Saturday, December 17, 2011


Day 16 is for thinking about our blessings, what we're grateful for this season. I made a pocket and put my journaling inside, because it's private this year.
Day 17 is about a perfect gift, something we're excited to give or have been given. I feel amazingly "blah" about most of the Christmas gifts I'm giving this year, so I focused on an unexpected gift I was given instead--our four days in Florida last week. It really was wonderful.
I'm slopping around the house in my PJs today, till it's time to get showered, dressed and made up for Todd's office Christmas party this evening. His company is holding the party at the Hampton Air and Space Museum this year, so I think it's really going to be fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I did another big catch-up this morning...after mailing ALL my packages and picking up a couple of Christmas gifts. I rule Christmas. So far, anyway.

Day 13 is about music--I used a picture of my new red memory stick dedicated solely to Christmas music. A 4x6 photo goes in the front:

And the journaling goes on the back:

Day 14 is about gifts...I took a photo of the gifts under the tree (before they went into boxes) and added a neat sticker I found at the post office. I thought a USPS sticker might be a nice memento in ten years when we're back to sending smoke signals and telegrams because USPS is no more.

Day 15 is about visitors and visiting. We'll be receiving guests this year rather than being guests. I'm okay with that, except it means I need to clean my house in a big way.

Just got a big box from Amazon plunked onto the front porch by my awesome mailman, so I'm off to wrap presents and maybe have a cup of tea for my scratchy throat.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trees present and past.

Day 11 of my "Journal Your Christmas" is always about the Christmas tree. This year we put up our big tree for the first time in several years, and I used all my old ornaments, as I mentioned before, plus gold ribbon and the snowflakes my Grandma Clark crocheted for me about ten years ago.

This page has a fold-out page protector--the side with the tree photo folds out, allowing for two more photos:

Day 12 is about Christmases of the past...I found an old Christmas tree photo from the 1970s on Flickr, and used that as a jumping-off point for writing about the homemade star that was on top of our tree through my early childhood years. My mom made it from cardboard and tin foil, and I've been trying to find one like it (which is of course impossible) my whole adult life.

The two pieces for Day 12 fit into the back side of the Day 11 page protector. I love having all these different sizes and configurations to play with.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Home, and catching up.

We got home from Florida yesterday afternoon and did the usual "get milk and bread, catch up on the mail, unpack a little, sit and chill" routine. I also worked on my Christmas journal a bit last night, and more this morning.

We had an absolutely wonderful time in Florida. We stayed in a hotel right on the Gulf, and then Todd had about a 15-minute drive to the company he was working with. (They're making a part for the project he's been working on for NASA.)

Todd ended up not having to work quite as much as he'd expected, so we were actually able to drive around and do quite a few things...we went to the historic Kenwood district in St. Pete (lots of Craftsman bungalows, which we love) and to the Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. We had dinner at the Vinoy resort on Tampa Bay, a gorgeous hotel from the 1920s, all pink and white like a wedding cake. Our last day there, we drove up to Orlando and went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, and then flew home from Orlando the next day. The weather was mostly perfect, especially near the water. A couple of mornings, I sat on the hotel's deck, about 25 feet from the water, and wrote out all my Christmas cards. It was idyllic, to say the least. I was so glad that Todd wanted me to come along with him.

To continue with my Christmas journal, here's Day 6. The theme is "two Christmases," one good and one bad, but I have never enjoyed thinking about bad Christmas experiences--and have fortunately not had many. I saw another class member's journal entry for this day where she wrote about how her son likes to sleep under the Christmas tree at night, and that made me think of lying under the Christmas tree with my glasses off as a child. I loved those blurry lights, they seemed twice as pretty!

Day 7 is a "to do" list. I actually have quite a bit yet to do for Christmas. I wrote down everything I could think of, but I know there's more...

Day 8 is always about the sights of Christmas. This was fun to do this year, since on the 8th we were in Florida and I could get some pictures of a tropical Christmas. This page protector opens out, so here's the two 4x6" slots on the front:

And here's the inside, with photos:

And here's the back side:

Day 9 is about traditions. We simply don't seem to have any--at least not anything we do every year. I wrote about decorating my tree with all my old ornaments, instead of vintage Shiny-Brites, this year.

And Day 10 is always about wrapping paper. Last year I found two rolls from Hallmark that I'd bought the year before on clearance--of course, I didn't find them till I'd already bought paper for Christmas that year! So I knew this year I wouldn't need to buy any at all. I just wrapped a piece of cardstock like a package. I know that lovely ribbon will get squished when I put the page in the album! The tag is from a Trader Joe's grocery bag--they have all sort of gift tags printed on them this year.

Back to Mount Laundry for me.

Monday, December 05, 2011


Today's journal entry is about Advent. For the first time since I was a kid, I have an Advent calendar this year. It's shaped like a tall apartment building with lots of windows and doors, and you open one up for each day. Inside are tiny people and animals doing holiday things. It's just darling!

This entry goes into a vertical 4x6" page protector. I put a photo of the calendar on the front:

And the writing goes on the back:

Last night we went to see Handel's "Messiah," at Hampton University, which is becoming something of a tradition for us. We went with some friends and then had dinner afterwards. The concert is always held on the first Sunday in December, and usually when we go, we're all bundled up and running from the car to the concert hall to get out of the cold wind that blows off the water. This year, we were in light jackets, and actually took a little stroll along the water beforehand. Crazy weather. The concert was wonderful, especially the "Hallelujah Chorus," and dinner was great, too. Lots of good conversation.

We are heading out of town for a few days, so I'll have to catch up with my journal when I get back. Todd has to go to St. Petersburg, FL to do some work, and he found me a ridiculously cheap ticket, so I'm tagging along. Last year we went to the ocean side of Florida, so I'm excited about seeing the gulf side this time.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The more you give, the more you'll get.

We're having a lazy morning today. Todd was out fishing till dawn, and I was up till 2 AM reading Stephen King's latest brick of a book. So we slept pretty late!

The prompt for today is about envisioning your perfect Christmas. This year, for numerous reasons, I want to try to focus as little as possible on what would make Christmas perfect for me, and more on helping other people have a good Christmas season in general. I heard a lyric in a Christmas song yesterday that said, "The more you give at Christmastime, the more you'll get." I thought that was perfect as a mantra for this month.

These pieces will go into the flip side of the double 4x6" page protector I posted yesterday.

And here they are in the album.

Have a great day today, whatever you're doing!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Shoes and fireworks.

In my shoe- and slipper-shopping yesterday, I managed to do the unprecedented and bring home a pair of shoes that was too large and a pair of slippers that was too small.

I got up first thing this morning and rectified the problem, wanting to get in and out of the shopping center before the Saturday + Christmas craziness started, and I succeeded--plus I got a second pair of shoes, so it really was all worthwhile! At least that's what I'll tell Todd when he wants to know why I left with two shoeboxes and came home with three.

Today's journal entry is about Christmas cards. The album I'm using comes with all different shapes and sizes of page protectors, and this one has two 4x6" slots, one above the other. So here are the two pieces outside the page protector:

And here they are in the album. I think this is going to be a fun way to do this journal. Other page protectors fold out, some are large, some are small...very interesting.

Every year I think I should break out of my vintage-style rut and do something really modern and bright for my Christmas book...and every year I fall back into the vintage rut. Except it's not really a rut if you love it. I just think Christmas and vintage go together hand in hand. Plus it's fun finding little odds and ends for the book all year long at flea markets.

Todd had the idea to go to our city's tree lighting and fireworks ceremony last night. And it was a good theory. I didn't realize it, but it turns out that being jammed up against masses of people in a tight pack pushes me toward a panic attack. So we went up on the roof of the parking garage and watched the fireworks from up there. We had no idea it was going to be such a crowd! I don't think I ever want to do that again. I loved him for thinking of it, though. Fireworks with your sweetie--who wouldn't love that? Fireworks with your sweetie and 40,000 others...not quite as much fun.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Ready for cold weather.

December 2's prompt is always about the weather. And I am feeling grumpy about the weather this year. The fall has been unbelievably warm, and it doesn't seem like it's going to get cold any time soon. Today it was 63 degrees, bright sunshine, and I had to have the windows down in my car because I was too hot in a long-sleeve tee and jeans. I hate to sweat.

Ah well. Today has been a great day...I went shoe- and slipper-shopping, picked up some Christmas presents, bought three outfits for Angel Tree children at the mall, and had lunch with my friend Tracy. A little sweating was worth it!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Journal Your Christmas.

Well, I don't know what happened to the month of November, but it whooshed by amazingly fast. We had a nice visit from Todd's parents over Veterans' Day weekend, we had a terrific Thanksgiving with our friends Dawn and Dave Pullman, and I don't know what happened to the rest of the month!

Since it's December 1st, that means it's time for another year of Journal Your Christmas. This is a yearly class I take, along with hundreds of other people around the world, in order to make a journal or album about our Christmas season. This year--my sixth year!--I'm using an 8x8" chipboard album with page protectors of different sizes and shapes.

Here's the album cover. I ended up feeling very confused about what to do with a bare chipboard album. I don't like using paint (too messy), and covering it completely with paper (via Mod Podge) is something I never have luck with (and also messy.)

I ended up just making a decorated block to cover most of the front cover, and I'll probably just leave the rest plain. Oh, and I'll eventually make a title block for the spine.

Todd dragged me to a flea market last weekend, and I found that gorgeous old postcard. Seemed like the perfect thing for the cover.

The first of December is always a day where we look ahead and think about what we envision for our Christmas, the things we want to focus on. I'm starting with an 8x8 page today.

We already have so much planned this season, I know December will fly by even faster than November did. I'm looking forward to it.