Thursday, December 30, 2010

Unable to leave well enough alone

 I tried to be happy with the way the beginning of the book was...but I just wasn't.  January was any learning should be...and the rest of the book was clean and lovely.

I woke up this morning thinking,"I bet I could disassemble that book, print a new January, and reassemble it again". As it turns out, it's not so hard to take apart a coil bound book, if you're careful and don't try to take out too many pages at once!    I carefully slid the pages out, printed new ones, then put them back in.

You'd think I would have been happy with that.

But that's where you'd be wrong.

I kept would be nice if there were some contact pages at the beginning for all those numbers  that our family needs to have close to the surface.  And some more pockets would be nice.  And some dividers - one at the end of June, one at the beginning of September....

I took it all apart again.  I folded and punched, stamped and glued, and put it all back together again into a really lovely book that I feel very good about. If I'd left it as it stood last night, I would have thought - this could be better... and never felt quite right about using it.
All things considered, it went together rather well.

Fave details:
  • It doesn't necessarily look like a homemade planner, but definitely has a hand crafted feel
  • It has pockets and dividers where I want them, where they will be used
  • room for notes and miscellany in the back (no doubt also for notes on how to make next year's one even better yet!)
  • The heaviness of the sketchbook paper
  • The portable size
  • The colours
  • Little reminders here and there to 'do art'.  That's my main goal for the do more art.


As the year closes

 The last couple of months I've been rolling around an idea in my head. Well, okay, more than one idea...but this one is about my day planner.For the last several years I have bought the same planner - and loved it.  It has room for all the things I need, and more.  It's the 'and more' part that got me thinking. Much as I appreciate the organizational brilliance of these books, I rarely use the family profile pages, note pages or contact pages (except as grocery list paper).   After all these years of planner use (at least 20), I know what I need from a planner.  

So, typical of my personality, I decided to make one myself.  
After surfing the web looking at endless templates that weren't quite right, I decided to draw my own. Rather than attempt to print out all the pages from my computer in the proper order, double side them accurately and collate them, I opted to buy an existing book and play with some ideas.

The things I liked about the purchased planner were the hard cover and the coil binding (can't beat a book that will lie flat!), so I bought a 5.5 X 8" sketchbook and made a stencil template to rule the pages.  There were a bunch of letter and number stamps kicking around a drawer upstairs begging to be put to good use, so I employed them as my typeface.

It probably took me about 4 hours to print up (to be honest, 2 of those hours were spent watching a spaghetti western movie with my husband, and the other two listening to a Jeffrey Archer book while printing).  I learned a LOT in the process (for example, mounted stamps are far easier to handle than unmounted took until about June to figure that out!).  My later pages are far prettier than my earlier ones, but that is to be expected, isn't it?

And here, my final picture of my sample page, will not load the way it should!!  This is my 3rd try to get this particular picture to load...and it will remain rotated, as I can not get it to go any other way.

It made most sense to put the month on the right page.  My weeks are all Mon - Friday on the left, the weekend on the right.  The lower right divided area is for 'to do' lists, and telephone messages.
My planner tends to spend most of it's life on the kitchen counter being consulted daily for meal planning and open for use and referral by other family members, so the loosely divided space on the lower right doesn't get formal designation...

It's hard to see in the picture, but I've put big gold stamps on family birthdays (Youngest's is Sept 29, shown at left).

 After all the stamping was done, I added some expandable pockets for receipts, etc. The whole works is sitting under a pile of books upstairs while the glue dries.  Tomorrow I begin the adventure of writing in all the different things we have already lined up for the coming year...not the least of which involves speed skating.

It's silly, but every year I have the same satisfaction with closing the previous year's planner, and opening the new year's one.  As we get older there are fewer milestones - and the ones we have tend to get further and further apart.  There's something about the ritual of literally closing the book on one year and opening a fresh new book on the new one that's so appealing.  All those blank pages will be filled with the story of our lives... the literal story, the minutiae. We have the stories we tell about our lives, the love, the memories, but these planners end up being the record of how we get from one day to the next.

Enjoy the rest of the year.  I hope your next year's book is filled with lovely things.