Documenting December 2016 Album - **Photo Heavy**

10:00 AM

After spending much of the tail end of November 2016 trying hard to get my Documenting December album from 2015 completed, I pushed it aside, still not finished, to get into 2016's album. I'm not sure this was a great idea, but the 2016 album is very reflective of ideas gathered from YouTube videos that I watched during December 2016, and incorporates different elements to the, what was feeling very boring and mundane 2015 album. I actually love how the 2016 album came together in the end.

The album is a 6x8 album. I'm still not sold on this size, but it has made me think outside the square to be able to incorporate different elements for more room, and all of the Barry the Elf photos are just at the back together. I must admit I do miss not having the daily Barry mischief on the actual day like I did in 2014's 6x12 album (here & here). 2016, has however, made me look at focusing the day on one activity/story rather than trying to record everything like I did in 2015. This may also be why the 2015 album is still not finished! Its just too much. I am also aware that these new ideas will need to be used in 2017 to incorporate everything from Miss H's first Christmas.

The base kit used was from Felicity Jane (here) with a lot of other items added in along the way, including a card set from Fancy Pants and Heidi Swapp minc numbers (some have been left how they came from the packet and others have been embossed as I didn't own a minc machine at this point in time).

So without any further ramble, here is the finished product (I will eventually get into doing these as a flip through on YouTube, but while the confidence isn't there, pictures will have to do)! Where I can, I will add where some of these ideas came from.

I tried to incorporate both typed journaling and hand written journaling, depending on the size space I had available. I love the combination of both.

I left the kraft tag floating in the pocket, which I love and will do again this year.

I used the black & white stripe bag as an envelope to hold the guide, post cards and tickets from our day out in Sydney at an exhibition. It worked so well.

Using screen shots from social media is a great addition to the album and adds extra voices to the album.

This is the first time that I have included something like the thankful list and I love how it adds to the record keeping of the album.

The use of 6x3 sleeves came from either Ali Edwards or Amy Gretchen and I have created them with the fuse tool from a 6x8 sleeve. To fill them, I had 6x8 photos printed and cut them down. At the time of taking the photos I didn't have this idea in mind, so was lucky that I took a few photos on each of these days, which gave me at least one that would work.

The 18th was a big day with a lot of laughs and a long story that I really wanted to tell.... In short, my hubby cant build a gingerbread house! To be able to do this I used the pocket page sleeve to hold a few photos that speak for themselves. To tell the story, I added another little bag and cut down my own tags to suit. This gave me the space to add a couple more photos that fell in line with the story (and those tags are journal on both sides!). One tag has been cut shorter than the other so that you can see them both when flipping through the album (as per below).

This kit from Felicity Jane included transparency sheets, which I was excited about. I was able to incorporate them throughout and I love how they work. It did take a bit of extra thinking about using them, as I needed to make sure that the elements on front and back didn't look out of place. This one has been turned into a tag to back the number on one side and journal space on the other.

Christmas day included a whole lot of separate inserts to include everything, as it is one very busy day for us. I tried not to replicate the same layout twice on for the day to keep interest.

Little things like gift tags or product tags can be incorporated as a design element or extra journal space.

Our Christmas continues for a couple of days, so the 26th was also a big day. It was spent more relaxing this year, than taking lots of photos, so there are too many included, but I love the tradition of a photo of the cousins all together every year, and this year I am so glad I printed it as a 6x8 to make it a statement for that day.

The transparency was used to highlight the date, but I really wanted to keep this gift tag, so it worked well for us to be able to read it, without it being loose in the album.

Part of my process it to document the whole month, not just up to December 25th, as we are usually on holidays at this time of year. I was very pregnant this year, so I really wanted to incorporate that where I could too.

I recorded a reflection on 2016 as an extra page in my album (something I did in 2015 as a picture collage only) as it was a very big year, 2 overseas holidays and finding out Miss H was on the way. It was a very happy year, and I love being able to pull together an Instagram collage with some of our highlights to remember it by.

That point in the album concludes the daily December documenting. But there are always a couple of other items I really want to include, so separate them off and give them their own spread at the back of the album.

This year was my 3rd taking part in the Fat Mum Slim gift exchange, and Austies 1st. I always love to document the experience with photos of the gift I received and the one I sent. It there are any cards, letters or postcards, this gives me a place to store them too.

I find screen shots of social media comments and postage stamps (especially international ones) add to the record of the event.

And who can forget Barry's antics. These really need to be documented too. I can always reference Instagram for the notes from each day, but I think a lot of the pictures speak for themselves, so I printed them up as 2x2 photos, dated each day with a small number sticker and randomly placed them into the sleeve.

You can see I have used a mix of sleeves for this album, as there just wasn't enough in the Felicity Jane kit. There are a combination of brands, including Ali Edwards, Kaiser and Stampin Up. This doesn't bother me, as I could achieve the look that I wanted by doing this. I did however have to punch new holes in some pages so that they would fit in the album.

I think having elements such as the paper bags, extra 6x4 photos, cards and 6x8 photos punched and placed straight into the album without sleeves, allows this combination of different sleeves to go unnoticed.

I can't wait to get started on this years album, but I really need to finish 2015 next before I get too far ahead of myself!! It doesn't hurt to start planning though, and now is the time before we hit that made rush at the end of the year.... Anything to set yourself up to succeed in finishing the album.

If you have made it to the end, thanks for sticking around :-)

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