Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the gift of the year

I love to give calendars.
It's just that they're so useful, and the gift lasts the whole year, and the right calendar?  It can be the most beautiful art in the house.

I've been noticing more and more calendars that just blow me away with their beauty--I could fill a whole room with all of these different artists' ways of illustrating months and shaping boxes for every day.  I like a little art in my schedule.

I have a new friend this year (always the sign of a good year!), and she shares my love for the calendar.  Kari Chapin just wrote this fabulous book, and she's the woman to have on your side while you are perusing etsy for a lovely this or that.  I'm also lucky enough to have her as the prop stylist for my book, and yes, of course, she's fabulous at that too.  But the first time she walked into my kitchen, one of the first things she said was, "Oh!  Nikki McClure!" and that of course sparked our first ever conversation about calenders.  We cut it short, but it was clear that we had more to say.

And so I asked Kari if she might have a little calendar chat with me right here.  Because I thought that it was slightly possible that you might still be looking for gifts for those who need a calendar for artistic or organization inspiration, or you just don't have your own calendar picked out, you might be interested in listening in.  We've been chatting back and forth all week, and now there are even more calendars that I want.

Beware.  That might happen to you too.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  So here it is word for word. Me, and Kari, and calendars.

Where to begin?  Searching calendars on etsy has convinced me that I should just fill a whole wall with calendars this year...so many beautiful ways to mark the days!  But how about we start with the sweet lady  who introduced us in the first place, Laurie Coyle.  This year's calendar is all veggie watercolors, and I find the marrow shape of it  especially pleasing. Although it's painful to be yearning for asparagus in December...


Laurie's calendar is a favorite over here at Chixon Headquarters. My husband Eric keeps one in his office and we usually have one in our kitchen too. Bravo Laurie! There are so many great calendars out there, that it's hard for me to narrow it down to just one or two. When I was a a young woman, and just out on my own, my favorite holiday gift each year was a calendar from my home. She would carefully go through all of the months and write all of our families important dates in it for me. So sweet! For 2011, I have a few spaces in my life where I'll need a cute calendar and I'm liking this one, by local artist Sarah Ahearn quite a bit - I like that it comes with a clipboard that you can use again and again. Plus, I think pinning all the months up at once would be very beautiful.


Love the clipboard, and Sarah's art is beautiful.  I think we all need a little more collage in our lives to inspire some cutting a gluesticking--the girls have taken to making their own calendars for all of our family schedules, and we've been pasting them all over the wall.  There's just something so lovely but days and art put together- I think it might even change the way I approach my week when I see it all laid out that way.

Our friends Luke and India have brought us this calender two years in a row.  Their friend Kim makes it, and I think that it's outstandingly classy.  The first year, they gave us her hawks and bunnies calender (alternating months) and this past year it was illustrations of songwriters and their lyrics.  It's printed on satisfying paper, and it comes with two little hooks to mount it on the wall:

wedding prism


Wow. That one is really beautiful! I love handmade calendars so much! Can you imagine all of the work that entails? Full disclosure on my next favorite calendar, I know the family that makes them quite well. The ffrench family, from your neck of the woods, has made these silkscreen calendars for years by hand. I love the whole story behind them too. Each member of the family is responsible for drawing at least one month of the year. Their birthdays and special days are all marked by unusual shapes throughout the year. True story about the ffrench Family calender: I was talking with a woman once about these calendars and she told me that she had every single one. For years she wondered what to do with them, until she finally settled on wallpapering her bathroom with the images. I saw a photos the room and it was the most beautiful bathroom I have ever seen.



I love the Dolphin Studio calendar... I feel like I've grown up with it all around me even though I've never had one in my own house.  I'd love to see all those images together!
My next calender is from one of my friends too--a few years back, my friend Molly handprinted a calender as a holiday gift for people in her life lucky enough to get one.  Joey and I were among the fortunate few, and for the whole year we had this incredible art on our wall.  Now she and her husband Aurel have made a new calendar for public consumption, and this one comes with a frame to put the present month's page in.  The entire calendar is  hand screenprinted in their little basement studio in Monterey, MA. 

Wowzers! Molly's calendar is beautiful. I had never been to her Etsy shop before, and I love her cards too! And her clothes are just as incredible. Lets see, I do have one other calendar I could share with you. And while I am not exactly an "owl" person myself, my sister is and I was pleased as punch to find this really unique calendar for her. This woman, Shivani has got some amazing artists to all contribute images, and it's up to the buyer to design the calendar they most want! The best part is, you can download it yourself and simply print it out. Do you like it? I'd love to see more of these types of things out in the world.

Owl Lover 2011 Calendar



I love it!  And Joey has a bit of an owl thing, so that one is definitely making it's way here.  The concept is so great, too.

Well, we could go on and on.  But let's finish with Nicki...the calender that is always guaranteed to hang in my kitchen.  I just got the new one, and it's going to be a great year.


Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture


  1. Just as I was about to buy a new moleskin calendar...

    p.s. I heart Nikki McClure and the rabbit calendar your friends made too.

  2. I just bought a very functional, yet small, calendar for my purse/the road. BUT, it also happens to be hot pink (the hottest of pinks) with very fashionable, French looking font that reads 2011 in grey across the front. I can't wait to crack it.

  3. I love all of these suggestions! New to me is the Dolphin Studio calendar. Those owls are adorable!

    I think you'd LOVE the calendar I just bought for myself: It's the 2011 Linnea Poster calendar. It's not handmade like so many of the ones you mentioned, but still lovely prints:


    Check out the April print. Awesome carrots! :D

  4. i smell a giveaway. lovely choices, my dear!