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Pixel calendar

This is something I have been working on for a while – honestly? Creating those little pixel colour blocks was the most massive pain in the butt. All those tiny squares, aligning them, selecting the “pattern” and the colours… And changing the fonts is never as straightforward as it should be.  If it isn’t a monospaced font, or if each character isn’t perfectly aligned centre by the creator of the font (and often, with free fonts, they aren’t) then changing the font throws the alignment off.  Unless it is obvious, many people won’t notice. But I do.  And it bugs me.  sometimes, it just isn’t possible to align the columns perfectly – or even if they ARE, they LOOK wonky.  Doh! I just do my best and stop when they look OK to my eye.

They look like this – might be nice for a desk calendar for an IT person, don’tcha think? Easy enough to print and stick them to plain (maybe black?) pieces of card to fit a CD calendar.

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I only did the Sunday to Saturday version.  I might take the time to do the Monday to Sunday one at some point, but not till I have the time and the patience.

I would have taken more/better photos but I fear my camera’s rechargeable batteries need replacing – they seem to have come to the end of their life.  A full day’s charge only lasts a day.  I have no AAs kicking around so best sort that sharpish! I also meant to print just the one page of the PDF on white card so I slipped a single page into the printer – it was loaded with cream card for DDs youth leader’s memory book.  Stupid me, I neglected to tell it to print THIS PAGE not the whole PDF.  DOH! again.  But I am liking it printed on cream too, so I figured I’d show that – lucky I got a single photo before my camera gave up the ghost.

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I did round all four corners of OCTOBER, but I personally like just the top corners rounded, like November. I guess it depends on whether you have all rounded or a mix of rounded and square in your book.

It’s a three page PDF, 4 months per page.  All rainbow, except December, which is red, green and gold/yellow, mostly. The font for the months is Checkbook and the day strip is OCR A Std.  The numbers are Helvetica Neue Light

No I just have a few WOYWW visits to return, then it’s all about the book…


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English speakers look away! French and Spanish 2015 Project Life calendar cards

This started as a bit of an experiment.  In the past I have done Spanish calendars and they were popular.  As I had a flurry of visits from France, I though I might as well go ahead and do a French one too.  The major thing is that if what I see online is to be believed both commonly  use the Monday to Sunday format.  As I had taken the time to do both this year, it seemed an easy thing.  The real issue turned out to be the DAY abbreviations!  I found a LOT of variation.  For the formatting, it is far easier to standardize the day abbreviations and that SEEMS to be acceptable but it is hard to know.

I used slightly different fonts.  The French one is Fontleroy Brown and the Spanish one is Sevillana – why?  they FEEL right, but then what do I know?  At the end of the day, they look good to me so there you go.

I will be very interested in any feedback from native French or Spanish speakers – how wrong did I get it?  It’ll all feed into my future calendars so if you like them and use them, take a moment to let me know.  If I got it horribly wrong tell me that too!

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The FRENCH version is here.

The SPANISH version is here.

Now, that really MUST be the end of calendars for a bit.  Much as I love the process and designing them, it’s just time to get obsessed with something new, for a while….. {wink}


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WOYWW 267 – such a hypocrite!

Yep.  I admit it.  I am a total hypocrite.  I moan and moan at people on WOYWW who are working on Christmas projects and cards and yet I have been consumed with 2015 CALENDARS for the last couple of weeks.  Shocking.  I hang my head in shame.  I had a plan of a little trick to share and it wasn’t until I went looking for OTHER 2015 printables that I realized that no one else is doing freebies this far in advance!  Yet I know from requests behind the scenes or in comments people DO want to start working on these NOW – quite possibly the SAME PEOPLE who are making their cards in July LOL!

So what is on my desk is a mess from making CD calendars, and photo cubes and then photo cubes with added CD calendar printables, and then photo cubes with added tear-off calendars.  DOH!

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I was playing around with the idea that you could turn any set of Project Life printable calendar cards into a reasonable tear-off calendar by printing multiple pages on a single sheet.  So I turned my own printables into a tear off.

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No, it’s not as cheap (in TIME for sure or COST, if you print colourful ones like mine) as buying a bag full of tear-off calendars from Hobby Craft, but you have to admit these are a lot cuter….

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And all I had to do to sort it was change a few settings in my printer menu:

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The size of them will differ, depending on whether you AUTO ROTATE or not.

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See the difference?

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But could I find a free 2015 calendar printable sized for Project Life to test out?  Could I heck! The only pitfall I can see in advance is that not everyone makes their printables as multi-page PDFs.  Many of the old ones I did find are offered for download 6 months per PDF.  That means you may have to print at least two (two 6-month groups per sheet) to et the size small enough – unless you have a Mac and can merge multiple 1-page PDFs into a one multi-page PDF.

So there you go.  When (if) you DO eventually decide on a project that needs a tear-off calendar, maybe you’ll remember this and give it a go – and MAYBE by then there will be a few more options for 2015, and I’ll revisit the idea and share samples using other printables.  I hate saying This’ll work till I can test it but I’m not so wasteful as to test it with useless, expiring calendars {wink}

It’s meant to be quite warm today so I’ll be looking forward to an hour or two at the ice rink with DD.  Last day of college for her and the long summer ahead.  Will we be fewer on the Mr Linky list as the days get hotter and the lure of a holiday away, near the sea grows? I wonder…

Happy WOYWW all!


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Manly Photo Cube and 2015 tear-off calendar printables

Last week I used some grid/graph paper to make a card.  As the tablet was still kicking around on my desk, I thought I might use it to make a “manly” photo cube.  I don’t know about the men in your life, but the men in MINE have one rule – nothing too frilly, flowery or indeed colourful when it comes to gifts for them.  They are both sort of OK with a colourful CARD, I just know not to expect them to display it anyplace public (like DH and his desk, or DS in his apartment anywhere really) so they look then leave it at home where *I* can display it if I like.

The problem with grid/graph paper, or at least with what I have on hand, is it’s in a tablet with holes  for a ring binder.  That makes it less than the required 8 inches.  But you can overcome that.  And grid paper is manly, right? I made my cube using two different types of graph paper – just for a little more interest.

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It’s all about the position of the ring-binder holes.  Start by folding the paper in half, matching the holes – this is fine because you are going to make that fold anyway when folding the cube sides.  Lucky, that.

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Cut the sheet to 4 inches. This will position the holes just right on that side.

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Depending on your paper, and mine is an A4 UK tablet, square off the sheet by trimming to 8 inches on the other side.

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Now to fold.  Go back to the post with the basic instructions for the photo cube.  When you come to the fold that brings the sides in, make sure the holes are  positioned like this:

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When you fold the side, the holes are going to be hidden.

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For a cube made from 8 inch squares, you need a 4 inch (with a smidge trimmed off) insert for each side (unless you add the base side with the insert side facing inward, to give a flatter base) and 12  hinges that are 2 7/8 inch square, scored and folded on the diagonal.

Obviously this size cube is WAY too small for the CD calendar inserts.  But I made two sheets you can print, cut and use to create a tear-off calendar.  You can see how to do that in this (old) post.  To add that to one side just cut a 2 3/4  inch square of cardstock .  Stick the last page of the tear off completely to this.

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Cut another piece of cardstock to 3 x just shy of 4 inches.  Stick the calendar piece JUST in a + in the centre.

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Tuck the edges of the 3 x 4 piece into the corners, over the insert, but leave the corners of the calendar base ABOVE the cube side corners.  Like so:

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Now the tear off sheets can be, well, torn off, of course, without disrupting the cube, and at the end of the year you can just take out the 3 x 4 inch piece and replace it with a new tear off for next year!

I used quite small photos, with just a dot of repositionable adhesive behind, to hold them in place, but allow for changing them as the mood, or newer photos strikes.

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You can see it is smaller than the 6 inch CD calendar cube.

This is something I think DH would keep on his desk – no flowers, no swirly flourishes, no colourful papers.  The font isn’t Helvetica or Futura or Gill Sans, but it’s pretty plain.

Now I’ll have to be on the look-out for other grid papers! With the addition of the cardstock inserts and the hinges, even this thin paper makes for a solid and sturdy cube.  And costs pennies. Result!

I think most tear-off calendar printables tend to be more rectangular the square, so these may not suit everyone.  I went ahead and did the Sunday to Saturday and Monday to Sunday versions – take your pick.  They end up as a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch square.

 

 

 


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A few cube improvements

I was considering those corners on the large photo cube from yesterday and thought of a few small improvements that I think will make a big difference to the overall look and function.  See if you agree.

1. The photos might shift over time – as you turn the cube or handle it, the photos might shift slightly, because they are not big enough to be held in place by the fur corners.  Only two of them really fully engage the edges. Simple fix is a bit of repositionable adhesive on the back of the photo.  That will keep it in place but still let you change them.  A more complicated fit would be to mount the photo to another insert piece and slip that in, but that is harder to get in and out and a waste of cardstock.

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2. The photos not fitting to perfection – remember that the 4×6 photos don’t completely fill the diamond?

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A simple strip of a punched border (or even a strip of plain patterned paper or card ) about 1 1/2 inches by just shy of 6 inches will help fill the gap.

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If you leave this loose it won’t affect the changing of the photos.  Again, you could add this over the photo,to another insert piece, but the full size insert IS harder to get in and out once the cube is stuck together!

3. The calendar could shift – a cardstock circle with a couple of pop dots added to the bottom will create a shelf to rest the calendar sheet on.

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Just stick that to the insert at the bottom then allow the bottom edge of the calendar stack to sit on it.

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When you stand the cube up in position, it’ll all get held in place.  You can add the punched borders as well, just be mindful not to cover any of the calendar!

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Tomorrow I have another option, one perfect for a manly desk LOL!  I also created some sheets for tear-off calendars so I can show how those work with the cube.  It’s not quite done but turning out really cute so far.  All will be revealed – and after I triple-check the Sun to Sat and Mon to Sun calendar dates I’ll add the tear-off printables too! Then I can stop being obsessed with calendars AND cubes {wink}


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Combining projects! Calendar Photo Cube

NOTE: Go forward to the next post to see a few small improvements!

I have a box that is full of old-style scrapbooking papers that I am 100% sure I will never use on a layout.  Back in the day I tended to buy not only a collection of papers, but multiples of them.  Whatever was I thinking?? These florals are never going to get used in any other way.

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I still have a load of different sizes of photo cube sides on my desk, and my latest calendar printables, and this morning, the two things just sort of came together in a creative collision.

This will make a fairly large photo cube, six inches (nearly) per side, but the advantages outweigh that, for me.  What ARE the advantages? The biggest is it is easy to replace the photos and add the calendar pages – WAAAAY easier than the other version.

You can:

  • use  full 12 x 12 sheets of scrapbooking paper to fold the sides
  • use two 12 x 12 sheets of cardstock to cut all of the inserts
  • use two sheets of 12 x 12 cardstock to cut more than enough hinges (I’ve altered the size slightly and don’t see it makes the slightest difference)
  • use 4 x 6 photos, either orientation, and only need to trim off the barest sliver off one side to make them work
  • use any CD-sized calendar printable and turn it from a photo cube into a Calendar Photo Cube!

I am not going to re-do the folding process.  Pop back to this post to see all you need, including a link to a video if that is easier for your to learn from. From here on it’ll just be the differences between THAT and THIS.

You need:

  • 6 sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper.  Cardstock really is too thick.
  • 6 sheets of 6 x 6 cardstock (paper is really too thin) with a sliver trimmed off 2 adjacent sides
  • 12 4 x 4 inch squares
  • double-sided (paper-backed) adhesive

The only difference in the assembly is DON’T add the base/bottom with the diamond facing inward – assemble it with all the diamonds facing OUTWARD, including the base. Once you have folded and assembled the cube, you really need to only select your photos (five for a Photo Cube and four for a Calendar Photo Cube).  Portrait or landscape, both work – see how close they are to a perfect fit?

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Just trim off the barest sliver.  Just enough for it to fit.  Because the photo does not totally fill the diamond, you can easily slide them in and out.  You do have to slightly bend the photo but nothing LIKE how you would have to in the more close-fitting version.

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Bingo

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Because the inserts are plain cardstock (and mine are white but you could easily use coloured card to make a feature of those triangles) I don’t mind those bits.

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The construction is just tight enough (unless you are tossing it around the room) for the photos to stay put. You can feel free to add a little stamped accent to fill the space (and I’d do all four so you don’t have to consider which side hold portrait and which hold landscape photos) or anything flat.  I don’t think I would try adding a flower or dimensional accent cause it’s just going to make getting the photos in and out harder.

If you print ANY CD case calendar printable, so long as you’ve printed a page and cut one to check the central design works once you slip it in, to turn it into a Calendar photo cube. Let me share my thoughts on this.  OK, sure, you could put two in each side (or three in four sides, or…whatever) but having more than one month on view is just confusing.  And putting a photo in the bottom side, the one it rests on, is a bit pointless – as soon as you rotate the cube to show that one, the other ones are going to be wonky.  SO, if you print and cut the calendar inserts, then group them six and six

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you can put the first six months on one side

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and the last six months on the bottom, hidden from view.

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Then you can simply remove the month when it’s over and toss it in the bin – sort of a more sophisticated and pretty (and bigger) tear-off calendar!

OK, yes, like the photos the CD inserts don’t fit the diamond perfectly but this is function over form.  If they DID you would never be able to wedge six sheets in a side, nor pluck out and bin one when the month changes. I don’t think it looks bad this way but again, coloured cardstock or some decoration might look OK if it bothers you as it is.

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Not something to make for every calendar person on your list, but the folding, once you’ve done it for one cube, becomes an almost Zen like process.  And I like the idea that you can change the photos at will and with ease.

For an easier and smaller one, use maybe 8 x 8 paper to start with and add the photos but stick on one of the small tear-off calendars on one side!

 

 


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More Calendars – circular, quotes, different start days

I have been collecting quotes for calendars.  as a special request from a reader, who likes my circular calendars, I made this new set.  Slightly different (less pretty and flowery font) with calendar/time related quotes around the circle, rather than the month names.  As I have worked out a fairly quick way to do both the Sunday to Saturday and the Monday to Sunday versions, I have.  Here is a little sample for you:

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The quotes are:
Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and
resign yourself to the influences of each.

How do you measure a year? Measure, measure your life in love   Share love, give love, spread love …

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of

Time, by moments, steals away, First the hour, and then the day;
Small the daily loss appears, Yet it soon amounts to years

Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold.

The hours pass and the days and the months and the years, and the past time never returns.

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes  …  How do you measure, measure a year?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time…

…today, well lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a dream of hope.

And one I didn’t use:   And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

The two pages I used as the sample show the two “special months” – February had a heart and December a star.  The only thing to keep in mind is that these may slightly affect your circle, if you choose to cut them out or cut a mat to fit over them, as I showed in my CD case calendar sample.  I think a 4 inch circle should allow all of them to fit, but do test it to be sure.

The Sunday to Saturday PDF and the Monday to Sunday PDF.

I may do a few more 2015 calendars, probably in the Project Life card size, but not till December/January at the latest.  It makes my head hurt, all the obsessive checking of the dates and the alignment and the fonts and the spelling…. and I STILL am petrified I’ve made a mistake.  You would tell me, wouldn’t you?  I hope so!


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Make any 3×4 Project Life calendar card set into a CD calendar

OK the power is back on (yet another Tuesday shutdown – grrrr!) and I used the down time to get this sorted.  Hopefully it’ll make sense.

The first thing you need is this PDF.  You can print it and use it as a template to cur the 12 blocks, one per month, you would normally need for a CD calendar OR (and especially if you are using commercial 3 x 4 cards that are already trimmed to size and corner rounded) you can print JUST THE PAGES YOU NEED as many times as you need, in your printer options.

What you have are templates for cutting the frame the goes on the FRONT of the CD cover and the PAGES with the area where your printable or commercial card should be stuck.

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There is one small addition – although I noted on the sides which is PORTRAIT and which is LANDSCAPE, I’ve added a small faint grey P or L in the middle of the box.  CD cases are NOT square.  The templates are NOT interchangable.

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PLEASE read thru this once before cutting.  There are SO MANY printables, by SO MANY designers, each with their own little quirks.  I’ve tried to mention some of the issues you might encounter, and how to overcome them.

1. Cut the first page, the frame,  from whatever colour cardstock you want – this will be seen for every month so pick something that works with them all.  I used black. Don’t stick it to the CD case yet. Read step 3 before you cut.

2. You can feel free to print the templates for the inserts (the GREY ones) 6 times and then cut them out, or just use one as a template and cut them out of cardstock.

IF you are using commercial (bought) PL calendar cards, you will want to print the BLACK version as many times as you need.  The commercial PL cards are slightly smaller that 3 x 4 and are pre-rounded.  On the template with the BLACK box, the box is slightly bigger.  I noticed that if you try to add a rounded corner card to the grey templates you were going to see the white.

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With the black box, it looks better!

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I think even with a different colour frame, the black edge would be OK.  If not, see if cutting the opening slightly smaller helps. another solution might be to cut the inserts from black or coloured cardstock, depending on what works best with the cards you want to use.

3. Print and cut my calendar printables if you are using them.  The recent set I did, I created four to a page, rather than my usual 5 to a page, and with an extra border.  Some US designers, I believe, put 6 on a page, because the US letter paper is wider than UK A4.   Cut along the OUTER (black border) for making a CD calendar, or along the INNER grey border if you want to use them for PL cards.  You can find the download back a post.   If you cut the cards as if they were for PL books, you may see the edges thru the frame.

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If cut as a PL card, the card will fit in the white box.  Cut with a border it will fit in the grey box.

I didn’t want to cut the frame smaller, lest you lose something important on the printable, BUT you can cut the opening in the frame slightly inside the lines, so the frame overlaps the card.  I think you need to look at the printables you want to use and see if that would look OK.

For any other printables, look at the sheet – I’ll use the dotty ones I did recently as an example:

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If the print has a border, ANY border around the cards will help.  For mine, I just split the difference.

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When mounting them to the inserts, I tried to centre them as best I could.

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Once you have the first one done, check the position with the frame in place.

 

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If it all looks good, stick the frame to the CD case.  You can then use the first insert to check the positioning of all the rest.

Once you are done, you can add the decorative topper frame.

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Hard to see, but for that one I used a die and some vellum circles.  The topper frame is cut from some packaging, so it’s clear (you can see there at the bottom of the frame) because I wanted to see thru the vellum.

Here are the two I made from my 2015 printables.

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The glare on the CD case makes it all look a bit odd :)

This is better:

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Gosh.  Too many variables, but I hope I’ve explained it well enough for you to use ANY printables (or commercial PL cards) to make a CD calendar.


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3×4 Project Life 2015 calendar (Sunday to Saturday or Monday to Sunday – you choose!)

I had high hopes that I would get these done AND the tutorial that I have planned for them (which is why there are two borders) but I kept dithering and dithering about how best to make things as clear as possible for you.  It took me till I was photographing the process when I just completely changed things around, as I saw a simple way to make it easier.  But that meant all the photos I already took weren’t showing what you will be seeing when you look at the prints.

I really hate to do this, but it is just not going to get done today so I will reveal all tomorrow.  I hope the printables will make up for it.

Let’s start with two printables – portrait style, 4 months to a page.  Note it has 2 borders.  The inner (gray) one is where you would cut if you were going to use it for a Project Life album, as a 3 x 4 card. The OUTER (black) one I’ll explain tomorrow.

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Grab the PDF HERE for Sunday to Saturday calendars

And here is something new – I made a version with a MONDAY start to the week.  Personally I use Sunday to Saturday but people have mentioned it in the past and as I was on a roll, I figured I might as well.  Here is a sample and you can see a few more of the colour choices:

2015doilyMondaytoSunday

Grab the PDF HERE for Monday to Sunday calendars

 


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The Crochet calendar frame

Bearing in mind I am not a crochet-pattern writer and that often I am sort of winging things, I’m going to try to explain how to make the crochet frame.

What you need:

  • piece of mat board – I wouldn’t suggest covering chipboard as the hook going thru the holes will probably “distress” it.  Mat board, in the colour of your choice, is going to give you a better finish
  • crochet hook – sorry, I simply cannot find my zippered folder of hooks.  The one I have that works is marked 0 but it is one I got from my great-grandmother and I have no idea what that translates to in current marking terms, US or UK.  Let’s just say it has to be small enough to fit thru the hole
  • yarn – although it isn’t really right for this small hook, the yarn I used was DK and sock yarn.
  • hole punch strong enough to punch the chipboard.  The smaller hole of a Cropadile is perfect
  • yarn needle

1.Rather than sending you back to the instructions for cutting the frame, I will tell you that mine measures 6 inches wide x 6 1/4 inches tall.  Measure in 3/4 inch from each side and cut the centre out.

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2. On the reverse, draw a line 1/4 inch in from the top and two sides.  I didn’t want the bottom edge to have the crocheted edging (I’m making some flowers to add to it) but you can carry on all around if you prefer.

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3. Mark every 1/4 inch all around the edge.  If you match mine, that will give you 22 holes to the first corner, 23 holes across the top (including both corners) and 22 holes down the other side.  Mine stop short of the bottom edge.

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Now I think you can appreciate that it is impossible to take a photo of crochet yourself.  But the first “row” is accomplished by holding the frame with the back facing you, holding the yarn as normal, behind the frame.

also bear in mind I may live in the UK but I am American.  I crochet American.  If you crochet UK:

  • US Single crochet = UK double crochet
  • UK Double crochet = UK treble
  • I think a chain is a chain either side of the pond!

Row 1

For the FIRST hole ONLY: Insert the hook, and pull up a loop thru the hole.    Catch the yarn AND THE TAIL behind the frame OVER THE TOP edge of the frame and pull thru the loop on the hook. Drop the tail. Chain 1. That just secures the tail a little till you can weave it in at the end.

For the next and all further stitches, insert the hook thru the hole, yarn over and pull up a loop thru the hole, yarn over (two loops on the hook)and pull thru both loops on the hook. 21 stitches will take you to the corner hole.

Yarn over, pull thru a loop then pull thru both loops on the hook 3 times in the corner

Repeat the basic stitch across to the next corner (21 stitches) then yarn over, pull thru a loop then pull thru both loops on the hook 3 times in the corner

Repeat the basic stitch down the other edge.  (22 stitches)

Row 2

Turning the frame over so the coloured front is facing, single crochet in each stitch to the corner (23), 2 sc, single crochet to the next corner (23), 2 sc, then sc to the last hole (23)

Row 3

I joined a new colour but you can carry on with the same one.

Double crochet in the first stitch. Skip 2. 5 DC in the next stitch, skip 2.  Repeat the the first corner (7 shells)

7 dc in the corner. Skip 2. 5 dc skip 2 to the next corner.  (7 shells)

Hope I got that count right – it’s a basic shell stitch/scallop but I’m sure there are other clusters-type edgings that can be made to fit.

7 dc in the corner. Skip 2. 5 dc skip 2 to the next corner.  (7 shells) Double crochet in the final stitch.

Weave in the ends.

To fill those gaping holes that need to be there for the hook to fit thru, thread your yarn needle with a matching, or contrasting, yarn and do a straight stitch thru each hole.  When you get to the end, go back the other direction

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I used a double strand, to really fill in the holes. I think you could use thin ribbon or cord instead, for a different look.

when DH gets home I may see if he would take a few photos to help you see it more clearly, but I’m guessing if you do crochet to begin with this will make sense – and if you DON’T this is probably not the project that is going to get you to take up hooking… {wink}

Have fun – and if you do make one, be sure to share it with me via a link in your comment or by emailing me a photo – pretty please?  I would love to see it.  and if you DO send a photo, LMK if it is OK for me to share it on my blog.

 

 

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