December Daily™ 2011 | Day Thirteen

Welcome to December Daily™ 2011 | Day Thirteen.

Yesterday as I was working and clicking (you know how that goes right?) I came across Max Ehrmann's Desiderata on Tara Whitney's blog. It's not the first time I've read it - I think the first time was when I was a sophomore in high school. It speaks to me each time I find it again so I decided it would be a nice thing to include in my December Daily™ for today.

I can imagine myself opening up my 2012 December Daily™ in the coming years and seeing this again and having it be just what I need to read.

It's also seemed a nice companion to a photo I took of Anna this morning. I set the camera on the ground, set it to 100 ISO and took a couple shots as she played with her Playmobil between the tree and a couch.

"Be at peace" was added directly onto the photo using American Crafts Hollyday Silver Elf Chipboard and a single line was stitched across the top.

I've seen a couple people in the comments mention the challenge of photographing in low-light. I find, at this time of year specifically with all the twinkle lights, that I actually welcome the low-light. That said, there are times when it works and times when it doesn't. I'm sure I could of adjusted this photo in Photoshop - but this is a pretty good representation of what I saw. Glowing yellow light inside, the blue of the early morning light out the window.

In this case I purposely chose a really low ISO - 100 - and set the camera on the floor so there would be no shake (I actually wanted to see how long the shutter would stay open - it wasn't as long as I thought it would be).

That said, sometimes low light is just really annoying. I googled "tips for shooting in low light" and there are 16,300,000 results. This one was pretty decent.

Along the edge I added a strip of Jillibean paper (stars), a small piece from the Jenni Bowlin paper, and a small kraft star that was cut from a Trader Joes shopping bag.

I repeated another little piece of the Trader Joe's paper on the top. Along the right edge of the first page I added some stars cut with the Silhouette. All those accents include machine stitching.

Here's a look at the pages in my album:

I saved the words as a PDF for you guys in case it means something to you right now. You can download it by clicking here. (2.3 MB)


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

49 thoughts

  1. Vera

    2011-12-14 11:04:05 -0500

    Beautiful. I also first read Desiderata when I was a highschool sophomore. Loved it since.

  2. Missus Wookie

    2011-12-14 11:04:45 -0500

    Love Desiderata - was just thinking of what used to be on our first student house walls and this was one I was going to replace.

    So many bits of great advice in there. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sally

    2011-12-14 11:17:18 -0500

    Wait a minute- day 13? Already? How did this happen? I haven't even managed to get day 1 done! :) Hopefully I'll have time soon to work on my album. I love seeing everyone else's though!

  4. k8

    2011-12-14 11:24:40 -0500

    Thanks for the Desiderata......I probably discovered that around sophomore year in HS, too - many, many years before you! I used to have a printed version on my bulletin board. I will find a way to include Desiderata in my JYC....

    Now I am thinking nostalgically about my bulletin board...I specifically remember some of the stuff I had on there forever. A picture of e.e. cummings, a page from Skiing magazine with a great picture of Franz Klammer, a cartoon a friend send of a guy stuck in a real rut.....wish I had a photo of it. What a glimpse into the girl I once was.....


  5. Abbey

    2011-12-14 11:27:20 -0500

    Had a great crafting night with friends and now almost back to the "present" with my DD. Loving this project more each year. I like that some topics repeat and I can look back, but also am trying consciously to make sure some new ones are added. For the 13th, I added a day about our charitable giving as it isn't something I've ever documented, but is something we care about and is part of our holiday and year long experience. Thanks again for the inspiration

  6. Louise

    2011-12-14 11:58:34 -0500

    Dear Ali, I'm not sure if I can hand-on-heart say this is my most favourite of every single layout of yours I've ever seen . . . but it must be in the top three. It is absolutely beautiful - just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you peace. Louise

  7. Nicole

    2011-12-14 12:20:10 -0500

    Beautiful layout Ali! I love this poem too. I can't say I've ever read it before. Thanks for taking the time to share it as a PDF for us.

  8. Noell

    2011-12-14 12:49:58 -0500

    Ali, you first introduced me to the concept of purposefully low-lit photos some time after you moved into your home and you had a picture of Simon in his room between two lamps. I saw that and the feeling it evoked, and it occurred to me that I'd been trying to manufacture light in some of my photos that should not have been there.

    I went back and fixed some evening Christmas photos I'd made boring by bumping up the exposure and returned them to their low-light selves and was so happy to see that the magic had returned and it was good that way!

    Glad to see you pointing it out here for others to learn from. Thank you for helping me see it myself!

  9. Lori Kae

    2011-12-14 12:59:34 -0500

    A tight HUG, a giant Smile and a sincere God Bless You for all of the "Gifts" and Light you share with the world each day. Thank you!!!

  10. Deirdre

    2011-12-14 13:00:17 -0500

    Thank you for sharing the PDF. I grew up with this framed in our basement and it is intrinsically tied to my dad in my mind. I saw it on Tara's blog and wanted to print a copy to include in my Christmas gift to him (my parents have downsized and I hadn't seen it in years). I don't know that I would have found the time or remembered to, but now you've made it so easy. So thank you from me and my dad!

  11. Elizabeth A

    2011-12-14 14:41:01 -0500

    Love the poem. I decided to do a different type of Dec Daily this year. Everyone day this month I tell my loved ones about one thing I love about them. It has brought much joy and closeness, and for that I am grateful. Thanks as always for inspiration.

  12. rhonda

    2011-12-14 14:43:23 -0500

    Ali I have never heard of this poem before. I must tell you it was perfect timing, I have been feeling down this year not so cheery and today I was moved by this, just what I needed! THANK YOU ALI!

  13. amy tangerine

    2011-12-14 15:33:37 -0500

    love seeing anna in her tee, even if it is backwards. maybe the next one should have the heart in the front. smiles

  14. Lucy

    2011-12-14 16:11:28 -0500

    What a sweet picture and tribute to Anna. I'd venture to say that anyone who hasn't seen Desiderata wasn't able to read in the '60s. ;-) It was THE thing hanging on all our walls back then. It's always meaningful to read -- and I enjoyed it once again.

  15. DaniW in Oz

    2011-12-14 16:23:59 -0500

    Hi Ali - after reading your post yesterday I decided to put the Desiderata as the last page for my Project Life album, I thought it ended off the year perfectly - thanks for sharing it!

    Are you finding that some of the very small pieces of the Playmobil Advent calender aren't suitable for Anna? We gave it to our 2.3 year old boy and some of the pieces are a bit scary with him - the ink pot, tiny mail etc! He is cutting his molars and will still sometimes put things in his mouth to chew on they go away into a special box for playing with only under supervision.

  16. Kirsten

    2011-12-14 17:03:18 -0500

    Thank you for sharing the file with us. I saw it on Tara's blog and loved it, but didn't have time to copy it out. It speaks to me too.

  17. Emma

    2011-12-14 17:36:27 -0500

    Hi Ali. I'm sure you get so many comments that you are too busy to read them all, but I just had to write a comment to say thank you for posting this poem, today. My December so far has been a hard one, and things have all come together to make it a very bad day. Discovering the words of this poem were exactly what I NEEDED today. Thank you.

  18. Ruth

    2011-12-14 18:58:51 -0500

    just one more thank you here for, as Deirdre said earlier, making it easy when I had the same thought from Tara's blog and put it onto my mental "do it later" list. You really look after us as we follow along with the december daily parade throughout the month..

  19. Tammy B

    2011-12-14 19:10:27 -0500

    Thank you Ali. I'm going to share this poem with my friends. I'm sure it will be a calming influence in some of their lives right now.

  20. Nicole Foster

    2011-12-14 23:35:29 -0500

    Thanks for sharing the poem. I've never seen it before but it is exactly what I need for one of my DD days. I'm a teacher, and with all of the hectic-ness of report cards, parent conferences, testing and trying to have some fun with the students before our Christmas break, I've found myself not really enjoying the season yet. I haven't yet put my DD together yet, but have been keeping notes and taking pictures to add later. This will fit in perfectly with one of my days. Thanks again for all of your inspiration. :)

  21. Marie-Pierre

    2011-12-15 01:52:46 -0500

    I love this layout Ali! I love the little red strip and the stars on the side. Do you use a special needle to sew through the chipboard letters? I have this same machine and I'm always struggling with it if I only try to sew through something sticky, so I couldn't imagine sewing through chipboard letters. I love the look though. Really love it!

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  23. Krystyn

    2011-12-16 10:55:21 -0500

    I have never read Desiderata before (or seen it for that matter) but I think now I will have to include it in my DD album as well as I feel that it speaks to me...lots of things in there that I need to remember. :) Thanks for sharing!!!

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