I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Don has worked nights (holidays included) since our 7 year old was born so it’s been that long since he has spent a Christmas morning awake with us. He switched to the day shift last year right after Christmas so this was the first time he was able to spend Christmas morning with us. We were very excited to be able to start new traditions this year!
Unfortunately, yesterday all of our kids started getting sick. We’ve had 6 kids with coughs, 3 with fevers, 2 close to having a fever….and a partridge in a pear tree 😉 So we’ve had to reschedule our last Christmas gathering with Don’s family while we keep our germs at home and try to clean up the toy tornado left behind from Christmas day.
Anyway, over the past few weeks, I’ve been posting pictures as a part of a little photo series on my Instagram under the hashtag #clemontheshelf so I wanted to share them all here, along with sharing a bit about them.
Last year we had taken a picture of Clementine as a tiny little baby on our mantle and deemed it our “Clem on the Shelf” (you can see that picture HERE.) I’m sure you’re fully aware what an Elf on the Shelf is. While we don’t actually do the whole elf thing, we did have a lot of fun setting up these pictures of Clementine.
The first picture idea came to me while I was out running errands one day. I called Don (I hate talking on the phone so this must have been really important in my mind haha) and told him the whole idea I had for a picture. I am pretty sure I had more confidence in his photoshop skills than he did but he agreed that it sounded like a good idea.
By the time we were done talking about all the ideas with the first picture, I decided that I wanted to do a little mini series and already had multiple ideas floating through my mind. I knew they all obviously had to include our Clem on the Shelf. But I also wanted to incorporate our letterboard to help with the storyline of each photo.
With each photo, we would photograph Clementine separately and Don would photoshop her in later. He is actually currently working on a guest blog post to share a little behind the scenes look at how he did it. It isn’t exactly a tutorial but it does explain his process and what he learned through doing all these photos. I can see how his skills improved over the course of the past few weeks just from playing around and watching tutorials.
What I think is really neat is that some of these pictures are actually 3-5 pictures all layered together to make the final edit. It’s kind of amazing what goes into making one “simple” picture.
I think the best part about this project was working together with my husband to come up with the ideas. I usually pitched an idea and then we’d toss ideas back and forth until we came up with the end result. The hardest part (for me) was coming up with the letterboard quote. I’m pretty sure that with each of the quotes, I would ask Don what we should write and then turn down all of his ideas and just go with something I liked haha. But it still helped to hear his ideas because sometimes it sparked an idea for me.
The kids also had a lot of fun with this project and seeing how it all came together. When it came to the last photo and I wanted to do the reverse setup of our first photo, I was afraid that they would complain about being tied up and duct taped…especially with Desmond, our 2 year old. But they were all giggling and thought it was hilarious. I had a hard time find a photo where Desmond didn’t look too happy.
I think we need to print out a short little photo book with the pictures to set out every Christmas season. I think it’ll be really fun for the kids to look back on and see some of the fun memories we made together.
As for the question of our plans for next year, I do think our elf will be back! But it’s up for debate on if Clem will be taking on the role or if her new baby sister will be taking over. Clementine was actually not the easiest to work with this year. We had to get really creative with how to get her to cooperate (and it involved quite a few mini marshmallows.) But I love how they all turned out!
Now that this project is done, I feel that I have been depleted of all creativity so I’ll have to work to get out of that funk.
Thank you to everyone who followed along with our little series and for all the kind comments! We really had so much fun putting these together so it means so much that other people have enjoyed them too!