Our Free Calendar Printable (For You!) + A Secret

First we’ll get to the freebie download for all of you lovely people, because you know we heart you for reading our little ol’ blog. Since we’ve made a tradition of designing a homemade calendar each year (and 2012 ain’t gonna wait just cuz we’re mid-kitchen reno) we stole a moment – while the wood putty dried – to throw something together for the big one-two.

Our calendars from the last few years have all been text-based (you know, as opposed to full of photos). Like our 2010 calendar, where we assembled a dozen weird family phrases & inside jokes and laid them out in simple bright colors:

Or our 2011 calendar, where we used a numerical fact about our family to represent each month (ex: May, the fifth month, said: “Five years in Richmond” and July, the seventh month said: “Seven years spent together”).

Well, this year we ditched the text-on-white theme and went full-on photographic…

Each month of our 2012 calendar features a photo that we took that same month in 2011, so it’s an easy way for us to look back and say “oh yeah, so that’s what Clara looked like exactly a year ago.” Admittedly a photo calendar isn’t a groundbreaking idea, but it seemed really fun to toss together since 2011 is the first full calendar year that we’ve spent with Clara in our lives. And that girl can pose like Tyra Banks.

We gave each pic a “historical” feel by applying a free Photoshop action from the Pioneer Woman called “Heartland” (you can download that here) and then we brought color back into the calendar with a bright curvy border on the top and the bottom. The font that we used is a free download called Lobster (which you can get here).

And speaking of downloads, you can download our Photoshop file featuring all twelve colorful frames here. Which means you can personalize the whole thing for yourself (and then print it out and hang it proudly in your kitchen/office/mudroom) by:

  1. adding your own photos as a new layer behind each frame using Photoshop
  2. being sure to download the font if you’d like to alter the text (otherwise it could switch to a default and look wonky)
  3. applying the Heartland action to your photos if you want a similar look (or you can making ’em black & white, full color, etc)

Now all we’ve gotta do is buy a new color ink cartridge so we can print this sucker out on cardstock, cut it to size, and hang it in our finished kitchen (probably with a binder clip or two so we can easily rotate each page out as the months go by). Oh wait, guess we gotta finish the kitchen before we can “hang this in our finished kitchen”… so maybe it’ll be up by February or March. Haha. Either way, happy almost 2012 everyone! Hope you have fun making a little calendar of your own (or even whipping some up as gifts for friends and family members)!

But on to the secret… a little package arrived from my Secret Santa! Remember I mentioned that sweet Mrs. Limestone invited me to play along among a bunch of awesome fellow bloggers (and I was worried I would totally choke when it came to figuring out two perfect gifts to send someone’s way throughout the month of December)? Well, this package arrived all festively wrapped with a little “Peace On Earth” ornament on top…

… and I opened it to find this adorable silver box from Pottery Barn that reads “Good things come in small packages.” Which makes this 5’2″ gal smile.

And there was a little bit o’ sparkle going on – like fairy dust. Which all made sense when I cracked the lid to find three sweet ornaments with the hubster, the beanster, and my initials on them. So cute.

Anyone have any guesses which of these bloggers might be my secret Santa? I don’t have a clue but I love the suspense of it all!

As for my new little ornaments, off to the tree they went! Not only the three initial ornaments but the little glittering birdie too:

Here’s our little C in action. I love that these babies aren’t breakable – so they fit right in with our paint chips and ribbons.

The red on the initials tie right into the red ribbons, and the glitter around the edges gleam like our sparkly snowflakes.

Oh and our tree has filled out quite a bit over the last few weeks. Care to guess why?

Yup, many of the ornaments on our little homemade advent calendar have been popped off the door where they were hanging…

… and onto the tree. Clara and I have had fun finding the perfect place for each one as each day goes by.

Love me some holiday traditions! Maybe I was an elf in a past life. Those little seasonal activities and crafts (like our annual calendar and our ornament advent calendar) are hardly expensive or time consuming – but they’re so much fun for the family to get into the spirit. Especially little Clara. And when you’re dreading/gearing up for days and days of cabinet sanding and priming and painting… ya gotta love a little holiday spirit in the half-torn-apart house to keep ya smiling. Maybe we’ll play Christmas music while we putty and pretend the sawdust is snow…


  1. says

    The packaging makes me think for certain that it must be Janell at Isabella and Max Rooms, she has that gold classic style happening all through out her house. If the package came from Portland that would be a dead give away it was her. It’s so exciting to guess regardless!

    • says

      Oooh yeah, that is a good point. Can’t you tell by the postmark who it is from? Will yours not be given away by being sent from Richmond?

    • says

      People were sneaky about it (let’s just say mine didn’t have our address as the return address and the one I got was extremely vague too – no clues at all!).


    • Amanda says

      but doesn’t the postmark have a city on it (not the return address but the postmark stamp)? I’d have to go look at a package we received to tell for sure but I always thought the postmark at least showed the area a package had been mailed from.

  2. Madeline says

    Love the calendar! Soo cute!! Why did you chose the picture for September? Is Burger’s birthday in September?? Also, what size frame did you frame your Richmond typographic map in? I bought one for the boyfriend and want to frame it for him for Christmas. He grew up in the Fan, and also was in the army–and his job was reading maps,etc so I thought it was the PERFECT gift!! THANK YOU!
    -Your Stride Thru Time Friend…haha

    • says

      Haha- hi Madeline! Yup, September 27th is Burger’s birthday. As for the frame size, it’s an Ikea ribba frame that I used (the square one with a 12 x 12″ opening). I had to trim the white border of the map for it to fit, but it looks great with a giant piece of gray decorative paper that I got from Michael’s for a buck or two behind it. Hope it helps!


    • Susan says

      The Richmond type map version 2.0 (if you bought it recently) fits in a 24×18 frame. Just picked up a nice black wood one at Michael’s for about $20 and put the poster in there for my husband for Christmas so we can add it to our USGS map collection of the places we’ve lived on the staircase going down to our basement.

      PS-I think Miss Mustard Seed is your Secret Santa. Those ornaments have her shop at Luckett’s written all over them–so cute!!

    • Kari says

      My Mom uses the version from last year (same ornament, but in black font) on stocking hooks. As my brother and I are both in our late 20s, she ended up purchasing almost the entire alphabet when it went on clearance for future grandkids (no one is expecting at the moment however). Hilarious!

  3. says

    I tried to open in gimp and it wouldn’t let me open the .psd file. For those of us without the luxury of photoshop, is there anyway you could save it as a .png so we could open in microsoft powerpoint?

    • says

      So sorry, since it has so many layers we couldn’t make it a PNG and still allow folks to print each page separately (they’re all on top of each other in photoshop and you just hide each month to print them all). You also couldn’t place photos “under” the border in Powerpoint (since it would be all one layer, so you couldn’t tuck the picture behind the border). Maybe try downloading the free font and designing your own version in Powerpoint? Hope it helps!


  4. Annie says

    I love the calendars! I’d love to know how you keep your days organized – with all the projects and posts and appointments you must have a massive one somewhere to remind you of all the details? Mine always turn out so ugly with all the notes…

    I LOVE your blog, you always think of the greatest things…

    • says

      Haha, I am old school and actually have a day planner on my desk that I look at every morning. You can see it in this post, and it’s completely crazy and almost impossible for anyone to read but me!


  5. Lisa says

    I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for about a year and look forward to reading it each morning to see the great new ideas you keep coming up with. My comment today though is really about your daughter. I have to say that Clara just radiates joy in the photos you post of her – a credit to you both as parents!

  6. Brenda says

    What photoshop software do you own? I love the calendar and the monthly pics you take of Clara… Great ideas I’d love to borrow :)

    • says

      We have Adobe Creative Suite (which is sort of the souped up version since it has illustrator, etc) but even the most basic version of Photoshop would work for 99% of the stuff we make/do on the blog (we just have CS from our days in advertising when we used other programs with it).


  7. says

    Love the calendar this year. I’m in the process of making a text-based one for 2012, but just might steal this idea for 2013 when we can use pics of the boys in the same manner!

    On a completely unrelated subject, I saw this article about Neti Pots in the W Post today and remember reading that you use them. I know this is very rare, but thought I should pass it along for everyone. Better safe than sorry, right?


  8. says

    Like thousands of others, I read your blog every day and love every post.
    I love the calendar. Thank you so much for sharing it. But one question if you have a moment to answer/help… When I open the .psd document that you have loaded for readers to download the only page I get is for January. Maybe I’m not the most savvy Photoshop user but is there a way to download all of the months that I maybe missed?

    Thanks again and please don’t hold my Photoshop ignorance against me.

    • says

      Good question Emily! Each month is a layer in front of each other, so if you go to the layers tab and “hide” the layer that says January, February should be revealed. Then print that page and hide February and March should show up. Hope it helps!


    • says

      Oh I see now. Thank you so much again for your help and this wonderful little project.

      Happy Holidays to you and the rest of the YHL family.

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