December Daily® 2017 | Video Overview of Foundation Pages

DDFoundationPages.jpgThe time is here!  We’ve finally reached November, when it’s considered totally acceptable and not weird to be discussing December Daily®! Although, to be transparent, I’ve been dropping December Daily photos on my Instagram since September. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with being a little weird ;)

Today I’m here to share my plan and foundation pages for my 2017 album. Let’s get started!

DD List and Calendar.jpgPlanning Ideas:

While foundation pages are totally new to me this year, my planning process still remains the same.  I hold strong to two things that have helped me most the last two years in completing my album by the end of December (or early January).

  1. List of Ideas: I cannot stress how helpful brainstorming a list like this has been in keeping me on track with my album the last two years.  When I start to create my list I already know that I may/may not document every single thing there, but it gives me a fallback for days that I’m struggling with ideas on what to document.
  2. December Calendar:  One of my favorite tools to use for setting up and working on my album is my December Calendar.  This calendar is strictly for December events that I know I want to record in my album (appointments and all other general activities are kept on a separate calendar).  I write down things such as Christmas parties, cookie baking gatherings, holiday plays, etc.  Knowing what’s going to be happening throughout the month not only helps as I’m building my foundation pages, but also reminds me to record those events in my album. Sometimes I record events in my album on the same day they occur in real life (for example, if a Christmas party happens on the 22nd, sometimes it will go on the 22nd day in my album), but this is not always the case.   I’m definitely not tied to doing things in chronological order because I know that in looking back on my albums, the date will be irrelevant while the activity itself will be what I want to remember. (P.s. the calendar in the photo above comes from Jasmine Jones’ 2016 digital mini kit)

DD3.jpgFoundation Pages:

As I mentioned before, building foundation pages is something that is new to me this year.  I’m always admiring other people’s foundation pages, but I’ve always worried that creating them would hinder my flexibility when I started to work on my album in December.  However, I wanted to try it this year.  Can’t knock it ’til you try it! Plus, the idea of getting a little more ahead this year and at least having all of my numbers in place sounded so appealing, so we’ll see how it goes!

In order to keep maximum flexibility I didn’t do anything too detailed to my pages, I didn’t adhere anything down, and I kept a very neutral color scheme.

Traveler’s Notebook Journal

This year I’ve decided to work on a traveler’s notebook in addition to my 6″x8″ album.  This notebook is mainly going to be for journaling to capture everyday stories, thoughts, feelings, basically all of the extra “stuff” that never makes it into my album.  I may do some stamping or embellishing inside, but my main focus for this notebook is on the words and I’m not going to worry about it looking (too) pretty.

Supplies I’ll be Using:

2017 Ali Edwards Main Kit  (note: physical kit is sold out, but the digital kit can be purchased here)

2016 Paislee Press Mini Kit (note: physical kit is sold out, but the digital kit can be purchased here)

This 6×8 album

Ali Edwards Black and White card set

(*Please note that the supplies listed above were graciously provided to me as being part of the Ali Edwards Creative Team, however, all opinions are my own. None of the links in this post are affiliate links)

Large Cork Numbers

Be Merry Kit by Kelly Purkey: I plan to use this mainly for my Traveler’s Notebook

*I’ll also be pulling in some other items from my general stash and leftovers from previous years’ kits.

In case you’re interested, I’ve also put together a video overview of all of my pages where you can hear me talk a little more about my process of setting up my album.

Leave me a comment if you have any questions at all! :)

 

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Love and Peace

VegasWhen I first started this post my intention was to share photos of the roadtrip O and I went on last week when we traveled to Aspen, CO.  However, sitting down and thinking about the last stop on our trip has me feeling so emotional and my heart feels like this post needs to go in a different direction.

Like everyone, I’m completely heartbroken about what happened in Vegas last weekend.  I can’t watch the news without tearing up, and knowing that O and I were eating dinner in the Mandalay Bay only 5 hours before this horrific event took place gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.   I can’t imagine what the victims and their families must be going through.

The importance of love, peace, and joy is needed now more than ever, and I do plan to share happy photos from our trip and lots more projects right here on the blog very soon, but at this moment I just needed to send this out into the world.  If you need a hug in light of all that has been going on in the world lately please know that I am sending you a virtual one right now.

I want to end this post with a song that I heard for the first time only a few days ago. It gave me peace in a moment when I was feeling pretty sad so I’d like to share it here.

Dear Hate by Maren Morris:

Dear Hate
I saw you on the news today
Like a shock that takes my breath away
You fall like rain, cover us in drops of pain
I’m afraid that we just might drown

Dear Hate
Well, you sure are colorblind
Your kiss is the cruelest kind
You could poison any mind
Just look at mine
Don’t know how this world keeps spinning ’round and ’round

Dear Hate
You were smiling from that Selma bridge
In Dallas, when that bullet hit and Jackie cried
You pulled those towers from the sky
But even on our darkest nights
The world keeps spinning ’round

Dear Love
Just when I think you’ve given up
You were there in the garden when I ran from your voice
I hear you every morning through the chaos and the noise
You still whisper down through history and echo through these halls
And tell me love’s gonna conquer all

Thoughts on Story Camp 2017

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Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2017 Ali Edwards Story Camp in Eugene, OR.  If you had told me even six months ago that I was going to have an opportunity to meet Ali, who has so heavily influenced the way I think about memory keeping, and in turn just thinking about everyday life, I probably would have brushed it off in disbelief.   So, as uber cliche as this is to say, going to this event was honestly a bit of a dream come true for me.StoryCamp1.jpg

Story Camp started on Friday (June 2) evening with a writing workshop.  Writing has always been my biggest challenge when it comes to memory keeping, so I was excited to dive into this portion.  Some prompts proved to be more challenging than others, but I was happy to stick with it.  The whole session felt therapeutic being surrounded by so many supportive friends who understand why this is important.

StoryCamp3.jpgSaturday was a very full day.  After breakfast and a quick walk to grab a chai latte, the day began. We finished up the writing portion of the workshop and then headed into the 4 projects Ali had planned for us.  It was so fun stretching myself with each project.  Each project got me out of my comfort zone in some way, and for that I’m grateful.2017-06-08 09.11.18 1.jpg

(Photo above by Laura Wosnik)

I’m so used to scrapping on my own, so to have the opportunity to walk around and see what others were working on, and to see their excitement about the projects, was so much fun.

In the evening I had dinner with 4 fellow creative team members, Brandi Kinkad, Jess Forster, Laura Wonsik, and Pam Baldwin.  It was seriously the best.  Each of them has inspired me so much, and to have the chance to talk to them (in real life!) was incredible.  Jess also recorded a bit of our conversation to go on her podcast (coming soon!), so you might want to check that out if you’re interested in hearing multiple perspectives on what people got out of the workshop.

StoryCamp4.jpgIf I were to plan my trip all over again I would have given myself 2 extra days- one to explore Portland and another to explore Eugene, but, in the few minutes that I did get to walk around, I tried to make the most of it.  I was super charmed by lovely Eugene.

The whole experience was pretty emotional for me, which definitely came out in a good cry on Sunday morning when I met up with Ali, Katie, and the other creative team member attendees for donuts and conversation . . . and inevitably, to say goodbye.

2017-06-08 09.11.12 1.jpgSo, here I am, one week later, still trying to process everything and how much it meant to me.  I will forever be grateful to Ali and Katie for their generosity, and to each and every person that attended who I got to know and hear their stories.StoryCamp6.jpgIMG_5826.jpg

Spring Reading Recap

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Hi friends,

I’m back today with another reading recap!  I enjoyed some really good books in April and May, so today I thought I’d share.

First Comes Love by Emily Griffin: I’m a big fan of Emily Griffin novels.  She seems to find a really good balance between lightheartedness and emotional.  This story follows two very different sisters, their relationship with each other, the life struggles they are going through, and how they are dealing with a tragic family accident that happened many years before.  The way I’m describing it probably makes it sound more sad than it is.  There’s a nice balance between emotional and funny, lighthearted moments.

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes:  This book would be perfect to take on a trip!  The first half of the book (about 150 pages) is a short story about a young woman who gets stood up by her boyfriend in Paris, but breaks out of her shell and makes the most of her trip!  The last half of the book is made up of several more short stories.  Typically, I’m not into short stories.   I usually feel like just as soon as I start to get into it, it’s over, but this book was pretty enjoyable.

The Widow by Fiona Barton: After a couple of lighthearted books, I went for something darker.  In a nutshell, the story is about a woman whose husband is accused of kidnapping and murdering a little girl.  The story is seen from multiple perspectives: The widow, the detective who follows the case, a reporter, the mom of the kidnapped girl.  The subject matter made me cringe, but I found myself reading on to find out how it all would end.

Startup: A Novel by Doree Shafir:  This was my Book of the Month pick for April.  At first, I found this book really hard to get into.  I started it before I read ‘Paris for One’ and ‘The Widow’ but only got through about 20 pages before putting it down for awhile.  I’m so happy I decided to give this one another try.  In the first few pages the tech lingo really frustrated me, but once I got through those first couple of chapters I found myself hooked on each character’s story and how they are all woven together.

The One and Only by Emily Griffin:  As much as I love Emily Griffin novels, this one was sadly not a big hit for me.  Listened to this one as an audiobook as I was painting our downstairs bathroom and driving to and from work.  I’ll admit that it kept me entertained in that regard, but I don’t know if I would have been able to just sit and read it from cover to cover.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware: I’m currently on the wait list for “The Woman in Cabin 10” so while I was waiting (I’m still waiting . . .) for that one to come in I decided to listen (its another audiobook) to In a Dark, Dark Wood.  This book is great on many levels.  It’s laugh out loud funny at times, each character is interesting in their own right, and its all set in a who done it type of plot.  So good.

Currently I have ‘Into the Water,’ ‘And We’re Off,’ and ‘Since We Fell’ on my bookshelf.  What are you reading?

Lens Story Kit Layout

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I’m pretty sure I say this with just about every new Ali Edwards Story Kit release, but the new Lens Story Kit  has to be my favorites!  All of the icons and colors have me like, WOAH!  This kit is not only beautiful, but the ‘Lens’ theme is so versatile.  I can definitely see myself writing down some meaningful stories using this kit.SZayas_Lens_Detail1.jpg

This 2-page 6″ x 8″ layout was put together using mainly the digital kit.  In fact, the only piece that isn’t from the digital kit is the top right circle where I used my traditional stamps to stamp out ‘Lens’ in blue ink and ‘See the Good’ and ‘Today’s View’ in grey ink.

All of these photos are from my documentation of Week in the Life, which I captured last week, and I’m thinking I might actually use these as title pages when I start to put my album together.  I like the idea of having a page that provides an overview for the week before jumping into each day.  Plus, now I actually feel a bit ahead of the game having a page in my album done! It’s a win, win!

Elle’s Studio Guest Designer Project

SZayas_Elle'sStudio_Photo1.jpgI’m so excited and humbled that I was asked to be a guest designer for Elle’s Studio this month.  I’ve been a fan of Elle’s kits for so long!  Having the opportunity to play around with the April and Live Laugh Love kits and to share some projects this month was so much fun!  If you’re interested to read more about this project head on over to Elle’s blog.  More projects to come later this month!!

30 Days of Gratitude: Completed Traveler’s Notebook

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Its still so hard to wrap my head around the fact that it’s already December.  It feels like not long ago I was stamping the cover of my Gratitude Traveler’s Notebook getting ready to fill its pages with just some of the things I’m thankful for, and here I am today already sharing the completed notebook! Time flies.

Even though I was already sharing all of the pages of my notebook over on my Instagram throughout the month, I still wanted to do a full flip-through so I could talk about some of the materials I used and the techniques I played around with.

At times this project felt a bit overwhelming (as almost any daily project that is sustained for a good chunk of time tends to be!) but on the whole it really was just a fun activity and great practice for last month.  I look forward to flipping through these pages for many years to come!

P.S. You can find my 2015 Gratitude Mini here. :)