December Album - Part 2

Phew! It's finished! I'm so glad to have it done. Well, mostly done. I actually have a few pages left that I sat and stared at off and on for a whole day and just didn't end up finishing. But, if this year is anything like last year, I have an inkling that come October 2015, I'll have this huge excitement bloom for all things Christmas again and I might have the motivation to finish up a few extra stories for this album. If not, that's okay too.

Anyways, get ready for quite a few pages.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

This was a fun page to put together.

I had received the city stamp set (from Studio Calico's November card kit) the weekend after we went to Beau's holiday party and it was the perfect fit, as I don't get to the "city" often. Added lots of gold since it was a fancy evening out for us. The 'good cheer' sentiment is from Ali Edwards' digital set found here.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Love the gold embossing on those city buildings. Probably one of my favorite pages in this album.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

This page told the story of our visit to see Santa at our neighborhood clubhouse. He arrived by firetruck (weird, right?) and neither of my kids would sit on his lap, of course. But great memories.

The various embellishments are from Michaels, Studio Calico and Ali Edwards. A great way to both use up some of my stash and draw out the colors from that top photo into the rest of the spread.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

The next page is the story of our elf. I didn't take as many photos of him as I wanted this year, but two of my favorites made it into the book, along with a story about what the boys called him this year. I'm sure Alwyn won't be calling him "shelf" next year when he's 3 years old. :)

For the star, I used an exacto knife to cut the shape and then placed a stamped piece of paper underneath it. I was having Silhouette envy when I put this page together, can you tell? I did the same with the square on the bottom right card, which is from Ali's December Stories Layered Templates found here.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Another favorite page. This one told the story of our Christmas cards. I stored a list of who we sent them too in the kraft pocket (which I think I found at Michaels a few years ago?) - something I always wish I had kept from the previous year when I sit down to address cards.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

I included a clear divider on this page, with painted white stars using a silkscreen from Studio Calico. Sending Christmas Cards is one of my favorite December traditions, and so I wanted a way to easily turn to that page to see what we sent out that year later. I would love to do the same with next year's album.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

I wanted to include more photos of the holiday decor around the house but only ended up photographing the wall gallery I had shared on the blog, so that's what made it in. And it went so well with this sentiment Becky Higgins shared on her instagram as part of her Cultivating a Good Life set.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

This page was just a collection of moments around the house, including a favorite story of finding the boys playing "santa" one morning. The open heart cardboard piece is actually the remains of chipboard heart stickers found in Studio Calico's January kit and the idea to include it was all Marcy Penner's. See through embellishments are so fun.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Another story I included in this album was the holiday party our Moms Club had. That pic of Ephram and the Santa props just kills me.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Of course a December album wouldn't be complete without cookie baking. I found that recipe card on Pinterest and immediately knew I'd be using it for my favorite Spritz recipe.

For the right page, I cut the photo of the cookies we made in half diagonally and sewed a triangle to include some floating embellishments.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

On the back I included another piece of patterned paper since I didn't have another big photo. This page told the story of Ephram wrapping gifts with me. And I found it so cute that the wrapping paper I bought had elf quotes on the inside!

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

You can see the front side of the wrapping paper here, along with a story about the anticipation of Christmas and the interest the boys had in all the gifts that were showing up each day from our family in Minnesota.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

This page was a simple list of what we bought for who this year using the printable found here. I sewed up a smaller sized page protector to include a short story about how we finally started a trial for Amazon Prime this year before purchasing all of our Christmas gifts we sent to family in Minnesota.

The opposite side of this page protector is one of those 'to-be-finished-later-this-year' pages.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Can you tell I was losing steam by this page? Really simple page, but I wanted to include this adorable photo of the boys playing with toys by the tree. It was a common sight throughout December, and reminded me of how some of the simple December traditions can bring cheer to us during that time of the year.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

And then Christmas Eve/Day!

I created a 4x6 photo out of a vertical photo of the tree I took Christmas Eve night by extending the black part of the photo. Ali did this in her album as well and you can see a tutorial she made on how to do it here. Over top of it I placed one of her sentiments from this set.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

I had SO many photos to include from both days, so I sewed up 8 2"x3" pockets so I could include several. Of course, sewing them up was completely unnecessary, especially since I had already printed them on a 4x6 prints, but I like the look it creates, so I did it anyways.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

And the backside of that sewed up page protector, with more photos, of course. We celebrated Christmas day with Minnesota friends who moved here last fall. So fun.

December Daily  2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana
December Daily 2014 Part 2 | Donya Luana

Believe it or not, that calendar card is from a Studio Calico kit from July 2012, but matched December's dates perfectly. Another hoarding success!

Lastly I summarized the holiday season using a card set from Studio Calico. A good ending.

2014 was my first time completing (or even starting) a December "Daily" album. I knew I'd struggle to keep up if I truly did a daily album, so from the start I knew I'd focus on traditions, moments, and events more than a daily story. This was a good choice for me, but I did fall "behind" a bit since I didn't know how many stories I'd have to tell in the end. And I didn't realize just how much motivation I'd lose on the project once we started to pack up Christmas. So if I've learned anything from this album, it's that I need to do at least *some* sort of foundation page prep next year, or start printing from home, in order to "keep up".

How about you? How did your album turn out? What will you do differently next year?

2014 Christmas Album - Part 1

Yay, it's December!  Seriously, I'm not sure why an album is making December more fun, but it is.  Just something a little different from Project Life to finish up the year.  I'll still likely have one spread covering all of December's every day moments + stories, but most of the month I'll be focusing on this album. I shared my cover page back in November, along with my plan, and so far it's working out well.  Right behind my cover page I included a "reason why" page, which you can download free from Ali Edwards' site.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

PAGE 1 | The next spread tells a brief story about our Christmas card photo shoot and shows some of the outtakes that didn't make our card.  I love having a family shot to start out the album.  

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

I added the "born to be JOLLY" typographic stamp (from this One Little Bird set), along with a label, on the top to embellish it a bit.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

My two boys weren't all that cooperative, and there might have been a bit of pouting along the way, so the Santa, "You Better" card from the One Little Bird Merry Making Journaling Card set worked so perfectly.  I printed this onto another journaling card I had on hand and added a check mark stamp to "all of the above" and sewed on a few circles to add more color.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

PAGE 2 | On the second page I featured the story of my youngest son discovering the christmas lights and tree at Costco.  

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

Since many of the cards I pulled for this album weren't specifically for Christmas, I'm finding myself adding digital and physical stamps to spruce them up a bit.  This green card is a prime example.  I printed the Christmas lights (using the PNG in this set) onto the card, then colored them in with a white gel pen.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

For the right side image, I added another element from The Two Five cutting elements over the photo in Photoshop before I had it printed.  

On many of the full 6x8 pages I added a small strip of paper.  This is because the page protectors I am using (Simple Stories brand) are slightly larger than 6x8, and as a result my photos were swimming around a little in the pockets.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

PAGE 3 | This next page is about buying and decorating our tree.  It was a bit hectic setting it up and decorating with two little boys, but I'm glad I caught a few photos of the action.  I added a small journaling spot on the large photo using a stamp, and placed the receipt from our tree purchase in a pocket I've been hanging onto from an old Studio Calico kit.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

PAGE 4 | I'm one of those people who never tire of Christmas music.  I could listened to it throughout the year.  Beau on the other hand, isn't a huge fan.  He likes the classics.  Luckily, he lets me get my fill of it throughout December.  Obviously it only made sense to dedicate a full page to my favorite songs.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

And it was a great excuse to use up a lot of the gold I've been saving in my stash. At the bottom, I sewed in some gold star sequins after deciding the photo on the following page would look better as a 6x6 rather than 6x8.

December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen
December Daily | Donya Gjerdingen

& that wraps up part one!  Are you completing an album this year for December?

My biggest concern with completing a December album was that I wouldn't be able to keep up because I don't print at home, but I'm quickly realizing that the same method I use for Project Life can be applied here.  Here's a short run down of my process:

- take tons of photos

- import photos to my computer and edit the ones I like

- plan out what cards/papers/etc I want to use with the corresponding photos I edited for my album

- make notes on post-its and place them where the photos will go in the album, along with any journaling ideas/cards/papers/etc

- prepare the photos for printing by sizing them to 4x6/6x8/etc

- then save them to a folder so they're ready to upload and order when I get to it

By doing it this way, I have the page "done" and just waiting for photos.  Once I have the photos in hand, I slip them in, finish up the journaling, and embellish!

Here's an example of what the next page in my album looks like, ready and waiting for the photo to finish it off.

december-daily-part1-donyaluana-10
december-daily-part1-donyaluana-10

Supplies Used:

Simple Stories Kraft 6x8 Album
Simple Stories Kraft 6x8 Album
Studio Calico Monthly Kit
Studio Calico Monthly Kit
One Little Bird Merry Making
One Little Bird Merry Making
One Little Bird Photojournalist Vol 1
One Little Bird Photojournalist Vol 1
One Little Bird The Two Five
One Little Bird The Two Five
StazOn Black Ink
StazOn Black Ink
Ali Edwards Noel
Ali Edwards Noel
Versamark Ink Pad
Versamark Ink Pad
Zing Gold Embossing Powder
Zing Gold Embossing Powder
Uniball White Broad Pen
Uniball White Broad Pen
Pebbles Uppercase Roller Stamp
Pebbles Uppercase Roller Stamp
Becky Higgins Pens
Becky Higgins Pens
Brother Sewing Machine
Brother Sewing Machine

December Daily® 2014 Plan

December Daily Prep
December Daily Prep

It's was a cold 36 degrees (F) outside when I woke up this morning! We may not have snow, but it sure does feel like winter is upon us. Beau is against decorating for Christmas prior to Thanksgiving so I'm satisfying my desire for all things red, green, and gold by readying my first December Daily album!

What is December Daily®? Several years ago, Ali Edwards created a memory keeping goal to capture the spirit of December. Each year she documents the stories leading up to Christmas and makes a beautiful mini-album to hold them.

Daily? Ali's original idea was to document something each day leading up to Christmas, but obviously the idea isn't set in stone. There are no real rules. This is my first year creating a December album and I already know I won't have something holiday related to document every single day. Other days there will be several stories. I know I won't be sticking to daily documentation.

What about Project Life? Yep, I'll still be filling up my Project Life album with non-holiday related items I'm sure. And just as I don't expect to document daily in my December album, I don't expect to stick to weekly spreads in my Project Life album during the month.

What album? I'm not using a kit this year since I feel I have plenty of supplies to pull from already, but an album was one thing I needed to buy. I knew I wanted to try out the 6x8 size so I went for the kraft and red Simple Stories Snap album. The album itself came with red papers and chipboard, and I added a few extra sets of page protectors from both Simple Stories and Becky Higgins.

I decorated the front using a star silkscreen from the October Studio Calico kit with gold and white paint. For the label I watermark stamped the year onto kraft paper and used white embossing powder over it. I plan to keep this album (and future December albums) with my Christmas decor so the year felt sufficient as a title for the album.

December Daily Prep
December Daily Prep

What supplies? There are some amazing Christmas themed kits out there this year, but back in August I started pulling out the reds, greens, and golds I had in my own stash and decided I'd do what I could to use up what I already had.

My curated kit includes lots of Project Life cards from various Project Life kits and the Studio Calico monthly kits. I chose primarily red and green cards/embellishments for two reasons. One, these colors just sing Christmas to me. I primarily decorate with red during the holiday and it just made sense to me. Two, I rarely use much red in my normal Project Life album so I have a lot of it sitting around.

Other supplies I'm using include white and gold paint and embossing powder, gold doilies, red/green ribbon, wood veneer, and assorted stamps.

December Daily Prep
December Daily Prep

Printing? My biggest fear about completing a December album is that I won't be able to keep up. Typically I complete my Project Life spreads 2-3 weeks after the fact. I don't print at home so my goal in December is to print weekly through Costco, which might get tricky with all the holiday shopping around that time. But if I don't get around to printing as frequently as I'd like, I'll stick to my tried and true Project Life method of using sticky notes to keep track of what photos I'll put where and how I'll decorate around them. A good backup plan that may make for a fun January project if anything.

Prepping? Many December Daily makers seem to create "foundation" pages prior to December so that much of the work is done with before the holiday season begins. This seems like a great idea to stay on top of things, but I don't think it would work for me. So my biggest prep activity is gathering everything I'll use and having the album ready to dive into.

December Daily Prep
December Daily Prep

Community? Another big part of my plan this year is to stay inspired by a community. I'm sure Instagram will be filled with inspiration (sometimes it's as fun to browse as Pinterest), but I also joined the 25 Days class with Stephanie Bryan. The class officially starts tomorrow, but I can already tell it will be loaded with inspiration and helpful techniques.

Are you getting excited for the holidays?