My preparations for December Daily™ + other good things

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking66 Comments

Last year was the first year I started and finished a December Daily™ album. (You can see my album  post by clicking here and scrolling down. )

For some reason, every year that I tried to get started on it before, I just wasn’t feeling the holiday spirit. In fact, I would say that Christmas had become my least favorite time of year. I know. Just call me Ebenezer.

But last year was so different, and yes, I’m going to mention therapy again. Let’s just say I’ve learned a few things and one of them was how to connect to the joy of December. And so it was.

There was no question I’d do the album again this year. With all of my digital scrapbooking of late, I wanted to have an album where I would get my hands a little dirty. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to go too overboard on that one.)

I thought I’d share my foundation for the album as it stands today. I don’t do a lot of set up beforehand. I really loved spending a little time every day last year just making something to put into my album. I think I’ll follow the same approach for 2013.

First up, the December Daily kit.


I’m going to be the first to admit: I’m out of touch with scrapbooking product trends. This should come as no surprise. I’ve never really been one to wrangle the latest and greatest. It’s never fit that well with my simple approach. So I plunked down the cash for this kit. It gives me stuff to play with and I have to admit, I love the way it’s all put together.


But a funny thing happened this year as I started to think about putting my album together. I decided to use a different album than the one that came in the kit. As cute as it is, I decided to cave in and give it to Aidan, who wants to make her own December Daily album this year.

Instead, I am going to use a 6 x 8 SN@P! album from Simple Stories.


I am in love with these albums. Seriously in love. They are compact. They have cute top stitching and they come in yummy colors. In fact, I’m not sure if I’m going with red or brown, but whatever one is left over, be assured it will find it’s way to another project in the future.

The other great thing about the SN@P! Albums? The page protectors. The quality is stellar.

And one more piece from SN@P! Studio: these chipboard dividers.


I knew as soon as I saw them they would soon meet up with some gold spray paint. Here is my proof:


This is the first page of my album, featuring a gold spray-painted wood veneer piece from the Studio Calico kit, adhered with a few pop dots.


No, I am not worried about the archival quality of spray paint. I found a can in my garage and used it last year and so far, the 2012 album has not disintegrated. Good enough for me!

Next up, the title page wherein I did exactly what Ali Edwards did with hers, gold glitter Zing powder and all.


It was a high point in my crafting life. It was also extremely stressful. Glitter freaks me out. Hard to say if the Zing powder will show up at any other point in the album. Maybe if I have a glass of wine beforehand.


The Studio Calico kit colors inspired me to create a bunch of digital stuff that I could use in my album that reflected my style and taste. The star background paper you see is part of my Cool Yule Paper Pack. I just printed a 6 x 8.25* piece onto my new favorite smooth printing cardstock from Bazzill, trimmed it and put it
into a page protector. Yes, it will burn through my printer ink. But hey, that’s what credit cards are for, right?

*The true size of these page protectors is 6 x 8.25. I decided to adjust all of my inserts to match this size.


The next spread will serve as my dedication page. I’m going to be using my Day Documents sets in both 6 x 8 and 6 x 4 for my December Daily journaling. I increased the size of my 6 x 8 template to fit the page protector perfectly. Altering templates is not too tricky. Here’s a short video showing you how to do it.

How to change a template size from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

My Day Documents will give me spaces to journal and add photos in a very simple, streamlined way, in two sizes.


Ali Edwards creates a series of December Daily overlays and journalers every year, for those of you who like to simply print and add your journaling by hand (which is what Aidan is planning to do this year.)

Next up, I created a bunch of 3 x 4 printable cards to sprinkle throughout my album.


There are two sets, Cool Yule Cards No. 01 and Cool Yule Cards No. 02. I also designed an embellishment package, Cool Yule Decor No. 01, which includes sheets of printable, coordinating circles in four sizes: .75, 1, 1.25 and 2-inch.



I plan to have a bunch punched out and ready for use. Add to that, a set of Cool Yule labels. This set also comes with a digital cut file for Silhouette users, in addition to a simple printable PDF.


I had some issues getting perfect cuts, but that could be my newbie status showing through.


Newbie or not, I was able to make a handful of kraft paper cut outs for some of the pockets in my album using my Cool Yule Quotes set.  This is something I am loving right now, and it’s making me want to marry my Silhouette. Here is a short video showing you how I made the card above.

Create a 6 x 4 card with your Silhouette Cameo from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


If you have a Silhouette and want to learn more, check out Kerri Bradford Studios. Her classes are excellent and they are teaching me how to make more and more stuff with this amazing machine.


All in all, I’m happy with how it’s shaping up and am really looking forward to building this album, day by day, in December. It’s really cool to enter the #decemberdaily hashtag in Instgram to see all the cool preparations people are posting from all over the world.

Ali Edwards, you’ve really launched quite the thing.



EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! All of my digital products I’ve shared here today are now on sale for 30% off as part of the Designer Digitals 4th Quarter sale, running through next week. My Cool Yule collection contains printables in each set (save for the paper pack, which contains all JPEG files). No Photoshop is needed to print and use the designs.



The next issue of my newsletter, Picas + Points, is going out tomorrow. Subscribers will receive a digital package including this 8.5 x 11 print you see above, along with 4 matching 3 x 4 printable cards, JPEG files and a digital stamp of the word collage. To sign up for my newsletter, click here.



Cathy ZielskeMy preparations for December Daily™ + other good things

66 Comments on “My preparations for December Daily™ + other good things”

  1. #1

    I am so, so, so excited to see you create a DD! I have never done one before. I love sitting back and admiring other people’s albums. But I have a feeling that I will *have* to make one this year similar to yours. 🙂

  2. #2

    I couldn’t agree more with Susan’s comment. I typically don’t do a DD but you’re making me want to jump right onto the DD bandwagon with your cool little album. I might just have to cave!

  3. #3

    I love seeing how you are using Silhouette. I bought mine a couple months and it is sitting gathering dust right now. You album has me inspired though. I think that I am going to change up my Project Life for 2014 and use a Snap 6×8 album and incorporate some of the quote cut outs.

  4. #4

    Hi Cathy, what is the font you used for “December” on the dedication page? Your album looks great!

  5. #6

    I think the key is making it work for you. I always looked at how crafty everyone was with their albums, and I thought, I dont make stuff like that and more importantly, I dont want to get too crafty! But I had so much fun last year, doing an album that fit me and my style. Plus, last year I used the Studio Calico kit and loved it, also loved the 6 x 4 album they made last year. In fact, if scrapbook companies would start making 6 x 4 ring albums, I would use them all the time!

  6. #7

    Last year I used the SNAP album for my DD and now I do not want to use anything else!! Love the pockets and ease of use. So now will you stop doing Project Life in December? I typically end my my PL at the end of November – it seems redundant for me to do both but I am curious what you will do. Enjoy getting your hands dirty!!

  7. #8

    So very happy to see you do a 6×8 Snap album! Now maybe I can get mine going with inspiration from you! Yippee Yi Yay! And the silhouette–starting Kerri’s class this weekend! Appreciate the discount for the class too!

  8. #10
    Melanie A.

    HAH, I knew you’d love the Cameo 😛 UGH, you just had to go and create some DD items didn’t you. Thanks a lot! LOL Guess I’m off to shop at Designer Digitals!

  9. #11
    Judy Webb

    I really think I can formulate Gratitude and Thankful sign if I spent time!! Time being the operative word. However, I’d sign up in a second if you offered a class. In PSE. Have a great Dec doing your Daily.

  10. #12

    Oh, I’m so downloading those cool yule cards, they look great! And looking forward to receiving your newsletter tomorrow.

    I, however, am NOT going to get sucked into buying a Silhouette! No, no, no!!

  11. #14

    Inspiring! You are so great for us scrappers who don’t want to get too crafty. Thankful for your style Cathy!

  12. #16

    I’m excited to see your DD coming along again this year! I love your style and that it’s not too crafty. How fun it will be for Aidan to do one also, you two can work side by side. Your pages look GREAT so far and the new goodies you made are AWESOME!! I love these colors too.
    My DD from last year is still sitting here unfinished, sigh. Going to just stick with dressing up my PL pages for December that way I know it will get done.
    Looking forward to seeing yours come together next month.

    WOW!! That gratitude printable is amazing, thanks so much. Can’t wait to see the newsletter and other cards. YAY!! You are so sweet for sharing them!

  13. #17

    Love, love, love what you’ve created for this kit! I’m using a different SC Handbook, but was totally sucked in by the cards and embellishments. Thank you for the inspiration and sharing the items you made for your alubm. Off to DD to do a little shopping!

  14. #19
    Sally Kemp

    Ever since I upgraded to the Designer Edition of the Silhouette software, my cuts have been off. I’m pretty new at it also, but it discouraged me and I haven’t used it since. I should probably dig it out again and maybe e-mail Kerri for some advice. It’s got great potential!

    I am also wondering what font you used for the word “December” on your dedication page. It’s beautiful!

  15. #20

    Glad to see your foundation design. I bought and plan to use your 6×8 daily journalers as well, so I am excited that you are using them too. This is our first year doing Elf on the Shelf and I plan to do a big 6×8 photo for each day and use the other divided page protectors to house the other daily happenings. This is my fourth or fifth year doing DD and it is my fave project each year.

  16. #27

    Its really thick and heavy and super smooth. So when you print stuff, it looks like you could have bought it at a store. it just takes ink really nicely from my printer! : )

  17. #29

    FYI–Clicking “here” at the beginning does not bring the reader to your 2012 DD information. It reopens your current post. Thanks.

  18. #31

    Just an update, click on it and scroll down. I have so many posts from last year and theyre all under this one, if that helps. When you get to the bottom, there are these tiny arrows that will take you to the earlier ones.

  19. #33

    Cathy, LOVE this post!!! I am heading over to DD and checking out the SNAP albums! I so love your style and simplicity and how you always make it so uniquely yours. I can’t wait to see your album in December. Thank you!!

  20. #36

    Cynthia, thanks! Just a heads up. Im doing a fun giveaway tomorrow that may or may be an album from Simple Stories. Shhhh. ; )

  21. #37
    Lauren Hershey

    So what kind of printer do you use to print these out? I’m in the market. Also, wouldn’t mind if you shared your camera and the lenses you’d advise a person to buy. I know you don’t claim to be Tara Whitney 🙂 but I think you know more than me… And do you use a scanner at all? Thanks so much for all the goodies!! Adore the color scheme.

  22. #39

    I use an HP Photosmart 8750. Its old now, but its a work horse. I love it, save for the fact that it wont print 4 x 6 photos anymore. I have a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon L-Series 24-70 mm lens (2.8) and a Canon USM 50mm 1.8 lens, and a Canon 50mm Macro lens (which I love for close up shots.) That is my set up!

    I have a very cheap Canoscan 4400. But, it does work just fine when I need to scan something!

  23. #41
    Jodi Ellis

    Love your album!
    Your cards show the spirit of the season in simple fashion, my kind of book.
    I would like to add some journaling in the same font that is on your cards, which font is it?
    Might even try a few cards with names on them to cut on my silhouette…fun stuff!

  24. #42

    oh i am a fan of your cool yule printables. i definitely just had to snap up all 3! i, too, will be using up that printer ink this season. oh well!

  25. #45

    I love making the December Daily album but last year, things fell apart. I like the idea of doing the Sn@p album. I’ve had my eye on them for the last few months. So now I have a reason to buy one! Thanks for the inspiration. I LOVE my Silhouette and I need to find more time to spend playing with it. The Kerri Bradford classes have been wonderful and make me want to use it more.

    While looking for our two new adopted cats, I ran across a small card next to my husband’s side of the bed that said Snap it on! I took that as a sign that I should try the Sn@p album!! 🙂

  26. #46

    Cathy, you always manage to crack me up! The part about the Zing glitter. <3 I started out as a messy scrapper because I found digital design, working with Photoshop etc., quite intimidating. But crafty scrapbooking can be also stressful. I don't think that I'm particularly gifted at it, but I'm not super-clumsy either. But if you're a perfectionist, the results can be highly frustrating. But it does help you to become more embracing of the imperfection of life. I really do think the crafty side can be therapeutic.
    And of course your DD looks fab. Thanks for sharing.

  27. #47

    Deborah, can you open PNG files and print them to Cricut? I have never used a Cricut so I do not know how to design stuff for you guys!

  28. #50

    Love the journaling templates. Is it easy to re-colour the top three boxes? I thought I had seen one of your tutorials last year on the journaling cards, but now I can’t find it. Looking forward to starting this project too!

  29. #51

    So easy. You simply select the layer (each one of those areas is a separate layer) pick a new color, and go Edit Fill Layer… and choose a color.

  30. #52
    Nancy Barnes

    You just make my heart go pitter-patter every time you design something new. I. AM. IN. LOVE. WITH. COOL YULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just rock this stuff!

  31. #54
    Sally Kemp

    Cathy, I just went over to Designer Digitals and purchased your whole Cool Yule line. I just wanted to say *THANKS* for putting together a complete package with paper, cards and label embellishments. I know that these were meant for Dec. Daily, but I’ll use them in my Project Life album also. My issue with Project Life has always been making a weekly layout look “good” and unified as far as color, fonts, etc. I’ve come a long way in 2013 by using your products and studying your style. Amazingly – for me – I’ve kept up with PL for an entire year now. I recently decided to go all digital, and actually I’m loving the clean look and feel of it. Anyway, I may devote a page in my 30 Days of Thankful album to you! LOL 🙂

  32. #57
    Dawn F.

    I just want to say thanks for everything – the ideas that I get when I read through your posts, the newsletter with the printables (your Oct. one is in my PL album), the way you write that makes me examine my own life and well the list could go on but just to say thanks. I appreciate it!

  33. #59
    Margot Perry

    Hi Cathy. I am new to embossing. What kind of embossing heat tool do you use? Ive seen several advertised and don’t know which one to go with. TIA!

  34. #60

    I just have one I got at a scrapbook store years ago. Honestly, Im not even sure what the brand is! : ) I think any of them will work. You just need that heat coming out of the end. LOL!

  35. #64
    Marina D-K

    I accidentally deleted the latest issues of picas and points and I wanted to reprint the holiday subway art. Is there any way I can get this awesome item in my email again?

  36. #65
    Marina D-K

    I was looking for the Christmas one, feeling very sad, my husband reminded me that if I had downloaded it at any point, it would be in Time Machine. Apple to the rescue!!! Feeling happy again =)

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