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December Daily - Part One

Happy December folks!

I've been happily working on my little handmade 4x5 December Daily album this week. I like to work on it in-the-moment so keeping it very simple and small is key. I love carving out some time each day and I find that making clean, simple and uncluttered pages aligns with the pared-down, peaceful mood I'm trying to cultivate this season.

As I said in my planning post, this is the first year I am not telling 25 stories or making one spread per day. I am adding to my book as I feel like it and I'm really enjoying this more casual approach. I want this album to be a collection of my December photos, thoughts, stories and moments. A lot of silliness and pop culture is going into this book alongside our everyday lives and I couldn't be happier.

I'm planning a weekly blog post to share the pages I've made during that week with links to supplies where I can. I did a lot this first week because I was just so excited to get started (plus I had a few foundation pages ready to go). I don't know if I will continue at this level but I'm going with it for now. I don't have any expectations about how many pages this book will end up - could be 20 could be 80, who knows?! My pages are also super simple and quick so I can do three or four in one sitting easily.

Note: I'm making a hybrid project, so I'm using digital products in Photoshop Elements (mostly from Ali Edwards' December Daily collection) then printing at home on my Epson XP-8500 on matte photo paper with some vellum and transparencies mixed in. I'm then punching holes and adding binder rings to make my mini album.

Here we go - week one:

I wanted my first page to explain what this book is about so I used a stamp from the Paislee Press Holiday Stamp set with some washi tape at the bottom. I haven't decided on my covers yet so I just have some chipboard there right now to protect it. I was sad to miss out on Jamaica Edgell's acrylic covers this year because of the USA-Australia postage issue.

A lot of people have asked about the font I'm using for journaling this year - it's Script 12 Pitch BT Regular.

The first of December was a work day for me so I wrote a little note about how I was feeling like December had arrived too quickly. I added the text to my page then glued the 'a quick word with december' card (designed by me) on top as a flip up (that's about as crafty as I get!).

I also found a wish page I had already made with some intentions and hopes for the season so I put that on the left side. This was the first year I had made some foundation pages in October and November so I'm adding those in here and there. (I have a guest post on Ali Edwards' blog about my foundation pages).

I took a lovely photo of Sydney Harbour on the morning of 1 December so I added that with a story about how it was nice to see the sunshine after what felt like a month of rain, using a card from the Paislee Press Mini Kit with some gold number stickers. The D label on the photo is from an older Paislee Press kit.

My son Elijah is 12 and about to finish sixth grade (high school starts late January) so there will be a few stories about his last few weeks at his school (which we've been a part of since 2012) and the various festivities around that. This was Christmas mufti (out-of-uniform) day and practice high school. The pattern behind his photo is a card from the In A Creative Bubble Journal Card set and I've journaled on the bottom. The opposite page is one of my foundations using the stockings from the Main Kit that I monogrammed, then I added some gifts we might want.

All is Chaos All Is Bright is another one of my foundation pages (card is from the Paislee Press Mini Kit) and is a reminder for me to chill the heck out and expect the mess. Glennon Doyle recently had a Peptalk for the Holidays episode of her podcast and one of the rules was to stop being surprised. This hit hard for me because yes, the holidays are stressful, messy and chaotic so why am I always so shocked by that every time? I think I'll need to come back to this page over and over.

The other side documents Spotify Wrapped. I listened to a lot of records this year and during lockdown I had our Google Home play the oldies radio station all day every day because it was perfect background noise. So my Wrapped was very weird (most listened to artist was Paul Simon? Most listed to song was Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic? Both excellent answers but definitely not what I recall listening more than usual). So I documented Australia's number one streamed artist instead by printing a little photo and caption and glueing them onto a piece of clear transparency.

The selfie is my Thursday3 photo with some journaling strips about how I'm trying to rally enough to clean and decorate the house (the time stamp is from my shop). I did in the end, rally that is, so I added a photo as proof (the D label is from a previous Paislee Press kit).

I always like documenting new ornaments and last week my mother-in-law sent the kids one each. As I say all the time, I am a sucker for journal cards with places to write and add a photo so I used the Holiday Tradition card from the In A Creative Bubble set to document my annual tradition of watching the bundled West Wing Christmas episodes then getting sucked in to a rewatch through December and January (I usually go with the whole Matt Santos season - makes excellent company during a day in the kitchen cooking and baking). This story has made it to a few of my December Daily's and I love that.

The four of us went to see Dune - I loved it. Adding the movie poster is about the easiest way to document that. I also had this Spotify Christmas play list vellum page (card is from the Paislee Press Mini Kit) in my foundation stash that I added to the other side, backed with star patterned paper from the 10x8 paper pack.

These two pages were in my foundation stash. The pool photo has a stamp from the Paislee Press Digital Holiday set and I made the Festivus card. Can't wait for the airing of the grievances this year.

Last spread for this week - a school dad took the boys to the movies and lunch on Saturday (two movies for Eli this weekend) so I used one of the photos he sent then made a little weekend recap page on the other side. The Weekend stamp is by Kerri Bradford.

So that's a week in the book. It has been fun so far to work on this little album. I totally recommend going small if you are feeling overwhelmed.

In the spirit of Christmas, I have a free download in my digital shop of four cards that I have designed for this week's pages in both 3x4 and 4x6 format (with PDFs for printing included) - you can find it here: shannanpages shop

This one will be going in my album soon - what the hell Alan Rickman??!! Thanks for following along!

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