Monday, November 26, 2012

~ december daily :: a foundation ~

Hello!  I have been so busy (probably you too, right?)!  GOOD busy, not icky busy.  Creating has not suffered a bit, in fact, it is part of the “busy” -- just the sharing on my blog has been lacking!  I’ve started an art journal, I have completed a couple of layouts and started to prepare for Christmas – all of which I hope to share here soon.  Today I would like to share the start of a project that I think many people have been working on lately – December Daily.  If you’d like more info about December Daily, check out Ali Edward’s site here!

I attempted December Daily last year.  Attempted.  Didn’t finish.  I thought it would be easiest to purchase a book from the amazing Elise Blaha Cripe, so I did.  But I didn’t even decide to do December Daily until rather late, so I ordered the book late, so it didn’t arrive until we were several days (more than a week) into December.  Plus, I had no idea what I was doing and I had never done a mini before.  I'd say I had a few strikes against me from the start!  Now that I have a few minis under my belt I think I just might be successful with my goals this year! 

One of the things that I have learned about myself as a documenter of memories – I can’t really do 4x6 mini albums!  I’ve tried several times.  I like 6x6 WAY better!  So, no Elise book this year (boo!), but that doesn't mean you can't get one (here).  I love her stuff, but I’m pretty sure I cannot do that size (no worries, her stamps will totally make it in the book).  So, I decided I would purchase an American Crafts Modern Album (6x6 in cardinal red) and some 6x6 paper pads -- Sleigh Ride (Crate Paper) and Merry and Bright (Carta Bella), along with a few other items (such as Hambly Transparencies), and of course I will shop my stash. 

When I got the album in the mail I was excited and disappointed!  When I ordered it I did not read carefully enough to realize that “chipboard cover” wasn’t Kraft (the only place it was Kraft was in my head).  I was thinking I would be able to leave it fairly plain (Kraft + red is very “Target” but also just awesome), but when I got it, I knew I was going to have to paint it or cover it with something.  So…I went with it.  I covered it with this awesome jillibean soup paper -- And I love it!
december daily cover
Another “issue” that I’ve had while attempting to prepare this album for December is the album’s binding.  I attempted to stamp/emboss on the binding with a stamp from this awesome Ali Edwards set.  But, it didn’t quite look like I wanted it to!  Ugh!  I hate it when that happens.  I did fix it a bit – it’s a little better and will work, but I’m not quite done.  I know am going to do something fun at the top, but I’m not sure what yet.  
1st try
a little better
second attempt
I used the "December" stamp from that same Ali Edwards set, to emboss some funness onto a green circle (the same green paper is on the inside covers).  I hooked my Cricut up to my computer and created the "twenty 12" cutout, then embossed it with silver glitter.  Added a few more fun things, and the cover was done and I'm happy with it.
cover close up
One of the things that I’ve learned over the last year about minibooks (for me) is that it helps to have a theme or pattern to what I’m doing.  For example, the format of the engagement book that I did for my friend Amber was simple – two page spreads, one side had a 4x6 photo and the other side had a quote with some embellishments.  I also threw a little love and magic in the mix (every engagement book should have a little love and magic, no?).  I stuck with circles (mostly), and a few arrows mixed in for good measure.  So for my December Daly mini I decided that I needed to have a few similar guidelines for myself.  I’m going to stick with circles, snowflakes, and stars.  That might seem like a lot, but I think that snowflakes and stars are like circles, if that makes sense.  I know it doesn’t probably, except in my strange mind.  But it works for me.  So I’m going with it.  That, and you will see the word “magic” frequently!  Why?  Because I just know that Christmas is going to be so magical for B this year!  The age of three is So. Much. Fun.

SO… enter problem number 327…I really wanted to use this new stamp that I got recently, but it’s squares (and my plan is circles, remember?).  I thought it would make a great title page!  Well, I fixed that easy enough with my sewing machine!  I stitched a circle around it.  And I had a bunch more fun with this page!sewing
I used some discarded packaging, sewed around it and stuck some confetti inside -- FUN!
title page
Yay!  I love it!  I love the pink, too!  This title page is chipboard, painted with gesso and pink paint.

I’ve tried really hard to do “foundation” pages, like many of my fellow December Daily blogging friends are doing.  I can’t do it!!!!  Maybe someday, but I’m not there this year.  I can’t seem to put it all together with numbers and stuff, if I don’t have the pictures.  However, in addition to the cover and title page, I have done some things that I’m going to call my “foundation”:

1.     Organized my embellishments and other extras so that I don’t have to dig through things when I’m doing my page each day
2.     Cut Hambly transparencies to the right sizes and maybe added a little tape or other things (minus the number) so that I can just pick what works for the day and go with it
3.     I have a plan for several things that I would like to include: the obvious (tree decorating, traditions, etc.) and the not as obvious (journaling prompts that I’d like to include if there is a dull day)
4.     Ordered a bunch of stuff in advance and it will all be here before Saturday (most of it is already here).  For example, you are going to see fun flair from a flair for buttons and Ormolu (they both have awesome December collections), but I also just had to add some items to my stash that will help me bling-i-fy my minibook.
5.     I have a basic “plan”.  For example, I know that I want to have either a Hambly transparency or a stitched insert between each two page spread, and I want my focus to be the “Magic” of Christmas, with things like circles, stars and snowflakes
6.     I have a basic idea of color – mostly red and green, but also pink, blue and silver (and I have, and will continue to, get my glitter on)!

This is WAY further ahead than I was last year.  I feel better and more calm about it.  I’ve also given myself permission to not get all wrapped up about which day things happened and documenting it exactly like that.  I will probably stick to the day fairly close, but if I have several things that I want to document about a day, I might make it two days, or I might use four pages instead of two, or whatever.  And that is OK.  My purpose is to document what happens, the everyday and the extra special, the magical and the mundane.  It’s all worth remembering and that is why I do this. B. loves to look at my scrapbooks and other photos that haven’t made it to print yet.  When she talks about the photos and "remembers" the stories from the pages, it is so rewarding!

Are you doing a December Daily?  I would love it if you would link it in the comments.  One of the things that I love about the online community is being able to share, see (and sometimes steal) what others are doing all over the world! I will be sharing here as we go through the month, but I am also sharing via instagram and twitter using #decdaily and/or #decemberdaily.  I will also be sharing photos of this project in this flickr group!

This weekend I hope to attend Craft & Fancy and see my friend Kirsten (who is also blogging her December Daily)!

Peace out!


  1. Sounds like you have a great base going on! I did one last year and hated it!! But this year, I lived and learned :)

  2. Yay! Thanks for the link! Hope to see you Saturday. LOVE your title page, it's just beautiful!

  3. This is looking awesome, Dona!! Love the cover and the grid you created!! The little pocket is so cute!! I hate it when I make a mistake on something too, but I think you did a great job getting it all fixed up!!