December Daily 2017 | Days 1-5

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FINALLY. It's time to share December Daily and let me just say, it was tough to keep this cover a secret for the entire month of December, and now half of January, and now that I'm sharing it, I'm so proud of myself for taking the risk.

When I first got the idea, I was skeptical that it would turn out, so I didn't want to tell anyone about it, except Jon. He was at his desk painting and I came out and literally was just like "okay, so I have this idea. It's probably stupid, and I can guarantee you as soon as I reach the point of no turning back, I'll doubt myself, and have regrets about starting it. It will probably be worth all of that in the end, but I want you to know now that I'll probably whine about it. I'm not even trying to talk myself out of it. That's how much I want to do this." and he simply just said "go for it". Then I explained what I was going to do, and he handed me the drill and off I went.

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A little bit of backstory about this idea - I was scrolling through Instagram and came across THIS SNEAK from Paige Evans. I went to the Silhouette Design Store to find the file (here) and bought it (and a couple of other designs).

I played around with the sizing of the file to fit it on my album cover. I didn't notice the top chevron is a little wonky, until after I drilled the holes, so I just left it. I couldn't fix it without it looking even worse, so I'm embracing it and all the crooked lines and uneven stitches. They lend to the handmade aspect of the cover.

Okay, so I used the Silhouette to draw it on a paper about the size of the album cover. If I did it again, I would use a pen. The pencil lines smudged and as it went down the page, the pencil got more dull and the lines weren't as dark making it a little harder to drill the holes. I would also use a drill press instead of a hand drill. It took longer to hand drill because of hand cramps. 

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It took me about a week to get all of the holes drilled, and then I had to stitch it. I didn't get it finished until a few days into December, but it was absolutely worth it. I didn't want it to look exactly like the layout Paige was making (her finished layout) and since all I had to go off was the sneak photo I linked above, it wasn't too hard to keep it different, I just did what I liked and tried to stick to more traditional colours that I would use inside my album. I love this so much that I want to do more with this design, but I also want to experiment more with stitching on layouts in 2018. 

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The only downside to drilling through the album cover, is that some of the layers separated and the inside is a textured mess. In some places, The stitches are the only thing holding the inside of the cover together. I still love how it turned out, and I love how it looks across from my title page, which for once is literally just my reason why right off the start.

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This year, I took Ali's Hybrid Workshop, and I learned so much more about working with digital elements and layered templates and using Photoshop (learn more about it here). It was a huge game changer for me, and now that I have more knowledge about using and printing digital elements, I can be a true hybrid scrapbooker.

I used some old rubber banners and this layered template to create my title page. Instead of photos I made text boxes about the same size as the boxes for the photos and turned them to the same angle and just typed until the box was full and moved onto the other one. The bottom left box was a bit of a challenge. For some reason aligning the text to the right edge, wasn't my first thought, so I spent more time than I would have liked working on this.

I pulled colours from some past digital December Daily kits and I love how they turned out and how well they go together.

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Day 1 was about decorating the tree. We put it up in late November, but managed to wait until the first to get it decorated. I used a mixture of the 2017 Main Kit and some bits from previous kits going all the way back to 2013. 

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I have ripped many a cork pieces trying to put adhesive on them, so I usually just use my tiny attacher and staple them where I want them. I aimed for the middle of the photo, and added a chipboard banner beneath it.

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Day 2 was super simple, just photos and cards slipped into pockets and an old gold foil number circle. It was all about getting my niece and nephew advent calendars.

Day 3 was a layered template that's included in Ali Edwards' Hybrid Workshop. I edited the template a bit to work for me - like making it a little wider to be outside of a page protector. I coloured the numbers using colours from my title page and added typed journaling.

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An older Jasmine Jones card to tie in the gold number circle.

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The center of the template had a circle that just said "yes". I edited it out and added this flair badge from Feed Your Craft instead. I love that I can just throw the photos in, colour some pieces, type journaling, print it out and call it done. It's not really that simple, but simpler than trying to measure and cut my photos to fit onto a page this way. Digital skills are the best skills.

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I'm a fan of over-sized photos and this one right here was the reason I sized the layered template to be outside the page protector. I didn't want this photo to have one half in a pocket and the other half not in a pocket. 

I generally hate photos of myself and most often when other people take them. But I love this photo. We were making slime because the birthday girl has been asking for a while if we could make some. I brought the glitter and the glue and my sister brought everything else and my sister-in-law provided the containers to mix it all in. It was messy and sticky and I don't think I'd ever do it again, but I'm glad that my sister-in-law insisted on getting a reasonably good photo of all of us. I especially love my nephews face.

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Holy man this post is getting long. I apologize. I'll try and shorten my ramblings going forward. I'm realizing now that the cover likely could have been it's own post, but here we are. I added a chipboard number and put a phrase sticker on it and added a little chipboard circle.

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This star is actually a paperclip holding the other side of this page closed, and if I had to do this page over again (I already made it twice) I think I'd move the number and the other bits down to the bottom to incorporate the star clip into that cluster of embellishments.

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I almost forgot about the journaling for this page. It's tucked in between this photo and the one on the other side. I attached a little tab from the Christmas kit Feed Your Craft released this year and I love how it looks. I'm also ridiculously excited that Elise is growing her product offerings to include puffy stickers, chipboard and die cuts. 

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I used this stamp set from Ali Edwards to stamp a big Joy onto my journal card. I measured a rough size estimate of the stamp and created space for my text to go around it. Once I typed my journaling I printed it out and added the stamp, the tab and the number sticker and then when I adhered my pages together I left a little pocket of space to hold the journaling. The other side is just blank white.

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Day 4 starts on the back of the over-sized photo. Jon asked me to whip up some holiday hour signs so we could put them up early enough that people would get the message that we were closing for the holidays. I'm not sharing it here, but the bottom piece (we will be closed and below) actually flips open to show what we wish we could make the sign say. It's full of sassy sarcasm and some swears which is why I've left it hidden there, but it's so absolutely us and Jon was surprised that I actually typed it out and included it. But I'm trying to be authentic.

The right side includes a journal card, a messy circle and number 4 card from the 2016 kit - I added some gold chipboard stars to the number 4 card similar to how Ali did (here). The "oh what fun" is letters cut out and stitched to a piece of acetate (clear plastic) with a pink star stapled to the top and just slipped into a pocket. I made a bunch of see-through bits last year and never used them. I include the other portion of the "oh what fun" cut later in the album as well.

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Day 5 is all about beginning our holiday treat making. I kept the right side fairly simple and then had the heart page I made with a past transparency (I think 2016) and a cut file from the December Daily Product Play Workshop that Ali offered this year. I added some embellishments from the word phrase stickers, the heart chipboard set and two of the felt hearts from the main kit.

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I added some embellishments from the word phrase stickers, the heart chipboard set and two of the felt hearts from the main kit. I already had the date on the left side, so this one just got embellishments relating to that. The other side of this page went with day 6, so you'll see that in the next December Daily post going up on Friday. 

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Thank you so much for coming by to see this extremely long post about the first few days of my album. I'm sure most of you came over here just to see the cover, so here's an extra photo of it. If you did read all my ramblings to this point, thank you. It means a lot. For some reason I don't care that much about the blog analytics as opposed to the reactions I get on Instagram. Which probably makes no sense, but I know a lot of people are all about the visuals and less about the ramblings. I'm one of those people, but sometimes I visit blogs JUST to read what they wrote, so thanks to all of you just the same.

I'll be back on Friday to share another 8 days, and hopefully that post won't be quite as long as this one. If you participated in December Daily, or just made any sort of December/Holiday related album, I'd love to see it. Feel free to leave a link to your album(s) in the comments

Project Life 2016 | Week 38

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Today I'm sharing Week 38. This was right around the time it finally started to look more like fall, but it was still warm for the most part. Lots of Christmas card prep, and a few other projects going on.

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Like most memory keepers, there are those photos you love and keep coming back to. For me, those include whatever I'm working on, my constantly changing craftroom, from where I stand, and photos of our backyard through the constantly changing weather. I'm thinking maybe next year my title cards will be replaced with a weekly photo of the backyard.

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I'm trying to document more of the little mundane things, like the view of the alley from the other direction, the back yard during a different time of day. My sewing machine that I have only ever used on paper. I'm also trying to use the Story Kits from Ali Edwards (purchase the current kit here) to tell more of the story, or tell it in a slightly different way, or tell a story I might not have thought of without that card prompting me.

Thanks for coming by to see this spread. I'm slowly catching up on other projects and finding little pockets of sunshine to photograph everything. Hoping the sunshine holds out a little longer before overcast winter starts and makes everything blue/grey and gloomy. On Friday I have a very special project to share so I'll see you all then.

Project Life 2016 | Week 37

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I can't believe the first week of November is over. I'm excited for December, but I also can't believe we're coming to the end of the year already. I'm going to try and enjoy as much of the remaining weeks that I can. I've been trying to catch up on a few fall projects and resist the urge to prep my album for December Daily. I've been diligently trying to keep up with my Project Life spreads though, and that means we have another one today.

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The left side is so simple. I put all the stories for the photos into list form on a single journal card. One thing I love about pocket pages is it doesn't have to be complicated. If you don't have a lot of words, just fill all the other pockets.

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The right side tells a slightly longer story about setting up this blog, and then some shorter stories about "around here". One of my favourites that I don't use nearly as often as I should. It's such a simple way to tell little stories of what's happening with us. Which is perfect because we so rarely have "big" stories that require a lot of words to get the story told.

Thanks so much for coming by to see this spread. I hope you have a wonderful week. I'll try and have something different up on Wednesday.

Project Life 2016 | Week 36

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Forever using my stash, and slowing making my way through my stack of Ali Edwards cards from past Story Kits. Still loving them and the extra bits to tell our stories.

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Here's the left side; a bunch of little stories that make a complete story. Consistently trying to find new ways to use my supplies, including that gold foil yes heart that I put across two journal cards.

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Here's the right side; documenting the beginning of my new site, more pieces for my brothers wedding, two months of books. Simple, lots of words, and photos. When you work through 9 weeks at once, it's easier to keep it simple and just get it done.

Thanks for coming by to see this spread. At some point I plan to share more of the pieces I made for my brother's wedding, but I'm waiting on a couple of photos. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Project Life 2016 | Week 35

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A little late with this one, the weather has been extra gloomy here lately. I don't think I've seen the sun in at least a week. But a little photo editing made these come out nicely despite the gloom. Today I'm sharing week 35 using the Sommerset pocket cards from The Crafty Pocket (available here)

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I love that photo Jon took of the dragon he painted this week. It's possibly one of my favourites. I also have this weird obsession with shots of my desk, maybe it's the rainbow of washitape at the back. I also would like to say I'm sorry that I've let my stick people art skills become horrible. I'll work on them.

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The right side includes a slightly funny story about the cupcakes we tried to make but forgot to add eggs to, so we had to scrape them back into the bowl and add the eggs. Luckily I remembered them before we tried to bake the cupcakes. Dodged a bullet there.

Thanks for coming by to see this quick post about this week. I added in chipboard pieces from a variety of past Story Kits from Ali Edwards (check out the current kit here).