Monday, February 15, 2010
Last year i was at an art museum and saw the cutest book in their gift shop. It was a calendar book for you to write down important dates so that you'd remember to send cards. I loved it, but the $25 price tag was ridiculous. Twenty-five dollars? Really? Surely i could make one for cheaper than that. So last fall i took a composition book, counted the number of pages, counted the number of lines on the pages and did a bunch of math to figure out how to get 366 dates evenly spaced with new months starting after a full page break and without there being ink bleed-through on opposing dates. I'm pretty smart, but honestly, the date design really was the hardest part of the entire project. Using a changeable date stamp I marked all 366 dates. Then i went through my calendars, datebooks and address book to fill in all of the appropriate information. Voila! Now i could easily keep track of when i should be making cards and getting them in the mail in a timely fashion. I had every intention of making it pretty, but after the math and the stamping and the writing i was sorta done with the project and set it aside for awhile. A few months later i decided to make my functional book lovely so i spent an evening picking out coordinating papers. Somehow, i ended up working in purple ;-) Plaid for the covers, marbled for the end papers and 2 different florals for tabs and front embellishment. At this point i realized that i didn't have enough of the proper adhesive to embark on the project so i set it aside again. Recently i was snowed into my home. What better time to finish projects that have been languishing?, i thought. The cover papers were cut, corner rounded and applied with 2 different widths of Terrifically Tacky. The black binding was a bit too harsh with the pastel plaid so i grabbed some aluminum flashing tape along with a matching Sharpie and a heart embosser. Once the outer covers were done i moved to the inside covers. I love using composition books, but there is so much printing of school related stuff inside the covers that you have to cover them. Again the papers were trimmed and corner rounded before being adhered. The marbled paper looked great, though for some reason i didn't take a picture of this step. Anyhoo, before i covered the inside of the back cover I attached a matching grosgrain ribbon to be used as a bookmark. I had left an extra page between each month so that i could do edge tabs. I used glue stick to hold the pages together to make a thicker base for my purple tabs that i staggered and applied with Mono Adhesive. The way that i worked out the math of the dates took over half of the book, which left plenty of room in the back for a Holiday Card Log where i record from whom i receive holiday cards and make my own lists of who to send New Year's cards. I used the lighter floral paper to make top tabs to mark the two separate sections after once again glue sticking 2 pages together to give it some heft. Time to decorate! I had plenty of the papers left to do some type of design, but after a bunch of trials i found that i really liked the plain plaid and didn't want to cover it up. I picked a cardstock quote sticker that embodied the purpose of the book [What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other? - George Elliot] and inked it to match the paper. I cut a simple heart out of the aluminum flashing tape (second hardest part of the project; i am a terrible free-cutter when it comes to symmetry and it took about 6 tries before i had an acceptable heart) to bring a little flash to the quote and to tie it thematically to the binding. Finally, the lower right-hand corner received a quick happiness rub-on. Once the bookmark was measured and cut my very own, personalized, didn't-cost-a-ridiculous-$25 calendar book was done. It makes me smile. I love that i can just turn to any day and see what occasions i should be celebrating. For instance, if i turned to today - Feb 15th- we would find that it is co-worker Stacey's birthday as well as the birthday of my beloved BFF, Rea. Many Happy Returns!