December Daily 2010 | Finding Time, Making Time, Trading Time

AE December Daily 2009

QUESTION FROM DEBORAH | I have been following along each day with your preparations for this year's December Daily. I am so excited to begin even though I haven't had a spare moment to throw my album together yet. And that, is what concerns me. I know that you are super busy, that all your fellow December Daily doers are super busy. But, this project is important, and it really isn't a matter of finding time -- because that extra 25th hour just doesn't exist. I think it really is about trading time -- doing December Daily pages instead of doing...? And so, I was wondering if you'd consider asking your readers what they find themselves giving up/letting go of/setting aside in order to have the time to take part in this project. It would be so helpful to get some perspective about how other maxed-out moms reorganize their priorities during this time of year. I've already cut down on the workouts, set up the Tivo, closed-off all non-essential bathrooms, dug out the slow cooker…I am in need of some ideas to gain some scrapping time.

AE | I'm looking forward to reading the suggestions and thoughts in the comments today. In the past I've done a variety of different things - worked on my pages in the evening, in the morning and in the afternoon - whenever I could find/make/trade time. Sometimes I put my page together as soon as I come across the story I want to tell - such as something that happens at breakfast. I snap a couple photos, upload, print, add journaling, and get it in my book as soon as I have a chance. Some years I've been more artsy so it's taken longer. This year, I'm really going for simple. In all the years I've done this project I almost always focus on telling just one story per day - I don't attempt to document everything minute by minute for this project. I pick one, tell it with words + photo(s) and stick it down. Then I go about life until I choose a story on the following day.

I'd love to read your thoughts on this today. What do you find yourself giving up/letting go of/setting aside in order to take part in this project?

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  1. Daniele

    2010-11-29 21:40:55 -0500

    I don't think this should be a question of what are we giving up, as much as it is a desire to create a treasure of memories for years to come. Sorry to sound dramatic but my mother passed a few years back and one of the most profound things she said during her final days was how she finds peace in replaying the many wonderful memories in her mind. On a lighter note, one of my kids favorite things to do is to look back on old photo albums and videos of themselves and us parents. It always puts a smile on our faces. So...not giving up, I'm making treasure books. Thanks for the DD concept Ali, I love it so much I've made one for next year already!

  2. Chrissy

    2010-11-29 21:44:07 -0500

    I might be making this harder on myself because I'm kind of merging the feel of "week in the life" and "december daily". I've got a really good base going and my hubby is helping me out when it comes to finding the time to work on this project. This is my first year and I'm really excited about attempting the project. I really wanted to make sure I did it this year because I'm 8 months pregnant and I have a two year old, so my life is gonna change a lot and soon ~ so I wanted to document our lives before the new baby boy arrives!

  3. jackie

    2010-11-29 22:42:31 -0500

    i have found that having supplies ready really helps. get your christmas papers and stickers ready. organization helps too. i have four daughters at home and we are constantly busy, but, december daily really helps put the holidays in perspective. it really is the little things that count. taking a picture at any moment in the day of whatever you like. ali does not pressure us about december daily...she inspires us to savor every day in december, and for that i am truly grateful.

  4. Debbie

    2010-11-29 23:53:39 -0500

    That is exactly what I have to do..."trade time"! Usually it is sleep time. I choose to either sleep in on Saturday or get up early and create. This is very hard for me because this is my only morning to even think about sleeping in a little. I try to go to bed a little early on Friday night which helps some, but some Saturday's the pillows win. My usual scrappin' time is on Monday nights after kitchen is cleaned and closed - while my husband watches wrestling (yuk!) If I'm lucky I will get to spend another 2-5 hours in my scrap room on the evening my husband works late (retail GM). Mind you, some of this time is organizing my work table from the project worked on previously or my most recent shopping trip. This schedule works well for me. I am more productive when I work alone, altho I really like to attend crops, I visit and talk too much to get much done. To the lady that posted about scrapping to timer...more power to you...I would be a basket case if I tried that! Thanks for all your inspiration Ali!

  5. Crystal

    2010-11-30 01:11:39 -0500

    Going into my studio for an hour every evening(or as close as possible!) is one of the things I most enjoy about December! This is my third year doing the album and it's absolutely amazing how many things about the past 2 years I would have forgotten if I didn't have the album to look through. With the foundation ready, it really is a lovely do-able project that helps me to savour the season. And I am so, so thrilled that my grandchildren will have these bits of me someday. I would be thrilled if I had albums from my grandmothers! I give up computer time, do easy meals, and work better / faster on the have-to-do stuff when my reward is time creating. Please, please, please treat yourself to the gift of an album this month. You will be SO happy that you did it!

  6. Brooke

    2010-11-30 02:20:49 -0500

    I've never had much success in this area but hubby's condition this year for my buying the paper's for this album was that "you will get it done".

    I've created a Publisher document to print out. Basically this will be my worksheet for my album as I don't print at home. I'll journal on this each day and draw out my layout. I intend on getting as much done each night as I can but I love having this extra space to journal my thoughts.

    I too will be making a bunch of simple dinners, blogging less and ditching my favourite tv shows. I'll also set my son up with some colouring in while I work and maybe even see if my parent's can babysit one day so I can stay on top of things.

  7. Alida

    2010-11-30 03:27:54 -0500

    I simplify more each year. I love a traditionally scrapped album, but going digital last year saved me a lot of time and clutter (I'm not very organised). This year I'm going to try and use more (of Ali's) templates for my layouts, making it even quicker. I also love the simplicity of Molly Irwin and Katrina Kennedy's albums. It futher worked quite well for me to not get more than a day or so behind with layouts, so as to not feel overwhelmed. We also try and keep the season rather simple and plan outings beforehand, to avoid overscheduling.

  8. Beke

    2010-11-30 06:57:46 -0500

    oops i didn't mean to post that as a reply to Alida's post. :P sorry xx

  9. Liz

    2010-11-30 08:38:42 -0500

    This is my first year of doing the December Daily and I'm really looking forward to it. However, I wonder if anyone has any ideas for me - because I work full time, 5 days a week and I travel to work in the dark and go home in the dark, therefore I have very little time - and opportunities - to take photo's, apart from weekends. Does anyone have the same problem and if so, how are you getting around it? Hoping for some inspiration!

  10. Jude

    2010-11-30 08:45:33 -0500

    Thank you, everyone for all the great ideas. I was thinking the same too...where to find the time? I am going to use a whole bunch of these ideas. They are great!

  11. elisa

    2010-11-30 08:51:05 -0500

    i work on it every day usually for no more than a half hour. i keep mine simple and my stash close by so that saves time too. i'm with some of the other ladies. use tivo and skip all those commercials! you'll get a half hour right there. i use the crock pot a lot too. try to keep things simple and focus on what's important. the bible talks about mary and martha. martha was the sister in the kitchen doing all kinds of work while mary was just listening to Jesus. i am particularly focused on being a mary instead of a martha this season.

  12. Deena

    2010-11-30 09:23:32 -0500

    Sometimes for me getting organized is more daunting than actually putting together the scrap page. I keep just a few essential tools: scissors, tape runner, black pen, and a glue stick in a little make-up case. Then I can ignore the mess at my scrap desk and go in another room to capture a few minutes of work time. :)

  13. Sherri P eh

    2010-11-30 10:30:17 -0500

    While you don't want to miss out on the season, it is nice to find a way to keep up. This year, when Ali mentioned , a few months ago, I signed up. You get an email every evening asking how your day went. I use it as a journal, and try to write every evening or the next morning. It's been great reference for my Project Life,which I'm doing for the first time. And I'll use it for December Daily too.
    The other suggestion I have (I apologize if I'm repeating myself as I haven't read through all of the previous comments) is to download and sort photos daily, even if you're not printing them right away. I started a December Daily Folder, and made sure I didn't leave any photos in there that weren't dated. I don't always have to match up photos to dates, but I prefer to name each photo by date for easier reference.
    For Project Life, I have gotten into the habit of loading photos into a 'PL to print' folder every Sunday evening, transfering it to a flash drive, and printing my photos at Sam's most Monday mornings. I'll do something similar for my December Daily, probably printing photos for both. I expect to print more than once a week during December. I do have an HP printer at home, so I tend to combine photos printed at Sam's with those printed at home.
    I go all the way through to the end of the year and find it more difficult after Christmas, simply because we're usually not home. That will be the case this year. I may or may not travel with the actual DD, but I will have my computer, so the journaling will be done, and the photos will be ready to print when I return home.

  14. Tanya

    2010-11-30 10:49:44 -0500

    TV for sure!! That is such a HUGE time waster. Plus you would be amazed what you can do in an hour each day. Sometimes I get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later to work on my book.

  15. Emily Jones

    2010-11-30 12:39:04 -0500

    This is a fantastic question, because truthfully, we have to trade our time anytime we choose to participate in a hobby.

    This will be my third year of DD, the first being in 2008, which I fully completed and I CHERISH that album so much. (As do the kids!) Last year I started with the greatest of intentions, put the album together, took photos, but I became so sidetracked about having a "Gorgeous" album that I forgot the most important part. The memories and the words. I never finished the album and it sits half finished on my bookshelf.

    This year I'm reminding myself that the "Pretty part" comes last. This year I'm focusing on gathering the memories first. I printed a Dec. 2010 Calender with a section for notes and I taped it to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets (the coffee mug cabinet, where I'll be sure to see it!) I also hung a ziploc bag there too so I can gather the ephemera that will go with my stories. I'm preparing this year to capture the little things, the receipts, the tickets, etc...

    One thing I've realized in my DD experience is sometimes life happens and we forget to take a picture for the day. If you're a perfectionist like me, that can derail your whole creative process! Last year I had quite a few missing pictures and instead of freaking out I used the missing picture days to document the kids' favorite holiday movies, or my favorite holiday drink from Starbucks, or The Holiday books we love to read every year. Just a quick google image search and I had my photo for the day!

    Essentially, I'm going to let the album itself come together when I can. This will mean less facebook time, less time on message boards or browsing blogs, but I'm making it a point this year to write it all down so I can save the memories. My kids aren't going to care if I took three hours to perfectly mist a piece of paper, they are going to want to read the memories of their childhood.

    Tomorrow is December 1st, I don't even have a single piece of paper cut for my album, but I'm not stressed. I have my camera and my calender and it'll come together from there when it can!


  16. Heather Johnson

    2010-11-30 13:16:01 -0500

    The #1 thing I did was go digital. Never thought I would, didn't think it would be the same, but for was. (Even more than that it actually happened!) All the cute paper in the world doesn't compare to the feeling I get when I look at my finished book from last year! Because I was digital, I had a fair amount of foundation pages done...but honestly I just did a lot day by day. I used templates, and occasionally if I had extra time I made my own creation. Every evening after my daughter was in bed, with a cup of cocoa, was my scrapping time. I don't make time for it much throughout the year--but giving yourself permission to do it one time a year makes the holidays that much more special in my opinion. I can't wait until tomorrow:)

  17. julia spencer

    2010-11-30 14:41:50 -0500

    Laundry? Who does that anymore. LOL! :) Seriously... I digi scrap, so I sit in front of the computer in front of the TV after the kids are in bed and do a few pages. It's not every night, as we are out of the house a few nights a week with activities. But I get what I need to get in each week. I will type in the story and e-mail it to myself each day though to remember the stories. I'm having my kids keep a december journal this year, so we can do it together.

  18. kreativekate

    2010-11-30 18:26:40 -0500

    I give up tv and a few hours' sleep each week. It's totally worth it, and there is time enough to sleep in after the holidays are over.

  19. Peg Graham

    2010-11-30 22:50:54 -0500

    I'm really not giving up anything. I'm just making it a priority to document in photos and journaling on a daily basis starting tomorrow (Dec 1). I figure if I preplan a few ideas each day, snap the pics and jot down my thoughts, even if I don't scrap that page right away I have what I plan to use for it all set and ready for when I am in the mood to actually scrap it.

  20. Louise Fortune

    2010-12-01 01:30:26 -0500

    I actually either stay up an hour later or get up an hour earlier, if I need to "create" more time for whatever the reason, I enjoy the peace and quiet of those hours too.

    If that's not an option in your life I would opt for writing everything down each day and then making a note of the photo i wanted to include so that when the free time presented itself I didn't have to think about what to write or what image to use.

    Failing that I would give up laundry !! specifically ironing !

  21. December Daily | Ali Edwards

    2010-12-01 15:13:40 -0500

    [...] Finding Time, Making Time, Trading Time [...]

  22. Nancy

    2010-12-01 23:02:25 -0500

    This is my first attempt at doing this project. I snapped a couple of photos and emailed myself "the story". The subject line is "Dec 1" and I'm planning to save them to a December Daily folder ms print one a week.

  23. nanarie

    2010-12-03 11:24:05 -0500

    I have never done a DD before, but all of your comments are great and I want to try this for next year. Yes, that is right not 2010, but for 2011 so hopefully I will not get lost in having a year to complete my base.

    So why 2011, well this year hubby is recovery from a recent heart attack and bypass surgery. I have two bad knees waiting for a double knee replacement surgery which was scheduled for November 16 but my doctor fell off a ladder and fractured his back. So I do not know when my surgery will happening. I already have more on my plate than I can handle some days right now so I will do what I must to get done what I must do. We had planned to go to Alaska for Christmas to spent it with our son, DIL and grandkids, but now that will not happening until Christmas time next year. Hubby is in cardiac rehab and I am just hobbling along.

    I plan to go before Thanksgiving and stay until after the first of the year in 2012. Hubby will come for two weeks at Christmas because he still works. It will be the perfect time to do this project with my DIL that is also a scrapbooker. We had a great time scrapping together two years ago when I got to stay with them over the same time frame. She and I are good friends as well as DIL and MIL; just another of God's wonderful blessing in my life.

    I want to start on the base and work on it starting after New Year until I get it done. I will have plenty of time, just hope I will not forget and let it get undone.

    Hopefully some of you can also start next DD much earlier in the year and have time to finish a base that is more detailed and to your liking. Just a suggestion.

    I will have fun working on this project. I also want to pre-make some 12x12 kits including handmade embellishments for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and the winter season. I just love making embellishments using my Cricut Expression, my Quick Kutz, my Cuddlebug with all kinds and brands of cutting dies and embossing folders plus wonderful free clip art found on the internet along with Photoshop Element projects. All of these are too big and heavy to carry to Alaska with me.

    I bought my DIL a Cuddlebug and dies last time I was there, plus the HP 4x6 photo printer and a HP photosmart printer for larger prints. This year for her November birthday I sent a large box of Cuddlebug dies and folders that I got at Big Lots for $2.00 each, what a find. I have also order her a Cricut Expression with cartridges for her Christmas. We will have these to work with and she will have them to enjoy and use all year long.

    Good luck to each of you on your December Daily album and the best of the season to each of you. Merry Christmas to all.


  24. { free friday finds } for Dec. 3, 2010 | Simple Scrapper

    2010-12-03 11:56:12 -0500

    [...] Making Time, Finding Time, Trading Time from Ali Edwards [...]

  25. Gna

    2010-12-03 12:36:58 -0500

    This is my first year doing the December Daily album. I premade my pages by putting patterned paper, date circles and photo mats in the page protectors. I'll put the layout together when I have the pictures printed and can lay out the orientation.

    My scrapping time is right when I get home from work. I need that down time to switch gears from "work mode" to "comfort mode." Creating keeps me sane! I don't watch much TV, so I guess I'm giving up housework time to scrap. There are a ton of things that I need to do before my fiance moves in, but I also need time for me. I guess it's all a matter of priorities "at the moment." I feel that my creativity was stifled when my ex-husband was around and now that I'm marrying the true love of my life, I feel that I can be more free and creative and he supports me all the way! So, when the creative bug bites, then it's "me" time!

    I hope to get some pictures printed out this weekend and slide them in the page protectors to get a head start. I journal every night and now I'm adding on a section for the December Daily entries so that I don't forget any details. I'm looking forward to putting this album together because the holiday season is a magical time for me and my family! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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