Saturday, January 09, 2010

The problem with calendars

Every January I have the same problem. I feel like I need some kind of personal calendar to keep track of things—meetings and appointments and trips and obligations. Something I can carry with me, in addition to the one hanging on the wall in our office. Ray, of course, has the perfect solution in his iPhone, but I can't justify, nor do I really think I want one of those.

I have been through the gamut of personal planners, those big, fat leatherbound ringbinders that hold everything you ever knew or thought you knew, plus a pen and a ruler and calculator. I have tried pretty spiral bound books with beautiful photos on the pages facing each calendar page. I have spent some years just winging it with scraps of paper stuck in my wallet and a good memory. I have found that I am just not a Dayrunner® kind of person. Anything that bulky eventually gets left at home or rattling around the backseat of my car. I have had the best luck with the cheapo little pocket planners that you buy at Rite Aid Drug, but they get pretty beat up and dog-eared after awhile in my purse.

The other day I happened to be at Rite Aid and noticed all the calendars were half price, so I picked up a little purse-sized planner. Then I came home and made this little wallet/cover for it. Maybe it won't be trashed by April this time.

I chose several coordinating fabrics from my stash and pulled out my roll of heavyweight fusible interfacing and started measuring and cutting. Once I started working this out, I got kind of enthused and decided it would be handy to include space for a little notepad as well. Of course notepads don't come in the same size and shape as the calendar, so I made one with a cardstock cover that almost matches my calendar cover. My wallet has a pocket on each side of the inside that the planner and notepad covers can slip into.

When I made my notepad, I used bond paper and cut it to the same size as the planner pages. If I had had a good, beefy stapler I would have stapled it, but I don't, so I used some heavy cotton string to sew the pages into the cover. I perforated the pages, so they will tear out without making a mess of the rest of the pad. Neat trick I learned years ago for perforating paper—sew through several layers with your unthreaded sewing machine. I added a small pocket to the inside cover for business cards and receipts.

I like the layout of the calendar pages—a week at a glance with lines for writing appointments and such. Better, I think, than little bitty squares to write in. That was a lucky find.

I jazzed up my basic wallet cover by cutting a motif from one of the coordinating fabrics and fused it onto the cover, then I painted the outside of the cover with clear, acrylic gel medium. It will protect the outside, make it waterproof and I hope make it more durable. The final touch is a piece of black elastic cord that slips around it to keep it from flopping open inside my bag.

I am pretty pleased with how it looks and its small size. The test will be whether or not I actually use it.


  1. What a wonderful and practical thing! I wish the calendar designers would see this and adapt their products to our needs. Excellent cover design!

  2. Susan LT5:21 AM

    Lovely and practical. I really like the cover and the cord around it.

  3. You are so clever. It is a lovely design.

  4. Fantastic! I want one just because it looks so good!

  5. I think you should make these for all the STASH members!! LOL!

  6. Looks great! Years ago I devised my own planner because I didn't like the commercial ones (or couldn't find the one I did like). I designed monthly and weekly calendar pages on the computer in a half sheet size. I can print them out whenever I need them. I punch holes and keep them in a half size three ring binder. It's bulky but I keep a lot of other note things in there and am not usually carrying it around.

  7. I feel like I dicatated the first two paragraphs of this post. You describe my sentiments about calendars exactly! Your solution is brilliant. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. That would be "dictated", of course, not "dicatated"...

  9. I have always liked having a physical calendar that I could touch and your custom-covered calendar is beautiful. However, I finally gave in to the electronic version. My husband created a "joint" calendar that contains both of our schedules. It gets automatically synchronized every day and shows up on our computers and on our iPhones. I'm a convert after many years of keeping my schedule on paper.