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Archive for the ‘December Daily’ Category

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The album is finished!

The very last page I made was actually the title page.  I used one of the great shots from our family photo shoot (thank you again, B!!) printed in a creamtone finish.  I added our name, die cut from white cardstock using the Bruselo font (again, with an offset to thicken it just a tad!).  To embellish, I used some specialty brads from “Nordic Holiday” and a border sticker from “Peppermint”– it really blows my mind how well those two collections coordinate, even though they are from two different manufacturers!  I chose the aqua, red, and white color scheme to coordinate with the album itself, which has an aqua spine.  (The colors/patterns also match the very last page in the album).

the 2015 December Daily album is FINISHED!!  Finished it last night :)

Wow, this was an epic project.  Way more intense than I realized (or maybe intended).  I just had so many little stories I wanted to include!  I really did try to follow Ali’s advice and choose the main story for each day, but in many cases, we had several special events that I wanted to include, or so many wonderful photos (e.g. from gift opening) with mini-stories associated with them.  You might not believe me, but I really did narrow it down a lot!

The album contains over 160 photos in various sizes, from 6″x8″ all the way down to 2″ square… and I’m not even individually counting the photos in the several collages!

Working on my December Daily album at craft day at church

Not only did I spend countless hours working on this project at home, I also worked on this album at about three different craft days (ladies gathering at our church to hang out as we work on our own projects).  I snapped this photo of my work area on one of those days. This was pretty tidy compared to what my craft island looked like when I was working on the album in full force at home!  (I wish I’d taken a photo of that!)

While I am absolutely beyond thrilled with the final result, I have to admit that I didn’t always enjoy the process of working on the album.  I always have the most fun planning (here is the planning post about this one!) projects, and when they end up taking a really long time, I lose my excitement.  Thankfully, I’m a completionist/perfectionist and that propels me to the finish line.

After being on the Scrap Gals podcast last month, where we had a little tangent talking about pocket-page scrapbooking, I really started thinking about why exactly I don’t care for the process of working in that style.  I started to get a more concrete idea as I worked on this album.  In theory, or at least in my head, I have this idea that pocket pages are “supposed” to be “simple.”  But when I start to get into them, I feel like I need to make a mini layout in practically every pocket– which turns into a lot of little layouts!  Not simple at all in reality!  (…not least because I love the real estate available on a 12″x12″ or even 12″x24″ layout)  When something that I think should be simple turns out to be complicated, I get grumpy.

I also discovered that having multiple pockets made me feel like I could/should be including many, many photos and stories– more than I would try and fit on my regular layouts.  I don’t mind having a lot of layouts about a special event in my albums, but in general, each story has its own layout and therefore has breathing room.  My pocket albums feel a bit more crowded.

I don’t know if I’ll do another December Daily album in the future.  I won’t say never, but I doubt it will be any time soon!

All that being said, I want to emphasize that I am so glad that I did this one.  It satisfied a creative itch.  I am totally happy with the result and delighted with how much I fit into this album.  It really captures a slice of our life throughout the month of December, and that is priceless in my mind!

~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

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After a huge day of photos on the 25th, I didn’t use my camera a whole lot the next few days!  Day 26 is a 4″x6″ photo that I embellished with a tag sticker and some washi tape.  At the top of the page, I included a family photo that we took during my in-laws’ visit, embellished with a word die cut from “Peppermint” and some Silhouette-cut holly leaves.  I added a tag die cut to the top to top off the washi  tape that I added across the opening of the page protector because the pictures kept sliding out!

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On the reverse, for day 27, I told a story that is depicted in a photo collage in the bottom slot.  It was about my father-in-law making my son laugh with a drinking-straw mustache (and my son imitating him!)– and I used the little Santa die cut to embellish the story.  I don’t usually use Santa motifs, but the mustache tie-in was perfect in this case!  I also used a Project Life card from the Jade Core Kit to write out the story.  The colors of many of those journaling cards coordinate so well with the Crate Paper collection!

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I added the brochure from the train garden and light display that we visited in between the pages.

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The dimensional Christmas lights sticker was absolutely perfect to embellish this page.  I wrote out my journaling on plain white cardstock and cut it to slightly smaller than 2″ square so that I could frame each block with patterned paper.

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This additional entry for day 28 is slightly out of order, but it went so well with the gingerbread baking that that we did on the 29th!  The number stickers for “28” were originally a light blue, but I went over them with a yellow permanent marker to turn them into a shade of green that better matched my color scheme for the top half of the page.

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The embellishment for this first part of day 31 is very simple.  A piece of doily behind my (almost all-time favorite) Thickers, and a bit of crochet thread tied through a small hole I punched at the top of the ornament die cut.

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I layered a lot of die cuts and stickers from Peppermint to embellish the reverse side for day 31–visiting another train garden!.

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My last page is a back-to-back layout.  On the front, I told the story of our extremely low-key New Year’s Eve celebration (you can hardly even call it that!) with our traditional Bananas Foster.

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The last page in the album is very simple– two 4″x6″ photos of another New Year’s Eve tradition– a family kiss picture!  I die-cut my words using the Bruselo script font (I added a slight external offset with the Silhouette software since the letters would be so small)– the almost white-on-white was hard to photograph!  I love these photos, and I think the white title is the perfect simple embellishment.

~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

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I made a mini-layout for day 21 about wrapping gifts.  I slipped a Project Life card under the photo to add some journaling– the card is from the old baby core kit!  But the yellow was the perfect shade.  I need to remember to use those cards more often.  I have a whole box full of extras!

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On the back of the day 21 mini-layout is another mini-layout for day 22.  Another warm day– and lots of poor-quality iPhone photos…  We had so much fun playing outside, I had to tell the story.  I used my Silhouette to print-and-cut a journaling label (the font is my own handwriting) and then cut four layers of white cardstock to stack under the top patterned layer for each of the twos in the date.

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In between days 22 and 23/24, I added a card a friend sent me as a thank-you.

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I completely forgot to take photos of a fun playdate that we had on day 23.  I remembered at the very last minute and photographed the craft we did together.  I used the rest of the page to start documenting our relaxed Christmas Eve.

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For day 24, I took some very old no-name-brand chipboard numbers and peeled off the glossy top layer (the colors didn’t match–neither the layout nor each other), and I finally tried my hand at heat embossing chipboard.   The first three photos were mini-stories about my daughter, so I numbered them and added the stories all on one card with coordinating numbers.

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Yes, there are two night photos of the Christmas tree with the gifts under it (and another with the kids in front of it on day 13!).  I just love the glow of the tree in the dark, and I just can’t resist taking photos.

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Christmas day is a number of pages in the album, because so many things were going on!  I started the day with a 6″x8″ photo of our family (backing up to the 6″x8″ Christmas eve tree photo).  I used another 2″ square grid divided page protector to fit lots of photos of our kids opening their gifts.  I had a lot of little stories that I wanted to record with them.

The number for day 25 (as well as for day 11!)  is from a set that I created for my daughter’s December album.  I enlarged it to fill the 2″ square on this page and wrapped some red-and-white twine around to add a bit of detail and dimension.

There were a few photos from the gift-opening that were composed in such a way that did not allow for them to be cropped into squares.  These photos I actually adhered on the outside of the page protector.  To continue the look, I used a few labels on the outside of the protector to write journaling.

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Clearly, one 2″ grid page wasn’t enough– I added another page that had 2″ squares along the top and bottom and a 4″x6″ spot in the middle, where I added even more photos and stories.  Throughout these pages for consistency, I used the same set of papers and red labels, and I embellished with the same buttons, doily bits, crochet thread, and silver thread.  In between these two pages, I added a 4″x6″ Project Life card (Jade edition; one of the title cards) upon which I made mini layouts about the gifts that Husband I and I exchanged.

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Later in the afternoon, my in-laws arrived, and so I finished day 25 with a page highlighting the big gift they gave to our kids.

~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

 

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For day 18, I had asked Husband to write about going to see the newest Star Wars movie on opening day; he wrote me an email with his thoughts, and I printed it out.  To show that they were his words, I asked him to sign the journaling block.  I added his ticket stub and printed out a screen shot of a movie poster I found online.

I had fun embellishing these crummy-quality cell phone photos of our errands at Costco on day 17…

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Also on day 18, we finished up getting our Christmas cards ready to mail.  I included one as an insert.

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I backed our photo card with a layout I made on patterned cardstock.  Not only does it give the photo card a bit more stabilization, but I was able to make the two layers into a little pocket to hold the letter we included with the card. It pulls out with the silver chevron tab you see at the top.

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I wish I could remember where I saw the idea (was it Ali Edwards?  Kelly Purkey?), but someone collected the stamps from all of their Christmas cards and slipped them into a 2″ grid page protector.  I LOVED the idea, and so I saved the stamp from every single Christmas card we received in the mail.  I put this page together by layering one of each design to cover one of the cardstock pages that came in the Snap! album.  The “Christmas card seals” sticker from the “Peppermint” collection was the perfect way to explain the page of postage!

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I love the texture of this page.

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On the back of the page of stamps, I wrote some thoughts about receiving Christmas cards. (I love them.)

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On day 19, we made a Norwegian Christmas treat called lefse with friends.  Yum, yum, yum!

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Since I wanted to write some journaling, include lots of photos, and also have an embellished number, I added another flip-up to this page.

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For day 20, I scanned a coloring page that my daughter very carefully filled in during our church service.  I printed it as a 3″x4″ card to slip into the pocket next to the photo of her coloring.

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~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

Read Full Post »

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Day 11 is a pretty simple set of 4″x6″ pockets.  Instead of writing out captions for each of the photos, I decided to make one long title to tell the short little stories of each of them.  It was a low-key day!

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Because I had a full-page photo for the next day, I made a 6″x8.5″ (did you know that’s the actual size of the page protector for a full-page in the Simple Stories albums??) layout for Day 12.  I used some old Making Memories letter stickers (from one of their last wedding collections) to give each photo pair a title, and then I used a print-and-cut label (using my Silhouette) to add a little story.  The vertical stripe of snowflakes (rub on from Lily Bee) is sort of tongue-in-cheek, since the day was warm enough for me to go for a run outside in short sleeves!

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See HERE on the blog for a similar photo to the full-page one of them looking at the lit Christmas tree early in the morning of day 13.

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We had a lot of exciting things that we did on day 13, so not only did I include the (in my opinion) beautiful photo of my kids in front of the tree, but another whole front-and-back of a page.  We went to see an abridged Nutcracker performed by a local ballet school with a dear friend of mine.  I chopped down the program (which was just a photocopied sheet of paper) to put behind the title to my page.

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To help the numbers stand out, I punched a circle of washi tape and added a silver-sprayed die-cut flourish and some rhinestones.

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On the back of the page, I included photos of a gathering of our church small group.

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We had a big day the next day, too!  We celebrated Christmas with my side of the family.  All of us except Husband (who had to work!) went to the aquarium together for the day.  I took a LOT of photos and I wanted to include quite a few, so I added some flip-ups to the 3×4 2″ square divided page protector to add in some extras while still being able to add lots of journaling and to embellish.  Speaking of embellishments, I made the top right square into another shaker pocket so that the number 14 from the following page shows through.

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More photos fit on the reverse, and I had room for even more journaling.

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I punched holes in our aquarium tickets and added them right into the spread.

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Our festivities continued into the evening, when we opened some gifts and spent time together as a family.

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Aren’t these little present puffy stickers cute?  I got them from a friend who was clearing out some of her craft supplies.

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After two very busy days, we had a couple quieter days (at least, in terms of my photo-taking!)  Days 15 and 16 went together onto one page.  I kept the design unified by using the same format for the numbers and using the same combination of letter stickers to give a bit of a title to each photo.

~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

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Since my last post about this “mini” album, I have finished the project!!  Hooray!!  I spent a ridiculous amount of time taking an incredible number of photos of the pages so that I can share it on the blog.  I’ve decided to break it into a series of posts that contain about 5-day sections.  I’ll wrap them all up with a post that shares my title page at the end of the series.  

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There was more that I wanted to say about day 5, so I added a postcard from an event I attended with photos and words added on the back (which I covered with a parchment-looking paper–the back of the program from that event, actually!).  I didn’t include it in the middle of the day 5 spread (see the previous post) because I didn’t want to interrupt the tree-decorating story.

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I had a lot to say for day 6.  I ended up filling a whole 3″x4″ slot with tiny handwriting, and adding even more on the 4″x6″ photo at the bottom.  I tried stamping in gold on the large photo, and you can barely see it (my ink pad is dry– boo!), and then I attempted to echo that stamping as a “watermark” effect behind the 3″x4″ journaling.

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Each year, we get special ornaments for each of our kids.  I added a page to give some details about this year’s ornaments.  I embellished it with a die cut from the “Peppermint” collection as well as holly leaves I had die-cut with my Silhouette.   A few prismatic rhinestones add some sparkle.

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On the back side of the ornaments page, I talked about our household decorations.  I love how well “Peppermint” coordinates with “Nordic Holiday.”

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I had several little stories to tell for day 7– and I made a shaker pocket out of the top right pocket.  I added some vintage glitter and some red, green, and gold sequins.

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This past December was unseasonably warm, and we spent an unusual amount of time playing outside!  I used some brighter colors from “Peppermint” to add to the playfulness.  decdaily2015_day08and0910-Edit

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I really didn’t have too much for day 9 or day 10, so I gave them each a 4″x6″ pocket and added label stickers from Lily Bee to add my stories.

~ ~ ~

I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, supplemented heavily by BasicGrey’s “Nordic Holiday;” but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

See all my posts about this album HERE.  

Read Full Post »

I mentioned in my first post about this project that after I had my photos printed, cut apart, and placed in the pockets, all that I had left to do was to add journaling and embellish.

In this post, I’ll show my finished pages for the first five days of December.  At first, I thought I would jump around to complete the book, but since the project is taking a bit longer than I expected (this part in particular), I decided that at least for now, I’d work in order.  I reserve the right to change my mind– if it means that I am more efficient in finishing the album!  I also will mention that Dec 5th had a lot of stuff going on– and I’ll likely add some more to this day’s “entry” in the album.

This month, I have two mini-album projects that I want to finish (or at least make significant progress on them), and Shimelle’s scrapbook with numbers challenge was the impetus for me to start working on this one first.  I’m taking the interpretation that every December Daily page has a number on it!

Days 1 and 2:

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Days 3 and 4:

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Day 5:

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I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

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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.

Hahahahahaha!

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? 😉

The Album

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.

The Products

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.).

Story Management

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.

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working on December Daily page planning

Photo Management

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!!

planning page for December Daily 2015

planning each page for December Daily 2015

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?

working on December Daily 2015 at craft day today

working on December Daily 2015 at craft day

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 😉

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