Thursday, December 10, 2015

JYC2015 Days 5-8

It's time to share the next batch of my JYC2015 pages.  Day 5 probably came together the easiest for me, whereas day 6...let's just say that was harder. My day 5 (Shimelle's day 6) prompt was Christmas cozy.  We were supposed to find things that made us feel cozy and warm this time of the year.  I just bought a pair of silly Christmas light tights from Walmart to be my pajamas, so I jotted down a few little lines about lounging around in my ridiculous pants.  The actual day 5 prompt was about Christmas communications.  I decided to put it off until the 6th because my cards weren't ready yet, and now as I sit here writing this, they are still not done.  I did finally decide on a design on the 8th, and that is when I finally got the page done for day 6.  Here is my Day 5 & 6 spread.

On the day 6 side, I wanted you to be able to get a sense of what the cards will actually look like, so I fused a waterfall pocket to the front of the page protector, and cut up one of my sample cards.  When you lift the front of the card up, you see the family photo that we will be including with the cards in another waterfall pocket.  I attached the waterfall pockets with my fuse tool.

Below the picture, you see the sentiment that will be printed on the inside right of the cards, which is adhered to the patterned paper in the larger page protector. I wanted a little bit of space to mention why it has been hard to get the Card design down this year.  The truth is that it doesn't have anything to do with the design itself, it's the family update.  I usually do some sort of family update in our cards.  I don't like it to be a traditional Christmas letter, because those feel a little pretentious to be coming from me. Not to judge anyone else who does them, but I didn't want to feel like I'm bragging or complaining, and I wasn't sure how to word a letter so that it wouldn't come across that way.  I have done subway art that highlights new developments.  I've done a photo collage of memorable moments, and I've even done a QR code link to a youtube video that highlighted my favorite pictures and had a video greeting from the family at the end.  This year, I didn't have the energy or feel inspired to do anything like that, and it took me a while to reconcile myself to the idea that I would have to do some sort of traditional letter or leave out the family update altogether.

Days 7 and 8 were much easier.  On day 7, I recorded elements of our holiday season that have to do with all 5 of the senses.  I typed it up as a list, and printed it right out onto kraft cardstock, with room at the top and bottom for a little bit of embellishment.

Since the previous spread had been so difficult, I just let this one be as simple as possible.

I made very small embellishment clusters on the top and the bottom of the page and left it at that.

Day 8 was all about the tree, and I kept it simple again with a big photo of the tree glued right onto the page.  Since this minibook has a combination of pages in page protectors and pages that are exposed, I've been very careful about my use of adhesive.  Where I'm working with page protectors, I'm using my ATG gun, but on the exposed pages, every single element is glued down with Glossy Accents.

 At the bottom of the Day 8 page, I added a couple of tags and the number for the day.  I wrote a little bit about the tree itself.

Okay, those are my day 5-8 pages.  I don't want to jinx anything, but I think I might actually get this project done afterall.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#JYC2015 Days 1-4

Can you believe that it is already the 9th of December!  I'm having a little trouble with the concept myself.  The last year...really the last 2 years, if I'm being honest, have been filled with this strange mixture of days that seem to drag on forever and months that hurdle past with hardly a notice.   At least in December, I always find time to notice what is going on around me.  It's helping that I've taken some time to do a less intense job during the holidays, so that I can enjoy the season and look for something better.  

I'm trying to use my Christmas Journal to slow down a little bit, working on it a few minutes here and there after the kids go to bed.  The first prompt in Shimelle's JYC class asks you to write a manifesto for the holiday season.  The inside cover of the book has a subtle pattern, so I decided to write directly onto that page.  My goals for the season are all about spending quality time with friends and family.  I think that we are off to a pretty good start so far.

No paper project would be complete without some embellishment.  In the top corner is a Maya Road chipboard star that I embossed with glitter zing embossing powder.  I'm still not in love with that particular product.  The powder has a chalky finish and it makes a strange contrast with the bright green flecks of glitter in it.  That being said, I like how the little word art cluster came together.

In the bottom right, I did a little stamping.  The snow globe is part of my favorite Christmas stamp set from last year.  It has snowflakes, a tree, a snowman, some sentiments, and this little snow globe that the other icons fit neatly into.  Unfortunately, the way that I've been storing my stamps (pulling sets apart and organizing individual stamps in the way that I use them) means that I can't remember the brand.  It's a lovely set though.  I'm also using an American Crafts roller date/phrase stamp throughout the album.

Day 2 and 3 were the the first signs of Christmas approaching and our favorite gifts ever.  I've written on this blog about my favorite present ever, so I didn't feel the need to write a lot more.  I just included a card with a picture of the Silhouette Portrait and a numbered list of information about it.
I had a little bit more to say about the first signs.  I've been doing daily substitute teaching during the holiday season (I was doing long term subbing, which requires all the duties of the regular teacher), so I often have a few minutes during the school day when I can type the journaling about the prompt and email it to myself.  That's been nice because I don't have to be sitting in my craft room in front of my journal to get things done.

The two cards at the bottom of the day 3 page are project life cards that I altered.  For this one, I stamped the snowman from the stamp set I already mentioned.  Then I used a VersaMarker to color in the areas of snow and heat embossed them with white embossing powder.

This card used the snowflakes from the stamp set and a tree embellishment that I printed and cut from Meg Mullens #ThisYear--Christmas digital scrapbooking kit kit.

The fourth day's prompt was all about how we are planning all our holiday fun.  I always do some planning, but this was the first year that the girls were old enough that I felt I could predict what we would realistically be able to get done each day. So far, we haven't had to modify plans because of lack of energy.  We do have a change for next week, but that's just because we found something more fun than the original plan.

The two key parts of the planning process for this year were my google calendar (which I transcribed into excel to get a printable form because...paper!) and my Christmas village, which is serving as our Advent Calendar this year.  Each building in the village is numbered and has the activity we'll be doing that day under it.  I just printed a copy of the calendar and cut it up, then put each day under the right building.

I love the little village, so I decided to do a full size picture of it on the right side of the spread.

It's hard to see from the glare, but I put a little embellishment cluster in the bottom right of this card.  On Saturday, I had a really successful interview, so I decided to go to PhotoScraps on the way home.  It's the last independently owned scrapbooking store in Maryland, but it's a bit far from home.  Added bonus: it's attached to a Tuesday Morning.  I picked up a few papers from PhotosScraps, and then headed over to Tuesday Morning. I finally got one of those bit pebbles alphabet stamps I've been drooling over for years.  I used it to stamp "this year" at the top of the card.  I also purchased the Cozy Christmas collection pack by Echo Park.  I just love almost everything that Echo Park does, so I picked that up at Tuesday Morning too.  The bottom cluster has aqua washi tape to repeat the color from the other two cards, a snowflake sticker from the Cozy Christmas pack, and a little wood veneer star.  

So that's my first 4 days of JYC done.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I've made.  Days 5-8 are done, but they still need to be photographed before I can share them.  I'll be back to share those another day!


Monday, November 30, 2015

My Multi-Year Christmas Album

Since I mentioned in my last post that I am planning to continue to do my current Christmas project,  I wanted to do an album flip to show you what that album looks like.  You can see it in the video below.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Christmas Journal: Shimelle's JYC Class

I have neglected this blog for a long time...a very long time.  I don't really have any excuses for you.  Life just happened.  A lot of it.  When I start to get overwhelmed, the first things to go are the things that are just for fun.  I classed this blog as one of those things, but I have a little bit of time on my hands for the first time in forever (yes I did just sing those last 6 words in my head).  I've decided that connecting with people through scrapbooking is something that I really want in my life, and this is a good place to do it.

I'm not going to make any promises about how long I'll be back on this time.  It might just be for the JYC project, or I might find a simple way to work it back in on a more regular basis.  I'm not sure, but in any case, let's get on with it.

If you haven't heard of Journal Your Christmas, it is a class that is run by Shimelle Laine on her website.  She gives a series of prompts from the start of Advent all the way to the end of Epiphany.  She describes starting the project after a tough year, when she really desperately wanted to recapture the magic of Christmas.  She shared more about the project in this video:

I can't say that I've had a time in my life that I've lost the magical feelings that I associate with Christmas, but some years I cling to the magic a little more than others.  This year, I'll be holding on for dear life.   I was intrigued by JYC when I heard about it in 2012, but I had already started a digital project on my own, and I wasn't sure how a daily project would fit in with what I was doing.  In the end, I decided that it doesn't fit in.

Our holiday scrapbook is a single 8 x 8 inch album that has a title page and 5-10 layouts that document our activities during Advent.  I started it in 2011 for my first daughter's first Christmas, and I like that it's complete.  I like that I've done it the same way every year.  It's not that big of a project, so I've decided to keep that as it is and to do JYC separately.

To avoid letting this project get out of hand, I decided to put it in a bound mini book.  I figured that if I used a binder, I would constantly be putting more and more page protectors into it, and I really just want this to be a small-ish project.  Here are a couple of close ups of the clusters on the cover.
 I don't often put embellishment on the cover of an album, but it seemed appropriate for a mini book, but I know that I will have small children handling it, so I wanted it to be really sturdy.  I glued all the elements down with Glossy Accents, and then I covered the glitter letters with glossy accents too.  I wanted to seal in the glitter so that it won't rub off when the kids are playing with the book.

On the inside, there is a combination of different sized papers and page protectors.  I did a little video to show the inside because there really was too much to photograph.  You can see it below.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm up to.  Hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more over the next few weeks.