witticisms by Jess Witty

October 14, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

Well, folks, I said the day would never come.
You know what they say about saying never ;)

I made a mini album.
That's 31 pages long.
{So isn't that less of a "mini" album and more of a "regular" album?  But I dgress.}
It's an album, and I made it.
And {ducking} I think I love it.

Prepare yourself for one billion pictures of this bad boy...

Today the Papertrey Ink design team is coming together to bring you loads of projects made with October's all new sets... Countdown to Christmas and the companion set, Countdown Details.

These sets are pretty much perfect for those of you who are die hard December Daily album makers, and those of you who, like me, are all new to this whole December Daily idea.

I'm not gonna lie... there are many reasons why I'm solely a card maker and not a scrapbooker.  One of them is the fact that when it comes to design decisions, I'm pretty much the turtle of all decision makers. 

Good grief.  The stress ;)

So this album is pretty much a response to that.  Me thinking, "What can I do to simplify this?  How can I make it enjoyable versus overwhelming?  What do I really want to record?  How can I make it accomplishable for ME?"

I put all of my answers into this album :)

First off, I'm keeping it small. 
One picture per day (all taken on my phone via either Instagram or edited using my iCamera app to square) is all I need. 

Next, I'm keeping it simple.
I used PTI's Library Card tag to die cut all the pages and topped each and every one off with a Fabulous Frames die cut (all in white). 

The design is the same on each page - I stamped the daily number from Countdown Details in black on each one.  I used a simple piece of washi tape (Target) to attach each frame.  That will make it simple to flip the frame up, add the photo, and adhere both down to the page. 

That also leaves me a place to jot a sentence or two about the pic... no need for me to write a story for each picture if it's not needed. If I decide I do need more room than that for whatever day, I'll just do my journaling on the back of the page.

Finally, I varied the pages instead of varrying the details.
In keeping it simple, I released myself of agonizing over details for each page... that is key for me.  You might be great at banging out lots and lots of pages with different details for each page, but man... just the thought of that about breaks me out in hives ;)

For a simple solution, I pulled out an old collection of patterned paper (Everybody Loves Christmas by Echo Park) and used most of the patterns as the base pages. I then filled out the rest of the pages with various papers from the Aqua Mist, Limeade Ice, and New Leaf patterned paper packs as well as a few other random papers.

I added a few vellum cardstock pages, a few from an old Hambly overlay (both above), 2 glitter pages (front and back), and even a few stamped clear cardstock pages (front cover and below). 

The variety of pages gives it a fun, interesting look, but kept it simple for me to put together.  The consistency of the white frame with black stamped number ties everything together so that it looks like it all "goes."

I added a few extra pages to make a front cover (with title from Countdown Details and using the previously released Outlines Alphabet and Library Ledger Year Additions for the numbers) with a protective overlay.

I also added a bit of the new Striped Sweater: Background Basics stamp (gotta use Stazon Opaque ink if you want white ink on clear cardstock - for a few tips, watch my video here) to the overlay for a fun touch. 

Well, there ya go.
A December Daily from me.
That's finished and ready to go a month and half before Christmas.
And I'm actually going to use it.

It's a holiday miracle.

To balance the miracle with reality, I went back to my card making roots ;) 

I put the Countdown sets to work again and came up with a quickie.
A few of the stamp images layered one on top of another makes for a simple collage.

The new Diagonal Stripes impression plate used along the side finishes things off.

For more Countdown to Christmas projects, check out the rest of the team...

Nichole Heady
Cristina Kowalczyk
Erin Lincoln

All righty, folks... give it to me on today's holiday miracle ;)
Any one else out there in need of a simple December Daily plan?
Does this one fit the bill?

{December Daily} album
Supplies not available now but available 10/15: 
Stamps - Countdown to Christmas, Countdown Details, Background Basics: Striped Sweater
Supplies available now:
Stamps - Outlines Alphabet, Background Basics: Houndstooth, Library Ledger Year Additions
CS - White, Vellum
PP - Limeade Ice, New Leaf, Aqua Mist; Everybody Loves Christmas Collection (Echo Park), glitter paper (Best Creations),
Ink - True Black, Simply Chartreuse
Dies - Library Card Tag, Fabulous Frames
Other - ring (Making Memories), washi tape (Target)
{fa la la} card
Supplies not available now but available 10/15: 
Stamps - Countdown to Christmas, Countdown Details
Impression Plate - Diagonal Stripes
Supplies available now:
CS - White, Raspberry Fizz
Ink - True Black, Pure Poppy, Simply Chartreuse; Going Gray (SU)
Other - circle punch


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a great simple layout! I'm with you...I don't do albums for the same reason...all those decisions!! But your album looks great and encourages me to try making one too! You rock!
Thanks pat

Kristin said...

This is great! I did my first one last year and it is one of my kids favorite albums (and as a life long scrapper... I have a ton of books!). To make it even easier, I even too pics of things we did like the night we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas .... There is a pic of that for the day! On our gingerbread house making day, it was the houses that are in there and not the kids :).
Have fun!

Leigh Penner said...

This is how I was planning to do my December Daily this year, Jess! I had planned to use the Fabulous Frames die in white with patterned paper backgrounds for each page. Wow, great minds think alike, it seems! ;) Good to know it will turn out looking fabulous.....

Cristina said...

Yay yay yay! You've solved my annual December Daily dilemma! Now I know how I'm finally going to put together one of these for myself. This is perfect. One photo a day. Flip up the frame, slide in the photo. Done. Love it. And that card is awesome.

Susan said...

I have the same exact problem when scrapbooking. The decisions! Just too many of them! But lady, this is fantastic!! It reminds me of the time you made the Gratitude Rolodex and knocked my socks off.

I think you should switch over to the dark side and make more scrapbooking projects. ;)

Scrapthat said...

Totally AWESOME! and it sounds like it's PERFECT for you! Myself...I need more real Estate in a DD but I love that you could make yours so small!! it's adorable TFS

June K said...

Great mini album. . . small, simple, adorable. And I love the card, too.

Rhonda said...

You make it seem actually doable! Love the small size.

Anonymous said...

I really like the uniformity of the album and the ways its all made with the library card die.

Anonymous said...

Now, projects like this explain why you're my crafting idol :) Maybe this year I'll give December Daily a go!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful mini! I've been debating on starting my own mini album recently (not a december daily), but I do tend to over think things and just get overwhelmed by the possibilities. Great idea on keeping it simple. I think I'll pin this to remind myself that it doesn't have to be fancy.

jan metcalf said...

Congrats on your album! I too keep to card making but need to venture forth, you are my inspiration! Love you use of the clear with staz=on prints.

artful-notions said...

This is why you get paid the big bucks, you do all the planning, preparation and presentation, and we get to enjoy it all! Thank you!

Karen (carefree creations) said...

Oh I love your book. I used to scrap - but I too get so overwhelmed with the sheer number of decisions (though I'm not sure I honestly could say it that way before today - but your description totally summed up why I haven't scrapped in years). I think you've given me the inspiration to try to get back into it (but make it so very simple).

Love the card - and the way you used the striped impression plate!

Nita K. said...

I do an album every December and I still love what you've done. Great job!

andie smith. said...


Meghan said...

I LOVE IT! It's a December album pared down to a do-able level! Way to go!

Cathy Weber said...

I always look forward to your posts and I think I will create a little miracle for myself with this set too! Maybe not a mini book, but something day by day for December. Such great details and love the washi tape idea...it looks perfect with your choices of patterned papers. Great job today, I loved it!

Connie and Jack said...

It's not a mini album - it's a MAXI album! And did your die cut machine overheat, by any chance?!? LOL!

Love, love, LOVE!
-- Connie C.

Mary Lou Kemp said...

I love your mini album idea. Its simplicity makes it appealing and I have the fabulous frames so I have a head start on making an album for myself. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Anonymous said...

You know it was a good post when your viewer leaves with her head spinning with ideas! Thanks. Par K.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! I too am overwhelmed by the whole December Daily album...but you made it super simple...love!

sentsue said...

Perfect! I am with you in the just a cardmaker thing. Thanks for sharing.

see mary stamp said...

Love this design. Simple but polished and all so doable. Have fun filling it up.

handmade_cass said...

I have a hard time making decisions too! I love, love, love your bright and cheery colors with simple layouts. Can't wait to try something similar.

ReNae Allen said...

This album is so neat and tidy and clean and appealing and all the things I want in a project. And I love the washi tape! It's so pretty!

Thanks for the inspiration!

abb0187 said...

This is such a inspiration and stress relieving. I've struggled with trying to do December Daily the last two years, and I think I just didn't start simple enough. It seems simple, but I can't believe I didn't think of limiting myself to one photo from instragram a day! Genius! Thanks

Bev Gerard * TexasGrammy said...

Oh my. Do you even realize that the library card die is crying out to me at this very moment??? This is to "LUV"!

Denise E said...

Oh Jess, so proud of you for doing this awesome little mini (or dare I say BIG album!). This is an idea I had with the "polaroid frame" and I'm so glad to see you made it and it's so cute! I'm definitely trying this! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Fabulous!

Amy Kolling said...

Thank you thank you Jess! I absolutely love your idea and I have the same problem with decisions when it comes to scrapping! I love it but man it takes me FOREVER! This project is totally doable and I love it soo much!!! Where will you get your Instagram photos printed? I love this idea!

jintyoo7 said...

Fantabulous :)

Sherrie M. said...

Love the simplicity of your album! I am gonna make the same album design with LAST years December Daily supplies and pictures which are just sitting in a pile.....might be a good way to get me in the mood for the holidays! Thanks for sharing such a FABULOUS idea!

Amy Rohl said...

Aaack, stop with the simple cute perfect-ness already, will ya?! LOVE everythign, Jess..you are magic!

Kelly Griglione said...

Love, love how you took us through your design dilemmas, or rather, tip toed around them, and came up with a solution that would work for you. Guess what, I think it would work for me too! Brilliant, keep the format the same and just vary the background. I. LOVE. IT.

Crestajune said...

What a great idea, Jess! I LOVE this! I always want to do a December Daily or some other kind of mini album but never seem to be able to for all of the reasons you mentioned... and more! This seems totally do-able. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a fantastic day!

Anabelle O'Malley said...

It turned out great!!! Now all you need to do is print out those pictures. I might attempt to do something similar! ;)

Heather said...

This is amazing! You absolutely, as always, inspire me!