Tagged: December Daily

November 11, 2015

Opening thoughts on December Daily

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The whole December Daily concept and I have a really tenuous history. Until 8 years ago, I wasn’t even really a fan of holiday season. For starters an Australian Christmas is HOT. So hot it puts you off your food and prevents you from leaving the house during the heat of the day. Secondly, the people around me would morph in to these crazed lunatics made up of equal parts stress and christmas cheer. Not particularly feeling either, I just used to stand on the sidelines wondering why they did it to themselves. Think I’m kidding? The best christmas I ever had before meeting my husband, I was in my early 20s and I faked sick so I wouldn’t have to spend 6 hours in a car to go to the other side of the state to visit family. Instead I dragged my mattress down to the lounge room under the air-conditioner, ate ice-cream in my pyjamas and watched Casablanca. Yeah, that’s right not even ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – BAH HUMBUG!

Then at 24, I met my husband, who it turns out is the THE BIGGEST holiday inspired, santa loving, christmas cheer packed lunatic you will ever meet. He loves it all. We have over 60 christmas movies (which he’ll no doubt get if we ever divorce – with the exception of nightmare before christmas, I’m taking that one) that he insists we watch every year. He loves late night shopping, but point blank refuses to ask anyone what they want because he always wants his gifts to be thoughtful and well considered. He holiday bakes, attends every god forsaken community event that has christmas in the title (market, carols, etc) but perhaps the biggest of all his christmas achivements – his dam freaking christmas sprit rubs off on me. I love christmas because he loves christmas.

So in 2012 I manage to catch a piece of the holiday spirit in a mini album. In 2013 and clearly full of myself, I tried to take on December Daily in order to document his other great love. See exhibit A, B and C. All in all I didn’t do too badly. I made it to day 17, but then things got really busy. After christmas his holiday spirit wore off and so to did mine. My DD album was sent to live in the shed and that was the end of that. Last year I even went as far as to write a post explaining why I wasn’t even going to attempt it in 2014.

So here we are at the beginning of yet another holiday season and I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. For months I have said I would be scaling down my scrapping in December. I had no idea what it would feel like to be 8 months pregnant, but I didn’t think I would be up to very much. I figured I would be up for even less once she arrives. And then the self doubt set in. I would find myself having conversations with people along the lines of “… but don’t you want to document your last holiday season just the two of you?” or “It goes by so fast. I would have loved an album of our first christmas with our little ones.” and it could totally be the hormones, but I kinda see their point. Further more I am super lucky to be backed by some fabulous designers and companies. I have complete free reign of One Little Birds digital supplies, as a Jot Girl Stamping Up sent me the most amazing Christmas Pack and finally Hip Kits sent me their December Documented Kit just in case. What is a girl to do?

Aimee Dow December Daily Prep 2

I’ll admit, it does kind of seem like a no lose situation. I mean the only thing it’s really going to cost me is time and effort, but if it that stops thinking about mind numbing pain in my left hip joint, well that’s even better! I spent maybe an hour playing around with One Little Bird’s supplies for a blog post going live today on how to modify digital elements to better suit your colour scheme and by the end of writing the post it was pretty much decided – I am going to attempt another DD album.

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Let me just add one more caveat before anyone subscribes thinking they are going to get a daily update jam packed with useful hints and tips. I have a very deep fondness for all my readers and I have always set out to be inspiring. I like to think everything I write and create here has a bigger purpose, but this project – it’s just for me and my family. Don’t get me wrong I will still be showing it off here, on Instagram, in every gallery known to man and every blog from to Timbuktu, but I just can’t commit to it every day. I can’t guarantee it will be done by new year (In fact the opposite is probably much more likely) and I doubt very much that it will win any awards when it’s done. This is after all a blog about memory keeping, even though at times I’m the first to forget that.

Aimee Dow December Daily Prep 3

So let the adventure begin!

Aimee Xx

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December 24, 2014

Why I chose not to do December Daily in 2014

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I was really on the fence about writing this post. I have never ever wanted to write just for the sake of creating content and I believe the readers can tell. I am also kind of against sharing my opinion like it’s some sort of ‘guide’ to be followed. So this is not one of those posts. This is a post specifically designed to relieve guilt. Some of yours I hope, but mostly mine. Let me start off by saying that I did not do December Daily this year – the pictures you are looking at are last year’s pages. I bowed out this year for several reasons. For starters, I wasn’t really in the Christmas spirit while we were waiting for Pa’s heart surgery. Also, with the falling Australian Dollar, the Ali Edwards kit would have set me back $140. Lastly, I didn’t manage to finish last year’s and I didn’t like the thought of going into next year with another unfinished project hanging over my head. In short, the thought of doing December Daily brought me more stress, when what I really needed was more joy. There, I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy doing it last year. I love the pages I did manage to create (1-17) and it did bring in a WHOLE LOT of followers to my blog and Instagram. I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise. I guess the point I am trying to make is: if you happen to be a week or two behind, don’t let it interfere with your joy. If you want to stop right now, go right ahead. If you choose to forge on and finish it in the first week of January, I really admire you for sticking with it. It’s not a competition. Ali is not at the top of her game because she does the most amazing spreads, she’s there because she is the best at capturing a memory – and believe me, there are many other ways besides December Daily to do that.

Easy to say, hard to do, right? Well let me just share one option with you. In late November, I had a conversation with my Mum while I was still deciding if I would give it another go or not. I mentioned how the unfinished album got under my skin so much that I had put it out in the shed. After a small chuckle at my expense, she suggested something that had never even crossed my mind – a perpetual December album. Each December you add what you like, there is no pressure and there is no such thing as done. Fill one album? Start another! I have thought about doing this with my own unfinished pages. I’ve also thought about being more prepared next year so I can do December Daily with less stress and pressure. I can’t see the future, but I know whichever route I take will be because it brings me joy, not because I desire to be part of the pack, and it is my hope that you will too.

Aimee xx

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December 14, 2013

Daily December – Pages 2 though 5

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This post orginally apeared on the Polly Scrap Blog. Good Afternoon! The sun is shining here in Victoria today and I am chomping at the bit to get outside and read. So I promise for all of our sakes, I shall keep today’s post short, but sweet.

Today I will be showing you pages two through five. I’m still behind, but I am very proud to admit that no page has taken me longer than an hour. As you can see from this spread, I’m still digitally adding my numbers and staining my veneers. I didn’t do prep pages, so when it came to making this page I pulled papers from the kit that I thought would match the roof of the house. It was just good fortune there was a ‘Ticket Home’ in the same colour in the kit – I wonder if that was deliberate.

This page took me all of five minutes. Mog woke up on the 5th to find tinsel ALL OVER her room. It was one of the most magical moments I experienced while she was living with us and I wanted to remember it just the way it happened. No need to go overboard on design. I did however cut up some of the tinsel to go in as memorabilia.

 

I’m still not a 100% sure I love this page. I love the photos, but the rest… The problem is if I start tinkering I could be there for hours. I don’t mind that so much with my project life because I have a week or so to do it, but that’s just not the case for December Daily and I promised myself: close enough is good enough (until I get to the end and then I’ll come back and fix the things that drive me mad). I’m showing you now just in case I decide to change it in the future.

I do love this page. The colour scheme was pulled from the photo. If you are wondering why the music on the bottom card runs down instead of across – it isn’t a mistake. This gorgeous paper is the B side to one of the amazing cut apart sheets in the kit. It was a torturous decision. I knew in my heart of hearts it was the right paper to use, but I took particular care to only cut up the cards I didn’t like so much. The cute tag and sequin stars are all part of the kit too. I just vintaged (not a real word, but I’m going to use it anyway) it up with an old postal stamp I had on hand.

 That about wraps it up for me. Enjoy your weekend,

 Aimee xx

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December 10, 2013

December Daily – Day 1

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This post originally appeared on the Polly Scrap Blog. Can you believe we are already a third of the way through December? Crazy, right? I have to admit I’m not quite up to date with my album, but I am totally okay with that. December to me is all about making the memories, not so much about the documenting. It’s for this reason that I’ve decided to take a simple approach with my album. Simple is best:

Not bad for a girl who out-and-out hates red. I had planned for a navy, white and woodgrain album, but somehow that just went right out the window. It all started with the big photo. Oh how I love this photo.

I added the number directly to the photo before printing because I have a huge fear of entering next year with a thousand packs of thickers, with no numbers. I added the Elle’s Studio piece later because the sentiment was just perfect and it brought a little red to the left side.

I did manage to work in a woodgrain element by staining this freckled fawn veneer. I really like the effect of the dark veneer and I have stained a few more to go into the album in future, but I did also learn a valuable lesson: for the love of all that is holy – screw the lid on the stain as soon as you finish with it, BEFORE you stain the veneer. Take it from a woman who had to reprint her photos. The ‘oh christmas tree’ stamp is not mine, it’s Kellie’s. Can’t for the life of me figure out why I didn’t think to design one.

When I designed this card, I didn’t really think about where I would include it in the album. It ended up here on the first page because the kraft and the red colours tied in really nicely with the big photo. The first day of December is as good as any other for the calendar card, right?

You may have noticed my album is a little different to the one you are working with. I am using a capture album from Basic Grey – the pockets are not quite the same design as Studio Calico and Snap designs. On the right page there is a one and a quarter inch pocket across the middle. I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a photo strip with the extra photos. It took me five minutes in photoshop and I printed on my new selphy. What can I say – we have a lot of fun putting up the tree.

Okay, I admit this card didn’t turn out as I pictured it in my head. I had hoped to type on the tag, but the darn thing just wouldn’t go through the typewriter. I also tried to do that awesome messy thread wrap thing that Kayla does so well, but that girl is in a league of her own. I really am going to hit her up for a lesson. What I do love about this card is the story and the backing paper. When we were putting the kit together, this was one of Ruth’s picks. I’m so glad she fought hard for it.

The majority of the embellishments are from the Polly December daily, along with the paper and filler cards. This kit is just jam-packed with so many goodies; it’s like Christmas came early. If you would like your own Christmas treat in the mail, you can still buy it here.

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November 23, 2013

My December Daily Album 2013

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This is a post was written for the Polly! Blog.

Hi, Aimee here. I’m super excited to be here today to kick off the first of our December Daily series.  By now, I’m sure many of you have started amassing a pile of Christmas supplies. I know I have! This year, I’ll be using the Polly December Daily kit and whatever else I find lying around. I have to admit that I’m not really one for preparing pages. Partly because I like to use the colours from my photos to dictate a layout and well… I don’t have kids, so scrapping everyday is not that much of a drama. I have, however, taken the time to pimp out my album. Would you like to see?

Now three days, four coats of paint and a hot glue gun burn later, I want to talk to you today about inspiration.  I do truly believe that creativity is just like a muscle – the more you use it the stronger it gets. Personally, more often than not, I have a vision for a project long before I begin, but what if you don’t know where it is that you’re headed? What if you want to tackle a project, but have no idea where to start?  It’s a great question and that’s exactly where I found myself at 4am on Thursday. I had just wrapped up another amazing project that encompassed 3 of my CT teams. I was pumped and motivated by the result. I was up early to watch the Becky Higgins Creative Live class. I sat down on the floor behind my coffee table to watch the class with a bare Basic Grey Capture Album in front of me and… nothing. No ideas at all. What is a girl to do in situations like this?

Well my first port of call is always Pinterest. I adore Pinterest because the cream of the crop naturally rises to the top. It’s different from doing a Google search because Google works on a very particular algorithm that is influenced by your previous searches. Pinterest is people-powered. The more pins and likes it has, the more likely it is to show up in your search. I did get an idea for a misted cover, but ultimately abandoned it because my mist was the wrong shade of green.

Next stop is always Instagram.  There is something truly wonderful about Instagram because not everybody’s album looks posed and perfect. I also love that it all happens in real time. People are working on their albums at the exact same time as you. Sadly, in this case there were A LOT of red binding star albums out there, which wasn’t a lot of help to me.

Usually, if I’m still out of luck by this point, I would head for the big galleries, such as Studio Calico, Two Peas or even here, but you can guess what that would result in… red binding, painted stars.

Lean in just a little closer, because now I’m going to fill you in on a secret. My absolute last stop, which never seems to fail, are the archives. I head to my favourite blogs, the blogs written by my scrapping Idols, and I search their tags for relevant topics. More often than not, the posts go back many, many years and guess what I found?

This was an image I found of Elizabeth Kartchner’s (Dear Lizzy) Daily December album from 2011.  I loved the simple title and the use of frame.  I also felt the combination of textures were brilliant. The doily, washi, wood and glitter are just a great combination. I used enamel dots as a nod to her confetti motif.

So how did it come together?

1. Gather supplies. I didn’t have a frame similar to the one in the picture. The one you see on the front of my album is actually a letter stencil. I used to use it to address letters back in my pen pal days. The doily came from my present wrapping supplies. I dug through my washi basket to find all my red tape and I’ve got an uber crush on velvet ribbon right now.

2. Paint. I masked off the binding on my album (P.S. this album can be found in the Polly store) with washi and painted the front and back covers with Acrylic white paint. It took 4 coats over a period of a day and a half. I wasn’t really prepared to use a heat tool to dry the paint between coats because I have heard rumours of it warping the cardboard. Once dry, I gave it a light sand with fine sand paper to remove brush marks.

3. Layering and placement. Long before glue was involved, I shuffled the elements around and around until I was happy. I asked my scrappy friends, I asked my husband… then I ignored them all and did what I liked.

4. If it can’t survive a toddler attack, you didn’t use enough glue. I’m a minimalist and, don’t get me wrong, I understand the logic behind making flat covers, but I really do love mine so the only other option was glue and lots of it. I used a hot glue gun to glue everything (EVERYTHING) down.

5. Ta-da! Admire your handiwork.

Just in case you were wondering, here is my supply list:

  • Green Basic Grey Capture Album
  • Red Velvet Ribbon
  • White Doily
  • Maggie Holmes Gold Daiquiri Thickers
  • Freckled Fawn Red Stripe Washi
  • Small Freckled Fawn Red Sequin Bow
  • Wooden Letter Stencil
  • Red Enamel dots form the DD kit
  • Gold Enamel Dots from past Polly Kits
  • Green Enamel Dot I found lose on the bookcase

Just a few more things before I leave you. If you are using the Polly kit too, please feel free to tag me in any and all social media. I love seeing how you are all using my designs. There is no greater feeling as a designer. Oh and just a reminder, there are still December Daily kits and Christmas stamps available in store. Any questions?

Have a fantastic weekend.

Aimee xx

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