December Daily 2011 | The Foundation Pages, Part One


Welcome to December Daily 2011!

Today I'll be sharing some of my foundation pages (the base pages that I set up in advance to simplify the process of documenting in December). I'm still waiting on a couple items from the Studio Calico kit - namely the letterpress number coasters and the American Crafts letter stickers. As soon as I get those into my album I'll share the second set of pages.

You can see the exterior and interior of my album cover here.

A couple things to note as we begin this year:

ONE | If this is your first time embarking on a December Daily project I highly recommend checking out my compilation page that has links to all my previous albums and posts.

TWO | There's no right or wrong way to approach this project. Find a groove for yourself and go with it. I liked my general design approach in 2010 (see below) so I'm repeating a lot of those elements again:

THREE | I loved the size last year which is why I'm repeating it again this year - well almost - this year my foundation pages are 6x8.5 inches. In looking back at my album from 2010 I felt like this size was really great for both the photos and the words. I definitely might be ready for a change up again in 2012. You can view all my pages from 2010 in my Flickr Gallery here.

FOUR | This project is always a great opportunity to use what you have at home. As in year's past, there is a kit available - this year it's through Studio Calico. As you'll see below I'm using a combination of things that I have on hand and pieces from the kit.

FIVE | This is a daily project. My approach is to highlight one story per day. Some days it's a holiday related story and other days it's something entirely not related to Christmas. For me it's about documenting our lives during the season. Maybe you want to approach it this year as a gratitude album - pick one thing you're thankful for each day and highlight that. Or maybe you just want to highlight specific special stories as they come up vs. daily documentation. Again, it's completely up to you. My hope is to simply encourage you to get some of these special moments and stories of the season recorded.

SIX | I'm planning to continue Project Life right on through December. For December Daily I usually choose just one story per day. Since there are definitely more than one story each day I know I'll be able to find some good bits of life to continue adding to Project Life over the course of the month.

SEVEN | Sometimes people see my foundation pages and say, "there's not a lot there." And you're right. There's not a lot. But what I've done is set myself up with a solid foundation to build upon during December. By having at least some of the work done in advance I'm not trying to do everything (printing pages, choosing products, etc) during December. I know from past experience that setting myself up in this way has lead to a much better chance of success in getting my stories told.


In thinking about my own album this year here's some things that were top of mind for me in terms of design:

  • Calm. Whites, creams, silver with a little bit of red and green.

  • Stitching. I love the look of both machine and hand-stitching on paper. This is the machine I use: Brother XL2600I. It was recommended by Mary Ann Moss who runs an awesome class called Remains Of The Day among other cool creative adventures.

  • Glitter/sparkle. I'm going to argue that glitter can still be calm. Think twinkle lights vs. Times Square.

  • Stars. I found as I was looking through my stash of holiday supplies that I had a bunch of star stuff I've been accumulating. It started to become a theme I was excited about and I'm going with it.

  • Photo & Story-centric. Just like last year I plan to include quite a few full page photos again. Looking back through my 2010 album it's one of my favorite parts.



One of the things I really liked in last year's design was having a transparent page in the middle of each daily spread. I allocate two pages (a spread) for each day, with the exception of Day One. This year I made them about 1/3 the size and used a total of 4 Hambly transparent 12x12 sheets (I used Hambly White Lattice, Gold Mini Brocade, Chicken Coop Silver and Chic Green Circles). Hambly has added a page to their site to make choosing some transparencies for December Daily easy - click here to view their selection.

From each 12x12 transparent sheet I cut 5, 3 x 8.5 inch pieces.


In addition to the transparent sheets I added in six We Are Memory Keepers 8.5x11 Page Protectors that I cut down to fit in the album. I cut each one so that I ended up with four pockets.

Basically I wanted 26 inserts.

Along the edges of each of the Hambly pages I added some ribbons/twill/lace from my stash or an Avery 2-inch plastic tab.


They ended up looking something like this.


I put them in order, starting with a 4-pocket page followed by one of each of the Hambly transparent designs. I repeated that throughout the album.

Here's a look at how the pages came together. Remember, today I'm just sharing some of the pages - the rest will come later this week when I get some additional items from the Studio Calico kit.



My album begins with a 4-pocket page with a variety of star-focused embellishments.

I was inspired by this image found on Pinterest (confetti pockets) and wanted to do something similar with a few small gold stars (and also keep it in mind for things to add later in the month). After sticking the little goodies inside I stitched the pocket closed with my sewing machine.


Inside the bottom left pocket I included a Bingo Place Card from Jenni Bowlin. On the front I typed "Edwards 2011" and on the back I typed the following:



And yes, I literally ran it through my typewriter.


The Bingo Place Card isn't stitched in but the rest of the embellishments have a line of stitching about 1/8-1/4 inch from the top.



Since this is Day One I ended up with the 4-pocket page plus a Hambly insert. All other spreads have just one insert in between the pages (as you'll see below).


I ran the paper from the Avery 2-inch plastic tab through my typewriter. It's an old one I picked up at an estate sale - super fun to play with for projects like this.


For most of the days throughout the month I'll be adding pattern paper along the bottom in the space designated on the 2011 December Daily Overlay Package. I liked doing that during the month last year rather than in advance. Each of my days from 1 through 25 has a printed piece of cardstock ready to go. I'll add photos, ephemera and stories directly onto this cardstock throughout the month.

The 2011 December Daily Overlay Package includes 31 individual PNG files (dates and days of the week are customized for 2011), and print-ready PDF files in both black and red. As you can see above I'm using the red file this year. The PDF files include crop marks to show you right where to trim after printing. I printed my pages on Bazzill White 8.5x11 cardstock. These pages are 6 inches x 8.5 inches tall - sized to fit the album included with the kit from Studio Calico. I did a video tutorial on working with these overlays last year - the same steps still apply: Working With The December Daily Printable Overlays

Again, it's essentially the same format as last year - just a little taller and with the red option included in the package (and the days/dates correct for 2011). My plan is to also use the 6x8.5 December Daily Layered Templates as the companion page to these overlays. This is very similar to what I did last year.




Sometimes instead of an actual number I'm showing a certain number of something. In this case, three of the Jenni Bowlin Red Doily Flowers. This tends to be easier to do in the smaller numbers.




Canvas Corp Mini Canvas Star + Tim Holtz Metal Number.






I cut out the number 8 star card from the Jenni Bowlin Christmas Accessory Sheet, folded it over and stitched it onto the Hambly transparency.






For Day Fourteen I grabbed a small manila tag, adhered a couple of the Jenni Bowlin Red And Black alphabet stickers and used a Studio Calico Mister Huey (exclusive to the kit) to spray on top. After the ink dried I pull off the number stickers and stitched the tag onto the ribbon/transparency combo.




Canvas Corp Mini Canvas Star + American Crafts Hardcover Silver. I stitched around the edge of this one with red stitching. I also stitched the numbers in place with cream - a little more guarantee that those chipboard letters will stay in place.




Number tags from Bananafish Studio.






Red number tags from Every Jot And Tittle. I think I've used these circle numbers in almost every one of my December Daily albums. Love that I've been able to use them from year to year (different numbers in different years).




For this one I punched a 1.5 inch circle from white cardstock.


I placed the Jenni Bowlin Red And Black alphabet stickers numbers onto the circle.


Covered it with gesso/white paint. Let dry.


Peel off the number stickers and cover with Glossy Accents.




Maya Road Trinket Pin Stars (pulled the pin portion off the bottom of the star before placing inside the pocket), Jenni Bowlin Christmas Accessory Sheet, Jenni Bowlin Red Doily Flowers, silver stars from Prima, Authentique Wonder Diction Word Stickers.


Ali Edwards for Designer Digitals 2011 December Daily Printable Overlays
AE Holiday Boxes, November 2011 Studio AE Technique Tuesday Stamp Set (available November 1)
Jenni Bowlin Christmas Bingo Place Cards
We Are Memory Keepers 8.5x11 Page Protectors
Bazzill Basics White Orange Peel Texture 8.5 x 11
Fiskars Extra Large Twinkle Twinkle
Canvas Corp Minis
Gold Foil Star Stickers
Avery 2-inch
Hambly White Lattice, Gold Mini Brocade, Chicken Coop Silver, Chic Green Circles (click here to view a selection of recommendations from Hambly)
American Crafts Hardcover Silver
Maya Road Trinket Pins


A limited number of December Daily business sponsor spots are available for 2011 - both for giveaways and daily sponsorship. Please email me [email protected] for more information.

Elle’s Studio has some great items for your upcoming holiday scrapbooking - their numbers and journaling tags also work great with your December Daily projects! Use coupon code ALIHOLIDAY on any order over $45 and your order ships for free, today and tomorrow only! Also, today only, you’ll receive a free Halloween Tidbit, with any order, for their October special and some of their last call Halloween items are 30% off!

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  1. audra

    2011-11-02 12:20:55 -0400

    I have a question - If I'd like to make my format similiar to yours do I need an additional 6 of the SC page protectors - Or does what I need come with the kit itself? The other question is, the overlays that come with the SC kit are 6x12 is that right? I was able to order additional Hambly overlays any tips on how to cut & measure those to work out (that's not my favorite - the measuring lol!)

  2. Liz Sawyer

    2011-11-02 13:09:23 -0400

    SOOOOO excited for this year's project... just anxiously awaiting my package from Studio Calico to combine together with a bunch of kraft colored items from Tim Holtz, white & red as my theme. Have never done the pre-assembly so really hoping to do that this year & have a night when my husband is out of town blocked out for some crafty time while listening to Christmas music!

  3. Studio Calico Paper Bag Album: Sneaks – Angee Lee Butler

    2011-11-02 18:27:22 -0400

    [...] December Daily 2011 | The Foundation Pages, Part One ( [...]

  4. Nancy

    2011-11-02 21:26:56 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    I'm very excited to be creating a December Daily album again - this will be my second. 2010 was my first.

    The only thing left to do on my 2010 album is to punch the binding holes and add my rings. But I'm paralyzed with fear that I will mess this up! Can you please provide some advice on how deep from the edge I should punch the holes?

    Ho ho ho!

  5. Hannah

    2011-11-03 01:01:27 -0400

    Hi Ali, I'm eagerly awaiting my kit so I can get started! I have a pretty basic question- do you have any tips for punching holes in the transparent inserts so that they are all lined up properly? Last year I kept wasting them, as I found they were sliding and not punching where I thought they were going to. Then when I put them in the binder they were not in the right place.
    Thanks as always for the limitless inspiration.

  6. December Daily Set Up « At Number 29…

    2011-11-03 08:36:32 -0400

    [...] a link to Ali’s foundation pages (part [...]

  7. Rachel Briggs

    2011-11-06 11:14:44 -0500


    Is there a way for us to buy just the album and page protectors from Studio Calico rather than the entire kit? Like you, I like adding outside or found things or use up my current stash so I don't want to purchase anything that is not needed, and would just take up valuable space in my craft room.

    Thanks! Can't wait for the album this year. Maybe this will the year I actually finish the physical album!! :-)

  8. December Daily 2011 | The Foundation Pages, Part Two | Ali Edwards

    2011-11-06 22:54:15 -0500

    [...] can view my first set here (I highly recommend reading that post before you start on this [...]

  9. Uli

    2011-11-09 11:55:09 -0500

    Dear Ali,
    I'm so excited about doing your DD. I actually ordered the St.calico kit - and I'm still waiting for the kit. I live in Germany so it takes little longer. However, I downloaded your files from DD and started to print out the overlays. Somehow all my overlays ended up being a size 5.5 x 7 3/4 inch. I checked your tutorial and also followed your tipps but got the same result ....
    Pls help ....
    Thanks very much.

  10. Michele

    2011-11-11 13:48:05 -0500

    I am so excited to do the December Daily this year. I wasn't able to get the kit so I purchased the December Overlays without realizing they would opnly fit the album and page protectors that come with the kit. Is there any chance you have resized them to something more common so that anyone who wasn't able to get the kit can use them? I dont have Photoshop or Elements and was planning on using MS Word. Thanks!

  11. Danelle Johnson

    2011-11-17 10:14:56 -0500

    Love seeing this come together Ali. Timeless as always. I see you still have some transparencies of mine left. I wonder if I sent you the latest ones, I can't remember. Let me know if you need more, I forget. Hope to catch up with you soon, any chance you'll be at CHA?

  12. Michelle

    2011-11-18 09:56:26 -0500

    Ali, how did you adhere the Avery plastic tabs to the overlays? Yours looks so clean & clear.

  13. Robyn

    2011-11-18 14:19:55 -0500

    Hi Ali. This is my second year doing a December Daily album, and I just love, love, love it! My 10 year-old son thinks it's very cool as well, and it's so neat to look back over last year's album and read the little stories and comments that might otherwise be missed...

    I do have a question - how did you manage to pull the pin out of the Maya Arts Trinket Pin Stars? I have tried pliers and even wire cutters, but so far no luck!

    Thanks so much... As I'm sure you have been told countless times before, you are truly an inspiration. :)

  14. Robyn

    2011-11-18 14:25:57 -0500

    Well, after a lot more effort, I finally managed to get the pin part out of those Maya Arts Trinket Stars. Sorry to bother you prematurely with my earlier question.

    Thanks again for an album idea that is such a treasure, Ali.

  15. welcoming the holidays « the owlchemist LLC

    2011-11-23 09:26:58 -0500

    [...] I get a little more crafty. Last year, I had every intention of following Ali Edwards in her December Daily challenge, but got sidetracked with loads of work. At least that was the story at the time. I think what [...]

  16. Karen Anderson

    2011-11-24 16:14:29 -0500

    I love creating my DD and this year I am opting for an A5 (metric system) landscape lever arch folder. It has tons of space for a page for each day and its nice to change things up and work a bit differently - last year I used a 9" x 7" portrait lever arch folder.
    The great thing about the DD project is it is so flexible, you can work digitally or with paper & glue, you can use page protectors or put pages directly into your album, you can adapt what you have or buy the kit to follow specific samples - there's something for everyone!
    I'm really looking forward to December so I can start to fill my pages as they are ready to go xxx

  17. December Daily Foundation Pages 2011 | Learn With Jenny

    2011-11-27 23:22:33 -0500

    [...] I’m excited to be adding a new holiday tradition this December for our family. I just completed the foundation pages of my first December Daily album. Essentially, it is a daily scrapbook/journal for the 31 days of December. This has become a very popular idea in the scrapbooking community as it was originated by Ali. [...]

  18. Bridget

    2011-11-28 23:33:28 -0500

    Hi Ali. How were you able to cut the stars from the pins without breaking them?

  19. December Daily « Studio TWO 28

    2011-12-01 13:37:22 -0500

    [...] participates through the process on her website. You can read her first 2011 December Daily post here. And look here to find inspiration and ideas of what to include in the album. All of her December [...]

  20. December Daily 2011 | Day One | Ali Edwards

    2011-12-02 06:00:23 -0500

    [...] I knew that I wanted the focus to be on the words. I grabbed a couple sets of American Crafts letter stickers (silver foil and silver elf) and adhered them on my foundation page. [...]

  21. Fausto Ganigan

    2011-12-20 12:28:22 -0500

    Do you have any recommendation for a similar read I can find somewhere?

  22. Monthly Roundup – January « This is the Thing

    2012-02-24 15:31:26 -0500

    [...] completed my December Daily album.  I have been wanting to do one of these albums for several years.  So I am pleased that I [...]

  23. Melissa

    2012-10-07 18:20:20 -0400

    Hi Ali! - it looks like your cardstock pages are in page protectors too? What kind (brand) are they?


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