Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas Project

Well, Christmas is almost here. It's snowing today, nothing like out east, but off and on there's flakes in the air. We're supposed to get more later in the week, just in time for a white Christmas. The grandkids are full of anticipation just waiting for Santa to get here. I just love this season!

Every year I do some kind of Christmas project. I waited till now to post my project because I wanted it to be a surprise for the recipients. I know they've all received them, so now I can share.

This year I decided to create a calendar. I thought that it would be something that I could whip up pretty quickly, it was something that everyone could use and could also function as our Christmas Card for family and close friends. Sounds good right... but it turned out to be a bigger challenge then what I had anticipated.

I'm not really a card creator. I leave that job to my sis who does wonderful work and I'm sure a lot of you know who she is and are well aware of her talents. But anyway... this year instead of doing my flat, created in a hurry, PC generated cards, I decided to be a little more creative. I had most of the supplies I needed on hand. I did have to purchase some black card stock. some foam dimensional squares and some embellishments. I had a pair of scissors that cut with the pattern, so I could add some interests to the edges. So with the white card stock I had on hand, I was ready to start my adventure.

I have a Santa image that I just absolutely love! I'm a Santa fanatic and this image is my most favorite of all! He was selected to grace the front of the calendar. The striped paper with snowflakes in the Poinsettia and Snowflake digi paper group (listed in both my ebay and etsy stores) was selected for the front and the last page of the calendar.

I cut a square of the black card stock using the special scissors and pasted the Santa image in the center.

I also have a holly digi paper which isn't listed yet but one of these days it will be in the stores. I used this holly paper for the frame. In order to save ink, Photo Shop was used to the create frames with white centers. I cut the outside edges of the holly frame with the special scissors and the inside of the frame with regular scissors.

Then using the black card stock and the special scissors, thin strips were cut and pasted on the inside edge of holly paper frame.

Foam dimensionals were added to the back of the holly frame to pop the whole thing up from the Santa base.

Flowers were attached to corners of the frame.

Here's the finished front.

The whole piece was then glued to the striped snowflake paper and walla all done... with one that is. Only 15 more to make.... Here's the whole front page all put together.

I found this wonderful site full of quotes for the various seasons and months. So I selected a quote for each month and then searched my images to find one that supported the quote. Here's the site for the quotes if you're ever in need of one. Quotes Using Photo Shop the image and the quote were combined into a single .jpg image.

Here's January's and December's page with the image and quote completed. Click on the image and you'll be able to see an up close view.

Photo Explosion was used to create the individual calendar month images and each month was saved as .jpg so they could be edited.

I found a web site that had all the holidays listed. This was a great help in identifying dates like Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter. Here's the link for that site if you're ever have a need to determine a date. Special Holidays
Using Photo Shop, notations were added for the holidays throughout the year.

I selected images to use on extra special holidays. Using Photo Shop the images were re sized so they were really tiny and were then added to the months .jpg images. So here's the finished January and December pages. If you click on the images you'll get an up close view.

A three hole punch was used for the holes on the top also for the hanging hole.

After several false starts, I finally settled on using a rope ribbon to tie the whole package together. Originally, I thought that jump rings might work for this but on the test calender the weight of the paper on the ring seemed to rip the holes. So the rope ribbon seemed to be the better choice. Make sure to leave extra room with the ribbon so that the calender can be opened all the way and show both pages for a month. I struggled with this on the first one. But I found that if I placed a pen on the top and wrapped the ribbon around the pen and then tied it, there was just enough ribbon to fully open the calender without crimping the paper.

Once all the holes were tied, I was able to easily pull the pen out. A drop of glue was added on each knot to help keep it tied.

As a result of the jump ring failure, I thought it might be a good idea to reinforce the holes on at least the first few pages. So I added a little strip on the bottom of the page before it was three hole punched. This made the card stock stronger to help keep the holes from tearing.

So here's how a completed page will look when it's hanging up.

My goal was to create 15 calendars which really meant 360 pages, counting the front and back of each page. So just a small word of caution, because I used so many images and had so many to make, it took me 16 hours to complete the printing and 2 cartridges of ink. This of course included several reprints because I reloaded paper wrong (smile) or the holes where put on the wrong edge or the paper wasn't lined up in the hole punch correctly etc. You know, just those little mess ups that frustrate the dickens out of you.

All in all, it was a fun and a challenging project. I was pleased with the completed project and hope my family and friends enjoy them.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope it's just plumb full of smiles!


  1. Oh Peggy! these are unbelievable FABULOUS!!!!! The covers are sooo cute! OMG, that Santa is the sweetest EVER!!!! Yea you on the popping and I could never have cut straight squares using scissors! It's obvious you put loads of love in this project (besides all of the time you spent.) WELL worth it though. MOVE OVER Sharon! LOL Merry Christmas! Hugs, D

  2. LOL!!! That's what I said, Donna! She's gonna give me a run for my money, now!! Peggy, I love this calendar! It looks even 100 times better in person! I treasure it, and you really did a beautiful job! Love you lots, sis! Thank you for my gorgeous calendar!! HUGS!

  3. Oh girlie, I'm telling you what...this is a complete work of art! I love mine and I have looked thru it several times and I keep seeing little things I didn't see the first time! WOW what a project, but oh so worth it huh? I will cherish mine always! MERRY CHRISTMAS! HUGS!


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