It is still January and the theme of New Year’s Resolutions is still very important.
I am always writing my Resolutions, but in the last few years have very often failed to fulfil my promises. As I realised, one of the reasons for this is so simple, almost stupid. I don’t have a simple, always in front of my eyes, calendar. Yes – a simple, ordinary calendar. Stupid reason, isn’t it?
It is strange how something so small can trip us up. But it is true. Years ago, a psychologist, working with young people with autism gave me a brilliant example how important it is to be organized. She was talking about a young autistic man, but actually, this works almost the same way for all of us.
A real story
The young man she was talking about was a great librarian. Perfect, wonderfully organized, his brilliant mind was helping all the visitors far faster than is ordinarily the case in a library. And he loved his job and the library environment.
But one day the municipality decided to make a one-week renovation of the library. Actually repainting the interior walls. Nothing special.
Everything was ok, the young autistic librarian was on holidays before the renovation started, so he was still relaxed. The work was finished and the library re-opened on the exact day he returned to work. From this day forward everything was different. He was always confused and stopped being so wonderfully meticulous and helpful. It was as though his miracle connection to the library “organism” was broken…
And our psychologist was called in to see what could be the problem.
After long conversations and walking around all the small corners of the library the problem was finally identified. Even after being warned to put absolutely everything back in its exact place after the renovation, even after making pictures of how every wall looked to assist this process, the workers threw a small calendar in the rubbish. They explained that this calendar didn’t look very important, because it was stuck on the wall with paper tape. It was just a piece of paper on the wall!
But this small, hand-drawn table with months and dates was actually part of the librarian’s command centre in the library and without his numbers and notes the young man had no map for his work. He was lost!
The happy ending
The story has a happy ending, of course. With the help of the psychologist the young autistic man restored his “map” and from that day he again became the same brilliant young librarian which all the town loved…
This story showed me how important being organized is for our brains. Of course, every brain has its own ways to be organized and to see the things at a glance. For me, for example, calendars are very important. They give me great orientation. They convert Time into Space for me and I can plan my work “steps” better. It’s the same story with the traditional compared to electronic wristwatches. The electronic numbers make me “lost”, but the good old hands show me exactly where I am.
Invisible time becomes a visible space.
And of course, if you are paper lover like me, so why not to make your own calendar. Actually, I decided to make a calendar-greeting card. The idea was to write my 2019 Resolutions inside it and to have it as a message to myself – on my desk! When I am not working on my desk it is folded in my journal. Always with me.
So, this is how I made it.
First, I painted two pieces of thick paper with some acrylic paint – for backgrounds.
Then made some decoration, by using some of my favourite background stamps.
And some more stamp decoration…
After that I glued the paper background onto a traditional greeting card folded shape. You can use any shape and orientation that you like. This one is easier for me to take it and read what is inside.
After that I stamped all the months on another thick piece of paper and decorated them with my favourite blue colour. When you do this – stamping or writing, be careful not to make mistakes with the dates.
Next was to cut the month pieces…
… and using thick cardboard pieces, glue them onto the backgrounds. A small return to the theme of “how to save money from craft materials”: I prefer to use thick cardboard pieces to make 3D effects, not the traditional sticky ones from craft shops. Cardboard pieces are all around us and they are very cheap and useful. Do not throw the boxes in the recycling bin before cutting off a good number of pieces. In this way you can save a lot of money for more important materials or instruments and will be a real scrapbooker.
From the front side it looks like this. Who could tell it is a simple cardboard rectangle on the back?
After that, using my wonderful (also) turquoise Sizzix Big shot machine, I cut the numbers of the year and some paper and fabric decorations.
And my 2019 Resolution and message to myself calendar was ready!
See how it looks in both sides. Then when the first part of the year finishes, I will only turn it on the other side!