Around November of each year, people in the online scrapbooking world start talking about December Daily. This annual project was started by Ali Edwards years ago, and I’ve always been mildly interested in it, but never enough to actually do the project. The closest I’ve come was to make the December album for my daughter, to document her first month. I did finish that album, though I’ve never yet shared the finished project on the blog. (I’ve been contemplating making a video page-through, even though it’s been about 2 years since I finished it! Does that sound like something you’d watch?)
But like I said, I enjoy seeing other people talk about and work on their albums. I love watching Ali’s day-by-day documentation each December. So this past December, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I was smart enough to realize that there was no way for me to actually make the album during December (what with the ornaments and the frenetic princess dress sewing…), but I deliberately took photos every day, and I wrote down notes and stories. I thought I’d make it in January.
I will say, I did get my December photos through the pipeline of my photo workflow in January, so that was something, and I did start planning the album–in the midst of preparing for our Disney trip! I really pushed to finish the planning and print the photos in February, and in March, I just barely started to assemble the album.
Today, I thought I’d spend some blog real estate to talk again about how I plan for a project like this. We’ve established my Type-A tendencies many times on the blog, but why not reinforce the idea? 😉
I had purchased a Simple Stories Snap! 6″x8″ album on clearance a while ago, and this was the perfect project to put inside. My plan was to use one side of a page/divided page protector for each day in December, with the exception of particularly important days (like Christmas day, or days spent celebrating with extended family). I also purchased a second package of a mixture of 6″x8″ Simple Stories divided page protectors, since what came with the album wouldn’t have been enough for the 31 days of December.
I’m really not a fan of pocket-page scrapbooking, but since the idea of this project is to capture small stories each day, it really lends itself to a more modular format like divided page protectors.
Way back when I purchased BasicGrey’s Nordic Holiday collection for V’s December album (read that story HERE–and while you’re there, notice how similar my album planning process is! I just need so much structure!), I also purchased the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection kit. I decided to finally break into it and use it for this project. I have a miniscule selection of other Christmas products (like the leftover Nordic Holiday and a few papers left from the Lucky Girl Crafts December kit when I was on the design team there). I am supplementing with basic embellishments (rhinestones, doilies, washi tape, stamps, etc.).
I knew I would cover the whole 31 days of the month because my husband’s parents came for a visit arriving Christmas day, and I definitely wanted their time with us documented in the album.
Before I formally went through the photos to choose which to print (and in what sizes), I sat down with my planner, my phone, and my Gmail* to figure out what things happened on which days in December. I printed a blank calendar grid and jotted down basic notes to jog my memory.
*I often will email myself stories about little things that have happened in a day– I’m faster at typing than hand-writing, and I tag them “[person’s name] story” so that I can easily find them later.
This was the most time consuming part (so far). Armed with my calendar of stories, I sat down with my Lightroom catalog and a “cheat sheet” of all the page protector configurations I owned. Looking at one or two days at a time, I chose a page design that was appropriate for the photos I was hoping to use. I sketched out each and every page for my album in my sketchbook. Phew!!
As I worked on each day, I sorted the photos I wanted to print into LR collections based on the size in which they were to be printed (6″x8″, 4″x6″, 4″x4″, 3″x4″, 3″x3″, 3″x2″, and 2″x2″). In the print module, I was able to batch-print multiple photos to 4″x6″ canvases to upload to Persnickety Prints when I did my big photo order at the beginning of February. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Lightroom?
At a church craft day, I brought my album+page protectors, my stack of prints from Persnickety, and a box of Christmas supplies. I chopped the photos apart and slid them into their appropriate pages…which took a lot longer than I’d anticipated! Once the photos were in place, I got to start on the fun part– embellishing and writing out the stories!
But that’s for another post 😉