December Daily® 2017 | Foundation Pages + Video Overview

Let's get this party started! 

Today I'm sharing my December Daily® "starting place" with you for 2017. My "starting place" - what I also call "foundation pages" - often includes some numbered pages, some story ideas/story sparks, some product play, and just generally laying out an initial flow for my album. 

  • Do I know what every single story and day will become? Nope. 
  • Does that stop me from playing before December and taking some time to set myself up for storytelling success? Nope. 
  • Will I move things around during the month and change things up from how they look right now? Probably. 
  • Are there December Daily® rules? Nope. 

As I worked on my foundation pages this year I found myself thinking about a few things: 

1. I still LOVE this project. After all these years now it's still so fun to embark on the season. I love focusing on ONE STORY PER DAY which is what I'll be doing again this year. I do not approach this project in the same way I approach Week In The Life™ - I am not trying to document everything or even most things we do daily during December. What has worked for me is looking for, capturing, and then documenting one story each day from December 1 to December 25. 

2. So much of what I love about this project are the photo enlargements I end up including throughout the month. I'm looking forward to doing that again this year using the Canon Pixma MG7720 for printing my 6x8 photos onto 8.5x11 photo paper. This is also the printer I use for printing out digital products. 

3. My intention/reason why this year has everything to do with being + creating "coziness." You can read more about this below.

4. Every year I find myself getting "looser" with my foundation pages. I have fewer things stuck down which allows me to focus on the story I may want to tell for any given day. I still love having something in the pockets - having something gives me a starting point. Some days it simply gives me a direction to head vs. a completely blank slate. I totally get that some people love working ahead and other people don't - again, as always - find what works for you (and really, you won't know if one way or the other works better for you until you actually try it). 

5. I am totally loving creating a bunch of pages outside of my page protectors. It's such a nice reminder that there are lots of options for how this project can come together for each one of us based on what we'd like to play with and create this year. 

6. This is not a competition or an opportunity/invitation for you to get trapped in any kind of comparison game. Own your own story. Own your own way of documenting this season. My story will look different than your story and that's part of what is beautiful about telling our own stories. 

Here is a look at what's inside my December Daily® album before December begins:

First page of my album is one of the 6x8 Transparent Pages. I added one small gold sequin star to the "i" in "brightly."

You can get this design digitally and print onto an ink jet transparency or onto vellum as well. 

For the last few years I've been starting my albums with either an "intentions" or a "reason why" page. This year I designed a "reason why" page and included it with the December Daily® 6x8 Layered Template No. 4 set and created it to go along with the cards included with the 2017 Main Kit. 

You can access past years download for "intentions" here and "reason why" here

My "reason why" for 2017 is as follows: 

A very big warm & cozy welcome to December 2017. Emphasis on the word cozy. In fact, I think that’s what I want to focus on this year as my reason why. Cozy moments around the fire in the living room. Cozy moments around the table. Cozy moments doing stuff together like watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa and playing games and doing puzzles. Cozy moments creating and celebrating the magic of the season. Cozy moments enjoying old traditions and creating new ones. Cozy moments around the twinkle lights of the tree. Cozy moments embracing who we are right now and not wishing anything away for some other experience. Yes. That sounds just about right for our second year all together as a family of seven. I’m so thankful for our life here in this house - this life that we get to share together. I want us to enjoy one another and find our own rhythm for this season in our lives. Bring on these simple joys.

Around the edges of the page I added some of the gold glitter chipboard stars

Behind my "reason why" page I slipped in one of the 1/2 circle pieces of paper (Main Kit item) with a cork #1 adhered on top. Most likely I'll be filling this pocket with an enlarged photo. Across I've added in the "peace and joy" 4x6 card and that will either be an extension of Day 1 or Day 2 depending on the stories I'm telling. 

I am super excited about these 1/2 circles and plan to add them to photos, pattern paper, etc. They are a great home for numbers or journaling. 

Next I added one of the large tags that were a Main Kit bonus item this year. Everyone that purchased the December Daily® Main Kit this year also received these as a digital file and you can find that under your My Digitals section under your User Name in the top right corner. I'll probably add something on top when I tell my story. 

For Day 3 I created a fun page playing with hearts + transparencies + small heart embellishments. I'll most likely pair this with an enlarged photo and/or journaling on the back of the large tag. 

Full details about this page and a cut file is included in my Product Play workshop (registration open into December). 

Day 4 happens on a weekend so I used that opportunity to add in the "weekend stories" card from the Main Kit. I also added a large white #4 sticker to the pocket as a place holder - I cut around the sticker sheet to add it here and will stick it on something once I know the story. 

For now I just slipped one of the black chipboard numbers into the pocket. 

Something new I decided to play with this year was creating interview tags for each member of my family. Last year I had everyone write out a wishlist on the back of a tag and slipped all those together into a pocket. This year I decided to make everyone a tag again but this time I would spread them throughout the album and I would have specific things for them to answer. 

Download the PDF of the tag template here. The PDF includes 2 of these tags for you to print as many as you might need for your family. 

After printing out the interview portion I adhered them to pattern papers from the Main Kit and from the December Daily® 6x8 Pattern Paper Pack. 

I used this 6-hole punch to punch holes in these tags so that they would fit in the middle of the 6-ring configuration of the album. This paper punch works great with papers, cardstock, and vellum. 

For the title on each tag I printed out everyone's name and then used a heart punch to create the heart shape. 

After punching out the hearts I ran each one through my sewing machine with red thread and then stamped and embossed (using Ranger gold embossing powder) "stories" from the December Daily® Weekly December Stamp Set. After that I just adhered each heart to the pattern paper side of the tag, added some ribbon/trim from my stash and spread them out throughout my album. 

I love that each person will be highlighted. I don't plan that each one of these will take the place of a story (but some might). I'd like to pair these tags with a current photo of each person as well. 

After Anna's tag I took one of the 4-pocket page protectors and cut it in half (love doing this for page size variety) and added an Avery Index Tab along the edge. Most likely this will hold stories to go along with my page design for Day Six. 

Playing with vellum circles + messy stitching for Day 6. The background cardstock is simply cut to the same size as the page protectors.  

More details about this page is included in my Product Play workshop.

Most likely I'll cover up the back of that circle page with a full page photo or maybe I'll use those circles as a jumping off point for a page. 

Next up is Isaac's tag (again following the same formula outlined above). 

For Day 7 I decided to add in the "on repeat" card from the Main Kit - love the invitation to document what I'm listening to and/or watching in December. 

For the number on this page I simply cut a piece from one of the page protectors (you can easily use the ones you cut in half or cut down for this purpose) and stapled one of the rubber wreaths on top and added one of the white number stickers from the Main Kit.  

Love having see-through options.

I slipped the cork 8 into the pocket as a holding place. 

Next up is another page from my Product Play workshop playing around with a strip of hearts. On this day I'll be writing down a few things from the morning, afternoon, and evening. Such a simple way to document little things I loved about the day. 

Audrey's tag. These are making me so happy. 

After Audrey's tag I added in the tree transparent page followed by one of the 2x2 inch page protectors. For now I just added in a cork 10 plus one of the 2x2 gold foil squares. 

"Choose Joy" is a half-circle page idea + cut file that's included with the Product Play Workshop. This page opens up to create a full circle page and the workshop includes PNG and PSD files for masking photos into a 1/2 circle and easily journaling on the opposite side of the 1/2 circle. 

Next page is currently holding one of the felt hearts from the Main Kit + a 12 cork number (not adhered just yet) and a "bring on the merry" card. 

I slipped in the number 13 black cork number into the 4x6 pocket. 

And a tag for Aaron. 

Next up is a full 6x8 page protector and I just added all the diamond plastic shapes from the Main Kit as a reminder to play with those in some fashion to go along with whatever story I decide I want to tell on this day. 

I'm looking forward to playing with those!

Next up is an enlarged heart adhered to a full page transparency. 

My process for creating the heart "storybook" is included in the Product Play Workshop

Day 16 will be a story about our tree this year. Slipped into the pockets are a cork number, a wood star, and the twinkle tree transparency. 

Just sliipped in a 3x4 card on the back. 

Next up I added in another one of the large gold foil tags. This time I punched the holes on the other side so that the gold foil "stories" would be facing the pocket page. 

I'd like to play with using one of the 1/2 circles on the pocket page. I'm not sure yet what kind of stories/things I'm going to include in there. Might be our Christmas card. Might be more tags. Might be photos. All kinds of options. 

For the next day I added in the "story" card from the Main Kit + the 2017 transparent from the December Daily® Paislee Press Mini Kit + another one of the rubber wreaths stapled onto a piece of page protector cut and slipped into the pocket. I'll add more white stickers for the date when that's established. 

Simon's tag. 

I cut up another one of the 4-pocket page protectors and slipped in the "19" black chipboard piece and a card from the Main Kit. I also added an Avery Index Tab along the edge and will fill that with a title once my story is established. 

Using repeated shapes to create other shapes is another thing that's covered in my Product Play Workshop. I'll most likely be telling the story of something I love about right now on this day. 

Next up is a stitched star list - creating homes in advance for stories in December is a great way to play with your products in November. 

The large stitched star is something I was just messing around with and now I want to find a way to include it in my album. Right now I just have it sitting in a 4x6 pocket. 

Another page that's included in Product Play. On this day I'll be documenting something about our everyday life December routines and will add some additional circles and potentially an insert that includes words and photos. 

Elliott's tag. 

A pocket created to hold some gratitude tags. The full how-to for this page is included in Product Play

For Day 24 I added in a full page 6x8 page protector and slipped in the cork merry and a "24" black chipboard piece. 

Bring on the photos and the stories. 

My tag. 

Another one of the large gold foil tags added in here on Christmas day. I can't wait to add a photo or words to the back of that tag. 

And for now I've just slipped in the 4x6 Merry Christmas card from the Main Kit. I'm just keeping additional page protectors in the back right now and will pull them out if I need them and remove them in the end. 

VIDEO OVERVIEW

I'll be back with daily posts starting on December 1st as I document my days. 

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53 thoughts

  1. jenndispirito says…
    11/02/2017

    Adore your foundation pages, as always! LOL Surprise is the name of a toy. ;) It's on Christmas lists here already as well which is the only reason I know that...

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/02/2017

      Yes! Ha! I learned this after I filmed the video when Katie and I were asking her about it - LOL!

    2. mkennedy says…
      11/02/2017

      Was going to make the same comment haha, with 2 daughters, 5 and 8, these are also appearing on our Christmas lists! :)

    3. fanniefaye says…
      11/04/2017

      haha I was just about to comment the same thing. My 8-year-old is crazy for them.

  2. jillgowland says…
    11/02/2017

    Your first transparency, "Oh Holy Night..." used in your foundation pages appears to be gold in colour...you also referenced the digital transparency pack. What brand/type of transparency did you use to print "Oh Holy Night..." as it appears to be a very sturdy transparency in your video, also, if the colour is gold what colour do you use in photoshop to print that particular transparency.
    Thanks for your time

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/02/2017

      Hi! The transparency I used was part of our December Daily® product collection - the physical version with the gold foil is sold out. I listed the digital version as an option along with a link to ink jet transparencies I have used in the past (they are not as sturdy but still work).

  3. amandacarey says…
    11/02/2017

    just gorgeous Ali!! thanks for the inspiration

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. jillgowland says…
    11/02/2017

    I found it Ali! Thank you!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/02/2017

      Awesome! So glad!

  5. Alismth57 says…
    11/02/2017

    Love the mix of pages in and out of page protectors. So glad I signed up for the December Daily product play class. Going through my last two albums I decided I wanted to do mostly out of the page protector pages. Looks like the class is really going to help me achieve that goal!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      Awesome! I had so much fun creating pages for that class!

  6. RhondaN says…
    11/02/2017

    Ali, just love all the special pages and detailed items in your album this year, looking forward to seeing how your album progresses through December.
    This is my 9th year making an album and my most favorite project each year, thank you for always inspiring me to tell my family's story.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Pablucero says…
    11/03/2017

    Thank you for sharing, gorgeous!! Do you put a story on a different day than when it happened?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      Sometimes I do - I'm not worried about that at all :).

  8. Dorilys says…
    11/03/2017

    Do you still use your Epson printer? I need a printer that print up to A3, because I want to print (mainly) text on Full 12x12 card stock. And I like Epson more than Canon.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      Hi! I do - you can see my current printer list here: https://aliedwards.com/2017/10/printers. I am generally an Epson fan overall but last year someone recommended that Canon printer to me as a more reasonably priced option (when I was putting together my Hybrid workshop and wanted to be able to suggest printers at different price points). I got it and it's been a great printer. I still use my large Epson for printing 12x12 sized projects.

  9. GroS says…
    11/03/2017

    I am so tempted to copy everything. Really. Maybe I will, this year. And maybe my album will be completed before the new year.
    It is so beautiful. so many layers, sizes, surfaces, structures. So fulfilling.
    Ali, your style is so great.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. simple says…
    11/03/2017

    I got slightly overwhelmed after watching and reading. As usual you amaze me with ideas. Some i think I can handle and others are out of my reach but I have my own style maybe not as elaborate as yours but then i have to remember that this is my Dec Daily and I'm going to love it just as much. Looking forward to Dec 1st.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      You will totally love yours - create what works for you ;).

  11. Lize says…
    11/03/2017

    LOVE Ali .. just love it! Actually making me quite giddy about December, as we are moving into a new home on the 1st. Definitely going do try and make that "Home" heart.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Mpasquini12 says…
    11/03/2017

    This is awesome as usual! I’m so excited to get mine done!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. cruisin_ali says…
    11/03/2017

    Oh Ali your album is beautiful already! You never cease to amaze! Thank you for all the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. maryboys says…
    11/03/2017

    thank you for sharing, teaching, inspiring with this project each year💛

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. ancler says…
    11/03/2017

    Ali! I Love love love this year´s foundation pages! I find them more loose but also more playful than earlier years! What is the Size of the Early birds Tag? I purchased on the first day but didn´t get them... so trying to make them myself :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      Hey! You should have the digital version under your My Digitals - they are 4x8.

  16. mitchmac says…
    11/03/2017

    Hi Ali,
    The link to the tags PDF won't work for me?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/03/2017

      Hmm - what is happening when you click on it? When I click on it a new page opens in my browser. You can also right click on it to download.

  17. jchurch2 says…
    11/03/2017

    You. Blow. My. Mind. ❤️

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. asackr01 says…
    11/03/2017

    These pages look wonderful Ali, I really like the interview tags you created and are incorporating into your book this year. Thank you for providing that as a free download :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. peggyRN says…
    11/03/2017

    This is my third time to participate in December Daily. The first time I took pics and scrapped after the fact. The second I scrapped weekly with my pics. This year I decided to order the kits and try your method of prebuilding the pages but am finding it hard. I usually use embellishments and paper based on the pic/story I want to tell. Any ideas on how to step outside the structure and design more freely?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/04/2017

      Hi Peggy - what if you took just a couple of my ideas above as a jumping off point to play with a few things in advance of December?

  20. clippergirl says…
    11/03/2017

    I wasn’t planning on doing DD this year after doing it for the last 5 years....but after seeing your beautiful foundation pages, I am re-thinking this now. Your album is already looking like one of the best ones ever!!!...Thank you for sharing your process and just looooooove how your creative brain works! You are so inspiring Ali:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Lorraine251059 says…
    11/03/2017

    Your foundation pages look awesome.
    Can you tell me what font you used for your Reason Why page?
    Thanks

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/04/2017

      Hi - I used Remington Noiseless for my text.

  22. ktber says…
    11/04/2017

    "Cozy" is our theme for the holidays this year, too! My son picked it and I'm so happy about it. Enjoy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Lwills54 says…
    11/04/2017

    did you type the names on hearts or use a stamp kit? Love all these pages, they make me too happy!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/04/2017

      I typed them on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper + printed it out + then used the heart punch to cut them out.

  24. 180lab says…
    11/04/2017

    Hi: Have you tried stamping on a transparency? If so, what ink do you use? StazOn? I'm thinking of using the circle stamps from 2015 DD (I missed out on this year's version). I also might use them to make the embossed Circle tree from Product Play.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. katie1980 says…
      11/16/2017

      Stazon is a great ink for stamping onto transparencies with. And it comes in plenty of metallic options if you like that look!
      The circle stamps are gorgeous, and will look fabulous stamped onto transparencies :) And would work wonderfully with the layering options!
      Have tons of fun!

  25. Lwills54 says…
    11/04/2017

    Day 7 with the wreath stapled onto page protector piece, what is that adhered to? I can't see how its attached.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/04/2017

      Hi! I explain that in the video - it's attached to a piece of cut up page protector - basically a transparent piece.

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