Making Calendars…. and an updated 2016 one

It’s been a while since I first explained how I make my calendars and as the process has been streamlined a little I thought why not go thru it again?

1.  The first critical thing is using Intaglio. OK so weird program, but most of what I do can be done in PSE just not so easy.

2. Create a file that has every month, beginning on a different day of the week



I have a number of these files – they are small and don’t take up a lot of disk space so I tend to keep them in the folder with the completed calendars. I have to go thru a process to perfectly align the columns of dates under the abbreviations for the days of the week.




3. The font change process is pretty easy – I think it is A LOT easier than in Photoshop.


All I do is highlight the date block and pick a new font.

If I change to a font that is very different, like a bouncy one, where none of the numbers sit exactly in the centre of the space, or if the space allocated to the numbers is different (a 3 is wider than a 1, for example) then I may have to go thru the alignment process again.

4.  Then it is just a matter of saving each block.  From there I can copy and paste the blocks on any decorative 3 x 4 card I create.oneweekThe thing is  the blocks don’t change significantly from year to year, only which block gets assigned to which month changes.

So I timed myself.  Cause I was curious.  It took me about 20 minutes the change my 2015 Funky Frame calendar into a 2016 one. In some ways it was easier.  And as I was using the same font, the month blocks were already perfectly aligned, the only difference was which block went with which month!


It would have been even faster had I not bothered to create the Master.  I could have just dragged the month blocks around and edited the days on the fly. But it’s worth having cause I can alter it for a totally new calendar at a later date. It only meant finding a  block starting on every day of the week and pasting it into a new file



I just copy the blocks for each month on  that page and paste them in.



I edit the things that I need to, like the year – and I can edit the text in place, with the block still grouped – and editing a month to have fewer or more days.  I always find a calendar on the internet to double-check against, and I always check at least three times to make sure I have the start and end day right for each month and the right number of days.


Using the guides I can line up the month blocks – because of little differences, the month blocks are not always perfectly aligned within the block, I eyeball the position to make sure it is pleasing to my eye anyway. The base background (the month name, year, 3 x 4 card outline, the day strip and the colourful frame) are all grouped and locked



Once that is done, I save it as a PDF.  Each page is both its own Intaglio document and its own PDF



Finally, the native Mac tools in Preview that make dealing with PDFs so easy come forward!

I open the three PDFs (4 months per page) and extend the sidebar


Ah, you can see the driveway camera there – it’s a lovely day!  But you can also see the mini version of the pages in the sidebar.  All I have to do to combine them into a single PDF is to drag them into the same file – I usually drag int the Jan to April one. You can see it sort of hovering there, ghostly, over the J to A page



It is critical that you SAVE AS at the end, so you don’t overwrite the single 4 month PDF! Once you do you get a PDF with 3 pages…


…which is ready to add for download HERE!

One advantage is for those who use the 3 x 4 calendar cards for gift projects.  You can use the 2015 version and make one incorporating the remaining months of 2015 then carrying on thru 2016 and it will all match!

So I hope that wasn’t too boring – maybe seeing how I do it will help you figure out how you can do similar in a program of your choice!




Some DIY samples (Decorate it Yourself calendars)

OK, well I had hoped I could get all 12 done, but we had a bit of a family day yesterday and I only managed a handful.  Some of them are things I already mentioned.


I have a few favourites.  The simple collage on March is one.


I really like the wrapped baker’s twine with tag for November and the inking+stenciling+stamping on January (even if I worked on it with wet hair from the shower and I smudged a bit of the A.



and the Washi-tape chaos on April and faux Letterpress with an inked embossing folder on February


You can just see the MAY, with a chunk of patterned paper filling the gap, there at the back.

The point is it is pretty easy to tie your calendar blocks in with your PL page with not a lot of work.  So go ahead and grab them here and then show me what you do with them……



3×4 Project Life Calendars…to decorate?

Being on a bit of a calendar kick , and having comments and asks for to decorate versions, I thought to myself, Why have I never done a Project Life sized blank set for people to decorate? Is it because in my head PL is all about the FAST and people won’t want to do it?  Is it because the size is a bit small (the decorating space is probably in the 2 x 3 inch range)? Or is it just because I never thought to do it and no one else thought to ask?  I’ll never know, but I’ll just add these and see if they are popular. Grab the 12 month cards and the three journaling cards here. I’ll share the Nov-Dec sheet so y0u can see what the journaling cards look like:


Seemingly fairly boring, right?  But imagine the possibilities… stamp, stencil, emboss, doodle, etc.  But it doesn’t even have to be that complicated – what about simply adding a strip of patterned paper across the top edge to tie the calendar in with something else you used on your layout?  Or go to the other extreme and create on of the little collage spots with scraps of paper, stickers, brads, mini-tags, etc?  Can I come up with 12 different techniques, one for each month? I’ve mentioned six already, are there six more?  Hummmm….


2016 Decorate it Yourself Calendars

I did try to update this post from my iPad last night but for some reason it didn’t work.  DS and I both passed in record time.  Phew.

I know what it is like when you are super keen to be getting on with a project and you can’t for whatever reason. It is SO frustrating.  So when a commenter asked me the other day when I would be doing the Decorate it Yourself 2016 calendar, all I could say was that it would happen when it happened.  But I thought back to the post I did a while back about using iPhoto (MAC only, obviously) for generating  your own printable blank version on the fly.

I went right to iPhoto and had a quick play, and refined the process, although I didn’t even know I was doing that till I checked the post after the fact! I had been frustrated with a couple of things but I think bumping up a couple of OS versions helped sort them out.  The point is I was quickly (and seriously, folk, I do mean QUICKLY – less than 30 minutes, which is all the time I had!) able to:

  • create a 2016 calendar, using the  Modern Lines calendar styles
  • make it into PDFs with one month per page, big blank top area, and with two months per page, big blan”k top area
  • use the Quartz filter to reduce the size from 4+mb to under 800 kb so they don’t take ages to download.  The quality difference is minimal.

I’d like to be able to alter the fonts, change the colour, etc. and will hope I can find the time to play with that at some point, but I’d be interested in your thoughts on these and if they are useful at all.  Is it a case of ready-now better than ready-in-a-month? Or would you rather with for one of my more decorative font ones?


That is what a page looks like with one month per sheet and here it is, two months per sheet, just to give you an idea of the space you have to decorate


I do prefer the BIG DATE style in iPhoto, but without knowing how to alter the colour of the text, I feel like the month and year, and the strip of day-names is just a bit too grayed out.  I sorted it out.  I think I can even change the font, but I’m not sure it is easier than creating one from scratch. We’ll see….


You can grab the one-month-a-sheet here and the two-month-a-sheet here. Note that the blue border is just to help you see the parameters of the page and does NOT print.


Today is the day! and July 4th printables

Eek!  It has been AGES since I had to “study” for a test!  The last one was surely my UK driving test 10+ years back.  I can only hope the Life in the UK test goes as well.  The driving test took me about 7 minutes to complete and I got a single question wrong – but then, that didn’t require me to remember DATES.  I’ve been known to forget the year the kids were born, for heaven’s sake.  How am I meant to remember that there was a huge influx of Jews to the UK in 1656? or that after 1695 newspapers needed no government license?  Those questions did come up in the practice tests.

I have done so many practice tests my head spins.


Based on that I should feel more confident but I don’t.  I’m not a great test-taker, never have been.  Doing the three days of tests for my Master’s degree had me in knots, despite having gotten straight A’s thru the entire program.  My tummy churns, my head throbs, and I second guess myself on every question.


by 4:30 pm I’ll know.

I’ll add these for balance.  We’ve lived in the UK for over 20 years, with a short break back in the States after DD was born.  I love living in the UK, but that doesn’t make me any less American.  And dual-citizenship won’t either.  So here are some 4th of July printables to download.


I think they are a bit fun and colourful.  I sort of designed the two quotes from the Star Spangled Banner to be used together, either side-by-side or one each on two side-by-side pages, but that was just my thought.  The vertical 4th card could be used for a bit of journaling or even a small photo.  I  added a trio of little circles to punch as well.  Hope you find them useful and as usual, I would love to see how you use them!


The 2016 CD calendar

As I mentioned, I’ve used the last ornate and lacy printable for the cd calendar.


You can download that here. Two months to a sheet.  I did save the smaller version, four months to a page, in case that was useful.  You could cut our the smaller block and mount it on patterned paper, for example, for a more colourful version. 2016Ornate_CD_S2S4

They print at about 3 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches.

Remember that you can always cut the CD sheet in half and trim up to a standard size then decorate, incorporating the fine cutting line – and this year the line is finer so it should nearly disappear.

Use a CD calendar cut larger and adorn with stamps and inks

Use a CD calendar cut larger and adorn with stamps and inks

I will make another one that is just the month block, for those who prefer to have a bit more space to decorate themselves, with stamping or embossing or Gelli® printing or whatever.  For those I usually slip the month down towards the bottom of the piece like I did in the original



I also usually made a circular one for the framed CD project so that may come as well, just not sure when!

Make a frame

Make a frame

It may take me a couple more weeks to get back to normal blogging, but luckily I still have printables that need just a little bit of work to make them ready to share.



Life Rules printables for Project Life

I have been seeing a couple of sets of quotes over and over again.  Funny how once you notice something it seems to be everywhere.  Some of the word pairs are the ones I used for my Two Words printables, although at the time I was just making stuff up so MY two words aren’t exactly the same as the quotes, even if the sentiment is similar.  But I went hunting to find the origin, and came up with Paulo Coelho. I really like them, and obviously they strike a chord with a lot of people.

There are two pages to this.


It may be hard to see in the smaller image, but the colourful letters are slightly sheer and overlapping.  Cause I get asked it a lot, the black font is North Point (an all time fave for sure) and the colourful one is Poplar Std.

Download them here! See? I remembered the link, YIPPEE!

So sad that is cause to celebrate…..



Another 2016 calendar – very ornate

OK so I am going to go out on a limb here.  Despite being supremely scatterbrained at the moment, with far too much on my mind, I am going to try to add these calendars that I have been working on.  Let’s see if I can get all the elements in this post.

1. Image of the printables. Check! ornate 2. The link to download them. Check! There are three blank ones at the end – pink, blue, and grey.  They would work well for a birth announcement, don’tcha think? There is a URL on the last page for the free Vecteezy file to download. The Victorian circular frames started life a bit different to how you see I used them. frames All the little blue squares denote an “object” that can be changed (colour changed, grouped with another object, resized,  flipped, deleted, duplicated, mirrored, etc. etc, nearly endlessly!) to get to what you want.  I’ve saved a little time by reusing the same month blocks as the recent doily calendar, because I think they work well with the frames.  I do plan to make these for the 2016 CD calendar, which will probably appear soon-ish. Now, don’t forget that you can either change the size by editing the PDF in Photoshop or PSE (where you can also alter the colours if my choices don’t appeal) OR you can change your printer setting to print two images per page OR you can grab this version.  They print at 2 13/16 x 2 1/8 inches and would work fine for a hand-made tear-off calendars.  They may be slightly different size-wise if you select US letter sized paper 2016S2S_ornatesmaller2 Is there a need for the previous doily set at the smaller size?  LMK.  It’s easy to do…

1 Comment

{sigh} Hopeless, me….

I think I just need to give up on trying to blog until DS and his GF leave, and I either pass or fail the citizenship test next week.  There are simply too many draws on my time and stuff is slipping thru the cracks.  I once again forgot to add the actual download link to the horizontal calendar cards – I have added it to the post now and sorry to be such a tease.  Thankfully a commenter mentioned page two was missing (because I had only added the first page image as a sample and the last page to show the blank journaling cards) and I went back to check, thinking  had omitted page 2 from the download, NOT that I had omitted the download entirely.  DOH!

I was still slightly annoyed by the position of the doily on a couple of months.


It’s a little thing but it was bugging me.  I noticed after I uploaded the PDF but now I had the chance to shift it and re-upload before adding the actual link.  So every cloud…. And if you want that calendar, the original post now has the download link.  Really, I need a new tag for my posts called IDIOCY, I think….

GF and I worked from noon till about 11pm last night on her mini-book, with a break for dinner, a walk, and frisbee in the park.  It is really coming along, nearly done in fact.  If I can just keep myself from trying to take over and push her towards certain design decisions it’ll be good.  Lovely to see her sense of wonder over something as small as the Big Shot, or Distress ink, or heat embossing.  The time it is taking is more down to her wanting to try lots of stuff before deciding on something, and not a lack of skill.  And she is a natural stamper, much more careful and competent than I am.  Now I need to tidy up a bit so we can finish up today as she goes tomorrow, with DS to follow next Saturday.  Sorry again for the mix up.


Another n of THOSE posts…Printables plus.





Where to begin.. I am helping DS’s GF make a mini book.  I just can’t stop showing her cool things, techniques, options.  Really, I should just limit her choices, as a newbie paper crafter, rather than dumping my 20 years of experience and room full of product on her, but I just can’t.  She has made a few bits already and loves both those bits and the process.  I think she should be really proud of herself!


Of course, the creative loveliness comes at a price…


So what I am doing is digital design stuff.  I’ll add these printables for you.  Fun and funky and super colourful.





And one interesting thing to note.  Deli paper.  Remember how hard it was to find in the UK?  Or if you could find it, it was a stupid price for a handful of sheets, or £100 shipped from the USA?  WELL, there are a few options now on Amazon (or here)

I spied the box lurking at the side while taking the desk shot, and realized I had never shared the info.

What else am I doing?  Humm.  TRYING to tidy up ancient posts from UKScrappers and studying for the Life in the UK test.  All in all it is keeping me busy.  I probably could have added this post yesterday for WOYWW but I knew with near 100% certainty that there was no way I would get to any visits  and that isn’t very fair.  In the past when my visiting has been patchy, it’s much more because sh*t happens, and my best intentions were scuppered, rather than I KNEW I would disappoint and joined in anyway. But I had a quick look at the post and I think I did see Julia announced 2nd 2015 WOYWW crop, so I am pretty stoked about that.

Now off to do practice tests….

  1. Which of these forts were part of Hadrian’s Wall?
    (Choose any 2 answers)

    • Housesteads
    • Skara Brae
    • Sutton Hoo
    • Vindolanda