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.
I chose a 6x6” 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.
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 …
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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