Skip to Content

2014 Holiday Album Base

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 1

Since 2009, I’ve participated in Ali Edwards’s December Daily project. This year, like last year, I’m starting before December so I can document Thanksgiving too. I’m actually starting tomorrow, since my extended family is having an early Thanksgiving get-together!

For my album this year, I decided to use a minibook made from a vintage book I made years ago. I had originally intended to sell it in the Etsy shop I had at the time, but I held onto it because I loved it so much. My 2009 album is my favorite aesthetically, so I’m excited to get back into an old style and make another vintage book mini!

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 2

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 3

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 4

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 5

IOld Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 6

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 7

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 8

The yellows, greens, blues, and reds in this album will work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s a perfect fit! I’ll be keeping pretty minimal on the pages, but I’m using my stash and the Freckled Fawn Very Merry Embellishment Kit along the way.

If you’re wondering how I made the album, stay tuned. Rebook, a video-based class full of techniques for making mini books out of old books, is on the way!

Make sure you are following me on Instagram for more frequent album updates! And if you are interested in taking Rebook, sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when registration opens.

My 2013 Holiday Album | Video

Holiday Album 2013 | Megan Anderson

Since 2009, I’ve participated in Ali Edwards’s December Daily project. Each year, before I decide how I’m going to go about the project, I look back at my old albums to see what worked for me and what didn’t.

Here’s a little video flip through my 2013 album so you can see what it looks like all together:

title page // November 24 // November 25 // November 26-28 // November 29-30 // December 1 // December 2 // December 3 // December 4 // December 5-7 // December 8-9 // December 10-12 // December 13-14 // December 15-16 // December 17-24 // wrap up

Holiday Album 2013 | The Nerd Nest

I loved that I started a bit before Thanksgiving with this album (which is why I’m calling it a holiday album vs. December Daily) and I’ll be repeating that this year. I’m starting Sunday!

I also tend to like the end product the best when I’m not using all holiday themed products. I’m shopping my stash this year too, with a few bits from the Very Merry Embellishment kit from Freckled Fawn.

And while I had a lot of fun with the mix of pocket pages and traditional pages in the mini album, I’m ready for a non-pocket project this year.

I’m excited to share my plan with you tomorrow!

If you want to see what my other December Daily albums have been like, you can see the rest of them in these posts:

Christmas in July | December Daily 2012 by Megan Anderson

December Daily 2012

December Daily 2011

December Daily 2011

December Daily 2012 | Front Cover

December Daily 2010

December Daily 2009 | Cover

December Daily 2009

Do you participate in December Daily? What works for you?

Better Together | Scrapbook Layout

Better Together | The Nerd Nest

I ended up making sort of a crazy amount of stuff for my first month on the Freckled Fawn creative team with the November Oh Deer Me kit, and this layout is probably my favorite from the lot. I’ve been getting the Oh Deer Me kit since early last year and I’ve used them a lot over that time, but being on the team is motivating for me to actually execute those ideas I get from the kits right away!

As soon as I saw the “always better when we are together” oval flair in the kit, I knew immediately that I’d make a page about a date Jake and I went on in September. Because of the Jack Johnson song, that phrase gets me sappy and romantic immediately.

I use the term date loosely–we basically call any outing we take together sans kids a date. But that’s us: we just like spending time together without a fuss. This time, Jake dragged me out of the house because working all day on a weekend was stressing me out (the kids were at their grandparents’). We walked to get a latte at our neighborhood coffee shop, then took a long walk and moseyed around until we had lunch at a restaurant we hadn’t yet been to.

Click photos for a larger view.

Better Together - Circles | The Nerd Nest

I snapped a few photos along the way of what the walk looks like. I love getting in these scenery shots from time to time, because businesses and little details change. To add these little photos to the layout, I printed them at 2×2 in a 4×6 collage and used a 1 3/4” circle punch on each photo.

In addition to the main journaling about our date, I wrote a little ring of journaling around each circle to describe the small photos.

As for those star paper clips: I wasn’t sure about them. I really liked the colors with the layout, but didn’t know if they cluttered up the relatively simple design too much. I laid them on the page, walked away for awhile, and came back to make a decision. Sometimes you just need fresh eyes. I decided to stick with them and attached them by cutting little slits in the page. I also taped over the clips on the back of the layout with washi tape, because I hate when extra bits on the back of a layout get caught when you are slipping them in and out of page protectors.

Better Together - Close Up | The Nerd Nest

My MO for larger embellishments like this is to generally give them their own place centered in a square of a grid (as I did with the house in this layout), but I wanted to do something different this time. I thought of the large letters beginning paragraphs in old storybooks, and I thought that using the flair the same way and indenting the first few lines of journaling would be cute.

I also framed the journaling with scalloped wood veneer, which I pressed into an ink pad to change its color. The color came out darker than I’d have liked, but I’m finding that happens consistently with dye inks (I prefer chalk and pigment ink for vivid colors).

Overall, there’s a lot going on here, but it still feels cohesive. And I’m glad to celebrate where we live and whom I love.

How do you document dates?

Supplies: November Oh Deer Me kit by Freckled Fawn / Studio Calico Purple Rain ink and white cardstock / Project Life journaling pens.

Day in the Life // November

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 1

Last year I played along with Ali Edward’s Day in the Life monthly and it was one of my favorite projects ever. This year, I’m repeating the project. On the 15th of each month, I’m going to document my everyday life. I like having a set day because I won’t worry about finding a “representative” or “normal” day. Wherever the 15th falls, that’s what I’ll document.

Here’s Saturday, November 15:

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 2

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 4

My niece Ava spent the night, and because she slept in Jonas’s room, Eliza and Jonas ended up sleeping in our room. (Because if Jonas gets to, Eliza doesn’t want to be left out from the slumber party.) Eliza slept on a big pile of blankets and pillows on the floor, because she takes up as much space as her little body possibly can all spread out while she’s sleeping.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 3

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 1

Jake snuggled and fed Ava after she woke us up, and I did a bit of work editing video while things were still quiet. Then things got less quiet, as you can see.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 5

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 8

It was really cold outside (it even snowed a little!), so we spent a lot of the day hanging out in Jake’s and my room / office, because it’s the warmest place in the house. We watched movies, played games, Eliza worked on learning to program, and I fit in bits of work here and there.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 6

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 7

The kids spent a lot of time cleaning. I helped Jonas with his room and Eliza worked on cleaning the hallway area outside of her room, which she keeps slowly taking over with her messiness.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 9

We video chatted with Jake’s dad and step-mom for a long time. FaceTime rocks.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 10

We spent a lot of time just doing baby stuff with Ava. I forgot how adorable baby bath times are.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 11

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 12

Eliza got all showered up, I helped her brush her very tangly hair, and then she headed off to spend the night at Jake’s mom’s.

Then we hung out with my mom and sister for a bit.

November Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest 13

Jake, Jonas, and I all ate dinner together. I stayed downstairs afterwards for a bit of quiet time, and when I went upstairs, they had both fallen asleep. So I took a bath, read, and went to bed early too.

Getting Ready for the Catch Up with Project Life Party!

Catch Up with Project Life Party Sneak Peeks | The Nerd Nest

Over here I’m getting ready for the big Catch Up with Project Life party this weekend! The party is packed: the class has 12 challenges, so we’re having a 12 hour long party this Saturday, November 22, to celebrate the end of class and to motivate students to finish off those projects!

At the top of each hour, Annette, Trisha, and I are swapping around and doing each other’s challenges–one at the top of each hour. We’ll also be announcing a giveaway for each challenge along with our takes.

At the half hour mark, we’re posting takes from our 12 awesome party guests, one for each challenge! Hopefully the extra inspiration and differing perspectives of these ladies will give an extra boost to anyone who feels stuck.

You read right–that’s 24 posts packed with inspiration in one day. It’s going to be awesome!

Catch Up with Project Life Party Sneak Peeks | Megan Anderson - The Nerd Nest

We’ll also be super attached to the party message board all day to answer questions and chat catching up!

(If you are taking the class, I know people in a few cities are organizing live meet-ups / crops for the party, so check that out in the message boards if you want to see if there is a meet-up near you.)

Catch Up with Project Life Party Sneak Peeks | Megan Anderson

This party has been a lot of work, but it is going to be amazing. It’s all that I’ve been able to hold in my brain lately, so I thought I’d pop in here with a few sneak peeks of my pages for the party!

Catch Up with Project Life

Registration for Catch Up with Project Life has been extended through November 19th! If you’re planning on signing up, don’t wait!

December 30 Days of Lists Base

December 2014 #30 Days of Lists Base | The Nerd Nest

30 Days of Lists is back for another round this December! I’m pumped.

#30Lists is my favorite challenge. Making a list once a day is something I can always do to document myself. I really love looking back at my past lists, because they capture who I am at the time better than any other project I do. (Learn more here if you’re new to #30Lists.)

This round is super easy for you for the holiday season. Instead of needing to log in to a private site everyday, prompts will be sent straight to your inbox. I’m all for that daily reminder!

I like to be prepared, so I decided to go ahead and whip up my base now so I’ll be ready to go come December! There’s no wrong way to make a list, but here’s how I’m doing it this round:

December 2014 #30Lists Base | The Nerd Nest

I decided to stick with just grey cards from the Midnight Core Kit and blue cards from the Seafoam Core Kit, because together, they feel like a winter wonderland to me.

I slipped them into Design T from this variety page protector pack, because those protectors fit 10 cards per side (perfect!) and going horizontal instead of vertical with the cards was a fun little switch from the past two rounds. I made sure to grab only cards with plenty of room for journaling, and I made patterns by alternating the blues and greys and by making triangles and diagonal lines with repeated cards.

December 2014 #30Lists Base 11-30 | The Nerd Nest

From there, I jazzed them up a little by adding numbers, title cards, and by covering any unwanted phrases on the cards.

I stamped a #30Lists Stamp and december stamp (from last year’s Studio Calico December kit) on each title card with StazOn Black Ink, then started adding numbers (also from the old SC stamp) onto the cards and onto labels (I used these label stickers and another no longer available Studio Calico pack).

I also used a bit of washi tape to cover up a phrase that was too big for the labels I had available. Because the washi tape is translucent, I layered on several peices.

December 2014 #30Lists Base Part 1 | The Nerd Nest

December 2014 #30Lists Base Part 2 | The Nerd Nest

December 2014 #30Lists Base Part 3 | The Nerd Nest

I love how these turned out and can’t wait to fill them up with lists in December! Are you listing too? How are you going about it this round?


I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links supports the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Filling Blank Spaces | Project Life

June Introduction Page and Currently Lists | The Nerd Nest

For the October Nerd Nest Challenge to fill in memory keeping gaps, I finished the second volume of my 2014 albums. I’ve already shared a video of the complete album as well as a closer look at some of the pages I finished off (soccer recap pages and Maker Faire pages), but I have a few more from the album to share!

Because I mix in traditional and pocketed pages and use a variety of sizes, I often get asked what I do on the backs of layouts. The easy answer is: make something else! These pages were all made to fill in gaps left in the album.

June Introduction Page | The Nerd Nest

I usually include Currently cards at the end of a month in the album, but because I had a blank page after my May pages, I used this space as a June title page instead. I also included a photo I loved that is also in a weekly spread in the album–honestly because I was just excited to use that kite sticker.

Collection of little stories | The Nerd Nest

I was originally intending to put those two little 6×6 layouts into a Design E page protector, but adhered them to the back of a layout instead. I decided to pick two other little stories that didn’t fit into my weekly spreads for the other two 6×6 spaces.

Little Stinker | The Nerd Nest

Play Outside | The Nerd Nest

Tip: Use stamps as a template for embroidery. I also embroidered over a sticker so I’d have a small leaf that matched the background card!

Filler Page | The Nerd Nest

Sometimes it works out that I can tell more little stories on the back of a page or will get the spark of an idea when looking through my photos. Rarely, there’s nothing I want to tell that will fit the empty space. In that case, there’s nothing wrong with just going decorative to enhance the pages around a filler page.

Clean Your Room | The Nerd Nest

The space left by a 11×8.5 layout was filled much in the same way as the above two pages: I looked through my photos for a story that didn’t quite make the weekly spread cut and used the backside of the existing page to as a foundation for a layout.

Embellish down the middle | The Nerd Nest

This one has before and after photos of Eliza’s messy room. Her disaster of a room is very much a part of her story right now, as is the way it looks in its ideal state. I know that photos like these will be fun to look back on through the years as her taste and space changes.

Before : After | The Nerd Nest

Tip: If you have a symmetrical design, embellish in the middle to keep the symmetry. If you have embellishment pairs, you could also mirror embellishments on each side!

Project Life Title Page | The Nerd Nest

Usually title pages are the last thing I make for an album! I want to be able to choose my favorite photos from the time period, so I wait it out until the end.

How do you fill the spaces left in your albums?

Selected Supplies: Oh Deer Me November kit, overlay, arrow paper clip, and vellum stickers by Freckled Fawn / Studio Calico Walden PL kit, paper pad, and cards / Clever Card paper from Dear Lizzy / Heidi Swapp Color Pop tag / teal Currently cards by rukristin / Project Life journaling pens, Design A page protector, and Project Life corner rounder.

For all posts tagged Project Life, click here.

Project Life is a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins.

Project Life Album Overview

Project Life Album Overview | The Nerd Nest

I approach Project Life a little differently. I include weekly pages, spreads for projects like Day in the Life, projects for classes, and traditional pages, all in the same album. It can be hard to imagine how this all comes together, so I’ve put together an album overview so you can see what a finished album looks like. (You’ll probably want to watch it full screen.)

If you want a close look at these pages individually, you’ll find the pocket pages under the Project Life 2014 tag and the rest under traditional scrapbooking.

June Introduction Page | The Nerd Nest

I also made a few pages to fill in the gaps in this album that I haven’t yet shared. I’ll be sharing those tomorrow!

What’s your album approach?

Maker Faire 2014 | Project Life

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 1

Our favorite event of the year is for sure the Maker Faire. Our experience at the 2014 Maker Faire here in Kansas City did not disappoint.

I’m big on the idea of document now, make later, so I knew that I could scrapbook this event at any time and the blog post would be ready and waiting for me with the photos and words I wanted to include this year.

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 2

Sometimes the pages that are the most special to me are the hardest to complete, but the motivation to finish up my April-June album for 2014 encouraged me to just do it.

The Faire is covered with one 6×12 protector and the front and back of a 12×12 protector. Sometimes you have to break through the idea of a single or double layout dichotomy to get your story told in a way that makes you happy.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 3

This year, the journaling was just a short introduction to the reasons my family loves the Maker Faire, then a list of some of the things we saw there. This is a good way to document an event that seems way too big for a scrapbook. A paragraph for context + a list can be enough to capture the bare bones of the experience. I’m much more likely to take this minimalistic approach to journaling for events that are recurring in my life than one-time events.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 4

This page includes the wonder of the life-sized TARDIS and Dalek, a tiny robot, Jonas and Jake driving a robot through a course, Eliza learning about switches, and the gorgeous Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative by Asheer Akram.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 5

The Studio Calico Walden PL kit worked great for this spread. Most of the kit is soft autumn colors, but there were a few bright primary colors that were great. The blues and reds were perfect for the Dalek and TARDIS and the shaded squares reminded me of pixels: a perfect subtle way to reinforce the technology theme!

I split one of the busy cards with a journaling card from the Midnight core kit so I’d have the pattern and room for journaling. Because the words in the black dot didn’t work for the page, I covered them up with a stamp from the kit. I love cutting out stamps because I have more room to make mistakes. It usually takes me a couple of tries to get a clear stamped image. Galaxy Gold ink is one of my favorites.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 7

On this page: lots more inventions and machines, an Arduino controlled garden, making slime, a Lego Rube Goldberg machine, climbing on big inflatables, LARPING, learning to control 3D printer design software, and 3D printed connecting part toys!

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 8

For this page, I used the yellow cards from the kit. Bright and happy! I love the pocket with the black and mirror stars, which I just stuck in the pocket, which I secured closed with a bit of washi tape.

Maker Faire 2014 - Project Life 6

I love the flexibility in my PL albums and I’m so excited to have so much space dedicated to these photos! I hope this encourages you to document a big event you may be holding off on.

Selected Supplies: Studio Calico Walden PL kit, Lovely mini kit, Midnight core kit, Galaxy Gold ink, Project Life journaling pens, Design A page protector, Design H page protector, Project Life corner rounder.

For all posts tagged Project Life, click here.

Project Life is a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins.

September Reads

September Reads | The Nerd Nest

In September, I read a lot of YA, some Vonnegut, and a lot of non-fiction. My brain must have been set for back-to-school mode.

September Books | The Nerd Nest

Here are the books I read in September:

Ender’s Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card

In this classic science fiction novel, young Ender must go to battle school to battle school to learn the tactics needed to protect the Earth from another invasion of the Buggers, an insect-like alien race.

I read this book in one sitting, partially because Jake wanted to see how long it would take me (I thought 2 1/2 hours; it actually took about 4) and partially because I needed to spend some quiet time by myself, and it was the perfect weather for reading on my front porch.

The book was fantastic, though I should note that it is intensely violent at times and may not be suitable for young children. The best science fiction uses the genre to explore human nature and morality. Ender’s Game did not disappoint on that front: it explored both the individual consequences of soldiering and theories of morality in war in a way very relevant to the Cold War.

I’m planning on reading more from the series, but figuring out a reading order is a little complicated.

Galapagos (1985) by Kurt Vonnegut

A ragtag band of people are shipwrecked on an island and become the last hope for the continuation of the human race.

This one was weird, even by Vonnegut standards.

I enjoyed the dark humor, the unconventional timeline, and the silly projection of the evolution of humans, but overall it was just one long joke: wouldn’t humans be better without big brains?

The Divergent Series: Divergent (2001), Insurgent (2012), Allegiant (2013), Four (2013) by Veronica Roth

Beatrice must find a way to fit into a society broken into five factions based on different human virtues.

I devoured the first two books, which were full of unpredictable action, but didn’t care for the third. Dystopian is probably my favorite genre and I really loved the creative concept of these, though I felt it fell through towards the end.

I also really disliked all of the romance scenes, which were forced and had terrible dialogue (not to mention the relationship is inherently problematic). The romance portion was a big focus in the books, but I put up with it because I was interested in what would happen to the society.

I thought Four would be sort of a post-series novella, but it just contains scenes from before Divergent and during Divergent’s timeline from Four’s point of view. It doesn’t have a story arc at all, so it’s only worth reading if you really love the character.

The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (1990) by Timothy Garton Ash

Historian Timothy Garton Ash gives a first person account of crucial events during revolutions in East Central Europe.

This is one of the books assigned by my favorite history professor. I love going back to thees books now, when I have time to read them with more depth.

It is extraordinary that Ash was able to report on all of these important events, His political analysis throughout gives these historical moments context. These stories of people organizing to peacefully fight for better governments for themselves are remarkable and inspiring.

A working knowledge of Cold War politics is a pre-requisite for understanding this book.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995) by Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan advocates for the importance of scientific thinking in a world rife with pseudo science.

I connect with this book so very much. My disdain for pseudo science, like astrology, is often ostracizing, so it’s very comforting for me to read this when reason seems like a shout into the dark.

A majority of the book uses belief in UFOs as a case study for fallacy-filled thinking and I honestly couldn’t wait for a new topic while reading, but I love how the work explores the inherent problems in a lack of cultural understanding of the scientific process in a world so dependent on technology.

Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice, 4th Edition (2006) by Charles E. Bressler

Sometimes I just get in the mood to read a college textbook. Usually this happens when I start getting the desire to get my Master’s degree, but then realize that I really don’t want to spend that money. So I read instead!

This was a wonderful refresher in literary theory for me and it gives me a lot more to think about while I’m reading literature. Wahoo!

September 2014 Reads | The Nerd Nest

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Make sure to put a big SPOILERS warning in your comment to warn others if you have ‘em.

We are Powell’s Books affiliates. Purchasing anything through these links helps to support the Nerd Nest.