For several years now I’ve wanted to make a December Daily album. I’ve admired them on Flickr, stockpiled ideas on Pinterest, and amassed an embarrassing amount of product for the sole purpose of creating my own. Last year I started an album…but I didn’t even make it a week into the process before giving up. My total and utter failure was due to two mistakes: 1) I didn’t create a foundation album but instead tried to build a page from scratch every day and 2) I thought I needed to have some momentous occasion to document each day instead of simply recording my life as it was. This year I’ve decided to go for it. I’ve made an album, put together a tray of supplies, and am focussing on the simple realities of my everyday life. For once I’m excited about the upcoming month instead of anxious and stressed. So without further ado, here’s a look at what I’ve got so far.

For the cover I used an old photo album I’ve had lying around (since high school – yeah, I’m a bit of a hoarder). I covered the outside with kraft paper and used vintage wrapping paper on the inside.

The pages are 4″ x 6″ – a mini album, for sure. Less page area = less pressure for me. I also chose not to number the pages. This way I can move them around based on what works best for each day. In other words, I can fit the page to the day rather than trying to make the day work with the page.

I included a lot of pockets & envelopes for all of the bits & bobs I’m sure to collect. And since the pages are so small, I wanted to be sure to have a place to keep all the things that can’t be attached directly to a page.

The pages are a combination of the 12 Days of Christmas collection from My Mind’s Eye and Dear Lizzy Christmas from American Crafts, as well as few vintage papers and others from my stash.

The above page is made from a piece of (Red) wrapping paper I bought at Hallmark several years back. Luckily I still have a few pieces left, so you’ll likely see it in future projects.

The pockets are made from a baseball card holder I cut down to fit. In the top pocket I put a little faux snow and the phrase “let it snow,” then I hand-sewed it shut.

I plan to include hole-punched 4″ x 6″ photos throughout the album, as well as add smaller images to the existing pages. Hopefully this will inspire me to take more pictures this month.

The doily page is just vellum I stamped using the Martha Stewart Crafts doilies stamp set and Staz On Opaque Cotton White.

I love this aqua & candy cane card! It was a late addition to the album; I just picked them up from the dollar section at Michaels earlier this week. Love that dollar section! You’ll see the coordinating red envelope as a later page.

Another baseball card holder sheet…I love embellishing these.

In the very back of the album I added an envelope to keep extra photos in. It’s actually the envelope you get with your receipt when you order from Anthropologie. I love it when I can reuse things like that.

There you have it! I’ll share the finished pages as I go, so stay tuned. See the list below for links to the products I used. And if you want to see larger images, you can find them on Flickr.

Supplies: 

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…and for once I’m not talking about finding a job (though I do need that too). I’m talking about my issues. Yes, I have issues…several of them. Some are not appropriate to discuss here. The ones that are can pretty much be boiled down to two categories.

1. Time management – I don’t understand where all my time goes. (Maybe it’s spent wondering where my time goes?) I should have all the time in the world to do the hundreds of things I want to do, and yet at the end of the day I’m left with a long list of things yet to be done and a big blank on the “things I did today” side. I could blame the internet. My instinct is to name it the spawn of the devil and feign a lack of willpower to resist its beckoning call. But I know that’s not entirely true. The problem is really…

2. Lack of motivation – I get dumpy. I wallow in self-pity over my lack of luck in the job department and envision a lifetime of woe to follow due to my incredibly unprofitable taste in professions. It’s hard to get motivated to do the laundry when you’re busy worrying about how in the world you’ll ever be able to save enough for retirement after you’ve swallowed your pride and taken that minimum wage job at Meijer. And I’m only 32. Yeah, I worry…A. Lot. And all of that worry sucks my will to do…anything. I haven’t felt creative in quite a while…not productively creative anyway…you know, the kind of creativity that leads to something tangible. I haven’t posted here much because I feel like all I would be doing is complaining, and I don’t want to turn this place into a pity party. This is supposed to be my happy place.

So…solutions? I’ve tried setting a schedule for myself, but I’m self-defeating. I say to myself, “F@#k you and your schedule!” like I’m both the authority figure and the angst-ridden teenage girl. (hmm…that may actually be a pretty good description of myself) I like the idea of a schedule, but I don’t know how to make myself follow it. Suggestions? Do you ever struggle with motivation? How do you deal with it? How do you manage your time and ensure your to-do list is shrinking rather than growing?

Okay, enough mopey bullshit. Just to prove that it’s not all gloom and doom around here, I’ll share some pics of the kitties. Kitty pictures make everything better, right?

 

 

Remember these guys? They’re getting big. They had a checkup yesterday and should be ready for adoption in another two weeks. Oh, and they have names! The grey tiger striped one is George. We call him Georgy-Porgy. The light grey and white one is Fred. And the calico one is Kahlia, Kali for short (of course). She’s a sweetheart. Very loving.

 

 

Finally got a couple things posted in The Shoppe. More to come soon!

Due to some unforeseen technical difficulties, the shoppe update must be postponed. I hope to have everything up sometime tomorrow, but knowing how these things sometimes go, I can make no promises. Sorry if I let you down. 😦

New products in the shoppe on Monday. Stay tuned!

Okay, I swear this isn’t going to become a crazy cat lady blog, but I had to share some pics of the adorable new foster kittens at our house. They’re just a couple weeks old and are just starting to move around and play.

foster kitties

I went to the humane society on Saturday thinking I would be picking up the three kittens I took in earlier that week. They had agreed to let me foster & tame them; I had even signed the necessary paperwork. But apparently one of their vets saw them and decided to take them in herself. I was a little disappointed, but really I knew it was going to be a pretty formidable task to take on, and it was probably best that a vet had decided to take them. Had it been just anyone I would have been more upset…I had gotten attached to the feisty little things!

foster kitties

foster kitties

Of course, finding out that I was getting to bring these little boogers home went a long way in erasing any disappointment I was feeling. They’re so tiny!

foster kitties

foster kitties

foster kitties

The mama’s name is Dutchess. She’s a very sweet cat and a good mama to her babies.

foster kitties

foster kitties

The kittens don’t have names yet, so they said I should feel free to name them myself. Any ideas?

foster kitties

 

foster kitties

 

foster kitties

Three adorable little kitties, found in our wood pile this weekend. (And by wood pile I mean the pile of wood that used to be our deck and that is currently sitting in our driveway waiting to be hauled away – yeah, not a great place for precious little kitties.) I spent nearly all day yesterday trying to capture them. They are not tame, not by a long shot. In fact they were rather vicious, and capturing them required a crate, canned food, and a certain degree of stealth. But they are safe now, tucked away in a roomy crate in our garage.

Aren’t they adorable!? I had to uncover the little black & white one to take his picture. He had buried himself entirely under the towel. There was no sign of a momma cat yesterday, and they’re eating the canned food without issue. Tomorrow they will be taken to our local Humane Society (which is closed today), where I’m sure they will have no trouble finding loving homes. I wish I could keep all of them, but it’s simply not possible…sigh… If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll be allowed to foster them till they’re ready for adoption.

In other news, I’m still working on another shoppe update. I’ve received my first bulk order, which will keep me busy for the next few days. Also, I have some fun vintage items to add to Vintage Monkey. Lots of busy things happening!

We’re starting our holiday weekend a little early around here – Woohoo! Tonight we’re headed to The Bluebird to see the amazing Gillian Welch. Super excited about this one! I’ve been looking forward to it for months…pretty sure I got our tickets the day minute they became available. Which was also right after I picked up her most recent album…instantly a favorite.

J is taking tomorrow off, making it a four-day weekend for him. Saturday we’re attending some friends’ annual luau, which is always fun. There was also some talk of an semi-impromptu amusement park do-over (after a horrible Indiana Beach experience – seriously, don’t go there…just don’t). So we’ll see 🙂

Anyone else have exciting plans for the weekend?

 

I’ve tried a million different things, and I still can’t get pictures I’m satisfied with. I’m going to keep trying, but in the meantime I’m going to be slightly less critical of the pictures I’ve taken and show them here. So, without further ado…

It’s all available in The Shoppe. I’m still working on a bunch more items to add to the list, so stay tuned!

…but I’m not happy with the way it turned out. Let me explain.

I’ve been working over the last several weeks on re-opening the Monkey See, Monkey Do shoppe – a sort of re-envisioned shoppe. I’ve been a paper addict for years, and I thought I was finally ready to share some of my creations & stash with the world. I’ve been experimenting and cutting and punching and gluing…and it was all taking so long to come up with something I was happy with. I started to feel rushed. I started to feel like I was wasting my time. But I know, in my head, that good things don’t always happen easily or quickly…and this was my first try. Finally, earlier this week, I held in my hands six finished products ready to be listed. So I snapped some photos and spent hours using my meager photo editing skills to try to make them look presentable. And I thought they did…until I posted them on Etsy. For some reason, every time I list something I end up hating the photos of that thing, but only after they’re posted. I mean, I knew the pics weren’t great, but now I think they look horrible. After all that work! I’m not doing myself any justice here.

So those six products are listed, and I’ve added a link to the left sidebar, but please understand that I will be spending part of my weekend reading up on product photo-taking and trying to give you all a better representation of the actual product. Until then, I’m not showing them here. You’ll have to go to Etsy to see what I’m talking about.

On a somewhat happier note, I have a lot more products in the works that will be posted with beautiful photos in the very near future. And once that is done, there will be a bit of a grand opening celebration…once I feel like celebrating…not yet. So stay tuned. And if anyone has any advice for me, I’ll gladly take it. Ugh…

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