Memory Keeping in 2013 :: Project Life

Today is the final day of 2013 and I can’t believe we only have a few hours left of this year. Each New Year’s Eve I like to take time to think about the year. I dedicate quite a bit of time to reflection and I really look forward to it. I use a couple of different ways to think about and review the year, and a number of ways of planning for what I hope to achieve in the new year. Over the next few days I’ll share these with you.

My New Year’s Eve ritual is all about reflecting on what I’ve done in the year. I really appreciate this time of year when I get to dedicate time to reflect on life, noticing how life changing moments and the decisions I’ve made determine the year I’ve experienced, and made me who I am. I think about key events from the year, holidays, projects made, things I’ve done, blog posts written, and who I’ve spent time with during the year. I usually go on our computer, click through the photos I’ve taken, sit and contemplate things over a cup of tea, review my diary, and write a brief summary of the year.

This year I decided to do things differently and take on a few life changing things for myself that have made my end of year reflection a little different. The projects I’ve taken on are simple but they have had a big impact on this year and have contributed in a very positive way. One of these projects was Project Life.

Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. Becky’s website, beckyhiggins.com, provides you with plenty of information about memory keeping and describes the system perfectly:

“Project Life provides an ultra-simple solution that helps us get those pictures into albums without draining our time, energy, and wallets. The idea is simple: Photos + memorabilia + journaling together in an album – everything slips into pockets. No requirement to cut or glue or embellish a thing. And yet – the results are stunning. Project Life is back-to-basics scrapbooking at its finest.”

I have to agree! I think that the system has changed the way people experience memory keeping and has made scrapbooking less intimidating.

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Documenting my Christmas :: December Daily

During the month of December I try to capture the Christmas countdown in detail taking photos each day. Last December I made a big effort to take photos during the month and added them to my Project Life folder along with some of Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas journalling prompts, this worked well and I loved thinking back to memories of Christmas.

This year I decided to join in with Ali Edwards and complete a December Daily album. December Daily is a memory keeping album project that documents every day up until Christmas. I decided to use my Project Life binder and page protectors, rather than create a separate album, and document each day in December. I took photos each day and wrote a daily summary of what I had been doing. I also joined in on a few of Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas prompts to add something a little different to the album.

I thought that I would be using a lot of my Christmas patterned paper and embellishments that I had left over from my Christmas card making, but I found myself using simple products and printing Ali Edward’s digital journalling cards to complete the project. I found it easier to keep on top of each day and loved the designs of the digital elements that I added to the photos. It allowed the photos to be the focus rather than patterned paper.

I decided to complete the project in a few small chunks. I took photos each day and I made sure I had noted down what I did each day in my diary. I then sat down every few days to write up the journalling and print the photos, I found this easier than doing it everyday.

I look back at the pages and I am really pleased with the project. I have a few photos left to print and add in and the final few days of December to write up but the project is almost complete. I enjoyed the process of reflecting on the month, tracking my new traditions and the things I managed to fit into the month. It is definitely a project I will complete again. Maybe next year I will embellish a little more and add more elements to the pages or maybe I will keep it the same.

If you want to remember this time of year in more detail I’d definitely recommend trying to capture a photo or two each day, writing down what you did, and then putting them together in an album. It’s a great way to see how traditions start and how each December is unique.

Christmas Table Decorations

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve been busy pulling together a few simple table decorations for tomorrow. I’ve used empty jars and added a tea light, ribbon and a few star sprinkles in the bottom to provide some low level light on the table. I’ve made individual place settings using a few Christmas tree off cuts, artificial berries and some red and white gingham ribbon.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas. I hope you all have a fantastic day.

Handmade Christmas Cards

 

For a number of years I have made my own Christmas cards for my family and friends. The process of making has become a bit of a tradition in itself.

Last year I made Christmas cards (take a look at my handmade Christmas cards here) and they were quite involved, so with everything going on this year I decided to make things slightly easier for myself and create a set of card designs focusing on the patterned paper rather than Christmas shapes. I made 47 cards in total this year, and luckily I didn’t have to post them all! I put them in the post at the start of this week so hopefully they will be making their way through letterboxes about now and will be received before Christmas Day.

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Our home at Christmas

During the month of December I have gradually added more Christmas decorations and touches to our home. Mr C and I are going to be at home for the majority of Christmas this year, and rather than being with family on Christmas day, we are spending it with friends. We are waking up on Christmas morning in our own home for the first time so I wanted to make things a little more special for us. I’m so used to seeing my parent’s and Mr C’s parent’s gorgeous decorations and Christmas touches in their homes over Christmas that I wanted to make our home feel a little different. I wanted to start our own new traditions during December, and put a little bit of extra Christmas joy into our home. I’ve shown you our tree, so here are the other touches of Christmas round our home this year, a mix of old and new.

In early Autumn I bought these NOEL letters from poshgraffitti.com. I love the arrangement with my corkscrew hazel twigs that I sprayed white earlier this year. The wooden letters are a real investment piece that I will have forever and will always enjoy displaying. I’ve waited a long time to get them and they are really worth it.

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Our Christmas Tree

 

 

Putting up the Christmas tree and decorating our home is one of my favourite moments on the run up to Christmas. For 9 years I have decorated my tree in red and white, and this year is no different. I love the traditional colours and the simplicity of the red and white theme.

In 2003 I bought the tree and started my own collection of decorations. Back then I was a student living in a huge basement bedroom and I had lots of space to fill! Being at university meant that I was away when my Mum and Dad would decorate their tree and prepare the house for Christmas. I missed the run up to Christmas so I decided to start my own tradition of putting up my own Christmas tree. I bought a tree from good old Wilkinsons, a pot of gold and red baubles and some lights, at a tiny expense when I look at it now. It meant the world to me to have my own tree, I felt so grown up and took so much pleasure and care decorating the tree. For the years following I gradually added to my tree decoration collection where I seemed to gravitate towards the red and white colour scheme, leaving the gold baubles at the bottom of the box.

I haven’t bought anything new for my tree this year. I’ve made the most of all the lovely wooden ornaments I own, the gingham ribbon bows I made myself a few years ago, and the red baubles I bought when I was a student. I especially love the red disco ball and glittery red baubles that add extra twinkle to the tree.

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Christmas Preparations

 

It really is beginning to feel like Christmas is almost here. Work is now finished for the year for me, I don’t have to go back to the office until 2nd January! It will be the longest holiday I have had from work for some time so I’m hoping to make the most of it. I haven’t had a week off since May so I really need the time to catch up on things, relax and reflect.

It has been a very busy December with lots of good, and sadly many not so good things happening. I’ve been trying to keep myself extra busy to take my mind off things and I am trying to stay positive and be my normal happy self. Being creative and having projects to focus on has been a great way to escape.

I started planning things a little earlier this year and have achieved almost everything I wanted to do. However there are a few projects that are not started or finished but I’m not going to get stressed about them. I have lots of lovely things planned for my time off to keep me occupied and busy. I’m hoping to dedicate some time to being creative, seeing friends and family, catching up on the blog posts I’ve been planning to share with you and planning for the new year.

I wanted to start some new traditions or bring back old traditions this year to make things a little different. Over the next week or so I will reveal these traditions for this years Christmas period including my advent calender, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, how I’m documenting my Christmas, my Christmas cake and Christmas makes. I hope you’ll join me on the run up to Christmas.

 

Making a Roman blind

December has flown by and I have so much to update you on. For starters I managed to finish the Roman blind for our back door!On the 1st December I decided to dedicate the day to finishing the blind and putting the blind up.

Since then I have spent some time reflecting on the process of making the Roman blind, it really was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever attempted. The size of the project was huge and I dealt with three pieces of fabric measuring over 1m wide and almost 3m long. This meant rearranging the furniture in our lounge so I had a flat surface to work on. Luckily our floor is wooden so I managed to do the majority of the fabric pressing on the floor. I think the hardest thing was ensuring all of the measurements were accurate and the fabric remained straight and the seams were in line with the blue ticking stripes. I spent the majority of the time measuring, pressing and pinning and not much time sewing, that was the easy bit!

 

 

I do plan to share with you how I made my own Roman blind in another blog post in the next month or so, I just want to test out my instructions again when I make the second blind.

Here is my ta dah moment…my first Roman blind!

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