Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 5, 2010

December Daily 2009 : Day 23, Day 24, Day 25 & Reflections On The Process


This is another one of those projects that I love to finish. I love to start it and I love to be done with it (another reason I just do the 25 days). There is no doubt that I will do it all over again next year. 

One of the big things you will notice is that I ended up going with a thick ribbon/twine (from my stash) rather than the metal rings to hold it all together. It just wasn't working. I don't love what I ended up using but it will be fine (not ideal because it's hard to turn & would not be easy for little hands to look through). Read below for more observations from the process.


A shopping list paired with a circle glitter paper from Making Memories. Two circle epoxy and one button accent were added on top of three circles (one from Love, Elsie, one from K&Company, and the button from American Crafts).

Here's the original:



I ended up moving the pocket page to the back (see original below) because I wanted to the photos and the words to be front and center (vs. inside the pocket).


The journaling talks about our day: where we went, what we ate, and how over-the-top excited Simon was about Santa visiting and it finally being Christmas. Word art is from my Hand Drawn Holiday collection at Designer Digitals.

And probably my favorite photo of the season:

Nothing better than matching PJ's on Christmas Eve. Scallop punch along the edge is the Threading Water Punch Fiskars. Attached the little card that came with the PJ's to the top of the page.

Here's the original:



I backed that enlarged photo from Christmas Eve with another from Christmas morning (before doing the border punch). I traditionally don't take too many photos on Christmas morning just because there are so many other things to be paying attention to and celebrating, but I did get a couple this year.

Word stickers along the edge are a few seasons back from Making Memories. The little Santa ticket is from Jenni Bowlin. 

I typed up (literally with my old typewriter) two little notes: one for Simon and one for Anna talking a bit about their experience Christmas morning. The handwritten "Dinner Info" card talks about what we cooked this year (prime rib and pommes Anna). The punch along the top of the notes is the Apron Lace punch from Fiskars.


For the final page I moved the canvas pocket (originally Day 24) and added a little strip and used rub-ons to add the word "bits." I collected a few things and tucked them inside.

On the spine I added key, a metal circle with the word "believe," and a small manila tag (I added the E09 with Jenni Bowlin rub ons).


I am reminded once again that if I don't jot down notes to myself or document something specific for a particular day I will not remember it. The details or even something that would have been a great little note is gone if not written down. I do use the photos as jumping off points, but without the written words it's a lot harder to remember details even just a couple weeks later.

In looking back through my previous year's albums I think I will go back to the simple 2 or 3-ring approach with a front and back cover next year (vs. an album). I liked the adventure of doing something new and trying something different this year, but I think my preference is for the other format. I also think I like the smaller sizes better.

I liked creating those stitched-pocket pages but didn't really like having more than one of them in the album. I did end up with one on the last page (after the 25th) that worked well as a place to store extra bits from this holiday season. I ended up wanting to just see a photo or paper instead.

I really liked using the eyelets to secure the holes on each page.

I wish I would have kept more of the packaging from some of the gifts to include in the album (fun way to remember some of those gifts).

I am planning to create another layout about the holidays for our family album that will include more photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I like that my December Daily becomes more of a highlight (or a favorite photo selection) rather than holding everything.

In the end, as I gave this album a little hug and packed it away until next December, I said a prayer of thanksgiving. Thanks for the opportunity, thanks for the awareness of the blessing of our everyday lives, thanks for another season of magic and joy. 

post is the last of a series documenting the month of December 2009. You
find out more information and view all the completed pages of my album 
here. Share your work in the Flickr gallery here


  • 51.
    Lori said…

    Loved seeing the last couple days of your dd album! This was my first year to do a dd and i loved it. I ended up doing a lot of it digitally, which is all new for me. I just need to figure out how to simplify things and to spend less time on the pages next year, but I wouldn’t change this album :)
    Thanks again for your inspiration!

  • 52.
    Deborah said…

    Dear Ali: I was so inspired by you, like all the others, to do a December Daily this year. I finished creating my pages on Thanksgiving, and then my little boy and I woke up the next morning with H1N1. It took us three weeks to recover, and then other health issues and family drama pretty much obliterated all our usual holiday plans. I was going to forget about the book, but your blogging was so special that I made myself journal and photograph each day — even from bed — because this is life, for good or bad. And it actually encouraged me to do some holiday activities with my kids, just to have something fun to record. I am just now beginning the process of assembling my book, and going through the photos and journaling, I noticed that since the usual overwhelming fanfare of Christmas wasn’t there this year, I really focused on the simple, subtle details that makes holidays and family really important. So, thank you for this gift that I will have to share with my family in Christmases to come. Happy new year!

  • 53.
    Jana said…

    Love seeing the completion and contemplation too! I keep wanting to do one of these, but with my daughters grown, I’m just not as inspired! They’re around on & off during the holidays (one home mid-month from college, usually off with friends or working…) so I just don’t have motivation to do a “daily” record of our month. I’ve just flashed on doing a general December-through-the-Years book, pulling favorite pics from past years and compiling it into one album—then adding pages from now on! I might start this next spring – need to put together an album of our Kauai adventures from last December first for the girls & finish sorting the over 500 photos we all took….
    By the way, love the Hanna Jammies on your two cuties – I have the woman’s nightgown in the same holiday colors that’s probably 5 or more years old now—still LOVE IT!

  • 54.
    Kimberly L.C. said…

    My album of “December Memories” is almost done and I can’t wait to share it. I’ve been anxiously awaiting your last days to get the kick-in-the-butt motivation I need to get my last pages done… so thanks! :)

  • 55.
    Esther said…

    Love the matching pajama photo!
    And I noticed I need to write things down too. I kind of didn’t write anything down, and forgot it all the next day! The second half of the album has almost no text. That’s life I guess. But now I know. :)

  • 56.
    EmmaJ said…

    Such a beautiful album again this year.
    Thank you for your after notes, and things you learned.

  • 57.
    Lynne said…

    Thank you. I had questioned whether or not I wanted to even complete the December Daily this year, given what a sad month it was. But it was good for me to be able to focus on something other than Mom’s illness and death. It was a good way to motivate myself to keep doing some Christmassy things for my daughters and to find the blessings amidst the pain.
    Melanie, I am so sorry for your loss, as well.
    Thank you for the condolences

  • 58.
    Jackie Truhe said…

    I am new to your blog. I love your work and I really wish I new about the December Daily earlier, I would have loved to do it. I am absoulutly going to do it next year. Thank you for sharing.

  • 59.
    Molly Irwin said…

    It’s wonderful, Ali! I’m eager to get mine done — picking up my computer from repairs this afternoon.
    I love your treatment on page 24, and may just have to lift you again, b/c I too am just wanting to finish already. so many current things I want to get started on right now.
    Thanks so much for the observations as well.

  • 60.
    patti said…

    Beautiful and thanks for the inspiration. It is so true about loving to start and loving to finish. I’m happy to be done, but know that in July I will be looking forward to yet another December Daily!

  • 61.
    Emily said…

    Hi, Ali. What a beautiful album! I love, love looking at the pictures you posted of it. I tried the link to the punch you use but it won’t work for me… Just wondering if you can share the brand name? I searched Amazon & found lots by Martha Stewart but they had awful reviews.
    Thanks so much and happy new year!

  • 62.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Which punch are you looking for Emily? The ones along the edge are from Fiskars. They are called the Apron Lace punch and the Threading Water punch.

  • 63.
    Emily said…

    Thanks so much, Ali! Those were the ones I was looking for… I appreciate your reply!

  • 64.
    Brooke said…

    I love seeing how your album evolves each year. This year was my favourite in terms of the foundation pages. I really love how you had a lot of sewn pockets and baseball card pockets. Generally I’m a card maker so the bigger area of an 8×8 page is a little daunting. Breaking it up works for me.
    I must confess I’m still a fair way from finishing my album but I’ve got photos, some notes and all my foundation pages done. What I learned is that I really do need to be organised with the rest of my life before December rolls around. I was so busy buying last minute gifts, making Christmas crackers for the 25th and 26th and the rest of the holiday craziness that I didn’t have time to choose and edit photos let alone make it to the store to get them printed.
    Can’t wait to do it all again next year this year, but a little more organised!

  • 65.
    Rachel Briggs said…

    Ali I love your album. This is my first year attempting this album and so glad I did. I just had one question. I love how you’ve sewn on things in your album especially your page protectors. I’ve been dying to do this for years. Now that I have a sewing machine (Merry Christmas!) I can. However I’ve tried to sew on the page protector and it’s not working. Thread getting jammed and all knotted. Just wondering how you do it so I can figure out what I am doing wrong.

  • 66.
    Brooke said…

    Lynne, I too am sorry for your loss.
    I had a couple of crappy days in December and was wondering how others documented those days. And if on those days others decided to stop documenting altogether.
    I’m so glad that during your hardest December days you found comfort in continuing your album.

  • 67.
    Sue said…

    Love this year’s edition of your 25 Days of Christmas! Great job and as the years pile up, you’ll have many memories to share in the future.

  • 68.
    Deiga said…

    Thanks for sharing your process. This was my first year participating, and I’m so glad I did. It helped prepare me for project 365 (which I’m also doing for the first time in 2010). Like you, I’m going to end up using ribbon or twine to hold the book together. I used 3 chipboard albums put all together. But, even though my binder rings were big enough to hold the pages, the holes in the chipboard pages are not big enough to allow the pages to turn smoothly on the rings. Next year, I’ll try a simpler album…but I LOVED the project.

  • 69.
    Marianne said…

    Whew! Thanks for your posting and your honesty re: the process. I play along with you and but like to wait to see your inspiration. I’m just finishing up. Thanks for another dec daily inspiration! Happy New Year!
    P.S. I laughed when I read “fizzy H2O” on your grocery list. That’s what I call it too!

  • 70.
    Amy said…

    Oh my WOW. This is AWESOME. I’m stunned.
    I’m going to do this before I die.

  • 71.
    Terri Q said…

    This was my first year to do the December Daily and I learned a lot of things about doing it as well as about myself. I decided to do it at the last minute and actually purchased my base “album” on etsy and loved it all the way until Day…2. I quickly learned that admiration and appreciation for another’s work does not mean I can work with it myself. I found myself adding new pages and/or exchanging her pages for my own, which greatly increased the time I spent on it. This was not a good thing since it was a project added into my already busy schedule and I had promised myself NOT to spend a lot of time on it. I also found myself trying to include EVERYTHING rather than the highlights and then abbreviating the journaling and forgetting techniques I wanted to try just to GET IT DONE. I wanted it to be a fun way to focus on Christmas but ended up stressed, obsessed and so very happy to finish it. Will I do it next year? I don’t yet know. I still LOVE the idea (thank you!!) and as long as I change MY approach according to the lessons learned this year I probably will – meaning set it up myself long before December and remember to FOCUS (my 2010 word) on the highlights and save the rest for more detailed layouts in our big Christmas album.

  • 72.
    Susan Sherrer said…

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Lynne…and glad you found comfort in doing your December Daily album. The holidays are always the hardest when you have someone you love pass away but remembering their lives like you did with your December Daily album is a lovely way to honor your mother’s memory.

  • 73.
    rene Jantzi said…

    I purchased an 8×8 red cloth album and used it for my December Daily, 1-25. It had less “Christmas” stuff in it and more just ordinary daily moments and I love that about it. I will definately do one again next year and I am already collecting items to use in it, like the circle numbers from “every jot and tittle”. Thanks for your continued inspiration.

  • 74.
    Christina said…

    I love the Tim Holtz key and charm on the cover of your album! Thanks for all of the wonderful inspiration again this year!

  • 75.
    jukeb0x said…

    I really enjoyed your album again this year. So many great ideas! My album is still in the making. I have all the photos printed and fear it also will be too ‘fat’ for rings. I’m thinking of trying silver ball chains instead of ribbon or twine since the eyelets should slide over them. Thanks for all your inspiration!!!

  • 76.
    libbi m. said…

    absolutely beautiful album. i really enjoyed doing mine for the first time this year. i took your yesterday and today class and enjoyed it so very much. was wondering if you have any plans in the near future of doing another bps class?

  • 77.
    Susana Okada said…

    I never tire of looking at your work. You are so creative and the combinations you come up with are so beautiful. If I only had an ounce of your talent!

  • 78.
    Jeni said…

    Loved watching the whole process unfold Ali. Thanks! I did one last year and loved it. I pulled it out several times to look through it and share with people in 2009. I am planning to finish a Jul 2009 Daily that I started in Nov. For the December Daily this year, I decided to help my sister (non-scrapbooker) with one while I was visiting her for the holiday (on the other side of the country). I ended bringing everything back with me to finish. :)

  • 79.
    Kelly said…

    I finally posted my dec daily pics on flicker. Now I just need to print out my remaining photos for the month and complete the album. I can see how having a photo printer at home is key to finishing this album in a timely manner. I need to place an order with scrapbook pics soon.
    This is my second year of the Dec Daily and I really love documenting this time of year. It is truly priceless what kids say/do during the holidays and any day for that matter.
    Thanks for the inspiration to complete another DD!

  • 80.
    Sharron Heys said…

    Thanks, as ever…so inspiring! Only wish I had the time…still, I’m off until 28th Jan so am hoping to , at least!, do the Christmas ’08 and ’09 collage that I ‘pinched’ from you!!
    My Word this year is ‘flourish’ and I am sooooo determined to do just that….with your books already ‘dog-eared’, I need to let go and soar with creativity…
    Fingers crossed for me..
    Sharron H

  • 81.
    AmberCA said…

    I love everything about your finished DD album! I am finding myself a little behind this year because of sickness, but with all my daily notes been taken and all my pages pre-made, hopefully i will feel well enough to finish soon.
    Here’s a peek at my pre-made album:
    Amber Osburn

  • 82.
    stacyj said…

    I love you.

  • 83.
    Pam said…

    Thanks again Ali – this project helped me get through a lonely holiday season, to really focus on all the good things about it when I really wanted to wallow in self-pity instead! I liked seeing your thoughts about the project, too. I’m going to take the time to make some notes and paperclip it to my October 2010 calendar.
    Happy New Year!

  • 84.
    maureen said…

    Ali…I am sure you are really busy but I was wondering if you could tell me what font is the open letters that you used for the number 24? I have admired that font for a long time and would like to purchase it. Thanks for your time.

  • 85. said…

    You totally inspired me to do a December book this year. I bought a small 3 ring binder kit that was originally for Christmas recipes and altered it. My 4 year old loved every part of it!! He gets tired of me constantly taking pictures of him, except in December :o )

  • 86.
    katiedidit said…

    Thank you for sharing your December album process. It is beautiful and so inspiring. I look forward to following along every year.

  • 87.
    Wendy B. said…

    Ali, I just wanted to say thanks for this inspiration! I completed my very first December Daily album this year and am already planning next years! It has truly inspired me to get back into my scraproom!
    I pray for you and your family a very healthy & happy New Year!

  • 88.
    Tania said…

    Hi Ali, I’m not sure this is the best way to ask, but maybe you’ll answer. Where do you get the large eyelets you used on the clear and acrylic pages? All the ones I have are not large enough for the d-ring binder I have. And how would you set them? I don’t think my setter would work either. Any advice would be so helpful!

  • 89.
    Erin said…

    Hi Ali,
    I finally did it…just today I finished putting my December Daily together. Thanks for inspiring me…as always! I LOVED this process, and will do it again! Now I just need to catch up on your Big Picture class. (I’m LOVING it too!)

  • 90.
    Amy Fink said…

    I love your album–I especially love the spine with the key and believe. I am looking forward to the December Daily project again this year. Please remind me how, as an “alumni”, I get to get back in to the forum/classroom part of it? Best wishes to all for a successful December Daily again!!


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