With one whole day left before I start this year's December Daily, I have finished my December Daily 2011. Finally.
Day 25: On the left I created a little pocket to hold some gift cards.
The right side definitely isn't a favourite page - the journaling is so blah - but I'm happy I'm done.
Even the cover is all but complete. I'll add a few more embossed stars, then seal it, but that can be done whenever I have a little time.
Despite taking 11 months to finish this album - and honestly, having to make myself sit down and complete these last couple pages - it never occurred to me not to make another December Daily album this year. Even with all my supplies drama - I've bought the same album three times now! - I didn't consider abandoning the idea.
Working on a December Daily album increases my awareness and appreciation of all the wonderful little December moments.
And, I believe I learn and get better at December Daily-ing with each year.
To me, a December Daily album is about the intent to record the month, and working on that goal throughout December. Trying to complete a page each and every day, of what is probably the busiest month of the year, just isn't what I want to do. If I have time to complete a page, fantastic, but I'm not going to sacrifice enjoying the season to do so. While I certainly don't plan to still be working on this album next November, if I finish in January, or even February, I'll be happy.
What I do aim to do every day is keep notes. To jot down what I want to remember and document each day. Those in-the-moment thoughts and reactions are always my favourite.
I've created a simple file on my iPad, which travels with me most places, and numbered out the days. I've included the page foundation for each day (divided page protector, transparency, etc) so I can plan and scheme while I travel to and from work. If I have memoribilia or something particular I want to include, I'll write that down in the file too. When I do have time to sit down and create, I want to have all the information right there and be ready to go.
Last weekend I was invited to be a guest on Melissa Shanhun's December Daily podcast. (Although I'm sure I sound like a complete dork, I will link up when the show is posted, probably sometime next week.) It got me thinking about what advice or suggestions I had for fellow December Dailyers.
• Work out what your stumbling block is, and think of a way around it.
For me, I have a terrible time selecting and deleting photos. I umm and ahh for ages. My solution - copying photos into a working folder so I can delete away to narrow down to my favourite, knowing the originals are safe and sound elsewhere.
Whatever slows you down when scrapbooking is magnified with a big project like this. Spend a few minutes thinking about your stumbling blocks are, and how you can handle them.
• Be flexible.
If a foundation page isn't working for you, change it. If something occurred in November that you want to include, do so. If you want to skip a day, do so.
There are no December Daily rules. Make the project work for you.
• Include 'real world' communication.
I love including cards and gift tags, and screenshots or transcripts of emails, text messages and Facebook posts. It's a real glimpse into relationships, not filtered through journaling.
• Consider asking someone else to complete a day of the album.
Give a partner or child the responsibility for a page in the album. They can go about their day, looking for the December moment they wish to include. It could be a photo they've taken, from their point of view. They could even make the page, if so inclined.
• Make connections to Christmas past.
I like to include stories or photos from when I was a kid. It's nice to reflect and enjoy memories of previous Christmas'.
• Keep in mind the project as a whole.
Don't be discouraged by individual pages. I have pages I adore, some I like, some that I think are ok and some that make me wonder what on earth I was thinking. The end result is still an album I think is fabulous.
Anyway, those just are some thoughts. Do you have any December Daily advice to share?
I'd also really like to recommend Ali Edward's 25 Ideas and Story Inspiration post - I think it has some great suggestions - and I've enjoyed hearing about how different people are documenting December on the December Daily podcasts.
Beginning tomorrow - December Daily 2012. I'm excited.