Beginning A Christmas Journal

I’m doing a Christmas Journal! I didn’t decide to do this project until Friday 30 November, very Last-Minute-Lucy of me. Beginning a Christmas journal is always very exciting, there are so many possibilities.

I shall loosely follow Journal Your Christmas, and will be taking this right through until 6th January. I have done two Christmas Journals before, in 2007 and 2015, and both go into January, well, because it’s my birthday at New Year!

Neither of my Christmas journals are photobooks. For my first attempt in 2007 I used 6-inch square patterned papers and printed my stories on the reverse side. It was very quick and easy. Looking through the pages recently I was surprised that I used so few photographs, no more than ten for the whole album.

In 2015 I employed the Silhouette Cameo to do a print and cut album.  The rounded page numbers act as turning tabs for this 6 x 8-inch book. The pages are flat, there are no other print and cut embellishments or additions. Unlike 2007 there is a photo for every day, either taken that day or a past photo to talk about a memory. I didn’t follow any prompts that year at all; I made it up as I went along.

Beginning a Christmas Journal in 2018

It’s likely to be as exciting as the rest of my life, ha ha! We don’t have any specific plans.  With Christmas Day/Boxing Day on Tuesday/Wednesday it will be work as usual for Ian on the other days of the week.  

Since the weekend I have been working out the best method to approach this album. Today I did my first print and cut session, and I think my method will work. (Fingers crossed!)

This Christmas Process

  • Photoshop First. I can’t design or make anything without first creating it in Photoshop. It’s where I try out ideas and work out where everything fits. I make less mistakes when I stick to doing a digital version first.
  • Silhouette Second. My photos are edited. I know which digital papers and embellishments I intend to use on the page. Now I can save these edited versions as PNG files and sort out my cut lines in Silhouette Studio. The key here is not to make it complicated, with too many layers and keep the shapes simple.
my inside cover page for the Christmas Journal #journalyourchristmas #jyc2018
the inside cover page

The page is an example of keeping it simple. Only the Merry Christmas banner is a print and cut extra embellishment. As it’s going to be the first page inside my cover I decided not to pop it up on foam squares, though I will do that with other elements throughout the album.  I really like how this page printed; the ornaments look like they are raised up too.

  • Take my time. I should also add “And don’t make comparisons with other people!” If I want to stand a chance at completing this project I will have to work at my speed.  This morning I put together three pages – and I’m only on the 1st December!
  • Keep notes. With working slowly there is no way I’ll remember all the daft little things we say and do each day. We decided we’ll send WhatsApp messages to each other with snippets we want to include.
Christmas journal day 01 page
Day #1 – Our Tree

We don’t usually put up our Christmas tree so early but we’re both getting in the mood. I tried out some photo paper and I’m not sure I like it. The ink seems to take a long time to dry and marks easily. For the papers and other print and cut embellishments I’m using my usual Stampin’ Up Whisper White cardstock.

Everything on this page I did as separate print and cut elements. My edges are cut beautifully straight because of the Cameo 3; it’s a shame I can’t stick things together straight!

reverse side of day 01 Christmas journal page #journalyourchristmas #jyc2018
Day #1 – the reverse side

When I want an easy day I can do the full page photo. Ian took this photo of the tree and its reflection in the window was the perfect place for the story.


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