Poetry Friday: Letter to a Friend
My Weekly Homekeeping Routine

Crafting a Calendar


If there's such a thing as National Calendar Week, surely this must be it - lately, it's all anyone's talking about, shopping for and possibly constructing. I myself nabbed my favorite page-a-day calendar just today - on post-holiday sale, of course. ;)

Now admittedly, I don't really need the page-a-day - it's not like it's convenient for writing down appointments and things, and it's not very portable. But it's not meant to be. The page-a-day is all about the cheerful images and the uplifting quotes. Simply put, it makes me smile, it looks cute on my desk, and the torn-off pages are perfect for my daily to-do lists.

And then there's the liturgical calendar my pastor passes out every year. This one I hang above the kitchen island where I park my laptop everyday. It's not convenient to write on (the squares are small and my pen always runs out when I try to write vertically). But it's a handy at-a-glance reference for checking dates quickly and looking up information re the church year - feast days, liturgical seasons and such.

So the aforementioned calendars are good for inspiration and information, but then there's the calendar that's meant to be a workhorse. The one that can take a lot of handling - a lot of writing, erasing, scratching out and re-scheduling. We mothers have a whole lot of things to plan on our family's collective behalf ~ field trips, classes, club meetings, practices, appointments, home care, bill paying, holiday fun, hot suppers, ETC.

It might be the cardinal rule in planners and planning to use just one calendar, but how can one calendar handle all that (plus all the things I didn't mention)?

I'm still struggling with this question, even as I pore my energy into the one this post will (eventually) be about. :) I've made calendars before - but I always end up chucking them and using the store bought ones that may be no fun, but do their job without fuss. Do you, too, find it hard to settle on just one calendar? Have you found one (or made one) that works well year after year?

For a homemade calendar (which I'm attempting again this year, in case I didn't make myself clear), there must first be materials, and for materials, you must go to the craft store. (You simply must.) Or you could be really decadent and go to the asbolutely fabulous paper craft store two towns over, way out of your way and not on your list of things to do, but highly recommended by a friend (and fellow calendar enthusiast) and ultimately so worth the trip ...

Two and a half hours later (there was a grocery store stop in there too), this is what I came home with:


Stiff cardboard pieces, 12x12 cardstock in pretty blue florals (for the covers), and ivory lined and graph designs (for the planning pages) and adhesive memorabilia pockets (tba).

But here's the thing about this proposed calendar: it's going to be big (12x12). It's not going to come along with me to the therapy appointments or to the dentist or the hairdresser's (the boring store-bought one will do that). This calendar will be kept parked on my desk - the spot where I plan and organize, where I look through books, file folders and store flyers. And at the end of the year it will serve as a scrapbook of sorts - a year of tending hearth and home in a book.

Possibly I could make the calendar smaller (8.5x11, say) and then it would be much more portable. But I like the idea of a homemaking diary kept at my desk, where most if not all my planning takes place anyway. Plus, I think this calendar will make a nice companion to my file crate system, which is also a homebound operation. :)

I have only just begun to assemble it, but I'll show you what I've got so far ...


I used glue dots for attaching the printed cardstock to the cardboard (the cardboard will give the diary some weight and a firm backing for writing). Then I placed the pages in order, and after a bit more tweaking over the next day or so, I'll bring it to the copy shop and have it spiral-bound.

Here's the cover:


And just inside the first page, a lined sheet ...


A word on the paper. It has the loveliest vintage hue to it - it looks like paper that you might have found in an attic, paper that came from school days long ago. It has an excellent feel to it and has a light worn ivory base with soft blue and red markings. It reminds me of paper I'd find at my grandparents' sometimes - extra paper saved from my mum's school days. How I loved to write on that!

So, I'll have the pages laid out in this way: a lined page for notes on the season, followed by a two page graph paper spread for the two months of said season:


As these pages are completely blank, I'll have my work cut out for me. But the graph pages, so neatly lined, will be a snap to whip into calendar shape.

The planning sections inside will be ordered in this way:

  • Winter: January-February
  • Early Spring: March-April
  • Late Spring: May-June
  • Summer: July-August
  • Autumn: September-October
  • Holiday: November-December

I am tempted to add other things in here, like project pages, budget pages, meal planning pages and whatnot. But we'll see ... for now, I'm keeping it simple.

Well, that's the calendar update for now. Even as I type up this post, I'm not entirely sure it will work out. But, you know, it wouldn't be the new year without me spending a ridiculous amount of time planning and assembling a "new and improved" calendar that may or may not actually end up getting used ... ;)

So, tell me ~ what are you doing about a calendar this year? Are you trying something new, or returning to an old favorite? Does any of this ring a bell with you, or are you shaking your head in disbelief, thankful you're not nearly so obsessive picky about planning, lol?

Well, I hope you all have a good night. The weekend's here at last, and my guys are all on the mend. Save for the Pats game (and all the calendar-making of course) it should be a quiet uneventful weekend ...

Which is just what we need. :)