Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Works for me Wednesday #16 - Photo calendar

I'm running a bit late with this today, but I've been trying to finish up this year's calendars tonight so I can get them printed tomorrow - read on to find out exactly what I'm talking about!

About 10 years ago, I got my first scanner and discovered the wonder of putting my photographs on my computer. This opened up a whole new realm of ways to display and share them, even before the days of affordable digital cameras. That year, for Christmas, I made a calendar for myself and my friends, using photographs of us.

Since then, the photo quality has improved, photos are now taken digitally instead of scanned, online photo sharing sites are popular and personalized gifts are everywhere. But, I still sit down at my computer and put together a calendar every year - now with photos of my children. And all of the grandparents get one as their Christmas gift.

I know that there are sites where you can do this much more easily, but there's something about designing and personalizing a calendar - I take the time to really make it special and unique. Most pages include anywhere from 4 to 10 photos, arranged in a collage fashion. I use fun, funky borders on the photos and tasteful clip art - basically like a digital scrapbook. Many of the pages have a theme - I use photos from the 4th of July for July, Halloween ones in October - and for each girl's birthday month, I include photos of their last birthday and cake. Even though the pictures are up to a year out-of-date when the calendars are actually used, it's fun to see how the girls used to look. My mom especially loves her calendar and looks forward to changing every month.

Ok, this is where having a hubby who's a graphic designer comes in handy, and why it's worth it to me to do it my way and not use one of the many websites out there. Ron's (former) employer prints them out and binds them - for free. Obviously doing a calendar from scratch like this won't work for everyone, but I know there are sites where you can do something similar and I think the costs are pretty reasonable. I love this especially since it takes the stress out of holiday shopping for my parents and in-laws - it definitely works for me!

Check out more Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

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5 wonderful people said...:

Family O'Foxes said...

great calendars!
Merry Christmas,

SJ said...

Yes! I second this idea! I have done this a few times as a Christmas gift to my parents and they always love it. I like that you create your own. They're beautiful and so fun! (I've always used one of the photo websites.)

Kathy in WA said...

Your calendar pages look great! I love the backgrounds you selected. Where did you find those? Do you digital scrapbook? What program do you use?

We did a photo calendar two years ago. It was fun picking out the pictures.

Thanks for sharing!

Duckabush Blog

Jennifer said...

I love this idea! You did a great job. I sure wish I had the means (and the talent) to do these! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Jennifer :-)

Anna said...

I absolutely love these! The backgrounds, the clip art, all of it. What a great gift. Getting them printed for free is awesome, too.

I spend enough of my time every year putting together a calendar for our school district. I've never taken the time to do a personal one. I also know that printing costs can be expensive - and we only use one color ink, not this gorgeous full color layout you have.