Creating a December Daily or Countdown to Christmas


The December daily albums have become quite popular.   As you think about your December, what do you remember? The first week, it will be hard to remember to take that special photo every day and may seem boring and routine, but include it!  As the month progresses, you will have a more difficult time deciding which activity to include and may decide to have a collage.  I think it is better with one photo and short journaling so you can enjoy the whole album at one sitting.  You don’t need to go into much detail and include every activity or you will become exhausted just remembering it!

img_2242Last year I chose the 4×4 album with the 4×4 page protectors.  I love this size and have several on my shelf.  The first thing I did was to create a little template to use for each day.  There are several pocket cards in various sizes that you can use instead, but I like this idea and it only cost me the price of printing a 4×6 photo, that I did at home.   I set my printer to 4×6 regular (not borderless) so I can trim to 4×4 with a neat white border.   I print all my photos and daily cards the same way.

titleDon’t forget you will need a title page and a closing page as each date is a double page.

Supply List for this album:4×4 album, 30 4×4 page protectors, and a trimmer for sizing your photos (if you don’t trust a perfect line with scissors.  There are lots of album choices and the other needed supplies on Amazon.


Here are a few examples from my album:

I used the kit “Christmas Buddies” by Jeanne Moore to create my title pages.


img_2246 img_2243

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Adding Quotes, Poems or Special Sentiments to Pages

You may have a favorite quote, poem or narrative that you want to remember or you may have a favorite photo that you want to make a special place in your album or to frame. Here are a few samples of how I accomplished this.

Hero click to enlarge
Hero Click to enlarge

My daughter wrote this for her discussion board for one of her college classes. Her professor was so impressed, he posted on the course page.  I had to make a page so that we would always have that writing in our albums.

Journaling: “When you strip all of the details away from people, i.e. appearance, talents, tools, toys, money, education, gender, age, society, race, etc., you are left with the core, the soul, the inner being. Our inner beings are the same, we have the same needs, desires and strengths. I believe these needs, desires and strengths are what myths speak to and that is why they are “beyond time” and can be considered part of the “collective conscious”.

The hero in the myth gets to be, feel and embody those needs, desires and strengths for us and therefore is the reason the myth is appealing and fulfilling. And while I hope that every individual gets to experience the life of a hero more than once in his/her own life, we cannot sustain those feelings on a regular basis. So, we look to heroes to remind us, inspire us and satiate us until we can experience them again for ourselves. Without living vicariously through the hero, the myth does not come alive for us and therefore, yes, the hero is myth in action.

Sunflowers -Click to enlarge
Sunflowers -Click to enlarge

This one is because of the photo.  I was driving on Hwy 75 and at the Nebraska/Iowa border, this amazing field of sunflowers filled both sides of the highway.  It was also amazing because the time of day made it perfect as the flowers followed the setting sun.  I wrote the sentiment to capture what I was thinking a the time. I wanted to remember this moment! Journaling: “If I were a flower.. I would be a sunflower.
To always follow the sun, Turn my back to darkness,
Stand proud, tall and straight even with my head full of seeds.”

Mother in daisy field
Mother -Click to enlarge


This was a tribute page to my mother after her passing.  She loved her daisies so she and my dad, scattered seeds each year in a section of their property.  I searched for just the right sentiment to complete the page. Journaling: “Flowers look up to the sun; Children look up to their Mothers.”

I have also captured Children’s quotes and Headlines.  It’s a great way to be able to recall those special writings.

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Posters and Cards

If you have a layering photo editing program like Photoshop Elements, you can make some really unique cards and/or posters using just the layering and erase functions.

Decorating a birthday cake with posters
Decorating a birthday cake with posters Click to enlarge

For my daughter’s 40th birthday, I put my daughter into several movie posters and made a huge base for the cake.  The theme was “Hollywood – Everyone is a Star”. My favorite website for getting my movie posters is Movieposterdb.  You purchase credits at a very reasonable price and use one credit for each download.


I also made a special movie poster for each guest as a “take home” gift.  It was so fun and I even tried to include their personality in my choice of movies used.  I printed 22×11, mounted on poster board (see poster blog post). I then lined the room of the party with these posters and everyone loved walking around and seeing who they were.

Poster - before / after
Poster – before / after

To personalize the poster, I put the poster on a background layer.  Then I erased the face on the original poster, found an appropriate photo of the person I wanted to place in the poster and layered it between the background and the original.  Then I sized my photo and placed in the appropriate spot.  On this one, I erased all of Harry Potter’s face, but left the glasses rims.  This is my grandson and he thought it was awesome!

Using magazine covers as birthday cards.
Using magazine covers as birthday cards.

This can also be used as birthday cards using posters or magazine covers. There are a few apps that allow you to do some of this but you have to chose their templates, which is great if the cover applies.  Try it, it’s loads of fun to give and receive.

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Making a Souvenir Poster of an Event

Click to enlarge
8 x 10 Click to enlarge

When my grandson’s Destination Imagination group won First Place, we wanted to give each participant a keepsake of the event.  It was decided I would make a poster, similar to a movie poster, printed in color.  I made two different posters to let the committee have a choice.  This one is printed 8×10 and will fit into a standard frame.  I have blurred the children’s faces and names because I don’t have permission to publish, but the posters were a great success!

Click to enlarge
8.5 x 11 Click to enlarge

This one is a 8.5 x 11 You can either frame in a standard 9 x 12  frame or mount on poster board.  You can choose a good 9 x 12 drawing paper to use as background paper in a frame.  If you use poster board, you can trim the board to size using a metal straightedge and an X-Acto Knife.  I used spray adhesive to place the printed poster onto the board and carefully smoothed and patted with a dry cloth.  If you printed with an ink jet printer, you may want to spray with a acrylic finish since it won’t be under glass.  Test it first to make sure it doesn’t make the ink run.  Then I used a very fine sandpaper to smooth the edges.  Use a gently touch doing this step.

To make these posters, you can use your digital scrapbooking skills or make physical poster and take a photo of it to print one for each participant.  The kids love a poster that includes a picture of themselves and their name in bold letters.

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Fun and unique, but functional personal cookbook

You can quickly and easily create the perfect cookbook as a gift or for your favorite recipes.
You can quickly and easily create the perfect cookbook as a gift or for your favorite recipes.

We have looked at a Heritage Cookbook and how to preserve those precious recipes and memories, but what about a practical, fun, everyday cookbook with your favorite recipes? You will have your recipes and special instructions at your fingertips.  You can add a photo or special title in the upper slots, but have a pull out card of the actual recipe or leave it in the book protected by the pocket.  It is also easy to pull out and copy or just reprint another copy when that special recipe is requested.


img_1952For this project I have chosen the 6×8 physical pocket album with one 4×6 pocket on the bottom and 2 3×5 pockets on the top.  I want to always put the actual recipe in the 4×6 slot so it can be removed for use and replaced.  You might want to file these in a special digital folder in case you need to reprint one for someone or need to replace one that got damaged in the kitchen.  The two 3×5 slots will be used for a photo of the person who loves this recipe or contributed it, a title card, or even a photo of the prepared food.  I did use category dividers but did not include an index or table of contents.  I used the Legacy recipe divider pages by Simple Stories.

The reason there is no index or table of contents is that I add recipes fairly often and just don’t want to keep editing and replacing the index or table of contents.  Maybe when I feel it is too big and hard to find the recipe I need, I will remove those used the least and put in a separate book and index that one and add a table of contents, but still keep a book I can add to.

img_1955The recipes can be hand-written, typed, clipped and mounted on a card, or printed from a website. You can handwrite comments or substitutions, too.  I used heavy card stock for these pages instead of photo paper for this reason.


So, what do you say, let’s get that stack of recipes out of the drawer or it’s box hidden in the pantry or stuck in-between pages of an old cookbook and put them in an easy to use and easy to share format?

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Documenting a DIY Project

Have you ever finished a project, stood back to admire and then think “Why didn’t I take a photo before I started?”  That’s when you start digging through your photos and try to find a picture with the area in the background so you have some remembrance of what it was before.  For you next project, as you remove items to prepare the area, take a step back, look at it with your full attention and then snap a couple of photos.

Also, document the process.  If a joint effort, get a shot of everyone who helped during the project and the different steps taken.  When complete, step back and again look at the result with your full attention and take a few photos.

My daughter's kitchen cabinet update
My daughter’s kitchen cabinet update Click to enlarge

On the layout above, I used digi scrapbooking and made a two-page spread.  This project took long hours over several days and everyone helped, even the kids!

My kitchen update. Click to enlarge
My kitchen update. Click to enlarge

This one is my kitchen cabinet update and although it took several weeks, the work was done at a different location so we don’t have in progress, just before and after.  This layout was created by using the new “Click Or Drag” Quick Pocket’s templates by Lauri Callison and Boys Rule journaling cards by Becky Higgins.


It’s also a great idea to always date your layouts.  I know several times we will ask, “When did we do that?” and I can look at my scrapbooks and find it quicker than looking through receipts. It’s so nice to look back and appreciate your hard work and the help of others to accomplish your goals.


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Military Memories Book

My Dad served in World War II and I have a few photos from his service and I want to honor them in a special book.  I will journal and include pictures of his discharge papers, etc. but want to share a couple of pages with you here.

2 page spread

I chose the 6×8 because it will accommodate both vertical and horizontal photos.  Most of the formal photos are vertical so I can devote a whole page for them.  I scanned them all so all of the siblings could have a copy, but the only originals I have are in frames, so my album will be digital.  I plan to duplicate this in physical with the originals for my brother who has the actual photos.

2 page spread
2 page spread

My favorite photo of all is the one of my Dad lying on his bunk, writing to my Mom with her photo in the background.  He told us some great stories about that photo that I have written and included in the album.

These are precious photos and I can’t ask questions about them now, so I want to document what we can remember of what he shared with us before the history is lost.



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Songs as Inspiration for your Page

My Wish for You
My Wish for You – Click to Enlarge

Sometimes we hear a song that so says what we are thinking or so applies to a situation we have gone through, that it immediately becomes a favorite.  I like to scrap these songs and keep them special.



Generating a CR code
Generating a CR code


If someone might not know the song, or you just want to be able to listen to it while looking at the page, include a QR code.  Just google QR Code and a box will appear that allows you to put the address of the video on the left and it will create a code on the right. I used the address for the video on YouTube.  Using a QR Scan App on your phone, just scan the code and it automatically brings us the video.  Try it!

Click to Enlarge
Watching You – Click to Enlarge

Here is the completed page with the code.  Some feel the code makes the page look too commercial, but I love having the song readily available.


You can also use QR codes to go to your private YouTube account for home videos.

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