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20 posts categorized "December Daily"

December 30, 2013

Wrapping up December Daily


And just like that, December Daily is over. 

This was my second year doing this project and I really loved it. True, my style isn't super crafty. Oh sure, I learned how to use my Silhouette this year, but overall, I kept it pretty simple. 

Here are the final pages.





On the back side of the wrap up page is a full page image that  looks like this:


If you've followed my album this December, you know that I bought a PictureMate Charm about midway through the process. (And no, it wasn't a freebie from Epson. I shelled out the cold, hard PayPal cash for it.) After I blew through the first starter pack of paper and ink, I reordered a set of the matte paper plus ink, and I am seriously in love with it.

I'm a huge fan of Ilford Gallerie papers when I print on my HP, but the Epson matte 4 x 6 paper feels just like it. It has a smooth, luster, matte finish. And, the photos look great.

I have a dilemma now: because I am committed to doing Project Life digitally in 2014, I'm wondering how to get the best use of my new little PictureMate. I don't want it to just sit on my desk, sad, lonely and wondering why no one seems to care. I'm either going to have to come up with a new project that requires prints, or just start scrapbooking good old fashioned pages more often.

Now THAT'S a crazy idea. Scrapbook pages.

Thanks, Ali Edwards, for all the December Daily inspiration. You are cool and I'm happy to call you my friend. 


December 23, 2013

December Daily and wrapping up Project Life


Just a few more days until Christmas and then it's time to close the book on December Daily for 2013. This is my second year doing the album and I've really loved the process. 

Even though I use a lot of digital techniques, I love the printing and trimming of photos and cards and the few little crafty touches here and there. I'm not quite ready—and will possibly never be ready—to say good bye to my adhesive just yet.

Why not have the best of both worlds, right?


The whole Miley Cyrus on the ornament thing? That just made my Christmas (thanks, May Flaum!)

I'd also like to note the photo in the top, right-hand pocket. You know how it's cute to shoot your kids alseep on Christmas Eve when they're little? I chose to shoot them at around Noon, sleeping in on the first day of Christmas vacation. And they're still adorable.

Note: download my free 3 x 4 layered journaling card seen above by clicking here.


Over the weekend, I put together a few more weeks of Project Life, with this week being the final official week of 2013. Yes, I plan to combine the end of the year and the start of the year for my first week of 2014. 




Just two more weeks and the album will be done for 2013. And, best of all, it all fits into one binder. I went ahead and said yes to single pages for the past few weeks. I figure there is going to be a little overlap with my December Daily album, so what the hey. Why not?

I hope you have a very merry Christmas with your families and friends and everyone you love.

I'll be taking a few days off to make merry with those very people in my life.






December 20, 2013

More December Daily Pages + a very Cool Yule giveaway


Has this been the fastest December in history? Or is that just what happens with each successive year in middle age and beyond? 

I have a few more pages to share today but first, Santa came to my house little early this year. He was so thoughtful! I was so surprised! (Note: in this scenario, I am Santa and the only surprise was that I apparently have NO clue how to plug anything in because I tried to and there was zero power.  And then I called The North Pole B+H Photo Video to request an exchange.) That said, here's what he brought me:


Oh for cute! Yes, the PhotoMate Charm arrived on my doorstep last night, and after Dan showed me how electrical plugs work, I was up and running. I decided to get a small printer for two reasons:

1. My main photo printer doesn't print 4 x 6 photos anymore and hasn't for about a year or more. (Read about all of the things I use in crafty tech life here.)

2. Ali said it was awesome. And as you may or may not know, Ali doesn't front.

So far, I am in love and I've only printed out three photos, including the two in the bottom two pockets on the right side of this spread.


It's quick, quiet enough and the color quality is excellent.

It also does such a great job printing borders on things. This will go into the album when I put together yesterday's page. Note: I added a thin outline inside the photo, too.

Note No. 2: Aidan hates this photo.


Look at that symmetrical border. Anal retentive scrapbookers UNITE!

Here's the previous page. Note: I used a Holiday Story Card on top of Aidan's photo, but deleted the text that comes in the overlay and added my own text box.


I still love my kraft cut out cards. 


If anything, the Silhouette is my favorite Christmas crafting tool of all time. Amen. (Learn how to make cards like this here.)



Now for some giveaway goodness! My good friend Kerri Bradford is hosting a sweet giveaway on her blog today. You can enter to win my entire Cool Yule Collection (nine digital packages in all!) just by leaving a comment on her blog. Plus, while you're there download her daily freebie. She's been doing a really great 12 Days of Giveaways, and you still can get in on the daily downloads for a few more days.

Click here to enter her giveaway.



December 18, 2013

More December Daily pages + a free layered journaling card for you


My album is filling up! 

As I was noticing how thick the book was starting to get—and this is with practically zero bulkly scrapbook-y items—I realized I needed to maximize the space. My solution? Design a simple 3 x 4 card to match my Day Documents that would take up a little less space.


But it's not like I can package and sell one little 3 x 4 card, so for all of you who are using the Day Documents—and heck, for those of you who aren't—here's a little free card package for you that matches the Day Document sets.


Download CZ_FreeDayDoc (click green type to download)

One thing that I thought was just a brilliant idea was to punch some holes in my holiday card and put it into my album. (Thanks, Ali!) Plus, it got me to pull out and use my Crop-A-Dile. Haven't done that in years.


True story: my holiday photo is totally Photoshopped. Both Cole and Dan's head's came from other photos. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like head replacement.

I stamped some trees on the back side and added a little embellishment


I had some acrylic stamps made from my Cool Yule Decor No. 02 set. I wish I could tell you they were available in actual stamp form somewhere. They presently are not. That's on my list of things to make in 2014. 

And for anyone who wonders what my husband looks like wearing his mother's clothes? Just look below.



Enjoy the card download. There are instructions on how to use it included with the package.

Note: the cute little 'Tis the Season Circle is a digital stamp from Kerri Bradford Studio.You can snag the set for just .99 cents.


December 16, 2013

December Daily, Days 11 to 14


You all know I'm not much of a stamper. Oh sure, I have the inks. I have the stamps. But what to do with them all? Let's just say they fill space in my cabinet very nicely.

But the one time of year I really love stamps is Christmas, mostly for using on Christmas card envelopes to liven them up a bit.

I got this idea to make a handful of my own acrylic stamps, just to see how they would turn out. Aside from the quality being just okay, I've been having fun with them all the same.


I'm thinking of getting into offering stamp sets in 2014. We'll have to see where it goes, but it's definitely something on my 2014 goals list.

Here are my past few days of December Daily.


I used my Silhouette to cut out the "believe" ornament, then mounted it some pop dots. I know. Clever girl. (To see how I outline PNGs using my Silhouette, watch this video.)


Spread two included another cut out card using some of my digital artwork. I have a video showing how I made the die cut card.


Create a 6 x 4 card with your Silhouette Cameo from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

Here is the last spread.


I added a simple quote to remember the lives lost in Newton on the one year mark from that terrible day. It's just something I wanted to put into this album. To remember and to honor.


I found this link to the many charities set up in the names of those lives lost in Newton.

Onto the rest of December with a hopeful heart. And love. Always love.



December 11, 2013

December Daily, Day 10


One of my favorite things so far this holiday season? Cole bought a super garish sweater vest to wear at his holiday party this year. And it rules.


One spread fills in Day 10. Plus, we took a really crappy quality family selfie last night at SmashBurger and I am in love with it. Sometimes, photographic quality is so, so overrated.


I mean, that could've been the Christmas card, people.

I loved layering some of the digital stamps that came in the Studio Calico kit. 


In fact, speaking of totes, this is officially my favorite commercial of 2013.


Totes McGotes.


December 10, 2013

December Daily, Days 7, 8 & 9


The last three days were compressed into a single spread in my album. I decided not to have a journaling card for Day 7, but instead just used a photo from that day. Truth be told, I have a journal card typed up for Day 7, but I totally forgot about it and then thought, "Oh well, moving right along."

Ah, Scrapbooking Permission Granting (SPG). It really does feel good, people. 

Here is the spread covering the past three days. Yes, I got a little crafty adding that JOY stamp and the washi tape.


I really love Ali's 3 x 4 daily overlays. It's been fun to mix them into my album.


I realized this morning I'm falling a bit behind on Project Life again, but I'm  not too worried. I'll play catch up next weekend, and yes, there'll be some definitely photo crossover from this album to that project.


December 09, 2013

December Daily, Days 5 & 6


The project is rolling along so nicely. I'll be a sharing a few pages every few days, mostly because I'm trying to save paper by fitting as much onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet of either photo paper or cardstock to print out my elements.


Here is my cut-out, full page quote using this set of digital stamps.


I've got a few short video tutorials showing you how I am using my Silhouette to make these crafty cutouts. (Here and here.) Note: I am a still a newb, however, and do not know all there is to know about the Silhouette. I really can't say enough good things about Kerri Bradford's classes. I have no financial tie in with Kerri. I just think you should all know about her extreme awesomeness.


I love mixing in some of Ali Edwards' December Daily 3 x 4 overlays. The garishly colored photo above? It was taken by Dan who was in Michigan for work at the time. I told him to document Christmas while he was there and that is the photo he texted me.

The seafoam 3 x 4 card is from my December newlsetter. It was free to my subscribers. Are you a subscriber? You know, just asking. I mean, because you could be, if you want. (Not-so-veiled-hint: click here to subscribe.)


Someone on my Instagram feed saw this card with the "HO!" ornament, and asked me if I was slut-shaming it. 

That made me laugh out loud. Moving right along.

So far, I'm keeping it super simple and really loving the process. 


I have zero glitter guilt.

Note: 'glitter guilt' is a psychological state wherein professional scrapbookers choose NOT to use glitter and feel a sense of foreboding or disingenuity. See also: herpes of the craft world, Dmitri Martin, craft fear.


December Daily™ is a holiday project concept created and championed by the amazing Ali Edwards. To learn more, click here.



December 05, 2013

December Daily: The first few days


Hello December Daily™ album project!

The first few days of the month have flown by. I have a feeling December is going to follow accordingly. I have my theories this year, leading among them is the fact that this is Aidan's last holiday season as a full-time resident. Time, people. It's a bullet train.

Last year was the first year of doing this project and one thing I adored was the 6 x 4 album format. I would have done the same size if I could have found a 6 x 4 D-ring album (Hello scrapbook companies? Please make that size and style!), but instead I fell in love with the SN@P! albums from Simple Stories. You can read my set up post here.

This year I wanted to stay true to my style and aesthetic. This means as little glitter as possible. Holla.

Let's see what's shaking out thus far:


Family photo courtesy of my iPhone, a tripod and a mount. Rule No. 1 of Holiday Photos: Never trust the tree dude to take a decent shot. (I know that's not a fair thing to say. He might have done a fine job. When he offered, I said, "Nope. We got it. Thanks." And then as he backed away so I could set up the shot he hit his head on a beam that a bunch of trees were leaning against. Sorry tree dude!) Note: I used the Key Cam app for self-timing glory.


I am using Day Document cards to journal about the days. They give me just enough space on a 6 x 4 canvas to write about the daily happenings. I print them onto Bazill OP White cardstock. I plan to layer a few brushes from my Cool Yule Decor collection behind the text to add a bit more visual interest without any muck.

Oh yeah, it's time to explain a new holiday game at our house: Deer in the Clear.


Last year I caved and bought an Elf on the Shelf. We named him Malachi and he did some very naughty things. It was kind of fun, I have to admit. This year Malachi has yet to make his first mischief but Dan decided that while we are all waiting he would do his own thing.

The other night, I was upstairs and noticed that my big red balsa-wood deer had been moved and placed squarely in the doorway of my bedroom. I picked him up, brought him back down to where he belonged and asked my family, "So, who moved the deer?" To which Dan eagerly replied, "You found him?" And then he threw his hands up over his head and shouted, "DEER IN THE CLEAR!"

The objective of the game is simple: place the deer in a spot where no one with even the most rudimentary of observational skills could miss it. That's it.

I love this man. 

Moving right along.


I had to document my friend and writer Mark Spearman's snarky little holiday blog post. (If you missed it, really, you owe it to the Christmas Ruiner in all of us to read.)

I also got a little crafty on the right facing page. I opened the photo in Photoshop, added a new layer on top of the photo layer, filled it with white and then dialed the Opacity way down (about 25%). Then I highlighted a section of it with the Rectangular Marquee Tool and hit Delete. Fancy! 


Then I added glitter tape. I know. I'm awesome.


On this spread, I used one of Ali Edwards' 6 x 8 Layered Template Sets to display an assortment of shots.

Again, my goal with this project is simplicity and staying true to my style.

I'm not getting too jiggy with it so far in terms of super crafty stuff. So far it's been really fun. I am just keeping everything out on my dining room table so I can add stuff as I go.


That's it so far. I will share a little here and there throughout the month.

Maybe even more Deer in the Clear shots. If you like.


December Daily™ is a holiday project concept created and championed by the amazing Ali Edwards. To learn more, click here.



November 14, 2013

My preparations for December Daily™ + other good things


Last year was the first year I started and finished a December Daily™ album. (You can see my album  post by clicking here and scrolling down. )

For some reason, every year that I tried to get started on it before, I just wasn't feeling the holiday spirit. In fact, I would say that Christmas had become my least favorite time of year. I know. Just call me Ebenezer.

But last year was so different, and yes, I'm going to mention therapy again. Let's just say I've learned a few things and one of them was how to connect to the joy of December. And so it was.

There was no question I'd do the album again this year. With all of my digital scrapbooking of late, I wanted to have an album where I would get my hands a little dirty. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to go too overboard on that one.)

I thought I'd share my foundation for the album as it stands today. I don't do a lot of set up beforehand. I really loved spending a little time every day last year just making something to put into my album. I think I'll follow the same approach for 2013.

First up, the December Daily kit.


I'm going to be the first to admit: I'm out of touch with scrapbooking product trends. This should come as no surprise. I've never really been one to wrangle the latest and greatest. It's never fit that well with my simple approach. So I plunked down the cash for this kit. It gives me stuff to play with and I have to admit, I love the way it's all put together.


But a funny thing happened this year as I started to think about putting my album together. I decided to use a different album than the one that came in the kit. As cute as it is, I decided to cave in and give it to Aidan, who wants to make her own December Daily album this year.

Instead, I am going to use a 6 x 8 SN@P! album from Simple Stories.


I am in love with these albums. Seriously in love. They are compact. They have cute top stitching and they come in yummy colors. In fact, I'm not sure if I'm going with red or brown, but whatever one is left over, be assured it will find it's way to another project in the future.

The other great thing about the SN@P! Albums? The page protectors. The quality is stellar.

And one more piece from SN@P! Studio: these chipboard dividers.


I knew as soon as I saw them they would soon meet up with some gold spray paint. Here is my proof:


This is the first page of my album, featuring a gold spray-painted wood veneer piece from the Studio Calico kit, adhered with a few pop dots.


No, I am not worried about the archival quality of spray paint. I found a can in my garage and used it last year and so far, the 2012 album has not disintegrated. Good enough for me!

Next up, the title page wherein I did exactly what Ali Edwards did with hers, gold glitter Zing powder and all.


It was a high point in my crafting life. It was also extremely stressful. Glitter freaks me out. Hard to say if the Zing powder will show up at any other point in the album. Maybe if I have a glass of wine beforehand.


The Studio Calico kit colors inspired me to create a bunch of digital stuff that I could use in my album that reflected my style and taste. The star background paper you see is part of my Cool Yule Paper Pack. I just printed a 6 x 8.25* piece onto my new favorite smooth printing cardstock from Bazzill, trimmed it and put it into a page protector. Yes, it will burn through my printer ink. But hey, that's what credit cards are for, right?

*The true size of these page protectors is 6 x 8.25. I decided to adjust all of my inserts to match this size.


The next spread will serve as my dedication page. I'm going to be using my Day Documents sets in both 6 x 8 and 6 x 4 for my December Daily journaling. I increased the size of my 6 x 8 template to fit the page protector perfectly. Altering templates is not too tricky. Here's a short video showing you how to do it.

How to change a template size from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

My Day Documents will give me spaces to journal and add photos in a very simple, streamlined way, in two sizes.


Ali Edwards creates a series of December Daily overlays and journalers every year, for those of you who like to simply print and add your journaling by hand (which is what Aidan is planning to do this year.)

Next up, I created a bunch of 3 x 4 printable cards to sprinkle throughout my album.


There are two sets, Cool Yule Cards No. 01 and Cool Yule Cards No. 02. I also designed an embellishment package, Cool Yule Decor No. 01, which includes sheets of printable, coordinating circles in four sizes: .75, 1, 1.25 and 2-inch. 



I plan to have a bunch punched out and ready for use. Add to that, a set of Cool Yule labels. This set also comes with a digital cut file for Silhouette users, in addition to a simple printable PDF.


I had some issues getting perfect cuts, but that could be my newbie status showing through.


Newbie or not, I was able to make a handful of kraft paper cut outs for some of the pockets in my album using my Cool Yule Quotes set.  This is something I am loving right now, and it's making me want to marry my Silhouette. Here is a short video showing you how I made the card above.

Create a 6 x 4 card with your Silhouette Cameo from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


If you have a Silhouette and want to learn more, check out Kerri Bradford Studios. Her classes are excellent and they are teaching me how to make more and more stuff with this amazing machine.


All in all, I'm happy with how it's shaping up and am really looking forward to building this album, day by day, in December. It's really cool to enter the #decemberdaily hashtag in Instgram to see all the cool preparations people are posting from all over the world.

Ali Edwards, you've really launched quite the thing.



EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! All of my digital products I've shared here today are now on sale for 30% off as part of the Designer Digitals 4th Quarter sale, running through next week. My Cool Yule collection contains printables in each set (save for the paper pack, which contains all JPEG files). No Photoshop is needed to print and use the designs.



The next issue of my newsletter, Picas + Points, is going out tomorrow. Subscribers will receive a digital package including this 8.5 x 11 print you see above, along with 4 matching 3 x 4 printable cards, JPEG files and a digital stamp of the word collage. To sign up for my newsletter, click here.