Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Journal - CHECK!

 My gift to myself this year was my completed Christmas Journal.  I finished it today!  I combined Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas with lists (I saw lots of ideas from people I follow on Instagram who were doing 30 Days of Lists), daily diary photos, and whatever struck me each day.  I wasn't as true to Shimelle's process as I was last year, but I still enjoyed reading her prompts and getting the emails (even when I didn't open them)!

Last year, I learned a lot from the first one I made!  (Click here to see it.)  Primarily, I learned to watch the thickness!  I took that lesson to heart this year and was able to use my Bind-It-All with 1-1/4" o-wires to bind my book. 

I accomplished that by using PicMonkey (free collage maker) to combine photos on one 4x6 paper (so I would need fewer photos), using thinner cover boards, and using fewer layers and fewer layered images.  

I used these as full pages but also love that collages allowed me to have tiny pics for journaling tags!
I used this crazy one as a hidden tag, allowing for journaling on one side.

I started by thinking I would send my photos to Walgreen's using my Printicular app (which I love) but remembered how easy and convenient it was to print at home.  I typically took all the photos on my phone, transferred them to my computer (where I store them on a USB drive and online), then edit or collage them before printing.  I had a few where I used phone apps like PicFrame and Fuzel to collage them before saving on my computer then printing.  It just depended on when I thought about it!

The cover was made using artist board I get at Hobby Lobby and cut with an Xacto Knife to 6-1/4" x 6-1/4".  I covered it with velvet paper and glitter paper that I adhered to the artist board using Provo Craft's orange double-sided tape.  I made sure to get it on the very edges and I like it better than any adhesive or tape I have used so far on covers.  The ribbon is one that was on an early gift I got.  I made the tag for the title.  I used my Zutter Bind-It-All and Antique brass o-wires to put it all together.  I special-ordered those late in the month once I realized the silver o-wires wouldn't work and got them in less than a week from Zutter!  (How I wish they had the 1-1/4" in red!!!)  My papers were cut from the same 6" paper pad (I bought two of the same to make sure I had enough papers)-- how easy to make sure they coordinated-- except for one that I cut using Cricut Cartridge Elegant Edges.

This year, I have started including photo CDs, not just of the images used in the albums I have made, but also all the hundreds of photos I didn't use, in my albums!  I included a photo CD in my Christmas journal too.  I think it will make it much easier to find a photo if someone wants a copy than searching through my laptop, USB drives, and CDs, and I think it's fun to see all the added photos.  In ten years, photos that might seem like nothing now, could be priceless to us.  At least, that is my thinking.  I placed the CD into a CD envelope and attached the envelope using adhesive Velcro dots.  It adds thickness, but makes it easy to remove without hurting the book.  Next year, I will work to incorporate that into the design better!  I couldn't decide if I should make a decorative label, but decided against it since it wasn't a photo slide show or DVD.  It really is just a copy of all the 'raw' images from the whole season-- even the crummy shots.

I used tags to journal briefly on each day and an envelope for one day's entry that I had hoped would not be read immediately, but rather discovered later at a future Christmas.  This is a glimpse of the inside pages:

I love the finished book and I love how much less time it took to put into this each day!!  My daughter and I both like it better than last year's book so it really seems like a success.  

We did have a great Christmas, aside from a day of sickness experienced by my little girl on Christmas Eve.  It broke her heart but she was better by Christmas Day!  I will say that this was the least stressful holiday season I have had in years.  I didn't do a lot of crafting and baking projects for Christmas so I had so much more time.  I shopped earlier, I decorated with less 'stuff' than usual, and I spent more time being with my little family!  I learned a lot this year that I plan on using for future Christmases!

I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas, that you find yourself in a better place at the end of 2013 than you found yourself at the beginning of the year, and that you are filled with hope for 2014!  


Sara Andrews said...

Oh Nadia~ it looks simply wonderful!!

JennyKozar said...

Nadia this is just precious -- wonderful wonderful memories for sure!

Sharon said...

Nadia, you are Awesome!

Sis Patterson said...

A beautiful book to be treasured for generations! Thanks for all of the insights that make it "work." Love how you included the photo cd - so all of the photographic record is available.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2014!

Donna Boyce said...

Not only was your journal wonderful, but your destressing tips were great too. Have a wonderful 2014!!

Lenoria said...

I love your journal! I think you are right about it meaning even more in perhaps 10 years or so. I have always been a "camera nut" and made pictures of every occasion and my family is always saying "oh no, here she is with the camera again", but we lost my ex-father in law the first of December and having all those older pictures to look back on and laugh about means SO much. I'm glad your Christmas was wonderful and I hope you continue to have a wonderful New Year and upcoming year.

cdm317 said...

Your journal is perfect! All the pictures and pages are a joy to look at. I love the idea of the photo CD and think I will add one to my DD next year. Happy 2014!

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