Monday, January 3, 2011

botanical 2011 calendar

Every year, for four years now, I make my own calendar. I think it all started when I just couldn't find a calendar I wanted to look at all year. And I know what you're thinking, there are tons of calendars out there to choose from. How on earth could you not find a single one?! Well, I think I found some nice ones, but they were too nice. Like, too nice to write all over during the year. Whenever I see a fancy calendar, I usually envision it with my scribbles all over it and it makes me feel like I'm doodling on fine art.

The other problem I have with a lot of ready-made calendars is the amount of space given for writing. I need a little more space. I don't mind crowding into another day, but some of the calendars out there barely give enough room to write a birthday down. And I really like to write everything on my calendar. I mean everything. What we did, where we went, what happened to us. I use my calendar like I used my agenda in high school and college. Except I don't record amusing quotes people say anymore. I kinda miss doing that.

I also need to be able to see the calendar part. You know those fancy calendars that are all picture and the actual dates are down in the bottom corner, in very thin fine print? Yeah, those are gorgeous to look at but not very functional.

Oh, and there have been a few years where people have bought me a calendar for Christmas and I've felt obligated to use it. Cuz it's there, I guess, and probably because I thought there might be a chance they'd come over in the next 12 months and wonder where the hell their calendar was. One time in high school (high school!) I received a calendar of babies. Dressed as animals. Babies dressed as animals for 12 whole months. I thought, does this person even know who I AM?! I'm still wondering about it.

That's when I decided to start making them myself, so I'd have nothing at all to complain about since I'd be the one in charge of it. And making your own calendar is definitely not hard. If you can use a ruler (or are good at eyeballing things), you can totally make your own. I started off doing them by hand, measuring them out with pencil and going back over with ink, and over the years, I've started to get a little more artsy with my designs. A little more creative with the papers or coming up with a theme or even (gasp!) putting the dates in unconventional patterns.

Last year, I was trying to print some artwork from this website for a card and it accidentally printed the entire page. I was pretty pissed at such a waste of ink and cardstock, so I decided to use it as part of my calendar. I liked how that looked so much, I decided to print a few more for the year. This year, I only used artwork (for my own personal calendar) from that website and from a few other websites I had gathered  pictures from over the year (I change my desktop weekly and the preloaded desktop pictures just don't do it for me). This was also the first time I've made the whole thing completely on the computer (mostly because I couldn't find pens, pencils, or rulers). It was... different. A little more fiddly and a little harder to get the calendar portion right, but in the end, I was really pleased with how it came out. So pleased, I decided to make another! Just for you!

It's a little rough, I'll admit. I kept my slacker ways by only adjusting the days of the week instead of the numbers which I've been doing for a few years now just so I don't have to rearrange the numbers each time (I have to figure out a better system). It also took me forever to get the dates right. I'm such a worried double-checker that when I noticed I was accidentally looking at the 2010 calendar for a couple of them, I still didn't think I got them right -- even after going back and checking and double-checking and fixing. I did have the holidays printed on, but I felt like most of them were a little too Albertan/Canadian/North American specific, so I decided to leave them off. People celebrate and don't celebrate so many different things, I didn't want to alienate or lump everyone together. So, sure, it's not perfect, but that's the point. You can write all over it. Scribble things at the top, bottom, and sides. I didn't want to make it too pretty, because I feel like your own personal writings and doings are as much a part of a calendar as the calendar itself (personally, I love how it looks when I write over images).

I had picked out quite a few different and random favourite photos from last year to use, but I decided to go with a botanical theme to keep it cohesive. For a limited time, you can click on each photo to enlarge it, then right click to save and print it yourself! Happy new year!


TCFO said...

my gosh, i was reading this and figuring that when I got to the bottom I would be trying to remember my paypal password, a mighty feat, and breaking my resolve to make 2011 only a saving year, not a spending one, then I read at the end of the post to just freaking download and print? These are exquisite! I see a little shop on your sidebar in 2011 (I love those btw) and I think yours would be filled with great creative things like this! Are you serious about the download print thing though? This calendar is beautiful. What an interesting idea to keep the days of the week going though and not have them in their usual soldier like pattern. I love it!!!

Idle Wife said...

haha! Yes, I'm serious! I wanted to do some sort of giveaway as a thank you to followers for reading this past year, but I couldn't think of anything until I was working on my own calendar. I'm glad you like them. It really means a lot!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

I love the idea of making your own calendar! I need to do this! Like now!

erika said...

haha i love that someone bought you a calendar of babies dressed up as animals. those gifts are always so funny - and leave you scratching your head for years to come.

your calendar is beautiful. thanks so much for sharing it. you have such great taste.

Idle Wife said...

Lindsey: It won't take you very long at all! I imagine you having a delicious food calendar with little recipes on the side for each month!

Erika: Thanks! I'll never forget that babies dressed as animals calendar. I'll probably still be complaining about it when I'm 82!