How This Sketch Inspired Me to Begin Documenting December

Nikki Kann
Nikki Kann

For the last month of this design-focused year, the SH Creative Team decided to each interpret one sketch, selected by our leader, Alice Boll. Sketches can be an extremely useful design tool for improving productivity and efficiency with our hobby. By using sketches more often, it helps the scrapbooker overcome the fear of the blank page, which can result in more layouts completed and more enjoyment of the process. This has certainly been the case for me, so I am an advocate for using them. 

Alice said, “I chose this sketch as it was inspired by a fellow scrapbooker. This layout design is not one that I can ever remember creating before, and after nearly 25 years of scrapbooking, that’s kind of special! I liked that I could use many strips of patterned papers and I had room to share two parts of a story by the separate top and bottom halves.” 

As I was brainstorming about how I wanted to use this sketch, a few things were happening at the same time that helped me to make my decision. I started getting daily emails from Alice again for this year’s Scrapbook Christmas in January. I was also on a girls trip in Austin, TX for a few days, where we attended a couple festive holiday events. Lastly, I was contemplating if I was truly motivated enough to journal each day in December or create a December album at all.

After some thought, I decided to use the momentum of creating this blog post to help jumpstart the practice of documenting my December. The Day One theme of Alice’s class was “Christmas Anticipation”. I have always loved December and usually look forward to it. However, the tone of this season of life with my kids being older is changing. I was feeling more melancholy than usual about these differences as December approached. What helped snap me out of my doldrums, was the trip away from routine with my friend. So, what better reason to make that the focus of my layout and also the first page (Day One) of my December album?

Next question was, what size? While this page would look great as a 12×12, I believed I would be more likely to complete the album in January if I chose 6×8. It was a big bonus that I could use an Ali Edwards December Daily 6×8 binder album in my stash that I purchased a couple years ago. With the decision of the smaller size album, the photos I chose needed to be resized smaller than what was indicated on the sketch. Even though the sketch called for 3 photos, I wanted to use four to highlight all my favorite things that helped build anticipation of the season. 

Rather than go with the traditional bright reds and greens, I found papers in softer tones, which turned reds into muted pinks and threw in some baby blues and greens. I immediately knew I wanted to use washi tape instead of paper strips. Fortunately, the holiday washi that I have were also in the soft, muted tones that perfectly complimented the papers I selected. Because the photos had so many bright colors going on, they clashed with the soft colors, so I converted them to black and white. Then, I thought it would be fun to add a little red to the Peppermint Parkway lighting (in Photoshop) to help it stand out on the page.

I looked through all the Ali Edwards December Daily embellishments in my stash to find possible titles and word phrases. As you can see in the photo, I really wanted to use the title, “Making Spirits Bright” as it suited my feelings. But after I added the photos, that title was just too much for the space. I preferred a little more open space around the title to give the eyes a rest. That is why I chose Hello Christmas instead. Finally, I added the red, glitter foam candy cane and poinsettia stickers by The Paper Studio, Crate Paper’s Snow and Cocoa phrase sticker and AE heart sticker.

Using Alice’s sketch was inspiring and helpful for me during this busy holiday month. I hope you will make good use of this sketch as well, whether for your December layouts or on a project in new year. 

Remember to visit last month’s blog posts on Color Blocking: 

Softening Color Blocking Design by Misty
Bold Color Combos are Key to Color Blocking by Nikki

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