memory like a sieve

Used to be, years ago, I had a reputation as being the only one in our family who always remembered to send birthday cards and maintain contact with friends far away.

That was back when we wrote letters using actual pen and paper!

Now that I have Facebook, email, mobile phones and technology at my fingertips I can’t seem to remember anyone’s birthday. Not Wayne’s, not even my own at times. Its like once technology stepped in, my brain stepped out.

So, when I saw this birthday calendar idea on Pinterest, I thought I must make one!

Birthday calendar

However, I couldn’t just copy that one. I had to make my own. I gave it some thought, decided how I was going to do it, then did something completely different.

Only kidding. My first plan had been to find a nice old frame, buy some pinboard material, then paint it up and use pins to add birthdays.

What I did was based on that but adapted when I found an old framed corkboard at a tip shop a couple of weeks ago.

As usual, I didnt take any photos of the ‘before’… Trust me. It was pretty ordinary. It was a lavender painted frame with corkboard in the middle. Nothing special and with a few flaws in the frame.

And I apologise for the bad photos. I was having a bad photo day.

Step 1: I undercoated the whole thing, cork and frame.

Step 2: I painted the cork a light beige colour I had in a sample pot. Twice.

Step 3: I painted the frame limed white from another sample pot. Twice.

Step 4: After the paint had dried I drew a grid, having divided the width of the corkboard into 12 parts, and then drew lines across as well to create boxes. Not so easy when you’re mathematically challenged, the calculator is in the house and you’re too lazy to go up and get it.

Step 5: I painted each of the squares in a darker colour, leaving a fine line of cream showing through between them. I had to paint them twice as well.

Step 6: I painted every second line a different shade, again, thank you sample pots! Two coats.

I then remembered that I didnt actually need boxes, just stripes. So I painted over the lines.

Step 7: I wasn’t too happy with the shiny look of the paint so I sanded it back a bit. It took the shine off on the corkboard which was good. Then I sanded back the frame a bit too. It allowed some of the lavender to show through, as well as some of the timber. That’s fine as I planned to use other colours on the calender.

Step 8: I used my brand new stencil to paint the letters for each month. I used a dry brush and burnt umber artist acrylic to achieve a sort of uneven finish.

Step 9: I sacrificed one of my many paint swatch catalogues, cutting up the colours I liked. Using a black marker and my diary for reference, I started putting a number (for the day) and a name of each swatch. I then used some cool pins I’d bought at Officeworks last week to pin each birthday into the corresponding month.

Step 10: I found a spot to hang it where I might see it and be reminded of upcoming birthdays before I have to apologise for forgetting!

 I’m pretty pleased with myself. Thats one of my ‘Things I want to try when I have the time’ items off my list! Only about 546 to go…

However, I did manage to do a few other things over the weekend despite the miserable weather. It poured. Not as bad as the floods in NSW, but it rained enough to flood our toilet again.

I’m kinda over wading in to go to the loo.

I think the guys managed to fix the problem on the weekend by putting in a new long sheet of corregated roofing iron. I’m glad. I did manage to refrain from asking why this wasn’t done in the first place…

I was polite and thankful.

So, this is what I did: I organised my workshop! Its now neat and clean and organised and I can use it. I hung all my paint brushes and scrapers etc with jute string onto an old rake head.

I screwed two old drawers to the wall as shelves and screwed jars to the top to hold odds and ends. I put a trestle table between the windows as a work bench. This used to be the shearing shed, as you can see the fences are still partly there. We decided to keep them.

I have an old office desk as an extra work bench on the other side and some old kitchen cabinets to hold tools and ‘stuff’.

When there aren’t enough shelves an old coffee table on top of the cabinet creates that extra space! I have old crates under the table (framing tools in one, crafting odds and ends in the other) and a collection of tins and other stuff on top for other projects I might do one day.

You can see the birthday calendar drying too! 🙂 That’s Step 1.

Well… my workshopWAS neat and clean for a day, till I started my next project – concurrent with the birthday calendar only a lot more optimistic. My new kitchen table! But more on that later.


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