Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Daily - Days Twenty three, Twenty four, Twenty five and Done

It's always sad to see Christmas end and to come to the end of this project.  It really has become my most beloved holiday tradition, something I look forward to every year.  As Simone grows our holiday experiences change each year and without this process I don't think that would be as well documented.  I love that I tried some new things this year and pushed myself more than in the past.  Thanks Ali for bringing December Daily to my life.

This page is from the front of the book but I finally finished it. You may remember it from this photo.

I finally filled in what we did this past month and it looks so much better now that its completed.  We sure did a lot and boy was it great!

Simone received a letter from Santa this year and I really wanted to find a way to incorporate it into the album even though it had arrived earlier in the month.  On the 23rd, we all went over to Mary and Marks to make the Christmas Ravioli, since I didn't have a ton of photos I decided to use the first page and the envelope of day 23 to talk about the letter and then put the day 23 stuff starting on the backside of the envelope.  I totally worked!  Thankfully the envelope was there it allowed be to put two stories in instead of just one.  (Note: I found out about the North Pole postmarks from Pinterest and also got the Santa letterhead from there as well.) 

And here are the photos from the ravioli making night.  I loved that everyone helped out even Mark Jr. and Simone.  I had to leave early because I had done something to my eye so thankfully family stepped in to take some shots for me. Oh and I can always count on Mark for some really great faces!

Christmas Eve was action packed, we waited to the last minute to make cookies for Santa but I loved that we did it that day, it really amped up Simone's excitement.  She loved to check for Santa with Larry on his ipad so I was happy to get a shot of that too.  Yes she is really sleeping in that last photo, all snug in her bed.

I love this shot of Frosty in front of our tree.

The big day!  I was doing so well with my photos and totally crashed and burned on Christmas morning.  It didn't go well but what I have that is good I'm thankful for.  I added more glitter and sparkle to the inside of the divided pages, I just didn't feel like filling them with photos.

I really tried to make sure I got a shot in of everyone that came over that night for dinner and I did.

Well, almost everyone that is.  Note to self, on these really important days...make sure you get photos of yourself as well.  This is the only and I mean ONLY shot of myself from Christmas and its one I took on my phone wearing the hat and scarf my mom made me.  I really need to be better about this.  It makes me sad that this is my only presence for the day.

Anyway, the last page is always a mystery.  I like to keep the album to the 25 days but I have put in a day 26 in the past when we had really awesome days.  This year I laid in my pj's until what 5:00pm so that certainly didn't warrant its own page. 

One thing I do like to do is keep all the receipts for our gifts as a way to show over time what things cost.  I also really wanted to use one of the Starbucks envelopes I had saved.  I ended up cutting the envelope down on the sides to fit inside the pocket, I glued them shut and attached it to the back of day 25 and slipped in the receipts.  I added the word stickers on top of the page protector and I'm officially done!

Thanks so much for following along with my project.  It really was a wonderful December and I have so much to be thankful for.  Most importantly my husband, my daughter and my crazy wonderful family who let me take a bazillion photos of them without complaint, I love you all so much!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

December Daily - Days Twenty-One and Twenty-Two

Like I mentioned in my last post there are some stories that I felt have not been told this year and the more I thought about it I realized that they probably didn't warrant full spreads on their own but were still things that were important for me to capture.  I decided to do a page of some of my favorite holiday things and this is what I ended up with.  It took longer than I thought it would I had a few different variations on the pages before I ended up with these two late last night.  I really love the way it came out.

The left side is a collage using a template that I've already used in the book but I changed it up a bit by changing the words and adding the star and also numbering each of the photos slots.  I knew I wanted to talk about each thing on the next page so I felt it would be best to number each item for clarity.  Totally random things but things that meant something to me this year that I wanted to capture even in a tiny form.

Here's a close up

And the right side which holds the journaling.  I wanted the upper box filled with the text and again used two fonts and two colors to highlight.  I'm beyond thrilled with how this came out, LOVE!

And a close up if you want to read it more easily.

Yesterday we had a change of plans so that meant adjusting my page plans.  Each year I buy a special wrapping paper that is just for Simone's gifts.  It makes it easier for us to know which are hers from us and I love how it looks to see a big pile all wrapped the same.  The smaller gifts shown in front of the boxes are the things for her stocking.  We wrap our stocking gifts too.

The right side ended up with no real journaling but I did add this cute fabric tag I got last year from Little Yellow Bicycle.  I'm so MAD that I mis-spelled Ariel but I can't fix it so it is what it is.  I cut a piece of the wrapping paper and just added No Peeking in the letter stickers that came with the Studio Calico kit.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December Daily - Day Twenty

Wow, I cannot believe today is the 21st, only three more days until Christmas.  I can't believe my album is almost done.  I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that there are stories that haven't been told this year.  Stories that I included in previous years but didn't have room to include this year.  I guess its an evolution of sorts and a sign that our lives are getting busier, Simone is growing and wants to do new things and I'm not needing to rely on filler pages like I had in the past.  All in all, I'm pretty excited about the way the book has turned out this year.  It just keeps getting better and better each year.

Yesterday was so busy and we decided to head down to Old Sacramento in the evening to watch the Theatre of Lights show.  This is the third year for the show but our first and it was a lot of fun.  They close down one block and light up the buildings.  Mark Twain appears and regales days gone by and how he used to live in the area and the first time the story Twas the Night Before Christmas was published in the local newspaper.  He reads the story to the crowd and bits and pieces come to life on the roof tops.  Here are the pages;

I think the best part of the evening for me was taking a chance, shooting in total manual mode and actually getting some really great shots, no flash, totally on my own, f stops, shutter speed, ISO, all of it.  This photography thing is really starting to sink in and I'm loving it so, so much.

After the show we went over to Joe's Crab Shack to a) get warm (it was so cold!) and b) get some dinner.  We had a great time at dinner, Simone sat and colored and patiently waited for her food to come.  We had planned on doing some stocking shopping but by the time we were done with dinner I had totally forgotten that part.  Larry decided it was probably best he do it alone later anyway.

Today I'll be doing some treat baking and have a "favorite things" pages planned for today.  It will probably get done tomorrow morning so check back then for more.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Daily - Days Sixteen thru Nineteen

Its been my best intention to post everyday but my printer ink ran out so I couldn't print my completed pages so here we are another catch up post for what I've been doing the past few days.

Day sixteen, a much needed parents night out for Larry and I to a holiday party given by some friends.  We stayed overnight at the Pleasanton Hilton and had a great time at the party.  I always try to get a good shot of just Larry and I in this book and was happy to get a great hold your arm out long self portrait in the room before the party.  I played around with the photos and added a sepia tone to them.  I love how they look, I mean who doesn't look better in sepia tones.  I also added some glitter to the pocket insert and stitched them closed on my sewing machine.  I love how the coppery colored glitter works with the sepia toned photos.  I decided not to add photos to the pockets mainly because I'm not feeling them at all this year and find them to be more of a pain than a delight to work with.  I love the idea of the glitter in the pockets I guess I just wish it didn't stick to the plastic.  I'll be playing around with this a bit more for sure as well with the sewing, I love how it looks

Day seventeen was an ornament party at Mary and Mark's house.  It was a really great time with some good friends.  Cindy had a great idea to take photos of the couples by the tree and of course we got one of the kids too.  These two sure love to be around each other and its always fun to see them so excited about everything.

I had another envelope page today and it worked out beautifully to hold the shots of the couples printed out and adhered back to back.

I played around with text on this side because I had extra room.  I'm totally enamored by Subway Art so it was my beginners attempt at making a block of text.  It was a fun way to list everyones names at the party.

The back of the envelope allowed a collage of some silly photos from the night and the right page has a great picture of the family members at the party.

Day eighteen and we FINALLY took time to sit down and make the Gingerbread House that we got the other day.  Simone was so excited and had a blast!  Thank you Larry for catching some good shots of the two of us at work. 

Day nineteen, a girls day for Simone and me.  We planned to run errands, have lunch and see a movie but at the last minute she changed her mind on the movie.  It worked out well, the theater had the Chipmunks out on display for photos, SCORE!

I haven't done today's pages yet because we are going to the Theatre of Lights show in Old Sacramento tonight so I plan on getting a few shots of that.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December Daily - Days Thirteen thru Fifteen

Chugging along here, been busy trying to get gifts finished up and mailed to those that needed mailing and trying to enjoy ourselves along the way.

Day thirteen, I wanted to show some of the outdoor decorations this year since we changed it up a bit from last year.

Larry said he thought this photo below looked like it was from a magazine, I said 'why thank you' and patted myself on the back.  Thanks Cannon for handling low light so well!

Day fourteen, saw a trip to Costco to pick up my cards I had uploaded the day before. That meant two trips to Costco in two days.  Normally I wouldn't do that but I had to pick something up to ship and it had to go that day, so that required the two trips.  They printed the cards beautifully so I forgave them.  I designed the cards myself and I love they way they came out.  Having professional shots done this year sure helps a lot. 

Simone really wanted to help send them out so she helped stuff and seal them for us.  I took care of attaching the stamps just to make sure they were on straight.  I saved the extra stickers from the stamp packs, I thought they were cute and festive.

Today was the last day of school for Simone before winter break so they had a party.  It was great, the kids had been practicing and sang us four songs.  The teachers passed out gifts from them plus the sock exchange that they did for each other.  They had also made gifts for the parents, the cutest little ornaments with their photos on them.  Everyone brought in food to share so we had snacks and visited with each other.  I'm so looking forward to all of the Christmas pageants that Simone will have going forward, its so cute to see the kids so excited.

Enjoy your evening!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December Daily Catch Up - Days Three thru Twelve

Phew...what a whirlwind that last week plus has been.  My mom arrived, we took a trip to Disneyland, Simone turned four and here we are.  Lots of December Daily to catch up on these past few days so I've been a crazy person getting a bit done here and a bit done there.  It feels good to be reasonably caught up, I still need to do today's pages but I haven't taken the pictures yet.

Since I need to catch up, I'm not going to post the foundation pages, just what I've finished.

Day Three was great, a visit from Grandma Teri.  We all went to the airport to pick her up.

I just love Ali's new banners, they add so much to the page, I can see myself using these a lot as the month progresses.

Day four, Sunday morning breakfast called for making something I had seen on Pinterest so I decided to showcase all the ideas I've been saving on my Christmas board.

I wanted a twill tape to separate the two pictures but couldn't find a sentiment I liked so I made my own.

Monday, Day Five saw us heading south to Disneyland for our second annual trip around Simone's Birthday to see the Christmas decorations.  My mom had never been at Christmas time and really wanted to see it so it was the perfect time to take her.

I placed our Annual Passes in the pockets of the insert because sadly they are now expired and I wasn't sure what else to do with them.  I like it because they have our pictures on them.  I made the little confetti using a Mickey punch and some glitter paper.  I didn't have the patience to drag out my sewing machine so I just stapled that pocket closed and covered the staples with some ribbon.

I love that shot of the castle, so magical!

Day Six, and we ended up meeting Santa and I swear I did not plan on it, her super cute outfit was a happy accident.  He was the most amazing Santa and really took the time to talk things over with her.  I loved Ali's template for this page, the way the photo appears in the words is genius.

The envelope was another happy accident, I had so many pictures to add that day and it was in the right place at the right time.  I decided to add the brochures for the time we were there.  I had to trim them a bit to fit in the envelope but didn't loose too much important info.  I also made a two sided photo page to slip in.  The shot of us by the castle is priceless.

As is the one of Simone on the carousel.  The other shots are of some of my festive holiday additions to the park.

The backside of the envelope holds the journaling.  I used a template that Cathy Zielske made last year and just loved how perfect it fit on the back of the envelope.  The other photo of Simone with Santa is perfection.  I added a simple Believe chipboard from Teresa Collins and a Nice List tab from the Studio Calico kit.

Here's a close up of the journaling block.  I changed the font and color of some key words and love how that turned out.

Day Seven and we happened upon Mrs. Claus...SCORE!  She was just lovely and really took the time to talk to Simone about 'her Santa' as she called him.  We found her in the area they called Santa's Reindeer Roundup and it was super cool.  They had actual Reindeer and Santa was there but we had already talked to him so we just said hi to the Mrs.  They had tables set up for kids to color these cute Reindeer's so Simone and I both did one, this is mine

this is hers.  So cute!  Pluto was also there, wearing Reindeer antlers, he was so happy to say hi to Simone as well.

Day eight saw us heading home from Disneyland with a stop first for breakfast at an old favorite Chez Nous.

Day Nine was a total catch up page, I wanted to make sure I got a photo of our tree in and my favorite green trees.  I will probably add another page later of more house decor if needed.

I love how the graphic worked on this page.  I see now that I need to add something to the back of the Number nine label.

Day Ten, Simone's big day, Happy Birthday Baby!  Always lots to add on this day and especially having a big party this year.  I changed up the colors of the embellishments to go with the theme of her party, Little Mermaid.  Not very Christmasy but it still works for me.

I saw the idea of pulling the photos away from the edge from someone else, I believe it was Trisha Harrison and I loved how it worked for me.  It allowed three photos stacked up on the page and still room for journaling.  I removed one of the lines from Ali's overlays so it wouldn't cover the kids faces.

Day Eleven, the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party.  A super fun event that Me, Simone, my mom and Mary went to.  The food was great and there were lots of photos ops with the dancers.  The light in the room was dim and dark and bluish purple so it made for some very interesting photos.  I think it adds to the magic of the day.

I added an extra sheet protector so I could insert the program and the menu.

Day twelve, I really wanted to add a fold out page and add in some Instagram photos this year so I did it all at once.  I attached the foldout on the outside of the sheet protector and placed the page foundation inside the sheet protector.  It totally worked the way I was hoping. 

I added a little tab that says Recipes

and then typed up the recipes for two of the items we made.

The other side is a shot of all three of us that Larry took.  Love this so much!

So sorry for the photo heavy post, I promise less photos next time.