October 2010

22 posts.

Jennifer’s December Daily Album #3

Here it is, my third and final December Daily album…adapted to my “12 Days of Christmas” theme. If you recall, I decided to make mine for each of my three college-age children. {Look here for details of the first and second albums.} Every day includes a space to write a brief personal note from Mom. For this one, I tried to create the album entirely myself using a line of Martha Stewart papers and a ribbon binding that I stitched on.

A little sparkly buckle holds a wire-edge ribbon belt in place. My love of all things embellishing means the book is bulging a bit. Oh well, what’s the holiday season without a little excess, right?

Inside are more of my favorite tiny envelopes with tags that pull out for journaling.

On some pages, I hid the journaling behind paper cut to match the layer beneath it—think matching up the patterns on wallpaper here.

Hands down, my favorite tiny journaling spot is on a red-and-white page made from paper that has a rickrack design and the words “Happy Holidays” printed across it. I stitched down the ends of green rickrack, tacking it also at the book’s center.

Then I adhered journaling paper to the backs of these ornament stickers. I’ll write a short and sweet message on them. The little clothespins really work! They hold the notes in place.

Knowing I’d have more to say than I could fit on the backs of those stickers, I also added some larger journaling places. Inside this envelope (whose edge I embellished with a border punch) is a small notebook page with more room to write.

A little matchbook cover gives me the chance to unfurl another hidden journaling spot. I used a foam-backed sticker to cover the spot where the brad pierces the paper.

Always one to finish up with some sparkle, I added a few jewelry dangles and a key to the top edge of the binding. {I confess, there’s almost nothing I see in the scrapbook store from 7Gypsies or Tim Holtz that I couldn’t incorporate into my projects.}

Now, I’d better get busy working on my little love notes to my kids. Remember, my goal was to simplify. That means I’ve got to have these books done by Thanksgiving so the kids can take them back to college after break. What was I thinking? YIKES! Gotta write….

{Jennifer Keltner is the Executive Editor of Scrapbooks etc., American Patchwork & Quilting, and Quilts and More.}

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Lisa’s Beginner Sewing December Daily Album

OK, so I’m new to the December Daily album thing. But after flipping through Ali Edwards’ December Daily albums from 2008 and 2009 decided I wanted participate in the Scrapbooks Etc. staff challenge.

Since I’m a first timer, I decided to start out small. I used the Envelope Album Kit from Little Yellow Bicycle. Instead of using the envelopes that were included in the kit, I decided to use a variety of paper collections. I trimmed them to 3-3/4×8-1/4 inches and punched holes to in the papers so I could use the two fasteners included in the kit.

IMG_7895I used red-and-cream-argyle paper (Mistletoe from Making Memories) for the front and back outside covers. One the front cover, I stacked the die cut shapes that form “2010” on top of a cream rectangle. (The die cuts are cut from Die Cuts with a View paper, Shimmer.)

IMG_7907useThe chipboard slider from Little Yellow Bicycle is one of my favorite embellishments in my December Daily album. All my friends and family better be nice to me on December 20. You don’t want your photo by the “NAUGHTY” arrow, do you?

IMG_7904-1useI did a little sewing, both by hand and machine. I sewed a small fabric swatch from the Maison de Garance collection by French General for Moda Fabrics on page 14.

IMG_7989-1I sewed through real buttons and added a dash of hot glue to make snowman on page 24.

IMG_7916-1And I also sewed on a paper button that embellishes a paper gift card envelope. (I used Accuquilt dies for the button and envelope.)

Even though I’m not quite sure what I’ll include on each page of my December Daily, I’m already excited to start adding photos, journaling, and more embellishments! I hope this is a December to remember!

{Lisa Schumacher is the Interactive Editor of AllPeopleQuilt.com.}

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Jennifer’s December Daily Album #2

If you’ve seen the Scrapbooks etc. December issue, you know we’re featuring a nifty project from scrapbooker Ali Edwards called the “December Daily” album. It inspired several staff members so much, we decided to make our own. I was in the mood to simplify {see my October 21 post} and decided to make a “12 Days of Christmas” album for each of my children. I have three….so instead of 25 days, I’m doing 36. Way to simplify, right?


I have two daughters and a son. I knew right away what I wanted to do for my second “girl” album (more on that in a few days), but had to think about what my college-age son would appreciate. My goal was to create a personalized Advent calendar of sorts with a note from mom for each day. He’ll get the album when he’s home for Thanksgiving break and can take it back to school with him. When I found the Little Yellow Bicycle Envelope Album Kit, I knew it would be perfect as the basis for my son’s album.


For the 12 in my title, I used 7Gypsies Gaffer’s Tape. I love it!


There are five long envelopes and notepapers in the album kit, plus two chipboard covers. That instantly took care of five of my 12 days and journaling spots.


To make every envelope do double duty, I added a smaller kraft paper envelope with room for a note inside to the front, along with a few coordinating stickers.


Wood number buttons mark the sequence of notes.


I also used the insides of the front and back covers to reach my desired number of 12.


Fewer embellishments (my weakness, I confess) and more streamlined, I’m happy with the finished look of his book.


I jazzed it up a little, but didn’t go over the top like I did for the girls’ books. So now, I’m two down with one to go. And the third book is well underway. Woo hoo! I’ll show you more on Friday. But for the next couple of days, watch here for more December Daily versions from my coworkers. Happy scrapbooking!

{Jennifer Keltner is the Executive Editor of Scrapbooks etc., American Patchwork & Quilting, and Quilts and More.}

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Gallery Love

Just popping in to share a pair of adorable cards Sarah and I spotted in our gallery this morning! Both are by tanisharenee74.

Happy Halloween!

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Maria’s December Daily Album

For the past couple years, I’ve followed Ali Edwards’ December Daily project as she documents the holiday season on her blog, but I’ve never actually made one myself. I’ve always thought it was a neat idea, but frankly, the holidays usually sneak up on me. (Case in point: I started shopping for gifts last year on December 22, and I never did get around to setting up my apartment-size Christmas tree). I can usually manage to muster up enough enthusiasm in time for the celebrations on December 24 and 25, but the idea of Christmas being an entire season has really escaped me the last few years. Shameful, I know.

So, when I heard that SBE staff members were participating in the project, I jumped at the opportunity to shed my Scrooge-y tendencies and join them. Besides, Ali’s philosophy of assembling the “guts” of the album before the season is in full swing is perfect for people like me.


Here are my goals for this project:

  • I’m newly married and a new homeowner, so I’m hoping to document how my husband and I mesh our holiday traditions and create new ones.
  • While I’m hoping this project encourages us to embrace the Christmas spirit, I’m realistic. I know not every day is going to be filled with gingerbread men and roasting chestnuts. I know our daily activities probably won’t change drastically, especially on work-filled weekdays. And I know we probably won’t be making a trip to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap. But I’m really going to try to take notice of and appreciate the subtle signs of the season that often pass us by—such as a holiday card in the mailbox—as well the mundane chores that normally just make us grumpy—such as digging our cars out from piles of snow.


The Covers

I chose a 6×6” album by Fancy Pants Designs that came with six blank chipboard pages (purchased from Archiver’s.) I used iron-on adhesive to cover the album covers with fabric from Clothworks. For a more polished look, I added paper to the inside covers and hot-glued ribbon along the seam to cover the rough edges. To label my album, I stamped the year on a foil-rimmed acetate tag, punched a hole through it, and strung it on ribbon, along with some beads and a jingle bell. I tied the ribbon around the top binder ring, creating a big enough loop that the embellishments would dangle over the edge.


The Setup

With Ali’s 2009 album as inspiration,  I used a variety of materials in an array of sizes for my 25 pages—mini album pages, transparencies, page protectors, envelopes, die cuts—to give the entire album an eclectic look. A few repeating elements, such as tags and circles, and a color palette of lime green, red-orange, tan, dark green, burgundy, icy blue, and teal tie it all together. Each page (front and back) provides room to document one day.


Spots for journaling and numbers on some of the pages give me some loose confines to work within …


…but leaving some pages blank gives me a little flexibility to add those elements later, based on what I choose to document that day.


I used new some papers from new lines, such as Dear Lizzy Christmas by American Crafts


… and Mitten Weather by Cosmo Cricket.


But, I also raided my stash, pulling a random assortment of papers and embellishments from older holiday and non-holiday collections.



I’m not usually a themed paper kind of gal, so I kept an open mind about what would be appropriate for a holiday album. Nothing was out of the running if it fit within my color palette.


…even vintage sheet music…


… and a recycled J.Crew envelope.

I’ve realized the key to success for me is going to be embracing all the early signs of holiday hoopla, rather than ignoring them. I’m excited to share my progress with you in a couple months!

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Deb’s 8×4.5″ December Daily Album


I can’t wait until December 1st! I’ve completed by first December Daily “shell” album and looking forward to recording this year’s holiday memories — not something I have been good at in the past. All of us SBE staffers have completed a December Daily album — the concept created by Ali Edwards. Ali’s 2009 album is featured in our December issue!

The hardest part was figuring out what papers and materials to use. My rule was to only use one or two paper lines. I chose The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig and sprinkled in Anna Griffin’s Calisto Christmas papers and embellishments. I used the page of numbers from Tinsel & Twig to label pages throughout my book. I alternated between trimming the stickers down to just the number or using the entire square. The chipboard binder is from Maya Road.

Here’s a quick tour of my album pages. I’ll post the flat shots in our gallery soon!

Dec 1-1




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Our December issue officially hit newsstands this week (yay!), and I need to make a couple of corrections (oops!).

New Year's

My apologies to Kimberly Garafolo-Neddo. Her awesome New Year’s Eve layout on page 24 was inadvertently credited to another designer. I hate to see that happens, especially because this was one of my favorites in the issue!


Also, I need to fess up that we accidentally referred to the Sizzix eClips when we meant the Craftwell eCraft. Both are awesome machines, but on page 94, we mentioned that you can create your own designs with the eClips. Actually, the eCraft allows you to create your own designs with software included in the box (but is not required to use the machine), and the eClips does not. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused! (P.S. Above you’ll see my favorite color of eCraft—Skye. Pretty!)

Have a good weekend!

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Jennifer’s December Daily Album #1

Simplify. It’s my mantra for the holiday season and every day in between. So when we first started discussing the December Daily album project in the office, I thought “I know I’m not going to be able to keep up with an album for 25 days.” {The concept of the December Daily album is to chronicle the holiday season by creating an “empty” scrapbook before the season starts. You make a page for each day, then when December rolls around, you document your life day-by-day.} Besides, I’m fairly new to scrapbooking, so the thought of creating 25 pages on a deadline was beyond the scope of my imagination. How to simplify? I’ll make a “12 Days of Christmas” album!

And so I began. Problem 1—I’m a serial photo taker who doesn’t print out her pictures often enough. Solution: My book will be filled with pockets and notes for journaling and look complete even if I never add a photo.

Problem 2: I have a not- so-secret obsession with tiny envelopes, pockets, treat bags, and things tucked into other things. Solution: Many of my journaling spots are tucked safely inside other things.

My favorite hidden journaling spot is inside a little matchbook cover I made from glittery polka-dot paper.

Tiny button grommets and a string hold it closed.

Some pages are more basic. I stitched around the outer edges to join papers together and to add the contrasting pockets.  And it all came together so easily, that created Problem 3: THIS PROJECT IS ADDICTIVE!


I started thinking about writing a note to my daughter on each page of this album. I could give it to her at Thanksgiving and she could have it for the first 12 days of December, almost like a personalized Advent calendar with love notes from Mom. Great idea, right? Until you learn that I have three children…that’s 36 days of December…that’s more than the original 25 days I thought I couldn’t do. Simplify? Well maybe not…but it sure is fun. Watch this space for more albums from my coworkers…and yes, two more from me! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Simple Tag December Daily

I have slight perfectionist tendencies when it comes to crafting. And by slight, I mean I sometimes agonize over the perfect placement of an embellishment—give-or-take a centimeter. On top of that? I’m a planner. So designing an album that I’ll have to conform to could have been a whole bunch of stress.

But it wasn’t. That’s what I love about Ali Edwards’ December Daily project. It’s freeing. You create an album base. Then, throughout December—as Tim Gunn would say—you “make it work!” It’s a nice reminder that holiday albums should be about creating memories not crafting madness. Easy as 1, 2, 3.


To make my album even simpler, I chose to use the advent calendar kit from Making Memories. It includes 25 tag envelopes, numbers, ribbon, die cuts, etc. All other accents are taken from the same Noel paper line for easy coordinating. The ultimate plan (there’s that word again…) is to string the envelopes together as garland as I complete them!


The crafting canvas on these tags is small, so a lot of my design revolved around layering and dimension. Some of the tag-fronts are blank to eventually be covered with a photo, though most snapshots will be slipped into the pockets along with journaling. Sometimes the pocket is at the front of the card, sometimes the back. And a few of the tags I didn’t embellish at all, but stuck a couple will-be accents in the pocket for safe keeping. I (honestly!) tried to make these decisions as random as possible. I can’t wait to see how things evolve once December roles around.

You can check out the rest of my album in the SBE gallery.

Tags 1-12

Tags 13-25

Click back throughout the next week for further albums from our clever staffers—and keep your eyes out for posts on our progress!

PS: Any support from fellow perfectionists would be much appreciated! :)

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Michelle’s December Daily Album (part 2)

album side

Yesterday I gave you a peek of the album I made while participating in Ali Edwards’ December Daily Project. Today I put the whole album (phew!) in our gallery and wanted to share some of my favorite parts.

Cover detrail 3

The cover: This was already covered in paper, I just added the rosette to the window and the banner with the date on it.

Pages 22 24

Overall structure: rather than make all of the pages uniform size and material, I decided to take a cue from Ali and mix things up. The album includes transparencies, page protectors, envelopes and letterpressed pieces in addition to standard 8×8” pages.


Numbers: I also had a hard time finding a full set of numbers that went to 31 and would work for this album, so I mixed those up, too.

Page 21 detail 4

Rosettes: I’m crazy for rosettes, so one of the first things I did was make four in coordinating papers so I could use them throughout the album as embellishments.

If you want to see more of my album, here are the links.

Cover-Page 2

Pages 3-7

Pages 8-14

Pages 15-20

Pages 21-25

Pages 26-31

And stay tuned to the blog for more of our December Daily projects!

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