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Little Things, Big Days

December Daily - Looking for the Magic

 
I've been thinking a lot about my approach to this Christmas season.  As I mentioned in my last post, I felt excitement about it since October (very early for me) but when I thought about all the activities associated with this time of year, the excitement just dwindled away.  That's not what I want for December - I want to savor the season.

Every year I have what I call a "Christmas Moment".  It's a moment when I'm just overcome with happiness and peace, when I really feel the true spirit and meaning of Christmas.  It usually comes on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and it takes me completely by surprise.  So in my effort to delight in and appreciate the holiday this year, I started thinking that perhaps I should actively seek those magical "Christmas Moments" every day.

The December Daily entry that I'm sharing today marks my resolve to look for the magic.  I want to have some kind of record of my efforts, so I'll be using one of the packaging envelopes from the Ali Edwards' Story Kits.  I'd originally included it in my album thinking that it would be a great place to hold wishlists, receipts, or to-do lists but instead I'm going to use it for my magical moments.  (I have a few extra envelopes that I can always add to hold those other pieces of ephemera if I wish anyway.)

I will be using the envelope to collect photos or notes to commemorate the magic moments.  While I hope to be able to experience one every day, I'm not going to stress if I don't.  After all, that's really not the purpose of the whole exercise.  And if I'm lucky enough to encounter more than one on a particular day, I'll include them both.  I'm really trying to take a relaxed, go-with-the-flow approach to this.  I'm expecting it to take a little work on my part but I hope that over the next several weeks I'll learn to see magic in many places that will remind me of the meaning behind the celebration of Christmas.  I'm sure there will be some surprise moments but I also think I'll be consciously setting aside some quiet time to appreciate the season.

After that rather long-winded explanation, here's a look at the accompanying entry:



It's a multiple-page spread starting with a 5x7 bokeh photo of our tree and its reflection in the window.  I added some word art  from Ali's "Magic" digital story kit using the Letterglow app on my phone.  I adhered the photo to a piece of black and white wood grain patterned paper and then stitched the photo edges with gold metallic thread.  I slipped it into the page protector and placed a vellum heart sticker on the outside.


For the middle of the spread, I trimmed a 4x6 pocket from a leftover page protector and cut a 4x6 piece of white cardstock to hold my journaling.  I embellished the bottom with a small strip of patterned paper and a gold chipboard star.


The reverse side is a pearlized scrap of white cardstock that I embossed with snowflakes.  I added the black rubber circle magic from Ali's main kit.


The embellished envelope completes the spread on the right side.


Here's how everything looks in my album:


As you can see, the envelope is already holding a photo from my December 1st magic moment:


I can't wait until that envelope is filled with little reminders of the magic!

December Daily - My Introduction


Yay - December is here!  And it's time for one of my favorite memory keeping projects, December Daily.

I've been looking forward to the holiday season since October but at the same time I just haven't felt inspired to get all the decorations out, do the Christmas shopping and take care of all those extra "to do" items that show up on my list at this time of year.  I want to celebrate the season without all the craziness it sometimes brings.

And so I decided to do an introductory page for this year's album.  In previous years, I've usually just jumped right in with a story but I'm starting off this year's version with a gentle reminder to myself to slow down.


I selected one of my full 6"x8" foundation pages and pulled some gold stars left over from Ali's main kit, along with some white cardstock, a black and red plaid patterned paper from the Paislee Press mini kit, and an older Ali stamp set from Technique Tuesday.


Using the timer on my camera, I snapped a quick photo of myself writing the introduction.  I converted it to black and white, reduced the size and printed it out on my Canon Selphy.  (The ability to print my photos at home is a key to the success of this project!)  I added two stamped images - the "this is December" stamp actually inspired my journaling - popped my photo on some thin foam and put the page together.


I'm mulling over another idea for helping me to "be present" this Christmas season and I think I've figured out how to incorporate it into my album.  I'll be back soon to share - thanks for stopping by today!

December Daily - Lessons from the Past


After I prepped my album for this year, I spent some time looking back through my previous albums.   There are certain pages that I've consistently repeated from year to year and I wanted to refresh my memory so that I can include them this year.  Here are some of the stories and photos I'd like to cover again in 2016...

I usually make one or two grocery store trips to purchase the ingredients for our Christmas Eve dinner and the items I'll be bringing to our Christmas Day celebrations.  In the past, I took photos of my grocery cart and I'd to do that again this year.


I subscribe to several magazines and the holiday issues are always my favorites.  I'll be photographing the covers again in 2016.


I include a note to myself every year.  I usually recap the year and capture whatever happens to be on my mind at the time I write the note, and I re-read the notes every year when I take out my albums.  I slip the notes into an envelope so my writing stays private.


One of my holiday traditions is attending a holiday craft fair with my mom and two of our friends.  Although this fair is held the weekend after Thanksgiving and usually isn't in December, I've been including it in my December Daily because it's part of my Christmas preparation.  I wasn't able to attend last year because I was sick but I still added the reminder card and wrote about my disappointment.  (And I was very sick because this is usually a must-attend event for me!)


I collect snowmen and even though every year I vow not to add to my collection, I never manage to keep that resolution.  I include a page about my latest additions every year.  I wish I had done this documentation when I first started my collection but too much time has passed and I just don't remember the stories behind some of my snowmen.


I include a page about any new Christmas ornaments as well.


This next page was a new one last year but one that I plan to include again.  I change the wallpaper on my phone to celebrate the season and I added screenshots to my 2015 December Daily as a fun reminder.


Finally, I try to include some sort of "slice of life" information as well.   Here's a look at how I did it five years ago:



Looking through these albums was a lovely walk down memory lane for me.  There were some stories and photos I'd completely forgotten, and others that recorded things we no longer do so I'm thankful that I captured them at the time.  December Daily is one of my favorite memory-keeping projects.  The holiday season is very busy and seems to pass so quickly, but I'm happy that I decided to spend the time on these albums.  I'll always treasure them.

I have a December Daily post here on "what works for me" and another one here on using memorabilia and ephemera in my December Daily album.

November Gratitude Project Update


Thought I would take a little time today to share some of the completed pages in my gratitude project.  I have a post here that has all the details: I used a Felicity Jane kit, a Project Life album with various 4x4 page protectors, and prompts from Elise for her thankful 30 project here.  

I've been trying to complete my entry every day but even if I miss a day or two (which I have), I can quickly catch up.  Some days just have written entries while others have both writing and photos.  That's fine with me - I'm still getting a complete picture either way, which is my goal with this mini-album.  Here are some of my thankful entries...

For the appliance prompt:
 

For the "what makes your home a home" prompt:


Thankful for my town:
 

Thankful for a family member:
 

Thankful for a particular drink:


Thankful for a delicious dessert:


In this season of gratitude, I'm happy that I'm making this little reminder of all my blessings.

An Autumn Travelers Notebook


 

This summer I made a Little Summer Joy travelers notebook, and I loved it so much that I decided I should make one for my favorite season, autumn.  

My plan was to combine photos, quotes and thoughts about the season - it was as simple as that.  I gathered some supplies into a mini kit to keep nearby so I could work on the project as I had time.


I purchased a few things at Target (I have zero control when it comes to their Dollar Spot): two 6x6 paper pads, black & white washi, some coordinating tags and orange and gold alpha sets.  The rest of the items were from my supplies: some tags, chipboard pieces, stickers and die-cuts from Crate Paper, Elles Studio and Basic Grey, gold glitter star and heart stickers from Studio Calico, some leaves from Michael's and an alphabet stamp set that I've recently become obsessed with from Feed Your Craft.  The travelers notebook is from the ILoveItAll shop on EtsyAnd no kit would be complete without a little chocolate and these caramel chocolate squares were so nicely dressed for the season that I couldn't resist them.

The photos I used were all ones I posted to Instagram (on a personal account that is not scrapbook-related) and I had them printed by Origrami.  They're a husband and wife team based in Sydney, Australia.  They are more expensive than any of my usual printers but shipping is free and I've ordered sets from them on two occasions as a little treat - the prints are on a thick, almost cardstock-like backing and they have a somewhat retro finish that I like.

And now, for the pages...

A few were based on prompts from #HashtagThisWeek.  This one was for "savor":


 Other pages were based on memories of autumn past:


  Some gave glimpses of seasonal activities:







A few showcased photos I especially like:




And many of them combined photos with favorite autumn quotes:




I'm thrilled with the results - the book is almost overflowing with my love for the season.  I like the change of working in the smaller size too.  I now have a trio of these notebooks: one from our Mackinac Island vacation, along with my summer and autumn notebooks.  And something tells me I'll be adding more to that little grouping soon.


Feed Your Craft

I completely forgot to mention this but back in October, I became a member of the Creative Team for Feed Your Craft, on online shop that has wonderful stamps, mini flair and scrapbook kits.  You can find the shop here.  While I will be working with the kits as a CT member, I also love the stamps and flair and have been using them often over the past few months.  Today I'd like to share some of my projects with you.

I used the black & white ampersand/and mini flair set for my journaling on this page:


I used the sweet tooth mini flair on this page about my sweet tooth (of course).  I don't think this set is still available but there are plenty of other food related flair sets in the shop.


This page about my daughter's love of travel uses the travel mantra mini flair set right across the center; I stamped the title with the "Bold Alphabet" stamp:


I combined the sun and rain mini flair set with some stamped and fussy-cut umbrellas from the "Keep Growing" stamp set:


Here is one of my CT projects using the holiday release "Calm and Bright" kit: 


Unfortunately, the kit is sold out but a brand new kit is being released on December 15thI just received it and I've already got lots of ideas for new projects.  I'll definitely share them on a more timely basis next time!  I hope in the meantime you'll check out the shop - there's plenty of fun products there that would look great on your projects!

CKC November Layouts


I mentioned in my reveal post that I intentionally made a smaller kit this month because I knew I wouldn't have much time to work with it, and I hoped to get one or two pages made. Well I'm happy to report that I actually completed three pages with this kit and I have two to share with you today. (You can see my first page - for the Yum! challenge - here.)

The topic for my first page is about how mums always remind me of my mother:



To be honest, I'm not really thrilled with this page.  While I do like the story and I'm happy to have told it, I'm just kind of "meh" about the page itself.  I don't like the frame at the top and I'm not crazy about those blue letters either.  I suppose it's not possible to "love" every page so I'm just going to add it to an album and move on.


The second page was the result of great timing between a product and a prompt.  I'd included a tree patterned paper in my kit and I was thinking about fussy-cutting the shapes but wasn't sure what kind of page to make with them.  I happened to check the Whimsical Musings blog just as a challenge to "be inspired by leaves" was posted.  I remembered how our family used to focus on gratitude for the month of November when our girls were young.  I found a photo and created this page:



I arranged the trees in a little border at the top and bottom of the page and then ran two rows of stitching over them to dress them up a bit.  All that was left was to add my matted photo and write my journaling.  A quick and easy page - perfect for this time of year.




And with that, I've retired my November kit.  I have two other autumn projects in the works: my gratitude journal and an autumn-themed travelers notebook.  I will try to share some bits of those before turning my attention to December Daily - I have a few more thoughts about that project too. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

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