December Daily 2016

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December Daily® season is just around the corner! And Christmas came early for the Digital Creative Team. As part of the creative team, we got early access to this year’s main kit and a mini kit and album of our choosing 🙂

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I was so excited to work with the 6×8 Merry Merry album and Liz Tamanaha’s mini kit in addition to this year’s main kit by Ali Edwards. Here’s the video to see what’s included in these amazing kits!!

In all honesty, I have a terrible track record with completing this project. I love Christmas. I love all the beautiful scrapbooking supplies and embellishments. I buy a kit every year. And I’ve got 1 out of 5 albums actually completed. I’m guilty of making it waaaay more complicated than it needs to be and overthinking things.

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I started playing with this year’s kits (because who DOESN’T love digging into a box full of new products!)  to figure out how my album might come together. I printed a few photos from last Christmas and within 2 hours, I had 7 days worth of stories pieced together (minus a bit of journaling)!! For me that meant 1) I’ve CLEARLY been making things too complicated and 2) the kits are fantastic (which really should go without saying…but the proof is there).

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If this is the kind of project that has caught your attention, here’s a couple of helpful links to check out:

What is December Daily®? It’s an awesome memory keeping project, started by Ali Edwards, to document your December/holiday stories with photos and words. But she can explain this far better than I can 🙂 Check it out here! 

All of this year’s kits (as well as a few items from previous years), stamps, inks and extras are available in Ali Edwards’ online shop.

The kits and stamps will also be available digitally as of October 10th.

If this is your first year taking on this project or you’re just as inspired by Ali as I am, you might be interested in checking out the “Storytelling with December Daily®” workshop. I took the class last year and LOVED the video walk throughs of all her previous albums. They are so awesome! It’s scheduled to begin November 1st and registration will likely open very shortly (with an alumni rate for people who took the class last year).

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask away!

Is it too early to start talking Christmas?

I think not 🙂  It seems to sneak up earlier and earlier every year. I saw people posting their “red cup” pictures on Instagram yesterday. Emily and I did some grocery shopping this morning and sure enough, the Halloween stuff that filled the aisles just 2 days ago was NOWHERE to be found, replaced entirely by Christmas. It’s hard NOT to get swept up in the excitement when all of the holiday scrapbooking supplies start popping up in August and September. I totally jumped on board and ordered my December Daily kit the very first day it was available for pre-order. And yes…there was a voice in my head saying “are you crazy? you still haven’t finished LAST year’s album (or the year before that 🙁 )”. I ordered Ali Edwards’ main kit and was very lucky to receive Jasmine Jones’ mini kit as a gift. They arrived a few weeks ago and they are so stunningly perfect!! I’m dying to dig in! But I’ve got some unfinished business to attend to first…

After finishing up my Week in the Life album, I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I jumped into working on December Daily 2014. I’ve got a goal to get it finished by the end of November. I’m pretty much starting from scratch (just 3 days completed out of 25 last year, yikes!!). I’m working with my 2014 December Daily kit and I’ve been so incredibly lucky to get to work with the digital versions of all the December Daily products for this year as well, thanks to my time on Ali Edwards’ Digital Creative Team for 2015 (a pretty amazing compromise for having to hold off on digging into my new kits if you ask me 😉 ). I’m excited to share my album here as it comes together, starting with the first 5 days of December 2014.

Day 1:

By the time December 1st rolled around, the holiday decorations were still stacked in Rubbermaid bins in the kitchen. I cropped the photo to 3×8 and trimmed down a page protector, stitching a strip of journaling down the side. IMG_1479001

There’s lots of Christmas stuff that happens before December officially starts and I wanted to be able to include those things in our album as well.

IMG_1484002I used a digital paper from the 2015 main kit cropped to 3×8 and typed up some journaling about what we had done so far and some thoughts about my favourite parts.

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We went to see Santa a few days before. I wrote about how Liam was so into it this year. He was in the room, sitting with Santa and talking away before I even realized what was happening! Emily was quite happy to see Santa as long as she didn’t have to touch him 🙂 I printed the photo to be 5″ x 5.5″ and stitched it onto a Becky Higgins Project Life photo overlay (cut down from 4×6…it was from the “Playful” overlays, which I can’t seem to find a link to now). I think I still need to add some sort of tab to this insert, not sure what it’ll be yet.

IMG_1488005Our family photo is on the back. I’m not sure who gets more excited about the Christmas trees…me or the kids 🙂 We had 3 little trees set up before December 1st, one in Liam’s room, one in Emily’s room and one in the play area in the basement. I love the way they glow, the way they make everything feel so peaceful and the smiles they bring to these little faces.

IMG_1490006And I have a thing for tags. I used a few journaling cards from the One Little Bird digital mini-kit to make tags for journaling.

Day 2:

IMG_1494007I scanned the kids letters to Santa before we mailed them and included them here. I resized them to 3×4 and printed them on matte photo paper.

IMG_1496I added some confetti from the 2014 December Daily kit for something fun, and printed another card from the One Little Bird mini kit as a tag, stamping the date and adding more confetti.

IMG_1531017I found an image on line of one of our Canada Post mailboxes and created my own 3×4 journaling card to tell the story about mailing our letters. The “2” stamp is from the 2014 kit.

IMG_1500008The back holds another card from the One Little Bird mini kit and a digital stamp from the Messy Holiday Circles. As we were leaving the post office that day, all excited to have mailed the letters to Santa, I looked down and realized Emily wasn’t wearing any shoes. I swear she had shoes on when we left the house!! She just took them off in the car on the way to the post office.  There was a lengthy line of people watching us as we walked by, smiling away, remembering how their kids use to take off their shoes in the car too. I know I’ve said it before, but the best part about being their mom is seeing the joy they bring to others… seriously.

Day 3:

IMG_1502009We have an Elf named Elife who spends the month of December with us getting into all kinds of mischief. He’ll be making a couple of appearances in this album for sure 🙂

Day 4:

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I snapped this photo of the giant Christmas tree in the lobby of the hospital as I was sitting on my lunch break. I thought it was cool that I could see myself in the reflection of the ornaments. I typed my journaling on one of the ornaments about the two things I was most thankful for that day…the most stunning sunrise and the safe arrival of my nephew (!!). Its’ hard to see in this photo, but some of those ornaments are popped up with foam dots for a bit of added dimension. It looks really cool in person!

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Big love for the giant gold foiled chipboard letters and numbers in the 2014 kit! This year’s kit includes red ones, and I stocked up on some of the other colours available in the shop.

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I printed one of the messy holiday circles really big on some matte photo paper and attached it to one of the chipboard pieces that had been in the 2014 kit to make it sturdy. I’m thinking this would make a really cool cover for a mini album and I’m going to put it on my list to try again one day.

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The back includes a photo of the star of the day 🙂

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Another One Little Bird mini kit card turned into a little tag, along with some digital word art (from this set).

Day 5:

IMG_1515015We do the wrapped Christmas book countdown at our house. This year Liam noticed that his Christmas books were missing. And wouldn’t you know it, he found Elfie under the tree with my wrapping paper and tape and scissors! I need to add some journaling to the little tag here still. The journaling card was printed from Jasmine Jones’ mini kit (slightly modified), with the book titles (so far) typed on and stamps added from the 2014 December Daily stamp set.

So that’s what I’ve got so far! It’s hard to pick a favourite because I really like all of them 🙂

I think I’ll try to post an update with a few days at a time each week. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask away! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Good news, bad news…

Good news: My December 2014 album is underway!!! Despite my best intentions of completing this album DURING the month of December, it became quite clear that it just wasn’t going to happen this year. That’s okay though! I took lots of photos and typed up some notes to make sure I didn’t forget the stories I really wanted to remember. So…with my notes and photos ready to go, I’m working on getting some spreads done a few at a time, tackling them in order of whatever happens to be the story I most want to tell at the moment. My first spread tells the story of our very first Kindergarten Christmas Concert, which was incredibly “memorable”. (Yes…quotes are appropriate.) PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTSP1We were all really really excited. It was going so well. Liam was totally into it, which was awesome, because in the past he hasn’t always been a group activity kind of guy. He starred as “Candy Cane #5” for their first act. And for the second act, he found his way to a little opening between kids on stage where he could see us, and danced away, peeking and waving every now and then 🙂 PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTSP2So much fun!

And then…..DISASTER!!

For the final act, all three kindergarten classes performed 2 songs together. The stage was crowded, and Liam was behind another classmate. He wanted to be closer to the front. From where we were sitting, we watched what appeared to be an “unpleasant exchange of words”, followed by some shoving, then screaming, and then it was just way too much for him to handle. He cried for the rest of the performance, right there in the middle of the stage. The little scuffle didn’t last long, but the poor guy was inconsolable. So not only was it his first Christmas Concert, it was also his first (and I pray only) fight at school. Totally broke my heart, especially because he had been having such a good time just moments before. You know that feeling when you just can’t get to your kid fast enough… awful. Anyhow, I was finally able to get to him as he was coming down from the stage for a big hug and some hand holding…and eventually, all was right with the world again.

So CLEARLY, this all needed to be documented.  I’m using Ali Edwards’ December Daily 2014 kit for my album. For this particular spread, I’m also using Ali’s digital “Prompts” stamps in a few spots. I printed the “Remember” & “This” stamps on a 3×4 piece of vellum and embellished it with some of the kit contents to make the title card. PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROPMPTS_DETAIL1I also threaded some of the hand-written words from the stamp set into my journaling (both front and back) for something a little different. And on the second page, I added the big “LOVE THIS” digital stamp directly to the photo before printing it. PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTS_DETAIL2

Now for the bad news…3 spreads in and my printer just died. HA! I sure am hoping to have a solution for that very very quickly…and my handy tech savy hubby is working on it. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! (And just a quick note to mention that those children have ADORABLE little faces, that I’ve blurred out for their privacy 😉 )