For many years I marvelled at people who were able to keep a Christmas journal. I signed up for a class one year – that didn’t work for me at all. Another year I bought a specific kit and that didn’t work for me either. I have several failed attempts, sad, barely started, excuses for Christmas journals. Until last year. Last year I finally figured out a method that suited me, and I had a fully finished Christmas journal, complete, all finished by about 10th January. Last year’s journal was very small but because it was a total success, I decided to step it up a notch this year to a bigger journal, with a whole page layout for every day of December.
My successful method last year was to work small. To choose my own supplies. And to pre-make all of my ‘layouts’. I actually chose to work with divided 12×12 page protectors, the Design A ones, and each pocket was a day in December, so a lot of my ‘layouts’ were as tiny as 3×4″. This year I upsized to 6×8 pages but not divided into pockets – I hoped this would give me a little more freedom. I’m used to working in a large format – 12×12. Even though I also do Project Life in pocketed page protectors, those are still an overall double page spread of 12×24″, so 6×8″ meant a real downsize for me. I also almost never (literally, I can’t remember if I have ever…) worked in any other format that square, so again 6×8″ was quite a change for me.
I totally chose my own supplies. I didn’t even look at what other people were selling as kits for December projects. I started by browsing the Christmas section of the website and settled on Elle’s Studio ‘Good Cheer’. I definitely didn’t want traditional Christmas colours and I wanted something fun, and ‘Good Cheer’ was totally perfect. I bought two each of each of the papers as well as the ‘Bits & Pieces’, Blank Labels, Word Labels, Cut Outs, Journaling Tags and Wood Veneer. That was a good start. I also settled on the Heidi Swapp ‘Gold Foil’ Project Life Value kit, as the colours in those cards went really well with ‘Good Cheer’. I bumped up my ‘kit’ with white cardstock, some American Crafts glitter paper, and a number of embellishments by Freckled Fawn.
Given that I put my success last year down to pre-making all my layouts, just leaving room for photos and journaling, I decided to do the same thing this year. I failed. I had only made 6 by the beginning of December. I bumped that up to 10 by the 7th December but then I wanted to started adding photos and journaling to the first few base pages, so I did. And then I relaxed a bit about the whole process and just go with the flow. Given that I was a little bit behind I decided that making ALL my base pages might be a bit much and therefore I settled on making a few at a time, then filling in a few at a time, then going back to making a few more base pages, and then going back to fill in a few more pages. It’s the 28th December today and I’ve made all my base pages now and have filled in to 23rd December, so I’m doing pretty well and I am completely confident that I will complete this project as I go and be totally finished by about 2nd-3rd January. I may even add in a few more pages to document the beginning of my January.
So, are you ready for my base pages – there’s 31 of them as well as a front cover! I left out day 25 (Christmas Day) because I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do anything different for that. Now that Christmas Day is over I know I want to make it a double page spread, one side being a full 6×8″ photo and the other containing a couple of small photos and my journaling, but that is missing from the photos below (in case you noticed!)
My finished layouts so far are below. For the sake of space on here (I’m sorry this is such a photo heavy post), I’ve added them in groups of three, but they display as double pages in my album:
I hope you’ve enjoyed my December Daily album so far and hearing about my process. I’ll try to include a link to my finished album on my next post so that you can see the whole thing complete. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas xx
Elle’s Studio Good Cheer – Papers, Bits & Pieces, Blank Labels, Word Labels, Cut Outs, Journaling Tags and Wood Veneer.
Various other Freckled Fawn embellishments