So how are your Christmas preparations coming along? Are you one of those who plans all year or are you a leave it all to the last minute kinda person? I'm a planner... I've almost completed all of my Christmas shopping, I've got the wrapping paper and tags, I've got LOTS of beads that need to be made into presents, the house smells amazing with the first of many Christmas cakes in the oven and Management is being sent up into the loft this weekend to retrieve the Advent envelopes which we fill with festive activities as part of our Christmas countdown.
The other preparations that I normally make (but won't be this year because of my writing course) is for Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas project. I've done it a couple of times in the past and preparation definitely helps. I'm still working on last year's album in bits and pieces but I thought I would share some ideas from some of the finished pages from 2011 and a few of the things I did to help me along the way.
I've used a variety of sizes and shapes in my Christmas albums in the past but this 8.5x11 was my favourite to work with. I used standard A4 plastic pockets and cardstock which helped to reduce the costs considerably. I also cut some patterned papers to A4 and varied between a cardstock or a paper background.
In the run up to December I pre-made all my date / number tags in a sort of production line affair. I used a selection of different papers from a My Mind's Eye Collection and layered up a star shaped nesting die, then an E K Success label punch, a flower nesting die which was embossed with swiss dots, a Martha Stewart pinked circle punch and then smaller punches in a Christmas tree, snow flake and heart shape. I ended up not putting the number on many of them because I found I wanted to move them around to fit my own story better. Each tag was slightly different with the different papers used and then a button or a gem added to finish them off.
The date tags help the album to flow and give a sense of cohesion, as does using only a select few products for the whole project. I kept to the same collection for the papers and chose one border punch to use throughout. I pre-made some pockets and tags and I embellished them using that border punch, even using the punch waste for minimal effort and to really stretch my stash.
I also prepared a few pages that I knew would be coming up such as using vellum on this page to make a pocket for a couple of important cards. Its nice to see vellum becoming "on trend" again (although I have always loved it and used it!)
Here is another tag that I made prior to December by layering a snowflake punch over the negative. The cardstock in this layout is actually the reverse side of some photographic paper from the pound shop! It makes a great base and saves those all important pennies again.
As well as the papers and the preprepared tags and embellishments, I picked out a handful of alphabets in coordinating colours in several different sizes so that I didn't have to go through my entire stash every time. I have this particular alphabet in the red and the green and it is very pretty but there are no "W"s!
The 2 slightly hidden photos are not great but they are still part of the story so they need to be in the album. This is an ideal placement for including a concertina book for 3 or more photos.
So are you doing any kind of December project this year? How about some yummy new stash to help you on your way? If you comment on all the blogs in the hop, finishing at Jennifer to let her know that you've been all the way around, then you'll be in with a chance to win a spectacular seasonal prize of Basic Grey Aspen Frost and Carta Bella Winter Fun items, worth over £25! All entries must be received by Monday the 19th of November at 10.59pm GMT. Your next stop along the hop is Lizzie.
Here's a list of all the blogs in the hop, in the correct order in case you get lost.