December Daily Prep and First Pages

I guess it’s time to share my plan for this year’s December Daily, since it is December 3 already! (Last year was my first DD, you can read about that here.)

This year, I planned a simpler pocket style album. I started with this Simple Stories album. (Do not ask how long it’s been in my stash!) It had a brief life as a journal, so my first step was to give it a few coats of gesso to prep it for … something. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do when I started painting.


The collection I chose to use for this album is also from Simple Stories, December Documented. It has great colours and lots of chalkboard accents. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you’ve witnessed some of the chalkboard paint drama that has plagued this album.  😉  I chose to paint the three chipboard dividers that came with this album with chalkboard paint and, after about three coats on each, I took a leap of faith and painted thee entire album. (Yes, I even painted the hardware. No, I don’t recommend you do the same.)



The above photo shows the first coat of chalkboard paint over the gesso.

I kept painting and painting, without a real sense of direction. Once I got a few coats on the album and messed it up with some white ink, though, I started to feel things come together. I wrapped the spine in burlap (and made a mistake with the seam, thank the scrap gods for embellishments).  I added a few layers of paper to the cover and used one printable from the Studio Calico December Daily kit, which was given to me by a friend. All hiccups aside, once the cover was done, I really felt the album was looking like me.



All this happened at about 10 pm last night, but I couldn’t stop! I worked on several inside pages and the dividers. Each chipboard divider will serve as a sort of bookmark; one is at the beginning, one will be before the Christmas Day page and one before the New Year’s Eve page.


I added a larger version of our Christmas card (a freebie from Becky Higgins) to the back of one of my favourite papers from the 6×6 pad and followed that with my Christmas 2013 Manifesto, which reminds me to be joyful, thankful and present.


I added a large Simple Stories pocket to the back cover, to hold cards and photos. I also tucked in a reminder from Ali Edwards, so I don’t forget what DD is really about.


After all that, I finished my December 1 and 2 pages. Extra photos and journaling are on the back of each.



I was so excited to work on this and take the photos, that I forgot to even remove them from the album. Oops.  😉

So far, I am really enjoying this. The pocket style is working, the chalk effect is slowly matching the vision I had and I am loving it!

Happy December!

Full supply list: Simple Stories album, pages, pockets, 6×6 paper, 3×4 and 4×6 cards, chalkboard tags from 30 Handmade Days, Studio Calico digital files, Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint, gesso, My Mind’s Eye paper, Authentique stickers, Stampin’ Up! brads, Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper fabric frames.


  1. Thanks for sharing your DD adventure – my favourite statement “I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do when I started painting”. Is that the best and scariest and yet most craftiest place to be!

  2. […] the tags needed something. I don’t have any Christmas product that is not set aside for my December Daily, so adding embellishments was tricky. I decided to punch a star from each tag and add black tags to […]

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