Wavy weeks

Month- or year-at-a-glance with days of the week following a sinusoidal curve. March-December 2010 on 12" square scrapbook-sized paper.
Created these pages to track baby milestones for a scrapbook but thought others might be interested in the "wavy weeks" (inspired by W. Bradford Paley's 2007 planner:

Wavy weeks.png
Usage advice: 

You can generate your own "wavy weeks" string using the linked Google spreadsheet (just change the dates in the first worksheet). Or make your own spreadsheet with dates in the first column and fill the second column with this formula: =CONCATENATE(REPT(" ",(3-ABS(WEEKDAY(A1)-4))*2),(DAY(A1)))

Paper size: 
Public Domain
Applications required: 
any PDF reader

Review: Doodling for Papercrafters

Part of the fun of owning a blank journal is the flexibility to use the blank page as a canvas for your ideas. You can choose to write or draw on the pages, sometimes at the same time. Most of the time, however, blank books go marked only with the printed word across the pages. Sometimes, rarely, do we ever think to decorate the pages with quick sketches of images our eyes have seen throughout the day. Even more rarely do we ever just practice the fine art of doodling around the entries with a basic pen.

Enter Doodling for Papercrafters, by Maelynn Cheung. Cheung has written a fun, creative, how-to guide to creating original, hand drawn embellishments to your paper arts. This fast paced and quirky book takes you on a crash course through the joys of doodling on paper. The book teaches you simple and complex ways to add some personalized art to your creative works. Learn simple techniques like making lines and squigglies to advanced flower and paisleys. Doodling for Papercrafters is heavily illustrated which helps to show the diversity of doodles artists have implemented in their own works.

Quick Tips: Using Index Tabs

Two weeks ago, one of my friends mentioned some cool toys she got while perusing her local OfficeMax mecca. She found some really nifty index tabs for binders and was looking for advice on how to use them in her latest project. So, I put on my enabler hat and gave her some advice and suggestions on how I use my index tabs. With a little planning, mixing and matching of your favorite styles, you can create fun and useful binders that keep all your subjects together. Apparently we weren't the only ones wondering how to use tabs creatively or efficiently. Turns out that many of you were discussing similar ideas and new tab products in the forums recently as well.

Portable Muse: Never Run Out of Ideas Again

Last year I wrote about how using prompts can help you spark ideas for those days when you can't think of anything "good" to write about in your journal. I showed you many sites and books that you could use for resources. Just think, wouldn't it be cool if you could take all those sites and all those books I've suggested with you, where ever you go? Of course, you can take all the websites with you as long as you got wireless connectivity AND a laptop. But it's not very cost effective. As for all those books, you could use Steve's EXTREME planner idea and always carry your personal library on you at all times.

While it's not efficient to carry your laptop with a library of books at your side all the time, you can carry a stack of cards printed with prompts and writing ideas. I'm going to show you how you can create and use your own personal, portable oblique idea generator that can be easily tossed in any bag. This Portable Muse is a small bound notebook filled with images and quotes and questions that will never allow you to go without a quick jolt of inspiration. Never will you run out of ideas again.

Recycling Planners in the Name of Art!

Last week, I lost my day job. Now I'm not looking for sympathy, it's a part of my life as a writer (we're always the first to go, it seems), but I realized something. Today was the first day I spent looking at all the things I took home from my old office. Earlier today I carefully dragged the three boxes of paper, books and the colorful nicknacks that adorned my desk and bookshelf. I went through the boxes and carefully pulled out much of the bits and bobs that I wasn't going to be needing for the "next" job and set them aside. About 99% of that pile was papers. Papers from meetings, project planner forms detailing jobs and lots of one-on-one forms. Looking back at all those forms is like looking back at 50% of my life in the past year. I wrote manuals, created fliers, and had plans for brochures and newsletters. And like most people who leave their jobs, things like these papers get tossed right into the recycling pile. (Come on... we all know that these forms get tossed or recycled. I'm not the only one here.) Well, not today.

Instead of saying adios to my last job by unceremoniously dumping the papers into the trash, where they make a great THUMP sound, I'm keeping many of the project cards and one-on-one forms that helped me focus and stay productive on my job. I'm going to use these forms to decorate my walls or paste in my journals. (I'd rather turn them into journal covers than let them decompose slowly in the cold.) Those forms helped define and shape my career over the last year. In effect, they ARE journal entries and creative memories of what I did in my life to pay the bills. Who says your art and journal entries need to be clean and messy. You now have permission to reuse those forms, save them from the landfills and go make art with them.

Creating a Custom Circa Notebook Cover

When I was in high school back last century, it was before computers had taken ahold of society. There were no inkjets and no print-it-yourself scrapbooking ephemera from CD-ROM collections, and even "clip art" collections --usually of the Dover variety-- where generally only available in messy third-generation Gestetner reproductions from unclean woodcuts and etchings. (You folks older than 35 probably know what I'm talking about... you kids, you just hug your svelte little Macbooks and thank heaven for Epson.) In short, it was nowhere near as easy to create a custom notebook or journal without grabbing your X-Acto knives, some glue, scraps of leatherette or thick paper, and a bunch of markers or paints. Yup, those were actually a lot of fun, those little craft projects, but for every personalised tome worthy of keeping, there would inevitably be five sorry-looking collections of folded scraps sporting misshapen heads you drew, glued beads and plastic charms from gumball machines that would fall off within two days, and perhaps a photo-machine strip of yourself and a friend making goofy faces. Not that these didn't have a personal connection of some type, but you just knew everybody would make fun of you if you took it out of your knapsack in public.

Now, it's not so much that a Levenger Circa Notebook out of the box is a plain thing. In fact, it's rather elegant in a way. But sometimes you just want to make something your own.

Have Art, Will Travel

There are some days when I don't want to stay at home to make art. Sometimes, my friends and I like to gather at each other's homes and make an art day out of it. Usually surrounded by mass piles of paper, magazines, glue sticks, chips and dip and good tunes, we craft and journal the day away. Traveling with art, for me falls into two categories based on distance: short trips and long weekend craft gatherings. And when you travel with art in mind, the first place you need to start preparing for is how you're going to carry all the knick and knacks to your destination. Usually, this means a bag.

I start my travel kit with the container because I tend to go overboard with picking all the things I want to carry with me on trips. Therefore, by starting with the bag first, I can pick and choose just the right amount of pens, paper and other things I love to craft with. Now, I've gone traveling with art using nothing but an old recycled plastic bag, but I've found that it's not very good to carry paper measuring 12x12 or small jars of paint that get lost in the small corners of the bag. Which is why I have a two dedicated bags that I use when I want to carry more art than just my journal, a few pens and my tarot deck. These bags were made for paper-based scrapbooking, but I've found that they work well with any sort of art, as long as you're willing to get creative with how you view the pockets and features.

Standing Your Cards Up to See

The forums are a buzz lately with a lot of discussion about what seems to be the best method of holding portrait style index cards. There seems to be two different camps on the subject. Card Bleachers, like the Levenger Index Card Bleacher, seems to be one popular suggestion for standing cards up. While others are leaning towards a photo clip style. I'm here to suggest a third. Clipboards. Yes, you heard me right, you can turn an simple clipboard into a dual purpose productivity tool and a work of your creative expression with just a few minutes.

Visual Artist Challenges: Inspiration for Scrapbookers and Art Journalists

Writing prompts abound everywhere. They help guide and tease memories and thoughts out of our brains where they describe worlds and thoughts on a blank page. However, what happens to us crafty types when our minds draw a blank? The canvas is blank; the knitting needles have no yarn on them; we're not feeling inspired to draw. What resources or prompts can we get to help tease the visual art from our minds and down on the page or on our screens? Well, luckily for us there are a lot of different visual arts challenges out there online, waiting to help us uncover our visual art.

Today I'm going to share a few sites and books that help challenge your art and your creativity. I've found that participating in challenges not only help inspire my inner artist but explore the connections between artists located around the world. Art communities tend to use the term challenges instead of prompts because a challenge forces you to think, to push the creative edge and to share your art with others who are working on the same goal. I love this idea of collaborator art as it's always fun to get feed back on your art. While many of these challenges appear under digital or print based scrapbooking, I feel that they have merit and inspiration for ALL types of visual artistry, from scrapbooking to altered journalling to beading and clay.