Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 4, 2010

December Daily 2010 | Day Three

Welcome to Day Three.

Last night we went out and got our tree. We’re not picky about our tree at all – it took all of 10 minutes total to pick the tree, have some of the bottom branches trimmed, get it on the car, and pay. That’s probably our fastest time yet.

One of the things I added to my journaling was the price of the tree (it was $50). That’s the first time I’ve added it in and wished that I would have included it in past years as a fun comparison.

I went with a full 6×8 photo again. I’m totally loving this size.

The circle accent and the line that goes across it are both part of a new set of word art called Holiday Word Art Vol. 2.

Also, this is a good opportunity to make sure you know that Designer Digitals is running a Days of December promotion throughout the month where each day there is a new $.50 item along with a random selection of a couple hundred other items throughout the store at 30% off. You can always check out what’s currently marked as a sale item here.

The “hello tree” was handwritten using a metallic silver pen from PITT Artist Pen from Faber-Castell. The number on the pen is Silver 251. It worked great on my photo. I also used it to draw the journaling lines on the cardstock below. Worked great for both applications.

I drew the journaling lines by hand and then filled in my jouranling. The cute little circles from Ormolu are stapled onto pattern paper from The Girls Paperie.

A couple close-ups:

A NOTE ABOUT THE PHOTOS : As you might have noticed – perfect pictures aren’t a necessary part of this process. In an ideal world the color in my shots would be spot-on. They wouldn’t be blurry. I know the color is off and often times so is the focus. I’m ok with that – they tell a story in and of themselves.

JOURNALING : Today felt like a crazy day. I felt like we were all going a million-miles-per-minute all in our own separate way. When we did finally come together in the evening it was even more chaotic – everyone talking at the same time with lots of “MAMA’s” from Anna for good measure. We planned to get the tree tonight and we did after an adventure to the sporting goods store and Target to find snowpants and gloves for the kids for a last-minute trip to the mountains. After getting everyone outfitted (and praying that my snow pants at home still fit) we stopped to get a tree. It was a quick stop – we are not picky. 8ft and full. Cost for 2010: $50.

DAY THREE SUPPLIES : Fancy Pants Tradition Flocked Transparency; Tim Holtz Silver Numerals: Two Peas |; Ormolu Merry Memories Dots N Spots; Ali Edwards Holiday Word Art Vol. 2; The Girls Paperie Festive Brocade; Ali Edwards 2010 December Daily 6×8 Overlays

All posts related to December Daily can be found here.


I’d love to have you include a link to your DAY THREE page here. Please link directly to your post or image on Flickr vs. your general blog link. Thank you! Also – don’t feel like you need to leave a comment!


  • 1.
    Steph said…

    Thanks for the reminder that it is ok for a photo to be less than perfect – I am still chicken to take my new SLR off auto (yes, I know! But, this one is so scary compared to my original SLR). In not paying attention, a pic of my daughter on her belly in the tub holding her snow man wash mitt was inadvertently focused on the washcloth instead of her face! Cute story, and now I’m more OK with the pic.

    • ….
      Erin K Miller said…

      I have been feeling frustrated with photo quality too. I just got a brand new printer, the HP one that Ali has, but I think my camera and maybe the paper I’m using aren’t the best… So, on with the next day of story telling. At least I’m doing it, even though it’s not perfect, right?!?!?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Erin – what paper are you using?

  • 2.
    Estellita said…

    I am the second, yeah !!!! Here, the snow is falling all the time since this morning. We’l make a snowman this afternoon !!! That’s great for the DD !!!!!

  • 3.
    Ruth said…

    I am so in love with this project!

    • ….
      Beke said…

      i agree. I wake up every morning and think “what can i take a photo of today that i can add to my dd?” I love this project so so much. It’s really making me think about my day in a different way.
      My son is 2 (next week) and now just old enough to partake in some chrissy activities. I drew up some trees for him to draw in, so that I had something nice to add. :)

  • 4.
    Beke said…

    Another great page. I look forward to reading what you got up to each day.

    Though i’m not an experineced scrapper I am very much a perfectionost. or more like I feel that if soemthing isn’t “perfect” than i have to start all over again. This really frustrates me.

    question..Do you ever get into that kind of thinking. where you think “why can’t i do this? why can’t it look good like that?” (while your looking at soneone eles work?) If so, how you get out of it. How do you listen to yourself when you try to say “no, this is the way it turned out, this is how I did it, and its great as it is?” I have trouble convincing myself.

    • ….
      Erin K Miller said…

      I’m the exact same way. Totally a perfectionist. I’ve already scrapped one day’s journaling because I didn’t like the layout and on the second day, an entire digital layout… But, it’s okay. I’m learning as I go and I think my quality will improve over time if I just keep trying and being okay with some less than perfect days. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think for me that getting over the attempt at perfection has just taken time (and a whole lot of pages). For me it was also realizing that what is perfect is the story – that a story is getting told regardless of what it looks like. I think that’s also why I’ve gotten even simpler with my designs over time. I’ve definitely started over again if something was really, really not what I wanted…but there have been many times that I’ve just “got it done.” The best part about that? When I’ve gone back and looked at those pages years later…I’m simply glad I have them.

  • 5.
    vera said…

    I thought it was funny when you mentioned that your photo was not perfect. When I first saw it on my google reader, I LOVED the 6×8 photo of your kiddos and the trees. It IS perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  • 6.
    Nicole Jannink said…

    Wow i always get inspired by your work! Really love this page too. Put my link in as well.

  • 7.
    Melissa said…

    I’ve just linked up to my 3rd pages, I’m finishing last years as well this year as I didn’t have time to scrap with a last minute funeral trip away :( Inspiring as always Ali!

  • 8.
    dawn said…

    How funny that your yesterday is going to be my today. Crazy and 100 things to do including putting up tree and getting snowpants. I love your photo and that you included the price. I think the jouraling lines is a neat idea and will try it on mine. I’m loving this project so much.

  • 9.
    Bev said…

    This project has been a great motivator for me. Thank you. Love your ideas, thoughts and organization. Also Merry Christmas everyone.

  • 10.
    Chris said…

    I love your blog! I haven’t scrapbooked in over a year but I am finding your posts inspirational. I shall resolve to return to scrapbooking in 2011 & shall be using your inspiration
    Many thanks for sharing so much of what you do
    Chris x

    • ….
      Beke said…

      :) i know what you mean about being inspired by Ali after not scrapping for ages. She seems to keep things simple yet super stylish and just what i loved (but didn’t know it till recently) She help me simplify things :)

  • 11.
    susan t said…

    today is baking with friends day-can’t wait. thanks for the inspiration.

  • 12.
    lisa truesdell said…

    holy moly, that shot really emphasizes how tall anna is!

  • 13.
    Kathy said…

    I’m really enjoying this year’s DD. Simply beautiful.

  • 14.
    slmnontec said…

    When I get up in the morning, or sometimes before I fall asleep, I think about what story I want to tell — what makes this time of year unique, but also the same. What do I want to remember and document. That helps me focus on photos. I’m having several dr. appt and a surgery this month and at first was so upset that it was Christmas time and then I decided to document each trip to a clinic or dr and do a page — making this part of my imperfect Christmas. Attitude makes the difference.

  • 15.
    Amy said…

    I am going to look for that new word art, I love it! I’ve had some blurry pictures too and just sharpen it and move on. Your photo doesn’t look blurry at all though, really adorable!

  • 16.
    imafarmgirl said…

    thank you for emphasizing less than perfect shots.. that sometimes is a reality in my world..this is my first Dec Daily and it has me more motivated to cultivate a holiday mid in a positive manner for myself and family. (terrible deaths the last 2 years.. now another!) The Dec Daily is keeping me positive looking for the good and putting it in the album.. also is making me USE my stash of product!!! Thanks Ali. imafarmgirl

  • 17.
    Jules Q said…

    Thanks for the reminder about imperfect photos being OK. I keep reminding myself of this, but it’s good to hear it from others, as well.

  • 18.
    Alexandra said…

    Love that you remind us that blurry photos are totally cool – I have to keep telling myself that it’s about the story!!

    One little question about the tree… what type do you usually get?? We are about to get our first real tree and I’m thinking Frasier Fir but I don’t know.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      We usually get a Noble Fir :) .

    • ….
      Alexandra said…

      Thanks so much!! :)

    • ….
      Christi said…

      what part of the country are you in, Alexandra?
      in the east, the predominant Christmas trees are Balsam or Fraiser Fir.
      in the west, it’s Noble fir because they grow in the Cascade Mountains

    • ….
      Alexandra said…

      Hi Christi!
      I’m in the East so that would explain why I’ve hear more about the Frasier Fir. Thanks so much for the data – I have lots to learn about real Christmas trees :)

  • 19.
    Tere said…

    Thank you for the blurry picture/off color insight. Whew what relief. I love the simplicity. And 4:32am, I hope you are sleeping now my dear ;)

  • 20.
    Jenny Alfonso said…

    I’m all about imperfect pictures! Love the full size pictures too!

  • 21.
    sophia said…

    what type of printer do you use for the dd pictures you print at home? is it the same printer you talk about in the FAQ on your website? i think you indicated it was an hp photosmart b8550.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes – that’s the one I use. It’s been great.

  • 22.
    Sheri Brady said…

    Used your Holiday Title and Journal overlays and a bit of Holiday Word Out on today’s layout today and loved how it turned out! Hope you enjoy your snow trip today. We are going sledding next Sat…my Maggie will just be eight weeks old so we’ll see how that goes. :)

    • ….
      Sheri Brady said…

      Whoops! I meant Word *Art*! Stll in bed and grabbed the iPad to log on and post my blog/comment. That touchpad can be a touch slippery.

  • 23.
    tina fellman said…

    I get up in the morning and the very first thing that I do is go straight to the computer and pull up my mail. I can’t wait to read about your December daily, and what everyone else has to say. It helps with the ideas as this is my very first december daily.
    I also like how you always stress”no pressure”, “doesn’t have to be perfect”. ex: your picture. This is my first ever December Daily and with 6 kids everyone can imagine the amount of short time to myself that I do have. I thank god that my oldest son (19) is a fabulous photographer (a real natural) and is very willing to help me with this project. He reminds me , “mom, its day 3, lets take pictures”. I love doing this project with him. It is giving us a good connect and hopefully he will pass this on to his future wife someday or just maybe do it himself!

  • 24.
    Jen D said…

    Love love love! I am liking the full page pictures – need to incorporate some of those. I also just wanted to tell you what a hit the Advent cards are with my 4 year old – she LOVES them. Every day she wakes up and asks to go downstairs and read the activity for the day. Thank you for such a wonderful idea! Question- are you planning to incorporate those cards in your Dec Daily album at all? Not sure how I am going to do that, given they are double sided.

  • 25.
    Els said…

    Oops, computer glitch. Now my day 3 photo-link is on the list twice. Feel free to remove one.

  • 26.
    Lisa Cole said…

    Ali, I’m having a problem with printing my pictures at home (don’t even get me started! LOL) But I can’t seem to save my completed template/layered template in a fashion that I can find it later to upload to Costco for printing. I’m saving as a .psd file, even saving it on my desktop for easy access – but then it doesn’t show when I’m ready to upload! Do I need to change it to .jpeg somehow? And save it somewhere else? help!

    • ….
      Jennifer said…

      Yes, I was looking this up and I think you have to change it to a JPEG or a TIFF file. When you are saving, use the drop down menu to choose either JPEG or TIFF and if you aren’t sure, do both!!

    • ….

      Yup–she’s right. Flatten the file and save as jpg. (IT’s in menu under file…save as…)Tiff files are huge (I think) so a jpg would probably work better for you all the way around. It took me weeks to figure this out when I first started digi scrapping –you are not alone!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      In addition to saving as a JPG you might want to place that JPG on a 8×10 canvas for uploading. A couple people have emailed me about that and it has seemed to be the way to go. Go to File/New and create a new canvas that is 8×10 at 300dpi. Open your JPG if it’s not already open. Use the move tool (black arrow) to drag + drop the JPG onto the 8×10 canvas. Save that as a JPG and upload. Once it’s printed you can crop.

    • ….
      Lisa Cole said…

      Thanks so much everyone…off to try that out!

    • ….
      Lisa Cole said…

      Once I drag and drop to the new canvas, it just sits there. How do I merge the two? Sorry, this is my first try at digital scrapbooking!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You don’t need to merge them together. Just go to File/Save As to save it as a JPG or just print it there at home.

    • ….
      Lisa Cole said…

      fyi, I created the 8×10 canvas like you instructed and Costco still didn’t print them with the right dimensions – it looked right on my screen :)

  • 27.
    Radish said…

    We are only on day 4. Can we keep this up?

  • 28.
    Jana said…

    Just want to say “thank you” for writing out your journaling so we can read it easily! Love the story as much as the photos :) .

  • 29.
    Wilna said…

    i am so HAPPY to hear you talk about imperfect pictures. love love love. My photography friends and I (my brother included) have discussions about how sometimes you only have that ONE shot of the moment and even if it’s flawed, it’s most precious. They just sometimes don’t GET it.

  • 30.
    Katie said…

    I love the idea of using the pictures that we think are “not perfect” they really make the page personal because it is how we captured the scene.

    • ….
      Liz said…

      I’m so with you on this one!

  • 31.
    Zivile said…

    There will be a similar timing in my album – we went for a tree today (day 4), but were not so fortunate as you – real trees are not yet in sale, only the artificial ones :(

  • 32.
    Casey Wright said…

    I am so loving these 6×8 photos too – hoping to incorporate this full page size for tomorrow! :) Thanks again for all of the inspiration!

  • 33.
    Alicia said…

    Totally love the hand drawn journal lines!

  • 34.
    mandee mattioli said…

    ali… just a quick question about the pens. did you purchase a pack of them? and which one? i really like that it wrote on your photo so nicely. i have a hard time finding pens that don’t bleed or smear all over my slick photos. thanks in advance.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Mandee – these ones were sent to me and the silver one came in a package of metallic pens – all have been good (silver, gold, a purple, and a couple other colors).

    • ….
      mandee mattioli said…

      Thanks Ali. I may give them a try.

  • 35.
    Liz Toms said…

    Oh Ali, you’ve made my day by saying that perfect photo’s aren’t necessary, that your color is off and sometimes the focus too! I’ve been agonising with my camera but still end up touching up some of my pics – now I’m OK to go with them just the way they are! Thanks sooooo much for making me realise mine don’t have to look professional!

  • 36.
    christine said…

    it’s so fun seeing everyone’s DD layouts! i’m really lovin’ the smaller size, but couldn’t find the transparencies i wanted this year. i’m thinking i’ll plan ahead better for next december (ha!). but i’m having fun with the digital layouts & i can fit all the photos i take in them :)

  • 37.
    Terri Porter said…

    Ali, do you have any suggestions about framing your photo so that it will fit in the 5.5×6.25 space better? My photos are getting clipped at the top and bottom when I crop them to that size. Maybe I should stand farther back when I shoot so I have more room for cropping? Thanks.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Terri – just about every shot I take is horizontal. I also often do combination of up-close and farther away for most things I want to document – when it comes to telling my story I have more options that way :) .

    • ….
      Terri Porter said…

      Ali, your post today answered my question perfectly! Thank you so much for all the inspiration you give every day.

  • 38.
    Manon keir said…

    I just love being “up-to-date. Am having so much fun with it!!! Thanks Ali :)

  • 39.
    Sophie said…

    Ally, I just purchased the Holiday Word Art and I was wondering how you change the “love december” circle to the color white? I’m a little new to photoshop elements so I’m not sure how to… Thanks so much, I love your pages!

  • 40.
    Jan said…

    Okay, finally I have all my pages to this point linked up in the appropriate day. Yay!

    I’m very inspired to keep it simple and haven’t really added anything other than photos, tags and journaling. I love that I’m the boss of me and I can do whatever floats my boat without guilt. Right on. :)

  • 41.
    Jen said…

    i could seriously look @ these #decdaily pages all day if i could!
    happy place :)

  • 42.
    Kim said…

    Hi Ali
    I wasn’t organized enough to create my album in advance so I’m making sure that I am blogging everyday and posting my favorite photos for the day as well.

    I love your designer digital work and love your hand written elements. Have you ever considered creating SVG files to sell? I would love, love, love to have the ability to cut out your hand written elements on my cricut.

  • 43.
    Debbie said…

    I really enjoy the style of your scrap booking, journaling, and photo choices. This is a great project!

  • 44.
    steffb said…

    You know, it’s hilarious. last year I was frozen to make anything until I saw your layout, and then did a bad job imitating them. This year I am feeling very confident to do my own thing, and then I see yours and somehow end up doing almost what you did, and they look great! Go figure LOL.

    I also made my own perfect picture today. Each picture of picking out the tree had someone missing…so I photoshopped them all in the same one. Now it’s perfect! Matches my memory and the story much better.

  • 45.
    Barbara said…

    Hi Ali,
    I Love it! My girls are teenagers so the daily journaling is more difficult for me. However, I plan on digging out all the xmas photos and creating two pages for each year. I’m hoping to do most of it digitally so that I can make two to pass down to my two girls some day when they are older and have their own children. I purchased the templates.

    What version of PSE are you using? I’m not able to move the overlay onto my picture however, I can drop the picture onto the template and save it as a separate file.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      The Elements version I use for the tutorials is Elements 6. In general, when I’m just doing it myself here at home, I use Photoshop CS4. What version are you using? You should be able to move the overlay onto your photo with the move tool (black arrow).

    • ….
      Barbara said…

      My version is 8.0 on my laptop but my desktop has 6.0 so I’ll try it on my desktop today. I’ve used PSE for years to edit my photos. I’m anxious to take the next step and learn more of the other features. Thx for this cool book – it has inspired me to make more time for scrapbooking again.

    • ….
      Barbara said…

      Just a tip if anyone else is having problems moving the overlay onto their photo – uncheck the Auto Select Layer option when you are using the Move Tool.

  • 46.
    Melanie said…

    Moving right along … day 3 done. I didn’t get today’s done – but I do have at least 1 photo & some journaling in mind. Aside from the size I chose (6×6 is too small) I’m loving my book and happy I did the prep work this year.

  • 47.
    Rosie said…

    I am so enjoying this project and what I am having the most fun with is playing in PSE! I thought I would be sending individual prints to the printers but I’ve been making 4×6 photo collages and having a blast playing with my Wacom pen tablet and printing photos at home. Your ‘mad’ digi skills have inspired me Ali!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Cool Rosie!

  • 48.
    Melissa said…

    After searching for almost 45 minutes, I could not find a way to purchase a silver (251) pen on the Faber-Castle website. It is listed as one of the colors they produce, but it is NOT included in a single package of their pens. I really wanted that pen. :(

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That is NO fun Melissa. The one I have came in a pack with five other metallic pens – you might want to try a local art supply store. I think they are currently working on bringing their pens into the scrapbook market – they are well known as art pens.

    • ….
      Susan Sherrer said…

      Melissa, you can find silver (251) and gold pens on — that’s where I got mine. This website sells all kinds of art supplies.

  • 49.
    natalyn said…

    My photos for Day Three are totally imperfect, and I totally love them.

  • 50.
    Diana McGraw said…

    Ali this is the first time I have been to your site and I love it! I would love to participate and create my own Daily December 2010 album however do you think it is too late to start?

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