Hi everyone! It’s Linda and I’m so excited to be hanging out with you here on the blog all month as we get ready for December Daily 2023. 2023 is going to be my 12th year participating in this project in one way or another and, after doing it so many times, I can safely say that this project is one of my absolute favorites, but it can also easily get overwhelming, even if you’ve done it a few times.
So, whether it’s your first time or your seventeenth, I will be here on the blog every Monday in September, and over on the @decemberdaily instagram account, to help you plan out and get ready for this project.
Looking Back: Albums
Before we even dive into this year’s project and products, it’s so important to look back on prior years’ projects. Looking through your projects from previous years can be so helpful in figuring out what stories, products, and styles you want to use in the year ahead.
Even if this is your first year, this section is for you! I would suggest to look back on previous year albums from Ali Edwards and other creators in the community to get an idea of things you might want to include in your album this year.
When flipping back through your old albums or watching flip throughs of others’ old albums, here are some things to look for to take notes for this year.
Do you want to use divided page protectors? No page protectors? Do you like interactive elements? Simple or busier? Think about the various styles of pages that you use and like.
Small divided page protectors. I love the look of the 2x2 pocket squares filled with embellishments, photos + words. I want to make sure that I have some of the page protectors + elements that will fit in them for this year.
Interactive pages. There is a range of interactive pages you can create from simple flip-ups to some very complicated elements that I’ve seen in other’s projects. For me, I love simple pockets + flip-outs.
Interesting shapes & layered elements. I am someone who loves the look of layered pages of different sizes and shapes. I want to make sure to include some fun shapes in my album this year.
Similar to page style, but rather than looking at the overall page style, instead look at the elements that go into the design of that page. Do you like a lot of embellishments or more minimal? Do you like mixed media or clean lines?
Transparent overlays. I love transparent elements in my album! Whether they are fully transparent or vellum, I just love the look. I am going to make sure to include these in my album this year.
Full page photos. I love the impact of a full page photo. Sometimes unembellished and other times with something small.
Grid design. I love a grid, and this slanted grid was an incredible idea I got from Jennie Rey’s lesson in product play that year. If you love more detailed designs like this one, consider product play as a great jumping off point for your layouts.
We all love them, the products! But some products we actually love to use and others we love to just collect. Looking back on your albums can be a great way to see which products you’re actually going to use and get ideas for how you want to use product this year.
Alpha stamps. One of my go to designs is stamping large words. I know if I purchase an alpha stamp set, I am going to use it.
Repeated shapes. I also really love to use a repeated shape element. In the past I’ve done circles, stars and hearts. From looking at this year’s products, I think I’m going to want to repeat tags in my project this year.
Embellishment clusters. I love layering embellishments in clusters, primarily around a label for journaling. I like having a mixture of flat + dimensional embellishments. This year, I want to make sure to have labels and a mixture of textures in my embellishments.
Do you do 25 daily stories or just stories? Do you number your pages? Do you want all your numbers to match or all be different? Do you want the number to be a prominent design element on your page or minimal.
I really love my mix & match numbers, these are some of my favorites through the years.
What stories do you want to tell?
The same story year after year. There are a few stories that I tell every year, and I love seeing how they change (or stay the same) as time goes on. I also love coming up with new (and similar) ways to document them. Here is how I documented my annual Christmas cookies in a few different years.
Non-holiday stories. Do you want all of your stories to be related to the holidays or just your December over all? For me, I love including various non-holiday related stories, such as what is going on at work, or end of the year recaps.
Looking back stories. Do you want to only document current year stories or do you use this project as an opportunity to just tell a story per day, even if it’s reflecting on older times? One year, I reflected on Christmas as a child. In 2020, I told the story of what was missing that year, because of the events of 2020, that had been in many of my previous albums.
“Filler” stories. There are some stories I like to tell that don’t have to fall on a specific day. I like having a list of these stories that I might want to include in case there is a day when nothing really happened to document. Some of these stories have included the music I was listening to, current favorites, my wrapping paper.
I hope this inspires you to look back through your albums + other people’s albums to prep for this year’s project.
See Ali’s old albums here.
See flip throughs of some of my albums here.
See photos of some of my pages on instagram with the hashtag #lindalovesdecemberdaily
Looking Back: Supplies
Unless this is your first year doing December Daily, you probably have a box of supplies for this project sitting somewhere in your home. And, even if this is your first year doing this project, unless this is your first time scrapbooking, you probably have some other scrapbooking supplies that would work for this project. Before purchasing new products for this year, I encourage you to look back through what you already have!
When looking through your supplies, here are some things to think about.
What from your stash can you/should you purge?
My first step is always to remove the obvious trash from my stash. These might be scraps of paper or notes that were related to last year’s album. Just getting this stuff out of the bin is helpful to move forward.
Next, select products that you no longer want in your stash that you can donate/get rid of. When determining what to purge from your stash, here are some things to consider:
- Why didn’t I use this product? If you didn’t use it because your album last year was small, but this year your album is going to be larger, that would be a good reason to keep it. If you didn’t use it because it’s not your style, that would be a good reason to get rid of it.
- How old is this product? If it’s something you picked up last year and you haven’t gotten to using it yet, you might want to keep it. If it’s been sitting in your stash for five years, maybe it’s time to let it go.
What from your stash is December Daily specific?
Keep in mind, your entire “December Daily” product bin doesn’t need to be purely December Daily supplies. If you have some beautiful red alphas that have sat in your December Daily bin all year without being touched, maybe now is the time to move those to your regular alpha bin so you can use them in other projects.
Alternatively, if you feel like your December Daily is short on basics like stars or numbers, it’s worth looking through your non-holiday scrap supplies to see if you can find anything to pull in that would coordinate nicely with this project.
What from your stash do you want to keep, but not for this year?
If you’re like me, you’ve already taken a look at the current year products and have ideas swarming in your mind. Basing your album around the new products that excite you is a great idea! But that doesn’t mean your stash has to get ignored. Think about what products from your stash would coordinate nicely with the products you plan to purchase this year.
Everything else can get boxed up for another holiday season to limit your selections for this year. I stashed a lot of these products in the main kit box from last year and put them back in the closet so that they are out of my way while working on this project this year.
What do you already have a lot of/too much of in your stash? What is your stash missing?
If you are still trying to narrow down your shopping list this year, going through your stash is a great way to determine what you should pick up. What do you already have that you don’t need to get? If you have a huge stack of various star shapes, maybe you can skip purchasing extra stars this year.
Alternatively, what are you missing? If you are running low on numbers, you might want to make sure to pick up a few extra sets of those. Don’t forget about basics too, like adhesive and page protectors.
What from your stash do you want to make sure to use this year?
Are there some large embellishments in your stash that you absolutely love, but never got around to using? What about some patterned papers? Look through your stash and pick out the products you want to make sure to get into your album this year.
For me, I want to use a lot of the patterned papers I picked up last year. My album last year was only 4 x 5.5 so I didn’t have an opportunity to use a ton of paper and there are so many pretty ones that I missed out on using! I am going to make sure to keep those papers in my organizer for this year.
How do you plan to store your supplies this year?
I like to have my products readily available during the month in a few different organizers. I will share a lot more about this later this month once I add the new products into the stash, but now is a great time to think about how you plan to store your supplies and how much space you have.
In determining which products from my stash I wanted to keep, I organized them in my organizers, making sure to leave a lot of extra space for new products. During the month of December, these will live on my desk so I have everything on hand for when I want to create.
I hope this post helped encourage you to pull out your old projects & products and start prepping for this year’s project! If you have any questions/thoughts to add please leave them in the comments below.
You can find me on instagram & youtube as @lindalovescreating
I will be back next week when we will be focusing on selecting an album size & format for this year’s project. Happy crafting!