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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Desktop Calendars

Each year, I try to devise a project that is both crafty yet practical - something that I can use up my hoarde of patterned paper, but something that will also make a pretty but practical gift. 

For me, I value things that have a purpose, and this is what I have eventually devised this year - after an awful lot of time procrastinating and trying to come up with a workable design!

This first calendar is for my mum.  She is really not a fussy person, and I know she will appreciate anything I send.  To this end, I took the opportunity to use up more scraps in my scraps bag, (the patterned paper is NME, and I remember exactly when I bought this - how sad is that?) and some of these really old stickers to make the year placque.  The calendar colour theme is blue, yellow, green and orange, so the colours don't really coordinate here, but they do with the whole theme of the calendar. 

The base is designed on a triangle to give the calendar stability and to allow it to stand on a desk.  The whole size is quite dinky at 3 1/4 inches wide by just over 4 inches long - space is usually a premium on desks, so I thought this was a really useful size. 

Here's another page - this time, using scraps of the Rouge de Garance I've used on some of my more recent layouts. 

The calendar page was stamped using a Kelly Panacci set of calendar stamps - the grid outline is common to all, and then there are separate month stamps.  I stamped each date individually (checking VERY carefully for next year's dates!) with my set of PSX individual number stamps, and they fit really well into the grid.  The stamping was the painful and a painstaking process, so I thought there must be a simpler way.  So I got some thicker card, and photocopied each month several times, reducing the overall size by 25% - the original calendar page was about 4 1/2 wide by 5 1/2 long, which started to get too big, in my opinion.  This size is much dinkier and cuter, and of course, uses less supplies! 

Whilst I greatly appreciate using individual scraps, in truth I really do prefer the look of coordinated projects.  The very masculine calendar above was made for my brother-in-law using mostly Basic Grey Granola, but I have also used a couple of 6 x 6 Life's journey pages which do coordinate.  I am not fond of this range from Basic Grey - most of it is really dark and drear, and I love bright zingy colours - but it is perfect for projects like this.  I bought two Basic Grey paper packs from a UKS sponsor for the princely sum of £7.99 I think, so how can you go wrong?  I gave half the pack to a friend, and the other half will happily make several calendars for Christmas for presents for male family and friends. 

I stamped next year using white embossing powder and Banana Frog's "teen" set - so versatile, and such a useful size. 

This last calendar is my favourite - and is for my sister.  I made the vast majority of it from scraps I had from the Fancy Pants Delight range - so happy and quirky.  I also coordinated it with scraps of WRMK White Out range - those little birdies are so adorable! 

I happened to have some Thickers in the perfect colour which coordinated really well.  I pieced together scraps and also dry embossed a design using a brass stencil.  I really like how this page turned out! 

I had a 12 x 12 page left of Journalling cards, which I would never really use, and turned out to be perfect sizes for the calendar pages.  I actually embellished this calendar, which I didn't do to the others - and just used some cut out leaves and little flowers! 

I started to use my Cinch as the binding tool for the project, and whilst I don't really regret selling my BIA for the Cinch as I think I will mostly want to do larger projects, the BIA is perfect for this type of project - the holes are neater, and it is better able to fasten smaller wires.  Thankfully, friends come in very useful to borrow tools where necessary!  I think this project might be something I repeat every year, and once you have the process down, they only take a few hours to make.  Still time-consuming, but worth it in the end! 

Thanks for visiting.  :)


  1. These are fab Ali - I am sure that they will love them.

    Karen x

  2. Great gits Ali. A lot of work goes into gifts like these. I'm sre they will be treasured.

  3. What thoughtful gifts Ali, they are really lovely and each so differnt in the colourways. I am sure your family will be chuffed to bits with them.xx