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I am so loving December this year, especially now that I’m over last week’s cold and sore throat.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season over the past few years has been the December Daily.  Choosing what to document and which photos to take is almost a meditation for me, and makes me focus daily on what is important about this season and my family.

I’m not much of a scrapbooker.  If I’m lucky, I follow Ali Edwards in her two big annual projects, the December Daily and the Week in the Life.

And when I say follow, I mean that I do exactly what she recommends.  Because I don’t scrapbook much, I haven’t developed my own creativity.  And I love Ali Edward’s clean and contemporary style.

She worked with Studio Calico this year to sell a kit of the supplies she used for her December Daily.  Luckily, I snagged one before they sold out.  So the spine of the scrapbook in the photo above?  It’s just like Ali Edwards’.  Except, of course, that her Christmas tree is straight….

Studio Calico also offered a study along class where other designers present their December Daily ideas and tools.  I love this, because it’s exposing me to different approaches and influences.  This page below is the first page in my book – it was inspired by one of the patterns in the Studio Calico class.

 

Yes, I did use a sewing machine to stich those letters on.  Yes, my stitching is just as crooked as my Christmas tree.  And yes, I do think it’s the coolest thing ever that my sewing machine will sew through cardstock.

Another tool I purchased from Ali Edwards are the overlays that you can see over my photos in the next two pictures.  There is one for each day of the month.  You just copy and paste them over an image in Elements – super easy.

 

Following Ali’s lead, most of my days will have a two page spread.  One for a photo and another for journaling.  I can also add additional pages for photos and keepsakes as the month progresses.

I’m behind so far on the month, but hope to catch up this weekend.

I structure the book and the events I document according to our Advent Calendar.  Which is another Ali Edwards project.  I know, I sound like a broken record.  Each day has an activity like:

  • Make bird feeders
  • Take food to a soup kitchen
  • Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Sometimes I incorporate the calendar activity cards into the December Daily.  And for those days where there isn’t something special or photo worthy, I’m planning to have a separate page for each person in my family.  These pages will celebrate what I love about them and list all the crazy nicknames I have for them right now.

I’ve learned, as I work through projects like this, that a girl could go broke buying scrapbook supplies.  Other than the Studio Calico kit (which contained lots of stuff!), I’ve limited myself to just a few extra purchases (like extra card stock and red stamp ink).

The one bigger item I purchased was this embossing heat tool, which I’m having all sorts of fun with!  I also got embossing powder in red and silver.

I have 1 piece of advice for those of you considering a project like this, or those who are even in the middle of it.

Don’t stress about the photography aspect of this scrapbook.  Lots of these photos will be taken in less than ideal circumstances.  This isn’t about building a portfolio, it’s about documenting precious memories.  Mobile phone photos are ok!

I know some of you are working on December Daily projects also.  I’d love to see them!  If you’ve blogged about them, please post the link in the comments below.