Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 28, 2008

December Daily Album : Part Two


Now comes the fun part: selecting + organizing + numbering pages.

One of the things I aim for in this album is variety: sizes, textures, colors, edges, etc.

For this album I cut a bunch of pieces 6 inches x 9 inches and arranged them inside the album (or as close as I could get with some circle + die cut papers). You will cut yours to whatever size makes sense for the book you are using. After putting them in I did other things: tearing, cutting smaller, creating decorative edges with the Fiskars Threading Water Punch, etc.

Next, as you will see below, I added numbers to each page.

For me, this book is less about decoration and more about documentation. What that means is that when the time comes in December to add my words and photos I will not spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to add product-wise. I don’t have any plans to spend more time each day than it takes to upload and print a photo (here at home), write up some journaling, and adhere it into my book (and maybe add one embellishment or a couple word stickers). I don’t want this album to take up more time than necessary during the holiday season. Again, I want to be present and experience the season and do a bit of documentation as we go along.

I like to do documentation as we go along, rather than after the holidays, because I find that I have a tough time remembering what were the specific important or poignant or endearing or special parts of the day months after the fact (sometimes they are comments in passing or very simple things that end up meaning the most). Instead of “we went to see Santa today” I want the journaling to be more personal and real: how did Simon react, what was special about the moment, did he say anything silly or wonderful, what made it unique from last year, etc.

Those are the things I want to capture in this album.

As you will see below this is all about keeping it simple. Don’t spend too much time deciding where to put the numbers or journaling blocks. Get it done. When December rolls around you will be working with what you have in front of you rather than starting from scratch. Making it work is a creative task in and of itself.

Day One:


[ Clear Scraps XL Deco Acrylic Page (cut in half + used the second half for Day 18); Ali Edwards December Daily Photo + Journal Overlays ]

Day Two:


[ Scenic Route Kraft Photo Mattes; random playing card tucked behind the tabbed photo matte ]

Day Three:


[ Art Warehouse Mistletoe Ledger; Ali Edwards December Daily Photo + Journal Overlays; Fiskars Threading Water Punch (for decorative edges) ]

Day Four:


[ Hambly Climbing Vine Antique White Transparency; Tree: Art Warehouse Noel Epoxy Sticker ]

Day Five:


[ Baseball card page protector cut to size; Every Jot + Title Red Circle Numbers ]

Day Six:


[ Creative Cafe Dark Red Polka Dot Felt; vintage circle 6 card; American Crafts Ribbon #57604 ]

Day Seven:


[ Paper Source Red Envelope; American Crafts White Subway Foam Thickers ]

Day Eight:


[ Art Warehouse Mistletoe Transparency; #8: Every Jot + Title Red Circle Numbers ]

Day Nine:


[ Heidi Swapp Overlay Dots; Ali Edwards December Daily Photo + Journal Overlays ]

Day Ten:


[ Art Warehouse Mistletoe Dot Die Cut Paper; American Crafts White Subway Foam Thickers ]

Day Eleven:


[ Making Memories Flocked Vellum Snowflake Paper; still needs a number ]

Day Twelve:


[ Making Memories Flocked Dot Papier Rouge Paper; #12: Every Jot + Title Red Circle Numbers ]

Day Thirteen:


[ Random Chipboard Piece; Scenic Route Berkley Red Letter Stickers ]

Day Fourteen:


[ Heidi Swapp White Moments Clock Overlay; #14: Every Jot + Title Red Circle Numbers ]

Day Fifteen:


[ American Crafts Bushels of Fun; Jenni Bowlin Studio Boy Icons Printed Journal Ticket; American Crafts Black MOMA Remarks Letter Sticker Book ]

Day Sixteen:


[ Paper Source  Pocket Envelope; Scenic Route Berkley Red Letter Stickers; Tree: Art Warehouse Noel Epoxy Sticker ]

Day Seventeen:


[ Unknown Music Paper; American Crafts Mumbo Jumbo Black Letter Stickers ]

Day Eighteen:


[ Clear Scraps XL Deco Acrylic; Ali Edwards December Daily Photo + Journal Overlays ]

Day Nineteen:


[ Making Memories Skinny Stripe; Circle Sticker: Art Warehouse Christmas Cardstock Stickers; American Crafts Black MOMA Remarks Letter Sticker Book; "Merry:" Unknown ]

Day Twenty:


[ Jenni Bowlin HOME Bingo Card (may be replaced with one from her holiday collection coming soon); Circle Stamp: Savvy Stamps ]

Day Twenty-One:


[ Baseball card page protector cut to size (end up with four pockets); American Crafts White Subway Foam Thickers ]

Day Twenty-Two:


[ Art Warehouse Die Cut Mistletoe Text; Ali Edwards December Daily Photo + Journal Overlays ]

Day Twenty-Three:


[ Heidi Swapp Overlay Dots; Tree: Art Warehouse Noel Epoxy Sticker; American Crafts White Moma Remarks Letter Sticker Book ]

Day Twenty-Four:


[ Making Memories Artisan Solid Die Cut Paper; Scenic Route Berkley Red Letter Stickers ]

Day Twenty-Five:


[ Art Warehouse Dear Santa Hollyberry Paper; Scenic Route Berkley Red Letter Stickers ]

These albums get more stable (vs. just a piece of patterned paper as a page) when photos are added. Some photos will cover the entire page, some will be cropped and arranged on top of the patterend paper, and others will be added in as pages themselves. Most of that will depend on what happens on that particular day. Take a look at last year’s album to see completed examples.

Edited: Feel free to leave questions in the comments today. I will address them in a post tomorrow.


Am I skipping Thanksgiving?

Someone asked in the comments yesterday if I was going to do anything for thanksgiving/November/gratitude-related and the answer is YES. I am hoping to have more information and details on a great project for you soon! I mainly just like to get this one out and done with early on as I have lots more projects planned for the lead up to December (you can see the holiday projects I did last year here).


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


  • 51.
    anna said…

    PEE MY PANTS EXCITING!!!!! THanks for sharing! I’m SOOOOO inspired! I just wanted to go get all my stuff out and put it all togehter somehow! But wait; i don’t have anything Christmas around yet…BUT NOW I WILL!…soon:)
    THanks again for sharing!!! :)

  • 52.
    Brenda said…

    Thanks for sharing this, Ali! I am planning on starting my December Daily album real soon. I have the cover and the embellishments planned. Just need to decide how it will all go together. I am excited about this! Your album is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • 53.
    anna said…

    I’m so agree with TERRI’s question…how do you know if the pic will work out? just wing it? cut it down?

  • 54.
    Kim R said…

    I love this album. I just moved to new house so this year will different decorating. Do you put photos on the back of tranparency pages or just back photo with pattern paper?

  • 55.
    Kelly Bird said…

    Ali, thanks so much for the inspiration!! Not only am I making one for myself but also for my sister-in-law and best friend. And what’s even better is I am using stuff from my stash.

  • 56.
    Lisa said…

    For your pages, are you making them front/back for each day, or just putting stuff on the front of the page? I noticed that you have a new number for each separate page instead of putting the next day on the back of the previous page. Does that make sense?
    I’m so excited to play along….still trying to decide on the album and pages too. As always, thanks for the inspiration!

  • 57.
    Nancy said…

    Hi, Ali! Thanks for posting your albums…they are so inspiring. I have a question. What type of adhesive do you use to attach your papers back-to-back? Also, how do you utilize this adhesive? By that I mean, do you use the adhesive all the way around the edges, or just every so often?

  • 58.
    Gina said…

    Looks great! I love it!!Fun; Have a great day!

  • 59.
    Linn said…

    Beautiful!!! As always. I already finished my December Daily for this year (I don’t use numbers, as some days I have 5 photos I love and other days I just don’t have any.) But now I’m thinking of giving the one I’ve already made to my sister in law and making a new one for myself…I love the transparent overlays from last year and this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 60.
    Latrice said…

    This is great Ali!! You have me wanting to do one now. Why do you have to have such good ideas girl? LOL!! Great composition of this album. Did you order the Clearsnaps acrylic online? Also are the journal ovrlays availabl somewhere to download? The Ali Edwards ones.

  • 61.
    Amy said…

    Ali, you just never disappoint!! Another great album! I love it. I can’t wait to get started. I purchased the American Crafts Corduroy album for this in 8×8, but I saw your post yesterday about needing really big binder rings, so I’m thinking I may have to do some creative disassembling of that album to fit more pages! :) I have been enjoying your blog so much lately, I even enjoy reading the comments! lol

  • 62.
    Cherie said…

    Fun, fun, fun! Now I’m going to go dig out my Christmas supplies!!
    Thank you!

  • 63.
    CheyenneH said…

    Thanks for your ongoing creativity that you share with us! it really helps me to see how real people put their ideas into their work. This year I am definately doing the December Daily project. Maybe even convincing a few friends that, yes, they have time to do it too.

  • 64.
    Lara said…

    Where do you get all of the different sizes of page protectors that you use? Like the baseball card one or other sizes that I’ve noticed in other albums. I have found some 4×6 pages at my local office supply chain store, but there are all these extra spaces in them that the ones you use don’t seem to have. Thank you for all of the wonderful inspiration!

  • 65.
    Julie said…

    Totally do this book this year!

  • 66.
    anne said…

    I love this album! You inspired me to get a clear acrylic album as the base for this project. I am ready to start on it, but wondered what adhesive is best to use on the acrylic pages and on transparency pages?

  • 67.
    Jen W. said…

    I was wondering what size metal rings you are using. I am doing a different size chipboard album, but was considering using 3″ rings. I wasn’t sure if that would work. Thanks

  • 68.
    Jennifer said…

    Love your albums. I’m wondering if/how you use the left side of the clock overlays?

  • 69.
    D'Nese said…

    I love that you are doing this and I truly looked forward all day to coming home from work to see the inside of this album. Truly amazing Ali. My heart sank when you brought up Thanksgiving because I was going to ask you today *in the comment section* if you ever do anything Thanksgiving related. I can’t WAIT to see what you come up with.
    Thanks for sharing the step by steps on your wonderful XMAS album and linking the materials used. This is ONE great album.

  • 70.
    D'Nese said…

    I also meant to ask you-how do you go about your supplies when you purchase them. You seem to always have just the right items on hand. Do you do one massive shopping and pile stock away or do you purchase what you have in mind for your album and then create once the items are received?

  • 71.
    Stephanie said…

    Thanks for sharing this album. I am really going to try to make one this year. I was wondering what you use to make sure all the holes line up? Is it a single hole punch or 3 hole punch?

  • 72.
    Sue said…

    Hi Ali,
    The December Daily Album is just wonderful. I would like to get some more information on your creative process. How long did it take you to put this album together? Did you create all of the pages first and then figure out the numbering or did you complete a page and number it before moving on to the next? I am trying to learn how to speed up my creative process. Thank you!

  • 73.
    Jamia said…

    CUTE, CUTE, CUTE, did you create your album first and add pictures at the end of the month.

  • 74.
    Linda B said…

    Hi Ali! Thanks for being such a fabulous inspiration to so many of us. You’re #1 on my “favorites” and I so look forward to seeing what you have to share every day. Your generosity is incredible. Love this album with it’s “little of this, little of that” personality – so eclectic and fun. Now can’t wait to read all the answers to all these interesting questions tomorrow. Thanks again!
    Linda B

  • 75.
    Artful Yogi said…

    Love it. I’ll assemble mine this week.
    I, like some others, will keep in mind that some of my celebrating happens after the 25th and allow for several other days to be added. I may even combine a few days in December to allow room for the week after Christmas. With flights being so expensive it may be months before I see some family members. I’ll still add them to the album later–like I did this year. (Christmas in March–yay!)Plus it’s fun to have pics of the packages sent at the post office during December.

  • 76.
    Cheyne Fanke said…

    I am after a copy of your ‘everyday life’ book. I am in Australia but don’t know how/where to get a copy – do you post o/s?
    Thankyou for your constant inspiration.

  • 77.
    Lanette said…

    Ali do you think a creative imaginations – narratives – easel frame album would hold the weight up of all pages. i like the idea of being able to display this book all month on the coffee table. i’m probably going to have all 31 days in it as my family visits between christmas and new years. Thank you for the great motivation you inspire in me almost every time i read your blog. btw this is the only blog i make time to read on a regular basis. so thank you and please keep up the fantastic encouragement of just sharing you with us.

  • 78.
    Holly S said…

    I have started my journal…Cover can be seen here:
    Inside pages cut and in but still need to add numbers…thanks for another great project! Love them ALL

  • 79.
    Darlene said…

    Ali, Thank you for going through this step-by-step for those of us that may have ideas, but lacks the organization to put such a thing together!

  • 80.
    Kerry said…

    Ali, I feel like a broken record every time I leave a comment. But you are SO amazing and I’m so thankful to you for taking the time out of your day to write up these super inspiring posts. My wheels are spinning and I can’t wait to dive into this. I’m wondering if you create a separate Christmas book for Simon or if you just create this one December Daily album. I’d kind of like to have little books for each of my two children but I don’t want to make it complicated. Thanks so much!

  • 81.
    Amy said…

    Thanks again for such wonderful inspiration! I was wondering about your process for selecting patterned paper. Do you keep with your 5 colors (white, black, red, tan, kraft, etc) as being one of the predominant colors or what guides your process?

  • 82.
    D said…

    Hey Ali-
    I actually asked some q’s earlier but forgot to ask this one. When you hole punch your paper/items, what are you using to do that?

  • 83.
    Shannon Albrecht said…

    This is so awesome! Thanks Ali! Total motivation here. This is absolutely do-able for me this year. In fact I think I may make something similar for November/Thanksgiving. My second fav. holiday & season. So my question is: do you have a “November Daily photo+journal overlay”. I would download that now if so!
    Thanks for all you do rock. :)

  • 84.
    D said…

    Oh man-I have another q Ali, LOL, so sorry I am tired and have a major headache so the q’s come to my mind and quickly slip away. I LOVE Xmas time and all the music. You said that you put on some XMAS tunes, just curious as to what you listened to while making this album. I’m sure everyone agrees that XMAS tunes are great no matter what they are but would love for you to share your music list when putting this together.
    Thanks and I swear this is my last question **for tonight** anyway. =)

  • 85.
    natalie wolf said…

    Hi Ali,
    As always I was very inspired and made my own December daily album today…now I can’t wait for december. peace.

  • 86.
    Casey said…

    I made a six by six one along with you last year, and the whole family loved it! I had planned on buying new stuff for this one, but I took your advice and pulled out all of my old holiday papers, and many green and red ones. I actually have enough for the whole month, combing vintage patterns with modern green prints. I even put the pages together this evening and found some old book covers to alter for the project. It feels good to be using up old stuff and having a “green” album this year. Thank you! After looking at all of the different prints and styles I have, I’m wondering if I need something to pull them all together. With all of the different items in your album, are you considering using a consistent element or is it anything goes?

  • 87.
    Carolyn said…

    This looks great and I’m really excited about trying it! One question though. Can you buy the transparencies in Eugene? I was at Michael’s today and couldn’t find anything. Numbers are kind of hard to find as well. I got a lot of other stuff, though! Thanks for the great idea!

  • 88.
    Lanette said…

    ali i just read my post and i don’t think my question was clear. sorry,i’m tired. re: creative imaginations -easel album… will the easel in the back be able to stand up with the weight of the album. i believe the pages will also help work as an easel but not sure. man i’m over thinking this, i’ll just not attach anything to front & back cover yet, as i progress thru the month i’ll know. duh.

  • 89.
    Mieke Duyck said…

    I just LOVE your Christmasbook pages! You never stop inspiring me, and I’m totally hooked on your blog & projects!
    One little regret: find only little part of all the cool stuff you use, here in Europe..and yes, I could order online, but my greatest pleasure is seeing, smelling & tuching all these treasures… :)

  • 90.
    Astrid said…

    You give me so much inspiration! Love your creative process!

  • 91.
    Celina Gomes said…

    Thanks alot for sharing this creative idea. I would like to work on this; rather i have started for December

  • 92.
    Amanda Angert said…

    Awesome idea!! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m definitely planning to do this because I feel like each year the holidays slide past with barely a notice. This will be a great way to live each day and take notice of the little things. Thanks again!

  • 93.
    Susi from Germany said…

    Hi Ali,
    thanks to your inspiration I started mine last night and I’m almost done. So happy! I used only stuff from my stash and even made the album all by myself *proud*. I will have to order larger binder rings though, the 1″ ones are too small already. Looking forward to all your answers!
    Susi, who is literally devouring your posts each day!!!!

  • 94.
    tracy rizzo said…

    I am looking forward to decorating and enjoying the holidays with family-and eggnog lattes at starbucks*wink*

  • 95.
    Johanna said…

    A question that occurred to me when following some of your product links: How do you actually keep track of the products you buy and post about? Do you go digging for every single link when you post about the products you use? Or do you have some spiffy way to keep track of all of your sources so it’s easy to find the specific product and link? Just curious how you keep yourself organized not regarding your actual scrapping but regarding the business of talking about your layouts (as I persume you have to keep organized in some way, with all the writing about your work you’re doing). I would love to know!
    Greetings from Germany,

  • 96.
    Angi said…

    I have gathered up all sorts of goodies and plan to start tonight if time allows.
    Here’s comes a QUESTION for you…. I’m wanting to run the album for the entire month of December, and to include New Year’s Eve/Day and the weekend after. Reason being is that my sister is coming in from Japan to visit, but not coming until 12/30. I want our fun and festivities this year with her to be included in this special album. Any ideas/suggestions on a cover to include this whole thing? I was thinking something like “Christmas Season & Beyond” for a title or something, but to decorate the cover (i’m using a naked 8.5×11″ binder) is leaving me a bit confuzzled, especially since almost everything i’m using leading up to Christmas is traditional red & green, and i’m thinking to use black, blue, silvers and such for new year’s eve/day pages.
    Suggestions? Ideas?

  • 97.
    Cindy Gordon said…

    Hey Ali, I do have a question -
    I am making mini-books for all the small children on my Christmas gift list – they are being filled with pictures of all their favorite people and pets – momma, daddy, grandpa, Aunt Cindy, etc….I named one of them “Peas Peeps” (my best friends 16 month old is nicknamed Pea…).
    I’ve figured out everything EXCEPT how to add page protectors so that little fingers don’t tear or ruin the pages – I’d like them to be something they have for a while….very kid friendly…..any thoughts? Oh, and thanks for the opportunity to ask the question!

  • 98.
    gina said…

    This is more of a general question that I have been struggling with for some time: as someone who is environmentally savvy, how do you deal with the consumption involved with creating projects? I am in my 40′s, have been crafting all my life, yet sometimes feel that making (lots of) stuff isn’t the best use of the world’s resources. Do you ever feel that way?

  • 99.
    MichelleB said…

    Hi Ali,
    I love both your ’07 and now your ’08 album, so I will most likely try to incorporate ideas from both! Can hardly wait to get started (once I finish my CHristmas cards!)

  • 100.
    Brandy Seitz said…

    DECORATING!!! Putting up my christmas tree and trying to make it just a little better than the year before.

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