Get ready...this is gonna be a super long, photo-heavy post!! I'm SO excited that I finally have time to create this fun album project this year! I've watched as Ali Edwards created amazing keepsake December Daily albums the last several years, but with all of my Design Team commitments I was just never able to find the time to get things together and get an album assembled and ready to go in time. Earlier this year I significantly cut back on my Design Teams, stepping down from a few much-loved teams to have more time to devote to my family as well as to crafting and creating projects with no requirements or restrictions - projects that are just for the love of creating - projects exactly like this! I have been working on the foundation of my December Daily album the last few weeks and just about have it all ready to go. Hopefully when December 1st arrives, I can focus on making memories and spending time with family and the documentation will go fairly quickly and easily. We'll see.
So anyway, I thought I'd share my cover and foundation pages with you all today, as well as some product links. For the most part, the inside of my album will be looking very Ali-ish. I like her style and I didn't want to have to think too much. I also want the photos and stories to be the focus, so I'll be using a lot of her digital products in the album. Product links for new products are at the end of this post. I also used a lot of stuff from my stash.
So here's a look at the cover of my album. I used the American Crafts chipboard album designed exclusively for the Ali Edwards Studio Calico December Daily kit. It took me forever to decide what to do with this cover. I wanted so badly to embellish the crap out of it, but it just didn't seem practical since I knew a pair of grubby little boy hands would be all over it year after year. So instead, I painted it red, added a lightly embellished "25" to the front and then heat embossed a small "December 2011" at the bottom. I'm pretty happy with it. I like the sloppy white paint, despite the fact that I painted it in too big of an area. It still works. I may add some paint splatters later. We'll see.
When you open the cover, I have a fun little clear pocket thing that I made. I got the idea for this from something I saw on Etsy, it was a confetti pocket (I made some confetti to use in a smaller pocket later in the album), and I decided to make something similar. I cut down some small page protectors to a square and filled it with red and silver confetti that I purchased in the floral dept from my local Ben Franklin, then I sewed the top closed. I added a striped twill tab, button and jingle bell embellishment along with a sentiment strip and the first of many glass glittered stars (purchased from one of my favorite Etsy shops - MemrieMare).
Next is a calendar page that I'll use as a sort of table of contents with the basic activities of the month. The Studio Calico kit came with several of these, I cut it down and slid it into a trimmed down page protector.
After the calendar, I used one of Ali's digital Long Journalers to jot down a "December Bucket List". I recolored the journaler in Photoshop and changed the title, then printed it out (I actually printed out LOTS of these long journalers to be used throughout the album, each with a different holiday-themed title) and slid it into a custom page protector I made by trimming down and sewing closed a regular 8.5x11 page protector. My son Dean and my husband Joel helped me come up with a list of all the things we want to do before Christmas. I got the idea for this when searching for ideas for my December Daily on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do something similar!
Finally, we come to the "guts" of the album. Each day has it's own numbered cover sheet / divider of sorts. I alternated between vellum and Kraft for these. Don't worry, I won't show you all 25 of them, just a few so you get the idea. I kept things pretty simple and repetitious for these.
Another thing found throughout the album are these little pocket pages. I got this idea straight from Ali herself. I saw her use these last year and noticed she's doing it again this year too. I absolutely LOVE the way these look! They're 8.5x11 baseball card sleeve page protectors (I actually purchased mine at Office Max, but the link at the bottom of the post is to the higher quality We R Memory Keepers brand), trimmed down so that there are 4 pockets. Some of the pockets are already filled with little holiday-themed trinkets and do-dads and then sewn closed. The other pockets have been left empty for now. I'll fill those with photos, journaling, and little pieces of memories I collect throughout the month (receipts, ticket stubs, etc). You'll notice that some of my pockets are a direct copy of some of Ali's. If it ain't broke...
For now, these pocket pages are just randomly placed throughout the album for the purposes of taking photos (only a few are shown, but I have about 10 of them total). In actuality, before the first of December, I will remove them and just use them as I need them. The same is true for the Long Journalers. They are not numbered and are embellished generically enough that I can use them on any day that I have either more photos / memorabilia and/or lengthy stories to tell. Here's a look at all of my Long Journalers (except for the one already used for the December Bucket List). I'm still waiting on a special order of Red Glass Glittered stars from the MemrieMare Etsy Shop to arrive so I can finish embellishing a few of them, then I'll be done!
Every single day of the month has a printed December Daily Overlay that is already slid into a full-page page protector (the pages in this album are 6x8.5 inches). I will paste either one large photo for the day or several smaller photos or a combination of photos and journaling on these pages. Some days I may spill over onto the back and use Ali's digital Templates if I have lots of photos.
So that's it. I'm pretty much ready to go and I think you all get the idea of what my album looks like. It's pretty unfinished now and will likely have a lot more embellishment added to it as I complete the daily pages in December. I'll probably do a post or 2 each week of December to share with you how it looks as it all comes together! Thanks for humoring me with this long post.
So are any of you doing December Daily this year? What are you plans? Have you started your album? I'd LOVE to see it - leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!!