Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 4, 2011

December Daily™ 2011 | Day Three

Welcome to December Daily™ 2011 | Day Three.

Remember back on my Hello December post I suggested not getting hung up on exactly what day something happened? Here’s an example of that for me today. These photos are from the last couple of days. That’s good enough for me!

Today it’s all about the twinkle.

Let’s take a closer look:

My Day Three ended up being a full page photo on the left and a photo and journaling on the right. All the photos I used to tell today’s story were taken with my iPhone.

One of the biggest things I did for this spread was play with my Silhouette Cameo. Both the words above (bright and twinkle) were cut out using the Cameo which is an electronic die-cutting machine. It hooks up with your computer, you open some software, open a design (that you either create on your own or from their store or from a digital product), load some paper, and then click a button (essentially) that tells the machine to cut your design from cardstock (and other materials like vinyl).

That’s a rough explanation, but you get the idea.

I’ve been wanting to play around with this more and I had some time to devote to it today and was super happy with how things turned out.

I ended up recording a video that shows how I opened up one of my digital word art files (from my new Christmas Preparations set) in the Silhouette software, traced it (so easy – click a button), and was then able to cut it out to use on my page.

My cut settings were this:

  • Media: Cardstock (I was using White Bazzil Orange Peel)
  • Speed: 3
  • Thickness: 33
  • Double Cut

NOTE : When I opened and traced the word “twinkle” I did need to clean it up a bit by removing two little areas. To do that I selected the word, went to Object/Release Compound Path. That allowed me to delete a couple extra shapes that appeared after the trace. When I was done deleting those two little areas I selected the word again and went to Object/Make Compound Path to connect it all together again.

When it comes out of the machine it looks like this. You can see where I started to peel up the word.

And here’s what it looks like when it was completely removed from the backing:

I was really excited at this point.

I decided to do another word (twinkle) to add to the other image.

I could have easily just left these two words alone and stuck them down but I decided to play a bit more.

I laid each word down on a craft sheet, added Versamark embossing ink, poured on some Zing Brown Sugar embossing powder and then set it with a heat gun.


To adhere the words onto my photo I used a Martha Stewart Glue Pen.

You could also use a Xyron to add adhesive to the back (the Creatopia would be great for larger words). After I stuck the word down I put something a bit heavier, like a block stamp, on top to hold it down. And nope, I’m not left-handed – just wanted to show a photo holding the glue pen and was holding the camera in my right hand.

One thing I didn’t want to deal with embossing was the dot for each of the “i” letters. Actually I tried and it just wasn’t happening.

Instead I used two Studio Calico Crafty Cardstock Stickers. They are self-adhesive but I decided to pop them up a bit with 1/2 of a foam tab.

I added my journaling in the box below the image on the second page (writing directly onto the cardstock). That second page image is two photos that I brought together in photoshop that shows a before and after shot of the lights.

Here’s a look at it in the album:

Bring on the twinkle!

I also wanted to let you know that I have four new products available at Designer Digitals this weekend (two are shown above): Outline Christmas, Christmas Preparations, Faithful Christmas, and Celebration Of Life (which was created to help people honor and tell stories of those who have passed). All new products are always on sale the weekend they debut.

Don’t forget that Designer Digitals is also doing a Days Of December sale where a selection of a couple hundred random products are on sale each day. Check out what’s on sale here.


Click on the images to link to the products.


Join Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire for stamping and cardmaking technique classes at Each class includes lifetime access to materials including numerous how-to videos and PDF downloads.  Get the most out of product you already have on hand by adding new techniques to your crafting arsenal!


You’re invited to include a link to your DAY THREE page here. Please link directly to your post vs. your general blog link.


  • 1.
    Ilona said…

    Good morning Ali! :-)
    Soooo beautiful! Love your day 3 (like all the others before) and can’t wait to see what’s coming next!
    Have a lovely sunday!

  • 2.
    Nicole Jannink said…

    I just love the bright and twinkle word you cut out! Great idea and I will probably use it further along the way in my DD

  • 3.
    Kathy said…

    Ali, I love the page and the words on top…I’m so excited to be doing this again. My first attempt was in 2009 (half completed book although I did do all the photos and wrote notes but as I made the book myself the craft shop ran out of the cardboard i was using at the time). Last year’s used your digital templates and printed and put them into an album and LOVE it and I’m excited about this year’s as well. Thanks for sharing such wonderful projects with us to help record our families christmas traditions. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

  • 4.
    MarianneG said…

    Hi Ali. My first time completing December Daily and am loving it! Just completing my Day 4 layout now. Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration. XXX

  • 5.
    Ruth said…

    oooh! good plan! Must get the craft robo out!!!

  • 6.
    dawn said…

    love love this Ali!! Way to go on those lights.

  • 7.
    Beke said…

    So lovely

  • 8.
    Kristina in Oz said…

    Gorgeous words Ali! Now I have the words silhouette on my Xmas wish list…..This is my first year too of doing December Daily and I’m hooked. You are so inspiring. Thank you.

  • 9.
    Shannon R. said…

    I love the picture with bright. That really is the holidays. Thanks for sharing.

  • 10.
    Deb A said…

    We are loving this so much! Thank you!

  • 11.
    Nicole said…

    This is so pretty and yet so simple Ali. I really love this layout. I think I need to look more into that craft sheet too…

  • 12.
    Robin C said…

    Absolutely beautiful!
    Thanks for posting about tracing the png files. I just played with your “Messy Little Christmas” and LOVE it.
    Thank you Ali for sharing your ideas!!!

  • 13.
    Julie said…

    I love what you do Ali. Thank you for sharing.

  • 14.
    Laura Melohn said…

    I love this spread. The words are great!

  • 15.
    Sandra K. said…

    What a great idea. I have a lot of digital designs. Now I can use them in an other way!

    Sandra :)

  • 16.
    Katie Scott said…


    I have a tendency to start projects with lots of excitement and then flounder in the middle and regain steam towards the end. Knowing this about myself, I’m worried that I won’t keep up with December Daily mid-month, but I really want to this year.

    Do you ever make pages ahead of time – like with the photos & journaling & everything – as kind of filler days that you could slap the day of the month on later (so that you have your missed days already covered); and then if you didn’t miss any days, maybe those filler pages would just act as additional pages? I’m thinking about doing this because I have some busy days coming up where I can’t imagine that I will get to this project and I don’t want to get so behind that I give up mid-month.

    I would love to hear strategies for this. Thank you!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think that is totally acceptable! There are no rules at all. I haven’t done that, but I have thought about it especially as things get busier. Make it work for you.

  • 17.
    Jeni said…

    Beautiful. I must get pictures of mine up soon.

  • 18.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    just beautiful.

  • 19.
    Molly said…

    that is so cool! I love anything with a die-cut.

  • 20.
    Mallory said…

    Great spread Ali! Love the embossing you did to the words! Do you do anything special in editing your iPhone photos? Because mine always come out grainy.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Nothing special. When I opened them in Photoshop I went to Image size and changed the size to 6.5×8 (for the big photo) at 300 dpi. Just make sure that you are using your iphone camera at the highest resolution. I have an iphone 4 – when I had an iphone 3 the quality of the pictures were less overall (my opinion).

  • 21.
    Nicky H said…

    That is so cool! I’ve always wanted one of those die cutting machines that does your own images (rather than cartridges) but they used to (???) not work with Macs. Maybe someday! You make it look so easy!

    • ….
      Jenny L. said…

      Silhouettes now work with Mac!!!! The Silhouette SD and the Silhouette Cameo both work with Macs, the original is the only one that doesn’t!

  • 22.
    Carol E said…

    Really beautiful pages,thank you for sharing them.

  • 23.
    Calvina said…

    I love the simplicity of this beautiful design!

  • 24.
    Christine said…

    Love the idea of using cut words on the photos. Thanks for the inspiration to try something new. I have a Cricut so this is something I’d like to use in my DD. I have a Gypsy which enables you to weld letters together but I think using the Design Studio with the Cricut enables the user to use PNG files. Would love to hear feedback from other Cricut users.

  • 25.
    Phyllis said…

    Great ideas !!!

  • 26.
    mandee m said…

    Good Morning Ali!

    I love the photos of all the twinkle lights. Can you share your camera settings when you took these? Particularly the ones on the hardwood.

    I don’t have the best lighting in my house and I always have a hard time getting a good shot of the lights.


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Mandee – these were taken with my iphone – so no special setting just pointed down on the ground and clicked.

  • 27.
    Kristen said…

    Hi Ali, Any tips for creating your spread above without a Silouette? Do you think you could cut the words out with a craft knife?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Kristen – it’s totally possible to cut them by hand. I think it will be a challenge but definitely possible.

  • 28.
    Janet said…

    Awesome – thanks for the tips!

  • 29.
    Helen Rosen said…

    Love these layouts…they’re beautiful! What resolution do you use to print your iphone photos? Mine are never very clear and I find the color is off if taken indoors.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Helen – When I opened them in Photoshop I went to Image size and changed the size to 6.5×8 (for the big photo) at 300 dpi. Just make sure that you are using your iphone camera at the highest resolution. I have an iphone 4 – when I had an iphone 3 the quality of the pictures were less overall (my opinion).

      Also if you saw these up close they are grainy – less crisp and clear than my dslr photos but still capture the essence of what I want to communicate.

  • 30.
    Melinda T said…

    Ali-This page looks amazing! Love the photos taking up the whole page and the die cuts!

  • 31.
    Queen Mary said…

    Very nice ali. I’ve seen words made with the silhouette around and I confess they are very attractive to me — but so far the only cutting machine I have is the big shot.

  • 32.
    KimMJ said…

    Really beautiful photos….Love the ‘twinkle’ TFS and for all of the inspiration!

  • 33.
    jen g said…

    Love the twinkle theme!

  • 34.
    rhonda said…

    Beautiful pictures of your lights and I loved the Cameo words. I am loving the DD progress more and more each day, it really makes me veiw the Holidays in a special way.

  • 35.
    Deborah said…

    The Cameo is very cool. Are you running OS Lion on your Mac? Any compatibility issues with using the Cameo program? Been waiting so long for something to work well with Macs! Thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Deborah – I’m up to date with software (running 10.7.2) and haven’t had any issues.

  • 36.
    margaret in AZ said…

    Ali, I’ve not used my Silhouette as much as I shoulda/coulda!!! Your presentation gives me courage!!! Thanks for the lovely inspiration, as always.

  • 37.
    Angie Blom said…

    I love me some twinkle.. perfect photo’s.. and so glad it was from another day.. my photo’s for my 4th day is from last Sunday when we went to see Santa.. I am going to add other photo’s from other days as well in my album,, seeing that this year I am alot busier with projects it will not be so stressful to grab a photo each day. thanks for sharing.

  • 38.
    jennifer said…

    I am also participating and hope to eventually link something! but in the meantime, I am enjoying seeing December through everyone else’s eyes! Thanks all….enjoy!

  • 39.
    Theresa Grdina said…

    LOVE these two pages!! I cannot tell you how badly I want a Cameo. I have a Cricut and a Vagabond and a Big Shot…I think if I asked Santa for another cutter he would have a fit!!!!

    I don’t know, though…seeing your words makes me want to get out there and order one!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 40.
    Karen Anderson said…

    I love the look of the large photos with the large words, while I don’t have a Cameo (I do however have almost everything else!! LOL!) I think I could still use this idea on a future page. Thanks for sharing xx

  • 41.
    Donna c said…

    Beautiful! I ran over and bought a couple of the new files at DD.

    Regarding your CAMEO settings…..I have a Cameo as well, and with Bazzill, I use the Blade at 4, Speed 3, Thickness 33 and it cuts beautifully with one pass! No need to double cut. This can be a nice timesaver, especially if you’re making multiples, PLUS…it really saves wear and tear on your blade and mat!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Donna – I’ll try that next time!

  • 42.
    kelly libby said…

    thanks for always sharing!! Your posts and creations help to bring (and keep me) into the holiday spirit. Been having some difficulties within my family (sister going throuhg a rough divorce, unemployment and three amazing little neices/nephews who have to deal with too much adult issues lately). however, a happy note, this little daily December helps me rememember all the small, good, memorable every day moments we do share. Thanks!

    I’ve never seen that Martha Stewart glue pen… Really cool!

  • 43.
    Carla said…

    Love the pages!! I’ve had my silhouette for a year and its the one tool I can’t live without! I love to make my shapes using your digital words! I also use the tracing tool to make shapes for my stamps. I just scan the transperancy from the package, trace it, and use the offset tool so its just a bit bigger than the stamp. Love that especially for my letter stamp! TFS!

  • 44.
    melanie said…

    such a great video – lots of new ideas swirling with how i can use my new cameo. :)

  • 45.
    Brooke said…

    The lights look amazing. We did the annual drive to look at Christmas lights over the weekend and were happy that doing it early meant avoiding the traffic disasters that come later in December.

    Had to laugh at your “no I’m not left-handed” comment, because as a lefty I was going to ask!

  • 46.
    Jen D said…

    thanks for the tutorial! just bought a silhouette sd used and haven’t yet figured out much of this. SO excited to know I can use all my digital brushes & put them to good use! thanks!

  • 47.
    Kristen said…

    Ali, What is the best way to resize the December Daily layered templates to fit the 6 x 8.5 American Crafts binder (since the templates are sized as 12 x 12)? Thanks, Kristen

  • 48.
    Jenny L. said…

    I loved the tutorial! I had tried to do this before, but it just didn’t make sense to me… Have you thought of making files specifically for silhouette? Thanks so much!

  • 49.
    Cindy Coutts said…

    I haven’t scrapbooked, journaled, or done anything like that in decades, so I thought that I would try this out. Before I go into tears, I printed out the purchased downloads and am wondering if I have to cut every single one of them down to size? Photoshop? Forget it. I know nothing about that and desperately need a class. I can’t even do a video tutorial less than a half hour! I’m just really a mess. So I guess the two most important questions to me are where to get the binders and page protectors that will fit this and I did see people use like a daily divider of sorts. Is there a size or download for that? Last, but not least, a 2011 front page would be nice. I did manage to fudge the 2010 one and had planned on modifying that. I bet everything would look so much better if I only knew how to use Photoshop but I guess I’ll have to do it all the old fashioned way. Boy am I feeling very dumb! I’m sorry for all of the questions and hopefully an old dog can learn new tricks!

  • 50.
    Katie {choc0holic} said…

    Oh Ali! Thank you SO much for sharing this tutorial on how to make your amazing brushes into cut files for my Silhouette! I am going to be very busy tracing the next few days!

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