I stole some time this morning to sit down and finish my "Journal Your Christmas" album for the Shimelle class of the same name. And I'm really glad I did. Partly because I knew that if I didn't finish it soon, it might not get done until next December. But also because it gave me a chance to sit back and revisit the holiday season. And that's one of the best things about this class.
I like the way the class forces me to be mindful of the holidays as they are happening. By checking the Shimelle prompt and thinking about whether I want to document what she has suggested or go in my own direction, I stop and ponder the day, the season and my current life. You can see the basic format of my album above (my manifesto page) and below:
My album pages were all about 3.5"x6". For each day, I took a hipstamatic photo on my iphone, which I printed out at scrapbookpictures.com at 3"x3". I added a strip of patterned paper for balance. On the right hand side, each page had a 3"x5" journaling block, a strip of patterned paper and an embellishment. I found this format very easy to work with. The only downside was not being able to assemble the whole thing until I ordered and received my pictures. Another great thing about this class is how flexible it is; there are limitless ways to create a JYC project, and none are "wrong." This is the third time I've completed the class, and each of my projects have been very different (the first was an art journal in a box; the second, a book featuring Tim Holtz tags). More importantly, I've learned or realized different lessons each time I've taken the class:
This is the final entry in my album. Shimelle's last prompt encourages you to reflect on the holiday season and what you learned from doing JYC. I had a bit of an epiphany when I was putting this page together - we spent a lot of time together as a family in December 2010 . . . doing Christmas stuff, but also all the other stuff that makes up life (basketball, soccer, homework, etc.). We also spent significant time with extended family. This felt different than other Decembers, and it was good. And I probably would not have realized it without doing the JYC Project. So, thank-you Shimelle, for another great class!
The basics: The class runs from Dec. 1 - Jan 6 with 37 daily prompts (each one different) about journaling your Christmas. New for this year were additional "In Focus" prompts, which featured tips for photography, as well as a few photography challenges if you needed help trying to decide what to photograph. I LOVED these!!! They are things I will return to throughout the year. I especially loved her last "in focus" prompt with suggestions for setting photography goals for the year. There's a forum where people share pages, questions and ideas. Like many classes, it was much more active during the first part of the class than the latter, but I always found it helpful. The class this year was smaller than last year's, which I think was a good thing because it was easier to follow along. Although Shimelle uses the same basic prompts each year, this year she updated them with her current pages and pictures/ ideas that others shared last year. Shimelle's classes are always ridiculously cheap. This one was 22 pounds (about $25 U.S.) and once you buy it once, you get to take it every year for free! I give the class an A+. What about you? Different views always welcome.