Thursday, January 30, 2014

Journal Your Christmas 2013 Introduction & Part 1

{Title Page 2013}

This past holiday season I joined Shimelle's yearly class Journal Your Christmas, which is really wonderful in that you pay once and can play along each year for long as she continues runs it, 2013 was it's tenth anniversary, and for as long as you wish.  You also get access to past years materials and a private forum.  I really enjoyed it, as she gives very in depth prompts each day, full of narrative, suggestions, and ways to spark your memory for past stories.  Getting her emails each day really motivated me, put me in the right holiday frame of mind, and kept me on track all month long.

This year's JYC included fairly lengthy writing on my part, which is certainly not necessary or required.  In fact, nothing is required at all.  While plenty of material is provided I definitely think you can pick and choose what you want to do.  For example, since I did fairly detailed journaling each day, I decided the photo prompts were too much for me to deal with this year.  Next year I may base my entire JYC around the photo prompts, something I think would be quite fun to do.

Set Up & Daily Entries:

I made my purchasing choices based on my idea that this was a journal so I envisioned a blank lined book kind of thing.  Clearly I wasn't thinking along the lines of a Daily December but once I got into the forum I saw these two projects can go hand in hand very nicely. When I saw the Misc. Me Elf Magic Notepaper set with lined, pre-hole punched papers, and pre-cut lined 3X4 cards I thought how perfect and much snazzier than a memo pad and purchased coordinating supplies to streamline assembly for myself.

Um yeah, I totally had the wrong initial impression of what this project could be and how most participants do it.  I had wanted this class to be like a month long Christmas present to myself and didn't want to unwrap it ahead of time and waited to really explore the forum, supplies, and examples until after Shimelle's emails began to arrive on December 1st.  I will plan to do things differently next year, but I didn't quite know what to expect and the surprise each day and I opened the PDFs was part of the fun for me.

Now, I should mention that initially I did truly start out writing on the lined notebook paper, but after the first week I found I was a little frustrated by how it turned out because I was needed more than one side of paper to complete my thoughts and I was often making mistakes trying to get everything down.  The fact is, I am better able to write on the computer, where it's easy to make corrections, additions, and proofread.  JYC was much less stressful and more enjoyable when I put aside a little bit of time each night to reflect on the prompt and add to a Word document.

Core Supplies:

Bo Bunny Misc. Me As seen on Bo Bunny's company blog, I used several pieces from their Elf Magic line as the main foundation for this project.  Specifically I used the Elf Magic Binder, Elf Magic Notepaper, Elf Magic Journal Contents, and their Elf Magic Dividers.  I also cut apart a sheet of the Elf Magic Characters 12X12 paper, using them as extra filler cards, and a package of Elf Magic Noteworthy die cut pieces.

Partial Supplemental Supply List:

This does not include all additional supplies, as some are older, unknown, or bits & pieces that are leftovers but I also used various washi tapes, inks, and stickers, alphabet stamps as well as Making Memories rub-ons, Glitz Designs Teeny Alphas Red Scrabble & Gray, American Crafts Sequins, Stickers, & Washi Tape - unknown collections but from Target this year & an AC gold Precision Pen, MAMBI Christmas PebblesHappy Holiday PebblesDear Santa Papers, & Avant Garde - Gold Glitter Chipboard Alphas, Twine, WRMK Tab Punch: File, and Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher & Staples.  Most of the handwritten journaling is done with a black SMASH stick.


At the end of the month I had all my daily entries in one document on my computer and then it was just a matter of printing them out onto the Elf Magic Notepaper sheet.  I organized the sheets in the order I wanted to use them and then I formatted one entry at a time and printed it out.  Each one was a little different to accommodate the designs printed on the notepaper.  Ideally I would've printed them on a test sheet first and adjusted for perfect spacing but I just didn't have the time for all that, or really the desire to over complicate things.

Printing went fairly smoothly, with only one big mishap that was easily fixed.  Now it was time for embellishing and adding all the pretty touches.  I am really happy with how it turned out, full of stories and supported by pictures with room for all of the fun supplies I've collected over the years.  My Journal Your Christmas album is the perfect companion book to the separate Merry Memories book I also made using Misc. Me Elf Magic supplies that is more photo heavy and shows our activities and family Christmas celebrations in more depth.  Next year I hope to combine the two a little better into one volume, which I think will be possible because I'll be ready to capture snippets rather than feeling like I have to tell the whole story at length.  Not every year has to be that!


After all that intro discussion, I'm sure that for most, seeing the actual pages will be the most interesting part of this post, but I really did feel I wouldn't be giving a complete picture of this project without giving some of the back story first.  Below is a selection, but not all, of the pages from the first potion of my JYC book.

Click on a photo to see an enlarged version.

Holiday Manifesto - Not added because I spent a long time figuring it out, wrote it on my original sheets, and then misplaced it.  I have yet to uncover it and if I don't soon I will have to recreate as best I can.

Signs of Christmas - I had several pictures that would work with this topic but upon reflection decided they didn't illustrate what I really wanted to write about.  I included some here.

Signs of Christmas Continued - What I really wanted to say about how the signs show up all too early each year and how the real indication the season has begun for me is when the neighborhood lights come on.

Planning for Christmas - I could have included pictures from each of the activities I was involved in planning for here but decided to keep most for the Merry Memories album.  I briefly mentioned some and included one special activity, unique to this year within JYC.  More pictures from the ornament making afternoon with our neighbor are on the other side of the page protector.

Written Communication - Two views of one entry, one with a copy of our Christmas card inserted.

O Christmas Tree - This entry is shown in the photo above and below.  I have a little bit of hand journaling to add to the "Trim the Tree" card.  That poorly stamped title is going to drive me nuts, but I wasn't going to go back and change it.  Wonky stamping just adds to the handmade feel...that's what I always tell myself after a stamping mishap.

Sweet Treats - We had a baking day at my mom's that takes up several pages.  On the other side of the right page there are more pictures and then a notepaper sheet with the recipes for two of the cookies we made on it.

Sweet Treats Continued - After the recipes comes this page with one of the Elf Magic Characters cut from the 12X12 sheet.  Isn't he cute?  I saved him specifically for this story.  He fit's perfectly into the Misc. Me divided page protector.

Making a List - One of my favorite entries has no pictures to go with it but I love because of the messy stitching I did to make this circle border.  I think it looks really cool!

That is as much as I was able to photograph and edit during the little guy's nap.  I'm really excited by how the pages turned out.  At times it seemed like it was taking forever to compile everything into a finished book but I mean that in a good way.  It was an enjoyable process!

Part 2 will have a lot more photos of entries as I won't have have to repeat the introduction.  It will be coming soon!


Shared at: The Memory NestThe Crafty Blog Stalker, and the community show & tell over at Simple Scrapper.

1 Friends Said:

Kelly Sroka said...

Wow--this is great! I know you will enjoy looking back on this album for years to come.

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