December Daily Week 3

December Daily Week 3Week three already? You know what that means…Christmas is this week! I'm excited to wrap up this project. Not that I'm anxious for it to be over, but I'm looking forward to having a completed scrapbook for my shelf. It'll be my first one since we've been married. I already cleared a space for it. Ha!

Here's my progress from week three: 

1Once again, I did all my printing at home this week. I also started working on a (BIG) scrapbooking project that will be on the blog later in January and I spent so much time printing. It was kinda funny because I got addicted and Saturday morning it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. It's super gratifying to have printed hundreds of photos this week that were just sitting on my old phone and hard-drives. I'll share more about that soon! 

Covering my album with photos and a new spine colorThis week I finally got around to completing the album cover. It was super easy! 1. I printed two photos (for the front and back) at 7×10 inches (just a little larger than the cover space I needed to cover. I adhered the photos to the front and the back with lots of scrapbook adhesive. 2-3. I flipped the album over and trimmed the photo to fit the cover perfectly with rounded corners. 4. I pried the metal embellishment off the spine with a screwdriver and my giant muscles, of course! 5. (not pictured) I cut piece of gold scrap leather (leftover from this pretty project) to fit the spine. I used superglue to adhere it. I would like to add 2013 to it too- but I'm not sure what to use. Any suggestions? 

33I love the gold spine! I love red too, but I have a vision of matching color-coded scrapbooks (heh! Dream big, right?) and metallics just feel very perfectly festive to me! 

These photos were taken by our talented friend Candice Stringham on a recent snow day here in our neighborhood. They're a treasure to us. Thank you Candice!!!

5I used another photo for the back of the book. 

6We have a very strict no-Scrooge policy around here. Nobody is allowed to be a holiday hater. That's just not OK. With that said, we had fun naming our favorite annoying holiday songs at brunch the other day! I mean, how did the twelve days of Christmas not make the list? haha. (Now you have to tell me yours in the comments!) 

7Of course the photos that Candice took deserved a couple pages. If I would have been organized enough to send out cards I would have used these. Unfortunately, it didn't happen this year. I'll forgive myself eventually. Hats off to all of you who did it. You win every prize. :) 

8Rachel visited this week. It was a work/fun visit. We did a lot of both and it was wonderful to see her. 

9The dogs have a lot of holiday outfits. These are their elf shirts. 

On this page you can see that I finally ran out of full page protectors. πŸ™ Let the slicing begin! Suki still looks cute in 4 pieces, don't you think? 

10I've been documenting the progress on our new space. I could make a whole book about just that, but I decided to just add a few photos here so that years from now I'll remember that this was the year we were renovating the new studio. 

Yesterday was our cousin's wedding. It was a great night. Seriously, one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to! I'm thankful I was able to get a few snapshots with my phone. 

11I begged my grandparents to take a photo booth together and they did. They gave me an extra copy of their strip and I stole one of Emma and Trey's too. They're all getting framed asap! 

My grandfather looked adorable in his tux. I got to sit by him at the reception. Best seat in the house. 

Making a holiday card pocketConfession time! In years past I have tossed our Christmas card stashes. I always felt horrible, but what was I going to do with them? This year I'm so so so excited that instead of tossing them they have a little home in the back of our album. On that note, I just have to say, I'm blown away by how cute everyone's cards are! It's SO fun to see all our friends' growing families and memories from the year. It's special. 

To make the pocket: 1. Staple a piece of cardstock to a page protector (make it as big as you can to fit in your book). 2. Trim the excess page protector away and adhere the pocket to your book. 3. Use ribbon or tape the hide the staples. Add letter stickers. 3. Done and done! Now you can save these puppies forever. 

12So cute, right?! 

13Progress! I can't believe there's just one more week left!

Here are a few thoughts about this project.

1. I'm so glad I tried. I probably would not have printed out any photos this month if it wasn't for this challenge. I would have been happy with anything, but having this almost completed little book feels like a treasure to me. Thanks for inviting me to join in the fun, Ali!

2. The holidays are not perfect. Jeremy, Rachel and Katie and I had some good conversations this week about how the holidays can be a lot of pressure. It's wonderful to have people to buy gifts for and parties to attend and a home to decorate with sparkly decorations, but it's a lot. A lot to do, a lot to remember and a lot to enjoy in what's really a very short period of time.

I didn't send out cards, my house isn't perfectly festive and I basically forget to use my camera all month. There are moments when I feel discouraged by our busy schedule. I'm guilty of starting too many sentences with, "When we have kids we'll start (insert any tradition or cute family activity here)". 

I share all of this to say that I'm thankful that this Sunday ritual of printing out my photos and putting them in a book. This simple task has helped me realize how full and beautiful our life is. It reminds me that nothing is missing that that my imperfect life is deserving of all the gratitude in my heart. 

3. I want to make more albums. It's a great feeling as the new year approaches! Let's do this! 

Hope you guys had a wonderful week! xo. Elsie 

PS. Here's getting ready, December Daily Begins, Week 1 and Week 2

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson

  • Thank you Elsie for such a inspiring post, you make love scrapbooking even more than I do.

  • So cool to read this post just before bedtime (in the Netherlands..) after an whole evening working on my DD. Great to see your (very pretty!) album. Lovely!

  • You have great skills!! I don’t promise to do this at home, but I just want to say, it looks so pretty!!!

    “What to wear to the ballet” New post on:

  • …for the spine, could you reattach the label holder and use a piece of the 2013 paper print to name it?

    I had great intentions of doing some kind of daily record this season, but it just hasn’t happened – as you say, life is so full and busy and it gets more so with kids. You are right to just enjoy and be grateful for the things you can do, these are the things that are most important anyway πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful Christmas holiday together, I look forward to reading your further adventures in 2014!

  • Love the scrapbook! Ps the Christmas song that really drivese crazy is “all I want for Christmas is you”!!

  • Such a great project! I have been meaning to make another album (I did a book with the first 6 months of our marriage and now our anniversary is coming up), and this is great inspiration! Have a Merry Christmas! Oh, and the Christmas song I hate is “I saw mommy kissing santa claus”, it’s just awful!

  • What about using a bronze pendant/charm to indicate the year? It would be something you could easily find for as long as you make these albums, and the metal would give it a high-end touch. Here’s what I have in mind:

    You could easily glue it on with E6000 (or something similar). If you want to keep it simple, remove the loop at the top with your Dremel. Or, tie a long ribbon to it that becomes a bookmark.

    Lovely project!

  • Wow, making a scrapbook does not even sound like something I want to attempt right now. But you make it look easy! I love the idea of just doing it once a week and focusing in. Considering how busy life is, that may be the only way to get things done in this day and age!!!!

  • First of all, those photos of you two are lovely. Second, hands down the WORST Christmas song is definitely Christmas Shoes. So bad. So so bad. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for sharing your scrapbooking journey this month! I really love seeing all of your layouts and pages. I think red glitter numbers going down the spine might look good against your gold leather.

    You have inspired me to try some scrapbooking myself and I was wondering what type of photo paper do you use for printing? Do you have a brand that you prefer?

    Thank you again and happy holidays!

  • seriously, you blow me away with your documenting skillz. these are so stunning!
    and i am totally planning on using this idea for a month this summer or later this winter. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for mentioning the pressures that come with this time of year – this year is my daughter’s first Christmas and I had BIG plans but time goes so fast and it can get overwhelming. This year especially I’ve felt myself focused on “Holiday Checklists”, rather than just celebrating the meaning of the season. It is nice to know I’m not the only one!

    Also, the book is beautiful! What an awesome treasure, you’ve been inspiring me to get back into scrap booking!

  • Is it possible to take the gold off and then embroider it and then re-attach? Too much? maybe after the holidays…;)
    I do love the scrapbook and your snow photos are super fabby.

  • Love the scrapbook. I used to spend hours scrapbooking (and yes have some of your designs in my stash). I have a new grandbaby and have Started an album of her pics. I have to get myself in gear to finish more of my projects
    Your pictures are great.

    The song I just hate hearing over and over is Santa Baby. I just don’t like it. The one I can hear over and over is Little Drummer Boy πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas!

  • love this post!!! I am doing PL and am waaayyyy behind…umm…I just finished March…hope to get caught up soon..ha…I know how you feel about getting pic printed up…it’s a GREAT feeling of accomplishment… Merry Christmas!!

  • I really love this post. I have had such great intentions this year, but haven’t felt festive at all and let things slide big time. Here we are, December 23rd, and I have no idea where the month went. Aside from the tree and some odds and ends, I have not done much to celebrate the season – no outside decor, no baking, no nothing. I did manage to get cards sent out, but did not include a personalized message on each (boo on me.) My 7 year old has been struggling with some things, so we have been consumed with that. I have been fighting a cold. I have been anxious. I just got overwhelmed. I was staring at my (empty) December Daily set yesterday, silently berating myself for not being more on the ball. Then I realized: this is where I will document it all. Not just the good and the pretty photos, but the not so great as well. I looked through all the digital pics and started making notes to myself on what to journal. I know I’m going to look back on this book and say “ok, was not the best year, but we moved on from it.” Also, I am totally going to incorporate keeping the cards we received. I would always throw them out as well, this would be such a fun way to look back at the families that are so dear to us and see how they have changed over the years. Now, I’m headed to take my kids miniature golfing. πŸ™‚ It’s 80 degrees here today, must take advantage!

  • Love the cover! I found December Daily to be overwhelming myself…but I’m also maintaining a big book for 2013 so maybe that’s why. I haven’t able to do it daily.
    Yours is darling!

  • I love the different textures that are being used for the cover. If you want to add more depth, I would suggest making 2013 in a suede or felt in a pop color. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Hi, Elsie! I am starting to collect Project Life supplies and plan on diving in next year πŸ™‚ Thanks for introducing me! I was curious what binder/protector pages you are using since they are smaller than 12×12 and have 4 rings – seems like a more manageable size! Thanks for your time.

  • You & Jeremy are a couple of babes!
    if i ever run in to you guys im totally going to geek out!!!!
    (Emma & Trey as well!)

    i have a question.
    what product would you recommend for 4×4 prints?
    i print all my pictures using postal pix and always buy the 4×4 print.

    ive tried checking with becky higgings (so i could use your products) but i have not been able to find anything.
    i guess i could use the 4×6 and add a background but i really wanted the 4×4.

    any suggestions?


  • Lovely! By the way , abm app is amazing, I love it. I am using it since a week now and already addicted to this app. Good job!

  • I love your comment on using the scrapbook as a way to recognize the beauty in your life. I just started Project Life a few weeks ago, and I find it to be a great way to practice gratitude. It’s been a very stressful December for me, so having a chance once a week to focus on the wonderful things in my life has been a real blessing.

    I’m curious about your process for organizing and printing your photos on your computer. Do you have a specific way that you work on your photos before printing them out? I’d love to know a bit about that part of your work.

  • I love reading this. This project inspired me to make a cute little notebook for my boyfriend with memories, pictures,… from when we started dating (december 2012) until now. It’s almost finished and I had a great time making this cute little notebook. It’s not perfect (and I am a perfectionist) but i tried to let go :). I also feel so happy and thankful,thinking about all the moments from the past year while making it. Love to read more about your progress and albums :).. xx

  • I have been looking at how to make a beautiful scrapbook for my pregnancy and first year of my twins life. I love this idea.

    Do you have any ideas for starting this project while I am in the hospital? We are hoping for 4 to 6 more weeks.

    I can have items delivered to the hospital.

  • I look forward to these posts all week! I’m starting Project Life in 2014 and am so inspired by everyone’s beautiful pages.

  • I love that adorable scrapbook! I was thinking you could use those cardboard metallic numbers from the craft store, and put them on the spine of the scrapbook or the front gold part πŸ˜‰ love this so much!

  • I love what you did with the cards at the end, I hate throwing out pictures that people spend so much time preparing for and taking.

  • Hi Melinda!
    I think you could totally make a book like this in the hospital. My best advice would be to buy as few supplies as possible (ALL of my scrapbooking supplies fit into a basket right now and I love it!). The less you have the more creative and organized you will feel. Good luck and congratulations on your new additions!!!!
    xx- elsie

  • Hi Les!
    I think Project Life has some square page protectors now. For the papers I would just cut them to size. πŸ˜€

    I’m using a bunch of square photos in my new book that I’ll be sharing this coming month! Can’t wait to show you a few more solutions soon!
    xx- elsie

  • I don’t take enough photos and even more rarely do I print any. This project has inspired me to do more in 2014 with some anticipated changes and events coming in my life that I hope to document.
    As for those cards everyone sends each year, I’ve always tossed them eventually as well and hated the feeling. This year when I opened my box of decorations and found cards not yet trashed from last Christmas I had an epiphany. I went out and got some of those binder rings and punched a hole in the corner of each card. Now they are in a little flipbook sitting on our table which I will add to every year. I’m looking forward to seeing how my nephews and nieces are growing each new Christmas season and remembering how friends’ families have grown.

  • Love this idea! Would love to create a scrapbook of my time at University.

    Where is your scrapbook from it’s perfect? Am struggling to find a scrapbook one plastic wallets like yours.

    Love Laura

  • Your scrapbooks and albums are always my favourite, Elsie. This album is turning out SO lovely.

  • Beautiful. Thanks for providing so much inspiration as I put my December Daily book together. I’m JUST now printing out photos…Oops. But seeing what you’ve done has given me the kickstart I need to finish up the book! It’s for my daughter and her first Christmas, so it’s really important to me that I finish. It has made me really thankful for so much, too, and ok with not having a very festive house or not having baked a single Christmas cookie this year. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!!

  • I know exactly what you mean when you say “When we have kids…” I’m really guilty of this too. My fiance and I, on top of everything, are still living at home with my mom because after the wedding we’re moving back to England (where he’s from) so we’ve both agreed getting our own place is a waste of money we should save for our nest egg. But still we can’t help but feel life is “on hold” right now because we don’t have a space of our own to begin traditions that are uniquely ours as a family.

    Thank you for sharing your scrapbook. You’ve re-inspired me to dust off mine and start again!


  • I love this idea! Especially adding all of this years cards to a pouch. Thanks!!

  • I totally agree – the holidays are wonderful but A LOT! Especially with living abroad and being so far away from my family, they are emotionally exhausting. I’ve just tried to accept myself wherever I’m at each holiday season and whatever I get done, and be content with that. Enjoying each moment. πŸ™‚

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