Documenting December: Step 2 Kit

I thought I’d share a little bit about how I put together my December Daily using my 2013 album as an example. Most years it follows a very similar path from conception to completion and generally speaking it gets the job done. Today I’m going to share with you my Planning Process. Each year I start with a general theme for my Christmas celebrations and often, but not always that will filter into my December Daily, some years it’s a colour combination, other years it has a specific focus. For 2010 my theme was Navy Blue & Red, 2011 was Sparkle, Shimmer & Shine, 2012 was Vintage Christmas, and 2013 I went with A Blue Christmas. For 2014 my theme is Handcrafted Holiday. The theme can relate simply to the decorations I choose or as is the case, this year, go as far as my choice of gifts. I might also choose to have a specific focus for my album in place of or in addition to the theme as well. For example my 2011 album didn’t include too much sparkle but was all about the photos, I started most spreads with a single large photo and then chose to add additional photos & journaling on the facing page. For 2012 I moved away from my usual A4 size and went with 12×12 because I was having a baby in the middle of all the festivities and really wanted to capture that year in a bit of a special way. My 2013 album is all about playing with different page formats & printable’s most of which I found via Pinterest.31102014_1ItPaysToHaveAPlanOnce I have my theme in mind I go about collecting supplies that will support it. All my Christmas themed items live year round in a small portable scrapbooking tote, should I need to cart them with me on holiday or off somewhere for the day they’re easy to grab and I just throw in scissors & double-sided tape in and I’m good to go. Starting with my stash first I pull out other items to support from there. This includes background papers, ribbon, non-themed embellishments I want to use and anything else that takes my fancy. This is kitted up into a ziplock bag & kept together with the Christmas items in my tote. From there I decide if there’s anything that I have a burning desire to purchase to complete my kit. Most years it’s been one or two items, in 2012 it was a bunch of items from a collection, it just really depends on budget & what I’ve got on hand, but I generally like to shop my stash first.31102014_2ItPaysToHaveAPlanI don’t have any hard and fast rules about adding or subtracting from my kit but I like to get most of the thinking out of the way first up and provide some boundaries to proceed from. It just makes the whole process a lot clearer and easier for me when it comes to crafting pages. With my paper choices selected I then go about forming my foundation pages and just have fun moving papers around until they feel like they’re in an appealing order. If my paper selection is from 12×12’s I cut them down to size and add the leftover paper strips to my kit. For December Daily I prefer nude pages most of the time so I don’t put them in page protectors. Depending on whether they’re in an album or a book of my own construction my next step is to get out the hole punch and assemble the book, ready for documenting. This year is the first year that I’ve actually added the numbers at the beginning, usually I like having the freedom to move pages around just in case they don’t go with that days photos or don’t fit the number of photos I want to include.31102014_3ItPaysToHaveAPlan31102014_4ItPaysToHaveAPlan 31102014_5ItPaysToHaveAPlan 31102014_6ItPaysToHaveAPlanI find that December Daily is a bit of a balancing act between giving myself the head-space to prepare so I don’t over think everything and giving myself enough freedom and flexibility to change my mind as I’m actually putting it together. To that end I really don’t embellish my foundation pages much. I want to be able to decide on my design when I know how many photos I want to use and how big or small a story I want to tell for that day. The next step in the process for me is the documentation part and I’ll share that with you in my next post. Do you have a method to creating your December Daily?

Documenting December: Step 1 Prep

If you are a fan of Ali Edwards you would probably be aware that she is using this week to document her annual project called Week in the Life, you might also know if you’ve been hanging around for a few years that this is generally about the time that she prepares another of her annual projects December Daily. So while her focus might be elsewhere for the moment mine is firmly on December Daily. December Daily has been inspiring me ever since it’s inception for her Studio AE column back in the days at CK, although I didn’t begin doing my own annual DD album until 2010. That still means this will be my 5th December Daily which if your asking me is a pretty good effort. I love the concept of both her Day in the Life & Week in the Life projects but December Daily is really where it’s at for me and to my mind it kind of incorporates as much daily/weekly happenings as I’m prepared to focus on for a concentrated amount of time (albeit for a specific time of year). That right there is part of what I find so appealing about Scrapbooking – taking someone else’s ideas and making them all my own, so they work for my own unqiue circumstances. This year that means keeping things super simple. 29102014_1aDecemberDailyDoubleUp

I have recently begun prepping for my 2014 December Daily and in addition to this, essentially doubling up and using the same time to attempt to complete my 2013 album. I managed to kit up my supplies for last year including a massive about of printables (thank you Pinterest) which you can find here. But the wheels fell off that one somewhere after the first week, which may or may not have been because I was preoccupied organizing things for a 60th Birthday Party and a 1st Birthday at the same time and hosting a bunch of family. Usually my December Daily making extends into the new year too but that was also taken up creating invites for my brothers wedding and I just never got back to it.  I’m really hoping that with good planning and some work ahead of time that I won’t burn out and fizzle on the whole thing and happily get them both completed. However I also make no promises,  if all else fails I am fully prepared to just concentrate on this year because I really want to be able to enjoy the season as well. In my favour is the fact that I have been consistently able to maintain some form of daily documentation for the month of December in the form of Words+Photos (the whole underpinning of the project) throughout the years and therefore have the basis for each of my pages already. What my 2013 album lacks is pulling it altogether and doing the creative work (aka the fun part). For now lets see a few more of the very basic foundation pages for my 2014 album.29102014_2DecemberDailyDoubleUp

Although for the rest of the year I work in 12×12 for December Daily I favour and A4 sized album. Not entirely sure why but I think maybe a smaller canvas size helps keep things tighter when I’m working day by day. My design choices for this year mean sticking to a single collection, Kaisercraft’s Yueltide Collection, and using one 12×12 paper pad as the base for my book. For each day I am doing a double page spread with most of them using a single pattern as the background. To maximize the collection however additional pages have been made up using the off-cuts from three separate designs and one (see above) due to the text has been cut down the middle. I am numbering each spread with stickers from the 2012 Kaisercraft release Twig & Berry by sticking them down the side to act as tabs.  29102014_3DecemberDailyDoubleUp

Heres a closer look at the collection.29102014_4DecemberDailyDoubleUp

What are your plans for December Daily?

1,800 Tags

Yep at one point I actually bought a box that has, get this, 1,800 tag options. It’s a K & Company Tags to Go box and while they are so very, very cute, that number is a little overwhelming. Seriously who needs 1,800 tags and why oh why have I been holding on to them all for so long. Natalie Elphinstone recently posted as a guest designer for Society 52 on instagram with an amazing layout featuring tags . I was totally blown away by it. So blown away that I decided I needed to scraplift it and in light of Supplies on Hand take to my tag stash with fervor. (She also wrote a post on her blog if you care to see her layout and read the back story). But here’s my take on it.24102014_1_1800TagsI managed to get 35 of the largest tags from my K & Company box on here and only kept twelve that I really love and can actually see myself using on other layouts (five more were cut from patterned paper). Another of the reasons I found Natalie’s layout so delightful was that she used the price tags that you can find in any old newsagency around the country, generally they’re bought for pricing things at garage sale and the like, but I’m guessing just like Nat I bought mine with scrapbooking in mind. I believe mine are the next size down from hers but nevertheless I ended up getting 56 of those little beauties on too. By combining both not only did I get a lovely layout but I dwindled my tag stash by a fairly significant number. 24102014_2_1800TagsHeidi Swapp & Shimelle Laine provided the perfect complement to all those tags. I used a 3×4 card from the Gold Foil edition of Project Life to house my title and cut up the diamond-shaped embellishments from the same kit to form little paper planes. Shimelle’s collection provided the sticker for my title and a few diecuts just made it really sing. In hindsight I wish I’d used a different colour to journal in but sometimes that’s just how it goes.24102014_3_1800Tags 24102014_4_1800TagsWho’s inspiring you at the minute, care to share a recent scraplift you made your own?

When it Just Works

You know when you get an idea in your head and then you go to scrapbook it and it just works. Well this was one of those rare times. Most of the time when I envision a layout the final product looks nothing like what I imagined in my head and takes me on all sorts of scrappy detours but this time I kept pretty much to it and I think it may have even turned out better than I imagined. I love the linear nature of the stitched lines with the combination of crisp white and coloured circles and since white backgrounds seem to be a current favourite, which I’m sure has to do with my Scrappy Crush on Ashli Oliver, I wanted to go with something that was visually interesting but not distracting. 20102014_1WhenItJustWorksIn keeping with my other flavour of the month of using what I have I used scraps only for my coloured circles and kept the palette in similar tones of blue and green. (You might notice I used some of them from a recent project.) I also delved into my stash of older items again and used the green glossy word stickers (circa 2004) and some tags from a pack by K&Company (circa 2006) that has, get this, over 1800 tags in it. Seriously who needs that many tags – apparently me. Another thing I can’t seem to keep away from is using project life supplies in traditional layouts. There are so many great designs out there that I can’t let all the Project Lifers/Pocket Scrappers have all the fun. 20102014_4WhenItJustWorks20102014_3WhenItJustWorks20102014_2WhenItJustWorksBut seriously I am really, really loving those circles. They were made by layering two of each design on top of one another and after stitiching them down on some lightly marked pencil lines the top circle was folded along the stitching to raise up the edge a little and get that gorgeous dimension.

What is in you current tool box of favourite techniques or design ideas?

Throwback Friday

If your anything like me you will have at one point, if not still, gotten most of your scrappy inspiration from magazines. It is one of my great disappointments as a scrapbooker that Creating Keepsakes no longer exists but I am still an avid user of my past issues of both it and other great Aussie publications like Scrapbooking Memories and Scrapbook Creations. I use them almost every time I scrapbook to give me a little spark of inspiration and start the scrappy ideas swirling in my brain. This one is a layout I shared on instagram a little while ago inspired by a layout I found in an old issue of CK and just to prove that great design never goes out of style I’ve done a pretty close scraplift of it. I’d love to see if you can guess who’s page it is without reading the name. If not be sure to check out what she’s doing now right here.17102014_1ThrowbackFridayThis is my take on that lovely design. I swapped out the flowers for buttons and dove into my stash of embossing folders which was a bit of fun. It’s a pretty clean design but even this many years down the track the design and techniques used still translates really well. Both the theme of my layout and the manner in which it came about are reminders to seek out inspiration and take opportunities to embrace it where you find it.

What inspires you?

Scrappy Crush: Ashli Oliver

08102014_1ScrappyCrushAshliOliverI’ve heard her speak on the Papperclipping Roundtable. I’ve seen her around scrappy circles online and I can spot Ashli Oliver’s style subconsciously from her scraps before I even realize they’re hers. But why oh why has it taken me so long to discover her amazing talent. I am by no means a mixed media scrapper, I barely use spray mist and acrylic paint while she is a super star of the brush and mixed media and I don’t think our styles could be any different if we tried but I love, love, love, Ashli’s layouts.  If you haven’t checked out Purple Mailbox and the lovely creations of Ashli Oliver (aka soapHOUSEmama) run don’t walk over there and discover them for yourself.  More than I love her layouts I am even more in love with her fun no pressure, go-with-what-ya-got attitude to scrapbooking.

Watching Ashli’s videos and reading her blog you get the sense that even when things don’t go to plan it’s just another creative opportunity for Ashli. I love the fact that when she doesn’t love a layout she simply cuts it up and takes the parts she does like and then finds a work around to use that on another page. She is one of the main contributors along with May for Supplies on Hand and I have seen her time and again take elements I would never think of and add in a lovely little twist that always produced outstanding results.

Part of what I really think works for her is limiting her supplies. Time and again in the Supplies on Hand videos she mentioned “This is my entire collection of rub-ons/ stickers/insert item here”. Having a capped pool of supplies allows her to know exactly what she’s got and use it all up. Now wouldn’t that be nice to do. From where I stand I can only hope to someday have as much control over my scrapbooking stash.

She has been wonderfully inspiring in Supplies on Hand and taught us all a thing or two about how to add our own unique spin on how we use our supplies.