Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Little Word : November

Our November prompt for One Little Word was similar to January, in that Ali gave us some journaling cards to fill out with prompts like : I am, I believe, I learned, I love, I know + this word - all on small cards to fit inside the 9-section page protectors. I've already shared in our class gallery, but here is how I put my page together :
click to enlarge + read journaling
With the end of the year approaching, it was really nice to reflect on the past 11 months. I am feeling really good about where I'm at right now. With how much I've gotten done - physically, domestically, personally + mentally - in 2011. My family is happy + I am happy. 

One more month to go. I'm looking forward to another finished project and album, combined with my Week in the Life from July. Ali is offering the class again next year, is anyone else thinking about joining in in 2012? I think I know what my word will be next year. Luckily I have another month to sit + stew on it.

Edited on December 1, 2011 to add : Registration for One Little Word 2012 is now open. I just signed up myself. Are you in?

Tomorrow begins the much-anticipated December Daily. Fingers crossed I stay on top + caught up with daily blogging about (at least) one photo + a simple story for each day leading up to Christmas. My wish for this month to go nice + slow was squashed when I realized that every weekend from hear on out is completely full. So, I'm going to take a deep breath, try not to get too absorbed with what everyone else is doing (and thus, worry about what I could/should be doing) and just enjoy my family + friends.

Wishing you all a fantastic December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

new in the shop : holiday cards

Last night, I listed a few simple holiday card sets in the shop. You can see them in detail here.
I love how the stamps turned out and the red glitter is HOT! Later this week I plan on adding some matching or coordinating gift tags.

Today : the kids are going to help me send off a big box of packages and then we are going to spend the rest of the morning at the library. Maybe with a hot chocolate and some Timbits. Tonight I need to bust a move and get wrapping on all of those Christmas countdown books + charge the camera battery to prepare for a month of photos + stories. I should probably dump the memory card while I'm at it. I have some photos from our Thanksgiving weekend I could share.

Monday, November 28, 2011

our Christmas countdown book tradition

Last year, we started a Christmas countdown, or advent, tradition of wrapping 24 books, mostly winter or Christmas related, for Morgan + Parker to open nightly from December 1 - December 24. This year, I went through the books I set aside from last Christmas, which included some we've gotten from our family, and I bought about 10 more.

Buying 24 books right off the bat can be kind of intimidating, and quite expensive, so I've been mixing in some less expensive softcover and board books from Scholastic (Remember those book clubs from school? My sister is a teacher so I order from the catalogs every so often), with a few nicer hardcover classics. I assume if we continue to do this every December, I'll be pulling books out and replacing them each year with more age appropriate selections.
Also, last year I put a number tag on each book so they would be opened 'in order', but this year I'm just going to put them in a basket and let them choose one (or take turns choosing one) each night. Note : the books I've chosen are non-religious and aimed at my toddler (Parker - 1) and preschooler (Morgan - 3). These are our books for this year :
  1. Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
  2. Duck and Goose It's Time for Christmas by Tad Hills
  3. Here Comes Christmas by Caroline Jayne Church
  4. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
  5. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  6. Froggy's Best Christmas by Jonathan London
  7. The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
  8. When Will It Snow? by Kathryn White and Alison Edgson
  9. Silent Night by Juliet Groom and Tim Warnes
  10. Stella, Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay
  11. Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh
  12. Merry Christmas, Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey
  13. Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea
  14. Counting Christmas by Karen Katz
  15. Little Puppy Lost by Linda Jennings and Alison Edgson
  16. Five Little Penguins Slipping on the Ice by Steve Metzger
  17. Santa Duck and His Merry Helpers by David Milgrim
  18. Fox and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson
  19. Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins (a Hallmark recordable book)
  20. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
  21. Babar and Father Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff
  22. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  23. Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
  24. A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
In other (shop) news : All of the 20 Questions albums, including the pre-orders, are completely sold out now and I do not anticipate making any more until after the holidays / next year. I'm pretty geeked about the amazing response! I am working as hard as I can to get the albums shipped out and on the way to their new homes in the next few days. Thank you so much for your support + patience.

Next up, holiday cards! Tomorrow?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Thought | 005

Today, I am thankful for my family. Some of my favorite people, all doing their own thing, but together, in one room. This doesn't happen very often anymore. It's been many months since we've hung out, but yesterday, we had such a nice visit. My nephews are growing like weeds and are quickly becoming little boys. I can't help it but call them babies. They make Morgan + Parker, my own babies, look like giants. Time just goes by too fast. I am thankful for these days, though few and far between, that we can see each other. All at once. I love you all! 

Thankful Thoughts is a series by Ali Edwards. You can download your free overlays here.

It's going to be quiet around here this week as we get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday and long weekend. I have plenty to do, as I'm sure everyone does. Today, I'm expecting the last of our advent books to arrive and then I can slowly start wrapping them, so they can be quickly unwrapped, one by one, beginning on December First. I'll share our full list of book titles next week. Plus I'm planning on putting a big dent in my own Christmas shopping - finishing the big stuff for the kids + for my Secret Santa.

The shop has been bustling with activity and if you have placed a preorder on a 20 Questions album, I'm on track to get them assembled and packaged to ship next week. I also have holiday cards and tags in the works and hope to have those available around the end of this month.

Plus, I think we'll throw in a trip to the library and some Thanksgiving crafts for good measure. 

Have a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving! See you next week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

5 favorites for Friday : Secret Santa edition

For the last 3 years, Mark and I have been part of a Secret Santa gift exchange with my parents, my sister and brother-in-law. Before we exchange names, usually around Thanksgiving, we each have the task of making a wish list that will go inside an envelope. That way, when we choose our name, we have a list of gift ideas too. I don't know about you, but I'm not the kind of person that likes to blindly buy gifts for people, even (and maybe especially) the people closest to me. I want to know that whoever I am buying a gift for loves it.
For the last several weeks, I've been collecting my ideas on Pinterest under my 'I want' board. Now that I look at it, some ideas are keepers, some are so-so. Because I love seeing other people's wish list this time of year, I thought it would be fun to share mine today. I need to narrow down my list by Sunday, but these are some of my top contenders favorites :

Of course, there is a lot of scrapbooking stuff on my list. I love my Crop-a-dile. How did I not know about this Corner Chomper?

I desperately need a new makeup bag. This one is so pretty. And handmade :
Source: etsy.com via Nicole on Pinterest

My craft room is chilly this time of year. These fingerless hand warmers, made by my friend Sue, would be perfect, inside or out :
Source: etsy.com via Nicole on Pinterest

This stainless steel French press is pretty sleek :

Source: amazon.com via Nicole on Pinterest

And last but not least, I'll be waiting to see this watercolor pop up in Kal's shop on Monday. I love it!


Over the years we've had a couple slip-ups where the Secret Santa was revealed while opening gifts, so now part of the fun is making sure we all have the same giftwrap and tags. This year we are going to use newspaper as gift wrap and I made some little embossed monogram-inspired tags.
So, how about you? What's on your wish list? Do the adults in your family or group of friends have any fun gift exchange traditions?

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pinterest to Reality : Project 01 : TV tokens

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Pinterest has been a fantastic source of inspiration for me. And even better, it's been a great way to remember the craft projects I want to make, recipes I want to try and activities I want to do with the kids. People seem to use Pinterest in all kinds of different ways. I'm also using it to keep track of my own Christmas wish list for my Secret Santa. I'll write about that tomorrow.

But pinning all of those ideas doesn't mean much if you don't do anything with it. Well, unless you just like to look a cool things, which is totally fine! ;) I myself like to do something about it, and modify those ideas into something that will work for me. I call it "Pinterest to Reality"

My first project to share came from this pin. Laurel from Ducks in a Row had made these technology tickets for her kids to limit the amount of TV, video games, computer time, etc. they get each week. Cool idea!
Of course, Morgan (3) and Parker (1) aren't really old enough to enjoy much more than an occasional television show. One thing I am conscious of is that the TV is not on just for background noise. As soon as anyone loses interest in what they are watching and walks away, I turn the TV off and sometimes turn on some music instead.

With the impending cold weather, that means more time in the house, which means more boredom and probably more requests to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora, Diego, or whatever. I decided to nip it in the bud before the whining for "more" even starts, so I made TV tokens.
Using craft supplies I already had, I made Morgan these tokens with chipboard circles, letter stickers and jumbo bottle caps. They sit in a small cup on our kitchen counter and whenever she asks to watch a show, I ask her to get me a token. One token = one show (typically 20-25 minutes long). She gets four a day, and like Laurel did, we reserve the right to say no (like when she wants a show right before bed, or if she just watched one). I also reserve the right to say yes when the cup is empty, it's 5pm, it's been a long/hard/whiny day, I'm home alone and I want to get them out of the kitchen so I can make dinner without getting pushed/stepped on/tugged/yelled at. Yes, there are plenty of activities I could have them do that don't involve screen time. I have lots of those pinned too and those are often my first resort. It really depends on the day and my mood and the intensity of my headache. ;)

We are lucky that Morgan is very active in her television watching. She likes to get up and sing, dance and jump. She doesn't just sit there like a slug and zone out. Usually. Nick Jr. and PBS are our favorites and we keep a variety of shows recorded on the DVR or use On Demand. Other than not seeing commercials, watching a recording is a big help in fending off the request for "one more" because once the recording stops, it's back to the family room to play. We will have to figure out how to enforce the token usage when Parker is old enough to ask for it. Right now, he is happy enough to sit right next to his sister and watch without any arguments.

This little system is working really well. Some days she uses them all up, some days she doesn't. When they are gone, she knows she doesn't get any more TV until tomorrow when her cup is magically refilled with four more tokens.

Do you have any systems in place, or ideas for keeping track of your toddler or preschoolers TV habits? (No hating please - I know this can be a touchy subject that can range from allowing no TV at all to leaving the TV on all day long. What works for one mommy doesn't always work for another and I am not here to judge, just help.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

M + P : 11.11.11

Last Friday, 11/11/11, was one of those historical, never-gonna-happen-again-in-your-lifetime kind of days, but it was a pretty ordinary day around here. I wanted so badly to get a screen shot on my phone at 11:11 on 11/11/11, but alas, this mommy was changing a wicked dirty diaper. Ah, life as a stay-at-home mommy. Ordinary or not, I documented bits of our day anyways. This is a one-hour span of what life was like for Morgan + Parker on November 11th, 2011 :
Foofa was the costume of the week for Morgan. She hardly ever wears regular clothes if we are staying home for the day. Lately, she doesn't even want to go out and get the mail with me because she'd have to get dressed / put shoes on / put a coat on. Morgan has been particularly attached to her noo-noo lately too. She nuzzles it a lot. :)
Today, we started listening to Christmas music. Morgan had her ear pinned to the speaker for much of the morning, memorizing the words and recalling her favorites from last year.
Parker is still a little faucet. Teething hard and filling in the gaps in his gums where he was missing teeth. I've lost count of how many new teeth he's gotten in the last few weeks. This is one of the few shots I got of him not gnawing on a toy.
In deep thought and concentration. He reminds me a million times a day of his daddy. Love it!
The pouty face. She couldn't have possibly learned this from me. It was almost lunch time and I could just sense the crankiness that was about to ensue.
The chippy hot pink pedicure. Matches mine, but it's not nearly as cute.
Another reminder of Mark. Not because of his posture, but when Daddy isn't home, Parker is the King of the Remote. If only he knew how to work it. Usually he ends up turning something off, or changing the channel, and thoroughly annoying his sister. ;)
My distraction for keeping Parker's little fingers out of the dirty dishes (he LOVES grabbing the dirty silicone straws from his sippy cup out of the silverware basket and chewing them) was to teach him how to start the dishwasher. He really likes to press the buttons (of course) even if we don't need him to yet.

Did you document 11/11/11?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

and the winner is...

The winner of the 20 Questions : Birthday Interview Album for Kids is :


Congratulations jenn002! Please email me at nicole.s.reaves AT gmail DOT com with your contact information and what age you want to start your album.

Thank you EVERYONE for your kind comments. I am super excited about the shop and will be posting updates here as I add new items. This week I'm working on some holiday tags and cards that I hope to list around Thanksgiving (next week, eck!)

Much more non-shop related stuff coming this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

to Mark

We hope you have a great day! XOXO

Love you,
Nicole, Morgan + Parker

*

Reminder : I'm closing comments to the giveaway at 8pm EST.
The winner will be announced tomorrow morning. Good luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

500 + a giveway

After nearly 3 1/2 years, I've hit my 500th blog post!

In celebration of that and my little shop opening, I'd like to giveaway a copy of my first memory book : 20 Questions : A Birthday Interview Album for Kids.
If you missed yesterday's post, this is how you use it :
 
Every year, on or around your child's birthday, you ask the same 20 questions listed within the pages of the album and fill in their answers. Questions like : What is your favorite color? What is your favorite song? Slip in an 8" x 8" photo of the child, perhaps from their birthday, on the opposite page. Easy, right? Repeat next year and for the next 8 years. 10 years in all.

Think of how fun it will be to look through this memory album in your child's teenage and young adult years! See how much they changed from year to year. When it's full, keep it for yourself, or give it to the interviewee.

This album was designed to be a fun way to record and remember simple memories from the childhood of your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, godchildren, or any little one in your life. It is gender-neutral with little bits of bright color that will complement the photos from their birthday celebrations now, and for years to come.

Comments are now closed. To be entered into this giveaway, please leave a comment below. If you are reading from a feed reader, please click over here. Tell me who you would share this album with. One of your (present or future) children? Grandchildren? A niece or nephew? A foster child or Godchild? I'm looking forward to reading your responses.

Just like in the shop, the winner will get to choose whatever range of 10 years they want. The standard album begins with the 3rd birthday through the 12th birthday, but you can start at any age!

Comments will be closed on Monday, November 14th at 8pm EST and I will post who the winner is on Tuesday morning. Feel free to share this giveaway with friends and family members that might enjoy capturing fun memories from the childhood of a little one that is close to them.

Happy Veterans Day! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

prompt : the shop is open for business

My Etsy shop, prompt, is officially open! I'm starting slow, so here are my first two products :

The first item I've listed is based on the feedback that I've gotten on the 20 Questions I asked Morgan on her third birthday.
20 Questions : A Birthday Interview Album for Kids includes an 8" x 8" album, a title page for a short note to the child, and 10 years worth of blank questionnaires to be filled out annually on the child's birthday. Here is a clip of the description from the listing :

Capture memories from your little ones childhood with this scrapbook style birthday interview album. Here is how it works :

Every year, on or around your child's birthday, you ask the same 20 questions listed within the pages of the album and fill in their answers. Questions like : What is your favorite color? What is your favorite song? Slip in an 8" x 8" photo of the child, perhaps from their birthday, on the opposite page. Easy, right? Repeat next year and for the next 8 years. 10 years in all.

Think of how fun it will be to look through this memory album in your child's teenage and young adult years! See how much they changed from year to year. When it's full, keep it for yourself, or give it to the interviewee.

This album was designed to be a fun way to record and remember simple memories from the childhood of your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, godchildren, or any little one in your life. It is gender-neutral with little bits of bright color that will complement the photos from their birthday celebrations now, and for years to come.


I've also included some ideas and resources for printing 8" x 8" photos. I've given several customizing options and you can read all about it here.
After I put together my prototype, I realized some people might not want (or might not have the resources) to print 8" x 8" photos, so I made a very simple supplement paper pack to go with the album so you can print 4" x 6" photos and all of the paper still matches. Plus, it ships for free if you purchase the album and paper pack together.
No, my shop is not filled to the brim with goodies yet. Though I do have a brain full of ideas, I've promised myself to go slow, to not force anything and to make things that I love. I have plans to add some handstamped + embossed holiday tags + cards in the next couple weeks and then some other fun paper goods around the end of the year.

Thank you again for your support, encouragement + excitement. Friday will be my 500th blog post and a little giveaway (that I may have already given away). ;) 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go breathe a sign of relief.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

cloud nine

First things first. Thank you so much for all of the December Daily love. Wow! I'm on cloud nine because of all of the nice comments (and pins) from yesterday's post. I've never really known the power of social media until now. Thank you. All of you. Ali, you are amazing! That was completely unexpected.
I seriously have a list of things I wanted to write about today, points I wanted to make, but I think I'll spare you today of all the goings-on in my head and in this house. I am about 48 hours away from opening shop and have been keeping my little fingers busy - packaging, stamping, typing (and typing and typing). It has been really fun and (already) quite rewarding.

Today : (and likely tomorrow) I will be working on the blog. Adding + subtracting. Editing + rearranging. So, you might see things moving around in the next couple days. Again. Sorry, I think it's in my blood or something. Just ask my parents. :) First though, I have two very important little people to tend to. It's French toast Tuesday and I better get to work at the griddle. Then, Morgan's first dentist appointment. Eek! Wish me luck!

Monday, November 7, 2011

December Daily 2011 : Cover + Foundation Pages

Today I wanted to share my December Daily album shell that I will fill next month with daily entries + stories as we prepare for Christmas.

First, the cover. I've been very attracted to all of the woodgrain scrapbooking products out there now. Just a few months ago I used Hambly's woodgrain paper on my Scrapbook on the Road. It's been out for years, but it is still a hot pattern + texture. So my idea for my cover was to use 1/16" plywood + stain it. It was a little bit of an experiment too, but the 12" x 24" piece I bought was plenty to play with. I bought a small $3 sample can of water-based stain in a coffee color and went to work. I'm using Ali's 2010 December Daily overlays (more on that later) which are 6" x 8", so I cut my covers to 6 1/4" x 8 1/2". I rounded the corners, sanded everything, and after two coats of stain, this is how it turned out :
I love how the grain pops through! I could have probably put a third coat on, but was afraid to lose that texture. So I let it be. There are so many possibilities with a wood cover!
For the cover embellishment, I hand-drew (is that a word?) 2 pointsettias on freezer paper and ironed them onto some scrap ivory felt I had. If you've never used freezer paper (I hadn't) - this is where I learned about it. Pretty freakin' cool. It makes it way easier to cut shapes into felt and fabric. Nice. I cut out the felt poinsettias, turned the top one so the petals didn't completely overlap, and put a couple of stitches in the center to hold it together. I used my tape runner to adhere the flower to the wood album and then added two 1/2" glue dots (for height) to attach the December 2011 button from Ormolu. I wrote our last name on a mini hang tag and dangled it from the button with some baker's twine. And the cover was done!

If you missed it last week, I wrote a little tutorial on how I made the cover on my 2010 album.

My foundation pages, if you want to call them that, ended up being what I've been calling "bookmarks". I chose 6 holiday patterned papers with colors that matched the Ormolu Merrymaker Number Tags that I got. I cut them all down to 3" wide x 8" high and so I got 4 bookmarks out of each 12x12 sheet, plus I got another 3x8 from the gray polka dot paper (since there is no 'direction' to the paper). I adhered a number to each bookmark - kind of like a file folder tab. I attached the "3" first to get the center, then the "2" and "4" just above + below, and then the "1" and "5" at the top and bottom. And then the next group of 5, and so on. Last year I did all 31 days of December, but this year I'm only planning to do 25. Here is how the bookmarks turned out :
And a couple close-ups. VERY simple. Maybe too simple. I might add some stitching :
All of the papers I choose have either a nice pattern on the back or are a solid color that matches the front. My thought right now is to use the back side for journaling only - to tell the story from that day or that photo.

I'm trying to stretch my dollar a little further with this project, especially because I/we still need to purchase all of the photos that go inside the album, so I'm using the overlays Ali designed last year. I deleted the day of the week in every .png and replaced it with the correct day for 2011. I did not print all of those daily pages like last year because I am planning to use them as photo overlays - where the entire 6x8 page will be a photo with this overlay on it. Maybe with a little text or embellishment added later. On the back of each photo will be the first page of the next day and I don't know yet how I'll fill that. Maybe more journaling, some ephemera (haha, Kristin!), clipping from holiday cards we received, more photos. I'll figure that out when I get there.

For the title page, I used the one from 2010 (with the number 25) - changed the year, changed the .png to red and printed it on transparency :
So, as you flip through the album, it will be :
  • title page / transparency
  • December 1 bookmark
  • (back of bookmark is for journaling December 1)
  • December 1 photo / overlay
  • (back of photo is for extras from December 2)
  • December 2 bookmark
  • (back of bookmark is for journaling December 2)
  • December 2 photo / overlay
  • (back of photo is for extras from December 3)
  • and so on...
And that's it! Are you playing along this year? I'll be watching the links go up on Ali's blog with everyone's foundation pages. Love the inspiration!

Friday, November 4, 2011

around here this week

  • Another Friday. Another week gone by. I imagine they are going to continue going by swiftly through the end of the year.
  • Car shopping + test-driving with two kids blows. End of story.
  • The blog passed 50,000 hits! Mostly thanks to Pinterest. Bloggers, did you know this trick?
  • I've been getting happy mail every day this week! Christmas gifts, scrapbooking supplies + more. Love the sight + sound of that big brown truck driving by.
  • I am hoarding Bailey's coffee creamer. The stuff flies off the shelf around here + I buy it when I can.
  • Morgan + Parker have been playing together a lot. Very well for the most part. Lots of "Parker, do you want to play in my room?" Of course, Parker's response to everything is "Yeah!" I absolutely love hearing laughter coming from wherever they are playing. There are some not-so-nice moments too, but I can usually convince Morgan that Parker is little and doesn't understand such-and-such, and I need her to be a good big sister and come get me when she needs help (instead of screaming NO!), so we can teach Parker together to be nice and play nice. Explaining to her that she is my 'bestest helper' usually does the trick.
  • I reincarnated my Google Reader + added a handful of new blogs to read. I seem to go in phases with adding blogs, then simplifying again and purging 75% of them.
  • I am incredibly excited to start Project Life next year. I should be receiving my page protectors + dividers tomorrow. I need to resist the urge to put it all together until after I get the other projects on my counter finished.
  • There is a large amount of candy wrappers in the garbage. Mostly from me.
  • I'm starting to collect some really great holiday ideas for Thanksgiving + Christmas. Just another reason I [heart] Pinterest.
  • I'm wondering how the kids are going to respond to the time change on Sunday...
  • My to-do list is longer than ever, but I've been able to tackle a good portion of it after lunch when Parker naps and Morgan gets some quiet time in her room. A reward chart + Dora stickers seem to be doing the trick to ward of any crankies from her (+ me).
  • Thank you for the enthusiasm about the Etsy shop. I'm still plugging along with the details. Watch for a little giveaway next week to celebrate my 500th post and the grand opening!
This weekend : Mark has grand plans around the house and I want to finish prepping my December Daily shell. I need to brainstorm holiday card ideas, make wish lists for the kids + go through last year's advent book collection and see what I should replace or replenish. I'm hoping to fit in a trip to the cider mill, a fire in the fireplace + some snuggling on the couch so I can catch up on this week's shows. What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

how to make a paper-covered chipboard minibook cover

A few weeks ago I was asked how I made the cover to last year's December Daily album, so today I thought I'd show you how I did it.

First, gather a few supplies.
Next, decide on how big you want your cover to be. In this example, I made a 5x7. What's nice about this cover option is you can make it any size you want. You may consider making the cover a smidge larger than the interior pages, which is what I do. Usually I add 1/4" to the top, right side and bottom (assuming your binding will be on the left side). It's all up to you...

Next, cut your patterned paper or cardstock that you are using for the front side to size. I add 1" on all four sides. So here, I trimmed it down to 7" x 9". If your paper has a pattern and you want it to run in a certain direction (or to be centered), take that into account now.

Now you are going to trim the corners off at a 45 degree angle. I used the 45 degree line on my cutting mat + cut with an exacto knife, but you could also use a triangle or manually measure in 2" from each corner, make a line and cut it off in your paper trimmer. This step is probably the trickiest part. And it's better to cut off a little less than too much because then you'll be exposing your chipboard corners after you fold the edges in.
If you are comfortable using an exacto knife, my preferred way to cut the corners is more of a freehand diamond shape. That way you know your corners will be covered and the overlap is nice. :)
The next step is to score the paper with a bone folder along the edge of the chipboard, joining the points of the four corners of your chipboard cover. If your paper is thin enough, you probably don't need to score it at all.
Fold along the score lines.
Use a tape runner or your favorite adhesive (or even a Xyron if yours is large enough) to attach the paper to the chipboard. Apply pressure to make sure it's glued down firmly with no bubbles on the front of the cover. You could even leave it under a stack of heavy books overnight if you like.
Here's what the front looks like :
And the back :
See the gaps at the corners in the patterned paper? This is why I like the diamond shaped cut above. You really don't need to worry much about them because you are going to put another piece of cardstock / patterned paper on the back to cover it up. As long as the corners meet up nice and tight, all is good. 

The last step is to cut a piece of paper (I used a piece of solid cardstock that matched the patterned paper front) for the inside of the cover. I typically cut it 1/8" smaller than the chipboard - or here, 4 7/8" x 6 7/8". Again, bigger is better. You can always trim it down more if you want to see more of the front cover paper on the inside. Here's a closeup shot of one of the corners. See, nice and tight.
Now, make a back cover to match, punch some holes in them (I love the Cropodile for this - you can easily punch front + back at the same time) and add binder rings. And interior pages too, of course.
I hope this was helpful. I know there are a lot of people out there trying to put together their December Daily albums for next month and I think these covers are an inexpensive, sturdy and very customizable alternative to a typical binder or post-bound album. Feel free to leave questions in the comments below!

Next week I will share this years December Daily cover.