Wednesday, February 3, 2010

planning a sparkling year

Last year, I bought a handdrawn planner from An Artful Agenda (raising funds last year for the Portland tool library, which I mention not because it's particularly a pet cause, but because I wish we had a tool library in our community. So perfect). Anyway, I loved using it. It was little and green and cute and I got a kick out of all of the little drawings on each page. My mom seems to have a hard time every year finding just the right planner, so I thought it would be a peachy idea to have her kids & grandkids draw one for her for my Christmas gift to her. It was a great idea and they are just tickling all of us (more wanted copies to use themselves) to pieces with their peachiness. And clever drawings: look at Zander's dinosaur there!Technical notes: I sent the family templates for the weekly and monthly pages, that they could choose to trace or just print out multiple copies and fill in, as well as margin and style guidelines to keep the planner easy to use (like "Sunday-Wednesday on the left side, Thursday-Saturday on the right, month name at the top of the page"), and had my family draw their pages on one side of a good ol' 8 1/2 x 11. This was a bit awkward in production, because to make them into a neat little double-sided booklet, I had to cut-and-tape them together in mock-ups that could not be automatically fed through a copier, so I had to do the copying myself. I chose Staples for the printing and binding, mostly because I didn't have a lot of choices, especially in the self-serve+full-serve combination I wanted. I like to support local businesses in my little Pennsylvania town, but ours do mostly commercial work and were dubious about my enterprise when approached. So big box it was.

A couple of details: our family had fake names when we vacationed because we thought we were really funny that way. We were the Farkles: Flo, Fabian, Fanny, Flossie, Freddy...(someone fill in the rest? It's been awhile...)
A wee watercolor I did for the covers with my favorite little poem.
Isn't it strange some people make
you feel so tired inside?
Your thoughts begin to shrivel up
like leaves all brown and dried.
But when you're with some other ones
it's stranger still to find
your thoughts as thick as fireflies,
All Shiny in Your Mind.

A good goal in planning your year, methinks: surround yourself with sparkly people.

Side story: Just a month late. Sigh. Typically me, late, though I really do usually hit the Christmas target. My excuse this year is that my beloved USPS failed me. I couldn't find my brother Justin's family packet, though mailed in early December. My short-term memory has been alarmingly defunct lately, and I was sure it had arrived and I just put it "somewhere special." I finally begged them to draw me another, which they kindly did, and then, both arrived on the same day. Even crazier: postmarked exactly 1 month apart: December 9th & January 9th. I was mightily relieved. If I had to choose between the faithfulness of those two friends, post office and memory, I would go ahead and choose the ol' brain. Even if I know our time together might be limited...


Christine Frandsen said...

I am SO grateful for this planner. It's so perfect. Thanks for going to the work to make extra copies and mail.

Plus every week I have someone new to think about (whoever drew that page. I showed it off to my family this weekend :)

Thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks a bunch... for the idea and for the production!

stgraham said...

I want one!! Do you still have the template? and would you be willing to share? I know it is now February, but my little artists would draw pages so nicely!!

vimahi said...

LOve these - nice work!!! You are so creative - I bet your family loves them

vfg said...

Your little artists will do a lovely job, Stephanie. I just forwarded you a copy of what I sent to my sib participants.

Mindy said...

I love love love the planner, too! But let me help you: Fabian, Flo, Fanny, Flossy, Freddy, Floyd, Felicity, Frankie, and Farley!