December Daily/Journal Your Christmas

I’m not quite sure what to call my December album. It’s not really Journal Your Christmas (I didn’t follow the quotes to the “t”) and it most definitely isn’t a December Daily in the true sense of that – I didn’t take pictures every day – some days I took a lot and some I didn’t take any.

Regardless, it captures our December and that is what matters most to me.

I have not (yet) finished, but I thought I’d share some more pages with you.

I’m hoping to finish this weekend.  I have a lot of pictures/stories left to capture but I am anxious to get it completed and put away for the year. Ready to move on to other things!

Anyway, here’s a quick sample of some of the pages.

Cover page:

2011 Christmas Album - Page 001

2011 Christmas Album - Page 003

2011 Christmas Album - Page 004

2011 Christmas Album - Page 006

2011 Christmas Album - Page 007

2011 Christmas Album - Page 008

2011 Christmas Album - Page 009

You can see some of the other pages here. I’m hoping to post them on Flickr soon so they will all be in one place.

Journal Your Christmas/December Daily

JYC Image.jpgI decided this year to do my own version of a Christmas Album. I’ve done Journal Your Christmas for the past two years and have watched Ali Edwards do her December Daily with awe… this year, I decided to do my own combination of the two – a little of each. I think it will keep things fresh for me, both from a creative perspective and from a content perspective.

I started taking pictures on Dec 1, but didn’t really start on my album until yesterday. (just too busy) I have, however, a plan and a general approach in mind.

I began by listing things I want to be sure I capture – so far, I am at 25 things and that is without Shimelle’s prompts, so I know I will come up with plenty more thanks to her creativity.

Here’s my list in case you are looking for some inspiration yourself:

  1. Letters to Santa
  2. Letters to our Elf on the Shelf
  3. Christmas Card (I plan to add in the cards we receive as well – maybe at the end of the album)
  4. Baking & favorite recipes
  5. Decorations (especially new ones or things that have a history or special meaning)
  6. Holiday parties
  7. Craft projects
  8. Self portrait
  9. Family picture
  10. Visit by my brother & his family (this will be a big bunch of pictures, I’m sure)
  11. Shopping & my shopping lists
  12. Receipts & packing slips
  13. the kids’ Christmas trees & the family tree
  14. Grocery lists & menus for the special meals
  15. Weather
  16. Pinterest – things that have inspired me (and that I’ve actually done!)
  17. Wrapping
  18. Wrapping paper
  19. Goodie bags for friends/family/teachers
  20. Advent calendars
  21. “Joy is…” and have everyone complete the sentence
  22. “I’m loving …” things I’m finding special this year
  23. Instagram photos/posts
  24. TV Specials
  25. Special events/traditions (like our annual trip to Lake Lanier Islands’ Magical Nights of Lights)

That’s it so far!  But, with all of that, I’m looking at a pretty hefty album!

I’m planning to make a small album this year, size-wise. I have decided to do 5×8 as the page size.  I have some extra 5×8 page protectors from a recipe book project and I will use those up. Not decided yet on the actual album, though. I had planned to use a 5×8 album I had from Staples (nothing fancy) but after coming up with my ideas I think it may not be big enough.

I may just end up binding the album with ribbon or clip rings… and coming up with a homemade cover.

I’m going semi-digital with some handmade/paper accents. I’m planning to print everything at home (note to self: buy ink!) and use white cardstock as my base and then go from there.

I bought the December Daily overlays that Ali Edwards uses and I’m loving being able to use those as the base for the page of the day.  My plan is to have the left-hand page be journaling and smaller photos/memorabilia and then the right-hand page be the overlay with a full-page picture.  We’ll see how that works, but here is a sample of the first two pages I have created.(still in progress)  They will not be facing each other, but you get the general idea.

DecemberDaily2011 - Page 003DecemberDaily2011 - Page 006

I plan to share more sneak peeks on the blog as I go. I’m hoping to work a little each day but I know that, realistically, I will probably end up doing like I have done in years’ past and do my journaling here (or on a file on the PC) and then catching up with multiple pages on the weekend.

Are you doing anything to capture your holiday memories this year? Even if you don’t do anything but keep a journal of your activities and thoughts, I encourage you to! As I said in my journaling above, these Christmas albums usually end up being my favorite ones to go back and look at later.

I’ll share more with you soon.  Right now, I’m off to finish the Christmas shopping!

Journal Your Christmas – are you in?

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time – at least a year, anyway – you know that I have a yearly project that I do to capture our memories of Christmastime…

Journal your Christmas online scrapbooking class

It’s a self-paced class offered by Shimelle on her website and is an online class which consists of daily email prompts and suggestions for creating your own scrapbook or journal to capture your holiday memories.

The first year I participated (2009) I created a combination of traditional and digital pages – here are some examples:


Cover of the album & first pageIMGP1658_edited-1

One of the prompts was to capture the weather:IMGP1659_edited-1

And here are a few digital pages I did:Let There Be Light

You can view more of these pages over on my flickr pages.

And the second year (2010) are here –

JYC2010 - Page 001

JYC2010 - Page 002JYC2010 - Page 005JYC2010 - Page 006JYC2010 - Page 011

They are digital – which I liked because I could keep up with the prompts more easily.  I also used my blog to write a lot of what I would later put in my journal as I took the time to do the actual scrapbooking.

Looking back at the pages, I am getting really excited about getting started on this project again. I am going to start scouring the digital scrapbooking websites to find a good kit that has some pretty pages and embellishments to use.  I think this year I will print the whole thing as a bound book (last year I printed the pages and slipped them into page protectors just in case I wanted to add anything that was last minute and non-digital content).

One of the things I like about Shimelle’s class is that, while the prompts are similar from year to year, I have found that my albums are so different each year. Depending on what is going on in our lives, with the kids and our friends and family, and what traditions or memories are resonating with me for the year.

This year, I’m hoping to get the girls more involved – maybe let them do some of the journaling and capturing their thoughts about the holidays.

There are quite a few other holiday scrapbooking projects – December Daily (Ali Edwards), 12 Days of Christmas (Big Picture Classes), etc. – but I find that Shimelle’s seems to inspire me the most.  I love the fact that her prompts are not simply scrapbook-focused prompts. I can journal, write a blog post, take pictures, whatever. If that is all I do, I’ve still captured the story. If I decide to take it further and make a scrapbook out of it, then that is even better, but it’s not necessary.

I also like the self-paced aspect. I don’t feel like I HAVE to do something every day… I can do as I have time and am inspired. Both years, I’ve found that I tended to do two or three pages at once and then nothing for a few days. But you couldn’t tell when the project was finished because the prompts are so diverse.

So, what are you going to do this year? Anything?  How will you capture your family’s holiday memories past and present?

I’ll be sharing my progress over the next month or so – if you are doing a holiday memory project, I’d love to see what you’re working on, too! Post your blog link in the comments and if I have enough, maybe we’ll start a weekly link up to share!

Capturing the Holidays

More Journal Your Christmas pages…

Having SuperMan housebound really slowed our entire family’s pace down this past weekend. I was actually able to scrapbook and knit!

Here are some more pages I finished:

 JYC2010 - Page 004JYC2010 - Page 005JYC2010 - Page 006JYC2010 - Page 008JYC2010 - Page 009

More to come.

You can see the 2009 and the other 2010 pages on my JYC page on the blog.

a Christmas Manifesto

I’m starting (finally) my 2010 Christmas album.

As last year, I’m following along with Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas class. Loving the prompts and finding that I really do have new things to write about this year, even though the prompts are pretty much the same as last year.

Although it appears they are mixed up a bit… or maybe I am wrong? Does anyone know if she rearranges the prompts from year to year?

Here’s my first page:

JYC2010 - Page 001


This year, my Christmas manifesto is this:

Don’t over do.

Keep it simple.

Do what feels right.

Slow down.

Enjoy things.

Stress less.

Relax more.

People, not things.

Do the things you want to do.

Let the rest go.

I’m hoping to find a way to focus on what is really important about the season – Christ’s birth and the celebration of our Savior – and not so much on the shopping and to-do lists.

And here is Day 2:

 JYC2010 - Page 002
The Journaling:

This year has been crazy with weather. An unseasonably warm fall which fell right into an unseasonably cold winter. It was as if we only had a few days of "fall" and then temperatures plummeted. After Thanksgiving, we had a rainy Friday which began the downward spiral of temps. This week, the first of December, has been bitterly cold. Temperatures are in the 20's at night and barely out of the 30's in the daytime. Rob is working outside this year and it makes for very uncomfortable working conditions. With my weight loss, I've been freezing as well, even keeping a space heater by my desk to warm me while I work (in the heated house!)The girls are hoping for snow this winter. I figure if we're going to freeze, we might as well get snow!

And Day 3:

 JYC2010 - Page 003


I addressed and sent 50 Christmas cards this year. That is about double what I have been doing in past years. I included all the folks from church, UpStreet, and a few new friends we've made in the past year. It was fun to send cards to folks we haven't sent to before, along with the usual cards to family. I didn't get them out the week of Thanksgiving, which is my goal every year, but they were out by the 10th, which was fine for me.

More pages to come.

Finally Finished: Journal Your Christmas

I finally sat down this weekend and finished the Journal Your Christmas album I’d started in December. I really enjoyed the project, I just got bogged down in holiday activities and finishing took a back seat to holiday fun.  But, it is finished and I am pleased with my results.  I’ll definitely be back next year for another round – now that I know what to expect, I’ll be better prepared, I hope.

Here are some of the most recently finished pages.  You can see the rest in the JYC album – the link to which is located to the right of this posting.

 IMGP2013 IMGP2014 IMGP2015 IMGP2018 IMGP2021 IMGP2024 IMGP2025 IMGP2026 IMGP2029IMGP2030

Lists here, Lists there, Lists, Lists, everywhere

I am a big list-maker.  I am also a big paper girl. I love the tactile sensation of writing things down… and then the satisfaction I get from crossing things off the list.  Whether it is groceries, gift lists, to-do’s, packing lists, whatever. I have a list for it. (surely I’m not the only one?)

Here are some of my lists:


The obligatory “HONEY-DO” list, the planned dinner choices for the next week, and the grocery list – notice that someone wrote an address on my list – sacrilege!  🙂


My husband laughs at me because I rewrite my grocery list before going to the store.  Call me crazy, but I like a nice, neat, LEGIBLE list when I go shopping. But when I’m adding things to my list as it hangs,vertically, on my refrigerator, legibility is not what I’m going for. I’m just documenting things I need. So,I rewrite the list before I go to the store. Invariably, this reminds me of things that are NOT on the list and should be. It also helps if I decide to pull out the coupons. Then I can mark for which items I have coupons and be sure not to forget to turn them in at the checkout.

Christmas is the king of list-making time for me.

I have the “TO BUY” list. The “TO MAKE” list which goes nicely with the “TO GIVE” list as I usually give homemade goodies to our friends and family. (which reminds me that I haven’t made this list yet (eek!).

Then there are the shopping lists for the kids (which has to be very discreetly tucked away as my 8 year old is now getting very snoopy about things like Christmas gifts) and the list of things to purchase for my husband and the stocking stuffers. 

I am not doing very good with the list writing this season, though. I have gone almost completely digital this year with my calendar and time management (which was a HUGE adjustment for me – I still carry a little bitty calendar as my “binkie” because I’m so tied to writing things down!)  I did a lot of purchasing online this year and used my email confirmations of my purchases (stored in a folder that was mislabeled to discourage snoopiness) as my “PURCHASED” list.  


But, I’m feeling rather disorganized because I never made the master “TO BUY” list.  So, tonight I sat down and wrote one.  Now, I’m feeling a little pressure because I have so much to do! I will have to schedule a shopping day soon and get it knocked out.  I am pretty good at that, though. IF I have my list.

What about you? Are you a list maker? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? (I love that phrase!)

Season’s Greetings?

It’s that time of year again, folks… time to get out your mass-assembly-line technology, your address book and a million stamps.  Yes, it’s Christmas card time.

Before kids, I used to have all my cards addressed and ready to go on the Friday after Thanksgiving. (that was before Black Friday was called Black Friday).  They had a cutesy little “newsletter” inside telling about all the things we’d done that year and wishing everyone peace, love and happiness.


I’m lucky if I get them addressed and mailed before the 20th!

This year, I decided to create a photo card.  I did a nifty 4×6 sized card and ordered prints.  I really like how it turned out.

Christmas card - Page 002 

Then came the dilemma.  What do I mail them in?

My husband chuckled at me as I anguished for weeks about how I was going to mail them. They were too big for a regular small envelope.  Too tall for a business one. Didn’t really fit in a card-sized envelope.  Sigh. That is what I get for going my own way.

So, yesterday we were in Hobby Lobby (dangerous place to go) and I saw they had all of their Christmas cards on sale for 50% off.  Hello!

I picked out a really adorable card:

Christmas card_edited-1
and will just put the pictures inside! Problem solved.

I love how this has the handmade look, but that I didn’t have to hand-make it.  I made Christmas cards one year (maybe two) when Ang was a baby.  That was enough for me.  The whole thing was just not a fun experience for me.  First, I agonized on what to create.  Then, I had to figure out what materials I would need and then how much it would cost.  Those adorably detailed cards can get pretty pricey when you are doing 20-30 of them.  (and most of my recipients are not crafty people and do not appreciate the effort, time and creativity it takes to make them)

So, after trying that out, I gave myself permission to go back to store-bought cards.  Why make life difficult?

Last year, I did a photo card as well, but I used one of those templates online where you get the envelopes with the cards – and didn’t have the dilemma I have had this year.

Now, this year’s set up doesn’t equate to the uber-low-cost plan I originally had, but oh well.  At least I have cards, and a plan.  Heck, most are even addressed at this point!

Now, if I can just talk SuperMan into going to the post office for the stamps…

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

but not snowy, alas. 


Just rainy, dreary, and cold. (BOO!) And, it doesn't look to improve today at all.

Weather forecast

And, of course, today is the day I have scheduled to run my errands.  Thinking it may be better to postpone until tomorrow.

Although, this time of year is always hit-or-miss. December in Georgia can be warm, sunny and Fall-like, or it can be wet, cold and dreary.  We never have snow this early, but winter is usually beginning to sneak into town by now.  The past five or so years have been very warm and fairly dry – we had a 100-year drought going on.  This year, it seems all that has changed and we are having one of the wettest Falls on record.  We had a 100-year flood (we like to do things big down here in the South) that people are still recovering from, and we are falling into a pattern where at least two days each week is wet, rainy and cold.

I don't mind the rain too much – especially now that I work at home 100% of the time.  I just put my slippers on, turn on some cheery music, and watch the rain fall while I work. 

I remember growing up in Savannah – our Decembers were even more unpredictable than they are here in the North Georgia area.  Some days the temperatures were in the 80's and then they would fall into the (brrr) 50's.  It's never too cold down there.  The coastal weather is usually pretty mild. 

I think that is one of the reasons I like living where we are so much.  We have more "real" seasons than they do down there.  Nothing as extreme as my friends in Minneapolis, but we at least know when it is Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer.

This year, I'm just hoping for a cold, but dry Christmas.  I'm not so sure I'm going to get my wish, though.

Journal Your Christmas… Day 1

I’m taking a new class this year – it’s called Journal Your Christmas and it’s about capturing memories of Christmases past and present and your dreams for future holidays. 


The thing I like is that it’s focused on words – on writing – as well as photos.  I can’t always remember to take a picture a day (as is evidenced by my sadly unfinished Project 365 album) but I can take a few minutes to write some thoughts down and maybe even find old photos from Christmases past if I don’t have a current one.

To begin with, you are to write your “manifesto” – or what your intentions are for the album.  At this point, I don’t know what my intentions are. I am simply going to take this day-by-day and see where the creative process leads me.  What I do hope to accomplish, though, is a record of why Christmas is special to me – memories of traditions, Christmases from my youth, and thoughts about the Chrismases I’ve spent thus far with my own family.  I am hoping to create something that will record a little snapshot of life today and how we choose to celebrate our holiday.

I’m also hoping this class will help me step out of the commercially-induced frenzy that captures so many of us this time of year – and helps me to refocus on what the season is really all about.