I hope everyone is enjoying this festive season with family and beloved ones. This is also the time of recording and documenting those special moments that everyone will remember as sweet memories in years time.
This year is a very special one for us... well, all of them! but this one is the first year we have Aleca with us at home. The arrival of a new born is always such special moment and, on Christmas time, makes it even more enjoyable. It feels like we are now a 'complete' family (although I would not mind to try for the boy... ehem... story for another day!).
The presence of a toddler and a baby make these days full of opportunities to capture that first approach for them to Christmas. It also makes me come back to the basis of it. What is really Christmas? How do we really enjoy the process of a festivity like this? what does it involve? All these questions make only sense when I right down the main ideas of Christmas and what I would like my family to experience. New family traditions in essence. The following prompts work for me.
My approach this year to the December Daily is mainly minimalistic. I would like to try to get a clean and simple look for the spreads as much as possible.
- DAY 01 - Unpacking decorations. Obviously my daughters are still too small to do it themselves but at least my oldest one can help me somehow or I can teach her how to start unpacking so she gets used to it.
TIP: There is no need to record all the process of decorating only the first day, there are 24 days before Christmas so, there are plenty of opportunities to capture. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the idea of capturing one action in just one day so in the end there is plenty of photos trying to show the 'perfect moment'. Sometimes one photo which reveals a clue of the whole moment can be enough. There is no need to show all the time people, things and places inside the picture frame. One guideline for this prompt might be to split up the type of decorations in different days for example.
This is what I basically tried to record on my first spread. This is our new family tradition. The first of December becomes the perfect time to unpack and start with the decorations.
My foundation page for this day is pretty simple. I tried to show what it will be reflected with photos later. The 'Oh Christmas tree' and no ONE enough to start with.
Starting from top left, I used a card from Paislee Press, with a simple brushed tree. Perfect for this first day, it captures the whole idea. The remaining space seemed adequate for some journaling although I always set up the whole spread with the pictures and cards I want and I decide in the end where to place the journaling. I only embellished this card lightly as the tree perfectly captured the idea of this day. One little star between the tree and the text seems the perfect touch. In the end, every tree must have a star, right? :)
Top right: Our tree is packed in a box as so are the decorations so, I thought of showing one detail of the box where you can clearly read 'Christmas tree' and three different Christmas ornaments.
TIP: I have chosen for this year's album a simple palette of colours, gold, white and black with touches of red and maybe mint... I try to always keep it in mind when taking the pictures.
Bottom left: One partial picture of my little one showing on her clothes one of the embellishments I will be using for the spreads of this album! cute! I hand wrote the word JOY on the picture as the gold embellishment I used was fading with it...
Bottom right: Again another card from Paislee Press showing the number ONE and a simple typed 'hello.' on a label. Like meaning 'hello December'
This image just shows a close up picture of the first card. It is the printed image from Paislee Press of the tree with the text 'Oh Christmas tree' below it, the star from one of the kits from Studio Calico (I do not remember which one :S) and the typed journal.
TIP: There are three ways to incorporate the typed journal in the card.
1. Using softwares like Adobe Photoshop where you can open the card with the program and type straight away with the chosen font.
2. Using a typewriter machine.
3. Measuring the dimensions of the text you want to write and type it on programs like Microsoft Word, print it on a normal sheet of paper and glue it to the printed sheet with the Dotliner glue dots roller (not sure how to call it!) exactly where you want the text to be. Print it again using the same sheet of paper with the card glued to it. This is the system I used as I printed the Paislee Press card before I decided on anything for my foundation pages.
- DAY 02 - Finish up tree decorations with some help. This time is the best to have individual pictures of both of them helping or each of them separately or just details of the actions. This would make a cute moment to capture. The baby can also lay down showing the decorations too :)
TIP: There is no need to take equal number of photos from each of the moments/people... As there are minimum 25 spreads it is convenient not to fill up the album since the beginning.
Still, trying to keep it as simple as possible. The stitched heart with the two words 'merry.' and 'everything.' and the number TWO. Still making this day part of the first one about decor.
Top left: I decided to use equal number of pictures and cards on this 4 3x4 pocket spread. The photo shows my oldest daughter helping me putting the tree balls (or finding out how many balls and type we have rather!). I used Photoshop on this picture to type her name and a cute nickname for her.
Top right: As a simple approach, I hand stitched a black heart (to follow the palette I chose) and typed 'merry.' and 'everything'.
Bottom left: Again a card from Paislee Press and the review of the day after a wood veneer star as a separation.
Bottom right: So far I also wanted my baby to be part of this spread as a 'little helper no 02' so I put an ornament by her side and took a picture of that detail.
Just two close ups of the cards. Love stitching and wood veneer... guess it is obvious though :)
- DAY 03 - Family moments during these days. I do not usually have anything specific to document every day so I prefer capturing that special 'routine' on Christmas.
Here I knew I wanted a family photo or something that reminded me that routine of my new family so, I stamped the word 'home' and surround it with a cork embellishment.
Top: The word 'home' highlighted by a cork embellishment seems to be the perfect definition of the picture below.
Bottom: A picture of my two babies taking a nap seems the perfect shot that makes us feel like home... there is no better happy place! I added a wood veneer no 3 and a hidden tag with the journaling for the day.
The close up just shows the cork embellishment around the word 'home' which I stamped a couple of times from a stamp by artist Kal Barteski for Studio Calico.
- DAY 04 - Special days within the 25 days of Christmas. It is my oldest daughter's birthday so, there is no doubt I was going to have a nice spread dedicated to her. This also will lead to the next day when we celebrated it and gave the presents!
Despite I was pretty happy with this foundation spread, I ended up changing it as I show below... In the end all depends on the photo and what way to embellish it makes you feel.
Top left: I wanted to start with a simple 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' which I printed on a label. The wood veneer heart on top for my beloved daughter. Underneath it I wanted to write down a bit of journaling congratulating her for her day.
Bottom left: This day becomes a new tradition for me. I get to spend the day with my daughter to do whatsoever she wants. In this case, we went together to choose the cake for the celebration the next day!. As I wrote the journaling already above, I filled up the remaining space with an embossed round frame from Paislee Press and a 'sweet' word stamped from Heidi Swapp. The little room below was perfect to indicate the day 04 with a stamp from One little bird and a typed text.
Right: I really wanted to highlight my gorgeous angel this day so I printed her best picture of the day in black and white on vellum and I dedicated some words for her on her day and what these 2 years with her have supposed for us.
As you flip the vellum photo, you find the same picture this time in colour alone on a full 6x8 pocket. I used photoshop again to incoporate that 'sparkle' hand writtejn word from Pailee Press. An extra enamel star shape matching the palette of the picture and the spread seems done.
These first four days of my December Daily complete this post. I will upload soon the next four ones. I hope I explained myself good enough and my post gave away some brainstorm ideas!