Thursday, December 3, 2015

Document December with Susan: My Project

Welcome back to part two of my Document December project! Yesterday, I revealed my Merry & Bright kit. Today, I'll show you how I used that kit to put together my album.

I've made a December Daily album every year since 2008. I started out recording a story or memory for each day, but over the years found it very difficult and stressful to do that on top of all the holiday preparation. I want to relax and enjoy this time of year! I felt pressure to have something special for every day and obligated to sit down and work on this mini-album every night. By December 25th, I was more than ready to be done with the whole project.

Last year I found the perfect solution for my dilemma. I made the album pages ahead of time and decided not to include numbers. I let go of the idea of documenting something every day and instead added pictures and journaling when I felt I had something to record. I ended up with a mini-album that was just as full as in other years, and I enjoyed working on it as well!

I've used a couple of types of albums for my December Daily over the years, from a traditional album to an album that looks like a book to homemade chipboard albums. A few years ago, I discovered 7 Gypsies book cover sets and purchased a few sets to use for December Daily. This year's version is an off-white color and like previous years it will be held together with binder rings.

I made a template out of white cardstock and punched two holes for my binder rings. The template is just under 5"x7" (the size of my album covers) and I used it to help me place the binder holes on  my pages.

The next step was cutting pages from the patterned paper in my kit. If the paper was thin or just one sided, I cut another different patterned paper the same size and adhered both pages together back-to-back using my tape runner. Otherwise, I just randomly cut different sizes until I ended up with 25 pages total. I like a variety of page sizes in my book and so I cut pages in an assortment of sizes, the largest being 5"x7". I included an acetate and a shaped paper torn out of a journaling pad, a card-sized envelope and a glassine bag too.

I used the template to punch the holes and then the fun of decorating began. I started with the first page, since that would be seen under the oval cut-out of my front cover. I used Staz-On ink to stamp a sentiment on vellum, and layered that on top of a photo-realistic cut-apart that I adhered to one of my patterned paper pages.

Here are some of the embellished pages:

And here are a few close-ups of the details:

I'll rearrange the pages in the album as I tell my stories during the month.

I've already completed a couple of pages. Here's a little peek:

Thanks for taking a look at my December Daily. I'll be sharing more of my completed pages on my blog this month - I'd love it if you'd stop by and let me know what you think!


  1. Beautiful album! I like how left yourself room to rearrange the pages as needed. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed project!

  2. Wonderful looking album :) Loe the way you have the pages decorated too :) Will be stopping by to see how your progressing with the album :)

  3. Your cover is so beautiful! I have gotten to know you better over the years from your DD books. You have a wonderful gift for storytelling & an amazing design eye. xo

  4. You idea to drop the "daily" requirement makes it so much more approachable. I am happily looking for a photo opportunity or two each day. And of course you would love Christmas packaging. It is paper! (usually) Hard to resist.

  5. What a beautiful and stress-free way to document the season - gorgeous!

  6. what a gorgeous book and such a great collection of books from over the years. I tend to do this project (but more the Shimelle version) every few years and can only imagine how stressed this could have made you! I tend to finish mine off in Jan or even Feb! I love all those embellished pages and the use of the photo realistic papers - super!

  7. I love what you've done here,Susan.The book is gorgeous.

  8. This is lovely Susan! Love the vintage 'shabby-chic' vibe of it!


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