Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

November 23, 2009

December Daily : Q&A 2009

WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER DAILY 2009 Q&A : Thanks for taking time to leave your questions last week. I am hoping that what you find below will be helpful as you move forward in the process. 

InsidePeek

ALBUM INTERIOR

Q : Did you trim the sides of each page so they didn’t hang out of the album?? I figured you didn’t, since you didn’t mention it. But, I don’t notice that yours hang out of the album?? Is trimming really necessary?

AE : The canvas pages do hang out on the far edge (maybe 1/2 inch). I am totally fine with it – I guess I feel like it goes along with the “by-hand,” textural nature of this album. 

Q : Hi Ali, what are you doing (or what did you do) with the envelopes? Are you putting photos inside? outside? Both? Do you have a plan?

AE : In past years I have included notes to Simon, notes about the day, receipts, etc. I don’t go into it with a plan…when that day comes up I find something to go inside :) . In the past I have usually not decorated the outside beyond the number. See an envelope example from 2008 here

Q : I have a question about using chipboard pieces for a front cover and back cover. Have you worked with chipboard covers for mini albums much, and if so, where do you buy the chipboard? Do you buy it pre-cut to the size you’ll use, or in sheets and cut it down? Can you cut thick chipboard with any kind of trimmer, or do I need to buy a special kind?

AE : I have worked quite a bit with chipboard albums in the past and most of the time the chipboard I used all came as part of an album package (such as from 7gypsies or
Maya Road
). I am sure you can find blank sheets of chipboard online (here’s a google search for ‘chipboard sheets‘) and depending on the thickness you should be able to cut them with a paper trimmer or box-cutter/craft knife. Most of the time in the past if I cut chipboard I did it with a craft knife and a metal ruler (going back and forth until it comes apart). 

Day16

Q : How do I get my december digital overlays to print in color on cardstock? 

AE : Directions using Elements or Photoshop can be found here

Q : My question is about the numbers on each page. Why do you do that, when you also seem to use a journaling card with the date on it as well? I guess the numbers make it more of a diary/journal. Last year I pasted numbers to 4×6 decorative papers that I put in the album to separate days, but I often put the date on my journaling card, so I’m not sure the numbers served any purpose. Just wanted your take on it.

AE : I really see the numbers as a decorative element. Some days I use a journaling card (example here from 2008) and on other days I don’t (example here). I like using a bunch of different styles and having variety from one day to the next. 

Q : Do you use the front and back of each page for each day? So essentially, each days gets a front and back of one page??? That is what it looks like in your pictures but I can’t tell for sure???

AE : I have done all kinds of different things in the past. Some days got a front (with the number) and a back (the story). Other days – like this one from 2008 (see full info here): 

December104 December103

include a date page (the front) and then the next two pages (photos on the back of the date & the a second page added in with the text). I change it up as I go along depending on the story I am telling. 

Q : I also used transparencies cut down to size-what adhesive should I use to attach felt/paper to the transparencies that wouldn’t show through to the other side? 

AE : Most of the time in this album I have cut another “something” to go on the other side of the transparency to hide the adhesive (I usually just use a tape runner). 

Q : I know you said you were keeping it super simple and would add a few embellishments along the way…are you keeping a choice few in a baggy attached to the cover to add? Curious what those embellishments are. 

AE : I won’t be adding anything to the cover. I will be adding embellishments to the inside pages – those will come from my stash. I don’t have any idea what I will use at this point…

Q : Are you planning to journal using the computer or handwrite your comments or a combo of the two? If you handwrite will you stick with one color or will you mix it up? 

AE : I generally do a combination of both computer and handwriting. I will likely use just black and white (paint pen from Sharpie). 

Q : I love the look of the canvas pages that came in your album and thought about buying some of the Claudine Hellmuth adhesive canvas sheets and sewing two back to back. Should I remove the backing from the canvas before sewing or leave the backing sheets on to make the pages more sturdy?

AE : I would just peel off the backing and stick them together.

Q : I’m hoping to print my photos at home where I normally only print 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 but would love to be able to include some 8 x 8′s or 4 x 8′s, is there a simple way to do it other than photoshop as I just can’t get on with it.

AE : That’s a bit tough to answer without knowing what program you normally print from – that program may give you some other options for sizes.

Day7-2

OVERLAYS

Q : I am almost finished with putting my DD together and my question is about sewing the Hambly overlays on the canvas pages. Did you use a special needle to sew with? Any tips to make sewing the overlays easier?

AE : I did not use a special needle – it was just the regular one I have on my machine (just checked the size and it is 80/11). You can see in the image above that it is definitely imperfect – sometimes I need to help my machine along a bit by gently pushing the fabric/overlay forward. One of the things that I actually like about using my machine is that it is not perfect (definitely an operator issue rather than the machine). 

Q : Did you, once the overlay was sewn on, put an eyelet in the hole on the overlay?

AE : No. I stitched the overlay on top of the grommet that was already on the canvas page and then used a small craft knife to cut out the inside. 

RINGS

Q : My DD core pages are completed and without any additional embellishments or photos, it is too large already for my 2″ 8×8 binder. I couldn’t find 2.5″ binder rings at our Office Depot, so got 3″ instead. They seem a little large. Does anyone have anything creative for me to try. I don’t mind making my own covers at all, it looks like I’ll need to do that. Are there even 2.5″ or 3″ 8×8 binders out there?

AE : There is no doubt that these albums get big – each year I am amazed at how full of life they are by the end of the 25 days. You definitely (as you can tell already) want to have rings you can grow into over the course of the month. I remember feeling like mine seemed big last year in the beginning but by the end they were just right. There were quite a few good responses to your question in the comments as well. One of the ones I resonated with addressed the idea that one reason many people go with rings and separate covers is because the albums get bulky. A lot of that depends on what sort of pages you end up including (texture, thickness, etc). 

Q : Where did you get your album rings? I tried a 2.5″ ring and all the pages stuck out by over an inch! I tried a small album ring, but everything is getting really tight in my album already and I haven’t even added pictures yet.

AE : I am not sure where I got them – they were here in my stash of stuff. I did read in the comments that someone had found them in the embroidery section at Micheals. 

Q : Ali, my question is also about rings. I purchased a 5 ring, 8×8 album from 7 gypsies this year and with my core pages complete it is tight already. What size rings should I upgrade to?

AE : I am not sure what the ring size is to begin with on that album but you might consider going up at least half an inch…you really do want to have room for the pages to expand. 

Q : I have the MM Mistletoe 8 x 8 felt album that I’d like to use and am debating whether to replace the d-ring inner with rings to give me more depth for my pages. Do you think I’ll gain that much more space or do I ruin the risk of ruining my album?

AE : To be honest, I am really not sure. I think if you do it you have to be prepared for it to not work (meaning have a back-up plan in mind). 

GROMMETS & EYELETS

Decdailycover_outside 

Q : Where did you find replacement grommets to fit and how did you set them? I didn’t realize they were so large!

AE : I found the grommets used on the outside in the sewing section at Joann Fabrics. I went back and looked and the ones I got were the 1/4 inch Dritz Large Eyelet Kit (includes a little setting tool that I used along with my Making Memories hammer). These were just used on the cover. 

Eyelets

Q : Eyelets
Question: What size is the best? With the rings I wanted to make sure they had freedom of movement. Is there a brand & size that you use for eyelets you could recommend?
Notes:
I tried using the LARGE eyelets (1/4″), which look like yours, but now my album can’t close (far from) b/c it’s too thick/deep. The medium ones (5/8″) fit on my binder and allow my pages to turn, but just barely. I am using an American Crafts Modern 8×8 Album.

AE : I used large eyelets for the cover of the album (see above). For the interior pages I used ones that were quite a bit smaller (I would call them “regular sized” – not mini and not large). In the past when I have done ring albums I did not use any eyelets on my interior pages. I ended up doing it this year because I wanted to match the look of the canvas pages & the page protectors that were already set with very large eyelets/grommets. 

Q : Ali, I bought most of the supplies you are using this year and I wanted to tell you that the canvas album is AWESOME! I am going to just embellish it instead of covering it and replace the ribbon with rings like yours. But, I cannot tell if you used grommets for every page or not – was it just some pages?

AE : I will be using the smaller eyelets (shown above) on all the pages this year (the page protectors & the canvas pages that came with the album do have the larger size). Some of them I left blank because I will be covering them with a photo (and will then do the eyelets at the time of completing the page). 

Q : I am using an acrylic album as a base and adding in a lot of different kinds of pages (rather like your December Daily 2008). Some of my pages are just cardstock, and I’m wondering if I should use eyelets where the holes for the rings are or just leave them as is.

AE : I would just leave them as is – I did not have problems not using eyelets in the past (have not before this year and am only doing it this time to match the canvas pages and try something different). 

Q : Did you attach them with the cropadile or big bite II?

AE : Cropadile

Q : I have purchased the same album you are using for your December Daily and I’ve picked out fabric and I’m to the point where I need to take my grommets out. I have purchased other ones but my question is HOW you are using the crop a dile to set these. I’ve purchased grommets that are the same size as the ones on the outside of the album. I’ve noticed that you have put grommets on each page which I think is brilliant yet I need a little more instruction before I jump into that process. I don’t want to ruin the album before I ever get started! Thanks for any direction you may have! I’m excited to get this part finished up before the holidays are upon us! Thanks so much for the Holiday fun!

AE : I did not use the Cropadile to set the grommets for the exterior of the album. I used a little setter/tool that was included with the large eyelets and a hammer (followed the directions on the back). For my interior pages I used smaller eyelets (see the photo above) and did use the Cropadile for those pages. If you need help with the Cropadile I found this video with a google search. 

ADHESIVE

Q : I was wondering what adhesive you would recommend for adhering fabric, paper and embellies to the cover and canvas inserts? 

AE : There are really lots of different things you can use to adhere different elements to canvas. In the past I have used Golden Matte Medium or Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio Medium. Claudine has some how-to videos here. Many people online also suggest Tacky Glue (dries clear). I adhered my fabric on the cover using WonderUnder (essentially an iron-on). I also just got some ThermOWeb HeatNBond to try out as well. I am also a fan of staples. 

Q : Looking for a good strong adhesive to attach felt to paper and felt to felt. 

AE : I continue to be a fan of staples. Other than that I think this Peel N Stick fabric fuse from works well for fabric to fabric. 

SEWING

Q : I have a question regarding sewing, either on the page protectors or paper; I tried it once and my thread kept balling up at the back of the page protector. Is this just a matter of not having the tension right? Anyone know? I really like the look of stitching on pages and suppose I could do it by hand, but with my machine would be oh so much faster.

Answer from Terri : This is in answer to the sewing thread issue. My machine is fairly sensitive to the bobbin thread coming up from the hole. Several things I have to watch are: I have to use good thread most of the time so I try different threads (but tonight, I used cheap gold metallic thread and it worked); I have to hold the ends of the top and bottom threads a little bit tightly with my thumb and forefinger when I take the first stitch and hold them back behind the needle so they don’t go inside the needle’s hole and get jammed; I have to go very slowly right at the beginning of sewing the paper or protector. I don’t know why this is. I have had five machines since ancient times (the 60′s) and this one just has its moods. I also try out needles of different sizes, occasionally changing sizes depending on the thickness of the paper/board/fabric/plastic just like you would with any fabric. I hope that helped.

Q : Finally, I don’t sew and I don’t know how to, but I’d love to experiment… is there any small handheld little crafting sewing machine that you recommend to get me started?

AE : I don’t really know much about machines on the market today. Maybe someone will have a suggestion and can leave it in the comments below. You might want to consider getting a refurbished machine from a local sewing machine shop. I have loved having an older machine. 

Day8

Q : My other question is about the embellishment you sewed onto page protector for days 8. did you sew through both the front and the back of the plastic or just the top layer? thanks. 

AE : It is sewed right through the front and the back. Whatever goes inside will be cut to fit the area that is left (to the left). 

GENERAL

Q : Is there a flickr group for december daily?

AE : Yes, you can find it here

Q : I think you mentioned you’re taking Jessica Sprague’s Holidays in Hand class. I was curious if you’re incorporating that into your December Daily book or if you’re going to keep those two concepts separate.

AE : I am not incorporating it in a specific way but I am reading & following along and it’s likely I will be inspired by many of the things that Jessica shares. 

PROCESS

Q : During the month of December, realistically how long would you spend on each day adding pic and documenting? Have you found it is easier to work on it daily in December or do several days in one setting?

AE : I spend a bit more time on it only because the time I spend includes photographing & setting up my blog post (that can often take more time than the creation of the page). Some days the actual work on the page is super quick – especially when I am just writing down a memory (not all my pages include photos). I don’t always wait until the end of the day – sometimes I will see something, snap a photo, come to my office & print the photo & punch the holes and call it good. This does not have to be complicated…it does not have to be super-crafty, nor does it have to take a ton of time & decoration. 

Q : Does the number on each page correspond to date? For example, the page with the 1 is for what you did on December 1st and the page with the number 2 on it is for what you did on December 2nd? Or are the numbers just counting the different activities/events you did during December? What if you did something Christmas/holiday related at the end of November and want to include it in your book? Where do you put it? What if you do two great things on, say, December 12th. Do you put both on the number 12 page or does each activity get its own page?

AE : Yes, the numbers are for the date (as in December 1). I do this album as a daily documentation of what we do around here from December 1 through December 25. Not everything has to do with the holidays. Some years we put up our tree before December. In that case I would likely begin my album with a story of getting the tree on December 1. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. If we do two great things on December 12 then I would likely include more than one page for that day – if you take a look at my album from 2008 you can see where I have included multiple pages for one day (see an example here). 

Q : In other forums (namely Holidays in Hand, where I am participating this year), several people have commented that they don’t have time to do “holiday stuff” due the obligations of school, work, cooking, and cleaning. As though these activities are somehow less-than because they don’t look like the carefree Christmases in movies. I was hoping you speak a bit about the daily aspect of December Daily and perhaps whether or not we should consider capturing and documenting these days, even when nothing “holiday” happens. What are some moments/images/objects we may want to consider documenting on those days when “nothing happens”?

AE : I see this album as an opportunity to focus on the spirit of the season – to document the special little things that seem to go along with this time of year. That said it is a daily album – we do not do something holiday-ish everyday but I find something to celebrate each day. I went through my 2008 album and here were the topics/themes: 

1. getting our tree (link)
2. working on a felt garland (link)
3. Playmobile nativity set (link : multiple page example)
4. Simon’s photo with Santa in a felt pocket (link)
5. photos around the house (link)
6. Simon playing with holiday nesting dolls (link)
7. letter from me to Simon (link)
8. photo of my big pregnant belly in front of the tree (link)
9. Chris helping Simon with his homework (
link)
10. photo & words about a little snowman gift my parents left here for Simon (link)
11. a photo of what was on my work table (link)
12. Simon writing his letter to Santa (link)
13. our countdown calendar (link)
14. Simon waving at Santa (had already visited him) (link)
15. snow – always a big story when it happens around here (link)
16. wrapping a present (link)
17. Polar Express (link)
18. Polar Express, cont (link - good example of an entry that is a couple pages)
19. photo of our house in the snow (link)
20. not sure what this one is & the album is packed in my holiday boxes
21. photos around the house (link)
22. grocery shopping (included list) & hanging out at home (link)
23. baking cookies (link: photos)
24. hanging out at Chris’ parents for Christmas eve (link : one photo & words)
25. photos from the day (link)

Q : Last year I got an album together, but just couldn’t keep up with the daily photos, writing, etc. This year I have my own photo printer, which I think will help, but even when trying to simplify and not be a perfectionist, I’m not sure I can get it all done. Do you have any tips for making the December Daily in the midst of a very busy and full time? Also, any suggestions for using the book and pages I put together last year (including some finished/half finished pages)? Not sure if I should just go for it, or if it will be another abandoned project?

AE : I think there is a certain level of commitment that goes along with this project but it does not have to be overwhelming or complicated. I go into December knowing that I plan to devote a little time each day to celebrating something good with photos & words. What if you decide to skip all the decoration and just focus on taking a photo and jotting down something you noticed that was special each day during December? As for your book from last year, my first thought is to see if you can make it work (either by working right on top of what you created or removing the pages you worked on and creating new ones for just those days). I think it would depend on how much you had already done…

One other thought – do you have a blog? You could always use your blog to post a photo and write a couple sentences and then work on the album when you have bigger chunks of time. 

Q : Do you have any suggestions for people who will be traveling in December? Last year my December Daily didn’t get finished because we spent a week in PA/DC and a week and a half in Germany. I wanted to enjoy my trip and not worry about scrapbooking each day, but I took notes and kept things to include. When I got home I was so overwhelmed with all the photos and memorabilia that I just didn’t finish it and made a whole separate scrapbook for that whole trip. I’m still stressed when I look at it and think I can only include a few photos or thoughts per day. Any suggestions for those of us traveling in December? 

AE : First of all I highly recommend you let go of the stress you are feeling related to the album – you don’t need that at all! That is not what this is about in the least. If you are going to be gone for two weeks in December maybe you just decide to do it for the time you are at home? It sounds like you had more fun documenting the trip & focusing on that part of your adventures which is awesome. I would highly suggest making the project work for you rather than feeling like there is a specific way to approach it.  

Q : I am going to be gone the first weekend in December. I am not sure how to include my weekend away plus what my husband and son did. I am not too sure my husband gets the idea behind the album and am worried about his photo selections!
I love this idea and can’t wait to see my final product as well as yours!

AE : Again, as above, this should not be stressful or complicated. My album is not a play by play of what we all do everyday in December. Maybe since you are the storyteller in your family you write about your adventures that weekend and not worry about what they did. Or you could print out two columns of text – one that talks about what you did and one that talks about what they did (but to me that is getting complicated). 

Q : This is probably a dumb question, but does anyone just take the photos in December with a very short note about what happened each day, then actually put the album together in January?

AE : I am sure they do! There are no rules, no grades, no specific ways this has to come together. 

Dottedline

This post is part of a series on creating a December Daily for 2009. You can read find posts included in the series here

Comments

  • 1.
    jamie rex said…

    Thanks for taking all the time to make this post for us. Your album is always very inspiring.

  • 2.
    aozzie said…

    For the person asking if people but the album together in January. Last year I did it all on December 26th. I cropped with a friend and took all my notes with me. It was much easier than trying to do it everyday.

  • 3.
    Vicky said…

    Last year I was away for the first ten days of December and to be honest, most years our Xmas celebrations don’t start at the beginning of the month, so I made a ‘twelve days of Christmas’ album just documenting the days from the 13th to the 24th and our activities in the countdown to Christmas. I liked it and that’s what I plan to do again this year (which means I still have time to get it ready…..) :)

  • 4.
    Gale said…

    So many wonderful tips, I’ve read thru the post twice. Thanks.

  • 5.
    Twila said…

    I did this last year and it is truly my favorite album…EVER. Friends, Ali is right–don’t stress. It can be truly organic. I printed my photos at Costco twice during the process. Uploaded, looked through ALL of them, chose one for each day, and printed only them. It helps to get most of the book made ahead of time. Every day, I would put a sticky note w/short notes. When I printed my photos, I sat down for a few hours and put those into place. Journaled a few lines, added a few embellishments. Done. I did mine for the entire month of December since we have family committments and celebrations at Christmas, then a week later. HAVE FUN. This was a great break in the busy times of the holiday.

  • 6.
    kreativekate said…

    Last year I played along until December 12, when company arrived for the rest of the season. I had to put my craft supplies away then, so I took my photo each day, and jotted down what the photo was in my planner/calendar. I finished my album in January, and it worked beautifully. I was so glad to have written it down, because I was surprised at how much I had forgotten. Since things that were on our schedule were also written in the planner, journaling was a snap. It took all the stress away, because I knew I would be able to finish the album.

  • 7.
    Danielle said…

    Thanks for this post Ali!!

  • 8.
    robyn said…

    a note to those who feel there’s not enough time – i set up a “side-blog” {my main blog is through typepad, and you can set up sub-blogs through their service} and intend to record photos and words throughout the season, and am then turning it all into a digital book {using snapfish or some other option} in january.
    for those who are worried about being able to get it all done, i think that recording your thoughts on a blog, or even just in a doc on your computer, can help ease that stress. put your book together after the holidays, and simply give yourself the freedom/time to enjoy the season, recording thoughts and photos and putting it all together later!

  • 9.
    Monika Wright said…

    I’m the one with the binder ring issue…what I’ve decided to do is to take another reader’s suggestion and go to Lowe’s and have an acrylic cover cut to my specifications, then I’ll take Ali’s suggestion and keep the 3″ binders because I will probably end up adding 1st grader’s artwork, newspaper clippings of what’s going on in the world, school pageant programs, and will need the extra room. I am just so excited to do this again, as my kids loved seeing it last year. And, when my husband was looking through this year’s layout, he got a little teary-eyed (he’s a macho guy, but oh so wonderfully in touch with his feelings) when he saw that I had a page to explain our engagement story on Christmas Eve (and the post-it note that said “Best Decision.” That’s what makes recording our lives so important.

  • 10.
    Brooke M said…

    Thank you so much for answering so many questions about the album rings and the eyelets. I feel so much better about my album! :)

  • 11.
    lyn said…

    I did this album last year — and plan on it this year. And for the last question about putting it together later, I totally did! I have small children and work, so I just make sure to take my picture, write a little something and if I collected anything I put it all in a big box to wait until I had time to do it.
    I actually keep a blog — I was doing a 365 photo-a-day challenge, so all my pictures and words went up on my blog. I just printed everything out later. It was lovely to be able to look back and remember what I was doing after the fact.
    I’ll likely do it this way this year, too!

  • 12.
    callan86 said…

    Sewing advice…..when working with non fabric items…i.e. the overlays, lengthen the stitch length some. Tight, close together stitches will make sewing through the transparency or paper more difficult and may end up perforating it so much that it tears at the stitching line. The fewer the holes, the better it will hold.

  • 13.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Thank you :)

  • 14.
    ellie and abbie said…

    Ali, I’ve really enjoyed your December Daily posts over the years. I’ve never actually done one myself, but I’m thinking about it….
    I’m looking forward to seeing what you create this year. Thanks for the inspriation.
    -abbie

  • 15.
    Katie said…

    Thanks so much for posting all this info, Ali. I can’t wait to see how your December Daily comes together.

  • 16.
    beth lo. said…

    thanks for taking time to answer all the questions ali (mine included!). thank you too for sharing this special project with us-i look forward to it and love looking through previous year’s albums too. i completed all the pages last week and over the weekend (went much quicker than i thought)-and i love it! will finish the cover this week.
    to those asking about completing after the holidays or not being able to keep up: i kept up well last year until my infant got very ill (he was hospitalized dec 22 and 23). i kept notes on the back of an envelope and actually didn’t complete the last several days until earlier this month! while i don’t recommend putting off completion as long as i did-if you keep notes to jog your memory-it was doable for me to match up my photos with my journaling and finish the album even months (and months!) later.

  • 17.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Thanks for all the detail, Ali.
    Re: holiday travel. I am in that boat; which can mean more photos, actually. My approach is to include more ruled/journaling paper for those days (dec. 23-Jan 1) so I can write directly into my album while I’m away, then print + add photos on my return home.
    I’m happily assembling my album shell today. Such a relaxing pleasure following a whirlwind weekend.

  • 18.
    Molly Irwin said…

    robyn: I love this idea. Really do-able and practicle.

  • 19.
    Molly Irwin said…

    P.S. your readers carry on great commentary! I rarely miss the comments here.

  • 20.
    Amy S said…

    The first year I did this along with you at the last minute and didn’t have the book set up so I decided to just do the journaling. I basically just had a little book around my kitchen (where the action seems to be) where I made sure to document every day. Similar to your little gratitude book, but with more journaling room. I think this would be a great way for those who are scared of the time commitment to approach it this year. By having a smaller, journaling only book, they could easily “practice” making time each day to document. And although the photos are great, there is no stress of photos in this case. And with mine I found out at the end that I had plenty of photos, just no pressure to take them, and I added them in as separate pages later.

  • 21.
    Joy said…

    Thank you , Ali, for posting these questions and answers. I love finding out more about the way you make your albums through Q&A. Also, the “no stress” aspect is very appealing!

  • 22.
    Kimberly L.C. said…

    Some of the questions seem to relate to people who don’t seem to have a daily thing to put into a “Christmas-y” album. I’m one of those people (I work full-time outside of the home 60+ hours a week, with a fair amount of travel) and what I do is make the album… make a bunch of pages and embellish some lightly and then WAIT to number them. With the album this way, I only include the days/memories I want to and just number those days accordingly. I call my album December Memories, not December Daily and it works for me.
    This year my first 13 days of December are full of work obligations, including a working trip to Las Vegas without my family. On one of my free nights I’ll likely walk around and take photos of the Christmas decor, then go to a local store with 1 hour processing. Print a few photos and “go crafty” in my room with my little album kit that I pack.
    You can make it work!

  • 23.
    Valerie said…

    Thank you Ali, for so much helpful informaiton. I loved doing the December Daily last year. I kept a daily dairy on my computer and jotted down what happened each day. My photos were saved with the daily date so that when I had them printed, I knew what photo belonged to what day and, when I had a spare minute, it was all there to do a few pages at a time. I think people stress too much about a fun project! Thank you again for all your input – you are so good to share so much with us.

  • 24.
    Tammy Mellish said…

    I like your consolidated list of topics from last year! But I especially LOVE the last entry. Made me laugh out loud, actually.. given I have yet to finish up my 2008. The journaling is all there in bits, photos, etc. They just need to be *nailed* down. It happens!

  • 25.
    Erica Hettwer said…

    In response to the last question I just wanted to share my experience. I finished up my DD08 album in August! ;) I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get it done every day and I don’t like the quality of photos I can print at home. So, I tried to take at least one photo per day and blog every day. I did have a few days where I had no photo and no blogging but those days I just filled in with a photo/description of our tree or the decorations. Oh, and I included a few things that weren’t really holiday related especially since I was pregnant. :)

  • 26.
    Kelly R. said…

    I have 2 comments after reading the Q&A.
    Sewing – When sewing a non-traditional item such as paper/plastic it may help to use a tear away interfacing underneath. This helps the feed grab and move the item along. Once you sew, just tear the interfacing away from the stitching.
    Last year on days when it seems like “nothing” was happening I documented my son’s haircut or what we had for dinner, new recipes to try. You’ll see there is always something to document even if you think it’s mundane.
    Can’t wait to get started this year!

  • 27.
    sannaf said…

    I totally LOVE your December dayly album!!! SO creative and beautiful!!!!

  • 28.
    cinback said…

    I love your “keep it simple” philosophy of scrapbooking. Last year was the first time that I did this project and I absolutely enjoyed every moment! I think it is important to be flexible, with design, with amount of space available, with the topic of the day, but that is what I enjoy about this album. There are no rules and that is what makes it fun! Just go with the flow! (Where have I heard that before?)
    I have already completed my DD 2009 book and cannot wait for December to begin! You can find my album (and last year’s) on my blog at http://seriousplay.typepad.com under the heading “Mini-Books”.
    Blessings

  • 29.
    tania said…

    love this project! I love looking back to see what was going on at the holidays last year.
    I have a quick question. How big approx was the fabric you used i was thinking about a half a yard?
    thanks

  • 30.
    Theresa said…

    I love your philosophy. Do what’s simple and works for you. I started a December Daily last year but found I couldn’t do every day. I still made the album but only included about 1/2 the days in December. I didn’t stress about it. I put the date or day number on the page(s). Some of the days are missing, like I said. I just did what worked for me. And I love it! I was just looking at it last night. I doesn’t have a page for everyday but it captures the spirit of our December ’08. So everyone out there, don’t stress! Just do what works for you. You will be so happy you did.

  • 31.
    betsyc@mossylog.com said…

    Regarding the last question: I take notes and photos in December and put the base of the album together-then hold your horses-I put it away until the next November and put everything together then. So right now I am working on December 2008. It gets the whole family in the mood for Christmas and we talk about what we liked and what we want to do differently. It works for us.
    Thanks for the all info Ali.

  • 32.
    Kathy W said…

    Regarding the last question/answer…I am currently looking at my 2008 December Daily, my journal book, and photos of last December that I finally printed out yesterday….all ready to put in my book. Since my blockage point seems to be processing and printing photos, I am hoping to finish last year’s book before the end of this December. It’s fun to relive the memories and think how different this year is compared to last year.

  • 33.
    Sandi M said…

    I’m so glad to see that others asked questions that I had wondered about also. The 1/4 grommets from JoAnn’s were what I recently purchased for my daughter’s and my album, but they looked small compared to the ones on the canvas album. We were going to return them and try something else. Now it seems we won’t need to.
    The tip above about using tear away interfacing sounds like a good tip. Between you and Kelly R all my current questions have been answered.
    It’s also nice to hear you are following along with Jessica’s class. I’m doing exactly the same thing.

  • 34.
    Tiffani said…

    With regards to the last question, I am still putting together last years DD (may even work on it tonight a bit). I don’t feel stressed about it, but would like to finish it sometime. :)

  • 35.
    Deb said…

    I am one that gets the album together but work on it several days at once. I do not document every moment but try to get the highlights. Once in a while I have to do a week at a time. Its fun for me.
    This year my album actually started at Halloween and ends with New Years. Its going to be a winter Holiday book. I wanted to include all the events into one book. :)

  • 36.
    Susan Hessler said…

    Wow Ali, that was a great, extensive and detailed post. You are so great at answering everyone’s questions. I just want to respond to the stress people are communicating – my big take away from all the classes, projects I’ve done with you and your blog is that this should be personal, meaningful and fun. The daily December album is especially fun for me as it gives me permission to do something looser and more journal like – I generally do 12×12 pages that I really like but are just different than what I do for the DD. And, I sometimes do something everyday and sometimes I catch up on the weekend, and last year I had my album ready and a basket on my scrap table and I collected all month and put it together in January. I’ve really enjoyed the process and I have several done now and really enjoy putting them out and looking back on them. Especially as my children get older, it’s amazing to look back and see what it was like even a couple of years ago.
    Thanks! Susan

  • 37.
    Lani said…

    “My album is not a play by play of what we all do everyday in December” – thanks for this Ali – I think I needed to read this!

  • 38.
    Becky P. said…

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I finished constructing my album last night–feel free to check it out:
    http://beckyscreativespace.blogspot.com/2009/11/holiday-mini-album.html
    Again, thanks!

  • 39.
    chantille said…

    Ali, just wanted to say thank you so much for answering my questions and all the others about the December Daily, nice to have those points cleared up before we begin :) This album is my favourite thing to do in the holiday season, absolutely love it! Thanks you again for all you do, you really are an inspiration.

  • 40.
    nicole said…

    i thought id comment on the question about a smaller sewing machine to try out sewing on without making the heart investment of a true sewing machine. ive gotten a mini sewing machine from target for 20 bucks. it has a pedal and a light, very much like a full size, but it only has one stitch, doesnt reverse or anything like that. hope that helps

  • 41.
    Sandi said…

    Ali
    Thanks for doing a Q&A :) I always like reading these types of blogs to gather more information and build on what I know.
    Thanks for blessing us with your time and talent.
    Sandi N.

  • 42.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    Thank you for all the great answers! I’m actually putting mine together this week, then in December, I’m giving myself permission to just write a note and put it in a stack, to be added to my album the week after Christmas. If I have the time and feel creative, I will make the page that day. I think putting it all together will be something for me to look forward to the week after Christmas but I will definitely take the pic and do the journaling each day. Thanks so much for all the great info!

  • 43.
    Cindy said…

    For the person wondering about people who put the album together after the holidays – I didn’t even get my supplies until mid-December, having been very late discovering the concept. I had been taking pictures, though, and once I had a chance to get everything together (Janueary? Ha! Try March!) I was thrilled with it. It was fun to go back and fit what I had with what came out of the kit I had bought. I ended up with several extra pages to accomodate friend’s visits and a three year old’s birthday, and it was a delight to go through and remember it and extend the holiday spirit a little longer. =]

  • 44.
    Laura said…

    To the person who asked: “…does anyone just take the photos in December with a very short note about what happened each day, then actually put the album together in January?”
    Even though I have a printer, I’ll be getting my photos printed either at Walgreen’s or through Snapfish after the holidays. (I feel professional photo printing is the way I prefer to go — I think it’s more cost effective and better quality.) So, I’m going to set up the album and add the pictures once they’re printed. I’ll do as much as I go as I can during the month (journaling, deciding which photos will go on which pages, etc.).

  • 45.
    Megan Renfree said…

    Thanks for all of those answers Ali. I started doing the DD last December, but it feel by the wayside, so I have been unsure whether to do it again this year, but reading all of your answers and your list of what you put in it each day has helped me. I think I will get the album I did last year out again and see if I can revamp it for this year and try again. I have been doing project 365 this year, so I think I can incorporate the photos I take for that for December, and print them for this album too. Thanks!

  • 46.
    Rachel Briggs said…

    Ali I was wondering if I could get your december daily button to post on my blog. This is my first year doing it and I am so excited.
    I agree with the don’t stress. This is supposed to be fun, not a obligation. When I started to let go of the perfection and it having to be done a certain way I had way more fun with it, and got really creative and love the result. I started numbering my pages then thought maybe I’ll do more than one page for a day so I stopped after 11. No worries. I can’t wait to start documenting!
    Thanks Ali!

  • 47.
    Julie L said…

    Thanks for all the info. I’m really inspired and want to make my 1st December daily. I have 3 little ones, 4 yrs, 2 yrs and 3 months, plus we moved in July, so I haven’t scrapped in about 6 months. This looks like a wonderful little project to get me into the spirit of Christmas and record our daily living while my children are young. I’m sure my daughter (4) would love to help me. I’m planning to go super simple so that I don’t feel overwhelmed at this busy time. Thanks again. I look forward to seeing your pages this year.

  • 48.
    Christene said…

    A second choice with a few more options (forward, reverse, bobbin winding, etc.) is a cute little Kenmore sewing machine I got at Sears. It’s blue and I think it’s about $60 – $70 (mine was on sale). My mother (an advanced sewer) and I (intermediate skills) use it as a back up/portable machine, and my sister (beginner) uses that one exclusively.

  • 49.
    Christene said…

    I have one word – FabriTac!!! This is an awesome fabric glue that I used last year to create my felt chain garland – after I discovered the other glue didn’t hold. It comes in a clear bottle and I found it in the craft section of WalMart. It works well on other fabrics too, even on leather.
    Ali, thank you for sharing your creativity and for your guidance. I have to admit, planning out my DD makes me as giddy as the prospect of decorating for the holidays. (which sounds like an entry, doesn’t it?)

  • 50.
    Annette said…

    Ali, you put so much thought into these posts about your DD albums, that it’s like a mini tutorial. Your children also reflect the care that you put into them, as well as the work that you do. Thank you for sharing your life and taking the time to help others as well. Happy Thanksgiving to the Edwards’ family!

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