Today I’m off on an airplane to the warm sunny shores of Miami, FL for the long weekend. After that I’ll head up to NJ/NYC for a week to see family, friends, and a multi-media art show by my favorite composer Darcy James Argue called Real Enemies that is totally 100% the reason we’re flying home. Luckily, I was able to get a little bit of December Daily time in this week and started putting together my album for next month (more on that tomorrow). While I was prepping my album for this year, I took a long look at the things I loved and the things that didn’t work for me from last year’s album and now I’m going to share those thoughts with you.
If you’d like to know more about the December Daily project, please check out my extensive collection of posts on the subject compiled from the last five years, or check out the main December Daily page at AliEdwards.com.
Album & Cover: This was not originally supposed to be my December Daily album. I ordered the Ali Edwards kit, which was supposed to contain a red 6×8 album, but when the album arrived it was more of a burnt sienna color, and I thought that it would work better for another project. This gold album that I had was the perfect color, but it was a little bit smaller than I would have liked, so the pages are a little bit more squished then I would have liked.
Lots of acrylic pages in this album. I ‘m a huge fan of anything see-through. I love flipping through books with interactive layers.
I stamped the numbers on this chipboard calendar page. I am including a similar page in my album for 2015.
My December Daily is filled with some of my favorite products and techniques that I’ve acquired over the past year. It’s my favorite project of the year, and I’ve gotten into the habit of holding on to a few special supplies that I know I want to put into my album at the end of the year. This album is the ultimate album of my year, and nothing is too good for this album. I don’t want to be holding onto any supplies for ‘a better project’ or ‘to wait for the perfect time to use it’. This is the time to use all that stuff.
Is there a more perfect time for Harry Potter? I used my wizard set stamps throughout the album. One of my favorite things from my 2014 album is the amount that I journaled about pop-culture, the things I was watching, the things I was reading, the things I was consuming. Not everyone has super adventurous days, or a fabulous story about baking cookies, or singing carols. But I definitely do one thing everyday that is important to the story of my life, and that’s the stuff I want to be documenting.
Same with Game of Thrones.
And Peter Pan Live (someone needs to remember that it existed).
I’m not super concerned about making beautiful scrapbook pages every single day. That’s not my style. I want to document my life. I want to create a book that has the bits and pieces of my day. If I have words and photos to go along with those bits, that’s super awesome — if not, then it doesn’t make my story any less important, or any less documented.
One of my personal favorite parts about the December Daily project is picking out the ways in which I’m going to number my pages. I really like mixing up my numbers and having a variety throughout the book (this is mostly what I’ve been working on in my 2015 album this week).
Sometimes you just need to add a full page photo and not worry about the journaling or putting the story into words. The story behind this one is pretty obvious: we have a Christmas tree, it’s white, and it looks awesome.
On this page, I added a photo on the left and all the paper memorabilia (because we went to a hilarious place and their survey needed to be in my album) on the right side. I’m a huge fan of adding things to albums with paper clips, staples, envelopes, etc.
Another one of my favorite traditions is to add in the Christmas photos that I get in the mail from friends and family. Even though I don’t have kids and I live 700 miles away from all my family, other people are a part of my holiday as well — even if they aren’t with me in person. I add all (most of) the cards that I get in the mail into an envelope in the back of the album (photo later on).
Obviously everyone should have a letter to Santa.
For Christmas Day I added in some of the tags that J used on my gifts. I don’t have a ton of photos from the end of the month, so I did a lot of winging it with different bits and pieces from my day. My first winter here in Michigan was really difficult, I had a hard time being away from my friends and family and everyone I’ve spent Christmas with my entire life.
I added this envelope to the back inside cover of the album to hold our Christmas cards, some menus, and other awesome paper memorabilia that I wanted to hold onto.
Even though I struggled this past winter, I am so glad that I was able to document my December like this. I honestly never would have been able to do it if I didn’t put the album together in advance. So if you’re thinking about tackling this project this year (YOU CAN DO IT) definitely prep your stuff in advance. You can always go back in later on and add to your album when the time works for you.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some photos of my 2015 album prep, and some tips and tricks from past years for getting the most out of this project.