Whether or not 2021 was the year you thought it would be, it’s coming to a close tonight. Today I’m reflecting on the 12 calendar pages that I created in 2021, and hope they stir some fond memories for you, crafting or otherwise. Click on each month’s link to get the full details on how each page is created.
If you would like to make your own DIY Easel calendar, I sell the pdf for just $5 and you are welcome to print it to use as you please. Contact me and I’ll invoice you. If you’d prefer one already made, message my dear friend Crystal on Instagram – she sells them, and may have a few left for 2022.
Let’s get started with January 2021:
January 2021 had a joyful beginning with the sassy donkey from the Sale-a-bration set, Darling Donkeys. I got a lot of miles out of this set, and it’s one that has joined my Retired Stamp Shelves (RSS). Let’s just say Darling Donkeys has good company. It felt so good to say goodbye to 2020, and kicking up our heels with abandon was the perfect way to celebrate.
February 2021 was an homage to the butterfly and to the beauty of nature. I used another Sale-a-bration set, A Touch of Ink. I was cheered by the combination of the Monarch Butterfly and the bright yellow flowers all month long.
You’ll notice as you go through the months that I have done a lot of coloring with Stampin’ Blends – the more I use them, the more I love them. The results are stunning even if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, and the act of coloring is extremely therapeutic.
In March 2021, I inked up Pretty Perennials. I’m still a bit sad that Stampin’ Up! retired this beauty, but never fear – it’s on the RSS with the Donkey and a few other sets that stole my heart in 2021.
I like to give these calendar pages a fair amount of dimension, whether it’s lifting an element on Stampin’ Dimensionals or using embellishment. Because the calendars are small (the white portion is 3 1/2″ square) it’s easy to add a lot of detail without making them an all day project. It’s a fun challenge to work on this scale.
April 2021 features another favorite that retired to the RSS – Beautiful Friendship. That’s not to say that Stampin’ Up! is lacking in floral stamp sets, because heaven knows, we have an ABUNDANCE. But I do have my favorites, and this is one of them.
I really try to alternate my floral months with non-floral months, but as you can see, in 2021 I was not very successful. I’m a gardener as well as a crafter (one could argue they are both crafts) and my two happy places tend to blur into one big garden-filled crafty space. Good intentions are just that, good intentions, and they may or may not be carried out as planned.
Flowers aside, I confess that the May 2021 DIY is one of my favorites. The colors, the layering, and the images all make something inside of me want to dance with joy. That’s the purpose of these little pages!
Strawberries grow beautifully on Maui on the slopes of Haleakala, and they are as sweet a berry as you have ever popped into your mouth. This calendar was a delight all through the month of May – almost as delightful as eating strawberries.
I consider the Friends are Like Seashells bundle my personal gift from Stampin’ Up! My June 2021 calendar is all about the seashore, and it’s another that brings me tremendous joy. I grew up on the Pacific Ocean, although the California coastal waters are just a tich colder than the ocean at our beloved Keawakapu.
As a child, I remember fighting with my dad, arguing that it wasn’t time to come home, while my teeth chattered and my nail beds were purple from the cold. I’m (theoretically) a grown up now, and I don’t spend much time in cold water any more, but I am still passionate about the sand and the sea and the place where the two meet.
For many years, I tried to create a red-white-and-blue calendar to celebrate July and the American Independence Day. A few years ago, I decided to let go of that. I wish I had known sooner how it would feel like my own Independence Day! Lesson here: let go of silly, self-imposed rules.
July is mid-summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means an abundant garden. I want flowers in July. The July 2021 DIY is a riot of color, just as July should be!
In August 2021, my calendar got a little silly. I looked at those penguins and saw them in Technicolor. These are not your ordinary penguins! This stamp set has a strong dose of whimsey, and these out-of-the-ordinary birds are surely whimsical.
My personal style doesn’t usually lean towards this kind of lightheartedness. When I hear the muse of whimsey speak, I’m generally compelled to listen. (Note to self: any time, any muse, LISTEN.)
When September 2021 rolled around, the muse went off to amuse herself and my crafty little heart turned back to flowers. I have gotten many, many miles from this gorgeous Hand-Penned Petals bundle, and I’m definitely not finished.
The color combinations are endless, and these images can be a simple focal point for your layout or something much more elaborated and layered. They’re versatile and captivating, and if you haven’t yet added Hand-Penned Petals to your craft stash, well then, GET GOING, SHALL WE????? (oops. sorry not sorry. I’m passionate about this bundle.)
October 2021 DIY decided it needed to be a jack-o-lantern, and that was that. I think the muse was back in town, if you want the truth. And when the muse speaks, One Must Obey.
And so October became a Halloween calendar. As it turned out, I wasn’t at home for Halloween and it was a little serendipity that I had this cheerful image to keep me in the spirit (without indulging in all the candy. Good heavens.)
I am still quite pleased with the way November 2021 turned out. This project was decidedly outside of my comfort zone, and there was a fair amount of improvising before I got to the finished result. The warm autumnal colors, the blending of one tone into the next, and the heartfelt message set me up for a splendid month.
You see, I knew that my middle daughter and her husband would be home to Maui for Thanksgiving because one of her high school besties was being married on the island the weekend before the holiday. However, I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the month that all 3 of my children would be home with their beloved partners so that our family could be together for the first time since January 2020.
My mama heart was so full to have everyone together. If you have adult children, I suspect you will understand how challenging it can be to coordinate schedules. Add to that a distance spanning 9 time zones and ever-changing Covid protocols in 2 countries and you’ll have an idea why this was such a miracle. As you can see, Celebrate Together became a reality instead of an improbable dream.
That brings us to December 2021 and Peaceful Deer. It’s a fitting way to close the year. It’s just me and Mr. Maui Stamper this month, and so much has happened in 2021 that we are grateful to enjoy a little peace and quiet.
If you’re now inspired to create a 2022 DIY Easel Calendar, let’s do it! The pdf is just $5 and if you contact me I’ll send you an invoice as quickly as I’m able. Trust me, you’ll love creating your own! If you need inspiration from prior years, it’s all in the archives. Choose “Calendars” from the “Category” drop down.
The calendar is the one commitment I’ve consistently kept to the Maui Stamper. I haven’t blogged nearly as much this year as in years past, but it was something I could choose to cut in order to maintain some balance. I’ve been very busy creating, but I haven’t taken the time to take the photos, prep them for the blog, and create and publish the post.
Perhaps 2022 will be different: I hope so. In fact, I know it will be different, but what I don’t know is how it will be different. That’s the tricky bit about growth and change, isn’t it? You know it’s coming, but you don’t know what it’s going to look like. Let’s all hope it’s going to be very, very good.
Happy New Year, my friends.