Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Post: December Daily with Jules

I have an amazing December Daily guest post from Jules Hollis, you can read her blog at Inspired Jules.  Today she's telling the story behind why she makes a December Daily every month. Even if you aren't a holiday person, she has some wonderful reasons why you should document a single month every year. 
Hello Paper Crafters!

My name is Jules and I would like to talk a little bit today about why you should make a December Daily album every year. Of course, if December is not really your month, I think you should document the same month every year for the same reasons. I know we are 5 days in to December already, but you could easily make a simple album and record this December as we go along or even do a December highlights album. 

There is something quite magical about December for those of us that celebrate this holiday season. I have documented every December in a little album every year since 2008 along with Ms. Ali Edwards. The first thing that I notice about my albums over the years is how my crafting style has evolved over time. If you laid out all of my albums side by side, you would see a noticeable evolution in style and size (especially the years after I learned to sew). 

2008 Cover
My very first cover of my very first album. 

Another thing that is notably different is the people. When you flip through each album, you can see how each person has changed in a year. Obviously people grow and change over the course of the year. A fabulous way to capture that growth is by documenting the same month every year!

As I mentioned earlier, my paper crafting style has evolved with each album. But, there is also a noticeable evolution in my photography (and Photoshop) skills. You can also notice changes within the pictures of my Christmas decor style. For example, I can note the year that we started getting a real tree (2009). 

First ever real tree for me.

Another record that comes from documenting the same month every year is the development or doing away with traditions. For example, last year was the first year that we used Christmas books as a countdown to Christmas. In my December Daily, I recorded the book that was chosen/opened that day. This year, I will record the books again. It will be kind of interesting to see which books where chosen when. Also, last year, we purchase a little tree for the boys to decorate upstairs and learned that it was a disaster. We won't be doing that again. When I look back at these albums, I will know which year we tried that experiment.

Recording of the wrapped countdown book. 

If, for nothing else, you should record the same month every year for the pure awesomeness. How cool will it be to have 20 Decembers recorded to cover 20 years? I hope that my kids will love these albums. They already love pulling them out of the cabinet and looking through them. I know that this series will be my favorite to look back on. I love recording this magical season. 

Over the years, I have also learned what works for me and what doesn't. I learned in 2010 that I can't go overboard with the foundation pages. I made the foundation pages in November, but was quite overzealous and wasn't able to quite complete the album. So, I re-made the album in June of 2011 by printing 25 pictures from December and adhering them to 25 pre-made pages.

After my first album in 2008, I learned that 6x6 inches is a tad small for the amount of stuff that I like to include. Last year, I learned that I like to get creative with the foundation pages and allow myself room to just add pictures and some embellishment during the month of December. 

I whole heartedly believe in this album and activity. You can go as simple or as elaborate as your own paper crafting style. There are no rules or regulations to this project. I also think that one of the coolest aspects of making a December Daily album is how thousands of people make this album all over the globe.

My album cover for this year.

I will leave you now with my best piece of advice: approach the album as a whole project and be patient with yourself during the busy holiday season. I do hope that I have given you a few reasons to record December every year or even simply record your favorite month of the year.

I would love for you to hop over to my blog at Inspired Jules. If you'd like to just read up on my December Daily Albums, I have set up a compilation page of all my albums.

Happy paper crafting to you!!