Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 13, 2011

December Daily™ 2011 | Day Twelve

Welcome to December Daily™ 2011 | Day Twelve.

I wanted to reach out to those of you who are having any sort of frustration with this project (such as not enough time, lacking motivation, supply issues, printing issues, camera issues, family issues, work issues, guilt, pressure, etc.) and remind you that there are no rules. There are no rules that it has to be done in a certain amount of time. There are no rules that it needs to look a certain way. That you need to tell certain stories. That you’re supposed to keep up and post and be merry all the time.

This project is supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be uplifting and encourage you focus on the things that are good this time of year.

It’s not a race.

But there is a goal – the goal of documenting your own personal stories from December 2011.

I’ll take a collective deep breath with you if you don’t mind.

Okay, onward.

Here’s a look at our Day Twelve:

My story today is about the kids writing letters to Santa. A personal favorite tradition because I love to see what they write/create.

6 x 4 photo on the right. 5.5 x 3.5 photo on the left.

I did a little misting (pretty sure I need to practice that technique a bit more) on the Teresa Collins Christmas Home Notes pattern paper. Hero Arts Basic Uppercase are the stamps used in the title. The arrows are from Studio Calico’s Scrap Pads – wrapped around the edge and stapled with the Tiny Attacher.

I did a zig zag stitch on the seams between the pattern papers and the photo.

The “e” circle was cut from Jillibean Soup Raisins pattern paper.

Simon’s letter made my heart happy. In the jouranling I talk about how much I loved that he started his letter with a thank you all on his own.

Stamping out some of the journaling always takes a bit of time but I can’t think of a time I didn’t like the result. Totally worth it.

I repeated the pattern paper from the first page on the second with a couple thin strips (also repeated the zig zag stitching). The big poinsettia along the bottom is from the Echo Park Seasons Greetings Chipboard set.

Here’s a look at both pages in my album with the daily transparency insert:

Happy half-way point for those of you who are creating an album up to the 25th.


Click on the images to link to the products.

Holiday Gift Wrap


Paper Source is one of my personal favorite places for gift wrap supplies. A couple things I picked up this year include the Candy Cane Duct Tape, the Red/White Twill, the Merry Christmas Twill (which would be great in a December Daily album), and the Muslin Bags (great for small treats).


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


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    This was such a sweet story, love that Simon and the way he thinks. Such a great kid he is. It was a perfect picture of them.

  • 2.
    Maureen Mahurin said…

    Terrific pages Ali! I love Simon’s letter and his Santa PJ’s. I’m not doing this project this year, thought it would be too much with Project Life too, so I am documenting our December traditions within Project Life. Love seeing your pages each day, such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing them!

  • 3.
    Flavia said…

    Great introduction! I feel exactly how you described: I started greatly doing my first 3 pages in time but then … first the internet connection, then the photocamera and now both the printer and the scan! I feel like battling against destiny! and more important I feel like it will be impossible to recoup the journaling (though I am passing a great december). Hope to find the time to do the past days. Thanks for your encouragment!

  • 4.
    Brooke said…

    Deep breath too! Not too much Christmas going on around here – and I know that is ok but I’m struggling with NICE stories to tell. I’m still taking photos and jotting down my journalling and will come back when I’m in a better frame of mind. Love the stamped out journalling too.

  • 5.
    Rina Abbott-Jard said…

    You really are awesome Ali, thanks so much for diligently sharing your passion with us. You have had a really significant influence on how I view my own life and my families’ and friends’ lives. Thank you!

  • 6.
    Monica said…

    These pages are just gorgeous! I take it a little easy this year, just making a page here and there. But today I have to make a page, since I became a grandmother again today!

    • ….
      Mallory said…

      Congratulations!! :)

    • ….
      Shelly said…

      Oh how wonderful!!! Grandchildren are such a blessing! Congratulations!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Congratulations Monica!

  • 7.
    Mallory said…

    Hey Ali. I love the concentration on Simon’s face as he’s writing his letter. Great picture of your darling children! I’m wondering what time do you get up each morning and post?? I woke up at 6:30 eastern time this morning to enjoy my coffee and have an hour to create before the baby wakes up, and I was amazed to see day 12 already up, wow!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Mallory – I set my posts to post at 6am EST (they are completed the day before).

    • ….
      Shawna said…

      Us east-coasters thank you!!!!! xoxo

  • 8.
    Sandra ltb said…

    yes fun – thanks for reminding us!
    Love your work.
    Sandra ltb

  • 9.
    LoretteC said…

    My kids are all grown now so I am reminiscing about when we used to do this! I miss those years! Enjoy them while you can… they grow up too fast! Thank you for reminding us to be easy on ourselves and have fun with the process.
    LOVE Paper Source…

  • 10.
    HeatherC said…

    Beautiful page — Writing letters to Santa is a big deal here too — this year both girls were able to write words — very exciting. I did my page last week — I also took photos of the letters — it can be viewed here

  • 11.
    Aimee said…

    Glad I am not the only one falling behind. I keep thinking… today I will catch up, and that has yet to be the case! Beautiful pictures, beautiful pages.

  • 12.
    Anya said…

    Love it! One of my favorites so far this year!!!

  • 13.
    Nicole said…

    Thank you for the reminder Ali! And yes, happy half-way point. :)

  • 14.
    Katie Scott said…

    Hi Ali: 1. What a great idea to have them write letters to Santa about the video, ‘m going to make sure we do that too. 2. Today’s post was perfect. We had “one of those days” yesterday and I realized at the end of the day that even though I did take a few photos in the morning – the day was really about having a challenging time, so instead of including pictures, I just wrote about the day. I’ve been doing a lot of photo so I think having a day with none is a good change. 3. I also want to include some of the full page photos like you do, maybe I’ll order some of those today and back track them in. 4. I’ve been keeping up with December Daily – but I think one of the main reasons is to post my link on your blog -its like weight watchers for scrapbooking. Thank you again for this awesome project.

    • ….
      Erin B said…

      <3 'weight watchers for scrapbooking' …so cute!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I love that too Katie :) . I know that if there’s a way for me to be accountable I’m more likely to get it done (like posting my Project Life pages each Tuesday).

  • 15.
    Melanie said…

    Absolutely beautiful, as always. I’m struggling this week, even though my DD pages are super, super simple. Just cannot find the time to sit down and do with all I have going on. Perfect timing for this note of encouragement. :)

  • 16.
    MK said…

    My favorite page so far as I love this tradition in my family. Even though my girls are older I still have them write a letter to Santa. In order to receive you must believe, not sure if they understand the real meaning behind this statement but someday they will. I have taken your advise and approached this year so differently. Letting the stories flow organically and the photos will follow. I have not printed any pics out yet, I do that in batches. Loving this project, thanks as always for the inspiration.

  • 17.
    Elaine Bieman said…

    really cute. Although my oldest son will not write out a letter this year.

  • 18.
    ShellyP said…

    I love this post Ali, when I start reading there are “no rules”, now that makes me so very happy! :) I think that’s what I love so much about your projects and scrapbooking in general-no rules! I’m a “color outside the lines” kind of girl-I think you are too! Merry Christmas!

  • 19.
    Cathie said…

    half way? no way! wow. beautiful post and layout.

    thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the idea of the Dec. Daily with us.

    This is my third year participating and I think I’ve finally found what works for me because I’m having so much fun even though the season is getting crazier and crazier. The DD is now a part of my personal Christmas tradition and the albums are among my most favourite Christmas treasures. It is a lot of work but I can’t imagine Christmas without it.

  • 20.
    Kara said…

    Good Point Ali! I found that I had to pack up my supplies last night in order to make room for other Christmas projects. I have decided to keep taking photos, collecting bits of life, and documenting in my journal what stories I would like to tell each day. After the holidays I will be able to go back and finish the album easily. I do love this proejct and look back at the years I have done before, just not enough space or time this year.

  • 21.
    laura g. said…

    i am struggling to keep up (not in a stressful way) i am on day 5 which is almost complete i have been jotting down notes and printing out the pictures so i am keeping up with that i hadn’t made my pages before hand as i wasn’t sure what direction i wanted to take i have been drawing out pages something like ali’s digital pages and found that worked the best i really like the strip of pattern paper at the bottom i am determined to do this project as i think it will be fun to look back on it next year at this time ali inspries me!!

  • 22.
    rhonda said…

    The look of concentration on Simon and Anna’s faces are priceless and Simon’s pjs are too cute! I love this project and my family loves it too, I couldn’t do it without their support. Thanks Ali for the encouraging words and support too!

  • 23.
    Lida said…

    I am glad I read your words of encouragement for today. It has been a frustrating past 3 days and I was about to give up on the Dec daily. You are so right. This is for fun. Thanks for bringing me up.

    • ….
      Carlye said…

      This arlctie went ahead and made my day.

  • 24.
    kelly said…

    love. thanks for the reminder. i find that now (after several years of completing this project) i am much less stressed about the whole thing. it is all about the words and photos and it really does enhance my enjoyment of the season.

  • 25.
    Dana K said…

    Thanks Ali. I’ve only finished 3 days so far but I have been taking pictures and making notes for each day. I’m trying not to stress about it. I’m hoping to get some scrapping done at my monthly crop on Saturday and if I don’t get this album done until January, that’s OK too.

  • 26.
    borcherding said…

    Dear Ali, I wanted to thank you for this message today. This year I am finally DOING it and keeping up with the December daily. In fact, I made each of my kids one (age 9 and 14) and they are journaling the month of December as well. I have been feeling MAJORLY depressed and anxious about the fact that our albums right now are NOT picture heavy. I could give you a zillion reasons why I haven’t had the TIME to take pictures and another zillion as to why we haven’t had tons of “christmasy” things lately..however, I’ve made sure that all of our December dailys include or not. I’m trying not to feel so stressed out about seeing all of your great pics (and everyone else’s) when our books are containing hardly any pics right now but lots of words. And oh those words I treasure!! :-) Thanks for the reminder that things are just OK with how they are right now…peace and blessings!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Those words will be the MOST AWESOME thing. Keep doing what’s working and don’t worry about the rest.

  • 27.
    christen said…

    i love this page! the stamping adds a lot on it (i need to remember that!) – my kids are too old to write letters to santa :( but they do make me lists…

  • 28.
    Claire said…

    Thank you Ali for your helpful and kind words and reminders. It is sometimes a struggle – there aren’t enough hours in the day! But it is so worth the effort. So thank you again for your constant inspiration. And a happy Christmas to you and yours.

  • 29.
    Tere (Marie) said…

    Beautiful page.
    And I know, in my head, this is supposed to be fun, encouraging, story telling and memorable. I know this. But there is this nagging voice in my head that is constantly saying, “what’s today’s story? What’s today’s story? Is this the story? Wait, maybe this is my story (click, click of the camera)….” I know I’m too critical of myself. Also, just like last year, during the week my pictures are taken after work/school, and they all seem so dark. And Ali, I want mine to look as beautiful as yours. And that’s where I get stuck. I’m working on it…thanks for your continued support as I am working to become a better story teller.

  • 30.
    Michelle said…

    Fell way the heck behind, so started doing my journaling in an email draft for ease. Have pics that need printing and will get to those. Keep telling myself “I’ll get there” and it’s all good. I know I want to have this finished product at the end of it all, so that keeps me going.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You will get there Michelle :) .

  • 31.
    Kim in Vacaville said…

    Love watching the process of your project. I have a question for anyone who sews in their scrapbooking – do you backstitch at the beginning and end of each line of stitches? Do you have a problem with the sewing coming undone if you don’t backstitch? Hope that makes sense!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I do a back-stitch because that’s what my Mom taught me to do :) .

  • 32.
    Jill said…

    Hi Ali – *thank you* for your reminders about looking at this project as a source of fun and time to play during the holidays. Life is taking me on a surprise journey right now in the midst of all things holiday, end of year and new year. Just working to go with it and be kind to myself. I’m setting aside time to work on my book tonight and slip some things into pockets in project life. Little steps can add up to make something beautiful :) Love how your book is coming together. Actually, I’m using many of your pages as templates b/c I’m having trouble coming up with my own ideas right now – but yearn to put something lovely together :) Don’t want lack of ideas to stop my actual doing.

  • 33.
    Abbey said…

    I’m not quite through day 12 yet, but think this may be my favorite of the pages you’ve made so far. I like that there is some pattern paper with the photo on the left and that it is added in an interesting way as well as the stamp + journaling, which I have yet to try, but will. Great job!

  • 34.
    Karen H said…

    It is so inspiring to come here each day, your pages are wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us:)

  • 35.

    I think this is my favorite of your pages so far!!

  • 36.
    Christine said…

    I love seeing your ideas and pages! My season is always so busy, and I can’t print great quality at home, so I can’t make detailed pages each day. But I did find a simple formula to use. I put one full-page photo on the left side that I order when I can, and I make a list on the right of things we did that day. If there are other photos to include, I can print wallets or add extra pages like you do. On days I know we will have lots of activities, I use a baseball card holder for more space. I can also staple in receipts or other bits in empty spaces. I go back later and add strips of journaling to the full page photos if I want. It is easy to make pages ahead, note the photo placement in pencil, and journal out my list each evening or even a day or two later. And one year when I am not so busy, I may try different pages.

  • 37.
    Debbie P said…

    Fantastic photo of your children!!! I love your pages for this day. Just so darn cute and inspiring!

  • 38.
    Erica Hettwer said…

    As I’m ordering my pics, I only have through day 5 completed. But, I’m not too worried about it. I’ve been blogging the details of the day in case I need more info when I do get my pics and I’m really, really happy with how it’s turning out so far. My kids love it already and that’s the most important thing for me! <3

  • 39.
    susan w said…

    That is sweet :) Love the jammies that Simon is wearing too.

  • 40.
    Barb King said…

    I’ve got to compliment you on that photo, I love the reflection on the table. Thanks for sharing this. I just came across your blog a few days ago, and am enjoying seeing your process. I’ve admired your stamp designs for a long time, and just bought a few that I plan to use on Valentine projects.

  • 41.
    Claire said…

    Hi Ali -
    It’s funny you started today’s post this way. I was thinking about sending you a thank you email. I am your typical mom. I suffer from Depression, too much to do & not enough time. I’m frequently guilty of dreading kid events that have to be “squeezed in.” Some how, the December Daily has changed my perspective. I’m been looking forward to each event, thinking “I know I”ll get a great picture out of this!” My pages are very, very simple. Typically, your digital template, one picture & some journaling. But it’s completely changed my perspective on this usually hectic season. Thank you for that. Thank you for the bottom of my heart.

  • 42.
    cinback said…

    Thank you for your reminder to keep going. I love this project and have been able to mostly keep up. This is my fourth DD album and I still look back on the others and treasure them dearly.

  • 43.
    Stephanie said…

    What kind of typewriter do you use for your journaling?

  • 44.
    Mary Sara P. said…

    Good intentions page the road, right? Thank you for this reminder to take a deep breath. I ended up writing some journaling so I wouldn’t forget. My friend suggested I take a picture of my desk at work since that seems to be where I am most of the time lately. I am a bit frustrated since I don’t seem to have time or good opportunities to take pictures. I am hoping to get caught up or at least get some pages done this weekend.

    You truly are an inspiration. Thank you and wishing you a wonderful night.

  • 45.
    Kim Thomas said…

    Thank you for the encouragement Ali. I think this DD is really worth the time just to get a slice of life right now. Stories are so important to remember. Thank you for the reminder to breathe. On the days I don’t have time, I’m trying to at least journal, or come up with an idea of a story I want to tell. I love the photo of your kids writing their letters to Santa. You will have that precious memory forever, and like so many of us who think we’ll never forget, we do. That’s the problem. I think that’s why it’s so important to journal. Thank you Ali.

  • 46.
    Holly said…

    Oh, Ali, thank you so much for this reminder! Between working 50 hours per week, Christmas upon us, drum lessons/practice, housework, there’s never enough time. I am 4 weeks behind on Project Life and have completed up to Day 10 in my DD. Due to my schedule and the fact I have to cram quite a few things into one day, I have decided to keep taking pics (which I already have a ton to include in DD) and although the pages won’t be a day by day play, it will capture December. Thank you for reminding me that this is okay. You are truly an inspiration. I LOVE your pages. I LOVE your creativity. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

  • 47.
    Anne said…

    Thank you for pointing out that we’re not supposed to keep up and post and be merry all the time. Even If I often do not feel merry (daily life with 2 kids is not always easy), I’m going on with my DD. I’m not following your templates and do not have the kit,so as you said, this is not so easy to have to create a full new page each day. But you keep me motivated for going on with my own daily december. And this is the first time, I really document what happened (not just telling the facts). Thank you for your enthusiasm !!!

  • 48.
    tascha said…

    I am also kind of struggling this year to keep up with my december daily. First we moved into a new home at 11/12/01, since then we do not have any internet or telephone at home ( thanks to the telephone company) and then my husband, my little daughter and I got a bad virus infection. I am stucked now with day 8 but that´s okay for my. I will finish the december daily when we are 100% back on track and when I have the time to enjoy it – as you said it´s supposed to be fun. Very merry christmas wishes from Germany!!

  • 49.
    Loretta artful yogi said…

    Such a sweet story. You are raising some fabulous kids to be such polite and great individuals. Thank you, Ali.

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