2016 - My Favorites

As 2016 comes to a close, I'm seeing lots of "best of" lists and so I thought I would share one of my own.  Here are my favorite 12 layouts from this year.  I'll start with the 12x12 pages first:



This was based on a sketch from the "Ready, Sketch, Go" class from Jen Schow and Tracie Claiborne.  I love that floral paper from Heidi Swapp.


This one was from a Felicity Jane kit - I love using a quote as a title.


Those dessert flair from Feed Your Craft were irresistible, just like all those delicious treats.


I tried to do a few "daily life" pages during the year and this one is my favorite of the bunch.


And this one was from the "Me" Story Kit and Stamp from Ali Edwards.  Now onto the 8.5x11 pages...


A tribute to one of my photographic obsessions (bicycles) using my favorite color.



Another "slice of life" page using bits and pieces from Ali's kits.


I made quite a few circle banners this year and this one is definitely my favorite.


I also started doing a lot of fussy-cutting in 2016 and I love these cute little umbrellas.


This one tells the story of a favorite memory using an Ali Edwards Story kit and stamp.

I also tried a new type of memory-keeping this year: travelers notebooks.  My final two favorites fall into that category:


I used a multitude of Felicity Jane kit leftovers in this travelers notebook about a spring vacation I took with my husband.

And my final favorite is this colorful spread from my "Little Summer Joy" project.

Have you picked out your favorite projects from this year?  If you have, leave a link below - I'd love to see your choices.


December Daily - The Last Pages



Christmas has come and gone and, since I only document through Christmas Day in my December Daily, I've reached the end of my album for this year.

Because of where I'd left off in my album and how I was planning to make my spread for Christmas Eve, I needed to fill a full 6x8 page for the right side of the album.  I had downloaded a fun and free printable from Diane (dearlydee) from her blog here.  I printed it on a laser printer and then ran it through a laminator several times with gold foil.


I added some red and white snowflake washi at the top and bottom to make the page coordinate with the one opposite it in my album.

For Christmas Eve, I added a photo of  my daughters with their grandparents onto one of my pre-made foundation pages.  For the opposite page, I added a collage of four photos from that night and wrote my journaling on a 3x4 card.  Here's how the two pages look together:


The reverse side documents Christmas Day and is the final page in the album.  I just added a photo of the four of us to one of the pocket cards.


I then used one of the main kit's 4x6 cards to make a pocket on the inside cover of the album.  I attached the card with dimensional adhesive and used a circle punch to make the cut-out at the top.


I printed several photos that I thought really captured the essence of the day, wrote a bullet list of our Christmas Day highlights on one of the 3x4 cards, and slipped everything into the pocket. 


Here's a little peek at the contents of the pocket:


And it's done!  I've never used a binder and pocket pages for my December Daily before.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  I think the pockets encouraged me to tell fuller stories and in some cases include several more photos to accompany those stories.



I like the added dimension of the tabs and ribbons sticking out of the pages and from the items I adhered to the front and back covers -


My album is definitely full but not stuffed -

 
Earlier in the month, I'd completed a spread intended to remind me to look for the magical moments of the season.  During the month I was definitely more aware of those special moments and I added photos and journaling to the envelope that was included in the spread.  I took notes and photos as I was inspired and then added them in a couple batches as I had time.  (As a side note: our December seemed to be a very gray month and that, coupled with limited daylight hours, made photographing my pages a little difficult as you can see by some of my photos.)

 
I added a few "filler" pages to the album along the way.  I enjoyed making something that was fun and creative without the pressure of fitting in a story or photos.  I like the break that these filler pages provide between the stories and photos.





As much as I love this project, I'm happy to have it completed and I'm ready to focus on documenting other stories now.  I'm looking forward to working with non-holiday colors too!  How about you - what are you excited about documenting next?

December Daily - Twinkle


I always include photos of our tree in my December Daily - we've had the same tree for years but the decorations on it and the presents under it change from year to year.  Here's how I commemorated this year's tree:


I like the traditional red and green color combination on this spread.  I attached the gold messy circle and red rubber piece to the outside of the page protector.

And the complete spread looks like this:

December Daily - Five Things and the Goofy Ornament


That "five things" card was perfect for quickly documenting a few random thoughts about this season.  I combined it with two small photos and one of the gold messy circles for another fast page in my December Daily.

The opposite page took a little bit longer but it records a fun story from Christmas past.  While I didn't have a photo of our actual ornament, I was able to find one on Pinterest so I printed it out to accompany the story.


Here's how the two pages look in my album:

December Daily - A Letter, a Recap and a Confession


Every year I write a letter to myself and include it in my December Daily.  I usually write a little about the year that is almost over along with some thoughts about the upcoming year.  I made a pocket to hold this year's version - the front is one of the foundation pages.


To make the pocket, I used the cover of the December issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine - I thought the bottle brush trees on the cover were so festive and pretty.  I trimmed the cover to match the front, cut a small notch out of the top using a circle punch and then adhered the front to the back on both sides and the bottom.



There were a few pieces of text that I wanted to cover so I used a circle punched from a Starbucks cup and a silicone charm from Felicity Jane at the top, and a couple of holiday phrase stickers from Tim Holtz at the bottom right.

 
On the opposite page I provided a snapshot of a particular December day.


The front holds my journaling - sentences about what I was doing and seeing and thinking that day.  I placed a decorative 3x4 card and an acrylic snowflake from Elle's Studio in the two top pockets. 


I added three small supporting photos to the reverse of the page.


My final page today is titled "Christmas Confessions".


I've divulged a few of my holiday secrets for all posterity. 


I'm probably one of a handful of people who doesn't like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" - please don't hold it against me!


December Daily - Christmas in the City


Earlier this month I took a day trip to New York City and of course I wanted to include it in my December Daily.  I took quite a few photos that day - there are so many Christmas-y decorations and sights to see there at this time of year - and I wasn't sure at first how I would include all of my favorites.

I decided to use the pocket folder included in the main kit because it would provide a good home for the pieces of ephemera I had from that day.  I also knew that I would use a full 6x8 photo on the opposite page and I hoped to contain everything in those two pages since my album was already starting to get a little full.


The left side came together quickly - I just added a phrase sticker on the side, punched holes and it was done.  I made a mini-book to hold the rest of my photos and journaling using the patterned paper included in the kit.  I cut the paper down to 4x6, made photo collages of the same size and slipped those into a page protector that had two 4x6 horizontal pockets.  I cut the two pockets apart and turned them vertically to use in my mini-book.  After I wrote my journaling, I stitched the book together and then covered the stitching with washi tape.  Here are some closer looks at the mini-book:






The mini-book is thin enough that it doesn't take up too much room in my album, but thick enough to hold lots of memories in photos and words.






 

December Daily - Using Ephemera


Today I'm sharing an entry that documents a shopping trip I took with my mom last week.   It fills both sides of one pocket page and includes some packaging from one of the bags that held some of my purchases.

Here's a look at the front:


and the back:


The pine needles/pine cone patterned paper is cut from a bag from Stonewall Kitchen, one of our stops that day.  There was a basket of "Happy Holidays" tags by the register in the store so I grabbed one as I checked out, thinking that I would find some way to use it.  It fit quite nicely in the pocket - I added two small photos and stapled on a scrap of black and white striped ribbon.


I covered the reverse side with the paper from the bag and added the "Happy Holidays" sentiment which I punched from the bag too.


I added two more pieces of the black and white ribbon to the spread to keep the color scheme consistent.  Here's how all the pieces look in their pockets:



So keep your eyes open when you're out shopping - you never know what you might find to include in your December Daily!


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