Monday, August 22, 2016 journaling, but on a refrigerator

I have seen many cute ideas for journals but I'm a calendar girl. Wait....anyone hearing Neil Sedaka singing? No?  Well, I was too young for good ole Neil in 1960 when that song was recorded and I have never been the pin up calendar type. When I say I'm a calendar girl, I mean my refrigerator is Mission Control with everything important entered on the calendar that hangs on the freezer door. Recurring events and appointments also go in my iPhone, but after decades of looking to the fridge for guidance, the habit is not likely to be broken now.

Hmmmm, looking to the fridge for guidance may have led to my weight issues but that is a different story entirely!

A few years ago I had a calendar kit from a store that no longer exists in brick and mortar reality. That calendar was a mix of colors, textures, photos and anything you could think to add to a page. The problem was the thickness of the completed project. It could never go on the fridge. All of the layered embellishments meant the pages stood away from the door at nearly a 45 degree angle. Forget ever scribbling a note on a calendar page with a phone in the crook of your neck. That calendar languished on my desk, occasionally looked at but never really used.

I bought a Cambridge calendar by Mead at Target. The overall size is listed at 14 7/8 inches by 11 7/8 inches. The individual dated boxes are 1 7/8" square. One plus to this calendar is that the squares are roomy for writing in appointments and there aren't pictures in any of the squares or decorating a border. This is good for self expression. A negative is that the paper is very thin. I'm lucky that the first page I decorated did not bleed through to the underlying month. I'm now using cardboard between pages as I stamp and color them. This calendar runs from June 2016 through June 2017. I thought it was an 18 month calendar when I bought it and didn't realize this until I had already started decorating. Oh well.....

I began with September, a month with a few family birthdays and anniversaries. The first attempt at stamping "Happy Birthday" directly onto the calendar page did not go well. I'm blaming it on the stamp being brand new and the ink not covering well. Starting out with a mistake freed me from the pressure of perfection. This was going to be a functional calendar with some fun and color in it, not a museum worthy piece of art!

The fifth is my wedding anniversary. I started out stamping the word anniversary and the heart from a BoBunny collection called Icons.  This was too small to suit me. I added the cactus, pot and sentiment from My Favorite things Sweet Succulents and colored them with Prismacolor pencils.
Yours truly has a birthday next month. The leaf is a leftover from a project that hasn't been finished yet. Since the 22nd is the first day of autumn, it seemed appropriate to stick it here. For the record, I was born in the early hours of the day when it was still summer. Summer is my favorite season. Fall would be okay if it didn't lead to you-know-what. The sentiment about treating me like a queen is from an Art Impressions set called The Queen.
October has a few good things going for it, including my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary; the anniversary of dear friends on the 14th (that greeting in blue is part of an anniversary set by the Stamps of Life); a night out with friends to see Jeanne Robertson; and Halloween. The dazzling damsels represent my once a month dinner buddies. Our initials are T, L and C. We were meant to be together, right?  This stamp set is Flaunt It by Art Impressions. The markers used are Zig Clear Color markers. 
Halloween is a big event for me and could have its own page if I had designed the calendar but alas, October is one of those months where a few dates share a space and Halloween got shortened. The word Boo and the bat are from Inky Antics Creepy Crew. The Jack O'Lantern is an orange marker from Zig but I didn't want to do the bat in black and lose the detail. I used Prismacolor pencils, first a layer of chartreuse, then Warm Gray 90%, and finally a layer of Slate Gray. I have no idea why I chose those colors other than experimenting on something like this is fun. There isn't going to be a "wrong" and if it went really badly, I would have stamped another image, colored it, cut it out and glued it in place. Everything in life should be so easy!
November is saved from doldrums by Thanksgiving and my sweet daughter-in-law's birthday. Sometimes that order changes since turkey-fest changes dates. The turkey stamp is Gobble, Gobble by Your Next stamp. The cupcake is one cupcake cut from an image of 6 cupcakes on a tiered stand, Cupcake Greetings by Sizzix.
December has a few more birthdays and of course, the jolly old guy who arrives at the end of the month. The stamp I used is Jolly Santa by Woodware Clear Magic Singles. His image prints with a solid square border. I wiped off some of the ink before stamping but not all of that border. I added the two ornaments to cover areas that were too visible to ignore but not visible enough to look like anything. The ornaments are from Clearly Besotted Laugh Out Loud: Christmas. The ornaments and the red hat are Zig markers, the face, facial hair and skin are colored pencil. The facial hair has a light base coat of cool gray pencil, the fur on the hat has warm gray. Over both I used white Signo Ball pen, done in squiggly lines to represent fur and hair. The silver dots on the purple ornament at the hanging device of each ornament was done with a silver pen, also Signo brand. The lens of Santa's glasses have very light blue coloring (pencil) under a coat of clear gel pen (Glaze) by Sakura. 
Appointments are being added in plain pencil as we all know they sometimes change. I have numerous markers and many aren't used often as I forget about them. I have a database of my stamps, dies and punches. Don't roll your eyes....I like data bases. I have binders with photos of my stamps. This is easier for me to flip through when I'm trying to decide what birthday image to use for a card or wondering if any set has elongated star or a perfect sentiment that I might want to emboss rather than write by hand. 

I'm having fun doing this. Let's face it, most of us aren't going to save the world in a dramatic way, but we can enjoy ourselves and spread cheer with what we do. Some of us plant beautiful flowers (I have a black thumb and it isn't from ink!). Some of us cook magnificently.  I can bake sweets like nobody's business but try to avoid that since being successful on Weight Watchers. Some of us sing so beautifully, people would pay to hear us. People would pay me to remain quiet. 

If I'm creating something to share, I am hopefully bringing a smile to two people, the recipient and myself. If I am creating something for me, I am happy in my own little world where the ugliness that all too often fills the news is kept at bay. To quote Martha Stewart, it's a good thing. 

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