Saturday, January 24, 2015

Documenting My December 2014 ~ "The REVIEW"!

In my previous post entitled, "Documenting My December 2014 ~ "My 4~Part Approach", I shared four strategies that I wanted to incorporate into my memory keeping process during the busy Christmas season. After completing my 2014 December documenting and after MUCH reflection over this past month, I am excited to share how my plan played out and also pass along some valuable lessons I learned.

"Documenting My December 2014"
Inside my Main 12x12
Pocket Scrapbooking Layout

Title Page & Week #49

STRATEGY #1: ONE Album! ~ Instead of creating a separate 'mini' album to document my December memories, this year I will only use my "main" pocket scrapbooking album. I believe this strategy will simplify my process & give me MORE time to spend with my family.

THE RESULT ~ I believe this streamlined approach was the single most important factor to my "stress-free" Christmas season. This "one album" strategy completely eliminated confusion about which photos & journaling to include in which album (main vs. mini album). EVERYTHING simply went into my main pocket scrapbooking album….one and DONE!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Should you decide to document your December memories in your main scrapbooking album in the future, I would HIGHLY encourage you to be 'current' on your Project Life layouts as you enter the Christmas season. Remember, the orientation of your current week's page protectors are based upon your previous week's layout. You don't want to feel the pressure of having to play 'catch up' first before starting your December documenting and you definitely want to avoid preceding forward with your December layouts only to find out in the end that your page orientation didn't match up in your album. Trust me, reorienting your page protectors is a painful process!

Week # 50 Overview

STRATEGY #2: No Scrapbooking Kit This Year! ~ I have decided to curate my own documenting December kit from my leftover Gossamer Blue Main Scrapbook Kits, leftover goodies from 2013 Gossamer Blue December Memories Kit, & various Christmas scrapbooking supplies that I have on hand. Not only will this strategy save me some money, it will also help me use up my existing stash. It's a "win-win" decision!

THE RESULT ~ Man, the word 'satisfaction' doesn't even begin to describe the feeling I had when I discovered that I put a HUGE dent in my existing stash by using supplies I had on hand versus purchasing new products to document my December memories. Not only have I saved a lot of money, but I have also learned some color theory & developed kit designing skills along the way.

It's my heart's desire to continue being a good steward over the things I have. The sense of peace that stems from my dwindling stash just brings my heart so much joy. I have even decided to continue "bashing my stash", at least for a few more months.

Weeks #51 & 52 Overview

STRATEGY #3: Photos, Photos, Photos!!! ~  I have learned that I am more motivated to document my life regularly when I take plenty of photos. The "photo a day" strategy helps me to stay focused throughout the year. For the month of December, I plan to double my photo taking efforts to ensure that I have plenty of special moments to document. I pray that this strategy will keep me from overloading my album with 'filler' cards and/or other materials that simply fill my album, but don't necessarily tell meaningful family stories.

THE RESULT ~ Instead taking the traditional December daily approach of recording one story a day or participating in a Christmas themed challenge when you simply take photos to complete daily prompts, I decided to simply capture & document stories that were meaningful as I normally do in my pocket scrapbooking throughout the year. Not only was I more intentional about the quality of content of my layouts, but it also preserved the precious real estate in my album and eliminated the temptation to stuff my empty pockets with 'filler' cards and irrelevant stories.

Weeks #53 & #1

Strategy #4 Document EVERYDAY! ~ This year, I plan to work on my album a little bit EVERYDAY while the stories are fresh in my mind. I don't want to miss a single moment! Like last year, I will prepare my foundation journal cards in the month of November. That way, when December arrives, I simply print my pictures, journal, & embellish my layouts.

THE RESULT ~ I made it a point to advance my layouts EVERYDAY by either printing photos, embellishing pages, or journaling. These daily "baby steps" not only helped me to avoid "OVERWHELM" both during & after the Christmas festivities, but it also ensured that I was still putting forth my very best work and operating in 'joy' as opposed to feeling the pressure of trying to 'get it done' and not paying attention to details like I experienced last year. I was able to complete my December layouts in a timely fashion without stress.

It is "FINISHED"! ;D

These notes will help me prepare for December 2015. I pray that the experiences I have shared in this 'recap' will also help guide your future December documenting decisions! 

My December 2014 Pocket Scrapbooking Layouts (Previous Blog Posts):

Much love,


  1. Hi Shelley, Thanks for all the great tips. I've never done the "Documenting My December" type of albums, I just use my family chronological albums for all of my photos except special things like my son's school and sports albums and long vacations. I do incorporate pocket pages in my albums so I like the tip about completing the previous pages first so your photos match up. Did you know that WRMK has come out with a product called the Fuse that allows you to create your own custom size pockets in your page protectors. I think it will be available in Feb. You mentioned printing out photos daily. Do you print them at home or do you send them out to be printed? BTW, I completed my first mixed media 4x6 card. You can check it out on my blog Enjoy your weekend. Blessings!

  2. Hey Gemiel! I pray you are well! Yes, I have heard about that new tool that seals your page protector pockets. The concept sounds intriguing! I will anxiously wait to see how people like it. YES! I do print all of my pics at home. Honestly, it's the only way I stay current on my layouts. I use a Canon Selphy. I can't live without it. I had no idea that you have a blog. I am gonna check out your mixed media card. WAY TO GO! Off to your blog! XOXO