther)
  • random pieces of stuff you have on hand that you have been wondering what in the heck you would ever do with them

Your first task is to decide on a cover/album and gather up your supplies. Tomorrow I will show my interior pages and talk a bit more about how it's organized and embellished.

Dottedline

This is part of a series of posts on creating a December Daily Album. All posts can be found here.

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107 thoughts

  1. gina says…
    10/27/2008

    I was thinking about this over the weekend -- a weekend during which I got "caught up" on a lot of projects and pondered what's on my plate for the next two months (including finishing up those Halloween costumes, making a quilt for my Dad who's entering a memory care unit, and making our Thanksgiving cards -- phew!). I've had this project in the back of my mind, though, and am so excited to read your post more thoroughly and get myself in the groove. First step today is to clean up my scrap area, always motivating. I am going to make my album Thanksgiving through New Year's as we have so much that goes on at the end of November. (December Daily Plus? Holiday Daily? Hmmm....) Looking forward to the process, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Nicky Anderson says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks Ali - was waiting anxiously for this and am pretty excited about getting this one completed this year.
    Will get started!!
    Have a great monday.
    Nicky from Canada

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Chris says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks for the inspiration. I think I may do this as a Holiday Season Daily. We start our traveling and family memories at thanksgiving and go right through New Years. Additionally, I think I'll just get my CM Storybook set up and drag n drop those photos and scans of memory items right into it...easy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. charmaine says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks Ali,
    I'm excited about this project this year. I did one last year, and loved it, but did seem to spend far too much time on it as I created the pages each day. Your plan makes far more sense! One question I have though is, how much time did you spend on it each day?

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  5. Jen says…
    10/27/2008

    I'm curious if anyone who doesn't have kids does something like this?
    I love the idea, but Texas doesn't lend itself to neat snow scenes too often. LOL!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Melissa D says…
    10/27/2008

    Hard to believe that it's time to begin this album again already. The year seems to be flying by. Loved compiling this one last year. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Sara says…
    10/27/2008

    What a great way to start off the season. My little bugs are at an age where the holiday's are much more exciting! I loved the story about the white envelope on the tree. I want to start incorporating that type of thing in our family ... helping those less fortunate. Thank you Ali for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. irene says…
    10/27/2008

    Hi Ali, love the book you are planning to create. And I will definitly play along. As did I with your "week in a life" (still have to get the photo's printed and put together in an album) Love your ideas and I am overwelmed by how organized you are. Wish I was a bit more like that ;)
    I was really touched by the story of the enveloppe in the Christmas tree. It reminded me, not only to be there for others, but also that live is short and you have to make most of it.
    Thanks for sharing
    Irene from the Netherlands

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Marie says…
    10/27/2008

    Oh my. That story made me cry! Which is not good, because I'm in the office! Good thing none of my co-workers are around today, they'd think I'd gone a bit loopy crying at my PC! I still can't believe that Christmas is almost upon us. This year has just flown by so fast.
    xMx

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  10. Jen says…
    10/27/2008

    I, too, love the magic of Christmas and this project seems perfect. I've already been sneaking in Christmas music so it seems fitting to sneak in some Christmas crafting, too. You are such inspiration. Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. anne_l says…
    10/27/2008

    Thank you Ali for sharing a holiday inspiration. It is very much appreciated. Now I need to gather my Christmas stuff to prepare for my album. Thanks a lot!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jessica Stoops says…
    10/27/2008

    Ali,
    I so needed this push so I can have the book together early and will be more likely to finish it.
    Last year, I lost steam and must admit, I had all the pictures but did not finish the book. I also did not have easy way to print out the pics.
    This year, I will make sure to finish up the one for last year. Then get ready for this years. I hope to stay on top of it. I now have photosmart printer, a Christmas present from my wonderful husband last year, which should help.
    I loved the story about the special presents for the less fortunate. Our church has a giving tree and we try to pick a child about our son's age and let him pick out the presents.
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    I look forward to reading your blog everyday:) Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Franziska says…
    10/27/2008

    hello Ali, your book really looks good. Not too much stuff, but christmas colours even so. I'm curious about watching your inner pages!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Anne Alley says…
    10/27/2008

    The album looks very cool so far, D.Reeves does really great albums, and I love how you did the title. I can't wait to see what more you will do with inside pages.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Amy says…
    10/27/2008

    I can't wait to get started on this! I already picked up an American Crafts 8x8 corduroy album for this project. :)
    I also want to thank you for all your awesome inspiration on the Week in the Life project, and all the great goodies you made available at Designer Digitals because I loved using them in my album! The style of them blend so nicely together and really make the album seamless from front to back!! I may have to buy some Christmas things from there, for this next album! I hope you have some more up your sleeve as well!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Linn says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks Ali, I was inspired by this last year and it also resulted in me taking fewer pictures than I usually would have, which made it easier to enjoy the memories as they happened. I used a spare scrapping kit and have already made this year's December daily!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. vdalton says…
    10/27/2008

    Can't wait to see this project unfold--I really enjoyed your album last year. I have always done a "CHristmas album"--it's a 12x12 and I can usually get 3 years into one album.
    ENJOY THE SEASON!!!!!!
    {VICKI}

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Malea says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks so much for the inspiration to do this album! I made it to the store this weekend and picked out some new Christmas papers to use and I've ordered a cute 6x6 acrylic album (it has shaded dots on the cover that kinda look like snowballs!) so once the album comes in then hopefully I can start planning out my pages a bit better.
    I plan to do the entire month of December... it will be a great way to document our last Christmas as a family of just 2 (well depending on if this little one decides to come early or not). :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Tracey says…
    10/27/2008

    Such a great idea - i really hope to do this this year, even though I'm expecting our first baby next week! Thank you for sharing the story of Mike and the envelopes - i feel a little silly but have to admit it made me cry, so touching and something we should all rememeber.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Margarita says…
    10/27/2008

    Ali, what kind of paper do you use for the pages? - Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Stephanie S., Woodbridge, VA says…
    10/27/2008

    I'm so excited - I am totally doing this project this year! It will be my first. I am also going to creat a book for the week of Thanksgiving - sort of "a week in the life" idea but specifically for the week of Thanksgiving and like the December album - I'm going to make it ahead of time. I love Thanksgiving so much so I really want to document it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Ann-Marie says…
    10/27/2008

    Oooh your project and ideas about savoring the holiday season are so beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing as always! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. alexandra says…
    10/27/2008

    Love it when you do this, Ali!
    I still have to finish my album from last year!! I am hoping to do it again this year though - perhaps I'll be better organized this time around.
    Sometimes when I look at your projects I think about how proud Chris must be of how you document your lives - so beautifully, so lovingly. Love the way you cherish it all and turn it into art!!
    Thanks for always inspiring!
    A.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. MARILYN NIMMO says…
    10/27/2008

    This is going to be so much fun--thank you for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. lisa says…
    10/27/2008

    Thanks for the continuing inspiration Ali. It's exactly what I needed today. Funny you mentioned holiday tunes. I actually added some new holiday songs to my ipod last week and found myself already singing along. Can't wait for the rest of the week to see your December album!

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