Friday, 16 November 2018

Mrs Brimbles Festive Memory Keeping project!

Welcome to the Mrs Brimbles Festive Memory Keeping project!

Now I warn you now that this post is loooooooong! Very long but it (hopefully) contains lots of useful information for you for starting your own festive memory keeping project. Please do read towards the end for the giveaway stuff.

This is an exciting project that I hope you will take part in even if it is in part. I know a monthly challenge can be quite daunting at first but once you get into it you will hopefully find that you are loving it and can’t wait to do it the next day and the next. So what is it all about?

You may have heard the term ‘December Daily’ banded about quite a bit. This is actually the copyrighted term that the lady, Ali Edwards founded. She created a whole community of documenting 1st – 25th December in a pocket scrapbook type album. These days, whilst her community and business is still going strong, many people use the term DD for all sorts of memory keeping projects or indeed projects that they do daily during December. I call it my Festive Memory Keeping Project (FMKP ) just to avoid any copyright issues and because I actually do mine from 30th November (the day we write our letters to FC) through to 1st January. In the past couple of years I have done this in a travelers notebook insert but this year I am using an altered children’s storybook. If you would like to see that and my past FMKP why not check out the playlist that I have on YouTube.

Getting started, what do you need?

All you will need is your album which can be a scrapbook or pocket scrapbook style album or it could be a journal or travelers notebook. Anything that you would like to create in really. Of course you could just write rather than use photos so it could just be a lined notebook. It is entirely up to you as to how deep you would like to go with this project. To create your project you will need:

·       A pen to write your journaling not matter how much you do
·       Scissors
·       Glue Stick or double sided tape
·       Your Photos

It is also really fun to add other things in like ephemera, washi tape, stickers to decorate your pages but these are not essential. Don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed about having ‘stuff’ whilst it is really nice to have and lots of fun, the key here is to document your memories so embellishments just enhance that.

Using Photos

In 2016 I used my iphone to take my photos and then print them out using a Polaroid Zip (a HP sprocket is pretty much the same). In 2017 Jon bought me a Canon Selphy so I used that in part last year and will be using it again for 2018. I like to use the app ‘photo grid’ to print two 3x4 or four 2x3 photos per 6x4 photo paper as I find one 6x4 is just too big for my pages. You may choose to print your photos out yourself at home or at a shop. Some days I just have one photo per day and other days I have more. It all depends on what we have done that day as to how much I want to document. I am a bit of a photo taking nerd though so generally it will be multiple for me! So yeah some days I have one photo on one page and then other days where we have a lot going on it will be multiple pages.

Finding the time & Inspiration

For the most part I do my pages every night sitting on the sofa watching TV. It doesn’t take me very long as I collate all of the supplies that I want to use in a bag which I put together before the project starts. Having them all to hand is a massive time saver for me because I don’t have to spend ages trying to find things and I also don’t stress over the perfect embellishment or sticker. I am pretty sure you know what I am talking about there. I think we have all spent longer than necessary deliberating over which sticker to use.  So pulling everything together at the start I find to be such a time saver. I did a video on prepping for it on YouTube:

I prefer to document my day every evening or at least the next night if we are out. I find it easier as the memories are really fresh in my mind, if I leave it too long it kind of all gets forgotten. Do whatever works for you though with the time that you have, if you prefer to batch process a whole week in one go then go for it. The whole point of this project is that it is supposed to be a fun way to document your Christmas. Don’t stress if you miss a day, just do it when you can.

One of my biggest problems is that I struggled to narrow it down some days as to what to document as some days there seemed to be more than others. Some days it was hard but I always found something. I have had people say to me on my journal videos in the past that their lives are boring and they wouldn’t know what to write about. I can assure you that your day to day life right now may seem that way to you but in 50 years time you will look back on your right now and feel totally differently about it. Just imaging how you would feel if your Grandparent kept a Christmas memory album and you found it in the attic one day. I know I would be pretty excited by it. I would love to know what a mundane day was like for them, what they ate, what they wore etc. so please don’t feel this way. Not every day has to be all confetti and lightning.

Prompts to give you a helping hand

So you will probably have your own ideas based around the traditions you have as a family and things going on around you so use your daily life as prompts. Of course it might be really nice to look back on Christmas of your past or childhood. You could journal about your traditions and things that you did to pass along to your children.

1.     What do you do when you write to Father Christmas? Photograph the kids writing their letters and maybe how lovely it is spending time together getting excited. Take a photo of their letters to add to your journal. Maybe consider adding their letter to your project (see the parents note under the prompts!) You get always get your child to write their wish list into you project too.
2.     Advent calendars – capture your child’s excitement as they see their calendar for the first time. What did they think? What calendar did they get?

3.     Lights – go for a walk and document and photo the lights in your street, village or town. Who has the best, most tasteful and who has the craziest show. Do you have lights outside your house, what and why?
4.     Document buying or choosing your tree – take photos in the shop. My Mum once bought a 6ft plastic tree home on the bus, luckily you had to put it together but the box was still pretty big!
5.     Document trimming the tree, are your lights in a jumbles mess?
6.     Do you have a favourite ornament? Why is it your favourite? Does it have sentimental value? Maybe a deceased loved one gave you it or maybe you bought it on an exotic holiday. We always go away in November for our Wedding anniversary (except this year lol) and we always buy a bauble with the name of the place we are at for our tree. And of course fashions change too!

7.     Document your Christmas music collection or just talk about your favourites and why they are that. Did your Dad always do Karaoke to Slade? Does good old Bing always make you wish you had snow at Christmas?
8.     Everyone loves a good snuggly Christmas movie right? What’s your favourite? What is the cheesiest one? You could draw your favourite scene or you could photograph your collection of DVDs
9.     Christmas jumpers used to be a bit of a joke but now they really are a thing that a lot of people wear in the festive season. A good selfie in yours would be fab or maybe a family photo all wearing Christmas jumpers, PJs etc. I took a photo last year and the year before of Miss B’s Christmas jumpers all drying on the radiator. It was below a shelf with Christmas decorations on and it looked really cute.
10.  Take photos of the decorations around your house. Why do you have those?
11.  Document your gift buying, you can take photos of the shops, your bags or your weary feet. Do flat lay of the gifts you bought for each person.
12.  Don’t forget to photograph the gifts once they are all nicely wrapped. A nice staged shot of your wrapping paper and tape or the presents under the tree.
13.  Like most people I love it when coffee shops bring out their Christmas cups. I don’t get to those shops much as I don’t really go into town much but at Christmas time I do like to treat myself and make a trip. You could consider treatingyourself and photograph your cup and your tasty treat.
14.  Take a photo of your feet, where you are standing right now. Why are you there and what are you doing? Bonus points for a Christmas chaos or Christmas prep you are doing.
15.  Do you love baking? Don’t forget to document the mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pud being made. Show how messy you got the kitchen in the process or how you burnt them.

16.  Was your child in a nativity play or did you go and see a pantomime or show?
17.  What was the last day of work like for you or the last day of school? Did you have a get together with the girls for pre Christmas drinkies?
18.  How about your weekly food shopping? What does that look like this time of year? What is the price of basic things like food, bread, petrol etc. I like documenting things like that as it is good to look back on. Photograph your receipt (thermally printed receipts fade!)
19.  Do you have any Christmas traditions in your family? Document those.
20.  How do you display your Christma cards?
21.  What about your wishlist? You could screen shot your Amazon wish list, or write your list down.
22.  Whilst we are talking about screen shots, a screen shot of a text message to a friend or special someone wishing them a Merry Christmas is a lovely addition to a project.
23.  As you come to the end of the month do you have any reflections on the year. Goals or aspirations for the coming year.
24.  Document your crafts and anything you made or your kids have made.

25.  Find the joy and the bliss in the ordinary and the snuggly. I like to photograph me snuggling under a blanket eating popcorn or a hot chocolate with marshmallows. Not every day has to be amazing the ordinary days are just as cozy.

26.  Us Brits especially like to talk about the weather. How was the weather for you today? Were you all bundled up? Was it all frosty and icy this morning and you had to defrost your car before you could go to work but actually whilst a bit annoying it was really pretty. Maybe we got that elusive snow day.  Hoar frost (Google it if you don’t know what I mean…it’s very pretty!) is especially lovely to photograph on spider webs and plants in the garden!
27.  Christmas Eve! Did you put a mince pie and a tipple out for FC? Did you go to church? Out for drinks? Do you always watch Santa Claus the movie?
28.  Christmas Day!!! This is the big day! The day where you might want to use several pages and I hope you have so much content lol! You have the presents, the meal, the games, Grandad asleep on the sofa still wearing his cracker hat etc. Go to town people!
29.  29. Boxing Day. What is that to you? Do you do it all again, do you hang out in your PJs all day watching movies and eating chocolate. The left over buffet. Whatever you do document it.
30.  New Years Eve, do you celebrate? If you do document that. Maybe some screen shots of Big Ben and fireworks. You could talk about the past year and close it down and talk about the New Year coming in.

31.  Did you visit santa in his grotto this year? Don’t forget to add that!

OK so that is just a few prompts for you lol enough for everyday of the month if you need to use them! Throw in what has being going on for you and you have more than enough for your album or journal. Oh and it’s OK to do more than one thing a day. If you are still stuck for ideas or just want a bit of inspiration (because quite frankly who doesn’t like ogling at other people’s creations) I have curated a YouTube list of videos as well as a Pinterest board to help give you some ideas.

My Tips

A little tip and a heads up for parents… you need to have a think in advance about whether or not you will be showing your journal or album to your children either now or in the future. If your children believe in Father Christmas you may want to not photograph the wrapping paper or presents that are associated with the big man in red! You don’t want to shatter your child’s Christmas dreams if they flick through your album and there are photos of you wrapping the toy that Santa gave them that year.

Another little tip I would like to share with you: I have an app on my phone called ‘catch Santa’. I love it and it’s a great little tool. You just take a picture and use their app to put Santa in the photo. I have used it for a couple of years to add Santa next to our tree on Christmas Eve with the presents around it. It can look a little fake so I always make my photo in the CS app and then import it into instagram or RD Magic by Rhonna and play around with filters until it looks right in my eyes. Whilst we are talking photo apps for your phone (p.s. I use an iphone so I don’t know if these are available for android so don’t shoot me if they are not), I love to add text to my photos and my two favourite apps for doing this are Rhonna Designs and Little Moments by Fat Mum Slim. I think text on photos adds a little something and doing it on your phone is very quick and easy especially if you don’t have photoshop or any editing software.

Let’s get documenting

Hopefully you have everything you need at your fingertips now to create your amazing festive memory keeping project. If you do need yet more tips, advice or help get involved in the Mrs Brimbles Happy Place. We already have some great ideas in there on how to make shaker pockets etc with sequins when you don’t have a Fuse tool.  Don’t forget to share how your getting on too so that we can all get inspired by each other. You may be using an item in a way we hadn’t thought of before so it would be great to see. Please don’t be shy, no one is judging you at all, we are just happy to see your creations.

If you want to play along for fun then start posting your photos of your completed project page(s) from 1st December. Remember to use the hashtag:  #mrsbrimblesfestivememorykeeping (sorry it’s long lol!) so that we can find your photos and see what you are up to. You can post anywhere on social media but if you want to be in with a chance of winning the prize it needs to be on instagram or in the Mrs Brimbles Happy Place group on Facebook (or both of course). If you are playing along with this in order win the prize please do make sure that you read all guidelines on how to enter and the rules below oh and if you want to be in with winning the prize you will need to register on the giveaway widget below too! To be in with the prize you DON’T have to post every day BUT you DO have to post your completed month of pages by the end of the challenege. Of course if you don’t want to be in with winning the prize you can post for fun and we would still love to see all of your photos.

If this challenge / project is a bit too in depth for you but you still want something to push yourself creatively then I also have the usual #mrsbrimblesdecdaily challenege prompts for you to use. There is a prize for this too.

Check out ‘the rules’ below if you would like to play along for the prize!

Well that is all from me! I really hope you enjoy your project!

Much Love


The Rules

I know, so boring that there needs to be rules but there does so that everyone is clear on what they need to do and to keep it fair to everyone participating!

The Rules for both challenges…

·       You need to be following me on instagram: @mrsbrimbles please do not tag me in your photos as I will get lots of notifications. I will see your photos on the hashtag!
·       The prompts are just that, prompts, interpret them as you will, or if you are stuck for inspiration just post a photo anyway! If you haven't registered on the widget you won't be elligible to win the prize so you will just be doing the challenge for fun which is totally fine with me if it is with you.You can register at any time from now but photo posting on instagram and in the Facebook group starts on 1st December 2018.
·       You DO NOT have to post everyday but you do have to post all of your photos (see below) by the deadline. You DO NOT have to post in numerical order, you can post any prompt on any day and any number of photos on any day.
·       Once the competition has closed a winner will be drawn by random using the giveaway widget, and emailed. The winners name will appear on the giveaway widget once closed.
·       The winner will be emailed by me to arrange receipt of the prize. 
·       Your email address will be added to my newsletter database - I will not sell this to anyone else nor will I constantly be spamming you and you can unsubscribe at any time! 
·       Open internationally
·       You must be over eighteen years of age or have parental / guardian permission.
·       The prizes stated are the only prize(s) - no cash alternative.
·       One winner for each challenege will be chosen at random and notified by email. Winner(s) will be announced on this page on the rafflecopter widget after the closing date.
·       If the winner(s) do not respond to my email within 48 hours a new winner(s) will be chosen

Brimbles Festive Memory keeping Project

·       You must post photos of all 31 of your pages on instagram or Mrs Brimbles Happy Place Facebook group (or both) using the hashtag #mrsbrimblesfestivememorykeeping
·       You have until 7am GMT on 30th January 2019 to register for the giveaway on the widget below AND to complete the photo challenge on instagram / Facebook.
·       Prize: £30 store credit to spend in my shop

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mrs Brimbles Dec Daily Photo Posting Challenge

·       You must post 5 photos from the prompts that are inspiring you on instagram or Mrs Brimbles Happy Place Facebook group (or both) using the hashtag #mrsbrimblesdecdaily and #mrsbrimblesdecdaily2018
·       You have until 7am GMT on 5th January 2019 to register for the giveaway on the widget below AND to complete the photo challenge on instagram / Facebook.

·       Prize: £15 store credit to spend in my shop

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(All photos in this post are my photos I have taken in past Christmasses and have shared on my instagram feed @mrsbrimbles this year I have a new feed @thewhimsicalcloud for personal photo sharing like this!)

Friday, 2 November 2018

What can you do in November? | Planning for Christmas 2018

Welcome to my second 'Planning for Christmas' video for 2018. In this video I share my tips for things that you can do in November to make this years Christmas a lot less stressful for you.

If you would like to watch my past years Christmas planning videos you can do that here:

Purchase my printed Christmas planner inserts here:

or as print at home here:

Free Christmas planner inserts:

Information on Stir up Sunday:

Thank you to my current Patreons who are supporting me as this helps me to be able to create more content for you free on my YouTube channel. Big, Big love xx

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Watercolour Tip in Doodle Journal Cards

Hi all, wow I have been feeling so inspired from Anna Brim's latest patreon videos. This month has great content in both the videos and collage sheets that I had so many ideas for this blog post. I decided to take inspiration from a video she shared with her patrons about using post it notes and doodles. I decided to add my own spin to it and use a painted watercolour background, then added doodles to that before cutting the whole page up to make a mixture of ATC Cards, Journal cards and post cards. You can see the whole process below.


I love how they turned out. I was very dubious as I was doing the doodles and wasn't convinced that the final cards would look good. However I was pleasantly surprised by how they came out. I'm going to be using these for a tip in swap we have going on in Anna's patreon Facebook group, so I'm looking forward to sharing these with my swap partner.

Just a short post today as I have most of it covered in the video. I hope that you enjoyed the process. Do check out Anna Brim's patreon, it really is a fantastic resource. Take Care and I will see you soon.

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