December Daily: The first few days

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking46 Comments

Hello December Daily™ album project!

The first few days of the month have flown by. I have a feeling December is going to follow accordingly. I have my theories this year, leading among them is the fact that this is Aidan’s last holiday season as a full-time resident. Time, people. It’s a bullet train.

Last year was the first year of doing this project and one thing I adored was the 6 x 4 album format. I would have done the same size if I could have found a 6 x 4 D-ring album (Hello scrapbook companies? Please make that size and style!), but instead I fell in love with the SN@P! albums from Simple Stories. You can read my set up post here.

This year I wanted to stay true to my style and aesthetic. This means as little glitter as possible. Holla.

Let’s see what’s shaking out thus far:


Family photo courtesy of my iPhone, a tripod and a mount. Rule No. 1 of Holiday Photos: Never trust the tree dude to take a decent shot. (I know that’s not a fair thing to say. He might have done a fine job. When he offered, I said, “Nope. We got it. Thanks.” And then as he backed away so I could set up the shot he hit his head on a beam that a bunch of trees were leaning against. Sorry tree dude!) Note: I used the Key Cam app for self-timing glory.


I am using Day Document cards to journal about the days. They give me just enough space on a 6 x 4 canvas to write about the daily happenings. I print them onto Bazill OP White cardstock. I plan to layer a few brushes from my Cool Yule Decor collection behind the text to add a bit more visual interest without any muck.

Oh yeah, it’s time to explain a new holiday game at our house: Deer in the Clear.


Last year I caved and bought an Elf on the Shelf. We named him Malachi and he did some very naughty things. It was kind of fun, I have to admit. This year Malachi has yet to make his first mischief but Dan decided that while we are all waiting he would do his own thing.

The other night, I was upstairs and noticed that my big red balsa-wood deer had been moved and placed squarely in the doorway of my bedroom. I picked him up, brought him back down to where he belonged and asked my family, “So, who moved the deer?” To which Dan eagerly replied, “You found him?” And then he threw his hands up over his head and shouted, “DEER IN THE CLEAR!”

The objective of the game is simple: place the deer in a spot where no one with even the most rudimentary of observational skills could miss it. That’s it.

I love this man.

Moving right along.


I had to document my friend and writer Mark Spearman‘s snarky little holiday blog post. (If you missed it, really, you owe it to the Christmas Ruiner in all of us to read.)

I also got a little crafty on the right facing page. I opened the photo in Photoshop, added a new layer on top of the photo layer, filled it with white and then dialed the Opacity way down (about 25%). Then I highlighted a section of it with the Rectangular Marquee Tool and hit Delete. Fancy! 


Then I added glitter tape. I know. I’m awesome.


On this spread, I used one of Ali Edwards’ 6 x 8 Layered Template Sets to display an assortment of shots.

Again, my goal with this project is simplicity and staying true to my style.

I’m not getting too jiggy with it so far in terms of super crafty stuff. So far it’s been really fun. I am just keeping everything out on my dining room table so I can add stuff as I go.


That’s it so far. I will share a little here and there throughout the month.

Maybe even more Deer in the Clear shots. If you like.


December Daily™ is a holiday project concept created and championed by the amazing Ali Edwards. To learn more, click here.



Cathy ZielskeDecember Daily: The first few days

46 Comments on “December Daily: The first few days”

  1. #1

    Yes Cathy. You are Awesome. With a capital A. I’m going all digital this year. And I admit: I haven’t even started a page yet. I’m traveling next week so will have 3 nights of child-free hotel time to design to my hearts content. 😀

    Deer in the Clear: just make sure he doesn’t run Grandma over.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. #2

    Ok, you convinced me to do 30 Days of Gratitude, now I’m loving your December Daily. And Dear in the Clear, brilliant! I too have a high school senior in the house, I’m really thinking about the same things as you, this is his last year at home, etc.

  3. #3

    Good going! Like the glitter tape addition. I went awww when you said keep the glitter to a minimum, so liked seeing it show up so soon (I know glitter tape is much better for you than loose glitter) 😉

  4. #4

    Your book is amazing – that’s a given. Deer in the Clear is GENIUS!! Sounds like something my family of teenagers would love!

  5. #6
    Michelle M

    Love it! And Deer in the Clear – genius! I totally get where you are coming from with your daughter as I am documenting my first December with my daughter in college. It is definitely a different experience for all of us. I am lucky enough that she is only about 60 miles away and will be coming home this weekend but it is definitely not the same.

  6. #8

    Loving Deer in the Clear! Also love the style of your album this year. I am trying to simplify my scrapping! Can you tell me what fonts you used for the title Deer in the Clear? Thanks.
    Patti 🙂

  7. #9
    Kimberly James

    Dear in the clear is brilliant! What a fun game!

    Why is it that there are no good 4×6 albums! It’s seems like an obvious size to create.

  8. #11

    So just make sure you are paying attention when walking about the house – wouldn’t want you tripping over Deer in the Clear! And yes Cathy, you are TOTALLY AWESOME!

  9. #12

    I’m using the same Sn@P Simple stories album! It’s so easy and fun! Great minds think alike. 🙂

  10. #14

    I love the clean fonts you always use. Can you tell us the name of the one used on the daily journal cards of this album?

  11. #21
    Cara S

    Well that’s started my day in Australia with a laugh, thanks. Whew, when I first glimpsed the glitter on Instagram I thought you’d gone over to the dark side for a moment (or is that the twinkly side?), but it’s only tape!

  12. #22

    It is so cool, that you not only have designed the digitals with said deer but now your Dear has created a game with it, that you will also document and add to your December Daily!!! Love the repetition of the colors and designs in your daily so far…simple and clean, and festive in an understated style. I am even more convinced to dive in to the digital world!

  13. #23

    Dan is genius….. love Deer in the Clear. The deer is way more hip than the slightly creepy shelf elf!

  14. #25
    Nitasha G.

    I love you! Not in a weird stalker way, but in the way that I think your humor, honesty and down to earthness (yep, it’s a word- I just made it) are refreshing! Yes, please to more deer in the clear!

  15. #30
    Cara S

    Elf on a Shelf is not common in Australia, but people are getting into it a bit more this year probably because they see it on lots of American blogs etc. I showed my 21 year old daughter a picture of an elf on a shelf and asked her if she would like one for her home. “That’s just creepy”, she said (I think that’s a ‘no’.)

  16. #31

    Love, Love, Love Deer in the clear. Might catch on especially for those of us with no kids at home.

  17. #32

    okay, the elf creeps me out but deer in the clear i love. your album, so far, is completely wonderful. sigh. i love stopping in here!

  18. #33

    Just an FYI…I’m not sure if you have seen them yet, but WRMK recently came out with new 6×4 faux leather albums. They aren’t on the WRMK website yet but is selling them for $7.49. lists them as 4×6 but I got one and they are actually 6×4. The little albums come in brown, black, red, aqua and kiwi and they have 2 d-rings.

  19. #34
    Barb in AK

    So now I know what that darned Marquee tool is for!! LOL!!
    Love what you did!
    Love Dan’s humor! I read it to my dh– he said, “I guess you had to be there.” But then, he knows nothing of the Elf on the Shelf. So what can I say?
    Can’t wait to see more of your project. I love the simple style, too 🙂
    Hey— Stay warm!!!!

  20. #35

    You are AWESOME! Got a chuckle out of that one and I’m loving Deer in the Clear! Definitely a must for a house full of adults as the Elf is just too creepy! Thanks for a look into your DD. Love your style. Happy Holidays!

  21. #38
    Carol at Kal

    You are the PERFECT amount of glitter and crafty stuff for me. I love your cut-away technique and will definitely use it soon.

    Thanks Cathy.

  22. #43
    Veronica Zwiers

    Dearest Cathy,

    Thank you so much for having a clean lined “doable” Daily December. I look at all the fancy pages on line, drool, and then think realistically. I do not have the time to pull something like that off. Your pages are to the point, frill free, and “doable.” Now that I can handle. Thanks.

  23. #44

    You are welcome. As much as I look at those and admire them, I cant do that kind of stuff and have it look even remotely good. ; )

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