This is bat country


For the Monday to Sunday folk – 2017 lace calendar (and Spanish version too!)

This ended up being easier than I thought it would.  Every year as I make these calendars I find new little tricks to help me create them faster.  What takes the longest is obsessively checking to make sure I get the dates right.  These have been checked and re-checked and I used what I hope is a reputable site to get the Spanish right!


This is the English, Monday to Sunday version





This is the SPANISH Monday to Sunday version


Oh, and note that there are a few blank cards at the end.  Hope they are useful!



Another try – book folding DIY

OK, I am still trying to work out a good way to share book folding alphabets that are easy for people to use.  While it us certainly easy enough, with the right tools and knowledge, for you to copy>paste individual letters and build a word you then can print out, past experience has told me that most people don’t have either the tools or the knowledge.  Most people have a printer.  so, sure, it’s a pain if you have to print 5 copies of the vowel sheets (and in future I might opt to put the vowels across two sheets, cause then at least if you have to print multiple copies, the extras will be useful!  Now I think of it, it might be useful to group the consonants according the those you use most often as well. But I digress…

So this is a pretty plain, blocky, no serif font, easy to fold for a beginner and chunky enough to really show up when folded.

Print the count page (page one) and all the pages with the letters you need.
alphabetcount foldingalphabet

Keep the page count sheet with your extra letters.  As you count the lines, fill in the sheet so you never have to count that letter again!


Cut out the letters you need


Note the * – those letters are ones that are not aligned to the bottom edge. You will have to adjust the placement of them as you will see later.

Get a plain piece of paper and fold over the edge.  This is what hooks over the pages of the book to keep your folds aligned.


Draw a couple of lines, three inches apart.  Bear in mind the height of your book.  you can place the folded edge over the top of your book and mark where you want the top of the word to fall, then mark that on the paper and draw the bottom line three inches from that. The blocks that hold the letters are three inches tall so they will line up within that area.


Now simply use the lines of the letter blocks to stick the letters to the plain paper.


If you like to fold back pages between the letters to create the look of a space, leave a gap then assign that however many pages you like, and five is usually good for me. For most letters, ones that are NOT two uprights next to each other (like “like” for example – the l and the i and the k need space between them) can do without a space, but feel free to practice in a cheap paperback and see what you think. Or cut the letters right to the edge and butt them up to each other.

The *ed letters need to be placed more carefully.


You can hold them up to the light and line up the bottom edge of the body of the letter (i.e. not the tail) with the line you drew, like so:


This will also help you make longer words – provided you can find a book that is big enough!

The letters are pre-stretched by about 50%, all the same amount except the W which was just SO wide it is more like 25% more.  It should be one of the easiest alphabets to try as a beginner and should give you a good result.

Here is the alphabet, upper and lower case, 1-0 numbers, a heart and an &.  That lets you do a couple’s initials, like A {heart} B or Mr & Mrs or 01 {heart} 05{heart} 2015 (like an anniversary or birthday) with ease

Gabo Drive font for book folding (and the fold count sheet)

Calendar folk, come back maybe tomorrow and I should have the Lace design done for Monday to Sunday calendars! The Sunday to Saturday version is here (including a French version)



A pretty lace calendar for 2017 – English and French!

You may recall that I often make foreign language calendars.  It can be a struggle – especially when an internet source has a mis-spelled word or a wrong translation, which has happened more than once to me – but I try to do at least a couple of them, usually French and Spanish.  The biggest pain is that the foreign language versions more often than not use the Monday to Sunday set up.  I have always used the Sunday to Monday version.  Having said that, when I was working, I tended to use my desk calendar from a Monday as the beginning of the WORK week.  More on that later…

So here is the English version, Sunday to Monday.


And here is the French version, Monday to Saturday


It’s likely I will make a Spanish and English Monday to Sunday version at some point.  Is a Spanish Sunday to Monday version a thing?  if so, better comment or I probably won’t bother to make one🙂


As I have mentioned, and the reason for my absence here, I have moved house.  I have unearthed some odd artifacts from my working life.  I found a couple of cartoons that a friend in the mailroom (me and the boys had a regular lunchtime date to play Hearts whenever there were enough of us around.  I got used to the 11:50 phone call to let me know if we were on or not) drew for me.  This one was after he spied me reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.


and this one I forget what prompted it – probably just the name similarity, despite the mis-spelling:


The other thing was a certificate for my membership in the Visual Lunacy Society (stamp company) from an engineer I used to do research for.


Note the date:


Funny what you find and keep re-finding but don’t pitch in the bin!  I think I’ll hold on to them for a little longer…


2017 Decorate Yourself PL style calendar cards

Hello all.  These were a request and I worked on them over the last week – in between getting the kitchen sorted out and dealing with the leaking dishwasher, and trying to arrange my scraproom.  That one is scary.  I have no idea how I will wedge all my stuff (DH uses a different S-word LOL!) into the room.  The only way I could get enough wall space was to block the fireplace! I’ll never have a fire in there (can you imagine? All that paper, and smoke from an open flame?  Eek!) so it’s probably OK.

The layout and the font are the same, but they are for 2017 – I’ll make a companion 2018 at some point for the 2-year at a time fans.

Download 2017 version here.

I have no time to try to decorate a set myself, but I will feature a couple from last year:



And if you want to go back and read the original post with a couple more samples, that is here and this post has a couple of super cute versions made by one of my followers, for a bit more inspiration! Here’s one of them




Re-oriented Doily calendar

Funny how the things that you think Oh I can do that quickly, no problem always end up taking a lot longer than you think.  The flip side of that is, very occasionally, something you expect to take forever ends up being so quick there isn’t even time for your cup of tea to go cold before it’s done!

My doily calendar is perhaps the first one I made that had a horizontal orientation – all of the other 3×4 PL style calendar cards were always vertical.  I finally had a request to re-orient them vertically.  I had always intended to do it, but just never got around to it.

I replied to the comment saying that I was sure I could do it, just no idea when.  Guess what? I took me like 30 minutes to do.  BAM What? (watching teen girl TV with DD gives me some references that I am really too old to use, obviously) It all came down to a lucky coincidence.  The quirks of Intaglio mean that I tend to group, arrange and align things over and over.  I just don’t really bother with layers.  In this case, when I opened the working file, all the month stuff (month name, year, day strip and date block) were all grouped as one object, and the doily was grouped and masked with the 3×4 “card.”  That meant it was pretty much a two click process to change it from horizontal to vertical, the placing the month block pleasingly and exporting to PDF.  Done.


Download it here – and if you like it, say thanks to Ronna who asked for it.

I’ll try to  do an overview post for the 2017 calendars I’ve done so far very soon. In reviewing my posts I see there are more than I realized.  And I also have a few 2018 ones that match, for those who use them to make gifts.



A few calendars, by request

Here are the small circle calendars I posted about a while back.  Finally got around to finishing them, between coats of paint. There are both coloured and B&W versions, and both 2017 and 2018 versions.leafycircle_2018BW

leafycircle2017_colour2017 coloured circles

2017 B&W circles

2018 coloured circles

2018 B&W circles

Another request in a comment was for the ever-popular doily calendar as a single page.  As soon as I read the comment I had an idea that I thought would work.  I think it did – what do you think?


You can download the single sheet here and the 2017 3×4 card version here

The movers actually move the furniture (and all the books and all the kitchen stuff) end of this week and then the grand unpacking begins.  In advance of that, a new vinyl floor has been slapped over the old laminate and the kitchen already looks better.  There is a bit of painting to freshen the kitchen up and I may try bleaching the grout (or possibly re-grouting) and may try to match the colour of the cabinets so I can touch them up but that is it till we replace it. Once our stuff is all in the house, it’ll be all about altering the curtains to fit the 94-98 inch drops on the TALL windows, and trying to make 30 years of mis-matched furniture work together.  Then it will be room-by-room styling and planning the kitchen. At the moment I am looking at gallery walls and furniture arrangement for a few awkward spaces.  With all that going on, expect it to be all quiet on the blogging front for longer than I would like.Wish me luck….


Just a bit about the house….

I have been referring to “the house” often and now some progress has been made I thought I would share a bit about it.  The house used to be a pair of side-by-side Victorian semis which were united in 2000 into one house.  When we took it on, we knew there were issues, but were a bit in love with it from the start.  Rose-coloured glasses and all that.

We have done a LOT of work on it so far but there is still a ton of work to do.  The next big thing is the front entryway.  Each house had its own version of Victorian clay tiles, which were lovely, but filthy.



The part that was cleanest was just under the stairs.  On the left you can see the state of them, and on the right what about 2 hours of scrubbing with powerful cleaner and a stiff scrub brush and then scrubber attached to a drill accomplished


Looking down from the upstairs landing, you can get an idea of exactly how much tiling there is.


Further down you will see the other angle as the tiles flow on to the back of the house. We are re-thinking me spending weeks scrubbing when after they are clean, the next step, the sealing of them, is critical.  It might be something to hand over to the professionals!

I am pretty much living in one room, DH’s office (or it will be) at the moment, as there has been painting and carpeting and damp proofing and construction gong on all around.



Sad, isn’t it?  But on the plus side, the lounge is looking lovely, ready for old furniture – and new curtains. New furniture is still a ways off, I’m afraid. It’ll all be a bit mis-matched for a bit.



A casualty was one of a pair of lampshades, dropped by one of the painters.  It took me a week to sort out a good replacement, due to a series of annoying issues with Amazon.  But I quite like the new glass shade


The lounge and the dining room are being professionally done. The dining room is still in progress


I’ve done the snug (a small second sitting room that will probably be a library of sorts


and what would have been wayward son’s bedroom


and what would have been his studio


THAT one was a real challenge!  The walls were bright deep blue above the dado rail and under, two fat stripes of lime green and turquoise!


The walls were badly lined and there is flippin’ wood chip everywhere, but at least I got a fresh coat of paint on it.  Best that could be expected, really,  as it has already take two weeks for the pros to do the lounge and dining room and the ceiling in the snug.  At some point I expect we will have to strip off all of the wood chip and have the whole house re-plastered but RIGHT NOW it is more about making it clean and fresh, fast, for us to live in.

In that previous photo you can see my hubby’s touching expression of love.  Some men buy jewels, some buy flowers, but mine knows what matters.  He slipped a pair of comfy knee-pads in the basket at Homebase, knowing kneeling on the hard laminate flooring was going to hurt.  Love that guy loads.

I have one room that is done (except for an area rug and sorting out the curtains, and that is DDs room, the Purple Palace


As she will never have a fire in the fireplace. I’ve used some re-positionable adhesive and added squares of Basic Grey cardstock over the tiles. You don’t see it in most of the photos but every bedroom has a sink and most have a fireplace too.

I also did the Master Bedroom (see my sad and lonely bed-on-the-floor?)



and the biggest success was fresh white paint and new vinyl to replace the tattered and smelly carpet in the master bath.


What else?  I am in the middle of slapping a quick few coats of magnolia on what will be my office – this is actually just an hour before I started


I am awaiting the repair of the sink to do the last wall and a half – it was falling off the wall, and apparently leaking so the joist underneath is drying out so new floorboards can be installed.

I had to re-paint a bit of hallway that was incredibly grubby, leading up to the loft.  You can see that the door is in need of re-painting too!


The acoustics in the upper landing are fabulous.  By placing a bluetooth speaker just here


and streaming Radio Paradise from my iPad, I can literally fill the house with music.


What’s missing?  Well, the kitchen is a big one.  It is proper disgusting.  I can’t even show it. There is NOTHING good about it,  Rising damp, stained, ornate cabinet doors with extra barley twist insets (all painted duck’s egg blue but chipped and showing the original orangey wood thru in some places) and too shallow to fit our dinner plates, then buckled and lifting dead cheap laminate floors,  grubby backsplash tiles and cheap and ugly work surface.  We had one end unit ripped out and a new radiator installed to make room for the dishwasher but this room is just something we will have to live with while we re-stock the bank account to pay for a new kitchen.  No point in spending money to make it marginally better when it needs ripping out ASAP.  We may spend a pittance on some vinyl to cover the laminate, but other than that, nothing for now.

Off the kitchen is a smelly, damp and mildew-ridden utility room that is in the process of being sorted out, and a smelly downstairs loo, also being sorted.  There is another utility room off the back of the other side, with a small store room off it,  that is bone dry and smells fine.  Go figure.

Upstairs there is another bedroom that we are doing NOTHING to (the ONLY ROOM that seems fine) and a box room that was an office. That needs quite a bit of work too as the walls are full of nail holes and Blu-tak and there is a huge hole around the electrical socket that worries me a bit. There is also a slap-dash bookshelf that need removing before it can be painted.  There are two more family bathrooms, both needing a lot of work, not just cosmetic refreshing, but which are useable, more or less.  We might have to replace the shower mechanism in one, the other has just a tub, toilet and sink. If you are counting, that is 8 sinks upstairs.

So, if you were wondering what was keeping me from anything more than occasional blogging, now you know.  Between cleaning, and painting and wrangling workmen and making 1000 hot beverages, it was hard to find time to do much else!

I do believe this is going to be a work in progress for the foreseeable future…



Two years of Calendars – 2017 and 2018

I get a fair few comments (and emails) where people ask for the NEXT year of a calendar.  They either like to make an 18 month one or a full 2 year one at once. I thought that as I had a week where I couldn’t actually do much painting myself, with three lots of workers in the house (three painter/decorators, two carpet-layers and a plumber) I would stay centrally located and available to answer questions and make tea.  It was all I could do to keep the “tea, white, 2 sugars, coffee, black, one sweetener, white with 3, builder’s tea please…” straight and remember which cup belonged to which! But between kettle boiling and deciding on various little details, I had spare blocks of 10-20 minutes where I worked on these:



Here is the 2017 version

Here is the 2018 version

I would be interested in knowing if you prefer the month colours to be exactly the same from year to year, and the same font (these are) or if your prefer different colours and different fonts from year to year.  LMK

I am also working on a circle calendar, a small one, that can be punched out or cut with a die – it would work well as an addition to a larger decorated sheet.  Too colourful for an addition-calendar? Prefer it in B&W&Grey? Let me know.



The new house update: there is light at the end of the tunnel!  Most of the rooms have been refreshed with a lick pf paint   (some professionally done, some done by me, some done by a marginally competent handyman) new carpets are down in some rooms, some have been cleaned, one removed  (bathroom. Did you even have to take a moment to wonder which one??) and work continues on the damp and smelly utility room.  At first I thought I would be twiddling my thumbs for much of the six-week overlap between old house and new, or be able to move between the two a bit.  HA.  I barely have time to take a breath and I haven’t been back to the other house since taking up residence here.  I am up at 5:30 and fall in to bed late at night.  All day is pretty much go go go.  And I actually worry that some things might not be done before the furniture gets here!

On another note, happy and sad in equal measures, DS has taken a job in California.  It remains to be seen if it is a short-term contract or a longer term thing.  In my day, telling your parents you got a job at some big, letter-combo corp like IBM or AT&T or the NYT was a big deal.  Nowadays, as it’s E-sports, it is Twitch and Super Evil MegaCorp (ok, so that one is SEMC so sort of qualifies.) How times have changed.   It adds a sort of poignancy to this screen grab from one of his past broadcasts – and with the added irony of  the Brexit vote.


He hasn’t even made it to the airport yet and I miss him hugely already. Off to have a good cry now…..and to take a moment to appreciate just how hard it was on our parents when WE moved across the pond.


2017 Banner calendar

LOL!  It’s taken me about two weeks of very sporadic working to get this set done.  I feel bad that I appear to have abandoned my calendar work, and all the followers who check in looking for them.  I have been focused on book folding and my house move. The book folding templates are super simple to create – there is little to no dithering and no real design choices to make. If someone asks for a specific font, it LITERALLY takes 10 seconds longer than typing the word to make a template. If they don’t name a font I pick one pretty much at random, usually opting for a big, plain blocky font like Mondo Cane or Gabo Drive. But the calendars take me some time, and time is precious now.

I’ve tried to cut out a step – rather than just having a sheet of the seven start days (i.e.  a block where the 1st is a Monday, one a Tuesday, one a Weds, etc) I created a year.  That lets me change the font and re-use the set for any future calendars I make, although I am addicted to Bonveno CF as a font for numbers and it has this bouncy quality that means things need re-aligning. It occurred to me that this sheet itself might be useful to others – you can use it for tear offs (approx. 2 x 2 inches) or to add to a plain piece of patterned paper for a “custom” calendar, or added to a larger piece where a calendar is needed.

I made two, one Summer font:


and Bonveno CF


Summer font version

BonvenoCF version

The actual printables set looks like this:


And you can download that set here.

I hope that will hold you over till I find time to do more.  I am working on a 2018 version as well, so if there is a 2017 calendar version I post that you particularly like, and want to see as a 2018 calendar so you can do two years at once, then comment.  No promises, but I’ll try my best.

I have a deadline of the end of the month for all the painting (needs to be done ahead of the carpets being replaced) and mid-July for other work, ahead of all of our stuff arriving.   Today it is MORE painting (done FOUR large rooms upstairs so far, two more bedrooms and three bathrooms still to do upstairs, then two rooms downstairs being professionally done, with the kitchen and 3 others left for me) and today, the back utility room is being redone to hopefully cure some carefully concealed damp. And in my spare time, I have a date with a drill-mounted scrubber to clean the incredibly grubby Victorian entry way tiles, two houses worth.  My knees ache just thinking about it.  That should explain my lack of regular blogging.


2017 Tear-off calendars

Stuck in the house with the electrician.  He’s updating the very, very old electrical box in the kitchen.  The good thing about having a house that used to be two houses is there are two electrical supplies.   So he is happily working away, with the power off, in House One, while I am happily working, with the power on, in House 2!  I am awaiting return calls from a number of workmen, and some emails from a few painter/decorator types.  Before I steel myself to go down and attack the mildew left behind once the washer and dryer were removed (ugh!) I thought I would add this set of 2017 tear-offs.  At 2 x 2 inches, I hope they will be useful.


You can download them here.

So I don’t have a printer yet, and I can’t print them to verify it’s all good.  Sometimes I will see something that looks wrong on my monitor but is fine when it prints, like the lines under the day strip.  Sometimes they LOOK like one or two are a bit fatter on screen but when I print they are OK.  No matter, really, as they are tear offs, you are only going to see one at a time so if a line is slightly thicker it probably doesn’t matter, it just bugs ME LOL!

No putting off the mildew any longer….. ugh.


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