December Daily® 2016 | Beginning Preparations

Here are some of the things I'm doing right now as I get ready to begin working on my  December Daily® foundation pages (the way I like to get ahead a bit with my album before December):

01 | GATHER SUPPLIES + SET UP A LITTLE WORK SPACE 

This is generally the time of year that I want to do a full clean up and clean out of most of my supplies - not just for December Daily® but for everything. Doing that helps me find things that I might have stashed away that would be great for my December Daily® album (you'll see a couple of those things below). 

My November and December are going to be a little different this year because there will be a construction project happening here in my house in the room right outside my office (we are creating another bedroom from some of my office space + another room). That means that my office is going to be more of a mess than usual and things won't be where they normally would be. Keeping that in mind it's even more important for me to clean up and out before that starts. 

I also like to create space on my table in my office just for working on my  December Daily® pages. Your set up might be a little different depending on the space you have available. I like to fit my main supplies into a small box/basket even if I'm keeping it out on my table - this makes it easy if I want to work on my album in another part of my house. 

02 | ASSESS WHAT BASIC SUPPLIES YOU MIGHT NEED OR NEED TO BE REPLENISHED

Take a look at your  inksadhesives (including glue pens) + embossing powders + penspaints + ink cartridges + printer paper. Are they in working order? Nothing is more annoying when you finally carve out time to work on your stories than finding out you are our of adhesive. 

  1. Scotch Dot Roller Adhesive | My favorite rolling adhesive. 
  2. Martha Stewart Glue Pen | Great for small pieces including Silhouette cuts, die cuts, chipboard, etc. 
  3. Versamark | Clear embossing ink for stamping. Use this and then use some embossing powder on top and heat with a heat gun. 
  4. Zing Silver Metallic Embossing Powder | Love this. 
  5. Ranger Super Fine Gold Embossing Powder | Love this one too. 
  6. AED Slick Writer Pen | The bolder version of my favorite pen. 
  7. AED Gold Metallic Marker | Great directly on your photos. 
  8. AED Precision Pen | Favorite pen for journaling. 
  9. AED Silver Metallic Marker | Awesome + smooth on photos. 

Is there a new technique you might want to try this year and what do you need for that? Think embossing, think transparencies, think paint and silkscreens

After I made up that list Katie added a few more things that she knows I like to use: 

  1. Avery Index Tabs | I love adding these to the edge of pages in my albums. 
  2. Phrases Roller Stamp | These stamps fit right onto the Avery Index Tabs
  3. Time Roller Stamp | A staple that would be great for documenting holiday activities. 
  4. Holiday Ink ColorsBlack ButteSt. Helens, and Pendleton

Here's a look at how I used the Index Tabs in my album last year: 

03 | A COUPLE OF EXTRAS

In addition to the products included in my kits, I also usually have a few things I've stashed away over the course of the last year that I might end up including in my album. I also always like to check out other products available this season and see if there are any pieces I want to pick up for my own project. I definitely like to limit my supplies for this project so I don't have a ton of extra things - just a few things I know I would love to play with in my album. 

Here are a few things I've purchased and set aside: 

  1. Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs Gilded Christmastime | Because I can never have enough word + phrase stickers. Includes one sheet of silver rub ons and one sheet of gold rub ons. 
  2. Tim Holtz Metallic Stickers Holiday Talk | These ones come with two sheets of black (silver + gold type) and two sheets of white (silver + gold type). 
  3. Tim Holtz Adornments Pinecones | Not sure exactly how I'll use these yet but I like the idea of them. Maybe hanging off a tag?
  4. Large numbers from a couple past Studio Calico kits. The large cork numbers from the Young At Heart kit and the white plastic numbers from the Young At Heart Documenter Kit

04 | START THINKING ABOUT STORIES + DESIGN IDEAS + FOUNDATION PAGES

Stories are the heart of all my projects and  December Daily® is no exception. 

  1. Start thinking about your reason why/intentions for this year. You can see my own reasons why & intentions (and download printables for both) for 2014 and 2105.
  2. Start thinking of design ideas and ways to communicate your stories. I don't know every story I'll tell in advance (because I let life dictate a lot of that) but it's likely I'll tell the story of putting up our tree, of getting out the decorations, of Advent calendars, of twinkle lights, etc. While browsing around for ideas online, keep track of them when you come across ones that resonate with you and your intentions for this year. I usually just write these on yellow sticky notes or on a pad of paper. 
  3. If you are new to December Daily® or if you've been doing it for awhile but are looking for a more intentional approach this year I recommend checking out my Storytelling With December Daily® Workshop (class begins November 1). The bonus stamp set is still available at the time of this posting. Full details on this popular class can be found here.  
  4. Put your page protectors in order. I'm following essentially the same design map as last year (the only difference is that there are two more 6x8 full page protectors and two less of the three pocket design). As I got about documenting my stories some of the page protectors get moved around, but I like the process of thinking though the products + the stories in advance of the month. A flexible attitude with this project is totally the way to go. 
  5. Start putting stuff in the pockets. That's where I'm at right now and plan to share more with you soon!

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20 thoughts

  1. Nady17 says…
    10/24/2016

    So enjoyed reading your blog post as it was "yeah, did that", "yeah, have this in my stash", etc. I wanted to start putting the pages together tomorrow so it was really great reading that you are in a quite similar status than I am ;) can't wait to see your foundation pages and getting more input in your storytelling class!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Kary13 says…
    10/24/2016

    Well, the first thing I'd better do is get 2015 done! Ha!

    Reply 5 Replies
    1. MelissaMeyer says…
      10/24/2016

      hehe me too :P

    2. justrhonda says…
      10/24/2016

      me tooooooo :)

    3. happytoscrap says…
      10/25/2016

      Me three!!!!!!!

    4. Lize says…
      10/25/2016

      Eeek, me too! So close to finish...but actually nice to have something festive to work on while I'm waiting for this year's kit to make it's way across the Atlantic.

    5. christi says…
      10/25/2016

      I will go through my 2015 photos this weekend and start the editing and printing process.
      I've been doing a December album since 2008 but I've never worked on it during December! LOL

  3. deannawbennett says…
    10/24/2016

    I have learned more techniques and innovation from your blog than in any other forum. Including trying lots of things on my own. Thank you for helping me be more creative!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. hgauvin says…
    10/24/2016

    I usually wait before doing anything permanent in my DD album as I get some great inspiration from Ali's pages. Can't wait to see what she does this year. I'm definitely pairing it down and going with the simple, linear look. You'd never know it by the contents of my DD purchase this year! Ha!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. peanutshell says…
    10/24/2016

    My first steps this year are getting my previous albums done. In part this is just about getting them off my table and out of my head but I've discovered a big, and very useful, part is noticing what works best for me and noting that down to improve my process for this year. For me I think that means having fun and playing around with things beforehand but mostly using December for documenting and using January and February for doing the meat of the work on the album. Rather like the way Ali does Week in the Life. The fun thing is that if I hadn't "failed" in previous years (which never bothered me at all) and decided to catch up this year I never would have figured this out and would have continued to struggle along doing something that was almost but not quite right for me. Ali's Project Life class was also really great at helping me find my rhythm.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/25/2016

      Love this - so much about it is figuring out what works best for you :).

    2. Blitzburggirl says…
      10/25/2016

      I'm very similar. I usually have my album(s) and the PP's are just random. As the month goes on, I typically know when there is a photo or a story that I really really want to highlight, or even or daily life ephemera, and I slide scraps of paper, goodies, whatever in the pockets. Then, when I'm ready to work on it, I really accomplish alot, in a short amount of time. I've tried doing foundation pages a few times, and I always regret it when it's time to try to put it together. I've finished all the DD's I've started. Never in December... well... does December 2014 worked on in December 2015 count? I also do batch photo printing rather than at home, so I feel like just going with it with the little backbone of notes makes it faster for me than trying to make something preplanned work.

  6. jacquelined says…
    10/25/2016

    I purchased my first DD in 2013 and the only thing that got done was ogling over the contents of the box. Set forth with a little determination in 2014 and voila! finished it before the end of that year. Same for 2015 with the exception of finishing just a bit later. I love, love this project. I think the foundation pages are what I love most. I am so inspired by the post and love having pages all ready for photos and journaling. Sure, I change it up a bit when the time comes to work on that day, but overall, it is what gets me pumped and ready to jump head first into recording our holiday season. Thank you Ali for continually inspiring us to record our memories!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. audmac says…
    10/26/2016

    Ali do you know if there are any plans of restocking the 4x8 tags? Thanks

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/26/2016

      Hi! I have asked for those to be restocked - I'll let you know what I hear back.

  8. jparent2 says…
    10/26/2016

    will the silver and gold inks be restocked?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/26/2016

      Yes - they are working on putting the bundles together.

  9. Scrapcat says…
    10/27/2016

    Does the time stamp allow you to do UK order dates? i.e. 25/12 for Christmas? Thanks :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. chinchalapubharathi says…
    11/09/2016

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    Reply 0 Replies

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