Monday 18 July 2016

2016 Xmas Planner

Yes, it's July. Yes, I've made myself an Xmas Planner. It's not too early to be organised when you make most of your Christmas gifts. Time factored in for planning, gathering materials and creating all adds up to an early start - July isn't that early as some craftspeople begin making just after New year.

Using a kraft A5 binder and two 'Things to do' paper pads, a splatter effect by Emma Bridgewater and a floral design by Paper Place, scrapbook card, stickers and embellishments, note pads and washi, I assembled my planner. Inside the cover is a pocket for receipts, lists and other bits and pieces needing filed. Pages are made from the splatter paper pad, each sheet folded back upon itself and trimmed to fit the A5 binder. 

When I was ten, one summer night,
The baby stars that leapt
Among the trees like dimes of light,
I cupped and capped, and kept.

I could not count the baby stars
For they were getting ready
To fire up a festival—
Electrified confetti!
Firefly July by J.Patrick Lewis

Each month has a theme: July - cameras, August - floral, September - travel & music, October - Autumn/Fall, November - icy Winter and December - traditional reds & greens.

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor,
On this scene enter - winged, horned, and spined - 
A longlegs, moth and a dumbledore:
While 'mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands...
from 'An August Midnight' by Thomas Hardy

Each month has a front cover made from scrapbook card, a pocket with a seasonal poem, weeks running from Mon-Sun, 'Things to do' pages and peel off note pages. At the end of each month is a 'catch-up' page for tasks to carried forward to the next month.

Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall...
from an Autumn Equinox Ritual

At the back of the planner are sections for Crafts, Lists and Recipes. From those sections I can break down tasks into do-able steps and work through them during the month sections. 

The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves
by Sara Teasdale

In July I check the planner once a week but closer to Xmas I will be checking progress every day and in December that will rise to a number of times per day.

November always seemed to me
the Norway of the year
by Emily Dickinson

Under the lists section are budgets, Christmas cards (made, written & sent) and handmade gift materials needed. In last year's Xmas planner the list, gifts and recipes sections were interspersed with the months which became confusing when looking for them. It makes more sense to have them together at the back, as a resource. 

Lighting one candle
from another - 
Winter night
by Buson

Making a planner for a specific occasion like Christmas not only creates something useful which helps with organisation but remains as a record. Some ideas work, others do not. I'm considering next year's version being a cross between a planner and a journal, something that can be flicked through to recall moments passed.

Recipes are written on the floral paper pad cut to size. Any recipes that are tried out and liked will make their way into my everyday recipe file. And in the Xmas Planner is a page with half hour increments to help plan Christmas DInner which usually overcooks or burns if not planned step by step.
I had hoped to make a downloadable and printable version of a 2016 Xmas Planner but I'm still finding out what works and how it should look. I'm not ready to create a designed-from-scratch version.

I enjoyed making this planner but in truth I used whatever materials I had which don't ideally work together. However, I'm moving closer to knowing how my 2017 Christmas Planner will eventually look. It's fun getting there.

Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

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