This is bat country

1 Comment

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!



Leave a comment

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.


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.


1 Comment

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.


2016 calendar – horizontal for a change!

DOH!  I am beginning to think I should just give up blogging till DS and GF leave.  I somehow forgot ONCE AGAIN, to add the actual download. Is this what senility looks like!?  I fear it is.  Here is the download.   I had a nice email from a follower who wondered why I never make my calendar printables in the horizontal orientation.  I’ve no idea why not, but I just don’t.  Or should I say didn’t.  I made a pretty Sunday to Saturday 2016 calendar, with some lovely doily vectors from Veceezy.  Luckily they open nicely in my program, as they needed some tweaking to do what I wanted with them.  I like how they turned out and might make a few more this way. 2016Jan2May Normally I make the calendars four months to a page, but this time I made them five on the first two and two on the last, then added three additional journaling blocks. 2016S2Shorizontaldoily Hopefully you will find them useful.  The journaling blocks can really be used horizontal OR vertical, as you prefer. Do LMK what you think.  I’ve been quite wrapped up with some actual word, with DS and his GF being home, and a few random unexpected things.  I am hoping to get back to WOYWW next week.  Fingers crossed!

Leave a comment

2016 Spanish, 2 ways

I had a comment last week asking about an update to my 2015 Spanish calendars.  The commenter was  from Puerto Rico and said that, while they follow the usual Spanish format or lower case for month and days (and she helpfully checked with a local Spanish teacher for a confirmation) they use the US format of starting the week on Sunday.  From past research I know this is a bit unusual, but it also occurred to me that Spanish-speaking resident of the USA might prefer a Spanish language calendar that begins on a Sunday too! So I made both. You can see some of the colours below.

Get the lu to do (Monday to Sunday) version here.



Get the do to sa (Sunday to Saturday) version here.



Do remember that although these are perfectly sized for Project Life, they can easily be reduced to create tear-offs or used in a wide variety of calendar projects.  Try clicking the menu at the top and find links to many past posts that will give details.

I’ll sort out new French ones soon.

Luckily I had these done as I am pretty knackered from the oh-so-joyful WOYWW crop yesterday. I gave away so many ATCs I have to make a handful more to fulfil my obligations. Oops!



Back to English – 4 x 6 calendar journaling blocks

In my discussions with Estelle (Opsite) we were trying to decide the best way to convert the Circle Quotes CD calendar to a PL size one.  I felt like the 3×4 size might be too small for the quotes to be readable but I had an idea that I thought worked.  Although we have sorted out most of the issues we are stuck at the moment on a couple of things for the French version (me with my bad internet issues and Opsite with finding comparable quotes in French that are long enough to make a circle) so it is taking longer than it would normally for me to get them done and added.  I do have the Summer and Spring printables converted for French readers but as they have image elements that make them BIG and therefore slow to upload on a dodgy connection, they will have to wait.

Silly, but I feel slightly guilty that my poor blog has been neglected.  So I came up with this as a bit of a stop-gap.  98% of the design work was done, it was just a matter of sizing and placement.  All which could be done without going online.  And best of all as it is basically all  “text” elements (even the images are dingbats and the journaling lines rows of …) even at 6 pages it is TINY to upload and download.  Result! Grab it here.CircleQuotesandJournaling2015

Basically, this the CD calendar fit into a 4 x 6 block, with journaling lines alongside.  I think it could be quote useful for Project Life sleeves.  It would also be possible, as the size is right, to print then cut out the circle and the journaling block, then mount them onto a 4 x 6 block of maybe cardstock or patterned paper, for a more colourful version.  As the circles are 3 inches across in size, although it might mean the text is literally at the very edge of the block, it might even be possible to cut them to get a 3 x 4 card.

This bring up other possible options:

  • a true 3 x 4 version
  • a true 3 x 4 version with Monday to Sunday circles
  • the 4 x 6 size with Monday to Sunday circles
  • the 4 x 6 size in portrait orientation, with journaling lines below
  • the 4 x 6 size in portrait orientation, with journaling lines below with Monday to Sunday circles

If I thought a bit more I might even come up with a few MORE options LOL! But I am on a mobile connection (the actual BT one seems to have given up the ghost for the moment, once more dropping every 5 minutes or so) and just uploading everything I did offline still took an hour.  I’ll hit submit and watch for comments on what, if anything, you might like of the possible options.  Hope they are useful and will hope to get the French version done soon.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,132 other followers