This past weekend, I seriously got to work on our December Daily album. You might remember we had a party to kick off this project and that (along with this blog) has helped me stay committed to this project. I can’t believe December is halfway over already, which makes me even more grateful that I started this album.
I did two simple things to keep on top of this project.
- I printed out a Google calendar and jotted down the memory of each day.
- I started a folder in iPhoto where I would drag the photos I knew I wanted to use.
These two things allowed me to feel like I wasn’t falling behind, even though I hadn’t actually added anything to the physical album.
When I finally found the time to get to work…which almost seemed impossible with the busyness of life right now…I made a list and followed through. Here’s what I did. So you can see how I squeezed in the time, I have noted that as well.
- Consulted my Google calendar & iPhoto album to choose which page protector layout worked best for each day. [early Friday morning and late Friday night]
- Went through the photos and divided them up into folders according to the size they need to be printed. This felt like it took the longest amount of time. I didn’t have to do anything to the 4x6 photos and the 3x4 photos except crop them, but I did need to resize the 2x2 photos, the 3x3 photos, and the 4x4 photos using Photoshop. [Saturday morning while Chad took the kids to the playground]
- I then put the photos on a thumb drive, went to CVS, and had them printed. [Saturday morning while the kids were still at the playground]
- Back at home I rearranged Love Jac Headquarters and created the perfect scrapbooking workspace. I kinda have a thing for an L-shaped desk. It’s the type of desk I had back in my script supervising days and I find it so easy to work at. We have these two collapsible Ikea tables and I simply arranged them so everything was in arms’ reach. [Saturday afternoon before Georgia’s dentist appointment]
- This is when things got fun. After the kids went to bed on Saturday night, I brewed a new pot of coffee, poured myself a cup, and got to work. Chad sat with me for the first hour or so, as he read sports updates on the computer. We listened to holiday music and talked about the different memories I was documenting. Finally Chad retired to bed, but I was on a roll so I kept going. Plus, the coffee that had fueled me to get started was now keeping me from falling asleep.
What I’ve learned so far:
- Just like what I’m learning from doing our Project Life album… I take a lot of photos. Narrowing them down to one or two per day seems to be the key. I like those finished pages best.
- I didn’t have to cut out paper for each spot ahead of time. I am basically taking them all out and replacing them with pictures anyway. I have even had to cut new pieces, which was the task I was trying to avoid by pre-cutting them. Cutting them in the moment isn’t as annoying as I had originally thought. I probably won’t pre-cut them next time.
- We do A LOT each day! Instead of trying to document everything we do everyday, I found it best to record one specific memory. Those pages are my favorite to look at.
The seventh of December was a busy day. We sold our greeting cards at a craft fair, Grammy & Grandpa watched the kids, and then we had an evening at home just the four of us. Billy The Elf had left candy canes for Georgia, Conroy, and Grammy to decorate the tree with that morning. I knew I wanted to use their box in the album. Georgia calls them "Candy Cans" and it's the cutest thing you've ever heard! It's so cute, I can't even correct her. So "Candy Cans" they are! The box gave me the chance to simplify the page. I chose two of my favorite photos of our day. Both show my view of our family. I don't mind that I'm not in these photos because it's how I see life and recording that memory is also important to me. I journaled on another part of the box and slipped it into the bottom corner. And of course Billy had to be included, so I gave him a double border and glued him to another part of the box in the top corner.
I wanted to make the title stretch across the entire middle section - making it appear like one piece instead of three smaller pieces. I thought this would help simplify the page as well. To be sure the stickers I used were spaced out correctly, I first cut them out and positioned them.
I cut the box into one long piece and stuck the stickers down.
I then cut the box into three sections so it would fit into the page protector. Since there are spaces in between some of the box gets cut out, so I had to move the letters a little bit. (see below how I learned from this error the second time)
Here are a couple examples of what a page originally looked like when I tried to record all of the events of the day, followed by what it looks like now after I simplified it to one memory.
December 1st: BEFORE. I was trying to document 3 things: our morning playdate, how georgia takes the labels out of the dewey decimal, and our afternoon playdate...plus Billy - so I guess that's four things!
December 1st: AFTER. Since we do the afternoon playdate almost every monday, I decided to just focus on the morning playdate. This gave me room to journal and made the page less cluttered. I added two half circles so I could journal about the dewey decimal system as well.
November 28th: BEFORE. Again, we did a lot this day. We went with my parents to see The Berenstain Bears Live! Everyone looked so cute in their bear ears that I wanted to use every photo!! However, again I couldn't journal. The real moment I wanted to remember from this day was how Conroy would stretch out his little arms to hold hands and say grace every time we sat down for dinner as a family. Our friend, Zach, taught us his "grace" were they sing "The more we get together" before each meal. Conroy loves it! So now we say grace and sing!
November 28th: AFTER. By getting rid of all the Berenstain Bear photos (I will use them in our Project Life Album) I was able to document our dinner ritual in the way it deserves to be documented.
I also learned from my slight error of cutting letters on the Candy Cans page. Here's how I did it this time. I did the same thing by cutting the letters and positioning them, but this time I cut the three squares first, instead of keeping it one long piece. You can see I also wrote the phrase out to make sure I had enough stickers to spell out the phrase. Those darn E's!!
Then I aligned the three squares right next to each other so that when I cut the stickers nothing would get cut out!! You should also notice that I put the stickers for the word "Together" over top of the page protector. I love how it looks with the "e" right in the middle, but I am a little worried it might not hold up as well over time.
Details I love about this album:
- Saving physical things. I will admit on here (because I plan to address it in 2015) but I have a huge box of “stuff” I can’t throw out - pictures Georgia’s drawn, ticket stubs, and who knows what else. This album has given me a place to record those things. I have included “the dot game” that Billy The Elf left for Georgia and Chad to play, a box of Candy Canes, and the sticker I wore when I visited a friend at Etsy Headquarters. I love the texture they bring to the album and the memories they evoke.
- Taking photos of the day’s date. I had this idea when we were at the Fort Greene Holiday Market and the wall had this beautiful numbers stenciled on the wall. I took a photo of the 6 and knew I would use it in the album. (Of course, it was so late at night when I was adding the photo that I accidentally stamped “Sunday” instead of “Saturday” so I have to fix this in the future – That’s when I decided it was time to force myself to go to bed)
Another time I did this was on the 10th when we were on our way home. I couldn’t believe it, but literally lit up in front of me was the number 10. All the letters of the neon sign spelling out “JUNIORS” were out except the I and the O. It had to be a sign! Once that happened, I really enjoyed looking for the number of the day out in the real world.
Another favorite is the check out number at Trader Joe’s!
- Documenting Billy The Elf. This our first year doing The Elf on The Shelf and this young elf has a lot of energy. Seeing the joy on Georgia & Conroy’s face every morning has been the best way to wake up! Who knows what the years to come will be like, but right now it is truly magical!
We are absolutely loving this album. Conroy is at such a fun age (16 months) and Georgia is somehow a big kid already! If we didn’t make the time to stop and reflect, I think it would have just flown by! We hope you are enjoying your days in December as well. If you are creating an album and blogging about it, leave your link below – we’d love to see it too!