Monday, 21 September 2009

My Perpetual Calendar {A Gift for Granny}

This time last week I told you all about a project I had been working on over the weekend, that was meant to be *simple*. Well there was nothing difficult about it but *simple* it was took at least 3 full days {difficult to say exactly as I had to work in fits & starts...}. Straightforward but time-consuming.

I started with an All My Memories 12 x 12 perpetual calendar that I bought locally about a year ago. It was only about R50 {USD6} on sale & I was meant to "do it" for Shane's mother last Christmas, but I had just started my blog {in October 2008} & found it so time-consuming to "learn the ropes" that I never got to doing this project at that time.

By "Perpetual" I mean that it does not have any dates, only the grid formation for the dates to be added. It does have the days though & I need to add the dates...the idea being that you can use it for whatever year you like. I will add the dates for 2010 {my "job" whilst we are in the car on our way to Botswana in a few days time}. What I am going to do is contact Shane's siblings en route & get all their important dates {birthdays, anniversaries, etc} & add all the "family" dates in using small alpha stickers, so that Granny Dearest will be able to see everything loud & clear for the month, forevermore. Obviously the days & dates won't match up after 2010 but who cares? she'll still be able to use it as a "Birthday Calendar" forever-after.

I started with the photographs. I made sure to select one of each of us for our birthday months (or nearest as in February & March we have two birthdays in both those months). I edited the photos if I had not done so already & printed them out 20 x 25cms. Then I matched the photos to cardstock & cut a strip off each 12inch sheet of cardstock, that matched or contrasted with the photo in question. I used 12 separate sheets of cardstock but if possible {colour-matching wise} you could actually get 3 strips per cardstock sheet but it would mean repeating your colours. I have plenty of cardstock & was happy to use 12 separate sheets because, once the strip was cut off the side, I was left with a dozen sheets, roughly A4 size, which I am going to use for printing elements for embellishments now that I have recently completed my Shimelle Laine "Go to Press" online class all about just how to do that.

I had tons of suitable photos to choose from but tried not to get too hung-up on selection because I didn't want to waste time. I looked for photos that showcased personality & relationships rather than picture perfect ones. Of course they all needed to be less than a year old to be "up-to-date". I decided that instead of journaling I would print out a quote suitable for each photo/person/relationship being showcased in that particular month.

The cardstock you see underneath the photos is the piece that remained AFTER I had cut off the wide strips. For the measurement of the strip I just cut the full length by about 5inches I think it was...just lay the photo on the sheet & measure the space that is left on the side or bottom with about an inch on either side or above & beneath it. Once you have done your printing of the quote you can trim off a bit more if necessary.

Here are the colours I chose. I used a few sheets of Bazzill Swiss Dot {just because I love it so much} & some other nice textured card {a lineny one - can't remember where I got it originally}. I also made the mistake of using a metallic fine unless you want to ink heavily like I did...the ink kept "sliding" off so I had to admit defeat & start again with a matt sheet...oh well you live & learn ;-D

Here are a few close-up shots of the cardstock strips matched up to the photographs.

Don't worry about what orientation the photographs are...just chose the shots you fact the more variety the better in my opinion...I think I ended up with 8 vertical (Portrait) and 4 horizontal (Landscape). Of course the challenge came when it was time to print underneath the Landscape ones & I had to figure out how to get my printing to print from top to bottom instead of from side to side(due to the length of the strip being longer than the width of an A4 sheet)...but don't's easy once you figure it out...I'll show you!

Here are the bits I am left with...for printed journaling or making my own embellishments on the pc.

Once I had printed my photos, chosen my cardstock to match & cut the strips for the quotes to be printed on I needed to chose my quotes. This was fun but pretty time-consuming because it was important that they were appropriate. If you google "quotes" there are loads of sites. I found Inspiration Peak & Quote Mountain to be the best.

What I did was copied & pasted all the quotes that I thought I may use into a Word Document. Once I had done that I chose the most appropriate for each month & then copied & pasted it into it's own document. I kept all of these saved under our names...quote...etc - so that I can repeat this project if I want to at a later stage or perhaps use the quotes on layouts for example.

The way to print onto a cardstock strip is to print the quote onto bond/computer paper first then stick the cardstock piece over the EXACT place where the printing appears & feed it through the printer again. Sticky stuff/Prestik/Blue Tak is the stuff to use to adhere it to the printer paper & only 4 tiny dots are necessary - one per corner of the cardstock rectangular piece.

I will try to explain to you how to print the quotes within a "Text Box" within Word. My 11 year-old son taught me to do this would you believe...he learnt it at Computer Club at school! It really is invaluable to learn as it means that you will be able to set out your quote or journaling perfectly within the confines of your exact measurements.

Perhaps you all know how to do this already! I don't I will try to explain it anyway...

I found that selecting a "Border" definitely helped me with the positioning of the cardstock on top & also provided a cutting line for me afterwards so no further measuring was necessary. The border doesn't show in the end if you cut on it, but if you did want it to show then you could of course cut around it, leaving a space of half an inch or whatever, even using decorative scissors if you like.

Don't forget the quote marks! Fortunately I only did that on the first one & Chelsea pointed it out so I just flipped it over & printed on the back of the cardstock...not ideal but Granny is not a scrapbooker so I don't think she'll even realise...I really need to download some more fonts. I am getting REALLY sick of Lucida Handwriting...nice as it is LOL!

To get to the Text Boxes click on "Insert" which you will see next to "Home" in the above photograph, then click on "Text Box" in the new toolbar that will appear when you click on "Insert".

Now select "Draw Text Box" in the drop-down menu that will appear if you hover the cursor over the arrow there next to "Text Box".

Now a little "thingie!" will appear on your screen {see below} and you need to click on the corners & stretch the little square to the size you want it.

You need to measure on your cardstock strip where you want your text to come up to on either side & where you want it to start & finish {from top to bottom} because remember you don't want it coming right to the edge of the cardstock strip. {Yes I see now my ruler could do with a good clean LOL!}

Okay so it looks like my strips were more like about 10cm {4inches} wide.

And I didn't trim down the length until afterwards to make it easier to feed through the printer. Once I adhered my cardstock strip on top of the printing on the printer paper strip I trimmed the bottom off so that both papers were the same length - as the strips were all slightly longer.

Once you have your text box done you can click on the SIDES {NOT the corners as that is how you adjust the measurements} and move your text box away from the edges to make life a bit easier when it comes to printing...and if you look at the top right {when you click on "Text Box Tools"- see the photo 4 photos up from this one to see where it appears on your toolbar} you will see that you can adjust the measurements of your text box to be perfect. I like to stretch my text box out first to roughly the right measurement - by eyeballing it - then adjust a bit in the measurement boxes on the right-hand side as this is quicker than creating the text box by scrolling higher or lower on these measurement boxes.

There are many handy "Text Box Tools" that you can play around with for wrapping your text around an image, filling your text box with colour, and giving it a decorative outline, etc, etc. Like all things computer related try it all out on cheap computer paper first - and select "Greyscale" when it all comes out in black & white & doesn't gobble your colour cartridge ink.

You can even choose a fancy shape as your text box. With a little knowledge there are countless creative options.

If you need your text to print from top to bottom as you see in the photo above, no problem! Just click "Text Direction" as seen below ;-D You will need to do this if you are putting your strip under Landscape orientation photos so your strip is horizontal, not vertical.

By clicking on "Shape Outline" as seen below you can get rid of the outline if you like {I often do} or make it thicker if it is decorative. If you are just requiring an outline to use as a cutting line remember to choose the thinnest option available to save on printer ink ;-D

You see the little square that is yellow in the photo below? This will change the way your text appears within the Test Box - click on all four options there alongside each other & chose the one you like the best.

Phew! The end at last!! Hopefully you are all able to create a Text Box now and format your journaling/quotes attractively within it. I love to hand-journal on my layouts but there is also a time & place for computer journaling & the end result sure looks impressive. My next post will show you the finished product once I matched the photos & cardstock to some of my older Basic Grey papers {remember Granny has NO IDEA what is hip & happening in the scrapbooking world so - as long as it matches - it's all good!}


Vicki said...

Great way to use up your older papers seeing as she's not up on the hip and happening in the scrappy world. LOL

topkatnz said...

I hope Granny loves it - I'm exhausted after following your tutorial tho!LOL I remember doing the coupon books for the kids last xmas, and that 'simple' project took on a life of it's own too - shaved years off my life, that did!

tania said...

thanks helen, the post must have taken a lot of time too!! i love the idea, i have a undone making memories calender, should also do it, now I have the inspiration.

Desire Fourie said...

Can't wait to see the end result which I am sure is going to bowl Granny over.

Lynette Jacobs said...

Tada! And here we have a tutorial...thank you Helen!

Jenny in Durbs said...

Wow thanks for all those tips & what a fab calendar its going to be. Must admit its inspired me to get my one done (have to find the blank calendar in my stash LOL). You really are good at tutorials you know.

Ella Swan said...

Oh yes the tutorial exhausted me too belive me! Anyway...hopefully someone will use it ;-D Am meant to be photographing the actual calendar today but it is pouring this side...hopefully it will dry out later!

Diana said...

You are sooo busy! Oh my gosh, you are amazing.
So I did take up the JJ challenge... you can take credit for motivating me to do it--I'm so glad I did, because I love the page.

Michelle Ramsay said...

Can;t wait to see the finished product and thanks for the tutorial.

Sandra said...

Do you have Microsoft Publisher, Helen?

We have been making calendars on there for years. It has loads of different templates to choose from. The brilliant thing about it is all you have to do is type in the year you want and press a button and the wizard makes the calendar for you!

You can then type in birthdays, anniversaries etc. on the dates. You can add your own photos etc. also.

Cate made one for FIL's 80th birthday for the year he was born. She researched the main historical events of his birth year and add those on the specific dates. Very cool!