We are excited to kick off a new blog series with the incredibly talented Shannan Manton. Be on the lookout for weekly dose of her creative wisdom and inspiration in the realm of hybrid scrapbooking. We so grateful to have her here with us!
Hello December Daily friends! This is Shannan (shannan_pages on Instagram) - a digital scrapbooker from Sydney - and I’m going to be sharing my thoughts, ideas, and process around incorporating digital products into December Daily.
Normally I am not a person who gets into the Christmas spirit early. I have enough going on in my life that Christmas can wait for December. I grumble when the decorations go up in the stores earlier and earlier each year.
But we are not in normal times and coming out of a three-month lockdown here in Sydney, I am more than ready for some cheer, sparkle and something fun to work on. You early Christmas starters? I get you now.
This will be my 14th December Daily album and it’s my one consistent project. It’s such a treasure to have all of those festive stories from when my children were really little (Eli wasn’t even born the first time I did this project) and even now there is still so much to document each year.
Today I want to share some of my past projects as I make plans and gear up for this year.
I know I’m not alone in saying that December Daily is one of my favourite, and most valuable projects. In Australia, 1 December also marks the first day of summer so I love that my albums document the festive period as well as the change of rhythm as school finishes for the year and we move into our summer routines and lifestyle. Even though it's a hectic time of year, I will always make time for this project.
I've made various versions of December Daily - homemade minibooks, 3x8, 4x8, 4x4 and quite a few 6x8s. Most of my recent albums are all-digital but I’ve incorporated digitals into my older ones too. Going digital means that you can buy things as you work on your album - there’s no waiting for things to arrive or worrying about items selling out. You can change the size and color of things and use them over and over.
Having done so many albums, I usually try and switch things up each year to keep it fun and interesting for me. Last year, I made a conscious effort to concentrate on more thoughtful, introspective journaling, instead of the we-did-this style of documenting. I kept it very simple with a red theme and a focus on the words and photos, with a few digital embellishments in a 4x8 album. It wasn’t easy to write something substantial every day but I’m glad I did and this year I will do more minimal journaling - it’s all a balance.
In 2019, I felt the pull to do something small. Sometimes that’s all we can muster right? I made a little homemade hybrid 4x4 mini-book with binder rings and a chipboard cover. Each spread had a square photo and number on the left and a journal card or some digital embellishments with brief journaling on the right. Super do-able but also one of my faves and the direction I want to go in this year again.
In 2018, I made a 3x8 digital album using Ali’s overlays on top of a photo on the left everyday, and journaling or a card on the right. This is a system I have used consistently over my December Daily journey - I love a good rhythm and repetition.
For a few years, I made really simple 6x8 digital albums - nothing complicated, just a photo (or two) and a story every day, following the photo-on-the-left, journaling-on-the-right formula. I really liked the challenge of making sure I get at least one good enlargement-worthy photo a day.
And this was my very first one in 2008 - totally hand-made and very Ali-inspired. I had only been scrapbooking a few months and I have no idea where I found out about Ali and December Daily but I am so glad I did.
December Daily - it can be whatever you make it. Complex or simple. Large or small. Some years might be creative and full of techniques and play, other years you might just be able to pull off the bare minimum, if at all. And that’s OK.
Whichever way you go, just know that it will be worth it.