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Losing momentum is my biggest weakness where these little mini books are concerned. The past week was busy and the pictures sat on my table waiting for my return. It feels different coming back to this a week later, as I mentioned previously -- as though these happenings are a world away.
I have learned a lot doing this December Daily project. A few of those (personal perspective) lessons:
I'm feeling that the simpler, softer and subtler patterns work best for me.
I like the photos all on their own. (meaning without patterns and other things around them) I'm not sure how that is going to manifest itself in my future story-capturing -- but I know that it will, and I know that it will be an immediate change.
I need to capture the words in the moment instead of later. It is far more meaningful and real that way. After the fact writing on my part reads like just that.
I wanted to use my fun products on this book and I'm glad that I did, but my favorite little aspects have less to do with purchased products. I like the stiching. I like the paint, I like the punch, and I loved incorporating some of the fun digital elements.
Thank you new friends for your warm response to my pages. I really appreciate every kind word, and makiing new connections with you here in this space.
And now, on with the pages ...
While I was out doing a last minute grocery run, etc. Paul and the kids readied the house for my Mom's arrival. They also played pirates (which explains the note.) The envelope contains my list and a note Paul left me on the kitchen table. Hilarious, no?
If it's obvious to you that I rushed through putting together the last few pages, that is because I did. It is more important that I finish and not let a loss of momentum stop me, than to wait and try to "get it right." It's a lesson I want to carry with me into the new year.
Get it done. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Know what I mean?
Tomorrow afternoon I'll share the Christmas day page.
Celebrate 2008. Celebrate the possibilities for 2009!
This one is really as basic as it get; just photos and words. I think I began to get very distracted putting this together as the holiday approached. Strangely, the 19th of December seems like a lifetime ago; so much as taken place since then.
Do not adjust your monitor. Yes, that is a blurry photo, but it sums up our neighborhood walk perfectly.
There is another vintage Santa printed on inkjet canvas sheet and mounted to chipboard. I noticed this morning that there is a similar digital element on sale for just .25. Don't know how long that price will hold. At that price it just makes sense to add it to my little collection.
That is the actual newspaper headline from the Washington Post, scanned and reduced to fit the page.
And day 18:
This one is as simple as it gets, but it's one of my favorite photos from the project, and I didn't want to detract at all from that.
Here's a closer look at the journaling.
Can you believe we are closing in on Christmas Eve? I cannot. Today there is much to do: cookies, still some shopping, and helping a little elf with some hand stitch work for her sister's gift.
Hi to all those nice new people visiting and leaving me kind comments yesterday. Thank you very much for the sweet things you've said about my December daily project, and the blog. Ali is one inspiring person. I owe her a debt of gratitude and find her remark very touching,
Also, regarding the holiday CD project:I hate to disappoint, however, I'm a bit pressed for time between now and Christmas, and won't be able to upload a pdf file of those just now. It would take some maneuvering on my part to get that together. Perhaps it is something I will resurrect next year, almost did this year, but time got away from me. Please, if you are interested, check back early next Nov. (gosh that sounds like forever away, doesn't it?)
The colors in today's photo seems a little hot. The red is actually not quite that strong. It was rushed together; I'm feeling today like plugging along through. I'm enjoying the process of framing through the lens each day, and assembling my thoughts on the paper, but today (just a wee bit) am feeling the pull of a busy schedule, but ... I WILL accomplish this.
The story of Marty's new (to him) bed. Click image to enlarge to read.
I've had a question about the date 'stamp' on my pages. It is an element created just for this project in microsoft publisher, using word art. I envisioned something like this because I don't have a lot of number embellishments, and it's just quick for me to pop it over the picture each day. There is a similar circular number digital brush, designed by Ali, available here.
Just FYI: I did not use photoshop to incorporate my digital elements. I have photoshop, but I'm using microsoft publisher and pulling the .jpg images open on top of my photo file in that application. So if anyone is PC-based and using that software, that should work for you as well. I DON'T reccomend adding that software to your platform if you do not already have it. It is already outmoded, is not compatible with print shops, and I only use it because it's familiar.
Clock by Heidi swapp. Metal arrow turn and brad: 7 gypsies, canvas strip with words self created.
On the back of yesterday's page I left open space. (In other words, this page precedes day 15) I want to include some narrative here about what books the kids are enjoying this year. We've had a holiday book basket for the last three years running and each year they gravitate towards different titles, depending on their interests and reading skills.
I'll come back to that later, so I don't get slowed down or off track maintaining the daily commitment.
We finally picked up a tree this weekend. Have been waiting for a place to put it and now that Paul has installed the cherry flooring in the great room, that time has come. Also had some fun building a reading fort for the girls. They took in a basket of books and I didn't see or hear from them for a couple of hours. Had to pry them out for dinner.
I'm not sure how I'll merge the day 14 to whatever I'm doing tonight. Just trying not to be so darn perfectionist with this and just let it become whatever it will be.
Here's a bit of detail:
I read that quote yesterday and felt that it should be here.
It's hard to believe that the month is half gone. The book is half done as well.
This project has been so enlightening. I don't know if it's helped me be more present. It has helped me stay on top of documenting things. There is no way I would have felt motivated to pull this together (to this degree) after the fact. Others can do that without hesitation, but I know myself and I think I want to start the new year fresh ... looking ahead to new projects. Also, snapping the decorations and small stories now before the holiday sort of leaves me free to get just a couple of choice images on Christmas day and relax, without concern over the rest. Does that make sense?
I think less might be more when it comes to capturing the essence of an event like Christmas. My parents didnt' shoot every detail, but there is one picture from that the Christmas when I was four that really captured the essence of that day. I'll have to find it and share it here. Tomorrow.
Joan loves looking through my little bits and pieces of supplies and has often admired this red flower and the two smaller matching shiny brads (right), so I was sure to use it on a page featuring her activity. They came as part of a cocoa daisy kit from the summer.
The black text is Anna Aspnes for designer digitals. Ribbon from the fabric store. Red plaid paper Cricut by Provo Craft, Christmas Cheer pack.
This layout was very much inspired by Ali's use of black and white photos in her book. I like how timeless it feels.
Can I just tell you how exciting this is to me? I have been very nervous to try stitching on paper for some reason. I don't know what I thought was going to happen ... maybe my needle might break or the paper would tear and ruin my machine, but I got over it. Yes I did. And I stitched right on my page.
This is simply a square of canvas cut to size, edges frayed a bit, and stamped with acrylic paint using the foliate cube stamp, from Stampendous. After adhering it to the paper I went over it with a line of stitching. The machine (and I) survived. Nothing broke or smoked, or melted down or anything. Whew!
Next I added one of my inked pebbles that's been in a dish in the window sill just waiting for the right project, with heavy-duty glue dots. The tiny pine cone found a home today.
Red cardstock from Basic Grey. Here's the journaling:
We've had heavy rain here for the past couple of days. Those clouds don't make for the best photos in the house, so it occurred to me to tell this story.
There’s been a lot of speculation around here as to whether Santa is real. The whole matter of St. Nicolas Day (which. by the way, was not my idea to introduce; that notion came home from school.) seems to be confusing the issue.
Last year Santa left a thank you note for the cookies and Helen thought the handwriting resembled Papa’s. This may have started the query. There’s been whispering among the girls. Conspiring. The other night as they planned to leave their shoes for St. Nicholas, I overheard a bit of conversation along the lines of this: “if we don’t tell Papa about the slippers, then that will prove … “, and they trailed off into the next room.
Their comprehension of fiction vs. non-fiction still seems unclear. After watching the movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town, for example, they wondered if that story is true, then why is he called Santa Claus and not St. Nicholas.
This is where I got into an explanation of cultural differences and pronunciations between Europeans and Americans. How Santa Claus is a derivation of the name St. Nicholas, and how the story portrayed in the animated movie is a made up fable, while the real St. Nicholas was, in fact, a Cardinal priest who generously gave to those in need.
“Then how can Little House on the Prairie be true?” Helen’s retorts in her own stern way.Before I can explain, Joan cuts in with: “Well, if St. Nicholas is dead, and in heaven, how can we see him here? And how can he bring us toys?” she drills, determined to keep on subject.
“Well,” I ask “Does anyone really see St. Nicholas? Have we seen Santa Claus?” Silent pause. “… and, do we always have to see something to believe it?” I respond. “Do we see love, or do we just feel it?” The answer in this case is both, I believe. “Are there other things that we know to be true without seeing them?”Long pause. “Yes.” replied Joan, thoughtfully.
I felt that was a significant talk. For it’s when we believe without seeing that we experience the spirit of Christmas and the heart of our faith.
Here, I've used more vintage santas printed on canvas, back to back with eyelets on either side and looped with hemp twine through the tiny polka dot transparency. The screened background on the right page, under the text, is a digital holiday postage strip enlarged to fit the entire page.
I've been using a few more digital elements in this project. I love the immediacy -- that you simply download them and are ready to go. Also they're more economical; the cost can be attributed over many, many uses. I don't have a lot of embellishments so this works well for me and appeals to my frugal nature.
Today I'm volunteering in my daughter's classroom to assist with their gingerbread house project. I guess it goes without saying what an irresistible photo opp that can be. Yesterday's page is still in progress.