My Completed December Daily 2015 Album

December Daily 2015 Album | Nicole Reaves

After a solid week of working on my December Daily album, I'm so happy to say it's done! I'm surprised + thrilled to have it done this month because I hardly worked on it at all in December. I think I printed a large batch of photos here at home mid-month, slipped them in the page protectors, and then didn't really touch it again until after the kids were back in school after the New Year. Not at all how I planned to work, but such is life.

The only prep work I did was putting my page protectors in order and making the date / number cards after I received my kit back in the fall. I stuck with the date cards (except one, the 21st), but did rearrange my page protectors a bit to match my photo orientation and quantity. Below you can flip through my gallery and see each spread in full. I mainly stuck with Ali's main kit, plus Kelly and Peppermint's mini kits for product - and mixed in a couple of Ali's stamp sets and little bits from my stash to round out my album. I have a full supply list at the end of this post.

You'll also notice that I started before December 1st. We spent Thanksgiving in Florida last year and our Christmas festivities began almost immediately after we got back home, so I decided to start then. Had I not, I would have missed our Secret Santa name exchange and cutting down our Christmas tree - two big holiday events for us.

Click on any of the images below to make it larger, and use the side arrows to scroll through :

Before I started working on my album, I wrapped the front cover with kraft shipping paper to keep it clean. Once I was done with the inside pages, I removed the paper and stamped these little trees using a stamp from Worthwhile Paper on the front, two on the spine and one on the back. Nerve-wracking, yes! But it turned out great with Staz-on ink.

December Daily 2015 Album | Nicole Reaves

Rather than give a blow-by-blow detail of each spread, I wanted to share some random observations I noticed about how I worked, what I tended to use (or not use), what I loved, etc. as I assembled my album :

  • In the past I’ve loved using red or gold metallic for my machine stitching, but apparently I didn’t take the time to swap them out in my machine this year and stuck with white.
  • Over the years I’ve done a mix of either ending my album on the 25th, or going all the way through to the 31st. Since I started before December 1st this year, I ended on Christmas Day and used the closing page of this album to recap the following week through New Years.
  • While I had pulled a few out to use, there was little to no craft die action this year. Pre-cutting some designs out ahead of time may have helped. I also didn't use the Silhouette at all either.
  • But I did do lots of stamping - yeah! In the past I haven’t used the stamp set much, but I really loved the one I got from Ali, and her Storytelling with December Daily class stamp, plus some Clearly Kelly stamps.
  • I included a mix of long and short stories. Every day was different as far as events / plans / activities go, and some just didn’t have a long story to share. This year I tried to remember that not everything has to be holiday related and got a fair amount of "everyday" stuff documented too.
  • Other than Morgan + Parker's wish lists that I intentionally asked them to write on 4x6 cardstock, I didn’t get Mark or the kids involved this year - and I think that’s okay. I'll consider this December through my eyes.
  • I didn't use the silkscreen or paint from the main kit. Totally forgot about it!
  • I LOVED Ali’s log that was included as a preorder bonus. It was a priceless piece considering I sucked at keeping up at all in December. Also, I'm happy I took the time to journal pretty much every day.
  • Not every story happened on the day I documented it. On some days nothing happened, and others, a few things did. For example - Parker’s gingerbread decorating party was the same day as Mark’s holiday party, so I saved one event for another less-eventful day. 
  • When my album was complete, I was pretty anxious to clean my desk off. I did a ruthless purge of supplies that either I didn't want anymore, know I wouldn’t use next year, or I used so much in this album that I probably wouldn’t use again. I am really happy with the amount of product I used (I don't feel like I over purchased at all) and I love the leftover stuff enough to include it next time. I’m also taking the chance that I’m going to want a fresh kit again this year - especially if Ali formats it the way she did last year. I loved the variety and how you could purchase the pieces you wanted.
  • 6x8 felt big. Overwhelming perhaps, though this was my 4th December Daily in that size. I did a full spread for each day and I felt like I was adding a little more filler than I’d like. I need to remember this in 8 months when I’m buying for this December. I may entertain a smaller album, like 4x4 or 4x6, next time.

If you have any questions at all, from process to product, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for looking!

Supplies used : White chipboard 6x8 album, Ali Edwards 2015 main kit, Kelly Purkey 2015 mini kit, One Little Bird 2015 mini kit, tab stickers, Ali Edwards Holiday Circles stamp set, Storytelling with December Daily stamp set, Kelly Purkey Greenpoint alphaClearly Kelly Holiday stampsWorthwhile Paper tree stampJamaica Makes letterpress cards + large reading/watching/shopping tag, Tim Holtz Small Talk stickersassorted Color Theory inks, black Staz-on (on the cover), Versafine Black Onyx ink.