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  • Michele Anderson

A December Project That Works for Me! | Michele Anderson

I’m a December project drop-out. I love the idea, but the project just doesn’t fit with my life

situation. If this project would have been a thing when my children were little, I would have been all over it. My family circle is small (married to an only child, I have one sibling that doesn’t live near me, and neither of my children are in serious relationships) and my husband and I tend to be homebodies during the cold weather months.

That said, I love Christmas and especially Christmas products. I love the Christmassy kit and knew it was the perfect kit to do the Christmas project I’ve been envisioning for the last few years.


My sons are adopted and the first year we celebrated Christmas as a new family was the year 2000. While my husband and I had been married for a few years ahead of that, I wanted this project to highlight the seasons of the four of us.


I needed to decide on the following things to move forward:

• format

• kit

• photos


I decided on 6x8. I think this size is perfect for a specialized project and choose it often. I also decided on printed pages rather than a photo book because I plan to add to it each year. I also found and purchased a template kit with 25 different 6X8 photo layouts with varying photos. I’ll explain the process I have for choosing the right layout further down.


The kit was easy! Christmassy all the way. It works for photos from the past, present, and I will be able to use it in ongoing years. It’s traditional and whimsical all at the same time.


Photos are the biggest area of thought behind my project. I decided I would highlight one story per year. I wanted a really special story of the year and not everything that happened. I already had albums with both physical and other digital pages that showed so many details of the entire season. My plan with this album was to keep it with our Christmas decorations and bring it out yearly. I wanted it to be unique and different from our normal pages and be something very special.


Process:


The first thing I did was to gather my supplies. I put the kit and template pack into my normal folder system for long term storage. I then made a DUPLICATE of the template pack and the Christmassy kit. I usually title the folder I am going to be working with the #1 so that it is at the top of my folder system.

The reason I duplicate the items is because I will delete some of them when I use them so I don’t repeat them. My goal is to have a completely unique, but cohesive album at the end. By creating the duplicate, I can delete the file in the project album without deleting the master items that I may want to use over and over.


I also pull all items into my photo app. While I don’t add the items to my layouts from the photos app, I like to be able to see everything. If I choose to use something, I delete it from the photo app, and then I don’t think to go select it again. If it is an item that can be used over and over without getting the duplicate feel (papers, standard items like snowflakes, etc) I do not delete it. If it is something very unique and special and I know I would only want to use it one, I delete it from the photos when I am done with it and then I wouldn’t even think to go get it again. The photos app is an extra step, but for my workflow, it makes sense. It is way easier for my old eyes to see the embellishments in the photos app than small in the file selector.

I will do the majority of my workflow in the following apps:

Affinity Photo: App where I use to create my layouts.


Over App: I find this to be the easiest app to use with journaling cards. In my opinion, this app allows for the best text adjustments to finetune and get the text exactly where you want.


Project Life: I like White House Custom Color for my prints and pulling the completed 6x8 into the app full-page spread allows me to order directly from there. I wouldn’t use this step if I was ordering from a different location. You could order directly from the website, but I just have used this system for a long time, so it works for me.


Once I gathered my supplies into a central location and made those decisions, I’m ready to move on to the fun part. Photo selection, story decision, and layout creation.

I use Google Photos (and Amazon photos but I don’t pull from there) as long-term photo storage. The only photos on my phone are from the current year. I find that Google Photos works great for my needs, but I would research all options.


I open Google Photos and in the search bar, I type December 2000-the first year of this project. I don’t have a lot of digital photos from 2000. My first digital camera was the following year, so photos are limited.


I found the photos and stories I wanted to tell. I then looked at the number of photos I wanted to include. I settled on these three photos.

My next step is to choose the template I’m going to use. I picked this template. While it is technically #9, I’m going to be switching that when I design the page anyway. Now I scrap!

I do the date and journaling in Over. For the dates, I create one I like and for the most part, just “duplicate” and change the info. I formatted “December 2000” and will just change it for each layout to “December 2001”. I find this easier in Over than Affinity Photo.


I also do journaling in Over making sure to save as a PNG file so there is no background. If I’m using a journaling card (Did not on this first layout) I just save it as a JPEG.

Done!

Note: The quality of the photos, is frustrating to me but in doing a project like this, you have to let that go.

Digital photos like we have today just weren’t an option.


My goal is to do a page a day. Since this project will have years 2000-2019 done ahead of time, I have a

few extra days if I don’t have time to scrap. I hope to complete the year 2020 immediately following Christmas Day and then order the prints.

I hope you consider joining me for a Christmas project that fits your life! Follow my progress at @Appscrapper on Instagram.

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