01 January 2015

A New Day

I love making photo collages.

Each year, I make calendars for my bosses, loved ones and friends for Christmas. I've been using mycanvas.com via SmugMug for a few years, and the quality was phenomenal. Customizations were unlimited.

About halfway through 2014, mycanvas.com announced they would be abandoning the calendar side of their business to focus more on family history and genealogy-type books. I had to find a new calendar printer. We decided we'd try Zazzle after seeing calendars a few of my co-workers had received from various Zazzle users.

Then mycanvas.com announced another printer, Alexander's, had stepped in to take over their calendar business. Dang! Too many choices this year!

I'd already set up a Zazzle account, and transition by the new calendar printer was still in the works, so we decided to go ahead and order from Zazzle. They had something mycanvas.com had never offered... the ability to sell the calendars I design!!!

So I ordered calendars. Back in November. Calendars take a while to print and bind, so photographers such as me need to plan in advance. I'm afraid I didn't plan quite in advance enough.

When my calendar order arrived the week before Christmas, I excitedly shuffled through the pages, horrified at the results. The printing was fabulous. The dates were wrong. The calendars were for 2014 instead of 2015!!! OH, NO!!!

There wasn't enough time to order more. Zazzle offered to reprint them, to their credit. I had to come up with a different gift idea, which would result in trashing all that good photography. Aaaack!

So, me being the graphic designer wannabe I am and not wanting to waste perfectly good outdated but unused calendars, I whipped up new calendar pages, which The Lizard then glued in place. Over and over and over and over and over again about 1,000 times. (No, we didn't order 1,000 calendars, but I'm sure The Lizard will attest to the fact it felt that way when pasting in new pages one by one!)

no magnifying glass required here

My month-before and month-after minis are better than Zazzle's!!!

I composed a poem and placed it on a fancy Microsoft Christmas letter template to explain to recipients why their homemade gifts were a little more homemade than usual this year.

To my surprise, many recipients said they would not have noticed, had we not included the poem. But many also said they thoroughly enjoyed the poem.

So, a wee bit late, I offer it up here for your new year's reading pleasure!

Happy 2015!

It's a bit of a fixer-upper...

Ta da!

'Twas the night before mailing
And all through the house
Not a recipient had been missed
Not even the rogue mouse
(Whose trap had been reset
With fresh gourmet cheese
In the hopes of bringing
The thief to his knees).
Our calendars had been ordered
On the internet with great care,
In hopes that the printing
Would be quick as a hare.
The photographers were nestled
All snug in their beds;
While memories of White Pocket
Danced in their heads.
Mamma in her ERock T-shirt,
And me in my lizard skin,
Had settled our checkbooks
For a long winter's grin.
When the calendars arrived
There arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my computer
To see what was the matter.
Away to the office
I flew in a flash,
Tore open the package
And examined the stash.
The calendar cover
With a beautiful glow,
Gave way to the horror
Of the pages below,
And what to my wondering
Eyes did appear,
But page after page of
2014 so disastrously clear.
The snowflake creator
Now desperate and quick,
Fashioned new pages
I glued on with a stick.
More rapid than eagles
My fingers they flew,
As I whistled and shouted
"Now dry, you cheap glue!
Now, January!
Now, March followed by spring!
On July and October!
Bring on winter zing!"
And then in a twinkling
The postman arrived,
Calendars tucked 'neath his arm,
Away he did drive.
Homemade we prefer
All our presents to be,
And this humble project
Gives us great glee:
Never so thankful
Have we ever been
To rid our abode
Of such disgruntled chagrin!
Not even the mouse
Who sneaks in to steal
Every last crumb
Of every good meal!
We sprang to our bikes,
And took off like a missile,
Down the road we did pedal
With enough air to whistle.
You may have heard
As we rode out of sight—
"Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!"

Our 2014 Christmas Letter


  1. Happy 2015!!

    All is well. Everything worked out in the end. I even learned a new trade - calendar boy!

    1. Oh, you're so funny, Lizard! But maybe we should print our own calendars next year. We make a pretty good team, I think!

  2. haha oh that must have been a pain in the butt gluing all of those on. Bet he can do them to perfection now. Great verse indeed, can only imagine the look when 2014 showed on them lol

    1. Yes, there was a wee bit of a wince when I opened those calendars, Pat. Oh, was I an unhappy camper! But heck, we fixed 'em. They'll be good for a year. Maybe I should collect all the 2013 calendars and glue 2016 pages on them and regift. I'm into recycling, you know...

  3. You are so clever! Love the poem!

    1. Thanks, Charlotte! It was nice to make lemonade from this batch of lemons!

  4. Great story, and a wonderful poem!!! Despite Zazzle's mistake, it is interesting that they'll sell your calendars for you. I'm going to check them out. I actually have people who have asked to buy mine :) Like you, I make calendars for family and friends for Christmas.

    1. You definitely should be selling your calendars, KB! I bet you could sell more than just calendars with your awesome photography. I think a star trails calendar would be awesome! (hint hint!!!)

  5. Thanks to the Lizard for his heroic gluing efforts!

    That August photo. Wow.

    1. Thanks, Sue! Now I have to go see what I put on August. I don't remember!!!


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